Arbo Jay T Bell Award 2022

Lee's Summit City Manager, Steve Arbo (right), was recently honored by the Missouri City/County Management Association with the 2022 Jay T. Bell Professional Management Award. Arbo, who has held is position with the City since 2008, will retire in September.

Steve Arbo, city manager for the city of Lee’s Summit, was chosen as the 2022 Jay T. Bell Professional Management Award by the Missouri City/County Management Association (MCMA).

The award recognizes his outstanding commitment to the profession of local government management and is the association’s highest honor for members.

MCMA established the Jay T. Bell Professional Management Award in honor of Jay T. Bell, who served as executive director of the Missouri Municipal League from 1965 until 1981. The award recognizes public service that displays the same high standards of accomplishment, professionalism, and ethical conduct. Bell felt strongly that the professionalism exemplified by city managers and administrators was an essential part of good governance.

Stephen Arbo has more than 35 years of experience in the public service sector. He was appointed city manager for the City of Lee’s Summit in 2008, after serving as the City’s deputy city administrator and assistant city manager. He is a community-oriented leader with a focus on strong teams, fiscal responsibility and optimizing performance for the delivery of quality city services.

“This award is a testament to the character, integrity and compassion of Mr. Arbo,” said Lee’s Summit Mayor Bill Baird. “Mr. Arbo sets the standard for public service. His commitment to enhancing the well-being of others is evident in the exceptional city services and innovative programs Lee’s Summit delivers. His ability to work collaboratively with others in the region for the benefit of all has been essential to the prosperity of our community and will undoubtedly leave a lasting legacy. It is a privilege to work alongside such a dedicated professional.”

Arbo serves as the Missouri co-chair of the Regional Homeland Security Coordinating Committee for the Mid-America Regional Council and received their Regional Leadership Award in June 2021. He was named the Public Administrator of the Year by the Greater Kansas City Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration and the 2011 Downtown Champion by Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street. He was the recipient of the University of Central Missouri Student Government Association’s Excellence in Governance Award.

Arbo has a Master of Public Administration from the University of Kansas and a Bachelor of Arts in public administration from William Jewell College.

The Missouri City/County Management Association is the professional association of appointed local government administrators in the cities and counties. Learn more at

The Missouri Municipal League provides a united voice for municipalities across Missouri. Founded in 1934, MML now serves more than 640 municipalities with training, resources and legislative advocacy for local government success. Learn more at

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