Art Ruiz

I stand for Accountable public office, Transparent governance, and a City Hall that listens to the Community it serves. As a part of that, I feel it is essential to authentically present who I am so that you, the residents of Belton, can make an informed decision when it comes time to choose your next Mayor. To that end, I would like to highlight some of my past involvement in Belton and encourage you to also read my Full Candidate Resume, which was requested by a member of the Better Belton Community Facebook group.

Missouri’s State Audit of Belton

As Chief Audit Petitioner I worked alongside Belton Citizens First, Belton’s Main Street business owners, business owners from the North Scott corridor, and other concerned citizens to gather over 1,300 signatures and promote the need for a State Audit of Belton’s administration. We were under the gun due to COVID and we were unable to approach city employees for fear of them losing their jobs, due to reprisals from City Hall, but we succeeded in our goal. Those voting citizens made it possible for the State Auditor’s Office to open the investigation we needed to push for much-needed accountability from City Hall.

Downtown Belton Main Street Inc

I love our Main Street; I feel it is the neglected heart of our community and that it deserves our support. Main Street and the “Olde Towne” overlay district can be more than a gathering place, they can also be a hub for small business activity and a destination for people traveling to Belton. In 2012 I incorporated Downtown Belton Main Street Inc (DBMSI), with the purpose of supporting our main street businesses while also preserving Olde Towne’s historic character. I serve on DBMSI’s board to this day.

Belton Corporation for Economic Development

From 1998 through 2013, I served as the Executive Director of the Belton Corporation for Economic Development. Within that position I was responsible for representing Belton to the Greater Kansas City Media, recruiting new businesses, and retaining existing businesses. During my tenure, I facilitated over 75 million dollars of new investment, lobbied the Missouri Department of Economic Development for Belton’s only Enhanced Enterprise Zone, Created the Belton/Cass Regional Transportation Development District, and negotiated with the Missouri Department of Economic Development for state incentives to expand Belton Regional Medical Center.

Rich’n Art’s

I know what it means to be a small business owner and I have personally invested in our community. In 2013, I and Richard Smith opened Rich’n Art’s, a popular restaurant that continues to serve “Seafood & Steak” on Belton’s historic Main Street. Although I eventually turned over my half of the restaurant to Richard’s son Richie, I continue to support Belton’s small businesses, especially those that are family-owned.