This is a continuation of Cascade Media Group Black Mayors Series Carson Ross, a Blue Springs resident for more than 47 years, was initially elected as Mayor in April of 2008 and reelected in April 2012, April 2016 and 2020. He is the first African American Mayor of Blue Springs, Missouri.
Mayor Ross presently serves as a Past Secretary and current First Vice-Chair of the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) Board of Directors and serves as the Missouri Co-Chair of the MARC Total Transportation Policy Committee. Mayor Ross serves as President of the Eastern Jackson County Betterment Council, and as Chairman of the Mayor’s Advisory Board for the Little Blue Valley Sewer District where he also serves as the current Vice Chairman for their Board of Trustees.
Ross has served the City of Blue Springs and surrounding regions for numerous years, in an array of capacities including: Chairman of the Blue Springs Personnel Board, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Blue Ridge Church of Christ, President of St. Mary’s Medical Center Board of Associates, presently serves on the Centerpoint Medical Center Board of Directors, member of the Carondelet Health Board of Directors and the Carondelet Health Finance Committee, member of the Missouri Air Conservation Commission, former Local Investment Commission (LINC) commissioner, member of the Community Services League Board of Director, founding Member and Ministry Leader of Blue Ridge Church of Christ, former Chairman of the Missouri Veterans Commission and Advisory Committee on Minority Veterans with the US Department of Veterans Affairs, President of the West Gate Division of the Missouri Municipal League (MML), MML Board of Directors, and First Chairman of the Metropolitan Mayor’s Caucus. Mayor Ross served on the United Way of Greater Kansas City and Little Blue Valley Sewer District Board of Trustees as well as the Blue Springs Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors and Executive Committee and was a founding member of Summit Bank of Kansas City Board of Trustees in 2005 until it merged with Citizens Bank & Trust in 2019.
Elected to the Blue Springs Board of Alderman in 1981, Mayor Ross served Districts 2 & 3 for eight consecutive years as Alderman and one year as Mayor Pro Tem.
Prior to his election as Mayor, he served in the Legislative Branch of the State of Missouri. In 1988, Mayor Ross was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives, representing the 55th District. Ross served a total of 14 years in the Missouri House of Representatives (1989-2003). He served as Republican Whip in 1991-92.
Outside of his legislative duties, Mayor Ross worked for Hallmark Cards, the company from which he retired after working in various positions for 39 years. He is President of Graves & Ross Investment Co., dba Smoking Hill Bar-B-Que at the Lake of the Ozarks since 1988.
A 1964 graduate of Bradley County High School, Mayor Ross attended the University of Arkansas – Pine Bluff and received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Rockhurst University in 1977.
In 1995 and 1996, Mayor Ross was recognized by the Kansas City Globe as one of Kansas City’s most influential African Americans. He was awarded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s Black Achiever in Industry Award in 1985. He also received the Spirit of Enterprise Award from the Missouri Chamber of Commerce in 1991 and was a recipient of the Outstanding Legislator Award in 1996 by the Missouri Federation Grand Order of Pachyderms.
He received the 1997 state award by the Kansas City Globe as the Most Influential African American, only the second time this award has been given. Mayor Ross was also honored with the United States National Guard (NGAUS) Major General Charles Dick Medal of Merit Award in 1998, the Missouri Deputy Sheriff’s Association State Representative of the Year Award for 1998, as well as a variety of other awards and recognitions for his years of community and government service. He is a US Army Vietnam Combat Infantry Veteran serving from 1967-69. He received several citations including two Valorous Unit Awards while serving in Vietnam from 1967-68. Ross is a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and in 2019, Ross was named a Lifetime member of the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA).
Recently, Ross was given the following awards for his continuous civic engagement: Senior Service Award from Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder, the Leaders Honor Roll Award from the University of Missouri Extension, the 2015 KC Globe Lifetime Award of the Most Influential African Americans in the Greater Kansas City Area, the Distinguished Service Award from the Missouri Municipal League. The League also rewarded his commitment to expanding his knowledge of the constantly changing local government by giving him the designation of Certified Municipal Official. In 2017, Mayor Ross was the recipient of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy Award presented by the Olathe, KS Chapter of the NAACP and the ‘Arkansas Traveler’ Award by Governor Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas were Ross was born and raised.
Mayor Ross was born on December 15, 1946 in Warren, Arkansas and was married to his late wife, First Lady Eloise for 49 years before her heavenly departure on Aug. 28, 2019. They have three daughters: Rechele, Carla and Diana; six granddaughters, one grandson, two great-grandsons and one great-granddaughter.