Hyde Parker editor announces he’s moving on

The Hyde Parker newsletter has told the stories of the neighborhood for four years under editor Mark Dillon, who announced this month he has resigned from the position and is moving out of Kansas City.

After four years, Mark Dillon has announced his resignation as the editor of one of Midtown’s most prominent neighborhood newsletters, the Hyde Parker.

Dillon, who moved here in 2006 for a job, will return to Minnesota. Dillon has also been a popular contributor to the Midtown KC Post.

“The opportunity to be an informational and entertainment light to our neighborhood has been a delightful bonus that I never expected when my wife, Cecelia, and I came to Hyde Park seven years ago,” he said in a letter to the neighborhood.

Dillon recalled in an interview this week that when he moved to Kansas City, a realtor tried to steer the couple to look at property in Brookside, but they decided Hyde Park had a lot of historical character and offered a better real estate value.

Dillon, a former newspaper reporter, said the neighborhood offered a huge resource of stories. Among some of the highlights over the years, he said the Hyde Parker  ran one of the earliest interviews with Sly James as he began his run for mayor. Last year, the newsletter published a detailed story about the 12 most endangered properties in the historic neighborhood; since then more than half of the properties have seen some improvement.

As he leaves the neighborhood, Dillon said one of the factors that encouraged he and his wife to move on was the recent property tax assessment controversy. In addition to the financial hardship higher assessment values put one some residents, Dillon said the increase in home values seemed to him like an illustration of a philosophy of governance “not conducive to quality of life.”

“They’ve got it backward,” he said. “The big developer gets tax breaks but the homeowner is penalized for sweat equity.”

Dillon said he encourages the neighborhood to continue to “look outward and not inward.” He urged the neighborhood to continue forming relationships with other neighborhoods named Hyde Park across the country, from New York to Chicago to Sydney to Austin, Texas. He also hopes Hyde Park will continue to focus both on keeping out bad development as well as finding opportunities for positive redevelopment on Troost, Linwood, and 31st Streets.

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