January 29, 2014
As negotiations move forward for the Kansas City Museum and its pending separation from Union Station, one issue that could be a sticking point is the city’s residency requirement for city employees. Under the current city charter, city employees must live within the city limits of Kansas City, Mo. Museum staff was exempt from this requirement as they were employees of Union Station Kansas City (USKC). This newshound has learned that museum staffers will have about a 9-month “grace period” after the May 1 separation date to get their affairs in order and establish residency in Kansas City proper.
But wait, during the much ballyhooed MAST-KCFD merger, MAST employees were actually grandfathered in, not having to meet that residency requirement. This crafty journalist canine thinks museum staff needs to be granted the same favor and for good reason. Present staff has an extremely strong working knowledge of how the museum operates as well as how to engage the community at-large in a positive way. Grandfathering present staff would also provide much needed continuity in not only the ongoing multi-million dollar renovation project currently under way, but also in museum programming, which has blossomed in the last five to six years under the leadership of departed Museum Director Christopher Leitch. Unfortunately, those on the city council with the power to make this happen seem reluctant to carry this water. That’s why this pooch is making the case. It’s time to stop the excuses and either make this residency thing go away or enter the necessary criteria to wave the requirement for museum staff. If it’s good for FD, it’s good for the museum. The exception has already been made once. That doggie has already left the kennel. If you think like this newsdog that staff needs to be grandfathered, let Councilmen Wagner and Glover as well as Councilwoman Marcason know how you feel.