May 24, 2017
If there was ever a doubt that crony capitalism existed and is living large in this Cowtown, those doubts were dispelled last week with the new Burns & McDonnell no bid proposal to build the new KCI. This dog smells something rotten and you should too. This dog lives by the old adage that if something is too good to be true, it probably is. B&M officials say they’ll finance the cost of this new airport privately, causing some elected city officials to start frothing at the mouth about a no-cost solution to what critics say is an aging facility that needs radical updating to remain competitive. Never mind KCI consistently ranks in the top 10 nationwide for customer convenience and check-in times according to a number of notable travel websites. All that seems to be lost however on the City Hall denizens who seem to be intent on jamming this boondoggle down the public’s throat at all costs.
This dog finds it interesting that some contracts are sent out to bid while others seem to be continually awarded to big business City Hall insiders like B&M or JE Dunn. Meanwhile, the rest of the small businesses get nothing more than crumbs, sometimes even less. This dog can count on one hand the number of times the Human Resources department at City Hall advertises open positions in this print news source, but other community weeklies seem to get the lion’s share of the ad buys, leaving this community shut out of opportunities.
Let’s be clear, a new airport isn’t the most pressing matter facing this city. Infrastructure needs, such as streets, sidewalks and reliable and reasonably-priced water delivery rank much higher than a new airport on the priority list. Note to the Council, maybe it’s time we get back to the boring basics instead of building or financing legacy projects for the mayor. That’s what the citizens elected you for, after all.