Cut, cut, cut

The new City budget is out and, for all intents and purposes, it should have come with a pair of scissors given the funding cuts that are included. 

Entrepreneurial assistance, the arts, economic development, and tourism all fell under the budget knife this year in order to pay for more TIF projects, downtown luxury apartments and free bus rides. 

Mayor Quinton Lucas specifically noted that arts funding was cut in order to pay for catering expenses at the new, taxpayer-funded Loew’s convention hotel to the tune of $4.4 million per year for the next— wait for it—twenty years. 

That’s a whole bunch of stuffed chicken and shrimp cocktail, but what’s $4.4 million a year for twenty years among City Hall insiders and big shot developers, right?

Entrepreneurial assistance in the form of Launch KC was cut by $50,000 and KC SourceLink cut to the tune of $75,000. 

The Economic Development and the KC Film Office budgets were also cut due to catering expenses for the hotel. 

This critically-thinking Newsdog thinks maybe given the way the former Mayor and City Council robbed the taxpayers to build this downtown palace, maybe we ought to get a couple free nights and some free room service to get our slice of the pie. 

Additionally, in a move that seems counter-intuitive to this critically-thinking canine, Arts Tech, a program for at-risk youth, was slashed by roughly $90,000. 

Isn’t part of the violent crime discussion centered on redirecting at-risk youth away from violent behavior? 

Also cut was the budget for the Office of Cultural and Creative Services headed by Megan Crigger. 

In this Dog’s eyes, after last year’s Open Spaces debacle and the way the vendors were treated, Crigger should have been sent packing long ago, but that’s a sermon for another day.  

The Dog does hear that there’s a new, high-level gig open at 414 E. 12th street though. Anyone who’s interested in being the city’s Pothole Czar, whatever that is, can apply in person at City Hall. 

Why we need to add another level of city bureaucracy to what equates to the seven layers of Hell in Dante’s Inferno is beyond this critically-thinking pooch. 

Any astute Public Works employee with six months of in-truck experience would do better than some hand-picked, blue-ribbon spin-doctor. 

This Dog wants to know, what are your thoughts on the budget? Do we need a new fill-in-the- blank czar to oversee potholes? 

Arts funding and entrepreneurial services such as EDC are critically important to business growth in the city but they’ve seen their budgets cut as has the city’s film office and tourism department. 

How outraged, if at all, are you as a taxpayer to know that you’re funding the catering budget at the swanky new downtown hotel? Kinda makes ya want to crash some hot-shot dinners and wedding receptions, doesn’t it? The Dog is willing to give it a crack. 

Let us know what your budget priorities are. We want to hear from you. Send us an email, a letter to the editor or respond on our social media platforms. What are your municipal budget priorities and why?

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