KC Museum Advisory Board approves business plan; board member resigns

By LESLIE COLLINS Northeast News
October 17, 2013

Following months of tabling the Kansas City Museum Business Plan, the Kansas City Museum Advisory Board (KCMAB) approved the plan 5 to 4 during its Oct. 14 meeting.

KCMAB members Jan Marcason, Jim Glover, Jim Malouff and Mark McHenry voted against the business plan, which supports a separation of the Kansas City Museum and Union Station Kansas City, Inc. and outlines a new governance structure once the separation is finalized.

“I think everybody’s comfortable that the separation is the right thing to do,” said Marcason, who also serves on the City Council.

What Marcason and others aren’t comfortable with is the new governance structure outlined in the document. The plan proposes using a separate 501©3 non-profit, the Kansas City Museum Foundation, to assist with the separation transition and oversee museum operations. The foundation would also have the ability to accept artifact donations and fundraise for the museum. Currently, the city of Kansas City and Union Station Kansas City, Inc. are negotiating a separation agreement; one proposal is to put the city’s Parks and Recreation Department in charge, which currently owns and/or operates six museums in Kansas City.

“Approving this plan doesn’t do anything,” said KCMAB member Jim Malouff, who voted against the business plan. “I think we ought to hold off on this until we find out what the governance structure is going to be.”

KCMAB member Adam Schieber disagreed.

“I think we can make recommendations for the governance structure even when it’s influx,” he said, adding that he saw no need to delay approving the plan.

Immediately following the 5 to 4 vote to approve the business plan, Malouff made a motion to rescind the previous motion to approve the plan. Malouff, Marcason and Glover then voted in favor of the motion to rescind the previous motion. Malouff’s motion failed. City Council members will consider adopting the plan’s recommendations at a future date.

When KCMAB Chair Martha Lally mentioned an upcoming Kansas City Museum Foundation meeting, McHenry, Glover and Malouff asked to be removed from the foundation committee.

“The (KCMAB) really doesn’t have the authority to establish a museum foundation,” Malouff said.

Shortly before the meeting adjourned, KCMAB member Ramona Davis made a motion to voice support of the Kansas City Museum moving under the auspices of the Parks and Recreation Department. All board members voted to approve the motion, with the exception of Schieber.

Two days after the Oct. 14 meeting, Malouff submitted his resignation to the board and said via email to Lally that, “I no longer wish to serve on the MAB and am sending a letter of resignation to the Mayor today.” Malouff’s resignation is effective immediately.

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