Let’s just get one thing straight right out of the gate: this News-pooch doesn’t think there’s a bigger cheerleader for the city of Kansas City than Mayor Sly James. He has proven time and again that he’s willing to go the extra mile in the marketing of our city to potential conventions and corporate headquarters. The most recent and very imaginative Amazon stunt was pure genius.
That said, from a policy standpoint, we’re on opposite ends of the spectrum and that came home to roost after last week’s Council meeting in which nine of twelve Council-people rejected the Edgemoor KCI Memorandum of Understanding. Following that vote, the Mayor chose to publicly berate the nine council-people who voted, in the Mayor’s eyes, against him, against progress and against the will of the 75% of voters who approved the new single terminal airport plan on November 7.
To those nine council-people, this Dog says thank you! Thank you for keeping the interest of the taxpaying citizens of Kansas City ahead of making a hasty decision that could potentially cost billions of taxpayer dollars. Mayor Pro Tem Scott Wagner even penned a lengthy and extremely spot-on missive we re-posted on our Facebook page because it addresses, in a comprehensive manner, all the flaws inherent to the Edgemoor MOU, including a $30 million reimbursement payment the city would have to make in 90 days. Remember those campaign promises that voters wouldn’t pay? Well, apparently that little devil in the details is out of the bag. But I digress.
The No votes on the Edgemoor MOU were Wagner, Hall, Lucas, Barnes, Loar, Canady, Taylor, McManus and Fowler.
The Yes votes should be no surprise given two of the three are Mayoral candidates and one of those actually chairs the Airport Committee. Fourth District Councilwoman and Mayoral candidate “frontrunner” (ahem) Jolie Justus, 3rd District Councilman and Mayoral candidate Jermaine Reed, and 4th District Councilwoman Kathy Shields all voted in line with the Mayor to blindly advance the Edgemoor MOU despite its glaring and costly flaws. The Shields yes vote was especially perplexing, given her early critical questions regarding the MOU, but that’s a story for another day. Reed and Justus, however, never fail to disappoint when it comes to being the Mayor’s lap dogs – and this vote was no exception.
Here’s the bottom line. The voters of Kansas City approved by a wide margin the building of a single terminal airport. That’s a fact that can’t be disputed. The grinding out of the details of that plan falls to the Council, and it’s up to those elected representatives to hammer out a plan that’s the best possible deal for the city and the taxpayers. Apparently in this case, nine of those council-people understood that. To those three dissenters, maybe it’s time you go back and re-check your priorities and who you work for. Pssst, it’s the citizens.