Stop the Burns & Mac Cash Dump

Northeast News
May 28, 2014

Well ladies and gentlemen, if you thought you were going to get a deciding vote for or against the Phase II Independence Avenue toy train streetcar, think again.

Councilman Russ “I’m smarter than you are” Johnson decided you didn’t need a say in how public monies are spent and offered up two ordinances totaling over $8 million for design services on Phase II of the train-wreck streetcar. Additionally, interest on that $8 million is going to be paid by robbing Public Improvement Advisory Council [PIAC] funds.

PIAC is used widely by neighborhoods to pay for smaller infrastructure projects like streetlights and sidewalks. The two ordinances, approved last week by the full council, funnel some serious cash to Burns & McDonnell, a company that, interestingly enough, recently requested over $42 million in tax breaks from the city for a new world headquarters building in south Kansas City. Smell anything yet? Rotten fish? Excrement sandwich?

This fiscally conservative news-pooch thinks it’s high time the corporate welfare love fest between Mayor Sly James, the city council and Burns & Mac to come to a screeching halt. While this ‘lil doggie isn’t too fond of those Arkansas Clintons, the campaign slogan “It’s the economy, stupid” can easily be cross-applied in Kansas City by substituting the word “economy” for “infrastructure.”

Councilman “smarter than we are” Johnson, get this and get it now. You can run your mouth about “facts in your ears” but we’re sick of the lack of infrastructure improvements being a pain in our backside. Steel plates in the streets, potholes big enough to swallow a smart car, crumbling curbs and sidewalks. Know this Councilman “smarter than we are” Johnson, the next time this news-dog hears “we can’t afford that” when we ask about a bad streetlight or a crumbling curb in our neighborhood, our response will be, “why don’t you go rob that $8 million streetcar fund and fix my curb?”

Oh, and for the record, substituting the term “accelerated effective date” for the term “emergency” doesn’t change the fact you’re still robbin’ this populous blind.

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