Last week citizens in this Cowtown were treated to yet another grandstanding opportunity by a Mayoral hopeful in an attempt to buy votes in Kansas City’s latest political football, the lagging and sorely neglected East Side.
Dubbed the “Revive the East Side” package by City Councilman and Mayoral hopeful Scott Taylor, the plan allegedly will combine a number of initiatives to spur small business development as well as an influx of new, single family residential development. This Dog for one isn’t impressed and apparently neither was 3rd District Councilman Quinton Lucas, rightfully calling out Taylor’s stark lack of involvement in East Side eco-devo during his ten-year tenure on the public payroll. Lucas-1, Taylor-0.
Taylor, in his news conference last Friday from the 10th floor of City Hall (not on the city’s East Side that he wants to redevelop,) trumpeted that now that the KCI initiative had passed muster with voters, it was time to “focus on more pressing needs.” More pressing needs? That quote right there should tell you all you need to know about the importance, or lack thereof, of infrastructure projects on the East Side. Councilman Taylor, thanks for outing yourself and your Mayoral priorities, the News-dog truly appreciates your candor, albeit unintended.
Some things need to be clarified however, like the boundaries of the city’s East Side, which vary widely depending on who you talk to. It could stretch from the southern city limits all the way up to 9th street and extend anywhere from Troost Avenue on the west, all the way to the eastern city limits. That’s a pretty fair piece of real estate, and this critically thinking news-canine thinks your shotgun approach isn’t going to muster any kind of measurable positive results given land mass alone.
Second, if you’re sincere about eco-devo on the East Side, why not announce your project from, oh I don’t know, maybe somewhere on the East Side? But wait, that’s someone else’s turf and since at least one of the 3rd District Councilmen are running for mayor too, it’s probably best to stay in your comfort zone inside a committee room at City Hall, lest ye be called out by one of the guys that actually reps that turf.
Here’s the bottom line. The Mayor’s race is getting more crowded by the day and announcements such as this will continue to be made by candidates trying to buy your vote. Just remember this, if a politicians lips are moving, it’s usually a good indication they’re lying. One final point of clarification for Mr. Taylor, the only place 4th street exists in this city east of Troost is a two block stretch in Columbus Park that borders Garrison Square. Geography matters. Just sayin’.