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Monthly Archives: June 2014

“I know 50 people who are gonna force you to move forward”

Saturday June 28 – KCPT Comments on Ethics Complaint and Growing Mistrust of City Hall

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Wednesday June 25 – FTA: No federal requirement for door-to-door meetings

On Monday, Mayor Sly James said the work being performed by Kansas City’s Parson & Associates LLC and Scott Hall & Associates will help the city fulfill a federal requirement to incorporate an environmental assessment into the expansion routes so the city is eligible to receive federal funding.

Coverage at Kansas City Business Journal – No federal requirement for door-to-door meetings

Monday June 23 – A formal complaint has now been filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission protesting the actions of the City and Burns & McDonnell in their attempt to use our tax-payer dollars to electioneer for the TDD.

Coverage at KMBC – Critics: KC’s streetcar door-to-door campaign violates Mo. law

 


Wednesday June 18

Concerned about education, public safety, basic services, and all our other prized assets that are being neglected, discarded, written off, and sold off by City Officials?  This video, not produced by SmartKC, but from a person called KC Lynx pretty much sums up the whole story to date. This is what citizens and neighborhoods are and have been up against. You be the judge.

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Engineering or Electioneering?

BMcD_WorldHQSignA subcontractor of engineering firm Burns & McDonnell will be paid $685,734 to facilitate door-to-door meetings with residents of a proposed taxing district set up to finance Kansas City’s proposed streetcar expansions.

The expenditure was authorized as part of a $4.4 million contract awarded to Burns & McDonnell by Kansas City last month for advanced conceptual engineering and environmental analysis related to the expansion.

Burns & McDonnell has been involved with the streetcar project since before the original downtown TDD was formed in December 2012.

On Wednesday, the Kansas City Business Journal obtained a copy of an undated email from Twana Scott of Scott Hall & Associates, which will be working with Parson & Associates on the public outreach project. According to the email, the two firms are looking to hire door-to-door liaisons on the behalf of Burns & McDonnell.

 

James Klahr, executive director of the Missouri Ethics Commission, said it would be premature to comment on the situation at this time. He said the commission can investigate allegations of conflicts of interest if a complaint is presented to the commission.

Full story here at the Kansas City Business Journal

 

Gerend Director of KC Streetcar Authority

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MARC’s Gerend will be first director of KC Streetcar Authority

The terms of Gerend’s contract have yet to be negotiated. A release said he will leave his position at MARC and start working for the authority in mid-July, subject to entering into a contract. Gerend could not be reached for comment.

More here at the Kansas City Business Journal

Tom Gerend on Twitter

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kansas City Star Announcement – Government and Politics

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The Latest Development

Mayor Sly James was traveling from Washington, D.C., on Saturday night and could not be reached for comment. His spokeswoman, Joni Wickham, said the mayor’s office would consult with its legal team on Monday.

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Kansas City Star  Circuit judge gives Clay Chastain a split decision on light rail in KC

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Louisville Mayor Chooses Proterra

a2 Mayor Greg Fischer is investing in 10 new zero-emissions buses to serve downtown Louisville.  The city investment is $500,000, which will be leveraged 22 times with federal and private sources for a total $11 million to buy 10 new zero-emissions buses and create two charging stations. This is seriously smart thinking.

Up and coming we are facing the prospect of a $214 million dollar Main Street streetcar line, which we do not believe is smart thinking.  For roughly $26 million 18 Proterra EcoRide™ BE35 zero-emission ultra quiet electric buses with charging stations can be purchased (Fed Grant Eligible) and can serve an entire corridor from Union Station to The Plaza – UMKC (Main St. Plus) round the clock.

 

That would be nine modern, comfortable, quiet buses running each way north and south.  With all our concerns about the under funding of education, public safety, and all our other assets that are being neglected, discarded, and mostly ignored, what choice would you make?

We are including Mayor Fischer’s May 22 press release so people can remember, or learn in some cases, what responsible leadership is supposed to do.  Make smart, realistic, and ethical decisions that benefit everyone, while continuing on a path of carefully cultivating truly sustainable growth that is honest, transparent, modern, serves people, and is fiscally responsible.

Mayor Presents Balanced City Budget, Investing Heavily in Safety, Youth Development

Thursday May 22, 2014

Gas franchise fee on LG&E will be spent only on Public Safety

Mayor Greg Fischer today proposed a balanced budget for the new fiscal year that makes significant public safety and youth development investments, while also paving roads, fixing park facilities and government buildings.

In his annual budget address to the Metro Council, the mayor said that the budget he is presenting is “an improvement in many ways” over the one he first presented in 2011, a few months after taking office. At that point, the city was carrying $450 million in long term debt, and had a $25 million structural imbalance in the budget.

“I told you then point blank: tough decisions had to be made….but I also told you that we would regroup, reprioritize and regain our financial security. And we’ve done that,” Fischer told the council. “The plan I’m presenting reflects a journey that we have been on together over the course of four budgets.” (more…)

Smart Options Everywhere

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Has the Kansas City Streetcar Authority convinced you or someone you know that streetcars are the only option? Take a few minutes to discover what can be done without the need for a city to gamble away a half billion dollars of your money on a transit fad that’s not even about ridership.

 

Houston Metro, burdened with a transit system devised in the 1970s, has proposed an extensive makeover of the local bus service under its System Reimagining Plan. Moreover, the plan sidesteps the need for new money by redeploying existing resources rather than relying on fare hikes and more system funding.

 

In Columbus, there was a small budget for expanded service, but still, 90% of what is achieved here is the result of reallocation: removing overlapping routes and deviations, removing duplication, and in some cases removing service that very small numbers of people were using.

Jarrett Walker is an international consultant in public transit network design and policy. And explains the status of these two projects in the following articles.  A must read for those interested in modern, affordable, regional transit that works.

Columbus: a new transit network plan

Houston: transit, reimagined