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Should Mayor Sly James, City Hall, and the Kansas City Streetcar Authority remain untouched by new knowledge and competition as it skims the cream from taxpayers to fund its own agenda and grants one privilege after another to its private-sector cronies?
Should The Kansas City Star, in their approval of a new airport terminal, downtown hotel, and all things streetcars while failing to acknowledge they are getting tens of millions of dollars in subsidies from taxpayers be trusted?
Should the word of a Kansas City Streetcar Authority board member, who falsely assumed the public wouldn’t notice a generous property tax cut for 2015 on his personal residence on the streetcar line while supporting tax increases for others remain untouched and not held accountable?
It’s All New Players In A Whole New Ball Game – Is there a glimmer of solace or comfort in the shift that begins today? With some exceptions it is obvious we are not going to see any really new thinking, just the same old song with a new twist. “After the downtown streetcar opens to the public in early 2016, James and other backers have long hoped to ask voters to consider extending the system. The likely next step — if the streetcar meets a strong level of success in its first year — should be to find the best way to pay to expand the line toward the University of Missouri-Kansas City.” Kansas City Star, July 27, 2015
“James and other backers have long hoped to ask voters to consider extending the system”
Modern electric buses – EV-electric vehicles – are not a science experiment anymore. With modern electric buses deployed in 10 cities and growing, and 1.2 million miles of revenue service logged, all electric zero emissions fleets are well beyond their trial period. Citizens want other options put into the public transit conversation besides streetcar’s. This is our city, and we expect to be taken seriously and treated as equal partners in the decision making process, growth, and future of Kansas City.
Proterra Diesel-Killing Electric Bus Is Ready For Prime Time – Get Ready For The Electric Bus Revolution
THE PROBLEM “Active debate and opposition to mainstream political ideas is so widely discouraged in Kansas City that votes are often decided before any ballot is cast by gerrymandered election districts and a myriad of deeply entrenched special interests which dominate communities and neighborhoods citywide.”
THE PETITION “Direct democracy, sometimes called “pure democracy,” is a form of democracy in which the people themselves, rather than elected representatives, determine the laws and policies by which they are governed.
Direct democracy is the opposite of the more common “representative democracy,” under which the people elect representatives empowered to create laws and policies. Ideally, the laws and policies enacted by the elected representatives in a representative democracy reflect the will of the people.”
We will provide additional information up and coming about where and how you can add your voice to the SmartKC petition requiring a citywide vote on any city light rail proposals. Until then have a great Independence Day weekend!
With the election approaching and the Mayor suited up in his cap and bow tie exhorting about how exciting downtown is and that everyone is moving there all because of the streetcar, on June 23rd there will be no shortage of voters who in one way or another will express their dissatisfaction and frustrations with the way things are going. Many contemplating – why in addition to the uncompleted downtown streetcar line are we now subsiding downtown luxury apartment buildings?
“At some point you have to say that the downtown is healthy, now we aren’t going to subsidize development anymore.”
Next City – The $295 Million Mall Taxpayers Bought Kansas City …..
Downtown is profitable again. So why are we still paying developers to build there?
Will Kansas City’s Streetcar Be a Connector or a Divider?
Hyperbole, spin, pomp and circumstance, distraction, and outright hostility towards citizens not on board the streetcar agenda continues and the fact remains that no matter how compelling, sincere, and authoritative the presentation and accurate the economic evidence , it doesn’t matter to the nostalgia addicted and self-absorbed ego’s of the streetcar marketers and their faithful followers. To them 18th century transportation represents modern progressive thinking, and they’ll continue to desperately hound the sore-beset public trying to persuade them that trolley-utopia is at hand, if only we click our heels hard enough. Any discussions about no cost improvements and even fair and reasonably priced modernization to public transportation is met with blank stares and ears wide shut.
Next City May 22, 2015 – 60 percent of voters in the proposed taxing district rejected its expanded boundaries.
“We the voters of Kansas City, Mo., are going to be heard if not now, later, we’re not going to stop on this issue until the city recognizes it represents we the voters”
The primary goals of gerrymandering are to maximize the effect of supporters’ votes and to minimize the effect of opponents’ votes… The TDD law makes gerrymandering legal and this petition seeks to over rule that.
A recent K.C. Star Editorial has outlined the mayor’s agenda for the next four years. Second on the list is, you guessed it, Streetcar Expansion!!!!! We’ve got to make a final push to get additional signatures on our Petition to require the City to get voter approval before any more money is spent on streetcar expansion. They did it in San Antonio so there’s no reason we can’t do the same here in Kansas City. Anyone who’s willing to get signatures, please let us know and we’ll get the petitions to you. We can also take care of getting the petitions notarized. If you don’t want to volunteer to get signatures, but want to sign the Petition, drop by 406 West 39th Terrace, KCMO Monday through Friday between 9:00 and 5:00
Things Are Beginning
Ruckus – April 23, 2015 – Streetcar segment.
Smart KC’s petition drive is moving forward this month full steam ahead. As a result of this effort we have also cultivated many new friends and allies with civic-minded organizations. If you are interested in participating in this effort feel free to contact us. This petition was introduced in late January. Stay tuned for up and coming announcements this month and news you can use.
Transit News – U.S. Department of Transportation Announces $55 Million in Grants To Put More Zero-Emission Buses Into Service Across America.
In recent local news former Kansas City Mayor Joe Reardon was selected to head the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority in a newly created position. Reardon will succeed KCATA Interim Director Sam Desue. Desue was the agency’s leader since former General Manager Mark Huffer resigned last August.
February 18, 2015
Kansas City Business Journal – KCATA names new CEO
Happy Holidays To All From SMART KC
310 Voters Could Decide Downtown Streetcar Tax District .
A proposed tax district might be decided by only 5 percent of eligible voters.
The fate of the proposed downtown taxing district that would pay for a large part of a streetcar line might be decided by only 310 voters. The Kansas City Business Journal reports that only 360 of the estimated 5,900 eligible residents have applied for ballots to vote on forming the district. Fifty of those applicants didn’t have proof that they were registered to vote in the area.
Few Kansas City voters get on board for downtown streetcar vote
With a few days left before the Tuesday deadline, just 5 percent of eligible voters have applied to participate in this summer’s mail-in election about the streetcar proposal for Downtown. According to the Jackson County Circuit Court Administrator’s Office, 360 people have applied for the ballots, and 50 of those people failed for not including proof of being registered to vote in Jackson County.
Fast Forward to August 5, 2012 – Downtown Streetcar supporters report a “Landslide streetcar election win”
- 69% of downtown voters said yes to the Transportation Development District’s formation
- Councilman Russ Johnson released a list of proposed Phase 2 expansions.
“Downtowners simply want transit options and are willing to pay for them. The final tally was 319 yes, 141 no. The TDD was officially formed the next day in a ruling by 16th Circuit Court Judge Charles Atwell.”
This time events, taxpayers, and voters are in the drivers seat. Not 319 downtown streetcar supporters.
“There are far better, more economical solutions. The minimum taxpayers should demand is that the promised economic benefits materialize from the first two miles of streetcars. If it becomes a success, which I doubt, then an extension could be considered.” (April 7, 2014 Special To The Star by G.Mcliney- Streetcar is taking Kansas City on a Costly Ride)
“Citizens would like to explore alternatives before committing themselves, and future generations, to a half-billion dollar mistake.”
Till next time, have a good weekend, and thanks for visiting SMART KC. Supporters of Modern Affordable Regional Transit.