KCUR News
2:32 am
Thu August 13, 2009

Council Looks at Funeral Picketing, Trash, Taxes and Loose Lips.

Kansas City, MO – The Kansas City city council had a busy day in its committees yesterday, making decisions related to taxes, confidentiality leaks, the troubled new bulky items pickup system and the ordinance banning picketing at funerals. KCUR's Steve Bell reports.

The funeral picketing ordinance looks doomed. Members of the Westboro Baptist Church are threatening to challenge it and Assistant City Attorney Bill Geary recommends that the council repeal the ordinance. There is no proposal to repeal the ordinance yet, but other possibilities are looking slim.

The trash pickup problems were still under discussion in another committee Thursday morning, but the city manager and his assistant reported to a committee Wednesday that dissatisfaction with the new bulky item pickup by appointment is rampant and calls related to the appointments have overwhelmed the 311 service center.

Councilmen Russ Johnson and John Sharp proposed a resolution forbidding leaking information on matters like lawsuits and personnel matters from closed-door session. Sharp commented, "There have been allegations that confidential information was leaked regarding the Bates lawsuit. It that in fact happened, it probably cost the city money."

One item appears settled for sure. The Finance Committee recommends that the city not raise the property tax levy, though it could do so because property evaluations have decreased about 3.5 percent.