KCUR News
9:43 am
Wed October 15, 2008

Defense Plant Plan Sent To Full Council

Kansas City, MO – For the second week in a row, opponents outnumbered supporters yesterday at city council hearings on building a new $500 million defense plant to replace one on Bannister Road that is to be closed.

Business, union and government leaders who spoke in favor of the plant, which will make non-nuclear parts for nuclear weapons, were outnumbered by peace activists like L.D. Harson, Jane Stover and Duane Kelly. Some condemned all nuclear weapons, others asked the council not to make a decision until it is known what position the next presidential administration will take on the subject.

All the committee members expressed discomfort with nuclear weapons, but John Sharp summed up what seemed even more pressing to them: replacing the outmoded plant will preserve 2100 well-paid Kansas City jobs. "How can we look those people in the eye if we turn this down?" he asked.

When the vote came, only Councilman Ed Ford felt strongly enough against nuclear weapons to vote against the new plant. When the plan passed committee members were immediately besieged by citizens with comments and reporters with questions, though the meeting was still in progress. The full council will vote on the plan Thursday.