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Fri January 24, 2014
Kansas City Council Axes Controversial Charter Changes
Kansas Citians will vote on changes to their city charter in April. But the two controversial proposals won't be on the ballot.
The council voted against sending voters a proposal from some minority organizations to change the structure of city government. No one on the council thought smaller districts and no at-large council seats was a good idea. But five, including Mayor Sly James, voted to put it on the ballot.
The mayor says he too, opposed the change.
"They're saying we don't represent them, and therefore when we say, 'No you can't do what you want,' then they say, 'See we told you you don't represent us because we didn't get to vote,'" James said.
The majority rejected sending the voters something the council thought was a bad idea.
Also not going on the ballot: giving the mayor the authority to fire the city manager. Most couuncil members said they feared some future mayor would abuse that power, changing the fundamental structure of the city's council-manager form of government.
Voters will decide on several government-efficiency changes and on moving city elections to a warmer time of year.