Tue January 15, 2013
Light Rail Plan Dashed Again By Courts
The Kansas City Court of Appeals has rejected a continued effort by perennial light rail advocate Clay Chastain to force a vote on the issue for Kansas City.
The panel of judges found the measure was unconstitutional.
Appellate judges decided, without dissent, that the rail initiative failed to meet the constitutional test because it didn’t raise the proper amount of money to finance the project for light rail.
It would have funded a billion dollars by sales tax. The total project was estimated to need $2.5 billion.
A Jackson County Circuit judge set the stage for the defeat with a finding that Kansas City government didn’t have to offer the proposal to voters.
Chastain is a former Kansas City resident who lives in Virginia. He has made repeated attempts to bring a light rail transit system to the city and they have consistently been rebuffed.
Kansas City Attorney Bill Geary said he would have no comment except to say “the ruling speaks for itself.” Geary added, “We are pleased.”
Chastain indicated he will challenge the ruling to as high a court as necessary.