Government
2:35 am
Tue July 22, 2008

Shakeup On City Development Panel: Seven New Are Named By KC Mayor

Kansas City, Mo. – Moving to instill his philosophy into more machinery of Kansas City government, Mayor Mark Funkhouser has exerted control over the powerful Planned Industrial Expansion Authority (PIEA).

The agency has power to give tax abatements to developers. Eight of the fifteen members, including the chairman, are now hand picked by the mayor. Funkhouser has complained that city agencies have directed too much development money to wealthier parts of the city and vowed to change that.

The new PIEA members include a former Kansas City school board member, a public defender, a union member and truck driver and an ex-city councilwoman. Neighborhood activist Tony Abbott will be chair.
Funkhouser also appointed development executive Warren Adams-Leavitt to the Tax Increment Finance Commission.

The appointments were announced at De La Salle Education Center, 3740 Forest, which would benefit from Troost Corridor Redevelopment. The mayor says he does not expect a rubber stamp from members and sees them as innovators and advisors to his administration. In Funkhouser's words," I don't want tax breaks given out willy nilly."