KCUR News
12:26 am
Fri September 12, 2008

Volunteer Ordinance Passes 12:1 Over Funkhouser Objections

Kansas City, MO – Today was showdown day on an ordinance regulating volunteers in city offices that would force Mayor Mark Funkhouser's wife, Gloria Squitiro, to vacate her desk at City Hall. The mayor's opening sentence was dramatic:"September 11th: it's a strange day to be talking about something so small and divisive, isn't it?"

Funkhouser next repeated his promise to work harder on his relationships with the council, accepting most of the blame for past conflicts. Then he addressed each council member individually, even apologizing to Ed Ford for revoking his committee chairmanship.

He ended each personal segment with the same question: "Can we stand together today?"

But when the vote came, all 12 voted for the volunteer policy. Funkhouser's was the only "no" vote.

The mayor told the council that he would continue to work with them to achieve shared goals for the city, but, he added, "I will also work to find a way to reverse this ordinance."

Late yesterday, Jackson County Judge John O'Malley ruled against Gloria Squitiro's motion to dismiss a suit brought against her, her husband and the city over discriminatory remarks Squitiro allegedly made at City Hall. That lawsuit will go to trial.