Kansas City is offering some assurances to a developer who filed a complaint with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. Eagle Point Development is charging the city with attempting to force low-income African-American tenants out of their apartments on East Armour Boulevard.
The City Council has made no public comment. But the full body and the Housing Committee spent several hours in closed session this week, presumably discussing the legal issues.
A consultant hired by the Kansas City council to analyze whether a plan to convert Kemper arena into a youth sports and fitness complex has told a council committee the plan has great opportunities for exciting success, but Dale Neuberger of TSE Consulting also added a caveat.
"The plan is sound – albeit one that you take a ... a big gulp when you think about the monthly revenue and the monthly members. It's a lot of people and it's a lot of money. And that's somewhat the reality of doing business in this field,” Newberger said.
Two Kansas City council committees are facing difficulties coming up with hard numbers as they delve into the mayor's request for a more consistent process in determining how large incentives for property developers.
Some school and library districts and many taxpayers complain that the city gives up tax revenues that could be put to good use. Some contend that for-profit businesses should pay their own way, without any tax abatement.
A Maine-based development company that owns several low-income housing units in Kansas City, Mo., filed a federal fair housing complaint against the city Thursday.
The Eagle Point Companies alleges the city and various city officials intentionally discriminated "against African-Americans who reside and/or who seek to reside in Bainbridge, Georgian Court and Linda Vista Apartments located in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Kansas City, Missouri," according to the complaint.
The Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph will pay almost $10 million to settle dozens of sexual abuse claims filed since 2010.
The settlement, reached late Tuesday, includes 30 pending claims against the diocese and ends an ongoing civil trial in a case filed by former alter boy Jon David Couzens. Couzens, who alleges he was abused in the 1970s and '80s at the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Independence, took the diocese to court last month. His case would have entered jury deliberations this week if not for the settlement.
There have been reports that President Obama may take steps to try to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba. It houses people detained in connection to the U.S. war on terrorism.
Kansas Republican Sen. Pat Roberts is opposing any plan that would bring detainees on U.S. soil. During a stop in Topeka, he said he'll take to the floor of the Senate and filibuster any efforts to close Guantanamo Bay.
"And if he tries it, I will shut down the Senate," said Roberts.
A Kansas City council committee began debate this week on Mayor Sly James's proposal to reduce tax abatement for developers. The ordinance he proposed would reduce the maximum for developers from 100 percent to 50 percent.
Concerns were immediately raised by some business and economic development leaders and several council members that cutting back on tax breaks would cast a pall over development, and businesses would build in competing communities.
The Kansas City, Missouri City Council modified the city's ban on open carry of firearms Thursday to bring it into compliance with a new state law. That law was passed by the Legislature over the veto of Gov. Jay Nixon.
Presenting the changes for a final vote, Councilman John Sharp explained that to continue to prohibit open carry for most people, the city now must exempt some persons.
The Kansas City, Mo., City Council wants to know if current city rules regulating the taxi cab industry are unfair to women- and minority-owned businesses.
At issue is an agreement Yellow Cab has to act as an exclusive operator with most of the major downtown and Crown Center hotels. Councilman Dick Davis says that contract is keeping small taxi cab companies from operating in large swaths of the city.
A Kansas City City Council committee has finalized an ordinance making it illegal to intimidate walkers and bike riders on Kansas City, Mo., streets.
Maggie Priesmeyer, who volunteers for an organization that helps provide bikes to needy people, was among those who shared stories about rude, intimidating and inconsiderate motorists.
She told the Public Safety Committee the story of a homeless, jobless veteran named Joe who came in for for help with bike repairs wearing a sling and brace of the type used to support a broken collarbone.
Missouri U.S. Senator Roy Blunt made Kansas City his first stop in a statewide series of "listening sessions" with law enforcement officials on Monday. Blunt is co-chair of the Senate Law Enforcement Committee.
The Senator said the first conference included county and suburban Missouri law enforcement leaders as well as those from Kansas City. The discussion, he said, centered on what the federal government could do to help local enforcers in emergency and homeland security crisis situations.
Honking, cat-calls, projectiles and more get hurled at pedestrians and cyclists in Kansas City. The city council now is considering a law to crack down on that type of conduct.
Calling these actions “threatening and dangerous behavior,” the proposed ordinance seeks to protect “vulnerable road users.”
Councilman John Sharp is expected to recommend the ordinance at this week's council meeting. He and Kansas City Star reporter Mike Hendricks joined Steve Kraske on Up to Date Monday to discuss the details.
Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 9:06 pm
From looking at the raw numbers, Republican legislators might consider the Missouri General Assembly’s recent veto session a smashing success.
After all, the Republican-controlled body overrode 10 of Gov. Jay Nixon’s vetoes – and even more of his line-item vetoes. Nixon even faced a blistering condemnation from a Democratic senator over his response to Ferguson.
Originally published on Sun September 14, 2014 5:00 pm
Although the Missouri General Assembly overrode 10 bills vetoed by Gov. Jay Nixon -- and 47 of his line-item budget cuts -- the governor has opted to look on the bright side of Wednesday’s packed veto session.
Nixon announced Thursday that he’s releasing $143.6 million in budgeted money that he had withheld from school districts and colleges, largely because legislators failed to overturn most of his vetoes of the tax-break bills he had dubbed the “Friday favors.”
Kansas City, Mo., toughened its protections against domestic violence Thursday, giving city prosecutors the power to take violators of ex parte orders of protection to court.
The ordinance was back on the floor after a revision to address Councilman Ed Ford's insistence that it be modified to make it clear that persons could only be prosecutors if they had received notice of the protection order. He still objected that the revised ordinance could make it difficult for estranged couples to communicate about children or other important matters.
Tax abatement for a 344-acre biotech office park south of the Cerner Three Trails Campus has cleared committee and advances to the city council floor.
The Plans Zoning and Economic Development Committee on Wednesday agreed with PIEA development authorities that Oxford on the Blue merits 26-year property tax abatement.
The proposal calls for 100 percent abatement for 10 years and 50 percent for an additional 15 year, but Councilman Ed Ford explained that not every part of the project is expected to get the full 25-year break.
Originally published on Thu September 11, 2014 7:10 am
(Updated 8:35 p.m., Wed., Sept. 10)
The Missouri House and Senate have voted overwhelmingly to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s line-item vetoes of more than 50 items in the state's current budget, although both sides agree the overrides may not be enforceable.
The House spent more than six hours dealing with the issues. The Senate swiftly followed suit with a barrage of votes Wednesday night.
Originally published on Thu September 11, 2014 10:06 pm
(Updated 12:15 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 11)
The Missouri General Assembly has made the state the third in the country to require a 72-hour waiting period before a woman can obtain an abortion, after the state Senate killed off a filibuster.
The Senate voted 23-7 – along party lines -- to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of the bill, but only after deploying a procedural action that it hadn’t used in seven years to end a Democratic filibuster that had gone on for about two hours.
When you think of Iraq and Afghanistan, you think of American soldiers in uniform, but what may surprise you is how many private contractors are there too. In recent years, the ratio of contractors to uniformed soldiers has been 10 to one.
On Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk with a journalist about the increase in these forces and why relying on them so much might not be a good idea.
Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 8:19 pm
Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich says an audit released Monday shows that Gov. Jay Nixon violated Missouri's constitution when he withheld money from two recent state budgets.
Schweich says the governor had no legal right to withhold $172 million from several state programs to help cover costs from the Joplin tornado and other recent natural disasters during fiscal year 2012.
Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 3:59 pm
Attorney General Eric Holder said Thursday that his conversations with residents of Ferguson during his visit two weeks ago influenced his decision to investigate the city’s police department.
Holder says he heard directly from residents and listening sessions “about the deep mistrust that has taken hold between law enforcement officials and members of the community. ... People consistently expressed concerns stemming from specific alleged incidents, from general policing practices, and from the lack of diversity on Ferguson’s police force.”