Government

KCUR News
12:04 am
Fri May 29, 2009

Mayor Sticks To Basics In State Of City Address

Mayor Mark Funkhouser delivers his second State of the City message.
Photo courtesy of the City of Kansas City, MO.

Kansas City, MO – It was State of the City day at City Hall Thursday. And with the city clerk's office counting recall election petition signatures, Mark Funkhouser's first remarks were on the State of the Mayor.

Funkhouser's references to those who would oust him were brief, but emphatic: "Let there be no misunderstanding: I will be giving my third State of the City address at this time next year."

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KCUR News
11:02 am
Wed May 27, 2009

KCMO Parks Board Approves Skywalk Memorial

Kansas City, MO – Plans for a new memorial honoring the victims of the skywalk collapse at the Hyatt Regency were approved by Kansas City Missouri's Parks and Recreation Board yesterday. The Skywalk Memorial will be a 36-foot landscaped plaza on Hospital Hill, next to Children's Mercy. KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross has more.

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KCUR News
3:14 am
Fri May 22, 2009

Cautious Council Likes Downtown Hotel Idea

The new Hyatt in Denver is a recent example of a public-private partnership to add to convention sales.
Photo courtesy of Hyatt Hotel Corp.

Kansas City, MO – The Kansas City city council received the first report on a proposed new 1,000-room downtown hotel with cautious enthusiasm yesterday.

It takes seven hotels to accommodate a convention of 2,000 persons - and two of them are more than a mile and a half from the convention center. That, according to the Convention and Visitors Association will have cost the city 4 Billion dollars in convention business by 2014.

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KCUR News
11:04 am
Mon May 18, 2009

2009 Mo. Legislative Session Ends

Jefferson City, MO – Governor Jay Nixon and the Republican-led general assembly pledged late last year to work together during the 2009 legislative session, which ended on Friday. Both sides came away with wins, especially when their interests coincided, as with the economic development bill. But both entities lost on some key issues as well. KWMU's Marshall Griffin reports.

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KCUR News
1:30 am
Fri May 15, 2009

New KC Zoning Plan In The Works

Behind this attractive cover photo are the 362 pages of a proposed new Kansas City development/ zoning ordinance.
Graphic courtesy of the City of Kansas City, MO.

Kansas City, MO – The city council was confronted with a 362-page ordinance yesterday - one that would change the zoning laws of the entire city.

Planning and Zoning chair Terry Riley said the massive document will update zoning provisions that date back as far as the 1930s, focus more on mixed-use development and make it easier for businesses to negotiate the zoning maze.

City Planning and Development Director Tom Coyle reassured the council, "If you were zoned residential before the update, you will be zoned residential after."

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KCUR News
12:38 pm
Mon May 11, 2009

Kansas City Overlooked For State Transit Funding

Kansas City, MO – Earlier this year, the City Council cut the budget for the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority by 7 million dollars. They cited a declining sales tax. The KCATA is raising bus fares, and last year, voters extended a 3/8th cent sales tax for transit. But even so, officials said bus service would be reduced on 25 routes. That is, unless they could secure funds from the state of Missouri.

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KCUR News
2:46 am
Fri May 8, 2009

Protest Disrupts Council Meeting

A Channel 2 cameraman continues shooting video as city staff order protesters to leave the legislative session.

Kansas City, MO – Thursday's Kansas City city council meeting included an example of cooperation, a small protest demonstration and an expression of indignation.

Cooperation between the city and Jackson County will give Sheriff's officers the power to make routine arrests for small offenses within the city limits where till now they had to call a Kansas City police officer to make the arrest, do the paperwork and follow through with court appearances.

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KCUR News
9:52 am
Thu May 7, 2009

Performing Arts Parking Garage Moves Ahead

Kansas City, MO – As the superstructure of Kansas City's new performing arts center begins to reveal its shape, the focus this week turns again to its parking facilities. Performing Arts Center development manager Ken Dvorak gave a city council committee a forecast on the parking garage yesterday.

Ken Dvorak: "That excavation will be complete in about a month or so. The construction documents: they're completed right now, out for review by the city, to the owner, to get owner comments, city comments back, and then put it out for bid in about two weeks."

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KCUR News
8:57 am
Wed April 29, 2009

Sebelius Confirmed As HHS Secretary, Resigns As Governor

Topeka, KS – Tuesday brought unprecedented developments in Kansas politics. The state saw Governor Kathleen Sebelius resign after she was confirmed by the U-S Senate as secretary of health and human services. And Tuesday night, Lieutenant Governor Mark Parkinson -- a former chairman of the state Republican Party -- was sworn in as the state's next Democratic governor. We get more from Statehouse reporter Joseph DiNitto.

Listen to the Statehouse News on the Kansas Public Radio website.

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KCUR News
5:40 pm
Tue April 28, 2009

Sebelius Confirmed As HHS Secretary

Kansas City, MO – Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius has been confirmed as secretary of health and human services by a 65-31 Senate vote.

The governor's office has announced that Lieutenant Governor Mark Parkinson will be sworn-in as governor at 7 o'clock Tuesday evening in a ceremony in the North Wing of the Statehouse.

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KCUR News
3:35 am
Thu April 23, 2009

Employees Give Council Bad Report Card

City Auditor Gary White delivers the council a bad report card from city employees.
Photo courtesy of KCCG, Channel 2. Right click to enlarge.

Kansas City, MO – The city council Finance and Audit Committee heard the results of Kansas City's first employee satisfaction survey since 1992 on Wednesday. Auditor Gary White read off the numbers.

Eighty-five percent of city employees are satisfied with their jobs. Seventy-five percent said the health benefits suit their needs. But the mayor and council got bad grades.

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KCUR News
11:34 pm
Thu April 16, 2009

Funds Transfer Ordinance A Slap At Funkhouser

Mayor Mark Fukhouser gets confrontive after Councilman Ed Ford said a mayoral expense prompted an ordinance regulating fund transfers. (Right click to enlarge)
Video frame courtesy of KCCG, Channel 2.

Kansas City, MO – The Kansas City city council passed enabling ordinances for development projects in the northland... and a resolution endorsing Aim4Peace that members hope will help the organization find grants to replace city funding eliminated in the new budget.

Last-minute wording revisions sent an ordinance requiring council approval of line-item transfers of funds sent it back to committee for another review. But not before a confrontation over its subtle slap at Mayor Mark Funkhouser.

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KCUR News
7:52 am
Thu April 16, 2009

Biden To Airmen: We Appreciate You And We'll Put Our Money Where Our Mouth Is

Vice President Biden in front of a B-2 Bomber
Frank Morris

Whiteman AFB, MO – Biden spoke in huge hanger, right in front of a B-2 bomber, one of the most expensive weapons systems ever developed about the need take care of the day to day needs of military personnel.

Biden: The only sacred commitment a nation has, is to prepare those we send, equip them with all they need, and care for whatever their needs are when they come home.

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KCUR News
1:35 am
Wed April 8, 2009

Follies Of Foreclosure Fear: Enter Missouri AG

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster
kcur photo by dan verbeck

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KCUR News
3:25 am
Mon April 6, 2009

'Funk Out' Quest Takes Off

Petition request on counter at city clerk's office.
photo: Dan Verbeck, KCUR

Kansas City, Mo. – A citizen petition drive seeking an election to recall Mayor Mark Funkhouser became legitimized on April 6, 2009 as the Kansas City Missouri City Clerk determined that language in the petition meets city requirements.

The drive makes three claims: that the mayor has violated the volunteer ordinance and nepotism law in the way his wife acts as advisor; the use or misuse of city resources; and it questions Mark Funkhouser's ability to work with other elected officials.

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KCUR News
9:17 am
Fri April 3, 2009

Council Passes Dress Code, MAST Takeover Plan

Dozens of MAST employees and their supporters packed the council chamber to urge an immediate decision of the ambulance service's future.
Video frame courtesy of Channel 2, KCCG.

Kansas City, MO – The Kansas City, Missouri city council passed an ordinance limiting dress code restrictions and advanced toward making the MAST ambulance service a city department Thursday.

The galleries were filled with MAST employees and their supporters who applauded when anyone made a point for starting the takeover process and waiving the city's residency requirement for present MAST employees unless they voluntarily move.

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KCUR News
3:09 am
Fri April 3, 2009

Council Passes Dress Code, MAST Takeover Plan

Dozens of MAST employees and their supporters packed the council chamber to urge an immediate decision of the ambulance service's future.
Video frame courtesy of Channel 2, KCCG.

Kansas City, MO – The Kansas City, Missouri city council passed an ordinance limiting dress code restrictions and advanced toward making the MAST ambulance service a city department Thursday.

The galleries were filled with MAST employees and their supporters who applauded when anyone made a point for starting the takeover process and waiving the city's residency requirement for present MAST employees unless they voluntarily move.

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KCUR News
7:55 am
Thu April 2, 2009

Mishaps Prompt Air Force To Streamline Nuclear Command

Kansas City, MO – If there's one thing you don't want to get sloppy with, it's nuclear weapons. But recent mishaps in handling US nukes have set off alarms. In response, the U.S. Air Force is "standing up" a new command to oversee all its ICBMs and nuclear-capable bombers. Six communities from Cheyenne to Shreveport, to Knob Noster, Missouri had been clamoring for that mission until yesterday. KCUR'S Frank Morris reports.

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KCUR News
3:19 am
Fri March 27, 2009

Council Spurns Funkhouser Police Pitch, Passes Budget

Mayor Mark Funkhouser makes one last pitch for a smaller reduction of the police budget.
Video frame courtesy of KCCG, Channel 2.

Kansas City, MO – On the deadline day, Kansas City, Missouri has a budget designed to meet an $87 million shortfall... basically the same one the finance committee endorsed a week earlier.

Mayor Mark Funkhouser tried twice to persuade the council to restore some funding to youth and violence prevention programs and especially to the police department despite Councilwoman Jan Marcason's assurances that the number of officers on the street will not be reduced.

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KCUR News
2:00 am
Thu March 26, 2009

Council Advances MAST Takeover, Dress Code

MAST ambulance photo by Steve Bell.

Kansas City, MO – The idea of making MAST a city department was endorsed last week by a study group that included the present and past Medical Directors of Kansas City emergency efforts and City Hall's top financial heads.

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KCUR News
12:45 am
Fri March 20, 2009

City Moves Toward MAST Takeover

MAST ambulances would become city property with the completion of a plan to make the nonprofit service a department of the City of Kansas City, MO.
Photo courtesy of Metropolitan Ambulance Services Trust.

Kansas City, MO –
After several years of debate, the city council has started mapping a new future for Kansas City's ambulance service. MAST won't stay an independent organization, but it won't become part of the fire department, either.

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KCUR News
2:39 am
Thu March 19, 2009

Council Committee Advances Budget Plan

The Rev. Wallace Hartsfield and supporters of Aim4Peace urge a council committee not to eliminate funding for anti-violence and youth employment programs.
Video frame courtesy of KCCG,Channel 2.

Kansas City, MO – The Kansas City Council's Finance and Audit Committee has advanced the council's version of the city budget and recommended that the full council pass it next Tursday. But the debate isn't over yet. KCUR's Steve Bell reports.

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KCUR News
4:04 am
Fri March 13, 2009

Sirens Silent In Stationhouse: Death Answers Are Elusive

Fire Station Ten was starting point for fatal run.
KCUR photo by dan verbeck

Kansas City, Mo. – One question mark has been cleared in the March second death of a 7 year old boy when he was hit by a Kansas City Fire Department pumper. The question is about sirens. Others remain. Dan Verbeck reports.

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KCUR News
12:36 am
Fri March 13, 2009

Council Hears Benefits Plan, Buys Time On Budget

Kansas City budget director Troy Schulte explains to the council how a $6.5 million savings wasn't quite enough.
Photo courtesy of KCCG, Channel 2.

Kansas City, MO – The Kansas City city council had hoped to have a finished budget ordinance, but didn't accomplish that. On the day the council had hoped to put figures on the table, it heard a report on an employee benefit package that was both a victory and a disappointment.

Budget Director Troy Schulte and others had hoped to self-insure city workers at substantial savings. Turnaround time was to short for self-insurance, but Schulte told how a committee avoided a 12 percent cost increase current providers were going to charge.

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KCUR News
12:56 am
Fri March 6, 2009

Mayor's Budget Spares Police, Cuts Stadiums

City Council members Russ Johnson, Ed Ford and Bev Herman study the mayor's budget memo.
Video frame courtesy of KCCG, Channel 2.

Kansas City, MO – Two weeks later than the council would have preferred, Mayor Mark Funkhouser submitted his budget suggestions for the coming year on Thursday. No one commented or asked questions as the mayor delivered his budget memo, which makes about $20 million worth of adjustments in the budget that was proposed by the city manager.

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KCUR News
11:03 pm
Thu February 26, 2009

Honor Highlights Local Fort's Diplomatic Mission

Kansas City, MO – Fort Leavenworth is famous for its prison, but the Army is much more proud of the Command and General Staff College there. They call it the "Intellectual Center of the Army," a kind of grad school for mid-level officers. The college honored one its graduates Thursday, February 26. The ceremony highlights the school's diplomatic role one that may be key to winning the war in Afghanistan and northwestern Pakistan. KCUR's Frank Morris reports.

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KCUR News
1:41 am
Thu February 26, 2009

Council Takes Aim At Cordish Dress Code

ACLU board member Lisa Watson speaks against the Power and Light District dress code.
Video frame courtesy of KCCG, Channel 2.\">

Kansas City, MO – The two-year battle over the dress code at the Power and Light District continued yesterday, as a city council committee heard public testimony on a proposed tougher ordinance on what a dress code may not prohibit. The one at Power and Light bans athletic attire and garb associated with the Hip-Hop culture. Developer the Cordish Company says it is just about clothes. But the ACLU's Lisa Watson said it's really about who gets excluded for wearing the clothes.

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