KANSAS CITY, Mo. – KCUR is running a series of conversation with candidates in the race for Kansas City Missouri Mayor. We're asking them about crime and how to balance the city's budget during tough economic times. Maria Carter caught up with the incumbent, Mayor Mark Funkhouser, at his campaign headquarters in the city market.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The chief attorney at City Hall in Kansas City can't find much to contest in a Missouri Supreme Court ruling that will cost the city $2.1 million. And they are dollars the city can ill afford.
With one dissenting vote, Justices upheld a mid-level court ruling against the city, and in favor of Melissa Howard. She had claimed discrimination when the city council, five years ago, threw out a panel on which she was named to replace a white female judge leaving municipal court.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Times have been discouraging for the Kansas City agency charged with keeping old and luring new business. Until a recent trend appeared to surface. It was noticed this week in the business session of the Kansas City Council.
City Council Chambers didn't exactly burst into sweetness and light, but you could almost feel a glow as Jeff Kazmarek laid out his report.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Primaries for Kansas City's next mayor are in just a month. Seven people are vying for the position, including current mayor Mark Funkhouser. All are hoping to lead the city through a challenging time - the city's grappling with a down economy and continuing violence.
Kansas City, Mo. – The man who continues to goad Kansas City leadership toward a light rail system maintains he IS a viable candidate for mayor, despite the City Attorney's opinion he cannot run in the general election as a write-in.
Kansas City, MO – When someone gets tax abatement for a development project, they enter into a contract - they say how much the project will cost, how many jobs created, and often agree to pay the city back for work it has to do.
Kansas City, MO – As the recession continues to plague revenue collections, some Kansas City, Missouri city council members want to consider outsourcing management of some city assets to private companies.
The idea was reborn when Black and Veatch expressed an interest in managing the Blue River Wastewater Treatment facility, but the resolution advanced yesterday by a 2 to 1 Finance Committee vote calls for the city manager to investigate involving the private sector in any city assets and services where there is an interest.
Kansas City, MO – Kansas City Missouri's redistricting committee members decided they will choose two maps to present to the city council in its final meeting tomorrow. Yesterday's meeting brought out strong support for keeping some district boundaries intact.
Kansas City, MO – Ever since the city started talking about taking over the ambulance service about three years ago, it has promised MAST workers they would get a retirement system comparable to that of other public safety employees crediting the time they have worked for the non-profit ambulance service.
With 320 of those employees now working for the city, City Manager Troy Schulte says it could cost the city up to $40 million to fund that pension plan.
Kansas City, MO – The latest battle raging in Kansas City's council chambers has been over district boundaries. According to the charter, the city is supposed to re-draw the district map after every three general elections, which means about every 12 years, or whenever the population shifts dramatically. KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross and Steve Bell talk about what's at stake.
Kansas City, MO – Eight years after Missouri passed a law to protect abandoned babies, Kansas City, Missouri agrees to take part in a program letting the public know about it. It doesn't happen often, but when a newborn is abandoned and in danger there is general shock and horror.
Kansas City, MO – The mayor's veto did not stand. The Kansas City city council voted yesterday to put a measure changing the city's redistricting schedule on the November ballot.
Northland members and the mayor who had opposed moving now to tie the redistricting schedule to the release of census data argued that the council was rushing to enact something that wouldn't make any difference for twenty years... and could undermine efforts to renew the public safety sales tax.
Kansas City, MO – For the second time in as many weeks, Mark Funkhouser has used his veto power - this time on a ballot measure to amend the city charter so council redistricting could possibly wait until after new census ethnic distribution data is released.
The mayor says the the US Constitution mandates that redistricting must be done before the spring city election because Northland districts are underrepresented, and that the city will be found in violation of the constitution if it does not correct that situation.
Kansas City, MO – Mayor Mark Funkhouser came out on the losing side of two significant council votes yesterday.
The first defeat for the mayor was the override of his veto of the council's renewing the appointment of the chairman of the Port Authority, which the mayor has said needs more of an "international flavor."
Then the mayor voted with the four Northland council members on a move to send a charter amendment to voters that could delay redrawing council district boundaries if the council deadlocks on the issue.
Kansas City, MO – The newly appointed panel charged with recommending a redistricting plan for Kansas City, Missouri held a lengthy first meeting yesterday, but it's possible the real decision making won't start until April.
The city charter mandates that redistricting be in place by the March election, but that would require a second effort after new census data is released, probably in April.
Kansas City, MO – Preparing for a July fourth week off, Kansas City's City Council turned out a prolific load of legislation Thursday, finalizing a computerized traffic ticket system, new-home security standards, a loan to pay off TIF obligations, art for the KC-Live District, appropriations for street repairs, and an ethics reform project.
And the council went head to head with the mayor, on funding for the Sports Complex.
Kansas City, MO – The Kansas City, Mo., finance department verified Wednesday that after two years of major spending cuts the city has money in the bank. And the mayor and council members immediately started talking about how much more the city should borrow.
The 34.2 million dollars the city has in its general fund today, day one of its new fiscal year, is about 8 percent of this year's budget. That's the largest balance in a decade, and the city's credit rating is also at its highest in ten years.
Kansas City, MO – The head of the panel redrawing proposed changes in Jackson County, Missouri's charter sees new opportunities to fight discrimination at the courthouse.
Voters will decide worthiness of charter changes when they cast ballots in the August election. Changes range from ending no bid contracts, to eliminating automatic pay hikes for elected officials to limiting the county executive's power over the sheriff. And there is hiring staff to investigate discrimination and ethics breaches.
Kansas City, MO – Kansas City's city council honored the old adage "it takes money to make money" yesterday, voting to pick up the tab for the considerable expenses related to hosting the 2012 All-Star Game.
City Manager Troy Schulte gave the council what might have been a staggering cost estimate if not for his projected return-on-investment. Schulte told the council his staff estimates the city's expenses at $500,000, but expect an economic impact of over $50 million in return.
Kansas City, MO – Kansas City will pay a $250,000 deposit to take the Power and Light Building and the block around it off the market while studies continue on creating a new convention hotel on the site. But Mayor Funkhouser still thinks it's a bad idea.
The city will lose the quarter of a million it doesn't build a hotel on the property, and the mayor says the "found money" from the restaurant tax could be better spent on neighborhood infrastructure or marketing existing hotels.
Kansas City, Mo. – A city council committee is recommending that the city council allocate a quarter of a million dollars on an option to buy the block that contains the Power and Light building for a downtown convention hotel.
The planning and zoning committee is sending the full council resolutions to continue studying the possibility of a 1,000 room hotel and to pay New York's Gailord Enterprises $250,000 to take the property off the market for the year or so that study is expected to take.
Kansas City, MO – The Kansas City city council wouldn't go along with Mayor Funkhouser's plan for a large bond issue for infrastructure around schools, but it approved its own 90 million bond issue package Thursday.
The bonds the council allocated were approved by the voters in 2004 and 2005, but never actually sold.
Councilman Terry Riley characterized the bond package as a local economic stimulus.
Kansas City, Mo. – After months of discussion and weeks of committee hearings, Kansas City's Planning and Zoning finally sent the full city council an urban agriculture ordinance Wednesday.
The committee added a number of restrictions including a prohibition on row crops in front yards, restriction of sales to fresh produce and requiring community gardens to get approval from the Board of Zoning Adjustment.