KCMO Government

Up To Date
2:17 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Is Kansas City, Missouri On The Right Track?

Credit Eric Langhorst / Flickr Creative Commons

Throughout the year we put the Kansas City metro area under a microscope examining the details of the events and issues facing its residents and leaders.

On this edition of Up to Date, we zoom out for a broader view. Steve Kraske and three area journalists bring us their analysis, thoughts, and observations on what's working and what's not in Kansas City, Mo. 


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Central Standard
11:20 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Turning Kansas City Into A "Smart" City

Technology is all around us, and it's extending into the fabric of our cities as well. Kansas City, Mo., currently has a letter of intent with Cisco to explore the feasibility of implementing a "smart city" framework. Some are calling Kansas City a potential "laboratory" for the smart city concept. What does that mean, and how can we expect it play out in the day-to-day lives of Kansas Citians? 


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6:00 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Kansas City Opens 'Dead Letter Office'

Kansas City is trying to clean out outdated laws from the books.
Credit Google Images - CC

Last month, the city of Kansas City, Mo., opened what they’re calling a 'Dead Letter Office,' which is actually a website where the residents and business owners can petition to repeal out-of-date city regulations.

Assistant City Manager Rick Usher focuses on small businesses and entrepreneurship. He says due to Kansas City’s long history, some of the old rules are still in the books.

“Kansas City you know we’re over 150 years old. The city has weathered every economic, political, social, environmental crisis that has occurred through those times,” Usher said.

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8:56 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Public Vote On Kansas City Charter Changes Vote Set For Next Tuesday

Next Tuesday, Kansas Citians will decide whether to make changes to the city charter. The city council has submitted voters three charter-revision ballot questions. Most city council members hope one of them will “warm up” voters attitudes on city elections.

Question 3 would move the city Mayor-Council primary election from late February to early April. And the city general election would move from late March to Early June.

The thinking is: “better weather equals better turnout.”

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7:26 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Kansas City Council Axes Controversial Charter Changes

Kansas Citians will vote on changes to their city charter in April. But the two controversial proposals won't be on the ballot.

The council voted against sending voters a proposal from some minority organizations to change the structure of city government.  No one on the council thought smaller districts and no at-large council seats was a good idea. But five, including Mayor Sly James, voted to put it on the ballot.

The mayor says he too, opposed the change.

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7:56 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Kansas City Charter Change Suggestions Advance

Plans for an election on changing the Kansas City, Mo., charter are heading into the home stretch, but there is still some disagreement on what should go on the ballot.

One sticking point as the full city council debated the changes Wednesay was: “why send the voters any proposed change most council members consider a bad idea?” – for example doing away with at-large council seats.

Mayor Sly James's answer: because some citizen groups have proposed the changes and the Charter Review Commission thought the voters should consider them.

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7:39 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Council Still Divided on Mayoral Power, Districts

The Kansas City city council spent two hours discussing the two most controversial suggestions for changes in the city charter Thursday. At the end of it, they still remain divided on both issues.

The most time was devoted to discussing the charter commission's recommendation that the city do away with at large council seats and have twelve council members, each representing a specific district.

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7:34 am
Wed November 27, 2013

New Court Ruling Threatens Kansas City Red-Light Cameras

Just as city attorneys thought they had come up with changes to save Kansas City's traffic-cam ordinance from one court decision, another court rendered the changes useless.

As he withdrew the revised ordinance, Councilman John Sharp expressed frustration. “It's been very difficult for us to follow court direction when we're getting different court directions in a very brief period of time," he commented.

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7:23 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Kansas City Council Moves To Save Red-Light Cameras

Credit The Pelican Institute

The Kansas City council committee has endorsed changes to the city's red-light camera ordinance. If the full council agrees Tuesday the cameras will be back in operation in ten days

Kansas City stopped issuing red-light camera tickets earlier this month after a Missouri court ruled that running a red light is a moving violation, and must be charged against a specific driver.

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1:51 am
Fri July 26, 2013

Council Votes To Restrict Investments In Firearm Companies

The Kansas City city council is asking city pension fund boards not to invest in companies that manufacture guns – and will request that the Board of Police Commissioners consider the same policy for police retirement funds.

Mayor Sly James told the council that the goal is discussions with firearms companies on letting cities with gun violence problems enact more restrictive gun control laws within their jurisdictions.

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2:33 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Council Committees Accept Development Deals

Kansas City, Missouri wins the latest round in the economic “border wars.” by regaining a company that started on the Missouri side, but moved to Leawood.

A. B. May Company will be moving its headquarters to a former “big box” retail building at 50th and I-435 in Eastern Kansas City. The Economic Development Committee endorsed property tax abatement to offset May's payments on the $12 million in bonds the city will issue.

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2:58 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Audit: 'Session Contract Cost Legitimate MBE Companies Millions'

A city audit of the repurposing of the old Richards Gebaur air force base concludes that a company owned by a Port Authority attorney should never have been certified as a qualified minority contractor.

The audit also concludes that the 2007 certification of William Session's TWS Technical Services kept legitimate minority contractors from bidding on more than $10 million worth of work.

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12:40 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Council Committee Studies Bus Funding, Role Of ATA Board

Credit KCATA

A city council committee continues to delve into how to finance the Area Transit Authority yesterday.

Most of this week's ATA funding committee meeting was spent speculating on the size of the funding shortfall as a streetcar system and other expenses bite into transit tax revenues that may or may not increase.

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2:43 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Council Extends Red Light Cameras, Delays Ethics Code Vote

The full Kansas City city council followed through on plans to extend the red-light camera program for another five years Thursday, but a vote on a new city ethics code will wait till next week.

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1:14 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Council Poised To Keep Red Light Cams 5 More Years

The Kansas City city council is set to vote on extending the red-light camera program for another 5 years. And though public opinion on the cameras is divided, a council committee had no doubts.

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12:47 am
Thu May 16, 2013

City Ethics Update Advances

Ethics bills continue to stumble in the state capitols, but Kansas City, Missouri's ethics code is about to get an update.

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1:24 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Airport Bus Privatization Plan Gets A Flat 'No' From Council

KC Aviation Department

A city council that is nodding yes on airport officials' study of a new single terminal concept at KCI was not impressed with a plan to privatize the bus service at the airport.

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1:27 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Racial, Police Issues Put Youth Curfew Change On Hold

As discussion opened  third district councilman Jermaine Reed expressed concern that all 34 tickets issued last year were to African-American kids.

That prompted a surprise appearance from Mayor Sly James who admonished the group to stick to the issue and not drift off into race relations. James agreed that the problem has some racial factors, but insisted that they are not the heart of the problem and that the city cannot allow the public to have the impression that it is not safe to go to some of its entertainment districts.

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1:36 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Port Authority Owes City $135,000 For Old Billing Errors

An investigation into Kansas City's port authority that began during Mark Funkhouser's administration may be coming to closure with the agency getting a substantial bill from the city.


An audit reviewed by the council finance committee Wednesday concludes that the city should try to recover $135,000 the city paid out for the repurposing of the old Richards Gebaur Air Force Base.

Auditors turned up over $92,000 in duplicate payments and almost $42,000 in vendor overcharges.

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12:04 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Agencies Resist Economic Development Plan

Mayor Sly James is expressing some frustration with late-in-the-game resistance to his Advance KC economic development consolidation program.

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2:46 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Council Endorses Airport Plan

Kansas City International Airport proposes to replace the current three-terminal layout with a new single terminal
Landrum & Brown Kansas City Aviation Department

The Kansas City city council has voted to move ahead with laying plans for a single-terminal concept for KCI Airport.  though, that it doesn't guarantee that a new terminal will be built.

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1:41 am
Fri April 5, 2013

Single Terminal KCI Plan Advances

Night view of single-terminal KCI plan
Kansas City aviation department

KCI officials get a tentative go-ahead to proceed with planning for a new single-terminal airport. A city council committee has scheduled a full council vote next week.

Both the Transportation and Infrastructure committee and the full council heard presentations on the plan this morning.

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12:40 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Mayweather Gaffe Spawns Tighter Funding Rules

Council chambers.
Library of Congress

A city council committee has reacted to an event funding fiasco.  Concerns arose when a local group got $15,000 in city money to bring in boxer Floyd Mayweather for a youth event.

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1:13 am
Fri March 29, 2013

KC Budget Boosts Street Repairs, Youth Programs

Council Chambers.
Library of Congress

As the Missouri and Kansas Legislatures wrangle over budgets, the Kansas City city council has passed one yesterday with very little conflict along the way.

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1:14 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Mayor, Some On Council Wary Of Sales Tax Overuse

The downtown streetcars require special tax districts which rely on extra sales tax.

The Kansas City city council gave a preliminary okay to two new community districts on Main just south of the Plaza yesterday. But there were some members were concerned that sales-tax-financed development could be getting out of hand.

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2:05 am
Thu November 1, 2012

Council To Vote On Funeral Picketing Ordinance

Westboro Baptist Chuch members display picket signs at a military funeral

Updated Thursday, November 1. The Kansas City city council has unanimously passed an ordinance to restrict the Westboro Baptist Church's picketing of military funerals.

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2:04 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Heavy Opposition To Kansas City Billboard Law Changes

This condemned billboard near I-29 and Route 45 in the Northland was one of those that sparked a proposal to revise the city's billboard ordinance.
City of Kansas City, MO

Once again the battle of the billboards is being fought at Kansas City City Hall, as the city council considers a proposal to ease up on billboard regulation a little.

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12:29 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Council Passes Sly James Tax and Bonds Plan

Photo by Steve Bell

Another victory Thursday for the program Mayor Sly James calls Reform and Repair means Kansas City voters will have the final say in August.

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1:06 am
Fri May 18, 2012

Council Endorses Mayor's Tax Plan

Mayor Sly James presents his tax revision plan to a joint city council committee
KCCG Channel 2

Kansas City voters are likely to be asked to swap motor vehicle “city stickers” and some special property taxes for a 1/2-cent sales tax increase.

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Kansas City
7:43 am
Fri February 10, 2012

Mayor Backs Fire Chief, Billion-Dollar Infrastructure Plan

Mayor Sly James gives his response to the City Manager's budget proposal.
KCCG, Channel 2

Kansas City Mayor Sly James proposed a bold program to renovate and replace crumbling infrastructure and declining neighborhoods in his budget recommendations yesterday.

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