TKC BREAKING AND EXCLUSIVE NEWS!!! BEHIND THE SCENES: DID THE PARKS BOARD KILL LEGISLATION ATTEMPTING TO MAKE NORTHEAST KANSAS CITY SAFER?!?
A discussion of violence and homicide in Kansas City is incomplete without reviewing recent legislation aimed at curbing crime.
Sadly, Mayor and Council have offered a great deal of talk and promises on the subject of curbing the Kansas City murder rate but it's worth nothing that most of their legislative efforts are focused on taxpayer giveaways, raising taxes and the toy train streetcar.
Representing Northeast Kansas City, Missouri House Rep. John Rizzo started his career with a bevy of legislation aimed to address public safety issues in his district and throughout Kansas City.
In particular, his bill HB 1360 was an important effort to control prostitution, drugs and violent crime in local parks.
Language from Rep. Rizzo's bill: "Authorizes the Kansas City Chief of Police to determine whether city parks should remain open between specified times in the interest of public safety"
Now . . .
BEHIND THE SCENES WE HEAR THAT THE BILL WOULD HAVE HELPED KEEP KANSAS CITY PARKS SAFER BUT WAS SHUT DOWN BY THE PARKS BOARD BECAUSE IT THREATENED THEIR CONTROL!!!
Rep. Rizzo didn't want to speak to the controversy directly but he did tout the merits of his bill . . .
"It was basically another tool for law enforcement to use in order to address ongoing dangerous situations. I listened to my constituents and this is something they wanted. Unfortunately, loitering, drug dealing and prostitution are commonplace in some Northeast parks and I thought this was an effective way to address that problem," MO House Rep. Rizzo said.
Fast forward to last week's spate of local homicide, violence and GROWING COMPLAINTS about the Northeast Budd Park Battlefield.
And so . . .
INSIDERS ARE ASKING IF THE LUST FOR POWER FROM THE KANSAS CITY PARKS BOARD HAS PREVENTED LEGISLATIVE PROGRESS AIMED AT CURBING LOCAL VIOLENCE!!!
Just now an insider close to the Kansas City Parks Board offered us a bit of perspective.
"Parks has succumbed to the same flaws as Mayor Sly James. They only want positive press. They seem to think that smiling in front of cameras will solve all of their problems and this legislation threatened not only their image but also their authority."
What have we learned from this Northeast Kansas City kerfuffle?
On the bright side, it's important to realize that there are steps that Kansas City elected officials can take to address violent crime beyond making speeches.
Sadly, it's a shame that political turf wars waged by some members of the Parks Board dictate anti-violence legislation rather than concern for the safety of residents.