TKC BREAKING AND EXCLUSIVE NEWS!!! EXPERT TESTIMONY AGAINST CITY HALL KANSAS CITY POLICE DEPT. TAKEOVER!!!
The Kansas City fight against a City Hall takeover of the Police Department is once again in full swing and this morning we want to feature a very important bit of writing on the subject.
To wit . . .
CHECK OUT A KANSAS CITY POLICE INSIDER CALLING OUT DEAD TREE MEDIA ON THE SUBJECT OF THE PROPOSED KCPD TAKEOVER!!!
Read the signed testimony and realize that it contains KCPD INSIDER details and perspective offering a great many reasons to keep police business away from City Hall.
Argument Against City Hall KCPD Takeover From Ret. Deputy Chief
The KC Star Editorial Board recently published an article outlining several “troubling areas” the special KC police commission must investigate as part of their review process and eventual recommendation for future governance of the KCPD. One of the listed “trouble areas” was the disappointing oversight of police capital improvement funds. I find it ironic and disappointing that the editorial board of the Star would feel the need to use this example as part of their rationale to justify the need for local control. I say this because as the KCPD project manager of the capital projects it was I who gave the editorial board unfiltered access to every project and received glowing praise from the staff for our wise use of available funding. This support led the editorial board to endorse efforts to extend the tax. Mr. Abouhalkah further expressed his support for my staff’s efforts on the capital projects when he listed my dedicated service to the tax payers guiding the capital projects as one of several reasons why Kansas City is a great place to live in his editorial titled “Ready for good news about KC?”
The editorial board has actually selected a topic that I feel very strongly is the perfect example of why the governance of the KCPD needs to remain as currently structured. Under the governance of a Board of Police Commissioners the KCPD delivered brick and mortar capital projects with the dollars collected by the tax, roughly 18 million a year. Conversely, the Fire Department tax (managed by the city) which collects the exact same amount each year is only spending $500,000 a year on capital projects, while roughly 85 percent of the tax is used to fund salaries. I feel confident that when voters approved the Fire Tax they never in their wildest dreams thought that 85 percent of the tax would be spent on salaries.
Yes, the East Campus Project is WAY over budget, but the KCPD portion of the overage to address the evolving needs of the Crime Lab is roughly 5 million of the 30 million being reported. A City mandated section 3 requirement along with several other decisions by the City is what is primarily responsible for the other 25 million. Improper use of 3 million dollars of section 3 funds by the City on a previous project made it an easy decision for the City to make this project an S-3 project, that way the city could address the assessed penalty by using funds generated from the tax revenue. This strategy allowed the City to spend 3 million dollars on the project to address the penalty, but in turn added roughly 13 percent to the overall cost of the project, as all future contracts over $100,000 had to have a section 3 component. One such example was in bids taken for the removal of hazardous materials at the site. The low bid was $120,000, but we had to take a bid of $140,000, as they were the only bid that included an S-3 component. Another example of an unexpected expense is that the City Public Works Department has already charged the project $750,000 for debris removal at the site. These staff members’ salaries are already funded by the City, but the City has strategically moved to tap these funds as a source to free general funds for other uses.
I was pleased when a councilmember asked the general contractor of one of my projects if he could stop by and get a tour of a new facility in his district. When I asked the GC how the tour went I was disappointed to learn that during the tour the politician asked the GC for a campaign contribution. Now I ask you, is this who we want governing our police department? Telling us who to hire, fire and promote, as well as where to patrol.
Mr. Mayor, no disrespect to you as I have been truly impressed with your commitment and the leadership you have provided the department in your duties as a member of the Board of Police Commissioners. You are currently 1 of 5 governing the PD now, isn’t that better than being 1 of 13 if the City took over?
Retired Deputy Chief Jerry Gallagher