Saturday, January 11, 2014


Earlier in the week, KICK-ASS Kansas City Insiders broke news on this blog that Mayor Sly James would keep his promise to put major charter changes to a public vote.

More than any other topic . . . The proposed elimination of "At-Large" Council Districts is a controversial measure that would completely change the landscape of local politics.

We've argued for this point time and again . . . However . . .


The news revealed on this blog has sent shockwaves through the Northland and now politicos across the bridge are starting to kick their activity into high gear for April elections.

Accordingly . . .


These reasons are according to a RATHER BRILLIANT NORTHLAND INSIDER who is already busy rallying support to the cause on the phone this weekend.

1. Voter Representation

A serious reduction of voting opportunities for Kansas City residents is touted as the MOST IMPORTANT reason to oppose the elimination of at-large districts.

Right now Kansas City voters can cast their ballots for their in-district council person, their at-large rep, the Mayor and then at-large reps from all of the 5 other districts.

An insider says this:

"Under the current system I have 8 people who represent me as a voter in Kansas City. There are 8 elected officials who I can contact in order to advocate any position across the city. Eliminate council districts and you've cut down my representation to only 2 - The Mayor and my Council-member. People aren't thinking about what they might give up if this charter change should come to pass."

The voter representation angle might play well among some locals who fear that they'll be marginalized by losing more city-wide representation in this vote.

2. Racially Divisive Legislation

This is the real political fight in Kansas City that few will dare to mention.


The sordid topic of racial divisions in KCMO will mostly be ignored by the mainstream media but that doesn't mean they don't exist. Like it or not, opposition to charter change will be organized AGAINST efforts to include more minorities on the council which some feel is a measure to achieve a quota in line with population numbers and not based on the merits of any candidate in particular.

3. Capital Improvement Disaster

This reason is more complex and not as much fun but still important . . . In order to divide the districts equally in terms of population, some geographic areas will be greater than others. Accordingly, some districts would take on increased responsibility for capital improvements which may not coincide with increased revenue.

"This would destroy PIAC" one insider noted.

It's likely that any change in council districts would also necessitate a change in the way capital improvement money is allocated but that's not currently written into the ballot language and would be left to City Hall to decide on their own and after the fact. Accordingly, opposition to at-large council district elimination among finance-minded voters doesn't trust City Hall to divide capital improvement dollars equitably and without consent from voters.

4. Opposition To Increasingly Provincial Kansas City Politics

More Kansas City Council Districts would increase the fight for dwindling local resources among politicos, add more combatants to the fray and eliminate any reason for a politico to care about another district according to Northland Insiders.

5. No More Districts That Cross the Bridge

Right now, just a bit of the 4th District resides in the Northland. This "heart of Kansas City" district would undoubtedly be eliminated amid charter change and some opponents to this measure feel that would lead to an increasing disconnect between both sides of Kansas City.

All of these reasons were explained to TKC in a manner far more eloquent than what I've relayed tonight but this is a good primer in understanding the other side of the issue that mainstream media has yet to examine.

And all of this has inspired tonight's playlist. 

As always, thanks for reading this week and have a safe and fun Saturday Night.


James Brown said...

Take me to the bridge!

Anonymous said...

Funny how a black mayor can get elected in this city by an "at large" vote but not black council candidates? What a bunch of racists. Lol.

jodi high-roller said...

really dig the john legend cover. great playlist, tony.

Hyperblogal said...

PIAC has already been destroyed by the theft of funds to "study" the folly trolley. Actually, the money is being used to pay the interest on the ten-million dollars to study the folly trolley. Even worse.

Anonymous said...

Don't fool yourselves. They have already figured out the new district boundaries to favor the black population.

Anonymous said...

This tipster knows his stuff. Inner city districts that will require more land mass in order to meet population minimums will have more area and thus more capital needs. These districts will still only get 1/12 of the capital projects budget. Their infrastructure will suffer. Capital dollars will be stretched too thin when divided by 12.

Anonymous said...

Rearrange the council districts.
Consider a strong mayor charter change.
Discuss local control of the KCPD.
And NONE of it makes any difference if KC keeps electing the same kinds of clueless clowns.
How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

Anonymous said...

Here is a smarter idea....MOVE OUT OF KCMO!

Anonymous said...

We already HAVE a strong mayor form of government. Mayor James gets anything he wants. If a mayor is able to be strong, then more power to him. But shitty mayors like Funk and Barnes should not have had any more power. Barnes and Cauthen did enough damage with the current charter. If Cleaver had been able to function as a strong mayor, how much more money would he have thrown down the hole of 18th and Vine, had he been allowed to operate unchecked?

Charter changes are serious business. You don't change council makeup to buy black votes to get a strong mayor. The Charter Review Committee was a joke. People like Gayle Holliday were put on there because they are so easily manipulated.

Clinton Adams and Co. want 12 council districts so they can more easily get minority candidates that they can control elected. Adams doesn't wield enough power to handle an entire district now, but if the city is chopped up, he might manage to put candidates his ilk can control in office.

It's not about whites not wanting minorities to get elected. It's about the Third and Fifth Districts saying No to Adams. It's about quality candidates like Crispin Rea running at-large in the Third, who can likely win and won't be beholden to Clinton and his cohorts, and this scares Clinton, Gwen and the others. Smaller districts mean more candidates, perhaps of lesser quality, that they can control.

Empty cries of racism ring out as the black community, or certain members of it say white people prevent blacks from being elected at large. Really? Melba Curls has been elected at large twice. Becky Nace beat a black candidate who reportedly and likely did not live in the district. Councilman Brooks lost once to Circo, then won in district. Sexting and payoff to Ossco Bolton scandals later, see what a good job he has done for his community.

Keep the current 6/6 configuration. If blacks want more representation on the council, groom and run better candidates. My congressman and president are black. Does this mean they cannot represent the white people in my area?

The idea that black people alone can represent black people is a racist as Jim Crow laws. Separate but equal went out in the 1950s with Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka. You don't have to be black to represent me, and it's fine if you're white. Just be smart, honest, work hard, and listen to your constituents. Quality should be color blind.

Anonymous said...

10:15 - Yours may be the best comment on this blog in 2014.

Byron Funkhouser said...

I find none of this very convincing. The at large seats are found no where else in the country, because their intent is so obvious. Northlanders should not decide who represents the urban core. Duh! Why is that so hard to grasp.

Don't worry about your slice of the pie, there isn't any pie. All available funds, & then some, are going to the streetcar.

Bottom line: you either trust democracy or you don't. The at large seats are an affront to democracy. Don't flatter yourself about how many people have to answer to you. If you called your council representative right now, would they answer, ever?

Anonymous said...

The Tony "insider" is probably an at large representative who would lose their seat.

Fact is, anything "insiders fear or reject" is worth considering.

Anonymous said...

Fuck you Byron butt out of our business you liar

Anonymous said...

You fool. Don't you see that it's an act? Ignore the troll.

Anonymous said...

yes your are probably right 12:15

Anonymous said...

Also 10:15 makes some damn good points and is a great post

Byron Funkhouser said...

This is a free speech zone. I merely stated my opinion. Its not act (whatever you really mean by that.) Why am I a troll, but none of you are? Such a convenient term.

You like 10:15's comment, because he told you what you wanted to hear.

The at-large seats are indefensible.

Does anyone remember how these at-large seats came to be? Wasn't it an attempt to deny suffrage? Just like Krazy Kobach's voter ID fraud. It all sounds so reasonable, but the intent is to deny suffrage.

Anonymous said...

Tony I am so god damn tired of seeing Byron Funkhouser’s shit on these posts all the time. He is ruining your site. He is not from around here and adds nothing to this local blog. His insight is hateful as a rule and does not reflect the views of people in Kansas City.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Byron Funkhouser on this issue, and I live right here.

Anonymous said...

The urban core can't take care of themselves. That is obvious!

Henry Hill said...

I was cooking dinner that night. I had to start braising the beef, pork butt and veal shanks for the tomato sauce. It's Michael's favorite. I was making ziti with the meat gravy, and I'm planning to roast some peppers over the flames, and I was putting on some string beans with the olive oil and garlic, and I had some beautiful cutlets, cut just right, that I was going to fry up before dinner just as an appetizer. I was home for about an hour. My plan was toStart the dinner early, so Karen and I could go unload the guns that Jimmy didn't want, and get the package for Judy to take to Atlanta latex that night. I kept looking out the window and the helicopter was gone. I asked Michael to watch the sauce, and Karen and I started out.

Anonymous said...

Keep the at large districts, ignore this attempt to ruin KC by Cleaver and his gang.

Anonymous said...

Vote no!

Anonymous said...

Byron, Didn't the black mayor get elected with northland votes?

Anonymous said...

The at large seats really worked out well for that white guy who ran in district 3 during the last election.

Anonymous said...

Although, more black councilmembers would eventually wise up and fire Troy. In addition, maybe departments should consider a split to better represent the inter city. Remember the removal of all those inter city traffic signals? Remember the white northland female director of public works not giving a crap about inter city black churches and removed those signals?

Byron Funkhouser said...

Anon 1:38 presents an argument against free speech. Its simply an error of fact to say that I add nothing to this site. Many people are tired of the constant racism that we see here. But, this is a free speech zone. The notion that I am ruining this site is not an objective analysis, but simply a subjective opinion.

Anonymous said...

Tony I am so god damn tired of seeing Byron Funkhouser’s shit on these posts all the time. He is ruining your site. He is not from around here and adds nothing to this local blog. His insight is hateful as a rule and does not reflect the views of people or events of Kansas City. He has gotten to the point he only posts to incite and anger people for his own benefit.

Byron Funkhouser said...


Anonymous said...

Byron Funkhouser...........spam

Anonymous said...

Byron, you add nothing to this site because you know nothing, especially about Kansas City. You certainly know nothing about our council districts, the at large versus in district seats, the reason behind the push for change, the Northland versus the Southland and the supposed Great White North.

10:15 from yesterday completely gets it and explains it. The at large districts allow voters a greater voice in city government. The entire city gets to hold them accountable. Having 8 votes instead of 2 is an enormous benefit.

The Northland does not decide who wins at large races. The Northland does not have enough of the city's population to do so.

Byron and those few, or one, that agree with his drivel, people like 10:15's comments because they are not sweeping generalizations without basis in fact, such as Byron's. They are backed up with truth and historical facts.

Byron, your lack of knowledge is unbelievable. There are capital dollars to spend and leverage. At-large districts were not created to deny suffrage, but to create council members who were to answer to all constituents, not just their own districts. Blacks have been elected at large and as mayor, twice, so your racism yell has no merit.

Twelve districts would be bad for KC. It would be bad for the citizens, for the reasons 10:15 stated. Falsehoods, such as the ones Byron throws around, will be put out to muddy the argument, but remember the facts in 10:15's post.

Byron Funkhouser said...

Anon 2:47

I disagree.

Anonymous said...

Byron, this is 2:47. Then you don't know our city, our politics,the way it works, or the way certain groups/persons are trying to manipulate the districts so that they can get candidates they can then manipulate into office.

It's very simple when you've lived here, participated and seen up close and personal as well as interacted with the players to discern what the real motivation is. It's not about electing quality candidates.

To say blacks can only represent blacks is ludicrous. To say whites cannot represent blacks is equally absurd. Quality representation involves many things, but skin color isn't one of them.

Additionally, the fact that Durwin Rice, a white male running at large in the third district and the architect behind a very visible Tulips on Troost project, lost the race to the black female Melba Curls speaks volumes. There are more white voters than black. Following Byron's logic, Rice should have mopped the floor with Curls, but he didn't. Why didn't the evil white Northland override the black candidate? Because the voters did NOT vote based on color, just as they didn't vote on color for Cleaver or for James.

Byron you can disagree all you like, but to say you disagree and bring nothing to back it up does not support your argument. 10:15 and my two posts are supported by knowledge, experience and facts, not hyperbole and race-baiting.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Repetitious and irrelevant, Byron.

Anonymous said...

10:15- Right ON!