MUST READ!!! CRAIG GLAZER REVEALS GREAT IDEAS TO HELP FIX KANSAS CITY!!!
TKC NOTE: This is probably one of my favorite things Craig has written in a while because it has so many good local ideas.
If I Ruled The World
Or At Least Kansas City
As you all know, the city is getting ready to spend millions of dollars on a new street-car operation for downtown and midtown. I would imagine most of you are with me when our brain says, ‘that ain’t gonna work’. So what would I do to fix Kansas City, MO over the next few years?
1) Kansas City is a name people know around America but have no clue what the city is all about. Our City has chosen to waste millions of dollars trying to bring in second and third tier conventions. What we should do is put together a strategic marketing group to produce television commercials promoting Kansas City as not only a great place for families to move to, but visit. The commercials should show our unknown but exciting shopping and living areas, i. e. the Country Club Plaza which is virtually unknown nation-wide but is one of the nicest shopping and entertainment districts in the country.
Why not show some of the gorgeous homes in Mission Hills, Ward Parkway and other neighborhoods around the city where someone might like to move to and in addition promote how affordable the cost of living is here compared to other cities. I’ve never seen a media campaign to promote Kansas City in my lifetime. Yes, it should include social media as well.
2) Find a way, outside of taxing everyone, possibly with a city bond investment, to upgrade and modernize our most successful areas including places like The Plaza, Brookside, Waldo, Westport, Mid-town and the Crossroads District. We need to reward the areas that are paying much of the city taxes and getting little in return.
3) Investigate where all the millions of dollars went that our leadership made to attempt to move Kansas City forwards including City Market, 18th and Vine, The Zoo…in short everything they have ever done. Somebody went south with big bucks, big time. Example: 18th and Vine, 300 million? Really? Show me where that was spent. Turn 18th and Vine into an area for young, well-to-do, upwardly mobile urban crowds complete with nightclubs and restaurants featuring the music and ambiance they want with police protection. At least someone would go there. You might want to do a music museum based on more current celebrities like Tech N9ne, that might actually draw a crowd.
4) Be more business friendly, especially to small businesses wanting to come in to KC, Mo. Make the journey for new businesses to get liquor licenses, construction permits, health inspections and the like faster. Streamline the process so that these things can be done quickly and easily much more like your neighbors in Kansas City, KS.
5) Find a way to give real tax incentives for real estate and small businesses that they can actually use, especially new businesses. Have an outside group, not the City Council, deal with taxes and ways to lower them for businesses. The current ten percent city tax is oppressive when you add that in with Federal tax, higher rents, higher wages, etc. It doesn’t work.
6) Create a board made up of business and marketing people with a track record of success of opening businesses or turning them around. These would be men and women not unlike Carl Peterson, like him or not, and other successful business owners.
7) The Mayor’s office and City Council are made up mostly of activists with almost no business history or skills whatsoever. The city is effed up and broke because of this poor leadership. Take their power away. Remember, most people on the City Council over the years have been the lady up the street unhappy with her trash pickup or a sub-par attorney who wanted the job to stimulate his paycheck. That’s what we’ve had for the most part over the last fifty years. Let me give you an example. Doing what Kansas City does with our multi-million dollar budget and turning it over to people who often have no experience with business or these large sums of money is like giving a tenth grader who’s kind of good at math a rocket ship to fly. They meant well but they don’t know how to fly a rocket ship.
8) Lastly, more control of the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department, a real board made up of multi-racial well educated business people that can understand Law Enforcement issues and problems. Officers need to be more visible on foot and in patrol cars in areas of high crime especially at night when a majority of the crimes happen, not just come after the guy got shot. We need less DUI checkpoints and have those same officers go door to door to homes, businesses, condos and apartments, bang on those doors and ask if everything is okay tonight.
9) In short, City Council and the Mayor’s Office has been a pretty big failure since the 1960’s, and it’s time to put together new leadership, a better educated experienced business group to better oversee the spending of our millions of dollars in tax revenue and promoting our city in a much better way than we have up to this point.
There are many more ideas, these are just some of mine, what are yours?