Saturday, February 08, 2014

TKC BREAKING AND EXCLUSIVE NEWS!!! COLLISION COURSE: WESTPORT MOGUL BILL NIGRO SPEAKS OUT AGAINST THE KANSAS CITY TOY TRAIN STREETCAR!!!



The Kansas City business community is now starting to show serious signs of skepticism about the economic development promises made by proponents of streetcar expansion.

To wit . . . And in an EXCLUSIVE telephone interview last night . . .

WESTPORT MOGUL BILL NIGRO BLASTS STREETCAR CHEERLEADERS WHO DON'T HAVE RELIABLE ECONOMIC DATA TO BACK UP THEIR CLAIMS!!!

Mr. Nigro was inspired by recent fact checking from the Show-Me blog regarding the reality of eco-devo promises.

But the Westport club owner speaks from a far more personal and direct perspective and long history of doing business with local government.

"I feel like I'm constantly at war with City Hall and that's not that the way things should be for someone trying to provide jobs," Mr. Nigro said. "The City is often hostile toward business owners and the regulatory maze that we're expected to navigate is unbelievable."

Bill Nigro spoke about his transit experience with the KC Strip Trolley line and uses the venture as a starting point to voice serious skepticism about the viability of toy train streetcar expansion.

"I made the case and had a plan to turn the KC Strip around but there were a lot of bureaucrats who didn't do anything but remind us of all the red tape when it comes to transit in Kansas City," Mr. Nigro said. "We have some very nice people on the City Council but it's also important to remember that very few of them have real world business experience. They simply don't know what it's like to run a business and face the demands that government can create for someone creating jobs . . . That's why I'm skeptical of this streetcar expansion. The price tag alone should give everyone pause."

Additionally, this longtime Westport business-owner offered a rough estimate which calculated the possibility of a local sales tax spike to 11 percent with the addition of another streetcar levy.

"I love Kansas City. But how many of these expensive mistakes can we afford to make? When we get to the point of $30 million+ for a mile of streetcar line, we need to ask: When is this insanity going to stop? I've asked the city if they've done a study about our rate of taxation vs. Kansas with the added streetcar sales tax and I got nothing. The question stumped them. Before we go any further, we need to determine if we're putting ourselves at a competitive disadvantage in the Economic Border War with so many new taxes."

And here's the kicker . . .

BILL NIGRO MIGHT SOON BRING OTHER KANSAS CITY BUSINESS OWNERS AND SPECIAL GUESTS TO DEBATE THE MERITS OF THE TOY TRAIN STREETCAR!!!

The Westport mogul has an impressive list of contacts and his potential opposition to the streetcar represents a serious roadblock for toy train streetcar advocates who have already been met with a bevy of challenges.

Developing . . .

51 Comments:

Anonymous said...

On this one, Bill has a point about the promises.

Remember last time around the city promised KCMO a pro sports team downtown and we're still waiting on that one.

Anonymous said...

"There are some nice people on the city council".
Actaully a couple of them are nice, but I'm not sure that's a criterion for being at the top of the pyramid of a complex billion dollar operation.
Not only do most of them know nothing about business. More importantly, most of them don't know anything about LOCAL GOVERNMENT. And they really don't care about crappy streets, a murder rate over 100 a year, water pipes that regularly break, fixing the business regulation system that Nigro mentions, or any of the other basics that residents and business alike depend on.
Instead they subsidize anyone with a pulse who promises to build something, give away tax money with no discernible criteria or accountability for results, and race around pandering to every little self-concocted group imaginable.
And until KC elects some folks who are more interested in their jobs and responsiblities than themselves and their amateurish political careers, nothing much is going to change for the better.
All aboard.

Anonymous said...

Wait. Isn't this the guy who conned taxpayers into paying for drunk party busses? The same guy who fought Westport becoming less drunk trash party zone?

Anonymous said...

7:18 nailed it. Sadly our elected officials would be over their heads as a McDonald's assistant manager. It is really depressing to talk with them and realize how little they know.

Anonymous said...

The only thing that Bill Nigro knows about running a business is how to earn sweetheart deals from the city to pull his businesses out of the shitter.

The man cannot turn a profit without Dutch Newman calling city staff or Councilmembers voting for special Nigro rules in return for cash.

Give OUR Money Back Bill said...

We would have a lot more money to use for city services including mass transit if Bill Nigro would give back all the abatement & "special service" money he receives from the city.

Anonymous said...

Someone at The Star should look into all the special treatment Bill Nigro has received from the City over the last 30 years alone. Mind boggling indeed.

Bill Wants More Money said...

If the city decides to build a spur of the main line down Westport Road, Bill Nigro will call the street car "the best Kansas City business decision of the last 1000 years."

Anonymous said...

As, um, interesting as the personal attacks on Nigro are, they don't really address the streetcar issue/folly.

Anonymous said...

And all the attacks on Nigro just show how the city government really works.
Insider deals; who you know; special treatment; noses in the trough.
Only the names change. And even there, not enough of them.
World class.

seanot said...

I wish Bill and others would have gotten on the bandwagon sooner. It's a given that there isn't enough common sense in city government to handle basic maintenance issues. But they all think that they are eco-dev geniuses when the snake oil salesman comes calling with free drinks and promises.

I was at a forum on start-ups a couple months back and the mayor pro tem was the requisite government hack on the panel. When asked why she thought there had been an uptick in start-ups over the last couple of years she replied, "because she had become mayor pro tem". Not a soul laughed so after an awkward pause she said... nothing ineligible.

It's worth noting that as the city of Detroit was preparing to file for bankruptcy, the most cited concern among their council members was how they were going to continue their monorail project.

seanot said...

I wish Bill and others would have gotten on the bandwagon sooner. It's a given that there isn't enough common sense in city government to handle basic maintenance issues. But they all think that they are eco-dev geniuses when the snake oil salesman comes calling with free drinks and promises.

I was at a forum on start-ups a couple months back and the mayor pro tem was the requisite government hack on the panel. When asked why she thought there had been an uptick in start-ups over the last couple of years she replied, "because she had become mayor pro tem". Not a soul laughed so after an awkward pause she said... nothing ineligible.

It's worth noting that as the city of Detroit was preparing to file for bankruptcy, the most cited concern among their council members was how they were going to continue their monorail project.

Anonymous said...

The reason Nigro isn't listened to very much anymore is he played himself into the scapegoat in and around he and Bill George's Trolley scam. George has bought his way out of his role but Nigro doesn't have the juice. He's right for a change on the Toy Train...it sucks.

Anonymous said...

Bill Nigro is a FAPPN all-star

Anonymous said...

You can only hold your frustrations in for so long. Sly and company are out of control.


Hyperblogal said...

He's right.

Carl, Mission Hills said...

So now after all this time Nigro wants to step out and say this is a stupid development.

It's plain to see that Nigro has at last figured out this is going to maybe end up costing him more money. He's a media troll who is going to try and launch a save KC from the trolley movement. What I would like to know and see proven and not from just Bill's mouth, is did he in fact ever pay the city back for his failed trolley BS.

Anonymous said...

This city had a trolley system before correct? What happened to it? History here is important. Has anyone looked at why it went away?

Anonymous said...

General Motors convinced municipal transport companies buses were a better idea (a better idea for GM).

True!

Anonymous said...

Bill Nigro, professional urban planner and transit expert.

Anonymous said...

Transit expert = one who thinks people prefer the Amish bus to the auto.

Anonymous said...

A thought provoking post TKC. Not much pandering to the racists, gun nuts, and cum guy.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

business owners need to chill on thinking they run shit, not just cuz saying they operate without city support is absurdly disingenuous, but also because being a business owner does not mean you get to choose the regulatory environment in which you operate. unless your like the koch brothers and write the rules everyone else has to operate in. also bill nigro just creeps me out. he just seems sketch.

Anonymous said...

Hate to break last decades news to you 1056 buy Auto use in America is flatlined and transit use is rising steadily (even in 15 yrs behind the times Kansas City)

Carl, Mission Hills said...

11:41 your a fool that's based on high gas prices and the economy as a whole. You pro street/trolley car people try and tweak everything.

Craig Glazer said...

First I am proud to say Bill Nigro is one of my closest friends. If not for Bill, Westport may be long gone. He busts his ass for that area and our city. In this case Bill is way right, waste of money the 'new loser streetcar plan'...we don't need it. WE HAVE LITTLE TRAFFIC TO BEING WITH AND NOBODY WHO HAS A CAR WILL USE IT...Bill is right...lets spend the money on areas who support our city, the Plaza, Brookside, Waldo, Westport, Downtown...Christ...I wish Bill would run for Mayor...but he knows better, this town is way too hard to fix.

Anonymous said...

Westport is long gone.

Anonymous said...

11:41 is a fool.
EVERY single "project" that KCMO approves for downtown requires vehicle parking, just like all throughout the rest of the metro. Part of the reason for the reduction in miles driven is due to the fact that more folks work closer to where they live and don't have to communte "downtown" from places live Lee's Summit and Overland Park.
And a sizable percentage of the creative class of millenials and hipsters don't earn enough to even be able to afford vehicles themselves. In fact, 36% of them still live at home.
If folks want to live in downtown KCMO, that's great. But please mix at least a couple facts and just a little serious thought into the "urban futurist" Koolaid punch bowl.

Rico Suave said...

but the Uptown mall is JAM-PACKED, thanx to the mega-success of Stanfords Uptown!

that's where we need a spur line to!

on more urgent matters, Tony should have a "Best boobs of the week" vote -

I nominate that Gasson chick from a couple days ago-
"supple yet pouty"

CG said...

Stanfords was NOT part of the Uptown rebuild, we did a short winter series to get ready for a new club in the area NOT THERE though...we said that from jump street. The Uptown mentioned us in their efforts to jump start the area. Good luck.

CG said...

Based on what success should tax payers trust this plan? 18th and Vine, River Market, Downtown, Union Station. I rest my case. There is no reason to do this sure to be mess. Where does it work? We have no tourism, so how does this do anything but waste needed funds? Put them to use where we can benefit, mid-town, Plaza, Westport. By the way haters Westport is way back..on the upswing, much busier than years past and far less crime. The urban issue is close to over in that area, as much as it can be anywhere. Those merchants do a great job, with no help from the city to speak of, no dough.

CG said...

The bigger question is clear...SUPPORT YOUR TAX BASE KCMO, INVEST IN THE BUSINESS AREAS THAT PAY 'YOU' WESTPORT, PLAZA,WALDO, BROOKSIDE, CROSS ROADS...where is the leadership? How can you not see that. A streetcar system to areas that are little used to begin with. WHAT? Upgrade Westport streets and roads, bring in new anchor biz there and the Plaza, Brookside and Waldo. Pretty clear that might work.

Anonymous said...

He is very white for a nigro. More nigros should own businesses.

KC FAN said...

Glazer I remember when you were going to run for mayor years back. I know your dad replaced you and did well the first time, but lost to Barnes. I think you'd have won. Too bad you got your tail in a bind. Could have used you buddy.

Anonymous said...

Phase 2 costs are in 2019 dollars and generally work out to about $60 million per mile. - - Transit KC

Anonymous said...

Proof that CG doesn't write his weekly columns himself.

Anonymous said...

HARLEYS TAKE:

See whats happening in jersey with
your friend chris Christie?
see what they did with sandy
storm money that was to be used
to rebuild taxpayers homes and
infrastructure. It went to a
luxury hotel...a senior citizen
center....redevelopement projects
for christies political backers
and now mr. Christie is now not
only in trouble of being impeached
but I predict when all the evendience comes in he will be
serving time.
Ifsomeone was to actually get
the information about these
types of projects and what is
really going on we would see
that its probably not a sound
project.
A streetcar to carry people
down a street? Who's going to
ride it. And for what purpose.
Im in joco...I drive down those
streets where this street car
project is going.
Who will ride this thing.
and where are they going?
power and light. Will 18-34 year olds ride a streetcar down a
street to go drinking?
Will the urban core citizens ride
it.
Will it be another losing tax
propostion for the city of kcmo.
No matter what people say in
Kansas...a strong/prosperous
Kansas city Missouri is crucial.
We can't live or exist without
a strong vibrant city.
Kansaas city can't face another
tax mistake....and from reading
the stories and driving the
area where this is going its
appearing to be one of the worst
decisions made.
We rode the trolley to thebars
one time...too slow...too
boring....a waste of time.
But the concept was strong....
the public wouldn't buy it.
Probablybecause who wants to
stand outside waiting for a trolley that takes twice as
long to get you to a bar
than if you drove yourself.
The same people with the trolley came out with 10/10 taxi for
us in joco...and its a huge huge success...because there was a huge need for that service.
There was no taxi's in joco!!!!
If you had a dui and couldn't drive...you used 10/10.
Seniors who can't drive regulary use 10/10 taxi out here to
get to the grocery store...doctors...shopping...
etc.
A brilliant idea and now you see them everywhere.
But there was a huge void and the geniuses there filled that void.
who needs a streetcar.
will it bring more tourists..will it be used...but most importantly show me where there was a void or a built in market for a streetcar to haul people down the street.
There was none!!! Show me the
report that showed people would use it and it would be
self sustaining financially.
We have a mini new jersey on in kcmo. Wheres the money.
It's not mine...I won't contribute. I won't ride. I
won't have to be sadled with the extra costs when the cars are
empty or filled with homeless
looking for a warm place to rest.
Open your eyes. Harley says someone is making big money
on this fiasco. The money has
a trail. Someone go find it.
The kc star used to do this..now they cant because they're out of that investigative business.
Chris Christie...new jersey.
Illinois...5 governors in jail for corruption.
KANSAS CITY TAXPAYERS BETTER TAKE BACK THEIR CITY BEFORE ITS THE
NEW DETROIT AND THE TV STATIONS ARE WATCHING SOME BIG MONEY PEOPLE MAKING PERP WALKS!
Harley is always right. Harley can smell the stench.
Harley can feel and pick up the truth without even seeing the
players.
HARLEY WILL BE PROVEN CORRECT...
thanks...
your friend
Harley

Anonymous said...

I'm all for the toy train --IF it's a first step towards a true metro rail.

The Burlington tracks parallel I-35 from south JoCo right to Union Station -- commuters hop off there, and catch the toy train to downtown.

Anonymous said...

Or how about the commuters just work in JoCo or Lee's Summit and spend 15 minutes in a car instead of driving to a train station and riding trains for an hour then paying an extra 1% tax. That may be the city you want but for most its not.

Anonymous said...

3:26 +1

Anonymous said...

Everyone seems to have overlooked something, The new taxing districts wlll have to have and pay a lease agreement with the downtown district to use the maintenace barn for the street cars repairs and the street cars themselves as they are being paid for by the taxing district that stops at Crown Center. It is unlawful for one taxing district to provide equipment or services paid for by taxpayers in a different district. Hello, thats like sending the fire trucks up to Gladstone to use for the week.

Anonymous said...

One more indication that KCMO is just a declining, ghetto suburb of the regional economic powerhouse just across the Kansas border.

Anonymous said...

Just fucking brilliant, Craig Glazer, with a cheap ass rug, and being one of KC biggest fags, calling Bill Nigro, the Donald Trump of Westport, one of his best friends. Now if this isn't a crock of shit, I have never heard of one. Two of the biggest cons in Westport, both of whom bled the KC taxpayers to death to keep their own poor business decisions afloat, now chirping about the Toy Train. Next they will want to move the fucking polar bear to Westport. Time to elect Pootie Tang. At least Pootie Tang admits he is a pimp, unlike Glazer and Nigro.

Anonymous said...

If you eat downtown you pay a 10% tax,also extra fees for the men in yellow then another 15% increase in your water and sewer tax[every year],plus more for the Zoo,more tax for the streetcars, When will it end.

Anonymous said...

@2:17pm
First ONLY around 16% of all the jobs in the metro are in downtown KCMO, so any rail from Olathe north would be serving a small percentage of a very small percentage of commuters.
Secondly, that idea was studied FOR YEARS and at the cost of millions of dollars and the result was a plan to have buses run on I-35 shoulders.
The railroads own the tracks in both JoCo and JaCo and they have repeated indicated that they HAVE NO INTEREST in modifying their lucrative freight traffic for passenger trains.
If trains are your thing, spend some time riding AMTRAC from Boston to DC and back to get your fill. But around the KC metro any notion of the vast expense of rail with the spread out and low-density populations is a fantasy.

Mark O'brian/DC said...

I like Glazer and Nigro. I have no information either of them did anything with city money except improve Westport. What little money they had from KC politicos. Good people.

Anonymous said...

First Glazer fucking shows how stupid he is, and right on his heels is Harely showing how stupid he is. Now Harley has not posted shit in here for some time but all of a sudden right after Glazer does, he does. Anybody else seeing that as a bit strange?

So Glazer who lives in KS and has a business in KS wants to say how it should be here in KCMO as he pumps up Nigro. Stay over in KS convict; we have enough of those in KCMO now as it is. Glazers slobbering over Nigro sounds to me like one male giving the other male a blowjob. Any bets that while in federal prison Glazer learned how to do that very well?

Anonymous said...

Nigro does look gay in that picture

Pootie Tang said...

Carl from Mission Hills, negro, come back witz my campaign money. You drink all my Ripple, run off wit my ho's and abscoundrel wit my campaign money. I have replaced you as Treasurer. Flint Lock is goin to handle my moneyz from nows on. Damn Carl...we waz tight bro and you turn JOCO Cracker onz me.

Anonymous said...

Bill will never get out and do anything but talk. He won't give any money for fighting the ballot measures he thinks that his opinion will win.

Anonymous said...

I hear that some of the former guys who fought lightrail are reforming. Sly is the now earning this groups concern. Former Mayor Kay B. had to contend with them for nearly her whole time in office.