TKC EXCLUSIVE!!! COUNCIL DUDE SCOTT WAGNER AND STEVE GLORIOSO MAKE NORTHEAST KANSAS CITY NEIGHBORHOOD GROUP TOY TRAIN STREETCAR PITCH!!!
The effort to convince Kansas City voters to vote for TDD expansion is now taking a full court press going door-to-door and throughout local neighborhoods.
And so . . .
TONIGHT LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT HOW KICK-ASS TKC TIPSTER REVIEWING THE NEIGHBORHOOD TOY TRAIN STREETCAR PHASE DEUX PITCH!!!
Moreover . . .
A FEW MORE INSIGHTFUL READERS HAVE TAKEN ISSUE WITH COUNCIL DUDE WAGNER PLAYING TOY TRAIN PITCH MAN BUT THAT'S LIFE KANSAS POLITICS NOWADAYS!!!
Here's the testimony that not only includes some great info about STREETCAR FINANCES but also questions FUTURE COSTS that a great many voters are forgetting.
Overall, this is a critical but fair analysis and a look at how THOUGHTFUL KANSAS CITY VOTERS are being presented the issue in their neighborhoods . . .
Councilman Wager In Indian Mound
Last night, Indian Mound Neighborhood Association heard from both Connect KC and SMART KC. Councilman Scott Wagner, former Indian Mound president, was representing Connect KC, accompanied by Steve Glorioso. They were aware that streetcar is unpopular over here, so Wagner volunteered to give the presentation because he knows a lot of us personally. It was a smart move, but I was disappointed with his presentation because he misstated a lot of facts, and Steve Glorioso had to correct him more than once. I'm not sure if he was being intentionally deceitful or if he was just mistaken, but he never acted unsure of anything he said. There's no harm in admitting you don't know the answer to something, or ever deferring to Steve Glorioso, but he answered every question with confidence, even in cases where I knew he was wrong.
At one point he went out of his way to confuse the issue I brought up regarding the unfairness of the residents living inside the current TDD getting another vote despite facing no tax increase. At first, he claimed that they would not vote on August 5, but Steve jumped in and pointed out that in fact, they were eligible; so Councilman Wagner's follow up was to focus on the fact that the August 5 ballot was only to expand the TDD, claiming that they would not be voting to raise other people's taxes. Of course I could see through it; downtown residents have been bragging on Twitter for weeks that they have nothing to lose by voting YES on August 5, but I'm not sure everyone in the room was following this logic because he intentionally confused the issue by ignoring the fact that if the TDD is expanded with the help of people living the the current TDD, they're basically getting to vote twice without any additional tax burden.
I also asked Councilman Wagner if the money collected by the expanded TDD will pay for utility relocation, and he said that it does, which was news to me.
I haven't been able to confirm that as ENTIRELY false yet, but it doesn't add up. First of all, the water bonds we passed in April are already earmarked to be spent on sewer relocation along the FUTURE streetcar lines. Secondly, we know that the original TDD did not include utility relocation in their $102M price tag, and if you consider that even after the money collected by the TDD is matched by the Federal Government, there is still a $50M shortfall of the entire cost of the project, then it is evident that KC taxpayers outside of the TDD will no doubt be responsible for SOME PART of this streetcar bill in the form of a cut in city services (bus service, public safety, infrastructure repair, etc) so again, the councilman was not being up front with us.
After Connect KC and SMART KC had both given their presentations, I'm not sure if any of the Indian Mound residents had changed their positions regarding streetcar, but I definitely noticed the handful of residents that support the streetcar make some unpleasant faces when they learned some of the unfair costs and burdens that the streetcar will create. I believe people who like the idea of the streetcar will justify ANY cost because to them, simply having a rail system will create the appearance of a public improvement whether or not it has a negative impact on the city's budget. The fact that PIAC funds were being used to study streetcar was particularly unpopular. We have to fight tooth and nail for every dollar of improvements for our neighborhood, and for a large portion of that money to be earmarked before we even get to present our LONG list of infrastructure repairs for the next two or more years is a bitter pill for us to swallow.