Kansas City Rail Activist Clay Chastain Rages Against City Hall Over Ballot Language
The latest local fight over a citywide streetcar initiative from one of the most prolific activists in Kansas City. Checkit:
Clay Chastain: City must place before voters rapid citywide rail petition initiative in "its original form."
Like toxic sludge gurgling up again from below, here comes the Sly James' Administration to foul the rapid citywide rail petition initiative (from the people) slated for the August election.
Mayor Sly James and the Council have approved the legal department's manipulative, vague and deceptive rail petition ballot language that is deliberately designed to make Chastain's rail initiative look unattractive to voters. The scheming city wants voters to think Chastain's rail petition plan lacks details, is not well thought out and merely seeks to expand (Willy-nilly) the city's archaic (slow running, frequently stopping, operating in traffic) downtown streetcar system. When in fact, not only are Chastain's rail routes detailed, but his plan also provides details on how to transform a limited downtown rail system (of little transit value) into a fast moving, infrequently stopping and citywide rail system of far greater transit value, and that will operate in "transit greenways" separated from traffic!
Not only does the City's distorted ballot title (language) not reconcile with the intent of Chastain's rapid citywide rail initiative, it also violates Section 712 of the City's charter which states the ballot title must be a, "concise and unprejudiced statement of the substance of such ordinance." The City's proposed ballot language may be concise, but it clearly is prejudiced and does not comport with the substance of Chastain's petition plan.
The City has become to rail initiatives from the people what a heavy hail storm is to crops in the field.
Fortunately, the City's charter gives petitioners recourse for such municipal misconduct where it states, "If the council fails...to pass it (ordinance) in a form different from that set forth in the petition, the committee of petitioners herein provided for may require that it may be submitted to a vote of the electors in its original form. If the committee of petitioners requires the submission of the proposed ordinance to the electors, they shall so certify to the City Clerk within 10-days after the final action by the council."
Today Chastain and the committee of petitioners officially certified to the City Clerk they want the rapid rail petition initiative ordinance placed before KCMO voters in August "in its original form."
Clay Chastain, leader of the rapid citywide rail petition initiative.
You decide . . .