Saturday, December 30, 2017

KANSAS CITY TAX FIGHTERS: WHO REPS VOTERS AMID NEW AIRPORT TALKS???



An important fact check on the negotiations process and behind the scenes discussion.

Also, another reminder . . .

KANSAS CITY TAXPAYERS ARE ALREADY PAYING BIG BUCKS FOR THE NEW AIRPORT AND SO ELECTION PROMISES HAVE BEEN BETRAYED FROM THE START!!!

Here's the word that includes essential financial data that other news outlets have failed to report . . .

Does KCMO need a new legal team on the airport ? ??

KCMO hired the Husch-Blackwell (HB) and another law firm to negotiate with the Edgemoor, the winners on the airport proposal, on behalf of the voters in KCMO. HB failed to disclose they worked for Edgemoor in the recent pass and I believe an ex HB employee might be the CFO at Burns & McDonnell (B-M); which might not be relevant now but was when B-M was in the game. These both could be conflicts of interest and should have been disclosed.

Last week our City Council passed another resolution or ordinance to pay $481,130 (171011) to HB and the other firm. The council also authorized $475,000 early on and if our memory serves us right, there was at least a third allocation of funds in between. That’s getting pretty close to $1,500,000 in fees for these firms and we have basically nothing to show for it! Both firms, we believe, have touted their experience with building the Denver airport (which is considered the biggest airport debacle of all time, see below). Denver was three years late and three plus billion dollars over budget.

It appears to us, these law firms have been working more for Edgemoor than the voters of KCMO.

We’re wondering if it isn’t time to switch law firms? All we have for $1.5MM is a boiler plate MOU that strongly favors the developer. It’s like something they copied from “Legal Zoom.com”. There are firms around the country that focus on this type of contract negotiations and would have no emotional ties or skin in the game. The Kansas City Missouri voters deserve the best representation if we’re going to pay this kind of money. CFRG believes it’s time to make the change.
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Developing . . .

25 Comments:

Anonymous said...

The airport is a disaster in the making. Shame on the people who sold is this phony bill of goods.

Anonymous said...

sLIE has your back people! Don’t you worry one bit, he would never waste any tax payer money on stupid crap like toy train or a hotel we don’t need or even an airport. Remember, he gets some of that money put back into his pocket so it’s not all bad! You lose he wins!!! SUCKERS!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Tony, I know for a fact that the CFO at Burns & Mac never worked at HB. He's not even an attorney. He a CPA and only worked at EY before moving to BM.

Anonymous said...

good questions.

is there a skilled financial advisor involved? lawyers aren't that good at structuring deals, just at putting them in writing.

it's seemed all along that financial expertise is missing. otherwise, the hare-brained early ideas never would have gotten any credence.

the early crony deal was going to be a complete ripoff. one can only hope that it's not a reference point in a new mou.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like business as usual with our city government. How many millions of tax payer/general fund money was/has been spent just to "study" things like the airport, the downtown hotel and streetcar? I'm sure if we knew that number our jaws would hit the floor.

Our local officials are NOT good stewards of our money. They see the general fund as a piggy bank to buy their toys (streetcar, hotel, airport studies, etc). To the point when we need actual needs like infrastructure, there's no money in the general fund and they have to issue a tax to fund the necessities because all the money that should be going to the necessities have been frivolously spent on their toys. See the GO-Bond vote, see the upcoming $300 million dollar capital improvements fund renewal vote.

What a wasteful, and borderline criminal local government we have. Zero transparency, zero accountability.

#KorruptCity

Anonymous said...

9:01 am. Perhaps not the CFO but rather the Chief Legal Counsel at B-M was at HB?

Tracy Thomas said...

The hits (on the taxpayer's pockets) just keep coming.

How about this--if Edgemoor built the Denver airport, it should be public record to review THAT MOU.

Someone request it. And then compare it to KCMO's version.

Husch is an arrogant high-priced firm. They like to claim to do original work. So let's just put the two MOU's side by side. Notate any plagiarized sentences. Calculate the percentage of copied homework. Then file a civil suit for misrepresentation or ethical misbehavior--that's still a thing, somewhere in our world, isn't it?

Then let's publish the list of Husch's clients. I bet they'd be interested to know what percentage of their $550 an hour billing is boilerplate. (I liked what Tony said--appears it could have come from LegalZoom.com.

(That's the online low budget legal website founded by Mr. Shapiro, who got OJ Simpson off of his murder charge. Indeed.)

KCMO used to have 26 lawyers, when I worked for Charlie Wheeler. His fabulous admin. assistant, the late Jerry Jette, suggested famously the way to distribute the work load was to line them up QWERTY style, and assign each City Hall attorney just ONE letter of the alphabet! Senior staffers would get to choose the best letters. E was the one they all wanted.

How many attorneys does the City employ currently? Just curious.

And on contracts over a certain amount, (used to be $25,000), it used to be the City Manager had to put contracts out for bid. Now I'm sure they did not do that in this case.

I figure, those ultra-rich contracts to Husch Blackwell and the unnamed "other firm" might best be stockpiling their fees and buying a big ass leather chair and a Lantz Welch style "king of the castle" baroque style desk for Lame Clown Sly James. A place for him to go when he's done pillaging Kansas City. Because I seriously doubt he's gonna go back to his little former law practice as a trial attorney and "arbitration expert lawyer". He's gonna want a deal like Jolie Justus has now--a set aside.

That's where a big law firm provides an office and funnels simple cases to someone, in return for their political patronage in all city contracts.


Anonymous said...

This city will continue with it's tradition of #KorruptCity until the day comes when more people like Patrick Tuohy and the CFRG guys step up to the plate and take back the city from the corporately owned politicians that seem to always claim seats inside city hall today.

Until that day comes, people like S'lie and his cronies will continue to bleed this city and the tax payers dry until there is nothing left but bankruptcy. By then S'lie and his crew will be long gone while we are left holding the bag.

#KorruptCity

Tracy Thomas said...

11:19--Run, Forrest, run.

I keep telling you. File for office.

c said...

The first comment in this section shamed the folks who sold the airport deal to the public. Wrong, the public should be ashamed to take the bait hook, line and sinker. Don't be Hillary and try to blame someone else. You (the public) were stupid enough to vote for this boondoggle and now we are all going to pay the price.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Tracy, can't run for City office, don't have any wealthy corporations backing me.

And for those of you that think this thing has been a Cluster.. uhhhh, "Hump" so far, just wait till it's over.

1) The revised $1.8 to $2 billion cost estimate will actually exceed $3 billion, easily.

2) The Edgemoor/B&M/Clarkson/Dunn Consortium will exceed financing, probably around the half-way mark, so the City will have to use Airport Bonds to give them enough financing to complete the project.

3) The 25-year old "Plastic Box" design will suffer the same problems currently being experienced at other locations, difficult heating and cooling, long Security lines, constant turn over of vendors and vacant "storefronts". Like Pittsburg, we'll have to consider replacement after about 15 years.

This assumes that the new Airport gets built at all, and that the Consortium doesn't just "pull a Trump" and walk away after paying themselves outrageous "Management Fees" and leave us stuck with the unfinished mess.

Cassandra would find this whole thing dismaying familiar.

Tracy Thomas said...

12:04--I think youre right about all of this.

so when they run out of money, THEN will they do the 2nd election??

But referencing Cassandra??? Obviously, 12:04--you attended a private school! Way over the heads of TKC readers, with the probable exception of Chuck!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Tracy, but I barely finished High School!
I simply understand what a Public Library is really for!

Tracy Thomas said...

12:18, you mean other than housing the homeless when it's bitterly cold?

If Chris Kemper does open the downtown library, this weekend, good for him. But it adds costs because the term homeless is not exactly the problem. By and large, that population is beset with mental illness...and they choose not to live in society. And of course, we don't have sufficient safety net and medical options.

One of my beefs is places like City Union Mission are obsessed with proselytizing and force-feeding their guests with their brand of my way or the high way makewrong Christianity. But that's for another post of Tony's.

Anonymous said...

the safety net doesn't work very well it seems.

it's because they refuse to approach it rigorously. it's other people's money and also they refuse to face facts and make tough decisions.

Anonymous said...

I would run for office Tracy. Unfortunately the roots of #KorruptCity run deep in our city. Unless you have a lot of money or backed by people with a lot of money, and are willing and able to put the people at risk for your own gains while furthering the gains of the rich elite you will have a hard time exacting change in this town. People like S'lie and Jolie Justus further this with their actions and the way they treat our tax dollars. The bad news is that there are too many people like S'lie and Jolie and not enough people like Tuohy and the CFRG guys. My hats off to people like Tuohy and the CFRG guys for getting the word out as best they can. Just there are just too many S'lies in this town and they are good at convincing the masses that it's raining when it's really urine.

I was not a fan of the way Funkhouser conducted business. But at least he prioritized the people over the rich elite in this town.

You know what's really sad? It's the fact that S'lie and his people demonize the CFRG guys and people who think like them and brand them as "Anti-Progress". No one, even Tuohy and the CFRG guys, are against progress. We/them are just against constantly giving away millions upon millions of city dollars to "assist" with private development. I've asked this over and over again, why do entities such as Cordish, Hyatt (and now Loews), need my tax dollars to make THEIR projects work? What do I get back from my unwilling "investment" in those projects? And since I get back little to nothing in return doesn't that mean that I am DONATING my tax dollars to those entities to assist them with THEIR private projects? And why do our elected officials constantly do this when it's been studied that what they are doing with our tax dollars DOES NOT generate the economic growth they so proudly try to sell?

It's irresponsible, it's madness and it's the very essence of insanity that our elected officials from S'lie, to Queen Kay to Cleaver and on and on keep doing it at the cost of the people they were "trusted" to serve.

#KorruptCity

Anonymous said...

I would run for office but I am too ethical so I am unqualified.

Byron Funkhouser said...

Also, you can't run as anonymous.

Tracy Thomas said...

Byron for the win!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, must disagree, Byron and Tracy-

Slick Sly's predecessor, "Old What's His Name?" ran as Anonymous and won!

And statements such as yours would preclude worthy candidates such as that noted philosopher and author, Androcles Anonymous from ever serving, should they ever settle in these here parts.

Anonymous said...

Byron's comment was just stupid. He want's names so he can "blindly" harass you. I've told him my name for years but he says I'm not who I say I am. I don't bother anymore.

Anonymous said...

Apollo said...
I disagree with Tracy.

Anonymous said...

How many is Tracy putting up in her JOCO warm home? Steve Andre' wants to know

Byron Funkhouser said...

5:00. bullshit. I don't harass you. You harass me. That's the point of the "blindly" comment.

So, you are either the person pretending to be Terry Murray, or the person pretending to be Lou Palamo. But then, I never believe anything anonymous people say, especially about themselves.

Only a stalker would call my comment stupid.

It was a joke, like you.

Anonymous said...

Keeping a list Byron???