Wednesday, May 13, 2009
One more time through the TIF, H&R Block, J.E. Dunn, MBE Controversy Muck!!!
The fact that The Star isn't covering the current MBE, H&R Block, J. E. Dunn, TIF controversy is a rather obvious sign that it's really no big deal if the paper-of-record goes out of business . . . Which I hope happens in the next five years.
Anyhoo . . . Unlike any reporters from The Star, I check out today's TIF commission meeting and I wasn't disappointed.
Philip Yelder of Kansas City's Human Relations Department relayed the details of a recent report to the Commission that TKC readers had early this morning . . . Note that the TIF Commission still hasn't made the paperwork available to the public at large and probably won't anytime soon.
I found it funny that TIF Commissioners and the Human Relations Department officials went out of their way to discredit a previous report that TKC readers can now check out at their leisure . . . Along with a Nell McAndrew bikini model mega photo gallery.
Money quotes from Yelder related to his report:
"J.E. Dunn was aware of the arrangement." - In context of responsibility for MBE contracts not being carried out in "good faith."
"All of the parties (were) involved in the effort to inflate participation numbers" - A point reiterated by a TIF Commissioner.
The members of the TIF Commission seem to be tired of the controversy and want to put the issue to rest quickly.
"The time for closure is now" said one TIF Commissioner.
Lawyers for H&R Block, Allen Halquist and J.E. Dunn's John Sullivan begged for more time and promised more information regarding the alleged Minority contracting number boosting scheme.
H&R Block's dude was definitely smooth and cited the company's attempt to get close to the goal numbers excluding this one instance . . . And I couldn't help but think:
THIS EGREGIOUS INSTANCE OF INFLATING MINORITY PARTICIPATION NUMBERS ON THE H&R BLOCK PROJECT PUTS THE REST OF THEIR STATS IN QUESTION!!!
Essentially, the argument that H&R Block makes is that they've really done a great job including minority contractors AS PART OF THE TERMS OF THEIR TIF AGREEMENT in all of the other instances when it wasn't clearly demonstrated that they faked the numbers by a City Hall report. Ostensibly, Kansas City taxpayers are supposed to believe that they did great when they weren't caught cheating.
A TIF commissioner shrewdly noted that H&R Block is on the line for any judgment or finding against the MBE practices in case.
Nevertheless, they were granted more time and there's going to be YET ANOTHER MEETING that should bring a final TIF Commission verdict.
May 27th is the next TIF Commission meeting that should bring this case to a conclusion . . . To wit, I expect more coverage from The Star on urban chicken news rather than examining the TIF and Downtown Development schemes that have essentially cut out Kansas City's minority community and made local government seem as if it's for sale.