Saturday, May 13, 2017
Kansas City Transit Activist Clay Chastain Family Feud And Open Letter To City Council
Quick update amid the transit debate season . . . Here's local radio doing a bit of behind the scenes research and follow-up on Clay's voting status and his sis doing some trash talk . . .
KMBZ: Chastain's sister questions motives behind light rail activist's campaign
In fairness, and more in line with a local legislative issue . . . Check Clay's complaint and statement to the Council on the status of his petition. Checkit:
Chastain's open letter to 12-council members urging them to reject Mayor James' forced attempt to corrupt August mass transit petition election
To all 12 members of the KCMO City Council from KC activist Clay Chastain,
The KCMO City Council must stand up to Mayor James' on-going hostility toward valid petitions from the people (light rail petitions, convention hotel petitions, airport petitions, streetcar petitions, etc) and his corrupted attempts to undermine their success with voters, just because they challenge his flawed leadership.
In our case, Mayor James, abetted by the city's legal department, is deliberately attempting to corrupt and undermine the August mass transit petition election by placing before voters a distorted, confusing and unattractive mass transit petition proposal that does not reflect, in any way shape or form, the original stated intent of that petition proposal. In fact, James and the city's legal staff never even consulted with me or the committee of petitioners before unilaterally taking our plan and writing their own corrupted version of it The city's corrupted ballot version incredulously refers to the mass transit petition proposal as both promoting a streetcar system and a light rail system. How confusing and stupid is that? The city's corrupted version also vaguely calls for "extending the city's streetcar system in several different directions." It does not. The petition calls for transforming the city's streetcar system into a rapid citywide rail system operating along certain specified routes and within designated right of ways separated from traffic.
Remember in 2014 when Mayor James and the city's legal staff led the council in placing their own corrupted version of a valid light rail petition proposal before the voters and astoundingly it did not even include the words light rail? James and the city's legal department are now using a similar corrupt political tactic to try, yet again, to sabotage a rail petition initiative election.
I do not believe the full council understands they are being used, conned and deliberately misled by a sly, bully-acting mayor and his obsequious acting legal staff.
Ordinance No.170041 is a con job concocted by James and the city's legal staff that disrespects the recent Missouri Supreme Court ruling (it ordered the city to stop legally challenging valid petitions from the people and place them before voters without delay) and the stated will of the voters who signed the petition. Its devious aim is to try and con voters into thinking the petition proposal merely proposes extending the city's current streetcar system in whatever vague way suits the city.
No one should doubt that James' underhanded and ill-conceived motive is merely designed to get voters to reject the petition-sponsored mass transit ballot measure because it directly competes with a James'-supported plan to extend the city's existing streetcar line to the Plaza via a restricted (TDD) election in which citywide voters will have no say.
What's more, no where in the charter does the charter explicitly direct the city to concoct their own version of a petition proposal. Why would the people want the government to rewrite the ballot language for a petition that is attempting to go around the government? Furthermore, on the very face of the petition are instructions from the signers of the petition explicitly directing the city to place the petition proposal, in its original form, before the voters.
I urge the council to right this wrong, bring honesty and transparency back to Kansas City's government and pass a new replacement ordinance next Thursday that puts this mass transit petition proposal before KC voters in its original form!
Clay Chastain...leader and committee spokesperson for the current rail petition proposal slated for the August ballot.