Tuesday, November 14, 2017


Embattled Jackson County Executive Frank White advocates a coalition of stakeholders in order to solve the ongoing crisis at the jail.

Taking a page from the book of Kansas City Mayor Sly James, Exec White reached out to leaders across the metro in order to work toward solutions. Credit where it's due, there was an important inclusion of law enforcement in his cast of characters along with representation from the courts.

But here's the big question . . .


Leadership style has been the main complaint against the current administration and so, for better or worse, the inclusiveness of this task force goes a long way toward creating a broader range of support beyond Exec Frank White's celebrity status as a baseball legend.

More importantly . . . Increasing debt taken on by the county shouldn't be overlooked . . . A $15-20 MILLION bond issue confirms previous TKC reporting of money problems confronting the Courthouse.

We've highlighted the most relevant sections of today's presser and local politico power players recruited for this effort . . . Checkit:

Jackson County Executive announces Jail Task Force

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – As a part of ongoing efforts to improve the Jackson County Detention Center, Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. today announced members of a Jail Task Force and its mission at the Jackson County Courthouse in downtown Kansas City.

The Jail Task Force will independently assess Jackson County’s criminal justice system and make recommendations to reduce overcrowding, increase efficiencies and improve safety.

“The HOK study left no doubt that a substantial investment is needed,” White said. “I want to make it clear that I am not opposed to a new jail, but I have yet to be convinced that we need a bigger jail.”

The Jail Task Force will be asked to analyze, in part, the following primary issues:

- Current maintenance and staffing costs
- Current and future capacity needs
- Regional cooperation
- Recidivism prevention measures
- Alternatives to incarceration
- New facility construction vs. Current facility renovation

Understanding these issues will help the Task Force make recommendations to Jackson County that outline short and long-term sustainability options.

Members of the Jail Task Force include:

- John Fierro, President/CEO Mattie Rhodes Center – Co-Chair
- Gayle Holliday, Freedom Inc. President – Co-Chair
- Jean Peters Baker, Jackson County Prosecutor
- Alvin Brooks, Community Activist
- Scott Burnett, Jackson County Legislature Chairman
- Alissia Canady, KCMO City Councilwoman 5th District
- Carol Coe, Lawyer/Former County Legislator/Former City Councilwoman
- Karen Curls, MCC Division of Social Science Chair
- Niki Lee Donawa, TMC Chief Community Relations Officer
- State Rep. Brandon Ellington, District 22
- Lisa Pelofsky, CEO Pelofsky & Associates
- Mike Schumacher, Assistant to the City Manager KCMO
- Mike Sharp, Jackson County Sheriff
- Judge John Torrence, Presiding Judge Circuit Court Division 14

Over the course of six months, the Jail Task Force will conduct its analysis and provide information to the County Executive and the County Legislature. At the conclusion of six months, the Jail Task Force will provide a comprehensive report on its findings and recommendations.

“I look forward to serving as a co-chair of the Jail Task Force and ensuring that our County dollars are property invested,” said John Fierro, President/CEO of the Mattie Rhodes Center. “There will be tough decisions along the way, but I know we will be successful as long as we’re working together to ensure the safety of our corrections officers and detainees.”

On Wednesday, the County Executive is recommending the largest budget increase in Department of Corrections (DOC) history. It includes a $15-$20 million bond issue to fund emergency safety and security repairs to the jail and increasing the starting wage for corrections officers to $15/hour. When White took office two years ago, Jackson County paid its associates ONE-THIRD less than that of its neighboring counties. His proposal aligns the County with the market pay rate.

Additionally, the County Executive is recommending funding to support a consultant, who will conduct a master plan and help oversee the work of the Jail Task Force. Members will participate in the consultant selection process.

“We appreciate all the input from all our partners in the community,” said Joe Piccinini, Department of Corrections Director. “We’re looking forward to working with the Jail Task Force and making progress to enhance the safety and security of our facilities now and in the future.”

“The public deserves a voice in this too,” White said. “Before we make such a significant investment of taxpayer dollars, we must engage our community in this discussion along with key task force stakeholders.”

The public will have the opportunity to participate in open dialogue during listening sessions to be announced at a later date. Citizens are encouraged to submit their questions, concerns and ideas for the Jail Task Force to consider by calling (816) 881-6461 or emailing jailtaskforce@jacksongov.org.

Developing . . .


Anonymous said...

The team building angle speaks to Frank's better angles. Hope to see some follow-through on this.

Jameson said...

There were some good suggestions here a few weeks ago. Moving the jail out of downtown is the best one. Using it as a holding or transfer facility might be an option but for the most part the days of people staying there for weeks or moths at a time should be over. That's just an old idea that needs to be dropped.

Anonymous said...

So why did the county spend all that money on consultants? So Frank White could ignore them and kick the can down the road another six months?

Anonymous said...

Frank sucks so bad he makes David and Dan Glass look good.

Anonymous said...

That committee is full of friends for him or part of the system. Not much if anything tangible will change.

Anonymous said...

That's a who's who group of losers. This will be expensive.

Anonymous said...

Spend spend spend spend spend spend!

Anonymous said...

Just what KCMO needs another Task Force to Study the problem.

CR said...

Some of this money will save from lawsuits in the long run, you can't have a Jail where the inmates are in charge.

Anonymous said...

And THIS is ho the county went broke too. Thanks Frank!

Anonymous said...

If you move the jail far from the courthouse, how much are you going to spend transporting people to the courtrooms? How will lawyers access their clients? There are lots of angles here.

Anonymous said...

Carol code is nuts! I mean she really is nuts, she’s been disbarred from being a lawyer, she lives in a burned up house that has been condemned by the city and did I mention she’s nuts!!!!

Super Dave said...

Who in their right mind made up that awful list?

This is an early April Fools joke right?

Wyatt Earp, Dodge City said...

With some of the stunts Carol Coe has pulled she should be in the damn jail.

Anonymous said...

Mike schumacher is the biggest whore hound you’ll ever come across, you wait and see how many at #MeToo’s start calling him a sexual predator

Anonymous said...

Super Dave NAILS it. This is a ship of fools and it is how the County is sending us all down the river on this jail. Can't wait to see the cost on the new jail. 20 million is just the starting point.

Anonymous said...

Let's rename it "The Frank White Detention Center".

Anonymous said...

You movers and shakers in KCMO should be getting some real price breaks on all these construction projects. Airport, jail, hotel ... you’re on a roll!

Anonymous said...

So another task force...
He really might want a steering committee to be formed from a sub-committee that could include a task force committee that could appoint a committee that would be in charge of just a committee.
Frank was a gold glove ball player that couldn’t hit his way out of a paper sack and I am not sure why his relationship with the Royals is strained, but clearly he is way over his head and now is the time to resign and get a big rocking chair and sell a few autographs on eBay.

Anonymous said...

Frank is in over his head. This just sounds like another Dover Group gut fest.

Anonymous said...

I don't see wick and the tricks CD release party on the list?

Anonymous said...

50% blacks

Anonymous said...

Coe has zero credibility.
As you see, 50% are blacks.

Anonymous said...

How come Frank White only mentions this HOK study about the jail building, but never mentions the other one about how the jail is so poorly operated, the one about how he's got a crisis on his hands that he ought to be handling right away, you know, instead of appointing bullshit task forces.

And this is going to take six months!!! And Frank is "recommending funding to support a consultant" -- another f'ing consultant!!!

Well, this public voice says Frank White ought to have enough information already and that he ought to lead or get the hell out of the way and that he ought not need to be wasting any more time like this.

Anonymous said...

@ 10:38 p.m. And wasting money! Frank White is getting paid to do the job. He should be capable of doing the job without hiring another goddamn consultant. He didn't like what that first consultant had to say about the jail being one of the worst run in the nation, so Frank is out shopping for another consultant who will tell him what he wants to hear. There's no point in fixing the jail or building a new one if the same old people are going to be running it. Joe Piccinini should have been fired a long time ago.

Anonymous said...

A has-been pro athlete isn’t performing well in city government? Who woulda thunk it?

Anonymous said...

Fuck Frank. No more money for another consultant!!!!!!!! We know how this will all end: a recommendation for a new jail. Except we'll have wasted more money and time. BULLSHIT.

Anonymous said...

That's the name of the game. Engineer a new fascility with taxpayer money and the normal kickbacks from contractors, planners, etc. Instead of running the existing fascility, that is OK, right. If the American taxpayers were legitimate human beings, they would round up all these perps and feed them alive to hogs in public!!!