THANKFULLY, our KICK-ASS TKC READER & TIPSTER COMMUNITY WAS FIRST TO EXPOSE THE LATEST KCMO STREET NAME SCANDAL that has now been delayed and sent back to council for proper review.
More than anything, we were impressed with some of the comments that questioned the priorities of many denizens of 12th & Oak.
Our favorite reaction . . .
Water bills $100/month.
Streets in terrible shape.
The greatest public health emergency in 100 years.
Desperate revenue shortages for the city budget.
And the clowns elected to represent the residents of KCMO are focused on renaming streets.
You really can't make this stuff up!
Now . . .
KANSAS CITY DOX EXPOSED!!! CHECK THE CITY ATTORNEY'S LEGAL OPINION ON 'TROY SCHULTE WAY' THAT HAS BEEN SHUT DOWN FOR NOW!!!
Here's the word, the precedent and an informed opinion on the topic thanks to THE MOST KICK-ASS TKC TIPSTERS who seem to agree that this is a bad idea . . .
RE: Street Renaming/Honorary or Otherwise Should Have Full Council Approval
This is how I saw the specific issue when it was presented to me last night and advice I would provide to any other elected official:
- The street at issue is 11th between Oak and Locust.
- The abutting property owners are:
- On the south side of 11th, the City of Kansas City, Missouri
- On the north side of 11th, the City of Kansas City, Missouri, arguably through its Board of Parks and Recreation, but more information would need to be appreciated regarding that (Section 1001(c) of the Charter).
- The applicable code section regarding “Honorary Street Names” (Sec. 88-605-03-E.2.) provides the following:
- The nominating person or organization must include with the request package a petition of support for the proposed honorary street name. The petition must be signed by no fewer than 50 residents of the city, and must also include at least 75% of the property owners abutting that section of the street proposed to be honored. (emphasis added).
- I read that section to require that 75% of the abutting property owners (authorized agents) signatures be present on the petition.
- A municipal corporation may only act through its authorized agents. In terms of administrative functions, in our form of government that is the City Manager (or his/her authorized designee) and it terms of legislative function, only the Council (as a body), properly convened and functioning as such; separate individual action of the councilmembers is ineffectual to bind the City, absent prior authorization. Thinking through the Park Board piece adds another layer to this.
- While clearly City Planning issued a letter on November 6, 2020, approving the request for the honorary street name, its clear from a review of the petition, that no signature evidences one which could bind the City in such a way to meet the 75% mandate; there is no City Manager (acting or otherwise) signature and while there are individual councilmember signatures, their individual signatures cannot be one of the property owner. Similarly, thinking through the Park Board piece adds another layer to this.
- City Planning has confirmed with me that their file on this subject lacks evidence of any consent from City Management and there has been no Council action.
- I can see how the frontline CPD staff could see the councilmembers signatures and presume “this makes sense” (if they did) but I’m not sure that understanding thwarts the level of objection here.
- Based on the information in front of me, the November approval is not based on a proper petition required by the code.
- I cannot come to the conclusion that someone has a vested right in an honorary street name or the process; more research would need to be done.
I didn’t reach conclusion on whether this is an administrative function or a legislative function, or whether it is an administrative function that requires any more than a plenary grant of administrative authority to the City Manager. I’m happy to undertake that work, but I think that requires not only an examination of the Charter and the Code in total, but also past practice (relative to situations where the City is an abutting property owner). That was a scope beyond our ability last evening. In this particular case, the lack of any authority leads to the letter being issued in error.
Does that make sense?
-Matt (City Attorney Matt Gigliotti)
Developing . . .