The votes are in and another bad deal is on the books at 12th & Oak despite the pandemic and a structurally unbalanced budget that won't last a year without a Prez Biden bailout.
One of the smartest people we know tagged us with this message that sums things up nicely . . .
"A travesty occurred at KCMO City HALL during today's council meeting. More $30 MILLION worth of taxpayer funding was awarded to a soccer field complex in The Northland via a flawed contract which was written totally in favor of the developer and to the detriment of KCMO.
"Council persons Ellington and Shields fought a courageous battle against this injustice pointing out numerous flaws in the deal . . . Sadly (Mayor) Lucas and (Council Lady) Robinson VOTED for this deal. (Council members) Ellington and Parks Shaw VOTED NO . . ."
We absolute agree, this was a travesty but it's not the only one.
Just a couple of examples:
And so, if Kansas City is REALLY interested in pushing back bad financial decisions, we're going to need to take a comprehensive approach or we'll be doomed to this back & forth game wherein savvy developers fake social media support in order to garner taxpayer cash and pit one community against the next.
Interestingly, here's a surprising bit of justification from a politico who betrayed a bit of promise in pushed back against tax bennies for big biz . . .
Council Member Melissa Robinson: "I voted yes to support the Northland Sports Complex today"
It was a difficult vote because I know many of us are suffering through a pandemic, dealing with loss and the City is experiencing unprecedented budget cuts.
Here is my rationale summarized in three points:
1. I have voted for all Economic Activity Taxes only redirections because it holds taxing jurisdictions whole. This vote is in consistent
2. This is a comprehensive development, the City has invested $45 Million of infrastructure in this project--the sports complex is the economic generator and significant in getting a return on our investment. Just as I take issue with the City making a commitment of $27Million to 18th and Vine and rescinding --I take issue with the City rescinding it's commitment to this project ---join me in an effort to restore funding to 18th and Vine.
3. The $18Million can only be used for Capital Projects and 100 percent of the funds are generated in the community where the fields will be placed. All projects in our current Capital Improvement Five Year Plan have not been impacted by this investment.
It's important that we view our future through a lens of opportunity not scarcity. Let's work to create the District we envision.
Update from KMBC:
Developing . . .