Kansas City is set to give final approval to a to a pricey soccer complex in the Northland that partners with Sporting KC.
There are legit concerns about funding and budget priorities during the pandemic that question the plan.
However, budget talk isn't any fun.
The real story:
EAST SIDE LEADERS DENOUNCE CASH FOR THE NORTHLAND WITH DIVISIVE RACIALLY CHARGED SUBTEXT!!!
Overall there's a serious behind the scenes move to sway Black council members and "sympathetic" votes on the council with quasi-social justice chatter that attempts to derail the hum-drum plan.
Here's the argument from a local "leader" delving into metro geo-politics:
"Currently, there is a $36 MILLION dollar soccer complex being advanced through city council solely for the Northland. $36 MILLION! The soccer complex is being pushed by a developer (Olson Engineering) & Sporting KC. The problem is that WE as tax payers will be paying this 36 MILLION dollars and there is not widespread public knowledge of the plan.
"We are not against a soccer complex being developed in the Northland whatsoever. We are against tax payers funding it. Especially because the burden to fund the project is ours collectively but the revenue will NOT be ours collectively. Public money for private gain is a problem in any climate."
Again, there are legit arguments against spending more cash on soccer.
What's more concerning is the thinly veiled and irresponsible language from leaders which seeks to further divide this community.
Fact is . . . The proposed complex is "open" to everybody and the revenue model follows so many other public/private partnerships in Kansas City. There's nothing really special about this deal.
Still, it's not that we defend giving away taxpayer cash but we notice a trend from so many of our East side leaders . . . They only decry taxpayer subsidy when it doesn't benefit their community whereas far more committed KC fiscal hawks from throughout the metro denounce corporate welfare in all of its insidious forms.
Because we want to encourage resistance to city hall payouts, we welcome these opponents of the Northland project to join opposition against cash for 18th & Vine and Downtown P&L District corporate welfare.
If voters in Kansas City REALLY want to push back developer handouts then it's going to take real partnership that moves past petty neighborhood politics.
You decide . . .