In a scathing letter to Mayor Quinton Lucas, City Manager Brian Platt and MoDOT officials, Kansas City University President & CEO Marc B. Hahn alerts leaders to a public safety emergency.
TKC has this news FIRST & EXCLUSIVE but we want to play this one as straight as possible because it's important.
Let's start with the relevant passages of the letter . . .
The intro . . .
"This week homeless encampments have popped up on City-owned parkland and MoDOT right of way adjacent to Kansas City University's campus along Paseo Boulevard as it connects to the Paseo Bridge. "
"These encampments pose a clear and present danger to KCU's students, 700 of which are returning to our campus starting Monday. Recent events widely reported by the local news media illustrate just how dangerous these encampments can be . . . Not to mention the danger the encampments create when they are located within inches of the pavement with a large volume of cars passing at high rates of speed. This puts both the homeless and the driving public at risk."
It's important to understand that this message is not an attack on the homeless and, again, shows concern for their well-being noted in this passage . . .
"There is no excuse for the Parks Department and MoDOT officials allowing trespassers to set up temporary tents and makeshift lean-tos on City-owned parks and State-owned public right of way. It is more egregious when they do so in a manner that creates dangerous conditions for themselves, the motoring public and KCU's students."
Now, here's the conclusion that offers a stunning level of honesty and candor. The institution is crying out for leadership and protection of their investment and, more importantly, the people in their community.
Check-it . . .
"We fear that the existing tents are simply a toehold for what will inevitably become a greater problem for our neighborhood.
This is an existential threat to KCU.
KCU is one of the most important institutions in the Old Northeast Neighborhood. We want to continue to be an important anchor for the neighborhood in the future. In order for that to happen, we need both the City and the State of Missouri to be proactive in managing public land, under your control, in a way that, at the very least, does not damage institutions like ours."
Accordingly . . .
With SPECIAL THANKS TO THE FINEST TKC READERS . . .
Even better . . .
We talked to neighborhood leaders and they wanted to call out the hypocrisy that we're seeing from city hall on this issue . . .
Accordingly . . .
Here's insider word . . . .
"You have an anchor of the community that's desperate to live under the same protections as the Mayor. They've invested MILLIONS in the neighborhood and they're not getting any consideration from city hall or our elected leaders. What's worse is that the situation is deteriorating so rapidly that they've been forced to put their complaints in writing because the neighborhood has been saying the same thing for over a year and we haven't been heard by the current KCMO administration."
The following pix are contained in the letter from the KCU Prez but we think they deserve a closer look.
Here's a look at a beautiful vista from a KCU auditorium blighted by illegal homeless camps.
A wide shot of multiple camps on this right-of-way . . .
More Northeast camps just a bit down the road.
A closer look at the dangerous proximity to a fast moving intersection and the degrading conditions that KCMO allows residents to endure . . .
Developing . . .