Insider Explains Kansas City Parks-Shaw Power Play

Amongst many East side leaders there is palpable animosity for city manager Brian Platt. A litany of discrimination complaints have confronted the Mayor's right hand man and local urban leaders have spoken out against the top ranking bureaucrat on several occasions. 

Nevertheless . . .

City Manager Brian Platt endures.

We won't pretend to understand all of his behind the scenes moves . . . However, insiders offer us a sneak peek at one of the many political alliances necessary to survive at 12th & Oak. 

Here's political analysis and a peek at how a future mayoral contender might struggle to "sell" the embattled City Manager to skeptical and sometimes hostile leaders in the urban core . . . Check-it:

What’s City Manager Brian Platt’s Next Move to Keep His Job?  

Anyone paying attention to KCMO politics knows the City Council serves the development cocktail crowd. That’s the same crowd that cuts campaign donation checks and hosts them in suites at the all-important sporting events.  TKC reported last summer about a power play to split up the permitting functions, taking them away from the City Planning Department and moving the lucrative process to the Water and Public Works Departments.  

This was a move supported by pro-development leaders.   This week the development ringleader from the Northland had the splitting proposal up for a vote of the full council.  Sources say the vote was held despite there being enough council persons present to pass it.  Anyone watching the real estate game in town knows KCMO oozes ineptness when it comes to permits and something needs to be done.   

But City Manager Brian Platt for some reason, intentionally or not, does not see this ineptness and won’t take the steps to fix it.  He SEEMINGLY doesn’t want the splitting proposal to pass. What he DOES want is to promote current Public Works director Michael Shaw, husband to Mayor Pro Tem Ryan’s Parks-Shaw, to an Assistant City Manager and give him power over both the Public Works and City Planning Departments.  

Why does this matter?  Well it's no secret the Mayor Pro Tem is running for Mayor and has an active campaign account and since the development cocktail crowd writes big checks, voters should be asking how can Michael Shaw be 100% impartial over permits for development construction and making sure developers build streets that won't fall apart in a few years?

Why try to fix the permits problem when Platt wants to instead promote the guy who skipped to the front of the line from managing Solid Waste to Public Works Director… Michael Shaw.   Platt wants to make him an Assistant City Manager and give him power over TWO important departments.  This is an enormous and unheard of leap. And Shaw’s wife,  Mayor Pro Tem Ryana Parks-Shaw will no doubt be very happy with Platt’s dumb move.   

Why?  Well, Platt SEEMS TO BE ATTEMPTING to hold on to his job.  He needs five votes.  The next big promotion for Michael Shaw will no doubt please Mayor Pro Tem Parks-Shaw.  Platt MIGHT HOPE by increasing the power of the Shaw/Parks-Shaw power duo, the Mayor Pro Tem will keep the rest of the council in line and keep the City Manager safe. This could be Platt’s last stand.  Like at the Alamo. 


Developing . . .