You see, Darla had Tony on as a guest on her radio program one evening, talking things Kansas City. Tony talked about his blog, and of course I just had to look and read. I was hooked then, and in the heat of summer, I decided to start a blog of my own. So off we go, listening to Tony and Darla and blogging along: First the current topics, then the best/worst of 2009 in KC news.
Citadel Plaza: Darla--dead project? Tony--TIF for Citadel Plaza pulled. Community Development Corporation in trouble for money and environmental violations. $75-$100 million more needed after the money that no one knows where it went (?$25 million) Drive by the Citadel Plaza site and see it looks like a lunar landing site. First plan was retail and grocery, but neighborhood around it may not support it. Per Tony, currently rats run the property and are shot by little old ladies regularly. [In case you are curious, the property is just north of 63rd street, behind Metro Patrol, cross street Euclid Drive. When I moved here in 1989, the area now devoid of much of anything had several derelict buildings on it. They were torn down, but badly, and now there are EPA concerning hazardous materials on the site. This might be a topic to explore myself. I wonder if this Community Development Corporation is the same bunch that spent more than $25,000 each to rehab two houses at 28th and Tracy. That was some boondoggle!]
Des Moines IA first for business environment--Kansas City getting its butt kicked by Omaha, NE. KC--21st. Big ticket items [i.e. P&L, Sprint Center] vs. slow steady infrastructure development. Other reasons for poor KC business environment: Mayor, two crappy teams, the murder rate, newspaper, union station and liberty memorial sitting empty. Also the earnings tax--supplies 40% of operating budget [That's frightening; it was just supposed to support trash pick up.] JP Morgan locating in Sprint campus on KS side, rather than downtown KC or SKC. Wal-Mart conventions leaving--Tony broke this in summer. Overall theme of this trend: business leaving/not coming to KCMO.
Wayne Cauthen. They could not get a crowd together for Cauthen. He was entitled to hearing for 14 days after suspension, but 14 days passed. Cauthen could not get community support from East Side or West Side. Cauthen's payoff--$300,000 or more. Case against Cauthen mounting: power grab over budget. City Council frustrated. Troy Schulte--strong rep, 10+ years at City Hall, has 12 bosses, CM very political job. Schulte is probably safe until next election cycle. City Council supporters Skaggs and Hermann term out, depends on mayor election, rest of council. Schulte gets about 24 months to work.
Third District KS Congressional Race: Darla received odd emails from potential US congress candidate. Tony to Darla: Have you made the big decision about running for congress? Darla: No have not made decision, it's a big decision--going to Florida to think on it and visit with family. Darla: If I win, where will you go on Thursdays, Tony? Tony: I'd just hang around the office, it's nice here. Darla: would you come to Johnson County if I got elected? Tony: I'd have to come in before dusk so I don't get racially profiled. Half hour ends with laughter.