There just is not another word for it. The mayor's Town Meeting yesterday--Monday night--on his School's First plan was an epic failure. He had about 250 people in attendance, many of which were children who were invited to come and pick up awards for their work during the just concluded school year. This tiny group was bumping around in the 17,000 seat Sprint Center.
Photo from The Kansas City Star. Free commentary from The Observer
According to blogger PFlow of Mo Rage, this little event set the taxpayers back over $6 K. It was not for lack of publicity, as the Funk was all over TV and radio last week--his housing presser was just one of many public and media appearances for the mayor. There is no support for his Schools First proposal, which will concentrate on infrastructure work around schools and add more police patrols around schools, at a cost of $100 million, to be generated by borrowing and taxing. The proposal did not even crawl out of City Council committee, the KCMSD has had no interest, and the public has zero inclination to vote for more taxes and borrowing for the city.
It more and more appears that Mayor Funkhouser is a lame duck mayor, grasping at straws for a positive legacy. Even though he has not officially declared his intentions to run or not run in the mayor's race for 2011, he is regarded almost universally as "DONE" by most everyone. He has made many missteps, most infamously involving the actions of his wife at City Hall, which resulted in a law suit that cost the city big money. When he came on the scene, he was coming off a fairly successful term as the city auditor, was seen as clean and an outsider who was willing to take on the City Hall establishment. He just squeaked by then councilman Alvin Brooks to gain the mayor's office. However, it appears as if his tin ear for the courtesies and realities of political life and his stubbornness are going to cost him further service as mayor of our city and he seems to be becoming increasingly irrelevant and even silly as his term draws to an end.
PFlow of the Mo Rage blog makes a sensible call for the lame duck mayor to spend the rest of his term and political capital addressing our homicide rate.