If you have been following along here in Kansas City, we are in a time of budget austerity with cuts all over city government as our city struggles with decreased revenue and increased costs. However, at the same time, the city council and the mayor have been championing both a large infrastructure improvement plan and a downtown train. Both proposals are attracting criticism for the spending of money (and tax increase) and the train is being attacked as being impractical at best.
This recent article in the Wall Street Journal documents the issues around the support of the Power and Light District downtown, that this project has not been able to support itself and is a continuing drain on the budget of the city. A lot of promises were made concerning the downtown redevelopment--I admit I bought some of them myself. No body is buying these types of promises anymore--well, almost no body. It is funny to read the posts by transit supporters in blogs and news articles and just find yourself not buying any of it.
We have lost trust in our political leaders. We just don't believe them. If they tell us the sky is blue, we are going outside to check it for ourselves. They have proven themselves not to be trustworthy. For whatever reason, whether out of dishonesty, greed, graft, or stupidity, their word has become untrustworthy.
Someday, there actually might be a good idea out of 12th and Oak, but most of us wouldn't trust it. We've been burned too much.
The city fathers might find that regaining trust is easier if you go back to fulfilling the basic tasks of city government first reliably. Get back to basics. And for goodness sake, do not ask for more money!
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