NAG Letter from The Neighborhood Action Group Vol.4 #1

Who's trying to do what to whom in K.C.

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In This Issue:

Citizens Association Screened 3rd District City Council Candidates..........

What Kansas City Needs is a Little Ethics! .........................................................

STADIUM FUNDING ......Fulfilling Jackson County's lease obligations ...

Mayor Barnes to Hold News Conference Tuesday, January 4 2005..............

POLICE DEPT. in the Papers...................................................................................

$3,301,950.50 Million dollars...

Rumor has it that the Mid America Regional Council....................................

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Citizens Association Screened 3rd District City Council Candidates

The Board of Directors of Kansas City's Citizens Association screened all interested candidates for the 3rd District City Council seat on Thursday January 5, 2005. Four Persons were screened including Diane Charity and Richard Tolbert.

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What Kansas City Needs is a Little Ethics!...Take a Look!

http://billtammeus.typepad.com

 The blog will focus mostly on matters of religion and ethics, which is my focus now for the Faith section of The Kansas City Star, where I've worked for more than 34 years.

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STADIUM FUNDING Fulfilling Jackson County's lease obligations

The Neighborhood Action Group recommends that the Jackson County Legislature place on the April ballot a proposal for a 1/8-cent sales tax increase for 6 years.  This would raise approximately $10 million per year for a total of $60 million.  The first $30 million would pay for improvements that need to be done that are defined in the master plan to keep the stadiums "state-of-the art" and need to be completed by December 31,2006.  The additional $30 million would be used for the projects in the master plan in the period January 1,2007 to January 31,2015.

The passage of this sales tax increase would allow for Jackson County to fulfill their 1990 lease obligations and insure that the teams would be in Kansas City until 2015.  

Jackson County would then have the opportunity to address long-term solutions such as the "Naming Rights" being sold by the county to help defray stadium costs.

If the teams are not satisfied with the current leases and want new agreements the first issue that needs to be addressed is the Favored Nation clause.  The teams need to renounce this clause before any negotiations start.  The second issue is the county should not allow the same group of people who negotiated the November 2003 memorandums or the May 2004 leases to be involved in any future negotiations.

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Mayor Barnes to Hold News Conference Tuesday, January 4 2005

Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes will hold a news conference January 4th, at 10:30 a.m. to make an announcement regarding future plans.

The news conference will take place in the Mayor's office on the 29th floor of City Hall, 414 E. 12th Street, Kansas City, Missouri.

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The four lies above are the official press release. Not much information, So what is a News Conference with out a news subject? A gossip column?

Seems that the Mayor and a couple of councilpersons are wanting to change the charter. So why is the Mayor so intent on changing the charter? She has tried at least four times. Is she going to reappoint the same old tired crew to come up with another Charter Change. Sounds like she has fallen in to the Clay Chastain mentality of do it one more time, do it one more time. Maybe she has a lot of money to spend on a campaign. The last charter change she proposed failed and no one was against it. How much would it have failed if someone like the Neighborhood Action Committe came out against it??

It is rumored that she has tried to change the charter more times than anyone since the charter was written? Every time the vote has been a resounding NO from the voters. Is it the "N" or the "O" that Mayor does not understand.

Why would we want anyone in office for more than two terms?

Look at how much has been transfered from private ownership to corporate ownership under the present rules where we change elected officals every two terms.

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POLICE DEPT. in the Papers.......... Another vote for Public safety and then the money is used for some other purpose. Could it be that the Non Preforming T.I.F.'s are soaking up all of the available cash? I bet the Fire Departmant is having the same trouble and that will be the next big investigative story in the Kansas City Star.

When will the people of Kansas City quit making excuses for the way that City Hall is run?

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$3,301,950.50 Million dollars... would have bought a lot of repairs at the stadium.

$3,301,950.50 Million dollars... would fund a lot of Mast Ambulance needs

$3,301,950.50 Million dollars... is what the "key" people in Kansas City wasted on Bi-State

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Rumor has it that the Mid America Regional Council is putting together a "BIG " proposal to get Bi-State Funds for the development of some more transportation ready for the people. Another vote will be needed and the are trying to get the Missouri Legislature to pass a bill that will allow those of us in Jackson County to raid the Johnson County coffers .

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Well the city has really impressed the neighborhood this time. All the roads in the newest building area have been plowed. The only problem is there are no homes built there yet. Meanwhile the road going to the new area is still snow and ice covered. Hopefully the warm temps today will clear everything.    

 We have recently returned from a 6 week trip in 8 states. We have eaten in many restaurants and not one allowed smoking. What is our council thinking????      

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--------HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!---------

 

NAG Letter from The Neighborhood Action Group Vol.4 #2

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In This Issue:

The KC Star and its columnists misrepresent......................................

The Labor Beacon reports...........................................................................

Greater Kansas City Coalition for Worker Justice ................................

O'Bryne is "both improper and inappropriate"....................................

...........demonstration this Saturday outside Wal-Mart's annual convention.........

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The KC Star and its columnists misrepresent the Citizens for Literary Standard's petition regarding the Blue Valley School District required reading lists.  The KC Star's columnists calls the requests book-banning, book-burning and worse, and compare the parents' organization to terrorist governments in Iran and Hitler's Germany.    The Citizens for Literary Standard's have a web site at <http://www.classkc.org>www.classkc.org. containing their petition and requests. They do not request that any book be removed from the school libraries, be banned, censored,  or prevent anyone >from checking out any books from school libraries, or limit anyone's "right to read."  The parents' organization and petition request that the reading assignment list not require sexually charged reading literature for their children.    The KC Star does its readers a disservice by its misrepresentations about the Citizens for Literary Standards or its requests.

Bob Gough 816-246-9730  

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The Labor Beacon reports that the Capital Improvement Management Office is paying  an out of town consultant (Mike Musgrave)  $400 per hour.  Guess what town he comes from: Denver.  The Mayor might want to change her slogan of "Don't let out of town people stop Kansas City's progress".  It seems everywhere we look its out of town people --the city manager, AEG, Mortenson and now the consultants that don't even live in Kansas City.

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Greater Kansas City Coalition for Worker Justice is opposing the $25 million TIF for Wal-Mart at the old Blue Ridge Mall.  The Coalition says that Wal-Mart will cost the city more than the benefits they claim.  Wal-Mart will put many small businesses out business in the area.  The coalition believes that we need real economic development that creates good jobs and responsible corporate citizens.  They urge you to call your city council members --tell them to vote NO on this TIF for Wal-Mart.

Contact City Council Members:

Planning, Zoning and Economic Development Committee

Troy Nash, Chair                      (816) 513-1605                       troy_nash@kcmo.org

John Fairfield, Vice Chair          (816) 513-1622                       amy_dahlstrom@kcmo.org

Bonnie Sue Cooper                  (816) 513-1601                       Jackie_Burton@kcmo.org

Kay Barnes, Mayor                  816-513-3500

Members of the City Council

1st District Deb Herman           (816) 5131624                        terri_wolfe@kcmo.org

 Bill Skaggs                        (816) 513-1619                       lisa_minardi@kcmo.org           

2nd District John Fairfield, Vice Chair     (816)513-1622                       amy_dahlstrom@kcmo.org  

Bonnie Sue Cooper                  (816) 513-1601                       Jackie_Burton@kcmo.org  

3rd District Sharon McFadden Weaver       (816) 513-1608                       loretta_waller@kcmo.org

Troy Nash, Chair                      (816) 513-1605                       troy_nash@kcmo.org

4th District Jim Glover              (816) 513-1616                       charles_monroe@kcmo.org

Jim Rowland                             (816) 513-1617                       dana_laiben@kcmo.org

5th District Becky Nace                 (816) 513-1633                       tom_wyrsch@kcmo.org

Terry Riley                               (816) 513-1629                       schylon_clayton@kcmo.org

6th District Alvin Brooks              (816) 513-1602                       ramonda_doakes@kcmo.org

Charles Eddy                            (816) 513-1615                       charles_eddy@kcmo.org

Sponsored by the Kansas City Coalition for Worker Justice, 816-924-2000 x105

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O'Bryne is "both improper and inappropriate".

Check out the article in the Star (1/14/05 page B3). The article gives a brief overview of the acting Union Station CEO misuse of his authority. And now he wants to be the hired as the permanent CEO.

In brief, he charged about $4,000 to the Union Station account for a personal garage construction project at his house.

The Star article notes he told an employee at the Union Station to put the invoices from this purchase on his desk when they arrived, so that he could pay them personally. Another employee reported this purchase activity to the Union Station Board. The board conducted an internal investigation and cleared O'Bryne of fraudulent intent. The Star points out that O'Bryne was sent a letter by the Union Station board on November 10, 2004, which noted that it was "both improper and inappropriate" and showed "extremely poor judgement" for him to use the Union Station account. The letter appears to suggest that O'Byrne's behavior did not adhere to the highest ethical standards.

What makes this especially troubling is that O'Byrne has applied to be the CEO of the Union Station. Originally we were told that he was just filling in for six months while the Board did a national search for someone with exprience in running this type of operation. Well, now we learn that the appointment of O'Byrne was on the job training. So we may not get a really experienced professional. We may get stuck with a six month trainee who has show serious ethical lapses. And since this was an internal investigation, we will never really know if there was potentially more to this story than an ethics problem.

Before one feels sorry for Mr. O'Byrne, let me note that I have heard from community activists that O'Byrne has been rude and arrogant and even hostle to the public who would question issues related to the Union Station. This arrogance of power can exist only if there are powerful people on the Union Station board who wish to have O'Byrne as CEO at any cost. Given the long standing problem with the Union Station, a CEO candidate should have an extensive track record and professional accomplishments in running a similar operation. (Mr. O'Byrne does not have this background.) In addition, the individual chosen should not have any appearance of impropriety related to ethical standards. I need not remind any informed citizen in the Metro area that hundreds of millions of dollars from public and private sources have gone into the Station reconstruction and operation. This is no small theme park.

Will the Board do the right thing and hire a seasoned, experienced manager or will they go with the inside ringer? Why did it take two months to get this story out? How many times did O'Byrne used the Union Station credit account? What would your employer think if you used his credit account? And how do you feel now about additional taxes to pay for the Union Station operation?

Dennis O'Neill

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Please join the Kansas City area chapter of ReclaimDemocracy.org in a demonstration this Saturday outside Wal-Mart's annual convention at Bartle Hall. The Kansas City Coalition for Workers' Justice has joined us and we're hoping for a turnout that will open some eyes and some minds.

Demonstration at Wal-Mart's annual convention

Saturday, January 22

13th & Broadway Map

Kansas City, MO

Noon-1:30 PM

 

The weather will be cold, but Wal-Mart's policies make us HOT!

The goal of the demonstration is to raise public awareness that Wal-Mart delivers much more than just low prices. We're asking and answering the question:

Is Wal-Mart Good for America? NO! Wal-Mart Hurts People.

Wal-Mart has received $1billion in corporate welfare (taxpayers' dollars), draining state and local budgets for education, transportation and social services.

1 Wal-Mart store costs taxpayers $420,750 per year. 85% of Wal-Mart products are made overseas, adding to the huge loss of American jobs and the rising trade deficit.

1.6 million current and former Wal-Mart employees are involved in a sexual discrimination law suit.

Wal-Mart Hurts Communities.

Three jobs are lost for every two jobs created by a Wal-Mart store.

The average Wal-Mart employee earns $7.50 to $8.50/hour and works only 32 hours a wee, making him/her ineligible for health benefits--lowering the standard of living and tax base for the community.

Wal-Mart Hurts Democracy.

Wal-Mart has repeatedly denied its workers the right to organize which is a violation of U.S. law and the U.N.'s Fundamental Declaration of Human Rights.

Wal-Mart was the number one special interest corporate contributor to politicians in 2003 (last year statistics are available).

If Wal-Mart were a nation, its GDP would exceed 84% of all other nations. Unlike the government of a real nation, Wal-Mart does not answer to the people affected by its policies.

Starting Saturday you can check our sources at: ReclaimDemocracy.org/KC

 Come see the yellow frowny faces We made plenty for many demonstrators!

 Don't miss our 2nd Demonstration on Monday, January 31st from 4 to 5:30 PM in the same place!

 Seeking Democracy, Mary Lindsay

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NAG Letter from The Neighborhood Action Group Vol.4 #3

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In This Issue:

...........Demonstration this Saturday outside Wal-Mart's annual convention

Jackson County Sport's Authority meeting (Jan.19)..........................................

IS WAL-MART GOOD FOR KANSAS CITY?...................................................................

When Enterprise Leasing hired a St. Louis firm ................................................

OH! Come On Walmart's not so bad............lets take a look..............................

Keep February the 21st open

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Demonstration Today Saturday outside Wal-Mart's annual convention

Saturday, January 31st 13th & Broadway Map Kansas City, MO Noon-1:30 PM

 

Don't miss our 2nd Demonstration on Monday, January 31st from 4 to 5:30 PM in the same place!

 

Seeking Democracy, Mary Lindsay

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Jackson County Sport's Authority meeting (Jan.19).  A decision was made to agree to a one-year delay in doing the improvements until the downtown stadium proposal can be finished.

The Neighborhood Action Group suggested a 1/8 sales tax for 6years. That solves the immediate problem and allows us to save some of our taxing ability for other needs in Kansas City.

 It is time for the county to take a conservative economic view and raise just enough money ($60 Million) to stay current with the existing contracts.

 The first project that the Jackson County Sports Authority should be doing is selling the naming rights for the stadiums.  

 The second project should be recovering the money from the nonresident athlete & entertainers tax that the state of Missouri collects.

 The funds from these two sources should be invested in the stadiums.

A Community Improvement District (CID) surrounding the stadium to collect taxes from the development that is rumored to take place there in the next two years should also be instituted. The developers will ask for the inevitable tax subsidies before they build, require that they tax themselves to benefit the stadiums since the majority draw to that area of K.C. is the stadiums.

Remember that TODAY Kauffman Stadium is ranked as the 6th best in the nation by ESPN.

Wasting time on the dreams of "key" people with political power is disingenuinous. The only way that a downtown stadium will manifest itself is if those who sit in the plush suites at the games can find some slick way to get the common man to finance their entertainment!

The downtown stadium is just economically not feasible, unless they can find a tax to pass. Even then it will encroach on the future potential of the City of Kansas City.

The Ad Hoc Committee which includes all of the persons who have made decisions that have placed us in the position we find today as far as the poor contracts and lack of clarity to the sports questions are a joke. Again the only way that the "key" people can convince them selves that omething is needed is to have a closed door planing meting and provide promises that private money will build the the downtown stadium  

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IS WAL-MART GOOD FOR KANSAS CITY?

The City Council of Kansas City and its Planning, Zoning, and Economic Development Committee are being asked to approve a $25 million giveback in sales, property, and earnings taxes for the redevelopment of Blue Ridge Mall for a Wal-Mart Super Center.

Wal-Mart says it offers jobs, affordable products, and easy shopping, but that s not what we will get. Wal-Mart hurts people.

 

                    Low wages: Wal-Mart employees make $14,000 a year. Most can't afford the health insurance. They can't even afford to shop there.

 

                    Law breaker: Wal-Mart is sued more than any other U.S. corporation.   In 2004, there were over 30 class action lawsuits against Wal-Mart, one involving 1.6 million workers for sex discrimination. Wal-Mart has been found guilty of failure to pay wages and overtime, firing workers for trying to organize unions, and hiring undocumented workers.

 

Wal-Mart hurts communities.

 

                    Job destroyer: It's estimated that for every two jobs created by a Wal-Mart store, the community loses three from competing retailers. There are hundreds of businesses within five miles of Blue Ridge Mall which will be bankrupted or forced to cut wages and benefits by a Super Center

 

                    Corporate welfare: Wal-Mart has received more than $1 billion in corporate welfare (taxpayers' dollars), draining state budgets for education, transportation, and social and health services.  A typical Wal-Mart store with 200 employees costs taxpayers $420,750 per year.

 

                    Sweatshops around the world: At least 80% of apparel items at Wal-Mart are produced in overseas sweatshops contributing to the massive loss of American manufacturing jobs and a record-breaking U.S. foreign trade deficit.

 

    Tell the City Council that we need real economic development, not a deal with Wal-Mart which costs us more than it benefits us

    Tell them they can do better, that Kansas City needs good jobs and responsible corporate citizens not welfare chiselers

  Call 816-513-1368 to find out name of your council member or see list on back

  Call Troy Nash, chair of the Council's Committee on Planning, Zoning and Economic Development at (816) 513-1605

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  When Enterprise Leasing hired a St. Louis firm to fight the KC, Mo arena tax, a cry went up saying, "Get your nose out of Kansas City's business!"

 Today, we say,

 "Yael Abouhalkah, get your nose out of Johnson County's business!"

   We decry a Kansas City Star editorial policy that approves of any grand project for Kansas City or Jackson County but opposes an arena in Overland Park (or anywhere outside Jackson County). It is hypocrisy at its worst to oppose tax subsidies by Johnson County for Johnson County projects while Kansas City, Missouri plunges headlong into a billion dollar plan for two new stadiums and the arena. The difference here is that Johnson County pays its bills and manages its money far better than our Missouri counterparts do. When Johnson County tired of poor management of bus service by the KCATA and threw them out, they saved $1 million in bus costs the next year. In one Overland Park neighborhood, the city installed miles of new streets, curbs, sidewalks and storm sewers for about $3 million total. That is what Bi-State II would have spent on a single stadium playground.  Public subsidies are a pittance of JOCO budgets while KC, Mo. sends $13 million (10% of its yearly budget) to developers of TIF projects. The Overland Park Civic Center is in the black while Kansas City builds a new arena certain to financially destroy Municipal Auditorium and Kemper Arena. Yet, Yael says we're doing wrong.

   At a Central Exchange luncheon on the 13th, Mayor Barnes claimed the Overland Park Arena would adversely affect Municipal Auditorium and Kemper Arena. That's impossible. Throwing dirt on a coffin has never harmed a corpse. They will remain, like many local Missouri facilities, perpetually in need of tax subsidies. Yael has never worried about Kansas taxpayers and doesn't now. What worries him is that Overland Park might find a way to make a go of an arena.

  If Kansas arenas get in trouble, we can always call for a Bi-State tax and let Kansas City, Missouri help us out of our financial quagmire. Perhaps what is really needed is a stadium or arena in every Mid America city. Using MARC's view that sports teams are great economics engines, 40 or 50 sports facilities should create so much wealth we would have to establish commissions to find ways to spend the money. We could open the city vaults every Friday and let residents come get all the money they could carry in their arms. Education needs would plummet as Junior High School students declared they were leaving school to enter the ranks of professional sports. We would have to import trainloads of Mexican immigrants to fill new job openings. The list of benefits goes on and on.

   Yael's argument that Kansas is stealing revenue >from Plaza merchants also fails to hold water. Kansas residents leave millions of dollars in Missouri businesses and millions more in earnings taxes. Every morning six thousand more cars come into Johnson County from Missouri than go the other way.

 Yael appears to be suffering from "Downtown Syndrome", a disease where a faulty memory recalls the "good old days" when downtown was crowded with people spending money. This disease impairs reasoning ability to the point the patient actually believes shoppers will pass suburban malls and arenas near their homes to fight traffic and pay 10 to 15 dollars to park for a show or game. The patient also deludes himself into thinking there is no limit to citizen's ability to pay more taxes. There is hope for Yael. Drink lots of water, get lots of rest, try not to think, and keep your nose out of Johnson County.

Wayne Flaherty, Kansans Against Bi-State (913)-831-2140

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OH! Come On Walmart's not so bad............lets take a look

Chattanooga, Tenn. (AP) - A study shows that thousands of Wal-Mart employees are on TennCare, the state's expanded Medicaid program, providing fodder for critics who say the retail giant and other businesses are shifting costs for low-paid employees onto the backs of taxpayers.

Gordon Bonnyman, executive director of the Tennessee Justice Center, suggested that the state should offer reforms that allow large companies suchas Wal-Mart with low-wage earners to buy into TennCare or other insurance health insurance.

"It would be good if we could get private employers to pitch in and do their fair share, and take advantage of the economy of scale and volume that TennCare provides," Bonnyman said. "Nobody understands volume discounts like Wal-Mart."

"Wal-Mart, in its effort to drive costs down, shifts part of their costs on to the public sector," said Ken Jacobs, deputy chairman at the institute who authored the study on the "Hidden Cost of Wal-Mart Jobs."

Last year, a study in California found that Wal-Mart workers there cost that state an estimated $32 million because of their reliance on public assistance programs.

"But Wal-Mart seems to be leading us downhill and, in effect, using the government to help pay for its expansion by not giving its workers a sufficient health benefit plan, in many instances."said Phil Mattera

As we previously reported, Georgia and Washington state collected and released such data by administrative order.

The Peach State revealed in early 2004 that Wal-Mart employees accounted for more than 10,000 Georgia children benefitting from "PeachCare" program for uninsured kids, about 14 times that of the next highest company.

The Evergreen State reported in early 2003 that its Basic Health Plan for poor families had 341 Wal-Mart employees on its rolls, more than any other employer.

Shame Shame

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Keep February the 21st open. A National Celebration on Presidents Day

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NAG Letter from The Neighborhood Action Group Vol.4 #4

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In This Issue:

Regional attitude? or I got mine and yours is worthless.................................

Regional Cooperation??......................................

The 25 Best Friends of Property Rights ........................................................

Keep February the 21st open............................................................................

Tom Leathers reported in THE SQUIRE .............................................................

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Regional attitude? or I got mine and yours is worthless.................

Mr. Leiweke's attitude as shown in the business section of the KC STAR on Fri. Jan 28th needs to be remembered when someone comes around talking regionalism again. His statement of taking "all of the important events,family shows, concerts and sporting events" definitely shows the real attitude towards those outside Jackson County. Sounds like a spoiled little boy will be running the "Sprint " arena.

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Regional Cooperation??......................................

Bi-State as written, the current law does not create a true "regional" situation. The target is, and always has been, Johnson County tax money. A true "regional" initiative would include all eligible Kansas counties, not just Johnson. Consider these facts:

• Kansans were not included when Jackson County's stadiums were built, contracts negotiated,leases signed, and committees formed to oversee operations.

Only when they needed money did Jackson County's stadiums become "regional" assets.

• All regional assets are in Jackson County, Missouri. Wyandotte County has a NASCAR track, the Agricultural Hall of Fame,the T-Bones Stadium and, the Verizon Amphitheater, Johnson County Community College Complex. All are unique facilities that draw from across the Mid-America region, yet none are considered "regional".

• The two previous Bi-State initiatives and the two currently contemplated transportation and indigent care Bi-State initiatives were/are all conceived, assembled, and promoted from within Jackson County, Missouri. Kansas officials first learned of Bi-State II in a press release from Jackson County executive Kathryn Shields. Shields told JOCO Commissioner, Annabeth Surbaugh, "We'll just keep putting Bi-State back on the ballot until it passes."

• All suggestions that Johnson County have any kind of sports facility (like the Overland Park arena) have been greeted by our Missouri neighbors as unwarranted, expensive, and destructive to their sports facilities. Their new downtown arena spelled the death knell for Kemper Arena, but KansasCity Mayor Barnes claims that the Overland Park arena will harm Kemper. Overland Park is merely shoveling dirt on a coffin, an act that has never harmed a corpse.

• Bi-State II promoters refused to accept a change in ballot wording that would have required approval by at least two eligible Kansas counties, because it would have been a "deal breaker" (their words). Who would dare call that "regional cooperation"?

•  All elements of accountability and open records requests by Kansans have been met only with promises that those spending Kansas tax revenues will allow Kansans to sit on "advisory" committees - totally without legal authority.

• While you are considering changes to the Bi-State law, why not require "all" eligible regional counties to approve the tax? Proponents could then rightfully claim that the tax was "regional". If you can devise a way to put the "region" back in regional, cooperation would surely follow.

Wayne Flaherty Kansans Against Bi-State II

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The 25 Best Friends of Property Rights...............

Eminent Domain hits the Supreme Court-- take a look

http://www.ij.org/publications/liberty/2005/14_1_05_f.html

Amicus briefs were provided by the following:

Urban Sociologist Jane Jacobs

NAACP, AARP, Hispanic Alliance of Atlantic Co., Inc., Citizens In Action, Cramer Hill Resident Association, Inc., and the SCLC

American Farm Bureau Federation, and the Farm Bureau Federations of the following: California, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, New Haven County, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, and Virginia

National Association of Homebuilders and National Association of Realtors

John Norquist, President, Congress for New Urbanism

Becket Fund for Religious Liberty

 13 Noted Property Law Professors: Professors David L. Callies, James T. Ely, Paula A. Franzese, Nicole Stelle Garnett, James E. Krier, Daniel R. Mandelker, John Copeland Nagle, John Nolon, J.B. Ruhl, Shelley Ross Saxer, A. Dan Tarlock, Laura Underkuffler and Edward F. Ziegler

Property Rights Foundation of America

Richard Epstein and the Cato Institute

Better Government Association, Citizen Advocacy Center, DKT Liberty Project, National Institute for Urban Entrepreneurship, and Office of the Community Lawyer

Claremont Institute Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence

Pacific Legal Foundation with Mary Bugryn Dudko, Frank Bugryn, Jr., Michael J. Dudko, Harry Pappas, Curtis Blanc, and Center for Individual Freedom

Goldwater Institute, Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions, Center of the American Experiment, Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives, Ethan Allen Institute, Evergreen Freedom Foundation, Georgia Public Policy Foundation, Mackinac Center for Public Policy and National Taxpayers Union

Cascade Policy Institute, American Association of Small Property Owners, Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, James Madison Institute, John Locke Foundation, Illinois Policy Institute, Indiana Policy Review Foundation, Oregonians In Action Legal Center, Pioneer Institute, Sutherland Institute, and Tennessee Center for Policy Research

Reason Foundation

New London Landmarks, Inc., Coalition to Save Fort Trumbull, and New England Legal Foundation

Develop Don't Destroy (Brooklyn), Inc., and The West Harlem Business Group

America's Future Inc. and Somerset Transmission & Repair Center

King Ranch, Inc.

Laura B. Kohr and Leon P. Haller, Esquire, Trustee, Owners of Lauxmont Farms

Mountain States Legal Foundation and Defenders of Property Rights

New London R.R. Co., Inc.

Robert Nigel Richards, Charles William Coupe, Joan Elizabeth Coupe, and Joan Coupe Tidewater Libertarian Party Rutherford Institute

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Keep February the 21st open.................................

One way to thank the above persons for writing opinions that bring the plight of the average small business man or residential property owner to the attention of the United States Supreme Court, is to show up for the Rally in the 1300 block of Grand Downtown Kansas City Missouri, on February 21st Presidents Day at 4:30 P.M.

Look at the big hole where a Kansas City family made a living for 69 years before their property was taken to be used by a big corporation.

Meet people who had their property transfered to private business so that business could make money.

Hear prominent attorneys tell of the flagrant disrespect for private property rights they have tried to fight against.

Join our sin-ga-long entitled "Mayor's Tribute to Taxpayer"

Join people across the nation, in 20 different cities where the eminent domain law has been used to benefit the developer or large corporation. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tom Leathers reported in THE SQUIRE .............. that Lamar Hunt had concerns about Kansas City as a sports town. That's what Hunt told Joe Posnaski.

Leathers comment was --"he has concerns? About a town that's given him twenty years with hardly an empty seat at Arrowhead? What town could do better? In fact, it's the largest attendance in the NFL over the last ten years. Larger than N.Y., Washington, Chicago, Dallas. And No Super Bowl for 25 years. Yet sell outs each Subday! He has concerns? That's ludicrous."

Tom Leathers said it in a much nicer way than others. W.K. Peters said "It's not ludricious its unmitgated GREED. A poor little rich man who wants to bleed a few more scheckles out of Kansas City before he cashs in his chips."

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Look at what one person did when the Washington State transportation boys got too greedy!! http://www.letsgetwashingtonmoving.com/pages/press3.htm

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Rally in the 1300 block of Grand Downtown Kansas City Missouri, on

February 21st Presidents Day at 4:30 P.M.

Bring a car load of your friends!!!

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 NAG Letter from The Neighborhood Action Group Vol.4 #5

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In This Issue:

NAG just had to print this email -- It made us feel good............................

Northeast News...................................................

Keep February the 21st open................

Kansas City Star ......................................

Is it Kay Barnes or is it Clay Barnes.................

The decision by the Royals.................................

Has anyone seen the play at Metcalf South ???????

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NAG just had to print this email -- It made us feel good.

What a great letter,I Thought there were few people interested in the Eminent Domain issue.   I testified just yesterday about the North Oak Tif.No plans, no developer,no nothing. A few pictures of code violations and some slick talkers.   TIF is destroying the economic base of Clay county, Missouri.Even people in the county government agree.   Keep up the good work,I know it's hard,and I know its thankless,but you are touching people.  

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Northeast News published at 5715 St. John Ave. in the Historic Northeast Kansas City Mo. was the only news paper that covered the 3rd district recall election with any completeness. It contained profiles of the candidates and a very well done article by T. Abeln titled "Signs of Disrespect". The article contained a level of reality that does not appear in the other newspapers in Kansas City. Some of the material reported gives a very clear view of attitudes among politicians in Kansas City.

The Star and the Call articles didn't seem to even try to hide their agendas.

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Keep February the 21st open.................

 Rally in the 1300 block of Grand

Downtown Kansas City Missouri, on

February 21st Presidents Day at 4:30 P.M.

Look at the big hole where a Kansas City family made a living for 69 years before their property was taken to be used by a big corporation.

Meet people who had their property transfered to private business so that business could make money.

Hear prominent attorneys tell of the flagrant disrespect for private property rights they have tried to fight against.

Join our sin-ga-long entitled "Mayor's Tribute to Taxpayer"

 

Join people across the nation, in 20 different cities where the eminent domain law has been used to benefit the developer or large corporation. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Kansas City Star reports that Mayor Barnes was "Shocked by Findings"

$1.1 Million or $ 1,1000,000.00 spent on two houses in the third district.

 NAG Letter Vol.3 #2 reported on 1/22/04 the following material which is on our web page http://www.KCNag.com in the archives. The Star carried an article a month later. Here is what we said:

"Beacon Hill redevelopment district has a couple of houses that should sell for $700,000.00. Not that they are worth that but that is how much susposedly has been spent on rehabing them. A story in the media should appear next week according to a message left on my phone machine from an anonymous source. $700,000 unbelievable! "

The next item in the same issue is entitled:

"On Kay's Watch--  We have lost $4 million aviation funds, $7 million TIF funds, $6 million in Housing funds, $5 million Union Station, $1 million 18th & Vine, and we keep hearing an even bigger sucking sound from the Parks Dept. How about our first class zoo we were promised the last time? More and more money down the drain and still nothing for the Neighborhoods."

Guess we can say that somebody gave the neighborhoods something this time. It seems that $3000,000.00 more got spent from the time that we reported it until the Mayor was shocked. Many of you were shocked at $700,000.00. How could the Mayor be shocked? Every email issue goes to the City Council first. They heard about it before any other reader. Will the director of the program be fired for not having sufficent oversight? NO The city manager will issue some memos and new guide lines and blah blah blah.

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Is it Kay Barnes or is it Clay Barnes-- Didn't we have to listen to a whole lot of talk about Clay Chastain and how he used the petition process too many times? Mayor Barnes has now with this forth request for a charter change obviously become one of those people who fit the catagory of Do as I say not as I do. Does Athens, Tennessee need a new mayor ?

We can only hope that the review committee that she appointed will see that proposals should be seperated and well explained with public meetings before using the emergency clause and sending it to the ballot.

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The decision by the Royals to say at the Truman Sports Complex was the best decision for the entire metropolitan region.  Mr. Dan Glass understands and knows that building a new stadium will not improve baseball's business model.  When he states the need for baseball to improve revenue sharing he is telling everyone that the Royals main problem is not the stadium but the product that he is being forced to sell.  The NY Yankees are spending $64 million on their starting pitching rotation while KC is spending just $38.5 million on the entire team.  This is a disaster.  Every time someone brings up building a new stadium the question should be asked what is MLB doing to be competitive.  Until small markets can be competitive NO new stadium.

The Jackson County Sports Authority to do list.

1. Pass the $80 million sales tax to fulfill Jackson County's obligation and keep the teams in KC until 2014.  So that MLB can try to solve their business model problems(revenue sharing and salary cap).  MLB is headed towards the same showdown that the NHL is in.  Then say to the region the Chiefs and Royals are a regional responsibility.    

2. More money from the state of Missouri.  St. Louis receives $12 million while Kansas City receives only $3 million.

3. Sell the naming rights.

4. Insist that the Royals and Chiefs renounce the Favored Nation Clause in the leases.

Sincerely,

Terrence Nash

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Has anyone seen the play at Metcalf South ?

You must see "Kansas City Kong or Gorilla my Dreams".

It is on weekends at the Martin City Melodrama in Metcalf South, 913-842-7576.

The Villain is Bi-State II and it takes place in Union Station.

At one point Kong's hand has been dragging girls off the stage and he grabs Mayor Kay Barnes. When he realizes it is her, he yells, "Oh No!" and lets go of her.

I won't tell you more.

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Below is a Forbes web site that has loads of details on NFL franchises.

http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2003/0915/nfl_print.html>http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2003/0915/nfl_print.html

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Contact: Terrence Nash

Phone: (816)-941-8416

February 12,2005 IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

DOWNTOWN STADIUM -- Dead On Arrival

The idea of a Downtown Stadium seems to be Dead on Arrival. The following information from the Neighborhood Action Group would have been used to change the minds of the downtown stadium backers. We are overjoyed that sanity was returned to the conversation by the Royals. Below are clips from various sources about othe cities with "downtown stadiums"

Seattle: Safeco 'hood sees little development www.fieldofschemes.com July 18, 2004

The alleged "catalyst" effect of sports stadiums isn't in evidence in Seattle, where five years after it opened, the Mariners' Safeco Field hasn't seen much development on surrounding streets. There has been development in the M's pocketbook, though: with the state picking up three-quarters of the stadium's $517 million cost, the team has become the fifth-most valuable in baseball, with the biggest profits of any team in baseball in 2003, according to Forbes.

Cleveland: Games Cities Play BY GEORGE E. JORDAN Star-Ledger Staff, Dec 05, 2004

Nobody believed in this city's downtown more than Jeffrey Alpern, a third- generation clothier.

For years, he sat on committees, lobbied other shopkeepers and did all he could to restore the luster to one of the rustiest cities in the Rust Belt. Then, it happened. A decrepit public market in the Gateway District disappeared. In short order came Jacobs Field, a throwback baseball stadium, and the swank basketball venue, Gund Arena. A few blocks away, the glitzier Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and a football stadium for the Cleveland Browns were the exclamation point.

Alpern and the rest of this city figured their fortunes had changed. What happened next serves as a warning to any city that bets on professional sports as a catalyst for urban redevelopment and neighborhood revitalization.

Today, the main streets in and around the Gateway are marked by empty office towers, vacant department stores and storefronts with "For Lease" signs. After spending $700 million to build the nation's most extensive sports infrastructure, this city finds itself in a familiar place: trying to fix a downtown abandoned by businesses and the middle class, with neighborhoods gripped by despair.

This fall, the city of 425,000, won a distinction many here didn't think possible a few years ago: It was named America's poorest city by the U.S. Census.

And Alpern? He moved his Gold Fish Uniform store from the Gateway District, two miles east to the fringe of downtown. The building boom displaced blue-collar families that shopped downtown. In their place came sports fans who pay $10 to park and go home after the game, he said.

"People were sold a bill of goods," he said in a recent interview in a showroom filled with work boots, parkas and blue security- guard uniforms. "What it did was implode the area around the arena. The concept was, 'Let's change downtown Cleveland to make it more comfortable for white suburbanites,' and they ruined it."

 

Stadium Deals News Hour with Jim Lehrer, December.22,2004

Lodo area and Coors Field in Denver. If you talk to city planners in Denver they will acknowledge that that the reason that Lodo developed is because the city was developing. Coors Field came on in 1995 right smack in the middle of our ten-year economic boom in the United States. Denver was growing more rapidly than the United States and they built the stadium on the periphery of the prior development.

Of course that development continues and now it surrounds Coors Field. It's a different matter about whether Coors Field creates or supports that development.

The greatest icon of the stadium in the United States is Yankee Stadium in the Bronx in New York City. Go up there. Take a look at the development that should have been spawned according to these studies. It does not in and of itself a baseball stadium, a baseball team doesn't generate economic development.

What Are the Benefits of Hosting a Major League Sports Franchise?

By Jordan Rapport and Chad Williams,

Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, First Quarter of 2001

The large public spending on sports facilities has been controversial. Usually these costly projects are justified by claims that hosting a sports franchise spurs local economic development by creating numerous new jobs and boosting local tax revenue. However, independent economic studies suggest that taxpayers may not be getting such a good deal. In seeking to quantify the job creation and tax revenue benefits produced by a sports franchise, these studies overwhelmingly find that the benefits are much smaller than the outlay of public funds.

 We are real lucky in Kansas City, our downtown stadium was dead on arrival.

 

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NAG Letter from The Neighborhood Action Group Vol.4 #6

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In This Issue:

EMINENT DOMAIN ABUSE

Rich Folks, Poor Folks........................................................................

We need a big crowd at City Hall next week!................................

If you missed Jerry Agar's Public Forum .......................................

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EMINENT DOMAIN ABUSE

Rally in the 1300 block of Grand Ave.

Downtown Kansas City Missouri,

Monday February 21st -----Presidents Day at 4:30 P.M.

 Look at the big hole where a Kansas City family made a living for 69 years before their property was taken to be used by a big corporation.

Meet people who had their property transfered to private business so that another business could make more money.

Hear prominent attorneys tell of the flagrant disrespect for private property rights they have tried to fight against.

Join our sin-ga-long entitled "Mayor's Tribute to Property Owners"

 Join people across the nation, in 20 different cities where the eminent domain law has been used to benefit the developer or large corporation.

 

On Tuesday the 22nd the Supreme Court of the United States of America will hear a case asking that the court move the eminent domain laws back to their original intent. Eminent Domain was not invented to be used as a tool for the large corporation to take property, it was meant to be used to enable the government to build projects for public use. Eminent Domain was not meant to be used by a city as a way to clean out the small businessmen and hand their property over to slick corporate vultures.

BRING YOUR FRIENDS BRING YOUR ENEMIES

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Rich Folks, Poor Folks

  Local Missouri leaders should cease the worthless rhetoric about the Royals. Instead, assign City Auditor, Mark Funkhouser, the task of discovering the truth about the Royals financial future. As the one man in Kansas City who is most respected for his ability to find the truth about financial matters, he could steer local leaders toward the right path. Why should the city auditor get envolved? Because the City of Kansas City gives the stadiums $2,000,000.00 a year.

For too long, the Jackson County Sports Complex Authority has acted as landlord while they know almost nothing about the content of the team leases. Likewise, city leaders put forth plans for the Royals when they know nothing about the league that controls their destiny to a far greater extent than the city or county ever will. Here is some of what Mr. Funkhouser should consider.

  Money wins games. It's that simple. The financial disparity between teams presents an entirely different picture of the Royals problems than all the grand plans of local leaders. The New York Yankees payroll is $183 million per year, with an average player salary of $6 million per year. The Royals payroll is $47 million per year, with an average player salary of $1 million per year. The Yankee payroll is $136 million more per year than the Royals. Ask any business owner what his chances of being the best in his field would be if he could pay his employees six (6) times what any competitor could

  The Yankees starting rotation of 5 pitchers earn a total of $64 million per year - more than the individual payrolls of thirteen (13) teams in the league. These 5 Yankee pitchers earn 1.4 times the total payroll of the Royals. (Note: These readily verifiable and easily understood facts are available for all to see.) This glaring disparity explains why the Royals are operated as a minor league team in a major league. If they get a top player, they sell him for cash or trade him for several younger players in the hope that one of them will develop into a top player. Their inability to retain top players is illustrated by last season's playoff games where nine (9) former Royals were in the playoffs. With those nine players, the Royals would have been able to compete. Without them, well you know the results.

  Clearly, the Royals don't have a prayer of competing with the wealthy eastern teams without more money for their payroll. Without revenue sharing, the wealthy teams have a continuous supply of patsies on which they can rely to enhance their won/lost average on their way to the World Series. That means the Royals need some financial help from local citizens. How much help? The late lamented Bi-State II sales tax would have raised $1.4 billion over 17 years for a total of $82 million per year. If every cent of the entire Bi-State tax was given to the Royals for payroll, their payroll would have risen to $129 million, still $54 million below the Yankees. That means a permanent 1/4 cent sales tax on Jackson, Clay, and Johnson counties, even if every cent went to Royals payroll, still would not have made the Royals competitive.

  What if the Royals raised ticket prices? Royals 2004 yearly attendance was 1.7 million. To generate the extra $54 million revenue needed to equal the Yankees, each ticket would have to cost an extra $32. To use ticket price increases alone to catch the Yankees, the Royals would have to raise their tickets by $80 each.  At 81 home games per season, a fan who attended every Royals home game would have to pay an extra $6,480 per year.

  With the current financial disparity, teams like the Yankees don't even have to compete for top players. They can let the small market teams sign them and develop them. When a player is at a level the Yankees can use him, they simply offer to buy him or offer to pay 6 times what other teams can afford. 

  The Downtown Council declared that the Royals, "would see its bottom line fatten by $20 million or more annually". The Downtown Council is obviously unaware of how little $20 million would affect financial problems of the Royals. The Royals would still lag the Yankees by $116 million per year in revenues. The above financial exercise makes it very clear.

  The solution to the Royals financial difficulties is far beyond the capacity of local citizens to solve.

 Those who attempt to do so are deceiving themselves and those who listen to them. League revenue sharing is one way to achieve financial parity for small market teams. Everyone who takes huge profits from the game should help keep the game competitive for all the teams and all the fans. The taxpayers can‚t do it.

 

  If Mr. Funkhouser were to analyze the basic numbers (all available on the internet) he would surely arrive at the same conclusions. His reputation for thoroughness and fairness might open some eyes if not some minds. A willingness to admit the truth is the first step toward solving any problem. Its time local leaders took that first step.

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We need a big crowd at City Hall next week! This is a key committee meeting where we can voice our opposition to the $25 million TIF proposal to tear down Blue Ridge Mall and build a Wal-Mart Supercenter on the site. If you don't want to speak, your presence at the meeting will be your statement. We'll have plenty of the yellow frowny faces for everyone to display.

 

Planning, Zoning and Economic Development Committee Meeting

(a committee of the KC, MO city council)

Wednesday, February 23rd at 2 PM

City Hall - 26th Floor

414 East 12th Street Map

Kansas City, MO

 

We also need to make our voices heard by writing letters to be sent by US mail, fax (816-513-1612) or email. Letters don't need to be long or fancy. Just state clearly that you oppose the use of TIF (tax increment financing) for Blue Ridge Mall redevelopment if it involves Wal-Mart.

The key people to contact are:

Troy Nash 816-513-1605      troy_nash@kcmo.org ;

John Fairfield 513-1622      amy_dahlstrom@kcmo.org ;

Bonnie Sue Cooper 513-1601      Jackie_Burton@kcmo.org ;

Becky Nace 513-1633      tom_wyrsch@kcmo.org ;

Terry Riley 513-1629      schylon_clayton@kcmo.org

Mayor Kay Barnes  513-3500; fax: 513-3518       Mayor@kcmo.org

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Song to be used at the EMINENT DOMAIN ABUSE RALLY on Mon 21 at 4:30

Print it off and bring a copy with you

 

Mayor's Tribute to Property Owners !

 

This land was your land

But soon it's my land

From the flowing river side

To the downtown streets so wide

This land was yours but now it's mine.

 

Now I don't care man

I've got a plan man

To hell with your right

You know how my friends fight

This land was yours but now it's mine.

 

No, I won't keep your land

It'll go to another's hand

He's got a project hot

All you get is an empty pot

This land was yours but now it's mine.

 

There's money to make here

No share for you I fear

I've tried to make it plain

I like using eminent domain

This land was yours but now it's mine.

 

Your problem's very clear

I guess you didn't hear

You're just some worthless scum

A private business bum

This land was yours but now it's mine.

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If you missed Jerry Agar's Public Forum at the Madrid last night you missed the event of the year. It played live on KMBZ 980 AM. He really emphasised the disregard our elected officials have for us when he would throw the name card for a person who was invited and gave some flimsy excuse for not attending. The Shocked Mayor thing played well! Sandra McFadden Weaver didn't come off so hot. She looked a little nervous and stuttered a few times ove questions. Richard Tolbert former councilman is the only one who talked straight and got cheers and applause. You better be at the next one so you can yell "Where's our Money?? with the rest of us.

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"It does not take a majority to prevail..but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men." Samuel Adams

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TODAY at 4:30 P.M. in the 1300 block of Grand Ave.

EMINENT DOMAIN ABUSE RALLY

Downtown Kansas City Missouri,

Monday February 21st -----Presidents Day at 4:30 P.M.

Join people across the nation, in 20 different cities where the eminent domain law has been used to benefit the developer or large corporation.

On Tuesday the 22nd the Supreme Court of the United States of America will hear a case which is being presented by the Institute for Justice, the suit asks that the court move the eminent domain laws back to their original intent. Eminent Domain was not invented to be used as a tool for the large corporation to take property, it was meant to be used to enable the government to build projects for public use. Eminent Domain was not meant to be used by a city as a way to clean out the small businessmen and hand their property over to slick corporate vultures.

The Institute of Justice sent the following points for our consideration.

TALKING POINTS FROM THE INSTITUTE FOR JUSTICE

1. Between 1998 and 2002, there were over 10,000 actual or threatened examples of eminent domain abuse involving private-to-private transfers of property across the country.

2. If the property owners in metropolitan Kansas City are not safe, no one is safe. Anyone's home can be seized, and then generate more taxes as a luxury condo; anyone's small business can be seized, and then generate more taxes as a big box store.

3. Development must occur as the result of private negotiation, not public force.

4. The 5th Amendment requires a public use for the power of eminent domain to be used. A public use is a police station or school, not a luxury condo (or big box store, chain store, etc.)

5. Right to property is a fundamental right, as important as our freedoms of speech and religion. Taking someone's property to give to a private developer is the same as ripping a newspaper from someone's hands or stopping them from entering their church.

6. Eminent domain has been called the "despotic power" by the US Supreme Court.

7. Kelo v. City of New London will be the first time in 50 years the Supreme Court has taken a serious look at the meaning of the Public Use Clause of the 5th Amendment. It will make history and affect property owners around the nation.

8. Blight is bogus "it is in the eye of the beholder and means whatever the government wants it to mean" it is simply a means to an end. Blight means so much it now means nothing.

9. Minorities and the elderly are disproportionately affected by eminent domain.

10. If increased tax revenue and/or economic development are justifications for eminent domain, no one's property is safe in America.

11. If my property is taken by eminent domain, you may be next.

12. Eminent domain abuse is the result of the unholy alliance between tax-hungry governments and land-hungry developers. Government should not serve as a real estate broker.

 BRING YOUR FRIENDS BRING YOUR ENEMIES

 TODAY at 4:30 P.M. in the 1300 block of Grand Ave.

EMINENT DOMAIN ABUSE RALLY

Downtown Kansas City Missouri,

Monday February 21st -----Presidents Day at 4:30 P.M.

Join people across the nation, in 20 different cities where the eminent domain law has been used to benefit the developer or large corporation.

 

On Tuesday the 22nd the Supreme Court of the United States of America will hear a case which is being presented by the Institute for Justice, the suit asks that the court move the eminent domain laws back to their original intent. Eminent Domain was not invented to be used as a tool for the large corporation to take property, it was meant to be used to enable the government to build projects for public use. Eminent Domain was not meant to be used by a city as a way to clean out the small businessmen and hand their property over to slick corporate vultures.

 

The Institute of Justice sent the following points for our consideration.

TALKING POINTS FROM THE INSTITUTE FOR JUSTICE

1. Between 1998 and 2002, there were over 10,000 actual or threatened examples of eminent domain abuse involving private-to-private transfers of property across the country.

 

2. If the property owners in metropolitan Kansas City are not safe, no one is safe. Anyone's home can be seized, and then generate more taxes as a luxury condo; anyone's small business can be seized, and then generate more taxes as a big box store.

 

3. Development must occur as the result of private negotiation, not public force.

 

4. The 5th Amendment requires a public use for the power of eminent domain to be used. A public use is a police station or school, not a luxury condo (or big box store, chain store, etc.)

 

5. Right to property is a fundamental right, as important as our freedoms of speech and religion. Taking someone's property to give to a private developer is the same as ripping a newspaper from someone's hands or stopping them from entering their church.

 

6. Eminent domain has been called the "despotic power" by the US Supreme Court.

 

7. Kelo v. City of New London will be the first time in 50 years the Supreme Court has taken a serious look at the meaning of the Public Use Clause of the 5th Amendment. It will make history and affect property owners around the nation.

 

8. Blight is bogus "it is in the eye of the beholder and means whatever the government wants it to mean" it is simply a means to an end. Blight means so much it now means nothing.

 

9. Minorities and the elderly are disproportionately affected by eminent domain.

 

10. If increased tax revenue and/or economic development are justifications for eminent domain, no one's property is safe in America.

 

11. If my property is taken by eminent domain, you may be next.

 

12. Eminent domain abuse is the result of the unholy alliance between tax-hungry governments and land-hungry developers. Government should not serve as a real estate broker.

 

BRING YOUR FRIENDS BRING YOUR ENEMIES

 

 

If you want to change things at City Hall, particularly in the Housing fund area, no more Million dollar houses that won't sell for a tenth of the investment. No more slush. It is the only way to have accountability. Please come and support this ordinance at City Hall 26th floor at 11:00A.M. on Wednesday 9th. That is day after tomorrow. Mark Esping

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Councilwoman Deb Hermann today announced a key first step toward real reform of the City's troubled housing program. She will introduce an ordinance today calling for City Council approval of all contracts involving the use of CDBG and/or HOME funds that exceed $35,000.

 

Hermann asked that this new language be inserted in an ordinance that originally did not require Council approval of contracts up to $250,000. The original language was supported by City Manager Wayne Cauthen as a way to reduce red tape for contractors doing capital improvements work for the City. The City has been under intense criticism for many years for its cumbersome capital improvements contracting procedures.

 

"In normal times, I would agree with the City Manager that we need to expedite paperwork at City Hall, and I have consistently supported such management improvements, Hermann said. "But, in the wake of the problems with the now infamous Tracy Avenue houses, accountability clearly outweighs expediency. Public confidence demands extraordinary scrutiny and oversight by staff and elected officials alike. The massive overspending in Beacon Hill did not occur because of one giant contract. It resulted from an accumulation of small contracts that added up to big trouble."

 

Hermann, Chair of the Council's Neighborhood Development and Housing Committee, said she first tried to gain Council oversight of housing contracts nearly a year ago when her committee was gathering information for the City's Consolidated Plan. "It was becoming obvious to me that our housing program was a run-a-way train," Hermann said. Her effort failed when the City Manager and some Council members opposed the change, but the idea resurfaced at the February 17 Council business session. Councilman Bill Skaggs, Hermann's colleague from the 1st Council District, called for tighter Council oversight after the City Manager reported on recent problems with the city's housing program.

 

"Increased Council oversight of CDBG contracts, along with better due diligence from the staff, will go a long way toward restoring public confidence and move us closer to the shared goal of true housing reform," Hermann said. This ordinance will be heard at the Neighborhood Development and Housing Committee on March 9 at 11:00 a.m. on the 26th Floor of City Hall.

 

NAG Letter from The Neighborhood Action Group Vol.4 #7

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In This Issue:

How about this for an idea!!.........................................

The Neighbnorhood Action Group has decided to officially refrain...............

Dear Governor Blunt: .....................................................................

"egalitarian dispersal of the funds".........................................

The Kansas City Star report on the Health Levy.........................

This email was passed from Jerry Agar...........................

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How about this for an idea!!

Do you suppose the rush for a downtown stadium has something to do with land values? Now, land costs are a lot cheaper than they will be in 10 years. Also, the current owners of the land won't sit and wait for 10 years. They will develop or sell the land and profits and possibilities all go to the new owners. In 10 years, downtown will either be a success or a failure. If downtown fails, a stadium won't save it. If it succeeds, they won't need a downtown stadium. Uderis has been talking about Cleveland and How it was turned around -Go to the internet and look at how it has been turned around. Look for your self. We don't need what Cleveland ended up with.

   If the MLB don't come up with a real revenue sharing plan, the Royals may not exist. Without revenue sharing, host cities in small markets will need two things:

    1. Massive and never-ending subsidies

    2. A fan base that is willing to attend games when their team is a perpetual loser.

   I'll give you, free of charge, a crazy idea. Sell the Royals to some city desperate enough to pay the $200 million cost to break their contract. Get Glass involved and tell the other city, "If you pay us the $200 million and build the Royals a new stadium, you've got yourself a major league franchise". Then, give the $200 million and Arrowhead and Kauffman Stadium to the Chiefs. They can then operate Arrowhead any way they want and pay all its costs. They can turn Kauffman into a hotel, casino, condos, apartments, a theme park, or whatever they want so long as public money is not involved. The city, the county, and the state are then out of the business of subsidizing sports and they can get on with their proper business, serving the taxpaying public. It is vital that we break the evensplit we have with pro sports teams, you know, where the teams get all the profits and the taxpayers get all the expenses. Before the ten years passes, we will be in a much stronger bargaining position and can get more creative and more equitable solutions on the table. Taxpayers should do everything possible to put themselves into the strongest bargaining position as they can. Get a professional negotiator and some bonafide experts on the taxpayers team. Then, negotiate tough and stop signing blank contracts and letting the teams fill in the details.

 I look at the subsidies for pro sports as a waste of taxpayer's money and want to see it stopped. The burning question that no one wants to ask, let alone answer, is, "Is Mid-America so devoid of worth that only the claim of being major league gives us any identity at all?" If both teams left tomorrow, I don't think we would fall into some economic pit from which we could never escape. We have a lot to offer the world and if everyone would quit fawning over a pack of drug crazed millionaire athletes and billionaire team owners, we could accomplish some amazing things. I'd like to see us get on with it.

Wayne Flaherty KAB

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The Neighbnorhood Action Group has decided to officially refrain from fighting against the Health Care levy. NAG is bothered by the use of the words "ambulance service" being used in the ballot language rather than using the term MAST . Best guess, someone is going to try to get rid of MAST and the City doesn't want to have to worry about legally switching the money from MAST to a new ambulance service. Someone also needs to watch the community health centers to make sure that the City does not move that money around and use it for other things. We have also been assured that NO subsidizies or T.I.F. funds will be deducted as this is a property tax. A YES vote will raise your property taxes.

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Dear Governor Blunt: on the kansas city star editorial page today (3/9/05, B-8) you are implored to make haste with appointments to the jackson county sports complex authority. referring to you as "a slow- moving governor" the star says you should "quickly appoint new members from existing slates of candidates."   mr. governor....don't be fooled and don't be pressured into the false sense of a need for speed in this matter. it would be quite prudent if you were to continue to concentrate on the important issues of the state and let this petty situation languish for a while.   why? because this is the same governing group (under the alledged leadership of former mayor richard berkley) that has failed to take the necessary steps, as a landlord, to adequately set aside the funds needed for contractual maintenance of arrowhead and kauffman stadiums over the years. now, everything is a crisis, begging urgency above diligence.   this is the same group, prodded by jackson county executive katheryn shields, that seeks to cover their incompetence via an exhorbitant tax increase, tentatively to appear on the ballot this august, to appease the petulant, whining chiefs. that ain't gonna happen. we are quite tired of expensing public funds for multi-million dollar, privately-owned sports franchises.   there is no reason for you to be forced to make an immediate decision on this matter as it does not constitute near the importance that the sports authority would have you believe. this is merely entertainment and fault for the current situation lies solely at the feet of the authority members.   you have made terrific moves since your inauguration...moves that will help the state. a decision of the sort does not beg for you to set aside your work to appease the gang of bozos in jackson county.   Craig Davis -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"egalitarian dispersal of the funds" (making sure that the community centers, the Hispanic, African-American, and emigrant populations are included with specified percentages of the money) must be included in any future Art's proposal put before the voters in Jackson County.

New rumors about future attempts being planned seem to be including a lot more groups at the table, but any foot dragging when writing a specific proposal, and not including language that includes percentages identified with specific Art's catagories will pull several individuals out of the woodwork to oppose ANY proposal, according to Mark Esping. When you start an Art's funding study group and salt it with a few ethnic minorities and you have an actual agenda similar to the one reported by the press recently,ie.That the Bi-State arts money was to be funneled into the Preforming Arts Center through the organizations that were going to have offices there. "You are starting down the wrong path"

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The Kansas City Star report on the Health Levy had an interesting possibile addition to the Bi-State Transportation package being put together. Add ambulance service to the mix. That might add a little of the sympathy vote to a financial package that is getting bigger all the time. It is going to need something other than the MetroGreen. The plan calls for 1,100 miles of trails at a cost of $325 million for the remaining 840 miles of trails. Any one have a calculator or a sharp pencil? Don't get mad just remember when it comes to a vote, VOTE NO.

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This email was passed from Jerry Agar the radio commentator, to one of the NAG members.

You can go to www.kmbz.com and link onto helping the troops.  $5 will buy a card that is good for 15 minutes home from Iraq (more if they use it in Europe as some might if they are travelling.)  If you do donate, be sure to click on the bottom as to where you heard about it.  That way the card will come to me when I go to Iraq and I will donate it personally to the troops "from the people of Kansas City."

All the details of getting the cards to me will be looked after by the VFW.

Jerry

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 W.K. Peters said "Those transportation guys are the biggest pimps in this city." I don't hate pimps, but did you ever stop to think that most people selling a service don't need some one raking a percentage off the top." "Besides they sell a lousy product. Everytime I hear about those guys I think of what Chicken Charlie use ta say"

"Taxes is like paying a pimp, ..1... ..2... ..3... ..4... ..5... ..6... ..7... ..8... ..9...."

$10.00 to the first person who emails us the complete statement correctly.

Incidently Chicken Charlie was from Omaha. His only legal job was delivering chickens, dead. Among his customers was Mr. C's restaurant on the north side of Omaha. He died in California 9 years ago, peacefully.

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NAG Letter from The Neighborhood Action Group Vol.4 #8

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In This Issue:

One of our readers comments .......................

One of our readers comments on Cleveland..................

Comments from The Kansas City Star ........................

The Neighbnorhood Action Group has decided to officially refrain...............

Reclaim DemocracyKC asks........................................

Tired of The Money-Go-Round

You Might want to attend.........................

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One of our readers comments...

I couln't agree more than with the statements of Wayne Flaherty concerning the sports teams.

The teams are the poster children for Corporate Welfare.

 I, as a taxpayer, am tired of being blackmailed by the Royals and the Chiefs. Any viable business does not need to be subsidized by the taxbase. If their demands are an indicator, it is apparent neither team is a viable business.

 If the diehard sports fans demand we keep the teams, lets have a USERS tax. Let them pay for their own entertainment.

 Robert Thompson

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One of our readers comments on Cleveland...

Uderis has been talking about Cleveland and How it was turned around -Go to the internet and look at how it has been turned around. Look for your self. We don't need what Cleveland ended up with.

    Mark:I am from Cleveland and can attest to the info. about downtown.Rock & Roll Hall of fame, woopey. Submarine, wow!Where are the store fronts? Also used to travel to Indy lots and they have the same, empty store fronts with a stadium backup.   Henry  

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Comments from The Kansas City Star...........

"A newly released audit recommends that Kansas City stop using so-called economic activity taxes to fund future TIF-supported projects and instead use more easily gauged property taxes."

"The recommendation drew heated responses from Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes and the head of the Economic Development Corp., who suggested it would kill the city's tax increment financing program."

Thanks to the Star for bringing to our attention that as usual the response from City Hall is extreme. Several states have had great success with property taxes used as a gauge. What happens is there is less room for "miscalculations" the kind that benefit the developer and penalize the general public coffers.

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The Neighbnorhood Action Group has decided to officially refrain...............

from opposing the Health Levy, but we would ask that the public consider the following.

Rumors say the funds being spent on this proposal will hit $50,000.00. Without any opposition this seems like a waste of potential health care funds.

Rumors say that some Community Health Board Members contribued $500.00 each toward the $500,00.00. Who convinced them?

TIF districts will only pay the new tax on their original property apprasial. The potential rise of property values which should provide additional funds for the Healh Levy will not.

Again the tax is deferred, the developers skirt the tax levy.

Why is Blue Cross Blue Shield backing the health levy? Could it be that they know that with out this health levy the ability of the health care industry in Kansas City to deliver services to the working poor and the indigent will be reduced to the point where it becomes evident that WE the public should be contacting the State and asking that Blue Cross Blue Shield shoulder some of the burden for indigent health care? They are susposed to be a not for profit organization that provides "health insurance" for the public in Missouri and they are out of the reach of a lot of citizens. The present set up sees many situations where the underinsured are reduced to non pay status because of some catastrophic illess or injury.

Why not call Blue Cross and ask them why they are backing this raising of property taxes?

 

This property tax levy also raises some interesting questions about the division of duties between Jackson County, the other cities in Jackson County and Kansas City MO. Susposedly 15% of those served at Truman are not fromThe City of Kansas City. How can we capture some funds from some of the other cities in Jackson County? Should we shift Truman and the ambulance service, (presently MAST Ambulance) to county tax levies and retain a tax levy for the community clinics with the city? Why not start the planning now?

 

Who asked that the term "ambulance sevice" be used instead of the name "MAST Ambulance"? Yes we know that the lega department said that should be done in this manner. But by not specifing MAST ambulance certain political groups can get rid of MAST ambulance and have another "ambulance service" take over the duties. Who is behind this?

 

OH YEA AND Will the extra Police Officers we voted for two years ago ever be hired?

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Reclaim DemocracyKC asks that you send a letter.............

Hunt Martin Quarry (formerly Hunt/Midwest Sunflower Quarry) is requesting a re-issuance of a permit to discharge run-off from the quarry into Kill Creek.  The deadline for public comments is Saturday, March 26th.  A group of us went on a walk along Kill Creek and saw first hand the erosion from the quarry that appears to be threatening Kill Creek.  We saw the contrast of the water in the creek downstream from the quarry compared to the wider creek and cleaner water upstream from the quarry. 

Please take a few minutes and send your comments to the address below.  Be sure to include the permit numbers, the name of the applicant and the application as listed below.

Comments must be postmarked on or before March 26th to be considered.

Only US Postal Service mail is accepted (no FAX or E-mail). 

Kansas Department of Health and Environment

Division of Environment, Bureau of Water

1000 SW Jackson Street, Suite 420

Topeka, Kansas 66612-1367

 

Address to Attention: Permit Clerk

 

RE:  Public Notice No. KS-05-021 for Hunt Martin Materials, LLC

        Kansas Permit No. I-KS12-PO01/Federal Permit No. KS0087947

Ask that the permit be rejected

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 The next meeting of the Kansas City area chapter of Reclaim Democracy is:

Monday, March 28 7 - 8:30 PM

Waldo Library 201 E. 75th Street Kansas City, MO

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Tired of The Money-Go-Round.............. Call these 23 State Representatives and Thank them for stopping the arrogant, antagonistic, power grab that seems to be underway at City Hall. Evidently someone made someone mad. Usually this type of support is only seen when some one is being taught a lesson.................

The amendent was intoduced by Representatives Burnett the sponsor, Skaggs, Pratt, Yates, Dusenberg, Kraus, Johnson, Dougherty, Young, Jolly, Lowe, Low, Meiners,Bland,Brown, Curls, Flook, Salva, Hughes, LeVota,Nolte, Baker, and Phillips all listd as co-sponsors.

Read 1st time March 16, 2005 and copies ordered printed.

The amendent is to amend chapter 215, RSMo, by adding thereto one new section relating to the housing development commission.

            Section A. Chapter 215, RSMo, is amended by adding thereto one new section, to be known as section 215.246, to read as follows:

 215.246. The commission shall not award grants or loans to any home rule city with more than four hundred thousand inhabitants and located in more than one county unless the governing body of such city has implemented oversight procedures to review expenditures and development plans for all housing contracts in excess of seventy-five thousand dollars.

 Councilwoman Hermann was asking last week for the City Council to have oversight of every housing proposal that would cost over $35,000.00.

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A Forum at the Urban League onTuesday March 29th from 5:30 P.M. until 7:30 P.M. to take a close look at the Health Levy. Accommodations will be made for opponents to present their views.

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NAG Letter from The Neighborhood Action Group Vol.4 #9

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In This Issue:

Lifted from Mark Funkhousers recent published audits .................................

Who were the COOKS in the KITCHEN at the BI-STATE II Cafe..................

Mr. John Bluford was given the following observations.........................

VOTE NO ON ANY CHANGE TO OUR PETITION PROCESS.

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Lifted from Mark Funkhousers recent published audits

From Preformance Audit Review of the Submitted Budget for Fiscal year 2006. dated March 2005

"The decision by Police management not to fill the additional positions (40) should have been presented as an alternative to the stated Board and the City Council policies and debated in a transparent, public forum."

"The City Council lacks timely and understandable financial information to make decision. The City Manager has not presented the financial condition Analysis and the five-year financial forecast as part of the budget process. The Comprehensive Annual Financial rReport has not been completed in a timely manner in the last two years and has yet to be prepared for 2004. The City Managet also has not analyzed development incentives, despite a resolution directing the study. "

Do we pay people for not doing stuff they are susposed to do?

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Who were the COOKS in the KITCHEN at the BI-STATE II Cafe.

-Jack Craft, KC Chamber

-Pete Levi, KC Chamber

-Karen Pletz, KC Chamber

-Fred Logan, KC Chamber

-Nelson Mann, KC Chamber

-Jack Steadman, KC Chiefs

-Mark Gorris, KC Royals

-Joan Israelite, Arts Council

-Julia Kauffman, wealthy do-gooder

-Ken Dworak, Performing Arts Center

What do all of these people have in common?  That's right!  They haven't been ELECTED to SQUAT.  They are in fact self appointed. Can't impeach or recall them!  BUT Jackson County put their idea on the ballot with out any initative petition, just because they asked. They mixed the ingredients and are responsible for thousands of tax payer dollars being spent on printing their "idea" on the ballot. Remember that next time you hear statements about what "the people" want. These people had a bad idea and Jackson County put it on the ballot!!

Are they putting the next THINK BIG deal to gether. TARTS and TRANSPORTATION??

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Mr. John Bluford was given the following observations and questions when the Neighborhood Action Group had a meeting with him on March 7th to discuss the health levy.  The health levy is being sold, as a way to save lives, this could be true.  The Neighborhood Action Group is NOT opposing the health levy.  We are recognizing that this is a band-aid solution, a solution which will not last for the 9-year duration of the tax.  

In the future the responsibility of county, state, federal and private business needs to be addressed before the city asks for another tax increase for indigent health care from the property taxpayers of Kansas City. If such a dialogue is not pursued the Neighborhood Action Group will oppose any and all future health levies

HEALTH LEVY   $13 million tax increase with no direction     

 On November 11,2004 John Bluford chief executive officer of Truman Medical Center suggested that Truman Medical Center and Children's Mercy Hospital should be guaranteed  55 percent or 12 cents of the 22-cent increase in the health levy.  On December 8,2004 the Finance Committee proposed 77 percent or 17 cents to be allocated to Truman Medical Center and Children's Mercy Hospital.  Children's Mercy is now stating that they do not need money from the potential tax increase.

John Bluford on November 11,2004 stated that MAST should get 30 percent or 7 cents.  On December 8,2004 the Finance Committee proposed 16 percent or 3.5 cents.  Jason White, assistant director for MAST stated that MAST needs 48 percent or 10.5 cents of the 22-cent increase in the health levy to meet its growing financial needs.

The Neighborhood Action Group believes the medical care that health care providers perform for the indigent is important.  The increasing costs to the health care providers for their services and their need to find increased revenue sources is challenging in an era of budget cuts.  We also understand that City Hall diverted more than $5 million from the health levy to fund the health department in fiscal year 2004 - 2005.  This should

 The $5 million which was diverted to the health department, what programs received the funds?  

MAST should receive operating funding to ensure quality emergency ambulance service through out the city. The audit that Mark Funkhouser, City Auditor provides is a starting point for the administration of MAST.   The most important criteria is quality and not low bid or low cost.  The only way to ensure that taxes are distributed is to have a separate levy for MAST as the city separate sales taxes for police, fire and KCATA.

January 16,2005 proposal 15 cents to Truman Medical Center $8.9 million, 3.5 cents MAST $2.1 million, 3.5 cents for neighborhood health clinics $2.1 million for seven years.

Why did the ballot proposal change from 7 years to 9 years?

How will the State of Missouri budget cuts effect Truman Medical Center?

Will the availability of funds attract more patients? Isn't it possible that more people from rural areas will come to Truman because state programs are being cut?

Why should only Kansas City city property owners fund indigent health care? Why aren't County property owners included?  

Do the working poor also receive health care from these funds? Should health care plans provided for private business be expanded in some manner to help those working to have greater health care coverage?

 Is Blue Cross Blue Shield really accomplishing their stated mission statement? Should the State of Missouri take another look at what else Blue Cross Blue Shield could do to aleviate the health care crisis?

Should businesses that shift the cost of employee health care to the government be charged for the cost that government incurs?  Present information on WalMart is a good example. Businesses that make employee health care a variable cost instead of a fixed cost knowing that the delivery of services will be affected. Should government charge a non health insurance fee to be used to fund Medicaid?

Why is indigent health-care a city responsibility? Why is this not a county responsibility?

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The true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his own deception, the one who lies with sincerity.

Andre Gide

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WK Peters " I read about that arts money and the"egalitarian dispersal of the funds". you guys are barking up the wrong tree. they're gonna give the money to who ever they want regardless of what is said. They lied last time and they'll lie next time. They ain't gonna share the money with nobody, they gonna swap the money for what they want. " This time they gonna do "Arts and Transportation" and they ain't gonna call it Bi-State or it is for sure a looser. It'll be "The Kansas City Metropolitian Area Regional Arts and Transportation Consortium" or some such diddle doo."

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VOTE NO ON ANY CHANGE TO OUR PETITION PROCESS.

VOTE NO ON ANY CHANGE TO THE CHARTER WHICH CHANGES OUR RIGHTS TO PROTECTION FROMTHE USE OF EMINENT DOMAIN.

If you want to help fight City Hall on charter changes to either one of these ideas send an email to news@KCNag.com

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NAG Letter from The Neighborhood Action Group Vol.4 #10

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In This Issue:

Remember when you were told about the lack of money spent on the Arts ...................

Wanted to let you know............................................

Charter Review Commission Meetings...........................

ATTENTION Clay County Residents...........................

Remember Richards Gebaur ??...................................

VOTE NO ON ANY CHANGE TO OUR PETITION PROCESS.

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Remember when you were told about the lack of money spent on the Arts in Kansas City by all of theTHINK BIG people when they were trying to convince you to vote for Bi-State II. The Neighborhood Action group looked at the various ways of describing the funds spent on Arts in the Metro area. We called the Arts Council of Greater Kansas City and went through the numbers that their study generated. We found that the age of the study was one of the factors that caused such a great discrepancy in the pro numbers and the against Bi-State numbers. That information was posted by the www.TaxHog.com people and is still on their website under the heading "ART?". If you click on the term "ART?", you will go to a page where the phrase "designated funds"appears, this is the devil in the details. The only "designated funds" in the City of Kansas City budget are Neighborhood Tourism and Development Fund , 1% for Arts, and the Local Arts Councils. According to the Arts Council the total amount was less than $1.00 per person in the Metro area. That might have been true five years ago, but times have sure changed!

 Actual numbers from Porter Arneill the Director of the Municipal Art Commission show that in just the 1% for Arts Program, the amounts spent, not just amounts alloted would be 2.6Million in 2002, 1.4Million in 2003, 2 Million in 2004

In 2003 the 1% for art alloted for just the airport was $2.5 Million that's $3.88 per person for one art project.

 Mr. Bryne of the Kansas City Symphony, On the KCPT program" Kansas City Week in Review" which devoted part of their time to Bi-State II. used a very low number, something like 39 cents. Obviously Mr. Byrne is slightly behind the times.

 In addition to being wrong his negative statements demean the efforts of arts volunteers and patrons in Kansas City! Let's never forget the thousands of hours that voulunteers provide. There were hundreds of man hours donated at the Arts Council just to stuff envelopes during the THINK BIG campaign!

 Then there is the money spent on art in the schools, money from public school taxes that seem to be conviently overlooked by arts advocates. The $24,000,000.00 spent on wages for art, music, and theatre teachers in Jackson County public schools. A lot more is spent on supplies and field trips for the arts programing at the individual schools. That is $36.65 per person spent on delivering arts programing to the children in Jackson County Schools. In addition to art as an elective,in middle schools and high schools, every child that attends an elementary school in Missouri sees an Art teacher for one hour and a Music teacher for one hour for every week they attend school.

During the election the Kansas City Business Journal reported that there was $44 million spent in the year 2000 of "non govermental" money on art. That's $24.44 per person in the Metropolitian area from private sources. Kansas City has one of he best records in the United States for private, individual, corporate and foundation funding of the arts.

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Wanted to let you know about a new local web site geared to the Metro area only (816/913 area codes). It contains the most complete on-line list of events available--from festivals to museums to go-kart locations--including fund-raisers (event listings are free), and it also has a place for charities, teachers and animal shelters to list their needs (listings are free). You can also advertise an item being sold, auctions and garage sales, your small business, and there are other interesting features such as In Quest Of, and a place to list your home for sale. The most expensive ad is $10 with no word limit and a free photo. The events list brings repeat visitors who can then do a little shopping in the For Sale and Services sections. Our mission is to be your one-site source for selling stuff, planning your weekend, and supporting local artists, entrepreneurs, and charities. Check it out:  www.classifieds-kc.com.  Thank you! Cynthia Black

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Charter Review Commission Meetings

Saturday, May 7 10:00 &endash; 12:00 noon Brush Creek Community Center

3801 E. Emanuel Cleaver II Blvd., 5th Council District

Tuesday, May 10 6:30 &endash; 8:30 p.m. Westport-Roanoke Community Center

3601 Roanoke Road, 4th Council District

Thursday, May 12 8:00 &endash; 10:00 p.m. Line Creek Community Center TENTATIVE

5904 NW Waukomis Drive, 2nd Council District

Friday, May 20 Commission Meeting on 26th Floor

Discussion on what to include in charter recommendation

Saturday, May 21 10:00 &endash; 12:00 noon Kansas City North Community Center

3930 N. Antioch Road, 1st Council District

 Wednesday, May 25 7:00 &endash; 9:00 p.m. Hillcrest Community Center

10401 Hillcrest Road, 6th Council District

Thursday, June 2 7:00pm 9:00 p.m. Gregg-Klice Center1600 John Buck O'Neil Way

3rd Council District

Friday, June 3 Possible additional meeting &endash; 26th Floor

Discussion on what to include in charter recommendation

Friday, June 17 Possible additional meeting &endash; 26th Floor

Discussion on what to include in charter recommendation

Friday, July 8 Possible additional meeting &endash; 26th Floor

Thursday, July 21 Council needs to receive Commission recommendations to then set a November ballot

If you want to make a difference before the vote attend a meeting and voice your opinion about petition rights, term limits or other charter change concerns that you might have.

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ATTENTION Clay County Residents

Those of us in Clay County should notice something other than a change of value in their property. In a box below we are shown abated property in Clay County. From March of 2003 to April 2005 TIF properties have increased from 89 Parcels to 2611. Assessed value of the abated property, $21,699,200 in 2003. Total for 2005 $654,771,070.

 Those in Jackson County will be pleased to note at the bottom of their REASSESSMENT NOTICE that Chapter 99 has $250,684,028 dollars of property subject to tax abatement and under Chapter 353 there is $825,146,922 subject to tax abatement. That totals over $1 Billion Seventy Five Million Dollars worth of propery that is not paying the ful amount.

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Remember Richards Gebaur ?? Well now the guy who can't afford to help fix up the stadiums that his team plays in has gotten a hold of Richards -Gebaur. The FAA must verify that the amount paid for the 1400 acre property reflects market value. Maybe the Richards-Gebaur International Freight Gateway will make enough money that some can be spent on fixing up the stadium. Just THINK maybe a new stadium will be built at Richards-Gebaur!! THINK BIG

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Rumors abound on the potential changes in the Term Limits portion of the Charter Changes. It seems that the Commission is being pushed towards conclusions that will allow for the City Council to extend their time in office to another term. Of course the Mayor's term of office will also be changed. She isn't going to run again, right .

 If you are against changes to the Term Limits please send an email with NO NEW LIMITS in the subject section to KCNag.com. The email will be passed on to the "you ain't changing nothing about term limits group".

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NAG Letter from The Neighborhood Action Group Vol.4 #11

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In This Issue:

On Ruckus some comments about Union Station

Charter Review Commission Meetings are over..... Call your Councilperson

For information on the KC area chapter of Reclaim Democracy activities......

We'd rather have a mall!!!!.........

How about the short memories!! Jim Rowland is at it again................

BRAINSTORM MEDIA AND 610 SPORTS LAUNCH..................

Remember Richards Gebaur ??..........Well Now it's Red Bridge Road........................

Neighborhood Leaders & Advocates......................

MARC..............Vote on the internet...................

VOTE NO ON ANY CHANGE TO OUR PETITION PROCESS.

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On Ruckus some comments about Union Station asking for a tax increase to support their operations.  I have read the Mayor's Union Station Task Force Report.  What needs to be done first is to totally separate the Kansas City Museum from Union Station.  Meaning that the functions that Union Station Corporation gets reimbursed for management, payroll, marketing, etc. these should be done by City Hall.  The museum tax levy supports the KC Museum.   As you state the renovation and the governance set up by the Bi-State Commission did not want to have Kansas City government in the management of Union Station.  Kansas City government should not take on this financial responsibility.  The 2005 Board of Directors of Union Station has the Mayor of Olathe and Leawood on it while no members of Kansas City government are on the board.  The Mayor of Olathe was also on the 2004 Board of Directors.  The Mayors of Olathe and Leawood should ask for a tax increase from their constituents to support Union Station.

Let's move to the issue of fundraising for Union Station.  The same cliques of people that run Union Station also run the Nelson-Atkins Museum.  We have a situation were Nelson-Atkins Museum continues to have an ever growing appetite for funds at a determent to all other cultural needs.  Union Station is not getting contributions and neither is the downtown Performing Arts Center.  Maybe someone needs to have the Nelson-Atkins Museum group let other cultural needs be funded.

The last issue is the $500 million of water bonds.  Why the rush? Answer: Jack Holland.  The mayors so-called financial adviser.  Remember he works for Oppenheimer Company.  Look in the KC Business Section(5/17/05) on page D17 and see what company underwrote the $203.1 million of bonds for the arena.  Have you seen any financial statements for the water department, are they losing money or making a profit?  All Jack Holland wants to do is have the city borrow, borrow, borrow.  Also Jack Holland is the so-called financial advisor to the Jackson County Sports Authority and what is his answer to their funding problems borrow, borrow, borrow.(Remember Bi-State II borrow $360 million.)  I continually insist that the naming rights should be sold for the stadiums and used for maintenance and upgrades.  But they will not have any part of that source of revenue.

Terrence Nash

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Charter Review Commission Meetings are over....Still time for your input on the proposed Charter Changes. Call your CouncilPerson and tell them to leave the Petition Process alone. Tell them that the term Limits have helped and we need to leave them alone. Ask your Councilperson to tell you where in the United States a NO BID BOND Process has saved money rather than costing more money.

Tell them that you are voting against any proposal that includes either one of the three. 1) Petition Process 2) Term Limits or 3)NO BID BOND PROCESS.

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For information on the KC area chapter of Reclaim Democracy activities pertaining to Wal-Mart, visit <http://reclaimdemocracy.org/rdc/index.php/Kansas_City_area>Kansas City area - RDChapter Read about Wal-Mart's poverty wages and shoddy employment practices at Reclaim Democracy's collection of

<http://reclaimdemocracy.org/walmart/index.html> articles, studies and resources on Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart Corporation's propaganda machine spews distortions. Here are some real facts:

With a global workforce of 1.6 million, larger than that of the U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force combined, Wal-Mart is leading the race to the bottom.

In 2001, Wal-Mart employees made less, on average, than the federal poverty-level.

Wal-Mart's wage-and-benefits package is, on average, about $10 an hour less than those at unionized supermarkets.

Wal-Mart is notorious for union-busting with not one union in its 3,700 plus stores in the US.

~Average¬Ýhourly wages ($)

Wal-Mar 9.68

Sam's Club 12.00

Costco 16.00

 Please join us in the protest against Wal-Mart Saturday, June 25th Noon to 1 PM

<http://www.mapquest.com/maps/map.adp?searchtype=address&amp;country=US&amp;addtohistory=&amp;searchtab=home&amp;address=5150+Roe+Blvd.&amp;city=&amp;state=&amp;zipcode=66205+> 5150 Roe Blvd.¬ÝRoeland Park, KS 66205

 Send this message to your email list Help get the message out!

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We'd rather have a mall!!!.....

The city of Carson, California, says it's dropping out of the running to host a Los Angeles-area NFL franchise, having decided a shopping mall makes better economic sense. "We looked at a financial assessment of how much revenue comes into the city with a mega mall as opposed to an NFL football stadium and a small mall," Carson Mayor Jim Dear told reporters. "The stadium will open only eight games a year as compared to 365 days a year with a mega mall." Actually, retail outlets make for pretty bad economic development projects as well - as with sports stadiums, the jobs are low-paying and the economic activity just tends to be shifted from one part of town to another - but with any luck at least Carson won't have to subsidize a mall quite as heavily as a stadium.

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How about the short memories!! Jim Rowland is at it again. A very short memory about the campaign promises made during the health levy campaign.

 Maybe scrapping MAST just a few months after convincing voters to approve more money for MAST and other health safety net providers is legal, but it's sure unethical.

 The official campaign literature said 16% of the funds would go to "MAST Ambulance".

 MAST had asked the city to allow it to directly operate the ambulance system four more years. The ordinance Rowland is pushing (#050716) will allow MAST to operate the system directly only until September 30. The ordinance says "during this period additional information necessary to determine the appropriate steps for the immediate future of the ambulance system may be gathered".

 The ordinance was advanced out of Rowland's committee on the 14th and was scheduled to be voted on by the full Council on the 15th.

 I don't think MAST will ever find a private company that can operate the system better and cheaper than MAST can do itself, but requiring MAST to seek competitive bids every 3-5 years only makes sense if you want to make sure the city ambulance service is in constant turmoil.

  Constant turmoil so employees don't know whether they'll have a job in a few months which is what Rowland has been doing for the past two years It's extremely harmful to employee morale, and already has taken a high toll.

Many of MAST's managers and most experienced paramedics and emergency medical technicians already have left.

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BRAINSTORM MEDIA AND 610 SPORTS LAUNCH WEEKEND SPORTS TALK SHOW: HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE WITH JOE CARTER & J.C. PEARSON

 June 17, 2005 ˆ Randy Miller's Brainstorm Media,a radio production and advertising agency based in Overland Park, Kansas, announces the launch of Home Field Advantage with Joe and J.C.

 Joe Carter and J.C. Pearson will host the sports talk show on Entercom's 610 Sports every Saturday from 9 to 10 a.m.   Home Field Advantage is set to debut July 2.   Carter and Pearson will discuss the hot sports topics of the day, interview the biggest names in sports and take calls from listeners.

 Would sombody call these guys and ask them where we go to help the teams pack their bags for the trip they are going to take over to Kansas to their new stadium??

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Remember Richards Gebaur ??..........Well Now it's Red Bridge Road........................

Teresa Edens Royal Oaks Neighborhood

Apparently, our elected representatives here in Kansas City don't even know the meaning of 'common courtesy'.

Councilman Eddy distributed a memo regarding Friends of Red Bridge to his fellow council members. Because almost every statement contained disinformation, Friends of Red Bridge put together a response. In addition, we compiled supporting documents and petitions with signatures of over 150 persons opposed to the Councilman's proposal for Red Bridge Road.

On May 25, this packet was distributed to each council person, the mayor, and the city manager. Not one of these people, who profess to reperesent us in some manner, has responded. It would seem only courteous for someone to have at least acknowledged receipt of the packet.

 

Sharron Hill Center Planning

Apparently MARC decides which projects will be funded with federal funds, like the mammoth bridge over the Blue River on Red Bridge Road.

Interestingly, Councilman Eddy, who is supposed to be representing the area, is not only a member of MARC, but is co-chair of the Transportation Legislative Advocacy Committee, which reports to the Total Transportation Policy Committee. Guess who co-chairs this latter committee. None other than Councilman Eddy.

The purpose of the first committee is to advance local interests in federal budgetary decisions, hence, federal dollars for this bridge. The second committee serves as the local decision making body related to multi-modal tranportation. Multi-modal includes trucks. One of the stipulations of the federal dollars is that the bridge cannot be built to keep trucks off.

It seems as though other interests are taking precedence over the wishes and needs of those the council-man purports to represent. If he does, indeed, plan to run for mayor,perhaps he believes that campaign contributions from the trucking industry and others will out way the loss of votes/support in his own district.

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Neighborhood Leaders & Advocates   Have you ever thought of taking your advocacy energies and passions to the next level?  Have you ever thought you'd make a great councilperson? county legislator? senator? representative? mayor?   The Women's Political Caucus is hosting two workshops (see below) to maybe help you make up your mind.   Maybe you know somebody who would make a great difference as a politician - then pass this email on to them - offer to go with them   We have some KCMO City Council races coming up - here's a terrific opportunity to learn what it takes - learn the who - the what - there where - the why and the how.   Neighborhoods - it's where change and politics begin - it's the first step - do you want to take the next one?

You are the best of Kansas City and I hope some of you will think about taking your talents, and visions, energies and passions to the next level - on our behalf.  Thank you in advance for your time and attention.   Regards,   Lynda Callon Community Coordinator Westside CAN Center 

 1) "ARE YOU READY TO RUN"

Thursday, June 30th at 7:00p.m. - 8:00p.m.

 The Writer's Place (3607 Pennsylvania Ave., KCMO)

2) "GRASSROOTS ADVOCACY 101: 

DOOR-TO-DOOR TRAINING FOR THE FAINT OF HEART"

Saturday, July 9th  - 9:00a.m. - 12:00p.m.

The Downtown Public Library Auditorium (top level),14 W.10 ST.KCMO

Cost is free and open to the public.  Coffee & light breakfast provided.

 (To RSVP for either workshop, please reply to this email or call 816-520-5900 or 816-531-9595 for questions)

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MARC has a new website promoting regional transportation www.onekcvoice.org  you go and vote on whether you want any more bi-state taxes. Go vote -tell them what you think about a tax that will be spent by non elected personell.  Several groups are trying to get some stuff done at the state legislature to get a Bi-State Transportation deal set up for 2006. How about a vehicle weight tax

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You might listen to Donna Wolfe on her Sat KKFI show 90.1 on the FM dial. She has been having some interesting people on lately.

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ReclaimDemocracy.org Kansas City area chapter Meeting

Monday, June 27 7 - 8:30 PM

Waldo Library 201 E. 75th Street Kansas City MO

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Got info on the Water Bonds? Send it to news@KCNag.com