Read the Sleazy History of this bond election
BY JOE MILLER
Know the dirty little secrets of downtown Kansas City
After you read this article you will never look at your right to vote in the same way again.
"It all became a money-grab, just a bald-faced money-grab," says Councilman Danaher. "Frankly, it's become, if you ask me, it's a campaign platform for Kay Barnes."
"Officials committed millions of dollars to new projects without stopping to consider how unfinished -- and unfunded -- current projects might be affected"
If you think that Councilman Rowland is a friend of Neighborhoods you need to read about his part in this money grab for downtown.
"Barring that, he argued that money spent downtown would pay more dividends than, say, 4,000 miles of sidewalks and curbs. "
They say there will be no tax increase but they don't
tell you that your taxes will go down if you vote NO
"With voter approval, these governmental credit cards could be charged back up to the max, netting a slick $35 million"
What will the downtown money pay for?---"The folks at PIAC already have a pretty good idea where this money will go. They're the ones publicly guarding the city's long list of chores. "
"The GDDA, on the other hand, had no such list."
"In some neighborhoods, sewers hadn't been upgraded since the Emancipation Proclamation. Others had no sewers at all. "
When the bond issue doesn't pass who do you blame-- "But city leaders can't be surprised, can they? After all, this hasty split of the potential bond money was exactly what their own multipartisan committee had warned against."
"--- the $35 million fueled a hasty money grab that has once again divided the city's elite from its masses and could end with everyone losing."
The Neighborhood Hotline said---"I do not think that the average working guy needs to give any of his tax money to help guard the investment of millionaire developers."
VOTE AGAINST $35 MILLION DOLLAR BOND
WHEN THIS ISSUE IS DEFEATED YOUR PROPERTY TAXES WILL GO DOWN
(When was the last time taxes went down?)
Tell your neighbors to vote against this bond election on November 5
After we defeat this bond election we will go to city hall
and demand that they fix the neighborhood problems first.
A "NO" VOTE -----tells the city council that you want everyone spending your tax money to be open to public scrutiny and public accountability.
In their brief 3 month existence the Greater Downtown Development Authority Inc. has not accepted the city of Kansas City's official ordinance on conflict of interest.
Instead the GDDA passed unanimously a set of self policing bylaws.
A"NO" VOTE ----tells the city council, the mayor, the developers and corporate interests that you are tired of the old attitude "gimme the money, I'll tell you later what I spent it on"
Your no vote tells them that you want public opinions listened to when spending tax money. Projects must be specifically identified and presented to the taxpayers for their consideration. We are all tired of VAGUE promises.
The GDDA is deliberately VAGUE about where the money goes. Streetscapes --but where? Remove blight --But where? Build parking garages --but where? who will manage them?, who will own them? They demand your money but they don't want you to know where they will spend it They don't want to tell you the location of the projects you are going to fund.
A "NO" VOTE ---- tells those backing the $35 Million Dollar Bond Election that you know what the word neighborhood means. You know that the GDDA is NOT a neighborhood.
You know that the GDDA is a group of developers, many of whom live in Johnson County Kansas Neighborhoods. You know that the taxes on their homes won't be used for this scheme.
You know that there are a lot of real downtown neighborhoods who are all waiting in line for their turn to have their neighborhood fixed with city funds.
A "NO" VOTE ---- says that you know that the GDDA, a three month old group is trying to deceive us. They want to be called a neighborhood. Then they can use their arrogant ways to crowd in front of 100 year old neighborhoods.
A "NO" VOTE -----tells the city that you know what the term "Neighborhood Funds" has traditionally meant-- those funds that are allocated to specific projects requested by neighborhoods for specific projects in each councilmatic district. None of the funds in this bond issue will be allocated for specific requests from neighborhoods. In fact Neighborhood Leaders asked that a portion of the bonds be allocated for specific use as in-district funds. The request was turned down.
A "NO" VOTE --Sends a message to city hall to start listening to it's citizens
Everyone knows what their neighborhood needs and
its not landbanking,
its not land speculation,
its not more corporate executives doing deals with your tax money.
Vote NO and keep the money out of developer hands
Remember that these bonds are paid off with your Property taxes. That means that If this bond issue is defeated your property taxes will go down. This is a tax issue.
This is what members of the P.I.A.C. said at the finance and audit meeting!!
Clinton Adams--"difficult for me to support or ask my neighbors to support an additional 3 to 4 million for downtown when I know what the money will do for people who have sewage coming up in their yards and every time it rains waters stands in their basements"
Ellsie Sweeny--"try to say they (the Greater Downtown Development Authority) will be advising, they are just going to help, if that is all they are doing,then why is it so important for them to be in the ballot language?"
Rob Kinder--"to specify the GDDA"-----------"a bad precedent to set"------"not going to resonate with the voters"---"if they( the Greater Downtown Development Authority) are going to be on an even par with everybody else----they shouldn't be specified in the resolution whatso ever."
Matthew Davis ---"(there are) other projects, very valid and valuable projects proposed for downtown by groups and individuals other than the GDDA"
Civic Leader Dennis O'Neill and Community Leader Larry Thrasher attended the GDDA meeting after the last election and heard the committee headed by Leonard Graham say that the bond we voted down would have been used for "LAND BANKING"
at the finance and audit meeting Mr. O'Neill asked the fiance and audit committee to "get that phase acquisition out of there" removal of acquisition would prevent any "landbanking"
The committee did not listen. The committee did not listen to any of these persons all of whom have years of experience with the dispersal of Neighborhood Funds.
The members of city council did not listen to those who pleaded for changes to this bond election
they did not listen to the results of the last vote. They will have to listen to you if you VOTE NO
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------The Neighborhood Action Group
Vote NO on Question 1 Again On Nov 5
A "NO" vote ---sends a message to downtown corporate interests, --Get in line with the other neighborhoods of Kansas City. They are not and should not be an exception.
1. Downtown corporations referred to themselves at the city finance committee meetings as a Kansas City" Neighborhood". But they don't want to stand in line and take their fair turn acquiring "neighborhood " funds. They want their money first --off the top. They don't want the funds dispersed in the traditional way, they want the funds dispersed by the so called (G.D.D.A.) "Greater Downtown Development Authority".
A "NO" vote --- tells everyone that you are tired of handing out corporate subsidies. Your tired of "gimmee the money, I"lo tell you later how I spent it". Your tired of vague promises.
2. The G.D.D.A. is deliberately vague about where the money goes. Streetscapes ---but where?, Remove blight --- which blight? Build parking garages --- where? Who will manage the garages? Who will own the garages?
Will the parking garages be built where they will help raise the value of private property? Whose property? A lot of unanswered questions-- They want your money, but they don't want you to know where it will be spent. They don't want to tell the location of the projects, you are going to fund.
A "NO" vote --- tells the city fathers that everyone must be open to public scrutiny and public accountability. No one gets treated differently.
3. The G.D.D.A. demands to be treated differently. They will not fill out and file any form of disclosure form. Even the city advisory board that oversees the operation of taxicabs is required to fill out disclosure forms to avoid conflict of interest problems. P.I.A.C members fill out disclosure forms each year.
The self policing policy of the G.D.D.A. requires that when a vote is to take place, if a member of the committee thinks that they may own property near the project or they think that they may have a financial or other possible form of benefit from the outcome of the vote they will not vote. They will be dispersing public funds for projects in the downtown where we all know they have business interests.
A "NO" vote --- tells those backing the 35 Million Dollar Bond Election that you know what the term "Neighborhood Funds " really means. GDDA is trying to deceive you.
4, The term "Neighborhood Funds" has traditionally meant -- those funds that are allocated to specific projects requested by neighborhoods in each councilmatic district. Those advocating this bond election are using the term "Neighborhood Funds" to deceive the voting public. None of the funds in this 35 Million Bond Election will be available for specific requests for the neighborhood projects.
In fact neighborhood leaders asked that a portion of the bond be allocated for the "neighborhood funds", also known as "indistrict funds". The request was turned down.
The finance committee heard the testimony of neighborhood leaders from North of the river, from midtown, from the east side and from south Kansas City. All of their requests were rejected. None of these 35 Million Bond Funds are indistrict funds All of these funds will go to the G.D.D.A. downtown or to city wide projects, already scheduled. Projects already designated as deferred maintenance.
There will be NO opportunity for any Kansas City Neighborhood to obtain any of the 35 Million for a neighborhood project.
A "NO" vote ---tells city hall that you know that this bond will be paid with your property taxes, and it's time that taxes went down.
A "NO" vote --- tells everyone you are tired of paying more and more taxes.
A "NO" vote --- will lower your property taxes.
5. The GDDA campaign says "No Tax Increase" What they don't tell you is, If they don't get the money your taxes will go down. Over the last eleven years the amount you pay in property taxes has increased 200% to 300%. Finally we have paid off enough of our past debts so that we could see a decrease in our property tax and instead, some people want to have us keep paying, so they can give it away to vague projects that benefit private development. City Hall will say that the decrease is insignificant. Tell them they are wrong! In these times any decrease in taxes is significant.
Stop their arrogant attitude towards those of us who pay the bills.