Citizens for Responsible Government and Friends,
Once again Steve Rose writing for the attacks CFRG with FAKE NEWS! Its is hard to comprehend why our leading (?) local newspaper would continue to print anything this guy writes. He is so out of tune with what’s going on in KCMO. When was the last time he was in City Hall?
CFRG’s life would be a lot easier if we had politicians we COULD depend on to act in the best interest of the taxpaying voters. When you don’t have the afore mentioned remember; “ All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for the good men (and women) to do nothing”. (Edmund Burke).. CFRG is not taking credit for it but when we started speaking out and seeking the voters input and signatures on petitions, we were pretty much on our own. Now there are groups speaking up all over the city and this is good. We must hold our elected officials accountable. The voting taxpayers have the power, it’s our money… not Mr. Rose’s.
Sunday on the editorial page Mr. Rose laments: “Groups such as Citizens for a Responsible Government don’t just want to kill a new airport. They also aim to make sure the streetcar routes are not expanded. They oppose the downtown convention center. They helped kill a relocation of a major architectural firm to the Crossroads District. And now they are trying to shoot down a major bond proposal in April that would repair infrastructure throughout the city. All this suffocating negativity limits progress across the metropolitan area.”
His article is probably not worth commenting on since I am the only one I know who saw it. However, he is so far out of touch we owe it to our CFRG partners to defend our position on the topics he mentions. Also Mr. Rose lives in Kansas so it is real easy for him to raise the taxes for KCMO taxpaying voters. He strolls around his Johnson County social clubs and talks down to the average folks, spouting the “politically correct” lines which are fed to him.
Here’s our response:
1.) “Citizens for a Responsible Government … want to kill a new airport.” Mr. Rose has forgotten a recent survey conducted by City Hall determined over 70% on the voting public in KCMO prefer CFRG’s position. Mr. Rose has never taken the time to look around at some or attend presentations of the remodel plans CFRG has brought forward. These remodel plans have been generated by some of the foremost airport design and construction specialists in the world. Presenting alternative plans which keeps control of the airport in the hands of the authority and not the airlines, saving the taxpayers $500,000,000 and maintaining the flexibility for unlimited growth and expansion, seem to me like CFRG is more than interested in fixing the airport; correctly. Honesty, transparency in a solid plan. CFRG is ready to move forward.
2.) …”They also aim to to make sure the streetcar routes are not expanded.” CFRG does not care if the streetcar routes are expanded or not. We do feel it is a blatant misuse of taxpayer dollars but expansion should be up to ALL the voting taxpayers in KCMO, not just a few controlled voters as proposed. We oppose the SECRET manor in which City Hall tries to take these decisions around taxpayers and misleads us on the actual costs. In the streetcar we have a transportation method that cannot run if it rains or snows or there is an ice storm. How efficient is that? The busses run rain or shine, snow, etc. Streetcars are just not expensive to build and operate but they are inflexible. They do not take people where they want to go, they take people where developers, etc. want them to go. Our streetcars do not help the people who really need transportation to get to jobs. They are for tourists at the expense of needed repairs and projects vital to the health of our city. Has Mr. Rose talked to any working people on the Eastside of the city who’s average water bill will be over $120.00 per month soon, partially because of utility relocations due to the streetcar? Wait till the other utilities get their rate increases into effect. All KCMO taxpayers will pay for any expansion, not Mr. Rose and his O.P. country club cronies. LET’S PUT THIS ONE TO A VOTE OF THE PUBLIC, NOT JUST A CHOSEN FEW. Now how is that against streetcar expansion? Honesty and transparency in a solid plan.
3.) …”They oppose the downtown convention center.” DA? CFRG does not oppose the downtown convention center. Not sure what Mr. Rose means here? Out of touch? If he meant to say the downtown Hyatt Hotel .. then again we oppose the SECRECY with which City Hall is spending $170,000,000 of taxpayers money while refusing to show the taxpayers the financing arrangement term sheet. We are in the process of trying to secure the sheet. If it is the hotel Mr. Rose thinks we oppose; he’s wrong again. We do not oppose the construction of a downtown convention hotel. We do oppose using taxpayer’s money for a project which will benefit a few connected individuals. A project statistics tell us we don’t need. If this is such a great deal, investors should be lining up to invest. This is not the case, in fact we believe the developers will be back to City Hall for more money if they continue to try and bring this unnecessary project to fruition. Since the beginning of the project, over 1550 new hotel rooms have been constructed or are under construction in KCMO. Taxpaying voters do not need this expense, let the private investors foot the bill since they will reap the profits! CFRG doesn’t oppose the project, just the mechanism paying for it.
4.) …”They helped kill a relocation of a major architectural firm to the Crossroads District.” Yes we did. We think TIF programs are out of control in KCMO. Who is paying off all the TIF bonds? If Mr. Rose was interested in serious journalism, he would look into this. CFRG had a hard time believing the Crossroads District (and the Plaza for that matter) is “blighted”. CFRG says, follow the law.
5. …”And now they are trying to shoot down a major bond proposal in April that would repair infrastructure throughout the city.” Again, CFRG is not against the $800,000,000 BOMB ISSUE. This issue will blow up the city budget as it is structured. Check out a recent article on the financial position of KCMO. http://showmeinstitute.org/blog/budget/kansas-city-and-st-louis-bad-financial-shape This BOMB issue is not ready to be presented to the voting taxpayers of KCMO. There is not near enough transparency or detail, too much SECRECY. CFRG and the voting taxpayers would like to see where the money is going. CFRG wants to see some ‘MEANINGFUL, MEASURABLE OBJECTIVES”. Why not? Again, it’s our money! Tell us what you’re going to do with the money so we can measure your progress.
Mr. Rose lives in a different world from the average KCMO taxpayer. He seems more than willing to spend other peoples money with no accountability. This is no way to run a successful business and KCMO is a business. Doing things the old way; “Business as usual” in KCMO is over. The voting taxpayers are demanding more information and details before they rubber-stamp future city hall extravaganzas. CFRG wants accountability. Why not, it’s our money!
If Mr. Rose considers us “cranks” he joins ranks with the Mayor and Steve Glorioso who defend their poor positions and agendas by calling others names in an attempt at intimidation.
Citizens for Responsible Government
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