Kansas City transit letter worth a look regarding the next streetcar vote. Take a look . . .
Clay Chatain: KC’s Humpty Dumpty acting mayor says Chastain’s petition ballot language will mean what he wants it to mean
The City (apparently without charter authority) rejected the original ballot language contained within the people’s rail petition ordinance (slated for the August 8 ballot) and replaced it with ballot language of their own making (Ordinance No.170042) that totally negates and corrupts the intent and purpose of that petition signed by 2,500 citizens of Kansas City. And yesterday, Assistant City Attorney Sarah Baxter clamped down even further by stating (in an email sent to me) that the City will not compromise on this unfair, undermining and unrepresentative ballot language.
This defiant misconduct by the City and its Humpty Dumpty acting mayor violates the spirit and intent of the recent Missouri Supreme Court ruling that ordered the City to stop legally challenging valid petition initiatives from the people before they are voted on. However, to get around that heralded court ruling our sly acting mayor is now trying to place before voters ballot language that means what he wants it to mean!
The petition calls for transforming the city’s archaic operating downtown streetcar line into a rapid citywide rail system (streetcars operating at far faster speeds, with fewer stops and running in their own dedicated transit greenways separated from traffic) by adding 4 new specific lines across the city and expanding the service area of the new modern rail system to KCI, Cerner, and surrounding neighborhoods by use of a new auxiliary electric express bus and electric shuttle bus network.
The City’s intentionally misleading and vague ballot language just calls for “operating one or more extensions to the streetcar system” …that “might include a fleet of electric buses…” Lovely try Mayor Sly James in trying to usurp and exploit my petition plan for the sole purpose of forcing an expanded version of your ineffective and poorly designed downtown streetcar system upon the people.
Recall this is the same mayor that has already blocked a light rail petition vote, sabotaged another light rail petition election (by not even putting the words light rail in the ballot language), and then ordered former City Attorney Bill Geary to proclaim the last 2016 light rail plan “illegal” even though Geary had falsely mislead Chastain and the committee’s attorney, Jeffrey Carey, into believing the petition was legal before Chastain began circulating it
However, because the Missouri Supreme Court said the City could not send Chastain’s valid petition to the City’s overcrowded petition graveyard this time, ol Sly decided he would get around that minor legal detail by dictating the ballot language to mean what he wants it to mean – nothing more and nothing less.
We will soon see then if the Missouri Supreme Court and the Missouri Attorney General will finally knock this arrogant acting Humpty Dumpty off his wall and toward his great fall for abusing the power of his office.
Clay Chastain…leader and spokesperson for the committee of petitioner’s rapid rail petition initiative