In an odd editorial, the Kansas City Star editorial board appears to support limiting citizen input via voting, a more dictatorial form of city government, and selective politicians breaking their promises.
The schizophrenic take on local politics winds through an editorial entitled, “Did Kansas City lost its mojo in the long KCI fight?”
The editorial board has long been an opponent of voter ID and election integrity, but in its recent editorial about KCI and other local KCMO projects, they suggest Kansas City City Hall should limit citizens’ opportunity to vote on projects in their community, in particular proposals to bulldoze the existing Kansas City International three-terminals in favor of a single terminal.
“The city probably could have proceeded with terminal construction without an election as other cities have done,” an editorial reads, “But city hall promised one and stuck to it.”
The editorial shames city hall for keeping its commitment to voters on the KCI terminal, while rebuking Gov. Eric Greitens for what board members call going back on promises. Greitens vetoed a 50-50 match program for a downtown UMKC arts campus.
Meanwhile, the editorial board says citizens are responsible for stalling a proposed convention center hotel downtown. The board writes that a citizens petition, “threatened to undermine the hotel project,” and the board demands changes to increase the threshold for citizen petition.
They also suggest Kansas City should move from a council-city manager form of government to a government that features a strong mayor. Their reasoning: The council and mayor aren’t moving in lockstep.
America’s political system — with its checks and balances and divided government–was designed for gridlock. It makes sense that the gridlock would trickle down to municipal governments. Stalled make-work projects like a convention hotel and unpopular changes to an airport pale in comparison to the city’s disastrous crime rate and failing public schools, but exposing those problems would require focus on the failures of politicians the Star favors.