After months of relentless propaganda from all corners in support of a new single terminal at KCI, the engineering firm of Burns & McDonnell has produced a poll that shows narrow support for a new single terminal design.
The poll works for propaganda purposes, however, only because it does not ask the one question that Kansas Citians ask among themselves: new single terminal or remodeled multiple terminals? In these private conversations, “remodeled” almost always wins, which is exactly why the question is not being asked.
When asked the question,”Do you support or oppose a new, single terminal facility at the Kansas City International Airport?,” 44 percent of respondents answered in the affirmative, 35 percent in the negative, and 21 percent were “unsure.”
On the question of whether they “support or oppose a proposal using a private and local company to finance, design and build a new single terminal facility for Kansas City International Airport?” those polled approved the proposition by a 44 to 28 percent margin with 28 percent undecided.
The pollsters then posed a variety of questions reflecting possible ballot language for a November election. Not surprisingly, those questions that suggested voters would get something for nothing outpolled those that suggested they would eventually pay for what they got.
For instance, on the question of whether the City of Kansas City should “issue and sell airport revenue bonds in an amount not to exceed $990 million,” those polled answered in the negative by a decisive 42 percent to 26 margin with 32 percent undecided.
On Wednesday evening, Mayor Sly James took the case for a single terminal to the Gem Theater on Kansas City’s east side. One of the more active oppositional groups, Citizens for Responsible Government, saw through the strategy: “The Mayor will desperately need the voting support of our Eastside to push his single terminal plan through in November. There will be promises of Jobs, Sunshine and Glory if you vote YES for the single terminal! How many jobs did the Eastside see with the construction of the streetcar? Be aware!”
Said the CFRG, “There will be no firm plan for us to see or touch and no firm price in November. We will be buying a “pig in a poke”! Tell the mayor you agree with 70% of the voters and want to see a remodeled KCI!”
Voters who prefer a remodeled KCI may have to tell the mayor in person. They are not likely to be asked in a poll.