KC election recommendations: ‘Yes’ on Questions 1, 2 and 3; ‘no’ on 4 and 5

20170403_222544-2Kansas City has a lot riding on the outcome of the $800 million bond package on Tuesday’s ballot. So does Mayor Sly James.

He has been the face of the campaign for Questions 1, 2 and 3, which would require an escalating property tax increase to pay for the bonds.

James has been on most of the mailed ads and has spoken at dozens of public events. His public popularity could help push the plan to passage on  Tuesday.

Still, it’s  going to be difficult. All need 57.1 percent approval to pass. If voters defeat one or more of the proposals, that will be a stinging defeat for James.

My recommendation is to vote “YES” on all three questions. More below from an earlier post.

— Question 1 would finance $600 million to repair streets, bridges and sidewalks. Positively, part of the proposal eliminates sidewalk assessments against homeowners.

— Question 2 would spend $150 million for flood control. This would help the city get access to hundreds of millions in federal matching funds.

— Question 3 would use $50 million to fix public buildings. The key to this one passing is the city’s pledge to build a new animal shelter, with the help of private funds.

I recommend a “NO” vote on Question 4, which is an eighth-cent sales tax increase for ill-defined improvements in the central city.

This one was put on  the ballot through initiative petition. It has questionable oversight if passed, and the list of projects funded by the money — about $8.5 million a year — is iffy as well.

Boosting economic development in the inner city makes good sense. But Question 4 is the wrong way to do it.

Here’s more from an earlier post on Question 4.

mary-300x200Finally, I recommend a “NO” vote on Question 5, which would reduce the penalties imposed on people who possess small amounts of marijuana.

This is another issue put on the ballot through an initiative petition.

If the replies to my blog post are any indication, however, this one will pass easily.

Still, guess what?

Unless you vote — and 90 percent of registered voters reportedly won’t do that on Tuesday — you won’t get to help decide what happens with your money in the future.

8 Thoughts.

  1. Why exactly do you support a ‘No’ vote on Question 5? I saw your last article, and you quoted ex-prosecutor, now council member Alissia Canady. She goes on to say things about the question, but never really addresses why this is a bad initiative. NORML KC worked with the City Council in forming the verbiage for this initiative, they also unanimously agreed to bring the question onto the April 4th vote. (Sly James was the only ‘nay’)

    What is the issue with a public defender? Those who are in violation of the City Ordinance (If question 5 passes) of possession under 35 grams would not get arrested and would just be ticketed. The only time you would need council is if you wanted to ‘fight the charge’ brought against you in a court (As some citizens do with speeding tickets, and the like.)

    She also dialed back the rhetoric:
    “City ordinance violations for marijuana won’t block anyone from obtaining federal student aid. But, Canady suggested, it could be a stumbling block when seeking other opportunities in education or housing.”

    Key word: “COULD BE” — Lots of hearsay and conjecture there. I know, if I’m going to be running for public office, or law enforcement, I won’t be able to hide a City Ordinance violation for < 35 grams of MJ. Being realistic, and given the reduction in stigma that this decriminalization should bring; I know I'm safe to apply for a job with a City Ordinance violation for < 35 grams of MJ. She's on the edge of spitting straight propaganda.

    Why do you recommend a "No" vote? Strictly the way it was brought up to our voters to decide?

    Thank you for your article,
    -Greg Utz

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