There is a story on page one of today’s KC Star under the headline: Political Turbulence Rattles Plans For A Single-Terminal KCI. Overall, the story is well-researched and well presented. However, there are a few points that merit comment or clarification.
“I’ve been surprised that there’s so much love for KCI, for the present configuration,” said Ed Ford, a City Council member from the Northland.
Perhaps this was taken out of context but it’s a rather stunning quote. Prior to launching this site a month ago, even I was aware with how much people loved the convenience of KCI compared with other airports. It continues to win awards. People talk about it in the same way they talk about restaurants they like. Guests comment about it. How can a councilman working on a possible makeover and especially one who lives in the Northland be “surprised”?
Mayor Sly James, who supports moving forward with a study on the merits of a new terminal, acknowledged how quickly the opposition surfaced. “I think what happened is that the concept got pushed out before we had figured out how to push it out,” James said.
That may be, but I still think that the bigger issue is that the KCI plan as presented appears to have been poorly conceived. If it’s a bad steak, no amount of sizzle will make it edible.
For now, James and a majority of the council appear undeterred by the public pushback. Negative voices are often the first and loudest, the mayor said, and he’s heard plenty of support from other local residents for a new airport terminal.
And it’s foolish to shut down the debate and kill the proposal before it’s fully studied, he said.
100% agree which is why I started this website and conversation. There seemed to be people on the Council who were not interested in conversation and alternatives. The “shutting down of debate” seemed to be coming from the council to advance the proposal.
“It’s going to happen regardless of whether our citizens want it to happen,” – Ed Ford
“Do we have the airport that a first-class city needs and deserves?” James asked. “If the answer is this is the best airport for this city, OK.”
On April 11, the City Council voted 9-3 to continue planning for a new airport terminal to make sure the project is warranted and affordable. By the end of May, the city will announce a series of public hearings to provide more information and gather feedback.
A good start.
• Grass roots opposition. Savekci.org has garnered lots of comments, and its creator even flew a banner over the Royals’ opening day game to promote the cause.
The website’s creator works in the same Northland building as Roe, and the two have discussed working together on the airport issue.
Actually, I did NOT fly the banner over Royals’ opening day but the photo I saw looked great and I thank whoever was responsible. I do work in the same building as Jeff Roe and thus know him but we’ve never worked together and did not talk about KCI until after Dave Helling saw this website and suggested a connection between Jeff’s firm and mine. Since that time, we have discussed working together in the future as the issue progresses.
Which brings me to a comment on Tony’s Kansas City this morning about the Star article.
Credit to the article for kind of outing the Save KCI crew as a sponsored blog or at least connected to Jeff Roe and written from his Northland lair.
This blog is not sponsored other than the time investment it takes for me to deal with it. It is in no way connected to Jeff Roe other than what I noted above and is written from MY lair, which at the moment is a La-Z-Boy at home with a cup of coffee that needs to be reheated.
By the way, I give nearly all of the credit to Tony and TKC for this issue exploding like one of his nuke pictures. He picked up the Dave Helling blog post about this site and led with it. Within hours of his posting I had been interviewed by 2 TV stations, 3 newspapers and a radio station. Several thousand people have now visited the site and several hundred have taken the time to voice their opinion or send notes of thanks and support.
KC has found its voice and it’s being heard.