It is with great joy that I see the countdown clock on the blog read less than a day until the polls open. After 4+ years of this and a neglected job that has nothing to do with KCI, airlines, TSA, politics or $10 hot dogs… it’s time to move on.
As I’ve said before, in 2013 there was no case for a new single terminal at Kansas City International Airport, other than a handful of people just wanting one. In 2017 there is a considerably more compelling case. Of course there are still many unanswered questions as there is no final agreement in place, no MBE/WBE contracts in place, no final design, no final cost and no lack of misrepresentation of the facts on both sides of the issue. And it seems that the past few days have seen a regression in the factual quality of the conversation.
Most pundits are saying the vote is too close to call. Complicating the prediction is the fact that most of the people who are the most passionate about a new terminal can’t vote. This is why proponents of a new terminal will spend around $100 per vote getting out those who can. Most of the people who are vocally against a new terminal CAN vote but there are questions as to whether they are as passionate about voting as those who would/can vote yes. We’ll know tomorrow.
I must admit being stunned to read that the mayor and others say there is “No Plan B” should the vote be no. I thought part of a leader’s job was to plan for contingencies. I’ve talked with others, including Council members who say THEY have a Plan B (no, not just a renovation plan) recognizing that waiting another 4 years to get something done is not an option.
Final notes of thanks: When I started this blog in 2013, I never dreamed that this issue would both become the time-suck that it did nor the opportunity to learn, share, and improve the tone of political debate. I want to thank everyone who has participated here for their civility and respect for others. In four years and hundreds of posted comments, I’ve had to delete fewer than ten comments and lock-out only two people who could not play by the rules. In particular, I want to thank Dan Coffey of Citizens For Responsible Government and Justin Meyer of the Aviation Department, if for no other reason than to force them to see each other in the same sentence. The former has tirelessly crusaded against enormous odds and resources to present a case and to get us the opportunity to vote. I consider him a friend. As the guy who has done a great job of getting KCI new airline service in spite of the hurdles the current terminals present, the latter has been an accessible, calm, fact-based and tireless crusader for a new-terminal while tearing down the walls of deception and non-communication of the previous Aviation Director. I consider him too a friend. Finally, thanks to all who wrote or otherwise commented favorably on my OpEd column in the Star last week. I appreciate it and have linked to it here, along with a link to Bob Berkebile’s column that was presented as the counterpoint.
The best way to thank everyone for their efforts on this issue by taking just a few minutes tomorrow and voting.
My inherent optimism tells me that the work you, Dan, and many others have contributed will not be in vain towards the goal of a healthier, more democratic region, one in which we will find the capacity to inform citizens and to listen to them during the early stages of a project. The case with the terminal is a prototype at least of what can be done when determined citizens avail themselves of the information available in the public domain which may lead to sharper questioning of public official and their boosters. Regardless of how the vote turns out, the challenge of restoring a more effective degree of democracy in this region will remain to be done. Thanks for your efforts.
How do we vote ?
Even though you’re commenting from KU with a bogus email address, I’ll use the opportunity to remind people that registered voters of Kansas City, Missouri can and should vote tomorrow. If you are not a registered voter in Kansas City, Missouri you can bug those who are. Of course, if you live in Overland Park, you can’t vote on the airport but you can vote for mayor. (Not ours, Overland Park’s.)
Thank you for all your work in keeping us informed . . . and honest. I also hope that those who can vote will know what they are voting for due to your diligence.
Thank you. That is very kind.