Frankly, the best account of the meeting is (click here) which will save everyone a lot of time.
The highlight for me was seeing two large pots of Parisi coffee waiting when I arrived for the 7:30am meeting. In fairness, this was due to my flight last night from Atlanta being delayed 5 hours resulting in my arriving home at 4am.
I’m still operating on that one hour of sleep and as such am not responsible for anything else in this post.
There was an “incident” at the meeting this morning that was reported at several outlets. A couple of members of “Friends of KCI” (not “Save KCI,” Channel 9) were denied access to the meeting. They were not protestors, Channel 41 they were collecting petition signatures. Nor was there “trouble” at least none that anyone in the meeting was aware of.
Here is the morning statement from Dan Coffee of Friends of KCI as given to Tony’s Kansas City:
Tony, Friends of KCI went to Union Station this morning for the Mayor’s Airport Council’s first meeting. We were working our petition in front of the station when asked to leave by security. This is not the first public place we have been asked to vacate. We were interviewed by all the local TV stations and some radio, then tried to go to the meeting. We were thrown out of the meeting by Union Station Security. They had six police officers with them. We asked who wanted us to leave, since we were just trying to go to a public meeting, and the reply was “the client”. We then asked several times who “the client” was and they refused to identify him or her. The police removed us at the request of the security people. However we were allowed to work the petition outside where we started. I would like to know who “the client” is and if Union Station isn’t public property? Supported with tax dollars.
And here is the statement produced later from Union Station:
The City of Kansas City utilized a meeting room inside of Union Station to host an advisory board meeting to consider the KCI proposal. It was a public meeting, and the public was invited to attend the meeting and allowed public testimony at the meeting, including opposition to the proposal.
A group of people came to Union Station seeking to get signatures signed on a petition about the proposal. This group organized inside of the building, near the meeting room location. Union Station is private nonprofit organization, not a public building, and does not allow petition signing to occur inside of the building on any public issue. Those who were asking for petition signatures were told of this policy by the security staff, and asked to move to a public area outside of the building where they could seek signatures for their petition. When the group refused to move and became disruptive, Union Station security staff followed our internal procedure and asked for KCMO Police to help move these individuals from the building to a public location outside.
As Kansas City’s civic center that hosts many public events and meetings, Union Station is pleased that the City chose to hold this advisory committee meeting here. Our security guards followed our internal policy that applies to any individual or group that seeks to get petition signatures on any public issue because our organization prohibits petition drives inside of the building.
Personally, I only saw Friends of KCI gathering signatures out front as I was trying to shove my parking dollars into one of those tiny pay slots. I did not see them inside until they appeared shortly before the meeting and took chairs near the door. Shortly after the meeting began, I saw them look outside the room, then get up and leave. I did speak with Jay Hodges of the Mayor’s office this afternoon. He was also at the meeting this morning and told me he did not know anything about it until after the meeting was over. He confirmed that “the client” referenced above would have been Union Station and that they are a separate non-profit. I’m sure that both the Mayor’s office and Friends of KCI wish this had been handled differently.
Meanwhile, future meetings are being moved to MARC at 6th & Broadway, in part for the free parking. The only question is – will the coffee be Parisi or Roasterie and how will Kansas City television report it?