There is a popular expression employed by VisitKC and other KC promoters: “This Is How We Do Kansas City.” But nearly everyone agrees that the process by which we’ve evaluated the need for a single terminal at Kansas City International Airport has been anything but what we would want associated with that phrase. The last few months since being surprised by the Burns & McDonnell proposal, have been particularly embarrassing.
HOW we do things in KC is every bit as important as WHAT we do.
A brilliantly executed piece by Michael Price for KCPT chronicles the KCI journey magnificently.
Also forgot to mention that it is pretty rare for a city to vote on such matters to begin with. We should feel fortunate to be included as most decisions are made at an airport board level with no vote from citizens.
Fortune? Or the work of citizens to put it on the ballot?
Yes, 3,000 citizens signed a petition to put it on a ballot. I was referring to the fact that most airports are controlled by a board and citizens never vote on anything.
Fortunately for all of us we are voting on what to do with the airport not how strange the process was. I suppose we could vote “no” to show those big, bad elected officials that we mean business. But then what….no one will want to start over anytime soon. Fast forward to the next administration..what mayor is really going to take on this issue in the first term? Meanwhile all of our peer cities will continue to pivot and adapt to the industry needs in order to remain competitive. However, in KC it will be 2023 and we will be high-fiving one another for our moral victory. Seems strange to me…
No, technically we are voting on giving the city permission to do whatever it wants. We’re voting to give up our ability to vote on the final proposal.
There is no specific contract, design or financing on the table. It is still possible that the deal with Edgemoor falls through and they go to AECOM. I’m told this could be a problem for the airlines.
Regardless, process is important and moral victories are important if you want morality in government.
And I’ve been told by people on the Council that with a final signed MOU, contingent on a Yes vote, it could be back on the ballot by early Spring.
I highly doubt the business community who has thrown a ton of money at this campaign already will be anxious to do it all over again in April. Let alone half of the council. Just my suspicion.