Check this one off the list… Finally.
Did Russ Johnson really abstain after his committee recommended, “Do Pass?”
Today’s press release from Citizens for Responsible Government/Friends of KCI:
UPDATE AND CLARIFICATION: A check of the Council minutes shows that Councilman Johnson DID abstain on the ordinance that guarantees a vote on airport demolition or construction. He voted to pass the airline lease extension at KCI wherein the airlines are finally able to offer serious input and guidance on the future of KCI. (Thanks to Yael Abouhalkah for tweeting me the link to the Council minutes.)
Watching this whole pre-determined outcome rollout from City Hall is sad but even sadder is that we have come to expect such behavior from elected officials. Why must we fight for an honest approach to problem solving instead of being dictated to and expected to accept whatever we are handed.
KCI is extremely convenient to use as is but it needs some updating. OK, we get that part. But why is it that everytime a ‘consultant’ is hired to ‘do a study’ the end result seems to be a ‘new building’? Haven’t we learned that energy resources are not endless? Haven’t we learned that materials are becoming more costly and need to be used more wisely? A new terminal would likely require the complete demolition of the existing terminals depending on the outcome of the new design. A new terminal would require that it be finished 100% before it could be used whereas major renovations to one of the existing terminals could commence as soon as design is completed and the other two terminals could be kept open. I also seem to recall a comment by the so-called ‘consultant’ that seemed to be slamming the opponents of a new terminal by saying that updating the old terminals would result in unneccessary expenses and undesirable outcomes. I would suggest that such a statement was made by a person with limited imagination and is again indicative of a pre-determined outcome approach. When will we learn that the answer to every poroblem is not to tear it down and build a new one? Does anyone remember the consultants who concluded that Union Station be torn down? I believe that consultants are often nothing more than third-party mouthpieces for the powers that be and the consultants will sing any tune they need to sing to earn a fee.
I want to see ideas on using the existing buildings from the public, from high school and college classes, from local architecture firms or anyone else who thinks they have a solution. Soliciting input from 10,000 sources just might result in a broader vision and better solution than asking only a handful of insiders what they think. Unless of course the ‘consultants’ have already determined that nobody else can come up with a better solution. And the solutions also need to take into account the demolition costs of any component because the public needs the entire picture not just part of it. Having a design competition would not be the first of it’s kind. Or are we in a rush to judgement to satisfy a promise to a union in exchange for campaign funding?
Given this change in the critical path to authorization of any dramatic change in KCI Architecture – wouldn’t it be great if the ATAG leadership were to take a mental pause, shift into the deliberation toward closure on policy advising and then use a couple of public meetings to brief the stakeholders on how this process has:
1) Learned as it went a long;
2) Developed a balanced recommendation that is sound for the entire Region,
3) Demonstrated a heretofore unprecedented alternative to the Decide Announce Defend strategy recently employed by VanLoh/Johnson and the proponents of the ill-fated Medical Research Tax.
And as a bonus,
4) Employed Mind Mixer type social media digital engagement to actually monitor public reaction beginning before the roll out of steps 1) – 3).[Well a boy can dream! :)]