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  • skcablog 11:36 am on July 2, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    Cerner South Kansas City Hillcrest Road 

    Cerner has been in the news recently about its cultural and societal issues. Kansas City is in upheaval about previous civic and national figure’s morals in today’s society. We quote: “Cerner has no tolerance for racism and has taken significant steps in recent years to advance diversity and inclusion strategies.” Cerner wants to focus on only their employment practices. In South Kansas City, Cerner needs to focus on their community practices. Cerner forced the City with the help of former Councilman John Sharp to close Hillcrest Road, the main connector for residents to travel between 87th Street and 95th Street. Residents have to go out of their way to get on busy I-435 or travel to Blue Ridge Boulevard to do business on 87th or 95th. At Cerner North Kansas City Headquarters, Walker Road is not closed. All this grandstanding by politicians about holding dead people accountable for their sins is a waste of time. In South Kansas City we want economic justice for all people. Cerner needs to open Hillcrest Road up or build an outer road at their expense next to I-435 so residents can travel between 87th Street and 95th Street.

     
  • skcablog 12:08 am on July 1, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    A Promise Delayed, Or a Promise Broken? 

    I noticed tonyskansascity.com linked to the Martin City Telegraph article on the recently reviewed Hickman Mills Area Plan. The problem with that link is that the article was written by John Sharp. He’s the one who testified in person before the Neighborhood and Development Committee when he was supposed to either send in his comments for the city clerk to read or participate by Zoom. That testimony, as mentioned before, rambled on for a good 8 minutes and covered items that weren’t related to the plan.

    As an aside, one of those items he mentioned is the move of Price Chopper on Blue Ridge Boulevard just south of Bannister Road to a location a little further west on Bannister across from the Cerner Innovations Campus. Mr. Sharp seems to think this is a great move, which implies he is also happy with the soon-to-be-vacant building on Blue Ridge Boulevard and the CID area that was created for the Price Chopper. That CID will add an additional tax to groceries for the already-impoverished area. This is exactly the argument that has been made recently for TIF districts and the school districts they encompass.

    But I digress. The plan Mr. Sharp is so happy with has quite an emphasis on the Three Trails (California, Oregon, and Santa Fe) and well it should. It is mostly through Hickman Mills that these three trails converge, making them unique to the area. The plan, however, says very little about the history of Hickman Mills, even though there are original buildings still standing which were part of the original town of Hickman Mills. Mr. Sharp seems to be as okay with ignoring this history as the city is.

    The bigger issue, however, is the City has once again broken its promise. When the original Hickman Mills Area Plan was drawn up, the boundaries did not include the entire community of Hickman Mills (not to be confused with the school district of Hickman Mills). Instead, the area west of 71 highway was to be included in the Red Bridge Area Plan. When the community pleaded with the City to change the boundary, they promised they would when the plan came up for review, which was this past year.

    A few years ago when the Red Bridge Area Plan was under discussion, the City was asked about changing the boundary and they said that would occur when the Hickman Mills Area Plan came up for review and proceeded to take the Red Bridge Area Plan which included a good portion of Hickman Mills to the City council for approval, which of course they did. This past year, when the Hickman Mills Area Plan was being reviewed, the City was again asked about changing the boundary. They said it was too late because the Red Bridge Area Plan had already been approved. Promise broken with a caveat. Hickman Mills is now being told to wait for the City to finish its review of FOCUS, the overall city-wide plan and perhaps plan boundaries will be changed.

    Fifth and sixth district representatives seem to be fine with this decision because they approved the Hickman Mills Area Plan and agreed the community just needs to wait. Again. It’s been over 10 years, but apparently the City believes a few more won’t matter. Just as he seems to be okay with creating an additional tax burden on those he formerly represented, (perhaps having been on the council for a total of 4 terms, he is more politically-minded than community-minded) Mr. Sharp also has no problem with the City breaking its promise to the community.

     
  • skcablog 2:41 pm on June 26, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    South Kansas City Crime & Safety Town Hall 

    Saturday, June 27th from 10:00 A.M.

    To participate in the South KC Crime & Safety Town Hall meeting online or in person, please register. Details below:

    SKC CRIME AND SAFETY TOWN HALL MEETING NOTICE

     
  • skcablog 10:09 pm on June 21, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    Systemic Neglect of Kansas City’s East Side 

    This blog and those attached to it have never been big fans of Kansas City government, but we believe they have hit a new low. This letter was sent, by a friend, to the mayor, council members, and department directors. It not only states the problem, including pictures of disparity, but offers solutions. How often do people simply complain and expect the City to find answers? Dishearteningly, only one council person has even acknowledged it. One would be tempted to say in light of what is occurring across the country, in light of what has been occurring here in our own city, in light of the recently passed Juneteenth, there would be more concern shown. However, while this may be predominately, and increasingly, a Black issue, they are not the only ones affected.

    While systemic racism does exist, it is actually being encouraged by our elected representatives and those they employ. The City, with some deliberateness, is investing in already well-established areas and ignoring others. I recall a press conference a while back regarding the Loma Vista Shopping Center, most notably the long-closed and dilapidated Shoney’s building. The roof is caving in and there has been a tarp placed on the large hole to keep the water out. The city responded that the owner is paying his taxes so there’s nothing to be done. I can imagine what would be done if it were my roof. By allowing certain areas of the city to become and stay blighted, the City is driving white flight from those areas.

    It is especially disheartening that the City doesn’t realize (or care about) the effect their decisions are having on the generations now in school. Because our schools are funded by property taxes and because the schools on the east side of Troost are in areas of lower assessed valuation and because of the proliferation of TIF areas, the children are suffering. Teacher salaries aren’t high enough to ensure top-notch teachers. What does this bode for the future?

    While no one is saying all areas should be equal, they should at least have an equal chance. No one should be forced to live in areas with poorly maintained streets and dilapidated buildings and underperforming schools.

    A quote from the end of the letter is appropriate:

    For far too long we have relied on a system that does not look at all areas of the city the same. That does not value the viability and livability of all neighborhoods in Kansas City. That does not promote healthy lifestyles for all residents. That has no regard for the education of black and brown students.

    We must do better Kansas City if we ever hope to become a truly great city.

    Perhaps, though, the answer is simpler and sadder. Perhaps it isn’t about racism. Perhaps it’s simply about voters and being able to stay in office/position of authority. If the areas west of Troost have higher voter turnout than those on the east side of Troost, why should anyone care about the east side? It’s easy to turn a blind eye if it doesn’t affect your chances of being elected/re-elected. Basically, and perhaps unwittingly, those living on the west side of Troost are one big lobbying group simply because they have money and because they vote. What a sad commentary on those elected to represent all of Kansas City. Of course, there is simply no excuse for those who actually represent the areas affected. Where are their voices?

     
  • skcablog 2:22 pm on June 16, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    Platitudes for The Plebs 

    Sixth district Councilwoman Andrea Bough apparently has sent out an “update” email which included the following:

    “The events of the last few weeks and months have made one thing clear – we have inequities in the City . . . and we have work to do. Voices are crying out to be heard, and we are listening. While we may feel overwhelmed at the issues that we face we must not be afraid to re-examine the ways in which we have approached these issues in the past. We will continue to fight so that the marginalized voices will be heard and the inequities erased.

    We need to work together and continue to have these conversations on how we improve the lives of all.”

    Obviously, she is referring to the pandemic and other issues currently facing both our city and country and I applaud her for speaking to the issues and voicing concern.

    At the same time I couldn’t help but think of everyday issues of her constituents and wonder why she can’t show the same degree of regard. Many in south Kansas City feel “marginalized” and feel the “inequities” with other areas she represents; yet, she is willing to write them off while offering platitudes about how she understands. She may be listening, but she isn’t hearing.

     
  • skcablog 10:47 am on June 11, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    “Endeavor to Persevere” 

    Sixth district council reps Keven McManus and Andrea Bough (though we’re not sure who they’re representing, obviously not the community that elected them) have sent out a notice saying they will be having their Second Friday meeting this Friday, though it will be a virtual meeting on Zoom. That gives one pause.

    Ms. Bough is a member of the Neighborhood Planning and Development Committee. That’s the committee that didn’t make audio available to a representative of the Southern Communities Coalition, leaving her testimony to be read in monotone by the Clerk. Might the same thing happen Friday if someone has a question and she or her colleague don’t want to hear from that person? Will they simply say, “Sorry”?

    Anyway, the speakers are listed as two of the City’s planners who will give an update on the “KC Spirit Playbook”. (Don’t get me started on that name.) While the City’s website lists them as Long Range Planning and Preservation, the meeting notice says they’re with Long Range Planning and Perseverance. That could be some kind of Freudian slip, but the esteemed council members would probably try to blame it on auto correct. That could be true, but what happened to proof reading? Is that no longer part of being professional?

    ChiefDanGeorgeEndeavoursToPersevere

     
  • skcablog 1:55 pm on June 8, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    The Silenced Majority 

    Probably no one caught the Neighborhood Planning and Development Committee meeting on Wednesday, June 3rd. Who would? They’re generally pretty boring. Wednesday though, your council representatives showed their true colors.

    The agenda clearly stated that testimony would be taken either emailed to the clerk (who would then read it in such a monotone that anyone would be put to sleep); or, if you wanted to do so in person, you could participate by Zoom.

    A representative of the Southern Communities Coalition which, as the name states, is an umbrella group representing homes associations and other groups living in the area they represent which happens to be Hickman Mills, was actually abiding by the rules and trying to testify by Zoom. That worked so well, she had no audio —- and no one cared. Talk about a democracy.

    Then there was John Sharp, who with his usual self-possession, decided to show up in person. No one seems to know how he made it clear to the 26th floor. At least that’s what they say.

    Councilman Barnes, the committee chair, is supposed to have a 2-minute limit on speakers giving testimony, yet Mr. Sharp was allowed to drone on for 8 minutes on topics unrelated to the issue. Of course he had to mention he’s president of the South Kansas City Alliance, a political organization he started. He obviously was telling the members of the committee which way to vote.

    Surprise of surprises, the committee fell in line and decided in favor of the political stance rather than the correct and ethical one in favor of the community. Should there be a lesson to be learned here? Is it that no one can fight city hall and win? Could it simply be that our “representatives” are afraid of Mr. Sharp? He is the one who almost ran down a Hickman Mills school board member in the administration center parking lot. He’s also the one that spoke to a school superintendent in terms that caused her to tell him she would never be alone with him in the same room.

    Still, if your elected representatives are that afraid of him, do they deserve to be your representatives? They’re certainly not representing you.

     
  • skcablog 1:29 pm on June 1, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    Just Say No 

    Can you believe Byron Townsend is running for the Hickman Mills School Board? He was a member some years ago but resigned his seat because he didn’t like the results of the board reorganization. Apparently, he wasn’t happy with the person the majority of the board voted for to be president. That was certainly dedication to the students he was representing. What can be his possible motive now? Why should the community put their faith in him when he’s proved his promises aren’t sincere?

     
  • skcablog 12:39 pm on March 12, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    March SCC Meeting Agenda [CANCELED] 

    This month’s meeting has been canceled.

    Southern Communities Coalition Meeting
    Wednesday, March 18, 2020, 7:00 P.M.
    South Kansas City Patrol Station
    9701 Marion Park Drive
    Kansas City, MO 64137

    Agenda

    Hickman Mills C-1 School District

    Discussion with questions featuring Mr. Ju Durham of Hollis & Miller for the Bond Facilities Vision Team

    Introductions of the six candidates competing for three open positions on the Hickman Mills school board: Byron Townsend, DaRon McGee, Clifford Ragan, Richard Abram II, Irene Kendrick, and Debbie Long

     
  • skcablog 3:15 pm on February 22, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    Center Planning February Meeting Notice 

    Center Planning and Development Council
    Tuesday, February 25, 2020
    7:00 P.M.
    Trailside Center, 9901 Holmes Road, KCMO 64131

    (Parking is off both sides of 99th Street east of Holmes Road)

    AGENDA

    1. Angela Habeebulah, attorney, will present plans for a day care center at 711 E. 92nd St. At our November meeting this project was discussed as a possibility. Now a formal application has been made for the Special Use Permit and this will be their official notification to the community. Residences within 300′ of the project have been notified. The first public hearing will be March 3rd at the City Plan Commission at City Hall.

    2. Representatives from the architectural firm of Mantel Teter and the civil engineering firm of MHS will present plans for the Southpoint Church of Christ at 101 W. Red Bridge Road for an additional 7,000s.f. sanctuary, additional parking and corresponding site improvements to accommodate its growing membership. They have filed for a Special Use Permit and notified property owners within 300′ of the project. The first public hearing will be March 3rd at the City Plan Commission at City Hall.

    3. Doug Stone, attorney, will tell us about the Special Use Permits that have been filed for Kindred Hospital at 8701 Troost Avenue. The intention is to re-use the existing Kindred Hospital building and grounds for one of four possible uses, each of which requires a special use permit. The potential uses are Group Living, College/University, Religious Assembly and School. It will be heard on March 3rd at the City Plan Commission at City Hall.

    4. Revisions to our by-laws will be presented. The vote on the by-laws will be taken at the next meeting.

    Update:

    The public hearing on the NorthPoint development of the Bannister Federal Complex will be Tuesday, March 3rd at the City Plan Commission, City Hall. They will be asking for 20 year tax incentives. Concern was expressed at our general meeting and at our recent board meeting.
    We are concerned about the funding for our taxing districts, particularly the Center School District and will be addressing our concerns to the Port Authority and our Council representatives.

    Note: The City Plan Commission meets Tuesday, March 3rd at 9 a.m. on the 26th floor of City Hall. Projects are not always taken in order.

     
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