Thursday, October 29, 2009


Sometimes I drive Longview Road just to avoid Cathy Jolly’s red light cameras on Red Bridge. Except for the massive amounts of concrete, driving around the roundabouts actually makes me think for a minute that I’m living in a progressive city. Then there was the day I was sitting at the yield sign waiting for a car in the circle when the driver politely stopped and waved me in. I could only sigh and proceed.

One particular day I actually needed to travel Longview Road and happened to pass John Sharp’s spray pool. Interestingly, workers appeared to be installing a chain link fence. I couldn’t help but wonder about the message to be sent. It was only a year ago that Mr. Sharp convinced many that the chain link fence around Ruskin High School looked like a prison fence. He even diverted PIAC funds to pay for a wrought iron fence around the school. It seems like those funds would more appropriately be spent for a nice fence around something more public like the spray pool.

That seems, sadly, to be typical of how this city operates. Recently, there were new sidewalks installed along Blue Ridge Boulevard from 470 to Bannister. Even after the construction was complete the ‘right lane closed’ signs remained. The new city slogan is A City That Works. I could suggest a couple of better ones. A City That Operates the Same Old Way or maybe A City That Does Things Half Way.

Then there are all those COMBAT signs. Somehow it doesn’t seem quite kosher that COMBAT funds are being used to fund this ‘campaign’. The tax isn’t even up until next year, so it would be cheaper for the County to hold this election next year when other issues will be on the ballot. I guess that’s just our tax dollars at work.

Speaking of which, why is it CID’s can contribute to campaign funds? It doesn’t seem fair that they can use our tax dollars to fund campaigns we may not favor. Councilman Sharp, who bills himself as being pro-community, says he doesn’t like CID’s. Then he goes to City Hall and votes for them.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Just a Few More Words

Hope is an illusive thing. So is change. Three years ago south K.C. was full of hope and looking for change. City council candidates made promises; then they were elected and the promises and hope turned into empty dreams. The orange revolution was nothing more than an election gimmick.

Friends of Red Bridge had hopes of building an environmentally and neighborhood friendly bridge. John Sharp even testified at council committee hearings that a big bridge wasn’t necessary. Then he got himself elected and played god with the outcome.

Around about that time, the Wizards were looking for their own stadium and hired Lane 4 to get it for them. That’s all they wanted – their own stadium. The old Bannister Mall site seemed like a good place. Sadly for them, EDC said they would need to do retail and office, also. When Kansas came a-courtin’ who could blame Lane 4? Here was their chance to do only what they wanted, get the Wizards their own stadium.

Once again, south K.C. has had their hopes shattered. John Sharp was going to be their savior and bring much wanted retail back to the area. Now he’s just another politician looking for the elusive colossus of a development. He has not, as he said he would, see that all of Hickman Mills is included in the Hickman Mills Area Plan. That leaves the entire area west of 71 Highway, soon to be I-49, without a plan. How convenient for the powers that be.

Now, if local political insiders are to be believed, Bannister Mall will become a warehouse/distribution center. That will encourage the city to widen the already too big bridge they are planning for Red Bridge Road which in turn will lead to the further widening of the rest of the road. MoDOT has already said south K.C. should have expected this when they pushed to have the interchange at Red Bridge rather than Longview Road.

While the west side of Hickman Mills has no official plan, officials have their own plan for the area. I have no doubt that John Sharp will do his best Harold Hill impression and convince the community that this type of development with its increase in truck traffic is just what they need.