Activist Clay Chastain won a quasi-victory in a lengthy court battle to put his sales tax plans for mass transit on the Kansas City ballot. Chastain sees the taxes as partial funding for his concept of light rail, commuter rail and streetcar systems. The state Supreme Court overturned lower court decisions that Chastain’s tax proposals were unconstitutional. The Supreme Court said that wasn’t the case and the proposed language met constitutional muster. But the court also said that if the taxes were approved by voters, receipts would not have to be used for transportation funding, thus nullifying, at least in part, Chastain’s plan. The litigation is now back in the circuit court where it began. The uncertainty of the Chastain plan’s future adds to the confusion already caused by myriad transportation plans under discussion.
The “Friends of KCI” group is refusing to compromise with the city council over ballot language contained in the “Friends” initiative petition concerning future activity at KCI. The council says the petition language is too broad and would affect activities at “any city-controlled airport,” not just KCI.
A Republican Representative from Parkville has filed articles of impeachment against Missouri’s governor Jay Nixon. The articles allege Nixon violated the constitution when he issued an executive order allowing legally married same-sex couples to file joint tax returns in Missouri. Representative Nick Marshall points to the state constitution’s ban on gay marriage.
In a recent column, Yael Abouhalkah notes that Mayor Sly James looks like a shoo-in for re-election unless one of several circumstances slows James’ momentum. One addition to the list: heavy snow storms. The way a mayor appears to handle a severe storm can enhance or diminish a mayor’s standing with voters.