Well build it, and the heck with those of you who dont want to come.
By MARY SANCHEZ
The Kansas City Star
Expect a more politely verbalized version of that sentiment to continue coming from City Hall when the topic is Kansas Citys inability to get light rail up and running.
Its looking like city efforts toward such commuter rail will finally come to fruition. Or rather, the beginnings of such a service, with a starter line downtown for streetcars that eventually could be extended to more of the city.
Mail-in ballots are due by the end of the month from about 600 downtown residents who will decide whether to create a taxing system necessary to help pay for the line.
Its likely that enough people will vote yes.
Most downtown residents understand the added value and vibrancy of such public transportation ventures.
For the naysayers who have consistently deep-sixed light rail: Youll still be able to have your say. But the folks in charge at City Hall are clearly tired of listening.
For those who havent been following this sagas latest turns, the plan now is for a 2.2-mile streetcar line linking the River Market through downtown to Crown Center.
The city lost out on a $25 million federal grant last month. (It wasnt a shock. The city had already been given funds from the same federal funding trough.)
So last week the City Council shuffled $2 million from coffers to keep the plan upright, mostly for engineering studies.
And the mayors office vows to keep looking for ways to pull more federal money. One idea is to divert some of the federal dollars already earmarked for transportation that flow into the city annually.
For the grousers, that idea possibly shuttering a number of other needs until a later day will be like feeding honey to bears. Lots to gnaw on.
But for the citys sake, lets hope the council sticks to its goal of meeting the 2015 completion date for the starter line.
Innovative ways are needed to raise the local dollars (naming rights on the stations!) that will be necessary to get this system up and keep it running.
The current situation is decades late and $100 million short.
But the blame cant be placed at Mayor Sly James feet, or even with the current council.
This administration is simply the cleanup crew on this one. The metro area missed out on the federal funding for such projects a long, long time ago.
Were in catch-up mode now. And James and the current council understand that they cant waste any more time.
So the new attitude has to be to get it done, however possible.
To reach Mary Sanchez, call 816-234-4752 or send email to email@example.com.