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KCI petitioners aren’t interested in city’s proposed compromise

Updated: 2014-03-11T16:35:26Z

By LYNN HORSLEY

The Kansas City Star

A group that gathered petitions to force a vote on the future of Kansas City International Airport says it isn’t interested in compromise language proposed by the City Council.

A spokesman for the group, called Friends of KCI, said the petition committee gathered more than 5,000 signatures, more than enough to trigger an election. Dan Coffey said the petitioners want voters to prohibit any city employee from implementing any plan to demolish any passenger terminal “at any city-controlled airport” or to construct any new terminal except with voter approval.

The council proposed narrower language that promises to require voter authorization before the city demolishes any KCI terminal or builds a new terminal. But the city’s draft removes reference to “any city-controlled airport” because it doesn’t want to tie the council’s hands on Wheeler Downtown Airport or restrict airport planning required by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Coffey issued a statement Monday saying the Friends of KCI wants the council to adopt language exactly as written by the petitioners or put that same language on a ballot this spring.

City Attorney Bill Geary sent a letter to the petitioners’ lawyer, saying the council has more time to act before the committee of petitioners can make a decision on what it desires.

Geary wrote that the language petitioners want would impose “unconstitutional restrictions” on the planning process for any new airport terminal.

To reach Lynn Horsley, call 816-226-2058 or send email to lhorsley@kcstar.com.

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