The city clerk of Kansas City said Friday that transit activist Clay Chastain has gathered more than the 1,709 valid signatures needed for his latest light rail initiative.
Marilyn Sanders said she had confirmed from Kansas City election authorities that Chastain collected 1,756 petition signatures, above the required threshold.
Chastain has spearheaded other unsuccessful light rail initiatives since the mid-1990s.
Chastain, who lives most of the time in Virginia, wants Kansas City voters in November to consider his proposal for a 25-year, 3/4-cent sales tax increase to help support his $2 billion plan for a light rail and electric bus system from the airport to south Kansas City.
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But the City Council first must determine whether the petition initiative passes legal muster and should go on the November citywide ballot.
Mayor Sly James said he didn’t know yet what the council would do about Chastain’s concept.
“No clue,” James said. “Don’t know how legal it is. Don’t know how feasible it is.”
Chastain’s latest plan comes as a group of streetcar advocates has filed a different kind of petition in Jackson County Circuit Court to extend the downtown streetcar system south to 51st Street and Brookside Boulevard, near the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
If the court approves, that will set up a series of elections within a specific geographic area south of the Missouri River for an expanded transportation taxing district.
For that grass-roots petition effort, a court hearing is scheduled for Sept. 15. Written pleadings for and against the streetcar proposal are due in court by Aug. 8.