Council and KCI
The flirtation with Edgemoor to build the new airport terminal appears to have ended predictably in failure. The only worse outcome would have been to tell Edgemoor to go away and pay it $30 million in taxpayer funds. Politicians probably wouldn’t get re-elected if that happened.
With or without the payoff, Edgemoor was always going to go away. It seems the process of its selection was as phony as the company’s mythical savings in its proposal.
The selection process advocated by The Star and this cabal has resulted in delays, many thousands of dollars in unnecessary legal fees, increased costs and this charade of a process to pick a vendor. The taxpayers and traveling public have been scammed.
It’s time to go back to the beginning and the company that put us on the path to a much-needed new terminal. It is time for our friends and neighbors, not carpetbaggers, to design the new airport terminal.
It is time to call Burns & McDonnell. Beg for forgiveness, and hope the local company says yes.
I have lived and attended college in Kansas City, and I’ve been in this metropolitan area since 1966. For a long time, as a business commuter, I hoped the city would get a modern, attractive airport to replace the concrete jungle that is there now.
What a disappointment, after winning voter approval in November, to see that a secretive cartel of bitter, resentful City Council losers cadged together enough votes to sink the project. The public majority should be very angry at this late-stage ambush.
The cartel’s message seems to be a demand for more freebies and giveaways to “the community” — whatever that means. Our only hope is that Mayor Sly James can persuade the contractor, Edgemoor, to work with him politically, and allow the time to snag back a few of those votes and keep the process going.
What an embarrassment for Kansas City.
I was extremely disappointed in The Star’s editorial “Does the Kansas City school district have too many charters?” on Nov. 30. (16A)
There are only two local charters that might have the “deep philanthropic pockets” cited in the editorial. Every other charter’s operational budget wholly depends on state funding.
Eight charters have closed since opening in 1999. Four closed because of costly management contracts with for-profit companies such as Imagine Schools, and another because of over-reporting of attendance by administrators — not the board’s governance.
The other three closed because of poor test scores or financial weakness — vastly different from the broad strokes of the editorial.
Charter school and Kansas City Public Schools students come from the same population. Charters accept everyone. Their operating budgets depend on seats being filled.
Those fortunate to have more applicants than seats use a lottery process, which avoids “cherry-picking” students. Only one public school — Lincoln College Preparatory Academy — cherry-picks the best. Its entry requirements exclude failing students.
As a result, it always ranks among the top in Missouri.
The strength of charter schools is that poorly performing charters are closed. For decades, we’ve watched a failing school district roll along without real change.
Charter schools are bold enough to create innovative spaces for learning, but brave enough to admit when there is failure.
Dana Tippin Cutler
Learn the lesson
As yet another sex scandal derails a politician — this time Andrea Ramsey, Democratic candidate for Kansas’ 3rd District — there is much to dissect. (Dec. 15, KansasCity.com, “Democrat Andrea Ramsey, accused of sexual harassment, drops out of U.S. House race”)
But in today’s extremely polarized political landscape where every election can feel like a life-or-death battle, the reaction from some Democrats I’ve seen is to blame this on Ramsey’s opponents or otherwise chalk it up to dirty politics.
This is completely backwards. Democrats — but in reality, all of us — should look at the purging of politicians accused of sexual misconduct as a good thing, not another stone thrown in the “red vs. blue” war that seems forever raging. We desperately need to put aside partisan politics when it comes to issues as serious as sexual harassment, workplace abuses of power, and transparency in government.
I followed Ramsey from the sidelines and looked forward to this particular race. I was briefly saddened to read the news of her dropping out, but ultimately recognize this is the right choice.
No matter your party affiliation, there should be no room in politics for individuals with these histories. Period.
The times are changing. And while this is a painful lesson, it’s a worthwhile one.