After Chastain victory, KC acts like sore losers

06/24/2014 9:21 AM

06/24/2014 9:22 AM

Acting like petulant children, Kansas City officials have decided to prolong their costly legal dispute with light-rail activist Clay Chastain.

That’s exactly what Kansas Citians don’t need right now.

Instead, they need the city’s legal department and the City Council to act like adults — not sore losers — in dealing with Chastain’s initiative petition to build a light rail line.

The city this week announced it would not mention the words “light rail” in the ballot language it wants to give to voters in November.

Predictably, Chastain said he would try to alter that ballot language.

So back to court we go.

The city thinks it’s on solid legal ground in just mentioning the two taxes that would be used for the Chastain plan — which the city has no intention of building anyway.

Then again, the city thought it was on solid legal ground when it challenged Chastain’s petitions three years ago, the start of a long odyssey in the courts.

Eventually, the Missouri Supreme Court decided that the city had to put the issue on the ballot. That was a big victory for Chastain, and a loss for the city.

But the city gets to write the ballot language, compounding the problem this initiative has had for years getting to the people of Kansas City.

City Hall should put the words “light rail” in the ballot language and end this charade.

Then the people can reject it in November, as they have good reasons to do.

To reach Yael T. Abouhalkah, call 816-234-4887 or send email to abouhalkah@kcstar.com. Twitter @YaelTAbouhalkah.

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