The 1st Council District race has been one of the most competitive since the four-way April primary, which challenger Heather Hall won with 31 percent of the vote to incumbent Dick Davis’ 29 percent.
Davis has since picked up support from the other two primary candidates, retired fire union president Louie Wright and teacher Jane Rinehart. He touts his decades of involvement in Northland politics and long years as manager of the city’s bus system. He has been a reliable supporter of Mayor Sly James’ agenda.
Hall’s husband is a Kansas City police officer, and she has strong support from many police officers. She also has some ties to the tea party in Clay County, worked briefly for Todd Akin when he challenged Claire McCaskill for the U.S. Senate seat, and has support from Republican officeholders.
Occupation: Special projects manager at Clay County Commission.
Education: Bachelor’s degree in journalism/public relations, Kansas State University
Public service: Board member and general manager of the Greater Kansas City Council on Philanthropy, 1992-2001; staff liaison to Clay County Parks Board and Tourism Board, 2013-present.
Major endorsements: Kansas City Fraternal Order of Police, Lodges 99 and 102; West Central Missouri Regional FOP Lodge 50; Kansas City Fire Chief Officers Local 3808; Public Safety Concern.
Positions on three key issues:
KCI: Due to the fact that Kansas City is strapped for cash, a priority needs to be made for basic services. Given that fact, at this time, we are well-served by the current airport and, to date, I know of no justification to make any dramatic changes. However, I am not opposed to necessary renovations.
Kemper Arena: I think the city should donate it to something worthwhile.
Streetcar expansion: The streetcar is being built. It is reasonable to wait a few years to see how the initial line is received before plunging more money into an expansion.
Occupation: Retired general manager of Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, 1977-2000
Education: Bachelor’s degree in economics, University of Arkansas-Little Rock
Public service: Gladstone City Council, 1969-1972; Gladstone mayor, 1971-1972; executive director, Mid-America Regional Council, 1972-1977
Endorsements: Forward Kansas City; Citizens Association; KC BizPAC; Downtown Council PAC; Carpenters’ District Council; KC AFL-CIO; Greater Kansas City Building & Construction Trades Council.
Positions on three key issues:
KCI: I do not support a new $1 billion terminal. The airlines are now preparing a proposal designed to meet the long-term aviation needs with a cost that the airlines feel is affordable. That proposal should be thoroughly evaluated. It is imperative that we find some consensus that allows the city to initiate major improvements that meet security and passenger convenience needs at a cost that recognizes the economics of the airline industry and, ultimately, affordability for airline passengers.
Kemper Arena: First, explore all possibilities for reuse in the current West Bottoms site. I prefer a reuse that complements the American Royal. The previously discussed use for amateur sports is worthy of careful consideration. A renaissance for the West Bottoms appears to be underway. An adapted Kemper Arena could become a major attraction.
Streetcar expansion: The Downtown Loop streetcar line, financed by a special taxing district, fills an important gap in the renewal of downtown. However, it adds only marginal assistance to Kansas City’s public transit challenge. I strongly support an orderly expansion of the downtown starter line with the Main Street extension from Crown Center to the Plaza/university complex as the first step. Since residents of that corridor voted yes on the previous streetcar initiative, a smaller taxing district should be prepared for consideration by voters in the corridor.