Government & Politics

Lynn Horsley: At City Hall this week: Dec. 19 - 23

The Kansas City Council has lots of unfinished business to tend to this week, before taking two weeks off for the holidays.
The Kansas City Council has lots of unfinished business to tend to this week, before taking two weeks off for the holidays. Kansas City Star file photo.

Some key issues get attention this week at City Hall, right before the City Council takes two weeks off for the holidays. We’re awaiting word Monday on the viability of the downtown convention hotel. Plus, a civil trial starting Monday has long-term implications for how the city handles trash collection at large condo and apartment buildings.

MONDAY, Dec. 19

The developers of a proposed 800-room downtown convention hotel hope to wrap up final agreements Monday with the Land Clearance for Development Authority. That may pave the way for a bond sale and construction next year on the hotel, slated to be built just east of the Bartle Hall Ballroom. If all goes as hoped, the hotel could open in September 2019.

A class-action trial starts in Platte City, with Kansas City municipal government as a defendant. The plaintiffs are apartment and condo owners who argue that they pay the earnings tax and are entitled to trash rebate payments. The city halted those payments in 2010 and says it only provides trash services for single family residences and buildings with six or fewer units, except for larger buildings that had a separate legal settlement with the city from 2010. A judge will hear the case this week and take arguments under advisement. Whoever loses is likely to appeal, but this case could involve millions of dollars and has long-term implications for the city’s trash collection program.

TUESDAY, Dec. 20

The City Plan Commission meets and will hear more about the Nelson Atkins Museum’s expansion plans, which some neighbors oppose.

The Kansas City parks board meets at 2 p.m. at parks headquarters.

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 21

The Council’s Public Safety Committee may consider a petition initiative seeking to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana in Kansas City. An activist group gathered sufficient petition signatures for a Kansas City ballot measure, hoping for an April election. Now the city council must consider whether the ballot language is worded legally and the timing of any election.

Other council committee agendas are here.

THURSDAY, Dec. 22

The city council will start drafting ballot language at 9:30 a.m. for an $800 million infrastructure bond proposal to put before voters in April. The deadline to complete the ballot plan is Jan. 19.

At its 3 p.m. legislative session, the council may also decide whether to place a separate one-eighth-cent sales tax increase for the East Side on the April ballot. That ballot measure was the result of a successful initiative petition drive.

FRIDAY, Dec. 23

Happy Holidays! The city council is off for the next two weeks and the beatnote is off until Jan. 4.

Lynn Horsley: 816-226-2058, @LynnHorsley

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