Streetcar Opponent File Ethics Complaint Against City

Opponents to expanding the Kansas City streetcar lines have filed a complaint against the city with the Missouri Ethics Commission (MEC)

The complaint accused Kansas City Mayor Sly James and the City Council of electioneering in the weeks leading up to the August 5 Missouri primary ballot and the local streetcar question.

The Mayor denies the charge in a Monday statement from his office.

In August, Kansas City voters will be asked whether or not to approve expanding the current streetcar district to include most of the city south of the river.

The complaint charges the city with spending $685,000 for an “outreach” program into neighborhoods where the streetcar line may head in the future.

Dan Coffey of the Citizens for responsible Government cited a June 15 letter to neighborhood leaders as his proof of the electioneering accusation.

The letter from Scott Hall and Associates, explains how they’re looking for neighborhood leaders to help find workers for the outreach project.

“It is our goal not to persuade bit to provide baseline information, collect and document feedback.

The letter says they’re looking for workers to help them in late June, July and October, the weekend leading up to two potential local street car elections. They are also asked if the people would be willing to wear clothing associated with the outreach effort. They would be offered $10 an hour with no benefits.

The statement from mayor Sly James’ office says the workers are being hired to assist with a program assessing the environmental impact of a streetcar line in areas where the lines may be built.

It is not known when the MEC will issue a determination on the complaint.

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