Kansas City Mayor Sly James says backing out of the current deal for a downtown convention hotel would have a “chilling impact” on future business deals in the city.
James made that comment as a Council committee voted 4-0 not to repeal convention hotel deals the city agreed to earlier this year.
A group of hotel deal critics have gathered enough signatures to force a city wide vote on the hotel project.
City Attorney Bill Geary, however says that hotel vote petition is not legal because it is trying to force the city to breach legal contracts it has signed with the developers.
“You do have the absolute right to push for legal vote. But you do not have the right to do it this way,” Geary told a Council committee.
Opponents were not surprised.
“About probably what we expected, Coffey said.
“But, you know, they’re going to push it,” he added.
Geary was asked what the city’s legal exposure might be if the city backed away from the deal it agreed to this city.
He said he figured it would be about $250,000 and no new hotel.
That’s when the mayor added it would have a long impact on future business deals.
The city has pledged about $40 million dollars to the project, estimated at around $311 million dollars.
The city says it included has strict limitation on its financial committment to the hotel project.
The Council has until November 30 to decide what to do with the petition calling for a city vote on the project.