Transit Policy Stalls

May 26, 2016 - Leave a Response

The proposed ‘Transit Oriented Development Policy’ran into opposition Thursday at a joint meeting of two Kansas City Council committee.

Sponsor Jolie Justus pulled the proposal back at the end of the meeting.

Several council members, including three from the Northland, raised questions about the scope and intent of the plan.

Northland Council member Dan Fowler said he had just received a copy of the lengthy plan. He was concerned that only transit activists had been involved in drawing up the proposal.

“There has been no effort to reach out to those groups beyond those in the city center.” Fowler said, “That’s my concern. Something is going to be passed that most of us are not aware of”.

He added in was in favor a general transit policy,. He think less densely populated parst of the city, like the Northland and South Kansas City, need to be more involved. .

The proposal is intended to guide development along the streetcar line downtown and along some of the city’s bus stations, especially ones of the dedicated MAX bus routes.

The goal is to try and link economic development and transit.
City leaders claim the new 2 mile downtown streetcar route helped revive downtown and south of the loop.
Kansas Citian Sheila Styron testified at the hearing with her guide dog at her side. Styron is blind.

She said it’s right for the city to require business to make sure there bus station near by their operations that the disabled can use easily.

Kansas Citian Fred Gambino noted he owned property in Olathe, Kansas.

He says the city needs a transit guidance plan.
“Because without a policy, there’s no policy. And you’re going to end up like Olathe. Heaven help us,” he said.

The planning department leaders say they will arrange for a set of meetings in both the Northland and South Kansas City before drawing up a revised transit development policy.

Transit Policy Has to Streetcar Plan

May 26, 2016 - Leave a Response

Kansas City, Missouri’s Director of planning says there is no intent to expand the new streetcar line through a new transit policy.

” No. It is not implicitly a plan to expand the street car,” said Jeffery Williams, Planning Director.

The issue came up early in a lengthy Thursday morning meeting on the proposed “Transit Oriented Development” proposal the council is considering.

Northland Council member Heather Hall brought up her concerns about the streetcar expansion early in the meeting. She says she has concerned about a possible expansion.

” I do. I hear, as he (Williams) was discussing the plan, ‘future streetcar expansion’ is in the policy. To me, that means future streetcar expansion,” she said.

Hall remains skeptical about the no-expansion pledge.

Judge Rules Kansas Can Continue to Add to Voter Rolls

May 25, 2016 - Leave a Response

(AP) – A federal judge has denied a request to put on hold pending appeal an order requiring Kansas to add to voting rolls for federal elections thousands of eligible voters who did not provide proof of citizenship when registering at motor vehicle offices.
U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson on Wednesday instead extended for an additional two weeks a temporary stay of her order. The move gives Secretary of State Kris Kobach more time to register more than 18,000 eligible voters or request a stay from an appeals court.
Robinson cited the “fair amount of administrative effort” to comply when extending her temporary stay to June 14. The previous deadline was May 31.
Kobach has filed a notice of appeal of the preliminary injunction with the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals

Planned Parethood of Mid-Missouri & Kansas Merging with OKC Operation

May 25, 2016 - Leave a Response

(AP) – Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri announced plans Wednesday to merge with the abortion provider’s central Oklahoma affiliate in July and open a new Oklahoma City clinic, even as political leaders in the three states seek to cut off Medicaid funding.
Laura McQuade, the Kansas and Mid-Missouri affiliate’s president and CEO, said the merger is designed to create a regional health care “powerhouse” and isn’t a response to attempts by legislators and governors in the three states to prevent public funds from going to Planned Parenthood.
She also said the merger is part of a larger, 20-year trend of smaller, local Planned Parenthood affiliates consolidating into regional organizations. The central Oklahoma affiliate’s CEO retired last year, and McQuade has been the organization’s interim CEO since January under a contract in which the Kansas and Mid-Missouri group has managed operations in central Oklahoma.
“Really, this was about a sustainable business model,” she told reporters during a telephone conference call.

Nixon Sefs Photo ID Vote for November

May 23, 2016 - Leave a Response

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has placed the proposed constitutional amendment requiring a photo ID to vote on the Noevember ballot.
The Governor has the discretion where to schedule a vote.
Nixon, in the past, has said he wanted a measure like this voted on by as many registered voters as possible.
Previously, Nixon has said he did not like the concept of a photo ID requirement to vote.
His statement Monday setting the November election dates had no comment from him.
There is another bill passed by lawmakers that deals with photo ID voting.
The bill requires a photo ID.
Otherwise, a potential voter must sign a statement, under the penalty of perjury, that they have no photo ID –at all.
Then that voter is permitted to cast a ballot.
Another provision of the bill says the state would pay to assure that person has a photo ID.
That law is moot if the constitutional amendment fails at the polls.