KC Peace Activists Sue City Hall Over Honeywell Vote
August 26, 2011

A local group who wants a public vote on expanding the Honeywell plant in Kansas City is suing City hall.

The group says it’s asking a Jackson County’s district  court for a writ of mandamus–a court order– to hold a vote on whether or not the plant should expand.

Rachel McNair of the peace Planters group says a city hall’s refusal to permit that vote is “being sabotaged”.

The group submitted more than 3,572 valid signatures earlier this summer.

But City Attorney Galen Beaufort advised the City Council not to put the issue on the November 2011 ballot. Beaufort’s legal opinion claims the expansion of the plant is not a local issue.

Since the Honeywell plant has national defense contracts from the Department of  Energy, what the plant does is a national security issue, not a local one. The plant makes non-nuclear components of weapons systems.

Timing is a key issue in the court filing.

The deadline for placing an issue on the November ballot is August 30.  That leaves three business days from Friday August 26 to get a decision from the Court.

9PM City-Wide Kid Curfew No Longer a “Distinct Possibility”–Alternative Emerges
August 16, 2011

Just 24 hours after Kansas City Mayor Sly James writes city leaders about “a distinct possibility” of a 9pm city-wide curfew for people 17 and under, the plan may be on the shelf.

City Council Members John Sharp says he and Councilman Ed Ford ar working on an alternative.

It would call for a curfew later than 9 pm, and one restricted to the city’s entertainment districts. Sharp says “they’re the ones hanging out late at night, unsupervised”.

Sharp says the Plaza, the Power & Light District, Westport and  Zona Roza are likely locations for the curfew. He added there may be a couple of locations, but he did not mentioned them by name. It appears that’s a detail they are still working out. 

Today Sharp called the city-wide curfew idea a “non starter” with him.

“It’s just too broad, and we don’t have the manpower to enforce it”, he told KMBC 9 News..

Sharp also indicates the entertainment zone alternative may also come with a new, higher fines for the first offense against the parents of  a violator.

He again called the $1 fine for a first offense “a joke”.

He says the city needs a a set of  graduated fines for the parents, adding” it has to be more than the cost of a babysitter for the evening”.

When the problem first appeared years ago, the City curfew law called for regular reports to the city on its effectivness.

“I’ve never seen that”, said Sharp referring to the curfew reports. He says that’s another example of how the existing curfew law is not being enforced.

Sharp’s Public Safety Committee will probably talk to the Kansas City Police commanders about  their perspective at the Wednesday morning committee meeting.

At this point, it appears the City Council will try to implement a curfew ordinance at its Thursaday afternoon meeting. It appears the Sharp/Ford entertainment zone curfew proposal will be the starting point for  the discussion. To pass the ordinance and imeidately put it into place, the measure would need  a supermajority, nine  city council votes.