Sly Says It’s About Public Safety
January 25, 2016

Kansas City Mayor Sly James kicked off the city campaign to renew the earnings tax with a warning, its end could harm the city’s public safety.

“Over the next 10 years, if we have to abandon this tax by a vote, we wlil have to start shaving people very quickly,” the Mayor predicted.

He estimated 800 police officers could be laid off during the 10 year phase out of the earnings tax.

He added about 500 firefighters and emergency medical technicians would be let go as well.

James repeated the often heard figures that the earnings tax makes generates more than $230 million dollars each year for Kansas City. That is 40% of the city’s main operating budget.

Much of that main operating budget, says the mayor, goes to support the police and fire departments.

“I don’t think this mayor or city council would vote to cut public safety spending. I think if you put the question to them, clearly they would day ‘ no ‘,” countered Patrick Tuohey of the Show Me Institute, a critic of the earnings tax.

This Missouri legislature changed the states earnings tax law six years ago.

The change requires Kansas City and St. Louis to ask voters to renew the earnings tax every five years.

78% of the 2011 Kansas City voters supported the earnings tax at that election.

Mayor James says forces in Jefferson City are trying to eliminate the earnings tax in Kansas City and St. Louis for their own political gain.

State Senator Kurt Schaefer has proposed a bill that would abolish the earnings tax immediately. He does not think the tax could stand up in court after a recent US Supreme Court ruling involving a Maryland earnings tax.

Schaefer’s bill, however, is not directly tied to the earning tax renewal vote.

The election is April 5.

KC Police Say They were Ready for Trouble at Nazi Rally
November 20, 2013

The Kansas Police say they were relieved there was no trouble at the November 9 Nazi rally in Kansas City, but they were prepared if things went bad.
Police Colonel James Connelly told the City Council Public Safety Committee of how the force handled the rally in the Jackson County Courthouse steps.
“When you have that much hate speech, you have to take the steps necessary to stop a y violence,” Connelly told KMBC TV. Connelly says preparations went well and there was no property damage.
A counter rally at the Liberty Memorial the same day went off smoothly, too, according to the police.
City Councilman John Sharp and the entire City Council supported a resolution condemning the event by the National Socialist Party and the Aryan Nation. Sharp says he thinks the group wanted to provoke a violence response.
He called the rally, where he said there were 30-40 members from the groups, a”failure”.

KC Council Condemns Neo Nazis, Urged Citizens Not to Confront Them at Rally
November 1, 2013

The Kansas City, Missouri City Council is asking residents not to directly confront members of the National Socialist Party when the group holds a rally in Kansas City early in November.
The neo- Nazi group plans a gathering on the Jackson County Courthouse steps November 9th, according to a notice on its website. Other right wing extremist groups like the Ku Klux Klan and the Aryan Nation may also attend.
“Well this isn’t a tiny group of people, unfortunately. It is being advertised nationally on their website. Obviously, they don’t have many supporters, but it’s not going to be just a half dozen people,” said City Councilman John Sharp.
The Council passed a resolution Thursday stating its “unanimous opposition to the racist and anti-Semitic beliefs of the neo-Nazi movement”.
Instead of confrontation, City Councilman Sharp hopes Kansas Citians confront the group with words and deeds, not violence.
Sharp says he think the group selected Kansas City for the event because they were in town in 2005. At that time, not much was made of their rally. Sharp believes they mistakenly think Kansas City might tolerate the group.
Sharp says he brought the issue to the attention of the Police Board Thursday. He says the police are aware of the approaching event.
Sharp says he expects protesters opposing the neo-Nazis to show up.
“We’re hopeful persons who value human rights will have a rally—but away from theirs, without a confrontation of the two groups. But there may well be some protesters there,” he said.

KC Star, Pelofsky Wants Off Police Board
April 7, 2013

Kansas City police board President Lisa Pelofsky has asked Gov. Jay Nixon to find a replacement for her board seat after serving three years.

Pelofsky was appointed in 2010 to finish the final two years of another board member’s term. Midterm appointees usually remain on the board for a full four-year term after the partial term, but Pelofsky cited family and business concerns as reasons for wanting to step down.

In her letter to Nixon, Pelofsky asked to be replaced before the end of this legislative session. She said she had learned a great deal on the board and that she believed the board added value to the department. During her tenure, the board recognized a bargaining unit for civilian employees, selected the city’s first black chief and appointed a police liaison for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender crime victims, according to her letter.

Board member Pat McInerney asked Nixon in January to leave the board in April after his four-year term expires. Nixon already has named local attorney Michael C. Rader as McInerney’s successor. McInerney is co-chair of Mayor Sly James’ new commission to study who should control the Kansas City Police Department.

Flash! Darryl Forte Named New KC Police Chief
October 7, 2011

Deputy Chief Darryl Forte has been named the new Police Chief for Kansas City, Missouri.

The Board of Police Commissioners selected Forte this morning.

He has been a deputy Chief since 2006. In that role he supervised  the Departments  capital improvement  unit and  the financial department.

He replaces former Chief Jim Corwin. He retired last month.