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Fri September 30, 2011
Council Votes to Kill Chastain Transit Initiative
By Steve Bell
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Kansas City city council has refused to put Clay Chastain's latest transit initiative on the local ballot.
The council resolved that the number of petition signatures collected is moot if an initiative does not include sufficient funding.
Transportation chair Russ Johnson emphasized that it's not the first time a city council has refused to respond to a petition campaign, commenting, "It has been done before. When was it done before? It was done before in 1954. Who did it? The city of Kansas City, Missouri. Who said that we could do that? The Missouri Supreme Court."
The council unanimously agreed the Chastain initiative is unconstitutiona. They were likewise unanimous in endorsing the downtown streetcar route portion of the regional transit plan supported by the Midamerica Regional Council. That plan also includes commuter rail that would utilize existing unused right-of-way.
The council also unanimously recommended $7.5 million in state tax incentives to convert the stalled West Edge development next to the Plaza to include an office building for the Polsinelli-Shughart law firm.