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City Council Sued Over Light Rail Ballot Proposal

Kansas City, MO – Opponents to Kansas City's light rail proposal filed a lawsuit against the city council today. The suit alleges the council violated the city charter by rushing the issue onto the ballot for the November election. KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross reports.

Committee for Sensible Transit member Patrick Tuohey filed the lawsuit. He says the city council called the light rail proposal an emergency measure in order to rush it onto the ballot.

TUOHEY: I would be hard-pressed to understand how any light rail ballot initiative that won't be built for another five years rises to the level of an emergency.

Council members had promised to put a new light rail proposal on the ballot after repealing a plan passed by voters two years ago. Earlier in the day, Mayor Mark Funkhouser said that in a faltering economy, light rail could provide hundred of new jobs.

FUNKHOUSER: And that's just while we're building it. Light rail is also a catalyst far into the future.

The mayor said the 14-mile starter system could also attract new residents, and spur economic development along the route.

Sylvia Maria Gross is storytelling editor at KCUR 89.3. Reach her on Twitter @pubradiosly.
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