© 2023 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Council Funds Stadiums Over Mayor's Objections

Video frame courtesy of KCCG-TV.
Russ Johnson tells the council the lawsuit against the Mayor's wife cost the city more than the proposed stadiums appropriation.


Kansas City, MO – Preparing for a July fourth week off, Kansas City's City Council turned out a prolific load of legislation Thursday, finalizing a computerized traffic ticket system, new-home security standards, a loan to pay off TIF obligations, art for the KC-Live District, appropriations for street repairs, and an ethics reform project.

And the council went head to head with the mayor, on funding for the Sports Complex.

The appropriation was introduced from the floor - $770,000 to bring the city back into what previous councils promised for maintenance on the Jackson County Sports Complex - and to keep the county from cutting off funding for road work inside Kansas City.

Mayor Funkhouser objected, as in the past, saying it was choosing stadiums over neighborhoods. "I have a problem with terminating projects where people thought that work was going to be done. And now they're going to wake up and find that actually it's not going to be done," Funkhouser told the council.

To which Cindy Circo replied, "Well, I think the operative word is, then, that YOU have a problem. No one on this council has ever discussed not funding the stadiums... not from day one."

The confrontation got hot, with Russ Johnson accusing the mayor of showboating for the election campaign. He borrowed a colorful description of campaign time, "silly season," from colleague Ed Ford. "We are in what's called 'silly season,' said Johnson, "and during silly season there are those who would use priority issues strictly for political gain."

The vote was 12 to one. The sports complex gets the 770,000, and county road work will presumably continue in Kansas City.

KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and powerful storytelling.
Your donation helps make nonprofit journalism available for everyone.