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Kansas City Council Sidesteps Chastain Lawsuit Threat, Reaffirms Ballot Language

Legal maneuvering continued Thursday over a court order to put a Clay Chastain light rail proposal on the Kansas City ballot. The city still appeared to stay a step ahead of the perennial activist.

After the Kansas City Council voted to put the two sales taxes Clay Chastain proposed to pay for his light rail initiative on the ballot with no mention of the plan or light rail, Chastain threatened to sue charging that the council failed to give the public the required 24 hours notice of their final vote.

Within hours notice was posted and one day later, on Thursday, the same ballot plan appeared on the council agenda.

Mayor pro-tem Cindy Circo confined her remarks to reading from a prepared statement. “Yesterday," Circo said, "the city clerk posted a notice of this ordinance: not because we believe the procedures are unlawful, but to address this allegation. Public money need not be spent on more litigation.”

Councilman Ed Ford contended that the council owed the voters more information. He introduced a revision which mentioned that the vote was in response to initiative petitions. It failed.

The council reaffirmed its original ballot language choice and scheduled it for the November ballot again.

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