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Voters To Decide The Future Of Kansas City Tuesday

By Eric L. Wesson Sr.
CALL Staff Writer

Kansas City voters will decide on Tuesday, Nov. 7, whether to move Kansas City forward, not only with a new single terminal airport, but in the area of future economic development and tourism for the City.
In addition, voters will decide whether the land currently under the control of Parks and Recreation be turned over to developers for projects or remain under the control of Parks and Recreation.

City Of Kansas City, Missouri Question No. 1 “Shall the City of Kansas City be authorized to construct a new passenger terminal at Kansas City International Airport and demolish existing terminals as necessary, with all costs paid solely from the revenues derived by the City from the operation of its airports and related facilities, and without the issuance of general airport revenue bonds unless such general airport revenue bonds have received prior voter approval?”
Question 1 addresses the construction of a new airport terminal which will create about 1,800 construction jobs and will cost taxpayers nothing in new taxes. Revenue for the project will come from airline ticket sales and other revenue streams connected to the airport.

Opponents of the measure say that a new terminal is not needed and renovations, which the City says will cost about $500 million, would correct the infrastructure issues at KCI.

Those repairs would be costly and pretty much ineffective according to airport officials, because they would have to be redone in a couple of years. They call the concept “a band-aid” approach.

Opponents also say that if the airlines go out of business then taxpayers would be on the hook for the $1.250 billion that the airport is expected to cost.

Supporters of the measure contend that it is imperative that infrastructure be modernized as well as major technology improvements.

Church Employee Charged With Arson

By Eric L. Wesson Sr.
CALL Staff Writer

A Kansas City man, who worked as the church’s custodian, has been charged in federal court with arson on Monday, Oct. 30.
Nathaniel D. Nelson, 48, was charged in U.S. District Court with committing arson inside of the Concord Cultural center which adjoins the Concord Fortress of Hope church.

Nelson was captured on a video inside the building’s foyer just before he unplugged the surveillance system, according to documents. The church’s infra-red system continued to record Nelson with his cellphone walking through the church. He was unaware of that second system, which recorded video of him outside spray-painting the graffiti, according to the allegations.

Deputy Chief Karl Oakman of the Kansas City, Mo., Police department, identified Nelson from the video. Oakman is also a member of Concord.

Nelson was not only a member, but was the church’s head custodian and was doing an outstanding job, according to Rev. Ron Lindsay, founder and senior pastor of Concord.

“He was doing an outstanding job,” Pastor Lindsay told THE CALL.
“We did know, after our background investigation, that he had a felony conviction although we did not learn that it was arson. We believe that people deserve a second chance and he had earned our support. He had just received a raise in pay and was about to receive full company benefits. He was a really good worker,” he said.

What Will The Future Hold For The American Jazz Museum?

By Eric L. Wesson Sr.
CALL Staff Writer

On Thursday, Oct. 19, City Councilman Jermaine Reed introduced City Ordinance 170856 which provides certain assets be transferred from the control of the American Jazz museum to the Kansas City Parks and Recreation department effective May 1, 2018.

The Jazz museum currently leases and manages certain City assets including, without limitation, the American Jazz museum, the Blue Room, the Horace Peterson III 18th and Vine Visitor center, the tenant space for the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and the Gem theater.

The agreement and lease is set to expire on April 30, 2018.
On Wednesday, Oct. 25, Councilmen Reed in follow-up to his memorandum submitted on Monday, October 16, to the American Jazz Museum Board of Directors as well as other key stakeholders. Council member Reed’s initial memo outlined the “Reed Plan” to move forward concerning the Preservation and Advancement of the American Jazz Museum.

Council member Reed provided his testimony to the Finance Committee in support of his Ordinance No. 170856 regarding the American Jazz museum (AJM).

The ordinance went before the full City Council during its Legislative meeting on Thursday, October 26, where it passed unanimously, with Third District At-Large Council member Quinton Lucas and First District At-Large Council member Scott Wagner as co-sponsors. The ordinance puts forth for the Council’s consideration the following items:

• Appropriation of $225,000 of the City’s General Fund to fund the ongoing operations of the American Jazz Museum through the end of their contract on April 30, 2018
• Direction to the City Manager with respect to the existing contractual relationship with the American Jazz Museum, Inc., an independent nonprofit organization that currently leases and manages certain City assets including the American Jazz Museum, the Blue Room, the Horace Peterson III 18th and Vine Visitor center, the tenant space for the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, and the Gem theater.
• Direction to conduct an organizational assessment in a period of discovery and preliminary planning with respect to the ongoing management of these City-owned assets from and after May 1, 2018.

“By taking the time to complete this organizational assessment, we will be preparing for the strategic and business planning that is to come,” Councilman Reed said.

“For both phases, we can engage strategically with nationally known museum professionals – who can then lead us in a process that will honor the real history of 18th and Vine by engaging artists, musicians, historians, and cultural planners,” Councilman Reed stated.