Rodney's rants

Posted in: Historic Hawthorne Homes
  • Stock
  • rsampson
  • Respected Neighbor
  • Kansas City, Mo
  • 3 Posts
  • Respect-O-Meter: Respected Neighbor



   Below is a list of collected ideas that I hope will take sead...

   Comments are appreciated, action is even better.



     These are my personal views and ideas and in no way reflect the view of

            the constituents of any organization that I represent.


General Operation of City


1) Inter departmental and inter governmental agency coordination with projects.

            i.e. This summer , 31st & Main was blocked in various places for installation of

           The crosswalk improvements (brick patterned concrete), a month later, a cut was made to

           repair something, None of the previous projects touched the severe dip in the pavement

           in the middle of the intersection (there's a water valve in it)

    Another example is the North Oak improvements.


2) Police department funding from the city should be conditional on some sort of

            performance goals. Warrant service, cold case resolution, just a few ideas...

         Police department has serious public image issues. It doesn’t seem that anyone

            takes them seriously For example: Why should I drive correctly, when they don’t.

            I have personally seen many times where, not under any state of emergency,

              an officer will illegally turn left, or sneak into the intersection or run a red light.


3) ATA - stop funding rapid & trolley studies. This belongs to the public.

              We can’t get a realistic plan until we look to other than the current provider.

      a) Rapid transit is the only way we will be able to get people to abandon their vehicles.

            i.e. if you can't beat the time it takes to get somewhere on the highway, people

            won't give up the car.

      b) No transit plan should interrupt or reduce street level traffic.

      c) First line should be from airport to Union Station, with Union Station being junction

            point for all lines.

      d) All lines should use the median on the freeways whenever possible.

      e) Remove bus lines that are less then ¼ mile apart.

            i.e. What’s the logic behind having the 31st and Linwood lines.


4) Public structures like Kemper, Truman Sports Complex, Sprint Center, Bartle Hall should

be  in use at all times and over booked before we even start to think about building more.

What is going to happen to Municipal Auditorium now that the new Performing Arts Center

  Is in operation, another building left to ruin?


5) No elected person should be eligible for lifetime retirement benefits. They can add to 401K.


6) Any external organization for which we budget funds, payment should be performance based.


7) Turn over programs at community centers and maybe the community centers themselves to

            the county government... They seem to have money to spend.


8) Perhaps get the county to mow their Land Trust lots and board up the buildings that they

            hold. Have them at least properly mothball the structures.


9) Public notifications – Get them out 2-3 weeks before the event happens.

     I and others grow tired of notifications of meetings and events from City Hall being 2-3 days

            prior to the event.

     i.e. I received notification of a meeting titled "How to Protect Yourself from Home Repair

            Contractor Fraud". This event was scheduled for June 8, 2011 and notice was received

            On June 6, 2011.   Needless to say, turnout was sparse.

    Also notify surrounding neighborhoods of future street closures. Martini Corner (31st & Oak)

             Closed 31st St. on July 3. No notification went out.


10) We need a web page that will allow the citizens to track their Mayor and Council persons as

            to what they are doing. Listing meetings, votes, submitted ordinance changes , etc..



Vacant and Abandoned Property


1) When property becomes vacant,

   a) Raise property taxes to cover loss in taxes

   b) Mothball the property to save value.

   c) Setup escrow fund for fire fighting costs in case of fire,

   d) Escrow to cover demolition

Make this happen for ALL structures, governmental, school, church, business

   and residential.

   e) Force demolition after a set period of vacancy.

   f) If demolition takes place or property goes to Land Trust, rezone to R1-O owner occupied.


2) Why is it that Neighborhood preservation is not citing governmental, Businesses, churches

             and schools for property code maintenance violations. Only residents seem to be cited.


3) Municipal Court Warrant Service, for both traffic and Housing court, represent a sizable
            unrealized funding source. Knowing that this is not actively pursued makes us look

            weak and may contribute to the willingness of drivers to violate the traffic and

            housing ordinances. Publicize statistics.


4) Change 353 (eminent domain) and TIF to require developers to

      a) Replace what they tear down.   i.e. If you displace 300 residents , then they must build

            300 units to house them.

      b) Escrow for demolition as part of project cost.

      c) Hold developer responsible for tax incentives lost if business does not survive to end

            of incentive period.

      d) Projects requiring public funding above , say $2 million, should be placed on a ballot

            to be paid for by developer.


5) Create new residential zoning for owner occupied housing, R1-O.

            Allow neighborhoods to migrate to that zoning.


6) Since we have forced vehicle insurance, forced fire insurance may also help drop

      the arson for profit schemes. With this , the insurance companies can increase the

      fire insurance for a vacant structure and the state can force continued coverage.

      After a period of time, the structure vacated, should be properly mothballed and

      escrow for demolition should be forced.


7) All vacant land should be rezoned to R1-O. This would force all developments to

      go thru a rezoning process where the neighborhoods and plans would be

      taken into account.



Address violence and civil disobedience



1) Legislate parental responsibility, If a child is detained in Juvenile facilities, both parents

       should be as well. Maybe this will drop the murder rate in our city.



2) Fix the school district, Desegregation responsibility belongs to the city, which created the

            problem, not the school district.

            I agree with withholding a sizable portion of all of the administrator's salaries to be

             received on performance of the district.

      Busing should be paid by the parents requiring it, not the district.


Other Issues


1) Change state law regarding automobile sales. Require taxes, insurance be paid at time of sale.

          Find better way to enforce insurance requirements. There are too many temporary tagged

          vehicles using our streets. Automatic tickets should be given to drivers with lapsed

          insurance (greater than 10 days or whatever the state allows) or unlicensed, and continue

          to receive tickets until it gets resolved.


2) Limit density of Institutional and subsidized (i.e. Section 8) usage within an area. That is to say,

          you can’t have a group home or section 8 housing unit within ½ mile of another.

          And find a way to get the folks across the state line, carry their fair share.


3) There are currently 11 types of contractors licensed by KCMO Planning and Development.

      My proposal suggests the extension of this licensing to all building trades for which

      a building permit would be required.

I would like to see this list of licensed contractors be made available to the public (it already is

   but not very friendly nor publicized). All contractors on this list should be licensed, bonded,

     Insured and pay city earnings taxes (as long as they are in force) as well as other

       requirements as deemed necessary for public safety. (see  CONTRACTOR LICENSING


     Perhaps offer the citizenry a deduction on city taxes if they use the licensed


     Also allow Finance to crosscheck the tax returns of the licensed contractors.

     Hopefully this will cut down on the fly-by-night contractors that take advantage of

        natural disasters.

4) Don't allow any agency, LLC or corporation which must register/renew with the Mo Secretary of State,

     to renew or apply for said registration if that agency has any complaints registered against it with

    the Mo Attorney General's office... Kansas too...


Thanks for reading, again, comments are welcome...





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