Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Here Comes "da Funk"

Kansas City has a new Mayor, Mark Funkhouser. In his inauguration yesterday, he pledged to make some changes in the way the city functions. No nonsense, no hype, just action, more hands on, more oversight. He even said he plans on not being "beloved", some hard decisions must be made.

Kansas City is going in the right direction. After years of neglect and all talk and no action, the previous Mayor Kay Barnes got some long delayed projects off and running. Downtown is alive with activity, construction, cranes, repaved streets, old crumbling buildings revived and thriving, the long delayed Power and Light District is actually being built, a shiny new arena is nearing completion. North of 20th Street, everything is hot!

But Funkhouser realized that a lot of that was accomplished by tax deferments that have reduced services in the rest of the city. Lousy streets, ineffective and arrogant police, poor sewers, trash, non existent snow removal was the norm below 20th. In his inaugural speech, he pledged to extend the downtown renewal to the rest of the city.

So far I believe him. I think the city did the right thing in electing him. He will not be the popular, glad hander that Kay Barnes was. She was a visionary and motivator, Funkhouser is hands on. His opponent in the election was a great person as well, but we did not need a talker, we need a doer and that we got.

And he pledged to get rid of the incredibly stupid metal plates that the street department have inexplicably used to cover holes. I have never seen them anywhere else in the country. Many a tire has been ruined by those blasted things.

Go for it Funk. We are behind you. We, especially us here in the middle, want to see some results.

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