So much so that fleeing to the suburbs like so many middle-class people have in this town’s recent history seems to be a somewhat viable alternative.
I’ve always noted that all of JoCo is nothing more than a vast cultural wasteland, but this week it seems that Kansas City Proper is moving closer to becoming a sprawling urban wasteland. It might be time to leave.
Here are five reasons why:
1. Kansas City, Missouri School District Closings are not a sign of success – The nation and the world noted that public education has failed within the KCMSD. Closing half of all schools isn’t a sign that we’re on the right track, it’s simply an acknowledgment that this town is forced to cut our losses. The future looks bleak as Brookside and Waldo could be the next School District to jump ship creating the same kind of de-facto racial segregation that gave way to the landmark deseg case which was the precursor to this historic failure in the first place. Long story short, Kansas City is where public education went to die. A town without schools (not counting all of the other districts) is a town without a future.
2. A City without a Mayor – It’s not just me, most local political watchers agree that by bringing back Gloria Squitiro into City Hall the Mayor has all but given up his chances at reelection. I’m not going to waste time denouncing Mayor Funky here, however I will note that we’re in for one of the most vicious and divisive elections this town has seen in quite a long time. Sticking around to see well-funded campaigns beat Kansas City over the head with sloppy slogans doesn’t sound like a fun way to spend the next year.
3. The Warmer Weather Shootout – Winter didn’t bring a halt to the homicides but we all know Kansas City’s Eastside becomes a killing field during the summer for reasons that nobody really likes to discuss. Stray bullets taking out innocent bystanders marked last summer. Sticking around to watch a gunfight is never a good idea.
4. There’s no Waldo Area Rapist in the suburbs – Not only is a rapist currently at large in the Waldo/Brookside area but the response to the series of sexual assaults has precipitated a racially charged debate over vigilantism, profiling and disparity. Crime in the suburbs isn’t nearly as complex as KC Proper. In the Golden Ghetto, maybe a tragic case of Missing White Woman Syndrome arises and dominates the discourse for the entire metro area while d-bags like me grumble in the urban core; but it’s never as contentious as Kansas City Crime.
5. The Renaissance that never happened – People in KC Proper have the privilege of paying for unprofitable parties, museums and areas that never brought forth a boom of revenue and development that was promised. Meanwhile, nearby suburbanites can simply enjoy the amenities and scurry back home before the bill comes due.
For all these reasons the move to the suburbs doesn’t seem like such a bad idea. If the downward spiral of my beloved Cowtown wasn’t so damn interesting I might consider the option.