As we approach the Kansas City, Missouri election primary one thing is exceedingly clear: Mark Funkhouser will not be Mayor of Kansas City for long.
I’ve knocked his tenure for years now and made fun of him and his wife exceedingly. I’ve been the most obnoxious voice among several to point out Funkhouser’s many shortcomings as a leader and elected official.
But I would be remiss if I didn’t note that getting out of the Mayor’s office isn’t an entirely bad thing.
Life after the Mayor’s office for Mark Funkhouser looks rather great and it only requires a bit of initial disappointment that will open the door to a whole new world of both financial and social possibilities.
Here’s a preview:
First of all, people love an outcast.
There’s nothing more boring than talking to somebody with who is universally adored. Those folks often have nothing to say but good things and their "holier than thou" routine gets old quick. Helping the poor, feeding the hungry and tending to the sick are wonderful things, but they make for boring conversation.
Instead, expect the few years after Mark Funkhouser leaves office to be filled with request ($$$) for appearances from reporters and the local non-profit/social scene. In the coming days, when Mayor Funky’s opinion has no real impact, people will line up to seek it out. And it’s without question that just about all of Kansas City wonders what Gloria Squitiro will say without being censored because of elected office.
Or, maybe the Mayor will decide to continue serving the public as an elected official. Politics is the art of the possible and while Mayor Funky may be finished in Kansas City. His appeal is far more broad based to just abandon the idea of another office in the future. Hell, if Jesse Ventura can get elected to something the Mayor might have a political career after all.
Here’s how: The Mayor might consider changing his residence to his Ozark cabin.
If he does a State Rep. seat is all but assured, and the guy might even stand a chance at running for Governor with a few lucky breaks. Why? Because in Kansas City the Mayor was simply outnumbered when it comes to dealing with urban and minority constituents.
However, in the middle of Missouri spouting off against these very same people is a political rite of passage.
Think about it: The Mayor has now has a reputation for standing up to Latinos, standing behind his wife over an alleged affront to political correctness AND he was thwarted by an African-American City Manager but ultimately ended up on the winning side as the guy was escorted from his office by security.
This is the stuff that cable news talk shows love.
Finally, everybody thinks losing an election in KC is the end of the world but the Mayor will be sitting pretty financially.
He not only has his pension from his two decade tenure at City Hall, he’ll also earn a nice chunk of change for his years as Mayor. Ironically, there’s still a controversy over a defined benefit plan vs. a defined contribution plan to replace City Worker benefits.
But no matter what happens, the people of Kansas City will be cutting a check to the Mayor for the rest of his days for the years of work he provided.
So, there’s no reason to feel sorry for the guy. The road ahead looks rather nice for the soon to be lame duck Mayor as Kansas City moves ahead toward making life miserable for the next person who gets the job.