It’s a fact of life that everyone wants something from City Hall.
It’s the place where people feel entitled to bring their pipe dreams and ask the taxpayers to foot the bill. In this setting, essential City Services like trash pickup and infrastructure must share time with even the most frivolous local demands.
Now that we’re heading into a new epoch of local government it’s important to re-evaluate all of the people standing in line for City money and hope for a changing political climate that will make silly demands hard to meet.
While we can all agree that cops need to be paid and streets must be maintained, over the past four years some of the demands on this town have just been stupid but embattled politicos felt obligated to meet them because of so much antipathy regarding all of their other work.
So today, let’s take a look at a few "feel-good" local constituencies and how they draw money from broke-ass KC only because some people perceive that their cause is just and not just another special interest.
First and worst are the dog park people.
Last time around in KCMO these d-bags and folks with misplaced priorities wanted to plant a dog park right in the middle of a residential neighborhood where they didn’t reside in order to have a dog park closer to their homes. When people told them that they would be inconveniencing nearby elderly neighbors and maybe even dropping their home values. The dog park folks simply noted that the old folks would die soon and would be replaced with a breed of Midtown resident more in line with their cabal. It was shameful, gross and when these folks got a look at themselves they quickly retreated.
Mayor Funkhouser entertained them because his reputation was so horrible. However, now that neither candidate has a public image problem and a barefoot wife to overcome, there’s no need to entertain these people since their voting power is insignificant. It’s not that I’m against dog parks, but the group willing to kick old folks to the curb in favor of their pets are now part of the political fringe.
Sadly, local cycling advocates were much more successful but equally worthless.
Because of KC Cycling special interests, some bridges and trails cost millions more simply because a their group was well organized. Luckily, because nobody needs brownie points from the kind of people who would dress up in biker shorts, this group obviously won’t have much influence.
No matter who wins, it looks like City Hall is going to be a much more serious place. Maybe.
I expect the fights facing the new City Council and Mayor will have a lot more to do with the lack of resources and under-served populations. So, for now, dog lovers and bike riders will have better luck bothering the public at large rather than elected officials.
And while that may inconvenience everyone else, it’s not altogether such a horrible thing.