Glazer: Where’s Kansas City Mayor Sly James When We Need Him?

It’s been a year and a half since Sly James was elected mayor of Kansas City on March 22, 2011…

In the beginning, James gave speech after speech about moving KCMO forward, working with small business and getting this town rolling again.

But lately he’s been almost impossible to find.

Where is he? What’s he up to?

Past mayors Emanuel Cleaver, Kay Barnes – even Funky Mark – were high profile and all over the news on a weekly, if not daily basis. That’s not been the case with James. By comparison, it’s almost as if he’s in hiding.  Or so it seems.

Maybe it’s because his son Kyle has been in legal trouble since day one. The mayor’s son was arrested in the Power and Light for not paying a restaurant bill, acting crazy and then telling the officer who cuffed him, “Hey, do you know who I am? I will have you fired.”

Shortly after that arrest he made his way to the cover of the SLAMMER for another police run in, this time in Brookside. This past April, Kyle was on the scene when a rapper friend of his was gunned down in Westport. And rumors are rampant that the mayor’s son has a few more reasons to worry, but thus far nothing really has happened…yet. Police are keeping an eye on the troubled 23 year old.

The mayor’s best known event was dodging bullets on the Plaza from young blacks while he was trying to calm things down after some small riots in the shopping and entertainment district.

Lately James has had few high profile appearances and his first year and a half in office has resulted in little to no improvement in much of anything.

Violent crime is still high in KCMO. Small businesses complain to me that when confronted with their issues the mayor turns a deaf ear.

In other words, everything that was bad before remains about the same.

Westport has shown the biggest improvement. It’s driven the hip-hop crowd out for the most part. That crowd has now migrated to downtown’s Power and Light, Martini Corner and back to the east side. Still there are plenty of issues late at night in Kansas City.

The Mayor can’t fix all this by himself, but his disappearing act is odd.

He’s basically evolved into just another guy  who wanted to say, hey I’m the mayor.

That’s about it.

Small businesses have asked for relief from small things like health cards and liquor cards that are meaningless but cost money and give cops a reason to bother the clubs and restaurants. But the Mayor has stood silent.

He promised to change things in the city, make it business friendly, but it’s not. Most everything is the about same.

And don’t you love how the Kansas City Star and other media still pretend that Sprint and the Power and Light are winners? Really. Less events at Sprint in year five – far less that matter – no sports teams as promised. And check out Power and Light any night but Saturday – much of it is closed. Less than 8,000 people now live in the “new downtown.”

Yep, things are rolling right along. Sly where are you? What are you doing? Help!

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9 Responses to Glazer: Where’s Kansas City Mayor Sly James When We Need Him?

  1. Rick Nichols says:

    The Beatles must’ve been thinking of Sly when they wrote “Nowhere Man.” Clearly, everthing’s NOT up to date in Kansas City, and the mayor needs to be both honest about that and, equally important, visible within the community (or at least giving people the impression that he halfway cares about the state of the city). Surely he has a weekly press conference, and surely there’s something he has to say that’s worth some space in The Star.

  2. Paul says:

    Hi Craig, I encourage you to follow Mayor James on Twitter, like I do. His tweets are frequent and allow you to see what he is doing on an almost daily basis. I don’t live in KC, but from what I can tell Sly is a pretty busy guy. Social media tells the story.

  3. paulwilsonkc says:

    Hey glazer stop this stuff. The mayor is doing a great job. I know. I aksed him if he was doing a great job and he said yes.

  4. the dude says:

    This current mayor is nothing short of a political abortion. Makes me long for Funky and “sausage fingers” Squitiro.

  5. chuck says:

    Interesting takes Glaze.

    Paul, I am not being a smartass, I don’t follow anyone on anything, are you being sarcastic?

    Is the Mayor a pretty busy guy, and what is he doing?

    Thanks.

    Paul Wislon, did you talk to the mayor really? :)

    The mayor did seem to steer problems away from the Plaza this summer.

    • paulwilson says:

      chuck:
      Everything is beautiful. I told you that I’m doing very well. Send money!

    • paulwilsonkc says:

      Chuck, thats still just Harley blogging under my name from the parking lot at Lifetime after abusing himself…… funny what you can tell when you have half of someones hard drive… and can see IP addresses at will.

      The only time I see Sly is at the Pendgergast Club when its cigar time. And no one “talks shop” when we are there. He’s a regular, its a place place a few on here would NOT be granted a membership. Check it out, we’ll all run down there some time and have a drink.

  6. Orphan of the Road says:

    Did you check all the developers’ pockets? That’s where he has been all along, in the deep pockets of those who see a patch of grass as wasted space.

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