Friday, December 14, 2007

KC MO Council Revolts!

We have seen all the banter back and forth about the Funk(y), Mammy, Semler(y), police escorts to the "black side of town(y)" and IPhones(y). One of the most thoughtful responses from a member of City Council, Cindy Circo, is below:

A message from Cindy Circo
December 14, 2007
Dear Friends,

I wanted to provide you an update on the issue regarding the City Manager, Wayne Cauthen. I know many of you have called my office this week regarding this issue.

Yesterday, myself, along with eight of my colleagues on the city council, approved a new 3 ½ year contract with the City Manager. Since early summer, we have been in negotiations with the City Manager on a new contract. I was under the impression that these were good faith negotiations.

However, on Monday, when the Mayor unilaterally stated that he was not going to sponsor the ordinance to renew the city manager's contract, I was stunned. I believe the council has not sought nor want discourse with Mayor Mark Funkhouser. What I firmly believe is that the Mayor's action set a precedent for any future action of this administration and more importantly the future of Kansas City's form of government. I do not believe that the City Charter granted the Mayor the authority to act in the manner that he did. Any City Manger in Kansas City not only works at the pleasure of the Mayor but also the pleasure of the Council.

This issue is not about the Mayor. And it is not about Mr. Cauthen. It's an issue that gets at the very core of the council-manager form of government and I believe that was threatened by the Mayor's actions earlier this week. My vote was cast on behalf of the citizens of Kansas City in order to protect our charter, our form of government, and yes, our democracy.

I will encourage the Mayor and Council to continue to work together and do what is best for Kansas City. I am committed to serving you and will work hard to make Kansas City an even better place to live, work and play. We have too much at stake and we must continue to move this city forward.

As always, please don't hesitate to contact me if there is ever anything I can do to assist you.

Happy Holidays to you and your family.


Agree or disagree with Councilwoman Circo, you have to give it to her that she is intelligent, thoughtful and right on about the need to work together to move KC ahead.


Anonymous said...

our democracy.....thats funny.

Jim Rowland did a pretty good job getting a plush job while sucking up to Kay Barnes.

We have No democracy because the business entities are in control.

Dan Ryan said...

Steve (and Councilwoman Circo, if you're reading) -

There's a gaping chasm of logic in the reaction of the council that they are going to answer to the voters' satisfaction if they want to retain our respect.

First, I'll grant that the Mayors announcement on Monday was provocative. If I were on the council, I can see how I'd be upset.

But how does that translate into a three and half year contract for the CM? How does that particular response make any sense? Why not a lifetime contract? Why not a resolution to name city hall Cauthen Hall? Why not a resolution that the entire council should get WC tattoos on their lower backs?

Was the response the right one for the provocation?

It seems like a 3 and a half year contract for Cauthen, without public hearings and without concluding the negotiations she and the rest of the council had sought is kind of thoughtless.

Steve, you claim that even if I disagree with Ms. Circo, I would have to agree that she is thoughtful. I'm having a tough time seeing how breaking off negotiations and instantly giving a lengthy contract to Cauthen was any more thoughtful than what the Mayor did.

Anonymous said...

There are many city employees that are thankful for the council's actions. Wayne Cauthen is effective. He will deliver on your priorities. The mayor is intent on ramming through his own agenda with or without consensus. That is not how our government works.
Thank you and stay strong in your defense of our form of government.

Cindy, Cindy, Cindy said...

So, Ed Ford got mad, and Circo decided that 3 more years of a bad City Manager is a good way to punish the Mayor? That's "intelligent, thoughtful and right on"? Does that make any sense?

If she wants to protect the Charter, what's wrong with amending it to make the law clear about hiring and firing City Managers?

The pre-literate child can't even use the English language - "myself" approved a new contract? "I believe the council has not sought nor want discourse . . ."?? Yo, Cindy baby, get yourself a dictionary before you use big words like "discourse".

Cindy, you let us down. You stuck us with 3 years of a bad city manager, unless Funky finds a way to fix your mistake.

Anonymous said...

I will pass on the issue of whether W.C. is a good city manager or not. What disturbs me most about this situation is: (1) How poorly Funk handled it with his unilateral action, but then (2) how poorly the 9 council members responded with their own equally unilateral action. The 9 wish to claim that they were only responding to Funk's lack of inclusiveness (and rightfully so at first), but then they themselves respond with an equally non-inclusive action by ramrodding a 3.5 year contract down the taxpayers throat with NO, and I mean NO, notice or discussion. We voted for these people, and they left us (and the other council members) out of the loop as well. I for one would have like to have known what they were doing before it was done. This was bad government, and bad politicians, at their worst.

At that point, the gang of 9 lost any credibilty to claim the moral high ground that they were only responding to, and thus trying to fix, Funk's lack of inclusiveness. This is clearly just a "show" argument without real substance. Clearly, this was nothing more than a power play by BOTH sides to get what they want. Saddly, in this power play the real losers are the citizens of this city that have to watch 13 adults behave like spoiled children. I have lived in this city for alomst 45 years, and I have NEVER been this disgusted with a council before. ALL of them are merely advancing their own agendas at our expense.

I have watched the hearing twice and I am very disappointed in many of the people I personally supported with both money and time. However, I am most disappointed in two people: Cathy Jolly and Beth Gottstein (Jan a close third). Each ran on a platform of cooperation and advancing the agenda of the people/city over thier own. They showed their colors by joining into the fray and adding their voices to the cacophany of anger and hate. These two women know better, they just chose to pursue their own agendas over what was right: Attempting to work a resolution of the matter before embarassing this entire city with their conduct and chaos.

As Shakespeare wrote, "A pox on all your houses," and truer words were never written about this council. This ENTIRE council should be ashamed and embarassed about how they are behaving. If they are not, then Lord knows I am embarassed enough by them for all of us. I have to spend this Christmas explaining once again to my in-laws in Kansas why I and my husband still live in KC. My residency has just become much harder to defend. I am sad tonight for my city, and that this is my city council.

Beth, Cathy, Jan, Cindy and Ed, please grow up over Christmas, because right now you are killing us.

Stupid Council People said...

Mr. Bough,

Surely you intended the headline to read "KC MO Council Revolting". I agree with Anonymous above - except I don't restrict my criticism to the white council people who joined in the revolting, repulsive display.

Funkhouser disappointed us on Monday, but it was only a style issue. The Nasty 9 really screwed the pooch. I'm ashamed to admit I voted for most of them.

Anonymous said...

Dan Ryan is a fantastic debator. He admits that Funky went too far (taking the sting out of teh truth), then questions whether the City Council overreacted to the provaction(s).

Well, Dan, the mayor started a fight that could have been avoided by remembering the rules from grade school. A little communication with the City Council goes a long way to improving KC (they all have equal votes). Funky is no longer the Lone Auditor. He's the leader of a very large City and even if the council overreacted, Funky/Mammy should be a leader, not a bomb-thrower.

Kid throws brick through a window. You go outside and beat his butt. Is the second act of violence right - nope. Damn kid won't do it again though.

Dan said...

Agreed that Funk could and should have avoided the fight. As for your pseudo-tough guy analogy, though, it's kind of like if a kid tosses a brick through your window, you get back at him by having a lousy house guest move in for 3 and a half years.

Anonymous said...

Bill Skaggs sues to resolve this issue. Who is going to represent Wayne in this lawsuit? Who is going to represent City Council? What a waste of resources!

Is Bill Skaggs going to pay the City's legal bill? Is the City Attorney going to work for Funk or the 9 City Council members?

Lew said...

was the Gottstein accident the same night as this vote?

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