Vote on KCI agreement with Edgemoor could go either way

Posted at 9:27 PM, Feb 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-08 13:11:06-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Council votes on a new memorandum of understanding with Edgemoor Thursday, and whether it will pass is still in the air.

In December, the council voted down the first MOU with Edgemoor 9-4. 

The yes votes came from Mayor Sly James and council members Jermaine Reed, Jolie Justus, and Katheryn Shields.

The other nine council members; Teresa Loar, Alissia Canady, Dan Fowler, Kevin McManus, Lee Barnes, Heather Hall, Scott Taylor, Scott Wagner and Quinton Lucas, all voted no.

"I wanted more financial information. I wanted to hold Edgemoor to the promises they had made to members of our minority community, women business owners, construction firms and to make sure we had enough local workforce," Lucas said.

Canady told 41 Action News the council promised voters, "Increasing opportunities for small businesses and the local workforce and the initial MOU did not have enough detail that we would deliver on those things."

Since then, the council sent Edgemoor a list of 45 issues they wanted to see addressed. Canady believes they worked through all of them.

"I'd have to respectfully disagree. They addressed 43 out of 45," Barnes said.

He told us he knows this because the remaining issues have to do with his request for more money in two funds. The councilman said instead, more money was allocated to other funds in the new MOU.

Barnes called it, "Somewhat of a slap in the face for me."

Others believe the new MOU is a significant improvement.

Lucas said, "These would be the strongest goals we've probably ever had in Kansas City, particularly on a project of this size."

We reached out to the full council. Reed, Justus, and Canady will vote yes. If James and Shields hold steady, which is expected, the MOU only needs two more votes to pass.

Barnes and one other council member told us they plan to vote no.

Lucas would not share his vote in advance. That leaves six votes, including his, in play. That means the vote could truly go either way.

Canady offered that, "For those that would vote no on this airport tomorrow, I would offer that it's purely personal, political reasons. It's not because this MOU is not in the best interest of Kansas City because it is."