Last Published: 10/8/2007 2:20:31 PM
Upon Roll Call the following members were present:

Amending Chapter 2, Code of Ordinances, by repealing Section 2-1595, Contract requiring City Council approval, and enacting in lieu thereof a new section of like number and subject matter.

This item was held for one week. Testimony was taken from the audience regarding this ordinance. Councilwoman Deb Hermann explained the history behind this ordinance. She also explained that the council didn't have approval oversight for contracts. There were no guildlines to follow for the Housing Department. She felt that the council owed it to the citizens of the city and that contracts need to be discussed in public. Councilwoman Becky Nace talked about accountability. What is important with the contracts is the amount of funding, not what is being done. The scrutiny should be in detail not in control. The council is looking for knowledge. Councilman Troy Nash explained that during prior years the threshold had been $35,000.00. He was in favor of letting staff and the City Manager make the decisions on spending. He was in support of Deb Hermann initiative advocating a more reasonable amount of money. Becky Nace disagreed. The money amount wasn't the issue. What the project is about is relevant. Broad descriptions have been vague. The knowledge is in the detail. This would give the council an opportunity to look at oversight information. Councilman Jim Glover talked about the restructuring of the Housing Department. He stated that he was looking forward to seeing the resolution that details the goals. If the council adopts standards, then that is what staff has to follow. If you set standards and have oversight then you have accountability. Councilwoman Deb Hermann stated that she was open to suggestions on accountability. The council has to be more accountable. Linda Callon, Westside Can Center, stated that CDBG funds were in danger of being cut from the federal budget. The citizens can't afford to trust government if officials can't do what they are asked to do. Citizens have been betrayed by staff and council for past spending. At some point government is going to ask for a tax increase. In order to citizens to trust officials to do what they say they are going to do then you have to earn that trust and respect. Councilman Troy Nash stated that problems have been going on for the last 20 to 30 years. The Tracy Avenue incident was a bad example by any means. The committee needs to be talking about what is wrong with all funds, not just CDBG funds. He wanted to talk about the General Fund problems. Do all contracts, not just CDBG contracts. The city needs to find a solution to these problems. Councilwoman Deb Hermann stated that she would like to review all contracts that dealt with the Neighborhood Committee. The committee is targeting the funds to make sure that the money is spent where it is to be spent. Margaret May, Ivanhoe Neighborhood and the Housing Task Force, spoke out against holding this item. She was disappointed that the recommendations of the task force had not been incorporated and had not been sent to the full council. Statements from Ezeikal Amador, III and Nancy Kwilas were read into record.

RESOLUTION - Endorsing the Community Policing Task Force Report and directing the City Manager to work with the Kansas City Police Department and other City departments to prepare a plan of implementation for those recommendations applicable to the City of Kansas City, Missouri.

Representatives from the Community Policing Tax Force gave a report before the committee. Bill Nelson, Chair; Police Chief Jim Corwin, Police Major Cy Ridder and Jim Rice, civilian came before the committee for the presentation. Mr. Nelson gave some background information on the task force. He also stated that several neighborhood associations are asking that the task force come into their communities and set up programs for them. He explained that there were three neighborhoods that shows a dramatic reduction in crime thanks to the community policing. Those three were: Blue Hills, Old Northeast and the West Side. Mr. Rice made the initial report to the committee. He reviewed the charge of the task force and explained in detail what recommendations were made by the task force (a copy of the recommendations are on file in the Office of the City Clerk). Councilwoman Becky Nace thanked Major Ridder and Chief Corwin for working on the problem of congestion in the Swope Park area on the weekends. Councilman Jim Glover praised the efforts of the Bicycle Patrol in the Hyde Park area. He was in favor of the program. However, he felt that officers need to have information available when responding to calls in the area. Councilman Troy Nash also spoke in favor of the community policing program. He would like to see the program put back in place sooner rather than later. He talked about the crime rate on the East side of the city and thought that it was out of control. Mr. Nelson agreed that support from the council was needed in order to help police address these problems. The policing efforts need resources in order to continue. Linda Callon, Westside Can Center asked that the council support the policing task force's efforts.
Ayes: 4 - Hermann, Schumacher, Glover, Nash
Nays: 0

Reducing and reappropriating the sum of $350,000.00 from the PIAC Supplementary Fund; declaring the City’s intent to repay this loan from the 2005 CDBG Consolidated Plan; and designating requisitioning authority.

This item was held off the agenda. To be placed on the Semi-Annual Docket.