It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

When City Government Knows Better

page: 1
9
<<   2 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Jul, 30 2017 @ 08:25 AM
link   
It's not exactly a huge secret I live in Kansas City, but I am so annoyed by the double dealings in the city government that I have to rant about it.

First, Kansas City has some big infrastructure problems. The entire city needs a new sewer system desperately badly. How bad? I am talking so bad that when you drive through certain areas of the city at some times of the year, it smells like we have open sewers third world style. You would think any responsible city government would want to take care of that because this doesn't just happen in poor areas which is bad enough. It happens in some affluent areas too. That's not good for image ... you would think. But they've ignored this in the nearly 20 years I've lived here.

Instead, we've gotten mayor after mayor who was personally invested in big vanity projects with the aiding and abetting of the city council. The mayor we did get who talked like he wanted to fix the sewers ran a shoestring campaign out of trailer and defeated the "chosen" candidate, and the city council and city press spent all their time torpedoing him and his agenda ... gosh, where have we seen that lately?

The latest mayor is cat named Sly James which should tell you how on the up and up he is, and he and the city council are thick as thieves and back up to their old tricks. First their was the street car project. And time after time, the voters rejected it, so what they finally did was design a special voting district. Only people who lived along the proposed route could vote on it, not the property owners or the merchants. So the wound up with a voting pool of a few hundred temporary renters, mostly all 20-somethings, and we got a street car based on about 2 to 300 votes ... for a city of several hundred thousand. The crappy thing is that most of the people who voted yes weren't going to still live there when it was done and the people who actually owned the property (landlords) were the ones being taxed through the vote!

They now want to expand the street car line (it's a great place for homeless to hang out I hear), and they are looking to repeat the maneuver. This time, they are going to catch several large charities and nonprofits like the local children's hospital clinics in the new tax district and *they* won't be able to vote like before. So the charities will be left holding the tax bag.

But now the big gripe ... the airport. KCI has a unique multi-terminal design. Most everyone local who flies in and out of Kansas City loves the design because it's very quick and easy to go straight to your fight and get out as compared to other airports. Most everyone also agrees that the airport has been allowed to degrade to the point where it needs repairs very badly, and there are some things that could be done to improve on the design - putting vendors inside security for one.

But, the city knows best! We have to go single terminal because that's what they want. There is no logistical reason why we need to demolish the thing entirely, not even any reason why we can't have a multi-terminal design if we built new. Nope, everyone else has a pain in the ass single terminal, so we have to have one. And it has to be brand spanking new, and we have to build it yesterday!

So we're forking over a billion on the airport and million on the streetcar and no one wants to make our city smell less like a sewer. But I digress ...

Now on to the bidding shenanigans. The first thing they tried to do was simply award a no-bid contract to a local company for the new airport. (Keep in mind no one has voted on if we are even doing this at all yet but none of the numbers look good if they allow a general vote.) The press caught wind of that so now they are doing a bid process, but then I get this weird phone survey last Sunday. They asked me all kinds of questions about the new airport, and most of them were about a competing bid: it's cheaper, the company has a KC office since '88, they'll hire lots of local contractors, they're nationally known for this kind of work, etc., etc. So basically, this other bid sounds good. Then they ask me what would you think if they award the contract to the local company anyhow? WTF?! So you build up this other company and then ask me this question ... Is the city basically just going to do what it's going to do despite going through the motions!

All I know is that I'll vote no on an airport because I can't trust this city government any further than I can throw them.
edit on 30-7-2017 by ketsuko because: (no reason given)




posted on Jul, 30 2017 @ 09:00 AM
link   
a reply to: ketsuko

Our city government has a "Leadership Council".

And I'm on it.

We are a group of mostly non-partisan people who provide "reality checks" to the elected officials.

We meet fairly regularly and provide 'guidance"" to the numbnuts who got elected.

It works fairly well.

Just a thought. . . .



posted on Jul, 30 2017 @ 09:04 AM
link   
a reply to: DBCowboy

I didn't even mention the big, shiny downtown arena. We were sold that based on the premise that if we built it, we would get a pro sports franchise.

HA!

Nope.

We do get lots of big name concerts and college tournaments and stuff through there, but no pro sports franchise.



posted on Jul, 30 2017 @ 09:47 AM
link   

originally posted by: ketsuko
a reply to: DBCowboy

I didn't even mention the big, shiny downtown arena. We were sold that based on the premise that if we built it, we would get a pro sports franchise.

HA!

Nope.

We do get lots of big name concerts and college tournaments and stuff through there, but no pro sports franchise.


How many times has your NFL team left? The people need to support a team if you want it to stay. Just building a fancy stadium isn't enough, they need to fill the stadium with fans.

Just saying.



posted on Jul, 30 2017 @ 09:53 AM
link   
a reply to: ketsuko

Sad story. I sort of hate to point this out, but........most US metro areas are run this way. They're just fiefdoms for wealthy, typically Democrats, who run the cities as their own personal little jewelry collection of shiny stuff feel good projects that telegraph how "Progressive" the elites are.

Which is why most work-a-day US adults move out of the cities to unincorporated areas in adjacent counties. So maybe you might want to move out of the city?



posted on Jul, 30 2017 @ 09:54 AM
link   
a reply to: DBCowboy



Our city government has a "Leadership Council".

And I'm on it.


Well......your credibility just took a major hit.



posted on Jul, 30 2017 @ 10:07 AM
link   
a reply to: ketsuko


Small towns and counties aren't much different.
10k town here in a 40k county. Pretty small population.

We built a jail 20 years ago that is of course to small now so we need a new bigger one.
Built to small on a bad location with no room to expand.
Where do you suppose the folks who approved that are now? Yup gone.

We "needed" a consolidated 911 call center. Councilman smaltz said so....
It would run cheaper with fewer people... Wink wink
Now they keep asking for more funds and employees,,,,, so cheaper?
Where is mr smaltz now? He moved on to state representative so he's gone.
Went to high school with him. He's dumb as a box of rocks but his family was big it this town.


Every town USA.

And if you want bad trolley projects, check out the one in Atlanta.
Got a relative near there that keeps me posted on that one.



posted on Jul, 30 2017 @ 10:09 AM
link   

originally posted by: TonyS
a reply to: DBCowboy



Our city government has a "Leadership Council".

And I'm on it.


Well......your credibility just took a major hit.


hahahahahahahaha

Probably.




posted on Jul, 30 2017 @ 10:17 AM
link   
a reply to: Bluntone22

Our city government wanted to raise taxes for social services.

I said that there was an alternative.

I presented a proposal to the local Chamber and got local businesses to adopt elderly, shut-ins, even folks with no transportation to help them with basic things.

A healthy consumer base means better profits.

They took it up and agreed, and so we dodged a tax increase.



posted on Jul, 30 2017 @ 10:25 AM
link   

originally posted by: uwontbelievethis
How many times has your NFL team left?


I don't think Kansas City ever had their football team move.


The people need to support a team if you want it to stay. Just building a fancy stadium isn't enough, they need to fill the stadium with fans.

Just saying.


Building a sports venue with public funding is a waste of taxpayer money and a boondoggle. There is no appreciable revenue benefit for the taxpayer by giving billionaires free stuff. Let them build their own goddamn stadiums.



posted on Jul, 30 2017 @ 10:31 AM
link   

originally posted by: AugustusMasonicus

originally posted by: uwontbelievethis
How many times has your NFL team left?


I don't think Kansas City ever had their football team move.


The people need to support a team if you want it to stay. Just building a fancy stadium isn't enough, they need to fill the stadium with fans.

Just saying.


Building a sports venue with public funding is a waste of taxpayer money and a boondoggle. There is no appreciable revenue benefit for the taxpayer by giving billionaires free stuff. Let them build their own goddamn stadiums.


My bad I was thinking St. Louis. Sorry.



posted on Jul, 30 2017 @ 10:41 AM
link   
a reply to: AugustusMasonicus


You gotta love those $10 million high school football stadiums......

Funny thing about those is that the public usually is in support of those.



posted on Jul, 30 2017 @ 10:42 AM
link   

originally posted by: uwontbelievethis
My bad I was thinking St. Louis. Sorry.


I say let them move. If some sports team is trying to hold the taxpayers hostage for a new stadium the taxpayers should tell the owners to suck it.



posted on Jul, 30 2017 @ 10:43 AM
link   

originally posted by: Bluntone22
You gotta love those $10 million high school football stadiums......

Funny thing about those is that the public usually is in support of those.


The public supports those types of projects because they have been misled as to the benefits, there are none. No professional sports team is revenue positive after getting taxpayer money for a venue.



posted on Jul, 30 2017 @ 10:45 AM
link   
a reply to: AugustusMasonicus


I said high school, not pro.
But I would imagine some pro stadiums produce more revenue than others. But I would image they all lose money.



posted on Jul, 30 2017 @ 10:53 AM
link   

originally posted by: TonyS
a reply to: ketsuko

Sad story. I sort of hate to point this out, but........most US metro areas are run this way. They're just fiefdoms for wealthy, typically Democrats, who run the cities as their own personal little jewelry collection of shiny stuff feel good projects that telegraph how "Progressive" the elites are.

Which is why most work-a-day US adults move out of the cities to unincorporated areas in adjacent counties. So maybe you might want to move out of the city?


It's that way in Scottish cities as well. Edinburgh had the tram lines - Scotlands biggest small train set. They close down several bus routes in order to make space for the trams. Downtown, they'll get special machines to resurface an entire block of three lane road overnight. Anywhere else, they'll get contractors that take three months to do a single street, leaving traffic cones and pot holes everywhere. They will promote multiculturalism as the future, but will say nothing when experienced teachers take early retirement due to the stress of dealing with a classroom where students speak ten different languages. Then they will always nibble away at green field space in public parks to "solve" the housing crisis. They'll do this every five years, waiting inbetween for a complete change in the local transient population so nobody really notices how fast the land is disappearing. They blocked the redevelopment of brownfield sites for family housing because it might disturb the graves of plague victims and cause a new epidemic. They approve the conversion of apartments for HMO's until entire streets are student ghettoes. We have one company director who is determined to build over a public park in order to construct a concrete plaza in his name.

The main problem is that the electorate in a city constitute mainly of the poor in high density housing, "right on" trendy students and single working professionals, and minimum wage workers. Everyone else lives elsewhere. So the "progressives" can vote themselves in claiming to champion the poor by redistributing wealth, then funnel money to their business donors.



posted on Jul, 30 2017 @ 10:54 AM
link   

originally posted by: Bluntone22
I said high school, not pro.


Those are a waste too.


But I would imagine some pro stadiums produce more revenue than others. But I would image they all lose money.


I'm sure they all produce revenue, it's just the owners and not the taxpayers who reap the benefit.



posted on Jul, 30 2017 @ 11:25 AM
link   
a reply to: ketsuko

Bidding process:

I have been employed by the federal government for almost two decades as an IT project manager and a big part of my job is contracts and acquisitions - over a billion dollars to date. I keep hearing about "bidding" as a procurement/contracting method by state/local governments and am appalled.

Bidding should only be used for small commercial commodity items like pens, paper, plastic cups, etc, not large projects. A lowest cost bid assumes that the offeror (buyer) can fully express every technical aspect and salient characteristic of the requirement, and that they can manage the contract to the extent that deliverables are inspected and accepted by trained people.

I have never used a bid as a procurement method, and the federal government restricts the use to some construction projects (sidewalks, pavement resurfacing, landscaping) and emergency acquisitions (wartime, natural disasters etc.), and even then things usually go horribly wrong - Katrina trailers left to rot, no bid gulf war contracts with billions in overcharging and money missing..

Most federal contracts are "best value" where a trade off is made between technical acceptability, past performance, experiance, ability to perform (does the vendor have the personnel, material, infrastructure to complete the requirement), prior recommendations from past customers, management track record, proposed project plans, quality surveillance plans, milestones and deliverable schedules....and THEN cost is evaluated.

The process described above is long, cautious, and full of multiple reviews from the project office, contracting officers, auditors, and even other outside agents (OMB, CBO, IG).I

The Fed may be slow, but 99.99 % of the time, we get best value for the tax payer. It is the .01% when we screw up that gets reported, and this is a GOOD thing, as far as I am concerned.

When I hear the word "bid," I pretty much think two things: the acquisition people involved don't know what the hell they are doing, and should never be allowed anywhere near tax payer funds, or two, the fix is in.

Bids as an acquisition method are the best way to steal money from the public till. A few phone calls to your local vendors (because you excluded everyone else in the solicitation to "keep jobs local") or a side comment at the monthly chamber of commerce lunch, to let your partners in corruption know who's turn it is to win the contract, and how much every one else should over-bid, is all it takes.

The paper work all comes up clean, lowest bidder wins, and everyone can say "no corruption!"

In best value, anyone can protest, is legally entitled to review all of the evaluation reports (criteria listed above), question how the government selected the contract souce, question cost, qualifications, assumptions...oh, and did I mention that before any of the acquisition process begins, everyone involved has to sign non-disclosure and conflict of interest statements?

Mess up on that paper you signed and you are lucky if you get an unpaid suspension for several months, and your career is effectively over. Not so lucky? Big time jail, fines, and never working again.

Demand better. Ask your local/state folks why they use bidding. I do it once a month in my township, and it is covered in the paper, and some govt. folk have had to resign, and others are running scared. One local individual has been hiring his son for over 10 years for the same cement work year after year, which, turns out, has never even started. He is going to have to pay it all back, get a fine, and hopefully jail.

Keep awake!



posted on Jul, 30 2017 @ 11:28 AM
link   

originally posted by: TonyS
a reply to: DBCowboy



Our city government has a "Leadership Council".

And I'm on it.


Well......your credibility just took a major hit.


I hope that is a joke. I hope that is a joke. I don't care where you stand, as long as you get involved, and are not a crook.



posted on Jul, 30 2017 @ 11:30 AM
link   

originally posted by: TacSite18
I hope that is a joke.


Yes, DB is a joke.



new topics

top topics



 
9
<<   2 >>

log in

join