Below is the February 5th edition of Mayor Funkhouser’s Funk’s Front Porch e-newsletter. The mayor mentions more about the Schools First initiative. As an educator I like the approach because part of KC’s problem is infrastructure and safety. I am just not sure if I want to pay for South Kansas City and the inner city’s problems. Not taking a stance here yet, I still don’t have enough information. A “no tax increase” bond issue could easily translate into tax increases later. The way this city has managed itself in the past makes me uncomfortable to see it get more money.

Notes From Funk’s Front Porch

5 February 2010

Dear Folks,

This Week’s City Business

The Mayor was in Chicago this past Tuesday and Wednesday to meet with the City’s three bond rating agencies: Moody’s, Fitch and Standard and Poor’s. Troy Schulte, the new acting City Manager, and Randy Landes, the new Director of Finance, accompanied him. The trip was successful and the presentations went well.

Part of the reason for the trip was for the Mayor to introduce his new team to the bond rating agencies, but the primary focus was to seek bond ratings for the City’s upcoming $35 million sale of general obligation bonds to provide funding for upgrades to the City’s public safety radio system. When you sell municipal bonds, you can usually make do with just a conference call, but the Mayor wanted a face-to-face meeting to introduce his new team and provide assurance that they are fiscally conservative, responsible managers of the City’s finances.

The agencies asked for additional information with respect to the City’s financial situation, and the Director of Finance is pulling that information together. The Mayor believes the City has done its best to ensure the rating agencies will maintain the City’s AA credit rating, which, in turn, ensures competitive interest rates for the City’s bonds.

The Mayor’s Schools First initiative is getting wonderful feedback, with the most often spoken sentiment being, “why has it taken so long to address our schools.” Schools First is a new initiative created to help all schools in Kansas City – public, private and charter – by improving public safety and infrastructure around the schools. Schools First will:

. Use a no tax increase bond to fix sidewalks, crosswalks and other city infrastructure around all schools

. Use a portion of a renewed Public Safety sales tax to fund increased police presence around all schools

. Focus Kansas City’s basic service priorities on areas around all schools

. Partner with all schools to apply for federal and private grants to improve neighborhoods and walk to school programs

. Create a city based staff liaison to work with every school

For more information contact Mark Siettmann at 816-513-3512, or schoolsfirst@kcmo.org or visit http://www.kcmo.org/schoolsfirst.

On A More Personal Note

We are finally going to our little cabin in the woods for a few days. Funk will be working on his budget message that is due on the 11th, and I will be catching up on correspondence. Last time we were scheduled to go, we had our amazing blizzard, and it looks like the sky is opening up again this time too. If it doesn’t snow too much, we’ll both have plenty of time to get our work done in peaceful, uninterrupted surroundings.

The Next Town Hall Meetings

March 3, 2010 – 3;30 p.m.

Host: Kansas City Water Department

Kansas City Employees Only

March 3, 2010 – 6:30 p.m.

Host: Choteau Village Retirement Community

3711 N Jackson Ave

March 10, 2010 – 3:30 p.m.

Host: Kansas City General Services Department

Kansas City Employees Only

March 10, 2010 – 6:30 p.m.

Host: Cristo Rey School

211 West Linwood Boulevard

March 17, 2010 – 3:30 p.m.

Host: Kansas City Neighborhood and Community Services

Kansas City Employees Only

March 18, 2010 – 7 p.m.

Host: Park Hill School District PTA Council

7703 NW Barry Road

March 24, 2010 – 6:30 p.m.

Vietnam Veterans Chapter 317

3027 Walnut, Union Hill Veterans Hall

March 31, 2010 – 5:30 p.m.

Host: True Vine Baptist Church

2500 Bellafontaine

May 5, 2010 – 6:30 p.m.

Host: Plumbers Union Local 8 and Pipefitters Union Local

8600 Hillcrest Road

In faith,

Gloria & Mark

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