Bring on da noise, bring on da Funk!
Kansas City went to the polls today and selected a new mayor. It was a tough choice, and a close election, and Kansas City could not go wrong with either candidate. Both who cleared the primary were fabulous candidates, but ultimately I supported former city auditor Mark Funkhouser. In fact, I called for him to be drafted by the citizens of this city on November 12, before he announced his candidacy.
He - well, Gloria - ran a solid, true-blue, honest-to-pete, grass-roots campaign. She did one hell of a job. It was a clean campaign, they stuck to the issues, and Kansas City ultimately chose the auditor over the orator. He has a strong asset there, and I would like to see the Doublewide stay open as a community outreach center. She has a keen sense of what the citizens in this town respond to - but it probably has something to do with the fact that she is a real person, and she is married to a workhorse, and she conveyed the message. She spoke directly to voters with emails and updates and they went places where no candidate had gone for years - like to meet-ups in bars at 25th and Prospect.
And they listened.
Of course, Gloria had a pretty damned good product she was selling. This guy is solid as a rock, he's smart and capable and able to do the technical work of government successfully. You know, the part that most people are baffled by once they get where they thought they wanted to go.
Don't get me wrong - Alvin Brooks is a great guy. I have witnessed him with the families of crime victims with my own eyes when I was a part of the trauma team at Research. Al Brooks has served this community for half a century and he will continue to do so. He ran a clean campaign and he stuck to the issues, and never once lost sight of the fact that it's about the citizens, not the candidates. Al Brooks has never lost sight of that fact in his entire life and he wasn't about to start. In fact, I kinda hope Funk asks Al to stay on in his current position as Mayor Pro Tem.
Kansas City is a city on the move. We truly stand on a precipice and the decisions that are made during the upcoming mayoral term will set the timbre for the next half century. It is that important. We are getting into dangerous territory with TIF. Funk will rein that in and still encourage development. And the people who are poking fun at his citizen surveys simply have never taken a Statistics course at the college level, or they would understand that he knows what the hell he is talking about, and that they are a damned good idea. If you schlepped through even one semester of Stats, that's a no-brainer.
The challenges that face Kansas City are great - but the possibilities are grand.
Both of the men we voted for have a place in that vision. But right now, I just think that we need Mark Funkhouser's particular skill set.
You did good today Kansas City. You did real good.