Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Semler Resigns From KC Parks Board

Before I get started, I want to take a moment to personally apologize to Alvin Brooks and my fellow citizens for supporting Mark Funkhouser for mayor last spring. I totally fucked up there. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. He is proving to be a lousy mayor, and his wife is an utter embarrassment. We did not elect that loudmouth twit, and she needs to bow out yesterday. Every day she stays at city hall, her husbands credibility suffers more, and frankly, that well is dry.

Funk has stepped in several piles in his short time in office, but the biggest one was appointing Francis Semler to the Parks Board. Semler is a member of that group of vigilantes known as the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, which Funk didn't bother finding out about before he appointed her - because wifey wanted her - and a firestorm was unleashed.

As a result of her appointment - and the mayor stubbornly sticking to it, even in the face of public outrage - we lost conventions and much needed cash infusions into the redeveloping downtown.
In a statement faxed to area media outlets, including The Kansas City Star, Semler writes “ENOUGH, I am resigning.” In the letter she cites repeated and ongoing personal attacks against her character as a reason, and blasts her most vocal opponents and levels her own criticisms at Kansas City Police Chief Jim Corwin and unnamed City Council members, saying some on the council have made “vicious, false and irresponsible claims about me.”

Also apparently, in recent days, Semler has taken issue with comments made in published reports by Mayor Mark Funkhouser and his wife, Gloria Squitiro.

“I do believe I have been a positive asset. There are many projects I eagerly wanted to pursue,” Semler writes. But after reading quotes from Funkhouser in the The Star last week, “I feel BETRAYED.”

Probably pales in comparison to how our strong long-standing Hispanic population felt when a member of a hate-group that targets Hispanics was appointed to the parks board, I would imagine. She did, after all, characterize the problem with undocumented persons as a “well-organized invasion of illegals.” She defends the Minutemen as an unjustly attacked group dedicated to the enforcement of immigration laws - but not one word about throwing the heads of corporations who hire undocumented workers in jail. Or about the decrease in enforcement under the Bush administration. Much easier to simply single out a group that looks different than her, I guess.

Semler was appointed in June to be the lone Northland representation on the five-member city parks board, and the controversy started immediately. It was mishandled, and signaled a lack of leadership that turned out to be a portend of things to come.

Here is hoping that Funk gets off his high-horse and accepts her resignation. Then he needs to order Gloria to clean out her desk, and for fuck's sake, start acting like a mayor. He's supposed to be a smart guy, and he has had almost a year to figure this shit out.

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