Transit Action Network (TAN)

Advocates for Improved and Expanded Transit in the Kansas City Region.

KC Mayoral Transit Forum Day 6

Posted by Transit Action Network on February 5, 2011

Questions 6    Kansas City receives almost nothing for transit from Missouri. A new Federal Transportation Bill is due in Congress. How will you work with the legislature to increase Kansas City’s share of transit funding

a.     at the state level?

b.     at the federal level?

Sly_ James

Sly James www.slyjamesformayor.com

First, I will work with our state and federal representatives to generate a cogent legislative plan.  I will communicate regularly with our representatives, not simply when we need something from them.  Building stronger relationships with these representatives is key.  As mayor, I will work to ensure that we work together with our state and federal representatives to achieve realistic goals, both short and long-term.  I am proud to be endorsed by State Representative Jason Kander.

Second, we will fully utilize our city’s state and federal lobbyists.  Political and economic realities indicate that funding from the state and federal governments will be scare.  Federal earmarks should be considered a thing of the past, requiring our lobbyists to advocate for programmatic legislative solutions that would help a medium-size city like Kansas City to benefit from any Federal Transportation Bill.  For example, our lobbyists must advocate for state and federal funding formulas that benefit cities like Kansas City.  This would have been helpful for Kansas City when the U.S. Congress was drafting the Federal Stimulus Legislation.  If we had advocated for more beneficial federal funding formulas, lobbying with similar cities, we could have received a greater share of the funds.

Finally, as mayor, I will forge stronger relationships with regional governmental leaders, from Topeka to St. Louis.  I will reach out to government and business leaders on both sides of State Line to work together lobbying for regional solutions.

Henry_Klein

Henry Klein www.kleinforkansascity.com

a. For a host of reasons, we have not been getting our share of state funding.  St. Louis seems to understand how to secure funds much better than we do.  That has to change.

b. Our best avenue for this is going to be with our lobbyists and with congressional representatives.

Deb Hermann

Deb Hermann www.debhermannformayor.com

a. Again, a regionaI, coordinated effort is necessary.  Transit needs to be a priority.  I will be very engaged in Jefferson City.

b. Similarly, it is only fair that the federal government begin to provide support as they do for other municipalities.  Transit needs to be a priority and the effort regional.

Mike Burke

Mike Burke www.burke4kc.com

One of my first actions as mayor would be to revamp how the city lobbies in Washington and Jefferson City.  We need a more regional approach to issues such as transit that impact our region.  The city should reach out to suburban governments and chambers to form a joint lobbying position.

Jim Rowland http://jimrowland.com

Jim Rowland

a. In general, not just on transit issues, Kansas City frequently loses out to St. Louis in winning funds from the State.  This is directly attributable to a lack of leadership from the current mayor, who has been unnecessarily antagonistic.  I will work collaboratively with Kansas City’s legislative delegation and people from around the state to protect our city’s interests.  I have always believed that real leadership is about bringing a diverse group of people together and uniting them around a common purpose.  I will be a frequent presence in Jefferson City, cultivating relationships, and stressing Kansas City’s economic importance to the state.

b. Kansas City is fortunate to be represented by several excellent members of Congress.  Again, new leadership that is capable of working with—rather than against—others will be essential.  I have a proven record of bringing people together to get things done, and will use that skill set in our federal lobbying efforts.  If we are to achieve real progress on transit in Kansas City, support from the federal government will be essential.  Securing that support will be a high priority for me.

Mayor Mark Funkhouser

Mayor Funkhouser www.reelectmayorfunkhouser.com

a. Our state lobbyists are working hard with our state representatives and senators to make sure KC gets the fair share of what transit funding might be available.

b. Kansas City is actively seeking federal transit funding. That was the source of the $27 million for the Troost Max line and the sidewalk and road reconstruction in the Green Impact Zone in 2010. U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman James L. Oberstar visited Kansas City in October 2010 to hear about Kansas City’s transit and infrastructure needs.  The City is working aggressively with our federal lobbyists to secure more federal funding for city transit.

TAN hopes you have benefited from this online transit forum. Please continue to comment and ask questions regarding the candidate’s responses. We will inform the candidates of additional comments or questions throughout the campaign. We thank the candidates for their participation in this forum and encourage them to read the comments and answer questions from our readers.


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