The 16th Circuit Court of Jackson County issued an Order on Friday afternoon forming the The Kansas City Main Street Rail Transportation Development District (TDD), which was approved by voters to fund the local portion of a streetcar extension through Midtown to UMKC.
The Order also calls for an election to select a Board of Directors from within the TDD. The Director election must be held within 120 days of the formation Order being issued. As of Friday afternoon, the Jackson County Clerk has officially called for the election, which will be conducted by the Kansas City Election Board on Saturday, October 7. Candidates should read the Order for filing instructions, as well as consult campaign requirements with the Missouri Ethics Commission.
Voters have approved the formation of a new Transportation Development District that would provide local funding for a streetcar extension through Midtown to UMKC. 70.11% of votes cast were in favor of forming the TDD.
The immediate next steps are for 16th Circuit Court Judge Dale Youngs to issue an Order forming the TDD, as well as an Order calling for the next election to vote on seven at-large Directors to govern the TDD. The Orders will contain details about how candidates can file for the TDD Board of Directors. Public notices will also follow. The Kansas City Board of Election Commissioners is responsible for administering the Director election, per the TDD Act.
In addition, Kansas City voters will weigh in on two streetcar-related petition initiatives on the Tuesday, August 8 ballot. Neither of these was put forth by the Kansas City Regional Transit Alliance. Please read our statements on Question 1 and Question 2.
The Kansas City Board of Election Commissioners has scheduled a meeting of the Election Judges appointed by the Circuit Court for 2:00 pm this Friday, August 4, 2017, for purposes of certifying the results of the formation election regarding the proposed Kansas City Main Street Rail Transportation Development District. It is anticipated that official results will be available shortly after 2:00 p.m. on Friday August 4, 2017.
The Board of the Kansas City Regional Transit Alliance supports Question 2 on the August 8 ballot in Kansas City, Missouri.
In complete contrast to Question 1 on the same ballot, Question 2 is a petition initiative that supports streetcar, as well as providing connections with a fleet of electric buses.
This proposal is drastically different from others offered by Clay Chastain, all of which we have opposed in the past.
It does not divert funding from the city’s 3/8th cent sales tax, which is essential for maintaining core bus service. Instead, it creates new funding sources for bus operations.
It includes a scope of work that can be scaled to available revenue – assuming federal funds are made available – through a “build what you can” caveat that would allow progress to continue in reasonable phases.
It provides a strong response to Question 1, an unreasonable anti-streetcar position on the same ballot.
You can view the sample ballot for the August 8 election here.
All ballots for the special mail-in election to extend the streetcar through Midtown to UMKC must be received at the 16th Circuit Court by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, August 1.
Mail-in ballots in Missouri must be notarized. The Jackson County Clerk offers free notary services on the second floor of the Courthouse. Voters may return their ballots in person at the Circuit Court Administrator’s office on the third floor.
The Board of the Kansas City Regional Transit Alliance opposes Question 1 on the August 8 ballot in Kansas City, Missouri.
While seeming just to require a citywide vote for streetcar expansion, the ballot language actually contains a provision to penalize “all City officers, agents, and employees” $1,000 per day for engaging in any planning or preparation for streetcar or fixed rail of any kind.
This subversive threat to freedom of speech should be voted down. Creating such an impediment to the expansion of Kansas City’s transit network after the overwhelming success of the Downtown Streetcar makes no sense. While a citywide election may have merit, gagging public employees and elected officials with the threat of fines may be unconstitutional and expose the city to potential litigation. We encourage the voters of Kansas City to reject Question 1.
Mail-in ballots for the special Transportation Development District formation election will be mailed to qualified voters on Tuesday, June 20. Approximately 6,000 ballots will be printed, based on early estimates from the Circuit Court. The Circuit Court is administering the special election, per the TDD statute.
An image of the envelope qualified voters will receive is below.
Qualified voters will receive ballots if:
They are registered to vote inside the proposed streetcar TDD boundary (Missouri River to 53rd Street, State Line to Campbell Street), and
The Circuit Court received a completed ballot application by the May 23 deadline.
Once voters receive their TDD formation ballots in June, they have until 5 p.m. on Tuesday, August 1 to return them. In accordance with Missouri law, all mail-in ballots must be notarized. Ballots are notarized free of charge by any Public Notary.
Text of the ballot language is here and is for informational purposes only. Voters must use the official ballot they receive in the mail.
The May 23 deadline is quickly approaching for voters inside the proposed Transportation Development District to request a mail-in ballot to form the new streetcar funding district.
Completed ballot applications must be received by 5 p.m. that day. It is suggested that applications sent at this late date be faxed or delivered by hand to the Circuit Court’s office. See https://www.16thcircuit.org/streetcar for instructions and a downloadable ballot application.
If you know anyone with a mobility issue or without internet access, please contact the Circuit Court at 816-881-6671 for an accommodation.
A mail-in election is being conducted to fund an extension of the KC Streetcar from Union Station to the vicinity of the University of Kansas City – Volker Campus. The election will form a new Transportation Development District that will replace the existing downtown streetcar TDD.