Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Councilman Urges SKC Residents to Act on Redistricting

Now is the time for concerned south Kansas City residents to contact the City Manager, Mayor and all members of the City Council and ask them to consider the concerns of area residents before approving any City Council redistricting plan, according to 6th District City Councilman John Sharp who represents south Kansas City.

“The redistricting plan currently being considered chops off half of the Ruskin/Hickman Mills area, everything north of the I-435-I-470 corridor, and puts it in the 5th District  which now covers much of the east side of the central city and all the area east of Raytown.  The 5th District even goes south as far as Red Bridge Road in one area,” Sharp said.

“Additionally, the plan extends the current northern boundary of the 6th District between Holmes and State Line from 79th Street to 59th Street, putting the rest of Waldo and the Brookside area in the 6th District,” Sharp said.

Sharp said under the proposed redistricting plan the 6th District would lose many of the landmarks that form the heart of the 6th District, including the Bannister Federal Complex, the old Bannister Mall area, the Cerner and Dean Machinery offices, the new South Patrol Police Station that is currently under construction, the administrative offices of the Hickman Mills School District, the District’s new Early Childhood Education Center, the District’s junior high and three elementary schools, Baptiste Educational Center and Trailside Center.

“We’d lose much of our identity,” Sharp said.

Sharp urged southland residents concerned about these proposed changes to call or email the City Manager, Mayor and Council members and urge them to conduct at least two public hearings on redistricting, including having at least one hearing in the evening so working people can attend, preferably at a convenient, centrally located site with ample public parking.

“The City Council does not have to approve redistricting until the end of the year,” Sharp said, “so there is ample time to give this subject the attention it deserves and to craft a redistricting plan that unifies instead of dividing our city.”

Persons wishing to contact the City Manager may call 513-1408 or email Troy.Shulte@kcmo.org, those wishing to contact the Council may call 513-6501 or email City.Council@kcmo.org, and those wishing to contact the Mayor may call 513-3500 or email Mayor@kcmo.org.

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