During Kay Barnes' administration, I attended many functions at which concerned citizens asked her about what was perceived as out-of-control TIF spending — especially in areas such as the Plaza and Briarcliff that did not appear to be blighted. She was always dismissive of our concerns, almost always patronizing us by saying those who were concerned about her use of TIF "just didn't get it," and suggesting that we should just trust Big Sister and her cult followers on the City Council.
Well, we're sure getting it now, and it looks like we'll be getting it for years to come.
Larry Roth, Kansas City, Missouri
Regarding David Martin's story on the Hispanic contractors' lawsuit against J.E. Dunn: I have been involved in commercial construction for 24 years. Most people probably could not even comprehend the challenge and effort of a multimillion-dollar project. Have you ever had a house built or repairs made to your home? Did you make sure that you met the minority percentages? Did you hire the contractor with the most experience and good reputation? Did you make sure that he used workers within the minority percentages?
I have been a superintendent in Kansas City. I have been involved in projects from start to finish. A general contractor like J.E. Dunn would assemble a project team that the owner had confidence in. They would work the manpower that was available from the local unions and try to meet all minority requirements. I have been in and run many project meetings for Dunn. I can assure you that affirmative action is not taken lightly. You can rest assured that an earnest effort to hire minority businesses is made. Vendors, subcontractors and subcontractor teams are always considered. The project requirements can lead to these teams; many minority contractors are rejected due to a lack of years in a certain trade, licenses and certifications.
To William Torres and Gabe Perez: I have been a superintendent for Dunn and I have had repairs made to my home. So I have been on both sides of the fence. The contractor I hire better be watching every penny and everybody — that's their job! Rarely does a project go like it was drawn before the shovel was turned. That includes work to my home that I have paid for.
The world needs to remember every man was created equal. What they do for a living should be due to their work abilities, not due to a race percentage.
Bryan L. Mullendore, Independence
Why have there been no letters to the editor on the J.E. Dunn article? Does Dunn have so much clout, pull, or whatever it is called, that no one wants to speak about their shenanigans in the city? They can ignore local ordinances and such things as minority-hiring goals to get city contracts or have a front company to satisfy the city, state or federal requirements, and they are still given business without penalty. It makes me feel good that the power people haven't suffered too much. What a crock!
Gregg Williams, Kansas City, Missouri
For several years, many friends and I frequented the Raphael Hotel's bar and lounge on Wednesday and Thursday evenings to hear Dave McCubbin play the piano and sing. There were many of us who used to come in around 6 p.m. to enjoy wonderful music and just de-stress. Unfortunately, my friends and I have not returned, nor do we plan to. Chaz, the new restaurant in that space, may have been trying to appeal to a younger audience, but whoever made the decision concerning music made a huge mistake!
Karen Boulware, Kansas City, Missouri
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