Monday, January 23, 2012

Campaign to recall councilman Jermaine Reed begins

A campaign to recall City Councilman Jermaine Reed has begun.

Posted By on Mon, Jan 23, 2012 at 11:58 AM

Some people arent happy with Jermaine Reed.
  • Some people aren't happy with Jermaine Reed.
Third District City Councilman Jermaine Reed has made plenty of headlines in his seven months in office. He rushed to the defense of Club Xpressions, a downtown violence magnet. And he put out the boneheaded idea of renaming Prospect Avenue after Martin Luther King Jr. Reed won his seat last May in an ugly election. Lawyer Michael Fletcher tried to run, but a court ruled that he wasn't a Kansas City resident. Fletcher then sued former Councilwoman Sharon Sanders Brooks for defamation after Brooks said Reed had assaulted her, and Reed won in a landslide. But now some constituents are trying to boot him out of office.

Residents are focused mostly on Reed's reaction to the plans to build a new crime lab at 27th and Prospect. The lab's construction will require dozens of homeowners to move. The Rev. L. Henderson Bell, who was helping to organize the recall movement told Fox 4, "People are complaining about being displaced, and the young man said, to the people who are moving from their homes, being asked to move from their homes, he said, 'Get over it'." Bell told KCTV Channel 5 that Reed's inexperience in politics is hurting the district. "We are literally being pushed around because we have a novice in office. He certainly seems to have so much respect for the system until he is not effective in challenging the things that need to work best for those in our community," he told the station.

Bell, who KSHB Channel 41 reports campaigned for Fletcher, has since bowed out of the recall movement. Tony's Kansas City has Bell's press release announcing that news.

Reed doesn't seem too worried about losing his job, though. "Citizens are certainly welcome to avail themselves to the processes available in the City Charter concerning a recall. However, I’m laser-focused on creating jobs in the 3rd District, reducing crime and restoring economic development," he said in a statement. And he might have reason to be confident. As Kansas City learned in 2009, recalling an elected official is difficult.

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