How the arrest of Sly James' brother affects mayor, KC
The Kansas City Star
The arrest of Sly James’ middle-aged brother has the following effects on the mayor, his job at City Hall and on Kansas Citians.
The mayor has to deal with a distraction that has absolutely nothing to do with his pretty solid plans to improve Kansas City.
Kansas Citians who support the mayor - and many who barely pay much attention to City Hall but generally like James - will ignore the arrest. I’d put myself in the former category here. He deserves the respect of the mayor’s office for the way he has capably handled his job so far, and the arrest of his brother does not tarnish that for me.
The people who don’t like the mayor, including the racists who don’t want a black mayor, will see this as a bad mark against him.
Fortunately, that last group of people comprises a very small portion of Kansas City residents.
James was not elected in a landslide, true, mostly because he faced very credible competition in 2011 in Mike Burke.
But it’s fair to say that James, since taking office a year ago, has pretty much done what he said he’s going to do. He has struck some hard fiscal bargains as part of the new budget. He has appointed committees to look into how the city raises revenue and how ethics could be improved at City Hall.
The personal problems of relatives of high-ranking officials will always be fodder for the media.
Sometimes they will matter: Former Mayor Mark Funkhouser might have survived some of the silliness surrounding the activities of his wife if he had not stepped forward to defend those silly activities, thus making him part of the problem.
James is not doing that, and that’s to his credit.