KC soccer compromise a victory for all
The Kansas City Star
Compromise worked after bullying didn’t. That’s a good lesson learned from the controversy over how to expand a youth soccer complex at Swope Park in Kansas City.
The positive compromise, worked out in recent weeks, should result in modern soccer fields for thousands of youngsters to enjoy. Kansas City and Jackson County officials have agreed that their taxpayers will contribute most of the money to accomplish the plan.
That’s far better than what the bullying had tried to accomplish.
Last year Kansas City Council members were doggedly pushing a proposal to finance the upgrades with tax revenue created by businesses in a nearby publicly subsidized development called Winchester Center. The city specifically wanted access to millions of dollars that normally would have flowed to the Raytown School District and other taxing jurisdictions.
The school district, Mid-Continent Public Library and others properly fought back to protect their students and patrons.
Jackson County officials stepped in to mediate. Raytown school officials threatened lawsuits. Mayor Sly James eventually came to the bargaining table.
Under the new deal, the Raytown district gets to keep millions in future tax revenues created by the Winchester Center businesses so it can better educate more than 8,000 students. The library and taxing entities that serve the disabled and blind also will receive more money.
It was a hard-fought victory that will benefit all sides.