The Kyle James dilemma
Kyle James may turn out to be a long-term problem for Mayor Sly James, his public image and - quite possibly - the public image of Kansas City.
That’s not a good thing.
So what’s a mayor to do?
Sly James’ young, adult son is getting into legal trouble, creating a bad name for himself and stealing attention from the mayor.
No, Kyle’s legal woes are not yet overwhelming the good that Sly James has done so far as mayor, not by a long shot.
Sly’s still certainly in his honeymoon phase, where he appears to be thoughtfully trying to get the city back on the right track after the disastrous reign of Mark Funkhouser.
The continued legal/police problems of Kyle James do affect the public image of the mayor. I warned about that the last time the mayor’s son was involved in a scrap with the Kansas City Police Department.
I’ve already heard from those who wonder how Sly James can talk about the need for good parenting from those who leave their kids on the Plaza, when the mayor himself appears to have a renegade son of his own.
Plus, never forget that Sly James is trying to create a better image nationally for Kansas City, again after several years of problems involving Funkhouser and his wife, Gloria Squitiro.
Those troubles became news on national TV shows and newspapers, often not in a flattering way. Many Kansas Citians did not want the mayor’s office run by a team of two, including one voters didn’t elect.
Now along comes the buttoned-down Sly James, and still Kansas City may have to endure - it appears - more embarrassing familial issues when it comes to the mayor’s office.
And that’s even after Sly James - mindful of the Funkhouser years - pledged after his election that Kansas Citians wouldn’t be having trouble with the James family, at least in this way:
“You elected only me, no one else. No one in my family will be seeking employment with the city. Not my wife, not my sister, not my daughter, no one.”
Overall, this is not a positive situation to be in for the mayor, who’s going to continue to not comment on these issues, arguing in part that it’s up to his adult son to fight on behalf of himself. And, if legal consequences come along, to take the legal medicine.
And it’s not a good situation for Kansas City, especially with the attention these legal incidents will continue to garner.
- Here’s the Tuesday morning statement from Danny Rotert, the mayor’s communications director:
“To ensure that both Kyle and his accuser get a fair day in municipal court, the Mayor will not have any comments on the matter now pending. Thank you for your understanding in what is a difficult time for all involved.”
- Here’s what Kyle James said in his apology shortly after the last incident earlier this month, in a somewhat eerie precursor to this week’s news:
“This is not the first time I have apologized for what I have done and quite possibly it won’t be the last. I am trying to find myself as a person and individual separate from the circumstances that draw attention to this situation.”