It upsets me to see how some Blue Springs City Council members have portrayed the Adams Dairy Parkway project and its investors. I am tired of seeing certain council members degrade the project with every vote. Their comments have obviously influenced some uninformed residents who have not researched the topic in its entirety. It is evident that some have not done their research based on the negative comments posted to online Examiner articles.
Council Member Shaver stated, in so many words, that he was disgusted at how the legislative process was abused. I agree! However, the abuse occurred when Council Member Fowler nullified the votes of all members by abstaining from the vote to approve this project. He said he did not have all the facts, as if he was merely tabling the motion temporarily. Yet he never gained more knowledge on the subject. Instead, he returned to the following council meeting with video clips to try to support his earlier arguments. It appeared that he never intended to bring the motion back up.
One person should not be able to kill a motion with this filibuster tactic. If a council member abstains “for a lack of knowledge,” it is his or her duty to gain the knowledge and to reintroduce the motion for a vote. The lawsuit by the investors was not a “bullying” tactic to get the proposal approved. They were simply looking to allow the court system to act on the absence of due process by the City Council.
A lot has been said about the 1 percent community improvement district sales tax. The CID is now required to pay for road improvements to Adams Dairy Parkway that were originally supposed to have been paid for by the RED development. The city changed the rules midstream and put additional financial responsibility on this project. I welcome these improvements however they take place. It is obvious the city has been unable to maintain this road over the years.
A CID is not paid by all resident taxpayers. The investors front the money for the improvements and charge a 1 percent additional tax to recoup their expense. Only the people who use these shops pay. In essence, we do have a vote – with our pocketbooks and patronage or lack of it.
Council Member Solon stated that the development on Adams Dairy Parkway is meant to provide jobs for residents and revenue for the city. How many jobs have been created by the development on the Parkway since the plan originated in 1994? How much money has that vacant land generated since 1994? This project will create jobs and taxes. During a recent vote for the convenience store portion of the project, members again spoke negatively as they are upset that a part of Adams Dairy has been “down-zoned.” How doesn’t this project fit into the vision of the parkway? Why has it taken so long to get development of any kind on the parkway?
Lastly, three council members have negatively portrayed Bill Wrisinger and the other investors. Bill Wrisinger was just the recipient of the “Businessman of the Year” award in Blue Springs. He prefers to invest in Blue Springs even as other city governments try to entice him to their communities. These investors have many thriving businesses in the community.
These investors lined up tenants for their Coronado Place development ahead of time and have done the same with the Adams Dairy Project. It would not sit vacant like other recent developments.
Some residents have claimed they will no longer patronize any of Wrisinger’s businesses. I hope if you made that claim in the newspaper, you will have complete follow-through. I hope those same people won’t want to benefit from any of his generosity as well. They of course won’t want to enjoy any shops or restaurants that may not be owned by these investors but were brought to our city through their development. They will pull their kids from local schools and youth activities since not many schools or youth organizations have not been helped by Wrisinger. I am sure when they go to some school carnival or concession stand that has donated cups, they will continue their boycott. These disgruntled few will righteously refuse the cup and take a sip from their hands; the hands that so easily wrote false statements about investors with a stake in the community.
I would have voiced my opinion directly to the citizens upset with this long-awaited progress at any of the council meetings, but I didn’t see you.
Michael Moon lives in Lee’s Summit.