Kansas City Peace Planters
August 14, 2012
Rachel M. MacNair, Ph.D., Petition Coordinator, 816.753.2057
Ann Suellentrop, 913.271.7925
Web page: foolish-investment.com
Citizens plan to offer expert details on how the new Botts-road plant is actually a job loser because the same resources spent on alternative products would provide more jobs than the declining market in nuclear weapons will.
Hearings for the citizen-initiated ballot measure, “Prevention of City’s Future Financial Involvement in Nuclear Weapons Production,” are scheduled for Wednesday, August 15, 2012, at 1:30 PM. These are to be held by the Planning, Zoning & Economic Development Committee chaired by Councilmember Ed Ford, on the 26th Floor of City Hall. They are not considering the ordinance itself, but an ordinance to place it on this year’s November 6 ballot.
The committee is expected to vote that day on sending this to the full Council with either a “pass” or “do not pass” recommendation. The full legislative session of the Council would likely then vote on it either the next day (August 16) or the next week (August 23). They have been advised by the City Attorney that August 23 is the last date, inasmuch as the deadline for certification for the ballot is August 28 and they only meet on Thursdays.
City Attorney William Geary has offered an opinion, with appropriate caveats, that the wording is legal and constitutional. The wording is a result of extensive consultations and hearings in which City Councilmembers participated. This did improve the quality of the wording. We thank the councilmembers for their attention and thoughtfulness.
While it is a watered-down version of what petitioners have requested in previous rounds, it does have the advantage that all distracting side-issues have also been dispensed with. We can focus on the two relevant issues: the nuclear weapons modernization program, and the peculiar city-oriented (rather than federal) financing mechanism for the plant.
Below is the wording of the initiative:
Prevention of the City’s Future Financial Involvement in Nuclear Weapons Components Facilities
The City of Kansas City, Missouri ("the City") shall not enter into, facilitate, nor give permission for any future contracts whereby it will be directly financially involved in any facilities that produce or procure components for, assemble, or refurbish nuclear weapons (except for outside infrastructure improvements customarily provided by cities and governmental services ordinarily provided to citizens). The City is also barred in the future from funding or subsidizing such a facility through taxes, bonds, loans, tax credits, credit, or any other financial scheme or mechanism. The definition of such a facility does not include providers of goods and services which were not produced for the purpose of nuclear weapons components production but which may be purchased by such a facility as a consumer.