Wednesday, February 28, 2007

At the Flea Market last night

The evening started out the way the campaign began - kind of a ragtag, polyglot collection of true-believers and political neophytes. Many of us wore orange, but a lot of us hadn't gotten the word, so we didn't even look like a spiffy campaign group. But it was a warm and friendly group of nervously optimistic people who gathered to crack wise and wait for numbers at the Flea Market. Not a tie to be seen, except for Mark's orange one.

Flash forward a few hours and several Boulevard Irish Ales . . .

Holy Crap! It really happened! We're in the general! And the people who weren't there at the beginning start rolling in. Jerry Riffel is chatting with a reporter. Mike Sanders and Charlie Wheeler have both come by. Kansas City's political insiders crowd around the star of the hour, Kansas City's next mayor.

Joe Miller is on a bar stool off to the side, and I finally get to meet Allie. She's charming and happy and way too good for Joe, but that's the way most successful couples are.

We have a whole new campaign now - 4 weeks in a race between two vastly different people. I've always liked Alvin Brooks, and I hope that nothing over the next 28 days changes my mind.

I bet there'll be more ties at the next watch party . . .

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Anonymous travelingal said...

Granted, I don't know your Missouri politicians, but these guys aren't rock stars ya know.....despite the moniker given to Obama...They eat a hamburger same as I do.

So be it, it is your right to be enthusiastic about your candidates. It would be nice if people at least voted and knew who they were voting for.

2/28/2007 8:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You say you have always like Alvin Brooks. Do you think KC will be well served whichever of the two wins?

2/28/2007 10:24 PM  
Blogger Dan said...


Yes, I do think that Kansas City will be well-served with either Mark or Alvin as mayor. I strongly prefer Mark, but I can see why others would prefer Alvin. This is one of those wonderful opportunities to vote FOR a candidate without it being partially AGAINST a candidate.

Good question, and thanks for getting me on the record on that. I hope that I don't change my tune. If I do, I hope I'll either have a compelling reason, or that I'll have a group of commenters calling me on it.

Travelingal - yes, these are definitely mortal people. Throughout the campaign, we have been tougher on Mark for his flaws than we have been complimentary. But by the end of Tuesday night, the political class was acting like he was a rock star.

3/01/2007 6:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dan, maybe you can explain this.

What is the difference between TIFF and tax abatement. Does KC use both to spur development? Do different parts of gov. approve each?

3/03/2007 9:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not Dan but I'll try to discern the difference. TIF is the difference between taxes collected on the property/from the businesses in the current state and the amount it generates after the development is complete. This difference typically goes to the developers (with a cut to their attorneys and the EDC) to reimburse the infrastructure costs associated with improving the area.

Abatement seems to be on smaller projects - I've noticed it a lot on condo developments near/in downtown. The real estate listing will indicate it's abated and by how much/long. The taxing authority has reduced the amount that will be collected. This strategy has always struck me as a last resort for the authorities.

3/10/2007 11:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And then I didn't really answer the question... yes, Kansas City uses both. The part about TIF that gets people so riled is that the city has, for lack of a better word, guaranteed the payments on some projects. Even if the enhanced revenue falls short of the developers expenses they get their money.

As for abatement, I think any entity that taxes property can abate the collection. I'm pretty sure the county does it, too.

I'm fine with abatements. By the time a property is considered for abatement the assessed value is so low the revenue is negligible.

3/10/2007 11:34 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Thanks, anonymous. I love my commenters!

3/10/2007 11:50 AM  

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