Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Update: Terry Riley Proposes Keeping Cauthen, Converting Channel 2 to Travel Channel

Terry Riley is choosing to get out in front of the Cauthen termination. Alerted that Funkhouser has no intention of introducing an ordinance to retain City Manager Wayne Cauthen after disclosure of his wild and extravagant personal travel billed to the taxpayers, Riley is fighting back.

His plan is to convert cable Channel 2, currently devoted to City Government, to a new Travel Channel, to be called Wayne's World. In it, Wayne Cauthen will chat about his world travels paid for by the taxpayers.

They're still working on the concept, but the first shows will be airing soon -

"3 Days of 'Work', 4 Days of Play" - a recounting of the lavish trip to Victoria, British Columbia with his wife, at which he spent less than half of his weeklong, three grand trip attending a "conference".

"Mile High Club" - how to spend more than $1500 on a flight to DC.

"What the Halifax?" - spending $1400 on a trip with no further explanation than "business conference".

"River Walking on the Taxpayer" - sometimes, on the way back from DC, you feel the urge for some Tex-Mex, so why not make it a three-city trip for $1500, even if you have no other apparent reason to go to San Antonio?

There's much more in development, of course. The jaunt to Paris, the visit to Bourdeaux . . .

Some of the other City Council members are complaining that they weren't fully informed about the change in Cauthen's outlook. Of course, as a taxpayer, I wasn't fully informed about their desire to change Channel 2 into a travel channel, but I won't complain. Like them, I should have expected something to change when I picked up the Pitch . . .

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19 Comments:

Anonymous judge judy iii said...

The Star tracked down all 12 of Mayor Mark Funkhouser's City Council colleagues and nine of the 12 are displeased

Eight of the 12 said Funkhouser's action did not reflect their "shared vision" for the city.

That is not good. Dan, I don't see how you can spin that as a good thing. How much can Funk piss off the council before he looses the ability to govern effectively?

12/11/2007 9:44 AM  
Blogger Eric said...

Sorry but I just don't see how $30,000 is an unreasonable travel bill for the CEO of a $1 billion enterprise.

I'm sure you can find much more substantive things to slam Cauthen for.

12/11/2007 9:50 AM  
Anonymous Not the Hugest Issue, but so perfect . . . said...

Eric:

I wasn't aware that a CM is entitled to charge personal vacations and trips to taxpayers if the city is large enough. How does that work? Is it a percentage of the budget that he gets to charge to his personal expense? If he were in a larger city, would he get to spend a month in Victoria on the taxpayers dime for a 3 day conference, instead of only a week on the taxpayers dime (with his wife) for a three day conference?

True, there are more substantive issues, such as his utter failure to assure that Cordish was contractually bound to open up months ago, but this issue is so easy, and so clear . . .

12/11/2007 10:04 AM  
Anonymous Slightly corrupt is ok said...

Shorter Eric:

"As long as he only steals a little . . ."

12/11/2007 10:12 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

The story was a PR plant from Funky's people. Only the most naive Funky supporters (i.e. Dan) would believe it at face value. Folks are much more forgiving of Funky's missteps that have cost the City $5 MILLION worth of revenue and will cost 20 more when NAACP backs out.

Still, Funky just doesn't have a good relationship with the council it's incorrect to argue otherwise. So now that Funky has made enemies out of the minority leadership in this town AND most of the Council as Judy points out . . . Can he effectively govern or has he already made himself a lame duck less than a year into his term?

12/11/2007 10:28 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Tony -

The Council is miffed at the moment, but they are THRILLED that Mark did this, so they didn't have to. They get to act like they are shocked and dismayed, but they all knew he had to go.

I don't know or care whether it was a PR plant. Is it true that Cauthen charged me for 7 days in BC for a 3 day conference? Is it true that he (a City Manager!) failed to document his trip to Halifax? Is it true we paid for his jaunt to Paris.

Truth has more consequences than jokes, Tony.

12/11/2007 10:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dan, what other reasons besides the travel justifies Wayne being fired?

I assume because you are using the travel you dont have much

12/11/2007 12:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what other reasons besides the travel justifies Wayne being fired

Good question. Anyone have more incite? From a PR standpoint Mark "Yo Mammy" Funkhouser is just settling an old grudge. But maybe Cauthen sucked donkey balls, I don't know.

So how about a few reasons why Funk was right?

12/11/2007 12:52 PM  
Anonymous the nitwit said...

I posted this on last night's thread, but thought it made more sense here:

As always with Funk, it's not just about the moves, but also the way in which they're carried out. I don't have a beef with him wanting a new city manager, but couldn't he have consulted or at least notified the city council about his decision?

Couldn't he have found a way to "thank" Cauthen for his service to the city but say that he believes the city would benefit from a fresh start? No one would necessarily have argued with that. Some might have disagreed, but it would have gone over much more smoothly. Instead, he's created yet another fire that he won't manage to put out for weeks on end. What a genius.

It's like when he replaced the parks board. There was no reason to be mean spirited toward the outgoing members, and yet he was. Yet again Funkhouser comes off an an arrogant jerk who doesn't understand the importance of perception when it comes to leading a city.

Oh, and with Cauthen leaving, is there any chance Funk will want to tap Gloria for the job? Along with stepping in it every chance he gets, that seems to be his M.O.

12/11/2007 1:56 PM  
Blogger sophia said...

I posted this on last night's thread,

Also known as the thread immediately preceeding this thread, or the post 1.5 inches beneath this post, or the post before with the same subject matter that's visible on the screen at the same time as this post. Boo(!) on you for making me think I was going to get to read something new.

12/11/2007 5:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the fact that Dan whines about the travel expenses. Funkhouser spent a similar amount on a sham negotiation. Why aren't you bitching about that, Dan?
My perception of Funkhouser is that he is trying to make Kansas City a laboratory of good government by following text books. I think we can try that for a while. At some point, however, Funkhouser has to accept that there is no textbook that tells you how to handle the politics of decision making. That comes from the gut. Every notable leader (mayor, governor, etc) throughout the country and throughout history has had that gut instinct.
I can't think of a single elected official that has succeeded relying solely on text books. Funkhouser won't be the first. He is not that special.

12/12/2007 1:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dan, where are you? Why should have Wayne been fired? Why is this a good thing?

12/12/2007 1:34 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Sorry, Anonymous. Between producing new posts, working at my job, preparing for a big meeting tomorrow, and hosting a party this evening, I sometimes forget my duty to respond to the questions of anonymous commenters within 24 hours. (That came off slightly more pissy than it's intended, but the point is a legitimate one . . .)

Cauthen has always been incredibly loose with the money - he's failed to be responsible with taxpayers funds. A couple years ago, the council approved a plan to charge businesses for blocking lanes of traffic; he regularly waives it. He completely failed to protect the citizens interests in the give-aways to Cordish and AEG - the closed P&L shops that were promised to be open long ago are not because Cauthen failed to get it into a contract. Bottom line - citizen satisfaction with the city has shriveled under his "leadership", and he has fought hard to keep that issue out of his contract. He was great for Barnes, who only wanted to please the TIF Pigs. Mark wants him to please us, and he will not and probably can not meet that demand.

12/12/2007 6:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, Funk confirmd the Mammy complaint and confirmed his wife has used the term...WOW

12/12/2007 9:25 PM  
Anonymous Are we there yet? said...

I don't like our city manager but I agree with Tony 100%. Funkhouser has already cost this city more than 5 million dollars in economic revenue. On top of that if you were to take into consideration the cell phones, the car that he did accept but after pressure gave back, the chiefs tickets Funk's bill for 3 months in office would have been equal to the 30k that our city manager ate.

Not defending Wayne Cauthen, I'm just saying 4 years or 3 months? Which is worst? Why don't we just get rid of them both? And where is your proof that the Council is happy? If 9 out of 12 say that move didn't reflect their shared vision where does your statment add up?

12/13/2007 4:45 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

Good call Dan:

"The Council is miffed at the moment, but they are THRILLED that Mark did this, so they didn't have to. They get to act like they are shocked and dismayed, but they all knew he had to go."

So Dan, where are all those THRILLED city council members? I see 9 that are thrilled to ram Funk's ill-conceived plan down his throat.

With your continued support of Gloria and this botched effort, you're on a roll.

12/13/2007 4:54 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Are We There Yet:

You're kind of confused. Go back, look at where the money for the iPhone came from, and compare it to where the money for the vacations came from. Also, remember that Tony is a joke blog, and the $5 million number is a punch line.

Mainstream:

Don't be fooled by mock outrage. Let's take a look at where Cauthen is working in 6 months.

12/13/2007 4:59 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

Or three years, Dan.

I don't like Wayne Cauthen, for a lot of good reasons, most of which I get directly from his employees, or people who have met with him.

I don't like him for many of the reasons I dislike Funk - Wayne doesn't respect people. There are more reasons than that, though.

Now we have situation where Cauthen's ego (and his perceived mandate to continue to mistreat people and situations) is going to get even bigger.

A (9-4) three year extension!!!

I couldn't think of a way Cauthen's ego and obnoxiousness could get worse, except through an event like this.

For only one reason - the misbehavior and miscalculation of our Mayor and his wife Gloria.

I'm going to stop typing now.

Like everything else, this situation could have easily been avoided.

12/13/2007 6:31 PM  
Anonymous Are We There Yet? said...

I am definitely not confused. Can we wait to have this discussion after he settles mammy-gate for a couple of 100K?

12/17/2007 12:48 AM  

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