Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Beth Gottstein - Keeping Focus, Staying in Touch

Despite my two most recent posts grumbling about politicians, or perhaps because of them, I want to give a little credit where credit is due. This morning, I received yet another one of Beth Gottstein's updates, filled with meeting dates and opportunities to get involved in the hard and important work of local government.

I lack the html talent to post the entire newsletter here, but allow me to quote two paragraphs from her opening note:
The City Hall news stories drain attention, emotion and resources from the matters which should dictate our absolute mandate. Significant budget deficits, accelerated unemployment rates and spiraling crime numbers are just a few of the factors that have compelled me to ignore the internal matters of the hour, and direct my efforts to analysis, policy and strategy which strengthens our potential, builds on our resources, and ensures that we head off a crisis.

The headlines about City Hall are frustrating, but do not divert my commitment to Kansas Citians. I was elected to serve Kansas Citians. We have a great deal of work to do and even more to achieve. My focus remains tightly bound to the matters which charged me to run: City budget, workforce development, responsible economic growth and public safety.
I was a big fan of Beth Gottstein when she ran for her seat, and I knew that she would be hard-working, determined, and studious. My unvoiced fear, though, was that her passion for the City would lead her to get over-involved in the student-council drama and gossip of City Council politics.

I am thrilled to see her newsletter coming out in the midst of the city's silliest season, focusing on real issues and real work. While her fellow council members are caught up in dramatic press conferences and trying to decide who may and may not play in their games, Beth wants to talk about City budget, workforce development, responsible economic growth and public safety.

What a concept!!

Keep up the good work, Councilwoman Gottstein! It must be lonely sometimes to be an adult on the playground, but those of us who prefer watching "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" to "Peyton Place" appreciate your work.

(If you want to receive a monthly dose of city sanity, email Councilwoman Gottstein - beth_gottstein[AT Symbol]kcmo.org - and ask to be put on her mailing list.)


Anonymous Funk will Rise Again said...

Now I understand, so Beth is a crossdresser whose real name is Mr. Smith?

11/11/2008 9:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hopefully she will run for Mayor in 2011!

11/11/2008 9:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beth is NOT about drama.

11/11/2008 10:04 AM  
Anonymous JonV said...


I appreciate your post and I agree, Beth is doing a very good job.

But note that Funkhouser has specifically discriminated against Beth.

Funkhouser has intentionally not provided Beth with any committee Chair or Vice Chair positions. Funkhouser has avoided giving Beth a material leadership position on a committee or any other body he has appointment control over.

Funkhouser has intentionally singled out Beth for poor treatment. Need any more proof? There is talk about a string of threats made in conjunction with a voicemail.

It is important to recognize that in a very meaningful way Funkhouser is undermining Beth's ability to make a difference.

I really don't mean to sound anti-Funkhouser, but that is, unfortunately, the reality of the situation.

Thank you.

11/11/2008 10:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For all the love of Beth, Dan, I'm still not sure I know what she's actually done. If she wants to talk about these issues, why is she not moving forward with them?

To the best I can figure, her one claim to fame now is that she initiated the talk about the smoking ban...that in conjunction with the crumbling economy and the tax-subsidied P&L district has run a good number of local, family owned bars and restaurants out of business.

It's one thing to actually talk about doing something, and another thing to actually do something. I'm waiting for someone, anyone, to do more than send me a newsletter telling me what they are going to do....I can get enough of that from the mayor's office.

11/11/2008 10:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 10:36 AM. It takes time to implement change. She works harder than anyone else -- she treats the Council position as full-time.

11/11/2008 10:46 AM  
Anonymous Building Trades Rule said...

She lives off Daddy's Money, so why shouldn't she treat council like a full time job? She has never been able to keep a full time job.

11/11/2008 10:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

10:53 AM. You are way off base.

11/11/2008 10:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 10:46.

It's interesting that for Gottstein, it takes time to implement change. And yet, for Funkhouser, we're ready to run him out of office because he hasn't made the changes he promised. I'm not a fan of the double standard I suppose...

What is it that she's working on other than sending out newsletters?

11/11/2008 10:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 10:55 AM. Doesn't she go to almost every community meeting there is?

11/11/2008 11:05 AM  
Anonymous JonV said...

beth works hard, at important things. always keep in mind that Funkhouser:

- gave Hermann the budget & finance
- gave Jan the sewer project
- gave Ford transportation & Rail (and now Johnson)
- gave zoning to Riley...
- gave housing to Circo (and now Sharp)

The list goes on.

Unfortunately Funkhouser has divided up the major projects and intentionally left Beth out.

Get that? He has intentionally left Beth out.

11/11/2008 11:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

jonv -- do you agree that she has Mayoral potential?

11/11/2008 11:44 AM  
Anonymous JonV said...

No, I do not think Beth is suited for the position of Mayor.

However, I think she is proving to be an effective, genuinely concerned, interested and engaged council person.

I personally am proud to call her my representative.

11/11/2008 11:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Beth ever returned a phone call or showed up a meeting that she RSVP'd for I might believe you.

Her anxiety driven outbursts makes her one of a short list of people I would actively work against if she ran for mayor.

11/11/2008 11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

List one meeting missed (after RSVP'ing that she would be there).

Name one outburst.

11/11/2008 11:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess I'm impressed that someone got her to RSVP. I've never heard from any 'average joe' citizen without insider political connections that has ever gotten a reply email or voice mail from her. Seriously. And it's not a short list.

11/11/2008 11:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If, as you claim, she never goes to meetings, when did these supposed outbursts happen?

11/11/2008 12:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Beth wins the mayoral office in 2011, who would be pro tem?

11/11/2008 1:25 PM  
Anonymous Pi Gallery Watcher said...

I've seen Beth toss the F Bomb at Dan - with plenty of decibels, too. I think that qualifies as an outburst.

Good to see you've kissed and made up, Dan. You're a good man.

11/11/2008 1:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dan -- is that true about the outburst?

11/11/2008 6:16 PM  
Anonymous LOL said...

Dan backs Funk and Beth.


11/11/2008 7:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is that funny? Does Beth get upset with people who support the Mayor?

11/11/2008 7:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, the great thing about Beth is that she would never sell out on her principles, like Sharon Sanders Brooks did.

Sanders-Brooks is a disgrace - how could she replace the current 5th district council rep who was being effective?

And she is a slumlord, cited multiple times for code violations. And she is now the chair of the Housing Committee.

What did Sanders-Brooks sell out for? Why would she betray another council member, and function as the tool of a Funkhouser political vendetta?

Sanders-Brooks is a disgrace to her district, and to Kansas City.

11/11/2008 7:50 PM  
Anonymous Lance Weber said...

Anonymous @ 11:58: I've never heard from any 'average joe' citizen without insider political connections that has ever gotten a reply email or voice mail from her.

Your post implies that she's been non-responsive to people. Is that really the case? I'm just asking for clarity because I've emailed her 3 times over the past year and she replied each time. I have never met her nor am I an insider. I simply stated that I was a resident of her district. I would be surprised if she was non-responsive to others since I have found her to be so accessible.

11/11/2008 10:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good post, Dan.

11/12/2008 2:57 AM  
Anonymous Oakstreet said...

SS Brooks never had a principle to sell. She is as crooked as a mountain stream and twice as cold.

Leave the Mayor and his wife alone and investigate the nepotism and kickback ridden track record of SS Brooks.

11/12/2008 7:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


It is true that I've tried to contact her personally on 3 different occassions, my wife twice, and the head of my neighborhood association twice and none of us have ever gotten a response from her...and we're all in her district.

It is funny the standards we have for the city council now where simply sending an email newsletter is worth of praise.

11/12/2008 9:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 9:09: This wasn't just any newsletter. Beth was "focusing on real issues and real work."

11/12/2008 9:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous -

Something is wrong here, and I'm confident that the problem is not Beth ignoring a neighborhood group. I might disagree with Beth, but she is always attentive and responsive (and, no, I'm no insider). Are you sure you're using the right contact info?

Your report just doesn't match up with my experience, or the experience of other people I know. I'm certainly not saying you're lying, but I am saying that something is going on here other than Beth ignoring a neighborhood group.

11/12/2008 9:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beth doesn't hold grudges so that could not be the cause of any lack of response.

11/12/2008 10:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There were two particular issues that people were emailing about...maybe she's just picking and choosing which issues she wants to deal with...or the ones that are the highest profile that she'd get more votes?

11/12/2008 11:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think her highest priorities are disadvantaged groups and the urban core.

11/12/2008 11:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Beth probably does not read the local political blogs.

Why not invite (not in a challenging way, but friendly invite) Beth to visit this thread and participate?

11/12/2008 12:41 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

Too many nasty trolls, I wouldn't advise any official to get on a blog.

A lot of assholes out thar! (I know what you're thinking - including me)

11/12/2008 12:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beth can hold her own in a discussion.

11/12/2008 1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe so, but if she doesn't post here (after being notified of this thread), then perhaps she can't hold her own in the blogosphere.

11/12/2008 4:19 PM  
Anonymous whistleblower said...

What does it even mean to hold you own in the blogosphere?

I'm glad Beth is spending her time more productively.

11/12/2008 4:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

no kidding, who gives a rat's ass if she doesn't appear on a blog?

11/12/2008 4:48 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Anonymous 12:41 -

It pains me to say this, but I agree with Mainstream. Wise politicians eschew flame warriors.

11/12/2008 7:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dan - you must be right. That is probably why the blog at http://www.heartlanddemocrats.com/ is down. (Click on the "blog" link.)

11/12/2008 9:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beth is the best Councilperson this city has seen in a long time and all people can do is criticize.

11/13/2008 5:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I assume most of the negative comments here and elsewhere are a result of non-random sampling. Doing a good job as a city Councilperson is unlikely to get a lot of praise from those who are happy with you. The chronic complainers will complain anyway.

11/13/2008 12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this thread over?

11/14/2008 7:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes. There is nothing more to say.

11/14/2008 2:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But did you see the thread about her over on Tony's site?

11/17/2008 2:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


11/17/2008 5:37 PM  

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