Changes Amid Controversy at Jackson County Sports Authority
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Members of the Jackson County Sports Authority have seen a change at the top. Beto Lopez has been forced to step down from that public commission. His term expired, and he wasn’t reappointed. As of Tuesday afternoon, Kansas City realtor Gerry Winship is the leader of that five-member council.
Local attorney and Jackson County Democratic Chairman Steven Bough has already been appointed by the governor to replace Lopez on the commission.
Changes on the Jackson County Sports Authority come amid concerns that commissioners rubber-stamped unnecessary expenses as submitted by the Chiefs and Royals, all of which would come from taxpayers.
Sports authority members used part of today’s meeting fending off these accusations. Commissioner Gerry Kemp strongly defended the commission’s practices, saying nothing had changed between the Jackson County Sports Authority and the two ballclubs since 2006, when both parties agreed to their lease at Truman Sports Complex.
“When you’re dealing with public dollars, and dollars that are such big numbers, there’s always a question as to whether they’re being applied correctly,” Kemp told FOX 4 News. ”We go to great pains to see that they’re we’re in legal compliance with both of our sports facilities here.”
Commission members say agreements have always held that the teams would manage upkeep on their playing areas within each stadium, and the Jackson County Sports Authority would assist with upkeep of common areas in and around the stadiums. Tuesday’s meeting was marked by strong opinions from commission members, including those from Deron Cherry, former Chiefs Defensive Back, who says the commission acted accordingly.
“I had to speak up, and say we’re all trying to do the right thing,” Cherry told FOX 4. “Sometimes, there are other issues there that having nothing to do with our job or what our responsibility is.”
Commission members say they plan to meet with the Royals and Chiefs soon to discuss this controversy, but as of Tuesday evening, no meeting was pending.