City Council votes to pass two measures impacting future of American Jazz Museum

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Anita Dixon says The American Jazz Museum (AJM) is one of the crown jewels of Kansas City.

“I have been involved in the music of Kansas City since childhood. I was born four blocks down the street,” Dixon said.

She’s been concerned about the museums financial and management troubles over the past few years, which is why Dixon showed up to Thursday's city council meeting.

Council members voted on two important resolutions regarding the future of the museum. The first directs the city manager to hire an interim executive director for the museum. It also cuts off any additional funding for the museum unless council approves it.

“Information has sometimes been hard to come by related to the organization that it would be fitting to have an individual from the city to be in that role as a direct conduit of information between the organization and the city council members,” Scott Wagner, City Councilman for Kansas City’s 1st District said.

Not all board members agree.

“It is an independent organization. The American Jazz Museum and it’s board of directors have the final say in making decisions as it relates to the organization,” Jermaine Reed, City Councilman for Kansas City’s 3rd District said.

After a vote that resolution passed 11-to-1 with Reed, who is an AJM board member, in opposition.

A second resolution concerning the museum passed in similar fashion. This one eliminates the requirement that AJM board members be third district council members.

Some see Thursday's vote as a clear step forward for the museum.

“It was very important that I see that the city was really moving forward in putting a foot down and doing something really important to save this American Jazz Museum,” Dixon said.

Others feel there’s still more work to be done.

“I believe it proves to be something that is improperly overboard in our duty,” Reed said.

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