KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Following controversy and lively debate, Kansas City voters will decide this November whether The Paseo or Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard will be the enduring street name.
Kansas City Council voted Thursday to put that question on the ballot for November 5.
Earlier this year, the council decided on its own to change the name of The Paseo to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, and the city installed new street signs in February. People who live in the area claimed they didn’t get enough say in the matter.
FOX4’s John Pepitone previously reported that an established city process calls for a vote among property owners affected by any proposed street name change.
Supporters of turning The Paseo into Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. gathered only about 100 petition signatures, not enough to bring the issue to vote, so the city council acted to make the change without an election.
“I was truly disgusted by the process,” Theresa Grover said, who has lived on The Paseo for 40 years. “This has been going on for over a year. It should have been brought to a ballot for people to vote on it. I am just so disappointed in the council and the members of the council that voted for this.”
Ten citizens spoke in favor of keeping the street named The Paseo. No one spoke in favor of The Paseo remaining Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Although the “Save The Paseo” group wanted a vote in August, the soonest possible, on May 22, the finance and governance committee moved the question to the November ballot, saying that would save taxpayers $375,000 by not having a special election just on this one issue.