KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A new day and a new development in the battle over funding between Kansas City and its police department.
The original judge on the lawsuit involving the Board of Police Commissioners and Kansas City was removed from the case this week, and a new judge appointed. Wednesday the newly appointed judge recused himself.
This week on 4Star Politics, FOX4’s John Holt and The Kansas City Star’s Dave Helling are joined by Ed Ford, Chairman of the Northland Chamber Board of Directors, and a former member of the Kansas City Council.
The issue of police funding remains a hot issue on both sides of the river. People to the south say crime needs to be cleaned up and more needs to be done to make the city safe. People who live north of the river believe they’ve been shortchanged.
Ford said he’d heard everything from ideas about starting recall petitions to Northlanders who want to annex from the city of Kansas City, Missouri, over the handling of funding the police department.
“I think two issues. One, the process was so flawed by the mayor and the eight council people, to leave the Northland council folks out of the discussion. Two, to ram this through without a public hearing when you’re removing almost $43 million from a budget that you just went through the process of three months to adopt,” Ford said.
Ford said he believes that the lawsuits and other issues surrounding challenging the funding change could have been prevented if it would have moved through a normal process.
“There’s no more divisive issue right now than the defunding of the police. While the mayor and the eight council folks may think that they aren’t really defunding the police, the fact is that they are moving almost $43 million out of the police budget to a budget controlled by city hall, which may or may not go back to the police department,” Ford said.
When the issue of local control came up while Ford was a member of the city council, he said he was not opposed to the idea, it was the process he didn’t support.
“I have always favored local control. I see no reason why Kansas City shouldn’t control it’s own police department like every other city in the country,” Ford said.
Ford also believes that the latest developments over funding the department has likely set the chance for Kansas City to regain local control back decades.
“Seeing how the mayor and city council have handled it so poorly, I can’t imagine there being any appetite in Jeff City for local control now for Kansas City anytime during our lifetimes, at least our political lifetimes,” Ford said.
FOX4 and The Kansas City Star are partnering to bring you 4Star Politics, a special digital venture with new episodes released Wednesdays at 5 p.m.