Mayor: ‘Sure He’s Unqualified, But Look How Cool He Is!’

starreplacementimagethanksalotbastardsThe Tax Increment Financing Commission, whether you agree with the underlying principles or not, performs some awfully influential work in Kansas City. And it’s probably essential, in keeping with that spirit, to stock the board with stodgy local stuffed-shirts who will maintain the status quo and keep your tax money harnessed behind safe developments. Or at least that was the plan, until super-fly Mayor Mark Funkhouser came along and decided to rattle the cage by appointing “Stretch” — whose real appellation is the decidedly unhip “Jeff Rumaner” — a local artist and pot-stirrer, to the board. Cue the offended powers-that-be:

His nomination has raised concern among others, too, including City Councilwoman Jan Marcason. She visited Stretch a week ago at his studio at 1701 Troost Ave. and came away with doubts about his commitment to the city’s minority hiring practices.

Marcason said she had to explain to him that the terms MBE and WBE meant “minority business enterprise” and “ women’s business enterprise” and that the city set goals for each in awarding public contracts…

Councilman Ed Ford calls her report “alarming.”

Well, look at you, Jan Marcason, with your fancy initializations (not acronyms, as the story later insists) and in-the-know lingo! What, you think the hip artist is going to know what development terms mean, given that he’s a business owner in a thriving… urban… area… oh, I see. He should know what they mean. Luckily, “Stretch” is here to respond with a calm, reasoned rebuttal.

“When people tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about, like Jan Marcason, it really kind of pissed me off,” Stretch said.

Great. Anyone else get the feeling that at this point Mayor Funkquitiro is just doing things for shock value? Instead of picking the best choice for the board, he probably thought “Ah, here’s a pick that will put a thumb in the eye of the Volunteer Ordinance Brigade. And with those tattoos, he just has to be a cool guy!”

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Filed under City Government, Funkhouser, Politics, The Arts

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