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February 10, 2009

Still fighting for light rail

We are only as free as we are free to govern ourselves.

On Feb. 25 my wife will seek judicial support from the Missouri Court of Appeals for our core position. Giving a government the power to overplay its legislative hand and sweep away the results of an election it disagrees with contradicts every democratic principle this nation stands for.

In that election, 73,998 voters said yes to a citizen-led initiative that called for rebuilding the city, renewing Union Station and laying the cornerstone for a regional transit system around a 27-mile, centrally located, green-light rail spine from the Kansas City Zoo to KCI.

One year later, those 73,998 certified opinions in support of that vision were overruled by 10 opinions on the City Council.

The city lost something that day: a means to power itself into a new green era. The City Council lost something that day: the people’s trust and respect. The people lost something that day: their right to self-determination.

Many citizens probably feel the community has moved on and I should, too. But moving on from an injustice to avoid legal and political confrontation is not my style. That is cowardice.

Clay Chastain
Bedford, Va.

Comments

T. Hanson

It is like a bad zombie movie with this one.. Trains... Trains....

BudRog

What a boring bunch of letters today. Who would buy Chastain writing one of the more interesting ones!? Yawn.

solomon

.....this guys vision is an unending nightmare....

Marctnts

"...and sweep away the results of an election it disagrees with contradicts every democratic principle this nation stands for."

What Clay fails to mention is that his "citizen-led initiative" was unfunded. It had NO provisions to actually pay for his grand schemes, and that alone is more than enough reason under the city charter to set aside the results. It's easy to get people to vote for something when they don't have an idea of cost, but either way, aren't being asked to actually pay for anything. As the FUNDED light-rail votes have shown, it's a much different matter when people are asked to pay for the initiative as part of the vote.

 
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