First there was the consulting team which issued its report to the city council and showed that the city just can't afford Chastain's dream system.
Then the city council learned that there were enough valid signatures on a petition to force the city to toss the plan or send it back to the voters.
Chastain of course instantly went on the defensive. He claimed the consultant report was deliberately overstating the building costs so as to shoot his plan down. A bit paranoid? It seems so but Chastain has a long history of being paranoid when things don't go his way. It's always that someone is out to get him.
What needs to be focused on is this paragraph in the news story: "He said the Missouri Department of Transportation should contribute $100 million to operate light rail. According to figures supplied by MoDOT, that would eat up what the state spends on general transit for about 25 years."
In other words, Chastain not only wants to decimate the bus system in Kansas City but he wishes to decimate transit in the entire state of Missouri just so he can build his personal legacy line at taxpayer expense.
Also highlighted in the consultant's report was that many of the things in Chastain's plan had problems and could even violate the law. There has already been many other questionable issues regarding the constitutionality of how he plans on funding it so that didn't surprise me.
What amused me was that he thinks the state will just fork over the money needed to fund all transit systems for the next 25 years to operate his legacy line. He's Clay Chastain so the state is just going to bow down to his royal highness. The bulk of Chastain's plan for funding revolves around such thinking. He thinks Kansas City will automatically go to the front of the funding line with the Feds. He thinks the state will just hand over money because he needs it to run his LRT line with gondola ride.
This is sure to end up in court as Chastain has no qualms about suing to get his legacy line built, even if the people vote it down in the next election. He was all for the people prior to this since they blindly voted for what he wanted but as soon as they learned what was happening and don't want his plan, it's to hell with the people. Sadly, when all is said and done, it will cost the taxpayers plenty but it looks as though Chastain's plan is getting more holes in it by the day and less likely to be built.
Kansas City residents have a chance it seems to officially dump Chastain's legacy line and send the meddler packing back to Virginia. With enough valid petition signatures, there is no reason that a re-vote of the plan can't happen with the next election. Let's hope these people understand what they are voting for this time.
If Kansas City must have a rail line, do it sensibly. Build it for service, not development or prestige. Don't go for the bells and whistles as they don't do anything but drive the price up. While I still think Kansas City can't support a rail line regardless of building price, it might just squeak by if it is done with transportation in mind in an existing high ridership corridor.