publisher's note
September 26, 2008



Enough already
by Bruce Rodgers

Most of Kansas City is getting sick and tired of the Funk/Gloria/City Council soap opera.

KCMO Mayor Mark Funkhouser, who has transformed into Eeyore, the downhearted stuffed donkey from Winnie the Pooh, needs to let it go. We all know he loves his wife Gloria — boy do we know it — but believing that only she can truthfully and honestly advise him as mayor contradicts the new and expansive view this mayor is suppose to have.

As for the city council — the House of Lords is in Great Britain, not Kansas City, and please stop giving lessons to the school board in how to micro manage. Of course the recently passed ordinance limiting volunteer work at city hall was aimed at Gloria Squitiro. If it hadn’t have been for her quirky, attention-getting persona and mind-melt with the Funk, this ordinance would not have been born.

But Gloria — in typical fashion from people who let their eccentricities overtake good judgment — attracted a lawsuit. The big question is why this lawsuit could not have been settled quickly. Pretty much all that was needed was an expertly worded apology that satisfied both sides and compensation to the supposedly aggrieved party. Kansas City is full of snarky lawyers who could pull off such an agreement, and keep the details out of the press. Just contact any local developer for a name.

But, I guess, the mayor had to put on his knight-in-shiny armor and drag us through this Dr. Phil episode for months with the threat that it could still go on.

The really sad thing is that Kansas City has one of the best city councils in decades when factoring in the talent. It’s a mix of experience and possibility. As a group, the city council recognizes the problems the city faces — budgetary constraints, massive infrastructure needs, rising crime and maintaining the momentum downtown in attracting residents and businesses. On many levels, including public transportation, taxpayer subsidies, public education and the environment, Kansas City can’t afford to approach its future in a 20th century mindset. Threats of lawsuits and litigation aren’t solutions to an inability to talk and use the talent in our current lineup of elected city council members.

The mayor needs to lead us out of here. Kansas City left behind its period of strong city council types with the end of patronage politics. No one from this city council will emerge to take the mayor’s role and tackle the responsibilities inherent in that office. If this beef over Gloria’s involvement lingers, inertia may very well set in and the gains made start to retreat.

It’s time Mr. Mayor, to kiss your wife, shake hands with the council, and position this city to move into this century on a prosperous and equitable path. Give a little, it adds to your relationship with your family and with the people who expect leadership from you.

Bruce Rodgers can be contacted at


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