JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Following exchanges from Democrat and Republican Representatives from St. Louis about the Stockley verdict, the bi-partisan panel questioned the integrity of management of the Kansas City International Airport expansion bid process on Sunday’s episode of This Week in Missouri Politics.
Kansas City City Council members voted 12-2 last week to go with Maryland-based Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate to build the new KCI terminal after committee selection. Kansas Citians will vote on the proposal in November.
From the beginning, Kansas City-based Burns & McDonnell, dubbed the “Hometown Team,” was assumed to get the contract, surprising many when the bidding process became more crowded and complicated.
“I would always like to see Missouri come first,” Rep. Kathie Conway said. “I would always like to see local companies get those bids and contracts, but I’m for the taxpayers always. If someone can do it at a less cost, then I’m for that.”
Democrat Peter Merideth took a cynical view of the decision-making process.
“It looked to me like a case of just politics: people fighting with each other to get the deal that would make them look the best,” Merideth said. “You ended up with a process that wasn’t transparent and has gotten more and more confusing as it’s gone along.”
Rep. Steven Roberts took a more neutral tone and respected the Committee’s determination.
“It’s supposed to be on their ballot in November. 12 out of their 14 councilmen supported it,” he said. “Who am I, from St. Louis, to tell them how they want to do things in Kansas City?” To which Host Scott Faughn quipped back, “Folks in Jeff City always want to tell folks in St. Louis how to do things.”
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Michael Layer is a reporter for the Missouri Times and the Missouri Times Magazine. He joined the Missouri Times in August 2017 after graduating from Goucher College the previous May. To contact Michael, email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @_MichaelLayer