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Old 02-16-2007, 10:18 AM  
BigRedChief BigRedChief is offline
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KC Star: Truman Complex Renovations. Oversight lacking.

http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansas...printstory.jsp

County vows to expand its role in stadiums work
Officials say oversight is lacking on the $425 million project that voters approved in April.
By MATT CAMPBELL and STEVE KRASKE
The Kansas City Star

As construction costs begin to mount at the Truman Sports Complex, Jackson County officials contend that they are being kept in the dark about how money is being spent.
Taxpayers expected better oversight when they voted in April to spend $425 million on overhauling both stadiums, they say.
The county agreed last year to new leases with the teams, but the new county executive says that they don’t give the county enough oversight — and that the skimpy arrangement for keeping the county informed isn’t being followed, anyway.
“There’s been a dearth of information coming forward to county government and a dearth of information coming to me,” County Executive Mike Sanders said this week. “That’s going to change.”
Sanders, who took office in January after the 12-year administration of Katheryn Shields, said he recently stumbled across nearly $201,000 in renovation expenses — including $330 for meals on the Country Club Plaza — that he knew nothing about. And that is only one of about a dozen requisitions the teams have submitted.
Jim Rowland, executive director of the Jackson County Sports Complex Authority, who plays a key role in the approval process, declined to comment about the payments.
Others, including Shields, insist that nothing is amiss. They point to stadium agreements the Legislature approved that spell out disbursement procedures. Those procedures largely leave county legislators out of the loop.
“Everything went through the Legislature and had to be approved by them,” Shields said. “They had multiple opportunities to ask questions.”
An ad hoc county oversight committee set up by the Legislature to oversee the stadium project hasn’t met since October, said Bob WitbolsFeugen, an aide to former Legislator Bob Stringfield.
“If there’s a lack of information, it’s the result of legislators not doing what they said they would do,” he said.
Legislators now hope to beef up their role.
On Thursday, Dan Tarwater, the Legislature chairman, said stadium oversight would be assigned to the budget committee. Legislator Henry Rizzo, who leads the committee, said he would hold hearings about every two weeks, with the first scheduled for Feb. 26.
The committee will ask about a couple of payments that seemed like red flags to Sanders and Rizzo.
One is a $26,408 payment to an investment banking company for consulting work done several months before the bond election. Rizzo said Thursday that he didn’t know the purpose of the payment.
“That’s probably going to be one of my first questions,” Rizzo said.
In addition, bond money paid $330 for meals at Figlio Tower restaurant.
Sanders has found no receipts for the lunches, doesn’t know who was involved and doesn’t think bond money should have been used to pay for them. He fears that the money may never be recovered.
Although Rowland declined to comment about the payments, his signature approving them attests that he considered them legitimate bond expenses.
Under the agreement with the teams, disbursements are approved by Rowland and by Burns & McDonnell Engineers-Architects-Consultants, which was retained by the sports authority to represent the county’s interests. Neither the county executive nor the Legislature has a direct role in approvals.
Sanders said that he wants to restructure the way that is done. Negotiations have already begun with Rowland and Burns & McDonnell, he said.
“I believe that their goals are our goals, and that’s making sure taxpayer dollars are spent wisely and in the public’s best interest,” Sanders said. “I’m optimistic we can reach a resolution quickly.”
An official with Burns & McDonnell could not be reached.
Last year’s stadium agreement also stipulates that each month the sports authority is to make a report to the Legislature “on the progress of the project and any concerns or issues.”
That isn’t happening, Sanders said.
Legislators Dennis Waits and Bob Spence are among those who want a bigger role for the Legislature.
“I think the Legislature should play a part in this,” Waits said. “We don’t want to micromanage, but we believe we have an obligation and responsibility to oversee.”
In the rush to beat deadlines last year and prepare for the April election, lawmakers said, they were led to believe that they would have far more oversight than they’ve had, although Shields said the agreement was clear.
The deal to extend the leases with the teams to 2031 included expansions and renovations to the stadiums totaling $575 million. Jackson County voters agreed to pick up the bulk of that tab, or $425 million.
The county issued bonds for that amount last year, and the money was deposited in a trustee account at Wells Fargo Bank earning 5.15 percent interest.
About a dozen requisitions from the Chiefs and the Royals have been submitted so far, although Sanders said he had seen only one disbursement.
That nearly $201,000 payment for the Royals included more than $30,000 to HOK Sport for drawings and focus groups and $78,000 for land surveying.
Mike Smith, sports authority chairman, said this week that he wanted to work with the county to make the process more “transparent.”
“It’s a new process, and I’m sure there are going to be some obstacles,” Smith said. “What we all want is to get the stadium improvements done. We’re going to work out the details before the requisitions start coming in fast and furious.”
Tarwater said he was confident that as stadium construction begins, Burns & McDonnell will keep the county informed.
“The county ultimately has all the responsibility,” Tarwater said.
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Old 02-16-2007, 10:21 AM   #2
BigRedChief BigRedChief is offline
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I'd like to know why 10 months later we still haven't seen one frigging thing renovated?

Also why are the wizards playing at Arrowhead? I thought they couldn't because of the renovations that would be taking place.

I know it's Jackson County. What did you expect? But we still should demand some accountability to the taxpayers.
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Last edited by BigRedChief; 02-16-2007 at 10:27 AM..
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Old 02-16-2007, 10:30 AM   #3
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The teams should share in some of the blame as well.
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Old 02-16-2007, 10:34 AM   #4
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The committee will ask about a couple of payments that seemed like red flags to Sanders and Rizzo.
One is a $26,408 payment to an investment banking company for consulting work done several months before the bond election. Rizzo said Thursday that he didn’t know the purpose of the payment.
“That’s probably going to be one of my first questions,” Rizzo said.
In addition, bond money paid $330 for meals at Figlio Tower restaurant



This kind of stuff just can't happen. WTF?
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Originally Posted by MTG#10 View Post
I believe Hitler hated Jews and had a lot of them killed. I dont believe it was anywhere close to 6 million though. I'm not an anti-semite; I just think that number has been severely inflated and there is a lot of evidence that supports this belief.
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Old 02-16-2007, 10:48 AM   #5
kc rush kc rush is offline
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Is it any wonder why people don't trust Jackson Co. government.

And Shields, who oversaw this and the previous stadium lease fiascos wants to be mayor.

At least Sanders seems to be cleaning things up.
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Old 02-16-2007, 10:52 AM   #6
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This sounds like it may get ugly. Corruption is just expected up here I guess.
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Old 02-16-2007, 10:57 AM   #7
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The oversight can deduct payments already made from a new invoice. i.e. $330 meals charge.

The drawings fees. NO that would be part of the work product in renovation.

$26K to an Investment Co. before the election....BIG RED FLAG.
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Old 02-16-2007, 10:59 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by BigRedChief
Also why are the wizards playing at Arrowhead? I thought they couldn't because of the renovations that would be taking place.
They could not play there because they were no longer owned by the Hunt family so they did not have a lease. The new owners have signed a 1 year lease for 2007 to use Arrowhead.
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Old 02-16-2007, 11:44 AM   #9
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Thank god Katherine Shields is pretty much gone.

She's a clam licking whore.
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Old 02-16-2007, 12:41 PM   #10
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Old 02-16-2007, 01:44 PM   #11
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Having that bunch of turds watching over things...just think that through.

Better off left alone and politicians focus on shit like potholes and street names.
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Old 02-16-2007, 01:53 PM   #12
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This is the main reason that the bistate didn't pass, everyone had seen how inept the Jackson County Sports Authority was, and nobody was going to trust them without having their own oversight available.
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Old 02-16-2007, 02:08 PM   #13
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I wish KC would have gotten the new stadium in general. I go to KC every year and it would have been great. My brother is a Bears fan and he hates what they did to Soldier Field, he felt they should have built a new one....
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Old 02-16-2007, 02:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morphius
This is the main reason that the bistate didn't pass, everyone had seen how inept the Jackson County Sports Authority was, and nobody was going to trust them without having their own oversight available.
taxation without representation doesn't go over too well in this country for what???????230 years or so.
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Originally Posted by MTG#10 View Post
I believe Hitler hated Jews and had a lot of them killed. I dont believe it was anywhere close to 6 million though. I'm not an anti-semite; I just think that number has been severely inflated and there is a lot of evidence that supports this belief.
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Old 02-16-2007, 02:25 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Pushead2
I wish KC would have gotten the new stadium in general. I go to KC every year and it would have been great. My brother is a Bears fan and he hates what they did to Soldier Field, he felt they should have built a new one....
Well, everyone seems to have good things to say about the Green Bay Stadium, and I think that is more of what we are going for.
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