Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mayor Mark Funkhouser Talks Finances "In His Own Words"

Media Release Header

For Immediate Release:  17 February 2011             

Mayor Mark Funkhouser Releases The Second In A Series Of 
"In His Own Words" Videos

On Jobs and Finance
“You've got to make it clean, you've got to make it safe, you've got to make the infrastructure work” ~ Mayor Mark Funkhouser

Some problems simply require good old common sense.

Over a period of eight years, the former Kansas City Council pledged hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to secure financing for private developments – bars, restaurants, retail shops, high-dollar condos and the like. The result: Kansas City residents for the next generation will find that some of their tax dollars collected to pay for basic city services will go to pay instead for booze and baubles.

That's the scenario that led Mark Funkhouser to run for Mayor in 2007.

“Four years ago we were hurtling toward financial disaster,” Mayor Funkhouser says.

In a new video, Mayor Funkhouser talks candidly about jobs and Kansas City's finances, and his plan to build on Kansas City's urban vitality by bringing middle-class families back to central city neighborhoods.

The short video is the second in a series by Kansas City photographer/filmmaker Stephen Locke. In His Own Words offers Kansas City residents an opportunity to hear the Mayor's thoughts on everything from making mistakes to his vision for the future of Kansas City.
On Jobs and Finance

Under Mayor Funkhouser's watch and using a common-sense approach advocated by the Mayor, the city has turned its finances around by curtailing the almost obsessive granting of tax breaks to dozens of real estate developers, by cutting costs and by being smart with the money.

“We have done a remarkable transformation of the basic financial statements of the city, and we did it in the face of the greatest recession this nation's seen since the Great Depression,” the Mayor says in the video. “Cities (around the U.S.) are in tremendous financial trouble. Kansas City isn't.”

The Mayor says the next step for Kansas City will be to continue its focus on revitalizing Kansas City neighborhoods.

“If we bring middle-class people back, they bring with them their disposable income,” Mayor Funkhouser says. “They bring with them their community participation, their volunteering at the schools. And jobs are created, grocery stores are created, bowling alleys are created. Churches that are boarded up and abandoned will be reopened with vibrant congregations in them.”

The Mayor says the same common-sense approach that turned the city's finances around will work in city neighborhoods.

“Governments don't create jobs, markets create jobs. But the market is impacted by the things that government does. You've got to make it clean, you've got to make it safe, you've got to make the infrastructure work. If you do those things, middle-class people come back....and we're all a whole lot better off, and without raising taxes.”

For More Information, Gloria Squitiro, Campaign Manager, 816-820-9751

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