Is The City Manager Living On Borrowed Time?
Kansas City CALL Newspaper Inc
Several weeks ago City Councilwoman Melissa Robinson attempted to call for a vote of “no confidence” in the performance of the City Manager Brian Platt. There have been some grumblings in the Black community over some of the decisions that Platt has made over the past few months concerning the termination of several Black women employees and what some say is his non-responsiveness to issues in the Black community. Those issues include sidewalks, curbs and roads and how repairs always begin outside of the Black community. Particularly at issue is the forced resignation of Ms. Andrea Dorch who was forced to resign under the guise of her residency. She was the Director of the city’s Civil Rights’ Division. According to reports and even Platt himself said she was making great strides in leveling the playing field in the area of minority participation in many of the City’s construction projects. However, that praise changed after she started questioning why a $1.1 billion, taxpayer subsidized project, Meta, had no minority or women participation goals, THE CALL reported several weeks ago. She alleges she was targeted and that the city even went so far as to spend about $11,000, to have a private investigator follow her around to verify her residency, a ploy that several employees confirm the City uses when they want to “get rid” of someone. Several other employees and directors, white, are commonly given residency waivers when they live outside of Kansas City and they want them to keep their positions. One Kansas City Fire Captain is allowed to live in Washington D.C. and still maintains his employment within the Kansas City Fire department, drawing a paycheck. It’s just a bad look for Platt given other surrounding circumstances and his past experience. Councilwoman Robinson didn’t have the votes to introduce the resolution, which would have opened the door for public testimony, but Civil Rights leaders around the community have stepped in to render support and are questioning why Mayor Quinton Lucas seems to be supporting Platt’s decisions, actions and inactions? “Black women are on the chopping block and our Black mayor is silent,” one of the leaders said. The groups contend that Mayor Lucas’ actions show that he has a lack of commitment to socioeconomic justice for Kansas City’s Black community. They say that the Mayor has been complacent with racism against Black men and women in City government, the Fire department and even the Police department and the culture within those agencies. The groups include the NAACP, SCLC, NBUF, Urban League, the Urban Summit all under the banner of the Urban Council who contend that the Mayor says one thing then will turn around and do another. Platt was hired by a split Council and was a last minute entry by the Mayor.