Kansas City’s Orwellian “Open Streets”
The Kansas City Parks and Recreation Department is hosting an “open streets festival” called Cycle in the City on Ward Parkway between Meyer and Gregory Blvds. on May 16. A community festival can be a good time, but is this a worthwhile use of funds when the department is cutting other important services?
What’s more, in order to have the open streets event, the streets will be closed, presumably so people can use them for anything other than what they were designed to handle: automobiles.
The Show-Me Institute obtained the details of the event’s $85,000 budget through a Sunshine Request. The event includes arts and crafts, bounce houses, and face painting ($7,000) and other “entertainment” that includes a DJ ($8,000). The two biggest line items are advertising ($13,000) and the event management fee ($25,000).
Kansas City government is facing cuts in many places, including the Parks Department. In fact, the City of Fountains’ own Parks Department has cut funding for citywide fountain maintenance so much that it has had to rely on a private charity to help. (Many more fountains are maintained by the various home associations in which they are located.)
Parties in the park are fun; everyone loves face painting and bounce houses, but should they be a priority when Kansas City is in financial straights and cutting services and staff while raising fees and taxes?