I have not read any of the four proposals for a new Kansas City International Airport terminal and, frankly, don’t know if they have been made public yet.

All I know is what I read in The Kansas City Star and elsewhere — and what I hear from people who know more than I.

But my first impression, from reading in today’s paper about the proposals submitted yesterday, is that Burns & McDonnell’s first proposal — the one it submitted when it appeared poised to get a no-bid contract with the enthusiastic support of Mayor Sly James — would have resulted in the city and the airlines paying the firm hundreds of millions of dollars more than necessary for a new terminal.

We taxpayers can be very grateful that several City Council members, especially Councilwoman Katheryn Shields, pushed for a slowdown and insisted that other firms be permitted to submit proposals.

More about the possible cost saving in a minute, but first an observation on the politics….The deeper into this we get, the worse Sly James looks. Bow-tie man was so desperate to get a new airport started during his second term that he dumped the customary process — time tested by governments at all levels — of presenting a project, soliciting bids and determining the “lowest and best bid.”

Burns & McDonnell came to James (or vice versa, perhaps) with the unconventional idea of giving the firm a short-arm contract to build the terminal and do so with money the firm would borrow privately at a significantly higher interest rate than the Aviation Department could get by issuing municipal revenue bonds. The big plus — as pitched by Burns and Mac — was the city wouldn’t be on the hook if debt payments outstripped airport revenue. (The prospect of taxpayer dollars being on the line is a phony proposition on its face because the airlines, not taxpayers, would have to make up any shortfall. But that’s another story…)

Now, it’s all ass backwards, and there appears to be little chance of getting this project back on the conventional track, which offers the best chance of getting a new, vibrant, functional terminal at the lowest possible price.

Here’s where we are:

:: Instead of the city issuing a thorough “request for bids” outlining exactly what it wants and then being able to compare proposals side by side, line by line, four firms are throwing out hundreds of pages of proposals about wildly divergent plans, leaving City Council members to wade through the mess and attempt to figure out, or guess, which plan might yield a good airport and which would waste the least amount of money.

:: If pursued to conclusion, this loosey-goosey process will essentially place the contractor, not the city, in charge of the project, with citizens reliant on the goodwill and honesty of the “winning” contractor to give the city a good product at a good price.

Do you like that scenario? I don’t. Putting the contractor in the traditional role of “owner” leaves way too much to chance, not to mention significantly increasing potential fraud and waste.

The initial proposals, submitted yesterday, show exactly how vulnerable the city is with this tails-up approach.

…The original “memorandum of understanding” — put forth several weeks ago — between the city and Burns and Mac called for the airlines to pay “approximately” $85.2 million a year to repay the project financing. Now, the airlines are currently paying about $33 million a year to retire the city’s airport debt costs, so jacking it up by $50 million seems like an incredible hike.

Under the memorandum (now on the shelf), it was impossible to tell how much of that $85.2 million Burns and Mac intended to use for debt payments and how much it intended to retain as profit. That was all supposed to be worked out. But it sure sounded like Burns and Mac was going to have about $85.2 million a year to work with.

Yesterday, another firm that submitted a competing proposal, Los Angeles-based AECOM, homed in on that sky-high figure, saying it could build a $1 billion, 35-gate terminal for an annual payment of $69.8 million. Over 30 years, the firm said, the saving (the difference between $85.2 million and $69.8 million) would be $462 million.

Burns and Mac promptly responded by saying, essentially, “Oh, what we were talking about in the memorandum was the maximum annual debt payment commitment (the firm’s exact words), not the exact amount that would be needed year in and year out.”

Recognizing it was now in a bidding war, Burns and Mac went on to say its own annual financial commitment could be as low as $58 million.

…So, that’s what you get when you open up a big project to competition: One company exposes another’s numbers as outrageously high, and, almost miraculously, cost estimates drop precipitously.

That’s why the formal bid process, with the Aviation Department issuing revenue bonds and the city overseeing the project as “owner,” is the safest and surest way to go. The other approach doesn’t come close to guaranteeing the “lowest and best” bid.

But because of Sly James’ impatience and frustration at a lack of progress on the airport, we, the citizenry, have been stuffed into a box where we are totally dependent on pledges and cost estimates put forth by private firms. It’s a shitty position to be in…I hate it. And the best thing to do now — the way to put the city back in the role of card dealer and casino owner — is to call in all the cards, reshuffle, change the game and deal again.

Yes, starting over would be a pain in the ass, and it would mean putting off the election until next year. But it’s the right thing to do. Sly James has put the city in a big hole, and it’s time to stop digging.

I’m just back from the Boston area and Cape Cod, where we had a family reunion revolving around my last living aunt and uncle, Nanette and Jim Eckert, who are in their mid-80s.

When my Aunt Nanette, my late father’s sister, mentioned that the Eckert family was planning a reunion and invited me along, I jumped at the opportunity. Who knows? It could be the last time that part of my family would be intact and assembled.

Like the rest of us Fitzpatricks, Nanette was born in Louisville, but after she married Jim, who’s also from Louisville, they moved around because of his job with GE. Among other places, they lived in Kansas City (before I got here in 1969) and Omaha. More than 40 years ago they landed in the Boston area. That’s where they raised their four children and where they stayed. Now they live in a retirement complex in the Boston suburb of Needham.

One of their sons and his wife, Bob Eckert and Marie Therese Wolf, live in Milan, Italy, but have a large vacation home in the town of Yarmouth on Cape Cod. Another son and his wife, John and Elaine Eckert, have a vacation home in Plymouth, adjacent to Cape Cod, on the Atlantic Ocean.

Besides Milan, we came from California, from Nevada, from Missouri, from Kentucky, from Washington D.C., from Ohio and from New Hampshire. (I might be missing a state or two.)

On Saturday, about 18 of us gathered at Bob and Marie Therese’s house in Yarmouth. On Sunday afternoon, we loaded up and traveled west and north to Plymouth, where we met up with John and Elaine Eckert and one of their three children and her husband and two children.

All but one person attending the reunion stayed in one of the two “reunion” houses Saturday and Sunday. The exception was me…My days of sleeping on air mattresses, bunk house style, are behind me. I got an Airbnb room in a house strategically located between Yarmouth and Plymouth.

The reunion was very gratifying. The climax came Sunday night at dusk in the backyard of the Plymouth house. Aunt Nanette summoned everyone around, and we stood in a loose circle. She expressed her gratitude for the reunion and specifically thanked the two grandsons who instigated it, David Temming and Tom Parker. Then, in a voice halting and breaking, she said, “And I want to thank all of you for the joy you’ve brought to my life.”

It was a short speech, but one of the best I’ve ever heard.

Here are the photos…

The Yarmouth home of my cousin Bob Eckert and his wife Marie Therese Wolf. It was built in about 1850 by a shipmaster named Capt. Solomon Taylor.

Uncle Jim

Aunt Nanette

One of their two sons, Bob Eckert, who lives in Milan, Italy

One of their two daughters, Alice Temming of Cincinnati

My cousin Sharron Hilbrecht of Louisville and Doug Parker, of Napa, CA. Doug is a son-in-law of Jim and Nanette.

Grays Beach on Cape Cod Bay is less than half a mile from Bob and Marie Therese’s house.

The boardwalk adjacent to the beach

I took a chance and parked in a handicapped space and was lucky…as usual.

Alms House Road, between the house and the beach

One of Bob and Marie Therese’s daughters, Mailina, left, agitated for a baseball game.

Back at the house, Ralph Till, husband of Claire Till, a granddaughter of Nanette and Jim, got in a little basketball.

Just before we headed off to Plymouth, I got our Yarmouth hosts to sit still for a moment. That’s Marie Therese Wolf, Lola Wolf, Mailina Wolf and Cousin Bob.

From one spectacular vacation house to the next. This one, within easy walking distance of the Atlantic Ocean in Plymouth, is owned by John and Elaine Eckert. It was built by Elaine’s late father, Henry Sentola.

John Eckert, taking care of his guests

What’s a reunion without some corn shucking?

White Horse Beach, Plymouth

Ralph Till and Claire (Eckert) Till

David Temming (fore) and Tom Parker, reunion instigators, and Lola Wolf

I, too, am grateful…for this great aunt and uncle!

The lead editorial in Tuesday’s print edition of The New York Times contained a grammatical error so bad I read it four or five times trying to figure out if my eyes or my knowledge of the King’s English were failing me.

The editorial, titled “Drop the Bluster on North Korea,” urged the Trump administration to reach out to North Korea in an effort to initiate talks regarding North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

The last paragraph of the editorial went like this:

“Are the North Koreans even interested in talks? American experts who study the issue say there have been repeated signals in recent weeks that they is.”

The italics are mine because those are the two words at issue. “They” — as everyone with an eighth-grade education knows — is a plural subject, while “is,” is a singular verb.

Like I said, I was so confounded I read that sentence over and over to see if I was missing something. But no, there it was, clear and simple, a classic and embarrassing screw-up.

The next thing I did was read the paragraph to our daughter Brooks, who is also an avid Times reader. After reading it to her, I said, “That’s pretty funny, isn’t it?” And she replied, “It are.”

Today I put in a call to Phil Corbett, standards editor for the Times, to see if he knew about the screw-up and what his reaction was. He didn’t pick up, so I left a message. A few minutes later, he sent this email:

“Thanks for the call. My reaction: ugh. I assume something that egregious must have resulted from a last-minute editing change where someone didn’t read it over one more time. Glad they fixed it online, but ouch. Bear with us, and I hope that won’t happen again.”

…It was a bad error, but you gotta like it when the standards editor’s response is “Ugh.”


For almost a month, I’ve been wanting to follow up on the July 6 crash at K-7 and Parallel Parkway crash that killed Paul W. Scott, a 68-year-old Tonganoxie resident. Scott, a retired Johnson County firefighter, was sitting in his tan SUV that Thursday — stopped at the Parallel Parkway intersection — when a white SUV plowed into the rear of his vehicle. Scott’s SUV was pushed into a box truck, which, in turn struck a third SUV.

Paul W. Scott

Scott was pronounced dead at the scene, and the driver of the white SUV was taken to a hospital with serious injuries. The drivers of the other two vehicles escaped with minor injuries.

In a July 8 post, I said it was very likely the driver of the white SUV was not paying attention, and I speculated he might have been texting or dialing up a song on his phone. A week or so later, I called Officer Cameron Morgan, the KCK police public information officer, to see if charges had been filed. He told me a detective had the case and was investigating. I checked with Morgan a week or so later, and the answer was the same. Another week went by, and the answer was the same.

By the third check, I was starting to get suspicious…Could it be the driver of the white SUV was someone important? Or someone with connections, and law enforcement was playing the delay game or even trying to make the case go away?

Today I requested another update, and Officer Morgan sent me this response:

“The subject causing the accident has died so no charges will be filed.”

That’s about the last thing I expected to hear, but it didn’t answer all my questions.

I sent Morgan another email, asking for the driver’s name, age and city of residence. He replied:

“I’ll have to ask the detective but he’s not answering my call right now. I believe he died in Nebraska so you would have to check with that city if they released his name. I don’t believe they will though.”

Realizing I had assumed the driver had died of the “serious injuries” from the crash, I sent Morgan another email, asking if the man (note that Morgan used the word “he”) died as a result of injuries suffered in the crash and if he was a Nebraska resident.

Morgan answered one of my two questions…

“No, he didn’t die from injuries in the crash. I believe it was possibly suicide but you would have to confirm that with them.”

One of the things I love about the news business is the element of surprise. Not only will there be no charges but the man responsible for the crash is dead, in all probability having killed himself.

I would still like to know more: Who is this guy? Where did he live? How old was he? But with suicides, the information flow often dries up. What was a public case becomes a personal, family matter, and what he was doing behind the wheel on the morning of July 6 becomes moot…I think it’s fair to speculate, though, that the Parallel Parkway crash took not one life but two.

Patty and I like to throw parties, but last night we outdid ourselves: We hosted a wedding reception for about 150 people.

We weren’t responsible for everything; it was catered, and an event production company and other service providers were involved. But we had to get the house, yard and patio in tip-top shape. Lot of work.

A week ago Saturday there was a surprise, complicating factor: A huge oak tree in the back of our yard went down in the big storm. The tree went three ways — east onto our yard, north onto the master bedroom and west into a neighbor’s yard. Fortunately, the damage was relatively minor, although the tree removal was a four-phase operation that took place over four days.

The bride, Sarah Cayton, of Kansas City, is the daughter of longtime friends of ours, Roger and Suzanne Johnson, who live in the Los Angeles area. Sarah had long wanted an outdoor reception, and we were happy to oblige — with help from the weather gods, who gave us a perfect midsummer’s evening.

I had the foresight to alert the neighbors, up and down the block and behind us, that it was going to be a pretty noisy affair. Everyone I heard from said things like, “Have a good time; it won’t bother us.” So, I thought we were in the clear…until the police arrived shortly after dark, blue lights flashing.

At first I thought someone must have complained, but the officer who was standing in our driveway pointed to a black Toyota Scion that was parked — of all places — on southbound Ward Parkway, 50 yards or so from our house!

It takes a lot of cheek (and not a lot of good judgment) to park on Ward Parkway, but this person had obviously pulled stunts like this before because he had brought alone a couple of orange cones and had put one in front of the car and one behind it…Like those cones were going to provide a protective cocoon around his little vehicle.

Turns out the perp was a member of the bride’s family, but I’m not going to name him to spare him further embarrassment. Anyway, he scurried out to Ward Parkway, moved the car and that was the last we saw of the police, fortunately.

I thought you’d like to see some photos from this special event, so here you go…(I took all the except two that Roger Johnson took.)

Our daughter Brooks gave the dance floor a trial run on Friday, the day before the wedding. (In the background you can see what remains of the oak tree that went down in the July 22 storm.)

Three kinds of Boulevard on tap

Patty, hostess extraordinaire (Photo by Roger Johnson)

Fifteen tables were set up in the yard…

…and one on the patio.

Monique (front), her husband David and Cathy were among the guests.

Sarah — the bride, of course — and Patty

The groom, Eric Hawk (right), and friend Mike

From the bride’s side, sisters Maggie and Ellie (Photo by Roger Johnson)

Dancing on the patio

I’m going to spare you photos from the aftermath, today’s clean-up. All I’ll say is that — like I told several guests at the party — Patty and I produced this one free of charge, but for the next one the price is $10,000. One guy I told that to nodded and said, “You’re underpricing yourself.”

I’ve got two concerns about the selection of a new Kansas City police chief. One is general, the other specific.

First, the general…

Under the system we’ve got — been stuck with since the Pendergast days — our police chiefs are selected by a five-member (four members right now) board appointed by the governor.

The days when local officials couldn’t be trusted to oversee the police department are long past; we badly need local control of the department. And the mayor, who is a member of the board, should be making the selection.

Several years ago, St. Louis City, the only other Missouri city whose police department was governed from Jefferson City, won its freedom. In a deal that involved St. Louis area resident and political activist and contributor Rex Sinquefield, the Missouri General Assembly approved a bill that gave St. Louis voters a chance to approve local control. After a campaign largely financed by Sinquefield, that’s exactly what St. Louis voters did. Now, their mayor appoints their police chief, and the city runs the department top to bottom.

We need the same thing, even if it means making some sort of deal with Sinquefield, who also has agitated, unsuccessfully, for elimination of the city earnings tax. The e-tax is off limits; it’s the biggest single generator of general-fund revenue. I don’t know exactly what the deal was with St. Louis, but it was a huge step forward to get the police department out from under state control. So, Sly, put in a call to Rex and see if you can’t get something going…It’s ridiculous we don’t have local control in KC.

Second, the specific…

As you probably know, the next chief will either be Maj. Rick Smith, the internal finalist, or Norman, OK, Police Chief Keith Humphrey.

My concern stems from Smith’s involvement several years ago in the case of Shawn Ratigan, the Catholic priest who is serving a 50-year prison sentence for producing or attempting to produce child pornography. Specifically, he took “up skirt” photos of young girls attending the Northland grade school operated by the parish where he was then assigned.

Smith’s role in the case has not received much media attention, so here’s the context…

Smith and Humphrey, police chief finalists

Smith was a member of a diocesan review board (Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph) that assesses sexual abuse allegations. Then-Bishop Robert Finn and then-Vicar General Robert Murphy knew about the photos but did not initially bring them to the attention of the review board…or the police. A subsequent report revealed, however, that Murphy phoned Smith and told him about a photo of a nude girl found on a priest’s computer.

Murphy himself had not seen the photo, and he described to Smith what he understood the photo to show. Based on Murphy’s description, Smith said it might meet the definition of child pornography but probably did not.

And that was as far as it went, up to that point. Apparently Smith did not contact any other review board members, and he apparently did not ask to see the photo.

Much later, Smith told investigators he was shocked to learn there were hundreds of photos.

…Finn, of course, was ultimately convicted of a misdemeanor count of failing to report child sex abuse, but it took a long time for the full story to come out and for the legal process to run its course.

It seems to me that Smith’s police antennae failed him when he did not press to see the photo. I would think hearing from the vicar general — the No. 2 diocesan official — that a photo of a nude girl had been found on a priest’s computer would set off alarms in an experienced police officer’s head.

Maybe an alarm did sound, but I suspect what happened is that the heavy cloak cast by a big Catholic diocese muffled the sound, and Smith decided to let it go.

Smith wasn’t the only non-clerical official to drop the ball. Diocesan officials also told their attorney, Jonathan Haden, about the photos. Laughably, Haden told diocesan officials that in his legal opinion a picture that did not show sexual conduct, contact, performance or sexually explicit conduct did not constitute pornography.

I guess Haden hasn’t ever looked at porn…Either that, or he, too, was feeling the weight of that Catholic cloak.

So, should Smith’s handling of the question put to him by the vicar general disqualify him from becoming police chief? I’m not sure it should, but if I was on that police board, I’d have a hard time voting for him.

Sometimes you have to go a long way to get find out about important news taking place close to home.

Such was the case today with a routine, second-quarter earnings report from the McClatchy Co., based in Sacramento.

On the third page of the nine-page report, came a stunning announcement about the Kansas City Star’s most valuable piece of real estate, its press pavilion at 17th and McGee.

“On July 12, 2017, the company (McClatchy) entered into an agreement with R2 Capital, LLC to buy the Kansas City Star’s production facility, which will be structured as a sales leaseback transaction.”

Now, it’s been no secret that McClatchy had put not only the press pavilion but also The Star’s headquarters building at 1729 Grand up for sale several months ago. And back in March, publisher Tony Berg told editorial employees that the company had a buyer for the headquarters building.

But to the best of my knowledge The Star has not reported either sale. That seems very odd, doesn’t it?

One thing The Star has always been particularly good at is reporting real estate developments. And yet, it doesn’t report its own deals…I don’t know why Berg has not given the go-ahead to one or more stories about these sales, but, to me, it damages The Star’s credibility: You report on everybody else’s deals but not your own?

…The Star’s reportorial shortcomings aside, here are some things many people will probably want to know about these two deals:

:: The release said the transactions are expected to close later this year and bring McClatchy a total of about $42 million…The total asking price for both buildings had been $46 million, and the asking price for the press pavilion — which cost $200 million to build a decade ago — was believed to be about $30 million. The Star will lease back the press pavilion and continue to operate it and also transfer its editorial operation there.

:: The release gives no details about R2 Capital, but former KC Star business reporter Julius Karash, who has been tracking the sale of The Star’s buildings, found an R2 Capital company based in Chicago, which appears to be the likely buyer. R2 Capital, formerly known as South Street Capital, owns and operates more than 1.5 million square feet of commercial real estate in Chicago and Minneapolis. 

:: The release identified the buyer of the headquarters building as “1729 Grand Boulevard LLC” — a creation of a local company called 3D Development. In an online story today, Kansas City Business Journal reporter Rob Roberts says 3D specializes in historic redevelopment. It has been involved, Roberts said, in numerous projects, “including the office conversions of the historic Corrigan Building at 1828 Walnut St., the Creamery building at 2100 Central St. and the Candle Building at 2101 Broadway.” It is not clear what 3D is planning to do with the headquarters building, although Berg told the editorial employees back in March that it was headed for commercial and residential redevelopment. As part of the deal, 3D is also purchasing surface parking lots north and south of the headquarters building, and a 3D official told Roberts a hotel was a possibility on one of the lots and a multi-story parking lot — for Crossroads District customers — on the other.


I indicated earlier that I communicated with Julius Karash about these real estate transactions, and I asked him to weigh in on them.

Here’s what Julius had to say:

Julius Karash

“It may come as a shock to some that McClatchy expects to garner only $42 million from the sale of the two Kansas City Star buildings, when it spent $200 million on the printing plant alone. Is that a good deal on the face of it? No. But I doubt that anyone could get a better deal, considering the state of the industry. Newspapers all over the country have been selling off their properties in an effort to bring in desperately needed cash. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has been trying to sell its headquarters building for more than two years.

“McClatchy took on $2 billion in debt when it bought The Star and the other former Knight Ridder papers in 2006. Today’s second quarter earnings release says debt at the end of the second quarter was down to $858.7 million and that the company finished the quarter with $8.4 million in cash, resulting in net debt of $850.3 million. The company also has a $65 million revolving line of credit.

“…McClatchy revenues continue to slide southward. Total revenues were down 7.1 percent in the second quarter compared with a year ago, despite the fact that digital-only advertising revenues grew by 10 percent and digital-only audience revenues were up 6.7 percent.

“The Star is producing damn good journalism, and McClatchy is fighting like hell to survive. The news release says the company ‘remains committed to reducing operating expenses.’ We know the kind of pain that can cause.

“Only time will tell if these real estate sales and other measures will help The Star and McClatchy achieve a long-term future…I sure hope so.”

…As disappointed and puzzled as I am about The Star’s failure to report its own big real-estate deals, I join Julius in hoping McClatchy gets that debt down and that both McClatchy and The Star become financially successful at some point.

One thing that infuriates voters is a proposed tax that appears to be applied unfairly, with average-income people paying their share and wealthy people getting a break.

A story in today’s Kansas City Star raises that specter in regard to the owners of condominiums at the Walnuts, 5049 Wornall, one of the most prestigious addresses in the city.

It seems that if voters within the proposed, expanded streetcar district approve establishment of the district, condo owners at the Walnuts would be getting a pass, while nearby owners of much-lower-priced residences would see their property tax bills go up.

The vast majority of condos in the Walnuts, built in 1929, go for $1 million and up, while most houses in the area probably sell in the range of $150,000 to $300,000.

But somehow, as The Star’s Lynn Horsley reported today, when the property-tax district lines were drawn, the Walnuts was conveniently omitted.

Let me walk you through the geography here…

The expanded streetcar line would end at 51st and Brookside. The Walnuts sits just off 51st Street between Wyandotte, a lightly traveled street, and Wornall, obviously a major thoroughfare.

Going from east to west, the property-tax district would go up the 51st Street hill and across Main but then would screech to a halt at little old Wyandotte, a block shy of Wornall.

By any kind of logic, Wornall would seem to be the natural breaking point, not only because Wornall is such a major corridor but also because, west of Wornall on 51st, you run into Loose Park and Pembroke Hill School.

…So, what could have prompted the planners to exclude a rich lode like the Walnuts, where condo residents could easily afford whatever property-tax hike is involved. (And, by the way, if I hear of a Walnuts condo owner whining, “But I’m on a fixed income,” I’m going to personally root them out and egg their unit, if I can sneak past the damn doorman.)

But back to the question of “how did this happen?”

Horsley said some people had suggested that the Walnuts complex was left out of the assessment zone because influential people, such as former mayor Kay Barnes, live there.

Well, now, that’s interesting…It’s also worth noting that Barnes got remarried a couple of years ago to Tom Van Dyke, an attorney with the highly regarded Bryan Cave firm.

Kay’s a gracious lady and was a great mayor, and Tom seems to be a nice guy. I like them both and see them at Country Club Christian Church, where they are members and I’m a regular attendee. (I also make an annual monetary pledge, for the record.)

David Johnson, one of the two men who drew the lines for the property-tax district, told Horsley the boundaries had “absolutely nothing to do with where Kay Barnes lives.”

“I didn’t even know where she lived,” he said. “I thought she still lived in Briarcliff.”

Well, maybe it wasn’t just Barnes’ address that made a difference with Johnson and attorney Doug Stone, the other man involved in drawing the lines. The Walnuts has more than 100 units, with a lot of very rich and influential residents. I can see where a few well-placed calls from those people or on their behalf could have prompted Johnson and Stone to place the pencil on Wyandotte instead of Wornall.

The Walnuts

Johnson told Horsley his and Stone’s main objective was to include properties within walking distance of the streetcar line. Horsley apparently didn’t press Johnson on this, but is he suggesting the people living in the Walnuts aren’t within walking distance of 51st and Brookside?

Hell, from Brookside to Wyandotte it’s five blocks! To Wornall, it’s six!

…Unfortunately, Horsley’s story might have appeared too late to make a significant difference. Mail-in ballots that were sent to people living within the expanded streetcar district — which is larger than the special property-tax district — are due Aug. 1. The ballots went out a month ago, and many of the 5,700 people eligible to vote may well have sent them back by now.

Even if voters approve the expanded district, more elections would be required to actually impose the higher property taxes, as well as a higher sales tax within the district. Horsely told me today it’s possible the property-tax lines could be adjusted before everything is finalized, but I gathered that was unlikely.

Too bad. I’d hate to see Kay and Tom and all those other rich folks at the Walnuts get away without paying the higher property tax that would help support the expansion.

As Jackie Chiles, the hilarious attorney on “Seinfeld” would say: “It’s outrageous, egregious, preposterous.”

You said, it Jackie…