Anti-rail proposed ordinance

Transportation topics in KC
flyingember
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Re: Anti-rail proposed ordinance

Postby flyingember » Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:51 am

I just noticed it gets worse. This ordinance attempts to ban discussing *freight* rail projects without a city vote.

This is one gutsy ordinance.

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Re: Anti-rail proposed ordinance

Postby mykn » Fri Jan 30, 2015 11:24 am

flyingember wrote:I just noticed it gets worse. This ordinance attempts to ban discussing *freight* rail projects without a city vote.

This is one gutsy ordinance.


I wonder if any of the rail companies would put any muscle behind squashing this? They are some pretty powerful companies.

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Re: Anti-rail proposed ordinance

Postby DaveKCMO » Fri Jan 30, 2015 11:39 am

the city should challenge the legality of the proposed ordinance before putting it on the ballot, assuming they collect enough signatures. also, as someone noted they could just refuse to put it on the ballot (but they would get sued).

it's worth noting that former councilman dan cofran is almost certainly helping with this.

deadline has passed for april, so the earliest we'd see this on a ballot is august... presumably after sly coasts into a second term with a mandate of the entire city (except maybe the northland).

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Re: Anti-rail proposed ordinance

Postby flyingember » Fri Jan 30, 2015 11:53 am

it has major first amendment problems. they can deny it and have a federal case having nothing to do with rail

it would cover 100% of employees including people in unrelated departments and potentially even people with contracts with the city. someone working in the 311 call center answering phones couldn't exercise their right to sign a petition initiative for a TDD if it caused the need to study rail under this ordinance

we already know from the Chastain case that bad petitions signed by residents should go on the ballot, that the petition initiative process is too important. Didn't the Sue Burke lawsuit cover constitutionality and TDD petitions as well?

a city ordinance can't try to overrule state law, it especially can't try to overrule the US constitution on matters of free speech.

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Re: Anti-rail proposed ordinance

Postby flyingember » Fri Jan 30, 2015 12:38 pm

they also appear to be trying to stop existing construction.

it's a weird decision of ordinance, but they used ordinance 140581 to help define the current project as being a new system. the only place it refers to the project scope is in the non-official discussion notes
http://cityclerk.kcmo.org/liveweb/Docum ... 2fa0H6oBtc

then it goes and bans preparing and constructing any new system.
and I can see how they think that could mean that any task not yet started it covered

so it's all based on if that ordinance says something that in any way connects to a legal definition of the project.

it's a stretch but I can see how their argument is supposed to work. I don't think they managed to do any of that, just how they tried to

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Re: Anti-rail proposed ordinance

Postby bobbyhawks » Fri Jan 30, 2015 2:05 pm

flyingember wrote:it's a stretch


zing.

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chaglang
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Re: Anti-rail proposed ordinance

Postby chaglang » Fri Jan 30, 2015 2:27 pm

bobbyhawks wrote:
flyingember wrote:it's a stretch


zing.

=D>

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FangKC
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Re: Anti-rail proposed ordinance

Postby FangKC » Fri Jan 30, 2015 3:05 pm

flyingember wrote:I just noticed it gets worse. This ordinance attempts to ban discussing *freight* rail projects without a city vote.

This is one gutsy ordinance.


Now that is just communism. :lol:

Seriously, that might be the kill switch on this proposed measure. The freight rail lines in this City are major players, and I can't imagine they would allow that.

Never let dumbasses play with matches.

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Re: Anti-rail proposed ordinance

Postby DaveKCMO » Fri Jan 30, 2015 5:35 pm

flyingember wrote:I just noticed it gets worse. This ordinance attempts to ban discussing *freight* rail projects without a city vote.

This is one gutsy ordinance.


please copy and paste the part that you're referencing.

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chaglang
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Re: Anti-rail proposed ordinance

Postby chaglang » Fri Jan 30, 2015 6:35 pm

Guessing it's this:

DEFINITIONS:
As used in this Ordinance, *Fixed Rail transit system” is a means of conveyance of passengers and goods, by way of vehicles running on rails.

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Re: Anti-rail proposed ordinance

Postby pash » Fri Jan 30, 2015 6:51 pm

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Last edited by pash on Sat Feb 11, 2017 4:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Anti-rail proposed ordinance

Postby flyingember » Sat Jan 31, 2015 1:21 am

That seems iffy. I would not make that argument to a judge.

i would bet a judge would rule that it actually means it says there's two possible uses, not that both must happen at the same time for the law to apply. that it means fixed rail means passenger and fixed rail means freight. Not that it means fixed rail means concurrent passenger and freight service only

It doesn't say that it is limited to exclusive combined service so you can't assume that's what it means

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Re: Anti-rail proposed ordinance

Postby longviewmo » Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:45 am

Or we can just accept that none of us on the forum are lawyers.

flyingember
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Re: Anti-rail proposed ordinance

Postby flyingember » Sat Jan 31, 2015 12:35 pm

longviewmo wrote:Or we can just accept that none of us on the forum are lawyers.


Not relevant. It's possible for anyone to file a lawsuit and challenge any ordinance

not that I think that means someone not trained in the field would have a better chance in a lawsuit, just that I don't think we should dismiss a key right because of lack of training.

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Re: Anti-rail proposed ordinance

Postby FangKC » Sat Jan 31, 2015 5:33 pm

I don't know if any citizenry can completely outlaw by voter initiative the ability of their elected officials to explore, study, or discuss any form of mass transit, or transportion for that matter. It would seem to me that there would be some governing principle in law that voters couldn't completely outlaw some facet of government that city leaders traditionally do.

It's like when states pass laws that are found unconstitutional because they limit some greater right or duty codified in law already, or constitutionally.

If this is allowed, what would stop a group of us from doing some voter initiative that forced an ordinance on the City Council and mayor that they could spent no money studying and discussing the improvement of streets, or build no new streets in the City without voter approval? Or we forced an ordinance on the city to do away with transit buses carrying people or goods on city streets?

Another fun ordinance we could impose of our city government is that they could demolish no building in the city limits without voter approval. If anti-rail ordinance happens, I'm going gung-on my anti-building demolition ordinance. :lol:

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Re: Anti-rail proposed ordinance

Postby pash » Sat Jan 31, 2015 5:59 pm

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Last edited by pash on Sat Feb 11, 2017 4:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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FangKC
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Re: Anti-rail proposed ordinance

Postby FangKC » Sat Jan 31, 2015 6:02 pm

For example, a state or federal law that outlawed the ability of an elected legislature of a county or city council to legalize slavery in that county or city?

Or would it be more like a upper jurisdiction that said a city or county cannot form or organize an armed force, like an army or air force, to attack a neighboring county or city?

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Re: Anti-rail proposed ordinance

Postby pash » Sat Jan 31, 2015 6:54 pm

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Last edited by pash on Sat Feb 11, 2017 4:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

aknowledgeableperson
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Re: Anti-rail proposed ordinance

Postby aknowledgeableperson » Sun Feb 01, 2015 3:41 am

I would think the proposed ordinance would stand a better chance if it limited future spending on any extension without voter approval. Wasn't the amount spent by the city on planning and engineering on the proposed lines around $1M? Money it hoped to recoup if the election was a success.

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Re: Anti-rail proposed ordinance

Postby flyingember » Sun Feb 01, 2015 11:49 am

I could see that passing. It has a clear value to a voter that they can decide on if that's worth creating a larger government to implement.

this law tried to cover anything possible in a clever manner. Had they been far more straightforward they wouldn't have created loopholes. Since it all comes back to money that's an easy place to have control. Allow TDDs or the city must used a pre-approved source of funding. Simple, to the point, easy to validate. And because voters already should have control over taxes in Missouri people would like the idea.

Something more like

Shall the city amend *code* to disallow using general funds or unapproved specific funding sources not yet voted on to be spent for any purpose towards planning or constructing fixed rail public transportation. This shall not disallow the city to spend money to prepare for the election as required by whatever law


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