Airport Committee Chair/ KC Councilwoman Jolie Justus on KCI

Midday with Jayme & Wickett
Wednesday, November 8th

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Thank you so much for coming in showed Jolie how are you today I am fantastic I am absolutely thrilled that the people of Kansas City in the result came out west let's not talk about those results for second line on first of your reaction when you found out the final vote but I talk about how it ended up 7525. Given that a lot of the predictions were that it was going to be close. Writes a lot of us that were around you know setting up office pools and that sort of thing we were thinking that it was going to be a lot tighter you were gambling on the election you know it there was no money involved there are. There are I think some offers of some assigned to yard signs and that sort of thing if there are successful. But we we were all looking and it just kind of guessing and and really we thought it was going to be neck enact the polling we saw. Really never crept up much higher than 60% and and I I have to tell you just based on a lot of the elections that we had over the last. Twelve months mom I think that. Percent actually got out and that's highly as pathetic as 20% is that still. You know about 10% higher than most people usually come out for these guys to think about that for a second that means 20%. Of the one and five people that were eligible to vote in Kansas City, Missouri decided that you're gonna get one terminal near us and our billion dollar apps. And that was for the entire region and yeah so that how that group of people made just an amazing decision. That really is gonna affect everybody regardless of where they have. Go back six months and I believe it was about six months ago mayor James was standing with burns and Mac on the did did did the terminal a in front of terminal hey. I remember watching that press conference thinking all right I guess this is great and it was met with a lot of problems did you think that where we were at then. Was going to lead down the path we went through for the last couple of months and to get here today. I felt when. Burns Mac came forward and I have to take 12 say thank you to that company for bringing this issue forward. And pushing the idea forward because we were stalled out as a city we were not moving anywhere on this. And the fact that a company came up and said you know what we've got this idea we'd like he'd entertain it I cannot thank them enough for that and so. I did think that that idea was going to jump start this conversation and that we would get to a vote. Did I have any idea that we would take the path that we took to get here absolutely. So what did you as a council woman learn. About the process some of the criticism that the city got in the way that this was handled whether deserved or not what did you learn in the last six months. You know over the last six months I was able to build on what I had learned the previous year and a half is how airports are financed and built in the first place that was something that was can. But no one of the things that I really learned is just absolutely the importance. A process that is open. And the public education piece because no matter how many public hearings we had where we describe things that information was still not effectively getting out to the public and so was really important to me to learn and then to use this moving forward. Whatever way we can get facts and data out we need to do that is elected officials. Questions we really got off it was look at its privately financed and taxpayers are paying why even have a vote so I ask you. If it was privately financed tax payers are paying like even have a vote. Under Missouri law we did not have to have a vote and so the reality is is that a privately financed airport you do not have to have a vote. Two things though prevented us from doing that number one. In the previous council there was a referendum that was passed in the are not passed but it the signatures were gathered. And the way they settled that is the previous council passed an ordinance that promise the people of Kansas City they would get a chance to vote honest that's number one in the number two the mayor promised it and he was gonna keep his political promised. And so that's why we took this to a vote even though legally we did not have to. What do you say to the people that Texan. In fifty different ways no taxpayer money is going to pay for those they still don't believe it what assurances can you give to them is now at now it's done now announced it real. What do you say that I'm. You know I understand air every time we ask people go to the polls there is usually attacks increase associated with the vote that we're asking for. This is an instance where there is not a tax increase associated with the vote and so. I understand that that is and a factor that is tough and I also understand that in today's today's political environment. There are a lot of people who have lost confidence in their elected officials I get that. But what I can tell you is this. The law both state federal local and otherwise says we cannot. Used taxpayer dollars on this and in an abundance of caution. This council went ahead and passed an ordinance that said we wouldn't do it so we have belts and suspenders ominous. I would Jolie Justus Kansas City councilwoman and airport committee chairwoman with us here in studio in 91 K am BZ. Several low point when you thought. All this effort all these meetings. That it wasn't gonna get done. I am a hopeless optimist and so and every time I started to get discouraged whether it was because. Misinformation was flying out there accusations that were unfounded. They just felt like an insurmountable hill I I I constantly knew that this was going to happen because I have the trust in the people of Kansas City that they're gonna make the right decision. When they are faced with facts and data and an important decision like this. And I will tell you every time I got to those low points I pictured myself on a direct trans Atlantic flight out of case CIA and said this is going to be worked. I'm Lotta people. Are wondering in this question came in he can text in your questions for Jolie justice to 2900 about. Terminals B and C and how operational they're going to stay as terminal a will get demolished one. Things I really loved in addition to all of modern conveniences and amenities and safety that will come with this new airport terminal. Is that we will not have to interrupt operations at the NC at all during this process so what will happen is. While we're building terminal or the new terminal on the location terminal way. B and C will be separate and apart from that they will be up and running with no interactions and then one night hopefully at the end of 20/20 one we will turn off the lights on BBC if and the next morning we will open you know turn on the lights and and the new terminal this clip that's way that's a good question I'm not that I have to admit we can get and unfortunately mayor James would not be an office then because he's turned out maybe we can get him to come back and flip on the switch for that let's. Here's a question we just got a text line on why is parking going up airline tickets going up because of the fees if it's all entirely partly fund. So that the funding is private meaning that the company is going to be building this is going to go out and get the loans the financing whatever it is that they need to do in order to pay for best. But. Airports are paid for through those user fees so airports are paid for by parking fees. By the concessions the things people buy when merit airports and then also by the cost per claimant which is what the airlines pay to the city in the aviation department in exchange for being able to do business there. Parking costs were already slide it under our existing plan to go up by one dollar and so that's why they're going up by one dollar. The concessions actually I can't tell you what concessions are gonna cost in the new terminal don't have any idea at this point we don't even know what vendors will be in there yet. Well we do know that is this right now across the country I believe we are the lowest or one of the lowest in the amount of money that we make from concessions. The reason that's important. Is because. That money then turns around and goes back into the airport itself and because most of our concessions are outside of security right now people don't take advantage of it. Once we put an inside security people are gonna take advantage. Great point we can't make money and concessions if you don't have any concessions I mean I got the pork and take a little on the one that's got the royals theme of Mexicans in particular area right. I've been stranded at several times and then I'm all I am thankful for the secure area for those times where I've been Casey died for five hours but you're right. When the concessions are not incite security there's nothing to spend money. Art and the big question everybody's mind is what is next and when does ground get broken we will ask that of Jolie justice coming up next midday with Jamie wicket with Jolie Justus gives the councilwoman. Airport committee chair live in studio the vote yesterday goes 75. 25 in favor of the new single terminal KC I more Jolie Justus next a 91 KM BZ.