Mayor Sly James talks on the future of KCI

Kansas City's Morning News
Tuesday, September 12th

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

So many voices across greater Kansas City weighing yen. On case CI. How great candidates how terrible it is we need a new and we don't need a new one well the decision is about to come in less than two months. When Kansas City voters go to the polls to decide whether or not to build a new single terminal case CI. Mayors like James kind of have to join us in studio this morning for the entire 8 o'clock hour the phone lines are open at 576779. Hate your questions for the mayor you can call us 5767798. You can text us at 22980 check in on FaceBook or Twitter. Mayor it's always good to have you with us thank you for coming thank you for having me good morning can you briefly lay out force mayor what went into the decision. But not to go with burns and McDonnell and I ask it specifically that way because burns and McDonnell answered a call. From the business community to come forward let's come up with some plans and figure out what we can do for a new airport so what went down why no burns and Mac and why edge more instead. Well you know essentially it was the selection committee's decision. They went through thorough process and let me let me say about burns and McDonnell are very much appreciate the fact that. They were the only ones who stepped forward with a potential solution after I asked. The business community. To get engaged in this discussion a little more than they wore. Waited four year nobody said anything until burned to Mac. And America stepped up and I'm very grateful for that we wouldn't be sitting here talking about this today. But the selection committee went too long and arduous process the City Council. Put in place a process. That in in deployed numerous lawyers to look over things etc. etc. They were the selection committee. Tried to keep an open mind throughout the entire process because of their duty to bring. The best deal to the city in Tora in order to build this airport. It's more simply offered the best deal and there were some other complicating factors. But the it's more team has extensive airport design and build and finance and experience over. Sixty billion dollars in projects and 27 airport's ten billion and public private infrastructure deals. They were relatively quiet throughout the process nobody knew who they wore. They were the ones who said they would do whatever the city needed him to do. They will employ the people who work in this city their financing proposal preserves the city's credit. They will take less profit than any of the other proposals which means we get more terminal built. And all of those things made a lot of sense particularly in light of the fact that during the course. Of the responses that are proposals legal issue cropped up with regards to burns Max proposal. There was a ambiguity in the original proposal regarding how the debt would be stacked. Of the city has a master bond ordinance that is ironclad is asked to be in play whenever we issue bonds. Burns in Mack's original proposal did not clearly. Identify a dead issue. And left some ambiguity as to whether their debt would be superior to the city's debt and according to master Bob proposal he can't do that. There was a clarifying question ask all of the developers because they all had some. Something you need to be clarified. And when burns and Mac responded. The all the lawyers who were involved in it thought that their response was such that period. Changed or altered to proposal process which could be a disqualifying event. So they advise the council that day. Did not believe it would be wise to select burns and Mac it would lead to litigation could stop the entire process. So with that on the sideline. And no way to cure it. And there was some other issues regarding the other responded eke out. Then edged more was selected because they had the best deal it. Lower cost more building. A collaborative working an attitude a desire to build the green airport to build something uniquely Kansas City. So that's what happened and that's why it is word is. I did not participate in the selection process. I didn't go to any of the meeting some council people did I thought that doing that would inject. A layer of politics into it didn't need to be there stayed out of it. Mayors like James win this in studio this morning talking about case CI 5767798. Is the phone line your questions for the mayor were taken them this morning. Real quick will jump in check triple teamed traffic and weather together every ten minutes on the lines John year old little stars on the Kansas side. Yeah at the very least it's normal on the chances idea that little bit better than normal on Nike can run with no sunshine today that remnant belly putter not a Irma. As the clouds in the sky this morning JD in the sun and not seeing that sunshine slowdown at all on the Kate and right now from my case 7UP to like 35 or 35. I'm Johnny Roland steady years major mind. Missouri side quieting down a bit now so when that does crash reputable the right shoulder was found by somebody would shovel but no longer he slowed down pass that Scott has a look at the north land. South 435 slowing from erode worker to tend now to 48 street. That you look up north they each brought to by Hollywood casino with Kansas Speedway get on the fast track to winning during the Hollywood casino 400 giveaway where you could win a 2017 Ford F 150 XLT on Friday October 20 only at Hollywood casino at Kansas Speedway in May two miles KM BZ traffic. Your forecast scattered clouds that. The remnants of arm not in our neighborhood high of 82 right now it's 59 in your severe weather station here on K and BZ. We are talking with Kansas City mayors sly James about a new single terminal case CI this morning welcome and thank you for joining us in the air. Thank you bringing us today on the ad concerns of burns and McDonnell have about your choice of the city's choice four I the project. Brent and I did not get. That contract. But nonetheless you're saying the process will move forward in spite of any potential challenge to the decision. Yes and I will tell you this also the process is not finished yet. The fact that there's been a recommendation from the selection committee doesn't necessarily mean that the process is over. So I don't I'm frankly not focus on the process I'm focused on the election on November 7. Because if there's a no vote on November 7 who cares about the process. We won't need it. And it turns a yes vote on November 7. We can complete the process and move forward the most important thing is voting yes on November 7 important single term. That's the issue that I'm focused on an issue but it remains focused on. It's time for people to vote we've been through this conversation now. For six years and Alvin Brooks was that more miles that last night. And reminded me that when he was on the council in 1999. To 2007. They were talking about a new terminal then they could never get it off the ground this is not a new conversation. It's not something that it's. It is popped up this conversation has been going on for six years I've been to. Hundreds of meetings. Dozens of council meeting. I selected at 22 person panel that meant for fourteen months to look at the airport who give us their decisions and they were thorough. They wrote a report they thought they can renovate neck the end of an all they decided that it new terminal was needed. The airlines went through a two year process they looked at thirty. Iterations of major read renovations they looked at thirty iterations. Of single terminals they thought a major renovation would do it. After they got through all of that they decided that the single that renovation what's more expensive and less efficient than a new terminal. They came out and said very publicly. That they would support a new single terminal. They would backstop 976. Million dollars to pay port and they would not paper anything else. They wanted to expanding Kansas City cannot do it. Without a terminal that meets their needs PCI no longer meets the needs of the airport nor does it meet the needs of the blind traveling public. Mayor let's go to the let's go to the phone lines Peter lives north of the river. Peter what's question for mayor James this morning. Mark question. Here. He. Comes out. And that in favor of cheap there one problem. That we're hormonal. Well this City Council and the mayor of buy side they spoke. I'm Peter we appreciate question in that case Mary weren't that's not exactly what we're voting on I guess I'll say no vote for a new terminal there's no. Re modeling that's going to occur at that airport. Either vote for a new terminal or we stick with what we've got. The remodeling. Won't be necessary. Because I fully expect us to have less traffic. Airlines do not bring transfer flights into this airport because a customer experience is so bad they said it publicly. They will not bring transfers and here in fact when there was twelve new flights that they wanted to bring shortly after I took the thing off the table. They took him to Saint Louis not Kansas City because they didn't want their passengers transferring in Kansas City. And the reason is very simple if you've ever transfer flight and been stuck somewhere for six hours waiting for the next flight. What do you do you walk around you look for places to eat. You look for us something to read you look for something to do in if you earn Casey died those options particularly if you're there after 6:7 o'clock at night you could forget it. Mayor have have airlines like southwest though if we build a neutral have they committed two more gates more flights would mean more days have they said we know we will take more than than what we use now. We don't need more gates we need fewer gates we've got a ton of gates but look Richardson deal lookup field has about 32 gates and they fly out over 200 flights commercial flight today. We have three terminals only two of which are being news and more gates implied less flights today. I mean by I mean by airline meaning that you know if southwest had the same self assessed ten gates now and they would bring more flights to us in theoretically they would use more dates in the new term have they made commitments as to how many gates they would need the new eternal vs idol is vs the current terminal. No that's between the airlines to all the airlines are involved in this let me let me also say that the decision of the airlines to build a new terminal isn't just southwest it's unanimous. They also at the same thing they all agreed to a they're all on the look on the hook for any costs. I'll overruns or any cost that need to be paid they are. The ones who have basically went through all of the generations and said this is the terminal that we need to satisfy our needs not just today but going forward. Also it's expendable so that if we need more they need bigger spaces because it got bigger planes. They need a different layout we have a lot of space at the airport number of gates they can't use them because there's no need to use and there's not enough flights in and out to do that. Plus we have a 72 foot wide circular. So much circular airport that's kind of like one mean to build 5000 square foot house and it's all ten feet watch. 5000 square being the biggest shotgun shooters you've got to 5000 square people boy is it inefficient. You have to walk Courtney and I have to get from the back into the pitch mayors like James with a slide in studio we're talking.