City’s re­dis­trict­ing mea­sure ve­toed, but it’s not dead

The Kansas City Star (Sunday) - - LOCAL - By LYNN HORS­LEY

Kansas City Mayor Mark Funkhouser on Mon­day ve­toed a mea­sure call­ing for a Novem­ber bal­lot ques­tion that would change the re­dis­trict­ing re­quire­ments in the city char­ter.

The veto is yet an­other wrin­kle in the on­go­ing ar­gu­ment be­tween those, like Funkhouser, who think the coun­cil should re­draw its district bound­aries now and those who think the city should wait un­til 2010 cen­sus fig­ures are avail­able.

The cur­rent city char­ter re­quires the city to redis­trict now, be­fore the next city gen­eral elec­tion in March. But the coun­cil voted 8-5 last week in fa­vor of a Novem­ber bal­lot mea­sure seek­ing voter ap­proval to change the char­ter so that re­dis­trict­ing oc­curs only ev­ery 10 years, af­ter of­fi­cial cen­sus data are re­leased.

Funkhouser ve­toed that coun­cil mea­sure and said the six coun­cil dis­tricts were so out of bal­ance in pop­u­la­tion that fed­eral law made re­dis­trict­ing manda­tory now. North­land dis­tricts have thou­sands more peo­ple within their bound­aries than those south of the river.

Coun­cil­man John Sharp, who ad­vo­cates post­pon­ing re­dis­trict­ing un­til next year, said he was con­fi­dent the coun­cil could over­ride the veto at its meet­ing Thurs­day.

Even if the coun­cil over­rides Funkhouser’s veto, it must seek a court or­der to place the mea­sure on the Nov. 2 bal­lot be­cause the elec­tion board dead­line for bal­lot items has passed. The city at­tor­ney’s of­fice filed a pe­ti­tion Fri­day ask­ing a Jack­son County cir­cuit judge to or­der the char­ter mea­sure onto the bal­lot, but the court has yet to rule on the request.

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