Fascinating editorial about Kansas City published by a writer named Joel Kotkin in Forbes Magazine on March 30, 2009. I love what he has to say about Kansas City playing to our strengths of stability and affordability, and not trying to be something that we are not. For example, he makes us seem pretty irresponsible for seriously considering spending millions on light rail because:
“This project makes little sense in a region with a well-below-average percentage of jobs in its downtown core – roughly around 7% – with one of the lowest shares of transit-riding residents in the nation.”
Kotkin admires the stability of our region, as compared with the more volatile coastal areas, and feels that we should nurture our strengths and our cultural gems, not try to imitate the glitz of first-tier cities by straining our budgets. He goes on to mention the fact that the city budget discussions have been considering keeping our iconic fountains dry this summer. I am not sure what the current status is with this issue, but I believe this would be a tragedy for our city. I would even keep my mouth shut about the dyeing of the fountains this year, as long as they are kept flowing. There is also some hopeful information on the local real estate market as compared with other regions.
We have much to be proud of in Kansas City, and hopefully Kotkin is right and we will see recovery sooner than the outer regions of our country.