When I began to question this practice many years ago, the reasoning was getting folks away from their daily responsibilities so they could concentrate on the propaganda being tossed out by the Chamber. They felt meeting held in Manhattan would allow folks to come and go, taking care of things far more important than a fraternity of the privileged. Moving it out of town, also became a traditional “all expense paid jet-setting getaway” for Chamber staff and local government employees. “Networking” could consist of getting hammered in Overland Park bars, without ever worrying about the “commoners” in Manhattan seeing the politically positioned in drunken stupors. It has become tradition… an entitlement.
Today, Manhattan has pristine accomodations for large meeting. Cell phones keep people in touch with their business responsibilities. There is simply no justification, other than the entitlement issue, that this annual trek to Kansas City continues… at taxpayer expense.
I’ve always felt someone should ask for clarification re KOMA. We have all three of the County Commissioners in a private meeting with a lobbyist organization. If those commissioners hold any discussions between themselves, isn’t this a violation of KOMA? We have 4 of the 5 City Commissioners in a private meeting with a lobbyist organization. If those four discuss anything that invovles City business, isn’t that a violation of KOMA? In addition to the squandering of tax dollars, I can’t see the citizens of Manhattan… if they were aware… wanting legislative policy decided in a closed meeting in Kansas City.