Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Hardwood floors or death!

TKC and our local NBC are trying to stir up some trouble over the redecoration of the Mayor's office. I hadn't heard that the office suffered damage from a water leak back in May until Tony reported on rumors of a $10,000 rug. I find it dishonest to present the rehab as a $70,000 (!!!) project. Surely, even claims adjusters distinguish between the cost of repair to the physical structure ($40,000) and the cost of repairing/ replacing the furnishings ($30,000). Maybe that 40k number is outrageous, but Russ Ptacek hasn't given me any reason (cheaper estimates, analysis of the damage and necessary repairs, etc.) to believe so. As for the furnishings... people, please.

Both Tony and Russ ran with the "Smart with Money" pledge and the disappointment people had that, well, I don't know, that the Mayor didn't decorate his office with a fricking card table and art prints he picked up at garage sales? While I can logically understand why people who voted for a guy because he ran his campaign out of a trailer are scandalized that he's displayed more respect for optics in his position, I can't support the values at play. There's a long list of things I won't support as being necessary to maintain the image of a world class city, but a tastefully decorated mayor's office is not one of them.

$8000 is not unreasonable for a quality persian rug. It's an antique because it's built to last. People freaking out about the money spent to install hardwood floors are even dumber. Have you no idea how much of the Kansas City tax base depends on people who value quality hardwood floors? (Don't even get me started on crown molding). We don't have good schools. We have questionable infrastructure. What we do have is a wide and beautiful selection of classic and solidly built housing stock that depends on things like hardwood floors for its charms. The absolute very least we can do to represent this city with dignity is to have hardwood floors in the Mayor's office.

If this were a project undertaken on the whimsy of the Mayor's need to redecorate, I could better understand the criticism. But it's been presented as a rehab project following a water leak that trashed the joint. If Russ Ptacek has evidence that the water leak was a pretense, I'll be happy to consider it. But in the absence of that, as far as I can tell, the office was refurnished in an appropriately tasteful fashion. I might have a slight quibble about the color and endurance of the sofa and chairs, but that would require more information.

Again, this redecoration isn't presented as a quarterly event. That $9,750 spent on walnut flooring? That should be good for one hundred years. And Kendrick Blackwood, darling, you are the only glaring evidence of wasted money in this affair. You defend an $8000 rug as needed to offer acoustic cushion from the $10,000 hardwood floor? Did you think that one through? Do you understand that it is not only ok, but desired, to offer explanations that think beyond whatever nonsense the tv guy is blathering at you? Repeat after me:

The Mayor's office suffered severe damage after a water leak in May. The structural damage has been repaired. In refurnishing the office, the Mayor made choices that reflect the enduring quality and dignity of Kansas City and its citizens.

Or, you know, ignore me. Rip out the floors, return the furnishings and the rug. See what scraps Big Bob's has to offer, roll out the card table and maybe, just maybe, splurge on a Thomas Kinkaid "A Trusted Friend" print. I'm sure Tony will be satisfied then.


  1. since I don't live in KC I couldn't care less if they made it an amber room,but I have a feeling that the next mayor will be redecorating and may not share the love for Persian rugs.

  2. I hope that's not the persian rug they bought, in the picture. Uggh.

    Anyways, the mayor and his staff are so incredibly, completely incompetent that they cannot even defend a modest redecoration.

    Kendrick sounds like he is totally incompetent.

    Walk into Mayor Daley's office, and you'll see a bit of a difference. Check out the St. Louis mayor's office.

    Funkhouser is an utter and complete failure. As is his staff.

  3. rememeber everybody when posting here, preview your comment first, then post your comment, otherwise it won't work.

  4. Ah, nevermind, I think I just posted by clicking on just the post button. 100 apologies for the technical blog criticism.

    I think.

  5. Meesha,

    I'm perfectly ok with forcing the next mayor to suck it up or redesign at his/her own cost. The rug is not reasonably objectionable, even if it's not to someone's individual taste. Personally, I would prefer it looked like the mayor's office in Miller's Crossing, complete with whiskey station and fat cats dropping off bags of bribe money.


    You are at least ten comments and a handle of whiskey away from me accusing you of user error. :)

  6. I'm calling 'Cowtown' on this whole stupid thing. It's the mayor's office for chrissakes. It was messed up and they had to fix it. You need a floor, let's make it a nice floor. Good quality, executive conference chairs cost 3-400 bucks. We all like nice things, especially in our places of work. All this stuff is expensive and they didn't go completely nuts here. That NBC story is a lame attempt to manufacture controversy.

    But Meesha's right, that rug is ugly.

  7. m.v.

    Of course you realize that if the next mayor wants a different rug that one is still going to be worth $8,000. It's not like they'd just throw it out. So your point is what?

  8. that's only true if 1)they didn't overpay 2)someone is willing to buy it for that much. otherwise they will have an $8k item on the books sitting in the warehouse.but like I said,my relationship with KCMO only costs me 1% of my earnings,so I don't really have much say and/or interest in what they do.