June 20, 2020
Mayor and City Council,
I appreciate your allowing me this opportunity to express my thoughts on an issue of concern to me.
As a resident of Lee’s Summit for many years, I am deeply troubled by the information I am discovering about Mr. Todd George and his dark past. These have been concerns for some time, but now it’s clearly time to take action.
Since my Public Comments are being submitted via email, I will attach snapshots and links below, to show proof of the troubling information I’ve found regarding the dark past of Todd George.
In the book titled “The Man of Independence” by Jonathan Daniels (as found in a Google search), a screenshot snippet of which is attached, it states “…Todd George, who described himself as president of the Independent Democrats of Rural Jackson County. The Star stated that “the ‘Independents’ are known as an organization of the Ku Klux Klan…” (Reference 1, below).
Additionally, there are further references to Mr. George’s involvement with the Independent Democrats and the KKK, including this statement: “…reputed local Klan chief, Todd George, announced that his organization, the Independent Democrats of Jackson County…” (Reference 2, below).
Given that membership in the Ku Klux Klan was hardly the sort of thing a person had engraved into the public record, these are rather glaring indications that Mr. George, in addition to being a Justice of the Peace, former City Mayor, Jackson County Treasurer, and a successful real estate dealer, was also a prominent leader of the local Ku Klux Klan.
And, that dark aspect of his soul and moral fiber is something I cannot avoid thinking about nearly every time I drive on “Todd George Parkway”, which is only three blocks from my house.
With that indelible stain on his character, I firmly believe that he does not deserve the honor of having his name on such a major thoroughfare running through Lee’s Summit and I strongly urge the city to find a more appropriate namesake for that road.
Making a quick comment about the logistical issues, I believe that there are currently very few (if any) houses and few businesses that face that parkway and, thus, the impact of such a name change should not be a significant inconvenience to many people or businesses. I also realize there are several other residential roadways with “Todd George” in their name (particularly around Prairie Lee Lake). While consideration should be given to renaming those roads as well, given the impact to a number of residents, I suggest that any changes to those residential roads should only be done in collaboration with the impacted residents.
As such, my recommendation is to promptly rename “Todd George Parkway” honor someone more truly deserving, while addressing the other residential streets as an entirely separate discussion, involving the impacted property owners.
I truly feel that, unless the city renames this major thoroughfare, it will be sending a very unfortunate message regarding our values and “Whose Truly” we really are.
Thank you very much for the opportunity to make these public comments and I sincerely urge you to give them careful consideration, particularly given the events we’re seeing unfold nationally and around the world. We’ve made significant progress over the past several decades on these issues, but this example proves that there are still some vexing ones remaining. Thanks again.
References mentioned above: