By Marshanna C. Smith

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. has issued the following statement regarding today’s County Legislature meeting:

“As our county legislature prepares to vote on the proposal to place the ballpark project on the April ballot, I want to express my respect and understanding for the roles and responsibilities of our esteemed legislators. The decision before them is not an easy one, and I am very aware of the immense political pressures involved in such significant civic decisions.

“I understand the complexities and challenges of these discussions and want to reassure everyone that my commitment to collaboration remains strong. Regardless of the vote’s outcome, I am dedicated to working closely with legislators, our sports teams and all stakeholders. This commitment holds true whether the issue reaches the ballot or not. My office is ready to continue constructive engagement in every step of this process, ensuring the best outcomes for all involved.

”Over the past months, my administration has worked diligently to improve this deal for the taxpayers of Jackson County. We have successfully negotiated several concessions from the teams, which I believe are steps in the right direction. However, I firmly believe that our county deserves and can achieve more before we commit to placing this on the ballot.

“A key component that must be addressed is the establishment of a strong and enforceable Community Benefits Agreement. This agreement is vital to ensure that the project delivers tangible and lasting benefits to our community. Additionally, we need a solid and enforceable agreement that includes the costs associated with the demolition of Kauffman Stadium. It is essential that we fully understand and prepare for these financial implications.

“Furthermore, it is crucial to secure a commitment that both teams maintain their front offices and training facilities in Jackson County for the duration of the lease. This commitment is not just a matter of local pride; it is also about economic stability and the sustained growth of our county.

“In closing, I want to reiterate my respect for the legislative process and the difficult decisions our legislators are facing. My office remains ready and willing to continue our efforts to ensure the best possible outcome for Jackson County and its residents.”