Lee’s Summit, May 19, 2010.  Kansas City’s Rockfest family, some 55,000 strong let Aggie Stackhaus know that government officials represent the people, not their own agendas.

Rockfest is a one day band extravaganza that brings rock and roll bands to Kansas City and 55,000 people even on a rainy Saturday.  The hotels around the city fill up with concert goers and everyone has a good time.  It is one of the things that Kansas City can be proud of, and we in Lee’s Summit can drive only a few minutes, park and listen to some of the best Rock around.

Aggie Stackhaus, a member of the Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners somehow decided (ill advisedly if you ask me) to complain about the mud left over from the 110,000 feet that tromped all over the concert area on a rainy day and made mud.  Okay, that’s the down side.

What is the upside you ask?  Of the 55,000 concert goers at least 10% decided to stay in hotels in the area over night.  Do the math, that’s a lot of hotel rooms on a Saturday night and likely on a Friday night as well.  So hotels in the area (assuming couples) saw some 2800 rooms used – more likely over 5,000 rooms but let’s stay conservative.  The average price of a hotel room is $99.00 a night so that’s $280,000 simply from hotel rooms alone.  Add breakfasts and lunches and likely going out to the Power and Light District or Westport and you can see that easily Rockfest brings well over $300,000 (more likely closer to a half a million) dollars to Kansas City plus all the taxes that go along with that.

To add to that AEG Live pays up front some $150,000 in prepaid sales taxes, $50,000 for rent of the space, a $50,000 to the WWI war memorial museum donation (let’s say to cover the “annoyance” factor.

People have a good time, they listen to good bands, okay bands, great bands and everything in between.  They deal with a cold rainy day and still manage to have fun.

The point Aggie Stackhaus missed is that this economy is in very bad shape.  People are worried about their jobs, getting jobs, their mortgages, their credit card bills, and all the problems that come from the day to day pressure.  Rockfest gave jobs to the city, to the hotels, to all who are directly and indirectly affected by the one day concert.  Why would anyone think that taking away simple, healthy, and stress relieving fun in this economy was a good idea; especially when it brings revenue to the city and to the various tourism related industries in the area.

Now don’t get me wrong, Rockfest will not save the economy, but a grassy field that is trampled down and muddied up, with care and work (all paid by AEG live) will come back and flourish.  I’m not sure in Aggie Stackhaus’ version of the Kansas City Economy the same could be said.

Fortunately Mayor Mark Funkhouser came out quickly on Tuesday afternoon to put a stop to the comments from Stackhaus, but sadly it is still a reminder that even local officials have no desire to truly “represent” the people they serve.  Stackhaus is, in that way, similar to people like Representative Emanuel Cleaver who voted for every bailout, and for health care.  These were highly opposed by the people of Kansas City he represents, but he knew better and he spent our money. 

To the Rockfest Family, I applaud you.  Your loud voices, in a peaceful manner told the government to do their job and represent us.  You told them to put aside their own agendas for personal glory and focus on what the people need.  Things like:

  • Jobs
  • Safer neighborhoods
  • Good Schools
  • And the right to have a good time while doing so peaceably.

Kudos’ Rockfest; well done!

Respectfully Submitted,
The Lee’s Summit Conservative.