Mark Funkhouser has never liked City Manager Wayne Cauthen.
It may go back to when then- City Auditor Funkhouser applied for the City Manager job but lost out to Cauthen, who came from Denver where he had been the top administrator in that city’s strong mayor form of government.
Whatever, Funkhouser, who is under the delusion that he and Co-Mayor/wife Gloria Squitiro together amount to a strong mayor, has never given up on his effort to oust Cauthen, arguably one of the best and most effective city managers in Kansas City history.
Kansas City Star reporter Eric Adler recently told the story of Funkhouser’s vendetta against Cauthen, which is as obsessive as the Mayor’s preoccupation with having his wife in the role of a top city official, an obvious violation of Missouri's anti-nepotism law which should by now have resulted in Funkhouser's removal from office.
The Star’s Adler describes the havoc created at City Hall as Funkhouser continually tries (and fails) to round up the City Council majority to fire Cauthen. Adler quotes Councilwoman Cindy Circo as saying Funkhouser has never talked to her about anything else.
All this makes for interesting political show biz, but it is making Kansas City fall behind other cities in its class such as Pittsburgh, site this week of the G-20 economic summit meeting. Even Omaha is beginning to overtake Kansas City. Not to mention Kansas City, Kansas/Wyandotte County.
Funkhouser insists he will seek re-election in the spring of 2011. If he does, and Funkhouser doesn’t start acting like the leader of a city instead of a city manager wanna-be, KCTribune will certainly continue to tell the story of the so-far embarrassing, do-nothing Funkhouser years.