A primer about Question Three on Tuesday's ballot


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Kansas City has long been in the nuke biz.
  • Kansas City has long been in the nuke biz.
When you close the curtain behind you in the voting booth tomorrow, a certain ballot initiative - Question Three - might seem a little confusing. Basically, if the measure passes, Kansas City would be barred from becoming financially involved in weapons-manufacturing plants.

The ballot measure was prompted by the construction of a Honeywell plant at 14500 Botts Road, where non-nuclear components of nuclear weapons are made. The plant will open next year.

What's important to note about Question Three is that it will not halt the new plant (which will replace an aging facility where the same work is done) from opening. The weapons plant is a done deal regardless of what voters decide. But it will prevent the city from offering financial incentives to manufacturers that want to open nuclear-weapons plants in the future.

From the website of anti-nuclear weapons group Peace Planters, the ballot measure will look like this:


Supporters of the plant say it provides the local economy with 2,000 high-paying jobs. They also argue that Kansas City is as good a place as any for a weapons plant. As former Mayor Mark Funkhouser said when ground was broken on the plant, "It will be built somewhere, and it ought to be built in Kansas City." Most city officials oppose the ballot measure because it has the potential to make Kansas City appear unattractive for federal weapons plants in the future.

Activists have been fighting the plant's construction since it began in 2010. Last year, The Pitch explored the bizarre ownership structure of the new plant and why anti-proliferation activists opposed it. Again, to summarize for confused voters: Voting "yes" will not stop the plant from opening, but it would stop the city from offering incentives to nuclear-weapons manufacturers in the future.

And for readers on the Kansas side of the state line, get to know your mayoral candidates here.


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