The City of Kansas City, Missouri, gave a promoter $15,000 to supposedly arrange for boxing champion Floyd Mayweather to come to town and talk to urban youth about how to lead their lives.
It was billed as a “youth enrichment and anti-violence” event.
Unfortunately, Mayweather never appeared. But the $15,000 disappeared without an explanation.
According to a story by KCTV that tried to examine the issue of the missing money in December, Ossco Bolton, a former gang leader, had proposed the event. Bolton is now executive director of P.O.S.S.E., which stands for Peers Organized to Support Student Excellence. The organization began in 1995 and bills itself as providing training, mentoring and constructive activities for youth to become leaders.
Bolton reportedly posted on his Facebook page in response to the KCTV report: 20 CHILDREN MURDERED AND YOU ALL STILL WORRIED ABOUT $15,000 FROM A $1 BILLION DOLLAR BUDGET THIS CITY HAS.”
While the Kansas City Star and other media outlets have done a few, random stories about the missing money, blogger Tony Botello of the area’s most-read blog at tonyskansascity.com, refuses to simply let the issue die.
It’s easy to criticize Botello for some of the controversial stories he runs and risque photos he often features, but it is very likely the entire issue of the missing $15,000 would have simply faded away by now if not for his efforts.
Bottom Line asked Botello why he will not simply let the issue of the $15k just fade into the sunset.
“The missing $15k speaks to the heart of every financial issue facing Kansas City right now,” he says. “Despite the relatively small amount, the missing funds and the no-show event remain one of the most egregious examples of City Hall financial mismanagement.
“I think this story calls into questions KCMO local government efforts to manage funds on a larger scale. From the proposed streetcar to the new budget under discussion, elected officials attempt to assure Kansas City voters that they can effectively manage taxpayer money. Meanwhile, the answer from most politicos on this subject has been silence and a hope that residents will also fail to hold anyone accountable.”
Botello has pointed out the original event with Mayweather was to be held in early December. However, that event was cancelled when it was discovered Mayweather had served time in jail during the summer for domestic violence. It was felt he might not be the best role model available for the event.
According to tonyskansascity.com, a second event was to be held this past weekend featuring Floyd Mayweather Sr. instead of the famous boxer. That was also cancelled and “re-scheduled” now tentatively for April 5-6.
The one thing you can be sure of is the promoters are hoping to string this out until the major media outlets simply forget about the entire shell game and the missing money.
However, don’t count on Botello to simply allow that. It’s not his style—and we’re better for it.