I heard part of the sidewalk discussion on the air earlier. This story has really aggravated me since I saw it on the news yesterday. I've been searching for a home to buy in KCMO, and I had no idea that the city wasn't responsible for the sidewalks. The sidewalks in most Missouri areas are terrible, but I just thought the city did a poor job of upkeep - kind of like they do with the potholes in the roadways.
I'm moving from Johnson County where they actually take care of these things and keep the cities looking nice. If I was that homeowner I would probably start complaining about all the other bad sidewalks in my neighborhood. If I'm going down, I'm taking everyone down with me. I think it's a stupid, poorly enforced ordinance. It makes me reconsider moving to KCMO. At least I'll know to include the cost of repairing sidewalks in negotiations, if necessary. I don't think many people are aware that the city can force you to repair and pay for the sidewalks around your home.
Interesting editorial in the KC Star about this very topic a few weeks ago: http://www.kansascity.com/2012/04/14/3553282/the-stars-editorial-our-poor-neglected.html