Ward 1 City Councilman Al Herrera’s response to a candidate questionnaire in the Kansas City Star last week has drawn attention from supporters of his opponent in Tuesday’s Prairie Village City Council elections.
In the profile published last Wednesday in 913, the Star lists Herrera as having attended the “UMKC Kauffman Foundation Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership.” This prompted one of Ward 1 candidate Ashley Weaver’s supporters to contact UMKC for clarification, since UMKC and the Kauffman Foundation don’t operate their entrepreneurship programs jointly.
Jessica Duff of UMKC’s Registration and Records office told Weaver’s supporter that the school has no records of Herrera on file. Duff confirmed to the Prairie Village Post on Friday that she had not been able to find any records for Herrera in the school’s electronic or microfiche files.
Contacted late last week, Herrera said that there should have been a comma between “UMKC” and “Kauffman Foundation,” in the Star profile, and that he never claimed to have received a degree from UMKC. He does contend, however, that he attended classes there in the late 1960s.
“I was trying to get out of the draft, so I went to school and got a draft deferment,” he said.
He listed “UMKC, Kaufmann Foundation Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership” on the candidate profile he submitted over the weekend to the Prairie Village Post (published here this morning). Weaver says she did not initiate the investigation into Herrera’s school records, but that she feels the apparent discrepancy is noteworthy.
“It is a sad situation and doubly sad since it wasn’t necessary to mislead his constituents,” she said. “I believe it is certainly something that owes a further explanation from Mr. Herrera.”
Herrera told the Prairie Village Post Saturday he intended to go to the UMKC records office today to obtain documentation of his time there. We’ll update this post as soon as we hear back from him.