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Past aldermen promoting annexation

by Dave Kinnamon
Landmark reporter

John Andre and Ron Porter, both aldermen who were defeated in re-election races this past April, have formed an ad hoc group of Platte City citizens bent on doing what they must to ensure the city’s annexation issues pass this November, and in February, if they go to that.

About 15 people attended a meeting in one of the waiting rooms at the Heartland Clinic of Platte City on Tuesday night, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

City manager Keith Moody and Mayor Dave Brooks attended as did alderman Lee Roy Van Lew.

Lawyers Susan McCabe and Bruce Ray attended the meeting on behalf of the law firm, Williams & Campo, P.C., of Lee’s Summit. They are the third and fourth, respectively, lawyers the city has had attend annexation meetings—all four being employees of Williams & Campo.

“We’re here to make sure all the ‘I’s are dotted and ‘T’s are crossed,” McCabe said.

Andre kicked the meeting off by telling those assembled,

“I believe in annexation; that’s why I called this meeting.”

“I sent you all a letter. I’m trying to form a citizens’ committee that’s for annexation,” Andre said.

Rich Caplan, the city’s paid consultant to help them with the annexation issues and help to make them pass, was the chief speaker on Tuesday night.

Caplan was available to answer questions and provide a summary of what the annexation issues encompass, a talk he has given publicly on at least two other occasions.

Caplan noted that the proposed areas of annexation into Platte City, on the annexation map referred to as “A” and “B,” only include 39 family dwellings, with an estimated of about 137 people.

“The big issue is to look at the annexation in terms of trade-offs. The residents in those areas would gain city services, but the city would gain revenue, mostly in the form of building permit licenses,” Caplan said. Those building permit revenues currently go to Platte County, he said.

Caplan also told the assembled citizens that “jurisdictional clarifications" need to be made.

As at the other public meetings, Caplan said the boundaries of the two annexation areas partially follow natural lines, like the Platte River, for example, and partially are expedient for the city, but all meet the “at least 15 percent of contiguous abutment with current city limits” mandate by state statute.

Caplan cautioned that if any of the annexation boundaries are deemed “blatantly illogical,” they risk being invalidated by the courts.

One man asked why the city was proposing to annex the Platte Falls Conservation Area. Caplan replied that the city included it for no particular reason other than it logically flowed with the other areas around it.

The man then asked if city prohibitions against hunting and fishing would apply to the Conservation Area if the annexation issues were successful.

Caplan replied that the issue will have to be dealt with situationally by the board of aldermen.

“To be totally honest, the real driving force is the new residential subdivisions,” Caplan said.



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