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County doesn't want
Guantanamo residents

by Alan McArthur
Landmark reporter

Platte County’s commissioners are not excited about a plan to move detainees to Leavenworth. In fact, they are outright against the proposal.

Platte County Com-missioners on Thursday approved a resolution officially opposing the relocation of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to the disciplinary barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

President Barrack Obama recently signed an order to close the detention center at the military base at Guantanamo Bay. The center currently houses around 250 people captured around the world suspected of aiding or being terrorists.

Part of the resolution states: “The county commissioners of Platte County, Missouri, believe moving detainees from Guantanamo Bay would detract from the central mission of Ft. Leavenworth and would pose numerous safety, security, and economic hardships on Platte County and the surrounding communities.

“These detainees pose a real threat to the security of the community and the entire Kansas City metropolitan area.”

Betty Knight, presiding commissioner, said the commission does not have many resolutions to oppose issues.

“This is something unusual for us,” said Knight.

Knight said the city of Leavenworth made a presentation to the members of the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) asking for support in opposing the relocation.

The commission approved the resolution after Knight explained the reasons given by the city of Leavenworth.

Jim Plunkett, second district commissioner, said that after hearing the presentation he realized the people housed in Guantanamo are terrorists or terror-related. Plunkett said the site is too close to railroads, the river, and the airport, which would have to be shut down if anyone escaped.

The resolution was approved with a vote of 3-0.

The commission also approved the 2009 county budget after holding a public hearing on the topic.

No members of the public spoke during the public hearing and the commission heard from Siobhann Williams, county auditor.

Williams told the commission that her department had made some corrections to the budget and further changes which resulted in an extra available amount of nearly $50,000. Williams also said she planned to change her budget message at the beginning of the budget to make it clearer for readers about the change in the purchase order system from 2008 to 2009.

“This has been a long process and now we can pay the county bills,” said Knight. “I appreciate everyone's effort on the budget.”

The commission approved the budget with a vote of 3-0.



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