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Saving the Saturday mail delivery

2/13/19

EDITOR:

There was a time in America when one of the only methods of communication was by mail. Since 1912, the United States Postal Service (USPS) has served as a lifeline for Americans, specifically in rural areas.

With the advent of the internet, things have changed. We can communicate wherever we are with the click of a button. Some say that means the Postal Service should reduce services like six-day delivery.

I disagree.

While we may not depend on mail delivery to communicate like we used to, we depend on it for other things. Imagine the issues that could arise if the mail wasn’t delivered six days a week.

Let's say you've ordered a package and expect to receive it in two days but because there is no Saturday mail delivery, you won’t get it until Monday. Unless Monday is a holiday, in which case you won’t get it until Tuesday. That two-day delivery just became four. Most people I know, myself included, get frustrated if a package isn’t delivered right away.

Or, maybe you have prescription medication that has been mailed to you – waiting an additional day or two just isn’t going to cut it. Many folks who need that medication are unable to travel long distances; delivering it to their door at an affordable cost as soon as possible is critical.

This affects small businesses, too. Many of the most successful businesses in rural areas depend on the Postal Service to deliver the items they’ve ordered, or ship the products they’ve made, in a timely fashion.

In northern Missouri, Saturday mail delivery is still critical to our success and necessary for our way of life.

Recently I helped introduce bipartisan legislation to express the sentiment of the House of Representatives that six-day mail delivery must be preserved. I introduced a similar bipartisan bill in 2017 with 258 co-sponsors. Not much is bipartisan in Washington anymore, but keeping six-day mail delivery certainly has broad support.

There is no doubt that the Postal Service needs to make some major reforms to remain a viable service. It’s not good government to maintain the status quo if it is leading to major financial issues. However, there are plenty of ways to reform the USPS without eliminating Saturday mail delivery. That won’t fix the problem; it will only make it worse.

It’s important that the USPS right their financial ship. However, doing so at the expense of rural America should not be an option.

The USPS needs to take all necessary measures to make sure that we still see mail delivery on Saturdays in North Missouri.

--Sam Graves
Congressman
Sixth District

 


Kind in a world that sometimes isn't

2/13/19

EDITOR:

Thank you for your Between the Lines column about Matthew Silber.

Matthew was a grade below me in high school and we attended the same youth group every Sunday at Mt. Zion Baptist Church. He was soft-spoken, polite and a good friend to all.

Matthew's parents are wonderful people, full of kind words for everyone. Anytime a crisis, illness, surgery and/or death has taken place in our family (and there have been many), Rick and Mary have been wonderful to send a card with a word of encouragement. They brought all of their boys up to be kind in a world that sometimes isn't.

When we think of a Christian family that truly loves and cares about others, the Silber family is who we think of. Our hearts ache for their loss.

Thank you again for your kind words about Matthew.

---Shannon Cummings-Skaggs
Dearborn

 


Chiefs fan not a Hearne fan

2/6/19

EDITOR:

You should find someone else to fill space (write a column) in The Landmark other than Hearne Christopher, Jr.

I have been a Chiefs fan since Day One in K.C. To say our fans are the worst is simply showing his ignorance.

Yes, we had some attendees (NOT fans) throw some snowballs at the game (HORRIBLE) and Coach Andy Reid chastised them and told them to stop. At least they weren't batteries compliments of our nemesis the Raiders.

The person responsible for the laser has been found and banned from any Chiefs game. They are NOT a fan either. They may face other charges too. Justice
served.

And you could only find one newspaper in Florida who doesn't like our barbecue?

--Sharon Aring
Fan No. 1
Platte County

 


Praise for Parkville Road District

2/6/19

EDITOR:

I have a lot of things I gripe about, but in truth it's best to count my blessings.
I was traveling east to Clay County on 68th Street, before Highway 169, Friday afternoon and as the sun finally warmed everything up it was very pleasant. However, returning west on 68th Street there is about half a mile of asphalt that has been decimated by the snow plows.

It's worse than a washboard and driving through it guarantees you will have to get an alignment. Or maybe dental work. Awful.

So it made me think about my roads. Every time it has snowed, the Parkville Special Road District is out and working, no matter the hour or conditions. They do a stellar job of road protection, also.

I have been looking around, and see no potholes, small or large. That says a lot about their expertise in running snow plows and minimizing damage. So I shout out to them my sincere appreciation and thanks. Good job, guys.

--Carol A. Clopton
Kansas City in
Platte County

 


A prison palace monument to the county commission

1/30/19

EDITOR:

If you haven't read Between the Lines by Ivan Foley in the Jan. 23, 2019 issue of The Landmark, it is a great primer for the tax question being placed on the April 2nd ballot. Pick up a copy. Please educate yourself before going to the voting booth. Here's why.

1) “…we just spent a half million dollars on one community center to replace a humidifier”…“a half million dollars on a community center and swimming pool would give every one of our law enforcement a $3000 a year raise.” Commissioner John Elliott, Jan. 14, 2019 County Commissioners’ meeting, check the tape.

OK. Then why are our commissioners proposing a capital improvement tax which does not address the pay scales for Platte County Sheriff Deputies? Sheriff Mark Owen has attended commission meetings where he has stated the need for deputies' salary increases because he is losing employees to adjoining jurisdictions which pay more. The deputies get trained in Platte County and then leave for higher pay. It is pure hypocrisy to make a statement like this and then not address it.

2) “Current state and county sales tax rate is 5.6. The county sales tax rate is currently 1.375, which is 25% of the total. If the capital improvement sales tax passes, the county rate will be 1.875 which is 31% of the total but only through 12/31/25 when it expires.” Commissioner Elliott.

Be sure to look closely at this one. A 36% tax increase is proposed for something, we haven't been told specifically what. Probably for a prison palace but who knows. The ballot measure as proposed reads, “…imposed for the purpose of capital improvements, including without limitation the construction of a jail expansion and improvements to the existing jail and other county facilities?” It is a wide open question. Yes, I know, it is for 6.25 years. But when was the last time we had a tax decrease?

3) “$65,625,000 is our estimate. This is sales AND use tax. I highlight AND because all use tax currently received goes into general revenue and used for GR purposes-not for the purpose of the tax. With this tax, we will begin weaning GR off of use taxes.” Commissioner Elliott

I don't know about you, but I don't want to give $65 million to a group of commissioners who have run on the premise of “no new taxes.” Commissioner Schieber even put on his campaign mailings last fall that he had upheld his campaign promise of “no new taxes.” Oh my. The only reason he could say that was because the commission's hastily designed tax for the fall election ran into so much head wind that a ballot measure couldn't be put together. His intent was and is to raise taxes for a prison palace monument to this current commission.

When asked about using bonds to build the jail, here's the response I received.

4) “We will not fully know the answer to this question until the judge rules on our declaratory judgment on May 24.” Commissioner Elliott

Whoa! Isn't that after the election date of April 2, 2019? And won't the judgment simply state what they already know, that the county is not legally bound to pay the shortfall?

There was a rather poor showing for the jail study presentation at the commission's regular meeting. Part of the problem, the jail study revealed, was the length of stay which has increased dramatically in the last three years. When questioned about this, the commissioners said it was due to a lack of public defenders. Public defenders are provided by the State of Missouri. This was confirmed by Prosecuting Attorney Eric Zahnd, who was present at the meeting.

My thought is for the commissioners to make a trip to Jeff City to speak to the newly elected state senator and chair of the judiciary committee, State Sen Tony Luetkemeyer. All of us can help the commission and the prosecutor by calling Luetkemeyer's office at 573-751-2183 and telling him we need more public defenders to clear out the backlog at the county jail. Call today. Flood his office with calls.

The final item is the park tax, currently at half cent, set to expire in 2020. At least two of the commissioners, Schieber and Elliott, have suggested reducing that to 1/8 cent for park maintenance and redirecting the remaining 3/8 cent portion to law enforcement. I'm assuming this would include personnel issues as well as capital improvements. While they are waiting for the new ballot measure of 1/8 -3/8 split to be introduced, they could get design, location, and specifics in place to “sell” the need. This tax would have to be renewed in 2020 but from our current position it would not be a tax increase.

As for parks, there is 92 acres m/l currently under cultivation that the county owns at Spratt Rd and P Hwy just east of Weston. Why would we want or need a county park there when there is a state park on 45 Hwy., also just east of Weston? Sell that county owned land. I'm sure very, very few people even know that was a park board purchase.

It's a thumbs down for me on this new tax.

--Jim DeJarnatt

Weston

For earlier letters to the editor click here