latte City Mayor Frank Offutt, who promotes himself as a lifelong Platte Citian and third generation politician, will face a challenge from Dave Brooks, who sees himself as a “people person,” in the April 2 vote for the mayoral seat in Platte City.
For the 30th mayor of Platte City, the decision to run for re-election came after some speculation by members of the community.
“I still have deep concerns and interests in the community of Platte City,” stated Offutt. “I’m a lifelong resident of Platte City, a five generation Platte Countian, a third generation politician and my family has been actively involved in local government over the last 70 years.”
But for Offutt, those figures aren’t the top reason he decided to pursue his third term. “As far as my specific interests to re-run for mayor, I have a great interest in the quality of life in this community because this is where I call home.”
As to his past two terms in office, Offutt is pleased with the numerous projects the city has spearheaded and completed .
“I think the results are in the pudding,” explained Offutt. “We’ve seen three to four years of successful projects in Platte City. For example, the completion of the civic center, the newly constructed public works facilities, the sewer treatment plant, Main Street renovations, our street and alley improvements, the establishment of the stormwater commission, as well as the recycling program.”
Offutt continued that the major projects and improvements in town won’t cease if elected to another term.
“If you like what you’ve seen, there’s more to come.”
According to Offutt, one way this is true is through the CIP (Capital Improvements Program) Plan, which was approved by voters in August of 1998. The project, which has seen the completion of three stages and is entering into its fourth, focuses on some needed changes in Platte City that were determined by the city, as well as by long-time residents of the community.
“You have to take ownership in your city and this mentality is what led us to develop the CIP Plan,” explained Offutt. “We worked closely with long-time residents of the community who helped put pieces together as to why things were done a certain way before and where we needed to go for the future.
“The CIP Plan is an overall benefit to the community. Not only as taxpayers did they invest their money back into their community, but the plan also encourages the economic development of Platte City in the future.”
With the implementation of the CIP Plan by the community and city, the plan will help prepare Platte City for the projected growth it will experience in the upcoming years. “I believe Platte City will see a significant growth over the next 20 years,” stated Offutt. “The people that will be moving in are going to make more of an impact than we can begin to predict now. If we don’t plan for that growth or for the costs and the impact it is going to make on our community, then the city will be behind when the development does take place.”
Along with the continued implementation of the CIP Plan Phases, Offutt would like to focus on the renewal of downtown.
“I would like to see Main Street become an economic and viable district,” explained Offutt.
According to Offutt, he also stated a main topic currently underway in the city will prove to be a long-term focus for the community.
“The implementation of the storm water commission will not only help us with current situations that pose the city, but will take a look at areas currently not annexed as Platte City, to shed some future views we may need to consider for future development,” stated Offutt.
Besides seeking a third-term as mayor, Offutt currently serves as district secretary for the Platte City Special Road District and has served on the road district since 1995. He has worked in Platte City since 1991, and is a Platte County R-3 High School graduate. He holds a bachelor of science degree from Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville.
According to Offutt, while there may be many traits that comprise an ideal mayor of a city, there is one that he believes has helped him lead the city over the past four years and will come through again in the next two years if elected.
“While I haven’t found any one trait that makes for an exemplary mayor, there is one consistent characteristic and that’s commitment.”
For current alderman Dave Brooks, his position as a candidate in the upcoming mayoral race is centered around the need to get back to an old philosophy that he says has seemed to diminish: Caring about people.
“I think I have a lot to offer the city,” stated Brooks. “My first concern is the people and how it affects the people. We need to keep them in mind when making decisions.” Brooks states that his goal as mayor will be, “to provide communication not intimidation to the residents of Platte City.”
He added: “If elected, we will have an open door policy at city hall. I see communication between the office and the public the key to a successful administration,” stated Brooks. Brooks, who currently serves as alderman of Ward 1, has had over 30 years of small town government experience. He currently serves as a member of the public safety committee, as well as the Platte City Area Development Association. According to Brooks, one of the key characteristics that makes him a successful candidate is his knowledge of finances and upper management experience.
“I see being mayor of a city the same as being an owner of a business. You have income, expenses and employees,” explained Brooks. “I’ve been an owner of a business and have been in senior management over the last 30-years and I know that outside experience will help in the mayoral position.”
The caring about people philosophy around which Brooks centers himself is expressed throughout his campaign agenda.
One of his first issues is the need to take care of the current businesses in the community. “Our city’s growing, in fact it’s one of the fastest growing counties in Missouri and in the country, but I believe in constructive growth,” explained Brooks. “We need to keep in mind the businesses that are already here in town and that have been here for several years.”
Brooks also stated that a main focus as mayor needs to be the support of families who use the ball fields in the community. According to Brooks, there are over 500 children that play over 200 games on the city’s ball fields.
“The city needs to work with the parks board to provide facilities for our families in the community,” stated Brooks. “There’s a need out there and we need to provide for that.” He said he also recognizes the importance of the completion of the Capital Improvement Program that is in progress, but recognizes one problem that he says seems to be following the projects.
“One concern of many citizens with the CIP Plan is that the property that has been worked on isn’t restored back to the way it was before the program was started. “If elected, my administration will concentrate on those concerns and try to eliminate the conditions in which the city has been known to leave property following repairs.” Brooks stated he also intends to keep the issue of a tax increase on the back burner as much as possible.
“I will always work very hard not to raise taxes, but at the same time there is no way the city, the mayor or the city administrator can guarantee that there won’t be a tax increase,” said Brooks.
Brooks, along with his wife Mary Ann, have resided in downtown Platte City for 24 years, and own two other properties within the community.