rankly, I’m a little stunned Landmark Live earned zero awards at the Golden Globes Sunday night. We gotta do better.
Will the county commission be placing a jail tax issue on the ballot in April? Ron Schieber, presiding commissioner, says “we don’t know yet,” which might be code for “we know but we’re trying to be coy about it.”
I don’t know whether they will or they won’t, but by two weeks before the ballot deadline one would think the commissioners would have made a decision and be confident about publicly expressing its intentions. If the commission isn’t confident in its decision why should voters be confident?
Placing a tax question on an April ballot would break one of their main campaign promises, but I guess you could say that train has already left the station anyway.
Schieber did say the county commission has not engaged in any further talks with Kansas City or any other agency about renting out bed space in a potential new county jail. “I’d rather not do that. I would like to find a way to do what is constitutionally required, nothing more and nothing less. Part of that has to be getting rid of the ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) prisoners,” Schieber said.
There are on average 18 ICE prisoners per day in the Platte County Jail. Schieber said by getting rid of the ICE prisoners, the county would buy nearly two more years of projected jail population growth, as a recent study projects a growth rate of 10 prisoners per year. But if the ICE deal goes away the county seems to want a dedicated law enforcement sales tax to help make up the loss of income from the ICE bed rentals.
Schieber is a little less guarded when talking about the future of the county parks tax. I asked him when he anticipates a vote on a renewal of the county park tax.“It’s not up until 2020. I don’t see us putting it on a ballot until 2020,” he said. And commissioners have openly indicated the proposal they intend to submit to voters will feature a proposed park tax lower than the current half cent.
“There will be an extension (submitted to voters),” John Elliott, second district commissioner, said during Monday’s session, pointing out that the county has invested about $140 million into a park system that now needs to be maintained. But Elliott reiterated that the extension will not ask for a half cent. Early indications have been that the commissioners favor proposing to voters a park tax as low as 1/8th cent.
So far, four candidates have filed for two open spots on the Platte County R-3 School Board. Here’s hoping the four who have signed up are able to resist any external–or internal–pressure to bow out. School district administrators in the past have shown they favor holding no school board elections, and have been known to gently “encourage” some candidates to drop out of the race after filing. They apparently use the premise it would save the district money not to have to hold a board election.
Why not let voters, not the administration, choose the school board? If more than two candidates remain in the race an election on April 2 is necessary. It will be interesting to see if anyone mysteriously steps aside this year, which is what happened a year ago.
If you’ve been following the Parkville development story, you’ll want to check out the site that has links to many communications to/from the city about the plan. Consider it a deep dive on a quest for open government.
Find ‘Transparency’ at: http://transparency.abetterparkville.com
If you caught our pre-season football special broadcast live and in color from Tanner’s Bar and Grill in Platte City in early September, you know each of your humble Landmark Live hosts and special guest Jay Binkley of 610 Sports made Super Bowl champion predictions. I must not so humbly say I am the only one who still has his predicted champion alive. My preseason pick was the Saints will be the Super Bowl champs. Our man Chris Kamler predicted the Packers, who did not make the playoffs. Co-host Brad Carl and Binkley both went with the Vikings, who did not make the playoffs.
On the other side of the coin, my prediction on the Chiefs was not very accurate. I tabbed the Chiefs at 8-8. As you know, Kansas City ended the regular season with a record of 12-4 and the number one seed in the AFC.
Earth-shattering announcement. There will be no Landmark Bracket Battle this year, ladies and gents. I’ve made an executive decision based on a desire to save my sanity in the month of March.
The grading of those hundreds of brackets each year has forced my late nights into early mornings for the final time. I love the tournament and the competition but this guy is too old to be staying up half the night marking x’s on your missed picks and updating the standings of my fellow bracketologists. I’ll actually be able to enjoy watching the games this year without the dread of long nights spent grading brackets occupying the back of my mind.
It’s been well over 20 years, kids, since we kicked off this contest, which at first featured about 12 or 15 of us who worked on or near Platte City’s Main Street. The free-to-enter bragging rights battle eventually grew into monster-like status, like a professional athlete on steroids.
Anyway, I’m choosing to make this announcement in January mainly because I’m figuring if I put it in writing I won’t be tempted to change my mind when the adrenaline of March Madness starts flowing in the spring.
While I’m 100 percent certain there will be no more “send me your bracket” contests in which I must personally grade every entry, there is still an outside chance we will host a free-to-enter Landmark contest online where a computerized gizmo can do the scoring. While the online version would eliminate the personal interaction between us–which was the goal and the most awesome part about our annual battle–it would still give us a little sense of competition. If we do form an online contest we’ll let you know in print and on our social media platforms in March.
(Get more from Foley on Twitter @ivanfoley. You can also find him on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube, or email firstname.lastname@example.org)