appy New Year! Starting Wednesday we’ll all have 2020 vision. Or something like that.
With all the changes in the retail world and so many people doing the online shopping thing, the fact that general sales tax revenue in Platte County grew by 1.6% in 2019 is actually kind of impressive.
It’s no secret there are a lot of empty retail storefronts now in the once thriving shopping district known as Zona Rosa near I-29 and Barry Road.
But I dine out often–more often than I should–and have noticed many of the restaurants in Zona seem to still be doing a brisk business. Admittedly it’s tough to get a truly accurate gauge with the naked eye but at first glance it appears dining destinations in Zona Rosa such as Outback Steakhouse, Abuelo’s Mexican Restaurant, Hereford House and Bravo Cucina Italiana seem to be doing a consistent level of business, in particular on weekend evenings.
Speaking of Outback, if you enjoy an occasional cocktail and rum is your thing, I highly recommend their Castaway Cocktail. Awesome.
They might sneak up on you so I also recommend stopping after one, especially if you’re driving. Safety first.
If you’re a local government junkie who likes to watch sausage being made, there’s a change coming soon in your sausage-making viewing schedule.
The schedule for the monthly subcommittee meetings is due to change beginning in February at the City of Platte City. DJ Gehrt, city administrator, says staff has requested that the public safety subcommittee move its meetings to Tuesdays at 5:30. “This schedule change would allow the parks and public works director to attend both the parks and public works subcommittee meetings on the same night of the week,” Gehrt says.
Public safety subcommittee has been meeting on Mondays. That will change in February, when public safety gets moved to Tuesdays. Public works subcommittee has been meeting on Tuesdays, but that will change to Mondays in February.
The schedule change results from the recent decision to combine the duties of the parks director and public works director into a single position. So here will be your new calendar beginning in February: First Monday of the month: public works subcommittee at 5:30 p.m.; parks and recreation committee at 6:30.
First Tuesday of the month: public safety subcommittee at 5:30 p.m.; planning and zoning commission at 7 p.m.
Speaking of change at the City of Platte City, as you see on our front page longtime mayor Frank Offutt says he will not seek another term of office in the April election. Through two different stretches of time he has served a total of 16 years in the mayor’s chair for Platte City.
Offutt’s knowledge of the workings of local government and knowledge of the city will be hard to replace. And I can tell you this with the utmost confidence: no one loves Platte City more than Frank Offutt and no one has more knowledge of the city’s history than Frank Offutt. We’ll have more time to get into some positive farewell words about the mayor in the next few months, so stay tuned for that.
First things first: who will be the next mayor? No one has yet filed for the office. Filing deadline is Jan. 21 at 5 p.m.
In the announcement he issued Friday a few hours after The Landmark had asked him about his future, Frank Offutt didn’t get into specific reasons for his decision to retire from elected office. I can tell you from casual conversations we’ve had that the mayor has been spending a considerable amount of time assisting his parents with some health-related needs in their golden years, and my speculation is that’s playing a role in his decision.
There are only so many hours in the day, after all.
Gamesmanship at Parkville?
At Parkville, a proposed ordinance to change the hours of operation for construction work was denied by the aldermen. Currently noise-making construction equipment cannot be used in quiet zones between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m. Monday through Friday and 8 p.m. to 10 a.m. on weekends. City staff proposed changing the starting hours to 8 a.m. on weekends. Mayor Nan Johnston suggested the construction noise requirements be waived for the Creekside development during its preliminary construction, due to what Nan apparently feels is its “remote” location on the far western side of Parkville.
The mayor’s idea doesn’t sit well with some folks living in that allegedly “remote” far western side of Parkville. And while Nan’s suggestion has not been approved as of yet, the worry is it will come back up in a proposal crafted slightly differently than the one recently voted down by aldermen.
Johnston’s idea is seen as a form of passive aggressive retaliation by Jason Maki of the Citizens For a Better Parkville. He points out the “far western side of Parkville” is where the majority of those opposed to the city’s recent actions in regard to Creekside reside. “There is nothing ‘remote’ about the population density and the families that would be impacted by her decision,” Maki says. “This isn’t the first time she has engaged in this type of retaliation through the use of her position as mayor, either.”
(The fun won’t stop in the new year. Follow Foley on Twitter @ivanfoley and follow Platte County Landmark on Facebook. Email firstname.lastname@example.org )