The order proposed by the county commission Monday brings on budding bureaucracy, poor policy and dangerous precedent.
Coronavirus will come and go, but there will be future viruses far more deadly, reticent, and close to home. In a world where that type of virus is possible, our health officials need to have the ability to make broad sweeping changes to our way of life. And I’m sorry to the commissioners, but if an outbreak occurs here in Platte County of a newly mutated disease with zero visible symptoms and a near 100% death rate, I will say it again, “our health officials need to have the ability to make broad sweeping changes to our way of life.”
Not only did I grow up in Platte County, but I have four grandparents in Platte County. I want to be able to hug them again, but I will only do so when I know a vaccine that works is in place. Until then, I want to do everything I can to ensure their safety because they are not sacrifices or the price of freedom. They are not cost-benefits in an analysis of underlying utilitarian assumptions. They are human beings that mean the world to me. I’m asking you, council, do you value the citizens of Platte County — not their livelihood or their economic value, their human value?
This isn’t like banking, commissioners. You can’t do back door deals that health officials had no clue about in order to consolidate power.
To be a little more frank, when it comes to public health, why are three experienced bankers trying to be a part of the decision making process? Why are they trying to overstep an already clearly defined role and impose increased bureaucracy?
Why are they trying to pass off the budget cost as zero dollars without estimating the cost of reviewing each order. A 15 minute review of the order by each of the three commissioners is $23 dollars mind you. Not to mention the budgetary effects of sales tax revenue dropping more drastically for longer because of a surge of coronavirus outbreak. A surge of coronavirus outbreak, which the commissioner wants to underestimate and under fund. A surge of coronavirus outbreak, which the commission does not want to test because the numbers would be staggering.
I hate using slippery slope arguments, but if we let commissioners, by their own volition, create these orders to expand their power over a domain that is not designated to them by the bylaws of this state, to where will they expand next?
But more than money, more than power, we are talking about the health of Platte County and whether or not commissioners care about people. It’s obvious by writing this order they are on the side of the loud, rule-breaking, freedom to kill people’s grandparents if they want to side-of-things. It’s abhorrent.
It’s amoral, and not only do I think that this order should not be put in place, I believe it should have consequences. Ron Schieber, Dagmar Wood, and John Elliot are siding with the deaths of 100 or more Platte County citizens this year. Come November, Dan Mason and David Park should be in the seats of Wood and Elliot, keeping Schieber in his place until we unseat him in 2022.
When our lives become politics, the politics has gone too far.
–Brody Smith, Kansas City, Platte County