’m still about a week away from my first professional haircut since February. Not that I’m counting down the days or anything.
Sure, there’s been some occasional trimming with a pair of scissors at home but somehow that’s not the same thing.
I’ve been on a march to a mullet. It all ends next week.
There’s a lengthy story on our front page about the health department’s ‘reopening’ plan for Platte County. The health department and its director came under fire during what turned into a nearly three-hour roasting by friends of the county commissioners during last week’s Platte County Commission meeting, even though the health department is governed by an elected board of trustees and therefore does not fall under the umbrella of the county commission.
I know some readers prefer to have a lengthy story summarized for them with important notes. Trust me, I get that and fully understand. So here is a quick summary with notable notes and quotes from the front page story, which is a report on the most recent meeting of the Platte County COVID-19 Advisory Group. Some of these comments shoot holes in much of the criticism coming from the three county commissioners and friends.
“Platte County’s plan is very similar to Missouri’s plan. If we didn’t have a plan we would fall back to Missouri’s plan and still have the same restrictions in place. So if people are upset, remind them of that, please.”—Dan Luebbert, deputy director of the health department.
This is an important reminder. I don’t recall hearing the three Republican county commissioners being openly critical of the reopening plan of the Republican Gov. Mike Parson.
“We have done everything we can to work with our county commission. I appreciate all their work very much throughout all of this. I’ve answered numerous texts, phone calls and emails from them, day and night, and I don’t mind that at all. I placed several of you on this council at the request of the commissioners.“–Mary Jo Vernon, director of the Platte County Health Department.
Vernon’s point about putting several members on the advisory council “at the request of the commissioners” makes a comment last week by Ron Schieber, presiding commissioner, even sillier than it sounded at the time. Remember, Schieber said the commission’s recent failed attempt to take power away from the health department was because the commission “wants a seat at the table” when it comes to reopening the county. As pointed out here last week, the commission already had a seat at the table, with commissioner Dagmar Wood on the advisory panel. Now we learn in addition to Wood the commission actually has several other “seats at the table.” Further proof that it wasn’t the lack of a seat at the table the commission was upset about. Commissioners are/were upset that, under Missouri law, the health department has the power here, not the commissioners.
“Mary Jo had communicated directly with our ministerial alliance here in Platte City about specific plans and how it relates to churches. As I understand it, mass gatherings are no longer off limits and churches have the same capacity limits that retail businesses have been offered.”—Pastor Rusty Savage, First Baptist Church of Platte City, who is also the chaplain for the Platte County Sheriff’s Department. This comment, by a pastor no less, seems to shoot down a criticism being pushed by some folks that churches in Platte County are being singled out or unduly restricted.
“Until we can be safeguarding our folks, none of us that I’m aware of wants to be known as the church that was a hot spot that got somebody killed.”—Pastor Rusty Savage, dropping another truth bomb.
“The response that I’ve gotten from Mary Jo and the health department has not been in any way that ‘hey, we’re trying to keep you from doing your constitutional rights.’ It has simply been that ‘we are trying to help you protect your folks.’ And that’s what we are all trying to do.”—Pastor Rusty Savage.
“When I look at people making the decisions, it seems like the people who are asking people to shut down get paid no matter what. There are health consequences, negative consequences to people being shut up in their houses and being impoverished.”—Dagmar Wood.
In the interest of fairness, I dropped in the above quote from a county commissioner who gets paid no matter what. Wood’s dramatic interpretations, embracing of conspiracy theories and tacit approval of non-compliance with health orders during the pandemic has been, um, interesting to watch. Be sure to take screenshots of her Facebook page in case some of those internet memes and other ‘interesting’ posts she has been making magically disappear.
“Everyone across the nation is looking at that. There are consequences of opening up too soon. These are not game pieces on a board. These are lives.“–Mary Jo Vernon, county health director, in response to Wood.
We’re excited to officially announce our new web site, which you will want to check out immediately, if not sooner, at plattecountylandmark.com.
It’s modern, dynamic, powerful and already off to a fast start. We launched it very quietly, without fanfare or advance public notice, on May 1 and the number of hits it is already receiving is impressive. Even with just the soft launch, it is on pace for 50,000 visitors in the month of May. If you’re a business owner ready to get your name in front of so many engaged folks, shoot me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The site is fully integrated with Facebook and will simulcast any all live videos we generate, including the live broadcasts of Landmark Live directly at plattecountylandmark.com.
Oh, and be sure to try out the ‘dark mode’ feature on the site. Very cool. And easy on the eyes.
(Anxiously awaiting those Love Notes from Nan? Update coming next week. In the meantime, explore your way around the new plattecountylandmark.com)