isten, with COVID-19 and stay at home orders having dominated our spring, I know it’s going to be easy for folks not to realize there’s a municipal election next Tuesday. So I’m here to tell you there’s a municipal election next Tuesday.
The polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. You can read about some of the highlights on the ballot in this week’s Landmark, including a preview of the race for Platte City mayor and the story of a Parkville doctor taking legal steps to try to declare as a write-in for one of the Parkville alderman positions. Beyond that, head to the legal notices in Section B of this issue of your Landmark for other ballot listings in your jurisdiction.
Remember that time several years ago when the week prior to a Platte City election I didn’t talk about the upcoming city election in my column, then a nice lady in Platte City called to rip me a new one after she forgot to vote? Because it was totally my fault she forgot to vote.
It was a world class fanny chewing. Epic, in fact. It was like a Mayor Nan meltdown before Mayor Nan meltdowns became a thing.
By the way, the series known as Love Notes From Nan is now alive and well on our new website. The first posting is up. More soon to come. They’ll stay archived on the web, which is another advantage to placing them there instead of in the printed newspaper.
Find them at this link: plattecountylandmark.com/love-notes-from-nan
As veteran mayor Frank Offutt prepares to sail off into the elected office sunset, Platte City is fortunate in that it has two quality candidates for mayor. Tony Paolillo, president of the board of aldermen, and Dave Sharp, businessman who is active in the community as president of the local chamber of commerce, will be on the ballot.
The city will be in capable hands either way. That’s not an avoidance of giving you an “endorsement,” that’s simply a fact. Both are level-headed. Both have experience at City Hall, Paolillo as an alderman for a decade and Sharp as an appointed member of various city boards. Most importantly, both seem to be supporters of DJ Gehrt, current city administrator, who has been a major asset to the city for the past nine years or so.
I was working here when Platte City hired its first-ever city administrator in the 80s. I’ve seen them all. Some respectable. Some not totally terrible. Some natural disasters.
Obviously we don’t agree on every issue, but Gehrt has been the best one yet. And that’s another reason for Platte City residents not to panic over Offutt’s decision to retire. Good mayoral candidates and a good city administrator in place should, and I emphasize should, make for a smooth transition.
On Tuesday, voters in the City of Dearborn will decide whether to allow up to six chickens per household.
I’d love to talk about this more but my KFC cravings are real, you guys.
My political position is that I’m a fan of all chickens. Smart chickens, dumb-as-dirt chickens, free range chickens, uptight chickens. . . I play no favorites.
Not sure I’d want my neighbor with a half dozen of them running around his yard, but still. Long live chickens. At least till supper time.
By the way, the Platte County Board of Elections doesn’t want voters to let COVID-19 fears keep you from heading to the polls on Tuesday. The election board says voter check-in stations and voting booths will be at least six feet apart. There will be painter’s tape marking cues on the floor indicating and encouraging six foot distancing. Poll workers are being encouraged to wear face masks and clear plastic face shields for poll workers are being provided. Hand sanitizer for everybody, etc., etc.
Platte County commissioners this week hired the Todd Graves law firm of Graves Garrett to offer them legal advice on ‘constitutional and statutory powers’ of the commission at a rate of $375 per hour.
Longtime readers of this column know that I’ve always been, and continue to be, a huge fan of Todd Graves, former prosecutor for Platte County who went on to be U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri. So I hate to risk taking $375 per hour out of Todd’s pocket, but I will say I think I could have offered some constitutional and statutory powers-related advice to the commissioners for less. Notice I didn’t say legal advice. I said advice.
The Between the Lines advice to commissioners:
1. Don’t try to reinvent the constitution.
2. Everybody stay in your lane. The county commission is the county commission. The county commission is not the health board. The county commission is not the library board.
3. Using Fox News talking points is allowed, but not mandated, by the constitution.
4. It’s ok to occasionally step out of your echo chamber.
5. The general public you serve is just as smart as you. Not less.
(Find Ivan Foley fighting off chicken cravings or offering low-cost advice at 252 Main St. in downtown Platte City. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or find him on Landmark Live at plattecountylandmark.com)