Platte City’s mayoral race between Tony Paolillo and David Sharp, accurately described here last week as two very capable candidates, was decided by only three votes on Tuesday with Paolillo coming out on top. Pretty amazing. The importance of taking the time to cast your vote is emphasized once again.
It was a day of close shaves in Platte City.
There was also an extremely close result on Platte City’s use tax proposal, which passed by only four votes. Two elections within the same jurisdiction on the same day decided by a grand total of seven votes. Wild.
Happy to say the JCPenney store at Tiffany Springs is back open after the pandemic restrictions have eased. I know this because I was getting in need of some new shoes, so ventured out that way on Sunday.
Also happy to say that this particular JCP store was doing quite well on Sunday. Relatively brisk traffic in and out of the store. Stalled traffic at the checkout line, if you know what I’m saying.
We all know JCPenney has filed for bankruptcy/reorganization so let’s hope the Tiffany Springs store survives amidst the company’s restructuring. Granted, Sunday afternoon is just a small snapshot in time but the bustling retail activity was a good sight to see nonetheless.
By the way, I ended up not getting shoes that day at JCP. Found the style I wanted but not in my size. So I’ll be back. Did end up getting a handful of summertime shirts though, so I did do a little sumpin sumpin to help spur the local economy, if ever so slightly.
Speaking of shopping, which is far from my favorite thing to do, the Sally’s Beauty Supply at Tiffany Springs and the Sally’s Beauty Supply near the intersection of North Oak and Barry are both out of a fine hair product known as Beyond the Zone, a retro vinyl paste, made only by Sally’s.
Don’t ask me how I know.
If you read nothing else on this page you need to read the letter to the editor from Rob Willard, Platte County Treasurer.
Willard wisely emphasizes the need for transparency in the handling of the $12 million Platte County has received in federal funding for COVID-19 relief efforts.
Distribution of this money–and the process used in doing so–has the potential to be a great thing. But it also has the potential to become a steaming pile of confusion, waste, abuse and cronyism.
As Willard points out: “The vaccine to immunize the public from government malfeasance is transparency.”
A couple of complaints about Tuesday voting incidents related to COVID-19. This one came in from Nancy Stifter:
“Riverside polling did not require masks or shields be worn by polling workers. I’ve contacted BOE (Platte County Board of Elections) by phone and email. Parkville staff was masked. Jackson County as seen on the news was masked. Costco is more concerned about my health than local government? Come November this needs to be addressed. What’s up with this? Of six people, there were only two who wore masks. Website says PPE was provided for all workers. They chose not to wear it.”
The second one came in from Lorene Osterhaus, who lives in southern Platte County, and was voting at the Heartland Church of Christ off of Prairie View Road south of 64th Street. She says Dagmar Wood, first district county commissioner who will be on the ballot in August, was handing out literature outside the polling site and was not respecting social distancing measures in the process. Osterhaus said as she and her husband were walking in to vote, she noticed a woman later identified as Wood talking in the face of another voter “less than three feet apart.” Osterhaus says later Wood closely approached her husband “to hand him a paper item,” then tried to approach Mrs. Osterhaus, who resisted.
“I know people have their own views on masks. But she shouldn’t be passing stuff out. And don’t approach me without a mask when I don’t know who she is,” Osterhaus said, her emotions shaken by the incident. “We have a lot of (health concerns) and we don’t need that.”
The allegation is not shocking in the least, given that Wood has spent the last couple of months downplaying any COVID-19 concerns, including not counting Kansas City residents of Platte County while talking about number of confirmed cases in the county, posting and giving credence to conspiracy theories and internet memes, and giving tacit approval to violating health orders in her social media postings.
It’s one thing to have your own lower level concerns about COVID. It’s another not to respect the concerns others in your presence might have. In particular when the lack of respect comes from an elected official.
So I guess what we’re saying is 2020 continues to be a bizarre year. And we’ve only talked about things at the local level.
Hang in there, everyone.
(Hang in there with Foley on Twitter @ivanfoley, catch him on Landmark Live or at plattecountlandmark.com. Email firstname.lastname@example.org)