‘m old enough to remember when there was a three minute time limit enforced on public speakers at county commission meetings.
Will there or will there not be a lot of interest in the small business grant program the Platte County Commission is putting together with the $12 million in federal CARES money it is in receipt of through the state treasurer’s office? Time will tell.
It’s important to note the commission order says the grants are “to reimburse the costs of business interruption caused by required closures.” A “cost of business interruption” is certainly subject to interpretation. The inherent risk is that an interpretation could eventually turn out to be more specific by some federal or state government officer down the line. Just think about how many times the rules surrounding the PPP loans have changed in the past few months.
Certainly if you’re going to pursue one of these grants through the county, the best advice might be to proceed with caution and understand all the details–which are still in rough draft mode–before you get rolling. Public discussion among the county commissioners on Monday indicated the grant application will include the words “grant fund expenditures are subject to an audit at a future date.”
The word “audit” is typically not something to be taken lightly. That audit could be by the county, by the state, or presumably the feds as well.
Obviously things could go swimmingly. Or things could get messy.
You are not crazy if you have confidentiality concerns in handing over your business financial information and personal financial information to a local government entity. At a meeting with the Platte County Commission on Monday afternoon, Platte County Auditor Kevin Robinson shared some notable thoughts on that: “In this process, thinking out loud, if I were a business owner and you started asking for stuff and I didn’t understand how you are protecting my personal interests, I’d tell you to take a hike. How badly do I need $50,000?”
Robinson continued that if he were a business owner who needed it badly “maybe I’d be willing to risk my financial information going out, maybe I wouldn’t.” He continued: “From a lender’s perspective, you provide them (such as a bank) with everything. When I’ve done that I’m not worried about a bank disclosing my personal information because it’s not a government entity,” and there would be no worry about the information being “Sunshinable.”
Politico, which for those who may not know is an American political journalism company based in Arlington County, Va., that covers politics and policy in the United States and internationally, reported this week that new polling shows public opinion on race relations and police misconduct has shifted dramatically since the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, with Americans significantly more likely to say they believe systemic racism exists and side with the wave of protesters who have stormed the streets to demonstrate against police brutality.
Politico says the new polling shows six in 10 white Americans now say racism is “a big problem” in society, which is described as “an enormous increase” compared to five years ago. And more than 67 percent of white Americans say Floyd’s killing reflects broader problems within law enforcement in the United States.
In the interest of fairness, I accepted and am printing the letter to the editor at right from Susan Phillips of southern Platte County, even though her letter misrepresents a couple of things from the blurb here last week that related concerns an older couple in the at-risk category for COVID had expressed about Dagmar Wood, county commissioner, getting too close for comfort with some voters outside a polling precinct during last week’s municipal election. 1. The woman never claimed Wood–whom this person did not know at the time–was doing improper electioneering. Her complaint was about Wood’s alleged lack of respect for social distancing for other humans–in particular seniors–in her presence. The woman’s comment about “shouldn’t be passing stuff out” had nothing to do with the content but rather the woman’s concerns about Wood’s act of going up to strangers in the at-risk age category and “passing stuff out” during a pandemic. 2. As noted in the piece last week the woman did, in fact, “resist” when Wood approached.
For a little contextual background, Phillips is a former state representative who has openly been cheering on many of Wood’s social media postings of COVID-19 conspiracy theories, her internet memes and her tacit approval of violating health orders.
A little more contextual background. At a May 4 three-hour scathing roast of the health department and its director enthusiastically hosted by Wood and the other two county commissioners, Phillips made a comment–without explanation or even anecdotal evidence–that the Platte County Health Department is being “controlled by Big Pharma.”
Hey, I get it, conspiracy theories can occasionally be entertaining and thought provoking. But let’s not lose our minds.
Not yet, anyway. We’ll always have time for that later. I think.
(Go ahead and lose your mind on Twitter where you can find Foley @ivanfoley or on the internet at plattecountylandmark.com. Email firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com> )