efore we get started, I’d like to make a motion that the world do away with the saying: “It is what it is.” Those five words add nothing to any conversation. So I suggest we change it to: “It ain’t what it ain’t.” Five words which also add nothing to any conversation but might cause you to pause and say ‘wut?’
Break off into discussion groups. I’ll wait.
It was a fond farewell indeed last Thursday evening at the spacious lobby of Wells Bank in Platte City for longtime Mayor Frank Offutt, who became former mayor in June.
Friends, colleagues and community partners saluted the former mayor, who served a total of 16 years in the big chair. Offutt gave one of his patented detailed talks on city government and local history, weaving the two interchangeably. I thought the most spot-on observation of the evening came from State Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer as he was presenting a state-approved resolution honoring Offutt. Luetkemeyer pointed out that Frank Offutt “always makes the person he is talking to feel like the most important person in the room.” That, my friends, is an insightful observation by Luetkemeyer about an outstanding leadership trait that Offutt has displayed for many years.
Our best wishes to the now-retired-from-elective-office Frank Offutt. His presence will be missed around City Hall in Platte City.
More from the City of Platte City: Condolences to friends and family of Jim Palmer, a former member of the Platte City Board of Aldermen, who died over the weekend at the age of 88. He took his role as alderman very seriously and very rarely, if ever, missed a meeting. If he liked you, you knew it. If he didn’t like you, you knew it. If he liked you but was temporarily upset with you, you knew it. I experienced all of those emotions from him at various times over the years.
Jim Palmer often operated without a filter. I kind of enjoyed the suspense of not knowing whether what he was about to say in public was going to make me cringe or make me smile. He certainly will be remembered as a non-conformist.
Long after his days as an alderman, he would occasionally pop in The Landmark office for a visit. One of our last talks was about two years ago in March when he brought in one of those “Pick a Perfect Bracket and Win a Million Bucks” NCAA tournament forms. He said he knew nothing about college basketball but asked me to fill it out for him. “I’ll split the winnings with ya, bother,” he said as he watched me complete the bracket and write his name on the entry form. “You say that now but I bet you don’t,” I told him, fully aware we weren’t going to have to worry about having that discussion. A couple of times in recent years I bumped into him at a local drug store and he would still get an ornery look as we exchanged good-natured verbal jabs.
A lot of us called him Colonel. I only knew we did that because he was an auctioneer. So today I asked Google, why do we sometimes refer to auctioneers as Colonel? And Google told me this: “The tradition of calling an auctioneer ‘Colonel’ can be traced to the Civil War. After a bloody battle, the winning side would scour the battlefield and collect all the equipment and personal belongings of the vanquished. Now all auctioneers have the honorary title of Colonel.”
RIP, Colonel Palmer.
With her successful 52-48% re-election victory on Tuesday, first district county commissioner Dagmar Wood receives four more years to put her apparent medical training, in-depth scientific knowledge of global pandemics and Fox News talking points to work for the people of Platte County. #blessed.
On Friday, July 24 the Platte County commissioners approved a CARES grant for Comfort Cruises DBA Cruise Holidays, owned by Mark and Mimi Comfort, in the amount of $226,540. According to his Facebook page and according to multiple sources who were blowing up my phone, five days later Mark Comfort was in Cancun, posting pictures and videos from what some would call a paradise. Yes, Cancun. Best-known for its white sand beaches, near-perfect weather, and bright blue waters. Ouch.
Sure, much of the public knows Cruise Holidays sells vacation packages, and it’s possible the trip to Cancun might have been a comp courtesy of some resort. But still. Posting photos and videos from a trip to Cancun just a few days after being approved for $226,000 in free public money courtesy of the county commissioners is not going over well with some members of the general public. From a political perspective for the county commissioners, it is what is known as “bad optics.”
Meanwhile, county commissioners have continued to be unwilling to pass any of the CARES money on to the local health department, which says it is in need of funding in order to continue to offer free COVID testing.
A few days after the county commission approved the $226,000 grant for Cruise Holidays, a warehousing and distribution firm in the county submitted a grant application seeking $1.5 million through the county giveaway program.
Is this real life? Or are we living in some type of awkward Hollywood movie? Please discuss.
(Discuss real life or Hollywood movies with Foley via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @ivanfoley)