latte County commissioners Ron Schieber, Dagmar Wood and John Elliott have given federal CARES dollars in these amounts to:
*$226,540 to a cruise vacation company known as Cruise Holidays, owned by Mark and Mimi Comfort.
*$78,155 to an immigration law firm, Martinez Immigrant Law LLC, which is owned by the Comforts’ daughter, Andrea Comfort Martinez. So more than $300,000 has been awarded to members of the same family.
$44,386 to a tattoo removal firm, Undo Skincare, owned by Platte County Auditor Kevin Robinson.
*$0 to the Platte County Health Department, which is guiding the local public health fight during a global pandemic and dipping into its reserve fund in order to be able to offer free COVID-19 testing.
I guess in the year 2020 we are supposed to assume this is okay. This is embarrassing for Platte County.
Note: The next CARES grant giveaway session agenda for the county commissioners is scheduled to include a $20,167 grant award to the Southern Platte County Athletic Association (Northland Sports Alliance).
Stephanie Schieber, wife of presiding county commissioner Ron Schieber, is director of the Southern Platte County Athletic Association.
A complete list of businesses/groups seeking money from the county commissioners via federal CARES dollars can be found on pages A-6 and A-7 of this issue. Again, you’ll notice some interesting names and interesting dollar amounts, including some requests for as much as $1.5 million to $1.8 million.
The feds had the PPP, aka the Paycheck Protection Program.
Platte County’s program has picked up a nickname in the community. It’s being referred to as the CPP, aka the Crony Payment Plan.
Does anybody know if the FBI is busy these days? Just wondering if any federal agents have ever considered dropping in at the Platte County Administration Building for a cordial visit. Maybe stay long enough to play a game of connect the dots or something.
About a year ago, the FBI paid a visit to Parkville City Hall. The only reason we know this is that Parkville Mayor Nan Johnston briefly mentioned it in an internal email that has since been captured in a Sunshine request. More coming on this in a future episode of Love Notes From Nan at plattecountylandmark.com.
The Park Hill School District this week confirmed it had a number of COVID-19 cases during the summer, so we can stop pretending we didn’t know.
And a few of the folks connected with the school can now stop with the non-denial denials, which should be a stress reliever to them. The wordplay had to be getting exhausting.
But, hey, we politely played along with the ‘nothing to see here’ game from school officials, even when Park Hill parents were sending us photos of letters from the school telling them: “Today we found out that someone who was around your child might have COVID-19.”
And please, no more of the disingenuous “we can’t tell you due to medical privacy laws,” blah blah blah. It’s a smokescreen, so don’t let them blow that in your face. The public doesn’t want, need or expect names and social security numbers, but the public does deserve–and the schools can legally release–some basic information such as the numbers it finally released and can provide honest transparency about the presence of COVID-19 in the schools.
Anyway, somebody at Park Hill worked pretty hard to try to keep it all on the down low during summer school. I guess the logic being that if you don’t talk about it, maybe it didn’t really happen. Which makes as much sense as the Trump line: “If we didn’t test so much we would have fewer cases.”
Scott Monsees was probably pleased with the way the Park Hill cases stayed quiet for most of the summer, and is probably not as happy that the school has now revealed the numbers. Monsees, for those who may not know, is the Park Hill School Board member who during the course of a recent school board meeting described himself as “triggered” when the superintendent brought up the option of a hybrid school week (two days in person, two days virtual). Monsees since May has been making a very public personal campaign for in-person school. While I admire Trigger’s enthusiasm in his elected position and his passion for education, there comes a time when you have to measure risk vs. reward and accept the science as real. This is no time to go full Dagmar Wood. Everyone agrees with his premise, which is that face-to-face school is a better quality educational experience than virtual. But the health and safety of students and staff should always be priority one. If the virus numbers in the community are low enough to allow in-person classes, go for it. If not, hold your trigger.
Applying vocal pressure for in-person school is admirable unless the numbers blow up and the domino effect takes place among students and staff in school facilities. Then you’d have a messy situation on your hands. Nobody, and no school district, will want to be “that guy.”
It’s a tough time to be the parent of school-aged children right now. I don’t envy those of you who are dealing with the uncertainty. Hang in there. Fortunately, I feel confident Superintendent Dr. Jeanette Cowherd ‘gets it,’ so that’s where I would keep my ears tuned for quality guidance on this topic if I were a Park Hill parent. More Cowherd, less Monsees.
Regular readers know I don’t often come here to sing the praises of school superintendents. So feel free to highlight that last paragraph, cut it out and hang it on your fridge. Just a thought, not a requirement.
(Get less talk and more action from Foley on Landmark Live and at plattecountylandmark.com)