feel like the world needs a break from Nan Johnston drama at Parkville. It’s like trying to find a chaos-free day in the life of Donald Trump. This is hard for me folks but I’m going to show some restraint and not go too far down the Nan road this week. It’s hard to pass up the opportunity to shoot fish in a barrel but I’m gonna do it. For the most part.
I could write an entire column playfully shooting holes in a written statement Nan gave to KMBC Channel 9 News. Her written statement provided “through a friend” accompanied another playing of the very interesting dash cam audio/video of Nan’s arrest for DWI. You can watch Channel 9’s report here: http://www.kmbc.com/article/kmbc-9-investigates-parkville-mayor-police-chief-respond-to-mayors-dwi-arrest-video/34417026
Watch the video and then read Nan’s statement, which is in the article on Channel 9’s web site. Does her written defense match up to what you see and hear taking place in the video? Let me save you some time: No. No, it does not. I’m not sure what reality Nan is living in but maybe the rest of us could visit sometime.
I’m not sure who Nan’s attorney is but my guess is he wishes Nan would not speak. Or give written statements that don’t match the video. Or send “I don’t give a shit what you think” emails to constituents. Or make lack of remorse comments such as “Had I known I was a .09 I would never have driven.” (Actually she blew a .11 at the traffic stop but Nan seldom let’s facts get in the way of her “nothing to see here” explanations).
Nan must be counting on her circle of friends at Riss Lake to only read her statement and not watch the video. Kinda like a “I’ll read the book but not watch the movie” sort of thing.
Anyway, we’ll shoot fish in a barrel some other week. In the meantime, please handle Mike’s Hard Lemonade with care.
Speaking of never a dull moment, let’s get back to the Platte County Commission’s embarrassing handling of that $12.2 million in CARES money. A local doctor apparently has seen enough and he showed up at the commission meeting Monday to politely blow off some steam.
Kudos for the public involvement. This always seems to tighten the sphincters of the commissioners. They prefer to only circulate among a tight circle of folks who think the same way they do. If there’s one thing we’ve learned about these commissioners it’s that they’re not big on hearing opposing points of view. That’s why you don’t see any open public forums when they have a proposal to make.
They’ll appoint committees of cronies, or gladly host a pep rally with anti-science friends to roast the health department, however.
How unpopular is the current set of county commissioners? Consider this: incumbent first district commissioner Dagmar Wood was on the ballot in August for the Republican primary. Yes, she won. But she won by a margin of only 52%-48%. Against a virtually unknown candidate who did zero campaigning other than a couple of Facebook videos and a couple straightforward newspaper ads.
Wood won with 2203 votes. Dan Mason had 1997 votes. Here’s the fun part: Wood spent $19,591 to get her 2203 votes. That means she spent more than $8.89 per vote. Mason spent only $3,141, which means he spent only $1.58 per vote.
The days when a person could spend only $3,000 and win a contested county commission race in Platte County are over. Or so we thought. Mason darn near pulled it off.
“I really did not think I had a chance until the Aug. 4 election day when I met a lot of people that came by and said they were voting for me,” Mason told me.
Mason’s strong showing came in spite of his getting virtually zero help from the Republican establishment in Platte County.
“What gets me is the Platte County Republican Central Committee–not one person donated to my campaign. I look at the people that donated to Dagmar’s campaign and some of those folks are asking for a donation from me for November. . not so much,” Mason told me.
“I had a few close friends helping me on my campaign and they did a great job. I wish I had called 20 more people and wish people could have met me early in the election. I could and should have done a few more things and maybe the outcome would have been different,” Mason said.
County commissioners have shown no respect for public health actions, yet now the commissioners find themselves tasked with handling an apparent mold problem in the Platte County Courthouse, a situation which seem to be causing all kinds of health challenges among prosecutor’s office employees.
What could go wrong?
One day last week, a skillful young printer from the Crossroads District of Kansas City who has an old-style approach to modern day print jobs visited The Landmark office. I had befriended Ben Jones a few years ago after seeing some of his printing-related posts on social media, and he visited our office in August of 2017. At that time, he was fascinated by the huge Babcock press in our back office, spent a day or two cleaning it and was ready to fire it up before I got cold feet and pulled the plug on the project. Anyway, his visit last week was like an episode of American Pickers–he found things he liked among our historic equipment and we entered into off-the-cuff negotiations. A couple hours later we bumped elbows–you know, because COVID–to consummate a deal on a couple small job presses, a perforation machine and an old metal cabinet that holds handset type.
In about a month he’ll be back, we’ll load the old presses onto a trailer and they’ll ride off into the sunset. Or the Crossroads.
Anyway, if you’re an old time Landmark patron and want to say goodbye to a couple of the presses on which Roland Giffee spent hours upon hours practicing his craft way back in the day, you should drop in soon. They’re the two presses taking up space immediately behind the chair in which your publisher sits.
(You can find Ivan Foley watching movies at Riss Lake or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org)