he most lame quote of the local political season? It was a swampish doozie unleashed by Joe Vanover, Republican candidate for second district county commissioner in Platte County.
By the way, Vanover is a super nice guy. But if elected, he just won’t have the motivation or the tummy to challenge the two other commissioners he would be serving with. There will be no diversity of thought, no fresh ideas, no one pushing for public input and greater transparency and wiser spending decisions.
Go ahead, cut out this column and tuck it in a drawer. We can gladly revisit it in a couple years. I’m right on this, and my hard core Republican friends who will only vote for an “R”, you know I’m right on this. You’re just afraid to admit it. You’ll vote for Vanover anyway because he’s a super good dude and has an “R” after his name. But I’ll remind you of this column when you get buyer’s remorse, because with Joe in office you’re going to get more of the same ol’ same ol’ cronyism of the past few years. The fact that the current commissioners are financially supporting Vanover’s campaign tells you all you need to know.
Don’t feel bad, we all get some of them wrong. Yours truly included. Heck, there was a time in 2016 when I sung the praises of Dagmar Wood and wrote that she would be good on the county commission. My gawd, did I miss that one. Makes me want to walk around with a “kick me” sticker on my backside.
Back to the most lame quote of the political season. Vanover was asked about the county commission’s controversial CARES grant allocation, which county commissioners are charged with distributing:
“I’m not going to criticize how they’ve done it. Any time the federal government is giving away free money we should take what we can get and it’s easy for there to be controversy,” Vanover told our reporter.
Good grief. You know what else is easy? A candidate who lacks a spine. Or an elected official with no desire to do the right thing.
And, unfortunately, you know what else is easy? Finding a public servant who thinks it’s okay to waste government money as long as he/she is the one wasting it.
Going back to my point about diversity in thought. Having a set of officeholders who all think alike is a dangerous thing. We’re seeing that now on the Platte County Commission. We’re seeing that now at the City of Parkville. One thing I’ve learned in covering local politics for 38 years is that public boards are better when there are elected officials with differing backgrounds and different viewpoints chiming in with opinions. A little intellectual conflict among board members is not a bad thing. It keeps everyone on his/her toes and the result is a better ‘product’ for the general public.
If you want diversity in thought, the willingness to seek public input, the courage to speak up in disagreement, a desire to do the right thing not necessarily the easiest thing, David Park is the better county commission candidate in the second district race. As a member of the general public, Park for at least two years has attended nearly every county commission meeting. He is an educated professional and is well versed on the issues facing the county. He can provide the diversity in thought the current county commission sorely lacks.
If you need more info on Park, his web site is www.park4platte.com
(You can find Ivan Foley ignoring morning traffic reports and elevator music. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org)