ot sure why but I watched a couple of those Hallmark Christmas movies over the weekend. I can’t get over the cheesiness. So much cheese I’m now lactose intolerant.
It’s true the movies have cute and cuddly (notice I didn’t say realistic) storylines and all, so I totally understand how some folks–particularly the sentimental types in the crowd–get hooked on these. But wow. You’ll find better acting on Landmark Live–and we’re not even acting.
And the camera work. It’s like they’re filmed with an old iPhone. Or a homemade drone. Or a toaster.
All that being said, I do admire the low-budget efficiency of those Christmas flicks. Not a lot of frills and whatnot.
Any revenue being produced is straight profit, I’m guessing.
David Park, unsuccessful in his run as the Democrat candidate for second district county commissioner, is continuing to follow happenings with the county commission. That can be a full time job, so those of us at The Landmark appreciate the help. There’s an update from Park on his Facebook page talking about the county commission’s train wreck known as the distribution of federal CARES dollars.
If you’re short on time, here’s my CliffsNotes version of what Park wrote: The county commission’s handling of CARES money continues to be a clown show.
Here is Park’s full report:
“On Nov. 2, the Platte County Commissioners announced they will begin considering requests from local governmental units for funds from the $12,250,000 in federal CARES grant that was given to the county in April. Although Congress intended for these funds to be given to those local units of government, our commissioners are just now getting around to doing it.
“It may be too late.
“Consider the timeline involved while considering the requirement that costs must be incurred by the end of December. The local units of government (cities, health departments, school districts, etc.) must complete and submit an application requesting funds by Nov. 30. It is likely that the boards or councils of the local unit of government will have to meet to approve the application being submitted. County staff will then review the submitted applications and the commission must approve the funding request at a commission meeting. That may leave two to three weeks for the local units of government to spend the amount awarded.
“The local units of government could request funds for reimbursement of costs already incurred on pandemic related activities. But, for the last six months, it was not clear if they would have access to any of these funds, how much they may receive, or when they may receive the funds. In fact, the commission initially indicated they were going to give all the funds to businesses. They opened it up to local units of government only after it became clear there would be millions unspent.
“The uncertainty about funding likely resulted in local units of government not taking action to address COVID-19, thereby increasing the risk to our health. For example, the Platte County Health Department could have increased testing and contract tracing during this time if they knew the costs would be reimbursed.
“Also, the commissioners could have created a program using the funds to assist Platte County residents who are facing eviction because of being unemployed or furloughed due to the required shutdowns. Helping a tenant with rent also indirectly helps the landlord. And there is a negative impact on a community when the number of mortgage foreclosures increases. Remember what happened to property values about 10 years ago when foreclosures increased?
“Up until this point, the commission has only been awarding grant funds to businesses whether or not those businesses suffered losses due to the required shutdown or reduced capacity requirements. These awards to businesses total $2.8 million so far (Park’s message was written Nov. 8), leaving a balance of over $9 million in grant funds.
“I seriously doubt the remaining $9 million can be spent by the end of December and we could lose the funds. So, the funds intended to reimburse for costs incurred in Platte County could end up being given to other counties because of the inept manner our commissioners handled the situation.”
Kudos to the Platte County Health Department Board of Trustees for their decision to match Kansas City and Clay County with updated COVID guidelines. With the level of community spread of the virus now in all parts of the county, it is the responsible thing to do. Maybe the decision shows that the health department this time is determined not to be intimidated by outside forces such as the Platte County commissioners, deniers, and conspiracy theorists (but I repeat myself).
It was disappointing that a couple trustees–specifically Cathy Hill and Kent Jackson–said they are reluctant to make the move and say they feel the order “has some major issues.” You’re the health department board of trustees. Your only priority needs to be public health. Doing the right thing. Not worrying about your re-election chances. Not economics. Not playing to both sides of the issue. Not trying to appease county commissioners who have dabbled in denial about the pandemic. Not kissing up to the county commissioners just because they’re holding the purse strings to CARES money over your head in an embarrassingly control-freakish move.
A health trustee’s position at this time should be to believe that if an error is to be made, it is to error on the side of caution, not to error on the side of political pressure from the fringe.
(Maybe you can find Ivan Foley watching Hallmark Christmas movies. Or maybe not. But you can always email him at firstname.lastname@example.org)