ight folks have applied to become associate circuit judge in Platte County. The chosen one will fill the spot vacated when Judge Ann Hansbrough was recently named to circuit judge, leaving her associate judgeship to be filled by a process that will include three names submitted by the Sixth Circuit Judicial Commission to Gov. Mike Parson. The governor will then have 60 days to appoint one of the three nominees to the associate circuit judge post.
One of the eight applying is Joe Vanover, who was just elected second district county commissioner in November and sworn in effective Jan. 1. If Vanover is named to the judge position, he’ll resign his county commission seat. The open county commission spot would then be filled by another appointment from Gov. Parson.
Color me a little bit apprehensive about this. Why? Thanks for asking. You’ll recall Vanover wasn’t my first choice for second district commissioner, but still, to this point he has been level headed, seems like the kind of guy who embraces actual medical science over Facebook doctors, and thus far has been kind of a good balance–though still outnumbered–against the often extreme and sometimes ridiculous viewpoints espoused by the other two commissioners.
It’s early, and at this point it’s anyone’s guess who will be named to the judge position. If it’s Vanover and Vanover’s spot on the county commission then comes open, here’s hoping the governor does not resort to searching the extreme corner of the Republican party to find a replacement. And by extreme I mean the corner of the party where conspiracy theories–such as the virus was just a political tool designed to harm Trump, face coverings cause brain damage, and the presidential election was stolen from Trump–are embraced and promoted.
It’s too late to throw my name in the hat, but I feel like I’ve sat in on enough hearings and watched enough episodes of Judge Judy and Night Court to give that judgeship a whirl if my country needs me. I like to wear black but I don’t think I look that great in a robe, so the position would have its pros and cons. If the robe is really long and court hearings are virtual I might be able to work without pants. Maybe take Casual Fridays to a whole new level.
Anyway, just trying to help. You guys know how to reach me. You’re welcome, America.
If you’re wondering why I may lack confidence in Parson’s judgment, look no further than his handling of the virus and of the vaccine rollout. Still too many doses of the vaccine are going to sparsely populated rural areas of the state and not enough to the metro areas of Kansas City and St. Louis. I mean, when we see and read about mass vaccination events long ago being held in lightly populated places like Andrew County, yet Platte County up until this week has not been able to get anywhere near enough doses to even host what is by comparison a scaled down “mass vaccination” event, there’s cause to raise questions about decision-making and leadership.
On Monday, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas posted this: “I spoke this afternoon with Gov. Parson and mayors of Missouri’s largest cities. We shared the need for more vaccination opportunities in our large cities and increased cooperation with our hospitals in sharing/increasing opportunities for all. I appreciate his time. We have much to do.”
Still not convinced Parson’s approach to the vaccine distribution has been sub-optimal?
On Monday, a Jefferson City television station reported Putnam County in north Central Missouri had 1,488 extra doses after its mass vaccination event over the weekend, and had to throw away another 143 doses because more vaccine was drawn than what was needed.
I Googled it. Putnam County’s population 4,846.
My gawd. The population centers around the state’s major metro areas can’t get nearly enough vaccine while Hooterville, Petticoat Junction and Green Acres are throwing it in the trash.
Not that there’s anything wrong with Hooterville. Uncle Joe and Sam Drucker were fine upstanding citizens. Seems like Hooterville would have been a great place to live if you’re into a ‘don’t tread on me’ lifestyle. Swimming in the water tower and such. Some pretty relaxed public health rules in Hooterville, apparently. Our county commissioners would have loved it there.
We’d need to run this by Susan Phillips or Dagmar Wood but I’m guessing the Hooterville Health Department wasn’t controlled by Big Pharma.
So who was your fave Petticoat Junction sister: Billie Jo, Bobbie Jo or Betty Jo? At the time my crush was Billie Jo, but in retrospect she seems the most likely to have ended up storming the Capitol. Bobbie Jo seemed like she would have been great fun for a weekend at the beach but probably wasn’t gonna be much help in a game of Scrabble. Betty Jo seemed the most down-to-earth and reasonable, maybe the best choice if long term commitment was your goal.
Feel free to take the quiz. There’s no right or wrong answer and you don’t have to show your work.
(You can find Ivan Foley watching Petticoat Junction reruns and dreaming of swimming in the Hooterville water tower. Email firstname.lastname@example.org)