You’re likely wanting some thoughts on the Parkville Ethics Commission finding Mayor Nan Johnston guilty of eight violations of the city ethics code. Three of those violations involved Nan trying to take some kind of ill-advised actions against The Landmark, but I’m not here to spike the football. Heck, the newspaper had no role in the filing of the ethics complaint. Didn’t need to, because we have always handled Nan’s immaturity the same way we’ve handled similar area elected officials: by continuing to report the facts, giving honest commentary, and having some fun along the way.
So no, we’re not doing a touchdown dance today because we actually started dancing a long time ago when Nan’s quick temper, teenaged antics, lack of self-control and shady ways of doing business first became the gift that keeps on giving. Selfishly, I wouldn’t mind if Nan remained mayor of Parkville forever. Elected officials like her make my job very easy.
Unselfishly, it’s good for the City of Parkville that Nan’s reign of terror will soon be coming to an end. Her term ends next month. A criminal investigation is ongoing, so she should then want to focus on staying out of jail instead of trying to exact some kind of political revenge upon those she views as not being on her side.
“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win–and Parkville gets better government.”
You might think that’s a quote from Gandhi but I’m going to attribute it to Jason Maki.
Mayor Nan was found guilty of the eight ethical violations last Wednesday night, March 2. On Thursday, March 3, the Parkville Chamber of Commerce sent out an email that included a reminder that “our speaker, Mayor Nan Johnston, will be giving a State of the City address at our meeting on March 8.” Notice had also been sent by the city that video of Nan’s State of the City address would later be posted to the city’s website.
But then on March 8 came this post on the city’s website: “On March 8, 2022, Acting President of the Board Marc Sportsman presented the 3rd Annual State of the City address. The event was hosted by the Parkville Area Chamber of Commerce in-person at the Platte County Community Center South YMCA.”
There was no explanation posted by the city as to why Sportsman showed up to give the address instead of Nan, so draw your own conclusions.
It may have taken awhile, but even some of Nan’s neighbors are catching on. This message hit The Landmark’s inbox from a Parkville resident in Nan’s neighborhood: “She seriously doesn’t get that when you are elected to public office you represent everyone, not just those who agree with you and/or voted for you. She represents everything wrong with politics today. So many of my Riss Lake neighbors buy into her garbage, even people I otherwise respect.”
College hoops, man. Ya gotta love it.
One of the highlights in the early week action of March Madness came Monday night when Chattanooga knocked off Furman for the right to advance to the NCAA Tournament. It came in the Southern Conference final played in Asheville, NC, a game in which Chattanooga drained a 45-ft three-pointer at the buzzer to defeat Furman. It had the rest of the house wondering what I was yelling about. I had no emotional investment in the game but was low-key rooting for Chattanooga because they have an interesting player on their roster. Remember Silvio De Sousa? He was a once-troubled member of the Kansas basketball team for Bill Self but could really never get any substantial time on the court due to eligibility issues that had him in limbo for most of his tenure at Kansas. And then when he did get eligible there was an ugly brawl at the end of a KU-KState game in which De Sousa picked up a chair as if he was going to strike someone with it, only to have the chair grabbed by a KU assistant coach just in time.
Anyway, it will be interesting to watch De Sousa in the NCAA Tournament to see how he does against high-level competition. Against Furman in the Southern Conference title game, De Sousa filled the stat sheet with 17 points, 14 rebounds and zero thrown chairs.
The Platte County Commission this week approved an agreement with Gordon Cook of Cook Consulting Company of Parkville under which Cook will provide “general financial consultation” to the commission. Among the financial topics the commission will be consulting with Cook on will be the county’s current 3/8th cent sales tax for roads. The tax is set to expire in 2023. After initially putting out vibes months ago that it was not all that interested in renewing the tax or even putting a proposal on the ballot, commissioners seem to be opening their minds to the idea that maybe roads will still, at the very minimum, need some maintenance in the coming years. Who knew?
Ron Schieber, presiding county commissioner, isn’t ready to say he’s prepared to put any tax proposal on the ballot this year. “No decision on my part has been made yet,” Schieber said at Monday’s commission meeting. “I want good roads, good bridges and safe roads. But I don’t want to put a 3/8th cent tax on the ballot simply because that’s what we currently have,” he said. Schieber said the commission “will continue to gather public input. I assume we’ll have more opportunities for people to give feedback.” At one point in the meeting Schieber had noted that any change in the sales tax amount would affect the amount of use tax the county receives. So an analysis needs to be done on any proposed change in the 3/8th cent amount. “We don’t want to make a decision that (negatively) impacts funding on law enforcement or any of our county offices,” Schieber said.
Dagmar Wood, first district commissioner, indicated that another factor in the county’s analysis of the road tax issue will be the distribution method used to pass funds along to cities and road districts, etc. “It may not be done the same way we’ve done it the past 10 years,” she said.
The county will pay Cook a retainer of $4,000 and then fees will be billed on an hourly basis at a rate of $280 per hour.
(Breaking news: Roads will always, eventually, need maintenance. Get more public service tips from Foley by emailing email@example.com)