Memorial Day weekend is traditionally seen by most folks as the unofficial start of summer. So here we are, summer, let’s roll.
Save the date. I don’t know if you realize it, but this year Independence Day is on July 4th. And after being a huge hit with the public last year in its first year, there will be another city-sponsored July 4th celebration held on July 4th, believe it or not, in downtown Platte City. The downtown activities will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Main Street.
And in a moment of weakness or lack of paying full attention, I did already say “yes” to the question of whether I would agree to go on the plank inside the dunk tank this year. So there’s that. Your thoughts and prayers appreciated. Unless I find a way to get out of it.
Save this date, too. Platte City’s July 4th fireworks display will be held on, ironically enough, July 4th. The fireworks display will be headquartered at the Platte County R-3 campus, city officials say.
I will not agree to be shot out of a rocket, no matter how many times they ask.
I’m not going to get into this too deep just yet–as I’m hoping patience and a reasonable approach will eventually prevail (call me an optimist)–but your county officials are talking about the possibility of a new jail proposal once again. Yes, we just went through this three years ago and the public wanted no part of it. My sense of public opinion at this time is a majority of the public still wants no part of it. But let’s not jump to conclusions. I’m patiently waiting to see what exactly it is the county folks will be proposing this time around before deciding whether to poke holes in the logic. If it’s a repeat of the 2019 logic, poking holes won’t be hard.
Thanks to livestreamed meetings, I’ve listened in on some of the early conversations among county officials on the discussion of jail population and so forth. This much jumps out at me: Ron Schieber, presiding county commissioner, is much more active in asking difficult, logical, common sense questions and is more active in seeking solutions other than proposing a new jail facility than he was three years ago. All good citizens want law and order, that goes without saying. Backing the blue is always admirable, but you can back the blue while still asking necessary questions and demanding accountability. A county commissioner who doesn’t do it, in fact, is not carrying out his/her duties for the taxpayers who elected them. Failure to ask the tough questions and failure to demand accountability about blue proposals doesn’t do anyone any favors and can lead to credibility problems. Schieber seems to have a grasp on that this time around. I’m impressed.
I don’t know what prompted the change in his approach but I like it. Good for him. Keep up the critical thinking and probing questions, and keep questioning the answers you’re given if something seems “off,” Ron Schieber.
Again, I’m not sure why he didn’t do this in 2019. Maybe he felt some peer pressure from the other two commissioners. But better late than never. Let’s see how it impacts any new jail proposal the county puts forth.
While I’m handing out compliments, let me say Dagmar Wood, first district commissioner, seems slightly less hopped up on the goofball about jail stuff than she did three years ago when she was pushing the idea of a huge state prison-sized county jail in downtown Platte City and wanting the sheriff to lock up folks with outstanding traffic tickets.
Maybe she was humbled slightly by the August 2020 election in which she won a closer than expected re-election over an opponent who didn’t even campaign.
Anyway, I’m happy to see Dagmar’s recent more measured attitude on law enforcement topics, but I’m not overly confident it will continue. I have more confidence in the sustainability of Schieber’s new-found approach.
Okay, forget the part about Dagmar perhaps being more measured. I just finished watching Tuesday’s commission discussion on law enforcement and at around the 2:04 mark Dagmar let fly with this doozy:
“We have Jackson County prosecutors not prosecuting. They’re prosecuting law enforcement in Jackson County, they’re not prosecuting criminals.”
Insert a face palm for the over-the-top hyperbole. Hopped up on the goofball once again.
Here’s how a recent Kansas City Star article began:
“Kansas City may be a long way from selecting its next police chief, but several potential candidates with strong ties to the community offer an array of diverse backgrounds and law enforcement experiences. Many of them are seeking to raise their public profiles by popping up at various public meetings, neighborhood park cleanups and food giveaways.”
The Star article then mentioned four or five potential candidates, some who are currently working inside the department and others from outside the current police force. It’s important to realize these names are just being speculated about by the Star. To my knowledge, none of the so-called potential candidates have yet publicly said: “I want to be the next police chief.”
Anyway, if you’re interested in Kansas City police issues–and if you’re not, you really should be, since half of Platte County’s population is comprised of residents of Kansas City–I suggest you read the names the Star is discussing. Find the story online at kansascity.com/news/local/article261644512.html
I briefly mentioned last week I have had a few interactions with one of the potential candidates discussed in the article. The interaction wasn’t personal, and by that I mean it wasn’t a case of an officer pulling me over in a traffic stop or anything of that nature–but instead my interactions with this person were of a media member talking to a police department official. Things didn’t go well, in particular in our first go-round, though the atmosphere got a little better in our later conversations.
Anyway, I don’t want to muddy up the waters too soon since there is no indication the person has made any public overtures at being interested in the police chief job. So I will resist telling the story unless/until the “potential” candidate mentioned by the Star becomes an actual candidate for the job. If/when that happens, I’ll share the story.
(Hit the target at the dunk tank on July 4 and hit Foley’s email at email@example.com)