By now you know Quinton Lucas, 38, easily won his second term as mayor of Kansas City at last week’s municipal election in KC. Lucas pulled 80.6% of the vote in smoking Clay Chastain.
In the Platte County portion of the vote, Lucas had 70% to 30% for Chastain, with 2,854 votes for Lucas to 1,231 for Chastain. Voter turnout for Kansas City voters who reside in Platte County was 13.48%.
That favorable percentage in Platte County for Lucas is much better than the number he received in his first mayoral election back in 2019. In the 2019 race, which Lucas won citywide 58-42% over Jolie Justus, councilwoman, Justus received 54% and Lucas grabbed just 46% in Platte County.
Nice little gain in Platte County for Lucas, from 46% to 70%. Of course I say that while recognizing Justus in 2019 was a more formidable opponent than Chastain was this year.
By the way, Kansas City mayors are term limited out after two four-year terms, so that’s Q’s last mayoral election.
More Kansas City election stuff: In the race for the 4th District (which includes Platte County) councilman at-large position, Crispin Rea defeated Justin Short, 57% to 43%. In the Platte County portion of the vote, Short was the preferred choice, getting 64% in Platte compared to 36% for Rea. If you saw Short’s campaign pictures the face may have looked familiar to you. That’s because he looks just like a younger version of his father, who is Michael Short, former Platte County commissioner.
An employee of a company digging holes for the light poles that will serve the parking areas around the new City Hall in Platte City suffered a traumatic leg injury last Thursday morning around 10:25. City officials say the man’s pant leg got caught in an auger and rotated the bottom part of his left leg a few inches above his ankle. He was transported by ambulance to a hospital. Marji Gehr, city administrator, says doctors were able to put pins in the man’s leg and he is now recuperating at home. Gehr was at the scene of the incident. “He was super calm, not in hysterics.”
Gotta share some updated Landmark audience numbers with you, this time about our Facebook page. First let me say based on the Facebook numbers that are coming in for June, I will be very anxious to share our plattecountylandmark.com website numbers from Google analytics when our June totals are made available to us in a couple of weeks.
On Saturday mid-day I posted our photo of the Whataburger restaurant on Ambassador Drive, the first one to open in Platte County. It is owned by the group that includes Chiefs star quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The Saturday posting announced that the restaurant would be opening on Monday with drive-through service only. According to Facebook’s analytics (and if you have a business page on Facebook you’re familiar with the analytics feature), the audience response has been phenomenal. As of this writing, our post about the Mahomes’ Whataburger on Ambassador has attracted an audience of 473,383 people to Platte County Landmark on Facebook. As a point of reference, Platte County’s population is 108,000.
Our previous high audience for a Facebook post was 120,000 people. We’re at four times the previous record, and it’s still rising a few days after the post.
Anybody make it to the Whataburger on Ambassador yet? I’m curious to know what the drive-through line was like on Monday.
This is the final week with the City of Platte City for DJ Gehrt, retiring city administrator. He will be missed. I can’t work it all into this stanza so over the next week or two I’ll list some stories and personal memories of Gehrt’s time with Platte City. His positive impact will be felt for a long time.
The man had a knack for making what is a difficult job look easy. He is knowledgeable in so many areas–I’m guessing he would consider public works projects his top skill but he was instrumental in every area of the operation–and his expertise was a major advantage for the city the past 12 years. Some of his more notable infrastructure project accomplishments are detailed in Debbie Topi’s story on our front page, but what needs to be emphasized is his common sense approach to local government. That’s not easy to find among government administrators and elected officials these days, who have a tendency to over-complicate the process.
More than anything Gehrt gained the trust of the citizenry and had an open and honest approach with the press and the public that restored a friendly and comfortable working relationship with other entities and with the community. I’ll miss the detailed press packets he would compile, where I could go to get any and all information I needed to help keep Landmark readers informed on a variety of topics. His willingness to answer questions that I would email to him at all hours of the day and night, weekdays, holidays, weekends, when he was just out of shoulder surgery. . .didn’t matter, I always got an answer in a timely fashion that I could pass along to the public he served.
I’ll miss his sense of humor and the off-the-wall conversations we would have when he dropped by our office. The guy can speak intelligently about any topic that comes up. It’s quite impressive when you think about it. Gehrt and I are the same age which probably accounts for why we laugh at a lot of the same things, whether it be lines from old movies like Blazing Saddles or TV shows like Columbo, or our running inside joke about Subaru drivers.
With longtime mayor Frank Offutt hanging it up a few years ago and now longtime city administrator DJ Gehrt walking away, the City of Platte City has had a lot of knowledge walk out the door recently. The cupboard isn’t bare, however, as fortunately very capable and common sense type folks are in place and ready and willing to fill their shoes, which is another compliment to the skills that both Offutt and Gehrt brought to the table.
(You can find Foley recalling scenes from Blazing Saddles and the detective skills of Columbo. Interrupt him with an email to email@example.com)