It’s disappointing to learn that Clay and Platte counties are not getting the representation on the board of the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) that the counties are legally entitled to, and even more disappointing to know we gave Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas the opportunity to explain his reasoning for ignoring the recommended panel of appointees from the two counties but he did not respond.
Not a good look for the mayor as his city heads into a sales tax renewal question for the bus system funding at the Nov. 7 election.
Kudos to the Platte County Commission for shutting down the circuit court judges’ talk of moving the courthouse out of Downtown Platte City and building a wild dream of a complex somewhere else. That was beyond ridiculous. County commissioners were more patient with that silliness than most of us would have been.
He led the charge to force Evergy to make improvements to electrical service reliability within Platte City. Then he led the fight to shut down talk of moving the courthouse out of Downtown Platte City.
Am I talking about the mayor of Platte City? One would think so. But no, no I am not. Crickets from Platte City’s mayor on both of those topics. The public official who has done more for Platte City this year than anyone associated with the city is Joe Vanover, second district county commissioner.
Platte City’s mayor should sign over his salary for 2023 to Vanover. The man has earned it.
The mayor did play flag football at the July 4th celebration, so if that’s important to you then you probably feel like the mayor has had a bang-up year.
Hope you’re paying attention to those advertising flyers that get tucked inside your Landmark. We’ve had some great offers from well known advertisers in recent weeks and it only gets better from here.This week you’ll find all kinds of great offers from Wendy’s on an insert inside the edition you’re holding in your very steady hands right now.
Next week, get ready for an early start on the Black Friday madness that comes later in the month of madness. Kohl’s will be a Black Friday early access flyer tucked inside the Nov. 1 edition of your Landmark, so ladies (and gents) get ready to earn and spend that Kohl’s Cash. I’ve seen the flyer and it’s packed with great offers and great savings off regular prices. Then in the Nov. 8 edition of The Landmark you can start planning your holiday meal around a great offer detailed on a flyer inserted from Honeybaked Ham. Honeybaked will have a savings offer you can use in store or buy online. There is a Honeybaked Ham retail location (called Honeybaked Cafe) in Platte County at 6005 NW Barry Rd, Kansas City, Mo. 64154. Then during the week of Thanksgiving and Black Friday, tucked inside your Landmark will be a large 28-page flyer from Bass Pro Shops.
So holiday shoppers, please plan accordingly. And thanks for reading Platte County’s favorite newspaper.
The idea of using the office of Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd in the role of legal counselor for the Platte County Commission and other offices did not work out as hoped after Bob Shaw’s retirement just a few short weeks ago, and that approach has already hit the scrap heap. I’d picked up some buzz about this on the street and Joe Vanover, second district commissioner, confirmed it when I called him Tuesday afternoon. “County commissioners were informed recently that using the county prosecutor as counselor was not going as well as we had hoped,” Vanover acknowledged. Asked why it wasn’t going well, Vanover said: “I think the transition to go from full time criminal prosecutor to civil lawyer was just not working out.” Vanover said Zahnd had contacted him recently to let him know it wasn’t working as hoped. Zahnd confirms this.
“My office is full of excellent prosecutors–people who decided to be prosecutors because they wanted to practice criminal law and obtain justice for victims, not practice civil law. I underestimated how hard it would be for a great prosecutor to transition into becoming a civil lawyer. It’s a bit like asking a world-class brain surgeon to perform a heart surgery. It quickly became apparent to me that it would be extremely difficult for my office to give the county the first-class civil legal advice it needs, so I encouraged the commission to look elsewhere. Having an outside county counselor has worked for Platte County for decades, and I am convinced it’s the right way to go,” Zahnd told me.
Vanover said commissioners have already performed three sets of interviews: attorneys James Thomas and his associate Micah Moore; law partners Rob Redman and Kelly Tobin; and Stephen Magers, who does legal work for the county assessor’s office. Vanover indicated commissioners hope to have the new county counselor named within a week or two.
You’ll want to give the front page story headlined ‘new courthouse off the table’ a good read. Allow yourself some time because there is a lot to absorb. Courtroom sizes are an interesting topic within the story. It’s clear the Platte County Circuit Court judges seem hyper-focused (some might say obsessed) and perhaps overly emotional about wanting some seriously enlarged facilities. I’m not sure the taxpayers who would be paying the bill would have been nearly as excited about a huge and fancy new courthouse as the judges are. Remember, architects and engineers have indicated to the county there’s enough space inside the current courthouse to serve the next generation of attorneys, judges and litigants. I think a ballot question seeking to build a new courthouse would have been spanked by voters, so perhaps the county commission saved the judges from suffering a humbling outcome, who knows.
Remember how we heard for at least 10 years about how the local circuit court was so slammed with cases, really needing another judge? I mean this isn’t something we heard just in the last couple of years, this is something we first heard was being said privately in 2012 and 2013, and I first heard a judge publicly say it in 2014. Turns out the county’s roster of judges wasn’t nearly as understaffed as it was being painted to be, at least not according to a report from the Missouri Circuit Courts Judicial Needs Assessment Model. That model shows this year Platte County was only underserved by .6 of a judge position. Not even a full judge. Now with the sixth judge being recently added, Platte County is presumably overstaffed by .4 of a judge, according to that needs assessment criteria, which is determined by the state circuit court budget committee.
The latest report came out earlier this year. I’d like to see how the model had Platte County rated when we first started hearing how allegedly slammed the system was 10-11 years ago. I mean if Platte County was only underserved by .6 as of this year, it would be reasonable to assume the state circuit court budget committee 10 years ago showed the county was overstaffed with judges. Interesting. That’s probably why it was a decade later before the state agreed to fund another judge for Platte County. Could mean it’ll be another decade before the state feels it needs to fund another associate circuit court judge spot in Platte.
(Wondering if the term “pulling a Hansbrough” will become local vernacular when anyone is asking for way more than needed. Email firstname.lastname@example.org)