By Raymond Salva Jr.
candidate for Jackson County
Legislature, 1st District at-large
Having a moment to reflect on the editorial by Theresa Garza Ruiz entitled “Shenanigans continue in Jackson County,” I wish to identify some peculiarities with her claims.
Ms. Garza Ruiz’s assertion that budgetary constraints have influenced her decision to vote against appropriating funds for Kansas City’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade is interesting. The funds were assigned to this function in the current county budget, a budget for which Ms. Garza Ruiz voted favorably. She voted against a resolution to present $5,000 to the parade committee because as she stated, “the money goes to the Kansas City Police Department for security along the parade route.” Technically, the money goes to the general fund of the committee – a nonprofit entity that donates all of their proceeds to Harvesters. If the parade is relieved of the burden of having to pay for security, won’t they be able to give more to Harvesters? It is flawed reasoning to suggest that if the county withholds the funds, the additional expenses would just go away!
She also complains that the public was not given 24 hours notice to participate in the line position sign-up at the courthouse Monday. She said in an interview with The Kansas City Star that “they” should have given more notice so that more people would have a chance to participate. Does she not realize that the “they” she mentions includes her? As the incumbent 1st District At-Large legislator, she was at the meeting when this change in protocol was discussed. She made no comments in the meeting concerning filing times, did not give notice of the change to anyone, and without delay ran downstairs to be first in line! She didn’t quite make it. I was there, warm weather gear and thermos of coffee in hand, ready to tough it out in the cold to be first on the ballot.
I discovered the line sign up by accident and was lucky to be in the first position. I wonder if Ms. Garza Ruiz would have been as vehement in her criticism of this system had I arrived an hour later. Undoubtedly, she would have been able to exploit the insider information to which she was privileged in that meeting.
Should the system be improved? Perhaps.
My point is that in both cases, Ms. Garza Ruiz acted or voted one way then ran to the media to complain about the injustices that she says occur in the Legislature. We need brave citizens to step up and make sound decisions in our government. More importantly, they must act and vote in a consistent manner so that the good people of Jackson County know what they are getting from one issue to another.