I was going to write about the MyArts program, but two items have occurred since my last article that I would like to address.

I was going to write about the MyArts program, but two items have occurred since my last article that I would like to address.

The first item deals with a recent vote regarding funding for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Due to our current budgetary constraints, I have indicated that I will continue voting against any non-county functions. We have laid employees off, cut department budgets, and made cuts to outside agencies that provide needed services and programs to our residents. It passed 5 to 3 with one absent. Yet, we continue funding events that do not even fall under county services.

Additionally, one of my colleagues indicated that the funding goes to Harvesters. There is nothing on the request for proposal that states the money does in fact go to Harvesters. Instead, the RFP states that the money goes to the Kansas City Police Department for security along the parade route. If that’s the case, then why doesn’t the county use our own law enforcement agency? I can’t imagine the Sheriff’s Department not wanting additional money due to the cuts they’ve already received.

The second item deals with candidates filing for office. On Tuesday, I officially filed for re-election. Over the past three years, folks have shared with me their frustration with the shenanigans of county government, especially with the candidate filing process.  

In the past, candidates would camp out all night on the steps or in their cars; sneak into the building after hours and camp out in an office or their own office if they are the incumbent; or be escorted through security early in the morning before official filing hours started by county staff or politicos. On Monday at our legislative meeting an announcement was made that a new procedure would kick in at the close of business.

Starting at 5 p.m., a sheriff’s deputy would be located at the west entrance to take the names of candidates filing for office. The list would determine the order of filing for Tuesday morning. No 24-hour notice was given to the public. Plenty of time was not given for everyone to know how the process would work so questions could be asked or concerns raised. 

A few years back, I filed a bill that would have changed this entire debacle. It would have moved us to a lottery system similar to what they use at the state level. A large percentage of states, counties, and municipalities utilize the lottery system for first-day filers in order to present a fair process and level playing field. It was defeated in a 7-2 vote. The shenanigans known as county government continue.