I’m guessing that I’ve penned somewhere in the neighborhood of 900 opinion columns the last 18 years in the pages of The Citizen.
I’ve commented on just about everything under the sun: presidents, senators, governors, mayors, police chiefs, county commissioners, superintendents, principals, teachers and students, preachers, thieves, drunk drivers, firemen, cops, paramedics, garbage men, cooks, waitresses, bartenders, construction workers, bus drivers, grocery store clerks, bank tellers, football, basketball, baseball, soccer (rarely), hockey (rarer still), golf, golf courses, golf balls, golf clubs, steaks, wings, fried chicken, ice cream, beer, wine, my friends, my family, my employees, our readers, planes, trains, automobiles, natural disasters, the weather, the sun, the moon, the stars... you probably get the picture.
So, one would think it would be easy settling on a column topic each week, right?
Sometimes an opinion or observation leaps out of my mind and onto this page with 1,000 words to back it up.
Sometimes, my opinions are less clear, less substantive and eligible for just a paragraph or two.
Sometimes I have a few column topics that I should lend my two cents worth to, but I just don’t feel like it.
I mean, I could talk again about HB 253, the GOP state legislature-led, knee-jerk reaction to the wacky goings-on in Kansas that I — and, just last week, in the form of a guest column, Platte County R-3 School District Superintendent Dr. Mike Reik — have written about before. This legislation — basically an income tax decrease experiment that could result in a $700 million decrease in state revenues and ensuing cuts to the states’ already under-funded public education system — seems awful risky for what some experts say will initially result in an average of a $5 annual tax cut for many middle class families.
I could talk about that some more, but I’m already tired of it — I tire quickly of ideas lacking common sense.
I could talk about an audit of the Central Platte Fire Department, which one Board member was adamant about doing even though the Fire District was not required to do it and has its finances managed by a CPA. While official results have not yet been made public, I’m hearing that the audit — a complete, top-to-bottom inspection of everything, rather than a much cheaper procedural audit — hasn’t really revealed any major issues. I’m also hearing that 75 percent of the bill is due — $17,000 — with the rest coming soon.
I could talk about that apparent waste of taxpayer dollars, but — nah, see the previous paragraph about tiring quickly of non-sensical matters.
So, what I think I will talk about — briefly, anyway — is a fascinating interview I had Monday with Platte County judges Lee Hull and Abe Shafer.
As you may recall from a recent Citizen report, the two longtime judges are set to retire due to state law that says they must leave the bench when they turn 70 years old. Shafer reached the milestone July 18, while Hull hits the big 7-0 Sept. 1.
These men have a combined 80-plus years in the Platte County legal community, so you can just imagine the stories they have to tell.
For the better part of two hours, I heard plenty during my interview with the two judges.
And you are going to hear some of it, too, when we publish a feature on these particular men in black (robes) in next week’s issue.
You don’t want to miss that and you also don’t want to miss our annual Fall Sports Outlook. It’s the only publication anywhere with complete previews, team pics and schedules for all Platte County, West and North Platte, Park Hill and PH South fall sports teams.
Thanks for reading.
Lee Stubbs is owner/publisher of The Citizen. He may be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 858-5154. Follow him on Twitter @leejstubbs.