Platte City planning for 9 downtown events

Platte City is hoping to draw more people to downtown this year with nine planned events between June and November.  At the Public Safety Subcommittee meeting Monday evening, City Administrator DJ Gehrt presented the plan, noting it could have potential public safety impact as police presence would be required at the events. “We’re trying to have a larger number of small events,” Gehrt said. “With nine events that’s a pretty full downtown schedule this year at a still relatively low cost.” The tentative dates and events are concert and movie nights on the Courthouse lawn, June 14, July 12, Aug. 9 with a new September movie and concert night possible; a new street event sponsored by the Pool Hall on June 21; National Night Out Against Crime on Aug. 5; Ladies Night Out on Sept. 25; a new event sponsored by local attorney Scott Campbell on Oct. 3; and the annual holiday lighting ceremony on Nov. 26. Mayor Frank Offutt suggested the committee also keep in mind the Missouri Photo Workshop may be held in Platte City in September. The week-long photojournalism workshop sponsored by the University of Missouri is investigating Platte City as a host of the annual contest. The contest would bring a group of college photographers to the area to document the community. Committee chair Ron Porter asked Gehrt how much the City spent to hire, train and outfit a police officer, as recently the City seemed to have problems retaining them. Several officers stayed for only short terms over the last few years and Porter said he wanted to know why. Gehrt said while it was a personnel matter, the City had conducted exit interviews with the officers who had left and would be addressing the concerns. However, he noted the employees were not displeased with salary, benefits, management or city policy. He said young officers want more opportunity than a small town can offer and most would not stay more than about three years. Other internal issues, he said, would be addressed with the personnel committee.