This political season and news of the world are making me feel pretty lucky to be living in Platte County.
The negative campaign ads make life seem like one disaster hit last week and another is due in tomorrow. I guess I could turn away, but I cannot.
I might be turned off by the negativity, but yet, I’m fascinated by how society reacts or ignores politics that reflect our culture, or at least pertains to do so.
Throw in troubles and suffering around the world that fills the news, it’s easy to get the blues. However, let us tally up a few ways we should feel lucky.
Clean water flows out of our faucets. Hard-working people in water plants make the water drinkable; water service employees keep it flowing.
We take home tap water and public drinking fountains for granted. That’s not the case in many parts of the world.
Granted, the natural systems that produce our water are dependent on us taking better care of this world than what we’ve done in the past. But thankfully, we’re going to keep having good water in Platte County no matter who wins elections.
We generally have good law enforcement officers.
Many crimes do get solved. Crime is incredibly painful when you’re a victim. Even close calls can leave fears and scars.
But I’m very gratified to read accounts in this newspaper of criminals getting caught and prosecuted. The Missouri State Highway Patrol is extremely professional, and our highway system prompts them to have a strong presence in our community.
Our Platte County Sheriff’s Department deputies are trained to deal with both urban and rural areas. The presence of the Kansas City International Airport ratchets up training and cooperation among law enforcement agencies. This is not a good place to be an outlaw.
Kansas City’s firefighters stand ready to help thanks to mutual aid agreements, so our rural areas have fire resource help that remotely rural areas can only dream about.
But our voters have strongly supported the smaller fire districts, too.
Some are professionally staffed. Many rely on volunteers and professionals. The hard work by volunteers in decades past helped build the support. We’re lucky to have good fire departments with dedicated personnel.
Voters have supported taxes for ambulance districts.
We’re a spread out county dealing with sprawl. Not every home or business can be easily reached, but our ambulance services are far, far better than what was offered in decades past.
If you call for help in an emergency, someone will come, probably ambulance, fire and law enforcement all together. We don’t think about these things until the emergency happens, and then suddenly it seems like the whole universe is at stake.
Speaking of voters, they have twice supported a tax for a Platte County Parks and Recreation Department, one just beyond a decade old. It is a system that is still growing to keep up with a growth in the county, including providing parks and recreation funding help for cities.
Some communities just try to grow. We are trying to grow with sustainable quality.
My electricity went out during a storm last month. I called the utility, a computer message told me Platte-Clay Electric Cooperative crews were working on restoring service and gave me a time estimate. They were right.
Lights blinked back on in a few hours. This is a private, for-profit business with public oversight. It is a partnership that shows government and business working together is a good thing.
I guarantee you that many places in the world can only dream of such reliable electrical service.
Kansas City has an African-American mayor and police chief. Both men seem to me to be doing a good job.
That fact that they are doing a good job, and their strong connection with neighborhoods, has helped make the metro area a calmer place than many cities where strong tensions exist between people of color and police. This will continue no matter the election outcomes.
Platte County’s growth is aided by the fact that citizens have supported good schools, parks and long-range planning. That’s going to continue after people go to the polls.
So take a deep breath. Enjoy autumn color. Help your neighbor rake some leaves. The trees will do what they need to do and then wait for spring no matter elections, and we should, too.
Bill Graham, who lives in the Platte City area, may be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.