Platte County voters should choose information, make informed decisions

The letters to the editor kept pouring in this week so I’m scrapping my original topic and going with this. My space is limited so I’ll try to be brief, succinct and clear.

Last week, I dove back into politics and honestly didn’t know what, if any reaction, the opinion would generate. The column received good readership online, and at least one of the politicians mentioned chose to respond. I’d highly recommend reading John Elliott’s thoughts below.

The Republican candidate for the second district spot on the Platte County Commission did a great job providing clarity to his stances.

And what I like about what Elliott did was he provided information. So did Platte County presiding commissioner Ron Schieber in his letter concerning the potential Mid-Continent Public Library tax levy initiative tentatively slated to appear on the November ballot.
What makes me excited about this is the conversation.

That’s all I really wanted to ask for last week. Let’s be honest with the voters and present information and let people make their own decisions on whether they agree or disagree.

The willingness to allow questions to be asked should be important in the political process, especially here in Platte County. We want to do our part to come up with answers to questions citizens might have, provide them an outlet to learn about what’s going on in their communities and how tax dollars are being spent.

Or in this case, how elected officials and potential elected officials want to allocate tax money.

These are important conversations to have, and Platte County citizens should care and want to be involved. We can’t make people learn and understand about what’s going on in local government, but what I can do is provide fair and balanced information whenever possible.

At least the resource will be available to those who choose to use it.

There’s a lot going on in Platte County, and any ballot initiative aimed at taxes should be met with scrutiny. I think the government has a lot of work to do in repairing trust with the public.

Between the fraudulent wire transaction of Platte County treasurer Rob Willard and the alleged crime described on page 1 of this week’s paper involving the county’s director of facilities, nearly $50,000 of taxpayer money has been misplaced or used for non-business reasons. I find that frankly unacceptable.

Work will be done to recover the funds, and Platte County auditor Kevin Robinson deserves some thank yous for his work in uncovering one crime and working to fix procedures to avoid future “mistakes.” We plan to let you know about what’s being done and what elected officials want to do to be more responsible to the taxpayers.

Platte County certainly seems to have had its share of lowlights lately, but it remains a great place to live. I just can’t come up with any place nearby with this frequency of controversy involving government.

The taxes paid should be important to those who pay them.

I urge you to pay attention to these types of stories and form your own opinion. I don’t have to agree with it; no one has to agree with it.

But if you choose to educate yourself and be informed, no one can begrudge you either. Or shouldn’t anyway. I guess I can’t speak for how certain zealots would react.

Ross Martin is publisher of The Citizen. He may be reached via email at Follow him on Twitter: @Citizen_Ross.