Pondering while waiting for election results

Kind of like a child waiting for Christmas morning, I have sat in the office Tuesday night waiting for the results of the municipal elections. While there were a few votes of interest among candidates, my main interest was what would become of the bonds for the Harrisonville schools and the public library. When originally proposed for an April ballot, both seemed pretty likely to succeed, but as weeks drug on during the stay-at-home orders and the number of people missing out on work, I wondered if the result might be reversed.

But as results trickled in, both entities seem on their way to increased funding and so it is likely optimism of the future has outweighed the problems of the present.

One might think being born during the Great Depression and going through high school during World War II a person would have every right to complain about their lot in life. Last week “the Brewster Twins,” Ruth May McKee and Ruby Ann Jaynes celebrated their 90th birthdays, and McKee said they grew up in the best of times. When considering the advancements of the past 90 years, the duo has seen a fair share of remarkable times: a World War and several other military actions; advances in transportation and communications; the space program; the growth of technology and the modernization of the world.

But what McKee was saying made her time the best was nothing about conveniences, but instead about attitudes: family that loved and took care of one another and neighbors and friends, who lived up to the titles by being there and taking active roles in others’ lives.

With the conflict throughout the nation recently, but even dating back a few years, one wonders if a little more love and a little more concern for our fellow man might not be the cure to many of our society’s ills.

I like to think that being the information business, I am pretty well up to date on issues around the area. I never pretend to know about everything, but I think I know a lot. For that reason, I was pretty shocked Monday night when Harrisonville City Administrator Brad Ratliff commented about the search for a new public works director/city engineer. I inquired about the status of Eric Patterson, who the last time I heard was public works director. I was told he had resigned about a month ago.

I don’t think the city needs to put out a news release every time it has a personnel change and I must admit in most cases it is my job to ask, but when an employee with the rank of a department head resigns and nothing is said about it, it makes me wonder. My major problem with a former mayor in Harrisonville was for all of his boasting about transparency; there was none. Information about city staff and issues were kept secret.

When the current mayor was elected last year, we were promised more transparency and I will admit I felt the public was pretty well informed about most issues and as a media representative I was allowed to ask questions during meetings. When learning about the public works director, I do feel there was a lack of transparency. It appears aldermen were informed in executive session and nothing was ever told to the public. Normally, I would and should ask about actions in executive session, but I failed and as a result I felt a sense of deception. Lesson learned.

For those of you who pay attention to small details, you might notice on the front page of today’s paper it states Volume 4, No. 9, which is far different from the recent volume numbers. It is not a typo or a mistake, but instead a correction we will carry forward. When the Harrisonville Star became The South Cass Tribune, we mistakenly started over with a Vol. 1, No. 1 heading when we should have just been Vol. 1, No. 44. This was brought to our attention and corrected.