by Stacy Wiedmaier
Of the three separate wards in the Platte City Board of Aldermen election, every incumbent was defeated by their challenger at Tuesday's election. And the races weren't close.
Newcomers Ron Stone, Andy Stanton and Todd Sloan are pledging to bring a different perspective to the job than the views that have been followed by the three men they defeated.
In Ward 1, incumbent Lee Roy Van Lew had only 28 votes or 21.71 percent. Ronald Stone defeated Van Lew by a landslide with 91 votes, or 60.54 percent. The third candidate, newcomer Thomas Marquis took 9 votes, or 6.98 percent.
“I’m so excited that I can’t stand it,” said Stone on Tuesday night. “I’m so overwhelmed and I’m ready to get started. I care about people and their views and I guess that showed in my campaign. I’m just thrilled to get in there, the Board of Elections just called me to tell me the news. Now you can call me Mr. Alderman.”
Van Lew took the news in stride when The Landmark informed him of the results late Tuesday evening.
“Nope, I wouldn’t change anything I did,” said Van Lew. “My outlook is still the same. I had a good eight years on that board and I enjoyed all of it. Everything good must come to an end. That’s all I have to say right now.”
The third candidate, Marquis, said he did not campaign as hard as the others and just “signed up to run.”
“Honestly, I didn’t expect to win,” he said. “I’m a little disappointed that Ron (Stone) won though. But that must be what the voters wanted.”
In Ward 2, challenger Andy Stanton was victorious in a landslide vote with 135 votes, or 72.97 percent. Incumbent George McClintock had only 39 votes, or 21.08 percent. Seventeen percent of voters visited the polls for Ward 1.
“Well of course I’m happy for him,” said McClintock about Stanton’s win. “I didn’t campaign much on my own. Apparently people around here want a change and they got it, but I wouldn’t change anything I did.”
Asked about the attempted involuntary annexation's influence on the election, McClintock said: “
"Of course I think the annexation issue had everything to do with this vote.”
The Ward 2 winner, Stanton, told The Landmark he had already heard the results from several people and was thrilled with the outcome.
“I’m so excited and happy that I got in,” said Stanton. “I’m glad the other new guys got in too, I didn’t want to be the only new face around.”
Stanton said the first issue he plans to tackle is the bi-weekly meeting times of the board. He said he wants to see the starting time moved back to 7 p.m. instead of the current meeting time of 5:30 p.m.
“No one is off work and ready for a meeting by 5:30 at night,” he said. “The public should be able to join in and contribute if they want to. Having it later is the way it ought to be. The last meeting I attended was so crowded that people were standing out in the hallway trying to listen. I have no problem with putting extra chairs out and including everyone who is there. If the crowd is large again in the future we can have the meeting at the community center.”
The third candidate, Tony Paolillo had dropped out of the race, but it was too late to remove his name from the ballot. He said other work commitments kept him too busy to devote the necessary time to the board. He received 10 votes, or 5.41 percent.
None of the aldermen races were tight, and Ward 3 was another landslide victory for a newcomer. Todd Sloan received 99 votes, or 71.22 percent. Incumbent Jim Palmer took 39 votes, or 28.06 percent.
Palmer was audibly upset when The Landmark shared the final election results with him Tuesday evening.
“Hell no, I wouldn’t change anything I did,” yelled Palmer over the phone line. “You let the people decide. But what’s right is right and what’s wrong’s wrong.”
When questioned whether the publicized and controversial annexation issue was a factor in his defeat, Palmer answered: “Damn, I have no idea. Things are so screwed up in this town right now I don’t know what to think anymore.”
Sloan said he thinks the final results give a little insight into what voters want and are currently feeling.
“I’m obviously very pleased with the outcome,” he said. “It’s clear that local voters are looking for a dramatic change in their city government and that is what I’ll bring. I knew all along that the public wants to be more involved, with an open government system. They are asking for a board who is more in tune with their priorities and individual goals.”
Eleven percent of voters, or 139 individuals, showed their support at the polling sites Tuesday for Ward 3.
“It’s encouraging to see the people of Platte City regain control of their city government,” said local attorney Bob Shaw on Tuesday evening. Shaw was victorious in two of three recent legal battles against the city involving the city's massive involuntary annexation effort.
As of presstime, mayor Dave Brooks had not returned repeated phone calls from The Landmark seeking comments on the outcome of Tuesday's vote.