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Recorder, commissioners,
engage in lively debate

Ida Cox wanted additional money for microfilming

by Shana Haines
Landmark reporter

A lengthy discussion between Platte County Commissioners and the Platte County Recorder of Deeds escalated Thursday, resulting in a colorful county commission meeting.

Ida Cox, recorder of deeds, resubmitted payment requests for supplies to the commissioners and questioned why her requests had been denied when she was not over budget. Cox said her office needed more money for supplies.

Michael Short, first district commissioner, explained to Cox why the requests were denied.

"Your requisitions are for microfilming. We don't consider microfilming as an office supply," Short said.

Short added that Cox receives funding from legislation for microfilm preservation.

"Ida, you have got resources for microfilming. I don' t know what this is all about." Short said.

Cox added that she also uses the funds provided from legislation for her employees' salaries. Through the budgeting process, commissioners set amounts elected officials have available for employees' salaries, however, Cox is using her microfilming funding to add to her employees' salaries.

"You made the choice to pay your employees out of that funding," Presiding Commissioner Betty Knight said.

According to Knight, Cox angrily left a meeting she had with commissioners to discuss funding issues for her office prior to the final approval of the county's budget. Knight added that since Cox exited the meeting, commissioners adopted the auditor's recommended budget amount, which was $16,000 more than last year's.

Short questioned Cox why she didn't show up at any of the public meetings prior to the budget being approved.

"I don't know why you didn't mention this at the budget hearings," Short said.

"I wish I had, too. I have just been so busy. It has just been nonstop. I don't know where the money is going to come from," Cox said.

The lengthy debate between commissioners and Cox ended when Cox withdrew her requests.

"Fine, I will pay for it (microfilming), but I just don't want to. Why can't we get some senior citizens to help out with this? This county is so poor. It just makes me sad," Cox said. "I won't run out of your (commissioners') office anymore."

In other business, commissioners voted to refer bids to Shiloh Springs Golf Course and the commissioners office for turf maintenance equipment.

Three bids were opened. Bids were received from U.S. Turf in Grandview, Turf Professionals in Lenexa, Kan., and Great American Turf, Kansas City.

Bids were also received from All Pro Ford and Dave Littleton Ford for a current model year Ford truck for the sheriff's department. The bids were referred to the sheriff's office for review.

Request for bids was made for radio dispatch consoles for the sheriff's department. Deadline for bids is March 20.

Commissioners also approved a routine agreement for medical examiner services for the county. The agreement had no changes from last year.

Michel Defenbau was appointed to a one year term of secretary/treasurer of the economic development council.

Tim Dougherty, Jim Bowers and Zim Hull were appointed to the economic development council. Their terms will expire Jan. 31, 2006.

Russ Widmar was reappointed to the economic development council. His term will expire Jan. 31, 2006.