(EDITOR'S NOTE: For Tuesday's
complete local ballot, see the legal notices in
Section B and also get a preview in the Between
the Lines column on page A-2)
Second District Platte County Commissioner Steve
Wegner will pit his experience against opponent
Jim Plunketts stated goal of letting the
district's citizens voices be heard in the Republican
primary election next Tuesday, Aug. 3.
I have a vision and this county is growing.
It needs someone that can listen and act and have
a vision for the cities and unincorporated areas
of the county, said Wegner. If we
dont stay ahead of the growth in the county,
were going to create a huge problem in the
According to Wegner, when he ran for office four
years ago he stood by his platform of road improvements
in the county and getting a land use plan in place,
both of which the county has adopted.
Now four years later, Wegners main goals
are to continue his work with the roads master
plan, along with the parks and recreations plans,
and to continue the countys conservative
Were in a huge undertaking with the
roads master plan and the parks and recreation,
The roads master plan, which was adopted by the
commission, is a 10-year bonded plan that will
bring a gross revenue of $66 million at the end
of the 10 years. The plan is funded by a 3/8 cents
sales tax approved by the voters of Platte County.
According to Wegner, as a part of the roads plan
the bridges that were deemed undesirable by the
state and roads that need improvements in the
unincorporated portion of the county are bonded.
The City of Platte City, the City of Weston and
the City of Kansas City also chose to have their
money from the county bonded, while the remaining
cities in Platte County will receive two payments
Wegner stated the commission divided the funds
for each city depending on population.
I think its important to clarify
that well have all the bonds paid in seven
to ten years and that all those bonds provided
by the sales tax, the citizens have provided us,
said Wegner. Yes the budget has grown, but
the reason is because the voters told us they
want the parks and recreation and roads improvements.
The $60 million parks and recreation project,
which includes improvements to parks, trails and
stormwater, will be paid for at the end of six
years with the collection of the half cent sales
tax also approved by voters.
Platte County is in a very enviable position.
Were growing by 2,000 citizens a year that
are moving to Platte County and retail businesses
are developing at an unbelievable rate in the
county, said Wegner. The financial
condition of the county is extremely solvent.
Wegner, 54, said his other goals include fine
tuning the strategic plan thats currently
in place and continuing a positive relationship
with the other government entities in the district,
such as the road districts, the school districts
and the boards of aldermen.
I offer the county an approach that involves
the citizens. Our policy here is that when theres
a major decision we involve the citizens through
public hearings, a citizen task force, involve
the local boards of aldermen and the Lions Clubs,
Wegner served as mayor of Platte City for two
years, as well as alderman for two years. He graduated
with a bachelors degree in social science
from Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, IA
and did graduate work at the University of Iowa
and Western Illinois.
Wegner and his wife Marilou live in Platte City
and have two children: Zac and Corby.
Facing Wegner on the primary ballot is Jim Plunkett,
owner of JPI Glass in Kansas City, Mo.
According to Plunkett, he believes there isnt
separate representation between District 1 and
District 2 on the commission. And for Plunkett
thats a main priority in his pursuit of
the commission seat.
Theres no distinction between District
1 and District 2 like there should be. Ive
learned that the county commissioners are out
of touch with the needs of the citizens, especially
in District 2, explained Plunkett.
While representation is an issue, Plunkett also
wants there to be an open door policy if elected
I want the people in the second district
to feel like they have an open line of communication
with the commission. My feeling is that anyone
has the right to offer a view to the commission,
whether they agree with them or not, Plunkett
Plunkett also wants to carry out fiscal responsibility
to the county, especially in relationship to the
parks and recreation program and the roads plans
of the county.
He also stated his goals of making sure that district
two, specifically north of Platte City, gets its
fair share of the road tax, as well as restoring
confidence to the taxpayers.
Plunkett he believes his business background
will be useful if elected to office.
All the time in business we have to set
a budget, make projections and live within the
budgets we set, said Plunkett.
Plunkett, 47, took two years of general courses
at Johnson County Community College in Overland
Plunkett and his wife, Sherri, who live south
of Platte City, have four children: Bob, Andrea,
Alexandra, Adam and one grandchild.
At the beginning of the election, Plunkett stated
he challenged Wegner to not take money from developers
and vendors do business with the county.
I just want it to be known that I have
self-financed the majority of my campaign,
If Im elected I want everything to
be totally ethical and so there wouldnt
be a need to question in the future.