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Plunkett seeks post

by Kim Fickett
Landmark reporter

Jim Plunkett, 47, is one step closer to representing the second district of Platte County, after defeating second district commissioner Steve Wegner in the primary election.

If voter turnout in support of Plunkett is the same as in August, he will soon find himself representing the second district in county government.

Plunkett, who faces Gary Dugger in the Nov. 2 general election, plans to tackle the 2005 budget immediately if elected to office.

“Right off the bat, my goal is to make the budget for 2005 work,” said Plunkett.

Part of dealing with the budget, is working with the recently approved mill levy reduction from 10 to 4 cents per $100 of assessed valuation.

“In one vote the commission decreased the county portion of property tax. What took them ten years to do they did in one vote four weeks ago,” said Plunkett.

According to Plunkett, “In 10 years, the commission decreased the levy from 17 to 10 cents. Once they lost, they set the levy from 10 to 4 cents. That decision is going to hurt the county’s budget. They wouldn’t have done it if they were still in office,” he said of Michael Short and Wegner.

“The county commission anticipated its sales tax projections to be 17-18% because of Zona Rosa. Instead the sales tax projections came in just over 7%,” stated Plunkett.

For Plunkett, tackling the results that will fall out from the newly set mill levy will be one of the first obstacles he faces if he is elected.

"The sheriff’s budget never has been fully funded. Now with the reduction in the mill levy, you can almost be assured that it won’t be fully funded again this year,” said Plunkett.

Along with dealing with the 2005 budget, Plunkett wants to try and hold the line on taxes in the county, be sure the roads program is carried through specifically in the second district, and make sure the county government is fiscally responsible.

“I’ve been a business owner for over 20 years and I have the business experience to know how to deal with the financial issues in the county,” said Plunkett.

If Plunkett is elected to office, he plans to implement an open door policy in the commission office.

“I will provide trustworthy leadership that reflects all of the values of the citizens of Platte County,” stated Plunkett.

Plunkett is the owner of JPI Glass in Kansas City, Mo. He has taken two years of general courses at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, KS.

Plunkett and his wife Sherri, live south of Platte City, have four children: Bob, Andrea, Alexandra, Adam and one grandchild.

Gary Dugger, an independent candidate whose name will appear on the ballot against Plunkett, declined the chance to be interviewed for this article.




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