Cass County Presiding Commissioner Jeff Cox gave a “State of the County” address to members of the Cass County Coalition of Chambers during the organization’s monthly meeting July 11 at Community Bank of Raymore.
Cox explained the way county government is led and how it differs to municipal bodies.
“It’s kind of similar if you take the mayor, city council and the city manager, and you roll them into one,” he said. “Then, you divide it by three guys and we’re doing all those jobs, but we’re not supposed to make decisions unless we’re in public meeting.”
Cox noted several areas the county is working on some issues.
Operations: Since Cox has taken office, he said he is trying to bring some regularity, and transparency, to the commission, by instituting weekly meetings instead of every other week, and providing agenda packets online before the meetings.
“It makes for better government operations, it’s better for the press, and the people,” Cox said.
Road and Bridge: He said crews have been focused on the upkeep and maintenance of current roads, as well as working on obtaining the right-of-ways for Phase 1 of the School Road project.
Codes and zoning: Cox shared that a lot of the county’s codes are outdated and not fully obtainable online.
“It’s kind of mess right now,” he said. “Those will be a work-in-progress.”
Maintenance: The commission has approved to have repairs made on the sidewalks that have become unsafe. County leaders are also working to repair the courthouse’s third floor HVAC system, and determining if funds are available to restore the county’s clock tower.
IT: Cox said the county’s website is at least a decade old, and is looking at giving it an overhaul.
Judicial: Cass County is in need of another circuit judge due to ongoing increases in caseloads. Cox said even if he can lobby for additional manpower, the county is also strapped for space as all four of the county’s courtrooms at the Justice Center are occupied.
Other topics included employee compensation, along with health and retirement benefits.
“We can’t fix all these things all at once,” he said. “But at the end of the day, it comes down to doing the right thing.”
Cox said he is working to turn the county around from it’s recent troubles.
“There are a lot of challenges in the county, but it’s an exciting time,” he said. “I think the new commission is doing well.”
Pleasant Hill Chamber representative Bob White announced an upcoming ribbon cutting Wednesday, Aug. 14, and that the organization is up to 162 members.
Sara Craig with the Harrisonville Chamber announced they will be celebrating a ribbon cutting with Sporting Supply on Friday, July 19, at their new location on Wall St., across from Price Chopper.
Peculiar Chamber President Gary Mallory followed up on a recent meeting with Rep. Chris Molendorp on the topic of Obamacare and small businesses. Mallory also noted the chamber is preparing for their upcoming Harvest Moon Festival in late October.
Kay Stanbarger with the Belton Chamber announced plans for a Ladies Night Out at 308 Main St. in Belton, 6:45-8:45 p.m. Friday, July 19. The event is sponsored by Butterfly Kisses Bakery and Top 2 Bottom Fashion, and proceeds will benefit Hope Haven’s Women Shelter.
The chamber will be celebrating a ribbon cutting with De Luca Insurance on Thursday, July 25, who is moving his business to Main Street.
Stanbarger also invited attendees to Belton’s annual steak fry 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, at Turner’s German American Hall. Cost is $18.
Raymore Chamber representative Tom Circo invited coalition members to the monthly Raymore membership luncheon meeting at noon Tuesday, July 23, at Community Bank of Raymore. The guest speaker Matt Killion with the Missouri Department of Transportation on the topic of “Economic impact of the new Interstate 49.”
Circo also announced Raymore’s annual golf tournament will be Monday, Aug. 19, at Creekmoor Golf Club.
Raymore Mayor Peter Kerckhoff reported that the city recently celebrated ribbon cuttings with Greentec Auto and R-G Federal Credit Union.
Mayor Jeff Davis, of Belton, announced the passage of the council’s decision to approve a dog park. He also reported the transition of Belton’s new economic development director Jay Leipzig.
Peculiar Mayor Ernie Jungmeyer said he’s been meeting with MoDOT, progressing toward acquiring right-of-ways in the 211th Street interchange project.
Obie Carl was asked to give the city update for Harrisonville. Carl announced that the community will be getting a new auto parts store, and that construction is moving along with the new police station.