Hitting the reset button in clerk’s office

CommentaryJuly 18, 2014 

We may never know the full story of Amy Bell, Judge William Collins or what may or may not be sordid details of wrongdoing in the Cass County Circuit Clerk’s office.

In a country where information is plentiful and the devil is always in the details, there are some long and deep black holes in this story. Unfortunately, with the deal struck by Bell and Attorney General Chris Koster, some of those details may never come to light.

In some ways, that puts this story behind us.

For those of us in the news-gathering profession, it is a bit maddening.

Of course, if you are Kim York, you are smiling all the way to the ballot boxes on Aug. 5 and Nov. 4, although I am sure this is not the way she saw the campaign unfolding a few months ago.

With Bell on the ballot, a whole host of questions and topics would have come up and come to light at the upcoming candidate forum sponsored by this newspaper.

Now, we are left to speculation.

Bell is mostly unscathed, with a paycheck and benefits through the end of 2014.

I say mostly because the stories in the press will linger in the interwebs for eons and, well, she had to remove herself from the ballot as part of the agreement that dropped the criminal charges against it.

It’s really not an ideal situation in any municipality, much less Cass County, which has been wrought with questionable deals, inter-courthouse accusations and bad blood.

So, without a campaign in front of her, how do the voters and those who put the trust in the courthouse move on?

We’ve seen some example of that from Presiding Commissioner Jeff Cox as he’s worked to move away from the stigma that dogged the commission office for so long and try to bring responsible, transparent government back into action.

York can do the same, too.

While she doesn’t have an opponent, York should and will certainly still attend the candidate forum and give the voters of Cass County her take on what needs to be done in the circuit clerk’s office.

And a good political leader will find a way to do that without a barrage of blame on past administrations.

A few departments have needed that “reset” button hit at the courthouse. And voters may think on Aug. 5 it is time to hit a few more.

Join us July 29 at the Harrisonville Community Center where you will hear from those candidates with a primary, and Kim York, tell you why you should give them their vote and public trust.

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