First off, I need to apologize for missing the better part of a week in my blog. I was in Arizona for six days and it was a very busy time; so, no blog for last week.
This will be the blog for the remainder of this week and for next week.
I have been to quite a few Democratic committee meetings in both Johnson County and Saline County.
These are informative and vital.
Unfortunately, at times the attendance is low, so I suggest that if you are interested in Saline County, that you can attend the first Monday of each month. The meeting is at 6 p.m. at the Saline County sheriff’s meeting room. It is informative and fun to attend.
Melody and I attended the Annual Awards Dinner in Warrensburg on March 31, put on by the Johnson County Democratic Committee.
Several people were honored and several people spoke. The most impressive to me was our state auditor, Nicole Galloway. She is the only Democrat to hold state office at this time. The only other Democrat of note holding a large office is Claire McCaskill, one of our U.S Senators.
Both are up for re-election this year. I learned that the state auditor is always elected in non-presidential years to avoid potential conflicts with people she may be auditing.
My education continues in running for a statewide election. There is a lot to do initially. I had to get squared away with the Missouri Ethics Commission, as well as the IRS. This is mostly to confirm that I am raising and spending monies correctly. I just filed my first quarterly report, and while it has been simplified and can be done electronically, I am always worried that I might do something incorrectly, so I have spent a lot of time on the phone with MEC officials, and we got it done. They are very helpful and want to make sure that all is done correctly. So, I hope I know what I am doing in that regard now.
I had a great chat with our local MoDOT engineer late last month. He updated me on the status of the roads within the 51st District. I was mainly wanting a concrete answer on the status of Marshall Junction, as the sales tax had yet to be passed at that time.
He informed me that there are no plans to significantly change the intersection. No plans to change it to a diamond. The cloverleaf will remain, although there may be some work done on the ramps to reduce the speeds there. There have been too many speed-related accidents on them to suit anybody.
Other work to be done: resurfacing Highway 65 from Marshall to Interstate 70. In addition, the bridges over Blackwater with have new decking. Expect all of that work to begin shortly. There will be upgrades to the intersection just south of Marshall near the welcome sign. Also, some upgrading will be done at 65 and Route H. No major work to be done on Highway 50 between Sedalia and Warrensburg. At some point in the next few years, the Saline County portion of I-70 will be resurfaced. This is done on a regular schedule, in addition to routine maintenance. I am sure that other minor areas will be involved as well.
He did indicate that he is in touch with our county commissioners, and that plans will be moving forward on the Marshall Junction improvements. This is especially relevant now that the sales tax has passed.
Those events will be interesting to watch, as there are a lot of entities involved. I have no idea how right of ways will be determined, although the state and the county apparently have sufficient right of ways for the most part.
Getting these groups together and getting the bonds out will be the next order of business. Hopefully, the junction will be improved and new businesses started over the next two to three years!
I was also honored to be the speaker for the Marshall Writer’s Guild on Saturday, April 7. It was a lot of fun, and as I am not much of a public speaker, it was hopefully a good warm up for me for when I am involved in any forums or debates later in the summer.
I am still appalled by the supposed antics of our governor, and I hope that all of the families and people involved get a respite from the bad news accumulating almost daily.
He will have his day in court in May, but that won’t stop all of the hurt and sorrow associated with his bad behavior.
I am hopeful that the weather will improve for our area farmers. It is a usual crazy spring in Missouri, but I remember the crops going in a lot earlier last year. Our famers and related businesses are what keep this area going, so let’s all wish them the best and support them in any way that we can. This would be one of my top priorities if elected; keeping our agricultural people in the best possible position to be successful.
That’s it for this week. Be aware of bad weather as the tornado season is upon us.