When Second District Commissioner Cliff Luber presented the formal, legal request for a modification of the Universal Land Use Code, it was much needed good news regarding the county’s embattled Planning and Zoning department. It was a victory for the taxpayers of Camden County and Cliff Luber, who has made Planning and Zoning concerns one of his top priorities since taking office. The formal request, submitted according to 1402 of the ULUC, represented a long battle by Luber to begin to restore equity, fairness and common sense to the Planning and Zoning department with regard to inappropriately zoned properties in Camden County. It is a significant achievement for Luber and what many regard as one step in the right direction with the ULUC.
This formal proposal, brought by Commissioners Luber and Thomas, was something entirely different for candidate Kris Franken. It was the ‘cherry’ on top of a manure sundae.
Recently, support has fallen apart like wet toilet paper for Franken and the abuses of Planning and Zoning under Hathaway. Franken has long stood in support of former P & Z administrator Don Hathaway, who submitted his resignation at last week’s meeting of the Planning and Zoning commission. Hathaway was the center of numerous controversies during his time as P and Z administrator. The latest of these involving Franken’s violating the ULUC in an attempt to unilaterally rewrite Article 800.
For candidate Kris Franken, Hathaway’s resignation could not have come at a worse time. Hathaway’s departure shines an unwelcome spotlight on the ‘status quo’ under Kris Franken. It speaks volumes to the way business has been conducted in the Camden County Courthouse under his self-appointed reign.
It comes in a week that finds Franken feeling particularly vulnerable. A typical tactic used in Camden County politics, one well-known to residents of the area, is to put up several candidates for one office. Typically, these multiple candidates all have similar platforms and are sponsored by similar interests. This tactic is used to ensure that the ‘status quo’, represented by Kris Franken, is maintained. This election cycle however, Franken stands uncomfortably alone facing opponent Greg Hasty for the Presiding Commissioner’s office. This awkward political vulnerability, along with his own well-established track record, has Franken teetering as his term winds down.
At Thursday’s meeting of the Camden County Commission, Franken’s frailties displayed themselves. During open session, Franken appeared to be quite miffed at the language of the formal request. He was upset that he wasn’t mentioned along with Commissioners Luber and Thomas in the formal request to revise ULUC language.
Franken protested that he was also in favor of fixing this problem with Planning and Zoning. Unfortunately, in what has become a tiresome trend, his assertions come up woefully short of reality. As Cliff Luber pointed out in his press release announcing the formal request, this issue has been brought up numerous times, with ample evidence to support such a change. Franken, despite claims to the contrary, did nothing to fix this obvious problem with Planning and Zoning. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Franken repeatedly opposed Luber’s efforts to bring attention to this issue and fairness to the taxpayers of Camden County. Frequently, on audio recordings of commission meetings, Franken can be heard to dismiss, dispute and disassociate during numerous complaints regarding Planning and Zoning.
His protests to the contrary fall on deaf ears. Franken, with a history of covering up the transgressions of his supporters, has continued to protect Don Hathaway.
In a recent article from the News Tribune, Franken claimed the results of an investigation into Don Hathaway’s conduct late last year were “inconclusive”. This is in stark contrast to the fact that Hathaway was placed on a two-week unpaid suspension.
Second District Commissioner Cliff Luber believes the results were anything but inconclusive, as reflected by the suspension. Luber would welcome the results of that investigation becoming public, he said during a recent appearance on Guerrilla Radio with American Spring.
It comes as no great surprise that Franken wanted to tag along on Luber’s achievement in rectifying a long standing problem in Planning and Zoning. Unfortunately, Franken, with his recent end-around attempt to rewrite the ULUC, has displayed an utter lack of knowledge of and respect for its articles regarding revisions. After his last minute effort to rewrite Article 800 crashed like the Hindenberg, Franken then sought, and the people paid for, two legal ‘interpretations’ to justify his actions. He also sought to rewrite history, by convincing Don Hathaway to state that he had asked Franken for the rewrite, despite Hathaway’s stating previously that Franken had not acted properly with regards to his attempt to rewrite of Article 800.
Hathaway has now resigned.
The Missouri State Attorney General’s office is conducting an inquiry into possible Sunshine violations in regards to Camden County Planning and Zoning.
During Thursday’s meeting of the Camden County Commission, Franken made sure to say a ridiculous, smarmy ‘thank you’ to Don Hathaway, for his supposed input on Luber and Thomas’ proposal.
In that, Franken the candidate stands alone, like the cheese in that old children’s rhyme.
What an unfortunate place to be.
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