Andrew Palmer, Editor/Publisher The Northland News

I’m not sure how many of you have been keeping up with my recent actions, but I finally decided to take the leap and get out of public education (Someday, I’ll have to tell you the story about the union loving Democrat who harassed me this past year through email at school. BTW, I kept the emails, and I’m going to share them.) and try my hand at my own business. In June of this year, I launched The Northland News. And if you haven’t seen it yet, I’d like you to swing over and take a peak:


The Northland News is a little different than the political flair you’ve seen around here. It’s my goal to make that site a little more newsy and far less political. Now, that doesn’t mean we won’t ask tough questions nor does it mean I suddenly drank the progressive Kool-Aid.

Part of the process of launching a new platform is rebranding everything digital you’re connected to. So, I was sitting here tonight thinking about updating the Facebook page and what to do with this blog when it occurred to me to check out the meaning of meandering. Don’t ask why I thought to do that 7 years after I started this thing.


So, Meanderings has two denotative meanings:

  1. (of a person) an act of wandering in a leisurely or aimless manner.
  2. (of a speaker or text) convoluted or undirected thought or language.

I’ve definitely not been convoluted or undirected on here. If anything, people usually know where I stand when I write.

So, Meanderings is now Musings From Clay County Missouri. I’m quickly learning just how busy one can be. (And I thought I was busy as a teacher….) I don’t know how much more writing will appear on here. At some point, I hope to get back to writing more political stuff and incorporate my Musings into the editorial side of The Northland News. Right now, the focus is on advertisers and creating great content that provides value to our community. The Musings Facebook Page will still continue to feature my unique perspective on political issues, news stories I think worth commenting on, and who knows what else.

If you get a chance, take a look at some of the early stories that have been popular on the site:

Also, if you’re interested, we do have an email newsletter that goes out twice a week. If you’re a member of the email list, you’ll be entered for a chance to win a $25 gift card to Chappell’s Restaurant at the end of July.

Our July Restaurant Gift Card Giveaway Is…

Finally, The Northland News has affordable advertising rates. I’d love to have your business on the site:


I’m running a special for new advertisers:

Be one of our first advertisers and lock in the ad rates for one year regardless if advertising rates increase. Buy six months of advertising, and we’ll throw in 3 FREE MONTHS! Additionally, you’ll receive two sponsored posts: one in the first 3 months and one in the second three months. Finally, you will have a business profile on our site for 12 months!

Thanks for reading over the years, and I hope you all join me in my new endeavor!


Bryan Stalder is running for Kansas City City Council.

It’s a bit surreal to write that last sentence. Bryan and I have been friends since Kindergarten. We both grew up together in the historic Northeast neighborhood. In our teenage years our parents took us north. He eventually found his way back to our old stomping grounds and has taken quite an interest to being involved in his community.

I don’t always agree with Bryan. He’s a little bit different flavor of conservative than I am, but this blog has never been about complete agreement with people. Whether or not we agree or disagree on all the issues, I know he’s passionate about Kansas City and serious about his run for the City Council. His candidacy presents a surprising alternative to the usual embarrassment that is your average Kansas City City Council(wo)man. At least, I don’t see him punching and kicking an aide.

Anyways, enough of my meanderings on the topic. Without further ado, introducing Bryan Stalder:

BryanStalderMy name is Bryan Stalder, and I’m running to be Kansas City’s 4th District At-Large representative on the City Council. The 4th District is kind of weird (it includes the Plaza, Westport, Crossroads, Downtown, the River Market, part of Northeast, Briar Cliff, and Crestview), but because I’m running at large, my role would be to represent citizens from the entire Kansas City area.

This is my first experience running for a public office. I’ve been a stay at home dad, an editorial cartoonist for the community newspaper, and president of our neighborhood association. I chose to take on this challenge because I’m frustrated with the leadership of this city, disappointed with most of the reporting about what is going on, and discouraged by the level of apathy from the voters. It is my hope that I could bring accountability back to City Hall by asking questions that many journalists aren’t asking. I want to make it hard for the media to ignore what is going on.

City Hall makes decisions that directly affect the quality of life in our neighborhoods, and a lot of the money we pay for city services is being used to redevelop downtown Kansas City into a dense neighborhood that is incongruent with the lifestyle accommodations of the traditional family. The result is higher taxes, and Kansas City residents who are trying to raise a family choosing to relocate outside city limits. Even worse, we have seen a decline of jobs in downtown Kansas City by up to 20% over the last decade despite over $1B in redevelopment. I believe these decisions will have a negative economic impact on our region. They will create more challenges before we’ve even created solutions for our currently unresolved problems.

I am someone who is not afraid to challenge conventional wisdom. I may be the youngest candidate running in this election, but as a father of four who is raising a family in Northeast and educating them in the Kansas City Public Schools, I have an alternative perspective to offer those who would rubber stamp an agenda to provide more and more subsidies to large real estate developers downtown. I’ve created a plan to make Kansas City EPIC; by focusing on Education, Parks, and InterConnectivity. We can shift our focus toward creating communities that families are excited to make long term investments in. I hope that you will follow the upcoming municipal elections closely, learn more about all of the At-Large candidates, and consider voting for me.

Please follow me on Twitter: @StalderEsq, or email me at StalderEsq@gmail.com.

I received an email last night from somebody in the county all in a tizzy about the mailer that Carol McCaslin sent out about Ernzen working at Belton and still completing her role as Clay County Auditor. I had known about Ms. Ernzen working in Belton awhile back, but I didn’t know if she was still working there today. Turns out she is. I did what any sensible person would do, I asked her if she was still there.

Here is the response I received:

I am the Clay County Auditor and I work every day for the citizens of Clay County. I also work as the finance director for the city of Belton. It isn’t much different from any other CPA with multiple clients, but I only have two. My days typically start very early and end very late.

When I was appointed by the Governor to finish out William Norris’ unexpired term as County Auditor, after he was forced to resign when it was discovered that he had a felony record, the city asked me to stay. They offered me a very flexible schedule that would allow me to serve Clay County first, in return for my in-depth knowledge of governmental accounting and my experience as a CPA and auditor.

My passion is ensuring transparency and accountability in our County government and I hope very much to be allowed by Clay County voters to continue.

Some things about this mailer:

1) There’s been no accusation, nor is there any evidence, that Ms. Ernzen has failed to execute the job of Clay County Auditor while she has been working in Belton. Admittedly, as she did above, it probably is hard work and a lot of hours.

2) I thought we celebrated hard-work in America?

3) This is probably the thing that irritates me the most about this. Vic Hurlbert was once our County Auditor. Hurlbert ran his own private auditing firm while he was in office. Did he shut his doors on his private practice when he was auditor? No. Should he have. Only if he wasn’t capable of doing both. (We won’t get into his actual performance as auditor here.)

4) McCaslin has no CPA credentials and is not an auditor. Which begs the question, who will be overseeing the auditing of the county and insure that it is done correctly?

5) Oh, this is funny, and I hope you are reading this sitting down. In an email to Sheila Ernzen on November 5, 2012, prior to the last election, McCaslin basically endorsed Ernzen in the auditor’s race:

Date: November 5, 2012 at 3:20:28 PM CST
To: "Ernzen, Sheila" <sernzen@claycountymo.gov<mailto:sernzen@claycountymo.gov>>
Subject: Good Luck

Sorry I missed you this morning.  We may not agree on some things, but there is 
no question that you are the best for the Auditor.

Good luck tomorrow.

At least it will be over !!

Carol McCaslin

PDF of the email.

If you wouldn’t mind, share this post with a friend here in Clay County.