In the years I’ve covered York and Adams counties, I can honestly say few public officials have been more accessible than Todd Platts.
Politics aside, I could always count on the now-former Congressman to answer questions on whatever story I was working on.
Still, his latest comments surprised me a little.
This all started yesterday, when I was asked late in the day to get together a story on York’s St Patrick’s Day parade.
Officials had just announced this year’s parade date, March 16, as well as the 2013 grand marshal, Bryan Tate. There followed a long list of recommendations for Tate, and his receiving the honor this year.
The parade folks clearly think Tate is a good choice, and so do people who know of the York native’s volunteer work in the city over many years.
And so does Todd Platts.
Now, Tate previously served as Platts’ chief of staff, so there’s obviously a connection. It makes some sense to make that call for comment.
(And certainly, it’s not as scandalous as a Daily Record photographer threatening to punch Platts’ replacement.)
Still, I was struck that the long-time legislator, who recently stepped away from Congress after a dozen years, took the time to weigh in on the grand marshal of a holiday parade.
Platts “was quick to show his enthusiasm” for the pick, according to a press release.
He said: “Given Bryan’s long-time and passionate dedication to strengthening out community’s quality of life for the good of all citizens, along with his proud Irish heritage, Bryan is the perfect choice for grand marshal.
“I know Bryan will lead the parade with great energy and enthusiasm,” he added.
On the one hand, it seemed like a silly thing for a congressman to comment on. We’re not talking nuclear disarmament here.
But then, on the other hand, maybe it says something — again — about Platts’ willingness to talk, and to be involved in the community he represents. Or represented. If only all the local elected officials I’ve worked with over the years were that accessible.
So enjoy the parade, Mr. Platts. Thanks for your thoughts, and sorry they didn’t make the print story.
But hopefully I’ll catch you again next time, when no one else is calling back.