Sunday, July 16, 2017

RAYTOWN'S LEADING NEWS SOURCE



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The Paul Livius Report
Raytown Board of Aldermen Meeting – July 11, 2017

Janice Masters told the Board she wanted the ordinance amended or revised.  She said the the city’s animal control unit told her they can only perform welfare checks on animals. According to Animal Control personnel, they do not have the authority to remove abused or neglected animals. Based on that information, Mrs. Mastes believes the city should amend or revise the ordinance to protect animals.

The Board passed a resolution approving the appointment of Josh Morales to the Board of Zoning Adjustment.

The Board passed a resolution approving the appointment of Thomas Murray to the Board of Zoning Adjustment.

The Board passed a resolution approving the reappointment of Dee Ann Stock to the Planning & Zoning Commission.

 The Board passed a resolution approving the reappointment of George Mitchell to the Raytown Park Board.

The Board passed a resolution approving the appointment of Jeanette Guenther to the Raytown Park Board.

The Board passed a resolution approving the appointment of Kimberly Montsdeoca to the Raytown Park Board.

The Board heard the first and second readings, and then passed of an ordinance establishing a procedure to disclose potential conflicts of interest and substantial interests for certain municipal officials.  In 1991, the Missouri General Assembly adopted an ethics and personal financial disclosure law, which applied to all municipalities with an annual operating budget in excess of $1 million.  Under the law, municipalities were allowed to adopt their own simplified personal financial disclosure requirements by ordinance (commonly known as “short form” reporting).


The financial disclosure reporting requirements apply to each elected official, the City Administrator (as the Chief Administrative Officer and Chief Purchasing Officer), the Director of Finance (as the Chief Financial Officer), the City Clerk, the full-time General Counsel, the Park Board, and the Parks and Recreation Director.  Each political subdivision desiring to use the “short form” is required to readopt the ordinance authorizing “short form” reporting every two years.  However, in order to avoid the significant consequences of the failure to readopt the ordinance the recommended best practice is to adopt the ordinance annually.

The Board passed an ordinance approving a contract with DEW Farms Services for mowing and nuisance abatement services in an amount not to exceed $36,000.  The City of Raytown accepted a bid from DEW Farms, LLC to provide the City with services for nuisance abatement and mowing related to the city’s code enforcement activities.  Through the contract, DEW Farms, LLC provides abatement of various property maintenance violations such as junk, trash, and debris; brush and branch removal, and mowing of weeds and grass in excess of eight inches in length.


To our Readers:
BY GREG WALTERS
Last week we published links to the lawsuits between the City of Raytown and Raytown Fire Protection District. This past week the Raytown Times reported on the lawsuit. Bob Phillips of the Times also wrote a short piece condemning the city for a lack of transparency over the lawsuit.

We find Phillip’s commentary interesting because the Times did not publish the text of the lawsuit.

Given the limitations of the pulp print media, we can understand why the Editor of the Times, Randy Battagler, did not publish a written copy of the lawsuits. After all, they are rather lengthy and would have probably cost a lot of money to produce.

What we do not understand, particularly given Bob Phillip’s complaint about a lack of transparency, is why did they not publish a link to the Raytown Report?
We carried the entire text of the lawsuits one full week before they reported on it.

Their readers could have had the benefit of reading the entire text of the lawsuits and been able to form their own opinions about the merits of the arguments being made by the City and Fire District.

In the spirit of transparency, we invite Mr. Phillips and Mr. Battagler to publish a link to the Raytown Report to their readers can learn first-hand what the lawsuits are all about.


We are re-running last week's story for those who may be new to our weekly newsblog report.

Unrealistic Goals
and Broken Promises . . .
. . . have the City Hall and Raytown Fire Protection District facing off in two lawsuits.
The City claims the Fire District has wronged them by holding back payments of certain revenue collected in the 350 Live Development Project (a TIF program commonly recognized as that area anchored by Walmart on 350 Highway).
The Fire District says the City has not followed through on promises it made regarding the timeline of the development and that they have fulfilled their end of the agreement.
  
The lawsuits have been filed. The two sides are meeting to try to work out their differences before they go to court.
Who is right? Who is wrong? You be the judge. The two lawsuits, one by the City of Raytown against the Fire District and the Fire District’s briefs can be reached by using the following links.

Fire District - Ans & Counter Claim to City Claim Filed 1-27-2017 .pdf
20.8 MB
City of Raytown v. RFPD - Claim Filed 1-27-2017.pdf
90 KB
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Saturday, July 8, 2017

RAYTOWN'S LEADING NEWS SOURCE


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Unrealistic Goals
and Broken Promises . . .
. . . have the City Hall and Raytown Fire Protection District facing off in two lawsuits.
The City claims the Fire District has wronged them by holding back payments of certain revenue collected in the 350 Live Development Project (a TIF program commonly recognized as that area anchored by Walmart on 350 Highway).

The Fire District says the City has not followed through on promises it made regarding the timeline of the development and that they have fulfilled their end of the agreement.
  
The lawsuits have been filed. The two sides are meeting to try to work out their differences before they go to court.

Who is right? Who is wrong? You be the judge. The two lawsuits, one by the City of Raytown against the Fire District and the Fire District’s briefs can be reached by using the following links.

Fire District - Ans & Counter Claim to City Claim Filed 1-27-2017 .pdf
20.8 MB
City of Raytown v. RFPD - Claim Filed 1-27-2017.pdf
90 KB

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Sunday, July 2, 2017

RAYTOWN'S LEADING NEWS SOURCE



BY GREG WALTERS
Dollar General Robbed
63RD STREET STORE NEXT
TO BLUE RIDGE ELEMENTARY
Just before noon on Saturday, July 1, 2017, two black men entered the Dollar General located in the 9100 block of 63rd Street with guns demanding money from the two store clerks. After getting an unknown amount of money the men ran out the store. There were no reported injuries.

The men were described as black males in their early 20’s, one was approximately 6’00” tall and the other was between 5’06”-5”08” with shoulder length curly black dreadlocks.  It is unknown if they left on foot or by vehicle.

The store opened earlier this summer despite the objections of surrounding home owners. One of their complaints was that the isolated location of the store, which is surrounded on three sides by residential properties, made it a soft target for burglaries.

The majority of the Board approved the spot zoning of the property allowing the owner to build the store in the middle of a residential zoned area.

59th Water Main Street
Cuts to be Repaired this Week
The Raytown Water Company plans to have numerous street cuts from broken water mains at 59th and Elm Street will be repaired shortly after the Fourth of July Holiday. Damage to 59th Street east of Elm Street is being reviewed by the insurance company to assess needed repairs and the cost split between the city and the water company for the repair work.

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Sunday, June 25, 2017

RAYTOWN'S LEADING NEWS SOURCE

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BY GREG WALTERS
Significant Progress made on Personnel Code
Last Tuesday the Board of Aldermen made significant progress on their review of the city’s personnel code. City employees, led mainly by a list of demands from the Raytown Police Department, had presented the Board with requests for changes to the Code. The Board adopted the Code by a unanimous vote on December 20, 2016.

The most significant decision by the Board was to require a three-fourths majority vote of the ten member board to approve any changes to the code. The amendment, offered by Ward 4 Alderman Bill Van Buskirk, received unanimous support from the Board.

Another interesting issue which was not resolved dealt with citizen complaints against the Police Department. The second in command of the Raytown Police Department, Major Ted Bowman, told the Board the Police Department handles such complaints through internal affairs. The discussion between City Administrator Tom Cole, Bowman and the Mayor was interesting. There seems to be no apparatus in place to inform the City Administrator of the outcome of the complaints resolved by Internal Affairs.

This could cause quite a problem in certain circumstances, particularly if damages are part of the discussion.

The Police Department does not have the legal authority to settle law suits, or, more importantly, head off potential lawsuits and other obligations or complaints from the public.

It is important that not only should the City Administrator be aware of citizen complaints about ALL city functions, but also, that the direct representatives of the people, the elected members of the Board of Aldermen be aware of such problems. Because ultimately, it is the Board of Aldermen who will be held responsible for the actions within the city they run.

The Board tabled the issue until a later meeting to resolve the matter.

BY PAUL LIVIUS
The Paul Livius Report
Raytown Board of Aldermen Meeting – June 20, 2017
 Allie Lueke told the Board Super Splash is not a money maker but a community service.  It hasn’t had a lot of investment put into it.
Mae Leslie said her carport was blown down by the wind.  A man came to help clean up, but he wanted more money to finish the job.  She wants Neighbor Services to require picture ID from contractors.
Jason Greene told the Board Graceway Church is hosting “Poets in Autumn – Poetry in Faith” on August 4 at 6:30 at the church.  He said tickets can be purchased at www.kingdomtickets.com
The Board approved a resolution approving the appointment of Janet Emerson to the Planning & Zoning Commission.

The Board passed an ordinance amending chapter 2, administration, article iii, division 1, officers, and employees, section 2-105, relating to the adoption of personnel manual.  During the re-codification of the Raytown Municipal Code, the Chapter 14-Personnel Code was removed to be held as a stand-alone document.  The requested amendment is to correct what was overlooked during the re-codification process.  The current the section states: “The city has compiled and adopted, as if set forth in full herein, a city personnel policy manual, a copy of which is available in the office of the city clerk. 


The city has compiled and adopted, as if set forth in full herein, a city personnel policy manual, a copy of which is available in the office of the city clerk.  Alderman Bill Van Buskirk made a motion, which was passed, stating the personnel manual may be amended when needed and approved by ¾ vote of the entire Board.

 The Board passed a resolution authorizing an agreement with Duke’s Root Control utilizing the Houston-Galveston area cooperative contract in an amount not to exceed $18,000.00 Staff contacted Dukes Root Control to investigate needed repairs.  Dukes developed the attached cost estimate of $14,982.56.  This cooperative contract is through the Houston-Galveston Area Cooperative.  Staff is recommending BOA approval to be approximately 20% higher than this estimate ($18,000.00), to cover unforeseen circumstances and overruns that may arise with this underground work.

 The Board passed a resolution approving an agreement with Independent Salt Company for the purchase of salt for the purpose of treating roads and bridges in inclement weather.  The City staff advertised salt supply bids for the upcoming 2017-2018 winter season.  Salt bids must be put out in the spring due to supply allocation procedures practiced throughout the industry.  The bid was advertised in the newspaper, on our web page, and via e-mail and phone correspondence with known salt companies in the Midwest area.  Bid information was sent to seven companies and five submitted responses including two no-bids.  Bids were opened on May 12, 2017, and the low bid was from Independent Salt Company in the amount of $42,616 at a unit price of $60.88 per ton.  Purchases will not occur until the beginning of the 2017-18 fiscal years.

The Board passed a resolution approving the professional services of sanitary sewer infrastructure repair in Raytown from Wiedenmann, Inc. Utilizing Lee’s Summit cooperative purchase contract and approving project expenses for 9404 and 9406 E. 82nd Street in an amount not to exceed $20,548.  During post backup response inspection of the sanitary sewer line, Public Works staff identified an offset, sag, and serious cracking in several areas of the sanitary main line between manhole WOW-282 and WOW-283, which is located in the area of 9404 E. 82nd Street.  The defects create a significant risk for backups in the line.  The recommended repair is to remove and replace approximately 125 feet of pipe to correct the offset alignment and replace the parts of the pipe that have significant sag and cracking.
The Board passed a resolution approving the professional services of storm water infrastructure repair in Raytown from Wiedenmann, Inc. Utilizing the city of Lee’s Summit cooperative purchase contract and approving project expenses for 5736 and 5802 Manning in an amount not to exceed $52,130.  Over the past few years, sinkholes continue to appear in the backyards of 5736 & 5802 Manning and are reported to Public Works staff.  Upon investigation of the sinkholes, it was found that the subgrade around the storm water corrugated metal pipe had eroded due to pipe failure.  Staff has been called out numerous times to temporarily fill in sinkholes.  A permanent solution is to remove and replace about 200 feet of 30” corrugated metal pipe and replace it with 30” HDPE storm water pipe.

The Board passed a resolution approving amendments to the Raytown Personnel Manual adopted December 20, 2016 relating to Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy.  For more information on this resolution go to http://raytownmo.swagit.com/play/06202017-1654 and start on page 37.  Alderman Aziere asked if the Sexual Harassment policy was only at the work place.  He said, for example, if one employee (John) called another employee (Joe) at home.  If John called Joe a name that was meant to mean Joe was cowardly, would John lose his job?  Tom Cole said there would be an investigation, at the very least.  The Board tabled a resolution approving amendments to the Raytown Personnel Manual adopted December 20, 2016 relating to nepotism.  For more information on this resolution go to http://raytownmo.swagit.com/play/06202017-1654 and start on page 44.
The Board passed a resolution approving amendments to the Raytown Personnel Manual adopted December 20, 2016 relating to the Evaluation of Department Heads.  The policy states:

(a) It is the City’s policy to provide a compensation package to the Department Heads which will allow the City to compete with other private and public employers in the area for executive level personnel.  The City recognizes that the compensation package will require periodic review and adjustment in order to remain competitive and that the performance of the Department Head should be considered in connection with such review. 

(b) The City Administrator shall review the performance of each appointed Department Head each year and shall make recommendations to the Board of Aldermen concerning the compensation and benefit package for each Department Head.  While the City generally provides annual cost of living wage adjustments, merit increases may be made at the discretion of the City Administrator based on budget availability.  As part of such review, the City Administrator shall meet with the various appointed Department Heads concerning his evaluation of the incumbent’s performance, communicating his perception of that employee’s strengths and weaknesses to the incumbent and to the Board of Aldermen.  Such reviews and reports to the Board of Aldermen shall not be open to the public; provided, however, that adjustments in the compensation package and/or salary adjustments, if any, shall be a public record as provided by law.
3-5. Evaluation of Department Employees.  (a) All Department Directors shall review the performance of each Department employee each year and shall make recommendations to the City Administrator and Human Resources Manager regarding compensation and performance.  While the City generally provides annual cost of living wage adjustments, merit increases may be made at the discretion of the City Administrator and Department Director based on budget availability.  As part of such review, the Department Director shall meet with the individual employees concerning the evaluation of the incumbent’s performance, communicating the perception of that employee’s strengths and weaknesses to the incumbent and to the Human Resources Manager.  Such reviews and reports shall be kept in the employees personnel file by the Human Resources Manager.  Please note:  the bold text is corrections or additions to the policy.

The Board passed a resolution approving amendments to the Raytown Personnel Manual adopted December 20, 2016 relating to Provisions Applicable to Classified Employees.  For more information on this resolution go to http://raytownmo.swagit.com/play/06202017-1654 and start on page 56.  There was much discussion about the policies on vacation time, sick leave, and citizens’ complaints.  Alderman Jim Aziere said he likes the policy where complaints about the police department go to the City Administrator.  He said many times residents come to the Board with complaints and because it goes to the Internal Affairs Department, the Board knows nothing about the resolution.  Mayor McDonough asked Tom Cole if a complaint is lodged against a city employee if notice of that complaint goes to the Board.  Mr. Cole said no, the complaint only goes to the City Administrator and the director of Human Resources.  If the change to this section were to be passed, all complaints against police officers would only go to the City Administrator and the director of Human Resources.  The Board would not be part of the process.  The Board decided not to make the proposed changes to section 4-15 (Holiday pay), 4-17 (vacation pay), 4-18 (sick pay), 4-19 (bereavement leave), and 4-28 (citizens’ complaints).

The Board tabled several resolutions concerning amendments to the Raytown Personnel Manual adopted December 20, 2016 relating to working hours, violence in the workplace,  substance abuse, city employee on call policy, police department on call policy, take home city owned vehicles policy, time clock policy, gps tagging of city vehicles and tuition reimbursement policy.

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