Sunday, February 11, 2018

RAYOWN'S LEADING NEWS SOURCE

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KC mayor ‘tired of this banging on the city crap’ by police officials over spending
By Glenn E. Rice    grice@kcstar.com     Updated February 13, 2018 03:48 PM

Kansas City Mayor Sly James on Tuesday lashed out at police officials’ repeated demands for more money.

The takedown came during what was supposed to be a brief budget discussion during the monthly Kansas City police board meeting Tuesday. James said city workers are being forced to curb spending — and the police department must do the same.

“You want more money, you want more officers, find more inefficiencies in how the money is being used,” he said. “I kind of get tired of this banging on the city crap when at the end of the day I don’t see anybody coming up with any solutions.” 
READ MORE . . . Sly James comments



Mayor Cancels MeetingBY GREG WALTERS AND PAUL LIVIUS

Sec. 2-491. - Regularly scheduled board of aldermen meetings.  

The board of aldermen shall meet regularly on the first and third Tuesday of each month at the time and place established from time to time by the board. Regular meetings may be rescheduled by the majority of the board for good cause. Regular meetings will be rescheduled to the following Tuesday if the scheduled meeting falls on a national holiday or any election day.
REPRINTED FROM THE RAYTOWN CODE OF ORDINANCES

Sec. 2-492. - Quorum designated.         
A quorum of the board of aldermen shall be a simple majority of all the aldermen duly elected, qualified and serving. A quorum of a board, committee, commission or other subunit of the city shall be a simple majority of the members duly appointed, qualified and serving, but excluding ex officio members.
REPRINTED FROM THE RAYTOWN CODE OF ORDINANCES

Last Tuesday’s regular meeting of the Raytown Board of Aldermen was cancelled by Mayor Michael McDonough. The notification was posted on City’s website the day of the meeting. The decision to call off the meeting is alleged to be that too many of the Aldermen were unable to attend that evening. Ward 3 Alderman Ryan Myers and Ward 2 Alderman Jim Aziere were out of town. Ward 5 Alderman Bonnaye Mims was ill with the flu.

Ward 4 Alderman Bill VanBuskirk was also said to be out of town. We have since learned VanBuskirk was in town on Tuesday. And, that he sent word to the Mayor's office that he was available to attend the meeting.

Somewhere along the line of communication was broken between the Mayor and Board members.

At this point it is all water under the bridge.

But it still remains that eight items of business were supposed to be conducted last Tuesday. One of those items was the swearing in of two new officers to the Raytown Police Department.

BY GREG WALTERS
Ward 5 Vacancy
Needs to be Filled
Usually, when there is a vacancy on the Board of Aldermen, the process to appoint a new Alderman to finish the current term is moved along quickly.

Here is how the process works.

The Mayor appoints the position to finish the term of office until the next city election. The candidate’s name is placed on the agenda for the Board of Aldermen to approve or disapprove the appointment. Six votes are required for approval of the appointment.

The current vacancy has been open since early November . . . over 90 days has passed . . .why hasn’t the position been filled?

This is not first vacancy to go unfilled by Mayor Michael McDonough.

In 2016 he left two seats vacant for extraordinary lengths of time. In July of 2016, a seat on the Board of Aldermen became vacant due to the sudden death of Steve Mock. Mayor McDonough did not fill the seat, opting to allow the position to go unfilled for nine months.

In that same year, the Alderman Josh Greene resigned his seat on the Board because he was moving to another town. As in the case with Mock vacancy, McDonough did not make an appointment. The seat remained vacant for five months until a new Alderman was elected in April of 2017.

The cancelling of last Tuesday’s meeting shows the consequence of not filling vacancies on the Board of Aldermen. As the events played out it shows city business hanging in limbo. Even worse, it breaks down the communication between the public and City Hall.

Hopefully, the Mayor will understand the need to fill every position on the Board of Aldermen and take appropriate action.

BY PAUL LIVIUS
Paul’s Rant!
The Rest of the Story
(with apologies to Paul Harvey)
The word on the street is that Mayor McDonough plans to ask the Board to approve the appointment of Melissa Beall. As of our publishing deadline, we have been unable to confirm when the appointment would be made.

Beall is said to be a strong supporter of McDonough. This could spell trouble for the chances of her appointment gaining enough votes to be seated. The Mayor has been at odds with the majority of the Board over the past year.

Six votes are required to approve the appointment. Since there is a vacancy on the Board, that means that four Aldermen could block the nomination.

Accusations that the Mayor’s nominee does not actively vote in Raytown City Elections have surfaced.

No better way to set the record straight than to check with Jackson County Election Board. Here is what was learned.

According to records from the Jackson County Election Board, Ms. Beall first voted in the November 2004 election and continued to cast votes is national elections up until 2016. She did vote in the Presidential Primary in 2016 but did not vote in the Presidential Election in November of 2016.

Ms. Beall has voted twice in city elections since she registered to vote in 2004.

As Paul Harvey would say . . .
“Now you know the rest of the Story”.

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Sunday, February 4, 2018

RAYTOWN'S LEADING NEWS SOURCE


BY GREG WALTERS
A Tale of Two Cities
The most common complaint we receive on the blog portion of the Raytown Report is the need for more patrol officers on the streets of Raytown. We wondered how Raytown stacks up to area cities in this regard.

The comparison below shows the current budgeted positions of uniformed officers in the Raytown and Grandview Police Departments. We chose Grandview as a comparison to Raytown because the demographics of the two cities are very similar. Raytown’s population has approximately 4,500 more souls that Grandview. Grandview has approximately five more square miles to patrol.

Both cities are inner ring suburbs of a major population center. Both cities are intersected by heavily traveled highways (350 in Raytown / 71 in Grandview). Both cities have the same number of uniformed officers on their respective payrolls. The salaries paid patrol officers are nearly identical, with a slightly higher hourly rate paid Raytown police officers.

The Numbers tell the Tale
Raytown has budgeted  18 patrol officers. While Grandview, with a budget that is a quarter of million dollars less than Raytown, has 24 patrol officers. Upon investigation we found that out of 36 uniformed officers in Raytown, fully one-half (18) of the personnel would be counted as command staff. By comparison, only 12 of the personnel in Grandview would fall under the title of command staff.

The following comparisons are current figures obtained from the Raytown and Grandview’s current budgets.  

CITY OF RAYTOWN                        CITY OF GRANDVIEW
Population: 29,510                           Population: 24,955
Land area:  9.93 square miles         Land Area: 16 square miles


POLICE                                             POLICE 
Budgeted $5.7 million dollars       Budgeted $5.456 million dollars
Chief of Police..........1                      Chief of Police..........1             
Majors .......................1                      Majors....................... 0
Captains....................3                      Captains ................... 2
Crime Analyst .......... 1                     Crime Analyst ............0
Sergeants................. 6                     Sergeants ................. 6
Detectives.................6                      Detectives .................3
Patrolmen................18                      Patrolmen..................24

TOTAL ....................36                    TOTAL ......................36

Paul's Rant . . .
IS THERE A BETTER WAY?
A quick check of the numbers shown in the data above indicates a one to one ratio of patrol officers to command staff in Raytown. The Grandview Police Department has more patrolmen because they do not have as many detectives, two less command officers (captain and above) and, does not employ a crime analyst.

A debate has been raging on the Raytown Report blog over whether or not to double the property tax to bring more dollars of support to the police department.Is there a better way to bring more patrol officers to a community?

Apparently Grandview has found a way to do so. And it is important to note, they have done with a quarter of a million less dollars.

The questions remains . . . Why not Raytown? 
Information compiled from budget records of Raytown and Grandview.

2 Cent Gasoline Tax
THE OTHER TAX ON THE AUGUST BALLOT
Most of the attention and debate on the has focused on the proposed doubling of the Property Tax from 50 cents to $1.00.

There is, however, another tax increase on the August 2018 ballot.

The gasoline tax would increase the price of gasoline by 2 cents gallon.
  •  All proceeds from the tax, by state law, can only be used for street improvements.
  • There is not any sunset on the tax. Once it is approved, it will remain a permanent tax.

  • Passage requires a majority of voters casting ballots approve the tax.
The tax is a relatively new tax. Only two cities in Missouri have approved the gasoline tax. One is Peculiar, Missouri, which has a two cent tax on all gasoline sold in its city. The other is Charleston, Missouri, which imposes a 1 cent sales tax on gasoline sales.

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Sunday, January 28, 2018

RAYOWN'S LEADING NEWS SOURCE

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BY GREG WALTERS
Property Tax Levy
Increase Explained . . .
It has been less than three weeks since the Raytown Board of Aldermen voted to start the process to bring a property tax increase to the voters next August. In that short span of time there has been a flood of misinformation about the tax proposal. This article will explain exactly what you will be voting on and how much it will cost you if voters approve the increase.

IS RAYTOWN A LOW TAX CITY?
The following chart shows the current property tax levy and its impact on taxpayers in Raytown in comparison to surrounding communities. As the chart clearly shows, Raytown has the highest over-all property tax of all the city's shown.

RATES BASED ON A HOME VALUED AT $120,000....DOUBLE CLICK ON CHART ENLARGE


FIRE DISTRICT + CITY PROPERTY TAX = $332.00
the reasons are many. Raytown does not operate its own Fire Department. Raytown is the only city listed that does not operate its own Fire Department. Combine the two taxes together (City and Fire District) and you find Raytown is third highest, just $1.50 under Lee's Summit for the same home valued at $120,000. Add the Raytown School District Property tax and Raytown is catapulted ahead of ALL in the amount of property tax its citizens pay.

ARE WE VOTING ON PERSONAL OR PROPERTY TAX?
(THE CORRECT ANSWER IS "BOTH")
There has been a ton of misinformation on this topic. So to make sure we had the right answer, we checked with Administration at City Hall. The proposed property tax levy is for both the Real Estate and Personal Property. If passed the rate would increase from approximately 50 cents per one hundred dollars evaluation to $1.00 per hundred dollars evaluation*. You are voting on one levy increase that effects both Real Estate and Personal Property.

The real estate property tax is on the value of your home.
The personal property tax is on the value personal possessions, such as cars, boats, trailers, etc. Both tax levy rates will be increased if the voters approve the question in August, 2018.

*An effort to increase the property tax levy to $1.30 per hundred dollars valuation has a plurality of votes, but did not reach the benchmark of six votes for approval.

HOW THEY VOTED:
PROPERTY TAX LEVY: Increase the Personal and Property Tax Levy from from 50 cents to $1.30 per hundred dollars valuation.
VOTING YES: Karen Black, Jason Greene, Mark Moore, Steve               Meyers
VOTING NO: Jim Aziere, Ryan Myers, Bonnaye Mims, Frank Hunt,     Bill Vanbuskirk
MOTION FAILED.  Four (yes)  Five (no)  
ABSENT: One Ward 5 Alderman seat is currently vacant

PROPERTY TAX LEVY: Increase the Personal and Property Tax Levy from from 50 cents to $1.00 per hundred dollars valuation.
VOTING YES: Frank Hunt, Karen Black, Jason Greene, Mark Moore, Bill VanBuskirk, Steve Meyers
VOTING NO: Jim Aziere, Ryan Myers, Bonnaye Mims
MOTION PASSED.  Six (yes)   Three (no)
ABSENT: One Ward 5 Alderman seat is currently vacant

RATES BASED ON A HOME VALUED AT $120,000....DOUBLE CLICK ON CHART ENLARGE
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST IF THE TAX PASSES?
The chart shown above is what your property tax will cost on a home valued at $120,000 in 2018. The last column includes an additional 30% property tax increase the Board or Aldermen considered but did not act on. This chart DOES NOT take into consideration the possibility of the Raytown Fire District or Raytown Parks bringing tax increases of their own. Both the Fire District and the Parks and Recreation have held discussions regarding an increase in taxes.

Next Week . . . A look at the proposed gasoline tax.

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