Sunday, April 19, 2015


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After many months of asking, the people of Raytown are finally starting to get timely posting of Raytown City Council meetings on You Tube. Here is an idea for the powers that be at City Hall to consider. Why not check the links from the City’s website before going home?

Last night I sat down to write my twice monthly Paul Livius Report.

I went to the city’s website and the link to You Tube did not work.

After doing a few searches on You Tube I was able to find the meeting.

I sent it on to our webmaster (that would be Greg) to post. He promised he will check the link before he puts the page up.

I would like to think that if Greg can handle this task, anyone can handle it!

All kidding aside . . . the city pays a lot of money for a Public Information Officer and her assistant. The taxpayers deserve better service for their tax dollar.  After all, she was given an award for doing this stuff!

Speaking of news coverage last week, a blogger who identified herself as Dana sent us the following message.

Dana Said . . .

"I hope the first thing the new City Council does is lift the news black-out. There is no reason the meetings can’t be broadcast on ATT, U-Verse and Google Fiber as well as Comcast. If they can pay for the $30,000 “salary adjustment” they can pay for the hook ups necessary to keep the people informed."

Well said, Dana. I could not agree with you more. Last time I looked at a calendar we were a decade and a half into the 21st Century. There is no reason the City cannot reach out to the people by taking advantage of every day technology.

The ironic part is that many of those opposed to free and frequent broadcasting of public meetings are the same who complain of voter apathy.

When you are right, you are right. And Dana, you are 100% correct on your observation. Let’s see if the new City Council is listening.
Use this link to view the video . . . BOARD MEETING

The Paul Livius Report
Raytown Board of Aldermen Meeting – April 14, 2015
Mayor Bower said the Raytown Emergency 9-1-1 Communication Officers play a vital role in the health and safety of the Raytown residents.  The Communication Center processes nearly 42,000 requests for service each year, 92,500 telephone calls and 20,250 9-1-1 calls.   He said these staff members serve the citizens of Raytown 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  The citizens in Raytown receive superior service through the Raytown 9-1-1 Emergency Communication Center who provides information, call processing and immediate dispatch of emergency calls to the Raytown Emergency Medical Services and the Raytown Police Department.  He proclaimed the week of April 12, 2015 Telecommunicator Week.

The Board passed a resolution approving the appointment Quentin Brown to the Human Relations Commission.

The Board passed a resolution approving an agreement with Lan-Tel Communications Services for the 2015 concrete repair project in a total amount not to exceed $150,000.00.   Jim Melvin told the Board the 2014-2015 street maintenance program budget is $775,000.00. This amount includes the concrete project, asphalt overlay, lightweight aggregate seal, street striping, 83rd Street Bridge savings, crack sealing, and grant match for Blue Ridge Blvd bike lanes. The concrete repair project was budgeted at $150,000.00 of the $775,000.00 total. This project will be for 60 calendar days, which is planned to begin in May and be completed in late June or early to mid-July. The staff is requesting an $11,000.00 increase in the approved amount for possible change order overruns in this concrete removal/replacement project. This will make an approved amount to spend of $150,000.00.

The Board passed a resolution approving an agreement with Wiedenmann, Inc. for an emergency repair project to the sanitary sewer main located in the vicinity of 8308 Hunter Street in an amount not to exceed $31,700.00. Jim Melvin told the Board The Public Works Department received a call regarding a sewer backup at 8308 Hunter.  Upon investigation with the camera, the crew found several areas where the pipe was filled with roots, and one area where the pipe had collapsed and left a 3’ diameter void that was 25’ long. The crew was able to open the areas where the roots had plugged the line, but the pipe had been damaged by the roots. With the amount of damage, and with a 25’ long void, Public Works felt that the repairs must be made on an emergency basis. The area of the long void could collapse at any time and cause backups to services above the void. The City Administrator agreed that this is an emergency repair.  The Staff contacted Wiedenmann, Inc. (the contractor on the Lee’s Summit annual repair coop contract).  Wiedenmann, Inc. estimated the cost of the repairs at $31,700.00. They had a crew available on March 27th, and the work is nearly complete.

The Board passed a resolution approving a 60-month lease with Lineage for a Neopost automatic mail machine and a folder-inserter machine off the Western States Contracting Alliance Cooperative.  Mark Loughry told the Board In 2011, the City entered into a 60-month agreement with Pitney Bowes to provide the City with a postage machine and folder inserter at a cost of $1,578.00 per month. At the time, the City was processing all sewer bills in house which resulted in mailings of approximately 12,000 pieces of mail one day a month and approximately 2,500 pieces spread throughout the rest of the month. In May of 2014, the City began outsourcing the printing and mailing of sewer bills with Arista to save money.

It was determined it would be advisable to maintain the current postage equipment until staff was comfortable that Arista could perform as promised. Additionally, it would have been very costly to terminate the lease with Pitney Bowes that early in the contract. The City has been very satisfied with the services of Arista and is ready to proceed with right sizing the postage and inserter equipment required for daily operations.

Staff has contacted Pitney Bowes  numerous times in an effort to work with them and they have been uncooperative on this subject. In an effort to move forward, staff contacted Lineage, the local Neopost representative. Neopost has a Missouri State and Local government contract in place that we are able to take advantage of. 

Lineage has proposed a program that would include all of the necessary equipment and maintenance with a 60-month lease of $850.62. This would include providing a payoff of the existing Pitney Bowes Lease. By right sizing the equipment with Lineage and paying off the existing lease the City would recognize a monthly savings of $727.38 which is an annual savings of $8,728.56. Unlike the current lease, the City will own the equipment at the end of 60-month lease.

Follow the Money
The period right before and immediately after a City Election are often time periods of little legislative activity. The reason is simple. Incumbents are loath to stir the pot right before an election. Candidates challenging incumbents prefer to zero in the opposition’s record.

That has not been the case at Raytown City Hall in the period leading up to the April 7th Election. Since the beginning the year the city has been on a spending spree unparalleled by previous administrations. The large dollar amounts listed are outside the day to day operation costs of running the city.

$211,909    Renovations to Raytown Council Chambers
$  26,872    SuperSplash water slide repair
$  45,287    New Phone System
$  90,000    Master Park Plan Study
$  58,000    Police Department Architect design
$157,430    Sewer Line Replacement
$589,498    TOTAL
Some of the contracts signed are necessary, even urgent, as is the case of a collapsed sanitary sewer on the south part of town. But much of what has been approved was not.
The attempt by Mayor Bower and his friends to tie the hands of the new City Council should not be allowed to stand.

A new City Council will be sworn in next Tuesday. They should calmly take the reins of power the voters have given them and set their own course. The voters spoke clearly that they were not interested in the status quo at City Hall. They want change
Mayor Elect Michael McDonough and those who were elected with him should roll up their sleeves and begin the work of righting the good ship Raytown. The first order of business should be to nullify any of those contracts that do not fit their plans for Raytown’s future.

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