6:30 - 8:00
Raytown City Hall
|BY GREG WALTERS|
I attended last Tuesday’s meeting of the Raytown Board of Aldermen. Yes, it was true. The Council Chambers was full of Raytowners. Nearly all of them came to listen to speakers give their comments on recent articles in the Raytown Times.
Judging by the response of the audience, it would be fair to say most were in agreement that Ward 2 Alderman Jim Aziere and former Ward 1 Alderman Joe Creamer had gone too far in their written accusations of wrong doing by members of the Raytown Board of Aldermen.
It would also be fair to say much of criticism fell squarely on the shoulders of Raytown Times owner Randy Battagler. Some speakers suggested Battagler was as much at fault for giving a platform to Aziere and Creamer to spread what many called outright lies.
We have given a brief synopsis of those comments. Readers can also use a link at the beginning of the Paul Livius Report if they prefer to watch a video of the meeting.
What I found interesting is that the fabrications continued as Aziere spoke.
Park Board member Chris Rathbone told about inaccuracies and misinformation on Jim Aziere’s Facebook page. Jim Aziere later denied posting to Facebook. The picture to the right is a screen shot of a post by Jim Aziere on the very topic Mr. Rathbone brought to the table.
Speaking of Randy Battagler, we noticed that he has already endorsed nearly all of the Aziere/Creamer slate of candidates. We thought it odd the endorsement would come out as early as it did. We also found it equally odd that he had more bad to say about candidates than good.
One member of the audience told me they did not believe Alderman Janet Emerson had really broken her foot. I was pretty sure the Ward 3 Alderman had, in fact, been honest about her injuries. I mentioned it Janet and she sent me an xray of her foot as proof positive she had indeed broken her foot.
|BY PAUL LIVIUS|
Paul Livius Report
Raytown Board of Aldermen Meeting – March 21, 2017
Public Fills Council Chambers
to Air Complaints
Last Tuesday's meeting of the Raytown Board of Aldermen was unique. Raytowners filled the Council Chamber to speak on recent articles and letters in the Raytown Times. Central to the discussion was an article titled "The View From Here" by Ward 2 Alderman Jim Aziere and a letter writing campaign by former Ward 1 Alderman Joe Creamer. To view a video recording of last Tuesday's Board of Aldermen meeting
USE THIS LINK . . .PUBLIC COMMENTS
Alderman Steve Meyers spoke during public comments and said there are those who abused editorial privileges with slanderous accusations by basement letter writers. This board of aldermen has made decisions and updated policies that will benefit residents for years to come.
Alderman Jason Greene said he wanted to address the intentional misinformation in the local paper. These statements have become so outlandish that a response has become necessary. He and others on the Board have been accused of having secret meetings with the Raytown Fire Protection District. Alderman Greene said he is the Fire Board liaison. Chief Matt Mace spoke with Alderman Greene about issues concerning the 350 Live TIF. The information provided to Mr. Greene was also provided to the public. The accusations of sunshine law violations were made. The Missouri Attorney General investigated the claim and found no violations.
Fire Chief Matt Mace asked the board if the opinion expressed by Alderman Jim Aziere was shared by the whole Board. In March, 2017, Alderman Jim Aziere was a contributing writer in the local paper. He specifically identified himself as an Alderman. Chief Mace said he takes exception when Jim Aziere referred to the Raytown Fire Protection District as Raytown’s branch of the Kansas City Fire Department.
Mace said, "For over 70 years, the Raytown Fire District has proudly served this community and we find this comment reprehensible.I have ignored these short-sided attacks for too long, choosing to follow the advice of Mark Twain… “Never argue with a fool; onlookers may not be able to tell the difference”. The problem with this approach is the risk that people will begin to believe a lie if they hear it repeated enough without challenge. Tonight, I intend to set the record straight."
Alderman Karen Black said the goal is to move Raytown forward for families. Jim Aziere presented alternative facts but she’s not sure why because he has attended the same meetings as the rest of the board.
Chris Rathbone said he wanted to set the facts straight and clear up any false information put forward by Jim Aziere. Alderman Aziere claimed on his Facebook page that Super Splash is used more than the other 18 parks put together. Alderman Aziere also stated on Facebook that Super Splash was to be sold. Mr. Rathbone pointed out there are only 10 parks in Raytown. The Park Board has not discussed selling Super Splash.
Robbie Tubbs told the Board Joe Creamer makes statements that are unsubstantiated and full of suppositions. She said Jim Aziere has now been pulled into the problems. She pointed out that Aziere said Raytown no longer has a professional city staff. Aziere also wrote in the local paper that the Board cut parks budget funds and reallocated money to storm water. Ms. Tubbs said in 2010, Aziere was the one who added storm water to the ballot language. She said Aziere keeps complaining about the closing of Super splash, but fails to talk about the $1 million loss at Super Splash in recent years.
Sam Dawson said he and his family moved to Raytown 20 years ago. They rely on the Board to run the city. He doesn’t have time. This is the Board’s job. He’s seeing more businesses pop up and that’s a good thing.
Joe Creamer told the Board people can laugh at what he writes. He said he has proof about all the accusations in his garage. If he had known about the meeting, he would have brought copies to share.
Alderman Jim Aziere told the Board he was wrong. He is willing to admit the meetings between the Board of Alderman and the Raytown Fire Protection District were not illegal. He’s just upset because he wasn’t invited.
Proclamations / Presentations:
Megan Butler, a special education teacher at New Trails Early Learning Center, is a nominee for the 2017 Outstanding Beginning Teacher Award from the Missouri Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.
Brenda Kueck, band director at Raytown South Middle School, received the 2017 Outstanding Jazz Educator Award from the Missouri Association of Jazz Educators.
Lisa Kirk, art teacher at Spring Valley Elementary, has been selected as the Elementary Art Educator of the Year by the Missouri Art Education Association.
Otis Peeler, Raytown South High School senior, finished the wrestling season ranked number one with a record of 41-0. Peeler won the first-place title in the 170-pound weight class at the Missouri State High School Activities Association’s 3A wrestling championship.
The Herndon Career Center’s ProStart Culinary Team earned first place at the Missouri ProStart Invitational and qualified for the national competition in April.
The Board passed an ordinance approving the Ninth Amended Development Plan submitted by the Raytown Municipal Redevelopment Corporation, establishing a declaration that the redevelopment area described within the Ninth Amended Development Plan is a blighted area in need of development and redevelopment, and authorizing certain tax abatements within the redevelopment area described within the Ninth Amended Development Plan. Wanda Mullins is seeking approval of a Chapter 353 Tax Abatement application for renovations to the property for use as a bakery. Chapter 353 Tax Abatement is an economic incentive that by state law allows for full or partial tax relief for those willing to redevelop property within blighted areas. The intent of the Raytown Municipal Redevelopment Corporation (RMRC) is to strengthen the economic viability of the Downtown Raytown area by providing an innovative financial incentive for improving the exterior appearance, interior and structural conditions of its buildings. The RMRC Board of Directors has recommended approval of the application for Chapter 353 tax abatement at Level A “Market Stabilizing” for the property located at 5902 Blue Ridge Blvd. The abatement level is 10 years of tax abatement at 100% (on the improvement value), or for the cost of the improvements, whichever occurs first.The submitted application indicates the type of improvements proposed and the estimated costs will include:
• Interior Finish: $12,000
• Detention Pond: $16,000
• Parking Lot: $31,000
• HVAC: $9,989
• Hot Water Tank: $700
• Equipment: $4,500
• Total: $74,189
The Board passed a resolution amending the fiscal year 2016-2017 budget related to Raytown BMX. A budget amendment is requested to increase the capital expenditures for Park BMX. Following approval of the fiscal year 2016-2017 budget, Raytown BMX ended fiscal year 2015-2016 with a surplus of revenue over expenses. Since opening in 1999, Raytown BMX has operated as an enterprise fund with budget surplus carried over to the next fiscal year for capital improvements.
The Board passed a resolution approving participation by the city in the Missouri Department of Transportation Highway Safety Crash Reduction/hazardous moving enforcement project and an application for grant funding in connection with the Highway Safety Crash Reduction/hazardous moving enforcement grant for such purposes. If awarded, the billed hours worked by officers of the Raytown will be reimbursed at the rate of 100%. The Raytown Police Department intends to utilize these funds to decrease hazardous driving related offenses and crashes within the Raytown city limits. The grant, if awarded, allows for $6,000.00 dollars to be used for overtime assignments and will be reimbursed at 100% to the city. In addition, the grant will reimburse the cost of sending one officer to the annual LETSAC conference for additional training. There is no match required by the City for this grant.
The Board passed a resolution authorizing the purchase of parts and supplies for police vehicles from LE Upfitter off the Western States Contracting alliance contract in an amount not to exceed $29,016. The Police Department has purchased three new Ford Police Utility Interceptors and one new Ford Expedition. The current equipment that is in the existing vehicles has reached the end of its life expectancy. The exterior lighting cost for all vehicles is approximately $15,914.14. No other bids are required for the lighting as this is a Government Contract through Western States Contracting Alliance. LE Upfitter was also the best bid for the interior up fit. The total cost for the interior up fit is $13,102.
The Board passed a resolution approving the continuation an agreement with Infinity Building Services for mowing services in an amount not to exceed $52,000 but within budgeted amounts for fiscal year 2016-2017. This 2015 Raytown Mowing Services project low bid of Infinity Building Services was for both the Parks Department and the Public Works Department mowing. The 2015 bid included options for a second and third year of mowing services. The contractor’s mark-up is zero percent for both future years, and they agree to work this year for the same costs as last year. The Parks & Recreation Department will have the contractor mow up to 14 possible areas. They included 7 park areas on the base bid which will be mowed on a regular basis, and another 7 areas on an alternate bid that will only be mowed when needed.
The Public Works Department will have the contractor mow 35 areas throughout the City. Each location will be paid per the contract unit costs. The number of times each area is mowed will depend on the location of the area, as well as the weather. Alderman Eric Teeman said this company has had performance issues in the past. Alderman Steve Meyers said this bid is two years old. Since they gave us poor service last year, how do we know they will do better this year? Alderman Jim Aziere said at one time, Raytown hired summer help and public works mowed the grass in-house. He said he’s not sure why the city stopped that practice. Alderman Bill Van Buskirk pointed out the city sent the mowing out to bid because the cost of maintaining the equipment was too high.
The Board passed a resolution authorizing the purchase of asphalt and related supplies from Vance Brothers in an amount not to exceed $35,000. During the fiscal year, Public Works expended approximately $35,000.00 purchasing asphalt for asphalt patching by Public Works crews. There are two vendors that are an acceptable distance from the City that supply asphalt materials; however, Vance Brothers, Inc. is available the most days in any given year since they only close for Holidays, snow days, rain days and days with very low temperatures. The other company is closed December 1 through March 1.
The Board passed a resolution approving the purchase of parts and supplies from O’Reilly Auto Parts off the National Joint Powers Alliance Cooperative purchasing contract in an amount not to exceed $65,000. This will provide vehicle replacement parts is and ongoing and necessary to properly service the City’s fleet.
The Board passed an ordinance approving the expenditure of funds to acquire easements related to the 83rd street bridge project in an amount not to exceed $18,000. The City has hired Olsson Associates to design the removal and replacement of the 83rd Street Bridge. Olsson has hired Chris Huffman, Huffman Corridor Consulting/Martens Appraisal, to acquire the six necessary easements from five property owners. These six easements will end up costing the City $18,000. This expense was not included within the current budget. Public Works Department is requesting a budget amendment to increase the Transportation Sales Tax budget to include paying for the easements needed to remove and replace the 83rd Street Bridge.
The Board passed a resolution authorizing the expenditure of funds to remove trees related to the 83rd street bridge project in an amount not to exceed $2,500. The City has hired Olsson Associates to design the removal and replacement of the 83rd Street Bridge. We have chosen Integrity Tree Care to remove the trees on the south side of the bridge that are necessary for the construction of the new bridge, at a cost of $2,500.00. This area of tree removal is about 365 feet long and 50 feet wide, as depicted on the attached aerial photo. This expense was not included within the current budget. The Public Works Department is requesting a budget amendment to increase the Transportation Sales Tax budget to include removal of trees necessary to remove and replace the 83rd Street Bridge.
To leave a comment use this link POST A COMMENT
To leave a comment use this link POST A COMMENT