Sunday, October 26, 2014

RAYTOWN'S LEADING NEWS SOURCE

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BY GREG WALTERS
Bits and Pieces . . .
The November 4th General Election is just around the corner. Normally the interest in next April's Raytown City Election takes a back seat to the campaigns of the moment. Not so this year.

There are already two candidates who have announced their campaign for Mayor.

    Mayor David Bower has announced his intent to seek a third term for Mayor. He already has a challenger in lifetime Raytown resident Mike McDonough, who is reported to have held some successful fundraisers to bolster his effort. When you take into consideration the election is almost half a year away, that is quite a bit of interest.Word is circulating two Aldermen are also testing the waters to run for the Mayor’s job as well. Both Aldermen from Ward 4 have expressed an interest in running for Mayor. Bill VanBuskirk is not shy about voicing his interest. His seatmate on the Board of Aldermen, Pat Ertz had let it be known he was planning on running earlier this year. After a period of silence on his plans, talk of a shot at the Mayor’s seat has re-surfaced.
    The anti-Charter crowd is not wasting any time in an early attempt at what appears to be a disinformation campaign. A letter sent to one of the Charter Commissioners has surfaced in which the writer wondered why the proposed Charter required Department Heads take up residency in the City. The author of the letter did not share his source or what prompted his question.A reply was sent explaining that the Charter Commission had decided not to require city department heads to live within city limits. All of the Charter cities in the Kansas City metropolitan area require their City Administrator to live within city limits.

    Those who watch Raytown’s Government Channel may have noticed there was not any broadcast of last Thursday’s meeting. The absence of the broadcast caused a small stir on the Raytown Report Blog when some questioned why there was not a broadcast. No mention was made of it on the City’s website. The only explanation was on the television screen stating that upgrades were being made.As it turns out the “upgrade” was some remodeling of the Raytown City Council Chambers. In other words, an explanation as to why the meeting was not broadcast was not given.

    The upgrade question brings up another subject – why not broadcast the meetings on the new Google Network that has been installed in Raytown. The question has been posed before. The answer received was that Google wanted the city to pay for the service.In view of the fact that the city waived fees for Google to make its massive installation in Raytown, it seems a fair trade for the service to be gifted to the city in return.Incidentally, Google subscribers received letters last week informing them the service they had been told would up and running this Fall has been set back to next Spring. Seems like a good reason to bring up the subject of televising the programs one more time.After all, Comcast broadcasts the meetings for free  . . .  why not expect the same from Google?

    City Council Votes to Finance Re-Opening of SuperSplash
    The Raytown City Council voted last Tuesday to finance the re-opening of SuperSplash for the Raytown Park Board. The vote passed by a margin of 7 (yes), 1 (no) and 2 (absent). Six “yes” votes were required for passage. Included in the package is $50,000 to help build a website for the Park Board.

    BY PAUL LIVIUS
    The Paul Livius Report
    Raytown Board of Aldermen Meeting – October 23, 2014

    The Board passed a resolution authorizing additional funds for Change order no. 2 with Linaweaver Construction for the White Oak West sanitary sewer improvement project not to exceed $53,130.50 for a total contract amount not to exceed $3,157,992.50. This change order will modify four existing line items to bring them up to field measured amounts, and add three line items for extra work needed to repair existing facilities within the project limits of the White Oak West Sanitary Sewer Project. The original contract amount was $3,091,952.00, Change Order #1 added an additional $12,910.00, and this Change will add an additional $53,130.50, and this will make the new contract amount $3,157,992.50.

    Existing line item 7 is increased by 1,045 square yards. This brings the quantity to the final measured amount. This overrun is due to extending the overlay further on 83rd Street to the east and west to meet up with good pavement.

    Existing line item 22 is increased by 3.5 vertical feet. This was needed to raise manhole lids along the creek to get the manhole lid well above the adjacent ground.

    Existing line item 23 is increased by 3.0 vertical feet. This was needed to raise manhole lids along the reek to get the manhole lid well above the adjacent ground.

    Existing line item 26 is increased by 4 each to reconnect 4 private sanitary sewer service lines that were inadvertently left off the plans to the newly installed City main.

    New line item 38 is increased by 1 lump sum to relocate a water main that was in conflict with the new storm sewer system. This allowed the storm sewer system to still be installed per plan.

    New line item 39 is increased by 1 lump sum to extend 2 private sanitary sewer service lines all the way across 83rd Street to the newly installed City main, these were also inadvertently left off the plans.

    New line item 40 is increased by 62 linear feet to remove and replace the existing 15” diameter metal storm sewer pipe that had the bottom rusted out.

    Contract working days are extended by 30 working days for weather delays on this Change Order.

    Next month, there will be one final Change Order #3 that will bring all quantities to their final measured amounts. There will be some line items that increase and some that decrease, but this exact amount is not yet known.

    The Board passed a resolution approving the emergency purchase of a traffic control box and components.  The City of Raytown purchased this traffic control box and components, with installation on September 18, 2014. The existing control box was severely damaged in a traffic accident on that date. City staff was able to temporarily repair the controller to continue operations through the night; however, the damage to the controller was severe, and it compromised both the operation and the security of the traffic signals at Gregory Boulevard and Blue Ridge Boulevard.

    The Board passed a resolution approving the execution of the First Amendment to the Contract for Housing Specialist Services with Builders Development Corporation (BDC) to perform housing specialist services for Neighborhood Stabilization Program 3 and authorize expenditure in excess of $15,000.00.  On April 19, 2011 Board of Aldermen approved an ordinance authorizing the execution of an agreement with Missouri Department of Economic Development for the City of Raytown to be the lead city in the Neighborhood Stabilization Program 3 (NSP3) grant in the amount of $1.25 million for the purpose of implementing programs focused on rehabbing or demolishing/rebuilding vacant and foreclosed homes or land in the target areas of Raytown, Grandview and Sugar Creek. Since that time all but a few thousand dollars of the $1.25 million grant funds have been expended. Additionally, to date, the $1.25 million NSP3 grant and the resulting project income has provided $1.7 million in housing rehab and new home construction.  The grant funds, however, continue to provide project income from the sale of homes in the three cities. The project income is used to purchase additional homes for rehab or for demolition and construction of a new home and then resale, which then provides additional project income. The project income currently is considered to be part of the grant and, as such, is subject to the payment of administrative fees to Mid America Regional Council (MARC) and the State of Missouri Department of Economic Development. The proposed amendment would change future project income from being collected and paid to the City as part of the NSP3 grant program and instead paid to Builders Development Corporation (BDC) for use as part of the City’s Neighborhood Revitalization efforts in accordance with the contract the City of Raytown has with BDC, as approved by the Board of Aldermen on May 3, 2011.

    This contract amendment closes out the existing NSP3 Program and removes the City out of the contractual process. This Contract Amendment is also consistent with recommendations from the Mid America Regional Council and as part of the recommended NSP Grant Program close-out procedures for audit requirements.

    The Board passed a resolution approving the budget of the Parks and Recreation Department for fiscal year 2014-2015.  This will allow Super Splash to remain open one more year.  For the Park Board Budget, please click on PARK BOARD BUDGET and go to page 47.

    The Board heard the first reading of an ordinance establishing the compensation for the office of mayor for the term beginning April 2015.  The Elected Officials Compensation Committee was established by the Board of Aldermen to review the compensation for elected officials and make recommendations for adjustment. An elected official’s compensation must be set prior to a person taking office and compensation cannot change during the term of office, unless additional duties are added. Accordingly, any adjustment the Board of Aldermen deems appropriate must be made prior to the April 7, 2015 election. The recommendation of the Commission relative to the Mayor was to keep the monthly compensation at the current rate of $1,000.00 per month and increase the monthly car allowance from $200 per month to $250.00 per month.

    The Board heard the first reading of an ordinance establishing the compensation for the office of city collector for the term beginning April, 2015. The Elected Officials Compensation Committee was established by the Board of Aldermen to review the Compensation for elected officials and make recommendations for adjustment. An elected official’s compensation must be set prior to a person taking office and compensation cannot change during the term of office, unless additional duties are added.  Accordingly, any adjustment the Board of Aldermen deems appropriate must be made prior to the April 7, 2015 election. The recommendation of the Commission relative to the City Collector was to keep the monthly compensation at the current rate of $100.00 per month.

    The Board heard the first reading of an ordinance establishing the compensation for the office of board of aldermen for the term beginning April 2015.  The Elected Officials Compensation Committee was established by the Board of Aldermen to review the compensation for elected officials and make recommendations for adjustment. An elected official’s compensation must be set prior to a person taking office and compensation cannot change during the term of office, unless additional duties are added. Accordingly, any adjustment the Board of Aldermen deems appropriate must be made prior to the April 7, 2015 election. The recommendation of the Commission relative to the Board of Aldermen was to keep the monthly compensation at the current rate of $400.00 per month and to keep the monthly car allowance at the current rate of $50.00 per month.

    The Board heard the first and second readings of an ordinance approving a contract for transit service with Kansas City Area Transportation Authority.  This is a demand-response public transportation service that the City has provided under contract with the KCATA since April 2001.  This is part of the contract with Walmart on 350 Highway.  This system is integrated with the rest of the KCATA system. The service area extends beyond Raytown to make connections with the rest of the KCATA network to the north and to the south. The current hours of operation for the KCATA are from 6:00 AM to 10:00 AM; and 2:30 PM to 6:30 PM, Monday through Friday with one bus. The  proposed agreement would maintain that level of service at a cost of $56,840.00 which is within the budgeted amount. This contract will be for a 12-month period that mirrors the City’s budget year.  The Board suspended the rules and heard both readings in the same night.

    The Board heard the first and second readings of an ordinance authorizing the mayor to enter into an agreement with the Jackson County Land Trust for the demolition of buildings and other site improvements on property located at 9110 E. 69th Street and for the sharing in the cost of the demolition.   The house has been vacant and is violation of the City’s property maintenance and building safety codes. As such, upon execution of the proposed agreement between the City and the Jackson County Land Trust will have the building and other improvements on the property, including but not limited to driveway, driveway approach, walkways, sanitary sewer connection, etc.  demolished or removed. As provided in the agreement, the Jackson County Land Trust will provide $2,000.00 to the City to help pay for the cost of demolition. The City has obtained bids for the demolition and removal of the improvements on the property and low bid for the work was $5,700.00. Upon execution of the agreement with the Jackson County Land Trust and the contractor, the City will issue a notice to proceed to the demolition contractor. The property was acquired by the Jackson County Land Trust following the previous property owner’s default on payment of property taxes. Staff has spoken with the Jackson County Land Trust regarding the need to rebuild / repair the home or to demolish the house. However, the Jackson County Land Trust has stated that they do not have the funding available to undertake the improvements or demolition, but is able to contribute partial funding for the building’s demolition.  City staff has also had Builders Development Corporation (BDC) look at the building for possible rehab; however, the existing condition of the building does not make it feasible for BDC to rehab the building and sell it to a new owner.  Because the City has received complaints from neighbors about the condition of this property, staff is requesting a suspension of the rules so that demolition can be expedited and restoration of the property can be completed prior to winter.

    At the end of the meeting, Alderman Ertz told the Board he would like to see the ordinance changed for Drug and Tobacco Paraphernalia.  He said no one under the age of 18 should be allowed to enter tobacco shops and these establishments should not be allowed to sell drug and tobacco paraphernalia in the city limits.


    Rice-Tremonti Home 
    Fall Soup and Crafts
    The Friends of Rice Tremonti will hold its Annual Fall Soup and Crafts Sale on November 1st and 2nd from 11:00a.m. to 4:00p.m. The Rice Tremonti Home is located at 8801 East 66th Street.Plan to join us for a wonderful meal of Soup, cornbread, homemade pie and a beverage for only $7.00.  After eating you can also browse the great selection of craft booths, for a little early holiday shopping.All proceeds will be used by the Friends of Rice-Tremonti for the ongoing preservation of the 1844 home. 

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    Sunday, October 19, 2014

    RAYTOWN'S LEADING NEWS SOURCE


    Gnome Sweet Home? 
    It could happen. Gnomes are magical and good luck in the garden. Kauffman Stadium is one big garden!

    Take part in our poll with your prediction of who will win the World Series. (POLL FOLLOWS GREG'S STORY, "HOW ABOUT THEM ROYALS!"




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    BY PAUL LIVIUS
    Why Raytown’s 
    Street Program is Failing

    The Expanded Shale, Clay and Slate Institute, an organization promoting the use of the product on roadways cited the following reason(s) for use of Light Aggregate Seal in place of asphalt for road repair.

    Wet or dry, road surfaces of lightweight chip seal provide superior skid resistance that is maintained throughout the surface life. Lightweight aggregate does not polish as it wears. Because it is light in weight there are trucking and handling cost advantages to the contractor.  Also, windshield damage and damage to headlights, and paint caused by "flying" stones is virtually eliminated with structural lightweight aggregate, thus avoiding costly insurance claims and motorist complaints.

    The reader should note the accolades of the surface material used fit more into a rural setting, on high speed highways, than residential neighborhoods.

    We found three cities using Light Aggregate Seal on roadways in the metropolitan area. Lee’s Summit has used the surface repair on some four lane highway-type roadways in rural areas of the city. Overland Park, Kansas, Light Aggregate Seal was used on road surfaces in the Corporate Woods business park.

    Raytown is the third community using the material. Unlike Lee’s Summit and Overland Park, Raytown has used the material in developed residential neighborhoods.

    Another important fact is evident to anyone who rides on the surfaces or has a view of the finished product. In Overland Park and Lee’s Summit extensive repair work has been used to correct streets degraded by wear tear before the light aggregate surface was applied to the surface.

    In Raytown repairs are made, but not to the extent as are done in Lee’s Summit or Overland Park.

    The two pictures at left show a residential street in Raytown.  As the cracks in the newly covered road attest, inadequate preparation of the road surface has a cost. The result is the scarred and rough surface shown in the two pictures of streets recently covered with tar and aggregate seal.

    The people of Raytown deserve much better than this for their tax dollars.

    The use of alternative roadway surface material on Raytown’s residential streets is not new. Greg tells me in the 1980’s the city used a process called slurry seal on residential streets. The Board of Aldermen finally instructed the Public Works Director at the time At one time slurry seal, a mixture of oil and gravel was used to resurface residential streets. The practice was stopped when the Board of Aldermen instructed the Public Works Director to quit using slurry seal on Raytown Streets.





    BY GREG WALTERS
    How About 
    Them Royals!!!


    Now that the Kansas City Royals  are the American League Champions I'd like to see the Royals trounce the San Francisco Giants next week in four games. And I want the world to see the can win it with instant replay and without the help of Don Denkinger at first base.

    Remember Denkinger?

    He was the umpire at first base in Game Six who blew a call which many credited opening the door to a rally by the Royals to win the game.

    The aftermath in Game 7 was evident.

    As crew chief of the 1985 World Series umpiring unit, Denkinger was scheduled to work behind home plate in Game 7, a fact that further upset the Cardinals and manager Whitey Herzog. Some observers suggested that the presence of Denkinger behind the plate affected the Cardinals' gameplay, as ace pitcher John Tudor got off to a terrible start, giving up five earned runs and four walks in only 2 1⁄3 innings. Tudor was so disgusted by his performance, that he subsequently punched an electrical fan with his pitching hand. Todd Worrell (while being interviewed on ESPN Classic's The Top 5 Reasons You Can't Blame... about Don Denkinger's involvement in the 1985 World Series) would later compare the idea of Don Denkinger working behind home plate to putting a stick of dynamite back there and lighting it.

    The Cardinals made their frustrations clear throughout the game. ABC television cameras caught Herzog screaming and belittling Denkinger from the Cardinals' dugout throughout the contest. Pitcher Joaquín Andújar exploded twice over Denkinger's calls at the plate during the 5th inning, finally being ejected with Herzog after a heated argument over Denkinger's strike zone. Herzog even went so far as to directly tell Denkinger that had he gotten "the call" right in Game 6, the Cardinals would not have been subjected to a seventh game in the first place. (Denkinger then replied that if the Cardinals were batting better than .120 in the Series, there would have been no need for a Game 7 either.) In the immediate aftermath of his meltdown, Andújar smashed a toilet in the Cardinals' clubhouse. The Cardinals were completely demolished by the Royals as Kansas City would go on to win Game 7 in an 11–0 blowout, taking home their first and only World Series Trophy.

    That was then. This is now.

    The Royals are making baseball history. Their eight game post season winning streak is proof of their pitching and defensive strength. Their run production may be low -- but they have shown an uncanny knack of scoring just enough to win the contests they are in.

    Their confidence is growing . . . my prediction . . . the Royals in six . . . Just you watch!





    Charter Commission 
    Makes Bold Move for Change
    Last Monday evening the Raytown Charter Commission spent close to two hours debating changes in the structure of how Raytown Parks and Recreation is governed.

    In a unanimous recommendation Commissioners voted to change how the Executive Director is appointed. Currently the Park Director is chosen by the Park Board. In the new Charter under consideration, the responsibility of the appointment will be that of the Raytown Board of Aldermen.

    Another change recommended by the Commission would be to codify the Parks Department Rules and Regulations. Commissioner Greg Walters that by codifying the Parks Department Rules and Regulations into the Code of Ordinances the Raytown Police Department would have the proper tools to enforce rules.

    Walters explained the change would put teeth into the Park Board rules for conduct of the public in Raytown’s parks. As it is currently enforced, Police officers can only request that rules be followed. Once the rules become part of the city’s code, Police officers would be able to cite violations of Park Rules leaving judgment to the Municipal Court. Violators of rules would have to appear in Court. If they do not appear in Court, a bench warrant would be posted for their arrest.

    Commissioners also addressed a restriction on showing favoritism to one utility provider over another. Last year the Raytown Board of Aldermen waived easement fees for Google. Under provisions approved by a majority of the Commissioners favoritism of one business over another would not be allowed in Raytown.

    Recognizing the need to proceed at a quicker pace to meet a mid-January deadline to be placed on the April ballot, Commissioners agreed to double the amount of meetings to be held in the months of November and December to finish the Charter on time.

    The next meeting of the Raytown Charter Commission is scheduled for Monday, October 20th. The meeting has been moved to the Raytown Fire District Headquarters at Fire Station Number 1 on Raytown Trafficway. The meetings are open to the public. Anyone wishing to address the Commission may do so at the beginning of the meeting during a time set aside for Public Comments.



    FIT BOTTOMED EATS BY JENN
    Have a Great Recipe?

    Do you have a great healthy recipe? One that you go to time and time again? One that pleases a crowd — and one that is so tasty they don’t even realize it’s a totally healthy dish? A recipe that is fast, delicious and oh-so foodie? One that you’re somewhat (or totally) famous for? Then this announcement is for you! READ MORE




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