Saturday, June 8, 2019


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Raytown C-2 School Board Vacancy
RAYTOWN SCHOOL BOARD PRESIDENT RESIGNS


The Raytown C-2 School District has announced a Board of Education vacancy. Krisite Collins, Board President of the Raytown School Board has tendered her resignation.


Residents who wish to be appointed to the vacancy shall apply at the superintendent’s office located at 6608 Raytown Rd., Raytown, MO. Applications will be accepted until June 24, 2019, at 4:00 p.m.

The appointee will serve until the next school board election, when a director shall be elected for the unexpired term. For more information, contact Rachel Johnston, Board Secretary, at 816-268-7008.

For more information use this link: Application Process


BREAKING NEWS . . .  BREAKING NEWS . . . BREAKING NEWS
RAYTOWN POLICE RESPOND TO SHOOTING AT COLEMAN PARK EARLY SATURDAY MORNING.

Woman Killed at Coleman Park
in Early Saturday Morning Shooting
Raytown, MO – At about 12:24 A.M., Saturday morning (June 15, 2019) Raytown Police Officers were called to the area of Sarah Colman-Livengood Park, 5901 Lane, regarding a house that had been shot. The house was adjacent to the park. Moments later, police received a call that a woman had been shot at the park itself.
Upon the officers’ arrival, they located a young woman who had suffered a gunshot wound. There were other people present at the park, who were rendering first aid. They were not injured. Two individuals were seen running away after the shooting and were not located. The woman’s identity has not been released at this time. No arrests have been made in relation to the incident.
It was discovered that at least three houses adjacent to the park, and the park office building that was located on the park grounds, had been struck by bullets. No occupants were injured.
A group of about 20 people had been partying at the Park when the shooting occurred. The shooting occurred one and one half hours after the park had been closed for the evening. Coleman Park has an 11:00 p.m. curfew on Friday nights during the summer. Nearby residents reported at least 15  gunshots fired in rapid succession during the shooting.
Police continue to investigate. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the TIPS Hotline, 816-474-TIPS (8477.)
SOURCE FOR THIS STORY INCLUDE THE RAYTOWN POLICE DEPARTMENT.


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CONFIDENTIAL AUDIT HOTLINE TO STATE AUDITOR’S OFFICE
TELEPHONE:      800-347-8597
EMAIL:                 moaudit@auditor.mo.gov

State Auditor Explains
Audit Process to
Board of Aldermen

To view a video recording of the meeting use thIs link . . . AUDIT PRESENTATION GO TO THE SECOND ITEM ON THE AGENDA . . . "STUDY SESSION"

State Auditor Todd M. Schuler, CPA addressed the Mayor and Board of Aldermen at last Tuesday’s meeting to explain the Missouri State Audit process. Mr. Schuler is the direct representative of Missouri State Auditor Nichole Galloway.

The audit of the City of Raytown was called for when the Jackson County Board of Election Commissioners verified 1623 signatures of registered Raytown voters who petitioned the State Auditor to conduct an audit of the City of Raytown.

Mr. Schuler told the Board the State Auditor’s office will be conducting two audits of Raytown. One audit is the result of the petition drive.

The second audit is of the Raytown Municipal Court. State law requires the State Auditor conduct an audit of all Municipal Courts in Missouri on a regular basis. There is not any cost to the City of the Municipal Court Audit.

Schuler explained the audit process is expected to take six months to complete for the City and three to four months to complete the Municipal Court audit. He described the City of Raytown as a larger than usual audit covering all operations within the city.

The targeted areas to be covered by the audit include but are not limited to:
  • Internal Controls
  • Compliance
  • Economy / Efficiency
  • Transactions
  • Needed Changes
  • Excess Revenue Compliance
The audit covers the time period of the last completed fiscal year (2017/2018). However, Auditors have the ability to extend the audit forward or back from the dates set in 2017/2018. For instance, the 350 Live TIF was active in three different administrations (Frank, Bower and McDonough). State Auditors have the option of expanding the audit at their discretion.
Ward 5 Alderman Derek Ward asked that the Auditors provided the Board of Aldermen with an update of the audit once it hits the half-way mark. Mr. Schuler indicated that such an update could be given.

Ward 1 Alderman Greg Walters asked Schuler to explain the difference between a Financial Audit (which the city completes annually) and a Performance Audit.

Walters said, “There has been some confusion (in the public) as to the difference between a Financial Audit and a Performance Audit.

Mr. Schuler explained a Performance Audit is larger in scope than a Financial Audit.

The Performance Audit looks at all aspects of how the City is run. Financial audits only look at the city’s finances and guarantee the city’s financial books are properly balanced.

Recommendations will be made where improvements can be made in the day to day operation of the City. If any malfeasance is found, the proper authorities will be contacted to investigate the findings of the Audit to see if criminal charges are called for.

“State Audits,” said Mr. Schuler, are prone to look for inefficiencies within the operation of a governmental body. It is up to the Board of Aldermen to make any suggested changes once the audit is complete.

State Audits are also “completely confidential” according to Schuler, until they are completed. Once completed, the entire audit will be made public. Individuals can view the completed audit on the Missouri State Auditor’s website www.auditor.mo.gov

Schuler also said the public is welcome to bring any item to the State Auditor’s attention. All items brought to the State Auditor’s attention will be held completely confidential (informants need not worry of being exposed or identified through the audit process).

Raytowners may contact the State Auditor’s office . . . by telephone or fax:

TELEPHONE:      800-347-8597
EMAIL:                 moaudit@auditor.mo.gov


City Offers Vouchers for
Disposal of Tree Trimmings
 $5 FOR A $25 VOUCHER
The City of Raytown is $5 coupons ($25 value) to be used at two disposal companies in the Raytown area. The coupons have a 60-day expiration date. Four coupons over a one-year period will be available for properties located in Raytown. Proof of identification, ie. a driver's license, or a recent (within the last two months) utility bill will be needed to obtain the coupon.
Alderman Greg Walters said he frequently is asked where people can dispose of tree trimmings. For $5.00 people can load up their pick up truck or trailer with unwanted tree cuttings. "This is one deal the City offers that is popular, reasonably priced and environmentally sound," said Walters. The city pays the difference due Missouri Organics.
1. Where do I get a coupon?
Coupons can be obtained at the Public Works Department at Raytown City Hall, 10000 E. 59th Street during regular business hours 8 a.m. to 5 p.m, Monday thru Friday.


2.Where can I use them?
Missouri Organic
7700 E. 40 Highway
Kansas City, MO 64129
816-483-0908
Monday through Friday - 8:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m.
Saturday - 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
This is for drop off only.


For more information call 816-737-6012 or go to www.raytown.mo.us


BY GREG WALTERS
Politics, Politicians
and Raytown  . . . Oh My!
Many years ago, when I was still a young pup on the Board of Aldermen, an interesting conversation came up at a Committee Meeting. One of the members, Ward 4 Alderman Phil Gray, for reasons that I cannot remember, went into a rant about how he hated all the politics at Raytown City Hall. He only wanted to pass “good ordinances” and not quarrel about the rest.

One of my seatmates on the Board, Ward 3 Alderman Kevin Brown, took issue with Gray’s rant.
It was a long time ago, but I doubt I will never forget it.

Alderman Brown looked at Alderman Gray and said, “Phil, we are politicians. This is what we do. We were elected to do this job. It is our job to work these things out. If you do not like your job, you should quit.”

Not surprisingly, Alderman Gray never repeated his rant.

It reminded me that we in America are blessed by a political process that works.

This past weekend most of the Board of Aldermen met at a Saturday retreat in an effort to hammer out some goals for the coming year. During the retreat I was paired with Ward 2 Alderman Greene. During our work time together we discussed many topics. Some of which was national politics. At one point we strayed into the subject of immigration.

For those who do not know, Jason is married to a citizen of Honduras. His wife is working to gain citizenship in the United States. He told me a bit of current events about Honduras I was unaware of. Apparently, that same weekend, rioters had set fire to the American Embassy in the Honduran capital, Tegucigalpa.

He also mentioned how his wife was upset and angry at those who attacked the American embassy.

In contrast, Americans do not set foreign embassies on fire. Even of those countries we may not think to highly of. In America, we elect politicians to represent us. This is true for our representatives in Jefferson City and Washington, DC, as it is in Raytown.

We are witness to the failure of national governments in our own hemisphere where those in power have failed the people they serve. The plight of people trying to escape the horrors of failed republics in Central America is testament to that failure.

Last week (June 4th) was the anniversary of the slaughter in Tiananmen Square in 1989 by the Chinese government of its own people. The protester's in Tiananmen Square “crime” was to peacefully protest the dictatorial power of their government. There were not any memorials in China of the event. Do you even have to wonder why?

The United States of America is a representative Democracy. We choose who represents us in the different arenas of government. To be sure, sometimes the process is messy and sometimes contentious. But it is by far the best way for a people to govern themselves.


BY PAUL LIVIUS
The Paul Livius Report
Raytown Board of Aldermen Meeting
June 4, 2019
The Board approved an ordinance approving the final site plan of Somerset Village Apartments in Wilson View. Curtis Peterson, on behalf of KM-TEH Realty, owners of the property located at 9611/13 E 60th Street, is requesting approval of the final site plan in order to replace the building that burnt down. The building that was destroyed contained 11 dwelling units and the proposed replacement building also contains 11 dwelling units. Somerset Village is a complex of 13 buildings that has 156 dwelling units. The complex is located on East 60th Street just west of Raytown Road. The building that was destroyed is located 9811 E. 60th Street and was destroyed by fire in February 2016.

The Board approved an ordinance amending Chapter 2 of the Raytown Municipal Code. At the April 2, 2019 General Election, the citizens of the City of Raytown, voted to make the Chief of Police position an appointed position instead of an elected position (vote was 2725/1065). It is necessary to amend the Raytown Municipal Code to reflect the changes necessary due to the results of the election.

The Board approved a resolution authorizing an agreement for inmate security housing services with Johnson County Missouri Sheriff’s Department.  On 04-25-19, a bid request was sent out for housing our inmates, as our current contract with Johnson County Missouri Sheriff’s Department is set to expire June 30th, 2019. This request was advertised in the Daily Record, our Website and e-mailed to other County Jails in our region. On 05-22-19, I contacted City Clerk Teresa Henry and she advised that one bid was received from Johnson County Missouri Sheriff’s Department on 05-14-19. The housing price increased from $40.00 to $45.00 and the transportation fee of $20.00 remained the same.

The Board approved a resolution authorizing the expenditure of funds to Missouri Organic, WCA and Compost Connection for Raytown’s clean-up coupon program in an amount not to exceed $52,000.  The need for property maintenance is ongoing and necessary for the City. With this past winter being one of the worst winters for Raytown, Raytown property owners experienced excessive tree damage and storm debris. With Board of Aldermen approval, the Public Works Department issued 2,282 FREE Storm Debris Vouchers to assist property owners with the storm debris clean-up efforts. Each Storm Debris Voucher had a redeemable value of $25 in services, either for drop-off of storm debris at Missouri Organic, or for curbside pickup of storm debris by Compost Connection. With current redemptions of Storm Debris Vouchers and ongoing City-Wide Clean-Up Coupons at Missouri Organic, the City’s spending with Missouri Organic has exceeded $15,000. Additionally, the total budgeted funds for the City-Wide Clean-Up have been exhausted due to the redemption of Storm Debris Vouchers and the City-Wide Clean-Up Coupons. The City-Wide Clean-Up Coupon program includes yard waste drop off at Missouri Organic and scheduled curbside pickup of approved household items by WCA. City staff is requesting transfers of $30,000 from Public Works to Governing Body to cover the expenses incurred to date and funds to continue providing the program for the remaining portion of the fiscal year.


Picture of the Week . . . What is it?
At the southwest corner of 59th Terrace and Hunter there is a slow water line break. The broken water line has been turned into the city many times in the last five years. The street and the adjoining property has sunk from the continual erosion occurring under the street.

During winter, the water continues to flow and freezes over one-half of the street. So much so that Public Works crews had to put additional salt to thaw the traffic hazard the frozen water created.

The City of Raytown’s Public Works Department has identified the water as coming from a Raytown Water Company water line.

The Raytown Water Company is well aware of the problem. In an effort to cover up the problem (last fall) the Water Company patched a very large pothole that had developed at the site of the leak with asphalt. That patch has since sunk five inches below street level of the curb.

WHAT IS IT?
The circular globs are probably petroleum product from the asphalt, mixed with water from the pipeline.

Water lines leak out. Under the right circumstances, they can also draw pollutants into the water line.

This is a public health hazard.

The City and Water Company have been aware of it for over five years. They have done nothing but confirm there is a leaking water pipe.




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POST A COMMENT
Some readers have noticed that in order to place a comment on the blog portion of the Raytown Report they are now required to to mark a box that reads “I am not a Robot”. This is a free service that protects the Raytown Report from spam. It does not affect the confidentiality of your posts.


TRIO Kicks Off Saturday Night Concert Series in Raytown
Trio entertained upwards to 150 concert goers last Saturday Night
featuring songs from the 60's, 70's and 80's

Charlotte informed us "You can't have a concert without bubbles!"

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Raytown Audit Begins

BY GREG WALTERS
At last night's meeting the, Todd M. Schuler, CPA of the State Auditor's Office, officially announced the beginning of the State Audit of Raytown, Missouri. The audit covers all Departments within the City for the last completed fiscal year until present. That places the starting point of the time period of up to two years. Raytown's 2018 Fiscal Year began November 1, 2017.

Mr. Schuler said the State Audit can also follow audit trails into the 2018/2019 Fiscal Year as well as going before the 2017/2018 if continuing practices at City Hall lead in that direction.

The Mayor and Board also learned the State Auditor will be conducting an Audit of the Raytown Municipal Court as well as the City of Raytown. The Municipal Court audit is required by law on a regular basis. There is no cost to the City for the Municipal Court audit.


For a more complete rundown of what was explained to the Mayor and Board of Aldermen at Tuesday night's meeting check the Raytown Report this coming weekend.

. . FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE . . 
Raytown City Administrator Damon Hodges has issued a press release regarding the first Public Meeting between the City of Raytown and Missouri State Auditor's Department. 

The purpose of the meeting is for a presentation to the public to explain the audit process and answer questions the public may have. 

State Auditor to Address Board of Aldermen Meeting on June 4th
Representatives from the Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway's Office will be on hand to address the Raytown Board of Aldermen at the regular Board of Aldermen meeting on Tuesday, June 4, 2019.

A State Audit of the City of Raytown as requested by Raytown citizens in petition drive last November.

The meeting is open to the public. Questions and dialogue from the audience will be permitted at this public hearing.


The Raytown Board of Aldermen meeting is held at Raytown City Hall, located at 10,000 East 59thStreet. The meeting begins at 7:00 p.m.
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Sunday, May 26, 2019

BOA Sets Park Tax vote
for November Election BY PAUL LIVIUS
The Raytown Board of Aldermen has set a sales tax vote for voters to determine the fate of what has become known as the Raytown Parks and Storm Sewer Tax. The current tax expires in April of 2020.

Voters will be given the choice of creating a new tax in its place by voting yes. A no vote would lower the city’s current sales tax rate.

The original bill, sponsored by Ward 3 Alderman Ryan Myer, called for a 60/30/10 split of tax proceeds with 60% going towards City Parks, 30% going to Storm Sewer Repairs and 10% to be used in the City Budget at the as determined by the Board in its city budget.

This “split” was amended by Ward 5 Alderman Bonnaye Mims. She asked for a new split of 75% for Parks and 25% for Storm Sewer maintenance.

The vote on the amendment was 9 yes, 1 no. Alderman Greg Walters cast the lone “no” vote on the amendment. Walters said he preferred a more equitable split for homeowners with storm water problems.

 He said, “There are many people in Raytown who are in need of help to solve storm water run-off problems that are not of their own making.”

“Parks are important”, continued Walters, “but we have people with flooded basements that is undermining the foundations of their homes.  Some of those problems are due to inadequate drainage of our streets and storm sewers. We have a responsibility to help them.”

The final vote to place the vote on the November, 2019 ballot was unanimous.

BY GREG WALTERS
Transparency / Communication
. . . IS LACKING AT CITY HALL

Suspending the rules of regular business and rushing proposed legislation through without adequate feedback from the public is bad politics. It creates a message from the Board that screams “let the public be damned. We know what is best for Raytown".

All city ordinances in Raytown are required to have two public readings before being voted on by the Board of Aldermen. This requirement is a Missouri State Law.*

The logic behind two readings of each proposed ordinance gives the public time to learn what legislation is being considered at City Hall. In turn, it gives Aldermen time to take a pulse of the community and learn what the people the represent expect him or her to do.

At last Tuesday’s meeting of the Board of Aldermen two ordinances were rushed through with less than 20 minutes of debate. Unless the public had checked the city agenda, which is published the weekend before the meeting is held, it is doubtful they were aware of the bills being considered by the Board the following Tuesday.

In this case, both ordinances were of public interest.
  • One of those ordinances was about a sales tax vote to be held next November. It is fair to say there are probably more than a few people in Raytown interested in a tax that will affect their pocket book.
  • The other dealt with the Board of Aldermen’s role in choosing a new Chief of Police. Judging by the comments on the blog portion of the Raytown Report anything dealing with the police is of public interest.
Some board members have stated they believe if the public was truly interested they would attend the meetings. I consider that notion to be extremely unfair. First of all, Board members are paid to be at the meeting**. Raytown citizens are not.

Let us not forget the meetings are broadcast through on the internet. The recordings are posted on the city’s web page . . . so taxpayers do have a way to access information other than attending a meeting. But it should also be remembered that many people lead busy lives. Allowing two weeks between the introduction of legislation and then the final vote is not an unreasonable request.

Raytown has a representative form of government. That means we elect a representative to speak for us. It is a simple system that works well. But it takes time for it to work properly.  A minimum of two weeks between regular business meetings at city hall allows more than enough time for members of the Board of Aldermen to reach out to the public for feedback.

In fairness to our Aldermen, some members of the Board are already doing this. I write these weekly reports. Some members take advantage of a policy I have of allowing fellow members to write guest editorials on this page. Other members have used Facebook.

Still, it would be a good idea to remind your elected officials something I have known for a long time. There are a lot of good people in Raytown who are sincerely interested in what is happening in Raytown. As elected officials we should step up and provided as much information for them as possible. This practice will lead to better legislative decisions. More importantly, it gives the public time to become informed citizens.

*Board members can vote to suspend the rules of regular business if two/thirds (7 votes) of the Board agree to do so in emergency situations. A sales tax to be held in November is NOT an emergency situation. Neither is deciding who has than final authority on appointing the next Chief of Police.

**Aldermen are paid $450 per month. The amount includes an auto allowance and the balance is salary.

OTHER BUSINESS BEFORE THE BOARD

A moratorium on the issuance of new liquor licenses for a period of nine months was approved unanimously by the Board of Aldermen. Board members expressed concern over the proliferation of packaged liquor and liquor by the drink outlets in Raytown. The nine month hiatus is mean to give city staff time to craft ordinances to address the situation.

Alderman Jason Greene announced here would a “clean-up day” of the following streets on Saturday, June 15th. The targeted streets are 55th Street, 59th Street and 63rd Street. Volunteers are asked to show up at Raytown City Hall at 8:30a.m., Saturday, June 15th. Mr. Greene said anyone having questions could contact him at Alderman_jason_greene@raytown.mo.us or by phone at 816-255-8407.

The Municipal Committee held its first meeting on rules for the growing, selling and use of Medical Marijuana in Raytown. The purpose of the meeting was to give guidance to city staff on how to bring city ordinances in line with state law. State law allows for the City to require licensing requirements as are applied to other businesses in Raytown. Alderman Greg Walters suggested that Medical Marijuana facilities be given the same guidelines (for licensing purposes) as is applied to other businesses in Raytown selling a controlled substance. As an example he suggested the City use fee structure and guidelines as required of package liquor stores.

The City has nine months before medical marijuana will become legal for distribution to the public in Missouri.


The Paul Livius Report
Raytown Board of Aldermen Meeting – May 21, 2019
Mayor McDonough issued aproclamation recognizing Public Works Week.  He issued aproclamation recognizing EMS Week.  Matt Jones, principle of Westridge Elementary, issued a proclamation recognizing the nine students who created the Autism Awareness Team.

Brian Morris said building a splash pad, dog park, and repairing the tennis courts at Kenagy Park are high on the Park Board’s list of expenditures.  The main question is how to pay for all this.  He said some in the community have suggested the Park Board spend the reserves.  He said he would love to, but since there is no guarantee how much tax money will be available in the future, it would be irresponsible to spend the reserves when there is a possibility of no income.

Chris Rathbone told the Board the Park Board voted to issue the following statement: “If the Board of Aldermen votes to place the sales tax question of the ballet that would cut the current level of funding for parks, the Park Board will publicly oppose the ballet.  The Park Board at this time will support the question that renews the 1/8 cent sales tax with the current split of 75/25% for storm water.  The Board of Aldermen must understand this amount is not sustainable for parks and we will continue the deficit spending.  We expect to come back to the Board of Aldermen in the not too distant future to work out a solution.”

The Board passed a resolution approving the appointment of Daneen Thurman to the Planning & Zoning Commission.

The Board voted unanimously declaring a nine-month moratorium on the acceptance, processing and issuance of business license applications, building permits, occupancy permits, package liquor licenses and development approval applications for liquor stores, smoke shops, and convenience stores and similar uses within neighborhood commercial zoned districts within the city of Raytown.

The Board heard the first reading of an ordinance approving the final site plan of Somerset Village Apartments in Wilson View. Curtis Peterson, on behalf of KM-TEH Realty, owners of the property located at 9611/13 E 60th Street, is requesting approval of the final site plan in order to replace the building that burnt down. The building that was destroyed contained 11 dwelling units and the proposed replacement building also contains 11 dwelling units. Somerset Village is a complex of 13 buildings that has 156 dwelling units. The complex is located on East 60th Street just west of Raytown Road. The building that was destroyed is located 9811 E. 60th Street and was destroyed by fire in February 2016.

The Board heard the first reading of an ordinance amending Chapter 2 of the Raytown Municipal Code. At the April 2, 2019 General Election, the citizens of the City of Raytown, voted to make the Chief of Police position an appointed position instead of an elected position (vote was 2725/1065). It is necessary to amend the Raytown Municipal Code to reflect the changes necessary due to the results of the election.

The Board heard the first reading of an ordinance authorizing the submission at the special election to be held November 5, 2019 for the question of whether the city shall continue to impose a sales tax in the amount of one eighth of one percent for the purpose of funding local parks/storm water control within the city for a term of ten years and imposing such tax if approved by a majority of the qualified voters. At the April 16, 2019 Board of Aldermen meeting, during a discussion item brought forth by Alderman Ryan Myers, Staff was directed to draft the attached ordinance for the Board’s consideration.

The attached ordinance proposes to extend the existing sales tax rate of 1/8th of one percent for the purpose of funding Local Parks/Storm Water Control within the City for a term of 10 years. The monies received from the Local Parks/Storm Water Control sales tax will be distributed as follows: 60% to local parks; 30% to storm water control and the remaining 10% shall be reserved for Local Parks and Storm Water Control purposes. The special election date of November 5, 2019 is the requested date for this item to be placed on the ballot. The final date of certification for the November 2019 election is August 27, 2019. The Parks Sales tax was first approved by voters in November 2003 as a Local Parks sales tax. In May of 2010, staff was directed to draft a renewal that was consistent with statutory language changes to include the language of Local Parks/Storm Water Control.

The Board approved a resolution approving the purchase of mobile and portable radios and accessories from Motorola Solutions. The Police Department radio system is part of the Metropolitan Area Regional Radio System (MARRS). The radios used by the Police Department are the Motorola XTL2500 Mobile Radios. Motorola stopped production of the XTL2500 series radios in 2014. On January 1st, 2020 support will no longer be available for the 2500 series Motorola radios.

The MARRS Board has established minimum standards for radios purchased for use on the MARRS system, which are; capability for AES and DSS encryption, 700-800 MHz, multi-key, OTAR (Over the Air Re-keying for encryption) capable and P-25 Phase Two capable. The Motorola APX4500 Mobile radio meets these standards. This is an annual purchase, in the fourth year of a five-year plan, to replace all of the 2500 series radios in use by the Police Department. The radios are to be purchased through the Johnson County, Kansas Radio and Accessories Contract 07-13201/DL with Motorola Solutions, Inc. The cost of 12 Motorola APX4500 mobile radios will be $35,402.40 from Capital Sales Tax.

Programming and P25 certifying all radios will be $540.00 from Capitol Sales Tax. This purchase is a budgeted item and has been approved by the Sales Tax Oversight Committee on April 23rd, 2019. On April 6th, 2019 the Board of Alderman approved the acceptance of the 2018 Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG), resolution number R-3196-19. The police department is utilizing these funds to purchase three additional Motorola APX4500 radios and programming. The cost will be $8,985.60 from the General fund, and the cost will be reimbursed through the JAG grant. The total purchase price for 15 radios with programming will be $44,928.00.


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Saturday, May 18, 2019

Park Sales Tax on BOA Agenda
BY GREG WALTERS
FIRST READING TO TAKE PLACE
AT TUESDAY NIGHT’S MEETING

Ward 3 Alderman Ryan Myers has sponsored a Park Sales Tax increase on the Tuesday, May 21st Agenda of the Raytown Board of Aldermen. The bill will have its first reading at the meeting. State law requires all city ordinances to receive two public readings before they be voted on by the Board of Aldermen. The second meeting, when the bill will be voted, is scheduled for Tuesday, June 4th.

LOOKING BACK . . .
The proposed 1/8 cent sales tax was last approved in 2010 for a 10 year term. The life of the current tax will terminate in April of 2020.

The Park Sales tax has not been without controversy.

In 2010 the Board of Aldermen decided to “split” the proceeds from the sale tax between Park Department needs and storm water runoff needs in Raytown. A determination of how the tax would be “split” was not addressed.

All the same, many in the public believed the split would be of a 50/50 nature. Half of the money going towards Parks and one half of the money addressing storm drainage problems.

For reasons that have never been explained, the first five years the tax was collected, 100% of the money went to Raytown Parks and Recreation.*

It was not until five years had passed that former Raytown Alderman Karen Black pointed out the discrepancy. The solution arrived at was less than equitable. From that point forward 70% of the available funds went to the Park Department with 30% going towards Storm Water Drainage needs.

Clearly, an equitable “split” of the tax revenue promised in 2010 did not materialize. Many voters in Raytown, particularly those with storm water problems, feel they were duped into voting for the tax.

The Raytown Board of Aldermen has an opportunity to break away from the stigma of broken promises.
The Parks Department never paid any of the tax dollars back to the city.

The Board should vote to create an honest 50/50 split of Parks - Storm Water Tax. In that way the City can begin to rebuild the trust that has been broken with the public.

Apologists for the Park Board argue that Raytowners were well aware of the intricacies of the agreement that ended up with a “split” of 70% to 30%.  There are many in Raytown who have flooding problems on their property and even in their homes who would beg to differ.

What it comes down to is this – which is more important – a splash park that would be open three months a year, or Raytown homeowners not having to worry if their homes are being flooded.

*The Park Board never returned any portion of the tax revenue they received those first five years.



State Auditor to Address Board of Aldermen Meeting on June 4th
Representatives from the Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway's Office will be on hand to address the Raytown Board of Aldermen at the regular Board of Aldermen meeting on Tuesday, June 4, 2019.

A State Audit of the City of Raytown as requested by Raytown citizens in petition drive last November.

The meeting is open to the public. Questions and dialogue from the audience will be permitted at this public hearing.


The Raytown Board of Aldermen meeting is held at 10,000 East 59th Street. The meeting begins at 7:00 p.m.


Raytown Democratic
Association Report  BY PAUL LIVIUS
The Raytown Democrat Association (RDA) held its monthly meeting last Thursday. The main topic of interest was the proposed Park / Storm Water sales tax tentatively planned to go before the voters in November of 2019.

Ward 5 Alderman Bonnaye Mims was on hand to report the city’s business to the RDA members.

During her presentation she asked for a straw poll of what members thought of the proposed tax.

Much to her surprise the showing of hands showed a large majority of the members present were opposed to the Park / Storm Sewer Sales Tax.

Reasons for opposition to the tax varied but most flowed around accountability of elected officials to a distrust of intentions. Many stated they believed the repairing of the city’s storm sewer infra-structure was of higher importance.

The Raytown Democrat Association meets the third Thursday of each month at Las Chilis Restaurant located at 6210 Raytown Trafficway.

A social hour runs from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m., followed by a business meeting.

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