Sunday, September 15, 2019

“Retro@ctive” . . . a talented band of musicians specializing in the recreation of 1980’s rock and roll music entertained about 250 concert goers at the Green Space in Downtown Raytown.




The concert marked the end of a series of four musical events this summer. 


A crowd of young admirers gather around the stage to get a closer look at the band.




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FORWARD BY GREG WALTERS
Raytown Parks
Crime Analysis Report
The following statistical analysis of crime in Raytown’s two largest City Parks (Colman Park and Kenagy Park) was discussed in depth by the Raytown Parks Improvement Committee and the Raytown Park Board before recommending improvement of enforcement of curfew violations and othher City Ordinances relevant to city parks.

The analysis was created by one of the members of the Committee, Ward 5 Alderman, Derek Ward.

Mr. Ward delved deep into the nuances of the statistics as provided to the Raytown Parks Improvement Committee by the Raytown Police Department. At first glance, the numbers suggested the majority of calls for service were to Kenagy Park.

However, upon closer investigation, Mr. Ward found, statistically speaking, the opposite was true.

I urge all readers to read Mr. Ward’s concluding remarks as well. In my opinion, they embody the purpose of the cooperation we have seen between the Raytown Parks Department, the Raytown Improvement Committee and the Raytown Police Department in more stringent enforcement of our city’s ordinances as regards safety in our parks.

FOOTNOTE: I ran into the Raytown Park Board Director Dave Turner last Friday at the Concert in the Green Space. He shared with me that the private security service arrangement agreed upon between the Park Board and Parks Improvement Committee is going well. He says the incidents of curfew violations are down. Installation of additional lighting in four of our city parks will be started this week. To be sure, there are still problems to be addressed. But all signs point to a brighter future for Raytown Parks.

Crime Analysis Report BY ALDERMAN DEREK WARD
I obtained the data for Kenagy crime reports in a similar format to that regarding Coleman presented at the last Park Board meeting.  I sliced the incident types into (my judgment only) “Major Criminal”, “Major Disturbance”, “Minor Criminal”, “Neutral” and “Proactive Policing”.  I did this because some of the items like “foot patrol”, “ambulance call” or “general” don’t really imply anything negative about the parks.  If one park has a lot of ambulance calls unrelated to criminal activities, that shouldn’t count against the park or the park system.

Here are the police event types sorted as described above, starting with “Major Criminal” and ending with “Proactive Policing”.

Major Crime
Major Disturbance
Minor Crime
Neutral
Proactive Policing

ASSAULT - OTHER
DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY
LARCENY/ATTEMPT
SHOTS FIRED
STOLEN AUTO/ATTEMPT
DISTURBANCE
FIREWORKS
NOISE DISTURBANCE
CAR CHECK
CAR STOP
ILLEGALLY PARKED
JUVENILES
PEDESTRIAN CHECK


ABANDONED AUTO
ADMINISTRATIVE DETAIL
ACCIDENT NON-INJURY
ACCIDENT INJURY
AMBULANCE CALL
ANIMAL (ALL)
CHILD UNATTENDED
FOLLOW UP INVESTIGATION
GENERAL INFORMATION
HARASSING COMM.
MENTAL HEALTH
MISSING PERSON
RECOVERED PROPERTY
RECOVER STOLEN AUTO
SUICIDE/ATTEMPT
SUSPICIOUS PERSON/VEHICLE/ACTIVITY

CHECK AREA
CITIZEN ASSIST
CONTACT W/CITIZEN
DETAIL – SURVEILLANCE
FOOT PATROL
INFORMATION
MEET W/ OUTSIDE AGENCY
MOTORIST ASSIST
OFF DUTY DETAIL
SAFETY FAIR
TRAFFIC DETAIL/ENFORCEMENT
WELFARE CHECK

The 4-Year total number of incidents (including 2019 as Year to Date) in the three “negative” categories for each park is shown below.
ACTIVITY
KENAGY
COLEMAN
ASSAULT - OTHER
2
4
DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY
2
1
LARCENY/ATTEMPT
9
5
SHOTS FIRED
6
11
STOLEN AUTO/ATTEMPT
1
2
DISTURBANCE
12
23
FIREWORKS
6
19
NOISE DISTURBANCE
10
22
CAR CHECK
177
123
CAR STOP
10
4
ILLEGALLY PARKED
2
1
JUVENILES
7
6
PEDESTRIAN CHECK
8
10

The chart below illustrates the relative frequency and distribution of these events.
Assigning 3 points to each “Major Criminal”, 2 points to “Major Disturbance” and 1 point to “Minor Criminal”, the scores are as follows:
ACTIVITY
KENAGY Points
COLEMAN Points
ASSAULT - OTHER
6
12
DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY
6
3
LARCENY/ATTEMPT
27
15
SHOTS FIRED
18
33
STOLEN AUTO/ATTEMPT
3
6
DISTURBANCE
24
46
FIREWORKS
12
38
NOISE DISTURBANCE
20
44
CAR CHECK
177
123
CAR STOP
10
4
ILLEGALLY PARKED
2
1
JUVENILES
7
6
PEDESTRIAN CHECK
8
10
TOTAL SCORE
320
341

If I refine the matrix a bit further, and look only at the most serious offenses, it appears that Coleman has slightly more “Major Criminal” incidents than Kenagy.

ACTIVITY
KENAGY Points
COLEMAN Points
ASSAULT - OTHER
6
12
DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY
6
3
LARCENY/ATTEMPT
27
15
SHOTS FIRED
18
33
TOTAL SCORE
57
63

The graph below illustrates these numbers.
Afterword / Conclusions . . . 
When looking at the overall number of negative events, Coleman leads Kenagy by roughly 6%.  When we look at only the most serious events, Coleman leads by nearly 10%.  In either event, the contrast isn’t stark, and a few incidents at one park could even the numbers quickly.  For all practical purposes, these two parks are roughly equal in the types and numbers of safety and criminal events.

Although some people may criticize the way I categorized the various call types or will argue that my weighting system is deficient, I believe I’ve constructed a roughly fair and reasonably approximate method of comparing the two parks in terms of criminal events and negative impacts on neighbors.  In the end, it appears that we have two parks that have a roughly equal number of problems, both qualitatively and quantitatively.  We should work hard with the Parks Board to find measures and solutions appropriate to each park.


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Friday, September 13, 2019

Tipping Point
BY GREG WALTERS
. . . a defining moment in a series of events at which time a series of significant, often momentous and irreversible reactions occur.




A year ago last August Raytown voters were asked to increase two property tax increases and a gasoline tax. When the smoked had cleared and the votes had been counted the voters overwhelmingly turned down all tax increase questions.

In response, the Board of Aldermen made sweeping fee and license increases for business and homeowners.

This year the drumbeat for higher taxation is pounding out its message again. But this time around the tax increases are even higher than asked or one year ago.

JACKSON COUNTY: Jackson County Executive Frank White has been leading the charge to increase property taxes to historic highs. The public has responded with a message of its own. Request for appeals has been so overwhelming that the County Legislature has extended the deadline for appeals twice.

PARK SALES TAX INCREASE: Raytown Parks and Recreation has placed a sales tax question on the November 5th ballot. The current sales tax sunsets early next year.

SANITARY SEWER BILLING: The Raytown Board of Aldermen is poised to raise sanitary sewer taxes by a whopping seven percent. This would make the third consecutive year the Board has increased the sanitary sewer tax. Some members of the Board have questioned the need to make such a large increase. The City has been running a surplus totaling near $500,000 in it sewage treatment accounts.

TIPPING POINT . . . analysis
Proponents of the sewer tax increase do not like to hear about the ability of some Raytowners to pay the taxes being heaped on them. Senior citizens on fixed income are finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet.

Last Spring I spent a tremendous amount of time visiting with people in District (Ward 1). Many of those homeowners are senior citizens. They simply do not have the means to pay the high cost of inflation and increased taxes.

A solution may be found in taking a closer look at how the sanitary sewer tax is determined.

Sewage in Raytown is treated by two different entities. The City of Kansas City, Missouri manages part of the sewage treatment for Raytown. The Little Blue Valley Sewer District manages a much larger share.

Kansas City bills their treatment process based on the dollar amount of water purchased. The Little Blue Valley Sewer District bases their billing on the measured flow through the pipelines that carry the sewage to the treatment center.

Since the Little Blue Valley Sewer District bases their portion of the tax on water flow, the infiltration of storm water into the lines inflates the amount of water being treated. Kansas City’s method of billing based on consumption is a more honest way of measuring the cost per business and homeowner.

Another problem is that flow meters are not a very accurate way to measure the amount of sewage going through a pipe. Debris can cause malfunctions that result in faulty measurements.

At the rate these increases are being dumped on the taxpayers, it will soon cost more money to get the sewer water out of your house than to bring in fresh water!

The combination of increased property taxes, sales taxes and sanitary sewer use taxes has reached a tipping point that will force people, especially those on fixed income, out of their homes.

The Raytown Board of Aldermen should take a very hard look at the proposed 7% sewer tax increase. Any relief they can offer the taxpayers by lowering the increase would be step in the right direction.

PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE
Sanitary Sewer Tax Increase
Tuesday, September 24, 2019       7:00 PM
Raytown City Hall    10000 East 59th Street

THE PUBLIC IS INVITED TO ATTEND
AND SPEAK AT THE PUBLIC HEARING.
  
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.   Vladimir Lenin

BY PAUL LIVIUS
The Paul Livius Report
Raytown Board of Aldermen Meeting – September 3, 2019
Mayor McDonough recognized local ministers who led the Raytown Day of Prayer.

Mayor McDonough issued a proclamation recognizing the Summer Lunch Ministry for serving over 12,000 lunches to the children of our city.

Mayor McDonough issued a proclamation recognizing the Site, Problem, Identification, Resolution Together (SPIRIT) program.  This group works to unite our diverse community and service providers in a productive partnership.

Mayor McDonough issued a proclamation recognizing Norman Schneider for mentoring young people in schools and at churches.

Doug Majors asked the Board about the street conditions on James A. Reed road.
The Board heard the first reading of an ordinance approving “Final Plat of Turnleaf Villas”, located at 59th Street and Hunter Court.  The “Final Plat of Turnleaf Villas”, located at 59th Street and Hunter Court and comprising 2.3 acres, is a re-platting of the existing Blue Ridge Villas Subdivision. This is being done in advance of an effort by the developer, Ivan Chiang of Four Gem Properties, LLC, to complete development of the area by moving lot lines and easement locations to better accommodate the already approved senior care facilities and to eliminate the individual ownership parcels for the remaining unbuilt condominium units. Public works has no additional requirements for utilities or roadway construction as all these improvements are already in place, including the private street, the common space with gazebo and sewer stubs, and no bonding for improvements installation is necessary. Hunter Court was constructed to then-existing design standards in 2005, which included a 20-foot roadway width, but current Fire Code now requires either a 24-foot width or the street to be signed for “No Parking” and enforced by the Homeowner’s Association (HoA). Posting the street was the chosen option by the Developer and enforcement on the private street will be required as part of the HoA’s responsibilities. The Developer is also required to update the HoA documents to include the entirety of both the proposed Turnleaf Villas and the remaining portions of Blue Ridge Villas not included in this plat. This revised document will be reviewed by staff to ensure it addresses these issues and will then be recorded with the plat.

The Board passed a resolution authorizing execution of a grant of drainage easement by the twoCFT NV Developments in connection with construction of a storm drainage pipe and concrete overflow on city-owned property. The City of Raytown Joint Review Committee has worked with the Panda Express development team over the last year. The team is in the final stages of constructing the new restaurant. They need to obtain an approval of the grant of drainage easement from the City of Raytown to construct their new storm drainage pipe and concrete overflow swale on City of Raytown property. The property owner must construct a new storm drain system that will connect to an existing drainage system and the only drainage system available runs along the west side of Walmart Drive, a public street. The new stormwater drainage system will be privately owned and privately maintained by the current and all future property owners of the Panda Express property. Additionally, the property owner needs to construct a new concrete swale for an emergency overflow channel for large flooding events. In the agreement these improvements are included with the definition of Drainage Facilities. In order to connect the storm drain system and concrete swale to the existing drain system, the connecting pipes must run across City-owned property and this requires approval of the Grant of Drainage Easement. The Panda Express restaurant development project is in the final days of construction. Panda Express representatives have expressed that the projected timeline identifies their opening to be in September, subject to being able to obtain an occupancy permit. The Board of Aldermen’s approval of the attached Grant of Drainage Easement is an item needing to be completed prior to the issuance of an occupancy permit.

The Board passed a resolution approving an agreement Kissick Construction for the 8905 E. 55th Street Storm Sewer project in an amount not to exceed $45,000.The property owner at 8905 E. 55th Street notified the City about a sinkhole next to their driveway. Upon inspection, City crews deemed that the pipe across 8905 E. 55th Street needs to be removed and replaced along with the upstream pipe crossing Hunter Terrace and the pipe at 8913 E. 55th Street. City crews inspected the storm pipe to the south along Hunter Terrace and found it to be in good shape and it will be left in place. The Public Works Department received five (5) sealed bids that were opened on August 13, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. Kissick Construction is the lowest, responsive, responsible bidder with a base bid of $39,131.00 and is being recommended for approval. Staff is requesting purchasing authority up to $45,000.00 to accommodate for potential change orders. This is approximately 15% over the base bid total cost.

The Board passed a resolution approving participation in the Traffic Engineering Assistance Program through the Missouri Department of Transportation. The Traffic Engineering Assistance Program allows local public agencies to receive engineering assistance for studying traffic engineering problems. Typical traffic engineering related projects include corridor safety and/or operational analysis, intersection(s) safety and/or operational analysis, speed limit review, sign inventory pedestrian/bike route analysis, parking issues, and other traffic studies.

The Board passed a resolution approving a grant policy for the city.  The City currently has no grant policy in place. At this time grants are being handled by individual departments applying for them and need to get approval by the BOA regardless of the amount. This policy covers grants from application to completion with Finance Department and City Administrator oversight for the entire duration of each grant. Each grant will be required to be reviewed and approved by the Director of Finance and the City Administrator. The policy also delegates authority to the Director of Finance to develop and implement any controls necessary for the proper grant process. It is also tied to the City’s Purchasing Policy limit of approval levels. This policy will ensure a complete oversight of any grants applied for and/or accepted by the City. This policy will ensure fiscal responsibility and oversight for every grant.


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