Friday, July 20, 2007

Fireworks in Raytown!?!

Last Tuesday night’s Board of Aldermen meeting literally ended in display of fireworks. Ward 4 Alderman Pat Ertz brought forth a discussion item – the topic – the legalization of selling and shooting of fireworks in Raytown. The current ban on the sale and shooting of fireworks in Raytown dates back about 25 years. Recently, communities surrounding in the Raytown area have reversed the ban and have allowed the sale of fireworks. Most notable of these changes has been the recent legalization of sales shooting of fireworks in Lee’s Summit. Discussion on the matter was varied and somewhat explosive. Ward 5 Alderman Marilyn Fleming came down hard against the sale and legalization of fireworks. Other aldermen were more cautious in letting their position be known. Though it is quite clear that Mr. Ertz would support a change in the city’s code. It was also suggested that if the city does legalize the sale of fireworks that it open the sales to private businesses. In that way the city can capture the sales tax dollars from the sale of fireworks. Since Raytown is surrounded by Kansas City, which does not allow the sale of fireworks, it (Raytown) should reap a healthy profit from the legalization. Mayor Bower told Board members that he intends to create an ad-hoc committee made up of select members of the Board of Aldermen. Follow-up on Dogs on Chains Breeding and Restoring Vehicles in Driveways. The Board voted to allow dogs on tethers in front yards provided that the dog owner is present in the front yard with the dog. The change is really not a change as dogs were previously allowed in front yards on a hand-held leash. This will allow dog owners to have their dog with them when they are working in the yard, washing a car, etc. On the Breeding question the Board voted 8 yes / 2 no to allow homeowners to have one litter of animals per year. Aldermen Greg Walters and Charlotte Melson cast the "no" votes. A question of how the law was to be enforced was not answered by proponents of the ordinance. Ward 1 Alderman Joe Creamer’s plan to allow individuals to dismantle vehicles in driveways has hit roadblock of sorts. City staff asked that the matter be carried over so that it can be worked in with a plan for neighborhood preservation. Since the two items, Creamer’s plan and neighborhood preservation, do not really work well together, the cars in yards plan may be dead on arrival. Judging by the public’s reaction to Mr. Creamer’s plan – the DOA prognosis is a good sign.


Andy Pickard said...

Hoo Boy. Bringing back the whole fireworks thing sounds like just ASKING for trouble. Don't we have enough divisive issues in this town right now? Let's give this a pass for a few years.

True Blue said...

After watching Tuesday night's discussion about fireworks, I have a great idea. Let's let the city sell fireworks out of the old Baptist Church and then if someone happens to drop a lighted match we could have a wonderful fireworks display and get rid of this ugly eyesore at the same time.

Andy Whiteman said...

I didn't stay through the entire meeting, (I have a dog who needs her walk) but from what I am reading, it is my understanding that Fireworks were discussed. (Probably under the Uniform Fire Code?)

Face it, a ban on fireworks is unenforceable! I have observed spent bottle rockets in my yard and other yards that are a distance from the origin. I have neighbors with shake shingle roofs and airborn fireworks are a fire hazard.

I called the Police one year as an inquiry and was told they did not have the manpower to patrol and enforce; therefore, the only enforcement would be to respond to complaints.

This year after walking my dog about 9PM, she wanted to go for a ride in the car to get away. At 11:30 after several complaints from my dog and observing flashes as bright as lightening, I called the PD. The fireworks stopped shortly after my call.

This fool is in favor of allowing safe fireworks (those that go no higher than 6 feet) but only by an adult(over 18); however, there should be strick rules against anything that goes airborn (such as bottle rockets). Such an ordinance would be easier to enforce.

The type of fireworks I was observing this year were what I call professional fireworks for group display and never should be allowed without a permit, safe location, and a licensed professional to set them off. I don't feel anywhere in Raytown is safe because I am referring to a large, unpopluated area. Any ordinance allowing fireworks should make them subject to the same restictions as Disturbing the Peace; therefore, if someone is using noisey fireworks that is disturbing someone, they can be ordered to cease.

Am I understanding that inorder to generate sales tax, fireworks would be sold to people from places where it is illegal to discharge fireworks? This is condoning the violation of laws. I suggest that and firework vendors be licensed, inspected, and patrolled by the Fire Department and REQUIRE ID TO PROVE THE BUYER LIVES WHERE FIREWORKS MAY BE LEGALLY DISCHARGED and over the age of 18!

I enjoyed fireworks as a child. They were the "safe" fireworks with parental supervision.

Lets celebrate our country's birthday safely and sanely!

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

True Blue, as always, is right on with his idea about where and how to sell fireworks in Raytown!

Greg does the change about tettering pets in the front yard apply equally to some pet owners and city officials if their spouses or citizens are able to watch them?

Andy Whiteman said...

I like True Blue's idea too except for the asbestos that would become airborn during an explosion.

I suggest the city look for a demolitions school or a hazmat removal service that needs to train people and offer to allow them the use of the olde Baptist Church.

Meanwhile the city needs to clean up all of its code violations before requiring compliance from citizens!
Andy Whiteman

Greg Walters said...

In answer to annonymous.

Anyone can tether their dog in the front yard. However, they must physcially be in the front yard while it is tethered.

None of the nonsense of "keeping an eye" on the animal from inside the house.

Salamander said...

Oh! Those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer!

Everyone who reads the blog should also read the report in last week's Raytown Tribune. Tells how business at the SuperSplash is down almost 25%.

We are told not to worry if this tax supported water park is losing money.

We are assured by the Parks Department that when the weather gets warmer the deficit will be made up.

Far as I have been able to determine the pool has never kept accurate records of either attendance or receipts and, probably for that matter, expenses.

The pool should lose money. It is not run on a business-like basis. Here is what I mean.

August is the hottest month of the year. Yet, the pool will be closed on the 16thof August. Someone should tell those people a swimming pool in this area should stay open at least through Labor Day.

Why doesn't SuperSplash?

The park department claims they cannot hire lifeguards that late in the summer because school is opening in a few weeks and they can't find anyone to lifeguard.

I suggest that to solve their problem of how you hire hellp the pool manager call Oceans of Fun. They stay open through Labor Day. Could it be they stay open because if they do not their profit picture will suffer.

This is not a problem when you do not operate with a P&L or other comprehensive record keeping.

Ken Brown said...

On the 4th of July the home at 6129 Kentucky was set on fire by a bottel rocket landing on it roof. The home should have been turn down and rebuilt. It was not. Though it was rebuilt. The damage was so bad that the north end where the bed rooms were was removed to the floor! go to 1980 John and Zelma Brown bought the home on the 1/02/1980. The did not find out why the home had smoke oder. This was before the world was up in arms about folks smoking and yes both John and Zelma smoked. Go farward 26 years. John is gone he lost his life to smoking. Zelma still smokes so did some members of her family. The spent 26 years fighting the damage that was not out in the open could not be seen, Damage that was not from the owners smoking but from fireworks! Did the damage frome the fireworks also add to Johns death? when the heat/AC ducks were replaced to try and remove the smell of smoke. it was found that said ducks were full of burned wood and trash from the fireworks. We lost the home we could not sell it due to the smoke smell. was it from smoking or from fireworks I dont think we will ever know.

I live a long way from Raytown but I still read this and other things about Raytown and talk to friends there. I was even there last month. Were I live now the state is burning from fire started from lightning and fireworks. The world does not need one cent of tax money if it comes at the cost fireworks come at.

former Alderman Ken Brown

Andy Whiteman said...

Mr. Brown,
Please move back. We need some more good thinkers on the Board. I can vouch for at least 2 who are there now even though I may disagree with them at times.

As I said, any fireworks that become airborn should definately be banned. Bottle rockets landing over 200 feet from the origin is pure stupidity. I would like to see a $500 fine for dicharging bottle rockets and/or comercial grade fireworks in the city. This year people used the comercial type that looked like lightening outside.

Andy Whiteman

Pat Casady said...

I guess you could look at the fireworks deal in a couple of ways.
We all love to watch fireworks and as kids we liked to shoot them off.
So why not legalize them?
But on the other hand we, as adults invest many thousands of dollars in our homes just to have some idiot try to burn it down shooting illegal fireworks. You know no matter what fireworks will be deemed legal there will always be that jerk that will have the biggest and meanest fireworks he can buy........from outside of the city.

This next statement is in no way a slam on our fine police department and I hope will not be taken in the wrong way by anybody, so here goes.
Our parks can not be kept safe, noise levels kept down and some illegal drug things going on because we don't have the police manpower.
Some of Raytown's streets are a kin to speedways and now some people want to legalize
"some" fireworks. Do they expect the police to go up to everybody to see that they are only shooting off the legal fireworks? I don't think we have the police manpower for this either.

This is like, illegal aliens, companies hire them, everybody that can see, hear and talk know it's illegal but nobody will do anything about. They expect the police to do it. But only a little bit and only if it's someone else not them.

I agree that the police are over burdened with problems and I feel underpaid for what they have to put up with everyday.........hears the but, they are the enforcers of the laws if someone is breaking the law in the parks, on the streets or in this case shooting fireworks they need to enforce the laws. Arrest or ticket these people.

Or just remove all the laws that our lawmakers were smart enough to see needed and let the games begin!

Sounds to me like the law breakers are winning. When did the definition of illegal change to it's OK some of the time or until you are caught?

Anonymous said...

"Duct" not "Duck".

Anonymous said...

I am AGANIST the selling and shoooting of fireworks in the city of Raytown.
Do you know who will be in Raytown buying the fireworks? The whole damn city of Kansas City thats who. The police department has enought trouble keeping up with the problems of the city now, add this to the mix and you have a real mess. You have got to be short a knife of having a place setting to think this is a good idea. Mr. Ertz you made mention that the city is missing out on the sales tax money from the groceries not being bought here because we can't have fireworks therefore we don't have the family picnics. Don't you work for Hy Vee could this be considered a conflict of interest, just as Christine White is serving on planning and zoning and is in real estate and if the deal comes along she could stand to make a handsome profit. It all smells real fishy to me. I think it is time for Mr. Mayor to stand up and set things right. My hat is off to Mrs. Fleming, Mrs. Melson and Mr. Walters on their vote on the issue of breeding of dogs.For once you thought for your self and didn't vote with the click. Keep it up and you may get more respect from the voters. Call me Merry

Anonymous said...

Let's get to issues that are important to the city and citizens of Raytown. Why do we have to keep rehashing the same old thing such as junk cars to be repaired, the animal issues and fireworks, we solved the problem live with it and move on to makeing Raytown the wonderful city it was some 30 years ago that attracted young couples here. I can guarnteed you it wasn't dogs running wild or Mr. Aziere's damn birds or junk cars in the driveways being repaired or not. Lets let codes do their job and encourage them to do a good job. We can make this city a city that people will want to move to and I am talking about decent people who will want to take care of their property and be proud to live in Raytown.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with the many people who are against fireworks. I personally do not understand what this board is thinking. What are they trying to prove that they are as stupid as we are beginning to believe they are.

Every time the fourth of July comes around we here about all of the fireworks accidents that happen and how many childern that are injuried. Houses that have burned because of fireworks. The news media always has segments from emergency rooms on how dangerous fireworks are. Just this year the story about the adult that died because one exploded in his face. I personally would not what to be one who voted to sell these things in Raytown and find out that something like this happened from defective fireworks sold here. I would think that would be pretty hard too live with but many not with this group we have up there now.

As for the city getting sales tax on the sale of fireworks. The city ordinance says that only non- profit organizations can sell them. If it is non-profit they do not collect sales tax, that's the hold reason to be non-profit so that they don't have to do what other are required businesses to do.

Our neighborhoods have enough trouble on now with fireworks being used not only on the fourth but before and after. What is it going to be if we make it possible to buy them here.

I recently heard that it makes it possible for the father to teach their children responsiblity. It is really sad if a parent can't find any other ways to teach their children responsibility. I can think of a couple of thousand ways to teach responsibility. All of them do not require putting your children or someone property at risk.

I also agree with all of the people who say doesn't this city have enough other things that are more important to be thinking about. When is the develpement on the south side of the highway going to get going? We were told that was going to start this spring I don't see any signs of that and here it is late summer. What about the downtown and the all anticipated Walmart, oh right, it will be another 2 years if then. What about the 63rd Street bridge, the new intersection at Gregory and Raytown Rd. We have all read about these in the paper but when do we see any action on these thing and at least a dozen other I have read about over the last 3 years.

It seems to me that there is enough other business this city should be focusing on.

Andy Whiteman said...


I don't understand the last comment that only non-profit organizations may sell fireworks in Raytown. Since fireworks are illegal, how is it legal for non-profit orgs to sell them? Doesn't make any sense to me!

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

A little history on selling of fireworks in Raytown. When it was legal, over 20 years ago, the city would issue a permit to sell fireworks. Only non profit organizations were eligible to obtain the permits. They were charged a fee by the city in order to sell fireworks. There was NO sales tax ever collected because of the non profit status and only 4 or 5 permits were issued each year. It was NOT a revenue generator for the city and wouldn't be one today. Only the SPECIAL INTEREST groups will benefit with big profits from selling fireworks, while the city and fire district cost will increase, from additional fires and injury to our citizens. What is Alderman Ertz thinking? Maybe he wants his employeer, HyVee to get involved in selling fireworks to improve their profit margin. All I see is a conflict of interest brewing here.

Anonymous said...

I am glad to see that there are smart citizens here in Raytown that can also see a conflict of interest in the fireworks issue. Now how about Christine White on the PZB this is also a BIG conflict of interest. We the citizens of Raytown need to stay on top of the issues and who is serving on these boards and for once make the city accountable to us. After all they work for us, We pay their wages. Wake up Raytown citizens!Just call me Merry

Anonymous said...

From Randy Battagler's "Rebel Rants" column, dated June 21, 2006.

"...Also, today developers are popping up all over Raytown and new shopping areas are in the early stages."

Show us where, Mr. B, it's been a year since you made this observation.

-A blogger who remembers
P.S. The item appeared on page 4 of the June 21, 2006 edition of the post. Check it out.

Salamander said...

My,My, How Time Does Fly

On April 18th, the Raytown Post reported City Administrator, Mike Miller, stating three different redevelopment groups were working diligently on plans for the rejuvenation of the city's downtown business district.

Let's calculate it this way: 3 groups of experts times 3+ months a year= more than 3/4 of one year.

Some type of report about the progress is overdue.

The only achievement note during April - July period is a report of efforts by Mr. Al Maddox, the town's favorite non-resident to collect money for building a vest pocket park (some would call it a "spit of land" park).

Maddox seems to be good at soliciting funds for civic improvements in a town where he is not a resident. Sort of a caricature version of Clay Chastain.

This remains constant downtown: The old Baptist Church. It stands moldering away, deteriorating inside and out. It's purchase by the city is truly a monument to stupidity.

It would be nice to find out who gave permission to the have the church vandalized. Was it former administrator, Curt Wenson? Maybe, former mayor Frank. Possibly someone in the police department?

If you have any information about this, tell it to the blog.

Mr. "T" - Taxpayer

Anonymous said...

I'm looking for someone who remembers dates better than I do! Did you all see the article in the Post about the new bridge on 63rd Street? I have NO problem with that - if you have walked across the current one, and seen the broken concrete, re-bar, and holes you understand - but I am confused about the timeline. A while back there was the debate about whether to do both sides at once, or one at a time, with the concern being the downtown businesses. It was decided to do it all at once, so it was down for a less time. What I am having trouble remembering is what that time frame was. It seems to me it was shorter than the 9 months they stated in this weeks Post. I would look it up if I could remember the dates! I am concerned about our few, but wonderful, downtown businesses, and how this will affect them. Most of them have been there a long time, and been very loyal to Raytown, so I think we should do all we can to support them. Can anyone remember what and when the aldermen made this decision?

Andy Whiteman said...

63rd Street Bridge
Anonymous: I didn't read the Post article since the planner presented it at the Board of Aldermen meeting. (I give my copy to a friend.) I don't recall mention of a timeline except 63rd street would be open in time for Round Up Days. (I hope they don't bring that nuisance back downtown--It Rounds Up many criminals from the area.)

I don't have a lot of attention to detail, but it seems there are many issues that were originally not obvious at first:
1) Soil is not stable
2) A big water main serving Lees Summit.
3) 27 communications cables crossing the bridge to name a few issues.

Work must be done so as not to disrupt utilities, etc. After all, we want it done correctly so the bridge doesn't collapse! Just look at the diagram of the structure. Seems pretty complex to me.

Maybe someone else who was at the meeting could provide details or you could ask for a copy of the minutes from the City Clerk.

Personally, I would like the work to be done by yesterday so life won't be disrupted, but that isn't possible. I have seen Colburn closed in sections for almost a year due to bridge repairs! I had to go many miles out of my way to get past it. Raytown is lucky that the detour will only be a short distance.

Andy Whiteman

laughing all the way... said...

I tell you what...some of you posting your 1 cent worth on here give me my best laugh of the day.

Short on facts, long on innuendo.

I know some conspiracy theorists who aren't as far out in center field as some of you are!

Mr. Ertz trying to improve Hy-Vee bottom line by broaching the fireworks subject...that's a HOOT!!
Conflict of interest? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Ms. White on the P&Z being a conflict because she's a realtor???HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA My guess is you have no idea what P&Z does, do you? That board simply determines whether a petitioner is going to be using the land the way the land is currently zoned for...nothing more.

You all keep posting...I'll keep laughing!!!

Anonymous said...

To laughing all the way: Apparently you don't know what P&Z really does. Most of their work involves CHANGING of zoning, usually to make it more profitable for the owners to develope. This gives Ms. White inside information, much like insider trading on the stock market. This could end up being very profitable for the right realtor. BETTER CHECK YOUR FACTS BEFORE YOU SHOOT OFF YOUR MOUTH!!

laughing all the way... said...

And anonymous...

I did check my facts. P&Z considers proposals made by developers, builders, business and other entities. Their primary consideration is: do the applications from these entities conform to the current zoning other words, is the request consistent with the way the land is designated to be used. If it is, the P&Z can recommend to the Board of Alderman that the project be approved. If not, they can either deny the application and allow the applicant to petition the BOA, or they can recommend that an area be re-zoned to allow use by the applicant.

Perhaps you'd better have solid evidence and proof that she is using her position on P&Z to gain a financial advantage BEFORE you make false accusations and baseless comments.

I believe it's called slander and libel in court proceedings!

Anonymous said...

If Andy is correct and fireworks are addressed in the fire code, than isn't this a mute issue. Last time I checked the fire code is enforced by the fire district which is not part of the city. They have thier own elected board, which is headed up by former mayor Willard Ross. If the city allows the fireworks I believe the fire district still has the final word.

Anonymous said...

To Laughing all the way.

Your writing reminds me of someone called the kid. Same venim, same self-righteous arrogance.

Though I don't think you are the kid. But I bet you are pretty close to each other.

Andy Whiteman said...


Since I had to walk my dog, I was absent from the part of the meeting where fire works were discussed. My ASSUMPTION was that it probably came up on the agenda item dealing with adoption the updated Uniform Fire Code.

Obviously the fire department has to respond if fireworks start a fire and it becomes a fire department issue at that time.

I lived in Aurora, CO which had a fireworks ban. One year I witnessed a bottle rocket discharged from about 100' away set a pile of grass clippings next to a wooden fence on fire. A police officer witnessed it but was busy dealing with a man barricaded with a gun; hence, the police were too busy to deal with the issue. The next year, the Fire Department was patrolling for fireworks being discharged. This also put the fire trucks on the street making for a faster response to any calls.

As I previously said, I observed numerous discharged bottle rockets and estimated 200 feet away from the origin this year. This is clearly a hazardous, dangerous condition.

The police obviously do not have enough officers to enforce any fireworks ban. I think the ordinance needs to be revised so that it is enforeable or and/or shift enforcement to the Fire Department.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Andy is wrong, a call to the fire department cleared it up, the sale of fireworks and the use of tents and buildings to store them in is the covered in the fire code. Which as I was told is under the fire department. So as long as the fire department is against this then all the city can do is allow them to be used. We will still have to buy them in Odessa

Andy Whiteman said...

Anonymous: Thank you for calling the FD. I knew the FD could control storage but I used to be a fire fighter and once a fire was started, it came under Fire Department Control. OK, so some idiot uses fire works that get out of control and start a fire no matter where they are bought, the FD has to respond. Or if someone is injured, EMS and PD will have to respond. These departments and perhaps some civil attorneys will have to sort out the responsibility of those involved.

From the advertising I have seen, fireworks are available much closer than Odessa. All I ask is that those who chose to use fireworks use the kind that stay close to the ground. I won't call in a complaint until they become a nuisance (i.e. my dog complains about the noise issue).

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Saw a rebroadcast of aldermanic meeting where Shirley Wittman took the podium to announce that she was "speaking for all Raytown seniors."

I'm a senior. She wasn't speaking for me. So once again she can't quite get the truth/facts correct.

Oh well...she's emblematic of Raytown's "movers and shakers."

And people wonder why this town is going to hell?

Anonymous said...

Michael Vick would love this town, dawgs and all....

Anonymous said...

Personally I think fireworks should be legalized in Raytown
after all we have residents...who buy them and bring them back into town from neighboring cities....Besides celebrating our Independece is a right of all Americans! Raytown is losing revenue that would help pay for all the things Raytown wants pretty intersections and a renewed downtown... with out raising taxes and smothering us in bonds ...
I have never heard so many people(this board alone)whining about something they all did and don't deny it when they were young...our youth have no idea how wonderful we had it, because we are so busy thinking we are "protecting" them
when all we are doing is creating a generation after generation of whimps.

Anonymous said...

GOING to about already GONE to hell?? ;-)

Anonymous said...

When are the residents in Raytown and Kansas City Mo think about the animals when shooting off fireworks. They have rights to. Fireworks starts in Raytown a week before the 4th and up to 2 weeks after the 4th. I believe there is up to a $500. fine if caught...
For me i will be one of thoses that care about the animals and will call police......BEWARE