Sunday, September 30, 2007
A NOTE TO MY READERS: Last week’s editorial on Hindsight will be continued in a future story on this page. This past week I received a number of calls from constituents. At City Hall we call these types of calls “Requests for Service. I thought you would find them interesting. First was a call from an old friend. He asked me to turn on the Raytown Government Channel 7 – I did so, and found that the radio station city hall re-broadcasts over the channel was not tuned in properly. The result was an irritating static that made the viewer either turn the volume down or switch to another channel. (I checked this evening -- it appears the problem has been corrected) Another caller complained about an inoperable truck in front of her neighbor’s house. The truck, she said, had been there for six months. It had out of date license plates, a flat tire and did not run. She told me the vehicle had been turned in to the city’s code department, the police, but to no avail. There was a time in Raytown when calls about code violations were from irate citizens claiming they were being picked on by city code inspectors. Now, I receive more calls from people complaining that their call for help to the city is ignored. Another caller wanted to know why he had just received a newsletter from the city that was undoubtedly written for Summer publication on the first day of Fall. He also wanted to know how much it cost. Because from his point of view, it was little more than propaganda about how wonderful things are in Raytown without any useful information. A business associate of mine – a Downtown Raytown business owner – told me of a conversation he recently had with Mayor Bower. He told the Mayor that the choice for this year’s Round-Up Days Parade (Kansas City resident Al Maddox) was an insult to Raytowners. “Couldn’t we find a Raytowner to serve as Raytown Marshall?” He asked. There has been a lot of “happy talk” from the spin machine at city hall these past few weeks about the “progress” Raytown is making. I sincerely hope that they are right. But until we can solve the problems evidenced in the above stories -- we have failed. We will have failed because we will not have learned that success is not measured in how much we build with concrete and steel. But in how we find solutions to the more mundane situations. Such as a home in ill repair that drags down the value of a neighborhood, a newsletter not sent in a timely manner, or a public television broadcast not properly monitored. It is how we handle and correct those situations that show the true meaning of public service. In the long view, it is much more important than building a new firehouse, school, bridge or monument at a city gateway. Heard on the Street . . . Former Mayor Sue Frank was recently sworn in as the new Jackson County Republican Committeewoman for Brooking Township (Raytown). Word is that Frank is looking for political opportunity after a short hiatus from the Mayor’s seat. The continuing effort by some to re-invent Al Maddox as a local hero is falling on hard times. The claim (as reported in a local newspaper) that Maddox was involved in donating money to the Downtown Park has been proven bogus. A call to both City Hall and the Truman Heartland Foundation (which served as a clearing house for donations) has shown that NO checks were received from Al Maddox for the new park. Light Up the Night! Success is measured in many ways. One that I am happy to report is that the Board of Aldermen has added $10,000.00 to the fiscal 2008 budget for the purchase of new streetlights in Raytown. Good job, boys and girls!