Saturday, September 1, 2007

Water Bill Blues and Other Thoughts

Have you ever wondered where you water comes from? By this I mean who is supplying the water utility companies in Raytown for the product they mark up and re-sell to you. If you do not know, please read on. Raytown is served by two water utilities. The Raytown Water Company serves the northern section of the city. It buys its water from Kansas City. It is not part of this story. The southern section of the city is supplied by Public Water Supply Disrtrict No. 2. That utility buys its water from Independence and Kansas City. Sources from Independence, Missouri tell me that a recent audit has shown that the D-2 District has been overcharged for the water it purchases from the Independence utility. No doubt they will try to re-coup the money from the over-payments. If they are successful the money should be passed back to the Raytown ratepayers who carried the financial burden of paying the rates. Whether or not that will come to pass is yet to be seen. If ever there was a chance for City Hall to stand up for its citizenry, this is it. As the elected representatives governing Raytown they have a responsibility to assure that their constituents are treated fairly by the utilities that serve them. The easiest way to accomplish that goal would be a simple rollback of rates to those who were over-charged. When the amount of money paid out is recouped, bills could then be adjusted to meet real expenses. Such action is not without precedence. Years ago the Raytown City Council enacted laws governing how electric utility companies were to maintain the easements under their power lines. At the time, the utility companies had announced they would use defoliants to kill off the growth under the power lines. Two young aldermen from Raytown checked out what they planned to use to kill the growth and found that the defoliants contained dioxin. (FYI: Those two aldermen were myself and Garth Bare – but that is ancient history) The homeowners, particularly their pets and children would have been at great risk by coming in contact with the carcinogens used in the defoliants. The City Council responded by passing legislation banning the use of poisons by the utilities under power lines. It will be interesting to see what action, or inaction, is taken by the City Council as they tackle this issue. OTHER THOUGHTS: Burnt Brain Bob was at it again this past week. This time his foggy memory cells misfired when he related an exchange between Greg Walters and him on the suggestion that a contest be held to design a new logo for the city. Since I was there – here was what was said: Phillips approached me and said the idea of a contest was a good one – but should have been made a year ago. I replied, “If it was a good idea then, it is a good idea now.” Then he walked away. Alderman Pat Riehle complained that the process was being politicized. To which I replied (words to the effect): “We all travel in different circles . . . there are many in this town who view Raytown Reaching for Tomorrow as a political club . . . that club has morphed into a group called “Continue Raytown’s Progress. That group has actively campaigned to elect most of the members on the City Council. It is improper for the slogan to be incorporated into the city’s logo. Just as it would be improper for the City of Lee’s Summit to write “a Republican stronghold in Eastern Jackson County”. FINAL WORD ON THE NEW LOGO: Most folks do not know that the committee that created the new logo was chaired by none other than Al Maddox. Alderman John Hamilton made a point of dropping this bit of information at the last meeting. Mr. Hamilton claims that Foul Mouth Al made every effort to make the group designing the logo as inclusive as possible. I am curious, if there is anyone who was invited to take part in this process who was not a member of Raytown Reaching for Tomorrow, I would be interested in meeting them. Contact me via this blog. As for the logo itself – I think a fitting place for it would be the Sue Frank Memorial (the old First Baptist Church). It could welcome visitors to Downtown Raytown to view the result of eight years of progress under her watch as Mayor. And a personal note to Lee Gray – I am sorry about your loss. I know that you and your father were very close. I hope the pad you gave him brings him good luck in his card games in heaven.

109 comments:

Anonymous said...

The logo adoption appears to be a payoff to Bower supporter foul mouthed Al Maddox of Kansas City. Also where is Alderman Riehle's head if he doesn't understand that Raytown Reaching for Tomorrow is Sue Frank's political club Continue Raytown's Progress, one in the same. It's more of the same at city hall. The "Good Ole Boy" system is alive and well at city hall, if not we would be getting rid of some of these political hacks, from Frank's Administration, that do nothing but draw their paychecks. They probably are even smoking cigars in the back rooms at city hall, while laughing at how they have the taxpayers fooled into thinking that they are getting good government.

Anonymous said...

Interesting report, Greg, on PSWD #2. I've wondered for months how it was that my water bill kept rising since both of my heavy-water using kids were away in college.

I'm sure Mike Moore and the PWSD water board will also be fighting for a return to rate payers.

Thanks Greg and Andy Whiteman regards your comments on my Dad. I knew you, Greg, and others would be amused at the Walters for Mayor pad accompanying him since Greg and I spent many years at the opposite end of the local political spectrum.

Best wishes, Lee Gray

By the way...I've always liked Al and Donna Maddox. I do understand, however, how local area politics does create animosity. Look at Greg and my history for more than a decade early-on.

Andy Whiteman said...

Does the water district come under the Public Utilities Commission? I know Raytown water does since they must file for a rate increase and hold public hearings if they want to raise rates.

It seems to me that a PUC complaint should be filed and obviously an audit should take place.

I would like to commend Ron at Animal Control. My dog had a run in with a skunk. Ron came out on a Sunday morning to pick up the skunk's body to be sent for testing.

Andy Whiteman

JWDT said...

I find out more of what is happening in Raytown via this blog than any other media outlet.

Thanks Greg for keeping this going!

Justin Tomac

Andy Whiteman said...

Justin,

I agree. This blog is current and the newspapers are weekly with limited space. Also it is physically impossible to cover all meetings. I feel a blog is mainly opinion unless someone writes that they were at a particular meeting and heard "..........."

One thing I wonder is if people in PSWD #2 every get a refund, will they also get interest on their money? They will be lucky to get a refund.

I hope to hear all of the writers in this blog speak at the Board of Alderpeople meeting Tuesday night. On the otherhand, I wonder if it is wasted time because the Alderpeople don't listen. If they do listen, they don't seem to care.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Here is a bit of information. City councilman Mr. Pat Ertiz is on the water board maybe even president. Let's see if he does what is right by the citizens and gives us a refund of if like everything else he finds a way to skate out of this also

True Blue said...

Did I read somewhere that the Chamber is going to have a Roundup Days Parade without Roundup Days. Does this make any sence? A parade to take us through the most disgraceful part of town and nothing to do when its over. Oh yes, I guess we can stop and admire the old Baptist Church, the Raytown Plaza and other empty businesses. What a joke!! And yes folks, your taxpayer dollars will be paying for added police and public works employees for this event. How about sending a bill to the Chamber for these cost. Only the Chamber can pull off a hoax as good as this one.

Anonymous said...

Now what really makes sense anymore in Raytown??? and remember to NEVER INCLUDE these ten words: RAYTOWN AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, BOARD OF ALDERMEN and COMMON SENSE. I am suprised that the morons(Chamber) didnt just close off 350 highway east and westbound for the parade when they moved the round up corral to the Aquila Grounds for their(the Chambers) annual BBQ Cookoff Contest held back in June.... what are these idiots thinking....oh, thats it, they werent thinking. Now, the school district uses the parade basically to showcase our childrens talents and is basically the warm up session for the marching band competition held directly after the parade at Chitwood Stadium behind Raytown High School as each schools marching band that is in the competition also generally marches in the parade. Oh, I did forget that the city does showcase their new trucks sometimes as well. Yeah, goes right past Franks Folly, the vacant Raytown Plaza, other vacant storefronts, houses, etc... While they(the Chamber) is at it, just team up with WalMart since they are such a wonderful community partner(PLEASE,UGGH!) and rename the parade and the corral the WAL MART HOMETOWN FESTIVAL, ALWAYS SUCH LOW PRICES WE REALLY DRIVE ALL THE COMPETITION AWAY ,COMING TO YOUR HOMETOWN SOON! That is a big reason for the lack of diversity in businesses in Raytown, but not the only reason.

Anonymous said...

The chamber has basically ruined what was a tradition just to cater to the wants of a few. The city helped a little bit.

Andy Whiteman said...

I agree with True Blue that the Chamber should be billed for the expenses caused by parades and Round Up Days. The Chamber should also reimburse all business that they force to close for their events.

Tax payers should not pay the cost of the Chamber's fundraisers and nuisance. Remember we had a double homocide here a few years back shourtly after Round Up Days.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I highly doubt that anyone will see any interest money from the water district, probably just a credit to each customers bill or account maybe.

Anonymous said...

I am so excited I have my lawn chairs, cooler full of pop and the camera all ready to go. I am trying to decide if I need to go the night before to camp out up on 63rd street to make sure I get a birds eye view of the wonderful parade or just take my chances on getting a good place to set. Just imagine the mayor, city council, school members, president of chamber riding on floats with the mayors campaign slogan on the side of the float, "Bringing our city together" (of course Barb Schlapia will have a pit bull on her lap, this year maybe she will be braver and have a BIG dog on her lap and not a puppy!!!) Bands blareing in the background with the reviewing stand in front of the old First Baptist Church aka Mayor Franks Folly. For a minute I forgot I was in Raytown not Garry, Indiana. Raytown sounds and looks alot like Garry, Indiana---empty,deteriorating store fronts,and buildings, dirty streets with trash,declining population need I go on. But, let's just keep going in the same direction we're going and Mr. Mayor and city council you maybe sitting at city hall one day without a city to govern. So if I was you I would get may ass in gear before it's to late.

Anonymous said...

How many of you remenber the Round Up Days Parade when Larry Edwards was handing out flyers full of lies about the charter? Here is a real great idea why don't we start this Round Up Parade with a petition for a state audit!!!! Oh I forgot there may not be any people there to watch this wonderful days event.

Anonymous said...

Last spring the Raytown South Jazz Band had a" Night Of Jazz". It was a free will dontion at the door with refreshments you could buy, a nd a dance floor What a perfect opportunity it was for the mayor to bring the city, school and chamber together. But guess what not ONE person from the school board,or school administration, city, or chamber showed up. Don't give me the excuse I didn't know about it. The band did an wonderful job of advertising the event. The chamber wants us to show up at the BBQ cookoff, the parade, the city and school wants our vote for tax increases , but they can't support our kids. It's no wonder when the kids graduate from high school and move on they move out of Raytown.

Pat Casady said...

I remember back when Greg, Jerry and others were running for aldermen.
The opposition used the fraise "Good Old Boys" against them. The then RRFT,
the Raytown Post and Chamber used it against them also.
Now it can be truly used in every sense of the words.

It's funny what a cup of coffee, a donut or a bag of popcorn can buy.
The RRFT nor the Chamber lifted a hand to help the existing businesses during the sad days of the developers in town. Instead they took the side, as did the post, to try and work against the downtown businesses.
It comes to no surprise to me that the logo was voted in....and why.

If you would ask anyone you see on the streets which logo they like, most would say the little guy with the hammer. He represents the hard working people of Raytown
and why this town is called Raytown.

The new logo looks like a flag or a business card, which is where I think they got the design anyway. The only people that this new logo has any meaning for is the old political group started by the city, RRFT.
But you know what? This is only an ugly logo it doesn't make the city. The people, all the people, make the city, not just a couple of groups, and in time, with the right people in office, things can change.
Greg's right, Bob got it wrong. I guess it's hard to break old habits.

Anonymous said...

Pat, you got it right as usual. The " Good Ole Boy" system worked like a charm under the Frank administration and appears to be continueing under our new mayor. RRFT and Continue Raytown's Progress were well oiled political machines if I've ever seen one. Soliciting out of town contributions from city contractors reminds us of the Pendergast days in Kansas City. But Sue Frank was not a politician, give me a break. She was a horrible mayor, but she knew how to bring in the cash so she and her croonies could stay in power. If you look at history, the people eventually figure out these groups and throw them out on their ears. Sometimes they even go to jail, just look across the border into Kansas City. Sign me: Waiting For The Day.

Anonymous said...

Fokls we're making progress one step at a time. Sue Fank is gone (we may not have anyone better, but just remenber we can get rid of him too) Now we MUST put on the heat to have a State Audit after that is done go after Tim and Michael and the rest of the high and mighty at city hall. Just don't forget even the powerful fall and when they do it hard. Mr. Wenson at his new job at Liberty a prime example of someone getting ready to hit the ground face down. Look out below!!!! Let's get organized and be heard!!!!

Anonymous said...

Your right we are making progress. We got rid of Randy at the Post, maybe Phillips should follow him out the door. But not selling any ads how can they stay in business. Why would you want to spend the money to place an ad in a paper that no one reads? We are getting rid of the trash, I mean those people who can't say a good thing about the city or the people who live here. So keep up the good work and boycott the Post.

Anonymous said...

There should't be any cost to the tax payer for the parade. Just give each one of the city officials , including the mayor, chamber president, Truesdale and Miller a broom and let them shovel up the shit off the street. Now wasn't that simple and all done at no additional cost to the tax payer.

Anonymous said...

Andy Whiteman..

You have implied on this blog several times that the Caylor murders were the direct result of Round-Up activities.

If you have information that is directly associated with those murders you need to go to the police and give them that information.

If you are making these claims with valid information, that is one thing. If you are just using this horrible incident to further your own opinions, without facts, you do the memory of the Caylor's no justice and you continue to cause the family additional pain with your false accusations and mean-spiritied attacks.

Come up with facts or SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP!!!

Anonymous said...

Why won't the Mayor and Board of Aldermen call for a state audit? Is there something they don't want us to know?

Andy Whiteman said...

I think the facts speak for themselves.

1) Round Up Days sure rounds up undesirables and criminals. I have heard from friends and neighbors that the around this time thefts increase (especially car stereos.) Just check the police log. The Police should have these facts themselves.

2) The day of the discovery of the crime I had occassion to pass that building twice with my dog. The first time (about noon) it was obvious that Mr. Caylor did not set things out as he did every morning. We passed that area again about 4PM on our afternooon walk when am ambulance and police were there. It is obviously a night time burglary gone bad.

3) Since it happened shortly after Round Up Days, it is my theory that individual(s) stocked out this area for a business to burgalarize. They did not expect anyone to be living in a business and were surprised when they discovered the Caylors living there. Thiefs expect to find money (or items of value) in a business and turned violent when there was no money.

As for facts, the police should ask the media for tapes of their interviews. There were many interviews of people who were by the area during the day.

Fortunately one of the perps was apprehended. I have never heard the outcome of the trial of if there has been a trial. Does anyone know?

My point is Round Up Days is both a nuisance and an attractive nuisance with loud music, closing streets, forcing businesses to close for the event, much litter in the area, and some type of violence each year. Why are taxpayers paying for this event? The Chamber should reimburse the city for all costs as well as reimburse the businesses for lost business.

I certainally hope this nuisance is not allowed back downtown. It has no business anywhere near a residencial area.

Anonymous, if you want to tell me to shut up, your need to sign your name! I don't shut up for anonymous people and I certainally won't shut up about this nuisance until it is moved elsewhere. I think a contained area (like the flea market) would be a good idea to keep it away from people.

I have no disrespect for the Caylors. They were an honest, Christian couple and certainally in no way responsible for what happened. My issue is with Round Up Days being a nuisance and the cost to the taxpayers.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Andy, i am just curious, how long have you lived here in Raytown? Round up has been going on for 40 to 50 years and usually it has only been in the past 10 to 15 years that a few unsupervised juveniles create most of the problems at best a few fist fights, but never a murder, let alone a double murder.... as far as 'casing' that can go on at any time, and it does. So should Independence do away with their Santa Cali Gon Days event also because they block off their streets as well as the undesirables there also? I guess if it is so much of an annoyance to you, why did you move in the area that you did? Surely you did some research on that before you moved to Raytown.

Andy Whiteman said...

Anonymous,

I was forced to move here 7 years ago. I was not told of the nuisance of Round Up Days; however, I checked the distance to various businesses. I also checked with the Chamber which misinformed me that Raytown had the lowest property taxes in the metro area. That may be true, but they neglected to mention the outrageous school taxes.

Actually I was very surprised to discover such a nuisance that 2 banks were forced to close as well as through streets forced onto residential streets!

What other areas want to do with their events is their problem.

I can fault the seller of my house for not disclosing the nuisance. Unfortunately, I never thought to ask anyone if there was such I nuisance since I had no knowledge of it. Now I have a prepared home requirements which I provide to any Realtor with whom I discuss buying a home. It is now covered in my home requirements so no Realtor should attempt to sell me a home that has these problems.

Andy Whiteman

JWDT said...

Big difference between Gary, Indiana & Raytown....Gary appears to have a future (i.e. industry & a plan). My prediction is Raytown will eventually be swallowed up by Kansas City...I give us 5-10 years.

Justin Tomac

Andy Whiteman said...

I agree with Justin although I hope it doesn't come to pass. After all we are surrounded by KC. I have lost count of how many times I have seen their Police cars and Fire Trucks passing through Raytown to get to another part of their city.

I was surprised to discover that Lees Summit comes North to 40 HWY. A Lees Summit takeover of Raytown is another possibility I hope never happens.

What can we expect with a slogan "Raytown, reaching fro tomorrow?" This was plagarized from another group. Reaching is a poor choice of wording. Planning for tomorrow indicates a sense of a plan for progress.

By the way, I spoke with Mayor Bower tonight and he said that there was NO plan to cut officers from the force.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Andy, the Mayor says there is no plan to cut police officiers, but will they get their raises that they have been promised by the new pay plan that was passed a few years ago? If they don't get their raises you won't have to cut, they will leave on their own. Then Raytown has to start all over again, training new officiers, while other departments are hiring our experienced policemen and women. Still think Miller and Truesdale need to go.

Pat Casady said...

I considered Mr. Caylor a personal friend. He always had a smile when he came in my shop and I would always take care of him. He in turn on his radio spot would say a few good words about my business.
I can't tell you how shocked and hurt I was at what happened to he and his wife, as we all were.

But, every town has a "Roundup Days" or something like it. And true I thought it was a bad thing that our Chamber of "Commerce" would force the closing of most of the downtown businesses. But, I still thought and think it is a good thing for the town to have something like Roundup Days. I just don't think it was done right.
As for the troubles that the event had it wasn't the chambers fault. You can't control stupid or thugs without a lot of police personal. Considering that these type of problems hadn't been seen until recently. Before the unmannered, disrespectful, thug mentality of some that have showed up in recent years, a good time was had by all. These are the people I blame for the demise of Roundup days.

If it cost the taxpayers a little money to be safe and to clean up after words, well, what do other towns do? They pay for it. The last downtown Roundup Days the chamber did get out the day after and help clean up.

I don't think anyone should blame the terrible thing that happened to the Caylor's on Roundup Days. At any given time some thug could go into a business or home and rob it.
Remember the downtown bank has been robbed a couple of times as have others and I'm sure that they had nothing to do Roundup Days.

It's a sign of the times and the fact that some portion of the population would rather rob, steal, cheat and even commit shameful crimes than get a job. They think society owe's them something, we do........a jail cell.

Anonymous said...

Very well expressed Pat!!!

Anonymous said...

There are always a few bad apples that ruin the basket. Meaning there are always some people who make a bad image for Round Up Days. I will miss the fun this year. Not even going to go see the parade. It's a shame someone always has to mess up a good thing. I didn't hear alot of good things about the BBQ either.

Anonymous said...

I think that Pat covered the majority of the issues and facts, however, there is a lot more to it than what has been said... we have bearly scratched the surface when it comes to the reasons for the problems in todays Raytown.... You can start back in the 50's and 60's with Kansas City, Missouri's famous land grab for increasing both the city's size and tax base where Raytown was not quick enough to annex the area east of our current city limits for our city's future expansion, thus land locking Raytown when KC annexed that portion east of our border including Knobtown. KC wont give that land up at all because of the tax revenue that they get off of it and those residents lack from sub par city services, sometimes being forgotten about or ignored by KCMO which the residents of that area have previously addresed those problems with their own represntitives earlier on. I believe that Raytown will still prevail as its own city because of what has happened to them in the past by KCMO...at the same time you add the ever present problems with the KCMO School District losing their Accreditation and regaining a provisional status... and the fact that most people, if they are smart, they will do the right thing for their families and their financial wellbeing because they want good schools for their children, and good educators, and high property values, and lower crime.... so Raytown is a viable alternative to their current situations and socioeconomic status, and they relocate here. Cant say as I dont blame them for trying, as you can see others are trying to improve upon the KCMSD's shortcomings in the Independence/Blue Summit(DOGPATCH) area by forcing a vote by initiative petition on the Indep School District's takeover of several KCMSD schools. Of course, as more housing becomes available here in Raytown because of what everyone in the media calls 'White Flight' we are experienceing a much more ethnically diverse population of residents, couple that with some of the current residents and their upbringing coupled with the total socioeconomic status, and you start to see some more problems with crime, property complaints, lower property values, vacant properties that can't sell, as well as decaying infrastucture and a decaying tax base, and lack of city services, and lack of businesses.... it is all interconnected with each other. Now how do we deal with it? Do we stay here, do we become victims of 'White Flight', do nothing, ignore it, or what? What I would really like to know is what Raytown's overall 'Master Plan' is and how the city plans on dealing with these current and future problems. Wage freezes at city hall is not going to help with this one. This is a much more dynamic situation. Are the BOA meetings going to be multi lingual here in the near future? We really need to know where we are going... is this progress or just a very slow and agonizing death for Raytown? Maybe we sould check in with Liberty and see how much better off that they are now....

Anonymous said...

Mr. Tomac makes a good point about being taken over by some other city. I continue to hear people talking all the time and asking the same question. How much longer can Raytown really afford to be a city? We're getting NO service for the taxes we are paying. At least the people I hear from that have moved to other cities say they are paying more in taxes, but they feel like they are getting good city services in return.

Anonymous said...

Don't you get it folks? I don't think Raytown HAS a 'master plan'. The only plan I've heard that Community Development has is to try to make Raytown prettier. There is no incentive to encourage independent businesses to locate here. There is no help from the city and little from the chamber unless you are buddies with the right people.

City Hall officials have a one track mind and that is to make the city "aesthetically pleasing".

Definition of 'aesthetic' from dictionary.com:
1. Pertaining to a sense of the beautiful or to the science of aesthetics.
2. Having a sense of the beautiful; characterized by a love of beauty.
3. Pertaining to, involving, or concerned with pure emotion and sensation as opposed to pure intellectuality.

Aye, THERE'S the rub! Lack of intellectual capacity. There is a lack of substance, significance and focus in Raytown's administration.

I ask that someone prove this wrong. What new businesses have opened up in the Central Business District lately other than a couple of coffee shops?

I would like City Hall to inform the community what their 'plan' is. Show us a time line of events leading to a proposed outcome. Let us feel positive about the future of Raytown with something other than a slogan or logo. So far it's been all talk and no action.

Anonymous said...

I understand that foul mouthed Al Maddox is going to be the parade marshall for the no Roundup Days Parade. I'm splitting my sides laughing. A KANSAS CITY resident for over 20 years. I'm beginning to believe that the Chamber is as dumb as those idiots at city hall. What a disappointment that Vicki Turnbow has turned out to be! All I can say is what a slap in the face to the 30,000 taxpaying citizens that have devoted their lives to making Raytown a better place. But, I guess none of them were deserving, so we had to go to Kansas City again.

Pat Casady said...

There are Good Ole Boys and then there are Good Ole Boys.

Anonymous said...

When Mayor Bower said he wanted to unit the city, the chamber and the school district, maybe he wanted to make sure that all the Good Ole Boys are under one umbrella. My question to the mayor would be: How are you going to unit the people? That's what you should be worrying about. These three organizations all seem to have their own problems, bringing them together just makes the problems worse.

Anonymous said...

What a selection for parade marshal.He certainly is a great example for citizens and children, NOT!!! I tried to talk to this man once and nothing but fowl launage came out of his mouth. If you can't find anyone better, then don't have a marshal for the parade. Why is it all the chamber and city hall wants to do is to bring more embarrassment to the citizens of Raytown. Vicki Turnbow hasn't even been at the helm of the chamber a year but it may be time for a change of command. Because she certainly dosen't know the citizens very well that she has to have Foul Mouth Al to head up the parade but I very seriously doubt there will be very many people there to watch it.

Anonymous said...

Oh, so that is why everyone calls him fowl mouthed Al..... do you mean UNITE or UNIT, or UNTIE? Seems as though each group or organization has like the same core group of people like Riehle, Schaplia, Maddox, Bower, White, Kinman's, Frank, Whitman, Aziere, Turnbow, Mack, Edwards, Truesdale, Miller with Burntend brain Bob Phillips and the Ertl's as their cheerleading squad....why not get rid of this elitist group of doofeses and make a clean, fresh start at forward progress!

Anonymous said...

We have an oppurnity to preview an event entitled Dumb, Dumber and Dumbest on Round Up Day at the Parade. The event will be lead by none other than 'OLE FOUL MOUTH AL. Dumb being the mayor and council, Dumber being the school board and Dumbest being the chamber for appointing good "Ole Foul Mouth Al, who by the way lives in Kansas City not Raytown. The chamber president must not know where the Raytown city limits are, maybe we should get her a map.See you there folks for a day full of laughs.

Anonymous said...

Apparently you have never talked to Al Maddox or you wouldn't have to ask this question. Yes, it should be unite or bring together, sorry about the typo.

Andy Whiteman said...

Why not name someone who REPRESENTS Raytown as grand marshall? I think that Mayor Bower would be a good person.

I have never heard nor met Al, but if this alien (to Raytown) is the only choice, they might as well get a jack ass to lead the parade.

Andy Whiteman

JWDT said...

I would be curious if everyone who participates on this blog to layout their vision or master plan for Raytown.

I would expect it to be a 3-5 key points that has 1-5 actionable items (e.g. A) Increase Tax Base through Economic Growth - Recruit Family or Privately Owned Biz, Promote a Niche Store Environment (i.e. very few in Metro area), Survey Residents for Key Types of Biz, Balance of Biz's (i.e. All sizes of Biz based upon # of employees), etc., etc.

Justin Tomac

Itellitlikeitis said...

Andy, you hit the nail on the head and didn't even know it. “Foul Mouthed” Al Maddox is leading the parade, so it would appear that your suggestion about getting a “Jackass’ to lead the parade has already been fulfilled…….

Pat Casady said...

Mr. Tomac.
This is what I'd like to see.
1. The old church should be gone.
2. Hire a true Economic Director.
He or she would call on restaurant companies to get them to come to town,among other businesses. Also promote the existing businesses and call on
them to see if they could suggest anything.
3. Ease up on codes that make it harder for new businesses to come to town.
Stick to a written set of codes, don't make them up as they go along.
I don't mean the general codes that involve services like electrical, pluming,etc.
I mean color of garage doors and how many trees should be planted or having new businesses hire an architect just to install a sink.
4. Make the downtown areaattractive. This includes decorative street lights, trees,
clean streets and sidewalks. Ask existing businesses to upgrade their store fronts.
The city should check for any kind of grants that would help existing businesses do these changes.
5. Most of all treat the existing and perspective businesses the way you would want to be treated. If you alienate these people they won't want come to town or will want to leave.
6. If an increased sales tax base would help then so be it.
7. Get our city leaders behind business in and for town, although I have no idea how you can do this. Most don't know how businesses work and most don't care about the downtown they just wish it would heal all by itself.
That can't happen without some help from City Hall. Mr. Wenson didn't kill downtown but it wasn't because he wasn't trying.

Anonymous said...

This is Lee Gray...and if I was smart, I'd just keep my mouth shut.

But some of you express sincere opinions and questions..so my hope is that in my own limited way I may add to your understanding of what little I know about Raytown from living here only 20 years.

1) White flight from Northeast KC started this town...basically. When I came here in 1986, I never saw a black person downtown. Etc. Etc. And I came from Excelsior Springs which had a black population of 11 people...two of whom were friends of mine that I regularly had lunch with.

2) In the old days...the saying went: A community's newspaper reflects exactly what the community is, where it is, it's vitality, etc.***

I shoulder my share of the blame for selling my newspaper and dropping out of public life here (tho' I did take a second shot at being on another charter commission).

I got divorced in 1992 and I tried to sell the newspaper from that day on. I raised my two youngest children half the time (a week at my home, a week at their mother's) from the time they were 18 months old and six years old. They are now 17 and 22.

I spent 31 years in the newspaper business, 16 here, and taught college journalism part-time. One of my students in now mayor of KCK/county executive of Wyandotte County, KS. He worked for me at the Raytown Post...as did a number of my Rockhurst College students. Most of them went to law school or into well-paying PR/etc. media jobs.

I mention this because newspapers do not draw the talent (neither does CNN, Fox, etc. TV news). The pay isn't there..the love of being a big frog in a small pond...and making a difference in society...just doesn't exist anymore.

***Newspapers no longer (with rare exception) reflect their communities. Newspapers are profit-driven corporate animals with stockholders. They are also elitist puppets of the political elite. (The same goes for TV).

Argue with me all you want about these comments. I'll respect your opinions. But I've lived it, taught it, reported on it (in a national media publication as a columnist)...etc.

Newspapers are passe'. As an editor/publisher, I wasn't always fair nor right. But the older I got the better I got.

I had people pull ads because I was "too negative," (translate that as "truthful"...in my opinion).

I really don't feel like I have to defend myself. I've been out of the local newspaper for five years...and nary a week passes that someone I don't know walks up to me in the grocery store and says: "I really miss you at the newspaper." I'm grateful and flattered for/by those comments. But I have no ego investment in them.

I got tired of being a journalist. Period. I always hated being a businessman.

I could go into the legal ramnifications that have ensued since I sold the paper...but I feel sorry for those who stiffed me...and take responsibility for my own failings in picking a steward to maintain a free and independent press in Raytown. I'm not alone. Look at what has happened since The KC Star and Times merged...etc. etc. And now Murdock owns The Wall Street Journal.

People ... the handwriting is on the wall! (If you remember that part of The Bible.)

To Justin: I've served on "Master Plan" writing proposals in this town. And, like Al Waters, who also served on one of those, said: "It's just going to be more boilerplate that sits on a shelf and gathers dust for the next 20 years."

If any of you...really wants to make a difference...start passing out the petitions for a city state audit and one of the school district.

We all "talk" here, and brainstorming is good. But actions still speak louder than words.

I'll tell you honestly and upfront that you can't count on much effort from me. I'm still tired, burned out and disappointed that personal honor/moral codes are not the ones I was raised on.

Sorry for the length of this.

Best wishes/Lee

JWDT said...

Lee, Thanks for sharing. I always find it interesting to see the journey a person has been on and the experiences they have seen/covered.

I like to see the overall vision or 'master plan' along with the tactical actions to support the plan...it gives me a perspective. Since someone mentioned it on this blog a few times & it seems I cannot find any thing to tell me what the plan is..my natural assumption is "A plan does not exist"...at least to the way I was taught. Logically, if it doesn't exist I like to see what everyone else thinks it should be in hopes that if the Alderman (aside from the two who post on this blog) read it they may get an idea of what Raytown residents think it should be.

I do strongly agree with you on the petitions, especially the audit portion.

Pat, thanks for your comments & insight. On #7, I am not sure of how to solve this either. A way to induce a sense of urgency is for the city businesses to unite & demand a level of fairness...this requires a lot of courage because most businesses may not be willing to follow through on the consequences if the city doesn't meet the demand(s) i.e. pick up an move outside the borders of Raytown.

Thanks,
Justin Tomac

Anonymous said...

Let's get this state audit going!! What has Mayor Bower got to hide?

Andy Whiteman said...

There is some deep thoughts on this page.

Obviously development needs to be funded with taxes. The question is what kind of taxes? 350 HWY and Raytown Plaza will have additional sales tax to help financing. This may be counter- productive. The public may boycott these areas once they find out what the tax rate really is. I never knew this until a few years ago I questioned the sales tax rate and discovered that in the same city tax rates vary by area. That is one of the many reasons I don't go to the Plaza except to walk and see the lights at Christmas. (At least the parking is free.)

Mainly Raytown needs to decide to be business friendly. I was at a P&Z meeting and a Board of Alderpeople meeting when developers were requesting approval. I was shocked that the developers had to get approval on the color and landscaping! Codes need to be written and specific so that they are easily understandable. It is out of order for a building or codes inspector to base the requirements on how he feels something should be done, or what he "THINKS" the code really means. This is the same trouble I am having with my fence: dealing with a poorly writen code that does not have instructions on how to measure a fence combined with an inspector who decided what he thinks the ordinance means. Can you imagine a developer spending a fortune to build a new project and the codes are changing daily based on how the inspector feels. A friend told me that El Maquey painted the building in a color that was normally used in their type of business. The city didn't like to color and they had to repaint. If I was starting a business, I would go to a city that isn't arbitrary with new businesses.

Also by business friendly, the city needs to accept all businesses with no discrimination. I am getting the impression (I hope I am wrong) that the city only wants big business that will develop an area and not one lot. I was at one meeting where the question came up over control over the type of businesses allowed in the development.

A friend told me that at one time Raytown had many hot rod sales, service, and parts places. But the city doesn't want this type of business. I have no interest in hot rods, but if the business makes money, generates sales taxes, and generates property taxes, they should be welcome. Their money is just as good or better than Walmart's money.

I question if some of out present businesses wanted to open today, would they put up with all of the B/S or would they even be allowed to start? If Pat or Shamrock wanted to start a business today, would they be allowed to start? Would they back out due to all changing codes and arbitrary decisions by codes inspectors?

The city needs to accept any LEGAL business that has the money to start up, welcome them, and treat them with respect!

That should be the primary business plan.

Actually some may wonder why I am spending time on these issues since I intend to move? I don't know how long I will be trapped here. I would like to see progress while I am here. This Fascist, arbitrary type of government needs a complete change if Raytown is going to attract business and grow.

Andy Whiteman

P.S. While I was typing this an anonymous audit suggestion popped in. I question:
1) What will the audit cost the taxpayers?
2) What is expected of the audit? The audit should discover items like embezzlement or illegal expenditures. I think we all agree that out of town trips by management and baseball attendence by the school district are unnecessary expenses. But as long as they are approved by the board and somehow business related, an audit will allow them. True, if funds are going to an individual or group when they shouldn't, an audit should show this and it will become a legal and possibly a criminal matter.

Anonymous said...

When it comes to building codes for instance, plumbing, electrical, property maintenance, etc.... usually these are just a MINIMUM to meet the requirements. It is therefore up to THE AUTHORITY HAVING JURISDICTION to determine if the mimimum is acceptable, and if it is not, then the authority having jurisdiction can legally make a party comply with any other requests that they may have. So if the head codes enforcement official tells you that they want your fence to end at the front of your house and that it has to be 6 foot tall even if the code states only 4 foot tall, the 4 foot tall is only a mimimum. They can do this as an example. Most cities can do this. To change this practice would require a very large undertaking which is not practical.

Usually, most codes inspectors are fairly flexible as long as the mimimum requirements are met and they have reasonable expectations of most business owners.

I will say this much, I don't agree with the city allowing the loan shark offices on 350 hiway to have been painted that irritating bright yellow color. Even if these businesses are legitimate I feel that they help to promote the overall degredation of the area by preying on the finacially strapped. Now the Mexican resturant at 66th and raytown road started as a light purple I think. I was not too objectionable, but apparently someone didn't like it.

I too agree that the city has way too many hoops to make businesses jump through. It is really a major turn off to them, especially small businesses just getting started. I know this first hand from past experience with Raytown. It also helped with the demise of our business too. Yes, I have every reason to be mad as hell with the city yet I feel that I should channel the negative energy into something more positive.

Anonymous said...

A group or individual can call the state auditor's office at any time and ask to meet with them about starting a petition drive to conduct a state audit. At that time the auditor's office will advise on wording of petition and estimated cost to the taxpayers. Also the scope of the audit will be discussed at this time. Remember the last state audit of the city was done over 25 years ago and who knows how long it has been since the school district has been audited. Isn't it about time?

Pat Casady said...

Mr. Tomac,
I wasn't suggesting that existing businesses pick up and move out, I may not have been as clear as I thought I was. I meant that new businesses trying to comply with the stupid codes i.e. trees, curbs, color of doors etc., not the real safety codes can't afford all the add-on codes and they have to leave and go to a more business friendly town.
When I mentioned hiring an architect to install a sink, this actually happened and the previous owner of the site had a sink there before these people moved in all that was missing was the sink itself. I cost these new people two thousand dollars to have the architect draw a picture of a damn sink on the already approved blue prints.
Personally I would have just gone ahead and installed the sink but this lady wanted to try and do what she thought was right.
Then there was a time when a lady was told she couldn't even install a phone without
permission in her new business and she owned the building!
This is the kind of thing that needs to change.

I would never suggest someone move their business out of Raytown, in fact I've been trying to get more to come here.
The sad thing is I tell them they have to check with City Hall before they get their hopes up because there is a 90% chance they can't afford the codes people.

Anonymous said...

Andy...

I agree, there is SOME deep discussions on here, but for the most part it is nothing but a bunch of deep doodoo.

Such as: Audit..what is the Mayor trying to hide? Idiotic question by an idiot.

Master plan: it was laid out several weeks ago in the City Spirit meeting, Justin...where were you and Pat and the other business owners from downtown?

Chamber and Al Maddox: The Raytown AREA Chamber of Commerce includes the area covered by the Raytown School District...I believe this includes the area of KC where Al lives, where I live and where MANY people who consider themselves Raytowners live...duh!

Andy..if you don't know, or have never spoken to Al before, don't judge him by the discussion of the blowhards on this site. I am not defending AL, but noone likes everyone. Take their comments with a grain of salt.

Anonymous said...

You can't be a Raytowner and LIVE in Kansas City!! You DON'T pay city taxes to Raytown and you CAN'T vote in Raytown. If you're so darn proud of Raytown then move here and only then should you have your say. You guys want it both ways, live in Kansas City, vote for their elected officials, receive their city services, but when it's convenient, all of a sudden you're a Raytowner telling the real Raytown people how to run our business. Give me a break!! As for foul mouthed Al Maddox ,he didn't get that name by being the nicest person in KANSAS CITY.

Anonymous said...

Andy I tried to talk to FM Al once and every word that came out of his mouth was a cuss word. I was amazed that there were many cuss words, he could have put a Sailor to shame.!!!! Take it from me he isn't a nice guy.

Andy Whiteman said...

There are many views, opinions, and unspecific allegations of wrong doing (of public funds) being expressed here.

With all the comments about the budget, I wondered why I was the only one speaking to the Board of Alderpeople? I really expected to see several anonymous people except anonymous people must state their name. Maybe that is why I was the only speaker. Or could it be that all of you are smarter and know the Board doesn't listen to anyone so we are wasting our time?

Only 2 issues received attention:
1) Fire code violation: locked exit door at BOA meeting and this was the 3rd time I called it to anyone's attention. Lets see if it is locked or unlocked at the next meeting?
2) Trees growing from storm sewer removed after one call to 737-6014 and 2 complaints at BOA meeting. I wonder why one call isn't enough? Does it require action from the Board to get maintenance and a code violation abated?

This was the 3rd time I mentioned the Olde Baptist Church having numerous code violations. I asked for a response and Mayor Bower declined to respond.

Since I see no action should I assume we are wasting our time at Board meetings? Very few from the public were there. My dog was very happy that it was a short meeting because she got her walk on time.

MASTER PLAN
I think the master plan is, "Pray for business," and hope a rich developer will appear who is willing to invest a furtune and get approval on colors and landscaping and jump through hoops. The average person isn't going to put up with that B/S. Not many takers, is there?

As for what is officially Raytown, there are city limits, but the trade area can extend past the city limits as the school district does. Raytown phone numbers exist in Kansas City and Independence. I called a contractor thinking he was in Raytown and he admitted he was actually in KC! He was the low bid so got the job.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Forget trying to identify where telephone numbers originate from as that has gone to the wayside when they made it to where you can take your phone number with you when you move if you wish. I know, it used to be FL or FLEMING 3 in the old days,353, 356, 358, 737, or 313.... things change.

It is funny, when I lived in Kansas City, even though it was in the Raytown school district, I considered myself a resident of Kansas City. Why would someone even consider that being in Raytown? You pay taxes to Kansas City, vote in Kansas City on their issues, pay school taxes to Raytown C2 district...that is it. period. Sounds like you can complain all you want to about KC or the Raytown Schools, but the city NOT! I believe a taxpayer has a right to be heard.

As far as a trade area, the only thing that may make sense about that may be if you were a contractor based in Raytown that did work in other cities like KC, Independence, Lees Summit, etc.. where you would have to pull permits from those citys, and possibly pay earnings taxes, etc.

Really, the Raytown Area Chamber of Commerce should be trying to attract new businesses and help to retain businesses in the area instead of being a wine and dine elite socialite club like it usually is. They should know what is their jurisdiction, and what is others jurisdictions.

Some people can't always attend BOA meetings because of other responsibilities like work, family, and other valid reasons so they sometimes have to get their information from other sources.

You are probably correct about the BOA not listening to the people. Sometimes they have their own social agendas that are more important than the voters agendas who are obviously the ones that choose them for the office that they currently hold.

Andy Whiteman said...

Thanks for explaning that 353 was FLeming 3. I always wondered. I like those old time numbers. The way phone numbers go, they can assign them anywhere. I heard a telephone programmer explain that when you dial a number, your call does not go to that physical number, but what you dialed is translated to a computer code and can then connect to a phone no where near where you think you are calling. I miss the good old days where you knew the general area of a telephone exchange.

I understand that people have better things to do than go to board meetings. I have better things to do too, so only go if the issue is important to me. Animals will get me there every time except the one time I had a doctor's appointment. The budget brought me in this time. I still have a gripe about discrimination in code enforcement with the city being exempt while mere citizens have to comply.

Andy Whiteman

JWDT said...

Anon,
I guess I wasn't aware of a Master Plan & shame on me for not knowing of the City Spirit Meeting (whatever that is) at which it was laid out. I tend not to read the newspapers in this town because they remind me of the KC Star as well as the other media outlets, very lopsided journalism that tends to the sensational side.

I do agree that your #2 statement about what does Mayor Bower have to hide as being thoughtless. Didn't he just take over the beginning of the year...not sure he could do that much damage in a short period of time....I think the audit would not have him in mind but more the rest of the City Government that has been entrenched for awhile.

In regards to the #1 paragraph, doo-doo comment about the blog...if you look at enough things in life I am sure you can boil the majority if not all of the things down to doo-doo. The fact you chose to remain anon tells me you are a person without courage and may lack integrity, judging by your #4 paragraph I would say your maturity path is somewhere between pediatric and puerile. In time I hope you can prove my initial thoughts of you wrong...

Unfortunately, my job does not give me the convenience of being in Raytown during normal business hours and at times during off hours.
Is the 'Master Plan' anywhere on-line or do I need to take a day off of work, go to City Hall and bargain with someone to receive a copy? I guess since it was discussed a few weeks ago, it is a work in progress so some can say Raytown does not have one.

Mr. Casady,
I didn't misread what you wrote, what I was implying were my own thoughts. In my mind, if enough businesses band together & are serious enough to put some demands to Raytown in regards to codes, taxes, etc. these same businesses may have to hold something over the City to get what they want. Some call it coercion, others extortion, judging by the way Jackson County, City of Kansas City & Raytown, it is probably viewed more as just how business works (e.g. Chiefs, Royals, Revitalizing downtown KC, various TIF's in and out of Raytown, etc.).

All have a great Sunday...it is a day of rest!
Justin Tomac

Anonymous said...

The very reason that Mayor Bower and Michael Miller should want a state audit is to separate their administration from the past administrations. Right now I'm sure that it would be easy to separate the two, but as time goes on it may not be so easy. Why should Mayor Bower take the hit for something that was done during the Frank-Wenson era?

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous "deep doo-doo Kansas Citian..."

You can turn your cowboy hat sideways, stick your hand in your coat and tell everyone you're Napoleon...but that still won't make you him or a "Raytowner."

In regards you calling people "idiots," you might want to remember Shakespeare's words: "Better stay silent and thought a fool, then open your mouth and prove yourself one."

And, a Raytown Spirit meeting? Were you and the gullible others there able to raise William Ray?

No doubt you're the same person suggesting elsewhere on this blog that someone had his head up his ---.

Doo-doo and head location indicate you have an anal personality. Might want to get some professional help for that.

Might also want to concentrate on your community's problems: light rail and crime, earnings tax and free trash bags...and let us Real Raytowners take care of what's going on HERE!

Andy Whiteman said...

There are too many people here with the same name: "Anonymous". Obviously you are several different writers judging from what is written. Really confusing trying to follow a person's train of thought.

Would you all please click SIGN UP HERE and create account? If you want to be anonymous, that is fine; but you could use a pseudonym as several people do. No one would know who you are but you would have an identity here.

The audit issue surprises me. If I was a new mayor or city administrator for that matter, I would request and immediate audit of the books as a CYA measure. I don't know the cost but I think it is a reasonable request by an elected or appointed official.

Justin,
I take the KC Red Star for the news, TV listings, comics, and grocery ads. I don't read the editorials unless they catch my attention. It is expensive so I share it with my neighbor who dows not subscribe.

I take the Raytown Post because it is the only LEGAL newspaper in Raytown hence that is where legal notices must be published. I may or may not read Bob's editorial. I understand that an editorial is an opinion, not news, so he can say what he wants. I am looking for news content and legal notices. I then share the paper with another friend who does not subscribe.

As for the Master Plan, I am not aware of one exists or not. I have been aware of a downtown redevelopment plan for about 5 years. Tracy Darby brought it to the attention of many. This may be thought of as a master plan. I don't know. You might call Charla who is the city clerk and ask. I believe here number is 737-6004. If not call the main number 737-6000 and ask for her. You can ask her to place your name on the email list for when info becomes available so you don't have to make a trip to City Hall. One of my main complaints is City Hall is only open M-F 8-5 and unavailable to many. I have suggested to 2 officials that City Hall be open to the public to transact business one night a week.

Also, we have to remember that this is a blog and really an editorial of numerous opinions. When Greg Walters writes an article, I am assuming he is speaking with his knowledge as Alderman but I could be wrong.

Andy Whiteman

Pat Casady said...

I have no excuse for not going to the "Spirit Meeting" other than I didn't know it even existed until now.
The only meetings I know about are on the first and third Tuesday of the month. The B.O.A. meetings.
I can't rely on my aldermen to let me know of other meetings because I haven't heard from them in.........
NEVER!
Which begs the question, what is the job description of an alderman?

Anonymous said...

This is as close to a job description that I could find direct from the revised statutes of Missouri RSMo. :

Aldermen, qualifications.
79.070. No person shall be an alderman unless he or she is at least twenty-one years of age, a citizen of the United States, and an inhabitant and resident of the city for one year next preceding his or her election, and a resident, at the time he or she files and during the time he or she serves, of the ward from which he or she is elected.

Mayor, qualifications.
79.080. No person shall be mayor unless he be at least twenty-five years of age, a citizen of the United States and a resident of the city at the time of and for at least one year next preceding his election.

Mayor and board--duties.
79.110. The mayor and board of aldermen of each city governed by this chapter shall have the care, management and control of the city and its finances, and shall have power to enact and ordain any and all ordinances not repugnant to the constitution and laws of this state, and such as they shall deem expedient for the good government of the city, the preservation of peace and good order, the benefit of trade and commerce and the health of the inhabitants thereof, and such other ordinances, rules and regulations as may be deemed necessary to carry such powers into effect, and to alter, modify or repeal the same.

Anonymous said...

The most important qualification for Mayor or Board of Aldermen is that you get more votes than your opponent. When 78% of the registered voters stay at home, you can see why we have such poor government.

Anonymous said...

ATTENTION RAYTOWN CITIZENS
We had a home invasion last night at 85th and Ash. The horrible part of this is that there were 4 children in the house. The would be robbers had on bullet proof vest so they were well protected. What about us PRIVATE CITIZENS, how do we protect ourselves with Mr. Miller wanting to protect us by lowering the police ? I say we need to be up in arms demanding to know what the police department and city hall are going to do to protect us. Here are a few suggestions, get a gun, put in an alarm system and always be on guard. Keep your doors locked and garage doors down, and don't open the door if you don't know who is on the other side. In other words be a prisoner in your home. With super Wal Mart in the works and the all important welcome to Raytown Gateway Projects, we are welcoming all the bad element to come and settle here or shop here.It would be nice to hear from Chief Lynch on this and see what he plans to do but like all city oficials he seems to hide when trouble starts or is he just a coward and dosen't want to face the truth about what is in store for Raytown. Oh I know they caugt them, the bad guys this time and no one was hurt but we may not be so lucky next time, it could be YOU or a loved one of yours.

Anonymous said...

With all the crime in our city Michael Miller should be ashamed of himself wanting to CUT the Police Department's budget. I think we could find a big chunk of the money for the PD by cutting Miller's and Truesdale's positions, well over $200,000 here. Sign Me: SAVE OUR POLICE DEPARTMENT!!

sparky said...

That figures! Only 22% of registered voters voted in the last election. That is a disgrace!No wonder things are so screwed up with this city! Even if there were free giveaway promotions at the polls you could never get a 100% voter turnout. People will work very hard to come up with every excuse in the book of why they didnt vote. There is absentee voting available also. The only legitimate reason for not voting is either your death or you are a convicted felon. People died fighting for this country, for what it stands for, and its rights and freedoms so that you can take 5 or 10 minutes out of your super busy schedules and honor them by exercising your right to vote! You too can be a part of pro active change at city hall, the schools, the county, state, and the federal government as well! Dont complain unless you vote!

Andy Whiteman said...

It is pittifull when only 22% of regestered voters vote! There might be a larger voter turn out if they had mail in ballots and/or if they made absentee ballots easier to get.

When I lived in San Diego County, CA, ballots were mailed to voters who then mailed them back before the election. My wife and I went to the polls the first time. The wait was long and they made it clear that we were not supposed to be there. The mail in ballots should be used!

People have many reasons for not going to the polls such as disability, working, or just plain lazy. If there were mail in ballots, there would be no excuse for not voting and I feel there would be a larger turnout.

By the way, the dead do vote. At one time there were more registered voters than the population of Rio Arriba County, NM. Many of the registered voters were in the cemetary!

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

To Andy Whiteman:
The Post is not the only paper in Raytown which is LEGAL and prints Legals. The Tribune also has that status...and has since 1923.

Charla is not CITY CLERK. But she knows 10 times what the city clerk does since Teresa (the clerk) lives in Lone Jack or somewhere out there and has only been in her job here a couple of years.

Anonymous said...

Teresa Newton, the city clerk is an embarasment to our city government. She doesn't have a clue as to what's going on. She can't even get the minutes out to the board in a timely fashion. I've even heard that they are being done by an outside company. More unnecessary expenses. This GIRL is a WASTE of your TAXPAYER DOLLARS.

Anonymous said...

You know why it is that the City Clerk is, as you call it "an embarasment"? You answers to the biggest waste of taxpayer's money at City Hall. That would be the guy who wants to cut Police department, street programs and other city services. All of these critical needs for the citizens of Raytown, so he can go out of town on yet another out of state meeting next month.

It is just plain WRONG to cut needed police protection and nice streets so Mr. Miller can have yet another free vacation on the taxpayer's dime

Andy Whiteman said...

Maybe I was misinformed. When the Post became a subscription only paper, they told me it was so they could get a 2nd Class mailing permit and be classed as a Legal newspaper. I don't get the Tribune so I can't check their mailing status.

Isn't the City Clerk elected? If so, he/she must live in Raytown. Sorry if I had the impression that Charla was City Clerk. It is Charla's email that is listed for contact in the city's legal announcements for contracts and she is the one I contact with questions.

I really feel that if a person has an issue with an employee (if that person is an employee rather than elected), the complaint should be brought to that person's supervisor rather than taking it to a public forum such as this.

Andy Whiteman

Pat Casady said...

I know what the qualifications for being an alderman are, I was looking for a job description.
The dictionary says "a member of a municipal legislative body in a U.S. city."
Nowhere have I found a description of what they are supposed to do after they are elected.
We all know what they tell us in order to get elected but that all means, in most cases, nothing after the fact.

I'd like to see a printed piece of paper that tells us what they are expected to do after the election, ( a job description) as in represent the people and businesses in their ward. Up until now only one or two have actually done that. The others have been a "yes" vote for anything the administration suggests. If a free thinking alderman would happen to question anything he is, as the Post stated, "Going counter to what his peers want and believe to be right."
I say to Hell with the "peers" and do what they are voted in to do, REPRESENT THE PEOPLE IN THEIR WARDS!

Anonymous said...

Here is a sample of one found on the internet:

Position Description - Alderman, 49th Ward
PURPOSE OF THE JOB?
To represent the residents and other stakeholders in the community in City Government in order to assure and enhance the welfare of the community.

FUNCTIONS: KEY RESPONSIBILITIES IN THE FOLLOWING AREAS:

PLANNING:

The purpose of planning is to produce measurable objectives for the current year as well as long-term priorities and goals for the ward.

- Work with the community to establish a shared vision for the future

- Conduct review of zoning to ensure that local zoning meets the immediate and long-term needs of the neighborhoods and the larger community.

- Enforce zoning that is aligned with the long term vision for the community

- Work with city government and the community to assure adequate funds are allocated to the Ward for needed infrastructure investments

- Sell the community to investors and businesses that can bring jobs, services and improve the “quality of life” in the Ward

DECISION MAKING RESPONSIBILITY:

The Alderman makes all key decisions regarding the Ward within the constraints of City Government. Key decisions:

- Pass City budget and laws

- Make zoning recommendations

- Promote and make decisions related to Ward projects, e.g., zoning issues, economic development/capital improvements, schools, housing issues, etc.

- Determine Aldermanic staff priorities and projects

RESPONSIBILITY TO THE COMMUNITY:

- Effectively run an organized, competent, customer-service oriented Ward Service Office with honesty and integrity.

- Listen to and advocate for the community residents and other community stakeholders

- Encourage change that is in sync with the long-term vision for the community.

- Work with the police and the community to promote public safety and civility

- Bring economic development to the community and retain the viable businesses and cultural institutions already located here

- Maintain for public review complete files on all ongoing and recent development in the ward with which the alderman has been involved

Who is the “community”?
- Residents

- Businesses

- Residential and Commercial Investors

- Religious, Social and Cultural Institutions in the Community

- Police and Fire Department

SUPERVISION AND WORK DIRECTION:

- Make employment decisions regarding staff, and ensure their competency in vital areas such as writing legislation and understanding policy and the complexities of legislation

- Set priorities and performance standards for staff

-Direct the work of the Chief of Staff who directs the work of other staff in the office

BUDGET RESPONSIBILITIES:

- Manage the Aldermanic budget

- Advocate for City Funding of projects within the Community

RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHERS:

Key contacts within city government:

- The Mayor

- Other City Counsel Members

- Ward Superintendent

- Building Department

- Police Department

- Neighborhood Schools

Nature of contacts (city government):

- Maintain good working relationships

- Advocate for the Ward

- Assure quality service delivery

- Communicate issues, problems, concerns and vision

Key contacts outside of city government:

- Developers and investors

- Businesses

- Community organizations

- Residential and commercial building owners

- Religious and cultural institutions

Nature of contacts (outside city government)

- “Sell” the community to developers/investors/prospective residents

- Maintain good working relationships

- Advocate for the Ward

- Communicate issues, problems, concerns and vision

- Encourage investment

- Retain good businesses, cultural institutions and developers/investors

- Discourage bad businesses, community organizations and developers/investors

PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT:

- Ultimately – re-election

- Should do periodic surveys:

- Service request contacts

- Random stakeholders in the community

POSITION REQUIREMENTS:

EDUCATION:

- Undergraduate or Graduate Degree or commensurate work experience

Related fields: law, urban planning, political science, business/MBA

EXPERIENCE:

- Community resident with track record demonstrating:

Vision

Commitment

Leadership

Wisdom

Integrity

Creative Problem Solving

- Experience in or working knowledge of city and state government operations with demonstrated ability to:

Network with other government officials

Influence the Mayor and City Council

INTER-PERSONAL SKILLS:

- Listening

- Communicating

- Negotiating

- Selling

# # #

7 QUALITIES TO LOOK FOR IN A CANDIDATE


1. Is s/he on my side? (Does s/he agree with me on the issues?)
2. Is s/he committed to something (other than him/herself)?
3. Is s/he a strong effective leader? (Does s/he deliver the goods?)
4. Is s/he likeable? (Is there an emotional connection with him/her?)
5. Is s/he honest? (Does s/he have integrity?)
6. Does s/he have vision (where is s/he taking us)?
7. Does s/he inspire me?

Pat Casady said...

Thanks for the description..............................
We are all in deep trouble.

Anonymous said...

Andy, The city clerk is hired just like any other employee at city hall. As for bringing her faults to her superiors, I know at least a dozen people or so that have expressed these concerns to Mr. Miller. He has done NOTHING. People have no other recourse than to go public with her shortcommings. I've been told that the board of aldermen can dismiss her, but it appears they don't have what it takes to improve city hall's image either. The'res a WHOLE LOT OF WASTE AT CITY HALL. I believe a state audit would bring this all out.

Andy Whiteman said...

Anonymous,
If you have specific allegations about an employee's shortcommings, maybe you and others should take it to the Board in a closed meeting. As with everything else, I doubt the board will act.

Pat,
The job description of an alderman should be to represent the people in his Ward. I can definately name at least one (who stands out) who does that and also represents the city with specific, pointed questions at Board meetings. There is really no way to force any elected official to do his/her job to our satisfaction. He/she is there for the length of their term and hopefully the voters will vote for someone else at the next election if there is poor preformance.

If someone is not doing his/her job to the people's satisfaction, what can be done? It seems that there is no accountability. The powers that be do what they want and violate their own ordinances (namely Olde Baptist Church) which they expect citizens to comply with. That is why I referred to Raytown as a Medieval Fief and a Nazi City. I know it offended many but that is the type of city government we have. Too bad we don't even have the right of recall.

The only option I can see is to find one or more citizens in each ward willing to represent the public and to donate their time as Alderperson. If these people are elected at the next election, the could at least cause tie votes at the board meetings.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Some of the undocumented, unwarranted, uncalled for drivel that gets posted in here scares the crap out of me.

Half the posts are posted by people who obviously have no clue what they are talking about. They just make stuff up that fits thier whine of the moment.

If you ignored innuendo and read only facts, this current page would fit in a single window with no scolling needed.

Andy Whiteman said...

Anonymous (whichever of the anonymous writers you happen to be),

I agree with your comment but we have to remember this is a blog which is much like a letter to the editor. People can enter whatever they want, true or not. Greg's Terms of Service forbids out and out lies.

I guess it is up to the reader to sort out truth from fiction or to verify it. I consider almost everything here to be opinion unless it is written as fact by a writer whom I trust.

I normally don't read or participate in blogs. This is the exception due to the local content. As someone previously wrote, the news is more current with more content than the local papers. I would like to see letters from people in authority stating their views and why they voted as they did.

Actually this page started out on Water Bills and then goes through numerous subjects. It would be ideal if each subject could be grouped into a chain making it easier to follow a specific subject.

Andy Whiteman

Pat Casady said...

I have an idea for the anonymous writer that thinks most of us know nothing,
why doesn't he/she set the record straight.
Obviously he/she thinks they have all the answers & facts and knows more than all the rest of us.
Too bad he/she can't remember his/her name.

sparky said...

Apparently this anonymous person has not had to experience any of these things stated in this blog. Yes, some of the comments here may be the writer's opinion(s), however, most of us can differentiate between fact and fiction. The local news media outlets wont take the time to cover most of this because they cannot sensationalize it and address it in a way to benefit them for a boost in their ratings. While we are on pet peeves, how about spelling?

Anonymous said...

Did you ever think that the reason that many of the bloggers want to remain anonymous is that they fear for their jobs (city employees, school district employees, teachers and so on). Much of this information is comming from those closest to the subjects.

Andy Whiteman said...

I agree about spelling, but this blog has no "spell check" like word or most email software has. SO spelling and be difficult and much of the time it is simply a typo.

I can understand the various reasons for being anonymous. It is still possible to be anonymous and use a psuedonym. We have writers like Sparky, True Blue, The Salamander, and Itellitlikeitis, to name a few. I don't know who these people are. Maybe some do. It would be nice to see some identities rather than 85% named anonymous. It is easier to respond specifically to a name like John Doe rather than numerous people named anonymous.

One reason I read this blog is because the information may be coming from near the source even if the writer uses a pseudonym or anonymous.

Anonymous said...

Another reason people remain anonymous is so that they or their family can continue to add fuel to the fire that they started on this blog.
I would be will to bet that Greg and or his family leave anonymous feedback on here.
I am not sure how I feel about Greg and his political family. I have seen Greg in action and he is a bully.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous,
I am glad Greg is a bully. This means I have at least one person on the board who is looking out for me and my best interest. You can bet none of the others are. For instance Mr. Ertz and his fireworks fiasco and of course Mr. Creamer and the junk car messs!!! Being a council person is a thankless job especially when you do a good job. So Greg I want to say "thank you" for looking out for me and my family.

Anonymous said...

I rest my case. Keep pumping yourself up Greg.

Anonymous said...

I post on here occasionally and remain anonymous simply because if I did not, the debate would be about me, not the issue at hand. It has happened in this thread already where someone makes a valid point but their history, not their point, prompts a response.

Heck, some people would rather debate the fact of anonymity itself rather than the issues.

It is also pretty clear that if you don't agree that Sue Frank was the devil, that Al Maddox is a sinner for living outside city limits, that RRFT was a cult and that Greg Walters walks on water, then your opinion here is unwelcome. Way to open up a dialogue, folks!

When you are ready to debate issues important to Raytown without all the hate, venom and innuendo then perhaps I'll add my name to my posts.

(By the way, using "other" and a pseudonym opens the door for someone to post with your name. Yes, it happens all the time. Some people would rather play such games than have honest discussion.)

Pat Casady said...

I find myself defending Mr. Greg Walters when in fact he needs no defending.
But here goes.
Mr. Walters has always looked out for the taxpayers of Raytown. He asks the questions why and what for, before he votes yea or nay.

Back when the developers were trying to cheat the downtown property owners out of their property, he was one of only a couple that would listen to the property owners.
If you recall I asked the B.O.A. to listen to our (the business owners in the downtown area) problems and the board voted NOT to hear us out. The vote while on channel 7 was five to five with the mayor siding with the nays. But the real vote happened in the secret meeting later that evening when it was eight to two in favor of not talking to us.
Mr. Walters was one of those that still voted to listen to us.

I, as did many felt that when our elected officials voted not to talk to us taxpayers, the very people they were supposed to represent, the lines were drawn. We knew where we stood with our elected officials and it was time to fight back.
I have been blamed for holding back the redevelopment of downtown when in fact a simple meeting would have probably helped move it all forward.
Greg knew this but the rest were too narrow minded and brainwashed by Curt Wenson to see it. Mr. Wenson even told the others not to talk to us, big mistake.

Our own aldermen (ward two) wouldn't even back us in this time of needed representation.

So Mr. or Mrs. Anonymous, that is why Greg has been and if he chooses to in the future will always represent his ward. He went the extra mile for us, not of his ward when our own wouldn't.

Here's a note to the rest of the aldermen, if you want respect treat the people with respect. Treat them like you would want to be treated and you will have loyal followers like Mr. Walters. Try and think for yourselves, don't let ego minded people influence
you. They will leave town and leave you holding the bag.
Isn't that right Mr. Wenson?

True Blue said...

I have known Greg for a number of years and I have agreed with him and have disagreed with him over the years. But one thing you can always say about Greg is, he always tries to represent his people. These other boobs on the board all think that the public is too dumb to possibly know what is good for them. So they sit up there like little KINGS and vote what's in their best interest instead of the publics. Take the Walmart deal, if you had taken a public vote on this I'm sure that most of us would rather had nothing than a stupid Walmart. Walmart is terrible to it's employees and will do nothing but bring more crime to Raytown. Watch the flight to other cities once this new store is built. If you don't believe me, just ask those that are living around the new Blue Ridge Walmart.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the anonymous person that left the message at 7:04am on the 13th of September is one of our local polititians, or better yet, Burnt Brain Bob Phillips from VOA (Voice of Administration)... I now understand why you cannot come to grips with the fact and reality that maybe, just maybe we are really discussing and debating TRUE FACTS here that quite possibly is fueled by the HATE that is caused by the LACK OF REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE at city hall. Occaisionally the venom just oozes out because the wounds caused by the current and past administrations wont heal, as it continues to fester with infection. At least a few of us on here have the intestinal fortitude which you obviously lack to get on here, speak our peace without fear of reprecussions from the powers to be, and discuss real issues that are affecting some of us common folk, or as the royalty call them loyal subjects or commoners as you look down upon them from your throne. Lets face it, if you are a alderman or other elected official, quit being a yes man and listen to the people. If you are from the news media, start reporting the TRUE FACTS and quit catering to the current political machine in power at city hall. Some of us have been around this town a hell of a lot longer than the majority of those in local politics and the press in Raytown have been, and we have seen what has happened in the past, and we can also see what is going on now. I sure don't like what my local government has to offer now and I will most certainly be heard come election day at the polls! Sorry if that venom was a little too powerful, but the reality is that the truth hurts sometimes. Remember the old saying if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen! Well, that also applies here as well.

sparky said...

I agree 100% with true blue about Wal Mart. Wal Mart actually is bad on the local economy by forcing the small mom and pop shops out of business as well as an attraction for more lowlifes and undesirables. I flat refuse to patronize Wal Mart or Sams Club stores as does my family. They are anti american workers, they don't treat their own workers fairly with a living wage, or with health care, or other benefits. Even when they come to town to build a new store they bring their own construction companies with them to build their new stores instead of relying upon the local contractors to build their stores. What is really more important, the companies profits, the consumer's getting really low priced made in china crap, or providing good jobs here in america with a living wage and good benefits? I personally would rather see them knock down the old Atlantic Spartan/Kroger store (WOW, some of us have been in Raytown a long time to remember that one!) and return it to just greenspace and leave Wal Mart in it's current location. It will keep the riffraff in check. Otherwise the police had better step up patrols of the surrounding neighborhoods due to the onslaught of higher residential burglaries that is likely to come with this new development. Better yet, why not a Target store instead?

Anonymous said...

Our elected city officials were willing to take anything, so we're stuck with the bottom of the barrel, Walmart. I don't believe they even tried to get a more upscale retailer. But to be quite honest these upscale retailers want to go where the buying power is, like Lees Summit. The younger more affluent people don't want to be stuck in a town that's falling down, with no codes enforcement, failing streets. lost retailers and a city administrator that wants to CUT our police department. There's absolutely NOTHING to keep our youth here. And without them our city is DIEING

Pat Casady said...

I for one refuse to believe Raytown is beyond repair.
I truly think with the right people as elected officials, officials that will look out for
the taxpayer and citizens. This town can prosper.

I want to see the downtown redeveloped, I would like to see more nice restaurants
come to this town too. However if the same elected officials keep spending taxpayer money foolishly with no results this town is doomed. I'm talking about developers that come in and promise the world and take away taxpayer dollars without as much as turning a spoon full of dirt,
and walk away with a fortune.
We need elected officials and hired officials that will watch out for that kind of larceny.
Include in the redevelopment contracts a guarantee for results, if nothing is done they get nothing, or have to pay back a high percentage of taxpayer money given them.
Up until now they got a blank check with no need to produce.

Our elected officials should have never let this happen, you know it and so do they.
As for the Wal-Mart development, I'll believe it when I see it. I don't believe anything any developer says he will or can do.
If it does come to pass, I hope our city officials will be farsighted enough to know we will need to double the police force and equip them with the best of everything.
If there are enough police to be seen all the time crime will stay away or down. If not
we're in trouble.
I absolutely don't like Wal-Mart, but if this is done right it can work. If it isn't ............

Anonymous said...

HOT NEWS FLASH!!!! Someone is actually doing something to Raytown Plaza! They even have dumpsters on site. They are doing tearoff work on the storefronts. Now if only the tenants would come......

Anonymous said...

Too bad it won't help the locally owned 5K Cafe that closed its doors last Sunday.

Anonymous said...

I recently read one of my sons journal entries that he wrote. It was about Raytown and the city administrators. He is a very bright young man. He writes, "Why can't the city officials see what they are doing to our city. We don't have a decent sit down restaurant to go to. All they think about is Wal Mart and those damn Gate way projects. Why don't they really do somethink to improve our city"? Those stupid old people who get up and sing Wal Mart prasies at every council meeting won't even shop there. Just ask Mrs. Ertel or Mrs Whittman. Mrs. Ertel was so excited about getting a Target in the new shopping center she was about to wet her pants just talking about it. If you ask me there should be a sign above the Gateway to Raytown entry that says "You are lost and if you are smart you will get the hell out of town." Because we as young citiznes certainly will when we graduate. Think about this

Anonymous said...

To anonymous. It amazes me that our young people are so more observant than the dummies that get up and speak at council meetings. Mrs. Ertel, Larry Edwards, Witty Whitman, Mrs. Atkins and all of the other would be "Cheerleaders" are really making Raytown City government look silly. Your son can obiviously see this much better than most of our citizens. That's why we are" dieing on the vine" if we can't turn this town around and soon.

Andy Whiteman said...

I agree with the comments that we need quality sit down restaurants. Raytown has nothing to make it a true destination point except a delapidated Church that is in violation of the city's own codes. Quality restaurants will bring people and I don't mean fast food. Something on the order of Marina Grog and Galley, V's Italiano, etc. Once people are here they may go shopping (that is what my wife and I did after eating out). If so, Raytown needs stores that don't shut down at 5PM. Hopefully the new merchants will have evening hours.

The developer of Raytown Plaza was at the Board meeting the meeting before last to get approval on the color of the building. I don't understand why the city controls color. It may give a negative feeling to some developers but at least we are seeing progress at Raytown Plaza!

To 4:20PM Anonymous: I suggest that your son run for Alderman and try to enact positive change. We need progressive, forward thinking people. In my mind, a Gateway Projet doesn't cut it. It looks nice, but is a waste of money. If he is in Ward 3 I will vote for him if I am still here.

I agree with Pat that a contract with a developer shgould require specific performance ie. No work=no pay. The powers that be are hiring developers who think they can get down town property cheap. Businessmen expect fair compensation for their properties. They aren't going to give it away without a fight. Maybe references and past records of developers need to be checked.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Well...talk is cheap.

So I'm in the process of getting a meeting with the State Auditor's staff to ask for a petition drive to have Raytown City Government and the Raytown School District audited.

I haven't had time yet to contact Jerry Briggs, Greg Walters, Pat Cassidy, Lee Gray, and others...to see if they would be interested in helping with such an operation. But will.

I've noticed in others' comments here that the mayor and aldermen have been asked about calling for a state audit...but are their normal deaf, dumb selves.

An audit every 26 years isn't unreasonable...but could be embarassing for the city. And the school district is just toally out of control with its spending.

Noticed in a paper that city employees may not get raises because of all the mess at city hall regards the handling of money. Might even, according to the report, require some city employees becoming part-time. You can bet it will be the people doing the street work, etc. who are made part-time instead of the people responsible for the funding problems: Miller, Estes, etc.

Firing those two, Truesdale and Newton would free about $300,000.

I'll bet the state audit makes that even clearer!

Anonymous said...

OK, I was asked to "set the record straight" and one post just smacked me (and should have smaked you) between the eyes. The suggesting that firing Miller/Estes/Truesdale/Newton would "save" $300,000 is pure idiocy. If that poster believes that (if they don't what possible reason other than inflaming emotions is there to say it?) they are ignorant.

Folks, we have to fill certain positions to run this city. And the price (salary) for those positions must be competitive with other cities. You may want those four people gone, but you will have to replace them and Raytown will not save a dime!

It is that kind of hyperbole that makes many of the posts on this blog useless to the debate, and useless to solving whatever problems we face.

Anonymous said...

My insinuation that Greg does not walk on water (I know, shocking to the disciples, but you will all get over it) is not an attack on him. He does not need defending.

Greg and I will never agree on many issues facing Raytown, but I respect his professionalism in his posts. I only wish everyone stayed as civil (and stayed on topic once in a while).

Anonymous said...

Very funny that you were "asked to set the record straight."
Who asked you...one of the four mentioned...or could you be one of them?

Fact: There was no city manager/administrator here for years. The city clerk (Bob Reis) acted in that capacity.

Fact: A CPA once acted part-time as finance director.

Fact: There was no community development director. REDC finally had Jerry Schmutzler fill a similar role with mixed results.

Fact: Debbie Grant and Karlyn Curtis worked for about 20 years...with Karlyn as city clerk...finally earning about $50,000 a year. Of course for a long time she made a whole lot less than that.

Fact: Teresa Newton makes $40,000 and there's some question about how well she does the job.

Bottomline, Mr. Asked To Set Us Peons Straight, it's you who is ignorant. Figure the four people's salaries plus 10% or more in benefits and you'll find the $300,000 mentioned.

And, no, they don't all need to be replaced at the exhorbitant salaries being paid now!

True Blue said...

AMEN to the last anonymous. You seem to know your Raytown city government history very well!! All True.

Anonymous said...

The person who "asked" was Pat Casady in a post further up the page.

The history lesson is interesting, but irrelevant. We may have once had no administrator and no EDC/CDC department and a part time CPA (and a part time lawyer, you didnt mention that) at points, but those days are past. Today, those positions are vital and the salaries are far from "exhorbitant".

I'll give you that you be able to save 10 or 15% with less qualified hires. But that is not saving $300,000. That is an impossibility, and that, my friend, is reality, not history.

Anonymous said...

The history lesson is interesting, but irrelevant?
---
Might want to check around about history's relevance!
Truman, among others, said: "The only thing new is the history we don't know... Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat its mistakes...etc."
You're more than entitled to your opinion...but you're still wrong, in my opinion. But my opinion isn't worth more than yours.
So look at the facts.
I'll just have to visit with Pat one of these days to find out who he asked (you) to respond.
Usually Pat is more than capable of expressing his own opinions.
Where the need for all the high-priced "professionals" is concerned, the ones you contend are necessary...let me point out something else historically: The city used to provide better streets, services, snow removal, etc. for the citizens.
Now all we hear is how much we need the paper-pushers instead of the pavement-pushers.
We hear about all the "benefits" of seminars, conventions, etc. etc. etc. Yet the taxpayers of Raytown can't even get the basics they used to where city services are concerned.
Times, have indeed, changed. But not necessarily for the better.
Just because other cities have inflated the value of pencil pushers doesn't mean that the value of those employees is real...and that we have to match those other cities and buy into that mentality.
You want to talk about "reality" look at government waste and BS at every level...city to national.
I appreciate your tone and geniality in calling me via your response your "friend," but my friends are smart enough to look at the history and facts and come to a far different position than you've expressed.

Anonymous said...

You are right. Raytown used to provide BETTER SERVICES with LESS PEOPLE. Where is all the money going? I bet a state audit could tell us.

Pat Casady said...

I don't think we need to fire or let anyone go. True we haven't been getting the
best return on our tax dollars, but I don't think firing is the answer.
If the city is in trouble financially I think it should make the cuts at the top. I'm not saying fire, I'm saying pay cuts.
I have to ask the question, why is it that the police, the everyday city workers, and in general, the guys down the ladder are the people that have to pay for bad spending mistakes? These people come to work every day, they don't get to take nice trips around the country at taxpayer expense. No they, in the end, have to pay for all of this
with hourly cuts or pay cuts. Heaven forbid the people that actually are responsible for the problem be asked to do the same.
I know this is the way the world works but it's not right. The people that make the mistakes, spend taxpayer money and in general don't do their job should take the hits.
All the administration monuments (gateways) building should stop until the city is financially right again.
I know I sound like a broken record but if this town was run like a business, spending for things not necessary is the first to be cut not, needed personal. Also in my business when things are slow I take the hit by not making as much as in good times.
I never cut my employee's pay. My theory for business is always pay your taxes,your people and your bills before you take a single dime for yourself.
I think that's the way a city should be run too. If the upper management isn't doing right they should feel the pain first.

Anonymous said...

I sure wish that a few corporate CEO's would take note of what you said about how a business should operate! Kudos Pat! That is exactly how it should be.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Cassidy is correct. Why should the everyday working man/woman have to take pay cuts and lay offs for the mis-spending, mis-handling of the tax payer's dollar?
It seems to me that the top heavy administration at City hall could afford to take a cut before attacking the everyday worker at City hall, working to get by.

There is something very wrong with all the money woes that the City is having that Mr. Miller feels he is entitled to out of town seminars, including free flights, free hotel, food, rental and all the other quirks, while in the meantime cutting PD, cutting city services, and other budget cuts that not effect employees, but the citizens of Raytown.

MILLER NEEDS TO GO. He has no vested interest in Raytown and will only be here long enough to pad his resume for his next position elsewhere.