Sunday, October 28, 2007
Heard on the Street . . .
In many respects, Raytown is like a small farm community. The small talk around town slowly becomes everybody’s business. Sometimes these “rumors” are just so much noise. Many can be discounted by who is saying what. Other times, there is a grain of truth to them – that only time will show to be accurate. Often times, the exposure of a rumor turns it into a shadow that quickly dissipates when exposed to the bright light of day. Here are some recent “rumors” – some old, some new – that have been floating around and how factual they really are: A NEW CHARTER? This one has been floating around since last April. It surfaced shortly after the Municipal Elections. It is a tough one to verify because most people are familiar with the Charter process and therefore, most people consider themselves experts. None the less, the word is out that the Mayor is not interested in a Charter – at this time. Though it is probably a sure bet that he will push for one before his term in office expires. An interesting footnote to this issue is one that played an important part in the last Charter election. The authors of the Charter included a residency requirement for certain appointed department heads at City Hall. Since that time, three appointed city officials have moved on to jobs in other cities. All three of them, Curt Wenson – now serving as City Administrator in Liberty, Dan Estes – now serving as Assistant City Administrator in Liberty, and Debbie Grant (former Assistant City Clerk in Raytown) now serving as City Clerk in Harrisonville, are ALL required to live within the city limits of the city they serve. Meanwhile Raytown has hired a new City Clerk, City Attorney, Public Works Director and (soon) a new Finance Director, NONE of who are required to live within the city limits. NOW RUNNING FOR STATE REPRESENTATIVE? This one is fairly new. Two public figures in Raytown, both of whom have served in elected positions at City Hall are said to be looking into running for the Missouri House of Representatives. Political allies Sue Frank and Alle Maddox both live in representative districts serving Raytown. Both of those seats are held by incumbent House members who are nearing the end of their respective terms. Couple that with some unusual behavior by Maddox and Frank and you can’t help but wonder what is up. Frank was recently appointed to a vacant seat on the Jackson County Republican Committee as a representative for Brooking Township (Raytown). That’s pretty much out of character for someone who has never paid much attention to Republican politics. Al Maddox, who moved out of Raytown nearly 20 years ago has been working hard to raise his name recognition in the community. Last year, Frank bestowed upon him the title "Raytown Man of the Year”. And, even though he does not live in Raytown, the Raytown Chamber of Commerce named Maddox the Parade Marshall for the Annual Raytown Round-up Parade. My take, don’t look for anything this coming election. But I can assure you, those two (Frank and Maddox) do not make such moves without an end-game plan in place. CITY ADMINISTRATOR SEARCHING FOR A NEW JOB? Michael Miller has been Raytown’s City Administrator for about one year. So it was with some surprise that I read on this blog’s page that he was one of six applicants for a job in Ketchikan, Alaska. Miller was one of three finalists out of 15 candidates for the position of burrough manager. Ketchikan is a small harbor town along the Alaskan coat. It has recently seen a economic “boom” of sorts because nearly every cruise line that takes the inside passage along the Alaskan Coast stops at Ketchikan. Many readers may remember the name as the location of the infamous “Bridge to the Nowhere” that was eventually not built connecting the city’s airport (which is located on a island) to the mainland. The Ketchikan Daily News has an impressive website with links to archived material. Readers can access the site by going to www.ketchikandailynews.com