Sunday, November 4, 2007

Area Elections and a Look Back

TUESDAY is general election day in Missouri. This is an “off year” in the election cycle so there are few elections to watch. Raytown voters will not be voting on any issues this year – but some interesting elections are taking place in neighboring communities. The City of Grandview will consider a ½ cent sales tax increase. If it passes Grandview will join with many other communities in the area in making the K.C. metroplex one of the highest taxed areas in Missouri. By far the election that holds most attention for the Kansas City area is the effort by Independence residents to wrest control of schools located in the western portion of their city. Those schools in western Independence currently fall under the jurisdiction of the Kansas City Missouri School District. Voters in both the Kansas City and Independence School District are allowed to vote on the question. Independence voters are expected to approve the change. How Kansas City voters will cast their votes is the big question. Approval by K.C. voters would definitely speed up the process of changing the District lines. If they do not vote approval, look for a court challenge to the law enabling the removal of Independence schools from the K.C. District. That law was passed earlier this year. The law’s chief sponsor, Senator Victor Callahan (who also represents Raytown), has worked hard to make the dream of a unified Independence School District that fits the city’s boundaries. My prediction: Look for an upset win for Senator Callahan, Independence and Kansas City, when voters make the common sense decision to approve the proposal. This will give Independence what it wants and give the Kansas City School District the opportunity to increase their focus on problems within the remainder of the district. ANOTHER interesting election is taking place in Lee’s Summit. At issue is correction of language in the city’s Charter – originally passed by Lee’s Summit voters years ago. It seems that some typographical errors have come to light that need correcting. Questions 5, 6, 9 and 10 are amendments to their Charter that clean up typographical errors along with a few minor changes. What an enlightening idea! Raytown voters will remember that a similar situation occurred in our city when the final draft of the Charter had three typographical errors in it. Mayor Frank jumped on the typos as the crime of the century. In what was clearly the nastiest campaign* in Raytown’s history the Mayor used the issue to defeat the Charter and bring a lawsuit that eventually cost the city nearly $30,000 in legal expenses**. Guess Lee’s Summit is just lucky they didn’t have a Sue Frank at the helm when their Charter was written. You can also add Lee’s Summit to the list of cities that require department heads to live within city limits. Some have suggested that had the Charter passed, Raytown City Hall would not be experiencing the revolving door it has in place for its management personnel to enter and leave the city. In other words, people who live in a city, put down roots here and become part of the community are more likely to stay than leave. One blog contributor brought wrote we do not need a Charter to put this policy in place. In fact, it was during former Mayor Jack Nesbitt’s term in office that the policy was changed. Up until that time city department heads were required to reside within city limits. Changes in management personnel were rare and uneventful. Look for the issue to be revisited by the Board of Aldermen. * Mayor Frank was caught removing charter books from the local library, copies of the charter given to the City Administrator for distribution at City Hall mysteriously disappeared, and anti-charter campaigners were caught trying to walk off with charter books from local merchants who had offered to distribute them. ** The City Council under Mayor Frank voted 8 yes to 2 no to bring suit against the Charter Commission and the Election Board in an effort to keep the election from being held. The city lost on all counts of the suits it brought.

71 comments:

mr. whig said...

as I understand it, another typo will be corrected in the Lee's Summit charter - the one that makes first-born males there property of the U.S. Postal Service.

Anonymous said...

It's a shame that people like Sue Frank, Jim Hamilton,(Mr. Not This Charter), Curt Wenson and others lied to the citizens about the charter. It wasn't perfect, but there was a lot more good in it than bad. That's why we continue to be "made fun of" by the other cities in the area. I think Raytown, Sugar Creek, and Greenwood are about the only 4th class cities left. We can't seem to get anything accomplished and Mayor Bower better get on the stick if he wants to change the negitive image left by the Frank administration.

Anonymous said...

Oh, we don't get made fun of because of our refusal to adopt a charter. Or because we are a fourth class city. We get made fun of by morning radio shows taking shots at us like 'Raytown Sally' and things that happened in the past like the Beeler era. When you say 'we cant get anything accomplished' it sounds like to me anyway that you and others feel as though your main objective in life is to get a charter rammed through and change Raytown from a fourth class city. Is it really so bad being a fourth class city? It has been that way for 57 years, if it aint broke, dont fix it. The only thing that needs fixing is to get rid of a bunch of the do gooders that dont have Raytowns best interest at heart like the Ertls, Hamilton, Frank, Miller, White, Kinman, Wittman, Maddox, and Mrs Rude. A prime example of charter government is Kansas City, Missouri. That my friends is a scary thought in itself!

Anonymous said...

Every time I read or hear someone comment that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

I can't help but imagine some hayseed in a bib overalls wearing a soiled wife-beater shirt underneath with a wad of tobacco shoved between the cheeks and gum.

The image some of you project is less than attractive.

Guys, the image you make for yourself is not too attractive.

Pat Casady said...

I was in favor of the charter when it was presented to us.
In fact I helped by pushing for it and handed out the packets
for the charter.
Now after saying all that, I have since found out that, according to our Missouri Constitution, a forth class city or town with no constitutional charted does not have the power of condemnation or eminent domain.
So guess where I stand on the issue now?
That's right, I now feel we don't need a charter.
You see I found out early in the first stages of the downtown redevelopment that our elected officials care nothing about existing businesses if another
business or developer comes in and promises them more tax dollars.
It doesn't matter how long you have been supporting this town, hold this carrot in front of them and they are there's.

Eminent domain and condemnation are the first items the developer want in a contract with the city. Do our officials ask any questions like, if the developer
doesn't do what he says he will, will he give back any taxpayer dollars paid to him? No they just sit there like bobble head dolls and say yes to anything
that sounds like they might make some money.

So no, I wouldn't like to see another charter come up.
But I must admit, it sure was funny that this city fought so hard to defeat
the charter, placing illegal signs on City Hall property, stealing booklets from the library, almost getting into fights at Roundup Days and taking booklets out of
stores. Just to find out that if it had passed they would have had powers they never imagined.

It took me a long, long time to find this in our constitution but I studied and read everything I could find on this subject. I talked to people all over the state and received free legal advice, promises of free legal fees from a group of
lawyers that just live to fight eminent domain and condemnation.
It just goes to show you, if you work hard enough you can and will find something, some law that will protect your rights.
The key is working hard to find it.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous 7:25 am: I believe that you are the one that dreamed of that particular image as we did not. Some of us just happen to be very well informed on the subject of city charters and the things that happen here locally within politics, as well as what has been going on around this city for the past +-57 years or so.

If you want to believe what you think, go ahead. But I will say that you are very wrong about what you have said. I can tell you that I do not chew tobacco, smoke, or drink alcoholic beverages. And I also wear suitable attire that suits the event without being told that it is inappropreate by others(for instance, a suit and tie for a graduation ceremony, and bib overalls for digging a ditch, and a tuxedo for a gala ball) You underestimate one's intellectual capabilities. I really don't understand where you get off with this wife beater stuff anyway...
Obviously you must believe that a city must have a charter to rid itself of any past negative images portrayed by ones speech or utilization of terminology. There are a lot of people in other cities that use terms like 'If it ain't broke, dont fix it' that have charters and a larger population than Raytown. So what is your point? It is moot.

Anonymous said...

Look at all the time and taxpayer money wasted on the whole city charter concept. Add to that all that was wasted on a couple of different firms to oversee downtown redevelopment, and the wasted money that was and still is being spent on the old Baptist Church property. No, lets all sit back and not say or do anything about it because it goes against what they want. What a bunch of crap!

Anonymous said...

I understand there is a going away party for Mr. Estes tonight and I wasn't invited. I have paid his salary for the past nine years or so what a slap in the face. But I'm sure the Edwards, Ertles, Wittmans and Atkins will be there. You wil be able to recognize them the noses are brown!!! Have fun and please tell Mr. Estes bye for me and I hope he has better luck doing a more accurate budget for the folks in Liberty!!!!

Andy Whiteman said...

Pat, research works wonders. Maybe you should be an attorney. Apparently you found out more than the so called experts knew.

I wonder how the developers and city hall intended to proceed with downtown redevelopment without the powers of of condemnation or eminent domain? Seems like they were putting the horse before the cart!

With this information from you, I will not sign a charter petition and I will vote NO should it come to a vote to form a commission.

Anonymous 8:28AM, this sounds like a children's issue. We are adults and have adult issues to deal with rather than being insulted for not being invided to an aledged party. I wasn't invited and if I was, I have better things to do with my time.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

You can bet the RRFT cronies were invited to Estes going away party. If Bower continues this type of behavior he will never be able to unite our town. This is the Sue Frank mentality, never invite anyone that might have a difference of opinion from hers. If this is truely a going away party funded at the taxpayers expense, then all of Raytown should have been invited.

Andy Whiteman said...

Anonyomous 12:42 PM, There are many assumptions here. If this party is funded at taxpayer's expense, ALL taxpayers have a complaint about MISSUSE OF PUBLIC FUNDS no matter who is invited!

If this is a private party, the host has the right to invite whomever he/she chooses.

This issue sounds like teenagers squabbling over who was invited to a party. Big deal! If public money funded it, we all have a complaint.

Andy Whiteman

Pat Casady said...

Folks this actually happened just a few days ago.
I have a friend that owns a business in Raytown. He does
over a million dollars in business and collects a lot of sales tax.
It seems as though the city of Raytown doesn't want his business
in town. They have harassed him by writing him tickets for doing
what every other automotive business does on 50hwy.
They have even told him where his employees can park, how to park
and even how to get to the place they park.

The latest episode in this story is the worst yet.
It seems that our friend Mr. Tim Truesdale called him and asked the
question, Do you have three cars for sale? "My friend told him yes, they are at my Lee's Summit location." Now get this, they are being advertised on the Internet on the Craig's list. My friend used his Raytown business phone
number and address. Mr. Truesdale told him to take the add off since he was using the Raytown number and address.
I told my friend to reply to Mr. Truesdale with two words but I won't write what I said.

It's no wonder we can't seem to get any businesses to come to Raytown after hearing stories like this and others.

This is why other cities and people are laughing at Raytown.
The way business owners and some property owners are treated is
a joke! A sad, sad Joke.

Anonymous said...

To Andy, Believe me taxpayer money funded this celebration for Estes, I KNOW. As for Tim Truesdale he spends more time trying to run business away from Raytown than bringing it in. THIS GUY IS A LOSER AND NEEDS TO BE FIRED!!!

Anonymous said...

Okay - let's get down to brass tacks. What can be actually be done to get rid of Truesdale? I agree that he needs to go - he's no help for my business either. Do we need a petition? Do we need to attend a city council meeting and complain as a group? What are the steps needed to be taken?

Andy Whiteman said...

Pat, what you describe is a Communist city. Now, maybe people will understand why I call this the Fief of Raytown. We are governed like a Feudal Fief. What is wrong with a business advertising on Craig's List? That may bring business to Raytown.

Anonymous 9:51 AM, if anyone has an audit petition circulating, please let me know; I will sign it. A party is a waste of tax $$$$. If it was funded by private donations, I would have no problem with a farewell party.

Andy Whiteman

Pat Casady said...

Here's the problem as I see it.
This has been going on for many, many years.
People and businesses have been made to do things that aren't even law. They are told to do things that cost them a lot of money and still with no law to back up the orders.
NOTHING IN WRITING!
The first time I was involved with this kind of bullying was several
years ago when a friend of mine bought the old car wash on
Raytown rd. Less than two weeks after he bought it he was
given papers that said he had thirty days to clean up the property.
We all know this property stood in disrepair for over ten years.
Without going into a long detailed story, my friend had to jump
through so many hoops he will never buy property in Raytown
or open a business here again.

Petitions, showing up at city meetings and even pointing out
all the things people are made to do by this man won't do a damn
thing. That would mean that somebody at City Hall would actually
have to take responsibility for actions taken by this person.
Trust me they all know what he does and how he is. They would have
had to have had their heads stuck up.........or...... in the sand not to know this. I don't know how low Raytown has to sink before somebody does something before it's too late.
I know my friend that I wrote about earlier has talked to an attorney and is prepared to lay down many thousands of hard earned dollars to take this matter to court.

I guess our only hope is that Liberty will need another city employee soon.

Anonymous said...

Sounds rather hopeless. Here's man that runs the city at his whims and there's not a blasted thing the citizens can do about it. Might as well not gripe about him anymore.

Anonymous said...

These complaints need to be brought to Mayor Bower's attention. I really believe that he want's to clean things up at city hall, but I'm not sure he knows where to start. No experience in government is hurting him and the city.

Anonymous said...

I think we could do a charter now if we just leave the pet projects and the personal attacks out of the charter... Keep it simple stupid should have been the mission statement to the last group. The last group heard that many times over but in a better more polite manner, but ignored the testimony and lumped them all as puppets... Offering no real counter to their concerns...
But lets get this done so we can take rightful control of our city and have a greater ability to manage our government.
I am all for a charter movement and I voted against the last two!!!

Pat Casady said...

This will make you sick to your stomach.
I've heard that the new Wal-Mart that this city is praising as a
wonderful thing for Raytown, isn't such a great deal for anyone
but Wal-Mart.
It seems that our city government has given them a free ride.
I've heard that Raytown will not get a single penny of tax dollars
both real estate or sales taxes in their coffers for twenty years.

Put that together with all the businesses that Wal-Mart will drive out
of town and keep from coming to town and well, you do the math.

Needless to say if you think Raytown is in financial trouble now
just wait.
No wonder all the upper city management is leaving or trying to
leave, they don't want to be known as the people that sold out
a wonderful little town. It wouldn't look good on their resumes.

Again that's the problem with electing people to govern a town that
have no business experience. Even worse people that won't listen
to reason when it hits them in the face. They will believe everything
that a developer or a fast talking City Administrator tells them without question.

So to put this all in a nut shell,
Past city leaders sold out Raytown.
We still have a person working hard to keep businesses from coming to town and is doing his best to run others out of town.

The good news, if what I have heard about the tax follies is true, we won't be
able to pay the town destroyers much longer. If that's good news.

This is one article I never wanted to write, in fact it has made me sick with worry. I waited many years before I could start a business in Raytown
and I have been here for over twenty five years, longer than some of
the people that are ruining this town. It is just sad what is happening.
Why can't other people see this? Why are our elected officials letting this happen? They live here to, I can't believe they are that uninformed or naive that they couldn't see this coming.

I pray that I'm wrong, I guess we will see.
let this go on

Anonymous said...

Sadly, I have to agree with Mr. Casady comments. I have lived in Raytown for over 15 years.
I was excited about downtime redevelopment, cleaned up neighborhoods and a 'together we can" attitude that was sold to the citizens to increase taxes time and time again.

I have never felt so disheartened about what I see is happening to our wonderful town. Actually sickened is a better word.

The very people who's salary we pay and the people we elected to run our City has little care, or concern for the citizens or businesses of Raytown unless your connected to some special group or a family member.

The average, honest working citizen are nothing to these people.

The current City Administrator (MIller) is actively seeking employment away from Raytown, so that should tell you where his heart and his thoughts are for the city he has no ties to.

New and existing businesses feel unwelcomed and unwanted unless they are a large cooperation seeking TIFs.

Code Enforcement is selective at who they bear their power down upon and the city is one of the worst offender with the downtime church.

I'm sure that people like Laughing all the way and others like him are content with the status quo. Happy in the very system that we support with our tax dollars, homes and businesses, yet the first to attack us when we demand changes for the better.

Andy Whiteman said...

What Pat has to say doesn't surprise me at all. That is the way Walmart, as well as other companies, do business. It's a good deal for them. No money invested--the taxpayers pay! It is obvious something is wrong when Walmart has a Sooper Center or whatever they call them now within such a short distance. These stores bill be actually competing against each other! I predict one of the stores closing and a tax write off for Walmart!. I certainally hope the store on I-70 closes insead of the 350 HWY store, but I think that since I-70 has more traffic, that store will remain.

I remember Greg Walters voted "NO" on the Walmart issue! My memory isn't that great, but wasn't their only one NO vote? Unfortuate that only one alderman is looking out for the interest of the city!

The way Pat described this, it sounds very similar to the Kathryn Shields case: A shyster finds a city or person in need of money and feeds them a lie about how they will profit. It is misrepresented and is either illegal or a rip off. Downtown redevelopment has gone the same way: A developer feeds the city officials illusions of a grand development, gets paid up front to do the development, and then pulls out when he finds that the property owners aren't willing to give their property away. People who are desparate for money will believe anything. A sucker is born every minute along with two to take him.

Some oversite is needed such as a review by third party who is expert in financial development and planning, as well as business. The average person is not competant to analyze the situation.

Mr. Miller

The Raytown Post stated that Mike Miller has wanted to live in Alaska for quite awhile. Assuming this to be true it is not fair to say he is seeking employment elsewhere. I did the same when I wanted to change locations even though my goal wasn't to change jobs. Let's give the guy the benefit of the doubt unless someone has factual proof.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Can you really believe the Raytown Post? Maybe or maybe not!!!!

Andy Whiteman said...

Actually can you believe ANY newspaper or any news source?

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

To anonymous 11-7 10:29,

Regarding Mr. Trusdale's Employment:

The city ordinance state that the city adminstrator whoever he/she may be is the only one who can fire any employee. Those employees do however have the right to appeal that firing.

Also, In the end taxpayers always pay for these receptions or any other type of party as well the Chridtmas party they have every year. It is taken out of the adminstrations budget.

Anonymous said...

The Raytown Post certainly can not determine intent, if Mr. Miller says that he's always wanted to live in Alaska, it seems reasonable to take him at his word. Alaska is a unique location that attracts people with a certain mindset. I'd hate to think that the situation in Raytown has gotten so bad that we're driving people clear to Alaska just to be out of here, and maybe we need more of an Alaskan mentality to deal with the problems that are facing us.

On the other hand, I doubt that the Raytown Post would be discussing this issue at all were it not for the person who brought Mr. Miller's job hunt to the public attention through this blog.

Anonymous said...

Miller was looking for a job when he found this one.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 11-8 2:32 Does that make it right for taxpayers to pay for these partys, just because it's always been done this way? I don't think so. These dollars could be being used for the basic city services that we are NOT getting, street lights, better streets, more police patrols, etc.

Anonymous said...

From Raytown City Ordinances:

DIVISION 9. CITIZENS PERSONNEL COMPLAINTS

Sec. 14-130. Purpose.
It is recognized that many citizens will evaluate the municipal government upon the basis of their observation of and interaction with municipal employees. Such employees should therefore at all times perform their duties efficiently, effectively and with due consideration to the rights of the citizens involved.

Sec. 14-131. Complaints in writing.
All citizens complaints shall be in writing for submission as herein specified, containing a brief statement of the facts, the complaint and the requests or recommendations, if any, shall be sworn to by the complainant before a notary public and shall be true to the best knowledge and belief of the complainant.

Sec. 14-132. Delivery.
Any such written, notarized complaint shall be delivered to the office of the city administrator, or his delegate, and any complaint which is misdirected by any citizen by delivery to any other person in the municipal service shall promptly be forwarded to the city administrator, or his delegate. Failure to forward written complaints shall constitute grounds for disciplinary action.

Sec. 14-133. City administrator's duties.
It shall be the duty of the city administrator, or his delegate upon receipt of any complaint to initiate an investigation into same. Upon conclusion of such investigation, the city administrator, or his delegate may find such complaint to be without merit, take such corrective action as he deems appropriate, or take appropriate disciplinary action against the employee involved.

Itellitlikeitis said...

To: Nov. 7, '07 11:13 PM Anonymous

Obviously you don't have a clue how a charter works or what it is really about, otherwise you would never say ... "Keep it simple stupid". To keep it simple would be stupid, putting the citizens of our city in real jeopardy. If everything is not spelled out in the charter the city administration (whoever that might be at the time) could pretty much do anything they wanted to do! You need to do some research regarding city charters. They are like a constitution for a city, taking the place of how everything is done now as a fourth class city. The last charter proposal was a very good one; you just got feed a bunch of B.S.!

Andy Whiteman said...

I agree with anonymous 4:56PM. Just because something has always been done doesn't make it right. Barb Schlapia commented that our city employee's get only a 2% raise and we are talking about $35,000 for a study. I agree that the party money could be put towards any worthwhile need whether it be streelights, pay increases, resurfacing streets, etc.

I have no objection to the party. I just feel the funding should have been from a private source(s) or even an admission charge. When I worked for the Post Office, retirement dinners were the custom but those attending paid in advance for their own dinner and donated for the gift. Why not do that here?

Anonymous 5PM took the time to look up the city ordinance regarding unsatisfactory city employees. I suggest those with individual employee complaints follow the procedure. People here seem to be demanding firing specific employees. It may be more appropriate to put an employee on warning or suspend without pay if the infraction is bad enough. Remember any action can be expensive since the employee can appeal. I don't know if they have an union or not, but I was an American Postal Workers' Union steward and a "formal counseling" was grounds for filing a grievance because it was the first step to discipline.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

The citizen complaint section of the code of ordinances was designed for all employees except dept. heads. They serve at the pleasure of the BOA and can be fired with or without the city administrators approval.

Pat Casady said...

I would gladly save the taxpayers of Raytown money by footing the bill for at least one more parting, party for one more city employee.
I know of at least ten other business owners that would pitch it too.

Anonymous said...

I hate to be the one who says I told you so, but the school district is comming at us with another tax levy increase. What makes me the maddest about this is how they always use the teachers when it comes time for an increase. Maybe they should have thought about the teaches before they built themselves a big new office on Raytown Road. It's like a castle fit for a king. I urge you to take a tour if they will let you. Or how about a monitoring system at the high school with out anyone to operate the monitor. Now I call that wise spending!!!! Then there is the joke in the building of the new school on 61st and Noland Road. Don't tell me they did their homework on this project. We use to have professional people on the board now all we have is a bunch of bobble heads, who like to spend our money. I think the teachers need more money but they (the administration) always put their needs ahead of the teachers and use them (the teachers)as a playing card after they have spent all the money and now they think of the teachers,oops we forgot to give the teachers a raise. Much like the firemen did in the last election scaring the people into thinking they would have to reduce the services they would be able to give if the tax increase didn't pass. Well here is a newsflash for you, tighten up your spending belt like the average American families are having to do, and you will find out you will be able to make it.

Anonymous said...

I always hear we need to pass the tax increases to keep our property values up. Well look next door to you and I bet our property value has already gone down!!!!!

Andy Whiteman said...

Tax increases can bring your property values down! I am looking for a house and one of my first questions are, "What are the taxes?" If they are too high, that rules out the whole area! I suspect other buyers do the same.

Is a school tax increase truely for the teachers? Maybe if the administrators took a cut, there would be more for the teachers! Any moron can see that. It doesn't take a PhD to understand that!

My mother was always disgusted with school bond elections because renters who had children were the main "YES" vote because their taxes didn't do up. Any vote that raises or lowers taxes should be limited to only those who pay the taxes (in this case PROPERTY OWNERS.) People who don't own property have no business voting on property tax issues. I know this is America, and it has always been that way, but it still doesn't make it right.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Andy I think ou are right only property oweners should vote on tax issues.

Anonymous said...

Landlords can, and usually pass on any increases in property taxes, insurance rates, utilities, fines on property maintenance issues in the form of a higher rent payment thus one that is a renter basically pays the taxes to the landlord so the landlord can pay them to the govermental body. I guess you could say that the renter can have a say also by voting, however, most renters usually don't care and don't vote because they are irresponsible with all things, and they are always moving all the time. Like I said, most, not all renters.

Anonymous said...

Greg: You stated that; "Frank was recently appointed to a vacant seat on the Jackson County Republican Committee as a representative for Brooking Township (Raytown)." Actually that isn't correct, no one filed for one of the seats for Republican Committeewoman, and she (Sue) had ONE (1) write-in vote for that position.

You were correct when you stated; "That’s pretty much out of character for someone who has never paid much attention to Republican politics.” Fact is most of her support is not and has never been from Republicans.

Anonymous said...

So, is Sue Frank a representative on the Jackson County Republican Committee or not? Just because somebody writes your name on a ballot doesn't mean that you have to accept the position.

Andy Whiteman said...

Anonymous 11/9 4:44PM, Yes, landlords can pass the tax increase on through higher rents, but I think renters aren't smart enough to know that. If the have children, they will vote YES not realizing they will get a rent increase. They just think their children will receive a better education. I don't know if renters care enough to vote or not, but I sure wonder who is voting YES on tax increase issues. Is Raytown like parts of New Mexico where the dead are registered to vote? The Albuquerque Journal had an article within the last year that someone was voting the names of people in nursing homes who were mentally unable to vote. Is that happening here? How are the tax increases getting passed?

The tax bills should be out next month. Many won't receive one because it goes directly to the lender. I suggest everyone demand a copy of their tax bill. The county doesn't like sending them out so either demand a copy or get it off the county website. Then do the math. You will be shocked at what you are paying the schools. My school taxes are 67% of my tax bill. I have no children but have to pay for everyone who has children. The school tax levy should be assessed on each child and not on all property owners. Many people don't have children and shouldn't be burdened with supporting those who chose to have children.

I agree that and education is necessary but those who use the service should be the ones who pay.

Andy Whiteman

Pat Casady said...

I just heard that I might not have stated all the facts in my 11/08
letter.
It seems that the Raytown school district will benefit from Wal-Mart coming to town.
The city of Raytown won't receive any tax money, either sales or real estate but the school district will receive many, many dollars.
This then begs the question, why do they need a tax increase?
What's next for the prosperous school district, and how much is enough for this spending machine.

Andy Whiteman said...

Pat, I don't understand how Walmart can be made to pay school taxes and not city taxes. There is something underhand going on!

I just pulled my home property tax bill off the county website because they refuse to mail me a copy! I suppose they like to keep what people are paying a secret from the person so he/she has no idea where it is going. My school tax is $1093.47 while the City of Raytown gets 111.39 and the first district $232.03.

I wonder why it costs twice as much to run the fire district compared to the city? I used to be treasurer of a rural fire district and out mill levy was really low. Maybe the fact that we had no paid personnel had something to do with it but I still can't believe that the fire district has more expense than the city.

The school tax is the worse. It takes 62.76% of my total tax bill. Considering what Pat has said, our school taxes should go down after Walmart opens, but I bet they go up. I SUGGEST THAT EVERYONE GET A COPY OF THEIR TAX BILL AND SEE HOW MUCH YOU ARE PAYING TO THE SCHOOL DISTRICT! It seems to be that an audit is badly needed of the school district. I still feel that each child should be taxed so that everyone is paying their fair share.

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...

FINANCE DIRECTOR VACANCY

I saw an advertisement to fill the Finance Director vacancy and unless I overlooked something, I did NOT see a requirement that the new person become a resident of Raytown.

This is an issue that needs to be corrected.

Andy Whiteman

Pat Casady said...

Andy,
I don't think the school will receive a tax check from Wal-Mart
but the sales tax will benefit the school in some way.
I'm not saying that is a bad thing, but if true, why is the school going to ask for another tax increase?
I will dig into it deeper and let everybody know what I find.

Andy Whiteman said...

Pat,

I don't understand why the city will not receive sales tax from Walmart? I thought the TIF applied only to property taxes unless there is a side agreement we don't know about. But of course, I don't know much about this type of funding.

By the way, Walmart has a type of monopoly. There are 2 items I buy that are ONLY at Walmart. Walgreens used to sell 1 of them, but no longer.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Why don't you two get a chat room?

Anonymous said...

Raytown may have the ability to make a deal with WalMart not to pay the portion of sales tax that goes to the city, but the Missouri State and Jackson County portion of sales tax cannot be waived by the city.

Pat Casady said...

Anonymous 11:57
Why don't you get a name?

Pat Casady said...

If the person that explained this tax thing with Wal-Mart is reading
this, could you please explain it to my fellow readers?

Anonymous said...

This spending has to stop somewhere and we the public are the ones who are going to have to do it. I just got my real estate tax bill and my taxes went up about $250.00. When I saw the amount the school recieves and the fire department that was the straw that broke the camels back. I will never vote for another tax increase for the city of the school. They are like a run away horse spend, spend,spend!!!! It must stop and we the citizens are going to have to do it. Make them show how they spend the money don't give me a mission statement let's see how the money is spent.

Pat Casady said...

I just read the Post. In it I saw an article on the
"Mayor's management proposal."
For what it's worth I think it's a good idea. However I would like to
make a suggestion.
First I would like to see if our Aldermen would like to go around
and talk to some business and property owners to ask a few questions
or receive some comments on how we think things are going.
After all they are the people that have to vote on just about everything that goes on in this town.
In fact I can think of a few businesses that would welcome the idea.
Businesses that have harassed and feel they are being forced out
of town, or businesses that have seen their competition pushed
by certain city officials that even include spying, stealing promotional ideas and even the type of equipment used to help another (friend) in
the same business.
In the last few elections we all heard the term "The Good Old Boys"
when the administration was against certain runners.
This is the very definition of the term. Using a government or city
position to help friends.

I know our aldermen don't receive much money for their position
but it was their choice to represent their town. It's time they listen to the people. It's been six years since my aldermen came in my door.
I have already talked to Mayor Bower more than my aldermen and
he's only been in office for around six months.
How can they have a feel for the people if they don't talk to us......unless
they are looking for backing for the next election? Telling us how much they care and then never seeing us again until it's election time again.

If the City Administrator wants a survey on how things are going he doesn't need to spend a lot of money, just send out the aldermen for a day to ask
a few questions. Might just save the city a lot of money in the long run.

Anonymous said...

Pat, even better if an alderman just took an afternoon or evening and walked part of their ward, knocking on doors and getting the public's thoughts. Most of them don't ever come around until they want your vote and then some are even too lazy to show up then.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Andy Whiteman doesn't seem to understand two concepts of democracy.

One is universal sufferage: The right to vote. One lives under the laws of the land, and therefore should be able to participate whether he or she owns property or not. How about the US Miliary War Veteran, who lives in an apartment? Want to deny him or her the right to vote?

Two..universal education requires everyone paying for it...not just people who have children. Some spinster down the street or some bachelor on the block where you grew up, Mr. Whiteman, paid taxes so you got a primary and secondary education. It was to their benefit because it made for a better society and meant that the odds were greater you would get a job rather than break into their homes because you couldn't.

I suspect, since you've mentioned many times being "disabled," that you are drawing Social Security Disability. Everyone that works is helping pay for that...just as you're helping pay to educate their children. Consider it a "push."

You can vote against school tax levies, the fire district...anything you want...and that's fine: That's Democracy!!!

But it seems odd that you draw societial benefits...fire protection, streets, disability, ad nasuem and complain about having to pay for part of that.

I promise you that none of us pay anything near what we get. I was taught that the "government that governs least, governs best," and that "the only thing the government should do for us collectively is that which we can't do for ourselves individually." (We can't each build our own road.)

The school district, city and fire district are wasteful as are all bureaucracies. But if you're part of a society, a culture, a sub-culture, a tribe...or whatever...you live within its rules...or you move.

Pat Casady said...

Anonymous 10:30,
I agree with some of what you have to say.
You are right that everyone should help with carrying
the financial loads of our society.
But when tax dollars are wasted or spent to pay for incompetent city employees that are clearly hindering progress of this town or runaway school board
spending sprees, as has been suggested by many,
then it's time to complain.

I can see why some people are tired of paying tax increase
after increase without any progress. Or when the school board
buys an office building and then spends a fortune on renovation.
Extravagant renovation at that.

All I'm saying is it would be nice to see some positive results
and some real changes at City Hall.
So far the city has managed to give tax breaks to huge companies
that won't add to the city coffers for over twenty years and then
turn around at almost every election ask for a tax increases of some kind from the people.
Does that seem even remotely fair?

Who, I ask you, can afford to pay taxes easier, the average citizen or the big, huge retailer?
Don't get me wrong, I know Raytown needs these big stores, they will bring other retailers that may not get the same tax breaks (maybe).
But just because the city decides to give away the farm shouldn't mean the taxpayers should make up the difference. I think this is why people like Andy are flustered.

Maybe if City Hall would welcome any new business to town
and quit trying to run existing businesses out of town they wouldn't need to keep asking for more tax increases every election and maybe this town might come alive again.

Anonymous said...

No Pat...

Andy isn't flusterd. Andy is not happy unless he is complaining about something. He marks his time nit-picking and crabbing about all the supposed injustices in his life.

There are folks in life who would complain if it were 75 degrees outside, with sunshine and a light breeze. They'd complain about the breeze!

Andy is one of those.

Anonymous said...

Please note that as Anonymous 10:30 pm Nov 15 I am not Anonymous 1:24 pm on Nov 16...though I don't disagree with him or her.
I feel sorry for Andy. But he's just not realistic about his own situation or informed about Raytown (after only 5 years) or what the basic concepts of American democracy and history are.
Sorry, again. Andy appears to be a good guy and sincere. But one has to do his homework.

Andy Whiteman said...

Mr. Anonymous 11/14 10:30PM is comparing apples and oranges. Social Security is something that he and I both pay into. It is somewhat like insurance and cannot be compared to schools at all. They are 2 different things. My 1/2 brother did the math on Social Security assuming the tax rate and the paymout remain the same. This was about 30 years ago and he calculated that he would have to live to age 94 to break even. Since he doesn't expect to live that long be felt that SS is really ripping every one off.

I bet that Mr. Anonymous never took the time to look at his tax bill or is a renter who doesn't pay property taxes. If he/she had looked at his/her tax bill, he/she would feel outraged as I am.

The Fire District does not compare to schools at all. I have heard that some rural fire departments actually bill if they respond to your fire if you are not a member. If you call 911 for EMS in Raytown, someone gets the bill (either your insurance or you).

Before people have children they should ask themselves, "Can I afford this child and have the time to properly supervise this child?" No people don't stop and think. They just have children, don't supervise them, and expect the taxpayers to care for their offspring.

If my parents had thought that out, we wouldn't be having this dialog.

I had a neighbor who paid for his daughter to go to private school because the school system (Aurora, CO) did not provide a quality education. Why should this person have to pay taxes to the school district and also pay a private school. If the schools taxed per child, then the parent would have a choice.

Judge Alex (late night TV) made a statement after one case, "It is riduculous that you have to take a test and get a license to drive a car, but a person is allowed to have a child and ruin that child's life without a test or license."

I know many people consider a child a gift from God. I can't dispute that, but I still think that parents should ask themselves if they can afford God's gift before asking for the gift.

Pat is correct, I am frustrated when I see my tax bill and the school district spending is out of control. People take the attitude it is OK because "it is for the children." If the users of this service were taxed per child and the tuition goes up, they would draw the line.

It was decided over 200 years ago that everyone had one vote regardless of property so that the rich didn't have control. Times have changed, and I don't feel that people who don't pay taxes should be allowed to vote in an election that can raise taxes since they aren't paying them.

Some others named Anonymous agreed with me, but this one Mr. Anonymous picked my name because it was there. Obviously he didn't want to be critical of an anonymous person. I think it is obvious why he/she didn't sign his/her name. Comparing apples and oranges does not make a good argument. Some people can only attact the messenger but cannot address the message.

I wasn't going to dginify this with a reply, but I am not a person who would complain about a light breeze if the temperature is 75. I am the kind of person who will complain if there is not breeze because with the humidity, it is down right miserable when the temperature gets above 70! If you really new me, you would have had your facts straight.

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...

Anonymous 9:11PM,
Sorry I thought you 2 were the same Anonymous person. Apparently I was writing my last post when you posted yours.

That is why I really feel that each writer should at least have a pseudonym for some identity. I could be anonymous also, but I think everyone whould know who wrote it. I know several of the real names even thought we have never met. As for the psedomyns, I don't know who they are and doubt if anyone does.

I know someone was afraid that another could copy a pseudomyn, but if you create a pseudonym, no one else can use it unless they write as anonymous and attempt to sign your pseudonym as a signature simply because Google will allow an user name to be used only once. In other words, no one else can log in with your pseudonym because you have the password.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

11/14 10:30 pm...Anonymous

Again, Mr. Whiteman, I feel sorry for you. You conveniently avoided the issue of whether you draw Social Security disability. (Which I'm probably entitled to but have never applied for.)

I've paid as much as $3,000 in local property taxes on my business...and about half that on my home/personal property. So, no, I'm not an apartment deweller.

I am also disabled (think "War" US Military veteran).

I begrudge you nothing. Call me a "socialist," and I'm fine with that.

I supported my children and provided help/scholarships/etc. for a number of other children. Not to mention other social endeavors.

I am not "powerless." I'm also not rich. But if I hated living here as much as you express...I'd suck it up and move somewhere else.

But, I'd also be realistic about that. You want "exactly" what you want...one final move...as I've read on this blog in the past few months.

Guess, what Partner...people in Hell want ice water and "you can't always get what you want...but you can get what you need." Old song.

Andy Whiteman said...

Anonymous 11/14 10:14 PM,

Actually the source of my income is no one's business and I see no need to answer, except I will tell you it is not enough. By the way you phrased it as a statement not a question, so I did not avoid the issue. Elected officials may have to make a disclosure, but I don't.

Thank you for your service to our country. Maybe you should apply for disability. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

The county refuses to send me my tax bill. I have to find it on the internet. Have you ever actually seen yout itemized tax bill? That is something they don't want you to see. 62% of my taxes goes to schools. I assume you pay a like amount. You are paying about 3 times more in taxes than I. Aren't you outraged at the school tax? Before I moved here the Chamber told me how lowest taxes in the metro were in Raytown. That wasn't quite true. They forgot to mention the total after the school tax.

Why haven't I moved? How many times have you moved? It is not easy. The truth is I can't find a suitable house. To me, it doesn't make good sense to move into a house unless I like it as well as the climate and area. It is a waste of money since it would not improve anything except the miserable climate. I am sure people are hoping that I will move, but it isn't going to happen until I find a suitable house and after that, it will take me about a year to pack. Also, with the interest rates up, it is more difficult to qualify on a mortgage along with the fact payments will be much more. Now I ask you, would you spend good money to move to a house that isn't suitable? It doesn't make good sense to me to move just to get out of the State of Misery.

You don't sound like a Socialist to me.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Some people continue to amaze/amuse me..... It is noones business as to whether an individual is drawing welfare, social security, food stamps, wic, retired, or working. The source of their income is not relavent to the issues here. Get a life!

Pat Casady said...

I think some of us are going in the wrong direction here.
It may be by design by some of these "anonymous" writers
to change the direction of focus.

The fact is, this town and school district isn't doing what's in the best interest for all the people and businesses in Raytown.

If City Hall gives away taxes to big stores somebody has to make up for the loss.
Right now, I am told, twelve percent of all sales tax collected is from the Wal-Mart at 67th. & Blue Ridge. When they move to their new location on 350hwy. Raytown may not receive any, that's any, real estate or sales
tax for over twenty years. The state will get their tax, the county will get their
tax but how much will this benefit the town thanks to the T.I.F.'s and other breaks given.

Add all that up and then think about this. If Wal-Mart has a grocery store in it as we have been told, the other big tax making machines that Raytown
has, the grocery stores, will start closing. Raytown will lose those taxes not to mention the other small shops that will be affected by this big store.

I know that the 350 project will probably bring in some new businesses that Wal-Mart may not hurt like maybe some restaurants and the like, but will it be enough to offset the added costs that will be needed?

I personally don't think our city fathers looked at this from all angles.
From my personal experience, I've seen these big developers come
in and dangle these money making proposition carrots in front of our
city council and I watched them take the bait like a big mouth bass.
Asking no questions and not even giving a thought to what it would
do the rest of the town.

We shouldn't use this forum to attack each other. Who gives a damn where someone gets their income? It's trying to keep your income and at the same time make this town a better place.

We all expect and should demand that the people that have to power to spend taxpayer dollars do it with only the best intentions for all.
So far I haven't seen that. I've seen a lot on monuments built but I haven't seen anything toward actually making good use of tax dollars.

Andy Whiteman said...

I agree with Pat and Anonymous 4:53AM. We need to focus on issues and not personalities. Whether you like or dislike a person is not the issue. The issue is what is good for Raytown. A person's ideas are open for debate, not income, lifestyle, etc.

Pat, I don't understand why the City won't receive sales tax from Walmart. Is there something hidden from the people? I may be wrong, but my understanding from Board meetings is that there would be a special sales tax district with an additional tax to finance road improvements, etc.

Has anyone actually shopped Walmart for groceries? I have shopped the Bannister Rd location an the two Walmart grocery stores on Metcalf. In 2000 when I was forced to move here, grocery prices at Walmart were low compared to regular grocers. Prices crept up to the point that they are the same as regular grocers or not really much lower. There is not enough savings to justify a trip. The only benefit I see in Walmart groceries is that they have some items that other stores don't stock.

Walmart may keep the prices artifically low for awhile. I don't know their intent, but if prices are low, they will go back up if other retailers are forced out.

Andy Whiteman

Pat Casady said...

Andy,
An explanation will be coming soon on that sales tax thing.
I want to get all the facts together first.
I don't want to give some of the "anonymous" writers
any ammunition to shoot at me.

Oh, anonymous 9:45,
I too, like that old Rolling Stones song.

Andy Whiteman said...

FYI Everyone:
I received this message via email. The business owners may be interested:

Raytown Independent Business Owners
If you are a local, independent business owner in Raytown you have the opportunity to join forces with other local business owners for more efficient marketing. Be a part of the "BUY RAYTOWN" campaign to support local businesses!
You are invited to join us for an informational meeting.
Tuesday, November 20th at 6:00 pm at
City Grounds Coffee Shop
6200 Raytown Trafficway
Learn about sensational advertising, cross promotion,
and networking opportunities!
Feel free to call with any questions.
Sheri (816) 737-2170 or Rebecca (816)313-1680.
You are welcome to forward this email or
inform a friend about this meeting.

Andy Whiteman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Bored Silly says:

This is for Andy Whiteman. Andy, do us all a favor and take a sabbatical, meaning for the next three weeks, shut up, be quiet and don't write anything.

Anonymous said...

Einstein once said, "When you do the same thing over and over and over again and expect different results, that's stupidity." To the extent the present administration follows in the Sue Frank tradition, it will be more of the same, and well in compliance with Einstein's dictum. Can anyone in the government tell this community how much of its revenue is out on TIFs? Does anyone realize the enormity of the blunder that has attended the WalMart negotiations, or the fact that the chances of gaining revenue are near absolute zero?

Arnold the Benedict

Pat Casady said...

To "Bored Billy"
Spoken like a................Never mind you aren't worth the effort.

To "Arnold Benedict"
You asked the question "Does anyone realize the enormity of blunder that has attended the Wal-Mart negotiations?"
I think the answer is only several.
You see very few of our elected officials have any business understanding.
They were talked into all of this by some fast talking developer that promised them the world and they fell for it, without asking a question or looking into
the future to see what damage this would do to the rest of the town or other small towns invaded by this monster.

This happens time and time again. Wal-Mart sends in high paid lawyers
and developers that know what small town U.S.A. needs, (Tax dollars) to survive and in the process these fast talking people convince them to do it in such a way it doesn't cost the developer or Wal-Mart anything.
You can count on one hand the number of small towns that have seen through the B.S. made by these people and told Wal-Mart to go elsewhere.

Anyway back to your question,
Look at who has left this town in the last two or three years.

The City Administrator Curt Wenson, the Public Works Director
Beau Groceman, and the Finance Director Dan Estes. I know I'm forgetting someone in there.
All of which were in on the negotiations. All of them either caused the the discontent most people have with City Hall or had hands in making the financial problems Raytown has now.
All are gone leaving the rest of the town holding the empty bag.

Andy Whiteman said...

That is why I said that the City should consult with business management and financial planning experts before plunging ahead into these blunders. Since the board doesn't have the experience in these fields, they need professionals. Maybe even contacting another city of similiar size to find out what happened there would be beneficial.

Yes, a study is needed for anything involving this much money.

Andy Whiteman