Sunday, November 18, 2007

Walk the Walk

Pat Riehle, one of two representatives from Ward 5 has resigned his seat on the Raytown Board of Aldermen. In fourth class cities like Raytown the Mayor will make an appointment to the position for the remainder of the term. The Board of Aldermen must approve or disapprove the appointment at the same meeting. As of this writing, Mayor Bower has not announced his intentions. It is known that he does have a list of potential nominees. Furthermore, sources at city hall tell us that one potential appointee has turned down the Mayor’s request to serve. If true, the Mayor will undoubtedly be me more cautious in his next choice. Whatever the case, it appears that there is no shortage of those clamoring for the job. I always find it interesting that potential candidates seem to come out of the woodwork when a seat on the City Council becomes vacant. Perhaps it is the $450 per month salary and benefits that come with the job. Whatever the reason, those same sources tell me the Mayor has shortened the list to four candidates. It begs the question as to where were those wanna-be’s when the seat was up for election? From my point of view, there are two kinds of candidates who step forward to serve an appointed position on the city council. Those who talk the talk and those who have walked the walk. For what it’s worth, I have to agree with former Alderman Riehle in his choice. Riehle is said to have endorsed Diane Krizek for the job. Krizek ran against Riehle for the Ward 5 Aldermanic seat last April. The race was Raytown’s closest contest in last year’s election. Riehle won by 25 votes over Krizek. It is not out of character for Riehle to endorse Krizek. In the past he nominated her for a seat on the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Mayor’s Special Committee on Recycling. Like I said, Krizek has shown that she can walk the walk. As for the other candidates . . . they can show their worth in two years when the Ward 5 seat is up for election. But don’t hold your breath for them to line up and actually earn the job! Other news sources discuss . . . Fireworks in Raytown? The following story was taken (in part) from the KSHB TV41 website. The author is news reporter Ryan Kath. Thanksgiving is right around the corner, but one metro city is already taking aim at a different national holiday. A Raytown politician wants the law changed in his town – an idea sure to generate a few fireworks at city hall. Two summers ago, Lee's Summit made the explosive decision to legalize fireworks. One city over, Alderman Pat Ertz is fired up about his town's ban on all things that sparkle. "Fireworks are just a part of the Fourth of July," said Ertz, who thinks neighborhoods should be able to get together to celebrate in a safe way. That is why Ertz wants to burn the same path as other metro cities and eliminate a law that he says most people ignore. "I get people who thought they were legal because they hear them all the time. They say, 'I didn't know they were illegal,'" Ertz said. Longtime resident Jackie Branstetter has noticed, but she says that is no reason to give people an open invitation to blow things up. "The fact that they can't control what they've got now doesn't give me a feeling they'll be able to control it in the future," she said. Like other folks in Raytown, Branstetter has concerns about her pets, the mess left the next morning and the safety of kids.Raytown passed the ban years ago because of several house fires blamed on bottle rockets. However, Ertz says those and other high-powered fireworks would be off-limits. He also wants to let non-profit organizations set up tents and sell fireworks for fundraisers.With safety in mind, Ertz hopes his idea will spark a change." If you don't like what's going on now, at least this is worth a try to see if it makes situation better," he said. The Lee's Summit Police Department says there has been an improvement since the law changed two summers ago. "Instead of chasing hundreds of fireworks complaints, we’ve focused on more serious violations while allowing the community to celebrate a holiday," said LSPD spokesman Mike Childs.

66 comments:

Andy Whiteman said...

FYI Everyone:
Because this message appeears at the bottom of a page that may never be read again, I am adding it to this page.

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...

Greg's article raises the question: Why is it so difficult to replace Mr. Reihle?

In my opinion anyone who serves as an Alderman/Alderwoman is donating their time and performing a community service. $450 per month is not much money compared to the time involved.

Many people think there are only 2 meetings per month that take a total of 4 to 6 hours but there are also committee meetings, telephone calls from citizens, contact with city officials, etc.

Any Alderperson who is really doing his/her job is spending time researching the issues. There is much involved with the 350 HWY project, Raytown Park Plaza, Hy-Vee, etc. In order to vote intelligently on these, as well as other issues, the alderpeople must spend much time digging into all of the issues and possible consequences.

Maybe their salary should be more than the pittance of $450/month if we expect quality work. I know Raytown doesn't have the money, but we would if the pay of upper management were cut.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I don't think Mr. Rehile will be that hard to replace. You could sit a bobble head up there and he would do as good as Mr.Reihle has done in the past. Anyone who didn't know the differance between tagging and graffiti dosen't have any business sitting on a board of alderman. I hope Mayor Bower will put someone on the board that has a good head and can think for themselves and that truly has a heart for Raytown and its future.

Anonymous said...

Andy,

This isn't a put-down or me trying to discourage you from posting here. Given your unique perspective and willingness to share it, have you considered starting your own blog?

Anonymous said...

Never heard of Krizek until mentioned in connection to Recycling committee. Asked a friend of mine in WardV what he thought of her & he told me she had a lot of good ideas in her campaign lit. From what he could remember, she was a small business owner in Raytown. Lots of the older residents liked her because she had solutions for code violations & wanted to help the elderly with programs to maintain their properties & promote the old Raytown businesses they grew up with. I doubt she will be appointed because she appears to be analytical & that can be threatening to some.

Pat Riehle said...

Tagging is gang-related territorial marking.

Graffiti is either a public nuisance, or an urban art form....depending on your point of view.

Ask the RPD...we have very little tagging in this community. We do have a few "wannabe white gangstas" who tag and are well known to the RPD and the officers assigned to the task force investigating tagging/graffiti.

My suggestion, should you care to research it, was to allow graffiti artists to use a designated wall for their handicraft...like KCMO did on the westside along Cesar Chavez Boulevard for the Latino community and their artists.

My thought process, which was evidently lost on you, was to take the "thrill" out of the process and mainstream it to a certain extent. This mainstreaming has been done in many communities across the country and has been a success just about everywhere it has been implemented.

Unlike you, I found all that out by researching the topic and talking with police and community activists in Dallas, San Diego, Miami, Denver and Virginia Beach.

It's amazing to me anonymous 11/19 9:41, that during the time that I was on the BOA, I never heard a word from you. No call, no email, no attempt to contact me to see why I threw that suggestion out there for consideration. And, anonymous, that was just one of several suggestions tossed around that night.

I really don't expect you to acknowledge any of this post...at least not with logic. I know your type: hide behind a firewall in anonymity and take potshots at folks.

By the way....my name is spelled RIEHLE. If you're gonna shoot at me...at least get my name right!

Anonymous said...

Way to go, Pat! Bet they didn't see you coming from left field! Oh, the beauty of public discourse. Thanks for speaking your mind. I am only Anonymous 4:33pm & will remain so cuz I don't trust any of you.

Anonymous said...

Ole Pat could have been a good alderman, but he turned out to be one of Frank's yes boys. So sad, maybe Bower's appointment will be better.

Anonymous said...

Were all out to get ya anonymous 4:33, paranoia will destroy ya! The Kinks.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Riehle the reason I didn't contact you was because you would have had the same approach to the problem you have now. I am right and you are wrong. I did contact someone on the BOA and share my concerns with them. The cities you said you contacted don't have the same population nor diversity we have. So if you ask me you were comparing apples to oranges!!!!!
You can find anything you want on the internet to back up what you are in favor of, so where did you do your research? So long cowboy!!

Anonymous said...

If there are only a "few wannabes" and the RPD knows who they are, then why in the world would you even suggest giving them a wall to do their art work on? You would be opening up a can of worms you don't want to open. It seems to me you need to research common sense that is something you are absolutely lacking!!!!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 11/19 4:33pm here. You hide behind Anonymous & point your finger at me? What I don't trust is your ability to discuss the issues. All you want to do is attack. You may not agree with Riehle but at least he explained how he arrived. Dallas not diverse enough? Seems awful close to the border to me. Not the same size? In case you haven't noticed, Raytown does not stand alone on the prairie but is enveloped within the KC metro area that crosses over the state line.

Pat Casady said...

I actually haven't attended any City Council meetings since the last developer left our town with a pocket full of taxpayer dollars and no results.
I can say that I did meet Mr. Reihle once. He seemed like a nice enough guy to me. He also seemed genuinely concerned for Raytown.

Now, having said all that, I hope that Mayor Bower will appoint someone to that position that has a business background. Someone that truly understands
what it takes to run and start a business.
The B.O.A. is like a club. There is a majority of board members that stick
together, right or wrong. They make what they deem to be popular decisions
but very seldom good decisions for business in this town.
This is evident by the fact that the one person that is hindering Raytown's
progress the most has not been told to do right.

Maybe if a business minded person was appointed he or she could explain
the facts of business life to those that don't seem to understand.

Anonymous said...

Riehle was just one of the good ole boys or girls club that is running rampet at city hall. They do what is best to further their own political careers rather that what is good for Raytown and it's people.

Andy Whiteman said...

Pat Riehle,
Sorry I misspelled your name. I was too lazy to go back a page and lose my message. Most people can't spell names like yours or mine.

As for graffiti, when I was in LA in 1984, I thought it was art work. They had nice paintings on the overpasses. I thought they were murals. When people conplained about graffiti, I wondered why until I started seeing strange markings on walls, etc.

I guess it can either be art or tagging (like dogs marking their territory). If someone wants to establish a wall for the art type, that is one thing, but we don't want the animal type marking that wall or anything else!

Sorry to see you leave. Even though I didn't agree with you on many issues, you stood up for what you felt was best for the city.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

To anoymous 11/20/9:34 here is a real eye opener for you . We don't make laws for any city except Raytown.

pat riehle said...

anonymous 11/20 8:10

I said that there were a couple of "gangsta wannabes" who tag, and are known to our RPD. A couple of white kids on the north side of town, near Raytown Middle School, who are trying to be big time. As I suggested: find a place for graffiti, eliminate tagging.

anonymous 11/20 7:45:

You want to believe that the problems in Raytown are unique to "little old Raytown"? You give me static for talking with police, community people and others who have attacked this issue head on in their communities and say that demos are different? BALONEY!!!

Most every community, regardless of size, has the same issues as we do. And, my friend, if you don't utilize all resources available to you to gather information to reach an informed decision, you do yourself, and your community, a great disservice.

FYI...here's how I gathered my information. I have a cousin who worked gang-related activity in Dallas for 13 years on their PD. When talking with him, he referred me to a detective in from San Diego who worked on Latino gangs there. Miami had been the home of Jamaican gangs for many yearsw, and those Jamaicans had been found in KC. Denver revitalized its downtown, and put up an "artists" wall many years ago...virtually eliminating the graffiti problem in its downtown. Virginia Beach has one of the largest African-American populations on the east coast and had faced many issues relating to gangs, tagging and community deterioration.

Pat and Andy:

Thanks for your kind words. I didn't always agree with everything you all said, but you made some valid points and have some ideas that need to be incorporated into the process.

pat riehle said...

Greg:

Just to set the record straight...I have not "endorsed" anyone to fill my position.

It is not my job to tell the Mayor who to choose. I have spoken to the strengths, and weaknesses, of several folks in my Ward...Ms. Krizek included.

What I did say to Diane when she called me last week, and when we spoke shortly after the election in April, was that I didn't consider her run against me in the election to be adversarial. I considered it to be a challenge for me to think outside the box, to consider other issues that were out there and not necessarily up towards the top of my list. It was an educational process, and she educated me on other concerns that the people in our Ward had.

And you're right in one respect...I recommended her for the P&Z and the Recycling posts because she has a genuine desire to serve and make a difference. I applaud anyone who has that drive.

I respect her and those that have the drive a lot more than some of the clowns who post anonymously on this blog who not only have no clue, but continually prove it by their posts!

"Better to keep silent and be thought a fool than open your mouth and remove all doubt."

Anonymous said...

There it's happening again he's talking from both sides of his mouth

Anonymous said...

I'm your puppet!

Pat Casady said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pat Casady said...

This is kind of away from this articles topic but I had to
send to all of you.
This morning I was talking with a couple of other business owners
about the person at City Hall that is holding back new business and
trying to run off others. The city employee that pushes friends businesses in city meetings and elsewhere. Clearly bias when unbiased should be the job description. Ticketing one business for an infraction and letting many others go without so much as a word for the same.

Anyway, it seems that even some of the other city employees feel the
same way most of us do about the way things are done by this man.
This man makes up rules as he goes along. In fact some
call it, Tim's Rules for the Day. Or TRD.
How funny.

Anonymous said...

When is Mayor Bower going to wake up and get rid of Tim Truesdale. Raytown will NEVER be able to attract any new business with this guy working for the city. The word is out there folks. Don't come to Raytown because Truesdale's department will harass you to death. He's one of the best reasons to locate a business anywhere but Raytown.

Anonymous said...

I read where Riehle's family is staying in Raytown. I applaud him for making the right decision to resign even though he still would have a place to reside in Raytown. Much unlike the Ken Brown fiasco that Sue Frank allowed to go on. Brown was in Utah for months before he ever officially resigned his seat, sucking off the taxpayers dollars and not doing his job.

Curious said...

I've been reading comments about Raytown businesses having problems with city hall officials. I'm not a business owner, so bear with me if my questions are 'out there'.

Whose responsibility is it to find out what codes and requirements are to be met when a business opens? Is there a place where business owners can look up regulations and make sure they are met or is city hall supposed to communicate the requirements to the potential business owner?

Regarding the complaints about city hall endorsing certain businesses: If the businesses that are not being promoted can show a decrease in sales directly related to this, can't they have a potential suit for damages?

Andy Whiteman said...

Curious,
Your points apply to homeowners too! The city has ordinances which are available online if you can figure out how to find them. They are also available at or from City Hall. As a homeowner, my problem was that some genius at City Hall decided what he claimed to be the "intent of the ordinance". I questioned an employee in Codes about it before I remodeled my fence so my dog would be unable to jump it. That person told me I was in compliance. But 4 months after my fence was completed, Mr. Genius, tells me that I am not in compliance with the intent for the ordinance. How does one know what the Board of Aldermen intended to write? I know what is written.

From what I read in this blog, I understand that Codes people are going to businesses and stating they are not in compliance based on what the inspector thinks the "intent was" or maybe on how he feels at the time.

It seems to be that the codes should be a simple black and white document, but it seems to depend on who is reading them.

As many know, I am looking for a house in a decent climate. After the issues I have had here, I normally call codes and animal control in the city I am considering a purchase and have a discussion about fencing, structure location for additions, and how the barking ordinance is enforced. I would think business intent on moving to Raytown would do the same, but as others have said, ordinances depend on who you are talking to.

I pointed out at the last Board meeting at some ordinances are poorly writen.

As for your last question, I am not an attorney, but I have written a legal opinion that was later used by an attorney. I agree with you. If this is actually happening, first a business would have to prove damages and then establish extent of damages. This could be more costly and time consuming than it is worth to the merchant.

I assume you may be referring to the 2 coffee shops in Raytown. I noticed that when Mayor Bower had his Town Hall meeting, one coffee shop served coffee at 4PM and the other served at 7PM so each had equal opportunity and no preference was given at that time.
******************
Anonymous 8:14AM,
I spoke with Mayor Bower. He does Not listen to Anonymous people. In my opinion, many of you make valid points. I suggest you state your point and reasons to Mayor Bower either in writing or verbally. Someone published the City Ordinance on employee complaints in this blog. You may want to look for it. I believe it may be in another chain. Normally employee complaints must be in writing, notarized, and sent to the City Administrator.
*******************

Anonymous 10:15AM,
I totally agree with you. Obviously Mr. Riehle knew he was unable to handle an Alderman's job properly while working full time in another city. I respect a person who takes the action that Mr. Riehle took.

I feel it is downright dishonest and fraudulent for an Alderman to be working out of town and drawing salary for an extended period knowing he is unable to fulfill his duties. I feel there should have been an action to remove Mr. Brown.

I wonder why the Board of Aldermen don't have a code of conduct? It seems to me that, as in any business, there should be a requirement for a certain amount of attention to business. After missing a stated number of meetings, there should be an action to remove that person.

Best wishes to everyone for a joyous and safe Thanksgiving.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

The Board of Aldermen don't want a "code of conduct" that way they might actually be held accountable for their daily actions. Missed meetings, without a medical excuse, should be a reason for immediate dismissal.

Greg Walters said...

Pat Riehle:

This message is in response to your comment that you have not endorsed Diane Krizek for the vacancy on the Board of Aldermen.

So that the reader can understand exactly what is being written, I direct their attention to my posting of November 18, 2007. In that posting I wrote, “For what it’s worth, I have to agree with former Alderman Riehle in his choice. Riehle is said to have endorsed Diane Krizek for the job.”

Read it carefully, Pat. I wrote “Riehle is said to have endorsed Diane Krizek for the job.”

I have a simple rule I follow before I put anything down as fact. That rule is that I need at least two reliable sources before I write. In this case, the two sources were Diane Krizek and Sandy Hartwell.

Diane told me that you asked her, “Do you want me to talk to Bower for you?”

Sandy Hartwell, in a conversation with Mayor Bower, was told by the Mayor, “Riehle said that Krizek was at the top of his list”.

Now I could be wrong – but if “top of the list” and “talk to Bower for you” is not indicative of an endorsement then it is a parsing of words that would make Bill Clinton proud!

Seriously, I am quite certain that you were sincere in telling Mrs. Krizek you would speak to the Mayor. I am also as certain that Diane and Sandy would not purposely mislead me by making such statements.

But the fact is, the help you offered has now been twisted into a negative by your denial.

It is unfortunate. Diane is definitely the most qualilfied candidate. She has the governmental experience, corporate experience and owns and operates a small (licensed) business in Raytown*. More importantly, she is the only candidate (that I am aware of) who has actually walked the walk and put her name before the public and run for the job.

I do not know if there is a way that you can un-spill the milk, but a clarification from you is in order to un-muddy the waters.


*Governmental experience - 7 years: Internal Revenue Service
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
NOAA - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
SSA – Social Security Administration


*Private sector experience - 20 years: Kansas City Power and Light Company
3 years – IBEW #1613 (customer accounting)
17 years – Management (application programming support - supervision)

*Private business - 7 years: Doozek Limited dba Saber Cycle

Anonymous said...

Has anyone noticed the size of these new fire stations? Why do we need all of this space? Will bigger mean better fire protection? I'm sure it will be a big jump in costs just for the utilities alone. Just wondering.

Anonymous said...

It is the nature of government to grow larger and larger.

Have you ever noticed on the news when there is a big auto accident that the emergency care providers are in such high numbers that they appear to be getting each others way?

The sad thing is that when the BIG emergency happens, like New Orleans when it flooded, many (but not all) of the emergency personnel forgot their duty and ran for the hills.

Anonymous said...

Comedian Ron White said it best of this town and most of those writing on this blog:

"You can't fix stupid!"

sparky said...

About the Fire House upgrades: If things were planned correctly from the start on most remodeling jobs, usually all appliances including HVAC systems, stoves, ranges, refrigerator,freezers, lighting, and other associated equipment installed meet federal energy star guidelines which, over time should reflect an overall savings in utilities. Of course the initial cost of the appliances may be a little higher. A larger building does not neccessarily mean a higher utility cost. Construction techniques have improved greatly in recent years and as a result, a monetary savings can be realized/recouped by the end user(s). Sometimes one has to 'think outside of the box'.

A lot of 'elder adults' that I personally know get set in their ways and think that they are really saving money by not upgrading their appliances. Some change can be good. I understand the fixed income thing. I have argued for 25+- years with a relative that they would, over time, realize a monetary savings on their utility bills, and a savings of reduced repair/maintenance costs. Some people feel that if they cannot afford to upgrade then noone else should, which is a selfish position to take. There are some people that are truly not in a good position to afford to do anything monetarily that are on fixed incomes. I understand that also. I believe that the Fire District has done their homework and has planned that with savings over time in mind, and with that, it should be money well spent.

I know that the school district reaped a very large savings with the ground source heating/cooling systems. That was probably one of the best things that bond money went to for the district. Yes, they have had controversial expenditures on new facilities and office space, and even I question them on some of those expenditures, for instance, were these really necessary?

About higher taxes, etc...:

I don't care where you look, or move to, but if you even look at going away from the metro area(away from Raytown) out to the country, eventually the metro area continues to grow farther and farther out, and eventually, the local governments, county governments, fire districts, and school districts need more funds and the voters generally approve bond issues or higher taxes to improve services period. Costs have and continue to rise from higher petroleum prices which have an overall effect on the cost of everything, utilities included. A prime example of this was when another relative of mine moved to Peculiar 25+- years ago to get away from the 'Riff Raff' and get back to peaceful country living. Well, the metroplex caught up with them, Aquila built a power plant almost in their back yard, and what used to be quiet and peaceful is no more. There will always be some that resist change. Like I have said, some changes are good, and some things probably shouldn't change, like traditions.

About elected representation:

I would like to thank Pat Riehle for serving as alderman of ward 5 and would sincerely wish him well in his future endeavors. I would also hope that Diane Krizek would be at the top of the list for succeeding Pat as ward 5 Alderwoman. From what I have seen and heard , Diane has good intentions and ideas. Definately worth a try from my perspective. Maybe a little good might rub off on the rest of the BOA. Greg has staying power. I wish he was my alderman, but I will stay in ward 5. Happy Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone watch Kids Nation on wednesday evening? Just by accident I happened to watch it for the first time this week actually there was nothing else on. These kids were in the process of finding a new city council for their town. It was very interesting to see how they determined who was going to be the decision makers of this town. What was more interesting was how quickly it all turned to _______ because of some of the new council members wanted to rule the world and not listen to the others even though they said that was what they wanted to do before they were elected. I sat there and listen and suddendly thought for a moment that I was watching the Raytown Council Meeting. Our city council acts like they are juvenilles as well. The only difference was they had 4 members on there council and their votes were 3 to 1and ours is 9 to 1.

Andy Whiteman said...

Anonymous 7:16 PM,

I happened to see the first few minutes of Kid Nation because I forgot to fast forward my VCR to Criminal Minds. What got my attention was one girl who said, "Please vote me off." That was an intelligent thing to do and I feel that there are some Raytown Alderpeople who should simply not run for re-election next time.

Actually before this show ever was on TV I was sitting at Board meetings thinking, "They sound like a bunch of kids bickering over trivial issues!"
***************
From Diane Krizek's resume, it sounds like she is overly qualified. I have seen people denied jobs because of over qualifictation. I really feel that at $450/month, one is donating their time. To me $450 is not adequate compensation for what is involved. If Ms. Krizek is willing to take on the job, I think she should be given a chance. The voters can make a decision at the next election.
***********
As for Sparky's question about where to move, this country is becomming overpopulated! The area from Cheyenne to Denver to Colorado Springs is really a giant metro area now. Lake Lotawanna used to be rural, but look at the growth of Lees Summit and an annexation battle between Blue Springs and Lake Lotawanna a couple of years ago! In San Diego County they are building homes next to the freeways which I never thought would happen!

Personally, I don't want a rural area because it is too far to shopping, Post Office, doctor, etc. I am looking for a city in a decent climate (NM, AZ, etc.) with quite neighbors. I may locate a nice house, but 98% of the time they are ruled out my neighbors who obviously have noise issues. People suggest rural areas, but they have noise issues too as well as the remoteness (previously stated.)

Andy Whiteman

sparky said...

That is also a trade off for living in a rural area, more wear and tear on vehicles(high mileage) especially if one commutes from the rural area to the metroplex for a job, traveling 20-30 minutes or more for shopping, groceries, errands, doctor visits, visit with friends or family, not to mention the extra wear and tear that your body endures from more sleep deprevation from getting up earlier for the longer commutes/getting home later. There may be less crime the farther out you go.

But one point that I was trying to make with an earlier comment was about higher taxes in general, like real property and personal property. Even if that is a reason for people moving to a rural area, it does not last long. If others have the same idea which is to get out of town and move away for these reasons and others, it will catch up with you eventually in the forms of less spare time available to do things, less money available when taxes get increased, the peace and quiet eventually disapears (with more people moving in next to you, subdivision developments, retail development, roads, highways, etc., and you will have new schools, paved roads, new buildings, dwindling greenspaces, etc. Sort of like what Raytown used to be like in the 1940's before its incorporation, when taxes were lower, and it was under county rule.

Andy Whiteman said...

Sparky,

You made several good points, not to mention higher costs of obtaining service (plumbers, electricians, etc.), and the higher cost of merchandise, not to mention the cost and time of travel. (I value my time.)

I will dispute the suggestion that there may be less crime the farther out you go. I lived in a rural village of 125 houses and people couldn't understand why I locked my doors (with deadbolts)! People seem to have the feeling there is less crime but that is a false sense of security. A few crimes seem like nothing but if you take statistics and convert them to crime per 1000 people, the stats are still high. In 5 years I had one burgalary, one criminal mischief, the village had one sexual assault on a minor by a neighbor, plus I don't know what else because nothing was published. I heard about the sexual assault from the son of the perp. (It was basically kept a secret, mentioned by nobody!) Seems like a high crime rate to me!The plain fact is that NO area is safe from crime!

People have the false assumption that rural areas are quiet. Quite false! Rural areas can be noisey.

People living in rural areas of Bernalillo County were annexed by Albuquerque. These people had horses, chickens, cows, etc., as well as wells for watering their yards. Now that the city has crept in, neighbors want the animals banned. (If they object to animals, they shouldn't have moved there!) Also these older homes are being told they are NOT allowed to use their wells to water their yard!

You make a good point about the taxes coming up to meet the needs of the people, but the people are moving to rural areas for the wrong reasons. That is happening to this whole metro area!

Personally, I refuse to move to a rural area for all of the reasons we both have stated. When I was younger I wanted to retire to 100 acres on the dessert and keep everyone away, but being disabled with limited resources, that is impossible.

By the way, did someone in this blog state that taxes were lower in rural areas? I can't remember reading that, but maybe I wasn't paying attention.

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...

PS. As for rural areas, you have to fight your own fires. We had a volunteer fire department. Who do you think responded to fires or EMS calls? We were funded my a small mill levy and donations. We needed an ambulance which was donated and another person donated the VHF radio for the ambulance. That may be why taxes are lower for awhile, but eventually people want a paid fire department, etc.

sparky said...

That is how Raytowns Fire Department started out many years ago. Volunteer. Over time, everything gets larger, more technology, higher costs, more upkeep.

Andy Whiteman said...

To put it simply, too many people moved to a nice area! They should have stayed where they were. I would have except my job forced me to move here.

When we went to San Diego on vacation in 1984, billboards said, "WELCOME TO SAN DIEGO -- NOW GO HOME!" We thought it was rude but after we moved there we learned the area was overcrowded with a high crime rate and drug trafficing between the border and LA.

In order to preserve the area, the Board should not allow miniature homes on miniature lots as in the area that was previously planned on 59th St & Raytown Rd. All homes should be full sized on full sized lots to prevent crowding.

Andy Whiteman

Pat Casady said...

Some of you may know that I recently moved to the country.
I now live on a small farm between 350 hwy. and Odessa.
Sparky and Andy, you both have valid points about moving to
a rural area. It is a thirty minute drive to Raytown and you do
have to plan your shopping trips.

Believe me when I say there is something to be said about the
peace and quiet of country living.
As far as taxes go I pay just about as much as I did when living
the city but, I now have ten acres and five barns so maybe the
taxes are a little cheaper out there.
The only difference I see as far as taxes go is how they are spent.
In my area they tend to keep the roads in good shape and have a great
law enforcement plan. The fire department is volunteer however
there is rarely a time when someone isn't at the fire house. They also
have great equipment.
By the way, the Holden City Administrator's annual pay.....45,000.00.

The nice thing I found was that the cities in the area weren't into
building monuments to themselves and they leave people alone.
They treat businesses with respect and don't try get rid of
businesses they have. What a concept!
What neighbors I have are extremely nice people, welcoming us
with hot fresh breads and such.
We all watch out for each other too.

I did not move away because I didn't like Raytown or K.C.
I'm looking in the near future to retire and we always wanted
to try the farm life.

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

Pat,

I think it is good planning to find a place where you will be happy when you retire. Someone else in Raytown did the same thing!

Even living in Raytown requires planning for shopping with the price of gas and the fact that my insurance rate allows only 7500 miles per year. I have lived in other cities that seemed rural because shopping and the Post Office are so far away.

If they treat business with respect and Raytown doesn't, what does that tell you? Maybe Raytown should change their attitude if they want to attract and to keep businesses. Obviously you have to be big like Walmart or Hy-Vee to be wanted. I guess money talks especially when Raytown has to finance the big business!

Isn't someone late posting that the interest check on the Old Baptist Church is due? I am getting angry about that again. The city enforces codes on seniors and disabled who can't afford what the city wants done, but that monstosity with numerous code, safety, and health violations just sits there. The city can't afford to fix it, so why do citizens have to fix alleged violations? What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

They should put a fence around it for safety to keep people out, but that is another code violation.

Andy Whiteman

Pat Casady said...

The old church is, I am told,
paid for, in full. No more interest
payments.
Now they have to get the money together to tear it down.
I am also told they are getting close to that too.

Andy Whiteman said...

Maybe I am wrong, but what I understood from the Mayor's Town Hall meeting is that the church would be paid off when the check came from Verizon next year. The intent is there, but I pay interest on my house until it is paid off. Maybe it is a moot point since it will be paid off.

As far as razing that monstrosity, a state grant is approved, but Mayor Bower was uncertain where the additional funds would come from. There was talk of applying for a Federal grant. Apparently the funds are not there yet. As far as I am concerned, it is all talk until the funds are available and I see work in progress.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Golly Gee Bonehead Bob has figured out what everyone else has known for more than a year that the Dick's Tires Homestead isn't working out. He even finally questioned the lack of promised development for 350 Live! Boy, that Raytown Post is right on top of things! And, to boot, the city clerk is now the savior of the city because she can fill out forms for "holding the line on insurance losses."
Whoa! What is next? Armageddon at Arrowhead? Oops! He covered that too, noting the Post's former owner was there enjoying the game with his son. Bet all the creditors left holding the bankruptcy bag for that guy were glad to hear he can still get out and enjoy himself!
Sign me A Post Subscriber No More!

Anonymous said...

Who filled out those forms for the city clerk? It couldn't have been her. All you have to do is watch this brainless individual to know that she is clueless. I suspect that someone is propping her up so she can keep her job. Right Michael!

Anonymous said...

To the anonymous poster who made reference to the Emergency Workers getting in each others way and also said that they run for the hills like they did in New Orleans... Are you an idiot or do you often blab on about things you have no experience in or knowledge of... Shame on you. In New Orleans a huge majority of public saftety personnel stayed... and are still there... and have you heard of an event called 911... where were they then....? well we know where alot of them are now... they are dead because of their sacrifice for doing their job... Shame on you. Your comments are offensive to all that serve as well as inappropriate and ill-informed. Shameful!!!

Andy Whiteman said...

Anonymous 11:06 is entirely correct. Whoever wrote the first post really needs to work as an emergency worker to find out what it is really like out there! The workers are not in each other's way. They are all doing a part of the job, working as a team. If your house is on fire, should one firefighter respond? That writer would be the first one to complain because it takes many WELL TRAINED people to do an effective job. There are many aspects behind the scenes the average person is unaware of as well as unknown hazards. When you see a fire or a traffic accident on the TV news, all of those firefighters and EMS personnel are NOT there just for TV coverage. They are doing an important job such as saving your life or the lives of your family/friends. The same applies to calls for the police. The public servants are risking their lives to save yours! Don't put them down! I used to be a firefigheter, EMT, fire dispatcher, and sheriff's dispatcher so I know about the work these public servants are doing. We are lucky to have them there for us.

Anonymous 1:45PM, when putting down our city clerk; please provide some facts to support your opinion. The job of saving the city money was done. If you think it was done by someone else, I think in all fairness there should be some facts.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

That is just but one part of her job there... Plus I am sure if you look hard enough the credit goes elsewhere... Can anyone name something else that she is responsible for and does well...

Anonymous said...

Good questions.... hmmmmmmmm

Anonymous said...

All you have to do is watch this city clerk and compare her to the ones that we have had in the past. No comparison to people like Karlan Curtis, Debbie Grant, Bev Rolf, and even Jill Huff, all who were knowledgeable and courteous public servants. They also were required to be residents of the city to hold this job. This one doesn't even live here. When you allow people like Sue Frank and Joan Graham to hire city employees, this is what you get. I rest my case.

Andy Whiteman said...

I agree that living in Raytown should be a job requirement. Quite frankly, I cannot understand why someone would drive that far for a job. That is a personal decision, but I wouldn't do that drive even for twice the pay!

As for work performance, many vague accusations are being made here which I translate the writer(s) meaning to be they "do not like this person." I do not know the individual(s) personally. Employees should not be hired/fired on a like/don't like basis. When challanging a person's job perfrmance, lets provide specific facts. If anyone is fired or disciplined, that person can appeal and there better be facts presented to back the action.

By the way, I do have conflicts with some city officials; however, I don't demand or suggest their firing. I may question their judgement, but poor judgement isn't reason for firing, otherwise I would have been fired for being dumb enough to move back to this State of Misery.

Andy Whiteman

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

To anonymous at 9:00Am, you rested your case without actually making any tangible points other than "this one doesn't even live here." Your argument appears to be that Sue Frank and Joanne Ellsworth (thats who I assume you meant my Joan Graham) hired her, so there is no way that you are going to like her. Apparently you also sit in her office and have sat in other people's offices on a daily basis so that you know who is a hard worker and who is not. Do you put any thought into the fact that Theresa currently does the work that used to be done by two of the people you listed and probably at a pay rate less than either of them? And on top of that, she got the City money back, which neither of the others could ever do.
Looks to me like you've got a bad case of Raytownitis, the City gets money back, and you bitch about the color of the bag it came in is.

Pat Casady said...

I have been reading about the city clerk in this blog for some time
now and frankly I don't see the point. I applaud her for getting the city money that it was owed.
As far as personality, who cares? Everybody is entitled to have a bad day or cop an attitude every now and then. She is till doing her job. Why ask for any more?

The real problem is elsewhere in this town.
We can not lose focus on a city employee that is clearly doing harm to the growth of this town. Who makes up new rules every day and boasts one business over another because a friend owns it.
A man that drives by another business and sees something that he doesn't like, but not breaking any rules and makes the owner change it just because he can.......He's the boss of the world and he's out to prove
it.
Don't you all think it's a sad state when you ask or hear about wrong doings by this person that his name doesn't even need mentioning?
Everybody, even City Hall, knows who we are talking about, yet nobody will do a damn thing to change it.
At least the city clerk is bringing in money, not running businesses out of town or trying to stop any from coming to town.

Andy Whiteman said...

I suggest a merrit raise for Theresa. She saved the city money and got a rebate because of her savings! Sounds like quality work to me. She is doing to work of 2 people and should be paid for the extra duties. Someone wrote that her pay is $40K per year. I don't know how true that is, but to me that is NOT a living wage and when I was able to work, I wouldn't work for that unless it involved night differential, Sunday differential, holiday work, and overtime. She deserves much more for what she does.
******************
Now lets move on and require the chair warming, tie wearers to live in Raytown and cut the pay back to a level affordable to the city (at least as they are resign and are replaced.)
***************
Why is it I see no requirement that the new Finance Director be a resident of Raytown? If they make the big $$$,$$$, they can afford to move!

Andy Whiteman

Salamander said...

The Salamander Here...Been out of pocket for a while so willtake a few minutes to comment on and about our city.

1. Get the city checkbook out, folks. The city needs to write another check to pay interest due on Sue Frank's Folly, aka The Old Baptist Church. It is the beginning of another month so the payment is due.

But fear not, dear readers, the mayor hassured us that the building is going to com down and the cost will not exceed one million dollars ... by very much..
Who is he kidding? Try l.5 million for the tear-down, and possibly a lot more.

As for Pat Riehle. At least he is now among the employed. A definite improvement. As for His
suggestions that the city erect a graffiti wall. It has to be one of the l0 stupidest things I have ever heard of. Where on earth do people get those stupid thoughts. I can see New Yorkers coming up with such inanitys but not in the midwest.

Think of it, taxpayers funds being spent to erect a wall so misfits, born losers, tattoed idiots and other low lifes can get their jollies writing and drawing pictures on a wall. Pat, my boy, that suggestion belongs in a collection of classics.

If we're going to spend money that way how about an alley where rapists can ply their trade or a specialsidewalk where those who like to spit can spit on the sidewalk with impunity.

With people whose mentality runs in the same stream running a city
council it is no wonder to me that Raytown is considered the armpit of the metro area.

If we'd had guys with the low brain power of Pat Riehle and Sue
Frank direct things at Normandy on D-Day I'll bet my last moment in the Sun we'd all be existing on a
diet of sauerkraut

Good thinking Pat. Tulsa will surely embrace your "graffiti
wall.

Andy Whiteman said...

Salamander, I wondered where your monthly reminder was. Glad to see you are back. I hope you are calling city hall and reminding them to make the payment. We don't want late charges!

The graffiti wall apparently works in some areas but we don't want that kind of low life attracted to Raytown. I would view one as an attractive nuisance with turf battles over the content.

I wouldn't guess the amount to raze the Olde Baptist monstrosity except to say it will be much more than we think. I suspect it will require a Federal permit due to hazardous materials. It is a shame that the city bought it and let it sit there unmaintained. I can think of several uses for it when it was in good condition such as a school, offices, or many small businesses. Yes, at one time there was a place for offices and small shops with plenty of parking! Why didn't someone have a plan when it was purchased? There should always be a plan when spending especially that much money.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Andy, Curt Wenson's plan was to redevelop the downtown. But his plan was all in his imagination. It was his quote "developers will be standing in line to buy this property" ( the old church) for development. Well, as we all saw the line was really short and not at all productive. And where is Curt Wenson today? Long gone, like all those developers that supposedly wanted the church.

Andy Whiteman said...

Anonymous 8:02AM,
In my opinion, Wenson was an idiot with good sounding dreams. I am glad he is no longer here.

No one will ever know, but I wonder how much money passed under the table and to whom on these failed development deals.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Andy Whiteman says that he values his "time" but he sure seems to waste a lot of it here! This site should be called the Bitch Blog cuz' that's all I see. Blah, blah, no action except for Mr. Cassidy, who tried to start a downown business association.

Anonymous said...

So, just exactly what are you doing? Bitchin about someone else bitchin about the lack of action with our local elected officials and city government. Your point being???? Go back and cry about MU or KU's loss ecause it is the end of the world as you know it!

Anonymous said...

The biggest problem is the City Administrator Miller. He has no clue about anything but his fat paycheck. He has created an environment where no one trust city hall. He can blame the past administration, finance personnel or code official for any wrong doing but ultimately he is responsible. He is good at pointing fingers but when he is going to take responsibilities. Employee has no trust in him, elected official has no trust in him. He knows that we can not get rid of him because it will cost huge amount to the city and tax payers. So, do nothing, create turmoil, provide false information, point fingers at hard working city employees, and if the elected official decide to fire Miller, He would be happy to accept huge settlement. How much more this town has to suffer? Miller is the problem Mayor. Public want action even if it is for a short term cost the city money but for a long term it may be the best decision you make. Please listen to tax payer, staff members and general employees and you will get the signal.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Stupid... Dec. 2...this is "bitch'in about bitch'in" according to you. I wasn't bitching, I was just making an observation about yahoos like you. Did I mention KU or MU? No. You did! So it must be you whose world has ended with wins or losses. Get a life and leave meaningful disussion to the grown-ups.

Anonymous said...

Boy, you really sound very intelligent, I am sure that you had everyone fooled as you really sounded vey childish with all your bitching about what everyone was bitching about. You really obviously need to grow up and get a life. FYI: Try to work on avoiding fights and confrontations, it is obvious that is what some of you extremely unhappy people want to do and you probably set that as a goal in life. I am certain that you will probably have to argue with me now with that 'I am right, you are wrong ' mentality now. Let it go!

Anonymous said...

What ward to you represent? Or are you one of the over-paid city officials?