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.