Sunday, December 23, 2007

Legislation of Note at City Hall

FLIP-FLOP . . . . . . to make a sudden or unexpected reversal, as of direction, belief, attitude, or policy: The Raytown Board of Aldermen did a monumental flip-flop at its last meeting when it changed direction on two applications for a 353 tax abatement in Downtown Raytown. The Board tabled the ordinance approving the controversial applications at the request of Mayor David Bower. In a memo to the Board Bower wrote there was a need for a structured system to determine how the city should grant ALL tax abatements before moving forward with the legislation. He also expressed concern that some members of city staff may have made promises that were out of line with the grant application process. Two weeks earlier the Board had increased the grant application of two Raytown businesses from a ten year 100% abatement to a 15 year abatement. (10 years at 100%, 5 years at 50%). By tabling the ordinance before them, the Board and Mayor took corrective action in the best interest of all of Raytown. They should be applauded for doing so. RECYCLING EFFORT SET BACK Earlier this year Mayor David Bower appointed a Recycling Committee to study ways to improve Raytown’s participation in the area of recycling. A Committee made up of five members has been meeting on a regular basis since that time to find a new location for the city’s recycling center and to explore other venues of recycling. At the last meeting of the City Council the Committee’s efforts were set back by a 7 to 3 vote to NOT endorse a two year notification to the public and trash haulers of the city’s intent to consider curbside recycling for Raytown. State law requires the two year notification. Publishing the notification does not bind the city to any decision to support or not support curbside recycling. As Chairman of that Committee I was completely blindsided by the vote. I honestly thought that the motion would be made and passed with very little discussion. Aldermen Christine White, Barb Schlapia and John Hamilton led the attempt to block the motion. The reason they gave was that they feared that city staff would be too busy to spend time on recycling at this time. They asked that the question be held six months later. It was repeatedly explained to them that city staff would not be involved. That this was simply an opening of the door for possible legislation in two years, they still cast negative votes on the matter. The reason used by those Council members voting “no” on the motion is bogus. In fact, it could leave a negative financial impact on Raytown’s efforts to promote recycling. The Recycling Committee has studied funding possibilities for future recycling needs in Raytown. The Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) administers the funding for projects in the Kansas City area. The timing for applications for grants to fund the city’s relocation of its recycling center and future efforts may be at risk if the City Council does not reverse its decision. A representative from MARC will attend the January 8th meeting of the City Council to explain what is needed to participate in the grant process. HOW THEY VOTED: Voting YES – Jim Aziere, Pat Ertz, Greg Walters Voting NO – Christine White, Barb Schlapia, Jim Hamilton Joe Creamer, Charlotte Melson, CliffordSargeon, Marilyn Fleming

70 comments:

Andy Whiteman said...

Greg, please replubish this vote as well as other important votes at election time so voters will remember. I have memory loss so will not remember all votes. The public needs to see how alderpeople voted so they have the knowledge to cast their vote.

This is one issue that certainally will influence my vote.
********
I commend you for a job well done. It is unfortunate that the other alderpeople were unable to understand that while the letter of intent could be issued now with work on the matter delayed until the city was ready to proceed. The "more inportant" issues could be handled before curbside recycling is addressed. Now I wonder if we will get curbisde recycling which I feel is very important but can't be compared to the 350 Project or Downtown Redevelopment.

Andy Whiteman

mr. whig said...

booooooooooo! Recycling is kind of a quality-of-life issue. I realize I can always haul my crap elsewhere but I'd rather not. All of us in Ward 3 will remember this, Christine! A lump of coal to you.

On the other hand, here's a big ol' cookie to the road crews overnight; of course, I live on a main drag so my street is always at the top of the list.

Anonymous said...

Kudos to the Public Works Department in dealing with the winter weather. This department has followed now the proactive approach and proper planning. Our crews and their leader deserve appreciation. Good Job.

Anonymous said...

I wish the community development and administration learn from the Public Works Department.

Anonymous said...

Shame on you aldermen Schlapia, White and Hamilton for blocking curbside recycling efforts for Raytown. This is one of the issues that defines a progressive city from one stuck in the 50's. I'm sure that Schlapia and White will oppose another progressive issue that needs to be dealt with, such as the no smoking ban. These issues should be a top priority for a forward thinking city. Just color these 3 as part of the Good Ole Boy or should I say Good Ole Girl system.

Anonymous said...

Most of the people in ward 4 didn't like the way Barbara S. voted either. She has once again failed those of us in ward 4 and we will remember that. Some are making a lists of the times she has not even asked the people of her ward and boy is it getting long.

Anonymous said...

Wish good luck to Miller for his job search in Wisconsin.

laughing all the way said...

What Greg so conveniently forgets to tell you, in his little self-serving diatribe, is that:
1) curbside recycling is available to most of Raytown's citizens right now, and
2) giving the 2-year notice could be construed as him taking the steps to set up a "single-provider" trash service in our community in the future.

Point 1: Almost all the current trash service providers offer a curbside recycling program. If you'll recall, Deffenbaugh offered one for its Raytown customers until just a few months ago...they stopped it because not enough of their customers in the Raytown area took advantage of the service. In other words...it was not profitable. Make it profitable and the companies will provide the service.

In addition, there are a number of private curbside recycling companies out there for the asking...two of them regularly service folks who live in my neighborhood. Let your fingers do the walking!

Point 2: see Point 1 and, if there would be an effort to set up a single-provider service...who could be "forced" to provide curbside recycling...who pays for that? Do the citizens, who may or may not either want it nor take advantage of it? If so, is it through increased taxes, higher fees to the provider, subsidy by the city? Think about it.

After watching the BOA meeting the other night, I know one reason why Greg's plan was defeated: for the most part, Greg acts like a jerk! He treats his fellow Aldermen rudely, talks down to them and acts as if they have no right to debate, not even discuss, any of his recommendations. Perhaps if Greg treated them with the same respect he demands, some might be more inclined to work with him than against him Couldn't hurt to try.

As far as Greg's contention that "time is running out" on applying for funds from MARC. Nonsense. MARC distributes these funds yearly. MARC finds the funding available for the communities to apply for, administers the funding process for the governmental entities making the funds available, and continually keeps the surrounding participatory communities aware of funding and grant options available for them to take advantage of. This well does not dry up, nor will a lack of action this year on Raytown's part affect the ability to get funding for recycling efforts in the future.

Anonymous said...

To Laughing all the Way. Those 7 aldermen who voted AGAINST curbside recycling are going to have to explain themselves at election time. Whoever is keeping that list just add this one on. SCHLAPIA, WHITE and the others are againeers when it comes to recycling. On the smoking ban I'm sure too that these two would oppose it, because it would probably get into some of their hangouts.

laughing all the way said...

You had better read Greg's post again...they did not vote against curbside recycling. They voted against sending notification that it COULD be considered as an action plan in 2 years. Big difference.

As far as smoking goes, people have already voted on that issue...if you don't like smoke, go spend your money where there is no smoke!

Mr Whig...one of the primary tasks for Greg's committee is to find a new location for the recycling center on 350 when the Mal-Wart project starts up. Any progress on that issue yet? Hmmmmmmmmmmm

Anonymous said...

I don't remember voting on the smoking issue. Believe Laughing all the Way is WRONG again. These votes just prove one thing, that the majority of our BOA are out of touch with reality. I hope that person is keeping that list up to date on Schlapia and the others. At the rate the 350 project is going there doesn't seem to be much of a hurry for a new location.

Anonymous said...

To LAUGHING ALL THE WAY. You sure know how to put a spin on something (the vote on recycling). You've got to be a POLITICIAN.

Anonymous said...

If Greg will work with the other board members then he may accomplish something. He does come across as abrasive and takes shots at others. Instead of being divisive if he works as a team player then this town will move forward with positive results. Otherwise we will continue to see people come and go.

He has been on the board for number of years and should know how politics work and how things get done. We always wonder why people are leaving Raytown; well Greg needs to see what his actions bring.

Yes we heard about the heat in the kitchen example but people need to know that pointing fingers at others examples leads to fingers being pointed back at them. So my suggestion is to become part of a solution rather than becoming or pointing at the problem(s).

If you have a better suggestion please bring it on.

Anonymous said...

By ROD STETZER
Tuesday, December 18, 2007 10:00 AM CST

Four finalists have been selected to be the second city administrator in Chippewa Falls.

The finalists, who were determined at Monday’s Personnel Committee, are:

-- Randy Reeg, the city administrator in Thorp since 2005.

-- Michael Miller, the city administrator in Raytown, Mo.

-- Steven Mokrohisky, a senior program manager for the Milwaukee County Department of Administrative Services.
“We will be interviewing them in early January,” said Greg Hoffman, the Personnel Committee chairman.

The interviews will be done over two days. The applicants will get to spend time during the day with the city department leaders and be interviewed by the council in the evening.

“I’m looking for someone who has two things: they have to understand today’s needs for the community, and they also have a vision for the future,” Hoffman said.

The salary for the new administrator will be in the $80,000 range, Hoffman said.

To see the entire story – use this link http://www.chippewa.com/articles/2007/12/18/news/780y.txt

Andy Whiteman said...

I wasn't aware that smoking in businesses was now an issue in Raytown. I don't understand why it should become an issue.

I don't smoke, but I believe in freedom of choice. If a person doesn't like smoking in a business, they can go elsewhere. Why should the city be allowed to dictate where a person may smoke?
*****
The Public Works crews are doing an excellent job with snow and ice removal. They are making the State of Misery a little less miserable.

Mr. Sharma has demonstrated superior management skills. I recommend him for City Administrator should that position become vacant. I actually favor abolishing the CA job, but if it is kept, Mr. Sharma would be a good person for the job.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

TEAM PLAYER= SUCK UP= STATUS QUO

We sure wouldn't want to have anyone that would ever question the board's intentions, and we surely want all the alderpeople to vote the same way, just like a bunch of puppets!

I for one am glad that Greg won't hesitate to tell it like it is and stand up for what is right. And he isn't even representing my ward.... I wish the alderpeople in ward 5 had the intestinal foritude to break from puppetmania as well!

Maybe the reason that one develops an abrasiveness is having to deal with some of the incompetent goofballs that are on the BOA! Bunch of morons!

Anonymous said...

Andy, wake up the dangers of second hand smoke is a big issue all over the metropolitan area. Raytown aldermen as usual have their heads up their ___ and are ignoring something that most other cities have already dealt with.

Andy Whiteman said...

Anonymous 9:51, I am aware of the dangers of second hand smoke. My point is it should be personal choice. If a person objects to smoke, he/she doesn't have to patronize that business. It would then be up to the owner to decide if smoking is allowed.

What is being done about carbon monoxide caused by idiots who leave their cars and trucks running? I saw one delivery truck unattended with the engine running. When I found the driver and told him he was polluting the air, he refused to turn it off. There was a business name on the truck but I couldn't find a number to call with a complaint.

If the board can worry about smoke, they should be concerned about idiots running motor vehicles for no good reason.

I am more concerned about air pollution. I am afraid the EPA may clamp down on this area and require emmission inspections on vehicles.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Our city administrator interviewed in Alaska because he "always wanted to live there". I wonder if he always wanted to live in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. Ya think he might be trying to escape from Raytown?

Anonymous said...

Well, we all know where Mr. Miller will be in early Jan. Off running around Wisconsin on Raytown's dollar. Why would the city council not just ask him to resign so he can turn his attention to looking for a job full time. If he is gone so much it only goes to prove what others have been saying on this blog. Do we really need a city administrator?

Anonymous said...

With all of these high dollar employees leaving or trying to leave Raytown, Mayor Bower is a fool if he doesn't PUSH FOR A STATE AUDIT. It's the only responsible thing to do.

Mark Siettmann said...

The board's vote was simply poor judgment. Our committee voted unanimously to recommend the city write the notification letter becuase not doing so tied our hands.

As I explained afterword to several board members; would you start putting the time and effort to look for a house you knew you could not buy for another two years or more? Uulikely.

Our committe only wants to shorten the amount of time for implementing any changes we recommend and the board passes.

As for the community recycling center, we are hard at work looking for a location. If "Laughing" has a suggestion we would be glad to hear it.

Greg Walters said...

Some intersting comments about the recycling issues prompts this post.

One person wrote that the Recycling Committee is supposed to be looking for a new location for Raytown's recycling center.

We are. We have considered over 10 sites. We are down to two.

Six of the original sites do not qualify for grants. The two we are considering do qualify.

But the decision is not only ours. It will take the cooperation of different government entities to bring everything together to make it work.

The Recycling Committee has met with one of the parties involved. We will be meeting soon with the other group.

Be patient. We will have a new location -- but we want to improve on the old operation. We believe we can and are moving in that direction.

Greg Walters said...

Another blogger wrote that MARC gives grant money out annually.

Yes, they do. They take applications in June. They award them in July.

Do the math. If we wait six months, as requested by Alderman White, we will miss the 2008 - 2009 grant cyle. Effectively pushing Raytown back one year for consideration for grant money.

We have been doing our homework on the Recycling Committee. There is an opportunity for Raytown to capture part of the grant dollars for 2008 - 2009 for us with our new recycling center.

Trust us. We want this to work.

The application for the grant(s) are more complicated than simply asking for the money. But the Committee needs direction from the Board of Aldermen before it can proceed.

I urge readers to contact their Board members and ask them to reconsider last week's vote!

Anonymous said...

White is a moron. Can she even count? Would you want this person representing you in a real estate transaction? Her hatred for Greg has clouded her vision. SO SAD.

Anonymous said...

Re: city administrator in Chippewa Falls. Absolutely unbelievable!
What reasonable organization would standby and let a senior management person job hunt without readying for the inevitable changes?
Look he’s going to leave; it’s just a matter of time.

The Mayor and BOA should be proactive in this matter to ensure that City operations are not now, or in the future jeopardized by Miller’s unprincipled conduct as City Administrator.

Is there not some legal language in Miller’s employment agreement stating any disparaging behavior by the City Administrator is grounds for termination? This folks would certainly fall under that category and void any severance package Miller feels entitled to.

It looks to me that Miller is rubbing it in the face of the Mayor and BOA with his on going job hunt.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mr. Siettmann for you explanation on the recycling. If our BOA doesn't accept citizen committees recommendations, it's no wonder we have a hard time getting people to serve in these capacities. The BOA wants to have complete control.

Andy Whiteman said...

I don't think the Board had poor judgement on the curbside recycling issue. MY OPINION IS THEY SIMPLY DIDN'T UNDERSTAND THE ISSUE of the fact that the letter of intent is a 2 year state requirement that would allow the city to inact such an ordinance AFTER 2 years.

Unless, they reconsider and change their votes, I hope all of the NO vote alderpeople are voted out at the next election. The voters need to speak.
***************
As for Miller, it is not illegal to seek employment elsewhere. It is perfectly proper as long as reasonable notice is given if he receives a job offer. I have done it my self twice and was hired twice. I see nothing wrong with it. I suspect the questions he is asked will be, "Why do you want to leave Raytown?" and "Why to you want to work here?" Maybe Miller has issues with the city and feels he can put his skills to better use elsewhere. I don't blame him and wish him good luck.

If Miller leaves, that would be a good time to abolish the CA job and not hire another tie wearing, chair warmer at big bucks. That position is totally unneeded. If you follow the link to the Chippewa Falls news aritcle, scroll down: a blogger there also feels the job is unnecessary.

Andy Whiteman

laughing all the way said...

anonymous 12/23 4:24

Of course you don't remember voting on the smoking ban...it has not been brought before the BOA! And you won't get to vote on it. That is not how our 4th Class city operates.

Currently, you vote on it with your feet and your pocketbook. You are free to spend your money whenever and wherever you want to. If you don't want smoking, go somewhere where there is none allowed!

Mr. Seittman: it is not my responsibility to identify sites for you, that is your (and the committee's) responsibility. I'm sure you'll nail it down in good time. I was only making a point that that was one of the committee's focus areas.

Anonymous said...

Laughing All The Way just doesn't get it. Maybe you should check out what all the PROGRESSIVE cities are doing about addressing smoking bans in enclosed places. Talk about someone being "out to lunch", you take the cake!!!

Anonymous said...

As for the non smoking ban this BOA will never pass it. 7 out 10 of the board members smoke as well as the City Adminstrator so for get about it ever going any where with this board until this they are out of there.

Anonymous said...

The reasom the BOA doesn't ask the city administraot to leave is because they will have to pay a very large severance to him if they fire him and he knows it.

Anonymous said...

I think that the city should install speed bumps on the residential streets south of 350 hiway and the proposed development to cut down on the older adults that should know better than to speed in the subdivisions and the young fearless adults/adolescents that don't know any better and wipe out in peoples yards, driveways, and houses. I bet if it were happening in your neighborhood you would not like it at all! There are children and people walking in these areas. That is why there are posted speed limit signs that say 25 or 30 mph! I am also in the Southwood area and I am sick and tired of the crap! If you must travel at highway speeds, get on the hiway and do that, not on the sidestreets. I don't care if you are running late, leave earlier. Be responsible. Save a life!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Aldermen Schlapia, White and Hamilton for blocking curbside recycling efforts for Raytown. This is one of those issues that defines liberal, feel good crapola. It's a huge waste of time and money. I very seldom agree with these aldermen, but this is one time they actually did the right thing.

laughing all the way said...

anonymous 12/24 12:27

What don't I get?

That smoking bans are on the increase across the nation?

That some of the so-called progressive cities in the metro area are considering it (as well as Raytown)? Or already passed legislation?

That second-hand smoke can be as bad for you as smoking?

Tell me....what don't I get?

What you don't seem to get is that you have choices on where to spend your money. Right now...today. If an establishment allows smoking, and you don't want to be around smoke..GO SOMEWHERE ELSE!!!!!

When businesses that allow smoking realize that they are losing business to areas where there are smoking bans, then those businesses will change their practices!

You currently legislate that through your purchasing habits.

What don't you understand about that?

Andy Whiteman said...

This is one time I agree with Laughing All the Way. Leglislation is NOT necessary. We vote by where we spend our money. With Raytown wanting new businesses, a smoking ban is not a good idea. Maybe businesses would relocate to Raytown because there is NO smoking ban.

There is too much legislation controlling our lives. Next there will be laws controlling what we may eat. It seems to me these progressive people are leaning to a fascist society.

Anonymous 5PM, I agree with you about people driving too fast but speed bumps are not the answer. They are a nuisance and you can't even drive the speed limit over them. I suggest calling the Police Department dispatch number and advise the traffic Sgt. of the situation. The PD can establish enforcement in your area and write some tickets.

Maybe I am dumb, but where is South of 350 HWY? I know we have E 350 HWY, but 350 HWY actually runs north-south, so you are either east or west of 350 HWY. The address system here leaves a lot to be desired.

Merry Christmas,
Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

As Tiny Tim said: "God bless you all!"

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas to all who participate in this blog, especially Andy and Pat. Thank you Greg, for providing this forum for an exchange of ideas on important city matters. It sure is a lot better than any of a our current newspapers are doing. Have a great day and a wonderful holiday season!!!

Anonymous said...

Think of Raytown Road as one of the main North South routes through Raytown. It also crosses 350 Highway which is labeled eastbound and westbound respectively. It is common with most native Raytowners to say "South of 50 Highway" oops, it used to be US Route 50, "South of 350 Highway" or "North of 350 Highway".

So, when I stated south of 350 highway, that is exactly what I meant.

It is now Missouri Route 350 and has been since I believe the early eightys when I-470 was completed and US Route 50 followed the new Interstate before Unity Village.

As for traffic enforcement, it has been brought up to their attention numberous times all to no avail. It is and has been a troublesome ongoing situation that many residents have complained constantly about. They will step up their enforcement for a short time, and then it slacks off. They also seen to think that the problem is limited to high school age drivers, so they will run radar during those times when the kids get out of school. It happens round the clock, and unfortunately, the main culprits are adults and young adults running errands, getting to daycare to pick up kids, and going to/from work, basically people that should know better.

Anonymous said...

I'm a little sick of the people who smoke that don't want their rights infringed upon but what about those of us who don't smoke and our rights are you not infringing on ours. How about our right not to die from your smoke and also our childerns rights. It is obvious that you do not care about yours. My mother-in-law did from her husbands smoke and NO other reason she never smoked. Who ever the smart ass is that said that those of us "who don't smoke can go some where else" I feel the same way about you.

Salamander said...

Greetings and Readings all you bloggers.

Just a reminder. To keep your wallet handy. The end of the month is here. Means it’s time to make another payment for the purchase of the Baptist Church, aka Sue Frank’s Folly.

Not to worry, however, Mayor Bower has promised much action regarding this fiasco.
Don’t know when we will see some action but I’ll bet the Chiefs win a game before anything tangible occurs.

On to other issues.

Recycling. I am not surprised b y the council’s action. Raytown’s Council has always acted like bunch of ninnies when it comes to sensible legislation. Every progressive
Community in the metro area has or is working on a recycling program. Not Raytown.
Not by a damn sight. We actually had one councilman express concern that if a recycling program was enacted some city employees might have to do some work.

I would suggest you Raytowners who care show up at the next council recycling meeting and tell the naysayers to progress what you think.

As for the individual who wrote that Deffenbaugh rejected a recycling program because it was not profitable. How could he know? Is he Deffenbaugh’s bookkeeper? The man obviously was just making noise, not saying anything that made sense.

Smoking. The Salamander does not care to enter this argument for the simple reason that he believes in individual rights. If we ban smoking, how about lipstick or perhaps smelly deodorants or beer. Look at all the drunken drivers you do-gooders could get off the road. The list, once you begin these incursions into our rights, is endless. Some of the bloggers should think before they write.

That’s it for the year. Just remember this: The Baptist Church interest payment is due in a couple of days.

Happy New Year.

The Salamander

Andy Whiteman said...

Just a reminder to get out your check books if you haven't done so already. Property taxes are due 12/31. If you pay at City Hall, the city gets to keep part of it for providing the service of collecting it. No need to stand in line. Just drop it in the same outdoor slot where you pay your sewer bill. A receipt will be mailed to you.

I have no clue of City Hall will be open 12/31, so you better check that out if you are one to wait to the last minute. I was surprised they were open Christmas Eve. Maybe it was because of complaints in past years. I am not Scruge, but I appreciate the fact our City workers were working on Christmas Eve (unlike some other cities). FYI: When I worked, I worked in 24/7 lines of work. I worked the holidays and weekends which allowed one of my coworkers the day off.

Andy Whiteman

Pat Casady said...

I have come to the realization that if Greg Walters could line the streets
of Raytown with gold at no cost to the taxpayers this bunch of people
we have as representatives would find some way to put it down.
Do I like Mr. Walters as a alderman? You bet! He was one of only three
that would even talk to me about way we downtown business owners
were being railroaded out of our property. The rest were "Yes" men for
Curt Wenson and the developers.
The only way these people could surprise me was to actually do something
"for" the people of Raytown.

As far as the smoking, I can't tell you how much I would rather not agree
with "Laughing all the way" but right is right. If you don't like smoke go
somewhere else.
I would rather see someone driving towards me smoking than someone
that has had too much to drink. But nobody seems to realize that drunk drivers
kill more people than second hand smoke. Drinking is OK because
most law makers drink and in recent years most have stopped smoking.

I too quit smoking eight years ago. But until it becomes an illegal substance
I am against all rules and laws against smoking. I don't need the government
telling me where I can and can't go.
It's all political. Remember when Kansas City was trying to put a ban on
smoking? They tried to write the law as to prohibit smoking in all places
except the casinos. What was that about? It was about money!

Anonymous said...

I hate to disagree about the quality of snow removal from our streets. Many streets south of 350 were not salted, sanded or pushed. Today they are sheets of ice, especially the east west streets. Just wondering what happened.

Anonymous said...

City Hall will be open on December 31, 2007.

Andy Whiteman said...

I agree with Pat that smoking can be made illegal when tobacco is declared an illegal substance. I really doubt that will happen because there is too much tax money coming from that weed! They tried making alcohol illegal at one time and it didn't work.

Anonyomus 10:08, I suggest you call public works. I believe the number is 737-1064 and speak with them. My understanding is residential streets are last to be done. That is the proper way to do it. I live on the corner of a feeder street and a frequently used residential street connecting a main trough street and the feeder street. There are residential streets in my neighborhood that are so slick that I am afraid to walk my dog on them.

Street cleaning in Raytown is much better than in KCMO. I was in my old neighborhood looking at Christmas decorations last night and the streets were perfect for ice skating. I have lived in other cities and I don't expect snow removal except on arterial and possibly feeder streets. Albuquerque, NM is lucky if they clear the interstates. Roswell, NM has no snow removal equipment. I hear and see the city crews out 24/7 during storms and really appreciate their hard, exhausting work. We are lucky to get the service provided in Raytown. It makes this State of Misery a little less miserable.

Anonymous 10:15, thanks for your report. People can still pay their property taxes at City Hall until closing time on 12/31. The city will receive a small percentage for the collection service.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Best way to pay your taxes is online, saves everybody a lot of hassle.

Andy Whiteman said...

PS. Anonymous 10:08, if you are the same Anonymous who has an issue with speeders, the good side of the ice is they better slow down or they are more stupid than we thought!

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...

Anonymous 11:34 makes a good point but the only way they except payment is by electronic check. There is a charge for using a credit card. I do NOT allow anyone to deduct from my checking account. I neet that piece of paper to keep track of things.

Besides, if you drop off a paper check at city hall, the city gets revenue from it. Might as well help Raytown out. My dog and I drop off our tax payment and sewer payment about 8:30PM when it is convient for us.

By the way, I attempted to renew my license plates online. The DMV said they were too busy to send my stickers so I had to go to the local office and pay a 2nd time. The stickers finally came after the expiration of the old tags so I was issued a refund.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

no, not the same anonymous, but the speeders apparently are more stupid than we all thought, especially when they hit the ice, tore up the yard, and tore up their rear tire and wheel. Learning curve???

They still haven't worked out the bugs with all this new technology yet when it comes to online payments, we are just testing it for them. It is better to walk in your payment as far as I am concerned and the city gets a few extra bucks to boot.

Andy Whiteman said...

Anonymous 5:12PM, it sounds to me like you could report it as a hit and run accident if they didn't stop but I guess if they tore up their tire and wheel, thay had to stop. Anyway it is a reportable accident (of stupidity) and they could be cited for driving at an unsafe speed for conditions, careless driving, plus some probably some other charges. Either their insurnce rate will go up or they can pay the damages themselves. No matter, it will cost them some $$$$$.

As for online bill payment, there are many different types and I learned while working at AT&T that if you pay on line using some bank systems it MAY mean that you do it online with the bank, but the bank mails a check and you don't know if it will be mailed and received in a timely manner.

I am like you and prefer the old fashioned paper check so I can track it myself. The only time I pay online is if I order online and sometimes they still give you the option of mailing a check.
***************
By the way everyone, there is a Special Session BOA meeting at 6:15PM 12/27 to
1) Appoint City Attorney Nancy Thompson as Acting Deputy Clerk and
2) a resolution authorizing an employment agreement between the City of Raytown and Jeremy Willmoth as Finance Director

That is the only info I have. All I can comment is I hope that Mr. Willmoth is a Raytown resident to intends to become one. We don't need aliens managing this city. We need management whose actions have a direct reaction on their own living conditions and tax impact.

I don't know if I will be there or not. It depends on if mechanics can resolve a broken garage door.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I read where ole Christine White-Kinman is trying to put a political spin for her WRONG vote on the recycling issue. Sorry Christine, you can't take it back. She makes the excuse that our city staff is just soooo busy that we seem to be able to only do one thing at a time. If we can't start multi-tasking then we are never going to make any progress. That's why we have let our code enforcement go down the tubes. How many years have we been told that downtown redevelopment was coming? With leadership like hers and those other goof-balls, this town is going nowhere.

Anonymous said...

The City of Raytown has a lot in common with the Kansas City Chiefs organization with king Carl Peterson at the helm. It must be a regional affliction to keep believing that all these good things are going to happen with little or no effort put forth. Maybe it is in our water or the air that they breathe.

Time is ticking away. Is Wal-Mart really our savior or are we fooling ourselves again with all of these fancy dreams of multi-million dollar redevelopment plans and developers that come riding into town on the white stallion with the glorified sales pitches only to bolt and bail after they get some more easy money from the gullable administration?

Come on Christine, Barb, and friends, can't we really get to work or are you going to be like Herm and Carl, a bunch of BS and nothing to show for it? Get on the recycling band wagon!

Pat Casady said...

Let's see, Greg writes an article about the "Claw Backs" that
involves friends of most of the board, and the next meeting whatever Greg brings up for a vote is turned down.
Politics? I wonder.

I wouldn't be a bit surprised that it was talked about and agreed to before the meeting even started, after all that's the way Curt taught most of them.

As I have said before, I don't have anything against Mr.Page or
Mr.Knabe. In fact I admire what they are doing by fixing up their property.
I hope they get a tax break but, it has to be fair.
In other words if one person is given a special deal then
everyone should receive the same deal.

As for concentrating on higher priority items........well lets just say the board
hasn't had a great track record on that either.
Redevelopment has cost taxpayers tens of thousands with no results, Raytown won't receive any sales tax from Wal-Mart for twenty three years, this means
Raytown will lose the twelve percent they now collect and get this, if the new
Wal-mart doesn't collect enough sales tax to pay for their building and parking
lot along with the new school building, the taxpayers have to make up the difference. Not to mention the purchase of the old church.

I don't think the decisions that have been made in the past shows much promise for the future do you?

Anonymous said...

The Mayor and the Board continue to make promise after promise about redevelopment. And while we wait our town becomes more and more trashy each day. While Lee's Summit is getting a new Macy's and a J.C. Penney's we're stuck with a Walmart. Where do you think people are going to shop? These guys at city hall continue to come up on the short end of the stick. What a bunch of losers. It's no wonder that we are loosing population.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of loosing population, The latest state of Missouri figures show Raytown loosing about 500 residents a year while the progressive cities around us, Lees' Summit, Blue Springs and Raymore are gaining over 1,000+ per year. Makes me want to sell my property before we hit zero.

Anonymous said...

We need to contact the editor of the Raytown Tribune and inform him of the city limits of Raytown. There were about 4 or 5 business that he said were the Pillars of Raytown that are actually located in Kansas City not Raytown. Another BIG screw up was the redevelopment of Raytown and look at all the good things going on. Look folks all the building that is going on is at our epense. Example the fire stations our tax money, 350 again at the tax payers expense. Come on they must must think we are stupid not to know that WE are paying for all this crap.

Pat Casady said...

There are communities around the country that don't have
a Wal-Mart or a big box store in them and they prosper
very well.
I think if Raytown would just cleanup and take care of what they have now
they wouldn't need a big box store.
Make the neighborhoods clean and safe, don't put up with any cra....stuff
from undesirables and people would start moving back to town.
There is already a movement to make the downtown better and we can
all see the Raytown Plaza's progress.
All we really need is a city government that doesn't try to run people
and businesses out of town. Representatives that actually care about
the people and businesses in their wards but most of all get rid of the
people that are bringing this town down, we don't need them.
As I was writing this a customer of mine came in and told me he tried
several times at City Hall to talk to them about opening a business here
and they never got back with him.

It may be too late though.
If a big Wal-Mart is built on 350hwy. there will be more empty buildings
and property values will go down and this great little town will fold up.

I truly feel bad for Mayor Bower. He has walked in to a mess that in all
probability can not be fixed.

Anonymous said...

I am afraid what Pat is telling is true. The city got into such a mess that there is no way out. It is a gamble and long term debt for the residents. When you see high ranking city official leave this town or planning to leave, it raises more red flags.

There is no body at city hall right now who can provide the right answer about the whole Wal-mart fiasco. It may be ture that some of the folks including elected officals who got us into this mess already left and some are planning to leave.

Pat always point out toward one individual. My question is: Why that individual is still working at city hall?

Andy Whiteman said...

Anonymous 2:20PM, I am unsure which individual you are referring to, but if it is one of the tie wearing, chair warmers other wise known as department heads, apparently they are under contract. It could be very costly to fire one of these people.

Actually to look at it another way, it may be less costly to fire that person than to pay for more blunders and not getting more businesses to move into Raytown.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Andy, you are right, it would cost to fire this individual, but I believe it will cost us MORE IN THE LONG RUN, if we do nothing and allow this person to stay.

Anonymous said...

I would remind everyone that there is more than one "Raytown" in the USA.
Apparently we're hearing from our Raytown, Mississippi confederates when we read about all the great ice and snow removal on the streets.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be nice if the aforesaid person decided to move on as others have done?

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...

Anonymous 1016, Everyone is really going to be confused if we find many of our writers are from Raytown, MS! Can they really have the same problems as we do?

That explains why one of my insurance companies addressed my mail to MS instead of MO.

Seriously, the Public Works people have done an excellent job of clearing the streets. I saw one clearing a residential street today. I also saw on the news that if you live in KCMO, you might get one swipe down the street, but not to the pavement and not curb to curb. I was driving 63rd St from KCMO on Christmas and the right lane eastbound was so poorly plowed that cars were swerving into the left lane. We are lucky to have this snow removal service. I have NEVER seen it in any other city.

I have emailed Mr. Sharma and Mayor Bower suggesting that food and coffee be provided to those working long shifts of street clearing. I think vouchers good at Sonic, Arbys, Wendys, McDonalds, sub shop, and the coffee shops would be in order. When I worked in 24/7 offices we either had catered meals during snow emergencies or if that was impossible, the vending machines were free.

I know people will complain about the expense, but if the worker can stop grab a bite and get a break it actually represents a savings in time and safety. The city could probably work out a discount with the merchants for quanitity.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Andy what's the color of the sky in your world?
When the first bad weather hit in the metro area, the TV stations went to interview the street superintendents in KC and none were available...they were out helping plow the streets.
For years (that you haven't been here) KC has had far superior street clean up during snow and ice.
Two Saturdays ago I followed a KC snow plow from Brookside to Raytown and once in Raytown not one of your heroes was in the site and the streets here were s---
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
As far as the "feed them:" Let them eat cake

Anonymous said...

I must give mixed reviews about our snow removal. The snow before this one they never even hit our street and it has an incline that is sometimes difficult to climb. They did finally send a plow down it last night, but it was so frozen and packed, that it didn't do much good. The city policy used to be that ALL streets were hit at least once within 24 hrs. after it quit snowing. There's still room for improvement.

Anonymous said...

If you have not seen the movie "Walmart the cost of low price" it is a must see. I saw it on a cable movie channel about two weeks ago. It is amazing what it can do to a city. This is a website for the movie. http://www.walmartmovie.com/

Andy Whiteman said...

SNOW
Anonymous 11:23PM, We are comparing apples and oranges. You were there on a different night.

True I haven't lived in KSMO for quite some time, but I go over there and see the same conditions. I don't need to live there to make an observation of conditions.

The strange thing is that normally I am very difficult to please, but I am extremely pleased with Raytown snow removal. Maybe that is because it is a service I don't expect.

An Anonymous complained of no snow removal south of 350 HWY. Maybe the service varies by neighborhood. I suggest calling 737-6064 to make an inquiry about your service.

WALLMART 350 HWY BLUNDER
I would like to see a disclosure from Aldermen and city officials (who were involved with the Walmart issue) if they own Walmart stock, have family members employed by Walmart, or any other conflict of interest. If there is any undisclosed conflict of interest, I believe the agreement could be declared invalid.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

ATTENTION TAXPAYERS We are getting ready to be hit with another school bond. Here are a few facts we need to remenber come voting time. This Christams break the basketball coach at South took his players to Poplar Bluff to play in a tournament. Who is paying for the gas for the vehicles to get the players there and back, who is paying for their food and lodgeing and are we paying for administration to do the same. If we are we are fools. There was a tournament in Liberty we could have played in, why did we have to travel accross the state to play? Don't get me wrong if the event has some learning merit to do it, I would be all for it. Let's see if the Board of Education address this one. I say no tax increase until we get some answers.

Anonymous said...

Andy makes a very good point about a potential conflict with the Walmart deal. I would be very interested to see if any of our elected or appointed city officials own any interest in Walmart. How about the Mayor asking for a full disclosure on this issue.