Sunday, January 13, 2008

Actions Speak Louder than Words

It is a phenomenon that has happens each year. The Raytown Recycling Center located at the Joe Herndon Vo-Tech Center on 350 Highway had to shut down early last weekend because there was not any room left for recyclables. The center, which is open only two weekends a month, was inundated with Christmas recyclables. That means that many people kept their recyclables through the holiday weekend (in other words, two weeks) rather than leaving the material for their trash hauler. “We made certain all of our containers were empty before opening for the weekend,” said Dave Frazier, Assistant Public Works Director for Raytown. “The cardboard, paper and aluminum/tin can containers filled up quickly. The recycled glass container was also nearly full. We simply ran out of room for the material being brought in.” If ever there was a spontaneous show of support for recycling in a community, this is it. Raytowners have spoken quietly and eloquently with their actions. This was no organized effort, the need for a recycling center was, and is, self-evident. At a recent meeting of the Raytown Recycling Committee, Mayor David Bower told the committee that some City Councilmembers have suggested shutting down the Recycling Center. The center will have to be moved by next July due to construction of a new Walmart at the current location. Calls for closing down the center are irresponsible and nonsensical. Recycling not only makes ecological sense, it is beginning to make economic sense as well. The Raytown Recycling Committee has been hard at work looking for a new location for the center. Business interests have been contacted. There are indications that the recycling center will have a viable economic engine of its own – possibly paying for its own operation. “We are hopeful that we can bring a new site to the table by the end of February,” said Alderman Greg Walters, who is also Chairman of the Recycling Committee. “The more we (the Committee) learn, the more we are confident that Raytown has a bright future in the area of Recycling.” The Recycling Committee was formed last summer by Mayor Bower to find a new location for recycling center and to research and recommend recycling programs to the Board of Aldermen. What Other Cities are Doing . . . In 2002 the voters of Liberty, Missouri approved a recycling program for their city. The program set trash collection rates at $9.99* per month. The rates pay for weekly recycling curbside collection, monthly drop-off center recycling, and access to household hazardous waste collection. Liberty residents also qualify to participate in a yard waste collection program as well. *Rates have risen since 2002. Current trash hauling rates for Liberty are $12.31 per month. The average cost in Raytown is $15.00 per month. Rate information source, Mid-America Regional Council, 2006 Report.

137 comments:

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with this picture?

From the Kansas City Star, Sunday, January 13, "Which Burb Is Happy Town?

Raytown received the lowest rating of any suburb in its efforts to keep citizens informed and in customer service at City Hall. And, indeed, neither Mayor David Bower nor City Administrator Michael Miller responded to repeated email or telephone messages seeking comment for this article.

Anonymous said...

I agree with anonymous 7:45A AM. This is must reading for anyone living in Raytown. Great article by Jeffery Spivak. First of all what an insult to finish DEAD LAST, but the kicker is that our city administrator and Mayor Bower REFUSED to respond to the reporter's attempt to get a response for this article. Maybe Miller was too busy running all over the country looking for a new job and Bower was probably out of town as he is about half of the time. I think we should let Miller go and cut Bower's salary in half if he's only going to be mayor half the time.

They can spin all they want at city hall but the TRUTH is we're going down for the last time. Unless Bower gets off his A-- and starts doing something, we're DOOMED.

Anonymous said...

I use to Have deffenbaugh and paid for recycling then they drop program we need this recycling center

Anonymous said...

Those goof balls on the council just don't get how important recycling is to our citizens. I wonder just how many of them have ever used the recycling center?

sparky said...

Dang, 7:45 & 10:28 beat me to it about the KC RED STAR'S Article 'Which Burb Is Happy Town'.

Hey, 63% are satisfied with traffic flow here in Raytown, I of course am not one of the 63% especially around AM and PM rush hour times.

The City of Raytown deserved to place in the dead last spot because of the overall general attitude of the public servants at city hall, especially towards residents and current and potential business owners. Truesdale and Miller both need to go!

Someone need's to kick teeniebopper's Christine and Barb in the butt and get them to wake up to the harsh reality that recycling is here in Raytown, and it is here to stay, and they had better support it now before someone else like the county, state, or the federal government forces us into doing it, and if that happens it could cost all of us much more in tax money later on. WAKE UP AT CITY HALL!

Andy Whiteman said...

The fill up of the recycling center proves that curb side recycling is really necessary. If people save their recyclables for weeks to drop of at the center, obviously curb side is necessary!

I have no objection to paying $9.99/month for both trash collection and curbside recycling. Sounds like a good plan to me! I currently pay $16/month for trash only and I have very little trash--usually one bag and some weeks I have nothing to put out. I hope this can be worked out.

Re: Lee Gray's post on the previous string. Lee laid out a good plan of action. That is because Lee has EXPERIENCE as a business man. Raytown needs someone with experience and ethics no matter who it is.

From what I have seen at the BOA, a good number should be voted out at the next election. One of my Aldermen has lost my vote unless I see a change. Hopefully he will have an oponent otherwise there will be no one to vote for. If people really want change, it needs to start at the board. It is the board who is hiring the senior management (some of whom are aliens to Raytown). They are responsibvle for those they have hired.

sparky said...

Also, why does it take the city so much longer to develop and implement a new website? Could one reason be that noone up at city hall is computer literate? They cannot even maintain the existing website and keep it updated with current information.

Anonymous said...

The survey result is a shame. Lenexa has one of the highest property tax, per capita income and Raytown is at the lowest end of it.

Quality of life depends on income, economy, participation, and expectations. Looks at the last election results and think how many of us voted.

City's current web site is horrible, but so as Miller and Truesdale. What can we do?

Anonymous said...

This is the same survey which indicated that citizens are demanding more street lights and better street. So what we got, ten thousand dollars for new street lights after a huge discussion and ZERO dollars for OVERLAY.

Why wonder citizens are unhappy?

Why we spend money in survey when we can't even afford money for recycling?

Anonymous said...

This blog need an explaination from City leaders about not responding to KC STAR's request.

Anonymous said...

The survey was taken in early 2007. I have seen improvements in city services.

Anonymous said...

Big Barb and Christine are too busy out partying to really know what is going on with their constituents. Why aren't we dealing with recycling and smoking like our neighbors?

JWDT said...

Two more data points as to why people may want to leave or not move to Raytown. A line from an old song runs through my mind as I think of Raytown - "Is anyone out there" - Pink Floyd
1) Recycling - this is a no-brainer, guess the short term solution is to fill the landfill and pollute for future generations...btw - I was fortunate to drop my glass off early enough..my one thought leaving the parking lot was that we need a traffic coordinator, I literally thought I was going to get run over or into an accident during the drop off.
2) KC Star Article - actions speak volumes, lack of reply says it all. Even if you really do not have much to say, say something..take a note from the other area Mayors on this.

Way to go Raytown! Two more reasons to be embarrassed of or if you are certain people, to be proud of!
Justin Tomac

Andy Whiteman said...

Sparky, You have a point about the website. I don't think no one at city hall is computer literate. We need someone a step above that eg: WebSite Developer. That requires knowledge of computer languages such as HTML and JavaScript. I do my own website but it is not professional quality like the city needs.

The web development was put up for bid. I spoke with Mayor Bower some time ago and he assured me things would change when the contracter is selected. It seems to me there could be 2 issues 1)Maybe the low bidder is not the best, and 2) there is an issue of GIGO (garbage in garbage out). It takes someone at city all to iniate the updates.

Justin, Recycling is a no-brainer but unfortunately some of our Alderpeople have no brains. Without mentioning names, I think it is obvious who they are. Remember it at the next election. We don't need those people. A bag of popcorn doesn't influence my vote.

I was appalled by the lack of response by Mr. Miller and Mr. Bower to the KC Red Star! Mr. Bower was very articulate and I would have expected a response like, "We paid for the survey to determine our short commings. We have been working on improvements in the needed areas."

After seeing that article in the KC Red Star, I question will new business move to Raytown. Will people buy a home in Raytown?" If this happened 7 years ago, I wouldn't be in Raytown now.

Anonymous said...

Web site issue has been brought to Miller's attention so many times by so many people. It is not his priority. His priority is to find the job somewhere else and get out of Raytown. He has not seen the ball since kick off. What we have is an embarrassment.

Anonymous said...

That one small paragraph in the KC Star has done us more harm than anyone can imagine. The one where our mayor and city administrator refused to respond. You didn't see the other mayors RUNNING AWAY from the article even though their city may not have been at the top of the list. Ask yourself why would any business even consider moving into an area where there is so much ARROGANCE coming out of city hall. Maybe this is one of the reasons that we continue to lose population. MAYOR BOWER YOU MUST DO BETTER.

Anonymous said...

I don’t think your criticism towards Mayor is justified. He depends on the information from City Administrator. May be when question was asked our CA was interviewing in Wisconsin. This survey was done before he took the office by defeating Greg Walter by huge margin. I found him a nice gentleman who treats everyone fairly. Mayor Bower has the leadership quality and this town needs him. It will take some time to clean the mess we have

Anonymous said...

well the mayor would have to be involved and be around to make any difference which he hasn't.
Mayor Frank set the tone by having the BOA stay silent when questioned by citizens. Same-o, same-o. Mayor Bower has had plenty of time to get on track, listen to people and respond but instead we have a CA looking everywhere for another job, a Com Devel director doing little to nothing and on and on and on
give up people. nothing is going to change

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't it read "What another City is doing" instead of "what other cities are doing", since there is only 1 city cited? Ironic that it is the city where the Big Bad Curt Wenson went.

Problem is that recycling is a financial loser, and until that changes you can piss and moan all you want.

Andy Whiteman said...

Let me ask you one thing:

What would any employeer do when considering a prospective employee for am executive position such as CA?

Answer: Investigate that person's credentials and references. That includes public opinion. All an employer has to do is a Google (or other search engine search). There is also a blog search.

I am not being critical of Mr. Miller, but does anyone think ANY city would hire him after reading what is written in this blog? If you ask me, Mike is here until his contract expires. I sure hope he can find another job after that.

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...

RECYCLING

I know this will sound dumb but:

Walmart is promoting green with their flourscent bulb sales and energy efficient buildings. Has anyone from the city recycling committee thought of asking Walmart if they would use part of their property and provide employees to HANDLE the drive in recycling on a daily basis? This would show that they truly support THINK GREEN and attract customers. A person using the recycle drop off just might decide to shop at Walmart at the same time. That would be a big PR move for Walmart.
******
BTW has anyone thought of selling their cans? When we lived in KCMO we took our cans to a recycling place on Troost and generally received $3 to $5. In Denver, about 10 years ago, we took in 2 car fulls of cans and got a little over $80! They are making cans lighter but there is still money to be made. It might be a good project for a church, school, or Scout group. I have a closet floor full of cans that I will donate if someone wants to come pick them up.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

You "goof balls" who think recycling is really that important to most our citizens are way out in left field. Most of the tax payers in our city (if really honest) would place recycling just about dead last on the priority list of issues we feel are important. It's such a 'politically correct' issue that many people are afraid to publicly state their real feelings about it for fear of reprimand!

Anonymous said...

ON BEING GREEN:

Yes everyone is talking about how much that you can save energywise using the CFL's (Compact Flourescent Lamps) yet they fail to mention that they contain mercury. They also fail to mention that just about all of these lamps are made in china, and there is no telling what other hazardous substances are included with them. These lamps supposedly last 5, 6, or 7 years. I have had some of these burn up in less than a year's time.

Wal Mart could never do enough to get me to patronize their stores. They are anti worker, anti union, anti american. They do more to hurt the local economies that they become a part of by putting all the hometown businesses out of business. They break labor laws, they do not pay fair wages, they do not provide health care. The list goes on and on. Check out www.wakeupwalmart.com for the real truth about wal mart. Be a smart shopper, do the research. Buy local. Buy American first. Do your part!

Anonymous said...

8:26 anonymous, you probably like to throw all your garbage from the fast food resturaunts out your car window as you go down the road in your oil burner vehicle. Contrary to what you want to believe there is a lot more of a public awareness to the need for recycling now than there used to be. A lot more responsible individuals are realizing the facts that we cannot continue to be a disposable society. We cannot keep building new landfills. Fossil fuels will not last forever. We need to find new, inexpensive, and reliable energy sources. You have a choice, continue to be irresponsible and keep on doing what you are doing, or be a part of the solution and help do your part and recycle.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Bowers failure to respond to the KC Star, I witnessed him holding up his cell phone during his campaign and announcing that he could be reached no matter where he was! Most people who call him say he seldom answers and if he does it's three or more days later. (we will remember.)

Andy Whiteman said...

Anon 8:37PM, I agree with you. I buy CFLs to cut my electric bill. The problem is they are expensive and difficult to locate one that is bright enough for me. As for quick burn out, I learned not to put them in a light sensitive porch light. They turn themselfs off and keep flickering. All of that flickering burns them out fast! I never tracked them inside, but I doubt if I get 2 years out of one.

If I had a choice, I would buy NOTHING that was made in China. What irks me is I saw on TV that some of our prescription medicines are made in CHINA. Really ODD since the FDA won't allow us to buy from Canada because they can't quality control but China with their poisoned dog food is OK!

I was suggesting that Walmart be asked to sponsor the recycling as a PR move. They may think that people may shop there when they drop off recyclable items. I wasn't suggesting that anyone shop there.

Yes, I follow how Walmart operates. I saw on Nightline that Walmart built a new store in suburban Atlanta. They advertised 300 jobs and the ads were hidden in the back pages of 2 local papers. 10,000 people formed long lines to apply for 300 jobs! The economy must be really bad if people want to work at Walmart that badly. I wonder if Walmart plans to hire those who are laid off because Walmart forced their employers out of business?

Anonymous said...

To anonymous 8:26, If recycling is such a low priority in our city why did all the binds fill up so fast last weekend? I saw the BOA try to do away with recycling once and they faced intense pressure to continue the program. You are a FOOL if you think this program is not important!!!

Anonymous said...

Bower is more than likely screening his calls and using voice mail as an answering service. It will backfire on him one of these days, either a crisis with his real daytime job at HOK will rear its ugly head or a urgent crisis at city hall will develop after hours and he cant be reached. The mayors job is 24, 7, 365, not part time.

It has also been said that Bower will not pay any attention to anything written on this blog, or any other source for that matter. He will only respond either in person, by signed letter or email. No anonymous written items.

Anonymous said...

If Bower is screening or ignoring his calls that will get him in trouble real fast. That was Sue Frank's thinking, just ignore them and they'll go away. I'm seeing no real difference from the "do nothing" Frank administration to Bower's current performance.

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

If you go to KansasCity.com you can see how the citizens of Raytown answered 20 questions for this survey. On the bright side 78% are happy with overall police protection and 69% are happy with parks department. Only 18% are satisfied with Maintenance or character of downtown, what a shock. Here is the web address for the Raytown survey results. Way to go Public Saftey and Parks Department.

http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/story/440614.html?appSession=182648428401042

Anonymous said...

Here is a question for the chief of Police to answer. If his child was missing I would bet he would turn heaven and hell upside down to find them. Why wouldn't he do the same for Zach Gamble? The childs parents told you he would not run away still it was treated as a run away. Listen Mr. high and mighty he was someone son, brother, grandson and friend and you did nothing. It was a search party organized by his friends that found his body. Would it interfere with your holiday partying to look for the boy? I think it is time we remenber YOUR name on the ballot next election and vote for your oppnent. You need to be held accountable to someone for your actions another screw up by the city not making the chief of police position appointent by a police board.

G W Scheil said...

When switching to CFLs, a few hints from a long time (15+ years) user may help. Start with the heavy duty locations first, unless they are switched on and off frequently. The main failure mode for CFLs is their limited number of start cycles - typically 2,000 or so on cycles, but when running steady are good for 5-10,000 hours.

In my house, I use about 20 CFLs and replace maybe one or two a year. I had to return to regular bulbs in the hallway and bathroom because both are used frequently , but briefly, so CFLs died fast.

Brightness is no longer an issue - 150 watt equivalent bulbs are now common. I have one that rates over 250 watt equivalent and they go higher than that.

If the cost drops and the power increases, then LED lights could be ideal for those short, frequent locations, but not there yet.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't vote for Cathy Mack for school board. Anyone who dosen't understand the budget and has to ask the superdintendent of schools to explain it to her has no business on the board.

Anonymous said...

You are right her intentions may be good but just as Mayor Bower they need to let someone who is qualfied do the job.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Terry Landers is another big NO!!!! He is just another big YES MAN!!!! He can't think for himself.

Anonymous said...

I hear Congressman Cleaver is comming to town to make the big announcement that we have the money to tear down the FBC building.(Thanks to the federal governament) Gosh how comforting to know that not only did I paid for building but I also get to pay to have it torn down. Again the taxpayers are SCREWED!!!! So don't applaud Congressman Cleaver WE paid to tear it down!!!!!

Anonymous said...

We need to get rid of the women on the BOA they are stopping our city from going foward. And no I am not a woman hater just a wise and informed woman.

Andy Whiteman said...

G W Scheil, Thank you for your comments on CFLs. I put mine in areas that are lit for long times such as the halls which I leave on for hours at night because I only light the room I am in. If the hall is lit, I don't have to search in the dark for the switch.

The bedroom and bath burn out more quickly because they are on only brief times.

They work quite well in the garage where one burnt out after 7 years. I have 3 of them on the garage door opener to light the garage. 3 Regular bulbs would create an overload.

Where on earth do you buy the 200 watt equivelant? I shop Odd Lots and don't see the big ones there. I need at least a 250W equivelant for a reading light.

My office has flourscent lights (4 fixtures of 4 tubes each) but the idiot contractor who installed them used fixtures that make it almost impossible to replace the tubes.

Thank you,
Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...

G W Scheil, Thank you for your comments on CFLs. I put mine in areas that are lit for long times such as the halls which I leave on for hours at night because I only light the room I am in. If the hall is lit, I don't have to search in the dark for the switch.

The bedroom and bath burn out more quickly because they are on only brief times.

They work quite well in the garage where one burnt out after 7 years. I have 3 of them on the garage door opener to light the garage. 3 Regular bulbs would create an overload.

Where on earth do you buy the 200 watt equivelant? I shop Odd Lots and don't see the big ones there. I need at least a 250W equivelant for a reading light.

My office has flourscent lights (4 fixtures of 4 tubes each) but the idiot contractor who installed them used fixtures that make it almost impossible to replace the tubes.

Thank you,
Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Has anyone called Mr. Curt Wenson and Sue Frank to attend the event this afternoon with Congressman Clever. After all they are the ones who gave us this white elephant, and I think they should be honored.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 10:24, you are right about the women that are serving on the BOA. I will always support a man or a woman that is qualified. These women are poor excuses for elected officials and I only hope that we don't judge all women candidates for public office by the duds that are currently sitting on our Raytown board of aldermen. Losers!!!

Anonymous said...

Wenson and Frank should be honored for all the lies and bull sh-- they told the citizens of Raytown

Anonymous said...

To anonymous 8:24am:
The police report for the missing young man was filed in Kansas City, as that is where they live. Blame the KCPD not Raytown.

Kanga said...

Yeah, I was hacked off when I went Sunday with a pick-up load of recyclables. You can bet I will be first in line next Saturday morning.

And what is this talk about not having the center anymore? Have the bozos on the council who propose that idiocy ever seen the traffic at the recycle center? Raytowners care about the environment, and have to make an extra effort to recycle, and some on the board want to shut that show of responsibility down? Now that's a great example for our kids.

"Mommy, why can't we recycle in Raytown?"

"Because Christine White doesn't think we need to, honey."

"Does Christine White hate the environment?"

"Yes, honey-child, I think she just might."

Anonymous said...

FYI - the Lee's Summit recycling center is open m-s I believe from 9-3 for anyone wishing to take their recyclables. It is about 1.5miles south of Perkins past The Home Depot. It's not too far from Raytown's site.

Anonymous said...

Actually, that 1.5 miles is more like two miles from Raytown's eastern border, or, more like four miles from its eastern border.

Let's see, that means a round trip of up for eight miles to recycle!!!

Whatever harm you saved by recylcing would be negated by the amount of $3.00 per gallon gasoline you burn up.

Anyone else want to shut down the Raytown location?

Anonymous said...

Yes, it is located at lees summit's resource recovery park (landfill). The problem with that is that there is another reason to drive all the way out to lee's summit when they could have the drop off in Raytown.

Jackson County has a site located on Hillcrest road by the old Hyper mart and Bannister Mall. It is still open and they take everything Raytown takes plus batteries, toner and print cartridges, metal, steel, plastic barrels, etc..... FYI

I would prefer to not have to go a country mile to get rid of recyclable items so as not to use a lot of gas unless it is a planned trip somewhere then it could be on the way there.

Anonymous said...

Not 8 miles, I guess your Ferrari would burn almost 1 gallon of gas. Wait you might hit a stoplight and burn a gallon and a quarter.

Typical Old Time Raytowner, given a sensible solution and you have to bitch about it.

Anonymous said...

No.

What you have suggested is not a sensible solution.

It is an excuse to NOT do the job right.

Recycling and saving our environment works better when you make it convenient for everyone. Not just the folks in Lee's Summit or near the Bannister Mall.

Do the job right. Make everyone in Raytown proud.

Anonymous said...

8:42 pm anonymous probably thinks it is a sensible solution to drive from Raytown to Lee's Summit, Independence, or Blue Springs every time he/she wants to either go out for dinner, a movie, or for shopping in his ferrari that gets 2mpg also! Typical Yuppie scum!

Anonymous said...

Hey smartie, try eight miles from the eastern city limits of Raytown to the landfill on Hamblen Road, and that is one way via 350 and 50 to SE Hamblen. Check your facts!

Anonymous said...

When you're x-ing out alderwomen don't forget Marilyn Fleming. Now there's another wiener!
And, goofball, one shouldn't have to drive anywhere to recycle...if one has a progressive city.

Anonymous said...

PS. I have a Ferrari and that's not the kind of car one drives his/her recycling material in. (I use my Hummer) You Po'White Trash Raytowner!

Anonymous said...

The reason that Raytown has such a poor customer service record is because they are so understaffed that many employees are relegated multiple responsibilities that really should have a full time position devoted to them.

Unfortunately there is no room in the budget to hire the additional staff because most of us citizens and the BOA care more about street lights, recycling and the rest of the less important things rather than the utterly stagnant local economy.

Everyone wants to blame Sue Frank, Mayor Bower, CA Miller, and whoever else for all the city's problems, but I think that blame should lie upon the the former city administrator and partially on Sue Frank. Bower and Miller both inherited a financial crisis and wallowing local economy. Look at the businesses and millions Bower and Miller have brought into the local economy. When you have to rebuild the way Miller had to when the old administrator left you have to start from the ground up. Reviving the local economy and building a tax base is absolutely critical to bring money into the budget so that the infrastructure can be improved.

I'm also not worried that Miller has been interviewing with other cities. I've done some research, and apparently the average a Public Administrator stays at one job is 2-3 years (Miller was at his previous job something like 9 years). Public Administrators interview at other cities all the time, it's just that type of job. I considered going for an MPA (Masters Public Admin.) but after just a little experience with local politics I decided to go for an MBA (Ma. Business Admin.) because I would only have to deal with people whose main interest is making money and thus less conflict of interest. In local politics everybody wants something different, and people who don't even understand the position criticize you to no end, which is why employers don't look at what the city's residents think of you, but rather what you accomplished that most people probably don't know about.

People should really take a responsible and informed approach to their local government rather than criticizing what they don't understand and definitely aren't qualified to do themselves (6-7 years of schooling for MPA).

Anonymous said...

Don't get excited yet about the old FBC comming down if my memory serves me correct we still (the city) needs to come up with a chunk of change to get the job done. So I guess that means no streeet lights or streeet overlay for several more years. Great planning!!! Again the tax payers suffer for the stupid mistakes those at city hall have made.

G W Scheil said...

It seems that when you go beyond 100 equivalent watts, the cost of a CFL jumps. Both of my high power bulbs are the GE 2D series - shaped like a big flat double D. They require a GE designed ballast. One is designed to fit a standard table lamp & shade - 150 watt equivalent fom Westlakes a few years ago, the other is a 250 watt equivalent torchiere lamp from Lowes bought last year for 40 bucks complete that really lights up the living room. On line sources such as www.1000bulbs.com show monsters that go up to 200 watts actual - equivalent would be over 1,000, but I haven't actually bought any of theirs.

Andy Whiteman said...

Mr. Sheil, Thanks for the info. I will check Westlake first. I used to buy them at Big Lots but their stock is not dependable, their prices are raising, and they now usually have the lower wattages which are too dim for a hall or bath room or even reading. I guess they are OK if you are a mole. I have previously bought the 200 W equiv for much less than you quoted. That was long ago. Maybe I hit it lucky at BL. I need 100 W equiv for halls and baths and 250 for reading. (Actually I need 400W equiv but I also must have on 5 100W equiv on a ceiling fan at the same time. I hear on Rush Limabugh that the incandesent bulbs will be illegal in 2012.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

To anonymous 9 AM: The last thing city hall needs are more employees. Some departments they are falling all over themselves, example Finance. The ones we have need to be more productive. I agree with you that the Frank-Wenson administration is to blame for a lot of Raytown's problems. What I want to know if Bower and Miller have brought so much business to Raytown where is the revenue it is generating for the city. It just isn't there. Mayor Bower himself has stated that balancing the budget the next 2 or 3 years is going to be tough. Maybe we don't need these highly paid city administrators with all their degrees. It worked well for years without one, when the mayor took responsibility and we had department heads that lived in the city.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous 12:00pm:
I know for a fact that Miller lives in Raytown, because I know his neighbors, and I believe he had/has a kid in Raytown High (not 100% sure). As for how much money Bower and Miller have brought into the community, I can't really give you a specific figure because I don't know. What I do know as a business owner and from conversations with a lot of my colleagues is that from every level of government, from Federal, to State, to County, to local municipality, fiscal policies take a long time to have noticeable impact. Running around demanding Miller's head on a platter just over a year into his contract is absolutely ludicrous.

You and I have no idea what kind of a financial fiasco Bower and Miller walked into. The only thing we do know is that, according to how long the marketplace takes to respond to fiscal policies (2-3 years), most of the fiscal difficulties are due to the Frank-Wenson administration (as you agreed), and we haven't given Miller enough time (or enough leeway in my opinion) to accomplish anything that would be noticeable to the average citizen.

One example I can think of that was good for the community is Miller making sure that Wal-Mart stays in Raytown. A lot of people make a big fuss over how evil Wal-Mart is, but this city has an advantage in dealing with Wal-Mart. Why? Because we're landlocked by Kansas City. There is absolutely no way that Wal-Mart is going to abandon Raytown with a huge unfilled building in 5-7 years because Raytown has some of the lowest taxes in the KC Metro area, far lower than Kansas City. The existing Wal-Mart is an extremely manageable size to demolish or re-vacate (though probably demolish).

I think everybody needs to chill out about the Bower-Miller administration and give them a little breathing room and time.

Pat Casady said...

To Anonymous 9:00,
I'm not being critical of what you wrote but I have a question.
You said "people should take a responsible and informed approach
to their local government rather than criticizing what they don't understand
and definitely aren't qualified to do themselves."
What are the qualifications for the cities elected officials?
These are everyday people just like most us. Most have no clue how to run a business or a city government for that matter.
Most, once they get into office get a big head and forget the people they represent. All of a sudden they are political geniuses. They forget how to think for themselves and as of late what is good for the city and people in it.

I take offense to an elected official, man or woman, with absolutely no experience in business telling me how to run and do business.
As the people of Raytown should take offense the way their tax dollars are being flushed away by bad decisions made by some of these elected officials.

But the real problem is if you try to talk to these people and ask them why they do some of the things they do, they won't talk to you.
So you see all we can do is criticize them either by this blog or in the paper.

Anonymous said...

The city administrator MUST live in Raytown by our own ordinances and his contract. How can he be doing us any good when he's running all over the country looking for a job? And, yes we are paying his salary to look for another job. He would never make it in the private sector. They would have let him go as soon as they found out he was looking for another job. The department heads that work for Miller are not required to live here. They have no investment into this community other than to pick up their paycheck and go back to their city to spend it. If a Walmart is going to save our city then we're in sad,sad shape. Look at the type of retail that is going to Independence, Blue Springs and Lee's Summit. They're sure better than a silly Walmart.

Anonymous said...

Last week someone sent me an e-mail about the wonderful news item that the local NBC news channel had on about Raytown. I went to the sight and was laughing the whole way through it. The only business owners on the show were Ben Helt and Gunther. There were NO citizens spoken with so that they could give there opinions of how theys were going. The reporter talked about how Raytown was getting all of the younger people moving into Raytown because we have good starter homes (in other words CHEAP). In saying that it is indicated that they has no intentiion of staying here. Most of the time he spoke he was standing in the area of Mr. Goodcents and the background was the First Baptist Church across the street. Boy, I'm sure that left a good opinion of Raytown. To be fair he did show that the old Plaza was getting a face left.

What I think is sad is that city hall thinks that is all it takes to show how wonderful Raytown is. It did not take long for it to be shot down with the Star artical. How Sad!!!

Anonymous said...

You're right they never interview any REAL RAYTOWNERS, always some hand selected individual putting this spin on what they think is happening in Raytown. These two are part of Frank's ole cheering squad. They haven't got a clue of what it really takes to run a city. I tried to defend our city for many years but finally got sick and tired of it. At some point and time you have to face facts and the facts are they we are a dyeing community. I really don't think that anyone currently at city hall is capable of turning it around. So we either have to live with deteriorating neighborhoods, no street overlay, no curbs or streetlights, poor storm and sanitary sewer systems or move away like so many of my friends. Hopefully soon, before my home becomes totally worthless.

Anonymous said...

To Pat Casady,
Actually I meant the position of a Public Administrator, not the position of the elected official. Of course the elected official, especially here at the knitty gritty of local politics, where it means so much more to people, is an every day person just like you and I. I understand that and totally respect that the Alderman/woman who gets elected is going to feel more passionate about getting the roads and traffic lights fixed, especially if they live by an especially bad intersection. However, because these individuals are everyday people, they don't necessarily understand the intricacies of how to make the things they want happen, they just want it to happen. That is why experts, who must be unbiased, trained, and experienced in their fields must be brought in, not locals, to combine their unbiased expertise to the understanding that the elected officials have of the character, concerns, and specific needs of the constituents. I don't think the BOA should hire a local, I think it would be counter-productive to the city actually moving forward into the future, rather than stagnating in reminiscence on how good it used to be and how experts never used to be needed.
Miller has a very wide and diverse background of experience, I understand that he was in the military for quite some time, has worked in both the private and public sectors, and from what I've seen, has more of a big picture outlook in trying to revitalize the local economy. I think that's needed, I think the previous administration pandered too much to the little things that the BOA brought up and really cared about, despite the fact that it probably wasn't the most important thing that needed to be dealt with. That's just my outtake on the situation, take it or leave it.

Anonymous said...

Lee Gray says to anonymous above...
An "expert" has long been defined as "anyone who lives 50 miles away."
The Latin roots explain one as "an unknown drip."
Pretty much the same thing.
I think local people do have the history and ability to evaluate what has happened in this city. I know I haven't spent 21 years here without noticing many goings and comings, successes and failures.
The Chamber years ago commissioned an outside "expert" to interview citizens about the downtown, etc.
When I was asked what does the downtown need, I told the "expert" ... "A big tornado."
Master plans (I sat in on one), surveys, surveys, more surveys and outside experts (think the last 2 downtown developers which cost citizens $60,000 with nothing to show for it..) and I'm of the opinion we could have overlayed streets (like crumbling 63rd) and gone without all that "information" from "experts."

Anonymous said...

Well Lee, you think I'm wrong and I think you're wrong. I guess we're just going to have to agree to disagree on that one.

Anonymous said...

works for me! Lee

Anonymous said...

Nice to see a mature discussion here per the give and take above.
Peculiar, to me, that there are defenders here who say Mr. Miller hasn't had enough time in his job and that it is ok for him to be seeking employment elsewhere. Who takes a job and in less than one year interviews twice to leave it? He could have spent that time proving he can do the one he was hired to do here.
Tonight the KCMO superintendent of schools is being evaluated and could lose his job within a year of being hired. Why is that? Because people expect results from the over-paid superintendents, city administrators, and others.
Reminds me of the Citicorp $20 billion loss. The CEO is receiving something like $87 million as a buyout for ruining the company and investors.
Elitists believe some people are sacred because they have some education or such and such a position. Sacred cows remind me of the cloned ones which will soon be on our dinner tables: Same s---, different day.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about anyone else on this blog, but I for one have every reason to question authority, to ask questions, and to speak openly about any subject with regards to this city. I am a registered voter in this state, and I exercise my right to vote. That in itself makes me enough of an expert. Take your 6-7 year MBA and stick it you know where....

The high turnover rate at the city level is just like with most jobs nowdays. Everyone is either getting bored with one job, so they look for greener pastures or they are chasing the dollar, or just resume building. It doesnt take a degree to figure that out.

mr. whig said...

Well, well, look who popped out of the cake!

http://primebuzz.kcstar.com/?q=node/9469

Raytown mayor hopes to lift his city's low citizen satisfaction rating

Raytown Mayor David Bower has a hope and desire for the next time The Star compares citizen satisfaction levels among area suburbs: "I want to be one of the top-ranked cities."

That's because his town wasn't one this time. When The Star compared 19 area suburbs on 15 to 20 indicators of quality of life and city services (in Sunday's paper), Raytown ended up with the lowest overall average rating. A majority of its surveyed citizens were satisfied on average -- 51 percent across all indicators -- but that was far below top-ranked Lenexa's level of 79 percent overall.

The surveys were all conducted in individual cities during the past four years by the same firm, the Olathe-based ETC Institute, and all were based on random samples of more than 400 households each.

Raytown's survey was conducted last April. Of the 19 suburbs that The Star gathered citizen surveys from (some suburbs have not conducted the surveys), Raytown residents had the lowest satisfaction in the metro area in such categories as: overall quality of city services (57%), maintenance/character of its downtown (18%), efforts to keep citizens informed (39%) and customer service from city employees (63%).

"We're in a pit that we need to climb out of," Bower told The Star today.

Bower, who was elected last April, did not respond to a request from The Star for an interview before the article ran Sunday. But after the article ran, he apologized for not responding and wanted to emphasize that he expected the city to improve.

One notable example: Raytown's downtown. The city has approved a redevelopment plan, and as part of that effort, it recently received state and federal money for demolition of a church.

A reinvigorated downtown "will help with (residents') morale and sense of pride," Bower said. "We're making huge strides."

With recently hired new managers at City Hall and a renewed commitment to customer service, Bower said city officials would be working hard to boost citizen satisfaction levels for the next time a survey is done.

Anonymous said...

Good luck with that Mr. Day Late and Dollar Short Mayor Bower

Anonymous said...

Excuses, excuses Mayor Bower. Where were you when we really needed you to speak for Raytown? Another Funkhouser in the making.

Anonymous said...

Been that kind of last year and election, hasn't it?

Andy Whiteman said...

If Miller wants to seek another job, that is his right. The assumption is he is on city time. I question, is he on city time or taking vacation time for interviews. When I wanted to interview for another job, I used days off and vacation time and no one knew what I was doing. Using vacation and days off is the way is should be done and hopefully it was.

As one writer stated the average CA is in one place 2 to 3 years. I don't want to move that often but obviously he accepted it when he chose his career path.

I wish him the best of luck in his search.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Andy, The key was, no one knew you were seeking a job elsewhere. This guy is embarrassing the city by rubbing our noses in it. Like saying" I'm looking for another job and you're just going to have to put up with it."

Pat Casady said...

To anonymous 4:33
I understand what you are saying.
However elected officials trying to get street overlays and new
street lights installed are important to all of us, they are completely overwhelmed when it comes to standing up to devious developers and spokesmen for the likes of Wal-Mart as the record shows.

What elected person would give away so much city income for
such a long period of time if they understood what it was going to
do to this town? Why would they approve a contract that was one
sided and slanted towards a developer with absolutely no guarantee of performance and let him walk away with over sixty thousand tax payer dollars?

The reason?
Without the knowledge of how business works they could be talked
into it easily. Curt Wenson was no better, he fell for all the BS too
and sold it to the board.
The only difference is he and his hired buddies saw what they had
done to this town and they left. Leaving the Raytown citizens holding the bag.

I mean no disrespect for our elected officials. I'm sure they are doing the best they can.
But when it comes to big business and using taxpayer dollars
their decisions have hurt Raytown more than helped.
They made a deal with the Devil on 350hwy. and it's going to hurt
this town badly. You don't have to be Nostradamus to this coming.

Anonymous said...

I too wish Mr. Miller the best in his search for other employment. I'm for anyone who wishes to better themselves or find a job that makes them happier. But, he does put our city at a disadvantage in trying to find a replacement. It's a little hard to start a nationwide search until he formally announces his departure date.

Anonymous said...

I also wish Miller the best in finding what makes him happy, because he definitely doesn't seem happy with the situation here. I hope he neve sees some of the nasty things some people have written about him here this blog's forums. I think the personal attacks need to stop. We all need to remember that just because he's a high-paid professional, doesn't mean he isn't a human being. He's always seemed like a decent fellow to me, a family man like a lot of us.

Greg Walters said...

N E W S R E L E A S E


DATE: JANUARY 16, 2008

TO: RAYTOWN POST
RAYTOWN DISPATCH TRIBUNE
KANSAS CITY STAR

FROM: David W. Bower, Mayor

CONTACT:David W. Bower,
Mayor 816-737-6003

SUBJECT:Resignation
of the City Administrator


The City of Raytown announces the resignation of City Administrator Michael Miller. Miller, who has been with Raytown almost two (2) years, has resigned to engage in other educational and philanthropic activities.

In a memo to the Mayor and Board of Aldermen, Miller wrote, “The decision to leave was difficult due to the great professional management staff, the exciting projects we have completed and those that are just over the horizon. It is with mixed feelings that I submit my resignation. I am excited about the opportunities that lie ahead as I take a sabbatical from government work and follow a dream to assist with a local ministry project.”

Mayor Bower commented on Miller’s contributions to the City of Raytown. “His leadership, energy and passion have been great assets to the Management Team of the City. Our community has benefited greatly from the work that Michael has done in Raytown and he will be missed.” Mayor Bower further expressed appreciation for Mr. Miller’s years of service and wished him success in all his future endeavors.

Miller’s last day with the City will be Friday, January 18th. Public Works Director Mahesh Sharma will serve as Acting City Administrator following Mr. Miller’s departure.

Anonymous said...

With John Wiley no doubt!

Salamander said...

He’s BAACCKK”

By “he” I mean foul mouth Al Maddox, also known as Potty Mouth and as Raytown’s best known non-resident.

Foul Mouth’s latest foray into our city is in the form of letters to local papers wherein he extolled most recent accomplishments thru a long-winded listing of what he had spear-headed by way of improvements in his never ending efforts to pull out city up by its own bootstraps.

If you want to read the entire dreary, boring list, go purchase a newspaper.

The Salamander’s comment about the nefarious activities of Mr. Maddox and his minions will be limited to two items.

l. His carrying on about raising money to accomplish his many goals. Once more we were told all he accomplished with money he raised panhandling local residents and businesses. And, as he obviously feels was used to rejuvenate a town which he moved out of almost 20 years ago.

Now, I have nothing personal about panhandling and using the city as your impetus but I do have a problem with Maddox not accounting for either receipts of items, money, etc.

Perhaps the local aldermen should pay some sort of law requiring anyone who solicits in the name of the City to make a rational accounting of what they took in.

2. One item Maddox bragged about was the planting of 50 trees. Which he did,
In an area so restricted in space that any arbotist will tell you cannot support more than six or seven on the trees which his group planted. It is more than likely very few of those trees planted at 59th & Raytown Trafficway will live to reach maximum growth.

No matter. If the trees die, perhaps “FM” can sweep the town collecting more money for his worthy endeavors.

If that fails, he can maybe join our just retired city administrator in some of his philanthropic endeavors.

Anonymous said...

Foul mouthed Al Maddox needs to get a LIFE. It's so sad that he has to run around Raytown telling people about all of his "so called" good deeds. I AM SO TIRED OF THESE KANSAS CITY RESIDENTS trying to think they own Raytown. If you think so much of our city move here and pay taxes. If not, go home and shut up.

Anonymous said...

In reading Mr. Millers resignation am I right that he is only giving two days notice? I always thought that true professionals gave at least 30 days notice to prepare for a smooth transition. Usually this would be in his contract, is there no penalty for him leaving with only two days notice?

Andy Whiteman said...

Looks like Mr. Miller gave 2 days notice. We don't know what is really going on at City Hall and in Mr. Miller's life. Like what was said at the closed meeting? 2 days may be a courtesy. The resignation could have been immediate! My wife was screwed over by her employer so she gave less than one hour notice. In my field of work, 2 weeks were customary; but it was a Thursday and the new office needed me on Monday with a 3 day break in service so my notice was effective at the end of the shift.

My point is we are on the outside and are being critical with absolutely NO knowledge of what is transpiring on either side.

I wish Mike the best.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Mike seems like a solid professional with good business ethics, I'm sure he gave a full notice. The city probably gave him a courtesy in letting him finish Friday. If he had left them holding the bag it would have been in the press release. It was probably so the interim CA could get going. That happened to me once, I didn't have to work the final two weeks of my contract, but I still got paid for the two weeks.

Anonymous said...

One down, one to go. Would prefer Truesdale to leave.

Anonymous said...

Wonder if it was in his contract about how much notice to give? The problem is that these contracts always seem to benefit the employee and leave the city on the short end of the stick.

Anonymous said...

The fact that he's not even leaving for another job, but for a sabbatical, shows that there's a lot more going on than we know about.

Anonymous said...

Call me cynical but the spin by some of you here is faster than the revolving door hitting city employees in the fanny.
"Professional" is not two days notice especially where a "sabbatical" is concerned. Have my doubts about that but none of my business. Sabbatials (normally taken by college professors) are planned well in advnace.
Miller is a decent sort of guy but wasn't much of a city manager.
Hope that the BOA will seriously consider a part-time administrative assistant to the mayor instead of another over-priced administrator. But doubt that happens since everyone is so lazy. Do realize that $400 or so a month isn't worth a lot of effort but aldermen should have thought of that before seeking the ego trip. Same goes for the $1,000 a month mayor.
One thing that the new acting CA/finance director should insist on immediately is a state audit. There is definitely something "rotten in Denmark," as Hamlet said.

Anonymous said...

I am curious what you would hope to find in an audit? All City expenses are audited every year by a third party for accuracy according to the City budget. What else are you hoping to find?

Anonymous said...

Something certainly does not seem right about a 2-3 day notice to quit for a sabbatical. Perhaps the Mayor had enough of Miller's BS activities, and offered Miller a deal he couldn't refuse to let Miller go and get on down the road. The Mayor is a honest, stand up guy who gave Miller every opportunity to prove himself.

It is not the Mayor's fault that Miller did not seize this opportunity to prove himself a worthy City Administrator.

Anonymous said...

Bull---- Uneasy rests head that wears the crown.

Anonymous said...

Salamander, you obviously have no idea what you are talking about. Al Maddox had nothing to do with the trees planted along 59th Street and Raytown Road. The trees were donated by Aquila and planted by volunteers. They were then maintained by the Parks and Recreation Department; most of the trees are smaller ornamental varieties, Redbuds, Crabapples, Cleveland Select Pears and others. There are some larger varieties but they are on the top of the hill and along the back row of trees. Since a lot of the trees will stay small there is plenty of space for the trees. I guess you have never walked in a forest, trees are much, much closer than those are planted.


Informed

Long Memory said...

Those bloggers who want am aidit
of city finanace are right.

I recall some eons ago when Marion Beeler held sway. After he left office a citizens petition resulted in then Mayor Doug Hall having to order an audit of the city. Before all the fallout and dust settled, Beeler plead guilty to a number of counts of theft.

If the council is too gutless to order an audit they can at least change keys to city hall doors

Anonymous said...

FYI.... Most organizations will conduct an audit on a yearly basis and if a member or several members change on their board it is not uncommon for someone to request that an audit be done. It is usually a CYA thing. There should not be a problem with fulfilling this if it is requested.

Where people get the wrong idea is when people side step or tiptoe around the issue when it is brought up. When that happens, it does give one the sense of guilt as if maybe there is a little more to it than meets the eye.

If everything is on the up and up then there is nothing to hide now is there? Do an audit.

Anonymous said...

You are correct, the City Does an audit every year, by an outside accounting firm, so I am not sure what type of audit people keep asking for?

Anonymous said...

It is probably one that is conducted by the State of Missouri's Secretary of State's office. There has been discussion on this blog in the past of petitioning the Secretary of State's office it conduct an audit at taxpayer expense.

I imagine that there are some people out there that may believe that there has been some mishandling of funds and the like.

It actually would not hurt to get a state audit done as it has been quite a few years since that was done, even though there may be an outside accounting firm doing one every year.

Like I have said before, if there is nothing to hide, it should be welcomed with open arms!

Anonymous said...

Last state audit was more than a quarter of a century ago.
Watching city council meeting and Schapia made a motion to continue 353 discussion until Feb meeting.
There was no second, Ms. Attorney

Anonymous said...

One would think that the city attorney would look over any proposed employment contracts for the chair warmer positions and make certain that from the city's side of things that things would be written or included that would help to get out of a bad situation with no strings attached. Maybe that would be a smart thing for the city to do in the futute if they still insist upon having the chairwarmers even though the positions are unneccessary and wasteful.

Andy Whiteman said...

I agree with Anon 9:57 that the city attorney should look over or write the contracts for the chair warmers. Nancy has been here a short time and I believe that most of the contracts would have been written by Ms Graham an/or the law firm that contracted her services. Hopefully contracts will receive more scrutiny now.

As for what happen with Miller, everyone is speculating. All this is doing is starting a lot of gossip which may or may not be true. Gossip benefits no one. I prefer facts if anyone has them.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

We may never know the true facts about Miller's departure. The whole thing reeks of conspiracy and a governmental coverup.

Too bad Truesdale couldent go on a sabbatical as well... maybe then more businesses would be tempted to come here and boost the local economy, not Wal Mart. That is a death wish for the local businesses.

Anonymous said...

I read where Mayor Bower is trying to make up an excuse for not getting back to the KC Star about the article it wrote last week. Maybe he needs to put his wife to work in the Mayor's office, like Funkhouser has done. It sure seems to be working for the Eunk.

Anonymous said...

Here's the truth about Miller:
He REALLY went on a sabbatical, how long he's been planning this nobody knows. He's having some kind of a mid-life crisis, said some stuff about doing some sort of ministry work. There's a church or something somewhere in the Metro that he's going to do stuff with.

Anonymous said...

Food for thought Left the city Wenson, Estes, Watson and now Miller. Something STINKS!!!! Did they leave becasue there is no leadership at city hall??? It also makes sound business sense to have a state audit done. Is Bower afarid of what might be found??? Now let's take good hard look at Truesdale just what has he done for the city? As far as I can see nothing but cost the city alot of money. Maybe he would like to go on a sabbbatical with Mr. Miller.

Anonymous said...

Did you read your Tribune this morning. School district is after our money again. They say raises for the school employees you notice they did't say teachers!!!! Last time we voted the teachers were to get a raise and they DIDN'T. If this goes as it normally goes the top chairwamers will get raises and again the teachers will get what is let over---NOTHING!!! I say NO TAX INCREASE!!!! It's not that the teachers don't deserve a raise but for once make the district make the cuts less secretaries don't pay for teams (basketball team) to go out of town to paly ball ect. Lets us the taxpayers be in charge.

Anonymous said...

If Mayor Bower was smart he would initiate a state audit at this time. So it costs a few bucks, but I would sure rather see the money spent here than on some of the other crap the they throw it away on. It would sure put my mind to rest about any financial improprieties at city hall. Come on mayor, make that executive decision and go for it.

Pat Casady said...

First of all I have it by a very reliable source that Mr. Miller resigned.
So that's that. No conspiracy theory, he's gone for good!
The way I figure it for the people and businesses, four down and at
least one more to go.
Some of you may not like what has gone on so far, but I think Mayor
Bower is headed the right direction, and for that I thank him.

Anonymous said...

FYI everybody, I also have a very reliable source that tells me that Miller did submit a 60 day notice of resignation, as his contract dictated, and the BOA decided to allow him to finish Friday. Personally, I think this reflects very badly on the BOA, because it either means:
A) They are hiring poorly, which I don't believe that every expert they hire could magically be a bust, or (as I suspect)
B) They are chasing employees out of town.
In every BOA meeting I saw, Miller was asking for permission to do this or that, the BOA is chasing them out of town by not allowing them to do their jobs. You can't hire someone and then smother them, it's a sure-fire way to have absolutely no progress. However, it lets them point the finger at the employee by pointing out that everything went badly and then the employee up and quit. Maybe that's why they let Miller leave early without explaining that in the press release, that he had indeed submitted a formal 60 day resignation. I think the ones we need to be looking at is the BOA.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you that the BOA is not doing a very good job at hiring. Like so many have said on this blog, their are no businesspeople on the BOA. So until this changes look for more of the same old BS to come out of city hall.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of hiring how long do you think the new public works director is going to stay? I understand that he took a $10,000 pay cut to get back in this area. Bet he never even took his resume off the market. So don't be surprised when he submits his resignation. Another dumb move by our bright BOA.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone notice that the city Miller was interviewing for in Wisconsin was a much smaller city than Raytown? Bet he was going to take a significant paycut to go there. Evidence enough for me that the BOA is chasing employees out of town, just like Anon 12:02 said.

Anonymous said...

I would STILL like to know, what do you hope to find in a State Audit?

Is it just so you can sleep better at night, finding out that in fact, this City has no money?

Anonymous said...

The state conducts a much more THOROUGH audit than the annual one that the city pays for. The state can be directed by whomever asks for the audit what areas that need special attention. One example, are the contracts with the developers and Walmart. With so much turnover while all this negotiation has been going on, is the city adequately protected? Are there loopholes that may need to be corrected or are we going to be surprised some big mistake that shows up sometime down the road, that could cost the taxpayers. If I were one of Raytown's elected officials I would DEMAND a state audit just to cover may own A--. They are the ones who will be held accountable.

Anonymous said...

Lee Gray here...

Greg looks like your blog is better read than the newspapers.

Regards a state audit, I believe it should be mandatory in the sense that we haven't had one for more than 25 years.

Also to the questioner who keeps asking what everyone expects to find... I would say 1) We'll find out how Mr. Estes had that big dollar mistake before he decided on going to Liberty; 2) We'll find out how much is spent on perks, trips, dinners, retreats and more. Important that be made public because of all the cutbacks in city services.
Obviously the entire country is in recession and the tank. So we're not unique. But I do think the wrong priorities have been stressed while the city was going "broke," so to speak. We have surveys, we have big money spent on evaluating how city employees are doing and then lose the city administrator who wanted that.
When the going gets tough, the tough stop spending and work harder. Only way I survived in business all those years.

Lee

Andy Whiteman said...

AUDIT
If I was the new Director of Finance, I would DEMAND a state audit before I took over the position as a CYA measure especially with all that has been going on (or not going on) in Raytown.

HIRING
The BOA does the hiring of the upper management, but who hires the BOA? The answer is the voters.

City Elections traditionally have a poor turnout. That needs to change! I suggest that the voters look closely at the qualifications of those whom we are election. We need some new faces that are qualified to run a city as well as a business. Hopefully qualified people will step up. The problem is essentially this is a volunteer job. The position does not compensate for time spent. We need volunteers to serve on the BOA.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Low voter turnout....

A lot of younger people don't vote because they are quite simply not responsible enough to do their civic duty.

A lot of older people feel that their vote does not count. Or they feel that they may get choosen for jury duty, or some other excuse.

Most good employers will allow for time off early to go to the polls.

Really, there is not a good, valid excuse for not voting. If one makes it a priority in life they could take the extra 5 or 10 minutes out to do that. Leave for work earlier on election day and go vote or like I said most good employers will let you off earlier in the afternoon so that you can go vote.

What I always love to see and hear are the ones that want to whine, complain, and bellyache about elected officials and how they are doing things when they didn't even vote for anyone in the first place.

Anonymous said...

I see where the Raytown School District wants a 89 cents per $1000.00 value on a home. The Tribune says it will cost the tax payer $169.00 per year increase on your real estate taxes. Do the math, I thought it would be $89.00 per $1000.00. What is the $80.00 more for? Just another way to screw the tax payers out of more money. Remember, a $200,000.00 house would cost a home owner $338.00 more per year and some board members think the rate isn't HIGH enough! WATCH OUT FOR NEXT YEAR, I'LL BET ANOTHER BOND ISSUE TO BAIL THE SCHOOL DISTRICT OUT OF THE RED AT THE TAX PAYER'S EXPENSE!!

Andy Whiteman said...

CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT OVERLAY DISTRICT

This was published in the Raytown Post as a legal notice in wording similar to:

"Amendments in Sec 3, Sec 13 of Zoning Ord 206-69, AND Sec XIII & CHAP 26, Art. II Code of Ordinances"

Since I give my copy to a friend, I no longer have my copy to quote from, but since I had no clue what these ordinances are, I made inquiry at city hall and received a response that acording to my understanding this pertains to changes in the Central Business District.

From what I can tell in the document I received, the CBD is being enlarged along with other possible changes. This legal notice is being hidden from the public by identifying it as an amendment to an ordinance and not a change in the CBD which everyone would understand.

The scary part is the TOWN SQUARE OVERLAY with miniature lots of 20 x 50, a maximum 5 foot front yard, no minimum side yard, and no minimum back yard.

As I said, I have no clue what is really being proposed but apparently the TOWN SQUARE OVERLAY is a mixed use area. I can tell you that I would not buy a house in such a crowded area of small lots with houses close to each other. This will be an area that will become unfit to live in if you already live there. A 20 x 50 lot may be ideal for a very small business but it creates a crowded area and is unfit for human habitation. It appears that the city wants to create a nuisance by zoning.

I suggest that all who own property in OR NEAR what is the present CBD check this out. It looks like the city is trying to sneak one by the public.

NOTE: THE MAP OF APPARENTLY AN ADDED AREA KNOWN AS "RAYTOWN TRWY 63RD ST WEST" EXTENDS WEST OF RAYTOWN TFY, BREAKS OFF AND TAKES UP AGAIN AROUND 63RD AND BLUE RIDGE CUT-OFF.

I feel this appears to be something being snuck my the public with really no announcement except a barely adequate legal notice.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Some wonder why Raytown took such a bad rap in last Sunday's KC STAR, finishing dead last in their survey. One doesn't have to look very far to figure it out. Snow removal in the residential neighborhoods is being ignored AGAIN. It could have been pushed yesterday and the streets would have been dry by morning. Today they are snow packed and with temperatures dropping will become a sheet of ice for days to come. Another example is while watching Fox 4 this morning, they ran a story of a woman whose sewer had backed up and with repeated calls to the city she was ignored, until the "problem solvers" got involved These are basic city services that we seem NOT to be able to provide anymore. Sad to say we probably belong in LAST PLACE. Will Mayor Bower ever get a handle on these things and try to turn our dying city around?

Anonymous said...

What we really need at city hall is to eliminate the city administrator's position and bring back Willard Ross as mayor. We seemed to have good city services when Willard was mayor and didn't have to spend a fortune funding an unnecessary position.

Pat Casady said...

I don't think the answer is a new mayor. Mayor Bower is doing well
with what he has to work with. In deed what he was left with.
The fact is he can't fire the BOA, only you Raytown voters can do that.
Another sad fact is the Raytown voters won't do that. For the most part only the friends of the runners show up to vote and this is what you get.
It's a popularity contest.
Try and remember why most of these people were voted in.
None stated what they stood for or what they would do for this town.
Some even stood on their record....though I can't see how that got them in.
I don't pretend to know the answers but one thing I do know.
If somebody doesn't stand up and run for office that actually cares
how this city does business and cares about the people of Raytown
and how their tax dollars spent, along with, heaven forbid, listening to the people, Raytown will stay the same way as it has been for many many years.
I don't expect an elected official to know all the answers but it would be nice if they listened once in a while. It would even be a plus if they asked a few questions before they give away tax income that this or any other
town needs to survive.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:55 PM
The tax levy increase is 89 cents per $100 assessed value. The math is to take the appraised value of your house (as appraised by the county) times 19% to give you the assessed value. Divide the assessed value by 100 and multiply by .89 and you will get the impact on your tax bill. That is how they got $169 on a $100,000 house.

One other item I read was that the last operating levy increase was supposed to go to the teachers and it didn't. Actually, the district has not asked for a levy increase since 2000 and that one was for technology and utilities. I don't know how long it has been since they asked for money for teachers. This one had better go to the teachers (if it passes) or they will lose the support they do have for a long time.

Vote however you want but make sure you understand all of the facts.

Andy Whiteman said...

As Pat said and I said previously (in different words), most of the BOA needs to be replaced. There are only 3 I would keep, some I have no opinion on, and one is too new to have a record.

I again call your attention to the CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT OVERLAY DISTRICT which has a published legal notice as an amendment to an ordinance aparantly so that people won't protest. Does anyone have a comment or concern? How will this affect your quality of life and property value?

Anon 10:24 said, "Vote however you want but make sure you understand all of the facts." That is the way everyone should vote, but I question, does each member of the BOA understand all of the facts when they are voting, or are they saying, "We have more important things to do?"

Andy Whiteman

Mark Siettmann said...

Lee,

I hate to correct you but we are not in a recession. Not even close, actually. There is still quarterly economic growth, and a recession is defined by six months of economic decline.

On the audit: The cost is so great that "because we want one" or "CYA" are not good enough reasons. Generally cities (or citizens) call for a state audit to find a specific problem. Keep in mind, also, the scope of the audit. I doubt the typical state audit is as broad as some of you would want it to be.

Anonymous said...

Mark, you of course, are free to follow the traditional line on what defines "recession." I spotted the 1989-1992 recession a year and a half before the government admitted there was one. It's simple: 1) Low inventory on shelves and 2) Large bills (mattress or rathole money) coming out.
Considering the news today, it looks like your Republican president is a litle worried too, buddy.
Lee

Mark Siettmann said...

Yeah, well, Lee, I try not to redefine "traditional" economic terms to fit my argument. Are we in a slowdown? Sure. Headed for recession? Maybe. That is why our President proposed a stimulus package now, before we get to the bottom. You have to wish Clinton would have done that in '99.

Anonymous said...

No, had no faith in Clinton, either.
Money Magazine gal on Larry King just said if it "feels like a recession, it's a recession." Rules are made to be broken, eh, Mike?
Another quote was: "A recession is when your friend loses his house to foreclosure. Depression is when you do."
Beauty --- and economic theory --- are in the eye of the beholder. Lee

Anonymous said...

But, we had a budget surplus when Clinton was in office towards the end of his term. It didn't take long for Bush to create the huge budget deficit either. And the budget deficit was not created during Clinton's administration either like the Republican Spin Meisters said later.

The biggest reason that we are having all of these financial problems that we are having now are as follows:

The Bush Administration

The Big Oil Companies

OPEC

Big Business

The Republican Party

The loss of US jobs overseas and to Mexico

Corporate Greed (Pay less to workers, more money in business owners pockets

The Federal Reserve

Preadatory lenders

High Risk Mortgage Loans

The War in IRAQ

We definately need change in this country, and we certainly cannot afford another 4 or eight years of a Republican Presidency either.

Anonymous said...

Lee, you really are a crack-up. It always splits my sides to hear people say that the way forward is through a party whose political ideology thinks, "Well hey, since high taxes made all those evil, big companies outsource, why, we'll just punish them by taxing them more. That'll show 'em!" or, "Why, all those poor people who got suckered into an Adjustable Rate Mortgage by that wicked serpent hanging from an apple tree (aka Evil Mortgage Companies and Banks). And how dare they place all the reasons they shouldn't sign that mortgage contract on a piece of paper right in front of them and expect them to read it before they sign. Scandalous! Why, we need to bail out all these poor victims of their own financial irresponsibility!"

From each according to their ability, to each according to their need, eh Lee? Give Karl Marx my best next time you speak with him, will you?

Anonymous said...

I'll take Clinton's 8 years over Bush's anytime. We had real economic prosperity under Clinton, sure can't say that about Bush.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I would rather have Clinton anyday.

These Republicans really think that they are doing us all a great big favor by giving us some of our tax money back thinking that everyone is going to boost the economy by running right out and spending that tax rebate on all sorts of stuff. Here is a novel idea: try lowering crude oil and gasoline prices back down and paying people a living wage with benefits and decent employer provided health care instead of paying low wages, working people part time to get out of providing benefits, working people overtime and paying them with 'comp time' instead of time and a half or double time pay. The current administration if they could have their way would just love to destroy the middle class and turn it into the rich and the poor. Their global economy sucks.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and by the way, this next presidential election coming up make sure to elect a candidate only on an issue oriented basis. Remember, they might take our guns, they might be pro life or pro choice, they may be anti religious or homophobic.

We certainly would not want to look at all of the candidates qualifications and take into consideration economic stimulous now would we?

Andy Whiteman said...

What is the finincial status of Raytown City government? Where are the tax dollars going? Citizens need to consider these issues when going to the poles for both city and school district elections. Are the people in office qualified to manage a large sum of money?

Does is take an official government declaration for us to be in a recession? This is an election year. The government isn't going to admit to being in a recession. They ain't that dumb.

A friend who is a CFP (certified financial planner) and I both agree with Lee that we are in a recession. I have felt that way for quite awhile.

Adjustible rate mortgages do work if you manage your money. A financial advisor on the radio in San Diego recommended them back in 1984 saying that, "interests rates average out over a period of time and an adjustible rate can save you money if interest goes down." The trouble is interest won't go down. When the interest rates of mortgages was tied to the 1 year T Bill or the Cost of Funds, interest rates did go down. Now mortages are tied to the LIBOR (a London index) and I don't see mortgages go down.

The main trouble is people buy more than they can afford and their homes are foreclosed on. That is one reason that I am having a difficult time finding a house. I won't spend more than I can afford so that is one reason I am trapped in the State of Misery.

By the way didn't Clinton not have sex with Monica? Wasn't Clinton the one who didn't take action when the USS Cole was bombed, when an US embassy was bombed, along with several other acts of terrorism? Bush saw 911 as an act of war like Pearl Harbor and went after bin Ladin. Even though he didn't get bin Ladin, he took action against terrorism. I can't say if Iraq was right or wrong but it was felt that Sadam Hussein was a threat. According to history that area of the world has been known for nomadic war-like tribes. We can't change their life style. By the way didn't Korea and Vietnam take this long or longer? We still have troups in South Korea and I wouldn't be surprised if Korea or Iran flares up.

Red Dogg says that it is bed time.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Karl Marx here:
I've been talking with Lee but he's gone all laissez faire on me. Said he thought Bush was wrong to meddle with the economy and propose stimulus package as will only result in more debt.
I'm calling Lenin to see if he can't straighten Lee out.
Karl

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

Helmet Head here
Is Bush messing with the economy or buying votes for his party? This is election year. Looks suspicious to me. I will take the money, but I won't base my vote on it.

PS. Maybe Bush thinks a vote is worth much more than a bad of popcorn!

Andy Whiteman