Sunday, January 6, 2008

Three Seats up for Election on Raytown School Board

Three seats on the Raytown School Board are up for election this April 8th . As of this date, four candidates have filed. Three of the candidates are incumbents, Rick Moore, Cathy Mack and Terry Landers. The forth candidate to file is former Raytown School Board member Dean Bray. Potential candidates can file for the School Board at the Raytown School District Administration Building located at 6608 Raytown Road. The administration offices are open Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Since the school board positions are elected at large, the three candidates that receive the most votes will be win the seats. Candidates must be registered voters living within the Raytown School District. There is no filing fee. Clarification . . . A regular contributor to this blog, Mr. Mark Siettmann, asked if funds set aside for storm water mitigation not used for that purpose could be used for other purposes, such as downtown redevelopment, etc. In response to his question I wrote back that the money was set aside from bonds to correct problems where storm sewer water over-flowed into sanitary sewer systems in Raytown residences. An anonymous contributor wrote to correct my post by saying the money was for use in cases where storm water infiltrated sanitary lines. The distinction between storm water getting into sanitary is a minor point. The simple fact is, that unless the stormwater overflows, it generally does not infiltrate the sanitary line. The anonymous blogger went on to justify the expense as it does pay for needed repairs to keep sewage out of homeowners basements. For the sake of clarity, I do not recall anyone saying the program was a bad program. As for myself, the record is very clear, I supported and voted for legislation making the funds available. My comment that the problem may have been over-stated is based on the relatively low participation in a program that literally pays for correcting the homeowners problems. The comment that unspent funds must be used specifically for sanitary sewer funds as outlined by the bond covenants that provide the money is correct. The formula for payout of the funds provided by the anonymous blogger is also correct.

63 comments:

Andy Whiteman said...

School District Parent, I think you should run for the School Board. You point out facts that sound well researched. We need someone on the board who knows the facts. If you decide to run, please tell me your name so I may vote for you.
As another pointed out, I am against the tie wearing, chair warmers. The teachers who are really doing the important work should receive a raise. If the budget was cut from the tie wearing, chair warmers; there would be much more money to spend on necessary things.
*****************

There is quite a bit of comment on the quality of Miller's work. Ask yourself who is really responsible? From what I have observed at BOA meetings, Miller does not manage without asking permission. At almost every meeting, he is asking the board for direction (permission) to do something or to buy something.

If you hire a man to manage, then allow him to manage. With the condition that this city is in and Miller's having to ask the board for everything, I can understand why he is seeking employment elsewhere. I have been to interviews and one question is, "Why do you want to leave your present job?" I sure would like to hear his answer to that question!

The position of CA is totally unnecessary and a waste of money unless that person will be allowed to manage. I wonder why this city hires a professional manager and doesn't allow him to manage? It is a waste of money to warm that chair!

Miller requested a staffing study. It sounds like a good idea to me. It may turn up a manager who is not allowed to manage and/or determine the job is unneeded.

There are 2 departments doing code enforcement (and I heard there may be a 3rd department). I reported a blatant code violation. I received a response containing wording, "I think" and "I believe that" which leads me to believe that person really DOESN'T KNOW." After several emails, I was advised that he was a building inspector. I sure wonder why 2 or 3 departments are doing the same job when people in the other departments appear to not know what they are doing? Each department should handle its own work. Maybe a study would determine which departments should be doing which job. I think it is a waste of money to send a building inspector out on a zoning and code violation.

Anonymous said...

Code enforcement is a total joke in our city. They harass some people to death and the real problems you can't get them to act on. No uniform enforcement. I sometime believe it depends on what kind of mood the officer is in on a given day. These type of employees should be replaced. A total overhaul of codes is needed.

Anonymous said...

Greg, still have to correct you. Most things here are written as opinion, and that is cool, but you wrote this as fact "The distinction between storm water getting into sanitary is a minor point. The simple fact is, that unless the stormwater overflows, it generally does not infiltrate the sanitary line." Nothing could be further from the truth. The drains that the storm mitigation funds are designed to remove, add water to the sanitary sewer EVERY TIME it rains, or snow melts, any time the ground is wet. Now what is true, is that most people have these connections, don't know it, and never have a sewer backup. So it would be percieved that there is no problem. Except the people that do back-up because of all the extra water, and the fact your sewer rates are based on all of that extra water. If you don't think this is a big problem, get inspected maybe they'll find you have one of these connections.

Andy Whiteman said...

Anonymous 9:47, I totally agree. I already told the BOA that all codes need to be reviewed to delete obsolete and unenforceable codes as well as rewriting other to make them clear.

Codes are not written clearly and are left to the interpetation of the person enforcing them.

I called City Hall and told what I was doing with my fence did not violate code. About 5 months later I get a violation letter. The first person obviously did not know what she was talking about or the enforcement officer didn't. That is the problem with 2 departments doing code enforcement. I learned to make them put it in writing so they can't say it is a violation.

I think they enforce codes against some and not others which is discrimination.

Do we need 2 departments to enforce codes?

Anonymous said...

Interest comment about the Mayor taking pictures from city hall.

Isn't she the same mayor who stole the charter books out from the library?

Could we have a serial thief on our hands?

Greg Walters said...

Your "correction" is about to be corrected.

First of all, consider your attempt to put words in my mouth a failure. I did not say that storm sewer mitigation is not a problem. For that matter, no one else did. Or, as you "factually" comment, a "BIG" problem.

But the simple truth is that unless the water backs up during heavy rains the "problem" usually goes unnoticed. This is especially true in residential situations.

Nor is infiltration into sanitary lines a problem peculiar to Raytown.

The city does do periodic testing to find infiltration into lines. But it is not limited to those lines around residential houses.

The numbers do not lie. The amount of money spent on fixing these "problems" is a lot less than anticipated.

Therefore, it can be honestly said that the "problem" the money was used for was probably over-stated.

I don't know who you are, but I strongly suspect that you had a hand in creating the "numbers" that were over-stated.

None the less, it is a good program. I am sure you will agree that it is better to be over-funded than under-funded.

Kind of a silly argument, donchyathink? After all, it is what it is!

Pat Casady said...

I can't believe I'm saying this but......Raytown needs a City Administrator.
However, Raytown doesn't need CA's like the last two.
The first was a spin doctor and the last started looking for another job almost before he came to work here.

The fact is, Mayor Bowers didn't have anything to do with the hiring of these two people. He was given the task of dealing with this.
He also inherited some other people he has to deal with that are
highly incompetent in key positions. Throw in a few elected officials that don't have a clue and you see what he's up against.
I guess time will tell but, I am optimistic about the right thing being done.

Anonymous said...

It's time for Mayor Bower to step up and do the right thing. He'll soon be in office a year and no REAL changes have taken place at city hall. The two" dead weight" employees are still there, there is no fair enforcement of codes, and our neighborhoods are falling apart. Just looks like a continuation of the failed Frank administration. If the Mayor doesn't act soon people are going to lose confidence in his ability to lead and he''ll end up a failed mayor like the last two that we have had. Hoping that the Mayor does something SOON.

Andy Whiteman said...

Anon. 9:32am, Come on, do you expect miracles? Give the man some time. Remember the office is not unilateral. The mayor must work with the BOA to enact change. As you may have noticed some of the BOA don't understand or comprehend the situation. The mayor cannot order change on his own even though we wish he could, but that is not how our system works. I have noticed that he had kept meetings more on focus. That is like electing a Republican President and a Democrat Congress and complainig the President is at fault.


About the dead weight employees. From whose preception? Yours? the bloggers? How does Mayor Bower feel about it? Are they under contract? It could be very costly to violate the contract. Even if there is no contract, there can still be coastly appeals. Think about it. On the other hand, it may be less costly to dump these employess and pay them off to get rid of them!

I have spoken with Mayor Bower. He does NOT pay attention to anonymous bloggers. If you have a complaint, I suggest you contact him. A previous blogger stated how to make a complaint against a city employee. I suggest you and others follow that procedure if you feel that strongly, I suggest you put your complaint in writing, get it notarized, and send it to the mayor. (I suggest sending it via accountable mail so you have proof of delivery. IE Certified Return Receipt is legal proof of delivery. I use the USPS "Delivery Confirmation" which provides a computer scan upon delivery because it is cheaper.)
****
As for storm water infiltration into sanitary lines, I spoke with the person who was doing the inspection several years ago. The problem is the city is paying for filtration for large amounts of storm water which does not need filtration. The volume made me think a storm sewer was cross connected into the sanitary line. I was told that a parking lot was discovered with its drainage connected in the sanitary sewer. That is pretty costly and runs our sewer bills up!

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Yes Andy, maybe we should expect a few miracles. The Mayor can do much WITHOUT the BOA. And if he doesn't realize this he needs to study the 4th class city statues and consult with the city attorney if he needs guidance. I don't believe that Raytown can survive 4 more years of the same.
Don't get me wrong I would like to see Mayor Bower have a successful term, but right now things don't look too promising.

Anonymous said...

Hang on there, Greg.

First you say "The simple fact is, that unless the stormwater overflows, it generally does not infiltrate the sanitary line."

I believe this to be false. I believe that sump pumps and even roof gutters are, or have been draining directly into the sanitary line. Weren't these among the residential situations that were supposed to be addressed by the storm water mitigation fund?

Then in your correction you state, "But the simple truth is that unless the water backs up during heavy rains the "problem" usually goes unnoticed."

Now that, I agree with. But I didn't read any post that I saw as challenging that point. And since we are in a dry weather cycle, we don't really know how much of the problem has been fixed.

Everything's fine until we get flash-flood weather. I don't think we've had any weather that would demonstrate the extent of the problem since the fund was approved, which wasn't too long after the last sewer-backup rainstorm three or four years ago.

Greg Walters said...

You call this a dry weather cycle?

Interesting!

Anonymous said...

I am not the same anonymous person you have been sparing with but Greg please explain to me how after a big rain, toilet paper comes flooding out of the manhole cover by the chamber of commerce on 59th and RR. That is disgusting.

You really don't like to be questioned do you?

Anonymous said...

Yes, as opposed to a flood cycle. Average rainfall here is nearly 38 inches. We were 5 inches short of that in 2007 and over 7 inches short of that in 2006.

Anonymous said...

I am the person sparring with you Greg, although I did not mean to strike a nerve. I was simply wanting to point out that everytime it rains, water is entering the sewer from these drains in houses. I saw that first hand when I had mine removed and a sump pump installed. Now I understand that my sewer rate is effected by all of this extra water entering the sewer. You may only deem it a problem when backups happen (which probably raises the City's insurance) but I think it is a problem because it causes sewer rates to be higher than they need to be. When it rains an inch or so, my sump pump runs for about a week before it finally stops, think about how much water that is, and think about how many houses in Raytown are putting that water into the sewer. In my estimation, that is not a minor problem. Again, sorry to have upset you, wasn't my intent.

Anonymous said...

Pat Casady said...
I can't believe I'm saying this but......Raytown needs a City Administrator.
However, Raytown doesn't need CA's like the last two.
The first was a spin doctor and the last started looking for another job almost before he came to work here.

The fact is, Mayor Bowers didn't have anything to do with the hiring of these two people. He was given the task of dealing with this.
He also inherited some other people he has to deal with that are
highly incompetent in key positions. Throw in a few elected officials that don't have a clue and you see what he's up against.
I guess time will tell but, I am optimistic about the right thing being done.

January 7, 2008 8:36 AM

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

Dry Season? What does that mean? True we are under average rainfall at KCI, but I remember last April when we had a long downpour here in RAYTOWN. I know I have memory loss but I don't call this a dry season. Does anyone else remember it? It was so bad that there was discussion at the BOA of whether or not to help people with cleanup.

By the way, I forgot to say Happy New Year everyone.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Nobody said "dry season." The term was "dry weather cycle" but it's still frankly peripheral to the original point of the discussion, which was the method that runoff water is getting into the sewers. A tangential discussion of average rainfall vs. "April Showers" does nothing to diminish the storm water that enters the sewer system through basement drains or sump pumps that we all have to pay to treat as sewage.

Oh, and Happy New Year to you and all, as well.

I also was not trying to be argumentative, but I wanted to make the piont that lack of utilization of the sewer abatement moneys did not mean that the problem had been solved, or necessarily had been grossly overstated. As the other anonymous posted has pointed out, most people who are contributing to the problem probably are not aware of it.

Anonymous said...

Obviously everyone must be talking about the foundation drain tile system to sanitary sewer connection that is prevelent in the majority of houses built in this area which allows for drainage of stormwater runoff into the sanitary sewer system. Some of these connections have sump pumps and some do not.

Most people are not aware that they may be contributing to the infiltration problem. The other part of the problem lies in the porousity of the sanitary sewer system over time(40-50 years or more) as tree roots, shifting soils and freeze thaw conditions along with corrosive product cocktails, to put it nicely, wreck havoc on the system as a whole.

Most people are also oblivious as to how their sewer bills are calculated. The city believes that it should be based on the winter average or the lowest water usage bill of the year, their theory being that what water goes in must be going out into the sewer. It really is not a good calculation method especially if one waters plants, grass, washes cars, siding, etc. where the majority of that water used does not return to the treatment facility but returns directly to the earth via absorbtion or the atmosphere via the evaporative cycle. The city figures that most people wont be doing those type of activities during the wintertime so that is how it is figured.

Pat Casady said...

Hardly a day goes buy that I don't work for or meet with union
workers.
In my line of business we deal with UAW, Teamsters, Electricians
and so on. Almost all of them mention through their trade books
how during the year all trades send representatives to the Raytown
Vocational School. This has been going on for years.
Now they feel they have been stabbed in the back.
The new school being built on 350hwy. is all non-union.

I'm betting Raytown won't be receiving any free trade teachers
any more.
Does anyone see a pattern here? First Raytown runs off the truck
drivers that live here, as of late they are trying to run out a well
known automotive shop and now going against the trade unions.

Andy Whiteman said...

Maybe the trade unions should form a PICKET LINE to get some attention to this issue.

When contracts are but out for bid, do they state, ALL workers must be UNION? No, the contract goes to the lowest bidder even if they use illegal aliens! Maybe contract writing needs to be revised.

Andy Whiteman

Arnold the Benedict said...

Partners?
A Raytown Chamber of Commerce spokesman recently faced the city council with rather strange advice.
The city has to partner with certain business-big business-in order to recapture the glory days of yesteryear--this or words to that effect.
The translation is clear enough. The taxpayers are to socialize the investment so the bigs can run small business out of town, this with the hoped-for result of more revenue pouring into the city.
There's a name for this government-business partnership. It is called fascism at whatever level it is installed. Arnold the Benedict

Pat Casady said...

To Arnold the Benedict,
I understand what you are saying but you forgot one very important
fact. That fact is a glaring reminder of some of the intelligent decisions
made by our city in the past. The fact that will haunt this city for twenty three years. The fact of giving away income form sales tax generated by the big business this city courted to build an even bigger box here.
This city forgot all the businesses that left after the first W.M came here.
At one time I had a list of around twenty businesses that were affected by this monster.
You would think this city would try their best to keep what few businesses are left here but that isn't the case........At least with the personel they have now.

I must admit I had to look up "fascism" to see the meaning. Personally I don't think it apply's here but I do agree that the Raytown Chamber is
not concerned with local small businesses. That is why most of us small businesses don't belong to that club.

Anonymous said...

Raytown Chamber of Commerce has always been a social club. Their Ball and even their Round Up Days and the Barbecue are excuses for their members to get together and party. Never really seen them do anything to help the small businessman.

Anonymous said...

And people wonder why there sometimes is so much hatred directed toward the Republican Party.... they are all for doing away with labor unions, breaking down working conditions, paying lower wages with little or no benefits, reaping huge profits for themselves. The school district will certainly get what they paid for with shoddy workmanship from the non union rats. I am glad that my children will not be attending any classes in those buildings.

BTW; I believe there have already been pickets up on some of the jobs.

The school district benefits from funding in cooperation with union skilled labor trades. What a slap in the face! Unreal!

Anonymous said...

Each and every School Board member should be asked why we are using these non-union laborers. Don't vote for any of them that voted for this contractor.

Anonymous said...

With all of the Union talk I was wondering if the public works crew and other city workers are union.

Anonymous said...

It is doubtful that any workers of the city's public works department are union.

Rob Wimmer said...

I am sending this to Raytown School district residents and parents. As a parent of 2 previous 'Challenge' program students, I feel this issue needs discussion and here is a chance to say something about a direction we may be headed. The District has hired a consultant to tell them how much $$$ they can milk us out of in a levy increase. I have no problem paying for a good school system if they spent the $$$$ wisely. I have not seen this in action especially in the location of the new elementary school. O.K. maybe the details are the killer. The location is O.K. but the price they paid for the property in the condition and with the improvements the district will need to make to make it a safe and accessible place... Who got the cherry on this Ice Cream Sundae? Wasn't the tax payer. And no one asked me! ( licensed real estate broker in MO for 20+ years.) MAybe I'll see you there. Oh, and it's free... all it costs is your time!

There will be a meeting hosted by the Raytown Challenge Parents in the cafeteria of Eastwood Hills Elementary 5290 Sycamore at 6:30 pm on Thursday January 10, 2008.

The purpose of the meeting is to have parents, teachers, administrators, school board members, and state legislators all together in one place at the same time. We feel this is necessary in order for everyone to have the opportunity to become aware of what the issues really are that are causing the school district budget deficit and the policy to reduce teacher postitions as a result.

Anonymous said...

Reduce the chairwarming positions, not the teachers. The teachers need raises. The kids need textbooks. The school district needs change starting from the top.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the last writer. Just giving the school board more money will not solve the problem.

By voting no on a school tax increase we give them the opportunity to show that they put the teachers first by reducing the chair-warming positions in the district.

Giving them more money will only maintain the status quo.

Anonymous said...

Where will the Chamber of Commerce hold their barbeque now that the city has given the property they used to hold it on to Walmart?

Pat Casady said...

After reading about the way the school district and the city is run by some elected officials, you have to wonder how these people run their own finances.

They spend taxpayer money like a kid with a credit card.
In fact they kind of have one and taxpayers are the parents.
These upcoming elections they need to be grounded.

Andy Whiteman said...

I agree with Anonymous 4:33AM and 7:19 AM. I also have said the same about the city.

As for the BBQ, maybe Walmart will donate part of their parking lot for this because it will draw customers. Since they support big box stores, that seems appropriate.

Why not RENT space at a school and give revenue to the school (Raytown High or Raytown South) district?

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

The school district wont allow alcoholic beverages or tobacco usage on school district property.

Besides, I am certain that there may be some sort of liability issue (gotta get the lawyers involved to get their cut of the tax money as well)

I am sure that the Baptist Church would just love to host such an event at their facility of course it would have to close up each night at 8:30 pm and be over with before Sunday.

Anonymous said...

I see old foul mouth Al is back to writing letters to the papers pumping himself up for all the good things he has done for Raytown.

Shouldn't he go help clean up the mess where he lives in Kansas City?

Anonymous said...

The Baptist could rent their property to the Chamber for their upcoming events. I'm sure that they could use the money.

Anonymous said...

Foul mouthed Al and Cathy Mack on the Chamber Image Committee. So Sad. This town is sure hurting for good role models. No wonder Raytown has such a bad image.

Anonymous said...

City weighs final four

http://www.chippewa.com/articles/2008/01/10/news/771x.txt

Excerpts:
The city’s Personnel Committee interviewed finalists Steve Mokrohisky and Ron Singel and Michael Miller. The last finalist, Randell Reeg, was interviewed Tuesday.

Miller has been city administrator in Raytown, Mo., since June 2006. The city has 153 employees and a $17 million budget.

Miller’s resume claims he completed development deals for over 350,000 square feet of commercial space for developers.

His resume says he is “well versed in planning and economic development and the effective and appropriate use of tools such as tax abatement districts, special development zones and tax increment financing to encourage the right development at the right location.”

Miller was the administrative coordinator-personnel director for Washburn County in Wisconsin from July 1997 to June 2006.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Wimmer nice to see some insightful and intelligent discussion here via your offering.
They hire consultants to up the ante for the school bond issue? And they can't afford teachers?
What's wrong with the school district? A board of education consisting of nimrods and a superintendent, who came here to get retirement years logged and spend the district into debt. Pretty simple, eh?
Don't fall for the BS you'll hear tonight at the meeting. And please enlighten the rest of us about who attends regards board members, legislators et al.
Churchill said that the beauty of democracy is that you get what you deserve (per who you vote for).
Basically one would have to be an idiot to run for the school board or city council and that is what we have: A collection of them!
See where the Chamber is sponsoring street dedication clean up. Let's see, didn't Rebecca Clatanoff try that years ago? No mention of her, just the usual we're the Chamber and we "excited."
Not surprised the toilet paper is coming up in the manholes by the Chamber Office. That place is so full of xxxx that it is a wonder the entire sewer system isn't backed up.
And, no, I'm not being mean or negative. I'm just observing what I've seen happening in this town for many, many years.
sign me Disgusted

Anonymous said...

Disgusted, that is some funny stuff about the manhole by the Chamber. It is very obvious that Miller is not happy here. Hopefully, for our sake he will get that job. I hear he is not the only city worker looking for a new job, the turnover in the last few years in amazing. The fat cats are getting fatter and the little guy keeps getting screwed.

Anonymous said...

You should hear what other City Hall powers that be have to say about Miller! He won't be missed.
But I wouldn't wish him on another community. Get some stones Mr. Mayor and fire his ass

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 6:46, 8:34,and 10:21 you guys have said it all!! I can't add anything, but your observations are all right on target. I love your explanation about the Chamber being full of crap. Well said.

Anonymous said...

Panic, chaos and confusion. Miller’s work here is completed.

Tom Rigot, Sr said...

I just received word that Emanuell Cleaver II will be visiting Raytown on Monday January 14th at 3:PM in front of the old First Baptist Building to officially announce federal funding made available for downtown Raytown revitalization including the demolition of the old church. I post this in case anyone wants to attend.

Tom Rigot, Sr

Andy Whiteman said...

The funding may be there, but I won't believe it until I see the Olde Baptist Church come down and into compliance with City Ordinances!
*****
The City posted a Legal Notice in the KC Red Star this AM. The notice included a map which was illegible. It is a waste of city funds to publish an illegible map.

I question why the City does NOT support local business? We have local newspapers. I know the Raytown Post is a legal newspaper because they have a 2nd class mailing permit. One of the bloggers previously stated the Raytown Tribune is also a legal newspaper. I check the Post for local Legals. The Tribune does not deliver to me.

Why wasn't this notice published in a LOCAL paper?

Anonymous said...

Hate to burst your bubble Andy, but most of don't get the Post. Their circulation is down to near nothing. It's no wonder that people don't advertise in it. Apparently the city has already figured it out.

Andy Whiteman said...

All newspapers with a 2nd Class Permit must publish their circulation stats yearly after they file it with the Post Office. I think it is in February but am unsure about the time of publication. All of them publish it so small it is virtually unreadable. At that time the Post's circulation will be public knowledge.

If the Tribune is claiming a high circulation number, the actual readership is still unknown because they dump their papers like garbage in driveways and gutters. Just look at how much of this litter remains week after week with several papers building up! I like that paper because their news about BOA meetings is more timely with a Thursday issue date instead of Wednesday. I found my copy after it had been burried in leaves in the gutter for several days. They stopped delivering to me after I told them that the next time the paper was in the gutter, I would call them to come pick it up.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Thank you anonymous 5:17 for pointing out the obvious regards circulation of the Post. The Tribune isn't much better, contrary to what Andy thinks about both.
Andy legal status (2nd class) doesn't have anything to do with publishing Clever coming to the FBC to hand out money we paid the federal govt which we shouldn't have.
But you can bet that old Burnt Bob will ballyhoo how wonderful it is.
Interesting that neither paper has reported on labor groups protesting the school district's scab labor building work.
Interesting also that they both took "gutsy" (ha ha) stands last week editorially urging people to vote while ignoring real local issues that have an impact on our lives, property values and more.
Circulation reports annually, Andy, are what they are (so much bull----). No doubt you still also believe that the moon is made of green cheese.
Where referring to the Post and Trib as "local newspapers" is concerned: One is owned by a developer in Lakewood/Lee's Summit and the other is owned by a newspaperman in St. Joseph.
Nothing says "local" like out of town owners.
A "little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing" Andy. And "no knowledge" is just plain ignorance.

Anonymous said...

We haven' really had a locally owned newspaper since Lee Gray sold the Post to that guy from Texas. Can't even remember his name anymore, how soon we forget. I sure miss Gray's style of reporting. Wish you were back Lee.

El Marko said...

You can still see Lee's style on tihs blog. The unsigned ones are his best. But you can still tell they are his!

Anonymous said...

Lee Gray here.
Appreciate 7:47 and 8:30 anonymous's comments. I can't tell you, however, how glad I am to be out of the newspaper business in this town.

I feel sorry for the community because it is still made up of some of the best people I've met anywhere in the world.

Best wishes to the lot of you

Anonymous said...

Lee Gray for new City Administrator!

Anonymous said...

thanks but too funny. I couldn't do any worse. Lee

Anonymous said...

OK, then how about Lee Gray for Community Development Director. Because, I believe that position will be vacant soon after Miller leaves the town.

Andy Whiteman said...

Anonymous 1/11 11:06PM, Obviously you and I use different logic.

Using your logic, we have NO local government, because several city officials don't live in Raytown. This is a subject I addressed to the BOA several times but they either are deaf or chose not to listen.

I also recommend Lee Gray for CA should Miller leave even though I never met Lee, I like what he has to say here. Someone with business knowledge and common sense is needed.

GIRL SCOUT COOKIES
were being sold at Hy-Vee on 350 HWY tonight. I don't know how long they will be there. I haven't had GS cookies in years. Even thought the price has gone up to $3.50 I bought 4 boxes. I suggest anyone who wants Girl Scout cookies give Hy-Vee a call to see if they are still there.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I second the nomination for Lee Gray for City Administrator. All those in favor say aye. Sue

Anonymous said...

Very kind, Andy. And funny whoever is using "Sue's" name.

Realistically this small groundswell will be short-lived. I, afterall, am considered the one person who has caused all of Raytown's problems over the past 20 years. Plus 3/4ths of the BOA would have to be removed to get me hired as dog catcher, let alone anything else.

I will tell you, however, my opinion on what is needed at City Hall:

1) Hire people with about 5 years experience. Anyone coming here is resume' building. And hire them for less until they prove themselves.

2) If you really find someone worthwhile, who would like to live and work here, then give that person a 5 or 10-year contract (after a couple of years). But put that individual on a lengthy probation period and build in incentives for raises and advancement. Also write a contract with that person which allows his or her firing without a buyout if he/she doesn't perform under the conditions of the contract.

3) Hire -- in leadership positions -- people who will fire underlings who do not perform.

4) Hire leaders who will focus on basic constituent services and do away with travel, memberships and all other perks until the budget is balanced and has a healthy reserve.

5) Be cheap. Turn over copy paper and use the other side. Turn out lights. Establish a cash reward system for cost saving measure suggestions. Go "old school" in other words.

I'll stop here rather than boring you with my entire business philosophy. But I ran a business for 16 years by being tight where I could be and being generous when it was available.

My own income was 40% less than the average for my position in suburban Kansas City media...but I still retired at age 54. There's a good reason for that: My parents taught me to SAVE!

I'm Lee Gray and I hope that some day the people of Raytown will DEMAND from City Hall, the school district, the Chamber and all other collective services to citizens what the citizens DESERVE! And that's honesty, efficiency, service and many more things!

Thank you for reading this. Lee

Anonymous said...

That, my friend is a person with real common sense!

Anonymous said...

Lee, you're kidding yourself if you think that anybody would come and work solely on incentives for a place where the aldermen are more concerned with their pet projects than actually advancing the local economy and building a tax base to actually bring in the money needed to better the local infrastructure. While I will agree that Miller is probably over paid, based on the complete lack of resources the city has available to do anything at all, maybe someone should figure out exactly how much it actually costs to put in street lights before complaining about it. I've lived in South Kansas City and in Overland Park and paid through the nose on taxes, Raytown has in all practicality no tax on its residents but they all insist on things being done at no cost to them. Ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous above you make a valid point about incentives and the goosey board of alderman situation.
Still, there is a recession and people are going to be lucky to find jobs at all as city's can cut at the top --- not the bottom where the shovel wielders are.
Regards tax rates: That can be debated on and on. But Raytowners see little for their tax dollars.
I think the street light issue (per cost) has been established here previously.
Best wishes, Lee Gray

Anonymous said...

Quote Of The Week

"Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied." -- Otto Von Bismark