Sunday, February 24, 2008
Changes . . . and other stuff
Changes . . . Many readers have noted that a counter has been added to the Raytown Report. Just below the counter is a button that reads “view my stats”. You are invited to visit the link to the counter homepage. A wealth of interesting statistical information can be found at the site. At the same time, it is important that readers know the counter does not provide personal information of any visitor to this page or the counter site. Another change that will be instituted on this blog will be a no tolerance rule for those who use profanity in their posts. Simply stated, if you are going to post a message, keep the language clean or your post will be deleted. This has not really been a problem for 99% of those who post on this page – a statistic that speaks highly of those who share their comments here. The People’s Right to Know . . . A review of the many posts has shown that this site has become a gathering place for those interested in sharing information. One regular contributor, Andy Whiteman, questioned the veracity of some reports that are written. I visited with former Raytown Post owner and editor Lee Gray about comments like Mr. Whiteman’s. He told me that people generally believe what they want to believe – that the best course of action is to “simply lay out the facts – they will tell their own story.” I think it is good advice and will continue to publish all that is legally allowed under the law for your consideration. As to the accuracy of what is written here – as Thomas R Amlie once said, “let’s look at the record.” The question has already been answered. It was on this page that Raytowners found out the City Administrator was actively looking for another job. It was also on this page that Raytowners learned of the true cost of the HyVee/Walmart/Benetti's/Coldwell Banker tax abatement/TIF schemes. One issue that has received a lot of attention on this page is the Raytown School District spending close to $200,000 to buy the former Raytown Sewing Machine/Vacuum Building on Blue Ridge Boulevard (next to Raytown High School). Originally the building was to be used to as a warehouse. It has since been discovered the building has serious structural problems. A well-placed source within the School District says City Hall code inspectors estimate the cost of bringing the building up to code at nearly $100,000. That same source says the School District now plans to raze the building and turn the property into a parking lot. City Grounds to Re-Open Under New Ownership . . . The closing of City Grounds has been another hot topic. Sheri Wells, the former owner/operator of City Grounds says she has sold the business to Inge Howard. Look for a grand re-opening of the local bistro in the near future. And She Said . . . Ms. Wells has alleged that a highly placed city official used the city’s email to promote her competition’s business. She also has witnesses to the same city official promoting her competition’s business while performing official acts as a city official. The following excerpt from the Kansas City Star pretty much sums up a reasonable position on a similar matter. Ms. Wells tells me that she has yet to receive any official explanation or apology for the abuse of public office. From the Kansas City Star . . . “On February 21, The Kansas City Star published a short story about the one-day suspension of a staffer who was hired to play guitar at Kansas City Councilman Ed Ford’s 55th birthday celebration, which was also a political fundraiser. That performance violated the newsroom Code of Ethics which states that while staffers are encouraged to “exercise their franchise as citizens to discuss matters of public interest to register and vote,” they should avoid any deeper involvement. That includes “active campaigning” . . .