Sunday, February 17, 2008

HyVee, Tax Abatements and Sales Taxes

At its February 4th meeting the Raytown Board of Aldermen completed legislation that will insure HyVee relocating its grocery store on Blue Ridge Cutoff to the old Schnucks property (or, Milgram location for us old-timers) on 350 Highway. The move is seen as a plus by proponents of increasing the re-development of retail space on 350 Highway. The move did not come without a price tag. HyVee asked for and received property tax abatements from the City Council valued at $510,000. They also received permission to charge a one-half cent sales tax that will be collected for the next 10 to 20 years to pay the cost of improvements made to the property. What does it cost the taxpayer? TAX ABATEMENT: Tax abatement is the term given to the action of a governing body writing off property tax on a parcel of land or property. In the case of HyVee and the old Schnucks property, that abatement has been in place for over ten years. However, the amount of (total) property tax collected in the governing area is not allowed to drop as a result of the abatement. To address this, all other properties in the area (in this case, the City of Raytown) affected by the abatement are taxed at a slightly higher rate through the use of property valuation. In short, they pay less, so you must pay more. SALES TAX: The term used for the creation of the one-half cent sales tax is Community Improvement District (CID). This is a new sales tax charged only at the location within the Community Improvement District. In the case of HyVee and its adjoining property within the district, a one-half sales tax will be charged on every purchase (on which sales tax is allowed to be collected by the State of Missouri) made at any retail outlet within the CID. The sales tax is a pass through, not paid by HyVee, but by those who shop at the store. A $200 purchase of groceries would have an additional $1.00 tax. By comparison, that same $200 spent at a local Apple Market or Thriftway would not have the additional $1.00 tax. In previous legislation the Board of Aldermen voted unanimously to approve the property tax abatement to encourage HyVee to relocate in Raytown. From my point of view, the $510.000 in tax abatement was enough encouragement. HyVee had already made the commitment, (in fact, the purchase of the property from Shnucks to HyVee had already been made) to stay in Raytown. The additional half-cent sales tax was not necessary to guarantee the move. HOW THEY VOTED: The final vote on the sales tax increase passed -- 7 yes, 2 no, 1 abstention. YES………Schlapia, White, Creamer, Aziere, Hamilton, Melson, Sargeon NO…………Walters, Fleming ABSTAINErtz (Alderman Ertz is employed by HyVee)


Anonymous said...



Is the additional sales tax 1/2% = 0.5% per dollar spent, which if I am correct would be $200 x 0.5% = $1.00


Is the additional sales tax 2.5% per dollar spend, which if I am correct would be $200 X 2.5% = $5.00.

Just makng sure I am clear.

Andy Whiteman said...

I am in complete agreement with The Insider 9:44PM 2/16 on the previous string. Vote NO on the school tax increase. My feeling is vote NO on ANY tax increase unless it is really necessary for Fire or EMS.

It looks like Greg misplaced the decimal on his 1/2% tax calculation.

I wonder why only 2 voted against the CID? I thought it was a no brainer. The people need to take these votes into acccount at the next BOA election. Which Aldermen voted to raise your taxes? 50 cents on $100 at Hy-Vee doesn't bother me that much. But what really bothers me is if some high end stores (such as electronics, appliances, or furniture) are considering locating to that project. The 1/2% sales tax may deter them because the tax really adds up on a high dollar item.

Our Public Works Department crews are out today doing their excellant job of snow removal after the heavy snow we just had. I appreciate their work.

Andy Whiteman

Former Raytowner said...

Maybe I'm wrong, but didn't Hy-Vee end up with the lease (or ownership) of that property when they bought out the Schnuck's locations back in the 1990's?

I always heard the reason that no one else went in there was that Hy-Vee held the master lease and wouldn't sublease to anyone who might compete with them.

Seems strange that the city would give them major abatements to move into a property they already controlled...

Anonymous said...

Former raytowner is correct. Schnucks sold the building to Hy Vee and Hy Vee has had control of the building and tenant selection. That is why it has sit unused except maybe they used it for extra storage space at one time. Seems as though that Hy Vee like Wal Mart being a rather large corporation has ample funding on their own to handle any renovation work. They could have prevented a 'Blighted' condition by doing more upkeep and proper maintenance of the property as well. Of course, Hy Vee has used the blighted condition to their advantage, had the city declare it as a CID, so lets give them some of our tax money and us taxpayers can pay for what Hy Vee should have paid for itself.

Yes, I know that if Hy Vee paid for the improvements themself that they would in turn pass the cost on to the consumers, but I would rather see that than our tax money being used on something other than basic services from the city.

Remember the seven aldermen that voted for this garbage when elections come around for them next time!

Anonymous said...

Another thing, some BOA members should follow the example set by Mr. Ertz by abstaining since he is a Hy Vee employee and it is a conflict of interest.

How about that Christine!

Anonymous said...

It is also my understanding that Big Barb Schlapia might have a conflict of interest on the HyVee. Believe she has family members that are working there.

Pat Casady said...

I believe it's true that Hy-Vee bought the store from Schnuck's a long time ago. I think they have used it for a warehouse for as many years.
They in fact ran it down to the point it is in need of repairs.
In fact they kept out any chance of Raytown making any sales tax dollars from this location for over fifteen years.
How does Raytown city government feel about them doing this to Raytown?
They give them a tax break and permission to raise sales tax in that CID area.
Sometimes I think our city government is like a battered person.
They always seem to hook up with the same type of abusers time and time again. The give big business breaks and give up income for twenty three years and ask for more beatings anytime some big company comes in and asks if they can.

It's not enough to make the people pay for Wal-Mart's new building along with the new school building, now the people get to pay for Hy-Vee's upgrading.
What a town! I think every business should ask for and demand the same treatment.
But wait a minute, most of us are here because we love Raytown.
We're not here to try and take Raytown for everything we can.
Never mind.

Anonymous said...

I won't even vote for a tax increase if it was for the fire department, police or ems they are all wasting money.

Anonymous said...

Pat, You are right again. Most of our small businesses are here because they want to be here. What I really resent is the big corporations that come in here and ask for a handout before that are even established. Our city council is so dumb that just can't wait to give them everything they want and more. I for one am sick and tired of the Walmarts, HyVee's and others that are raping our community and giving very little back in return. My solution is to shop elsewhere even if it means paying a little more or driving a little further. Patronize our home town small businesses and to hell with the corporate giants.

Anonymous said...

Good analogy, Pat. Short version is that City Officials are "bent over and stupid." To anonymous above you're right on track. I'm been withholding my buying power from Hy-Vee, Wal-Mart and others for two decades. And to the person who wouldn't vote for taxes for fire, EMS, etc. You are exactly right! They all waste money. I'll never vote for another tax increase of any kind for any reason. I see where Andy must have gotten his wish and moved to Raytown, Mississippi because there was no snow removal in Raytown, Missouri on Sunday.

Andy Whiteman said...

I am surprised that the city didn't treat Hy-Vee like any other business or citizen and CITE them for code violations and nusiance! Instead Hy-Vee decides to abate the nuisance at taxpayers' expense--very clever! Anyone else would have been cited I wish someone had pointed this out before.

Anon 10:23AM, No I wouldn't move to Mississippi. That is worse than the State of Misery. Are you the one south of 350 HWY? I actually saw the snow removal. If you had none, you should make an issue of it. But don't call the code violation recording. Speak with a live person, ask for a supervisor, and then take it up the chain of command.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

We have two themes here,
First as far as Hyvee in concerned, they held the city hostage for 10 years. If they would have moved Wal-Mart could have expanded where they were. Fact is they waited till they had no option but to move and want us to pay for it.
Second as far as police, fire and ems are concerned I do not know what everyone is bitching about. These three are the only public services the city has going for it, You call they come it is that simple. Ask the folks on the fringe of Raytown how much they would pay for that service. Yes they are expensive to maintain, but their pay and benefits have to be comparable to others or we will go back to the problems we had 5 years ago with the revolving door.
Those of you who throw out blanket statments like " I will never vote for a tax increase" scare me. You bunch of sheep find out the facts of the issue then make an informed decision. I do not know if you realize it or not but Raytown got into the mess we are in with help. People who are closed minded and ignorant are the reason. Some elected and some who are not either way they all played a role.

Ongster said...

Bravo to anonymous 4:16pm! Scrimp wherever else you want, but Raytown has great emergency services. They cost money. I know the administrators of all three services, and none are "wasting money".

Uninformed statements like others have made on this blog are what is wrong with Raytown. Of course, the folks making those statements would never stoop so low as to get involved in anything as disdainful as city government where they would see first hand what their tax dollars are buying; it's much easier to sit on their cans and complain.

Anonymous said...

Well both of you two (the last commentors) are wrong. I'm not the ignorant one. I have been involved and have seen first-hand what the waste is. I used to read the Post when Lee Gray owned it and he always asked, "Why are there so many sacred cows in Raytown and so few Hindus."
That stuck with me. Wish he was around now to keep us informed because I'm sure he knows where to look.

Anonymous said...

If we are not wasting money at the fire department, why do we need such monster fire stations? I can't imagine my fire protection being any better just because we have new buildings. I sure noticed my taxes going up this year to pay for their new accommodations. Just wondering.

Anonymous said...

There is some insurance rating benefits to homeowners and businesses based on fire protection. But your point about buildings is well taken. Look at the school district. A building never taught a kid anything. Unless she was an architectual student. Unfortunately for firemen is the big red truck being parked in front of restaurants and grocery stores and them in uniform being IDed. Boys don't look like they are in that good of shape. Same can be said for police and Ems. One would think those jobs are like being athletes. Wgat would be interesting is to know the cost per call by those public servants.

Anonymous said...

I will start this off by saying that I am not a policeman, firefighter, or a school district employee.

If you own your own home you have to maintain it, right?

And sometimes, with one's career there are new and improved technologies, advancments in techniques, and new standards that are put into use every day. Some things become outdated before they are even purchased nowadays.

Did anyone stop to think that for the firefighters on thgeir shift that they even have to come up with a menu plan for their shift, and go to the store to purchase those items, just like we do?

How about going out to dinner once in a while? Maybe with their families while on their shift perhaps? Is there really a problem with doing that? Or are you so mean spirited and callous that you are not happy at all?

I can certainly understand if taxes have to increase because everything including wages has, cost of living, and anything linked to the cost of petroleum products which is just about everything.

Seems like the only things that are worth more that gold out here in this city you are wanting to complain about. Fire, Police, EMS, and the Schools are the bread and butter here. They help keep down the cost of your homeowners insurance and help in the resale value, if any anymore, of your property in Raytown. The Board of Education and the Board of Aldermen need revamping.

Think about it!

Pat Casady said...

I agree in part with Anonymous 4:53
I'm probably going to get in trouble for this but here goes.
The people that run this town, the ones that make our rules
and the decisions on how and where to spend our tax dollars.
The ones that have been giving away Raytown's income are
followers not leaders. The people that have made deals with the
developers that cost Raytown small fortunes and income. The people that
believed in the Wenson way of doing business by treating
people like they don't even exist.

You need only to read the line of yes voting on this Blog to
understand who they are.
These are the people that have made us distrust our city government,
and the various departments and divided this town.

I think Raytown has some of the best Police, Fire Department and Ems in the area. They deserve every dollar they receive and in some cases they don't receive enough for what they have to go through.
Neither do the teachers in this district, they deserve better too.
If you want to blame someone for wasting money you need look no
further than City Hall and the school board.

I used to think it was because they didn't know any better, after all they
were just everyday people, not understanding how things worked.
But, they do the same thing over and over again.
They haven't learned anything about their actions
and how it effects everybody.
Their friends and certain groups around the city tell them how good they are doing,
all with hands out, and they even tell each other how well they are doing.

When was the last time anybody actually had one of these representatives
come around and ask you how they were doing? Get a feel for how the average person feels about the way things are going.

I have to tell you, the only people I have talked to like that in a long time are Greg Walters and Mayor Bower. These two gentlemen really care about how this city is doing and for that they have impressed me

Anonymous said...

Ok Guys,

Has anyone ever wondered why we discuss all of the decisions we feel are incorrect by our community leaders that Gary Walters voted differently on?

Has anyone wondered why he has not responded to the incorrect Sales Tax Calucation on the new HyVee? Has anyone wondered if he made an accident in the calucation or if he was just trying to get everyone upset?

Has anyone wondered why we do not discuss the items coming up at the next BOA meeting, instead of what BAD decisions some feel were made at their last meeting? We cannot really do anything about the past meetings, but bitch and complain about how this one voted, how that one did not vote, what was given away, and so on?

Why don't we take a PRO-ACTIVE approach, instead of continuing to take the RE-ACTIVE approach? Probably because, 1) NO ONE really wants change, they just want something to continue to bitch and complain about, 2) Greg would not have anything to continue causing MORE division in the community, and 3) MAYBE Change would occur and then what would we all do with ourselves.

Being Pro-Active verses RE-Active! WOW! What a concept?

Just Think About It?

Anonymous said...

It's hard to be pro-active when you have all those idiots at city hall that only listen to their cronies. Do you really think they will listen to the real Raytowners? They never have before so why would they start now?

Anonymous said...

If we all became Pro-Active, instead of Re-Active then maybe they would start?

But is this really what you want or do you just want to bitch and complain. It is your choice!

You can be empowered or powerless. Right now you are powerless by choice, to become empowered takes action - not bitching and complaining.

The choice is yours!

Anonymous said...

What will the new topic be for the next meeting?

Andy Whiteman said...

Why not be pro-active and elect NEW school board members and NEW Board of Albermen members? That seems like the way to correct the issue. I wonder will there be a list available at the next election of how each voted on each issue? I have memory loss and a history of voting records would be helpfull to me an probably others.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Ok Andy,

I hear you wanting to elect all new members, but get real. This will never happen, unless someone petitions to have all of charters etc revised. None of us will probably be alive by then.

So how can we be Pro-Active now? You are at every BOA meeting, is the agenda available to the public before the meetings, so that we could talk about it and email, call, if need be -be a nail is the side of our BOA until they vote the way the majority of the citizens want? The majority that is!!

Blanket statements like fire everyone, elect all new people, No to All taxes, etc are things that are the Smoke Screens and things that are impossible to change. Let's become Empowered and make our voices count or we can just say POWERLESS VICTIMS

Again, it is our CHOICE!

Anonymous said...

I would like to know what evidence you have against the school board and the city about mismanagment. If we are to be proactive we need to know what we are dealing with.
I know most of you think that problems are with people. 90% of the time it really is the system each person works in. The damage done did not happen over night nor can it be fixed over night.

Anonymous said...

I like to compare our current elected officials with the ones we have had in the past. If you've been here as long as I have it's pretty easy to do. The current BOA and school board are about the laziest groups as a whole that I have ever seen. A few are really trying to do a good job, but they are being hampered by the majority that don't know anything. Mayor Bower is also headed down that path as another "do nothing" mayor like the last 2 that we have had. It's a sad, sad, day to watch us going down the tubes. My house will be on the market soon and we'll probably be joining all our friends that are living in Lee's Summit.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:08, I will have to warn you, if you don't like alderman that ignore the people and give tax breaks out like candy, Lee's Summit is the last place you want to move. Your taxes will double and your service will be cut to about a fourth of what it is in Raytown, depending on what area of town you move too.

Pat Casady said...

To Anonymous 9:40am.
It would be nice, that theory of pro-active you mentioned.
I'm guessing you mean to go before the board and talk to
them. Not lose our tempers but be inquisitive instead of critical.
It won't work. I tried that.
I tried to talk to my ward representatives one didn't show up
and the other gave us a fifty five minute speech on what he has
done for this city. He didn't listen to anything we asked or said.

They don't come around unless they are running for election
and want your vote. Once they are in you don't exist anymore.

The only way a change will come about is to try and vote them out.
It could have been better but they choose to alienate people and
think none of us have a clue.

Some on this blog write that some of us don't know what we are talking about.
They are probably right to a point. They don't talk to us, they don't even listen to us. If you go before the board you have a whole three to five minutes to get you point across then they spend fifteen minutes trying to
how wrong you are. Even if you are right. They have no compassion for
people or their problems. They sit up there and look down at everybody
except big business or their friends that stand there and tell them how great they are. By the way those people get more time.

I guess in a way this blog is a way to say what we feel without getting a put down on channel seven. A place to vent.
I used to be a believer in positive mental attitude but after nine years of dealing
with most of these "representatives" my positive as started on a descent
the other way.

Anonymous said...

Greg, Thank you for the wonderful blog. I printed it and my parrot somehow seems to overcome his constipation problem every time he sees your name in the bottom of his cage.

Anonymous said...

When your parrot is done retrieve the printed blog and stick it on your face. Maybe you'll be able to cure your intellectual constipation.

Pat Casady said...

It never ceases to amaze me what some people will write.
For instance Anonymous 2:22.
I can understand when people write anonymously when they are afraid
of what they feel the city might do to them. But to criticize under the anonymous
name and say just plain mean things is the work of a gutless loser.
If you don't like this form of communication and what is written, it's simple,
either grow a pair and state your name or don't log on.

Anonymous said...

I don't know, a parrot that can read probably has a bright future in Raytown City Government!

Anonymous said...

You may pay more taxes in Lee's Summit, but my sources tell me that you at least you get city services. Once you get past the Police Department you get NOTHING for you money here. No codes enforcement, bad streets, poor snow removal, increasing water problems, deteriorating neighborhoods, do I need to go on. Oh, we can't afford these BASIC city services, because we gave away our tax base to WalMart, HyVee, and any other big corporations that wants a handout. At least when other cities hand out these tax breaks, their population seems to increase, not decrease as ours is doing.

Anonymous said...

Hey 9:40 am, you are so bright, don't you know that they do send out the agenda for the BOA meetings in advance. All this talk about being pro-active and such is nice. However, to be empowered is one thing, to do something and be pro-active is another thing altogether.

Email city hall and they can put you on the email list for the weekly agendas of the BOA meetings.

Anonymous said...

I bet your parrot makes your house smell like a Petco Store. You are so intellegent.

Anonymous said...

Bird Brain.

Anonymous said...

Something to think about.
Day 22 MISSION (Feb. 20)
"My life is my message." says Gandhi. Write down what you want to stand for in your life. Note at least one way you can show through action that you stand for your beliefs. Take this action today.

Some people stay anonymous because we have seen how some of you rip people apart.

Andy Whiteman said...

Anon 2/19 2008 11:06 AM, I didn't mean to elect complete new boards. Obviously as terms expire, vote in new people if we are dissatisfied with the incumbents.

I am glad another writer answered the question about the agenda. I previously had the complaint that it was secret if you heard me at BOA meetings back then. I wonder why no one in City goverment will mention how to get the agenda when a complaint is made? I now see the agenda taped to the city hall window when I pay my sewer bill. (Probably in response to my complaint that it was not posted in a public place because city hall is locked 5PM-8AM M-F and not available to the public 24/7.)

To those thinking of living in Lees Summit, My Realtor suggesed that when I was looking for a house in 2000. I checked out the area and didn't like their overpriced homes on miniature lots, wooden fences that fall down, and chopped up street layout that make the Post Office almost impossible to get to.

So I guess anyone who wants to move to Lees Summit can buy an overpriced house and pay high taxes on it! It cost almost as much for a local move as a distant move. I really suggest moving away from the State of Misery to a decent climate. That is what I will do when I can find a suitable house in a quiet area.

Anfdy Whiteman

Pat Casady said...

Anonymous 10:19,
If you write the truth as you know it.
Nobody will rip anybody apart.
The people that get "ripped" are those that make
mean statements and tell some of the other writers
how dumb they are and then don't sign it.

I have signed my writing since day one. I have nothing to
hide and I never lie. True there are people out there that
don't like me or what I write but that's their problem not mine.
I try not to use name calling but sometime an anonymous
coward goes too far and tries to hurt people with a sucker
punch and then don't have the guts to back up what they
say by singing their name.
It doesn't take any intelligence or skill to put people down.
In fact it shows the lack there of.

If you believe in yourself and what you want to say
and be straight with people you shouldn't have any problem.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mr. Cassidy for your thoughtful words; however what you have stated has never been my experience. I have been witness to and subject of a small group of people who were determined to destroy someone at whatever cost. There are times I believe a friend of mine that says humans really do not want peace, positive change, etc.
So let’s talk about the positive about Raytown. I lived in Lees Summit for awhile. After my first real icy road experience that stayed on the road for weeks, I realized the roads would be that way all winter. My friends in Lees Summit can not believe our town’s quick snow removal. Pothole I really have not seen many personally. Coming from a state where potholes were a fact of life on the interstate exchanges, I learned quickly that spring brought the fixes to the potholes. You can not fix potholes when the temperature gets below freezing, it creaks the road worse. Then again at least we get pavement that is smooth. In one of the states I lived in, paving was gravel and tar smashed on the road.
The schools in Raytown are way better than those in Lees Summit. I enjoy the informational phone calls that tell me things I need to know. Children, teens do not think to share the information with parents. These phone calls allow me to ask the question that get my children talking. School counselors have been very personal. The call when I need to know something. This personal attention I have never seen before. I have seen 8 school districts operate throughout the US and none of them but Raytown School district has offered this attention. My children are not on any A + list.
Taxes – God - I still have a hard time paying those personal property taxes on my cars. Coming from a state that did not have that tax drives me to rage every time I have to pay them. How can a state say I owe tax on a car I already pay for, just because I live in this state? Give me a beak. Our taxes are high and then we income tax. I would rather pay a higher tax on things purchased than have all this extra tax. I believe we pay more in the long run and get less.
Sure there may be issues here in Raytown but what are they really? I would really like to know the details. What is it about the school board that is bad? What is it about the city you feel is wrong? Don’t give me fire them. That just says to me that people just do not like that person. I want details. Then we can work on improvement.

I do admire your ability to sign your name. You are respected in this blog. I believe your voice would be the same in the larger part of the community

Pat Casady said...

Anonymous 1:12
Ok I will tell you what I feel is wrong and my views but
I won't do it on this blog.
I will print my email address and if you want, you can
write me.
I give you my word I will never reveal your email address or your

Anonymous said...

What the heck is a A+ list ?

Anonymous said...

This blog is directed at those misguided individuals who defend the city’s payoff to Hy-Vee for fixing up their own property.

If paying out a pack of taxpayer funds is your idea of progress and how a community should be built, read on:

Are you aware that the school board recently paid out the tidy sum of $195,000.00 to purchase a decrepit building located immediately south of Raytown High School on Blue Ridge Boulevard?

Yes, that 195M figure is correct. Seems the recently retired
superintendent handled the transaction all by himself—with the help of a local real estate agent, Gary Knabe. No one member of the school board even knew about the deal until all the papers were signed and the money
was spent.

How’s that for insulting your board members?

To aggravate matters, the real estate agent who handled the deal, Gary Knabe, is a brother of former board member, Steve Knabe. Gary Knabe’s real estate office recently relocated to a building on Raytown Road.

So, what did they do when relocating?

They came before the city council and tried to panhandle $65,000.00 to pay for fixing up their building. They wanted a TIF. Even the economically illiterate council saw through that one.

A final foul-up. That $195,000 building is in such bad shape it is more than likely the city will order it razed.

Remember what you just read when you go to vote yourself another tax
increase to fund a budget-busting school.

The new school tax is 5.4 million dollars only if you vote it.

Anonymous said...

Just who are you implying that is defending the city payoff of HyVee?

I am not. I am against the city, hyvee, and wal mart. I simply do not agree with what they are doing.

Same goes for the school district/ school board. There have been some very uneducated decisions that the school board has made of late that are just wrong. The real scary thing about this is that the school board is running the district, overseeing the teachers, that are teaching our children. And what are they teaching our children? I do not believe that it is on financial responsibility or money management. They (the school board)can't even handle that on their own.

The ONLY way that I would vote for a tax increase/levy for the school district would be only if all the money went to just the teachers salaries and textbooks, not to the administrators at all. There are too many administrators, assistant administrators, superintendent's and assistants that are getting paid way too much money, just along for the ride, then retiring or moving on elsewhere to do it again.

Wise up out there people. We can see exactly what you are, who you are, and we can see where you are headed.

Anonymous said...

Just an FYI. Where do you think most of these high paid school administrators live? Yep, you're right, not in the district, but in Lee's Summit.

The Insider said...

Oh, where do I start!!

As a employee who has been with the Raytown School District for a long time, I am tired of seeing the money mismanagement and administrators that have NO clue on what they are doing. The former Raytown Sewing Machine building that the school board bought has to be torn down. The Raytown Fire Marshall said he wouldn't send his men into the building if it caught fire due to structural defects. The district has to get bids on tearing the building down and hauling the debris away (and probably haz-mat material waste that will run the cost way up). It seems anyone can approach the school board and say they want to buy a vacant building in Raytown and the board just signs a check to purchase it with out really checking the building out for defects. The board knows that it isn't their money, and when the district budget gets into the red, (like it is now)the citizens of Raytown will bail the out with tax increases.

Answer this question? Why do the middle schools, high schools need 3 vice principals per school and a principal for each school. Then you have a secretary for each vice principal and a secretary for each principal? When I went to school you had ONE vice principal and ONE principal. You talk about padding the payroll???

Too many " brother-in-law deals in the school district going on.

The Raytown school district is no better than the Kansas City school district. The only reason that know one really knows what is going on is that it isn't made public and what IS made public is all "perfect and good" from the eyes of the superintendent and the school board.

There is no way I will vote for ANY school taxes after seeing what goes on behind closed doors!

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

I don't remember Steve Knabe being on the board unless
you mean the School Board.
However Gary Knabe was on the BOA.

Pat Casady said...

Who owned the building that the school board bought.

And what appraiser did they use?
My building isn't much but it doesn't need to torn down.
However, we are in the same area. My neighbors and I
will have to remember how much real estate has gone
up in this area if a new developer comes to town and
wants our property.

Before anyone writes and tells me how dumb I am, I was
taking a shot at sarcasm, sorry. But we will remember
the price given.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that the worst of the abuses of the public trust here in Raytown have occurred since Lee Gray sold the Post. Coincidence?

Since we no longer have anything remotely approaching a watchdog press in Raytown, this blog seems to be the best venue we have to expose the worst of the excesses. Too bad it wasn't here during the charter vote. Thanks Greg, for allowing this discussion to take place.

It's not surprising that many in this town feel threatened by this blog, since they can't control it.

Andy Whiteman said...

I told Greg at first that I didn't think a blog was a good idea, but I have changed my mind. It is a source of news (may or may not be correct news) and a forum where interested people can express their opinions.

Pat, The sale of a property sets comparable values of like properties. True, your property should have increased in value. I think you can use it as a comp (along with other comps) when an investor wants to force a sale.

Appraisers don't check the building's condition unless really obvious defects are present. Actually, my opinion, is the Sewing building may be land value only.

One has to watch comps. In my search for a house I said one house was overpriced. The selling agent came up with "comps" that showed the home I was checking was underpriced, but it WAS NOT LIKE PROPERTY. The house I was looking at had an arroyo (dry creek bed that could become rushing water with out notice) behind it. I pointed out the comps were skewed because they were NOT like property with an arroyo behind the property.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with those that say we haven't had any investigative reporting since Lee Gray sold the Raytown Post. With someone like Lee in town the school district and city hall knew they that had to be truthful or they would be exposed. Now they aren't telling us anything. I believe that we should start a drive to BRING BACK LEE. What do you think folks?

Anonymous said...

I'm all for bring back Lee Gray. Sometimes I did not always agree with him but I alway knew that he put both sides of the story out there for us to make our own decisions on whehter we agreed or not with what is going on here in the city.

Unfortunately he would like to be in the Caribbean some where and says he gong as soon as his kids are out of college. Let's all go with him. If I win the HGTV house in the florida Keys I'll be a little closer and I'll be happy to say good by to these kind of winters.

Andy Whiteman said...

I would like to see Lee Gray take back the paper, but if he wants to enjoy life, that is his decision and I respect it.

That is a nice house in the Florida Keys. If I win it, I will not be able to pay the taxes so would put it on EBay.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Lee Gray here.

Thanks for the kind words.

I would have to start a new paper since the Post was sold to John Ivey before the Battagliers filed for bankruptcy. They did so on the day before our court date over a lawsuit I brought against them for not keeping their agreed to payments up to date.

I made the mistake of being too trusting and had an unsecured position. Interestingly I've heard them say I was the reason they failed. Oh well...I've always believed my grad school professor: "There's no reality only each person's selective perception."

At one time, the Raytown Dispatch-Tribune had two excellent editors: Chris Cox and Leigh Elmore. I enjoyed competing against them even though I was at a large financial disadvantage. They, like I did, dug into city and school district issues, etc.

I know nothing about any recent real estate deals with the school district but I do recall Steve Knabe, Gary's brother, being the broker at his Hometown Reality while he (Steve) was school board president. The parking lot property next to the Tribune was being purchased through Hometown Reality until I pointed out a possible conflict of interest. My understanding is that Steve's business gave up the $2,500 commission on that sale as a result of what the Raytown Post carried news-wise. Just another enemy I collected during my 16 years as editor and publisher.

While I appreciate the kind words, I've been retired for six years now and I think Raytown has had more of me than it wants or needs. I enjoyed my time here (over 20 years now) and the support of the general public-readership. I also appreciate the trust place in me on two charter commissions.

I am waiting for my daughter to enter Mizzou this fall after finishing her first two years of college and last two years of high school at the Missouri Academy on the Northwestern Missouri State University campus.

This summer I'll consider selling my if anyone...a bachelor (like me) or a young couple...would like a home with a built in Tiki Bar and rooms painted in Caribbean colors...please pass the word along.

At present I'm awaiting cataract surgery on both eyes and have five extruded discs in my I'd be a poor choice to edit a newspaper at this time.

But thanks again for the kind words. I am a pretty exceptional cook and if any of you win that home in the Florida Keys, keep me in mind as a roommate.

Best wishes to all of you...and remember that "you" are the true government where the city, schools and other governmental entities are concerned. Lee

Pat Casady said...

As I pointed out, I was being sarcastic.

Personally, I think, if this city wants our property for
some developer or development we will have another fight on our hands.
In the end the property owners won't have any sympathy
from our elected officials and their blind followers.
As before we will become the enemy and the bad guys.

The good thing is they are focused on the 350hwy. deal now.
I feel for those businesses and property owners that are either
in the way or have businesses around the new Wal-Mart.
They will probably be going under soon after that small town
killer opens, as will a lot or others.
The worst hit I believe, will be our neighborhood grocery stores.

This just came to mind, why don't we all just do our grocery shopping at our favorite grocery store? This in a weird sort of way will actually help Raytown stay alive. How? The sales tax won't go towards paying for the new Wal-Mart building for the next twenty three years but will go into Raytown where it is needed.
Ask your friends and neighbors to follow this suggestion. This may be
one of those "positive" things we can all do to make things better
in Raytown.

Anonymous said...

How's the snow removal in your neighborhood? It's past 24 hours and haven't seen a salt truck yet? Why should we pay more taxes, when we aren't getting any service? If we had better snow removal, maybe the schools wouldn't have had to close for the last two days. Think about it..

Anonymous said...

What a life you must have to sit for 24 straight hours and look outside your window. You are a true Raytowner (and must smell by now with no bathroom breaks). I believe the City's website says that all streets will be treated with 36 hours of a storm ending, and I could have sworn I saw snow until mid morning yesterday. Of course I don't live on a side street, so mine is clear. The trade off I get for having to worry about my kids playing outside in the spring and summer.

Anonymous said...

Again you prove my point. The norm a few years ago was that all streets would be hit within 24 hours. Higher taxes, less service. How low do we have to go before we demand a change in leadership at city hall? Maybe this is why the city's population keeps dropping. Check state of Missouri's figures if you don't believe me.

Anonymous said...

Was that back when you walked 10 miles in the snow up hill both ways to school? Everything was always better in the past. And the grass is always greener on the other side.

Andy Whiteman said...

Pat, You may have intended to be sarcastic, but I think you bring up a good legal issue. Actually I think your property has more value than the $195K because there is a value to the equipment in your bussiness, as well as customer good will (which has value).

Anon. snow writers, The storm hasn't ended. The weather people say more snow Saturday PM. When does the time count of a storm ending begin? The city takes care or arterial streets first. Raytown is the first city I have ever seen that clears RESIDENTIAL streets! Why don't you call public works and speak with a LIVE person? I complained about no street overlay last year creating hazardous conditions and was told it was not in the budget.

"Truth is reality as we perceive it." Lew Tice - New Age Thinking

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Why is the school district asking for a tax increase if they have money to throw away on an old building that is good for nothing? They must have forgotten about the teachers? That is nothing new. They just use them when they want more money.

Andy Whiteman said...

Anon 12:52 PM, I totally agree with your point! The public really needs to be aware of this waste before the election.

I bet the school district sends out a mailing just before the election to solicit "YES" votes. They did the last time. These pamphlets along with postage don't come cheap! And guess who is paying for them. YOU, ME, AND ALL OF THE PAXPAYERS!

Andy Whiteman

The Insider said...


You bet the tax payers are paying for all the mailings and then some! Oh, by the way the administrators are getting ready to go to one of the Royals 2008 baseball games this spring at the expense of the TAX PAYERS again, and I do believe they use the "glass suite areas" to be "wined and dined and parking" again at TAX PAYERS EXPENSE! As a common tax payer, I can't afford to go to ANY games anymore. The School district is in the RED and they NEED to do this? I don't think so! I can tell you more about the school district waste, waste, waste!

ongster said...

Wow, Insider, I really feel for your financial situation. Single game tickets for the Royals start at $9. Parking (if you don't take the bus) is another $9, or $8 if purchased in advance.

If things are that tough I'll kick a couple of tickets your way. I think the Royals will start to be fun to watch again this year.

Andy Whiteman said...

Ongster, it costs more than you think to go to a Royals game. I used to take my wife (before she was murdered) to the Padres and Albuquerque Dukes games. It is not simply the cost of parking and tickets. Expensive refreshments (hotdogs, peanuts, drinks) are obligatory. She would stand in line for 1/2 an inning to get nachos making me wonder why we went to a ball game. I could go and not buy anything but for most people it runs into $$$.

I wonder what an auditor would say about spending taxpayers' money going to ball games? I would have no objection if a trip to the game was a reward to the kids for achievement (perhaps grade average or some other type of performance.)

This type of spending is more reason to vote NO on a bond issue. Why don't the local media report this and the purchase of a junk building? The public really needs to be aware of it shortly before election time. I really wonder how much of the money (if any) goes to educate the kids?

I wonder is anyone going to put out signs, "Vote NO on school bonds? If so, I would buy one, but somebody would steal it.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

The school district doesn't pay their teachers or other employees well enough to splurge on entertainment like sporting events. Only the administrators are getting rich.

ongster said...

Andy, I agree about the concessions. Everything at the game is sold for inflated prices. I was just countering Insider's supposition that it was too expensive to go to a ball game. For the Chiefs I'd agree, but the Royals can still be an afternoon or evening of enjoyable entertainment at a relatively modest price. I am a Royals season ticket holder, not in the $9 seats, so it does get more expensive for me as you indicated.

Anonymous said...

I have to say... you guys tend to go off the deep end sometimes... I am more than willing to share your frustration in the previous administration and the lack of progress, but to lump our Police and EMS into the "wastefull spending" argument is absurd. Of all the departments and politicial divisions in and around the city, you would be hard pressed to find a better example of transparancy and dedication to the community. Even the fire dept. which I am critical of for their boards lack of transparancy has always been responsive to the community and remained just as progressive and committed to serving those in the community as our EMTs and Police Officers. Isn't it time we support them... We cannot leave it up to the politicians and beaurocrats to do. Lets not take these fine people for granted. I refuse to... The deserve our support and have earned it along time ago... I have seen all of them at work when I have called and this community is blessed beyond words by what they give us...

A public safety supporter!!!


Anonymous said...

The comments on this post have started to wander a bit, but I found the comments regarding Hy-Vee interesting. Hy-Vee has a disturbing history of manipulating the marketplace to prevent competition, and using taxpayer assistance to build its big new stores, often to the detriment of other businesses and neighborhoods.

In Lincoln, NE, Hy-Vee twice left big vacant buildings sitting for years, damaging area businesses and neighborhoods, as they relocated to new stores. The third time they tried this (after getting TIF money to build a new store), the residents of the University Place neighborhood rose up in protest. Hy-Vee planned to leave a large building in their older neighborhood vacant, and would not release the lease to another grocer for five years. This would have had a devastating effect on the neighborhood.

After much protest(see and media attention, and with Hy-Vee's March 18 new store opening threatened with the propect of protesters and a boycott movement, Hy-Vee hurriedly announced March 14 that they would remodel the store in University Place and reopen it as a smaller store concept.

The Release The Lease group continues to monitor Hy-Vee, and hopes that they come through with a store for our neighborhood. I encourage others to also monitor Hy-Vee and other large corporate entities and publicize actions that are to the detriment of communities. I also encourage others to vote with your dollars -- if you don't like what a company is doing, don't shop there!