Sunday, March 9, 2008

Recycling Effort Moves Forward

The Raytown Recycling Committee was created last year when Mayor David Bower and Alderman Greg Walters sat down together and came up with a short list of members to serve on the Committee. After reaching agreement on the members, the Mayor drafted a memo to the Board of Aldermen announcing the formation of the Committee. By doing so, the Mayor fulfilled the direction given by voters in the 2005 Charter Election in which voters over-whelmingly approved the formation of a Recycling Task Force. The first goal of the Committee, set out by Mayor Bower in the memo, included finding a new location for Raytown’s Recycling Center. The current location will not be available after July 1st due to the construction of a Walmart Store. At the March 4th meeting of the Raytown Board of Aldermen the Committee gave its report and recommendations. In a thorough six month search, the Committee examined over one dozen potential locations for the recycling center. Committee members Diane Krizek, Norma Storms, Ken Fleischmann and Interim Public Works Director David Frazier told the Board of Aldermen that the Committee had settled on moving the Recycling Center back to where it was originally set up many years ago, the city’s Public Works Garage located at 6417 Railroad Street near Downtown Raytown. The report cited the need for continuing the Recycling Center in Raytown. The nearest three centers to Raytown were a 12 to 28 mile round trip. The Committee also recognized the city's current budget crunch. With an eye towards the local economy, the Committee selected property the city already owns and maintains in it daily operation. The selected site has a lot going for it. It is fenced and lit at night. And, it is secure. The police department fuels its vehicles at the location. A plus that should help eliminate the illegal dumping that has become a big problem at the current location. Since the city owns the property, there is no rental cost and it is covered by the city’s umbrella of insurance. The garage area is also manned during regular business hours five days of the week. The Recycling Committee made two other proposals. One proposal was acted on by the Board, one was not. HAULING SERVICE PROVIDER CHANGED: The city currently pays Deffenbaugh Trash Service $550 per month to haul away the recycled paper, aluminum, plastic, glass and cans. The Recycling Committee found another provider who will not only haul away the material but also pay the city for the recyclables. The change in haulers is expected to net the city up to $4,000 income on an annual basis. The Board of Aldermen voted unanimously 10 to 0 to approve the recommendation. GLASS: According to Dave Frazier of Public Works, Deffenbaugh told him that they don’t need the glass and so they have to charge to have it hauled off. Deffenbaugh currently charges the city an extra $100 to haul off the glass collected at the Center. Another contacted hauler told the city that it will not accept glass in its containers. The Recycling Committee recommended glass not be accepted until a market for it develops in the Kansas City area. The Board of Aldermen voted 5 to 5 on the recommendation. Mayor David Bower cast a “No” vote to break the tie. How they voted: YES: Walters, Ertz, Melson, Aziere, Fleming NO: Hamilton, White, Sargent, Creamer, Schlapia TIEBREAKER: NO - Bower Alderman Greg Walters made a motion to accept the recommendation of the Committee to relocate the Recycling Center to the Public Works Garage. Alderman Pat Ertz seconded the motion. The Mayor and some members of the Board expressed a desire to hold a Public Hearing on the matter. In light of the request, Walters and Ertz removed the motion for approval. A motion was then made by Alderman Jim Hamilton to conduct a Public Hearing. Walters asked that he Public Hearing be held on April 1st in order to give the public adequate time to learn of the issues to be discussed at the hearing. The public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, April 1, 2008 at Raytown City Hall (10000 East 59th Street). The meeting will begin at 7:00 p.m.

29 comments:

Andy Whiteman said...

I certainally hope that the meeting will stay on topic to choose a location for the center. That is the primary importance at this time if recycling is to continue in Raytown. The location needs to be determined in a timely manner so it can be relocated and notice be given to the users.

What will be accepted at the center is irrevalant at this time unless there is a recycling center. If necessary, after the location is determined, it may be appropriate to debate what materials will be accepted. The March 4 meeting really went off topic putting the cart before the horse over the glass issue. I can understand everyones' concern but the glass issue is really a moot point unless we have a recycling center.

As a thought, is it possible to find a recycler who will operate the recycling center? They did this in California, but it was mainly to redeem cans and plastic containers that people paid a deposit on. If this could be arranged, it would be at no expense to the city.

More important, we need curbside recycling so that it is available to everyone with only the effort of taking it to the curb. There are people who are unable to haul it to the center or the cost of the trip outweighs the benefit received.

I really feel the States of Misery and Kansas should have a deposit system on cans and plastic. This would encourage people to recycle because they want their money back. There are numerous beer cans and fast food drinking cups thrown from vehicles. Since people would want their money back, they would be less likely to litter.

Andy Whiteman

sparky said...

I had often wondered how Deffenbaugh was profiting on the recycled items. I also maintained that with the aluminum, paper, cardboard, etc. that the money would help to run the recycling center. It sounds as if we are well on the way to a better system for all of us if only the other stubborn aldermen would do away with their egos, swallow their pride, and get with the program and do something positive for this city instead of looking at all of this that is presented and thinking "Hey, I am going to get back at that Greg Walters because this is his baby, and teach him a lesson". What this is showing to all residents of this city is exactly how the good old boys and girls club is still alive and well within Raytown. It really makes the rest of the aldermen look very stupid and dumb. Backwards people if you will. Ignorance breeds stupidity. Do the right thing. Be pro active instead of reactive.

sparky said...

By the way, the main issue that should be dealt with first is to get the center relocated. It sounds as if the perfect location is the public works garage. It is staffed thru the week, and secure, and it should also help to curb most illegal dumping, but not all of it.

Glass is a side issue people. Worry about that later.

The new hauler is a big plus for the city as well as the location.

Don't kill the recycling program just because of a bunch of glass!

Anonymous said...

It's good to see the honest, unselfish work being done by the Recycling Committee for the betterment of Raytown.

Kudos to the members of the Committee. They have put their shoulders to the plow. We will all join in reaping the harvest if their plan is accepted.

Pat Casady said...

I have mixed feelings about this article.
On one hand I think Mayor Bower is a good mayor
and I understand his "no" vote.
On the other hand I agree with Sparky about the animosity
the others have for Greg.
Some of the names have changed but in the last
eight years it's been this way. Them against Greg.
The bad thing is who suffers while these people bicker.
It's the people of Raytown.
I wouldn't blame Greg if he didn't run for office next time
but then look what we would be left with.

Andy Whiteman said...

Everyone needs to put aside their personal differences and focus on the welfare of Raytown as a whole.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I believe that Mayor Bower is committed to recycling, but I think a majority of the board are just playing games to try to make Greg look bad. I don't think it is going to work in this case, because a majority of our citizens are for recycling. The citizens can see what the board is trying to do, and I don't believe that they like it. So go Greg, you will win this one with the people.

Anonymous said...

Would the City have to overlaw the Streets as often if they had One trash hauler driving up each street once a week instead of 3-5 or maybe more trash trucks driving up each street.

sparky said...

People, lets focus on getting the recycling center relocated and get the new company hauling off the recyclables first, then look at the side issues like whether or not to accept glass, and whether or not to try curbside recycling later. Remember, baby steps.....
You have to spoon feed some of these aldermen to get them to understand what is important and what is not.

Andy Whiteman said...

I second Sparky's motion.

Anon 6:28PM, In my opinion there are so many vehicles on the streets, especially heavy vehicles, that I doubt the trash trucks make a big difference. How about delivert vehicles? We have USPS, UPS, Fedex, DHL, Airborn, and the KC Red Star just to name a few. It would be just as logical to say only one delivery truck per day. Limiting trash trucks would interfere with every hauler's right to conduct business and might be a civil rights issue.

Seriously, I am watching a section of Willow that was not overlayed in the 8 years I have been here. This year the cracks are getting bigger! I think the damage is mainly from a mixture of snow, ice, salt, and melting. The city previously had an overlay rotation doing a potion yearly with the goal of doing the entire city over a period of years. But they skipped the overlay last year (claiming no money) letting the streets deteriorate even more due to NO maintainance. This is a hazardous, unsafe condition, but if a citizen is in violation the lack of money is no excuse. Why is the city exempt from its own ordinances? I have asked the Board that question and get no answer except from a department head stating they don't have the money.

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...

PS. I am told it is too COLD to do the work now, but if it was done when it should have been done, it wouldn't be an issue

Andy Whiteman

sparky said...

The city won't even be able to afford gravel like a lot of these roads used to be made of 60 years ago. This is almost like real country living in the city. Even driving a tractor on these roads can be somewhat hazardous. What the city needs is a few lawsuits from people with suspension damage to their vehicles to possibly wake them up and put an end to the foolish antics within local government to do the right thing and take care of their priorities first instead of building monuments and buying vacant properties.

Pat Casady said...

One hauler should be out of the question.
That's like saying one insurance company, one real estate company,
one drug store or one grocery store.
(Although Wal-Mart will take care of that one.)
This can't happen and we can't let it happen.

To Anonymous 6:28,
Streets will need repair every year as long as we put salt and sand down. As will your driveway and any other surface that comes in contact with this corrosive compound.
Truth be known, a few years ago when there was a big stink about the big trucks parked in Raytown neighborhoods, they weren't hurting the streets.
That was just an attempt to turn a town of hard working people into something it wasn't. All it did was put up more houses for sale, and make more people
move away. Along with creating mistrust for the city government, most of which still goes on today.

Recycling should be an easy decision but as usual they will make a mountain out of a molehill. Sometimes it just makes you shake your head and wonder
where some of our elected officials heads are.

Anonymous said...

I've been following all the info on recycling on the blog, and what
is in the paper, because it IS important for all of Raytown. I just looked at the Post, and there is an "editorial"(?) by Mayor Bower. The impression I got from that is:

1) The aldermen didn't get the info on the recycling committees recommendations far enough ahead to study it,
and
2) The mayor just wants to make sure the people have a chance to weigh in on the decisions.

For those of you able to be at the last meeting, did that seem to be the case? I can't quite figure out why this issue is such a hard one for Raytown, when the cities all around us have managed to deal with it well. But, if "they" just want to hear from "us", we need to be there, or let our aldermen know where we stand.

Greg Walters said...

For the Record . . .

There were three votes taken by the Board of Aldermen at last Tuesday's meeting.

VOTE 1: A motion to discontinue accepting glass at the Raytown Recycling Center.

The Board of Aldermen tied on the vote, 5 to 5. Mayor Bower broke the tie by voting against the motion.

VOTE 2: A motion to change service providers who haul off the recyclables.

Defenbaugh currently charges the city $550.00 each month to haul off the recyclables.

The motion did not name another hauler, but the Recycling Committee has received a proposal that should bring up to $4,000 a year to the city.

The Board of Aldermen voted unanimously -- YES -- to accept the proposal.

VOTE 3: A motion to accept the Recycling Committee's recommendation of a new site for the Center was withdrawn.

A following motion to hold a public hearing at the April 1st meeting was unanimously approved by the Board of Aldermen.

As one writer aptly put it -- these are definitely "baby steps".

It almost seems like we are crawling over broken glass (pardon the pun!) to get to the destination -- but at least we are moving in the right direction.

If you are interested in saying your piece about recycling I urge you to attend the Board of Aldermen meeting on April 1st and let your elected officials hear it.

Andy Whiteman said...

Public notice has been an issue of mine starting the Animal Ordinance debates.

I thought the reason for having the Public Hearing April 1 instead of March 18 was to allow for public notice. I saw NO public LEGAL notice in the Post today.

This blog is notice to those who read it, but not everyone in Raytown reads it.

I have long contended that posting at the City Hall is not truly a public building because it isn't open 24/7. I have seen agendas of meetings taped to the window, but I doubt many people go to city hall. I go once a month at night to pay my sewer bill.

Channel 7 isn't truely public because not everyone has cable.

A typed notice on the water bills would be halfway decent notice.

When Mayor Bower stated that we wanted a PUBLIC HEARING, I expected to see a published legal notice published in a timely manner so people could arrange their schedules and formulate their thoughts.

I am dissapointed that there has been NO legal notice. The only way people will find out about this "PUBLIC HEARING" is to read the newspaper articles in detail.
This needs to stick out and not be buryed in an article.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Andy, you must have been sleeping when the smoke signals were sent, and then the town cryer on his horse went through shouting out the details.

I mean seriously how far do you expect the city to go, drop everything they are doing and knock on every door? That is truly the only way to make sure everyone knows. The fact is, probably only a couple hundred people out of 30,000 even care, so I think those people will know when the meeting is. And if they have an opinion I am sure they will make it known. My guess is the residents that live in the neighborhood will have a complaint. Most of them are probably working during the week when the city vehicles go in and out, but now you are adding a potential couple hundred on the weekend to their area. I sure wouldn't like that.
Plus, does anyone know if that lot is paved or if it is gravel? I would hat to think that it could be muddy when it rains.

Andy Whiteman said...

Anon 4:48AM, I don't expect the city to knock on each door (except mailing a notice to the properties impacted). Several of them are tenant occupied.

I expected to see a proper legal notice published in the paper. If the board truely wants public comment, it wouldn't be hidden like the Animal Ordinance was.

I think a good way to get notice out is to add a typed message onto each sewer bill. That should reach ALMOST everyone at no additional cost.

You are correct that only a few hundred people may be interested, but by not publishing legal notice many of these people may not know about it.

As for pavement, it was stated that part of the area was unpaved, but some work around was propose. I don't remember if they intended to use gravel, alter traffic flow, or what.

Andy Whiteman

Pat Casady said...

I have got to admit when I heard the stories about City Hall
and the poor service there I thought they were exaggerating.
They were not!
My wife went in to pay our, I believe, county taxes and stood at the window, with several others, for (and they started timing this) thirteen minutes watching the ladies talk amongst themselves ignoring everyone at the
windows.
This won't happen again. We will mail ours in from now on.
I'm sorry I ever doubted any of you that complained about this.

Andy Whiteman said...

Pat,

Since you are a business man, if a customer complained about a similar issue, you would deal with the employee(s) involved. Have you contacted Mr. Sharma(acting city administrator)? He strikes me as the kind of person who would handle the issue.

I have no option how my house taxes are paid but I have paid my car taxes at City Hall for about 3 years. I saw the line one year and mailed it the normal way. I pay my taxes between 8PM & 9PM and drop the check and stub (in an envelope) in the sewer payment drop box. I receive my receipt a few days later in the mail. I really wonder why people stand in line unless they are paying cash?

***&&&&&

I have seen yard signs supporting the school tax election. Does anyone know where I can get a "VOTE NO" yard sign? I have a corner lot on 2 a well travelled streets. If anyone has a sign supporting the new guy, I will gladly post it too

Andy Whiteman

Pat Casady said...

Andy,
If either one of my employees, my son included, deliberately
ignored one of my customers, by sitting around and laughing and talking
I would fire them on the spot.

Anonymous said...

Andy,
If you are talking about the new guy for the school board, just know that he is nothing more than a recycled former board member who was already voted off the board once before. Although he is running as an alternative to the three incumbents, he represents more of the same.

We have got to get new candidates interested in the board positions. When Steve Mulally resigned recently, 9 people applied for the position. None of these people were interested in running for the three positions in the upcoming election. Maybe it is the election process, financial requirements to campaign, etc.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Bray was a former school board member, but he was NOT part of the problem as we have now. The current board's attitude is SPEND, SPEND, AND BUILD without using union labor. Whatever happened to EDUCATING the children. And yes, that requires paying our teacher a decent wage. So, I'll be voting for Dean Bray for school board.

Andy Whiteman said...

It sounds like there are more than one opinion about Mr. Bray and the voters will have to sort fact from opinion. I am thinking of voting for someone who is NOT part of the current problem. Sounds like he has a better chance than present board members who take a higher bid of non-Union workers and have expensive seats at the Royals.

I agree the teachers deserve a decent wage, but does anyone really believe the tax hike will go to teachers' salaries? Isn't it always said that the money is to pay teachers? Does anyone know where to get a VOTE NO sign?

Why does anyone have to spend money on campaigning? I know this sounds dumb but the local papers usually interview the candidates so each may state their agenda. Anyway with the record of the present Board, wouldn't logic dictate voting for a new person?

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Just because a person is a new person dosent necessarily make it right. Most on the school board were new members when they started on the board.

Mr. Bray has not been on the school board for quite a few years, however, I will say that while he was on the school board that it seemed like there was a lot more common sense decisions that were made during that time period. So, basically, Mr. Bray is not a part of the current problem, but he could be a part of the future solution.

As for a sign, perhaps you could be innovative and make a VOTE NO sign.

All union people need to take note of what is happening here in this community, state, and country of ours. Remember the conditions that you see today are the direct result of Republicans running rampant, helping all of their big business and big oil company buddies out. It is a no brainer, we really cannot afford another four or more years of Republicanism running this country. And we are in a Recession, and it is getting worse by the minute. Gas soon to be 4+ dollars per gallon, and everything else is on the rise, food, clothing, building materials, utilities. Remember this all whenever you go to the polls to vote this coming fall when noone can afford to take off work for a vacation because of all of these idiots that are screwing up the country.

Anonymous said...

Are we to infer that $4 gas, and recession don't effect non-union people? Or are you stating that most union people cannot figure that out on their own, so you are pointing it out for them. Just curious.

Anonymous said...

Some have the tendancy to forget about the hand that feeds them at the polls. They do the knee jerk reaction of trying to vote on an individuals issue oriented basis. This come up every time at election time. Like, oh the Democrats are going to take our guns, or if they get elected they are going to get more pro abortion votes, and stuff like that. People need to think about and vote for their jobs. One needs to make a comfortable living in order to succeed.

The current administration in their time in office have succeeded in getting the most anti labor, anti worker, anti union representation enacted in this country taking what those that faught long and hard before us to get put into law to protect workers with basic rights and fair labor practices, for instance the 40 hour work week, overtime laws, the right to union representation, etc.
The war on the middle class in this country is alive and well, and the casualties are on the rise each day that the Republicans are in control.

Yes, the $4 per gallon gas effects all of us, the recession effects all of us, working for less than the areas prevailing wage plus fringes effects all of us, and voting for Republicans because the Democrats are going to take all of our guns ends up effecting all of us in the end. Ask yourself a serious question, are you any better off eight years later than you were eight years ago? Most of us are not, the rich and super wealthy are reaping the reward with tax cuts ala Bush. That should answer the question.

Andy Whiteman said...

I am disabled and unable to make anything much less a vote no sign. I had a sign made last year and it cost close to $100 (counting gas to pick it up). Someone stole the sign and I had another made at a cost over another sign that will be more difficult to steal $120 to make it more difficult to steal. Now I am waiting for a local handyman to come mount it at a cost of $85 when he gets around to it.

I am surprised that there isn't a group puting out VOTE NO signs.

Who is paying for the many VOTE YES signs? The school board? I assume they will spend (waste) taxpayers money on a Vote Yes mailing. After all, they need to fund their Royals seats.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

People Please!!!
The school district is not paying for political advertisement. That is illegal and ridiculous. There is a committee of grassroot supporters that have raised funds and worked hard. Try something different for once... Vote YES... for the teachers...
Quality education is the cornerstone of our communities... without quality, society crumbles one neighborhood at a time... VOTE YES FOR THIS LEVY... PLEASE!