Monday, April 21, 2008

Railroad vs. AT&T and Raytown Water Company

You have to hand it to the railroads. When it comes to greed and pure stubbornness they cannot be beat. That is, if you believe what Neal Clevenger, owner of Raytown Water Company has to say about the situation. The 63rd Street Bridge is ready to be replaced. Design work is completed, the city has all but signed off on the project and . . . . nothing is happening. Why? According to Neal Clevenger the dispute is between the railroad, AT&T and the Raytown Water Company. It seems the railroad wants to be paid for any utility that travels over their rail line. Never mind that the railroad does not own the current bridge. Never mind that they are not currently collecting any "fee" for utilities crossing over their "space". Never mind that they have not run a train on the tracks for over twenty years. They still consider it their "space". AT&T has made it very clear that they will not pay any type of royalty for crossing over a bridge. Clevenger says Raytown Water Company will not pay a royalty either. To make matters worse, the State of Missouri is staying out of the fight - claiming they do not have any jurisdiction in the matter. Looks like this one may be headed to court. BIG TRUCKS Complaints of big over the road trucks parking in Raytown are beginning to surface. The large vehicles have been spotted behind Block Buster Video on 350 Highway, the recently acquired HyVee located at 350 Highway and Gregory Boulevard and at a number of closed businesses on the east side of the city on 350 Highway. An answer should be forthcoming. Alderman Greg Walters has requested that the subject be brought up at Tuesday night’s Municipal Committee meeting.

47 comments:

Pat Casady said...

Here's a thought........
Fix the bridge anyway! What are they going to do come in and take it away?
Or, tell the railroad to clean up it's property or it will be taken away from
them by "Eminent Domain or Condemnation" this town has no problem scaring property owners with that tactic.

Leave the truckers alone! This town has already run enough people
out of town. These trucks aren't hurting anything. If the owners of the property
don't want them to park there, the owners should ask them not to do it.
They are not parking in their driveways like the last time.
Which didn't hurt anything either.
The city should stay out of it.
Every time the city steps in it takes two years and a lot of wasted time and
money spent for nothing and the town just gets divided further.

Anonymous said...

I'd say there is at least one person they still haven't run out of town. But maybe someday you'll truly get fed up and take your sour outlook with you.

And I believe the railroad probably has more power than the City.

Pat Casady said...

Tell me, what could the railroad do to Raytown if they went ahead and repaired the bridge?
If they keep putting off the repairs the cost will only be higher.
This is not a sour outlook it is a suggestion to fix the bridge and in the process
save you and the taxpayers money.
If you want to pick a fight you will have to do better than that.

And while I'm at it, what's wrong with the owners of the property where the trucks
are parking, asking them not to park there? It would only take a letter on the windshield
to stop them.
Why get the city involved with a private matter?

One other question why not sign what you write? What have you got to be afraid
of? It's been almost fifty years since I was in a fight, I believe it was grade school,
and I'm too old now.
Show some intestinal fortitude tell us who you are.

Anonymous said...

This is a different anonymous Pat. I am not picking a fight.

What, if anything, did the railroad do to the City for making the illegal cut in the tracks to straighten 59th Street and abandon the old bridge at 59th and Raytown Trafficway? I had heard years ago that when the city did that without the railroads blessing that the railroad found out and the city was supposed to fix it back the way that it was.

Andy Whiteman said...

Sounds like a Federal case to me. My learning was that the Federal Government gave the the RR the right of way. Hence telegraph, and telephone lines were put along thre RR ROW after receiving permission. (obviously there was payment for the permission.)

Over the RR is obviously crossing the ROW so the RR may have control. It would be interesting to know how many other utilities crossed that RR line's rails at ANY location. I am sure it is a common occurance. If it is, it sets a precident and it would be improper to demand payment here.

After reading this, I am surprised that the RR hasn't demanded the city pay for the bridge over the tracks! Has a similar demand been made from Aquila or the sewer service?

The utility lines are already there with with no payment so maybe a precedent has already been set! Adverse possession should apply here since this has existed for so many years!

Ok now, we have many citizens who earn their living as truckers. They have a hard enough time with the diesel prices! The ordinance is they can't park in residential areas. Sounds like they are parking in business areas which is what the city wanted anyway. So what is the problem? They are complying with the ordinance. It should be up to the owner of the property if this is allowed or not. I have seen truck parking on business property in other cities. Driving the interstate, I have seen trucks parked along on ramps and exit ramps because the rest areas are filled with trucks. If these trucks are owned locally, the city of Raytown as well as the "Quality" school district are collecting personal property taxes. Lets be reasonable. By the way the city is in violation of numerous codes including 1) fence over 6 feet high, 2) maintaining a nuisance [the Olde Baptist Church] 3) nuisance: failure to maintain streets; just to name a few.
During the animal ordance arguement, groups threatened to boycott the City of Raytown. The Teamsters could refuse to deliver to Raytown. It is quite possible that the property owners welcome the parked trucks which create activity and may tend to keep crime away. The truckers are hurting no one. Leave them alone.

Greg, I agree with you on many issues, but not this one!

Andy Whiteman

Pat Casady said...

To Anonymous 8:45
I have never heard that the railroad has ever done anything about the 59th. track. Which was my point.
The other point I was trying to make was what, if anything could they do to Raytown if the bridge was fixed. They can't come in and take it away from us.
Plus if the bridge gets much worse the city may face lawsuits from damage done to automobiles. The city has to fix it.
I've been told that a city or town can't make a profit so if the city has no money it doesn't look like a law suit would do the railroad much good either.
In fact the city should sue the railroad for not keeping up the property.
There is always standing water and trash along the tracks that will breed mosquitos and rats. If not a lawsuit, condemnation of property would seem like a logical move for the city.
I doubt the railroad is in a big hurry to get that line going again at around two million a mile to replace the tracks and it doesn't look like the light rail deal
will be done any time soon either.

The other anonymous said they believed the railroad "probably had more power than the city" I don't believe they do in this case. Raytown owns the
bridge not the railroad. It is Raytowns property and if it needs repair they shouldn't need the blessing of the railroad.
The only bad guy here is the railroad. They are breaking the codes with the property and should be treated like anyone breaking the rules.
(And maybe Anonymous 4:36) just kidding, unlike them I believe in free speech.

If making these statements is cause for me to be run out of town........
well let's just say I've said worse. I'm sorry to say....no I'm proud to say
I'm not going anywhere.
I'll say it again, I think the city should stand up to the railroad.
As far as the trucks being parked, less government is better. The city has more important things to deal with (see above) than worry about trucks parked on private property that could be handled with a note on the window.

Andy Whiteman said...

I don't understand, what is the big deal with the trucks? That should be the decision of the property owner. They are bothering no one. I see no problem with a truck on private property if they have the owner's permission. Why is this a city issue?

It seems like Raytown has one "problem" after another. Why not focus on real issues? It is a waste of time and resources to pick on the truckers. They are tax payers too.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I believe what happened here was that years ago, they wouldn't have ever thought about parking those vehicles in residential neighborhoods, and some tested the waters, tried it, and others followed suit. Some homeowners associations have covanents that keep one from doing things that might either annoy others with diesel engines that run off and on all night for refrigeration units, or to keep the engines warm in the winter. Some neighborhoods don't have any restrictions, so some residents resort to the city or county to craft some sort of ordinance/law to keep certain things from happening.

I do remember years ago when neighbors complained about a company pickup truck that my Dad had to drive with a utility bed that he parked on the street or on our driveway. They said it was 'tacky' and wished that he wouldn't park it in the subdivision. That was how it used to be.

I can see a diesel running and its associated noise can be annoying, not to mention that your typical residential street is narrow, and when cars are parked on one side or both sides it can be difficult to get through some of those areas. Personally, a tractor trailer, bobtail, or a dump truck simply should not be parked in a residential area overnight on a continuous basis. Tow trucks also, especially the flatbed variety. And the extra weight from these large vehicles are taking its toll on the residential side streets.

Regular company pickups, panel vans, Utility beds shouldn't be a problem on a driveway in a neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

Check out the Raytown Post this week! A headline story and two editorials that are not all fluff.

Looks like we may have a real newspaper coming back to life.

Anonymous said...

Don't get your hopes up regards a newspaper in this town! No circulation, no impact.

As far as trucks running at night how about those dogs barking next door? Give me the trucks

Anonymous said...

Yeah. I am all for dog/cat ownership as long as the prospective owners are RESPONSIBLE! All too many times we get an animal because of that warm, fuzzy feeling that one gets when they 'saved' another victim from being euthanized at the local pound. The newness eventually wears off, and sometimes the owner/owners both work so in the interest of keeping the inside of their homes from smelling like the local Petco or being torn up we will put the dogs/cats out all day long. Some bark at everything, some bark at nothing.

Oh, and then the dogs whine and need to be let out so the owners can get back to sleep. They bark at everything, including fire trucks. Eventually, they stay outside in a kennel or backyard 24/7/365. And some owners don't know how to limit themselves to no more than the maximum of 4 dogs cats or combination thereof. And some can sure feed the dogs, but when it comes to cleaning up the droppings in their own yards, they dont. It stinks, you cant open your windows for the nice cool breeze because of the stench. Sometimes, people need to be more considerate to others, stop and think about what the consequences will be and the effect that they will have upon others living around and next door to you.

A suggestion, if one wants to have a lot of animals, buy a large property like several acres so that the animals have plenty of room to roam and are not a nuisance or annoying to neighbors.

Anonymous said...

I read the Post story too.

Gerald Young -- unbelieveable!

That guy has to be at least 90+ years old. Are they ever going to stop the revolving door that uses the same old tired faces in Raytown?

We need new leadership -- not a guy rooted in the early 1960's running our school district.

Pat Casady said...

To Anonymous 9:44,
You are so right about a few years back Raytown passed rules about
parking big trucks in neighborhoods. I thought it was wrong to run existing
trucking people out of town. I thought they should be grand fathered in because
of all the years they had been accepted. On the other hand I understood how
annoying the noise and smell of a diesel can be.
However in this most recent "truck problem" if in fact there is one, the complaint
is about parking trucks on or behind property that trucks frequently use. Commercial
property.
My question is, who is complaining? Is it the property owners? If so they have
every right to ask the trucks not be parked on their property. If it's just some
super citizen wannabe, they should mind their own business. If it's someone from the city they should check the rules. I don't think these trucks are breaking
any laws but, if they are, the city need only to ticket them and problem solved.

I just don't understand why, if it's not against any laws, the city needs to get
involved. There is already too much city government involvement in citizens
lives and business. Too many rules, codes and stupid laws telling people how
a to act and live. Before someone writes to tell me what a jerk I am, I know we
need codes for safety and law and order in our town, that goes without saying.
One other thing. A tractor (big truck) weighs just a little more that a big SUV.
They won't and never did hurt this cities streets. Here's a thought, take a guess
at what a trash truck, loaded weighs. And no I'm not against trash trucks either.

Andy Whiteman said...

I don't have an issue with trucks parking on the street as long as the engine is NOT running. A few years ago, a truck parked near my house every THIRD Sunday and left his engine running. I called the Police each time. Finally I asked the officer to tell the driver to turn off the engine or find another location because I would file a complaint. Never saw him there again, but did see him on 63rd St by a vacant building at Raytown Plaza numerous times. I am surprised that no one complained.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I watched the meeting when the Big Truck ordinance was passed. I heard all of the pros and cons that were spouted on both sides. I for one was not sorry when they passed 9-1 the ordianace. I have had them in may neighborhood in the past and it does make your neighborhood like S_________. listening to them run for hours is very annoying. The only Alderman who voted YES on that ordinance was That Barbara Schlapia. If you drive through her ward most if those trucks are in her ward.

By the way, I watched her the night she voted yes to keep pit buls in this town and also to allow pigs inside your house. I looked up on the cities website at the codes and farm animals are not allow within city limits so why is it that it is OK to have a Pot belly pig inside your home. A Pig is a pig whether it's big or small it is still a PIG. How revolting. The only good thing I guess is that the smell will be inside instead outside where the rest of the city has to smell it. I move off of the farm to get away form all of that.

Maybe that man in Kansas City who was forced to remove a small horse from his property should bring it to Raytown.

What is happening to our once really nice community. We had people who cared about their neighbors and did not do things to down grade their property and will as their own. They cared about this city. Now all we have is a city council and a mayor who don't think about the long term effect of what they are voting on before they vote. They are more worried about sidewalks that go no where and pigs and other rediculious things that have nothing to do with how our city looks and the empression we give off to other around us and that is why we have such a hard time finding businesses to come here. It is also why we can't get good quality families to move here because we look like no one cares. Do whatever you want it's OK it only Raytown.

Anonymous said...

Aldermen like, big Barb Schlapia are the reason that we have become the dumping ground for anything that most other cities have outlawed. It's a lack of pride in themselves and their neighborhoods. But I guess that's what the mayor and his cronies want. Our town just seems to keep going downhill. I'm moving just as soon as my house sells.

Anonymous said...

Just read the article on the school board in the Post. It basically says what we supposedly cannot say here. Rick Moore and Kathy Mack are TROUBLE! Yes, it has been a divided board for quite some time, and the bulk of the problems with the district starts with the board. If something doesnt change and soon, we will be hearing about all of this stuff on the TV news, and they will make it into something just as bad as the KCMSD's problems. Definately not good PR for Raytown as a whole!

Anonymous said...

What a blowup with the school board! You're right it's only a matter of time before the television stations pick this up. Some of the accusations need to be looked at by the Missouri Ethics Commission. Some pretty serious charges have been leveled.

Pat Casady said...

I guess you have to ask yourself if the Raytown School Board will be
the next Independence style scandal?
I appears these board members only agree on how to spend, not how
to get along.
After reading Mr. Rich's article this week it is painfully clear some bigger
power needs to look into the way things are done at the school board.
It's also clear that the "Quality" is in the education with underpaid teachers that seem to still care about their students, and not in the school board.

Underhanded, behind the back deal making isn't the way to run a public elected board. Be it school or city. Secret, closed door meetings have always
made me wonder if things are on the up and up. The city calls these "Executive meetings." They are off camera and closed to the public.
It is actions like this that cause doubt in trusting elected officials.
Trying to shoe in friends to replace vacant positions is not right and you
may have to ask yourself what else is going on we haven't heard about?

Anonymous said...

You see what happened in Liberty. Maybe this school district needs an independent audit.

Anonymous said...

The Post article was much ado about nothing. Lining up support is a common thing politically. If you notice in the nearly 2 pages of wasted space, that the school atty said there was no law broken. That should have been at the start of the article. And where the editor's column was concerned if you read it carefully the guy is talking out of both sides of his mouth. The school board has the same problem as the city BOA - both are filled with people who are clueless.

Anonymous said...

At least it gives us a little hope that maybe, just maybe, the Post is looking a lot deeper than Mr. Battagler ever did. I thought Dennis Rich's editorial was very enlightening. It only proves what many of us have known for years, that we have a bunch of children running the school board. The jury is still out on the Post's new owner and editor, but its looks promising.

Anonymous said...

You must be a Post employee.

Anonymous said...

I would not call the story in the Post wasted space.

Was it illegal to try to bribe another board member with a position? Would it be illegal to bribe with money?

It always amazes me the lengths that people will go to try explain away the unethical behavior of others.

How far would you trust such people who conduct themselves like Landers an Company did in your own personal business?

Not far, I would hope -- if you did you are indeed a fool.

Wasted space? I don't think so.

Anonymous said...

Ha Ha. Wanna talk about unethical? Personal business? Find out how the ownership of the Post changed. There was no bribe only politically wheeling and dealing. Naive aren't you?

Anonymous said...

Yes. There are a lot of questionable, unethical practices that are and have been going on for a number of years here locally and beyond. It is frequently becomming a more common scenerio as people have no concience, morals, ethics, etc. Basically their way or the highway. And they don't care about what the people that they serve want or what their opinion/s are. It is a clique, a popularity and social elite club. Money will do strange things to some people. Wake up out there!

Anonymous said...

At least we agree decisions made outside of the light of public scrutiny are generally bad decisions.

The wheeling and dealing at the school board and city hall is starting to catch up with wheeler dealers.

Good job Rick Moore. Whistle blowing is never easy but it is necessary. Your story just might help make the school board behave and remember that they are supposed top serve the public. Not each other.

Anonymous said...

Not taking sides in the school board disputes other than to say we do not need another former school district employee on the board. Gerald Young SHOULD NOT be appointed, we need much younger folks with children in school to take this position. This guy is almost 90 years old, what new ideas could he possibly have to offer.

Pat Casady said...

This is the way our society is going these days.
No discipline, no rules unless it favors the power that be, certainly
no ethics and it seems no pride.
Imports, illegals, people losing their jobs because companies are moving jobs out of the country for cheaper labor.
What do we do about it? Absolutely nothing!
We buy the imports. We hire the illegals and we buy from the companies that cost our neighbors jobs. Wal-Mart, Sprint, AOL etc. In some cases we welcome them with open arms and tax breaks.
This is why nothing surprises me anymore.
Why should we expect any more of our elected officers?

To the person that said I was sour earlier. I wasn't.
This is being sour.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous April 21, 2008 8:37 PM; when you sell property to someone else that’s what you normally do, “walk away from it”………It’s no longer yours! For you to suggest that something underhanded (on the part of the Church) went on regarding the sale of the old church property is an insinuation that is totally without merit. On the other hand for me to suggest that you are an idiot does appear to have some merit!

Anonymous said...

Wow. Someone obviously found your 'hot button'. You must be a Baptist. Always wanting to fight with someone and name calling. I believe that this is where Greg should step in and censor stuff when you start calling people idiots, at least that is what happened the last time according to Greg!

Anonymous said...

It could be remotely possible that there was something 'underhanded' going on with the sale of that property to the city. With a lot of people out there today that lack common sense, dignity, a concience, and etiquette as well as honesty, anything is possible. Look at the television evangelists, look at the politicians, and even school board members. Not everyone is innocent. Grow up and wake up to reality!

Anonymous said...

This person up above, Anonymous April 25th 3:41 pm, just in observing what you quoted and what you wrote, it looks as if you were the one interpreting or assuming that is what was meant by that writer. It looks to me that the statement meant that they walked away from it. You were the one that came up with the twisted interpretation like something sinister and evil was happening. Get a grip and grab another beer!

Anonymous said...

I thought that we were not name calling anymore on here?

Andy Whiteman said...

I can't understand all of this interpretation business. When I sell my house, I will disclose any known defects AND WALK AWAY FROM IT. After closing day, it is the problem of whoever bought it, not mine. By the way, I an NOT a Baptist but my religion is totally irrevelent to anything.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Now that would be STUPID.....and not much fun at all! If someone is an idiot I think it's perfectly fine to call them what they are. On the other hand you shouldn't refer to an individual as an idiot if they aren’t, now that might be considered name calling

Anonymous said...

The last comment was meant for April 25, 2008 4:11 PM Anonymous, not for Andy............

Anonymous said...

And obviously what has happened here recently is that someone called Rick Moore an idiot and it got censored by Greg Walters and they got basically scolded for that. Obviously if that is how things are to operate on this blog then it should be executed the same way, even across the board. So, if someone is called something it is name calling, it is deragatory, and degrading in nature. There is not a difference.

Anonymous said...

The person I called an idiot has chosen to be ANONYMOUS, that just isn't the same thing as calling a person an idiot by name.

On the other hand if someone wants to call Rick Moore a name, Rick probably has thick enough skin to handle it. He certainly showed he has some intestinal fortitude by reporting the situation with the School Board.

Rick is an individual with some integrity, something that really bothers some of you on this blog.

By the way to suggest that the First Baptist Church did something underhanded with the sale of that property IS a "derogatory" statement to say the least!

Anonymous said...

Republicans!

Anonymous said...

The only thing that Rick has suceeded in doing so far is to stir the pot. And what integrity? It is more like impatience when it come to a lot of the issues that he is involved with. And another thing, talk about conflict of interest, he is employed by the US Department of Education. Alot of what I have seen and heard has not impressed me or others at all.

Self proclaimed 'Christians' are not perfect little angels, either. There is always temptation. You honestly cannot prove or say that there was not any wrongdoing on behalf of the First Baptist Church now can you? Prove it. Show us all a miracle right now. I just bet you cant! We have just pushed another hot button!

Anonymous said...

Lee Gray here.

As a kid I had a bird dog named Snapper. Brittany Spaniel. He would jump a covey of quail rather than point it.

I'd suggest we all stay on point here.

I'm certainly not a Southern Baptist, but the First Baptist Church sold a property to the city that "the city" agreed to buy. It was valued at a lot more than it was purchased for. If it was a "pig in a poke" that's on the city not the church.

Where many of the issues are concerned, and all of our reactions to them are concerned, there's lots of passion and little intellect.

Because of my "own personal history," I find the comments about the Raytown Post particularly amusing and interesting. But that's on me. No one else's problem.

I've had two kids graduate (coming this May) from the local school district and I've spent some time as a sub there...and been involved over the years in many school activites. My opinion is not worth more than anyone else's, but I do try to be informed and I have some first-hand experience.

I, personally, don't care about the name calling, etc. But I would say that we need a more constructive discourse here. I think the "problems" locally have been well-established. So how about we have a dialogue about solutions?

Lee

Greg Walters said...

Lee Gray shared some insightful thoughts in his short message.

Coming from me, that is a lot. There was a time, not so many years ago, that he and I would have trouble agreeing that water is wet.

But he is right about some of the stuff on this blog. The discussions should be more than and argument that goes like "no, you shut up!" -- only to be answered by "no, you shut up!"

The most interesting messages in this media are the ones that clearly spell out what someone truly believes. They makes us think and try to understand why the point of view is different.

The witty and sublime are also worth mentioning. I would like to meet and visit with the writer who came up with "Obewanknabe". His messages are to the point without insult. And because of that, those messages are sooooooo effective.

In this media, there is good chance I already know the person and am not even aware of who he or she is.

I don't know about the rest of you, but that is what I believe makes these pages and what is posted here unique and special.

There are some in the Raytown area who do not care for what is posted here. They epitomize the very definition of intolerance.

Keep posting, but post something that you would be proud to say you wrote.

O.K, I will sit down now.

Anonymous said...

The fact is that water is not always wet. At 15 degrees farenheit, for example.

Sometimes, to quote Bill Clinton, it depends on what the definition of is is.

I came up with Obi-wan Knabe. Thanks for the kind words.

Anonymous said...

Media???? Hmmm, not really, but it is fun to read!

Anonymous said...

The School District needs to get the house in order to save credibility. The gesture Landers floated to Moore was not unethical, it was a poor stab at trying to solve a bogg down. I don't agree with it... This kind of bartering (not bribe) happens in every legislative body. So lets all calm down... including Moore. He sounds an awful lot like someone that is not getting his way... But lets not put Moore on a pedistal yet. This is the same person that tried to ram religous rhetoric into the school's calendar a few years back and then had the religous zealots in town foaming at the mouth calling good people horrible names. Neither candidate should be in the running for president of the board. They should both step away and let the board pick a compromise candidate. And, a special ad hoc committee of citizens should be summoned to provide a name or two for who should be appointed to the board. Lets get the mess behind us...

Anonymous said...

Let's put this recycling GARBAGE on the back burner where it belongs and start dealing with the REAL problems we face as a city. Way too much time and energy is going towards this "feel good”, “fuzzy feelings" farce. Believe it or not most people really don't give a fat rat’s rear end about recycling. Look at the percentage of the population that has been using your recycling center, it’s really, really small. Wake up and smell the coffee!