Saturday, April 5, 2008

Vote Tuesday / Groucho Letters

Tuesday is Election Day.
Please remember to vote.
If you live in Raytown you will be electing School Board members and voting whether or not to increase your property tax by 25%. RECOMMENDATIONS: School Board . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dean Bray Property Tax Increase . . . . . . . . . . . Vote NO Groucho Letters A long time friend of mine and I had a spirited discussion about trademarks and how corporations and even some individuals will try to capitalize on the use of them. Here was our argument: I claimed that a sports franchise -- for example, the Kansas City Chiefs -- may trademark the name Chiefs but not the Kansas City portion of the name. My friend, who does have a law degree, had me at a disadvantage in the debate, claiming that the organization can trademark the entire name. Our “argument” reminded me of a series of letters written by Groucho Marx to the Legal Department of Warner Brothers over what Warners saw as an infringement on their intellectual property rights. The letter is a classic. It shows Groucho Marx, his wit and imagination, at its best. Abstract: While preparing to film a movie entitled A Night in Casablanca, the Marx brothers received a letter from Warner Bros. threatening legal action if they did not change the film’s title. Warner Bros. deemed the film’s title too similar to their own Casablanca, released almost five years earlier in 1942, with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. In response Groucho Marx dispatched the following letter to the studio’s legal department: Dear Warner Brothers, Apparently there is more than one way of conquering a city and holding it as your own. For example, up to the time that we contemplated making this picture, I had no idea that the city of Casablanca belonged exclusively to Warner Brothers. However, it was only a few days after our announcement appeared that we received your long, ominous legal document warning us not to use the name Casablanca. It seems that in 1471, Ferdinand Balboa Warner, your great-great-grandfather, while looking for a shortcut to the city of Burbank, had stumbled on the shores of Africa and, raising his alpenstock (which he later turned in for a hundred shares of common), named it Casablanca. I just don’t understand your attitude. Even if you plan on releasing your picture, I am sure that the average movie fan could learn in time to distinguish between Ingrid Bergman and Harpo. I don’t know whether I could, but I certainly would like to try. You claim that you own Casablanca and that no one else can use that name without permission. What about “Warner Brothers”? Do you own that too? You probably have the right to use the name Warner, but what about the name Brothers? Professionally, we were brothers long before you were. We were touring the sticks as the Marx Brothers when Vitaphone was still a gleam in the inventor’s eye, and even before there had been other brothers—the Smith Brothers; the Brothers Karamazov; Dan Brothers, an outfielder with Detroit; and “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” (This was originally “Brothers, Can You Spare a Dime?” but this was spreading a dime pretty thin, so they threw out one brother, gave all the money to the other one, and whittled it down to “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?”) Now Jack, how about you? Do you maintain that yours is an original name? Well it’s not. It was used long before you were born. Offhand, I can think of two Jacks—Jack of “Jack and the Beanstalk,” and Jack the Ripper, who cut quite a figure in his day. As for you, Harry, you probably sign your checks sure in the belief that you are the first Harry of all time and that all other Harrys are impostors. I can think of two Harrys that preceded you. There was Lighthouse Harry of Revolutionary fame and a Harry Appelbaum who lived on the corner of 93rd Street and Lexington Avenue. Unfortunately, Appelbaum wasn’t too well-known. The last I heard of him, he was selling neckties at Weber and Heilbroner. Now about the Burbank studio. I believe this is what you brothers call your place. Old man Burbank is gone. Perhaps you remember him. He was a great man in a garden. His wife often said Luther had ten green thumbs. What a witty woman she must have been! Burbank was the wizard who crossed all those fruits and vegetables until he had the poor plants in such confused and jittery condition that they could never decide whether to enter the dining room on the meat platter or the dessert dish. This is pure conjecture, of course, but who knows—perhaps Burbank’s survivors aren’t too happy with the fact that a plant that grinds out pictures on a quota settled in their town, appropriated Burbank’s name and uses it as a front for their films. It is even possible that the Burbank family is prouder of the potato produced by the old man than they are of the fact that your studio emerged “Casablanca” or even “Gold Diggers of 1931.” This all seems to add up to a pretty bitter tirade, but I assure you it’s not meant to. I love Warners. Some of my best friends are Warner Brothers. It is even possible that I am doing you an injustice and that you, yourselves, know nothing about this dog-in-the-Wanger attitude. It wouldn’t surprise me at all to discover that the heads of your legal department are unaware of this absurd dispute, for I am acquainted with many of them and they are fine fellows with curly black hair, double-breasted suits and a love of their fellow man that out-Saroyans Saroyan. I have a hunch that his attempt to prevent us from using the title is the brainchild of some ferret-faced shyster, serving a brief apprenticeship in your legal department. I know the type well—hot out of law school, hungry for success, and too ambitious to follow the natural laws of promotion. This bar sinister probably needled your attorneys, most of whom are fine fellows with curly black hair, double-breasted suits, etc., into attempting to enjoin us. Well, he won’t get away with it! We’ll fight him to the highest court! No pasty-faced legal adventurer is going to cause bad blood between the Warners and the Marxes. We are all brothers under the skin, and we’ll remain friends till the last reel of “A Night in Casablanca” goes tumbling over the spool. Sincerely, Groucho Marx Final Note: A number of other letters followed this one. Warner Brothers eventually withdrew their objection. For more information on the Groucho letters visit: www.snopes.com/movies/films/casablanca.asp

83 comments:

Andy Whiteman said...

The way to vote in this election is something that Greg, I, and apparently several others agree on.

It might of helped us all if several of the posts appearing in the last string had been sent to the local papers. Maybe the problem is they don't take anonymous letters and for obvious reasons school employees and some others can't sign their names. The Post only published one letter against the tax increase and even took the time to get a rebuttal from the Raytown "Quality" School District. (I wonder what gives them the right to use the word "Quality"? It should be the Raytown "Mismanaged" School District.)

I wonder if the ballot will be like the last one where the punch holes are far away from the questions and names? If so, there will be many people punching the wrong holes intending to vote NO but actually voting YES unbeknownst to them? This is the Missouri equivalent to Florida's hanging chads.

This election should be invalidated due to unethical practices: The "Quality" Distrist's use of taxpayer money to solicit YES votes.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Andy, from my own experience and talking to others around town, I don't believe that the Post has much circulation anymore. There are many parts of town that it hasn't been thrown in for months maybe even over a year. That's why there is no advertising in it. So I'm not sure I would care if my letter got in it anyway. I've found that on something like this tax hike that "word of mouth" works about as good as anything. So let's get out there and keep talking.

Anonymous said...

From last weeks thread:

There were already homes here that are vacant and cannot sell because of conditions which already existed before all the fly by night mortgage company scandals.

Common Sense already moved out of Raytown a few years ago. He grew tired of the 'white trash and the hood wanna be gangstas'.

Education should start in the home with the parents. (If the parents don't have common sense, guess what?)

Now look at what we have on the school board. They all lack common sense.

Look at the administration building run rampant. A superintendant that has only been here a couple of years at best, retiring. The ones before him have retired or gone on to greener pastures (Independence). Now a new one will be starting. How much more of our money is going to go up in smoke?

We had one superintendent for years. This district has become a mere stepping stone for ones resume. All of the assistant positions under the Superintendent are unneccessary. Cut out a lot of this top heavy chair warmer positions and get it back to basics like in the 50's and 60's then there would be extra money for the teachers salaries. They are, and should be the real focus since they are on the front line dealing with our children every day.

Until this administration and school board can learn to exercise and execute financial responsibility amung itself and its members they will eventually self destruct.

I have to adhere to a budget, why cant they do the same?

I will probably vote no on tuesday and encourage all my family to vote no as well. We need to tighten all our belts and watch our spending.

It is not that I do not believe that the teachers are not important, it is because of the ignorant leadership in power that needs to be put into check.

Anonymous said...

Here are some figures from the state of Missouri, comparing the Raytown School District to Lee's Summit and Independence in 2007:

                      Raytown       Lee's Summit      Independence
School Tax Rate 
                      4.64             5.89                  5.08
Graduation Rate:
                      82.7             91.7                  82.4  

pupil/teacher ratio:
                      19/1             20/1                  19/1
avg teacher salary:
                      43.2K            47K                   50.5K
pupil/administrator ratio:
                      188/1            241/1                 203/1
avg administrator salary:
                      85.6K             88.8K                90.0K

So, you divide all this out and you discover that here's how much each district is paying 
in teachers and administrators per pupil:

Teachers:
                      $2,275            $2,485               $2,658
Administrators:
                       $455              $368                  $443

There are lots of conclusions one could draw from these tables, but here's what jumps out at me: per pupil, Raytown pays the least to our teachers, and the most to our administrators, of the three districts we're comparing. And, compared solely to the Lee's Summit district:

IN 2007, RAYTOWN PAID OUR SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS 24% MORE PER PUPIL THAN LEE'S SUMMIT, WHILE PAYING OUR TEACHERS 9% LESS PER PUPIL THAN LEE'S SUMMIT. Holy Smokes. What kind of priorities are these?

Match this with the Herndon Center non-union fiasco and the $160K parking lot, and I maintain that this has all been a multi-year carefully orchestrated plan to enrich the administration and friends at the expense of our teachers' salaries. The real payoff of this plan begins when the new tax levy is passed. The Stadium Club is a waste of money? I'm a'feard that we ain't seen nuttin' yet!

My heart and my sympathies go out to our teachers. They and the students are pawns in this game. I believe that Raytown has had and still has some of the best teachers anywhere. I wish that I could vote for a school levy increase, because I honestly feel that one is needed. But, like the "Not This Charter" folks, I say "Not This Levy," and "Not This School Board."

I do agree with Pat Casady that people should sign their names when they believe in what they are saying. Unfortunately, my current employment situation causes me to decline to do this.

All these raw numbers are publicly available from the State of Missouri at http://dese.mo.gov/schooldata/ , along with mind-numbingly more.

Raw data can sometimes be manipulated and skewed to demonstrate seemingly opposite conclusions. We've seen data spun to make bad look good, and black look white, or at least some shade of nebulous gray. Maybe somebody can do that with these figures; I'd like to see what they come up with.

I'm from Missouri. Show me.

Andy Whiteman said...

I don't doubt that the Post hasn't been thrown in many areas. It is no longer a free paper. They charge for a subscription and send it by mail. This happened a few years ago at which time I became a subscriber. Ocassionally they throw the papers on a free basis. I am surprised that they didn't disperse this last important edition.

The News is the free paper. I don't receive it. The last contact I had with them was when a manager came to my door and asked if a knew a reliable kid he could hire as a carrier.

I sure can understand many have a valid reason for not signing their name. I read many valid comments from Anonymous.

There are too many "Quality" School administrators. Many of which could be eliminated. The pay of those remaioning could be cut. I have advocated the same for city government even though many do real QUALITY work but they don't have to call it Raytown "Quality" City Hall.

My question is since there is only one person worth voting for, who do we vote as the other 2 choices? We can write them in. Is anyone out there willing to step up and serve the community if elected by write in?

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Andy I saw that the Post searched out someone to answer you letter when it was printed. Didn't see anyone searched out to answer Larry Edwards' support letter of the C-2 assinine tax. I'll take you over Larry edwards any day! The rules always change when you have an agenda...and the out of town owner (and as someone else noted above no circulation and no ads Post) is playing suck up in hopes of being a player is concerned.

Anonymous said...

Credit where it's due. The old Post under Batt-boy wouldn't have even printed that letter, unless to excerpt portions to make fun of.

How can the mouthpiece of the Mayor and Cronies lose circulation? Are Raytowners smarter than they thought?

Andy Whiteman said...

I was just thinking, how will this "Quality" tax increase affect bussinesses if passed?

They all have personal property taxes on their furniture, fixtures, equipment, etc. (At least I paid this tax in Colorado on my business. I assume Missouri is the same.) Also an inventory tax.

How will this affect, for example, a car dealer (of which we have several) with a lot full of cars as well as all of the necessary equipment for mechanics, parts inventory, etc. Recently a high end (I believe bus) dealer received permission at the BOA to relocate to Raytown. I wonder if this tax is passed, will they still move here?

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

COURT SETS ATHEIST'S HOLIDAY

Have you heard about this case? Great answer from the judge!

In Florida, an atheist became incensed over the preparation of Easter and Passover holidays. He decided to contact his lawyer about the discrimination inflicted on atheists by the constant celebrations afforded to Christians and Jews with all their holidays while atheists had no holiday to celebrate

The case was brought before a judge. After listening to the long passionate presentation by the lawyer, the Judge banged his gavel and declared, Case dismissed!'

The lawyer immediately stood and objected to the ruling and said, 'Your Honour, how can you possibly dismiss this case? The Christians have Christmas, Easter and many other observances. Jews have Passover, Yom Kippur and Hanukkah...yet my client and all other atheists have no such holiday!'

The judge leaned forward in his chair and simply said, 'obviously your client is too confused to even know about, much less celebrate his own atheists ' holiday!'

The lawyer pompously said, 'Your Honour, we are unaware of any such holiday for atheists. Just when might that holiday be, your Honour?'

The judge said, 'Well it comes every year on exactly the same date---April 1st! Since our calendar sets April 1st as 'April Fools Day,' considering that Psalm 14:1-states, 'The fool says in his heart, there is no God.' Thus, in my opinion, if your client says there is no God, then by scripture, he is a fool, and April 1st is his holiday!



Now have a good day and get out of my courtroom!!



Way to go, Judge!

Sue De Nemmes said...

Last time, there was a guy named Levota running for school board that seemed pretty sharp to me. If somebody remembers his name, then I'll write him in. I'm certainly not voting for any of the current board members.

Pat Casady said...

To Anonymous April 05, 8:34.
Great analysis of where the taxpayers money goes with the schools.

It's a sad fact that in this day and age the money stays with
the people that control it. It hardly ever goes where it is promised.
The school board is just like most politicians. It will tell you what you want to hear to get your vote but rarely does what they tell you.

The teachers will probably not see hardly a percent of this money
and you can bet the spending will go on.

I fear that this tax will pass because of the standard low
turnout of voters we have in Raytown and the fact that the "Good old boy"
system is alive and well in Raytown.

Andy Whiteman said...

NOTICE:

I just observed a blue, small sized SUV driving down the street taking pictures of houses. I called the police to report it as a suspicious vehicle. The dispatcher at first told me that my address was NOT a valid Raytown address. I told him, "Unfortunaetly I live here." He laughed and finally decided that I was here.

It turned out that the photos are for a maping company. If your house is photographed, you know what it is about. I have seen these in other cities on
www.maps.google.com . Pretty neat but maybe an invasion of privacy for some.
**************
Pat, I agree some people will believe anything. What really concrens me is at the last election the punch holes were nowhere near the names so that I didn't know if I was voting for the person I wanted to vote for. In this case, a person can intend to vote NO and actually vote YES unbeknownst to them. What a ridiculous way to print a ballot!

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Kudos to the clever fellow who came up with "Battboy." I know a person who always referred to him as "Little BigMan" because he would puff like like one of his Confederate general heros and walk around with his hands behind his back like he was planning a battle. I would disagree that the new management of the Post is any better. You didn't see any response printed after Larry Edwards' letter like the guy above pointed out. Vote no on the school levy and elect only silly Dean Bray. He at least can be honest even if he is just another pig at the trough.

Anonymous said...

It's bad enough they try to brainwash our kids to get us to vote for the levy increase, put signs in the public right of ways, leave flyers on our doors, contract with a local telemarketing firm to call residents of the district to get us to vote yes. I would sure like to know how much of our tax money is being wasted on all these efforts. VOTE NO ON TUESDAY ON THE LEVY INCREASE! KEEP THE BOARD IN CHECK! LIVE WITHIN A BUDGET LIKE ALL OF US!

Dennis Rich said...

An open letter to Greg Walters, et. al.:
Dennis Rich
Publisher/Editor
Raytown Post

Dear Greg,
I wanted to take a moment on this gray election eve to respond to a few concerns raised by you and your readership here at the Raytown Report - and to raise a couple concerns of my own.

I have expressed to you privately, and am more than willing to express publicly that I think you have every right to operate the Report, and I think you provide a valuable forum for members of this community. I do not believe myself above reproach, nor am I infallible, and as I have communicated to you before, I take the comments and criticisms of you and your readers regarding the Post seriously.

That I have not yet proven myself to some members of this community comes as no surprise to me. I am a newcomer and understood that this would be a long-term project – but I remain fully committed to providing Raytown with a quality newspaper that is both fair and accurate.

I believe I have demonstrated this to you on numerous occasions, most notably during debate over your work with the Recycling Committee.

I went out of my way to provide you with all the space you needed to present your side of what proved to be a fairly contentious subject. In fact, in the March 26 edition of the Post I ran the entirety of your column (my competitor ran a heavily edited version of this) prior to the April 1 public comment period before the board. I did this despite the fact that it was nearly double the length limitation I had discussed with you, and despite the fact that it took me nearly 45 minutes on the busiest day of my week to clean up all the formatting issues. I then emailed you a copy of the edited column so you could see what changes I made and could raise any concerns you might have had prior to publication.

In addition, I have regularly published letters from a number of your contributors, including Mr. Casady and Mr. Whiteman. The Post will remain open to every member of this community and I will again invite any interested party to submit both letters to the editor and guest columns for publication.

With that said I feel compelled to say to you that I think you and your readers are doing a disservice to the 8,900 students in the Raytown School District when you allow half-truths, rumor, and innuendo to masquerade as fact in the debate over tomorrow’s levy vote. Those students - most of them under the age of majority and unable to cast a vote – rely on the rest of us to be adults who engage in reasoned debate over issues of concern to the community.

As taxpayers, home- and business-owners and voters, I do not question the right of you or other opponents of the levy to advocate against it. In fact, Mr. Whiteman’s last letter to the Post came after I posted a message to this blog (that time regarding whether or not I lived here and whether or not I had any right to speak to the matter) inviting letters from people on all sides of the issue.

The only letter I received against the levy was from Mr. Whiteman. If you will allow me, to Mr. Whiteman’s concerns:
No, it is not the policy of the Post to accept or print unsigned letters to the editor. You will find this is standard practice among any reputable newspaper. I would consider excepting this rule if a party came forward with newsworthy information and had a valid concern for protecting their identity.
As to the editor’s note that I attached to your letter, I gave the district the chance to respond because I doubted the veracity of the information you included in your letter. There was no similar note attached to Mr. Edwards’ letter because his letter was clearly his opinion and did not make specific, questionable, assertions.
Assertion one: the school board did not accept the lowest bidder on the Herndon/RSHS projects. True. They didn’t.
They did however accept the lowest QUALIFYING bid – meaning that the bid package included ALL aspects of the project being bid. The lower bids that the district passed over neglected to include KEY parts of the bid, including much of the HVAC and ground source heating systems.
Is it then your continued assertion that the district should have taken the lowest bid, even though it did not meet all of the requirements? I thought the big concern here was over what kind of stewards the district has been with taxpayer money. Is it really the opinion of people here that the district awarding a massive contract to an UNQUALIFIED bidder would really have been proof of better stewardship?

Assertion two: the district purchased the former Sewing Machine property for “in excess of $180,000.”
Well, you got this one half right. The district did buy the building, but the price, as confirmed by the April 17, 2006 board of education minutes (this is public information by the way) was $162,000. The building is in disrepair, as you stated, but the district did not buy the building for use, it bought it with the intent of tearing it down to extend bus lanes and expand parking. Though the building was bought out of the general fund, the 2006 bond issue, which passed with about 75 percent approval, set aside money for land purchases, and the cost of the property could be included in the bonding. That money can only be used for capital improvements and property acquisition.

Assertion three: the district purchased “executive box seats for Royals games.”
This is simply untrue – though Dr. Houck does hold tickets he purchased with his own money.

Besides these three points, Mr. Whiteman and others have questioned whether or not the Quality Counts workers were using tax money to support their advocacy in favor of the increase.

The answer, again, is no. The district is barred by state statute from engaging in advocacy – they must remain neutral. The Quality Counts group is no different from any other political action committee. They must declare the group to the state, elect a treasurer, and are supported STRICTLY through contributions from individuals and businesses.

NO TAXPAYER MONEY HAS BEEN USED BY QUALITY COUNTS TO SUPPORT THEIR ADVOCACY IN FAVOR OF THE LEVY INCREASE. If any reader here has evidence to the contrary, please contact me, and I would recommend contacting the attorney general as well.

Now, Greg, when you commented in your March 30 post –“If what has been written to this blog is accurate, and much of it has been verified, they have needlessly squandered valuable tax dollars that could have gone to paying salary increases to the teachers…” I’m wondering which pieces of information you are referring to. What, exactly, “has been verified?” - because it was quite clear to me in this process that the information Mr. Whiteman presented had not been verified and was largely untrue.

You in the blogosphere enjoy a freedom that I do not as a print journalist. I am bound by both ethical and legal obligations to properly vet information before publication, as well as being responsible for corrections and/or retractions when bad information makes it into print. I admit to being a bit jealous here – my job would certainly be a lot easier if I could simply invent facts when I wanted to, or if I did not feel bound to concerns of fairness and accuracy.

I was sorry to read that the Salamander took the Post’s endorsement of the levy so hard. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, Salamander, but, no, there is no Santa Claus. That is a fantasy. An equally fanciful belief, if you truly hold it, is the idea that you can attract and retain quality teachers by being at the bottom of most salary schedule indices compared to surrounding districts.

It is more that fair to question the need for the levy increase – and safe to say that if I had called the district for clarification of Mr. Whiteman’s issues and had been told that the district had paid an inflated price for a building, or that they had avoided prevailing wage laws and slighted union workers by awarding a contract outside the normal statutory obligations, or that they had bought Dr. Houck executive seats for Royal’s games, I would have included that information in my editor’s note.

And, further, if all of Mr. Whiteman’s assertions had been borne out by the facts, I would likely have retracted my endorsement and joined this mostly anonymous chorus in telling people to vote ‘no.’

While these assertions were not true, it is true that the current salary schedule is one of the lowest in the Metro, and that the current total levy is also at the bottom when compared to other districts.

Nothing I have seen posted to this blog makes those facts untrue. If it is the opinion of you and your readers that the district would be better served if it were allowed to fall into disrepair and that teachers and students would be better served by spreading already thin resources even further – well, by all means, vote no.

For my part, after nearly eight years of listening to GW try and tell me that 2 + 2 = 5 and that white is black, well, you will forgive me if I no longer have much patience for intellectual laziness.

Obviously I am new to town, but safe to say that if I really believed that the district, or the city for that matter, was really engaged in the level of waste and, apparently, corruption as you all like to claim here I would be doing a damn sight more about it than posting anonymous screeds to a blog.

There is also a school board election tomorrow. Mr. Bray is the only challenger, although three incumbents will face voters. There is a mechanism for removing bad representatives from office in this country – it’s called voting. If that doesn’t satisfy you, there is always the option of running for office. So with all this supposed graft and corruption, all this wasteful spending and double-dealing, are all of you really content to sit back and allow the incumbents you rail against to return to office?
None of you are concerned enough to run yourselves, or to band together to field a viable candidate who shares your concerns?

I solicited letters. One came.

The district last week was interviewing candidates to replace Steve Mullally – here would have been an excellent opportunity to voice concerns to the school board so that they understood that the candidate they chose was committed to fiscal responsibility – besides reporters, candidates, and their families I think there were about 5 people at that public forum.

The district held two forums on the levy increase in January. They were both pretty well attended – averaging between 35 and 40 people. I heard of little opposition to the school board or to the levy at those meetings – though a number of parents were curious as to why the district did not ask for MORE money.

Before selecting the new superintendent, the district hosted a public forum with one of the representatives in charge of the search to solicit comments from the public about what kind of candidate the district should be looking for. Again – there was a grand total of 5 people in attendance.

I must confess that it strikes me as odd that a group of people so obviously concerned about how the district conducts its business would ignore every opportunity to seek some form of redress of their grievances.

In addition to concerns I have specific to the levy issue, I also feel compelled to address some of the comments regarding the Post.

First, let me say thank you for all the free advertising. For a paper that supposedly holds little support from readership or advertisers, you all sure seem to spend an awful lot of time talking about what we write in the Post.

I tend to think we learn more from our mistakes than from our successes, and likewise learn more from criticism than from praise, and I encourage your readers to call, email, or stop by the office if they have questions or concerns regarding the coverage we provide.

Certainly, if anyone here has hard evidence of malfeasance or corrupt practices of any official or city leader – come see me. Nothing sells a paper like a good scandal – but be aware before you come that you need to be armed with more than a bogus story about some baseball tickets if you expect me to take your issues seriously. I can’t and won’t print rumor, but if I am missing something I am more than open to being set straight by someone who is more knowledgeable or who has access to facts that I am not aware of.

The Post did reduce its circulation after I arrived. As the business manager I inherited a paper that had been poorly run on a left-over business model based around a free weekly throw. I found this a waste of resources and scaled back our circulation to something more manageable. I am happy to report that demand for the paper is at an all time high – having nearly sold out of our last two editions – and I will make steady increases to our circulation through subscriptions and single copy sales as the pace of growth warrants.

These are lean times for any business, and we certainly understand if troubling economic concerns mean that small business owners have fewer resources to devote to advertising. With that said, we add new customers (and new subscribers) on a weekly basis - adding to a loyal flock of established advertisers - and I expect us to continue to grow in a sustainable way over the next year.

My competitor does have a higher circulation, but I’m always game for a challenge and it is my full intention to give the good Mr. Johnson and the folks at NPG a run for their money. This is America right?- and don’t we all benefit from unfettered competition?

As to the issue of ownership – I simply find it confusing that Mr. Casady, a business owner who lives outside the city – would be encouraged to continue contributing to the Report, however, the Post’s owner Mr. Ivey, a business owner who lives outside the city – isn’t extended the same courtesy – and not only is he denied a voice, but so am I and all my staff even though we do live here.

Am I missing something here, Greg, or is there simply a double standard?

As I said in the Post’s endorsement of the levy – the district is an asset to the city, and if the people want the asset to maintain its value, it is going to take an investment. Maintaining funding level from a decade ago, despite changes in the state’s allocation of funding to districts, and the unfunded mandates forced upon districts by No Child Left Behind, and despite the steady devaluation of district resources due to increased costs and inflation will do damage to the district, and the students will be the ones who bear the brunt of that damage.

I continue to support the levy and again encourage voters to vote yes on Tuesday.

By the way, the Post will be doing regular updates on area election results throughout the night on our Web site – www.raytown-post.com.

Thanks for the opportunity to share my thoughts, and by all means keep reading and complaining about the Post.

Dennis Rich

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Rich,
You sir are DEFINITELY an outsider and have NO idea what has been going on in this little city of Raytown.
MANY good, decent people have run for office and thanks to 'battboy' and his being a mouthpiece for the former mayor and her cronies, all of them were slandered - yes, slandered - by the POST! It's just more difficult and costly for us commoners to fight against bullies like battboy!
Please research previous editions to see for yourself how vicious battboy was to many GOOD people that attempted to make a difference in this community!
How DARE YOU write to something you know NOTHING about!
You sir, need to do your own research.
We who have lived here many years and who have had to put up with the lies and viciousness of the Post know what is what.
The children of this community deserve better that what they are getting now.
Were you aware that 60% of the C2 school district is in Kansas City and Independence? Yet, to my knowledge, there has been NO Independence school board member. Why has C2 ignored Independence and Kansas City? C2 can take money from those good people.
Why was the board so in favor of the Raytown city government TIF project on 350? They GAVE UP money for that TIF. That is partly the reason they need money now. Again, please do your research.
Why should Kansas City and Independence C2 patrons have to subsidize the Raytown city government TIF project? Isn’t that a bit unfair?
Anonymous due to what the POST has done to me personally in the past.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Rich, Boy are you out of touch with reality about the school district and the city. And as for your paper the former owner, Mr. Battagler,had turned it into such a political piece of trash that the real Raytowners quit reading it. It protected Sue Frank and her cronies and chastised anyone who dared disagree with them. This is why so many of us choose to remain anonymous when we express our feelings. Of coarse I'm sure that Mr. Battagler's continued support of Frank had nothing to do with the Post be located in Frank's insurance office. It used to be a highly respected and investigative newspaper under the ownership of Lee Gray. You've got a mammoth task ahead of you and I'm sure it will take years to restore the Post's credibility and advertising base.

Andy Whiteman said...

Would a reasonable person or board buy a lot for $162,000 plus the cost or razing the building? By the way it seems to me this is in excess of $185,000. This would be a reasonable purchase in downtown KCMO for a parking lot as a business. I have heard on TV that a single parking space in New York City costs much more than this!

Where are the school bus lanes really being placed? Over the last several weeks I noticed part of Raytown High School's lawn being dug up. It appears that the drive is being widened for busses. Why was this sewing machine low bought at such as outrageous price? It is not a good location for a bus lane since the children have to cross the street as they do to go to Philips 66.

I agree the teachers need a raise. That was the excuse in the past. Why do the teachers still need a raise? Will the teachers really receive a living wage? Or will the tie wearing chair warmering administrators be the ones really getting a raise. Is it necessary to have a Principal and 3 Assistant Principals? My point is if money was managed more wisely this vote would be unnecessary.

I received a publication put out by the Raytown "Quality" School District supporting the bond issue. This is a waste of taxpayers money to support the "Quality" agenda. Should this election pass, I intend to send my copy to the AG requesting the vote be invalidated. I hope others will file complains also.

There are numerous election signs posted around town on city right of way in violation of city ordinance but the city is not enforcing the ordinance. The yellow signs going down Blue Ridge Blvd on city right of way look like ornaments. Some are on corner lots posing a traffic hazard. Isn't posting so many signs like saying, "This is a bad idea but we can brainwash people that it is a good idea"?

I don't agree with the Post's support of this tax increase, but I am a subscriber of the and have been since they have been a paid paper. Their opinion will not affect my readership because they are entitled to their opinion. I don't get the other paper because they throw it on driveway and into the gutter like litter. They did have someone delivering it properly for a few weeks, but that stopped.

Every newspaper with a 2nd Class mailing permit is required by the Post Office to publish their circulation in February so anyone questioning the Post's circulation can read it except it is published too small to read.

My comments about unsigned letters were really addressed to the anonymous writers because NO newspaper will publish an unsigned letter. I was hoping some on the anonymous writers would sign their name(s) on a published letter but apparently they are school district or city employees.

I was thinking for running for school board, but didn't in fairness to the voters since I don't intend to remain in Raytown.

I wonder how someone who states that he and his staff are not allowed to Post on this blog can post two posts? I would like to see a response from Greg. My experience was that one can post as Anonymous or establish a user name. I am a member of another blog that requires an invitation.

My letter to the Post was not due to Mr. Rich's offer to publish letters against. I was going to send the letter anyway but I was waiting until close to the election so it would be fresh in peoples minds as they vote,

I thank Greg that this open forum is here for all to express their opinions. Otherwise it would probably be a coffee shop. In my olden days it was a round table that could accommodate up to 12 at Abe's Cafe, Littleton, CO.

Please VOTE NO
vote for DEAN BRAY
my other 2 votes will be write ins because I don't consider anyone else worthy of my vote.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Mr. Rich,

YOU ARE RIGHT ON THE MONEY AND I APPRECIATE YOUR CANDID NATURE. THE DIFFERENCE HERE BETWEEN THIS CHATTER AND JOURNALISM IS HONESTY... HERE YOU CAN BE CALLED OUT WITH NOT A FACT TO STAND BEHIND, CALLED CORRUPT WITHOUT THE BENEFIT OF SHOWING YOURSELF TO THE ACCUSED. SOME PEOPLE, ALBEIT CONFUSED PEOPLE, HAVE THE GUTS TO STAND BY THEIR STATEMENTS... SUCH AS ANDY WHITEMAN AND PAT CASSIDY... BUT TO ALL THE SALAMANDERS AND KNUCKLEHEADS OUT THERE... GROW UP AND PUT YOUR FACE BEHIND YOUR WORDS... I FEEL SORRY FOR YOUR MISERABLE LIVES.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately some of us have had the pleasure to be residents of Raytown for most if not all of our lives, and the truth is that some of us have seen the cliques come and go. We have seen them push their agendas both with some factual and unfactual information all to their benefit. Statistics can be manipulated to be used to ones unfair advantage and they have been used that way in the past.

Someone stated that there were only bond issues in the past and that the bond money was never to be used for salaries, only capital improvements. TRUE. What they neglected to state was that there was also a combined levy/bond issue in the past that voters at that time chose to support. The bond was for capital improvements and IT upgrades, and the levy was for staff salary increases. This term 'staff' has bothered me for quite a while now as it is too broad of a term. 'Staff' can and generally does include everyone within that C2 organization from the top down. The last time this levy came through the teachers were supposed to get raises, and most did not according to what came out later. The ones running the district, the multiple principals, assistant superintendents, etc. were the ones that padded their bank accounts and wallets. Until the district can be financially responsible they will not get my support. If they will designate that yes, it will go to the teachers, custodians, cafeteria workers, maintenance people, and bus drivers and their maintenance people instead of the generic term 'STAFF' maybe they would gain more support.

Most that remain anonymous on here do so for good reason. In the past, people have been persecuted if you go against the cliques in power. It is proven fact. And if one votes, one has every right to voice his/her opinion period, anonymous or otherwise.

Whatever you decide to do, please exercise your right to vote today.

Greg Walters said...

Dennis,

Your letter to this blog paints with a very broad stroke all that is written here. Keep in mind, that I exercise very little control over what contributors have to say. Since starting the blog I have only had to remove four comments.

I feel that speaks highly of those who post here.

As to the accuracy of what is written -- it is also accurate to judge the local papers on what they do not write.

For instance, the purchase of a small parcel of land and a building for $162,000 may not seem like news to you. But when you add that the building is going to be torn down (without knowing the cost of demolition -- talk about professional planning!) for the questionable use of more space for school buses it makes one wonder where do the buses go now?

The fact that it takes a letter writer to finally get a newspaper to acknowledge the action on its pages speaks volumes about what is considered news.

Before I respond to specifics of your letter I do want to publicly thank you for printing a recent column in your paper about recylcing. You did go the extra mile in using all that I gave you and I appreciate it.

The editor of the Raytown Tribune did not give me the courtesy of even a telephone call that he was going to do the (very poor) editing he did to the same copy sent to him.

It is doubtful I will use that paper as a source for informing the public again.

The information was timely and well received by the public. It cleared up a lot of misinformation that had been spread about the recycling center. We are all in your debt for making the space available.

I noted your comments regarding my column on these pages last week.

The simple fact is that much of what has been written on these pages regarding the proposes property tax increase for the School District is (unfortunately) very accurate.

As stated above, one issue that has been central to the debate in this post is the purchase of property next to Raytown High School. Dismissing it as money properly spent because it was used from money set aside for purchases of property does not make it a wise decision.

The school district does conduct out of district events at venues, the K.C. Zoo, Royals Stadium, etc., that could just as well be conducted at property owned by the School District.

The practice of paying students for perfect attendance at summer school is a bad idea. It teaches that an education is not a reward in itself -- and leaves the stench of bribery to do what is not only right but beneficialy to the student.

But by far, the worst misrepresentation is that the school district has not received any additional tax money since its last levy increase.

It has been accurately reported by many on this blog that every two years the county does re-assess property values. The School District has been a huge benefactor of that practice.

The truth is that the School Board has been negligent in addressing teachers salaries. It is not the fault of the patrons of the district that their level of mis-management has sunk to that level.

Throwing more tax dollars at the School Board will not change the practices that have put them in the hole they have dug. It will only enable them to dig even deeper.

That in itself is reason enough to vote NO on this rainy Tuesday.

I appreciate the efforts you have made in trying to turn the Raytown Post around. As you can tell from the anger expressed on many of the posts on this page, the ten years of extremely biased reporting has left a stain that will not easily be removed.

I believe the vast majority of not only those who contribute to this page but of all Raytowners understand the benefit of an independent newspaper.

What many of them hunger for is both sides of the story. Perhaps some more investigative reporting on "official source statements" be it from the school disrtrict or city hall is in order.

You and I have had these discussions before. Remember, it was here that the former City Administrator's search for a new job was exposed -- even though it turned out that sources at city hall sat on the news for well over a month.

The disemination of information is a good thing. The more public our process -- the better for all. I believe we share that thought.

Finally, for all those who read this page.

Today is Election Day -- Please remember to vote!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Rich sounds like the typical newcomer to Raytown. He's so excited about being here that he can't see the forest for the trees. It used to be a good place to live and raise your family, but it has been allowed to run down and is becoming the new inner city. Those "goof balls" that we call elected officials have run all the good folks off because of their silly giveaways to the out of town corporations. There are many houses for sale and when you ask the folks where they are going it is to some nearby city. Why, because we have nothing to offer our citizens anymore.

Anonymous said...

The verifiable fact that Raytown C2 paid it's administrators 24% more per pupil than Lee's Summit R-VII in 2007, while paying our teachers 9% less was posted here and nowhere else.

That's not fluff nor opinion. Unless, like an earlier poster, you don't trust the state of Missouri's numbers.

This is more like a public bulletin board than a newspaper. When false statements are made, they can be corrected and corrected by anybody. What happened to "the tapes" that some newspaper used to run?

This is the twenty-first century version of "the tapes".

Anonymous said...

Mr. Rich, nice post, but as you will soon see, reason and fact is useless with these lemmings. They will just sit at their computers with aluminum foil on their walls so the governement can't read their minds. Luckily they are the minority and their harmless fodder lands on this site, and this site only. If they really had a voice, they could really screw things up.

Pat Casady said...

To Dennis Rich and the "Yes"voters.

The simple fact is, most of us that have had anything to do with
City Hall or the School Board don't trust them anymore.
The very people that this bunch is supposed to "serve" couldn't
spend money like these people do. Most of us would be bankrupt
the first year, but the School Board and City Hall just have to ask for more money by having a vote.
When either one of them want something or someone voted in or for they have their "Good Old Boy" network to help them push things through.
To their credit this works for them. Most people have quit showing up to vote. They have in fact stacked the deck in their favor by intimidation.
The School Board used the children while the city uses the "Moving Forward" cliche'.
It would seem that the people of Raytown keep buying this stuff even though there has been no forward movement in twenty years. The new Wal-Mart, in my opinion isn't a move forward considering the city gave income for
twenty three years. And the fact that we will lose more businesses when this monster opens it's doors.
The School Board isn't much better. They say they need the money to keep good teachers and then give the teachers a small percentage of a raise. Then pay $162,000.00 for a building they can't use, their answer to that,
they will tear it down and turn it into a parking lot.
Again the average person can't and wouldn't spent their hard earned money this way.
So I ask you people out there, The Post, the Chamber and friends of both that think this property tax increase is justifiable, please tell us.
Don't say for the kids or to keep the teachers, we have heard that every time the School Board needed money. Give us some facts.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Rich,

Welcome to Raytown. I'm quoting a previous anonymous poster as a wonderful and timely example of the tactics of the "powers that be" in this town.

I'm sure that you're familar with the logical fallacy argumentum ad homenim, and have already several times been been subjected to a variation of the eye-rolling "Crazy as a Loon" dismissal of a person who questions the actions of our civic leaders.

Here's the previous post:

Mr. Rich, nice post, but as you will soon see, reason and fact is useless with these lemmings. They will just sit at their computers with aluminum foil on their walls so the governement can't read their minds. Luckily they are the minority and their harmless fodder lands on this site, and this site only. If they really had a voice, they could really screw things up.


This is a classic example of the argumenum ad homenim to dismiss the ideas of those who question the powerful here, and they're very good at it.

Phrase by phrase, it breaks down like this: The posters here are stupid, they can't think for themselves, they're crazy, they're isolated, they're powerless.

Welcome to Raytown. Don't forget to vote.

Anonymous said...

60% of C2 is in KC and Independence? Sounds like Kansas City and Independence could team together and run the C2 school board. Could Independence do to Raytown what it did to KC - take the Independence portion that is in the C2 district and vote it into the Independence district?

Anonymous said...

Dennis Rich sounds like another Randy Battagler, the previous owner of the Post. He talked a good game at how he was going to improve and grow the paper, but instead he ran it into the ground. I understand he didn't even finish paying for it before he bailed out. A real class act, this Battagler. So I hope you don't follow his example on how to "improve" the Raytown Post.

Andy Whiteman said...

In my opinion the "Quality" school board is being run by lemmings who need to go back to school to learn plain common sense and business management. Unfortunately common sense cannot be taught. All these jokers know how to do is waste money and fool the public with lies. What is needed before the next election is for some people with real QUALITY to step up and run for school board to get rid of the lemmings or at least be able to have a majority over them.

I am voting for Dean Bray only. The other two votes would be wasted if used adding to a lemming's count. I will write in the names of people I think could serve well.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Lee Gray here:

Thanks to one of the anonymous commentors above for the kind words.

I've been quiet the past couple of months because of two eye surgeries.

I do think this blog, with all its limitations and short-comings, does offer something lacking elsewhere in the community --- and that is unfrettered discussion of information and issues not covered sufficiently by other media.

Universally newspapers have made themselves irrelevant for a number of reasons. Either they are one-side and non-objective or they fail to serve their readers' interests. Just yesterday I read an article on how even small local newspapers are no longer relevant in their communities. Their owners simply do not understand their niche and provide what makes a paper viable.

I would add one other thing about the state of journalism from my years as an adjunct journalism professor at Rockhurst University.

Most young journalists are motivated by what used to be a respected role in a community. Of all my top-notch students, one went to law school after working at the Raytown Post with me. He's now Wyandotte County executive/mayor of Kansas City, KS.

Another has made fabulous money in public relations and a third lives in NYC, setting up promotional events featuring The Rolling Stones, etc.

Most print journalists are poorly paid and therefore newspapers attract the poorest performing students. Additionally, they lack social science backgrounds and completely miss the significance of their roles in a community.

Politicians and journalists used to be respected and their careers admired. Now both rank at the low-end of the social strata. Why is that?

Shouldn't be hard to answer that question.

Best wishes
Lee Gray

Pat Casady said...

It never ceases to amaze me how a person can get on this post,
tell everybody else how to think and how stupid everybody else is.
Take Anonymous 04/08/ 8:06 for instance. Here's a person that
knows everything there is to know about life and living and everything else under the sun. Even what other people think.

It is people like this person that trust in the city government and the school board is lost. This kind of person will OK anything these forms of tax collecting bodies try to do, without even an inquiry of where
or why all the money is gone and they need more.
This person won't even question the stupid ways taxpayer money is wasted.
All this without signing his or her rant.

If this person isn't already an elected official they should try to be elected they would fit right in.

Anonymous said...

Mr Rich, I have a couple of questions about your longish post.

First of all, I feel that you do have valid points about people who state untruths as fact. False statements need to be corrected, and we all have to remain vigilant to do that. I do not fault you for attempting to get a response to claims of fact, and it does appear that you were correct in having done so. To me, that falls under the aegis of responsible journalism which is a standard that admittedly, the responses on this blog sometimes fall far short.

However I am perplexed by the following statements made by you.
You state in one paragraph, "For my part, after nearly eight years of listening to GW try and tell me that 2 + 2 = 5 and that white is black, well, you will forgive me if I no longer have much patience for intellectual laziness."

Then, in the next paragraph, you start out with, "Obviously I am new to town..."

These two statments seem somewhat at odds to me and I am asking for clarification. The only person I can think of at the Post that has been butting heads with GW for nearly 8 years is Bob Phillips. Was perhaps the rough draft of this letter written by Mr. Phillips, and you were too intellectually lazy to edit it? Was it perhaps a random page out of the "Slurs against Greg Walters" file that is surely stuffed to overflowing down there at the Post? I am not stating this as fact, and please correct me if I'm wrong. It's just the only explanation I can come up with for the inclusion of the sentence castigating Mr. Walters for his performance during the last eight years, especially since he's been the same guy here for over well over 20 years, and you've been here less than one year. Surely in Warrensburg there's more of a nightlife than to sit around and read about Raytown for eight years. What am I missing?

Then, and I find this very strange, you say "I simply find it confusing that Mr. Casady, a business owner who lives outside the city – would be encouraged to continue contributing to the Report, however, the Post’s owner Mr. Ivey, a business owner who lives outside the city – isn’t extended the same courtesy – and not only is he denied a voice, but so am I and all my staff even though we do live here."

Well, let me be the first to issue a formal invitation to Mr. Ivey to post here whatever and whenever he wants. And who on earth is denying you or your staff a voice? Dude, think about it. In the middle of a 2600 word treatise, you're complaining about being denied a voice. This behavior strikes me as somewhat self-delusional at best and as self-pitying tripe at worst.

Third, you seem to think that Greg Walters approves of and agrees with the content of every post here. It's a blog, Dude. Since somebody called Greg a jackass a while back, I can almost guarantee you that Greg does NOT agree with nor approve the content of every post. But, again, he can correct me if I'm wrong.

I do understand that you are dealing with people who are used to controlling the flow of information and this blog represents a threat to that. It's a tough position to be in, but I have every hope that you will rise to the challenge.

-The Graduit

Andy Whiteman said...

I just voted about 4:30PM. There was a lady at Raytown High School claiming to be a teacher and asking for a YES vote. I told a poll worker that where I came from this is illegal. She told me that lady shouldn't be there and thanked me for telling her. On the way out, I was about 5 minutes signing petitions and in all that time, no one told the "teacher" to more on. Looks like an illegal election with a person standing at the intrance to the pool and the "Quality" School District's spending taxpayers' money on a mailing.

Andy Whiteman

Dennis Rich said...

Dear Graduit,

First, to Greg, I apologize for a point of obvious confusion. I didn't really make the connection in my head until I read the above Post.

The GW I was referring to in the post, would be our good lord chancellor george w. bush - I do not mean nor do I believe that Mr. Walters is a dishonest person. He has dealt in a very straightforward way with me in my time here.

Nor was I trying to imply some sort of spiritual connection between Mr. Walters and our soon-to-depart president. That is an insult I reserve for truly incompetent and arrogant politicians...and I have found Greg to be neither.

Greg has certainly had a long and successful career as an Alderman, and has obviously survived through some often heavy-handed attacks. I may be new here but I have done everything I can to get caught up to speed.

It was because I recognized an obvious move to exclude some voices from the Post that I contacted Mr. Walters, Mr. Casady, and others when I first arrived in town - and I have found both men to be serious, concerned, and intelligent.

I realize that previous incarnations of the Post have all had their own editorial approaches - it is obvious Mr. Gray made a profound and lasting impression on this town, and as I am just reaching the Lee Gray years in the archives here I'm interested to see how he approached things.

I'm sorry to hear about your surgery, Mr. Gray, and wish you a quick heal and the best of health. I'd love to buy you a cup of coffee, or some similar beverage of your choosing, and talk to you about your experience here. Give me a call or drop me an email if you have the time.

I make no apologies for any previous owners or editors. They, like me, were free to take the paper in whatever direction their judgment led them.

I do though feel a certain responsibility as the most recent inheritor of this seat to apologize on behalf of the institution if readers feel the paper operated from a biased and one-sided point of view, and I am certainly concerned to find people who are still so reeling from their experience with the paper that they feel they still have to hide their identity when they comment.

The reputation of the Post seems to have gained a fairly yellow tarnish through the years, but I want to assure everyone that I am here every day with my sleeves rolled up trying to restore the original finish.

I am sincere in having an open door and should any member of this community feel slighted or marginalized by something in the Post, by all means come by and see me.

As to the issue of having a voice here...well, this isn't my first rodeo, as they say, and this certainly isn't my first blog. I have a pretty clear idea how all those works. I was really speaking here more towards a thread of comments that suggest that the editorial positions of the Post should be discounted simply because our owner does not live in town.

Greg has never suggested that I or anyone with the Post should not post here. Nor did I ask. I made use of the public forum that Greg provides - but, Greg, you are the moderator here, and while I understand that you are not responsible for anything anyone else posts, it is your baby, just like the Post is mine.

I may have strayed from some of your original questions, Graduit, but I appreciate the vote of confidence at the end. I leave it to all of you to judge whether or not I'm living up to my responsibilities.

Thanks
Dennis
editor@raytown-post.com

Anonymous said...

Oh, THAT gw.

(Lily Tomlin voice) Never mind.

-Graduit

Anonymous said...

THIS IS TRULY THOUGHT PROVOKING. TAKE THE TIME TO READ IT AND SEND IT ON TO THOSE THAT YOU THINK ARE WORTH SENDING TO, AS I HAVE DONE.



There was a chemistry professor in a large college that had some exchange students in the class. One day while the class was in the lab, the prof noticed one young man, an exchange student, who kept rubbing his back and stretching as if his back hurt.


The professor asked the young man what was the matter. The student told him he had a bullet lodged in his back. He had been shot while fighting communists in his native country who were trying to overthrow his country's government and install a new communist regime.


In the midst of his story, he looked at the professor and asked a strange question. He asked: "Do you know how to catch wild pigs?" The professor thought it was a joke and asked for the punch line. The young man said that it was no joke.


"You catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground. The pigs find it and begin to come everyday to eat the free corn. When they are used to coming every day, you put a fence down one side of the place where they are used to coming. When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat the corn again and you put up another side of the fence. They get used to that and start to eat again. You continue until you have all four sides of the fence up with a gate in the last side.. The pigs, which are used to the free corn, start to come through the gate to eat that free corn again. You then slam the gate on them and catch the whole herd. Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom. They run around and around inside the fence, but they are caught. Soon they go back to eating the free corn. They are so used to it that they have forgotten how to forage in the woods for themselves, so they accept their captivity."


The young man then told the professor that is exactly what he sees happening in America. The government keeps pushing us toward Communism/Socialism and keeps spreading the free corn out in the form of programs such as supplemental income, tax credit for unearned income, tax cuts, tax exemptions, tobacco subsidies, dairy subsidies, payments not to plant crops (CRP), welfare, medicine, drugs, etc.. while we continually lose our freedoms, just a little at a time.


One should always remember two truths: There is no such thing as a free lunch and you can never hire someone to provide a service for you cheaper than you can do it yourself.


If you see that all of this wonderful government 'help' is a problem confronting the future of democracy in America, you might want to send this on to your friends. If you think the free ride is essential to your way of life, then you will probably delete this email. But God help you when the gate slams shut!


The only thing I can add to this is a question for you......Which candidates out there are most anxious to spread around the free corn?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Rich:

Listen to this, from a soon to be an ex- Raytown School District employee.

Yes, they have Royals night for the administrators and teacher "bonding" activities at the tax payers expense off school district grounds.

Yes, they were going to use the sewing machine shop for storage of school items and the Raytown Fire Marshall wouldn't send his men into it for fear of falling down on them as the condition is so bad. (why wasn't checked out by experienced company the district could of hired a lot cheaper to check the condition of the building than paying $162,000.00)

Yes, 3 asst. principals and 1 principal for each middle school and high school, talking about padding the payroll!

Yes, the school district doesn't even know what supplies and equipment they have from year to year since they don't keep very acurate inventory or at all. (I know of stuff that has been purchased 7 years ago and is still sitting where they delivered it and has been forgot).

You obviously don't have a clue what you are writing. Vote NO!

Anonymous said...

As Winston Churchill said: The beauty of democracy is that people get exactly what they vote for.
Raytown has voted tonight for another C-2 tax and re-elected its incumbent school board members. That's democracy. While 60 to 80 percent of America is dissatisfied with the status quo Raytowners continue to walk the uninformed path. I would feel sorry for them but they have brought it upon themselves. So don't bitch as you continue to suffer.
I have read Mr. Rich's comments here and he sounds sincere. I have known Mr. Gray during his years in this town. I would suggest you forget the coffee and focus on offering him something stronger. That man can drink! I doubt that your owner will approve of you talking with Mr. Gray. Battboy was your owners boy. You talk about restoring the Posts position in the community but that just shows your lack of its history. It was always the maverick paper. Considering what I know about Mr. Grays sale of the newspaper I doubt that he would ever offer any advice. I know i would not. He got screwed. He got lied to. He got lied about. Just like most everything in Raytown you try to do the right thing and then you get screwed for it. Mr. Gray is not a friend of mine. He made plenty of mistakes in my opinion. I have friends that have told me the details of all he went through fighting rich and powerful people who had business here but did not live here. To me this has always been the real problem in Raytown. Carpetbaggers. Take the money out of here and run

Anonymous said...

The people of this district got it right... pure and simple... for all the issues that get talked about... no one could truly articulate a reason not to give teachers raises and that is the big issue here... not this building or that... or this board member or not... sure they have a responsibility, but goodness the need was clear...

In regard to Lee Gray, I find it somewhat interesting that so many people here write and wax nostalgic about him, when he has on two occassions been a part of disasterous charter campaigns... with the last one costing tax payers plenty and with the last one a clear example of a minority of people being put in a position of power and with a golden opportunity to take the will of the people and put it before the voters, he laid an egg... and ignored the people that came before him time and time again to tell them and others what this charter should and shouldn't include. Soon after, he ran a ridiculous campaign for Mayor that really showed a lack of creativeness as well as a lack of any real public support... What is unique about Lee Gray is that although I am not a personal friend, I see him not as evil, but rather I like the man and always have and that is probably what disappoints me the most... I loved the way he wrote in the paper, and I miss that, but what he gave then and what he gives now are two different things... I just don't care for what he has given recently...

Lets move forward now and instead of blabbing rumors and misinformation, perhaps you will get more involved in the progress of this community and be problems solvers to the future problems of that we will face...

Finally, Ken Neal passed away and I hope we can all keep June and his family in our thoughts... This is a great lose to Raytown.


Quality and the Truth Counts...

Anonymous said...

It is a sad day when you have an election guided by pro issue propaganda filled with misinformation, a school district that includes all of Raytown, population around 30,000 people, and parts of Kansas City and Independence, and only 3,492 people that reside within the district voted, including myself. Excluding the ones that cannot vote because they are not old enough to vote that sure tells me that there are a lot of irresponsible and lazy people that live in this area that cannot exercise their right to vote. Now, when all these people that voted for giving these inept and irresponsible leaders of this school district another blank check and send three of the board members back to make more irresponsible decisions as trustees of our tax monies complain when they get their real and personal property tax bills around christmas time we can honestly say what goes around comes around. I bet the teachers see very little, if any of this money. The administrators, principals, and assistant principals will see increases in their salaries. Bye bye, teachers!

Anonymous said...

Our society is reaping what it sows (in regards to the low voter turnout)...laziness, irresponsibility all lead to apathy, pretty soon you look for someone else to be responsible, before you know it the responsible take liberties, eventually all of them. In the end, you just hope the values/beliefs of those who control all things are the same you share & believe in.

Anonymous said...

The teacher drain in Raytown will continue until the school district addresses the real problems in the schools. The lack of discipline and the refusal of the administration to back teachers up when faced with confrontational parents and children.

Until you see those tough issues addressed you will continue to see teachers come and go in five year windows just short enough not to put them in the tenure trap but long enough to give them credential for resume� padding. They will then move on to another district where they do not have to put up with the lack of discipline, etc., etc.

Meanwhile, the school board will probably continue the spend now, ask later, way of doing business that is so wasteful and embarrassing to our community.

After all, they received their mandate from the people. Why should they change?

Pat Casady said...

Every time someone rambles on about the past charter deal it
makes me think.
What would have happened if there weren't at least four saboteurs
on that board. You know the people that voted on every line and
paragraph in the charter and then in the end they wouldn't sigh it.
In fact they put it down in the papers. In my minds eye this just
showed me the way Raytown works now. To get anything passed or
voted for you have to take the low road. If this includes having teachers posted outside the voting doors (possibly being illegal), stealing charter booklets from the library, picking fights with people that were for the charter
at Round Up Days and even having "Not this charter" signs on City Hall property. (illegal)
I just don't get it. Elected officials used to the cream of the crop or at the very least public minded. They used to care about the people and how
tax dollars were spent so they could be re-elected. The new politician doesn't give a damn about the people or how their tax dollars are spent.
They throw up monuments on every corner and and can't fix the streets.
I guess so they can tell their friends and family, look what I did.
I wonder if they will still be boasting about what they did after the new big store opens and Raytown as we know it dies.
We citizens aren't much better. We keep re-electing these boobs as if
to say go ahead, spend as much as you wish. Or go on and run as many
businesses and people out of town as you can. Oh, and it's OK to give
away sales tax income for the next twenty three years.
Nothing will change as long as we have only a 10% voter turn out.
But then that's what they count on.

Anonymous said...

You've nailed it again, Pat. The public debate gets clogged with so much hate and vitriol that anybody with sense walks away. Gee, turns out that it was Lee Gray's fault that the charter failed. And what was disasterous about it? My take was that it required Raytown City employees to reside in Raytown, but with all the spew of garbage surrounding it, I was never really sure what the problem was.

Argumentum ad homenim. You don't need logic or facts, character assassination is faster, easier and more effective. Especially if you don't have logic and facts on your side.

I propose a new logo for the city.

A blacksmith swinging a hammer...

And hitting his own thumb.

-The Graduit

Andy Whiteman said...

All the Raytown Quality School District can do with Quality is to lie to and rip off the tax payers.

What my mother said seems to be true which was proven by the low turn out: Only the tennants and teachers vote. It looks like very few property owners voted or even cared.

The turn out could be better if we had mail in ballots. I lived in California and ballots were mailed a couple of weeks before the election so every registered voter could vote at home and mail it in. The first time we went to the polls, we were told, "You shouldn't be here. You are supposed to mail your ballot." We need that system to combat low turnout in this State of Misery.

This election was illegal and should be appealed:
1) The "Quality" School District spent taxpayers' money on a mailing soliciting YES votes. Isn't this illegal?
2) Numerous signs were posted illegaly on city Right of Way and not enforced by city staff. [Actually I wonder if the city or certain employees were expressing a policital message by their inaction? I voiced numerous complaints both to the BOA and to code enforcement. Apparently each sign required a citizen complaint before the city would take action.]
3) A woman claiming to be a teacher was standing at the entrance to the polls at Raytown HS soliciting a YES vote. I advised a poll worker who said that woman shouldn't be there and thanked me for telling her. Nothing was done. Obviously the poll workers were biased. I called the election office and reported it. I don't know if any action was taken.

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...

PS. I think this last election should make it obvious why I say this is the Fascist Fief of Raytown, State of Misery. The State of Misery makes reference to the climate rather than the government.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Andy,
The mailing from the school district did NOT solicit a yes vote. It was a piece to inform about the levy increase. They could certainly present the info about the levy from their standpoint which you may have taken as solicitation for a yes vote, but you will not find anywhere that they asked you to vote yes. Legally, they had the right to provide an informational piece.

Most of the informational pieces, including those to solicit yes votes, came from the Quality Counts Committee, which received its funding from individuals and businesses in the community.

Anonymous said...

It was still a waste of taxpayers money to put out an INFORMATIONAL piece from the school district. If the QUALITY COUNTS COMMITTEE is "so hot" let their "big dogs" finance it. This is just typical of how the district wastes your money.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't commenting on whether or not the informational piece was the best use of taxpayer's money, just countering the incorrect statement made that it was illegal to provide the information. Fact checking is in such short supply on this blog.

Anonymous said...

I too know that it is not illegal to put out a INFORMATIONAL piece paid for by my and your tax dollars, but to me it's borderlines on being unethical.

Anonymous said...

Well, if it is only BORDERLINE unethical, then Raytown Quality Government (tm) is improving by leaps and bounds!

Anonymous said...

sour grapes... sour grapes... The good news is that with the election results the way it is, you all have months and months of crazy and mindnumbing complaining... that should make you all just tickled... God knows what would happen if it got defeated... Sour grapes!!!

FACT CHECK FOR THOSE CHALLENGED:

Every campaign has poll workers and signs get stuck all over the place... if the negatives would have an organized movement... you too would have done the exact same thing. There is nothing illegal about that...

There was nothing illegal or unethical about mailing out informative information about an election... every community does it and it is a great way to give the citizens information about the election and what the language will say. Afterall, the same governing body put the questions on the ballot... heck some of you complain about the lack of information coming from those bodies and now you complain when they do. Figures!

In addition, take heed, when you all say things like corrupt, like illegal, like boobs in reference to elected people, you sure better be prepared for someone to challenge the logic and truthfullness of your statement. But then again, you guys don't like that much here do you.

And, sorry Andy, there is nothing here that would warrant a likeness to fascism or a fief... In fact a teacher sitting outside (emphasis on outside) your polling station only illustrates the beauty of democracy and the democratic process... The beauty of using your constitutional rights to impact change... Yea turnout in these types of elections are always low... but that is simply the way it is... that is why if you all were serious and had any credible information to refute this latest initiative, then you would have organized and campaigned... or maybe not... that is too hard of work for you all.

And the Charter did not fail because four people didn't sign it... they didn't sign it because it was not what the people wanted. Seems to be that they were the right ones or at least they were the ones in tune to what the people wanted... Lets not forget that that election was a landside loss for the charter... and in turn the finger points to that committee. It failed because they failed to listen to the people. The people told them what they wanted in this document, and they felt like the committee could decide better for the public what they needed in a charter. That document was more about taking pot shots and some city staffers. The residency thing was just a small part of the big pile of poop that the last charter was... and that is sad since this community needs the right of initiative petition.
But I would agree, that is the past, and perhaps I was in error to bring it up again... trust me it still makes me angry.

I expect to see you all at the BOE meetings as well as the BOA meetings... At least Andy goes to those... the rest of you are those typical lazyboy complainers that would never want to do the real work of trying to find the solutions to problems... Otherwise you all are a bunch of paranoid chicken littles claiming the sky is falling...
Frankly this community deserves better... don't be afraid join us in moving forward.


Keep Looking Forward...

Anonymous said...

Informational mailers.... you can't always believe all the statistics that they use for these mailings. Especially if the pro or yes forces put it together. Things can and will usually get distorted enough to gain an advantage, especially if they want it bad enough, then they get all their cronies to sugar coat it and sucker all their buddies into the lies also. It is the same thing nationally, on the state level, and the local level as well.

We all could have used the extra money to buy this $4.00/gallon republican gasoline later on this year but now the district can just suck that source dry now cant they?

Maybe the school district has a few part time teaching openings so we can have a second or third job to afford to pay the high taxes here now and for the high gas and diesel fuel.

Anonymous said...

Another reason to leave Raytown. One of the highest school taxes in the area. I'm sure those BIG, new buildings are going to educate our children so much better.

Anonymous said...

Give the devil his due on the defeat of the Charter. Those opposed to the Charter were able to demonize some forward looking ideas. They, along with the help of a local newspaper, took some common sense ideas like having Department heads live in the city feel like the crime of the century.

Now city hall is literally run by absentee department heads.

Hopefully the next time around the dark side will not rear its ugly head and Raytown will be able to move forward.

Right now it looks like the city is just grinding its gears.

The Graduit said...

This is a reply to "Sour Grapes", or as I've started thinking of her, "Miss Elipses",

Does it ever strike you as ironic that, in one breath you can gloat over manipulation of the election system by successfully having pushed through a low-turnout tax increase, and in the very next paragraph criticize "the charter" as having been defeated because it was "not the will of the people?" Hypocritical? Yes, this to me reeks of world-class hypocracy.

But none of this is news in Raytown, MO.

I am by nature an optimist, so I'm perfectly willing to state that I'm glad the levy passed, although it's taken some mental gymnastics to reach this plateau.

As I stated previously, I do believe that a levy increase was necessary. I posted the comparisons with Lee's Summit and Independence, and I do think that we need to keep up with the Joneses in this area. My concerns, as I stated previously, were of the manipulative machinations of the School Board and Administrators, enriching themselves and flushing taxpayer dollars down several ratholes at the expense of the teachers, who I feel are the backbone of any successful school district. I stated that the teachers and students were pawns in this levy increase game, and I still believe that, deeply.

So, why would I be glad that the levy passed? Because now there is no excuse for mediocrity and deterioration of our educational system here in Raytown. A school system that performs at the highest echelon of the metropolitan area would be a huge boon to Raytown, as it used to be, and would benefit us all going forward.

And, since we have done such a poor job of overseeing the School Board and Administration in the recent past, I'm taking heart in the hope that perhaps this blog might be a repository of red flags and oversight warnings about misappropriation and malfeasance by our elected and appointed officials where the spending of this windfall is concerned. Lee Gray's Raytown Post used to fill this role for us and we all got lazy because we didn't have to do the dirty work. If Dennis Rich really wants to restore the patina that is the birthright of the Post, he can study the archives from the Lee Gray era and understand that it's a dirty job he's taken on, but the city was a better place for all the hard work Lee Gray put in fighting for the taxpayers and citizens of this speck on the map that has existed here on the Santa Fe Trail longer than Kansas City Missouri.

Sour Grapes? When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. When you get sour grapes, I guess you should probably make wine. So, here's a toast to you, Miss Elipses. You won. Now, understand that we'll all be watching, and our expectations are high.

It stikes me that one of the biggest problems with this town is that people seem to pick their friends, and based on that, they determine what the truth is.

Better to pick the truth, I say, and then determine who your friends are.

Your friend,

-The Graduit

Itellitlikeitis said...

School administrators used the school districts automated calling system to call parents of children in the school district to push the tax increase. This is unethical and probably illegal! I am a property owner and resident in the Raytown School District, I was opposed to the huge tax increase. Opponents of the levy increase were not given an opportunity to use the system to urge people to vote against the tax! Why not? The system belongs to all of us that live in the district. Chances are the administrator that sent the messages on the schools automated phone system is probably not even a resident of the district, and probably did the dirty work on school time (at tax payers expense).

Anonymous said...

To April 9, 2008 4:45 PM Anonymous;
In regards to your “$4.00/gallon republican gasoline”, if you want to blame politicians then get it right, blame the Democrats in Congress (they are the REAL culprits). Are you suggesting that everyone in the oil and gas business is a republican? If you believe that you are an idiot, and that’s putting it mildly!

Andy Whiteman said...

Itellitlikeitis, Have you thought to complaining about the calls to the State Election Commission? My phone is blocked from auto dialers.

The election board and poll worker stated the teacher must be 25 feet from the polls. One used the words "25 feet away" and said she shouldn't be there. The election board used the word "door". The teacher was standing at the entrance which is a walkway blocked by a wall. My interpretation is door means entrance. She was standing AT THE ENTRANCE to the area so that everyone had to walk past her. If she had been 25 feet away from the entrance, she would have been on the sidewalk by the street and I wouldn't be complaining. I told her that I hope they really give her the raise she deserves but I don't believe it.

I don't understand how $$$$$$$$ will cause the children to learn better. First the parents need to assume responsibility for their children. Then the children will have to desire an education and strive for a goal. Then we need "QUALITY" administrators Until these 3 events happen any amount of spending is wasted. $160K+ parking lots, highly paid administratiors, and 3 assistant principals per school don't make a "Quality" education happen. First we need "QUALITY" parents, "QUALITY" students, and then "QUALITY" administrators for this to happen. Remember you can lead a horse to water.........

If we pay only $4 for gas, we may be lucky. It is already over $5 at one isolated village in California! Why is gas so high? First look at gasoline taxes. Next look at the Arabs. They are going to rip us off. We have to support their extremest life styles. Also there is demand. Countries like China are starting to use more gas. Also at one point OPEC cut production because demand was down. That brings price back up! Rush Limbaugh was commenting on several cities where water prices went up because people conserved water and not enough revenue was raised. The same applies to gas. If we conserve, the oil companies and the Arabs still want the same amount of money so prices will rise. Rush commented on water. The comment on gas is mine.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

10:44pm anonymous you are the idiot and I call it as I see it. It is obvious that someone found your 'button' and pushed it getting a desired response out of you with your Republican mentality which obviously is of course to blame all the Democrats for what is the direct result of a failed Republican administration and big business, oil companies and the like which are all in bed with OPEC, Bush, Cheney, and all of the other idiots that you believe are so great. Give us all a break and save us from having to listen to any more of your idiotic Republican redderic and ramblings!

They all hold the key to lower oil prices, they can reduce the prices if they wanted to, they can increase production if they wanted to really help us all out, yet they choose not to so that they can reap record profits. That IS the Republican way.

Anonymous said...

Is there really a difference between the Republicans & Democrats that are in Washington now?
Appears to me all of them are controlled by their special interest groups they are pandering to, this by default puts them all in the same bucket, neither any better than the other. For the Republicans it is oil, for the Democrats it is healthcare, for both of them it is the insurance industry.....Instead of pointing fingers try to make an impact.
If you want to make an impact on gas prices start carpooling, walking, riding a bike or take the bus. For healthcare, do you really need to go to the doctor/medical office everytime you have a bump, bruise or are told to get a shot by the media.

Anonymous said...

All I've got to say is are you better off today under the Bush Administration than you were 8 years ago? I can only speak for myself, but I am not. My IRA is shrinking, I'm paying more for everything due to high oil prices and we are being embarrassed worldwide by Bush and his no win war in Iraq. Please let's hurry and get him out of office so a new Democrat president can try and straighten this mess out.

Pat Casady said...

Anonymous 09/3:55am. talks about getting the facts right but doesn't
his or her self. I never said the charter failed because of the saboteurs.
I merely stated they voted for every line and in the end spoke out against it.
In fact they put down the work. It doesn't take much thought to
understand why they were on the committee.
It wouldn't surprise me if they helped fan the fires to make the legal fees
higher just to use it against the true civic minded charter members.
That's all water under the bridge.
If you are going to put down the people that right on this post why don't you
have the b#@*'s to sign your name?
Why be a cheap shot artist that acts like they know it all?

However, congratulations are in order. Your side won the election.
Hurray we get to pay more taxes! You along with the rest of us get to
watch your taxpayer dollars go for everything but what was promised.
Nobody, I mean nobody, is against the schools, the teachers or the children.
But if you take the time to stop kissing up and actually see how the money
is being spent after past promises you might, and I said might, feel like the
rest of us...........No that couldn't happen, sorry.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I have a question.

Why was serving on the Charter commission such a gold star on Cathy Mack's resume that the KC Star endorsed her for School Board, and yet Lee Gray's service on the Charter commission is a indelible stain on his record?

Maybe Miss Elipses can answer this one.

Anonymous said...

From what I remember Cathy Mack contributed nothing to the charter commission. I believe that she had the worst attendance record of all those elected. If you've ever spoken to this person you'll understand what a real looser she is. If she's the best for president of the school board I pray for our children.

The Graduit said...

[cheerp].........[cheerp].........[cheerp]...........[cheerp].......

Those are crickets, Miss Elipses.

Wassamatter...Cat gotcher tongue?

Anonymous said...

What's up with this Republican State Representative Will Kraus from Raytown? Seems as though he was the only committee member that did not vote on a controversial bill to allow Aquila to keep their illegally built power plant in Cass county. What gives Mr. Kraus, I thought that is what we are paying you for is to vote on the issues? I guess it's better to take the cowards way out than to be criticized for casting a wrong vote.

Pat Casady said...

For those of you out there that think most of us that
write on this Blog don't know what we are talking about
and think we are nuts........I came up with the reason we
might sound this way. I'll try to explain. I was thinking last
night about what has happened in the last ten or so years,
I'll try to keep it short.
1. Raytown hires Curt Wenson who after a few years had talked
the City Council into paying him almost a hundred thousand a
year. Lets see what he did for Raytown before he left.
A. First off he talked the City Council into purchasing the old Church. a half a million taxpayer dollars plus interest.
B. Hired Dial Realty as a developer for the downtown
it never happened.
C. Next came R.E.D. Brokerage, LLC another developer.
This with the blessings of the City Council too. R.E.D
took away over sixty thousand taxpayer dollars without
even turning a spoon full of dirt towards the redevelopment
of downtown.
D. Then came the Wal-Mart giveaway. Sales tax income gone
for twenty three years. You guessed it with the OK from the
City Council.
E. Next came Michael Miller as City Administrator.
OK'd by the City Council. Anybody see a pattern here?
Again, high pay from taxpayer dollars, and he was a little different in the fact that he started looking for another job
right after he started here and after I believe over a year
we still aren't moving forward and he's out of here.

A person could write a book about what has happened in Raytown
and how taxpayer money has been wasted. Expensive monument
intersections that had to repaired in less than a year after it was built.
The old wooden bridge, an expensive redo on it and it too had to be repaired in less than a year.
Moving on the the School Board. They have been spending taxpayer
dollars like they grew on trees and as it turns out they do.
All they have to do is ask for more money to waste and eureka, no
questions asked the voters are happy to pay higher taxes. (That one I still don't get)
Without writing a novel here I hope you get the point of why a lot if not most
of us don't trust City Hall or the School Board. We all have to work hard for
our money and we can't buy verything we see like these two do.
Both City Hall and the School Board need to go back to school and learn the value of other peoples money, instead of having competitions on how to
outspend each other. In this case, he who has the most stuff doesn't win.
We all lose. It's oblivious there are people in town that clearly don't care if their taxes rise every year but, there are some that simply can't afford
to contribute to the spending whims of those who control the money.

My challenge to those of you that think we on this Blog are nuts about wanting answers on why and where our hard earned tax dollars go please explain.
Again just an explanation we don't need to be called names or told how stupid we are.

Andy Whiteman said...

On the BOA agenda for the next meeting: "a resolution authorizing the mayor..............to facilitate demolition of an ABANDONED church in downtown Raytown." Come on now, who abandoned the church? This sounds like the church abandoned it. The city abandoned it after it was dumb enough to have wasted money on it. Is it necessary to call city property abandoned inorder to get funding? If a homeowner or business owner abandoned their property would there be a grant to raze it, or would it be an ordinance violation?

One opinion I reached from Pat's post and I have already stated it, is that one position is totally unneeded and that is the tie-wearing, chair warmer CITY ADMINISTRATOR. Mr. Sharma, in my opinion is doing a good job, I like the guy as a great public servant, but the job itself is totall unneeded!

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I agree Andy, a city administrator is no longer needed in Raytown. We gave it a shot and all these guys did was get us into more debt. At this rate if we hire another city administrator we just as well call out to KC, Independence, or Lee's Summit to come take us over. We can't afford to be a city any longer.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Raytown!

Two doctors, a psychiatrist and a proctologist, opened an
office in a small town and put up a sign reading: “Dr. Smith
And Dr. Jones: Hysteria's and Posteriors.” The town council
was not happy with the sign, so the doctors changed it to read,
“Schizoids and Hemorrhoids.” This was not acceptable either,
so in an effort to satisfy the council, they changed the sign
to “Catatonics and High Colonics.” No go. Next, they tried
“Manic Depressives and Anal Retentive.” Thumbs down again.
Then came “Minds and Behinds.” Still no good. Another attempt
resulted in “Lost Souls and Butt Holes.” Unacceptable again!
So they tried “Analysis and Anal Cysts.” Not a chance. “Nuts
and Butts?” No way. “Freaks and Cheeks?” Still no go. “Loons
and Moons?” Forget it. Almost at their wit’s end, the doctors
finally came up with: “Dr. Smith and Dr. Jones, Odds and Ends.”
Everyone loved it.

Andy Whiteman said...

I read in the KC Red Star that Brywood Center (63rd & Blue Ridge Cotoff) just across the border in KCMO) may get a TIF otherwise the Price Chopper will close! Competition is feared from Raytown and the Walmart to be on 350 HWY. Maybe our TIFs will help Raytown but it also seems that merchants may threaten to close just to get a TIF. I am surprised that the Quik Trip didn't want a TIF. Why is it that some businesses will risk their own money but others (especially the big ones) want a TIF?

It doesn't seem fair that I have to pay Walmart's school tax for 23 years. By the time 23 years have elapsed, hopefully I won't still be trapped here.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Well there you go... with the name calling again Graduit... cat does not have this tongue... What I expected would happen... happened... And after you win... you should rub the others nose in it... unless you ask for it... surely you are not asking for it...

Now about Cathy Mack... please... her work on the charter made no difference to me as it related to the school board... What made the difference is her time she has spent on the school board thus far... You see, if you are against her... tell me why, do your research and find out where she voted on issues impacting our children's education... that is how you decide... And all you Dean Bray supporters... remember he was on that board before... do you have any idea if he had any accomplishments there... Sound like you are just voting against someone there... Now I didn't vote for Moore because I am somewhat uncomfortable with his trying to inject religion into the naming of breaks during the school year... Mack is a good person, with good judgment... pure and simple... can you show me (proof not jabber)otherwise?

Cheerp... Cheerp... no... too cold for crickets...

But, don't worry... I am sure you all will have plenty to talk...er um complain about... if you are stumped, just scroll up for a second or too and regurgitate the namecalling and ignorance that was last months chatter...

LOOK TO THE FUTURE... BE A PART OF IT... YOU MIGHT LIKE IT...

Anonymous said...

oops... my mistake... my fingers were going faster than my mind... I meant to say you shouldnt rub someones nose in it

The Graduit said...

Name calling? Miss Elipses? Do you consider that a slight? It's just an identification. Look it up. You can't tell the players without a scorecard.

I'm sorry, but I recall toasting you for your victory. Surely that's not rubbing your nose in it?

I don't know Cathy Mack. You tell me to do my research, but I'm asking you, once again: what was the difference between Cathy Mack's charter service and Lee Gray's on the same charter? You brought it up, and I don't understand why there's such a huge difference between them as to how we are supposed to view their service on the charter committee. It was the same committee, and they reached the same conclusion until after the charter was signed.

As to voting for Dean Bray, you're absolutely correct that we were voting against someone. I personally was voting against everyone on the current board.

I admit to ignorance, that's why I asked you for enlightentment on this issue since you presented yourself as being so informed on it. Instead, you only serve up more obfuscation. I didn't vote for Moore, either. Read my response again, I said nothing negative about Cathy Mack, I merely asked, again, why her service on the charter commission should be viewed in a diametrically opposed light from Lee Gray's.

Too cold for crickets? Yes, but this too shall pass...

Anonymous said...

I didnt vote for Cathy Mack or Rick Moore either, and I had my reasons for voting the way that I did. I will just leave it at that. If the reasons get brought up here there would surely be another fight/spirited discussion without an end to it.

Graduit has stated an interesting question, and I would like to hear the answer to it as well, why Cathy's service on the charter commission should be viewed in a diametrically opposed light from Lee's service?

I hope everyone is able to save back extra money between now and the end of the year for your increased Personal and Real Property taxes. Thanks C2 District. Merry Christmas to you too, Scrooge!

Anonymous said...

It's apparent that most of you praising Cathy Mack don't know her very well. Call her up and arrange a meeting and after you've chatted with her for awhile I think you'll find there is not much substance there. There may be a place in public service for Cathy, but it's a little scary that she presides over a multimillion dollar budget, such as the school districts.

Andy Whiteman said...

I can't understand much of that The Graduit said... I can understand the parts that are written in English. There are many words (if theyreally are words) that I have never heard. When I was in junior high we had to learn 50 words a week. They were the words that normal people never used and my mother told me not to use them because people didn't know what I was saying.

As for crickets, a Pest-a-cator tends to help keep them away. Flea traps will catch then. They jump towards the light and can't get off the sticky paper. Also boric acid will kill them.

Comparing Charter Committee to school board is like comparing apples and oranges. Makes no sense whatsoever.

I wonder if I will be able to sell my house after I move. The taxes are getting so high that nobody in their right mind will want to move to Raytown. I will probably have to rent it to one of those tenants who will vote YES on school tax increases and then will move out when I raise the rent. Actually based on 1% of value the rent will be so high that nobody can afford to rent it.

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...
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Anonymous said...

Who said that anyone was praising Cathy Mack? I believe some of us were asking questions about her. It is always amazing to me how you can write something on here and someone comes along that tries to interpret what you wrote after they have had about 12 beers. They never make any sense.

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