Monday, May 26, 2008

Street Improvements Given Cold Shoulder by City Hall

The last two budget years have been lean ones for advocates of street maintenance in Raytown. Even though Raytown taxpayers gave resounding approval for a one-half cent sales tax for street maintenance, only a trickle of the tax dollars has been spent as promised. To understand the reason for the cut in funding one has to go back two years. When the 2006 – 2007 budget was written, it was discovered at the end of the budget session that the Finance Department had forgotten to include a final payment for capital improvement bonds that had been approved by the voters three years earlier. That being the case, it was decided to use money set aside for street overlay to pay off the bonds in the 06/07 and the 07/08 budget years. The fiscal impact has been huge. Street maintenance has been slashed to one quarter of what it should be for the past two years. The lack of maintenance on the streets is showing in many parts of town. Crumbling curbs and sidewalks, intersections that have deteriorated into crumbled asphalt, and potholes are a constant reminder of the lack of maintenance. The damage to vehicles and the deleterious effects on traffic safety are only the tip of the iceberg. Community pride in how we feel about our neighborhoods and property values are also affected. At the Board of Aldermen’s last meeting I brought forward a discussion item to spend money left over from last year’s budget (as outlined in this year’s annual audit) to address the need for increased street maintenance. The audit showed that the city has a surplus in excess of 2 million dollars. To say the proposal was not received well would be an understatement. A number of speakers from both city staff and the Board of Aldermen tried to confuse the issue by referring to the money as part of a reserve. That tactic is misleading and simply not true. The City of Raytown has a reserve fund equal to 17% of the city’s annual budget. The 2 million dollars is money that was unspent from the previous year. It has not been earmarked for any purpose and can be spent for any purpose the Board desires. In fact, the Board has already tapped the 2 million dollars for nearly $150,000. About $100,000 was recently approved to pay for increased insurance costs of city employees. Another $50,000 was approved for payment of a study on infill housing. The need is definitely there. Acting City Administrator Mahesh Sharma told the Board there are streets in Raytown that have been neglected so long that they are classified as “failed”. According to Sharma, this classification means the entire street needs to be taken down to the base to be rebuilt. The Board of Aldermen did not entirely shut the door on the improvements. But the time to give direction to the Public Works Department to increase this year’s street maintenance budget is growing smaller. Bids will be taken in the near future for the work. Once that milestone is passed, it becomes difficult to increase the work on streets in progress. Years ago the taxpayers approved a one-half cent sales tax specifically earmarked for street maintenance in Raytown. The voters were promised that the half cent sales tax would be more than adequate to maintain the city’s streets. They put their faith in their elected officials to keep that promise. For the past two years that promise has been broken. The Board can rectify the situation by adding money to this year’s street overlay program. The Raytown Board of Aldermen should take this opportunity to right the course of Raytown and get back to the business of fulfilling its promises and taking care of the basic needs of the city. THE WALMART FACTOR: It has been written here before, but from testimony given at the last meeting of the Board, it obviously needs to be repeated. When the Super Walmart is constructed and open for business the city’s sales tax revenues will take a big hit. Here is why. The current Walmart, located at 67th and Blue Ridge creates approximately 12% of Raytown’s sales tax revenue. That money goes straight to the city’s coffers. The new Super Walmart will create sales tax revenue. But it will not go to the city. The sales tax revenue from the new Super Walmart will go to pay off the TIF package created to underwrite the new Walmart for the next 23 years. This means that the new Super Walmart -- which is considerably larger than the current one and also has a grocery store -- is estimated to capture upwards to 18% of all sales tax revenue in Raytown. At the last meeting of the Board, Alderman Jim Aziere asked City Attorney Nancy Thompson if the new Walmart Super Center will create sales tax revenue. Ms. Thompson never did get around to answering Alderman Aziere’s question. So I will answer it here. Yes, the new Walmart will create sales tax revenue. But nearly all of that money will go to pay the debt created by TIF. That includes the one-half cent sales tax dedicated for street maintenance. That money will pay for the parking lot and an intermodal bus depot on the west end of the Walmart parking lot. The only way the city will receive additional money from the special sales tax district would be if other new commercial development is built within the district*. At the time of this writing there are not any plans in place for such new construction. Given the state of the economy, which is feeling the effects of a home mortgage crisis and an extremely unstable fuel crisis, it is doubtful any new development will start soon. There is always hope for better days in the future. And development will undoubtedly come in time. But for the near future, Raytown’s city fathers should look to doing some pre-emptive work on street maintenance to forestall future disruptions in cash flow. *The district runs from Raytown Road to the city’s eastern boundary along 350 Highway. QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS: Andy Whiteman asked who voted against the $50,000 contract for a study on infill housing. The answer is Greg Walters. Others have asked about the fate of curb-side recycling efforts in Raytown. Until Mayor Bower reverses his decision to do nothing on the two-year notification process, any effort to move forward is stalled. The city’s legal department has received a copy of a resolution used by city’s in Missouri that would start the two-year clock running on the waiting period to begin curb side recycling. The Mayor sent a written memo to Committee members thanking the members for their service and disbanded the committee. Committee members still consider themselves at the forefront of this issue. But they also accept the political reality that without the Mayor’s cooperation, their efforts will not move forward. Untiel he sends a signal, there is little sense in resuming the effort. Passage of the resolution would not commit the city to any other action for at least two years.

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

Greg,

Can you explain to me WHY DO WE Need another infill housing report done when we already have had one done several years ago??? Nothing has changed in this town since the last one except a death or two. Once again it is just another waste of money. I also would like to know WHO voted to spend that $50,000.oo on this report. I think it is another one of Tim Trusdales ways to keep his job. It weas his dept. that asked for the first one. Why is it that no one asked to read the first one. I stll have a copy from the first one and it isn't going to change because the city bounderies haven't changed and can't change. We have not acquired any new land and we won't becasuse KC and Indep. are not going to give us any of their tax base. As far as I know none of their residents are so excited to live in Raytown enough to ask to have their property put on the ballot to be annexed to Raytown.

So Greg, please tell me if you can why are we doing this again????

Anonymous said...

To: Anonymous May 23, 2008 6:06 AM….

Raytown’s “poor reputation from racism from police” is a big load of pure bunk. Fact is that the police are afraid to deal with anyone of color in the same way they do with those who are not. Those who are “of color” get breaks all of the time that others don’t, and often get away with blatant disobedience of the law.

I’ve noticed that no one is talking about the disgraceful display that occurred at Raytown South’s graduation. There used to be a certain dignity attached to those events, and most people respected that and held themselves to expected standards. Fact is that almost all of the problems were from families of “people of color”. Not to say that there wasn’t some “people of color” who acted in a dignified manner and a few who were not “people of color” who didn’t. I know it’s not ‘politically correct’ to bring this up and my comments will probably be eliminated from the blog, but it is the truth. It was very obvious who was causing the problems. Anyone creating that kind of disturbance at a high school graduation should be arrested for disturbing the peace and disorderly conduct!

How can we have pride in our community when this kind of garbage goes on?

Since I’m already way over the line of political correctness let me get another beef off my chest. I see certain students come out of our high schools, walk the streets, and go into local business with their pants down at their knees, underwear (which are called that for good reason) pretty much fully exposed. This is supposed to be tolerated and accepted for the sake of “diversity”. However if I were to do the same thing I would be arrested for indecent exposure and labeled a pervert.

It’s time for all good people regardless of their color to stand up and demand dignity in our community again, how can any of us be proud of the way things are going. You talked about “many reputable persons of color” that you had spoken with. They need to take a stand against the kind of miserable display that occurred at both of Raytown’s high school graduations. I hope they will come out publicly and denounce the undignified, animal like, display that occurred at our high schools.

Anonymous said...

To: Anonymous May 23, 2008 6:06 AM who stated; “It is disappointing that it is 2008 and we just now have an alderman of color. I see no diversity in our police force.”

Apparently you are unaware of the fact that our alderman usually come into office through elections, thus those getting the most votes from the voters become aldermen. Anyone of ANY color who meets the very limited requirements has always been eligible to run for any city office if they so desire.

As far as diversity on the police department, I think hiring is still done based on those who apply, meet the requirements, and are the best qualified people for the job.
If people are being hired for any position in our city based on skin color (whatever that color), that’s dead wrong and we are in a sad state of affairs! If someone has been or will be appointed to any city office because of their skin color, that is dead wrong and we are in a sad state of affairs!

You apparently haven’t been around Raytown very long or you would know that we have had people of many national origins and of both genders on the police department over the years. Maybe you need to get your facts straight and get off your “color/diversity” nonsense and start worrying about REAL issues that we face as a city!

Andy Whiteman said...

It seems to me like it is a waste of money on infill study(except 1 member who voted NO). In my opinion, it is a CYA effort on the part of the board. The board can then point to the study as the cause for any action the may take.

This is typical of big business: Use a third party to accept or deny a claim (IE. disability, health insurance, etc.) The big business is not responsible for a decision because it came from a "disintrested" third party. The only interest the 3rd party has is being paid for the study.

I have the feeling that the infill study is a sham. It will contain whatever is wanted because the 3rd party wants to be paid and also wants a reference to do other "studys" for other governments.

Andy Whiteman

PS Greg, Please speak up when you vote. Sarge can be heard distinctly.

Anonymous said...

Raytown has such a bad reputation when it comes to hiring minorities that many are afraid to apply. This Mayor and council need to do a LOT more in order to resolve this problem. Mayor Frank sent the city backwards when it came to race relations and employment by the city. I was hoping that Mayor Bower would do more. So far I've only seen one positive step and that was his appointment of a minority to the ward 5 alderman seat. This is a start, but he MUST do a whole lot more.

Andy Whiteman said...

Anon 4:25PM, why would ANYONE (not just minorities) want to apply for a job with the city? The pay is too low(except for upper management)--well below a living wage.

Was the Ward 5 Alderman appointed because he is a minority? I can't believe he was. Sarge is very qualified if you choose to look at more than the color of his skin! Raytown is lucky that Sarge decided to donate his time to serve the city.

If being a minority is the only qualification in some people's small minds, I should be appointed to something since I am a minority.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Welfare Poem

I cross ocean,
poor and broke,
Take bus,
see employment folk.

Nice man treat me
good in there,
Say I need to
see welfare.

Welfare say,
'You come no more,
We send cash
right to your door.'

Welfare checks,
they make you wealthy,
Medicaid it keep
you healthy!

By and by,
I get plenty money,
Thanks to you,
American dummy.

Write to friends
in motherland,
Tell them 'come
fast as you can.'

They come in turbans
and Ford trucks,
I buy big house
with welfare bucks

They come here,
we live together,
More welfare checks,
it gets better!

Fourteen families,
they moving in,
But neighbor's patience
wearing thin.

Finally, white guy
moves away,
Now I buy his house,
and then I say,

'Find more aliens
for house to rent.'
And in the yard
I put a tent.

Send for family
they just trash,
But they, too,
draw the welfare cash!

Everything is
very good,
And soon we
own the neighborhood.

We have hobby
it's called breeding,
Welfare pay
for baby feeding.

Kid needs dentist?
Wife needs pills?
We get free!
We got no bills!

American's crazy!
He pay all year,
To keep welfare
running here.

We think America
darn good place!
Too darn good for
the white man race.

If they no like us,
they can scram,
Got lots of room
in Pakistan .


It is interesting that the federal government provid es
a single refugee with a monthly allowance of $1,890.00
and each can also get an additional $580.00 in social
assistance for a total of$2,470.00 .

This compares very well to a single pensioner who
after contributing to the growth and development of
America for 40 to 50 years can only receive a monthly
maximum of $1,012.00 in old age pension and Guaranteed
Income Supplement.

Maybe our pensioners should apply as refugees!
Raytown need more minorities. We come muy pronto!

Tony D. said...

"In fact, the Board has already tapped the 2 million dollars for nearly $150,000. About $100,000 was recently approved to pay for increased insurance costs of city employees. Another $50,000 was approved for payment of a study on infill housing". - Greg Walters

Now who is being misleading????

Greg, what Resolution did the Board Authorize that increased this year's health insurance budget by $100,000????

"Yes, the new Walmart will create sales tax revenue. But nearly all of that money will go to pay the debt created by TIF", "The only way the city will receive additional money from the special sales tax district would be if other new commercial development is built within the district*. At the time of this writing there are not any plans in place for such new construction. Given the state of the economy, which is feeling the effects of a home mortgage crisis and an extremely unstable fuel crisis, it is doubtful any new development will start soon". - Greg Walters

If this is true, and the City cannot addequately predict where it will make up a 12-18% loss in tax revenue, why the push to spend what little fund balance (not surplus) is left????

Anonymous said...

Again the $50,000 spent to study in-fill housing is a total waste of taxpayers money. What a bunch of fools these aldermen are!! QUIT WASTING MONEY ON STUDIES and use it to improve out deteriorating infrastructure. People are tired of studies that never produce anything, The only people that benefit are the consultants. They are laughing all the way to the bank, thinking what fools these people are for paying us to do NOTHING.

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

Somehow elected officials have lost touch with the reason they were elected.
They are supposed to be there for all the citizens of Raytown. Not just small groups, organizations and friends.
If our elected officials were really looking out for the people of Raytown some of the dumb spending and giveaways would never have happened.
Raytown streets would be in better shape, after all there was a tax increase just for the streets.
And, maybe just maybe they would look into how new small business prospects are treated. Maybe some would even go around to the people and businesses in their wards to see how things are going. Won't happen! They are afraid of
what they might here.
The sad fact is most don't care or are too lazy to do the right thing.

Anonymous said...

Lee Gray here:

The "Welfare Poem" is just racist and ignorant. I've never met anyone on welfare who "got rich" and bought the "white man's big house." If you want to get technical, the only thing true is that the white man doesn't belong in this country --- after stealing it from the native Indians.

I, too, don't care about being politically correct. But I was at the South High graduation and was not the least bit offended by some people's enthusiasm for their graduates. I'm glad people still have passion for their families.

All of the people mentioned by the writer above were dressed to the nines! And with the exception of their 10 seconds of enthusiasm were perfectly behaved and left without incident.

We're all different. If you'd ever attended a black church you'd know that "passion in praise" is a normal cultural expression.

They weren't "disturbing the peace," they were exercising their right of "free expression."

Maybe there ought to be a two graduation celebrations: One where people can show their enthusiasm and one for the pomp and circumstance crowd.

Regards repairing streets, Greg: Again City Hall has duped taxpayers by not applying the tax to what it was intended for. With rising fuel prices it will never get any cheaper to replace those failed streets! Stay after 'em on the board!

Lee Gray

Anonymous said...

Pat, you have "hit the nail on the head." They are all TOO LAZY to do their jobs, so they just go along. What a poor excuse for a city government.

Anonymous said...

Those of us who do not talk in a positive manner regarding city hall are put down and called cynical, complainers, and not considered to 'be with the program'. With good reason! We voted a tax increase for the streets and it was not used for what it was intended. What reason do they give not to complain about it? What can we do to prevent this happening again?

Anonymous said...

I am worried about being polictical correct, but here goes anyway. I am concerned that one day, and not too far in the future, Raytown will look like downtown East Kansas City, but with worst streets. Not being racist, but just simply observing what I see happening to the Raytown community and schools in general.

Things are happening in Raytown and no one is going to change it.

It's time to move on.

Anonymous said...

I agree that Raytown is going downhill fast. The current city hall administration has pie-in-the-sky ideas about Raytown's future. I feel Mayor Bower is on the right track and the current city adminstrator is adequate. I strongly feel that the person in charge of community development needs to go. Apparently he's been here ten years and haven't we all seen a decline in the development of the city in the last ten years? This person is inadequate for the position. We need someone with foresight and the ability to encourage businesses rather than someone who is focused on color schemes and sign regulations.

Not Tony G.! said...

To Mr. Tony D.,

What you are not grasping is that the city does have money for infill studies and other items of questionable value. Yet City Hall does not the money to maintain streets and put in street lights.

It all comes down to priorities.

Some at city hall seem to believe that basic services should suffer for pie in the sky thinking.

We don't all agree.

Anonymous said...

Lee; Now and then we actually agree on some things, and I respect your opinion even when it differs from mine. I think you are one weird duck, but I like you anyway.

Just to set the record straight the person who graced us with their poem isn't the same one who made the comments regarding the graduation, etc., I know because I made those comments. Although it appeared to me that the poem was addressing immigration and not necessarily minorities.

I was at the graduation also and we apparently sat at different ends of the auditorium, or it could be that you just live in a different world than I do. What I observed and what you observed was nothing alike. Everyone would have (and did have) ample opportunity to show their enthusiasm after ALL of the graduates names were read, thus enabling All of the people to hear ALL of the names as they were read. A number of graduate’s families couldn't even savor the moment when their graduates name was announced because of the foul behavior of others! The school administration and student representatives requested that every one wait until all of the graduate’s names were announced. A number of people were removed from the auditorium and some left on their own accord after making their disturbance.

I also have been to black church services, and yes emotions are displayed. The same thing occurs in a number of white churches. Actually most of the churches now days have a mix of all colors, but no one acts like an animal! What happened at the graduation was undignified, rude behavior and didn’t come from emotions, it came from pure stupidity.

mark siettmann said...

My step-daughter graduated from Ray South, so I was there as well. I do understand the need (and right) to celebrate a child's success in graduating. However, that right does not extend to the point of stepping on the rights of the next group of parents to hear thier child's name.

Since the school AND THE GRADUATES asked for silence during the name calling, I don't see why parents could not respect those wishes.

I liked the way it was put by Dr. Houck, actually. Was this ceremony about attention for the graduates on the stage, or attention on the families in the audience? Some parents and friends acted like thier show of support was more important than the recognition of graduates. What does that teach thier children about respecting the wishes of others?

I will also say that the people in my secion, people of all colors, were pretty much in agreement that the interuptions were in poor taste.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous and Mark, I respect your right to see things differently.

As my graduate school semantics professor drummed into us: "There is no reality, only each person's selective perception."

That's why we all see things differently.

Regards anonymous's comment: "What happened at the graduation was undignified, rude behavior and didn’t come from emotions, it came from pure stupidity."

How can you know that? Vulcan-mind meld? (smile) Maybe it was "emotions."

I'm glad you find me likable...despite being a "weird duck." (I translated that as "free-thinking populist." Thank you.)

And Mark I've heard at Cougar's and CJ's graduations that "... THE GRADUATES asked"...but I seldom take someone else's word for what others agreed to. Was there a senior class vote? I doubt it.

I knew my opinion wouldn't be popular. That's fine with me. When my opinions become "too popular" then I'll start worrying about me rather than society in general.

If you care to...you may have the last word - smile

Best wishes,

Lee Gray

Anonymous said...

Yes, I attended the graduation for Ray South to see my son get his diploma with other family members and we were and still are very proud of his accomplishments also, but we did not have to whoop and holler like a native tribe in Africa would. I think that it does take away from the moment when a bunch of low lifes do STUPID STUNTS like that! There is nothing wrong with being happy, proud, and emotional, just do it afterwords so as to not interfere with everyone else's enjoyment of the ceremony. However, the part that was really funny was when all the parents/relatives that made all the outbursts were gone, and the graduates moved their tassels from one side of their mortarboards to the other side, their parents and relatives missed out on that and the applause that erupted after that. You all could have just waited a few more minutes! Too bad that they missed out on that.

Anonymous said...

Lee; I challenge you to go into just about any judges court room and act like these people did at the graduation ceremony, or to use your own words "use your right of 'free expression'.” It would be interesting to see what happens, unless of course the judge is a 'free thinker' like you. There are places where it would be appropriate to exercise this right and other places where it’s not!

Have a good night Lee.

Anonymous said...

Just so you can separate which anonymous is which, here are my recent comments:

Anonymous said...
To: Anonymous May 23, 2008 6:06 AM….

Raytown’s “poor reputation from racism from police” is a big load of pure bunk. Fact is that the police are afraid to deal with anyone of color in the same way they do with those who are not. Those who are “of color” get breaks all of the time that others don’t, and often get away with blatant disobedience of the law.

I’ve noticed that no one is talking about the disgraceful display that occurred at Raytown South’s graduation. There used to be a certain dignity attached to those events, and most people respected that and held themselves to expected standards. Fact is that almost all of the problems were from families of “people of color”. Not to say that there wasn’t some “people of color” who acted in a dignified manner and a few who were not “people of color” who didn’t. I know it’s not ‘politically correct’ to bring this up and my comments will probably be eliminated from the blog, but it is the truth. It was very obvious who was causing the problems. Anyone creating that kind of disturbance at a high school graduation should be arrested for disturbing the peace and disorderly conduct!

How can we have pride in our community when this kind of garbage goes on?

Since I’m already way over the line of political correctness let me get another beef off my chest. I see certain students come out of our high schools, walk the streets, and go into local business with their pants down at their knees, underwear (which are called that for good reason) pretty much fully exposed. This is supposed to be tolerated and accepted for the sake of “diversity”. However if I were to do the same thing I would be arrested for indecent exposure and labeled a pervert.

It’s time for all good people regardless of their color to stand up and demand dignity in our community again, how can any of us be proud of the way things are going. You talked about “many reputable persons of color” that you had spoken with. They need to take a stand against the kind of miserable display that occurred at both of Raytown’s high school graduations. I hope they will come out publicly and denounce the undignified, animal like, display that occurred at our high schools.
May 26, 2008 3:59 PM



Anonymous said...
To: Anonymous May 23, 2008 6:06 AM who stated; “It is disappointing that it is 2008 and we just now have an alderman of color. I see no diversity in our police force.”

Apparently you are unaware of the fact that our alderman usually come into office through elections, thus those getting the most votes from the voters become aldermen. Anyone of ANY color who meets the very limited requirements has always been eligible to run for any city office if they so desire.

As far as diversity on the police department, I think hiring is still done based on those who apply, meet the requirements, and are the best qualified people for the job.
If people are being hired for any position in our city based on skin color (whatever that color), that’s dead wrong and we are in a sad state of affairs! If someone has been or will be appointed to any city office because of their skin color, that is dead wrong and we are in a sad state of affairs!

You apparently haven’t been around Raytown very long or you would know that we have had people of many national origins and of both genders on the police department over the years. Maybe you need to get your facts straight and get off your “color/diversity” nonsense and start worrying about REAL issues that we face as a city!
May 26, 2008 4:01 PM




Anonymous said...
Lee; Now and then we actually agree on some things, and I respect your opinion even when it differs from mine. I think you are one weird duck, but I like you anyway.

Just to set the record straight the person who graced us with their poem isn't the same one who made the comments regarding the graduation, etc., I know because I made those comments. Although it appeared to me that the poem was addressing immigration and not necessarily minorities.

I was at the graduation also and we apparently sat at different ends of the auditorium, or it could be that you just live in a different world than I do. What I observed and what you observed was nothing alike. Everyone would have (and did have) ample opportunity to show their enthusiasm after ALL of the graduates names were read, thus enabling All of the people to hear ALL of the names as they were read. A number of graduate’s families couldn't even savor the moment when their graduates name was announced because of the foul behavior of others! The school administration and student representatives requested that every one wait until all of the graduate’s names were announced. A number of people were removed from the auditorium and some left on their own accord after making their disturbance.

I also have been to black church services, and yes emotions are displayed. The same thing occurs in a number of white churches. Actually most of the churches now days have a mix of all colors, but no one acts like an animal! What happened at the graduation was undignified, rude behavior and didn’t come from emotions, it came from pure stupidity.
May 27, 2008 7:29 PM




Anonymous said...
Lee; I challenge you to go into just about any judges court room and act like these people did at the graduation ceremony, or to use your own words "use your right of 'free expression'.” It would be interesting to see what happens, unless of course the judge is a 'free thinker' like you. There are places where it would be appropriate to exercise this right and other places where it’s not!

Have a good night Lee.
May 27, 2008 10:49 PM

Pat Casady said...

People want and demand respect. People of all colors. Disturbing graduation proceeds is just plain disrespectful and should not and can not be tolerated.
Fact is they probably embarrassed their children acting like that.

Many of you know that I have played Bass guitar since before I was in high school.
I have been in many bands and have had the pleasure of meeting many
musicians over my musical lifetime. Many of color. One of my friends had the honor of meeting the late Mr.James Brown. My friend ask Mr.Brown why he didn't have any white players in his band? Mr.Brown told him
"My friend, color don't make the man."
The fact is I think at that time Mr.Brown did have one or two white players however I'm not real sure about that, it was a long time ago. But, those words have stuck with me for many, many years.
The people that were acting disrespectful are probably the same people that demand respect from others and wonder why they can't receive it.
Respect is something we all have to earn. It's not given to you like a gift.
It's not given to people just because of what color we are.
You show respect you will get respect.

Anonymous said...

"Lee; I challenge you to go into just about any judges court room and act like these people did at the graduation ceremony..."

Well, anonymous, I didn't hollar etc. in a judge's courtroom but I was in one with my sunglasses resting on the top of my head as was a young woman with hers there too.

The judge's clerk snapped for us "to get those off your heads" prior to the judge entering the courtroom.

I wrote an editorial about that and the fact that it was, in my opinion, the silliest thing I'd ever seen: A clerk getting paid with my tax dollars acting like she was scolding children and protecting the dignity of the court from the simple placement of the sunglasses.

The result, I heard about through connections at the courthouse, is that the clerk learned to deal with the public in a much nicer way.

If you watch the so-called judges on TV (especially Judge Judy), you can understand why the public wonders why they can be rude and ignorant while expecting we peons to show respect.

Respect is a two-way street.
Lee Gray

Anonymous said...

WOW! Did anyone else catch CNN live covering George W. Bush presenting diplomas at the Naval Academy? One kid - a white one - did three back flips in front of the stage while the president was presenting a diploma to another graduate! Talk about diginity at graduation!!! Thought I'd add that after reading all the back and forth above about the South graduation which pales in comparison! At the William Chrisman graduation last week it was the white folks blasting air horns for their kids. Guess the PROBLEM is universal!

Anonymous said...

Hey Lee,

I am just curious. You wrote the court clerk became more respectful.

Fair enough.

Would you still wear the sunglasses on your head in the court?

That is the real question. Not how someone felt about another actions.

Anonymous said...

Sure, Anonymous... There was nothing wrong with me raising my glasses from my eyes to the top of my head. Lee

Anonymous said...

PS. Anonymous...I assume you're setting me up for the game Gotcha You SOB...
So let me add: If the court clerk came up and said, "Would you remove the glasses from the top of your head.."
I would have replied: "If you'll tell me why that is required."
Given an explanation and given courtesy, it would not have been an issue with me.
Ask my children: There were 2 things you wouldn't hear in my household --- 1) Shutup and 2) Because I said so. Lee

Anonymous said...

Alderman Jim Aziere said something almost correct at tonight BOA meeting. Guess there's a first for everything! He said he was confident that we have "professional government" meaning "professional staff" not necessarily the BOA. After watching the meeting i would even qustion the professional staff. Mayor Bower has adopted the school district's we're going into closed session because and then reading every possibility. Years ago Willard Ross would just spell out exactly what the closed session was for. The impression was that the BOA had to go into closed session to discuss its retreat. That doesn't wash. About fifteen years ago the city put out $400,000 a year for overlay and now its down to a quarter of a million. Aziere from his comments must have moved out of town or he would know how bad the streets here are. What a bunch of yahoos! At least Greg stood up for more overlay. Forget about it! The leftover money will go to more studies, retreats and other BS for the underpaid city employees and overworked "professionals" and BOA>

Anonymous said...

Hey Lee,

How about Hulk Hogan in court wearing a doo rag for his son's sentencing?

Can you dooooo that too?

Pat Casady said...

I read a quote from an author of a new book on business leaders
but this quote could be and should be for elected officials too.

"Leadership is always about integrity. Why? Because what people around leaders respond to is the leaders' conviction, character, sense of justice and passionate desire to do the right thing......

"Outstanding leaders behave in ways that reflect their awareness
of the value and rights of other people."

When the people of Raytown voted for the tax increase for the sake
of better and safer streets, they were entrusting their elected officials to do what was promised with this money. They (elected officials) have chosen not to do this.

Many of you that read this Blog don't agree with a lot that Greg Walters writes or does but you have to give this to him. He may have even been against a tax increases, possibly even this increase for streets, (I'm not sure,) but he is trying to do right by and for the people that expected to get what they voted for.
"Conviction, character, sense of justice and passionate desire to do the right thing. Awareness of value and the rights of other people."
This is the leadership qualifications Raytown needs.
This board has made many mistakes some that will possibly cost this town greatly. But, if what is voted in by the people is ignored maybe the next election these people should be ignored too.
It's oblivious this town has double standards. Making one business stucco their entire building because of a rule set just for the 350hwy. Live, area
then along comes the school and puts up a huge metal sided building with absolutely no problem from the city. The street overlay voted in by the people
and shunned by the very people that pushed for the increase.
No leadership values.

I didn't write this to try and make City Hall mad at me and if there is anything I have written that is wrong please tell me. I don't understand the way
things are going in this town or where this town is headed for that matter.
We are still losing businesses left and right and still no action from the city.
It's as if they were content with getting the big box store on 350hwy, and letting all other businesses go away.
Bad streets. Vacant buildings. Treating some existing businesses badly.
Enforcing codes on one builder and not on others in the same area.
This is no way to bring in or keep businesses in this town.

Andy Whiteman said...

After reading Pat's comment, it is obvious why Greg's ward elected him. He has Conviction, character, sense of justice and passionate desire to do the right thing, Awareness of value, and the rights of other people. I didn't agree with him on the animal issue but other than that he stands up for the people (all of the people of Raytown, not just Ward 5).

Andy Whiteman

Tony G. said...

"When the people of Raytown voted for the tax increase for the sake
of better and safer streets, they were entrusting their elected officials to do what was promised with this money. They (elected officials) have chosen not to do this.
" - Pat Cassady

Do you have any evidence of this Pat???

If the City truly has violated the law by spending sales tax dollars in contracdiction to the voters approval, why not SUE the City??

Or are you simply whining/griping without any evidence or proof?

Anonymous said...

A state audit would put an end to this debate!!!! What are our city leaders afraid of?

Anonymous said...

Like most things on this blog everyone is bogged down in trivia. The city hall explanations by the city attorney Tuesday were interesting. She said the sales tax was paid toward streets. So where did the bailout on the $1 million mistake on a bond issue come from?
Also from reading this I noticed that everyone has grown quiet about the high school graduation exploits. Did Bush chest bumping Air Force grads and the rest of his antics end that discussion?
As long as the American people are distracted there will never be any real people involvement in government at any level.

Andy Whiteman said...

Anon 9:37 PM, You are correct about people being distracted.

Maybe people write about what interests them at the moment. I class the people involved at the graduation incident as obnoxious people as well as lack of control by "Quality" school officials They can't run a "Quality" graduation. When I graduated, if there were applause (which was customary at that time), that graduate did not receive his/her dipolma. Hence disturbances did NOT happen.

The graduation incident didn't merrit my comment. I just assumed obnoxious behavior was typical of a large percentage of Raytown's population so it is nothing new. It happens every day.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Lee Gray here.

Andy --- beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

I just returned from Northwest Missouri State University's "Missouri Academy" graduation in Maryville.

My daughter picked up her college associate degree in science. She's spent the past two years there finishing her last two years of high school and her first two years of college simultaneously.

The announcement prior to the degrees being handed out was: "Please show your graduates how much you think of them." There was clapping, cheers and a real celebration honoring their achievement. (Only 36 of 'em in the entire state of Missouri.) And this was in front of a smiling board of regents president, the president of the university and the guest speaker --- chancellor of Washington University in St. Louis.

Incidentally --- these were white folks and Asians!!! So much for the myth propagated here about South High!

And, as has been noted above, President Bush and the Air Force Academy cadets put on quite a show this week also.

When did passion and fun cease to be as important as pomp and circumstance?

The only "obnoxious behavior" I see, Andy, is that of judgmental bluenoses here!


Lee Gray

Anonymous said...

Your comments are a little harsh, Lee.

There is a difference between spontaneous applause and bad behavior. One is a true outpouring of celebration and pride. The other is a statement to the world that they do not care and will not abide authority or conformity.

It is also extremely childish.

One leaves you joyful and understanding.

The other leaves you scared and wondering.

It could best be compared to dress codes. Rules put in place out of respect for others. Those who blatantly defy the codes are simply showing their contempt for not only the code, but for those who put the code in place.

But you already know this. Don't you?

Anonymous said...

No, anonymous, I guess I don't.

Have you ever seen how I dress? (smile)

I am not now, and never have been, a good little Nazi following orders.

While I respect authority, I always question it. Just cuz' some elected idiot says something doesn't make it so.

I'll spare you the few billion examples.

Lee Gray

Andy Whiteman said...

Lee,

Congradulations are in order to your daughter. Completing high school and college conconcurently is quite an accomplishment. The way education has changed, I doubt I could graduate high school under the new system.

It sounds like different areas have different customs. If a statement is made, "Please show your graduates how much you think of them," then it is appropriate to show emotion. But if it is requested that applause be withheld until all names have been called, than it is the custom of that area and anyone violating the request is not only rude but also obnoxious. Race has nothing to do with it. I think it is a matter of culture and up bringing.

I also question authority, especially from our elected officials some of whom are complete idiots. As one friend told me, obviously the people who voted for them are idiots.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Lee,

You have given me images of storm troopers goose-stepping through my head.

All this talk of dress codes and proper behavior at public events is very confusing.

Doesn't it really comes down to a question of good manners and courtesy. Both of which are in short supply these days.

Just sign me mr. any o' mouse

Andy Whiteman said...

Mr. any o' mouse has summed it up in the fewest possible words.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

The lemmings are forming on the cliff.

Pat Casady said...

To Tony g.
You need only read the next article "Street Improvements Given Cold
Shoulder by City Hall" to see what I mean.
Also I never said the city had spent the tax money elsewhere. I said they
have chosen not to use what the voters approved, it to repair the streets.
If I recall correctly the people were asked to vote for a certain percent tax
increase either property tax or sales tax, just for street repairs and overlays.
You ask if "I'm just whining or griping without any evidence or proof?"

You may not like me or what I write about but I never make up what I write about.
Sometimes the truth hurts.