Sunday, June 1, 2008

Voting Procedure at Board of Aldermen Meetings Flawed

A number of people have asked why the Board of Aldermen signed of on a $50,000 in-fill study when the work could just as easily been completed in house. It is a good question. For the record, I voted against the study. Some would say that due to that vote my comments are jaded. I saw it as $50.000 that could be better spent elsewhere in the city. The final tally on the vote was 9 to 1. Did the other members of the Board realize that they were, in many respects, re-inventing the wheel? Were they aware that many do not believe the money spent on the study was well spent? It is another good question, one that can only be answered by those individual Board members. But it does point to a flaw in the way the Board conducts official city business. The Board voted approval of the study by use of a budget resolution. It was passed with less than ten minutes of public discussion at the meeting. The little debate that was covered was actually created by my request to carry the item over until the next meeting so the public would be aware of just what was being voted on. It would be fair to say that nearly 90% of the city’s business is conducted through the adoption of resolutions. It has not always been this way. At one time nearly 90% of the city’s business as conducted by approving bills, which, once approved, were officially adopted as ordinances. State law required three public readings of each ordinance before it was adopted. The law was later changed to require only two readings of each bill. Finally, the law was changed to require only the reading of the heading of the bill. The current practice allows contracts, and other official city business to be conducted by passing of a simple resolution. The current practice, it is argued, is simply a ratification of the city’s budget ordinance that is approved by October 31st of each year. Proponents of the current method claim that the resolution is all that is needed affirm the earlier decision made by the Board at the time the budget ordinance was passed. So, you can see that over time, the change has been dramatic. What was once read in public at separate meetings is now not read at all. This method of legislation is deeply flawed because it does not allow for public feedback on important issues before the Board. From reading the comments to this page it is easy to see that the $50,000 expenditure was not a popular decision with the public. The vote was rammed through despite the fact there was no urgency in making the expenditure. I visited with one of the regular contributors to this page, former owner of the Raytown Post, Lee Gray, about this very issue last week. He pointed out that the two-week window between a first and second reading is very important because it gives the local press time to disseminate timely information back to the public. Who, in turn, can contact their Aldermen before the Board casts its votes. That’s how representative governments are supposed to work. A true story comes to mind of just such an issue from a few years back. Here is what happened. A salesman from the Kansas City Star approached the Board of Aldermen at a regular meeting and presented a package by which the Star would print more stories about Raytown City business if the city would support, with paid advertising, a special newspaper section to carry the news. I spoke very strongly against the suggestion. I told the Board that suggested practice is called “blackjack advertising”. The term probably does not need explanation, but it basically means – you buy advertising and I will print nice fluffy stories about you. I probably came across a little too strongly in my opposition because the most of the Board took turns denouncing my position and saying how they planned to support the plan. At that time, Lee Gray owned the Raytown Post. He had watched the debate on television and wrote a stinging editorial about the inappropriate handling of this particular bit of business by the Board of Aldermen. Apparently, his readers must have agreed. The Mayor or any of the Board members who had so strongly endorsed it two weeks earlier never brought up the issue again. As Mr. Gray pointed out during our conversation, this “check and balance” only works if the local press takes their job seriously and reports all of the details behind the story. I could not agree more. It is advice that both the Board of Aldermen and the local press should take to heart. The Board needs to slow down the way it handles its business. There is no prize for running the public’s business through the mill at breakneck speed. The local press should insist that all sides of discussion be aired publicly, not just for 5 minutes before a vote, but in the local print media as well. It is a practice that should not be done on a “pick and choose” type of governing. For instance, the Board did not carry over the $50,000 for an infill study to receive public input. Yet, when it came to moving a recycling center (which actually earns the city money) the Mayor and Board insisted a public hearing be held to gain public feedback on whether or not the new location was acceptable. Who knows, if exposure to the story had been aired, the city could have bought more streetlights, repaired our failed streets, or build some new sidewalks with the $50,000 that will now be spent on yet another study to be archived at Raytown City Hall.

57 comments:

Andy Whiteman said...

The board is very quick to waste money (both large and larger amounts). We don't have money to maintain the streets, but we can waste $50K on an infill study. The board also approved close to $600/month for a lease of a postage meter. Since I have experience in this field, I requested a description and specs of the equipment. This was something city staff was unable or unwilling to furnish. I feel this expense was excessive. There are more than one provider of this equipment but I heard no mention of this being the lowest bid. This should have been put up for bid. Is this a public be damned attitude?

Any sum of money requiring board approval should be required to have 2 readings with full public disclosure (with the exception of a true emergency).

One problem I see with 2 readings is the deadline of the newspapers. The meeting is on Tuesday; however, the paper is not delivered until the next Wednesday. This leaves little time for the public to gather its thoughts, research, etc. But 2 readings is still better than only 1 reading.

One solution would be to make each expenditure resolution a public hearing and allow the public to speak specifically on that issue as it is presented.

This wastefull spending must stop. Just remember it is not the board's personal money...It is taxpayer's money and we need to takeback control. Maybe a study of the way the board conducts business would be appropriate. My suggestion is to have some Policital Science Majors to conduct a study as their termpaper.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

If I remember correctly either one or both of the local newspapers at one time or another changed their cutoff dates to coincide with their meetings. Or maybe they did not. I also remember seeing a lot of 'as we went to press' that kept us all hanging until the following week or the other paper came out either with the info or ignored the issue alltogether.

More than one reading would really slow things down, give people both aldermen and constituents more time to think about if this proposed legislation is good for the city and should put excessive spending in check. There should always be a means for public comment, whether be telephone, letter, email, anonymously or signed to the Board of Aldermen and the Mayor. And if the comments fall upon deaf ears, at election time it can be changed.

Anonymous said...

As an observer of city business over the years we, as citizens, have become less able to follow how council meetings are run at city hall. It seems as though the mayor and board of aldermen really don't want to take the time to thoroughly discuss agenda items. It's pass this stuff so we can all get to the bars and have a victory celebration. When you rush to pass agenda items you're going to make mistakes, which seems like that's what our current mayor and board are making a lot of lately. And those mistakes are costing us taxpayers dearly.

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

The postage machine lease amount seems high and $50,000 for an infill study is just a plan waste of tax payer dollars. The new Finance Director made the decision on the postage machine and will not provide specs or information to someone who requests it. It goes to show that when people are hired, or elected at City Hall they put on a phony appearance to convince others just how smart they are. Most all around them soon realize this and staff, but more importantly citizens lose confidence and trust in our Leaders. Not convinced of this? Just take a look at the past two City Administrators as an example. The two of them took Raytown on a backward slide.

Take a look at losing the Finance Director to Liberty and Curt Wenson, numerous Public Works Directors and Asst Directors, employees and staff looking for better pay and benefits. Look at our neighborhoods and see the Home for sale signs in yards, Look at the empty stores that set in Raytown. I have lost confidence and trust in our leasders and Elected Officials.

Anonymous said...

Isn't the purpose of posting meeting notices in advance to provide notice to the public of what would be discussed by the Board? Doesn't the City provide copies of the information to the media and anyone else who is interested? Perhaps Greg should pick up his agenda BEFORE the meeting and read it so he is informed and can vote at the first reading. It seems the rest of the Aldermen are well informed, can speak intelligently and are prepared to vote on the meeting items and don't need 3 weeks to make a decision. Those Aldermen do their homework so they can represent the citizens. Why should the meetings be bogged down because Greg does not pick up his packet?

Pat Casady said...

It has never ceased to amaze me how city, town and state governments work......or don't work.
People of a town, etc. elect people to represent them and their views.
Thinking that in some weird way these elected people know what they are doing. Folks they are no better than you or anybody else. No smarter.
No more common sense and have probably never owned a business or
know how to handle big money. Your money, taxpayer money.
They put on their pants one leg at a time just like you do except some
of them can't figure which leg to start with. Then someone has to tell them which way to think.
As we have seen in the past anyone with a good story will, and can, talk most of these "elected" people into anything. In most cases without even a question of how it will effect this town, businesses and neighborhoods.
They have paid developers thousands for absolutely nothing. Made it hard for a small business to start up.
They have in the last eight or more years sold their souls to the dollar devil without so much as thought of what their actions would do the town.
The giveaways and code forgiveness are just the tip of has happened
in this town.
It's not all their fault.
We vote in an average citizen to run the city and then along comes a fast talking developer with his hand out and a promise of making everything better,
a City Administrator that got in too deep right of the bat by talking the BOA into
buying the old church. There is much to much more to list.
My point?
My point is simple. Elected officials should stop and think before spending,
signing or giving away anything. Snap decisions are usually bad decisions and always come back and bite you or at the very least make you look stupid.
Stop, look, listen and ask questions. Talk to the people you represent before
you make a decision that will embarrass you or this town.
COMMON SENCE!

Andy Whiteman said...

Pat is correct, elected officials need to stop and think. I have noticed 2 Aldermen who do that (at least from judging their questions and votes). Sometimes I wonder about others.

As for the articles "as the paper went to press", the paper has already been printed and is in the stand at City Hall with the news before the meeting.

I agree with the writer who said snap decisions are usually bad decisions. I feel there whould be a one meeting "cooling off period" IE 2 readings on ALL resolutions (except for emergencies). That will give the entire board time to think about it. Some of the board are fast, logical thinkers while others are not. This is not to fault the others, but each person is different. When I was in head injury class, my case manager was annoyed that I would make no comment and come back the next day with a response. My explanation was, I need time to think something over before responding. Our board may vote differently if they had the time to mull it over and gather comments.

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

WOW! I am amazed at the amount of negativity out there from the Raytown bloggers. What positive things have the writers done to improve the city? Positive things to improve Raytown excludes constant complaining about what someone else will or will not do or how they do it.

It is so easy to be critical of others. It is much more difficult to put yourself out there to try to change things for the better. Why would anyone want to even try to do something for Raytown when negativity rules the day? Unless there is bad intent, constantly criticizing people for things that don't make a difference in the big scheme of life is senseless, exhausting and harmful to the city.

The city wide clean up day was a great event for Raytown. Did any of you volunteer to help to improve the city? Have any of you volunteered to help man the recycling center? Talk is cheap!

Anonymous said...

WOW! I am amazed at the amount of negativity out there from the Raytown bloggers. What positive things have the writers done to improve the city? Positive things to improve Raytown excludes constant complaining about what someone else will or will not do or how they do it.

It is so easy to be critical of others. It is much more difficult to put yourself out there to try to change things for the better. Why would anyone want to even try to do something for Raytown when negativity rules the day? Unless there is bad intent, constantly criticizing people for things that don't make a difference in the big scheme of life is senseless, exhausting and harmful to the city.

The city wide clean up day was a great event for Raytown. Did any of you volunteer to help to improve the city? Have any of you volunteered to help man the recycling center? Talk is cheap!

Anonymous said...

Namaste

Anonymous said...

You know, I have done an awful lot of work, both for hire and volunteer. And now it is someone elses turn to volunteer and now I can, and have earned every right to complain about what I dont like. I can also give praise and compliments when it is due.

There have been more reasons to complain than to give compliments here of late.

Lets start by discussing the damage to my vehicles from the city's negligence from not maintaining our streets.

How about all of the properties that have been for sale, vacant, etc.

How about the property values declining. And taxes going up.

What about all the businesses that the city runs off or turns away.

Why does the city retain incompetent individuals as employees and elected officials?

When was the last time your alderman stopped by your house to ask how things are, and what you would like to see done to create a better Raytown?

What about the deteriorating infrastructure all around us?

Why pay lots of $$$$ for more studies that obviously anyone with common sense can answer for free if asked?

Sure, the 'Community Cleanup Day' event happens once a year. It is a way to get rid of certain items, and it can be slightly less expensive than taking things to a landfill, but, how about household hazardous waste? The city never has offered to do anything about that.

About the time that the city takes a step forward, like with recycling, then they take a few steps backward, by not accepting glass, or disbanding the committee, or not going forward with the two year notice.

The BOA is more of a social club than a governing body.

Lets see.... you cant have livestock or horses here, but you can have dogs, cats, and pigs. Ducks, geese, roosters, and chickens.

Oh, say something nice.... Yes, Raytown Plaza Shopping Center looks really nice again, only for how long, and what about the vacant stores.

BTW.... you can thank the Raytown Chamber of Commerce for killing off the Raytown Roundup Days Parade. RIP another tradition gone down the tubes. Now we have the BBQ and the Round up corral merged at Aquila in June. Oh boy!

What will Raytown High School and the School District do about the annual marching band competition now, or is that dead as well?

I can certainly continue on with all sorts of complaints about Raytown, and I can also list a few, but just a few good things as well. I have lived here all my life, and I really do not like what I have seen done to my hometown. Think about it.

Anonymous said...

Andy...Lee Gray here. You are entitled to the specs on the postage metering system, bid, costs, etc. That should be an OPEN PUBLIC RECORD. If there were any real media in the Kansas City area, they would take up the issue for you!
But Alas, Poor York, I knew him well!

Greg Walters said...

Wow!!!

Some anonymous writer sure did put me in my place.

No, not really. She or he only made a bunch of ridiculous claims about picking up packets at city hall.

For the record, I go to city hall, read the agenda and then put it back in my mailbox. I never have seen the sense in carrying it home just to haul back up to the meeting.

But to the anonymous writer . . . who I am inclined to believe is sitting in at the same meetings I attend each month.

Why don't you bring it up on the floor of the Council meeting? I will be more than happy to debate you on any of the issues before us any time, any place.

But be forwarned, you will find it difficult to hide when you make your accusations in public as you have here.

As for the Board needing to slow down on items like the $50,000 infill study. I stand by what I have written.

The public does have a right to know how there tax dollars are spent. Board members would benefit from more feedback from the people that elected them to office.

Could it be that maybe sometimes elected officials forget that their real role is to represent -- not put up a pretense of superiority?

This is not the first time the BOA made a foolish vote by rushing business. Remember when we sold a city park for $50?

Seriously, doesn't the city, and especially its elected officials have better things to do than worry about when Greg picks up his packet?

See you on Tuesday.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Greg!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like some of Greg's fellow board members are jealous of his knowledge of city government. Look at these people, Schlapia, Fleming, Melson, I could go on and on, but everyone who watches the meetings knows what I'm talking about. He probably knows more about what's on the agenda, without looking at it than most of those "bumps on a log" do after they have studied it. We have the sadist excuse for aldermen in the whole metropolitan area. It's no wonder that we are continually made fun of by the progressive cities in Jackson County. How much longer can Raytown survive with these people running things?

Anonymous said...

For most of the 22 years Greg and I have known each other, I can't say that we were on the same page all that often. But I will say that I know for a fact that he was always well aware of what was on the agenda (and the editorial page of the Raytown Post when I owned it).

I hope, Greg, that you will see to it that Andy is supplied with the definitives concerning the postage meter et al.

Additionally, I would agree that we are all entitled to be so-called "negative" in demanding our government be accountable.

And where volunteering and helping local government is concerned, I recall the First Mayor's Clean Up Day featuring Mayor Jack Nesbitt coming by the park shelter house where we'd gathered. He was there for the donuts and coffee but explained he had an historical home tour to take that Saturday morning. The rest of us went out and cleaned up other people's yards, brush, etc.

I've worked with Barb Schalpia, Sue Frank, both Kinman brothers, Jerry Briggs, the Walters and many others on various clean up projects in this community.

So, to the one questioner asking if we ever do anything positive other than bitch...I'm confident in saying "Yes." Lee Gray

Anonymous said...

Thanks Lee!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Gray has made a good point. Demanding accountability of your city government should not be viewed as negativity. If you stick you head in the sand and continue to say everything is wonderful in Raytown, doesn't make it so. Unfortunately that's what the Mayor and most of the board are doing. Sad state of affairs in poor little Raytown. We can't even get basic city services addressed anymore, codes, street repair, animal control, and on and on. My advice, sell out while there is still a market.

Pat Casady said...

Watching and wondering why, then stating our feelings is a right
we have in the USA.
If people don't "complain" or question how their tax dollars are wasted by elected officials, it's like giving them the OK to spend.

The person that said the Greg doesn't look at his "packet" is most certainly a fellow board member. Likely one that won't question why or how tax dollars
are spent or given away.

To the person that wrote about all the negativity on this blog.
If you go before the board with a common sense idea or to try to ask
questions why something was done they will blow you off and not
talk to you. After all they are "elected" officials. They know everything anybody needs to know about running this town and making it prosper.
You need only look around to see all the good they have done.
Then, after you see how much they have done for......developers, Wal-Mart, Hy-Vee and not the people, streets, sidewalks and so on, that were voted in for repairs you will see why this blog is the only way some of us can vent.

Cleanup day may have been a success but if that's all there is to brag about what this town has done....well, let's just say you answered your own question
on negativity.

Andy Whiteman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andy Whiteman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andy Whiteman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andy Whiteman said...

Is there a software problem with the blog's server? I see numerous COMMENT DELETED's several times in a row. I noticed one of my comments posted twice. Inorder to delete, I had to login by creating a dummy post that appeared 3 times which I deleted.

I happen to be a complainer. If someone doesn't take the time to complain, the board assumes that everything is OK because there are no complaints. It wouldn't be right to allow them make that false assumption. I would like to see more people state their opinions before the board whether I agree with them or not. Everyone should make themselves heard.

I also have complaints with some businesses and am told that I am the only one who has complained. Apparently since no one will bother to take the time, I am the only one. In another case, an employee told me that I wasn't the only complaint. I was just told that.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Point and click only once.

Anonymous said...

I see in the Star today that big Barb Schlapia is making a laughing stock out of Raytown again. By sponsoring legislation to keep farm animals in your home it only reenforces the public's redneck image of Raytown. A 220 pound hog is not a pet. She's the one that voted to keep the pit bulls in Raytown and now we're going to keep farm animals in our homes. We're never going to improve our image as long as dumb legislation like this is big Barb's top priority. Why doesn't she spend her time trying to solve the real problems that Raytown has?

Andy Whiteman said...

At least Raytown will be known as "Pet Friendly". People have different choices for pets. Anonymous 8:42 AM could make the same case against ferrets. Discrimination is wrong. We can't discriminate because a pet is swine. Other cities recognize Pot Bellied pigs as pets. Raytown can be known as a progressive city rather than a backwards hick town.

I have never heard a pig bark. My neighborhood sounds like a kennel so I am unable to go into my yard and have peace and quiet. The city is unable to enforce the barking ordinance. I would prefer the pig as a neighbor to have some quiet.

Andy Whiteman

Pat Casady said...

On the last subject "Street Improvements Given Cold Shoulder by City Hall."
I was asked by Tony g. "If the city truly has violated the law by spending sales
tax dollars in contradiction to the voters approval why not sue the city?"
Tony g. goes on to ask if I had any evidence of this???

First off I never said the city had spent the tax money elsewhere. I said the city has chosen not to fix the streets as promised with the voted and approved, tax increase just for the street repairs and overlays.
If I'm wrong, then I'm not the only one.

Then Tony g. asked if I was simply whining/griping without any evidence or
proof.
I say just drive around Tony g. if you are happy with the streets then good
enough for you. But I think the people that voted the tax increase that was
approved should get what they voted for and are paying for too.

Tony g. you might want to read that article from May 26, 2008 one more
time. It mentions that only a trickle of that 1/2 cent sales tax has been spent
on street maintenance

Anonymous said...

Greg,

Don't let these people get to you. I am proud to have someone on the board like you at least I know you give a D---- about what is going on up there. I know you do not care if anyone likes it or not you will tell it like it is. I for one, want someone on the board who is not an a-- kisser who thinks for him or herself instead of always running with the crowd so that they don't have to think.

Just once I would like to have someone or anyone of those board members call me and ask my opinion. Do I like or dislkie what they are going to vote on AND HAVE THAT OPINION RESPECTED.

I don't know if Greg reads the adgenda before the meetings but what I do know he always knows what is going on. Sometime I feel that he says things just to make it possible for those of us out here understand what is at stake with the ordinances they are going to pass. From what I have seen those who claim to read the adgenda don't know many more than Greg does and in many cases much less ie: Jim Aziere, Joe Cramer ETC.

Greg, I know you did not when the mayorial election but did you ever think that maybe it was because we all knew we need you where you are? How else are we going to find out what is going on up there at city hall? Once again I am glad you are on the board and please keep doing what you are so darn good at.

Anonymous said...

Well once again evidence of Divine Intervention. Gas prices are causing the fat cops to ride bikes and walk beats in some cities. Less stress and more exercise and a solution to obesity in the US. When He closes a door, he opens a window!
Speaking of which Andy won't be able to open a window when those pigs are next door. Been there, done that, slopping the hogs. And he says we can't discriminate where pets are concerned yet we saw his double standard where people celebrating graduates was concerned on last week's site. Ain't life grand! And just full of inconsistent logic! Allah Ach Bar

Andy Whiteman said...

Anon 6:15 PM, do you really believe the Police are walking beats and riding bikecycles because of gas prices? Over 15 years ago, police in Albuquerque were parking their cars and riding bikes for more effective neighborhood patrol. Several years ago I spoke with an officer who was riding a bicycle in a shopping center in Leawood. He said that it is an effective tool because in a pursuit situation, he can navagate between cars and a bicycle has more speed than a runner.

Now, what is the problem with hogs? The ordinance has a clean up provision. I think anyone with a problem would call Animal Control just like I call about barking dogs and nothing is done. I don't open my windows anyway because it lets in the miserable humidity and heat as well the as noise of barking dogs. Pigs don't bark so they are welcome next to me as long as the owners are quite.

Anonymous said...

I wish all the people that have pitt bulls and livestock would move into Schlapia's neighborhood. We'd see then how she would like living next door to farm animals and vicious dogs.

Anonymous said...

so Greg is playing censor, huh?

Andy Whiteman said...

I believe Baby Pork Chop lives in Barb's ward. A Pot Bellied Pig is NOT a farm animal. A Pot Bellied Pig doesn't bark and is a nicer neighbor than barking dogs.

One thing I find really strange is NOT one person objected at the Booard meeting. Since no one objected, obviously there is no problem. Why is there complaining now that it is a done deal?

By the way, a SMOKING BAN may be proposed. It is being hidden from the public by calling it a CLEAN AIR ordinance. Anyone with an opinion FOR OR AGAINST needs to speak out or forever hold their peace. My objection is that the title is concealing the issue from public view. I thought we had a Freedom of Information Act.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

You can call this pig whatever you want, but at 220 pounds it is ready for bacon and pork chops instead of being a pet. I agree with Ms. Melson, this thing is bigger than some shetland ponies. It's a hog and I don't care what kind of noises it makes it still has to smell. This smoking ban ordinance will be a fiasco. I predict the board and mayor will all look like fools before it's over. They're not capable of handling anything this complicated.

Anonymous said...

Of all places Raytown shouldn't become smoke free. We're the only place around where you can smoke in restaurants. Oops - I forgot - no restaurants want to open up here. Never mind.

Anonymous said...

Guess what? I am going to get more horses, cattle, and chickens again... I am dang tired of being told that we cannot do something, then they make exceptions for friends or whoever. If I want to do something with my property, so be it! Forget the city and their codes dept. This place is looking more like little mexico every day.

Anonymous said...

Just saw Comcast "NEWSMAKERS" with Carson Ross, mayor of Blue Springs.
He was bemoaning being "17th" out of 19 communities on both sides of the stateline in metro KC.
Interesting was his comment that "Excelsior Springs and Raytown" were the only towns Blue Springs beat.
What does that tell ya, folks?

Andy Whiteman said...

Anon 5:38 AM, Raytown reminds me of Mexico too. When I first moved to town I fell into an open storm sewer ditch. Mexico has open sewers!

Now they want zoning to allow lots that are (I believe) 25 x 50. That is just like Mexico--stacked on each other with no space. Does anyone wonder why Mexico has so much crime? Build these miniature homes and maybe illegals will buy them! Should make City Hall happy.

How does Anon 1:15 PM feel about 200 pound dogs? There are some dogs bigger than that pig!

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...

PS. I read in the paper that Baby Pork Chop lived here before the ordinance was written unbeknownst to the BOA. Actually she should have been grandfathered. The booard was in error for not doing that. I think technically it was a CYA type of ordinance, to fix the error in the original one.

KCMOs smoking ban is going to court. I wonder if Raytown has the budget to go to court over a smoking ban? Hey, maybe that is what the surplus fund is for!

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

How about a contest? We'll have a pool -- winner takes all. Just guess how many outages Comcast TV and internet will have during June. In the first five days it had five. BOA should be on this franchisee which will only hear from the public every 10 years when renewal of the franchise comes up at city hall.

Andy Whiteman said...

I don't use Comcast. I have an old fashioned antenna that provides free TV. When the hranchise comes up for renewal, a clause should be written into it to provide a refund for service outages.

By the way, someone once told me that cable TV was free in parts of Raytown. Can anyone confirm or deny that? I suspected that it may be Comcast's failure to diconnect service when the last person moved.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

???? Why is the A.B.O.P.T. program not free in Raytown & Grandview? According to the Northland Neighborhood News A.B.O.P.T. stands for antifreeze, batteries, oil, paint and tires. (that really hard to get rid of stuff) They also indiciate that the service is FREE to residents of all Missouri metro area comminties EXCEPT Grandview and Raytown WHY????

Anonymous said...

Because Raytown is too cheap to pay the fee required to participate in the program. We'd rather give our tax dollars away to the Wal-Marts of the world than provide BASIC CITY SERVICES. Thanks, Mayor Bower

Anonymous said...

Saw that pitiful Post and it projects the Funk bringing a commuter line thru Raytown on the old Rock Island line. Guess city hall has a place to spend that "surplus" restoring the rail line bridge over 59th Street just west of City Hall. Noticed also that "advertising works." Must not work too well as there's almost none in the Post.

Anonymous said...

I read the article in the Post about light rail. The primary message is potential for growth and development. What about convenience to the residents? If the city would think about what would be best for the residents, i.e. community, then growth will follow. We need organizations to respond to the needs of the community. Youth & senior, groups to promote involvement. If you build community involvement and benefits the growth will come.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the last post for the most part. I want to live in a community that is concerned about me. How will the new Wally World benefit me? There won't be much income to the city and other than cheap shopping I don't see how it would benefit me.
I need to trust the leaders of the city. If I vote for a tax increase for city streets I expect to see the streets in good repair.
What would benefit me? The opportunity to be involved in the community in various aspects and not only politically.

Pat Casady said...

Let's see here.
Pigs as house pets!
Metal buildings built when rules state no metal buildings! Especially on 350 hwy. (The new school building)
Some codes enforced on some and not on others!
Taxpayers vote for tax increase for street repairs..City decides not to!
Trying to run some businesses out of town!
Poor accounting lost track of two million plus, taxpayer dollars!
(Still no street repairs.)
Making it too hard for new business to come to town! Unless you are Wal-Mart or Hy-Vee then the city can't do enough!
Paying developers well over sixty thousand taxpayer dollars with no results!
Paying fifty thousand taxpayer dollars for something anybody with a brain could have handled! (Infill?)

Wasting taxpayer dollars (well over a million dollars) with little or no results
is the norm and double standards along with no common sense, this is alive and well in Raytown.
With no accountability in sight.

Yup! The top priority should be the commuter rail system.

Andy Whiteman said...

Does anyone really think the railroad will allow use of their tracks when they want to charge (for utilities) to build a bridge over it? I can't believe they will give up their Right Of Way. I assume there will be a high rental charge just for the use of it!

As for antifreeze, batteries, oil, paint and tires; I read several years ago that you can take it to a service station (they no longer exist) or auto repair shop and they will take these items for a charge. You may notice that when you get your oil or antifreeze changed, for tires installed you are charged an extra fee for recycling. Actually batteries have a core charge so I don't understand the problem. You simply return the old one to get your core chare refunded. Why not donate the paint to the REAP program so poor people can make use of it?

Andy Whiteman

Tony G. said...

"By the way, a SMOKING BAN may be proposed. It is being hidden from the public by calling it a CLEAN AIR ordinance." - Andy W

Okay Andy... now you truly are being an idiot! You think everything is a conspiracy!!! When you saw an discussion on clean air, did you think they were going to ban all the massive industry we have in raytown??? What else would they be talking about if not smoking???

Give me a break....

Anonymous said...

Hog smells, dog smells from the house next door possibly?????

Andy Whiteman said...

Tony G., Everything should be stated in PLAIN LANGUAGE. Who on earth would think clean air means a smoking ban? It should be called smoking ban or smoking ordinance to title it properly.

This area is plagued with foul air. A normal person would think clean air means rgulation of vehicles idling unattended or idling at all for any length of time or maybe vapor recovery at gasoline pumps. Smoking never entered my mind because that is not the big problem.

The Animal ordinance was concealed as an "ad hoc" meeting and was never made public until I started making an issue of it. There have been other resolutions and ordinances concealed with brief titles that seem like no big deal. Many things the BOA does are hidden in some way to avoid public outcry. If it had been announced as PROPOSED SMOKING BAN the whole room would have been filled with people to either protest or support it which is fine with me, but the Fascist Fief of Raytown certainly doesn't want that to happen. If there isn't a conspiracy, citizens would protest and that isn't welcome.

Only an idiot would stretch CLEAN AIR to mean smoking ban. I hope the meeting is packed with as many or more people than the animal control ordinance, then the BOA will resort to secret, unannounced meetings as it did with the animal ordinance.

Andy Whiteman