Sunday, July 20, 2008

Clawbacks Needed in Downtown Tax Abatement Scheme

Clawbacks are the mechanism by which municipalities can guarantee that the recipient of tax abatements come through with their part of a redevelopment plan. For instance, a couple of years ago Utilicorp (which became Aquila, which is now owned by KCP&L – for those who like to keep up) went to the City of Kansas City with a plan. They would rehabilitate and refurbish one of K.C.’s iconic buildings, the 20 West Ninth Street Building, and re-locate the corporate headquarters to that location. In return, the City would grant some tax abatements and along with other considerations, cut in half the Earnings Tax on all those who work in the building. Years later, Utilicorp became embroiled in the mess most of us remember as Enron. The value of Utilicorp’s stock dropped from $37 to $3. The company was reorganized. Drastic cuts in personnel and a sell off of property to keep the utility solvent were carried out. Part of the reorganization was the abandonment of the new headquarters at 20 West Ninth Street. The City of Kansas City got wind of the plan to move. They demanded and received a return on most of the tax abatements (including the Earnings Tax cut) that had been given to Utilicorp. That is how a clawback works. At its last meeting, the Raytown Board of Aldermen approved a resolution of “policy guidelines and review criteria” to hand out tax abatements to business owners in Downtown Raytown for improvements to their property. The plan is to allow tax abatements of up to 15 years for improvements for businesses who invest in the Downtown by fixing up property. Clawbacks were not mentioned in the resolution. But they are definitely needed. Below is a short list of qualifiers the city should require before handing out any tax abatements in Downtown Raytown. 1. Provide that occupancy of the property be 100% for the entire term of the tax abatement. This will keep developers from capturing the tax abatement but leaving empty buildings in their wake. 2. Provide a minimum of full time employees per business. This protects the city from a business operation that does not boost employment. For instance, should a real estate agent be considered a “full time” employee? Most agents, particularly in this market, are part time at best. Some have moved on to other jobs but still post properties in the hopes that a sale may happen. The city should demand an annual audit of payroll data to verify a firm’s employee base. 3. Payments should be held in escrow for a period of time before remittance to a business owner. This insures the business owner will not close its doors before the tax abatement runs out. Anyone wondering why need only look as far as the Raytown Plaza to see how easy it is to walk away from a project. The developer of that project has pulled out. If readers have any other ideas about how to best defend the taxpayers’ dollar, please send them in. I will see that they are forwarded to the Mayor for consideration. When? Hy-Vee has put a fence around its future location on 350 Highway and moved in a construction trailer. Proof positive that they intend to stay in Raytown. And why not! The city has given them a 15 year property tax abatement and a one-half cent sales to pay for the improvements to their new property. But it does raise other questions. For well over a year I have been reading press releases, chock full of adjectives about how soon, soooon, sooooooon, the Old First Baptist Church will be coming down. And, of course, everyone knows that Walmart will be breaking ground for its new store. What I find frustrating is that no one will say when this going to happen. Hopefully the answers will come soon. At its last meeting the Board of Aldermen closed the deal with the school district on the property where Walmart is suppose to be built. Acting City Administrator Nancy Thompson told the Board that with approval of the deal with the school district the last hurdle last hurdle is cleared so that Walmart can begin construction. Unfettered Optimism . . . So much effort and attention has been placed on plans for the economic future of the city that the basic job of running a city has fallen by the wayside. It is well to speak of a shining new Downtown and an economic engine on 350 Highway. But when your residential streets are literally crumbling into dust and the economic engine on 350 Highway is making ominous noises like a large sucking sound that may siphon away sales tax dollars, things begin to look less than rosy. A while back one of our bloggers wrote that that good ship Raytown is listing hard to port. Economic development is important, but the city needs to right the good ship Raytown by setting a balanced course for its future. Unfettered optimism about the future can blind one to the present reality. In the past year Raytown has two accomplishments of note -- a vest pocket park Downtown and a new recycling center. The vest pocket park was developed with money from donors. The new recycling center has been restructured in such a way that it will actually make money for the city. The point is that much more should be happening. The city used to have a good reputation for maintaining its streets and focusing on neighborhoods with street lighting, etc. Getting back to basics would be a good start.

36 comments:

Andy Whiteman said...

I agree that Raytown needs to get back to basics. What business would want to move here when the streets are in a state of disrepair and actually unsafe in places, not enough street lights for security and safety, and a vandalized unsafe old Baptist Church?

I was showing my house to prospective buyers one night and their comment on leaving was, "This street is too dark. It is unsafe." I think the work unsafe referred to possible criminal activity.

I agree that claw backs are needed. The first issue could be if Walmart pulls out since they have cut back on construction. There should have been a claw back here.

As for number of employees, that will be hard to define. What defines an employee? What defines full time? In one job that I worked, 30 hours, 37-1/2, or 40 hours depending on the shift were considered full time. A Realtor is not technically an employee. They are an indpendent sales person who works on a commission basis under the supervision of a Sponsoring Broker. Since a Realtor sets his/her own hours and receives commission rather than salary, I believe under Federal Law they are not considered an employee. As for the issue of full time Realtor which Greg raised, it depends on the Realtor in question. I have one Realtor who is a full time minister and works as a Realtor part time. On the other hand, I know many Realtors who put in way over 40 hours a week. They may work from their home, office, car, or all 3 places. A Realtor puts in a lot of hard work, time, and expense to sell a property Christine can dispute this if she doesn't agree.

The Pocket Park looks nice and 100% better since the clock has been added. I am happy that the recycling center is working out and producing a profit rather than a loss to the city.

I have not seen any overlay work on the streets this summer. Is it too early or are we not getting overlay this year? I understand that some streets were so poorly maintained that they have failed and overlay is useless on these streets. When will the repair and overlay start? What business or homeowner wants to invest money and move here when they see the state of the streets, few street lights, and a delapidated Olde Baptist Church. That building is a disgrace as well as being in violation of numerous city, state, and federal codes! The city should be cited for maintaining a public nuisance as well as an attractive nuisance!

Andy Whiteman

sparky said...

I can appreciate the need and desire to have new business development, construction, and a customer base that has money to spend, but there really isn't anything here in Raytown to attract prospective residents and business owners alike.

To give a business a 23 year moratorium on having to pay taxes is totally asinine and stupid, especially without a clause to hold that business accountable and keep them tied to that location for that time period and beyond.

Rewind to what happened with Schnucks. It has sat vacant for at least 10+ years, and now HyVee is finally doing something about that location.

Another example is the Bannister Mall/Hypermart area. That should say it all. What will happen with the old Wal Mart/ HyVee location? It will sit vacant like Hypermart.
Look at Sams Club's old store at 40 Hiway and Noland Road. Just a storage warehouse for Wal Mart. How about the old HQ store at Bannister and I435? Just a vacant Wal Mart warehouse, since Wal Mart owns that as well. I'd bet that there was TIF's for some of these, and there were no 'Teeth' to enforce with. Sort of like defaulting on a mortgage, one could call for the whole amount due the lender which would hit the business hard. Too many businesses are getting these freebies when the businesses can afford to pay their own way on the developments themselves.

There is rampant abuse of the TIF system by local governments and big businesses. This needs to change. The city pays good money for an attorney, and she needs to look into this to correct this abuse before it is too late.

And the city needs to be willing to help small business owners instead of picking and choosing who they will help out and who they will not help out by imposing unreasonable restrictions, demands, and regulations on some, but if it is a buddy of someone, oh, that is okay, we can overlook that.... playing favorites will not get you anywhere. The city must have a level playing field. Stop making up imaginary regulations, interpretations that are dependent upon what side of the bed the codes officer or inspector woke up on.

There have been multiple owners of the Raytown Plaza over the years and the past two owners have up and left town after they have both tried to do something good.

Why won't the city follow other city's leads and do like they have done in Lee's Summit and other cities?

I think that possibly Raytown is hoping that things will fail, will become blighted in hopes that they can try to declare those areas blighted and try to get the property via emient domain or extremely cheap so that they can redevelop those parts of town, of course since Raytown is landlocked, and is running out of space for both retail and residential development.

Is that what it is all about? Neglect things so that it becomes blighted? It sure looks that way to me.

It is clearly obvious that if things have been tried and they have failed that somthing is definately awry. If a charter did not get approved, then stop trying to get one in place. If a Marshal is elected instead of appointed, so be it. They have tried a city administrator, and that has been a failure. Give it up! Developers have been coaxed to come to town several times. Money has been spent, and they have left town with the money, and no results. Studies have been done by consultants, and more money has been paid, and for what? Again, no results.

How dense do the BOA have to be? Do they not get it? I have to understand how to manage my money, why is it that they can't seem to do their job and use our tax money wisely? Take care of the infrastructure. Help attract prospective residents and businesses to the city. Perhaps consult with the Chamber of Commerce and work with them on how they can better serve both the public and potential business owners, both large and small, irregardless of who knows who, and who likes someone, and who does not like that person. Get out of the Clique thing. It is not a elite socialite club. Make some changes, otherwise Raytown will continue a slow death!

sparky said...

And do something with that blasted old Baptist church for crying out loud. The City has the money, and they have been testing for asbestos and hazardous substances, get that stuff abated and get on with the demolition already. There are plenty of local contractors that would just love to have some work.

Andy Whiteman said...

The customer base seems to be main part of the problem. Why not attract residents hence a customer base? I was offered a tax abatement to buy a home in KCMO back in 1994 but I didn't want a town house. KCMO is currently offering tax abatements on homes (actually condos) in certain areas.

If Raytown offered tax abatements on homes, it just might attract people who would overlook the blighted condition of the city.

This may sound dumb, but it works from the bottom up.

I certainally hope priority on any contract goes to local companies. I don't know what is involved with the church, but to me it appears to be a hazmat issue and needs to be done so that contaminents are not released into the air.

Andy Whiteman

Pat Casady said...

As I understand it, the church is coming down.
However there is a huge amount of paperwork to complete
before the federal or state government will give their blessing and
money for it to happen. Most, I have been told most have been
taken care of but, there are still some things to get done
before it can happen.
As far as having the city financially help the existing businesses I would just be happy with a plan for the downtown we could all live with.
Everybody talks about developing the downtown, in fact I know of at
least twelve years of talk and no results.
The fact is, it will take money to fix the downtown enough to make it inviting for new business to even look here.
The streets are in bad shape the sidewalks are cracking and falling apart and it seems that our elected officials have been wishing for all those
years for somebody else to come in and fix things. They have paid
shyster developers a lot of taxpayer dollars with hopes they wouldn't have to face the problems themselves. I know this to be true because I asked our
elected officials if we could talk to them about some of the problems
when R.E.D. was in town and they told us to talk to the developer because they had nothing to do with the developer. That still ranks up there as
one of the dumbest statements I have ever heard an elected official say.
Especially when they O.K.'d the contract and the amount of money paid to him for nothing.
I agree with Sparky in the fact that this town cannot afford to give away its income with the sad shape this town is in.
Wishing and hoping won't get it done. We need elected officials that will go that extra mile to think about what their actions will do to the rest of the town.

Anonymous said...

You can wish in one hand and crap in the other but until we make some changes at city hall nothing is going to change. We need to get rid of some of the do nothing alderman and alderwomen who are just warming seats. Remenber this come election time

Andy Whiteman said...

I agree with Pat and Anonymous 10:15 AM. We (the voters) need to make changes at the next BOA election!

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I have a great idea put the town up for sale. Maybe Lee's Summit will buy it and then maybe we will get some city services for our tax money and public servants(mayor, and a board of alderman ect.) who really care about the city and the citizens. I don't mind paying if I get something in return and so far I haven't gotten a hell of a lot from Raytown just promises..

Andy Whiteman said...

Anon 8:30AM has a good idea. Raytown doesn't have the money for proper maintenance and city services. One town in the metro recently did that or tried to do it. Raytown could disincorporate and let the county maintain the roads etc. Or Raytown could be annexed by Independence, Lees Summit or KCMO. It might be better to be unincorprated county but we wouldn't have our excellant Police Department.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Maybe we should put the town on the auction block. Sell it to the highest bidder. Hopefully someone would buy it that could do a better job of managing the city than the current administration. We're so run down and trashy probably couldn't get a very good price.

Anonymous said...

You all are too funny. You actually think other cities do a better job just because people live there, and/or they have better stuff. Well, hate to break it to you, but in LS you pay more for taxes (sales and property) and the city could care less about the individuals. All they care about is brining in more business and charging extra taxes to shop there. I don't think they take better care of their stuff, it is just newer. They will have the same headaches in the future, of course by then people will be moving to Lone Jack, Oak Grove and Johnson Cnty Mo as those will then be the new suburbs. And all the people in LS will sit around and bitch about how the city failed this and that. It will just be a bigger Raytown. Maybe it will get figured out here and you can charge outragous consulting fees to help them out.

Anonymous said...

Hey There,

Greg is right about the clawbacks. We gave away the city to wal-mart, Standard Haven on 63rd and Blue Ridge Cuttoff and Shamrock Cabinets and that started it all about 5 years ago. One year after we gave Standard Haven the 23 year TIF and they came back to the city with how they had accomplished everything we asked them to do in a big production in front of city council, then within days they sold out to GE. GE then continues reaping the benefits from Standard Haven's TIF because it transfers to the next owner.

What you don't know the city only collected a little over $1200.00 a year in property taxes from Standard Haven because they did not collect any sales taxes. They were not a sales tax generating business and neither is GE. The only people that benefited from that TIF was Standard Haven and GE. Shamrock Cabinets is a non sales tax generating business and another 23 year TIF.

If there had been clawbacks we could have required that GE do things that would benefit the city in some way maybe not in taxes but in other ways or the TIF would be canceled. Why is it that the city powers don't think ahead.

I Know, I've heard it all "GE would not have come" and "We had to give the TIF to Standard Haven or they would leave the city". Will they left anyway and now we are stuck with for another 18 years of the TIF and still getting nothing. I heard they same type of things about Shamrock and everything I was told about Shamrock was a lie.

If we are going to give TIF's we need to be more careful what type of business we give it to and be more diligent in doing our research on that business. We need to be more careful in how long we make the TIF's for. We need to be looking at what is this going to do for the city or not do over an extended period of time. We also need to get a new group of concerned citzens on the TIF Committee they are the ones who recommend to the BOA the approval or disapproval the TIFS.

This city can't keep giving our tax base way to business that bring nothing to the table for the taxpayers. Wal-Mart is a good example of that we all will be charged an additional 1 cent sales tax which, by the way does not have to go to people for a vote, and the city only gets 1/8 cent of that additional tax.

When are we all going to wake up and start demanding accountability of those we elect. Most of us sit back and complain and don't do anything else because they don't want to be accountable themselves. They would have to stand up and be seen and that isn't something most want to do. It is easier to complain in secret than to have the guts to make that call when they are upset.

I have to give Andy a pat on the back, I don't always agree with him but at least he does show up at the meetings and does give them Hell if he thinks they need it. That is what the rest of us need to do. Let's make them accountable to us we have that right we put them there.

Andy Whiteman said...

It sounds like TIFs are too easy to get! If a business threatens to leave town, why not let them go especially if they don't generate revenue? Sounds like the kid who threatens to run away if he doesn't get his way.

The non-revenue generating business do generate employment. The employees may or may not live in Raytown. In either case, hopefully the employees spend some money here: maybe a little shopping, lunch, dinner, or filling the gas tank. That is known as the trickle down effect. But is it worth a TIF to keep them here? We can pick and choose.

Many businesses spend their own money to come here. QT didn't ask for a red cent! They thought it was a good place for a gas station!

A couple of years ago I spoke with telephone workers who were replacing a cable that had been here since the 1920s! Just think how old the streets, sewers, water mains, etc. are. They all need maintenance which they aren't getting. KCMO has the same trouble. When I lived there 1994-97, it was said that some of the sewer lines had been there before Jessee James days! Yes, I agree every city has or will have problems. Some have more money with affulent people and higher taxes to deal with the finances.

Also, I would like to see others speak their mind at meetings even if they don't agree with me. That is what America is about!

Andy Whiteman

Pat Casady said...

Anonymous 4:01,
You are right. The people of Lee's Summit do pay more taxes
than almost any other city in the state of Missouri. Where you are
wrong is they get a return on their tax dollars. A lot better than the Raytown taxpayers.
Downtown Lee's Summit has been going through a renovation with new
concrete streets, sidewalks and trees. Owners of some of the old buildings are renovating their buildings and it's starting to look great there.
The people are getting a return for their tax investment and new businesses are coming to the Lee's Summit downtown again.

I'm not saying Lee's Summit is better than Raytown, in fact I believe it's
not. I like Raytown's small town feel. However the people of Raytown are not getting their money's worth. The streets are falling apart and so are the sidewalks. Even when the voters approve a tax increase for
street repairs the city uses the money elsewhere.

I just read in the Post, the city will spend money to fix up City Hall, and
it may very well need repairs, phone system upgrades and software for the finance department but when will City Hall keep it's promise and spend the taxpayers money on what they voted for....street repairs?
A short while back we were told that a city audit found 2.2 million dollars
and what did our elected officials do?.........They paid $150,000 for some study. This bunch even paid some company $50,000 to tell them what anybody with a fifth grade education could figure out on the infill of new homes. Raytown taxpayers aren't getting what they pay (their taxes) for.

No, Lee's Summit isn't any better than our beloved Raytown, they may just be a little smarter in how to spend the taxpayer money. At the very least they make the people feel they are working for them.

Andy Whiteman said...

Pat, I wish you would put a bed in your business and sleep there sometimes so you can claim it as your residence so you can be elected. We need more businessmen in city government. The city should be run as a businesswith common sense, not by those who act on impulse.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Subject: London Times Obituary

London Times Obituary of the late Mr. Common Sense

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who
has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was,
since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.

He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:
Knowing when to come in out of the rain; why the early bird gets the
worm; life isn't always fair; and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend
more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children,
are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but
overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy
charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens
suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher
fired
for
reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the
job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly
children.

It declined even further when schools were required to get parental
consent
to administer sun lotion or an Aspirin to a student; but could not
inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an
abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses;
and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a
burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to
realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in
her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust;
his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers: I Know My Rights, I Want It Now,
Someone Else Is To Blame, and I'm A Victim.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.

If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and
do nothing.


i am anxiously awaiting the obit for the aclu!!! oh please lord, bring
this
one home....

Common Sense is something that is really missing in Raytown!

Anonymous said...

My house needs a new roof, painting and driveway. I want to keep my neighbor looking good. Do you think the city will give me some kind of tax break??? Oh I forgot that's only big business that get the breaks Well I could turn my house into a gentlemens club then maybe the city would help me.

Pat Casady said...

Andy, thanks for the thought, but even if I could run and be elected
I would probably be like Greg Walters. Even though he has some great ideas
the rest put him down. I've said it before, if Greg could come up with a way to pave the streets with gold for no cost, the rest would vote him down. Of course this bunch would take the gold and spend it elsewhere.
Beside I fear for Raytown. I think it's too late to undo what has been done to hurt our little town. More than half of the people in Raytown either hate
or don't trust the majority of our elected officials and hired leaders.
It's a sad deal, but they brought it on themselves. They only listen to close friends and organizations and not the people they represent.
The last ten to fifteen years will go down in history as years that buried Raytown. Almost all from bad decisions, tax giveaways and spending policies by our elected officials.
Anonymous 7:09 hit the nail on the head when he/she said common
sense is dead or, maybe it just moved out of town with all the home owners and businesses we have lost.

Anonymous said...

It is sadly so.

Raytown has been given a severe beat down by the very people we elected and hired at City Hall.
Beginning with Sue Frank, Curt Wenson, and ending with the abrupt departure of Dan Estes and Michael Miller. The soundness of leadership at City Hall has been non-existent for years. The ones who truly have the best interest for Raytown are bad-mouthed and ridiculed to the point of giving up. The mean spirited, self-centered haters are more concerned about power, prestige and money than about the citizens.

Time after time we have given the City tax increases for promises that are not met. Poor streets, and no real capital improvements program. Just spend, spend, spend with little ideal of what their doing.

I’m not a pessimist, or at least I didn’t use to be. Just a citizen who has sadly seen what has happened to our once quaint town.

Anonymous said...

Wow Pat you know that over 15,000 that live in Raytown hate it? You really get around.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous 7-25, 4:25, apparently YOU don't get around and talk to the people much. (You're probably one of those lazy elected officials at city hall.) This community is very divided and I believe that Pat's estimate is probably pretty conservative. Sign me, HEADING FOR LEES'S SUMMIT.

Anonymous said...

See ya.

Anonymous said...

There has been several pot holes in Raytown Trafficway where you turn into Coddington's drive that hasn't been fixed in weeks! One is big enough to swallow a small car! I guess the city doesn't even have the money to go to Home Depot to even buy a 40# bag of asphalt patch to fill the hole. I guess their Master card or Visa card must be "maxed" out??

You can't "fix" stupid!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Look at 63rd street if you want to see a bad street. You can't improve your image while your infrastructure is falling apart. Our streets are an embarrassment and the board of aldermen is doing nothing about it. Your taxes are going up and your services are going down. What's wrong with this picture?

Andy Whiteman said...

Anon 11:38PM and 7:48AM, Have YOU complained about the potholes? The city ain't going to fix what they don't know about! People say I complain too much but that is the only way to get anything resolved. You can go to www.Raytown.mo.us
and find the email address of any elected or hired city official.

For the potholes, I suggest you email:
jasonh@raytown.mo.us
Jason is interim director of public works. I have been in contact with him and he gets the job done!

Remember if they don't know about it, it ain't going to be fixed!

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Andy, we shouldn't have to complain to get a pothole fixed. These city officials and employees drive these streets every day. It's ridiculous to have to ASK FOR BASIC CITY SERVICES. We used to have a city government that CARED and provided the services that we are paying for.

Anonymous said...

I wrote on here last week and no one really paid attention. There has been some serious turnover within the city. There is a lot of interim this and interim that. So while Jason is interim Public Works director who is doing his old job. There have been other people leave besides David Frazier. What you need to be asking is why can't we keep quality people. How many public works directors and asst. pw directors have we had in the last five years. How long does the average pw worker stay with Raytown. We spend way to much money training people just for them to leave and go somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

You've "hit the nail on the head", no one wants to work for the city anymore, because of the terrible elected officials we have. Also we didn't have so much turnover in department heads until they rescinded the residency requirement. This was one of the BIGGEST MISTAKES ever made by silly Nesbitt and his cronies, but none of these spineless aldermen have the sense to change it back. They're too worried about zip codes, fireworks, junkets, housing in-fill studies, and seeing how many tax breaks we can give to the Walmarts of the world.

Anonymous said...

ANOTHER RAYTOWN BUSINESS IS GONE!!! Just happened to be going down Raytown Road at 350 Highway today and noticed a business auction at this intersection, Mr. B's Surplus, I believe. Stopped in for a look around and just casually asked the owner if they were leaving because of the new development that was coming. They acted like they knew nothing about any development. To my surprise they said it was because of the city would not work with them. Tim Truesdale didn't like their fence at the back of their business. Said they could not operate without this for storage. So now instead of a sales tax generating business we will have another empty building. Nice going, Mr. Truesdale. Isn't this guy supposed to be encouraging business instead of running them off? When will this council wake up and make the changes needed to keep business, not run them away. Now I know what Mr. Casady is always talking about.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad they are leaving.

They were another example of a business that tries to make a location do something that it isn't designed for, cuts corners to make it work and then complains when they are held to a higher standard. There are plenty of other properties that Mr. B's could have chosen that would have accomodated their outdoor stuff. But, this guy had a such a hodge-podge of offerings, I'm not even sure that he knew what he was going to sell.

We deserve a higher standard, and don't get me wrong, the city should definetly be held to that same standard. For example, they should take care of graffiti on public buildings and traffic signs, if they expect business owners to do the same.(That shouldn't take any kind of tax increase.)New businesses have to pave and repaint parking lots while each intersection along 63rd St stinks.

Our city can be more business-friendly, but being business-friendly does not equal letting a business do whatever they want without some aesthetic and safety standards.

And, before you say it, these should be applied consistently without favortism... blah, blah, blah.

Anonymous said...

Just talked to a long time business owner in Raytown. I worked for them over 32 years ago and they have been around a LOT longer than that, he has his business up for sale and is planning on moving out east, like Blue Springs. I asked him why and he says that the city(Raytown)is hassling him too much and he is tire of it. He said that the city won't work with him anymore. There goes another empty building and a fair amount of acreage to go with it in Raytown. The same song over and over again!

Anonymous said...

Wow! July 26 anonymous you really sound like an abrasive jerk! Oh, 'I am glad that they are gone', yeah, another business is gone thanks to TT and the codes department. Who cares about your stupid 'Politically Correct' and 'Asthetically Pleasing' make them as you go regulations.....

The bottom line is that another business is gone. Most businesses statisically could fail within their first couple of years from their start. Why should the citys department heads be assisting with more hardships on businesses instead of helping them to prosper?

I would much rather have a business like Mr. B's in Raytown that the Pawn shops, and Title loans, and payday loan stores that are painted an obnoxious bright yellow! That is the kind of crap that brings down the city and its image.

This city is one huge pothole that needs to be fixed, starting with the Mayor and the Aldermen on down!

There isnt a street out here that isnt like a washboard/rougher than hell, or potholes that swallow up a full size truck!

Get with the program! We shouldnt have to inundate them with phone calls to get things done. They are just avoiding having to spend money on basic services. Lets have another golf retreat somewhere like tan tara at the lake!

Anonymous said...

Our city is NOT FRIENDLY TO SMALL BUSINESS. Let's face it that is the backbone of any small town like ours, not the big box stores. If Raytown leaders don't wake up soon there will be nothing left except their precious new Walmart. It's too bad Raytown has to go out this way. Truesdale needs to go too.

Andy Whiteman said...

The Fascist Fief of Raytown is still in violation of its own codes. There is a fence obviously way over 6 feet at the new Recycle Lot. But they hassel disabled citizens about a fence they CLAIM to be over 6 feet. This is discrimination.

There is a pile of dirt with tall weeds at Raytown High School. Nothing can be done because the non-Quality School District passes the blaim to the contractor. It appears to me that this is on City Right of Way. Why does any citizen have to clear weeds if this unsightly mess is allowed? Discrimination again!

Actually I wonder if all City employees are Interim employees? I was told that the water meter reader used ot be a dog catcher for Raytown but I can only imagin why she left.

Codes Officers only make abour $14/hour. This is not a living wage! Maybe the title should be Interim Codes Officer. These people are paid so little it makes one wonder if they shuld be offered a gift. Maybe they would be more business friendly.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Jack Nesbitt and his side-winder hand shaker "Andy" whatever his name city manager was started Raytown's decline. Queen Frank and Lord Bowyer have since followed suit with Wenson and others. We should all join together and file a class action suit against the city for our car damages from driving on these crumbling streets. Mr. Whiteman who is wrong as usual suggests we contact the city about potholes. If there were any city workers living and shopping here they would know about the potholes. They weren't a problem when Gene Yoekum headed up public works and lived on Blue ridge blvd. Many like Mr. Whiteman are only interested in what affects them. If he looked at minimum wage and the minimum effort that the city workers provide he would realize that $14 an hour is overpaid. It is getting real old reading the same bs here from the same bs'ers.

A Smith said...

I just had to come and say that our family will be leaving Raytown and heading to what we feel is a safer city. We live near the current Hyvee and Walmart, which after the new stores are put in will become a DISGUSTING empty place. Walmart should move out altogether, since the Hypermart closed the elements that made that one so horrible will end up making the new Raytown Walmart horrible. Just as they are doing to the new one on 40 hwy.

ALSO, Crime in our neighborhood has escalated from mild teen crimes, like vandalism, to more violent crime, like shootings and home invasions. Safety should be number ONE on the city's priority list. Being so close to some of Kansas City's bad areas, keeping Raytown SAFE is important to keep residents and businesses. I must say though, the times that I have called the police they are quick to respond, so kudos to them. Then I asked myself seriously, why I have called the police more since we've lived here than anywhere else. Even more than when we were in KC.

As for the care of the city, I have an issue with drainage. The drainage problems in our neighborhood are horrible, and anyone during a heavy rain could look at our block and see there is a problem down two entire streets. I know the city re-did some drainage in a neighborhood somewhere, but it was like they helped one block to make themselves look like they cared and then stopped dealing with it.