Sunday, August 10, 2008
A Hearing Problem
One of Raytown’s elected leaders recently commented that all Raytowners do is complain about “everything”. Who said it is not as important as the fact that it was said. Is he right? Do Raytowners just complain and whine about everything in their city. Or, is there some justification for the discord that the ten Aldermen and Mayor are witnessing from their seats of power at city hall. A quick look at the past year’s agenda gives some clues that may explain the angst many Raytowners are expressing. There have been some successful efforts in changing the direction from the previous administration – for the first time in almost four years, some new street lights are actually being installed in neighborhoods. The city’s recycling center has been revamped into a more secure and, more importantly, financially stable operation. But for the most part, the Mayor and majority of the Board’s attention have been almost exclusively on promoting economic development. In fact, the Mayor put out the word to the Board of Aldermen that no other projects were to move forward until the Walmart project was signed, sealed and delivered. Three members of the Board, Aldermen Jim Aziere, Pat Ertz and Greg Walters, have been cooling their heels on new ideas the public has expressed interest in. (Aziere – no smokeing legislation, Ertz – legalization of the sale of fireworks, Walters – curbside recycling). Meanwhile, some of the city’s most basic services have taken a back seat – and it is beginning to show. City streets are badly in need of repair. At a recent meeting of the Board of Adlermen, City Administrator Mahesh Sharma reported to the Board that a number of streets are rated as “failed” streets. Judging from the lack of new ideas coming before the City Council and the condition of residential streets – it would be fair to say that the people do not complain too much. The problem is that some people in decision-making positions at City Hall are not listening.