Sunday, August 24, 2008

Smoke and Mirrors

Budget Time at City Hall The Raytown Finance Committee will soon begin a series of meetings to review budget recommendations from the city administration for the 2009 / 2010 fiscal year. A representative from each Ward of the Board of Aldermen serves on the city’s Finance Committee. The Finance Committee will either endorse or change the recommendations and then send the budget to the entire Board of Aldermen for approval. Income figures for the upcoming 2009/2010 budget year have not officially been released, but the word is that the city’s financial picture is looking bleak. Revenues, which were up earlier this year, have been dwindling due to the combined economic hammer blows of a housing mortgage crisis and escalating gasoline prices. The five member Finance Committee, Joe Creamer, Jim Hamilton, Christine White, Pat Ertz and Clifford Sargeon, have their work cut out for them in the next two months as they hammer out a workable budget for the city. Smoke and Mirrors The Committee should take a lesson from the city’s recent past on how not to balance the budget. The last two years the Committee and in turn, the Board of Aldermen have taken nearly all of the city’s street maintenance fund to retire capital improvement bonds. That action was shortsighted and has resulted in serious deterioration of city streets. Raytowners approved a one-half cent sales tax dedicated towards street maintenance. The voters were promised the revenue from the “half cent sales tax” would be used specifically for transportation. Over 90% of the money collected is supposed to be earmarked for street maintenance (asphalt overlay, curb and sidewalk repair, etc.) The city administration argued that the bond money was used to improve streets. Therefore, paying off the debt with transportation sales tax dollars was keeping in line with the promise to the voters. That argument is false. Voters were specifically promised that the transportation sales tax dollars would be used to repair streets. They were not told it would be used to bail the city out of financial crisis. To make matters worse, the new Walmart planned for construction on 350 Highway is expected to take up to 18% of the sales tax revenue that was promised to be used for maintenance of city streets. Instead, the money will be used to pay for the cost of the Walmart parking lot and a bus depot for use by the Area Transportation Authority for the life of the bonds – 23 years. City officials justify the Walmart connection by saying the parking lot and bus depot are transportation related. More smoke and mirrors – the voters were not told their tax dollars would go to Walmart. They were told the money would be used on their streets. The Finance Committee, and, in turn the Board of Aldermen, should abandon this policy of smoke and mirrors in budget writing and rebuild the faith between the taxpayers and City Hall. Find money in the general fund to replace the tax dollars being siphoned off by the Walmart project. Give the taxpayers the good neighborhood streets they were promised when they approved the transportation sales tax. No doubt, such a policy change will run into opposition from the city administration. But it is what must be done for the Board to regain the confidence of their constituency. Board members need to remember that their first responsibility is to the voters who elected them. City Finance Committee meetings are open to the public. For a schedule of the Finance Committee Budget meetings call city hall at 737-6000.

43 comments:

Andy Whiteman said...

I don't like being lied to! I am sure others feel the same.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Out of the Five on the Finance Committee, how many actually have a balanced home budget? How many run their business with a balanced budget? This would be interesting to the tax payer, especially if they are expected to generate a net zero sum budget that is based upon theoretical dollars. Guess we get who we voted for!

Anonymous said...

Some of us did not vote for them, so we did not get what we voted for.

Pat Casady said...

I wish someone would explain the reason our city fathers gave the OK to the Wal-Mart deal. I can't imagine what they were thinking or where their heads were.
I have been told that when a new Wal-Mart is built it usually brings new
businesses with it. Is that what this town is banking on?
The way I see it is if this even happens a few new businesses will come to town and most of the existing businesses including grocery stores
in Raytown will fold up. It's a no win situation.
If the financial outlook is bleak now, I don't see it getting any better very soon.
If Wal-Mart brings with it a few new businesses, it also brings with it, especially
when you plant it in a residential area, lower home values and more crime.
When this Finance Committee tries to plan the new budget, they better
figure for more police, for one thing, and try to do it with lower property values and even less tax income.

I don't pretend to know what this is all about but, it doesn't take a genius to figure out this was a bad deal. It won't be the first time a small town
has been talked into doing a bad deal like this because of promises of more income. Remember this big company is real good at taking advantage small towns that are having trouble financially. After all what do they care?
They don't live here.
Even if the Wal-Mart deal turns out to OK, this town should have taken care of
taxpayer needs first.

Andy Whiteman said...

Pat,

From reading and listening to financial news, Walmart treats their employees poorly and their have been numerous law suits and discrimination complaints against them. On the other hand, Don McDonald, a financial advisor who used to be on the radio, suggested buying WMT stock. He said that employees who bought stock in the company stock plan made $$$$$ if they held onto the stock. My comment is maybe that is due to their business practices. Walmart stock was doing poorly, but really went up as the economy turned south since in poor economic times people tend to shop Walmart, Target, and KMart more.

As for the reason of city fathers approved the Walmart deal, I ask was there anything under the table?

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Greg one question: Do you or your wife ever shop at Wal-Mart?

Andy we already know you do.

But Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Andy Whiteman said...

Anon 11:43AM, There are items available ONLY at Walmart so they somewhat force me to buy there. I shop there as infrequently as possible. The last time I was there, I checked prices and found a few items CHEAPLY priced, while most items were the same price or higher than normal stores. I think they are running a scam to make people think everything is cheaper. (At least they can fool the dump people.)

Red Dogg says it is time to stock up on her Ol'Roy Jerkey Treats.

We all have the right to chose where to chop for whatever reason. Normally I shop the sales which means Hen House (double coupons to 50 cents). Sometimes they actually are paying me to take the item or it is close to free! If Hy-Vee or Apple Market has a better sale, that is where I go. If I need an item not on sale, I go to Hy-Vee or Apple Market. I asked Hen House to open in Raytown but they said it is too close to their Ball's Price Chopper on Bannister.

Andy Whiteman

Red said...

I've read this board on and off for a year or so and I keep reading the same thing.
I watched a documentary on WalMart with a retired exec talking about when they would build a new store how they would drive through town and point at businesses, guessing how long it would be before they closed. Six months...nine months...a year. The officials in charge of our city didn't do their homework and are PAYING WalMart to come here and close the local small businesses.
These same city officials blow money out the wazoo for studies and produce nothing. Guess what? Our elected city officials are a bunch of nincompoops (sp) that run and win by popularity, not by qualifications. I know there has to be more qualified people to run for city office but you gotta have money to run a campaign.
Plain and simple - our city leaders don't really care about Raytown. Before making ANY decision they should think how it would benefit the city.
Raytown Plaza was a flop. Now it will just be a more coloful 3/4 empty shopping center.
Am glad to hear Tim Truesdale is finally out. He was a sweet talker but his ethics were questionable.
I hear ANOTHER coffee shop is coming to town over by MaMa China's. They didn't do their homework to find out that the other two shops are struggling to stay open.
Sorry to see Mr. B's go but I hear another business has opened up there.

Andy Whiteman said...

Red,

You forgot about the Old Baptist church which the city bought, allowed to go into disrepair, and is now a code violation, safety hazard, and an attreactive nuisance! Also since I have been here (8 years) the city has gone through 2 or 3 developers for downtown at a great waste of money! Also the $50,000 infill study.

The city can sure waste money but is unable to maintain the streets and provide street lights.

I am trying to remember how the alderment in my ward vote and if I am dissatisfied, he won't get my vote at the next election. I hope others do the same. There needs to be acountability!

Andy Whiteman

Greg Walters said...

Do I shop at Walmart?

Infrequently.

Usually it is a matter of convenience when the other stores are closed for the evening. Hardware items, stuff like that.

Why do you ask?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pat Casady said...

Red,
You are right.
The city has wasted money on surveys and studies on everything except
the really important one.
What a store like Wal-Mart would do to this little town and it's property
values, added crime rate and deteriorating neighborhoods that follow
stores like this around.
They have also wasted money on bad developers.
Wasted money hiring department heads that clearly weren't good for
the town. They knew about the employee that was running off businesses
and making it hard for new small businesses to come into town and
did nothing about it. Always waiting for the next guy to take care of business.
In the city council meetings it always looked like it was a contest to see
who could make a motion and second the next bad idea before the next
man or woman do it. Never an effort to question or to do the right thing.

Andy Whiteman said...

TO those who are complaining about their aldermen, I suggest voting for someone else at election time.

TO RED STAR SUBSCRIBERS:
My Red Star came up for renewal. Strangely one year cost more than double a 6 months subscription. Weird pricing! I always pay for a year. I told the rep that the price was too high and I was offered my usual 25% discount. I suggest that rather than mailing a check, call to renew and ASK FOR A DISCOUNT and threaten to cancel if you don't get one. The Red Star is the most expensive paper of any city I have lived in.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Bill Maher says NEW RULES
If you shop at Wal-Mart you can't bitch about it or you're a hypocrit.

Anonymous said...

I don't like being lied to! I am sure others feel the same.

Andy Whiteman

August 24, 2008 8:31 PM


Anonymous said...
Out of the Five on the Finance Committee, how many actually have a balanced home budget? How many run their business with a balanced budget? This would be interesting to the tax payer, especially if they are expected to generate a net zero sum budget that is based upon theoretical dollars. Guess we get who we voted for!

August 24, 2008 9:20 PM


Anonymous said...
Some of us did not vote for them, so we did not get what we voted for.

August 25, 2008 4:06 AM


Pat Casady said...
I wish someone would explain the reason our city fathers gave the OK to the Wal-Mart deal. I can't imagine what they were thinking or where their heads were.
I have been told that when a new Wal-Mart is built it usually brings new
businesses with it. Is that what this town is banking on?
The way I see it is if this even happens a few new businesses will come to town and most of the existing businesses including grocery stores
in Raytown will fold up. It's a no win situation.
If the financial outlook is bleak now, I don't see it getting any better very soon.
If Wal-Mart brings with it a few new businesses, it also brings with it, especially
when you plant it in a residential area, lower home values and more crime.
When this Finance Committee tries to plan the new budget, they better
figure for more police, for one thing, and try to do it with lower property values and even less tax income.

I don't pretend to know what this is all about but, it doesn't take a genius to figure out this was a bad deal. It won't be the first time a small town
has been talked into doing a bad deal like this because of promises of more income. Remember this big company is real good at taking advantage small towns that are having trouble financially. After all what do they care?
They don't live here.
Even if the Wal-Mart deal turns out to OK, this town should have taken care of
taxpayer needs first.

August 25, 2008 8:09 AM


Andy Whiteman said...
Pat,

From reading and listening to financial news, Walmart treats their employees poorly and their have been numerous law suits and discrimination complaints against them. On the other hand, Don McDonald, a financial advisor who used to be on the radio, suggested buying WMT stock. He said that employees who bought stock in the company stock plan made $$$$$ if they held onto the stock. My comment is maybe that is due to their business practices. Walmart stock was doing poorly, but really went up as the economy turned south since in poor economic times people tend to shop Walmart, Target, and KMart more.

As for the reason of city fathers approved the Walmart deal, I ask was there anything under the table?

Andy Whiteman

August 25, 2008 11:33 AM


Anonymous said...
Greg one question: Do you or your wife ever shop at Wal-Mart?

Andy we already know you do.

But Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

August 25, 2008 11:43 AM


Andy Whiteman said...
Anon 11:43AM, There are items available ONLY at Walmart so they somewhat force me to buy there. I shop there as infrequently as possible. The last time I was there, I checked prices and found a few items CHEAPLY priced, while most items were the same price or higher than normal stores. I think they are running a scam to make people think everything is cheaper. (At least they can fool the dump people.)

Red Dogg says it is time to stock up on her Ol'Roy Jerkey Treats.

We all have the right to chose where to chop for whatever reason. Normally I shop the sales which means Hen House (double coupons to 50 cents). Sometimes they actually are paying me to take the item or it is close to free! If Hy-Vee or Apple Market has a better sale, that is where I go. If I need an item not on sale, I go to Hy-Vee or Apple Market. I asked Hen House to open in Raytown but they said it is too close to their Ball's Price Chopper on Bannister.

Andy Whiteman

August 25, 2008 9:29 PM


Red said...
I've read this board on and off for a year or so and I keep reading the same thing.
I watched a documentary on WalMart with a retired exec talking about when they would build a new store how they would drive through town and point at businesses, guessing how long it would be before they closed. Six months...nine months...a year. The officials in charge of our city didn't do their homework and are PAYING WalMart to come here and close the local small businesses.
These same city officials blow money out the wazoo for studies and produce nothing. Guess what? Our elected city officials are a bunch of nincompoops (sp) that run and win by popularity, not by qualifications. I know there has to be more qualified people to run for city office but you gotta have money to run a campaign.
Plain and simple - our city leaders don't really care about Raytown. Before making ANY decision they should think how it would benefit the city.
Raytown Plaza was a flop. Now it will just be a more coloful 3/4 empty shopping center.
Am glad to hear Tim Truesdale is finally out. He was a sweet talker but his ethics were questionable.
I hear ANOTHER coffee shop is coming to town over by MaMa China's. They didn't do their homework to find out that the other two shops are struggling to stay open.
Sorry to see Mr. B's go but I hear another business has opened up there.

August 25, 2008 10:06 PM


Andy Whiteman said...
Red,

You forgot about the Old Baptist church which the city bought, allowed to go into disrepair, and is now a code violation, safety hazard, and an attreactive nuisance! Also since I have been here (8 years) the city has gone through 2 or 3 developers for downtown at a great waste of money! Also the $50,000 infill study.

The city can sure waste money but is unable to maintain the streets and provide street lights.

I am trying to remember how the alderment in my ward vote and if I am dissatisfied, he won't get my vote at the next election. I hope others do the same. There needs to be acountability!

Andy Whiteman

August 25, 2008 11:08 PM


Greg Walters said...
Do I shop at Walmart?

Infrequently.

Usually it is a matter of convenience when the other stores are closed for the evening. Hardware items, stuff like that.

Why do you ask?

August 26, 2008 7:58 AM


Anonymous said...
Raytown has gone to HELL in a hand basket and it is a known fact that city hall or the mayor doesn't give a flip. We have the biggest failures for alderman in our ward. Ertz and Schlapia. Schlapia just talks (and I might add that voice of hers is sickening) and Ertz is just deaf as to what the people in his ward really want,and need. Just give them the citys checkbook and they are happy while we the voters look really stupid for putting them in office.

August 26, 2008 8:14 AM


Anonymous said...
Raytown has gone to HELL in a hand basket and it is a known fact that city hall or the mayor doesn't give a flip. We have the biggest failures for alderman in our ward. Ertz and Schlapia. Schlapia just talks (and I might add that voice of hers is sickening) and Ertz is just deaf as to what the people in his ward really want,and need. Just give them the citys checkbook and they are happy while we the voters look really stupid for putting them in office.

August 26, 2008 8:14 AM


Pat Casady said...
Red,
You are right.
The city has wasted money on surveys and studies on everything except
the really important one.
What a store like Wal-Mart would do to this little town and it's property
values, added crime rate and deteriorating neighborhoods that follow
stores like this around.
They have also wasted money on bad developers.
Wasted money hiring department heads that clearly weren't good for
the town. They knew about the employee that was running off businesses
and making it hard for new small businesses to come into town and
did nothing about it. Always waiting for the next guy to take care of business.
In the city council meetings it always looked like it was a contest to see
who could make a motion and second the next bad idea before the next
man or woman do it. Never an effort to question or to do the right thing.

August 26, 2008 10:38 AM


Andy Whiteman said...
TO those who are complaining about their aldermen, I suggest voting for someone else at election time.

TO RED STAR SUBSCRIBERS:
My Red Star came up for renewal. Strangely one year cost more than double a 6 months subscription. Weird pricing! I always pay for a year. I told the rep that the price was too high and I was offered my usual 25% discount. I suggest that rather than mailing a check, call to renew and ASK FOR A DISCOUNT and threaten to cancel if you don't get one. The Red Star is the most expensive paper of any city I have lived in.

Andy Whiteman

August 26, 2008 11:24 AM


Anonymous said...
Bill Maher says NEW RULES
If you shop at Wal-Mart you can't bitch about it or you're a hypocrit.

August 26, 2008 12:32 PM

Anonymous said...

don't like being lied to! I am sure others feel the same.

Andy Whiteman

August 24, 2008 8:31 PM


Anonymous said...
Out of the Five on the Finance Committee, how many actually have a balanced home budget? How many run their business with a balanced budget? This would be interesting to the tax payer, especially if they are expected to generate a net zero sum budget that is based upon theoretical dollars. Guess we get who we voted for!

August 24, 2008 9:20 PM


Anonymous said...
Some of us did not vote for them, so we did not get what we voted for.

August 25, 2008 4:06 AM


Pat Casady said...
I wish someone would explain the reason our city fathers gave the OK to the Wal-Mart deal. I can't imagine what they were thinking or where their heads were.
I have been told that when a new Wal-Mart is built it usually brings new
businesses with it. Is that what this town is banking on?
The way I see it is if this even happens a few new businesses will come to town and most of the existing businesses including grocery stores
in Raytown will fold up. It's a no win situation.
If the financial outlook is bleak now, I don't see it getting any better very soon.
If Wal-Mart brings with it a few new businesses, it also brings with it, especially
when you plant it in a residential area, lower home values and more crime.
When this Finance Committee tries to plan the new budget, they better
figure for more police, for one thing, and try to do it with lower property values and even less tax income.

I don't pretend to know what this is all about but, it doesn't take a genius to figure out this was a bad deal. It won't be the first time a small town
has been talked into doing a bad deal like this because of promises of more income. Remember this big company is real good at taking advantage small towns that are having trouble financially. After all what do they care?
They don't live here.
Even if the Wal-Mart deal turns out to OK, this town should have taken care of
taxpayer needs first.

August 25, 2008 8:09 AM


Andy Whiteman said...
Pat,

From reading and listening to financial news, Walmart treats their employees poorly and their have been numerous law suits and discrimination complaints against them. On the other hand, Don McDonald, a financial advisor who used to be on the radio, suggested buying WMT stock. He said that employees who bought stock in the company stock plan made $$$$$ if they held onto the stock. My comment is maybe that is due to their business practices. Walmart stock was doing poorly, but really went up as the economy turned south since in poor economic times people tend to shop Walmart, Target, and KMart more.

As for the reason of city fathers approved the Walmart deal, I ask was there anything under the table?

Andy Whiteman

August 25, 2008 11:33 AM


Anonymous said...
Greg one question: Do you or your wife ever shop at Wal-Mart?

Andy we already know you do.

But Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

August 25, 2008 11:43 AM


Andy Whiteman said...
Anon 11:43AM, There are items available ONLY at Walmart so they somewhat force me to buy there. I shop there as infrequently as possible. The last time I was there, I checked prices and found a few items CHEAPLY priced, while most items were the same price or higher than normal stores. I think they are running a scam to make people think everything is cheaper. (At least they can fool the dump people.)

Red Dogg says it is time to stock up on her Ol'Roy Jerkey Treats.

We all have the right to chose where to chop for whatever reason. Normally I shop the sales which means Hen House (double coupons to 50 cents). Sometimes they actually are paying me to take the item or it is close to free! If Hy-Vee or Apple Market has a better sale, that is where I go. If I need an item not on sale, I go to Hy-Vee or Apple Market. I asked Hen House to open in Raytown but they said it is too close to their Ball's Price Chopper on Bannister.

Andy Whiteman

August 25, 2008 9:29 PM


Red said...
I've read this board on and off for a year or so and I keep reading the same thing.
I watched a documentary on WalMart with a retired exec talking about when they would build a new store how they would drive through town and point at businesses, guessing how long it would be before they closed. Six months...nine months...a year. The officials in charge of our city didn't do their homework and are PAYING WalMart to come here and close the local small businesses.
These same city officials blow money out the wazoo for studies and produce nothing. Guess what? Our elected city officials are a bunch of nincompoops (sp) that run and win by popularity, not by qualifications. I know there has to be more qualified people to run for city office but you gotta have money to run a campaign.
Plain and simple - our city leaders don't really care about Raytown. Before making ANY decision they should think how it would benefit the city.
Raytown Plaza was a flop. Now it will just be a more coloful 3/4 empty shopping center.
Am glad to hear Tim Truesdale is finally out. He was a sweet talker but his ethics were questionable.
I hear ANOTHER coffee shop is coming to town over by MaMa China's. They didn't do their homework to find out that the other two shops are struggling to stay open.
Sorry to see Mr. B's go but I hear another business has opened up there.

August 25, 2008 10:06 PM


Andy Whiteman said...
Red,

You forgot about the Old Baptist church which the city bought, allowed to go into disrepair, and is now a code violation, safety hazard, and an attreactive nuisance! Also since I have been here (8 years) the city has gone through 2 or 3 developers for downtown at a great waste of money! Also the $50,000 infill study.

The city can sure waste money but is unable to maintain the streets and provide street lights.

I am trying to remember how the alderment in my ward vote and if I am dissatisfied, he won't get my vote at the next election. I hope others do the same. There needs to be acountability!

Andy Whiteman

August 25, 2008 11:08 PM


Greg Walters said...
Do I shop at Walmart?

Infrequently.

Usually it is a matter of convenience when the other stores are closed for the evening. Hardware items, stuff like that.

Why do you ask?

August 26, 2008 7:58 AM


Anonymous said...
Raytown has gone to HELL in a hand basket and it is a known fact that city hall or the mayor doesn't give a flip. We have the biggest failures for alderman in our ward. Ertz and Schlapia. Schlapia just talks (and I might add that voice of hers is sickening) and Ertz is just deaf as to what the people in his ward really want,and need. Just give them the citys checkbook and they are happy while we the voters look really stupid for putting them in office.

August 26, 2008 8:14 AM


Anonymous said...
Raytown has gone to HELL in a hand basket and it is a known fact that city hall or the mayor doesn't give a flip. We have the biggest failures for alderman in our ward. Ertz and Schlapia. Schlapia just talks (and I might add that voice of hers is sickening) and Ertz is just deaf as to what the people in his ward really want,and need. Just give them the citys checkbook and they are happy while we the voters look really stupid for putting them in office.

August 26, 2008 8:14 AM


Pat Casady said...
Red,
You are right.
The city has wasted money on surveys and studies on everything except
the really important one.
What a store like Wal-Mart would do to this little town and it's property
values, added crime rate and deteriorating neighborhoods that follow
stores like this around.
They have also wasted money on bad developers.
Wasted money hiring department heads that clearly weren't good for
the town. They knew about the employee that was running off businesses
and making it hard for new small businesses to come into town and
did nothing about it. Always waiting for the next guy to take care of business.
In the city council meetings it always looked like it was a contest to see
who could make a motion and second the next bad idea before the next
man or woman do it. Never an effort to question or to do the right thing.

August 26, 2008 10:38 AM


Andy Whiteman said...
TO those who are complaining about their aldermen, I suggest voting for someone else at election time.

TO RED STAR SUBSCRIBERS:
My Red Star came up for renewal. Strangely one year cost more than double a 6 months subscription. Weird pricing! I always pay for a year. I told the rep that the price was too high and I was offered my usual 25% discount. I suggest that rather than mailing a check, call to renew and ASK FOR A DISCOUNT and threaten to cancel if you don't get one. The Red Star is the most expensive paper of any city I have lived in.

Andy Whiteman

August 26, 2008 11:24 AM


Anonymous said...
Bill Maher says NEW RULES
If you shop at Wal-Mart you can't bitch about it or you're a hypocrit.

August 26, 2008 12:32 PM


Anonymous said...
I don't like being lied to! I am sure others feel the same.

Andy Whiteman

August 24, 2008 8:31 PM


Anonymous said...
Out of the Five on the Finance Committee, how many actually have a balanced home budget? How many run their business with a balanced budget? This would be interesting to the tax payer, especially if they are expected to generate a net zero sum budget that is based upon theoretical dollars. Guess we get who we voted for!

August 24, 2008 9:20 PM


Anonymous said...
Some of us did not vote for them, so we did not get what we voted for.

August 25, 2008 4:06 AM


Pat Casady said...
I wish someone would explain the reason our city fathers gave the OK to the Wal-Mart deal. I can't imagine what they were thinking or where their heads were.
I have been told that when a new Wal-Mart is built it usually brings new
businesses with it. Is that what this town is banking on?
The way I see it is if this even happens a few new businesses will come to town and most of the existing businesses including grocery stores
in Raytown will fold up. It's a no win situation.
If the financial outlook is bleak now, I don't see it getting any better very soon.
If Wal-Mart brings with it a few new businesses, it also brings with it, especially
when you plant it in a residential area, lower home values and more crime.
When this Finance Committee tries to plan the new budget, they better
figure for more police, for one thing, and try to do it with lower property values and even less tax income.

I don't pretend to know what this is all about but, it doesn't take a genius to figure out this was a bad deal. It won't be the first time a small town
has been talked into doing a bad deal like this because of promises of more income. Remember this big company is real good at taking advantage small towns that are having trouble financially. After all what do they care?
They don't live here.
Even if the Wal-Mart deal turns out to OK, this town should have taken care of
taxpayer needs first.

August 25, 2008 8:09 AM


Andy Whiteman said...
Pat,

From reading and listening to financial news, Walmart treats their employees poorly and their have been numerous law suits and discrimination complaints against them. On the other hand, Don McDonald, a financial advisor who used to be on the radio, suggested buying WMT stock. He said that employees who bought stock in the company stock plan made $$$$$ if they held onto the stock. My comment is maybe that is due to their business practices. Walmart stock was doing poorly, but really went up as the economy turned south since in poor economic times people tend to shop Walmart, Target, and KMart more.

As for the reason of city fathers approved the Walmart deal, I ask was there anything under the table?

Andy Whiteman

August 25, 2008 11:33 AM


Anonymous said...
Greg one question: Do you or your wife ever shop at Wal-Mart?

Andy we already know you do.

But Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

August 25, 2008 11:43 AM


Andy Whiteman said...
Anon 11:43AM, There are items available ONLY at Walmart so they somewhat force me to buy there. I shop there as infrequently as possible. The last time I was there, I checked prices and found a few items CHEAPLY priced, while most items were the same price or higher than normal stores. I think they are running a scam to make people think everything is cheaper. (At least they can fool the dump people.)

Red Dogg says it is time to stock up on her Ol'Roy Jerkey Treats.

We all have the right to chose where to chop for whatever reason. Normally I shop the sales which means Hen House (double coupons to 50 cents). Sometimes they actually are paying me to take the item or it is close to free! If Hy-Vee or Apple Market has a better sale, that is where I go. If I need an item not on sale, I go to Hy-Vee or Apple Market. I asked Hen House to open in Raytown but they said it is too close to their Ball's Price Chopper on Bannister.

Andy Whiteman

August 25, 2008 9:29 PM


Red said...
I've read this board on and off for a year or so and I keep reading the same thing.
I watched a documentary on WalMart with a retired exec talking about when they would build a new store how they would drive through town and point at businesses, guessing how long it would be before they closed. Six months...nine months...a year. The officials in charge of our city didn't do their homework and are PAYING WalMart to come here and close the local small businesses.
These same city officials blow money out the wazoo for studies and produce nothing. Guess what? Our elected city officials are a bunch of nincompoops (sp) that run and win by popularity, not by qualifications. I know there has to be more qualified people to run for city office but you gotta have money to run a campaign.
Plain and simple - our city leaders don't really care about Raytown. Before making ANY decision they should think how it would benefit the city.
Raytown Plaza was a flop. Now it will just be a more coloful 3/4 empty shopping center.
Am glad to hear Tim Truesdale is finally out. He was a sweet talker but his ethics were questionable.
I hear ANOTHER coffee shop is coming to town over by MaMa China's. They didn't do their homework to find out that the other two shops are struggling to stay open.
Sorry to see Mr. B's go but I hear another business has opened up there.

August 25, 2008 10:06 PM


Andy Whiteman said...
Red,

You forgot about the Old Baptist church which the city bought, allowed to go into disrepair, and is now a code violation, safety hazard, and an attreactive nuisance! Also since I have been here (8 years) the city has gone through 2 or 3 developers for downtown at a great waste of money! Also the $50,000 infill study.

The city can sure waste money but is unable to maintain the streets and provide street lights.

I am trying to remember how the alderment in my ward vote and if I am dissatisfied, he won't get my vote at the next election. I hope others do the same. There needs to be acountability!

Andy Whiteman

August 25, 2008 11:08 PM


Greg Walters said...
Do I shop at Walmart?

Infrequently.

Usually it is a matter of convenience when the other stores are closed for the evening. Hardware items, stuff like that.

Why do you ask?

August 26, 2008 7:58 AM


Anonymous said...
Raytown has gone to HELL in a hand basket and it is a known fact that city hall or the mayor doesn't give a flip. We have the biggest failures for alderman in our ward. Ertz and Schlapia. Schlapia just talks (and I might add that voice of hers is sickening) and Ertz is just deaf as to what the people in his ward really want,and need. Just give them the citys checkbook and they are happy while we the voters look really stupid for putting them in office.

August 26, 2008 8:14 AM


Anonymous said...
Raytown has gone to HELL in a hand basket and it is a known fact that city hall or the mayor doesn't give a flip. We have the biggest failures for alderman in our ward. Ertz and Schlapia. Schlapia just talks (and I might add that voice of hers is sickening) and Ertz is just deaf as to what the people in his ward really want,and need. Just give them the citys checkbook and they are happy while we the voters look really stupid for putting them in office.

August 26, 2008 8:14 AM


Pat Casady said...
Red,
You are right.
The city has wasted money on surveys and studies on everything except
the really important one.
What a store like Wal-Mart would do to this little town and it's property
values, added crime rate and deteriorating neighborhoods that follow
stores like this around.
They have also wasted money on bad developers.
Wasted money hiring department heads that clearly weren't good for
the town. They knew about the employee that was running off businesses
and making it hard for new small businesses to come into town and
did nothing about it. Always waiting for the next guy to take care of business.
In the city council meetings it always looked like it was a contest to see
who could make a motion and second the next bad idea before the next
man or woman do it. Never an effort to question or to do the right thing.

August 26, 2008 10:38 AM


Andy Whiteman said...
TO those who are complaining about their aldermen, I suggest voting for someone else at election time.

TO RED STAR SUBSCRIBERS:
My Red Star came up for renewal. Strangely one year cost more than double a 6 months subscription. Weird pricing! I always pay for a year. I told the rep that the price was too high and I was offered my usual 25% discount. I suggest that rather than mailing a check, call to renew and ASK FOR A DISCOUNT and threaten to cancel if you don't get one. The Red Star is the most expensive paper of any city I have lived in.

Andy Whiteman

August 26, 2008 11:24 AM


Anonymous said...
Bill Maher says NEW RULES
If you shop at Wal-Mart you can't bitch about it or you're a hypocrit.

August 26, 2008 12:32 PM

August 26, 2008 8:31 PM

Pat Casady said...

Greg,
If you can, please clean up the repeat post.
I believe it was posted twice as 08/26/08 8:31pm.
To the poster that did this, we all
know what we said, thank you.

Andy Whiteman said...

I guess we have many hypocrits (or what someone thinks are hypocrits) among us!

We may not approve of Walmart's labor and business practices but may shop there occasionally because they have something not available elsewhere or they happen to be open when out local stores close with the chickens. At least Westlake stays open until 9PM!

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I wish the Mayor and Aldermen would post comments here. The Mayor and Aldermaen know about this blog and probably read the postings, but choose not to respond to our voices. What a bunch of no backbone, I'm-better than-you-attitude hypocrites.

Oh wait, we'er just a bunch of complainers with an ax to grind.

The high and mighty at Cityhall look down on small business owners and citizens with smuggness and disinterest.

Vote em out and get real leadership in your wards.

Anonymous said...

You weak sisters always have excuses. You can find something comparable to what's at Wal-Mart. I doubt that Wal-Mart is the ONLY ONE to carry certain items. Wal-Mart is not a manufacuter but a retailer. You're just too cheap to pay a fair price elsewhere and too lazy to be inconveninced by looking elsewhere.
Wal-Mart is China's American outlet mall and if you spend A DIME with Wall-Mart you're responsible for keeping it in business, killing American jobs, unions and more! So no more excuses and no more bitching about Wal-Mart if you EVER SHOP THERE!
And to the poster above; of course city officials read and respond to this blog. Haven't you noticed all their ignorant opinions expressed here?

Anonymous said...

Why would the mayor or alderpeople come on here and post. Look what they did to Doc the fireman.

Pat I like to read your posts but you are on the edge of being ignored. Kind of like the boy who cried wolf. You are the guy the cried Walmart. I start to read your post see a Walmart rant and I just skip to the next post. I think we all get the point. You think Raytown got hosed by Walmart.

Anonymous said...

Doc gave as good as he got.

Anonymous said...

Have any of you ever met Doc?
Obviously 8/27/08 8:47 pm is one of the city officials.
And poor Doc? I won't even bother to get into it. But you people enjoy the same fairy tale he does.

Andy Whiteman said...

OK, Anon 4:27 PM, Tell me where I can get Ol'Roy Beef Jerky 26 oz. and NightHawk Steak 'n Mac at a reasonal location. Reasonable location means open evenings and along the south I-435 area or even in Raytown.

I find Ol'Roy beef jerky only at Walmart. I found the Night Hawk only at the Bannister Walmart before it closed but not the Walmart grocery on Metcalf.

Now tell me where I can get them other than Walmart and I will go there only if they are open in the evening and not too out of the way. Also the store must accept credit cards because that is the only way I pay. I do not carry cash or checks.

You are correct, I am cheap. I was forced to retire when my job went to India.

Normally Walmart is not cheaper on all items. Many items are the same price or higher than the Hy-Vee next door. By the way Walmart is the only place you can find a CFL bulb at a reasonable price. Why do you think people go to Walmart?

I think if you want unusual items you will have to go to Walmart. In NM Walmart has muffins that are nowhere else.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Hey Greg, I was watching the meeting tonight and all of the alderman had a big book in front of them. Are you sure the revenues aren't in there????

Anonymous said...

How would he know???? I was at city hall today and noticed three of 'em hadn't even bothered to pick up the budget!!!!

Now THATS leadership!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

There are other stores to patronize other than Wal Mart and comparable products as well. For those who shop Sam's Club, try Costco. They have comparable items and they treat their employees and customers a lot better than those at Sams or Wal Mart. There is also Target, Kmart, and Sears.

If I had a Dog I would treat him a lot better and feed him something better than Ol Roy. Cut the cord, get outside of the box. These other stores take Credit/debit cards also.

There are a few decent establishments here in Raytown, and we should all patronize them, and definately boycott Wal Mart, the downfall of small town America, and China's mainstream showroom for sales.

Pat Casady said...

To Anonymous 8:47,
You are right I do go on about Wal-Mart, a lot....sorry.
I know it's a done deal and you are right I don't like it.
But, I don't think Raytown got hosed by Wal-Mart. The taxpayers got hosed by the city officials by letting it happen. However
I'll try to do better on that point.
Here's an idea, I'll work on not mentioning the W word if you will work on (using) writing your true name.
I can take criticism pretty well, without retaliation, everybody is welcome to their opinion.
So, your point is well taken and I'll try to wait for the next hosing or dumb decision.
It shouldn't be a long wait.

Andy Whiteman said...

My dog happens to like Ol'Roy Jerky Treats. Her dog food is a good brand that is more expensive at Walmart. I checked the container and nowhere does it state "Made in China" It says "Manufactured for Walmart" which tells me I can't but it elsewhere. The brand name jerky treats are expensive. I don't trade at Sams or Cosco--too far to go, member ship required, and must buy in large quantities. My inlaws used to buy at Cosco and the banannas turned black before they could use them up!

Now where do they sell Night Hawk frozen food at a reasonable price? That was another Walmart only item. (Probably because it was too expensive for stores to sell.)

There was a store over in Kansas that had Enchiladas made in Albuquerque and that was the only place I saw them except for King Soopers in Denver. There are many stores that sell items that no other store sells. Either there isn't much demand or they have an exclusive contract.

Don't tell me there are stores with comparable products. I am very picky and want the same product. The exception is the Jerky Treats. I will buy another brand if the price is right. Red Dogg can decide if she likes them or not.

Now, if someone can tell me specifically where I can get the specific items I want, in a store that is open evenings, in a decent location, and accepts credit cards (some don't). I won't buy at Wallmart. You need to tell me where and not say there are other stores. Also, who can beat Walmart's price on CFL bulbs? I am basically forced to buy a few select items at Walmart, but won't do my general shopping there.

Andy Whiteman

docsummers said...

And what fairy tale would that be?
I found that most people seem to care about what happens in Raytown.
I hope that things improve and that the city rebounds and is able to bring in stores and eating establishments...
I care about my job and my family and the people i work with and the people i serve...
So please explain what fairy tale i subscribe to.....you see i only have a community college education.
I welcome any post based in fact not half-truths and rumors..i will answer all questions posed and will even offer to answer questions regarding our service and other fire departments...
personal attacks need not apply they represent shortcomings within in the person,,(physc 101)...
good day...gotta go
cub scout meeting with my son tonight....have a great evening
oh yea..softball was great we beat the cops...we had to repair our image from them killing us in basketball
Capt Darren "Doc " Summers
Raytown Fire/Rescue
sta#1 B-shift

Anonymous said...

Doc and all others: Open you eyes, Raytown is a dying community because of the leadership, ( or lack of it) at city hall. Businesses are closing at an alarming rate. Neighborhoods are in a run down state and street are falling apart. It will only get worse for the small businessman when the Wal-mart Supercenter hits town. I believe that we are going to loose something like 12% of our current sales tax dollars because of the poor decisions of our elected city officials. Just be thankful that the Fire Department is not part of city government. You would never have gotten those nice big buildings if Frank, Wenson, Bower, and the other idiots at city hall were in charge of the fire district.

Andy Whiteman said...

As I said, I was struck by a hit and run driver almost 3 weeks ago.

I am thankfull for the excellent, professional service provided by the Raytown Fire Department, EMS, and Police. We are lucky to have these dedicated people here when they are needed. Raytown may be going to pot, but these services are not.

Andy Whiteman

Greg Walters said...

I see the Raytown Tribune has announced that it will "suspend publication" of the weekly newspaper with this past issue.

That is newspeak for they are pulling the plug on their operation in Raytown.

My apologies to Charlotte Melson.I did have the names of committee members jumbled up in my last weekly post.

A few other observations.

Some have complained about Pat Casady's sniping at Walmart. Pat, what you said is read, and more importantly, understood very clearly by those who read it. For too long the Raytown way has been to ignore our mistakes.

Consequently, we often repeat them. Keep on typing.

As for the comment regarding my shopping at Walmart.

After nine o'clock in the evening they are pretty much the only game in town.

We should also be mindful that the deal Walmart received from Raytown to locate here -- specifically the 23 year TIF backed (in part) by sales tax dollars that were promised to be used for street improvements -- was not their making.

The city created the gift package for Walmart all by itself.

As Pogo once said, "we have met they enemy and he is us."

Pat Casady said...

Doc,
Hang in there. As you can see I have critics too. We can't please
everybody. I just write what I feel and try to be as truthful as
I can.
You and the rest of the fire/rescue staff have no need to defend.
You guys and gals, the police and the EMT's deserve the best.
To your critics all I can say is, when you need professional fire/rescue
help, who is it you call?
At least we believe in what we write enough to sign our names to it.

Andy Whiteman said...

Greg,

With a Walmart on I-70 and one on 350 HWY they are so close together and actually competing against themselves! It will be a good tax write off to close one of the stores. Why not run a contest to guess which Walmart will close first? And please make the gift certificate from a Raytown merchant.

The way many Raytown merchants close with the chickens, as you said, that pretty much leaves Walmart. Merchants might get more business if they STAY OPEN.

Andy Whiteman

Salamander said...

And the beat goes on.

Will we ever hear the end of excuses why the old Baptist Church (aka Sue Frank’s Folly) is still standing?

Time and again we are told the only thing standing in the way of
demolishing this eye-sore is a dozen or so environmental studies, some citizen input meetings and issuance of perhaps another few dozen permits.

The only reason for the delay in removing this health hazard is that City Hall insists on government handouts to cover costs of taking the building down.

Why should our city council be against spending more of our money taking the structure down? They lined up like lemmings to vote to squander $650,000.00 tax dollars buying the place to begin with.

Were it in my power I would put the building up for bid by any salvage company interested. With the local economy in the tank we might find it surprising how many people would be interested in picking up some money salvaging the structure.

All of this talk about environmental studies, inspections by incompetent beaurocrats, etc. is nothing but that – talk.

AND THE BEAT CONTINUES…

Stand back! Any minute now a convoy of bulldozers, followed by “rows and rows of the finest building virtuosos in the land” will begin construction on the Jewel of Raytown’s 350-corridor, Wal-Mart.

When will this “minute” occur? No one knows. Absolutely no one knows.

This includes the city hall crowd and its award winning planning
department. It strains common sense to think a project which the
taxpayers will fund in its entirety (after all, it is a TIF project) has no anticipated starting or completion date.

Does anyone actually believe this is the way Wal-Mart operates?

There could be more than a speck of truth in what is being bandied
about: Wal-Mart is not “aborning”. More than likely it is “dying”.

A final beat.

HyVee is remodeling the former Schnucks store. HyVee bought the building some years ago. It has been standing empty ever since. But the fact is that during the interval HyVee has owned the place lock stock and barrel.

Here’s where it gets good.

To induce HyVee to move from their present location to the building on Gregory and Highway 350 and to remodel it, the city generously handed HyVee a 15 year TIF with property taxes being abated during that time.

How’s that for bribing someone to take care of their own property?

How will the TIF get paid? Simplicity itself. An additional one-half cent sales tax will be added to all purchases you make at HyVee once that store opens.

Who will get that one-half cent every customer will be forced to pay?

If you guessed HyVee, you are absolutely correct.

This is a classic case of someone having their cake and eating it too.

Thanks to a city council which thinks like the Three Stooges, HyVee’s cake has plenty of icing.

I remember when newspapers were newspapers said...

So the Raytown Tribune is closing. God, how I wish Lee Gray were running that paper.

Anonymous said...

Lee Gray here...

Thank you to the poster above. But I'm done.

I'm surprised the Post hasn't also folded as it carries less than 10% advertising which is the economic kiss of death to a newspaper. (Should be 60/40 ads/news split to make money.)

Oh well...like I learned from day one in the newspaper business almost four decades ago: A community newspaper reflects the health, wealth and focus of the town it serves. The Tribune closing says more than you think about Raytown overall!

Lee Gray

Andy Whiteman said...

Salamder, Glad to hear you back! Good point about the church, but isn't the payment due in 2 days? The problem, as I see it, is that the city failed to maintain it and let a good building go to pot! It could have been used for a school instead of building new schools. It could have also been used for offices or small shops but our smart BOA let it run down.

I agree with you about putting it out for salvage bid. It might be possible to even give it away for salvage! Then the demo would be free which is better than paying. I did that once. I inherited my grandfather's house. All the fixtures were antiques, including glass covered bookcases, other furniture, and antique grocery store scales and cash register. I gave it to a church on the condition that the do a complete haul away and leave the lot clear. They even removed an old stone wall and cost me nothing.

In my opinion, ALL TIFs should have deadlines and claw backs. I don't think Walmart will stay. (see earlier post today.)

I am sorry to see any newspaper fold. The Albuquerque Tribune folded a few months ago and I bought a final edition. The financial talk is that print newspapers will end and go online if they continue. I prefer to be able to hold my paper. Also the Red Star has had a decrease in circulation and are cutting back on staff. I think they may sell more subscriptions if they cut prices. A year subscription is over $200! I protest and get a 25%discount. They call it my "usuall discount," but I have to ask for it to get my "usual discount."

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Shirley "Witless" Whitman is in front of the BOA and HER Mayor threatening them with the big scary TV investigative report if they don't fix HER Wildwood Lake drainage problem. That's hillarious. And we have BOA member Greg Walters who has spent 26 years on the board talking about smoke and mirrors at City Hall when he looks like John McCain. Been there all that time and it all happened right under his nose. Boy this town is special as in special ed.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

The national nightly TV news shows all the pundits down in harm's way as Gustav heads to land. Does this make them heroes like the sacred cows in Raytown? Last time when Katrina hit the cops even ran away. Let's hear it for the big boy media types.