Sunday, August 3, 2008

Street Overlay

A Raytowner asks an elected official why his street will not be overlayed with new asphalt this year. The only reply he receivies is a curt, “we don’t have the money”. Having learned a long time a go not to take such short answers on faith, I made a quick phone call to the Finance Department at Raytown City Hall see how the city is fairing financially. Readers will remember that it was revealed on this blog earlier this year that the city’s annual audit reported 2.2 million dollars in unspent funds returned from last year’s budget. The money is still there, though some of it is committed to certain projects. About $50,000 is set aside to pay debt incurred by the last administration (something I think is criminal, but that is another story). Another chunk of it is set aside to architect fees and fulfill final payment to the Lords of Walmart for expenses in conjunction with the 350 Highway project. Some of the money has been set aside for an un-needed infill study ordered up by the Board of Aldermen. The Mayor has mentioned that he would like to use some of the money to create some sort of Department of Economic Development by partnering with the School Board and Chamber of Commerce. But even with all of that spent there is still well over 1 million left. That money could be used to increase funding for street overlay. But for that to happen the Board of Aldermen has to stand up and say it should be done. When the audit report was delivered I brought a discussion item before the BOA asking for support to spend some of the windfall on street improvements. Not one member of the Board indicated any support for taking action. So you see, it is not a question of whether or not the city has the money. The money is there. It is a question of priorities of your elected officials. Why do they think that way – good question . . . Why not give them al call and find out why. Residency Requirements As many have noted on this page, Community Development Director Tim Truesdale has tendered his resignation at Raytown City Hall. When he leaves Raytown will have one Department Head who makes Raytown his home. That would be EMS Director Matt Cushman. The Board of Aldermen is responsible for setting residency requirements for city department heads. Up until 1998 the City required department heads to live within the city’s limits. Mayor Jack Nesbitt convinced a majority of the Board to relax the rules. In just ten years the city has gone from 100% of its management team living in Raytown to less than 10%. The Board should recognize this trend and reverse it by re-instating residency requirements for its department heads. Incidentally, a number of those former city department heads have moved on to other communities. They also moved where they lived. Why? Because the cities they went to work for require that they do so as part of their contract for employment. Where they live (appointed positions*): Park Board Director . . . . . . . . . . Harrisonville, Missouri City Administrator** . . . . . . . . . . Raymore, Missouri City Attorney . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Gladstone, Missouri City Clerk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Peculiar, Missouri City Finance Director . . . . . . . . . Lee’s Summit, Missouri * The position of Municipal Judge is technically a Department Head. Raytown’s Municipal Judge, Traci Fann, is elected to her office and lives in Raytown. The Public Works Director position is currently vacant. As will be the Community Development Director position once Truesdale leaves. ** City ordinance requires the City Administrator to live within the city’s limits. The current administration has turned a blind eye to this requirement by deeming the current holder of this position, Mahesh Sharma, is an interim (temporary) appointment. Chamber of Commerce Makes the Right Move The Chamber of Commerce deserves credit for continuing with a Raytown Community Parade. Such events are a building block of identity and pride in a community. This year’s parade will be held on Saturday, October 4th. The parade begins at 10:00 a.m.

69 comments:

Anonymous said...

Please!!!!!!!!! The chamber and school district joining the city for economic development!!!!! Please!!! Been there done that!!!! Chamber got about $30,000 a year if memory serves and the city attorney said the press could not force its way into the meetings to see what was discussed because the chamber was a private group even though it was handling public funds. Nix this dumb idea immediately!

Andy Whiteman said...

The fact is that there are streets where overlay will NOT help because areas of these streets have FAILED. Why have they failed? I suspect because of no maintenance (i.e. overlay) and quite possibly streets are receiving heavy traffic (trucks) they were not designed to handle.

I don't consider the $2+M to be a windfall. It is a contigency fund from prior budgets for emergencies or unforseen circunstances. The BOA has created an emergency by not maintaining the streets and that emergency needs to be addressed PDQ!

Raytown wants to attract new business as well as new residents. What business would want to move to Raytown when they see a delapidated, attractive nuisance across from Raytown Park Plaza, delapidated crumbling streets, no sidewalk, and a pile of dirt at Raytown High School, and what appears to be a freight yard or junk yard on Raytown Road behind the delapidated city owned properety. That is just to mention a few items.

The City is in violation of city code with:
1) a fence over 6 ft high.
2) a delapidated attractive nuisance of a church
3) Streets in disrepair

The city doesn't have the money! Who cares? If a citizen is in violation, the city doesn't accept "no money" as an excuse. I don't accept it as an excuse for no street maintenace, a fence over 6 feet, and an attractive public nuisance!

Every elected official and department head except Police, Fire, and EMS, and Parks should be cited for these code violations and required to appear in District Court (not the local Circus Court which would be a conflict of interest) if these violations aren't corrected.

Quite clearly the city has the money for street overlay. This is the type of contigency it was intended for so why not get it done? Unless there are plans to waste the money on something useless.
****************
I have complained about city officials not living in Raytown numerous times. I think it is very peculiar that 5 department heads live out of town. These department heads should be required to live in Raytown so they have to endure the same conditions as the rest of us.

If we weren't a 4th Class City, we could have a recall of elected officials and get things changed.

One reason I have for attending the BOA meetings is to decide at the next election who will or will not get my vote.

Anonymous said...

The way that I see it is that the BOA is deliberately wanting to create a 'blighted' condition by their lack of attention, and lack of action, by not being pro active and keeping the streets repaired and in top shape. Possibly creating a blighted condition so that they can use that as an excuse for more TIF's and Community Development District's, possibly even eminent domain.... Watch out people. They are up to no good!

Pat Casady said...

Raytown's elected officials have to be residents. I don't know about the rest of you guys, but, residency hasn't meant good things happening in Raytown for some time.
Let's face it there isn't much of a good pool of candidates for
any administrative or directive positions in Raytown.
Making someone move here just to have a position doesn't
make them smarter or more town minded people.
Raytown's track record for City Administrator as of late is
terrible. The "acting" City Administrator is the best we have had in ten years.
As for the streets, maybe this is a wake up call the the voters
of Raytown. These elected officials begged for the tax increase for street overlays and then spent it elsewhere. Even when they found extra money, Taxpayer money, they won't use it for street repairs.
This means any tax increase you vote for may be used anyway they
see fit.

One other thing. Why the Hell is Raytown paying Wal-Mart to come
here? Isn't it a big enough insult to the people that Wal-Mart is receiving aid from the taxpayers but they also have to pay Wal-Mart to be here!
Paying architect fees? When a small business wants to open here
and make any changes to a building they are made to hire an architect
on their own. Small businesses can rarely afford to pay an architect
thousands of dollars to write up a small change like adding a sink or
a window but, I know for a fact the city will make them do it.
But not Wal-Mart! We the taxpayers get to foot that bill.
Let's not forget our elected officials also gave away well over fifteen percent of the cities income from sales taxes for twenty three years too!
So you see, living in Raytown doesn't make a hired official or an elected official any smarter.

Anonymous said...

Let's face it ALL of the BOA except One(and we all know who that is the one that keeps fighting for Raytown and good of the citizens) are complete and total asses. They are just plain stupid when it comes to making wise decisions, personally I think they just like to see themselves on television and hear themselves talk.Let me ask you a question how can they make such a fuss about a fence at Mr B's (which I personally thought was a ok) and then on the other hand they can't do anything about these sleezy smoke shops that keep comming in? Understand what I mean about STUPID?!!! WAKE UP PEOPLE AND VOTE THESE GOOD FOR NOTHINGS OUT ---I SAID OUT OF OFFICE!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 10:02 you hit the nail on the head. What Greg said is the God's truth also, Jack Nesbitt did this town more harm than good. We all know that man is short and knife and fork of having a place setting!!!! Ever since we changed from having the departments and city employees live in the city look at the turn over rate of employees at the city no loyalty to the city just build that resume and move on. As for Tim Truesdale leaving it's just a little to late he has already done damage to the city which can't be reversed!!! I wish someone would take a head count at the parade this year they can probably count them on one hand.Sad that use to be a BIG deal in Raytown but as all good things someone always had to ruin them. Maybe it's because the Chamber membership has gone down to nothing and they can't get enough help to put on both of the events the BBQ and Round Up Days personally I would rather have Round Up Days I know Andy you didn't like it but it was a Raytown tradition.

Anonymous said...

I remember a lot of Raytown mayors and Frank and Nesbitt had to be the worst. Nesbitt was a know it all, federal bureaucrat and Frank was just plain lazy, never really learning the job of mayor. And these city administrators are all a waste of money. That was part of Nesbitt's plan too. Between what the two of them did, I don't believe Raytown can ever recover.

Anonymous said...

This is to the person on last weeks post who was upset about the sign on poles ect. I say if the city is to damn lazy to get out of their car and take it down there is no law that says WE can't!!! I am tired of the city making these laws and then they sit on their behinds and do doing!!! It's time we take things into our own hands and start doing them our selves and take back our city and make it a great place to live again. And those IDIOTS who think light rail will bring families to our city you need a reality check. I will tell you who will come and it WON'T be people you will invite to dinner. If your neighbor isn't mowing his lawn and weeds are out of control call the city and turn then in and stay on the city call every week or day if you have to until something is done that's what I do and I have seen results. Remenber the city works for us and after all if we work for someone and we don't do a good job we are called on the carpet , so should thethe city. Go to a city council meeting and talk about it. Remenber there is always Fox 4 call for action--that would get the mayors attention and maybe some heads would roll then.

Anonymous said...

Didn't you know that is how everything is done in Raytown from the city to the school behind our backs the only thing they go public with is when they want more money. Hate to tell them but the well is dry here no more tax inceases here not matter how they cry wolf

Andy Whiteman said...

I am not the only one who has a conflict with Round Up Days. Of course the downtown merchants like being forced to close and really like the litter and painting on the streets! It may be a Raytown tradition, but there are plenty of places for it without blocking streets, closing businesses, and creating a public nuisance in residencial areas. A good place would he the large area Walmart and Hy-Vee will vacate. Also the olde drive in theater has good access and is away from residences.

True living in Raytown doesn't make a department head smarter, but it is an investment they are making to get the job. Having made this investment to move to Raytown may be incentive to do a good job to protect their investment and not have to move again. If department heads were required to live in Raytown, they would have some idea what it is like for the rest of us. Department heads (the lords of the fief have more power than a common citizen (surfs of the fief) to demand action.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

The Roundup Parade is a joke since they did away with the celebration that used to accompany it. It's a parade to no where. Again all the chamber wants is your money for an entry fee. BOYCOTT THE PARADE, both as a participator and a spectator.

Anonymous said...

August 4th 10:38am,

You are right about us doing our own clean up on signs and other things but If we do why do we need the staff at city hall? We could save a lot of money on their salaries if we have to do their jobs ourselves and then we could overlay the streets with the money too. Maybe we should go fire everybody at city hall and I'm sure the city could not be run any worst by us than what it is being run now. Sounds good to me. Who want to be Mayor? I think I will take over the codes dept. They would either do their jobs or be fired.

Anonymous said...

Andy we can't have the Round Up Days Parade up at the old Wal-Mart, HyVee lot Larry Edwards is looking for a five star hotel to be put in there. How about it Larry any takers yet??? My guess is, hell will freeze over before that happens!!!!

Andy Whiteman said...

Anon 5:50 PM, I think Larry has a good idea about a 5 star hotel! Raytown is a perfect location for those who want to go to either stadium (Chiefs or Royals). The metro area doesn't have enough hotel rooms and is losing conventions because people have to stay at hotels 4 hours away! A 5 star hotel should bring 5 star restaurants which we need.

Anon 2:53 PM, You have an idea I brought up in the past. Disband the city of Raytown and let the county handle street repair, codes, etc. Do we really need a level of City Government whose only function is to collect a pay check, hire studies, and not maintain the city?

If it sounds like I am dissatisfied with the fascist fief, well I am!

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

The county used to take care of the roads out here before Raytown was incorporated in 1950. Quite a few of them were just gravel roads then, and old Raytown Road was a two lane county road paved with Pendergast Concrete.

Do we really want to go back to this?

Anonymous said...

Don't you wish our Mayor cared as much for Raytown's streets as he does Funkhauser's light rail. Even after they removed an east/west route from the plan Bower still carries the water for Funky!

Looks like he is just another opportunist trying to use Raytown as a stepping stone to higher political office.

Pat Casady said...

Although I didn't like the Round Up Days because it closed my
business for two days, I know a lot of people looked forward
to it. I guess it was a fun time for many. As was and is the parade.
Every town should have a form of getting together and showing a
township of pride and a showing of fellowship.
However, blame who you will on why Round Up Days has gone by
the wayside, it was the undesirables and punks that really caused
the demise of Round Up Days.
I don't know how other cities do it but you don't here much of
anything bad during the Independence deal.
I know it cost the city a lot of money for Round Up Days
but I'm told it used to be great fun for everybody. And I'll bet
it didn't cost as much as some of the "studies" and "surveys".
If it is done with class and with enough protection for the good people
that want to just have a good time, I wouldn't mind seeing it make a
comeback. But.... don't close the downtown businesses. Have it
at a park or after the old church is gone use that land. Just don't close
the streets off. If it was contained to a certain size and area the bad
elements wouldn't have much of a chance to show off their ignorance.

By the way, I was having a cup of coffee at City Grounds this morning
when in came a young man that works at Las Chillies. He said he
was taking out the trash last night about 9:30pm. when he was jumped
by at least four maybe as many as six punks. This is what I mean, this
element can't be tolerated in Raytown. Something has got to be done
to rid this town of this kind of stupidity. Citizens have to feel and be safe
in their own town. Personally I think, if caught, they and their parents should
spend time in jail.

Anonymous said...

Pat thanks for sharing the news about the young man being attacked we need to keep each other informed because this is the kind of news we will never read about in the paper or hear from the police. Speaking about police we need to see more of them out on the street. Where has the chief been keeping them? When Beeler was here at least you could always find one cruising the main streets if you needed help. Now you can't find one if your life depended on it. Chief maybe you need to revamp what your doing because this plan sure isn't working.Andy I think your a nice guy just not quite in tune with reality who would top dollar to stay in a five star and have the view of the new inner city !!! Get real!!!!!

Andy Whiteman said...

Maybe not a 5 Star Hotel, They don't build the quality they use to. But even a one star motel like a Holiday Inn Express would be step forward. I won't stay in new construction because of lack of soundproofing.

TV news had strories about punks jumping people in the Power and Light district. Apparently they feel safer moving their crime to Raytown. I suspect they may be local since they know what time Las Chili's takes out the trash.

I notice a Police car drive down my street once or twice a day. With high gas prices, I think they should park police cars around the city letting the officers station themselves in stores to fill out reports and respond from those locations.

The plain fact is if the PD makes patrols the chances are slim and none that an officer will be on site when a crime is committed. If they could station an officer on every corner and still not observe a crime being committed.

Andy Whiteman

Pat Casady said...

Some of you may not agree with me but I know several of the
Raytown Policemen and I can assure you they don't just sit around
and do nothing. I believe the Raytown Police department, for this
day and age is hugely shorthanded.
I would rather the city spend money for more police than anymore
studies or surveys. It's not going to get any better when the new
Wal-Mart opens on 350hwy. In fact it's going to get worse.
Another thing we can thank our elected officials for. When it opens
property values will sink faster than the Titanic. I'm afraid Raytown is
in for a rude awakening. If you read the paper I believe it's the
Independence, Raytown section and look at the police reports,
already there are multiple crimes in the 6700 block of Blue Ridge
area every week. Stealing, attacks and so on.
Isn't it wonderful what that store can bring to a peaceful small town
such as ours.
It's getting to where a good, honest law abiding citizen should carry
a gun just to take out the trash or go on a walk around the block.

It's time for Raytown to step up and hire more officers to protect
citizens. It's an investment that will pay off in the next several years.
People shouldn't have to be afraid to go outside after dark.

Anonymous said...

In June, my kid was jumped in front of Walgreens on 350 around 10pm by 4 black thugs, 1 for sure was for the Bannister Mall area.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Pat we do need more policeman but, as usual they will need more money. My suggestion is to take some of the police out from behild the desk and put him on the street. I think the police have more Chiefs than Indians. It wouldn't hurt the Chief Lynch to get and patrol and see what is really going out in Raytown. I have a gut feeling that will never happen.

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of an old Bennie Hill routine (English comic). Guy was having a problem with his wife and the advice was "Put more men on the job." We don't need more policemen we need more policing. Come on, people. Throw money at everything and then it becomes throw more money at everything past everything. Just hire people to do the job! Seen COPS lately? Fat f's brutalizing people when they finally catch up to them?

Andy Whiteman said...

Pat,

I think there was a miscommunication. Either that or a coinicidnce that your post followed mine. I was NOT being critical of the Raytown Police. I think they do an excellant job. In fact, much better than other cities I have lived in. When I lived in KCMO an emergency responce for "prowler here now!" took 6 minutes for 911 to answer, argue if the prowler was there or not, and another 30 minutes for 2 officers to arrive!

My point was that in any city, if police could be stationed on every corner; they are unable to observe the area between the corners.

I feel that with the price of gas, officers patroling in cars are a waste of money. Criminals, if they are any intellignece, won't commit a crime if they see an officer in the area. I feel officers could be disperced in stationery locations around town and dispatched when and if called.

Many cities have bicycle patrols but it would be cruelty to place officers on bikes in this miserable climate.

I sure wonder how Walmart got a Blue Ridge address. They are on 350 HWY unless maybe their back door is on Blue Ridge. I have had peope ask me how to get to that address and I had no clue where it was.

Andy Whiteman

Pat Casady said...

Anonymous 8:54pm.
I am not, nor have I ever been in favor of "throwing" taxpayer
dollars at something.
Raytown does need more policing and it needs more police
too. Most certainly after the new Wal-Mart opens because if
it holds true to form, there will be more area to steal, rob, mug
and just have bad people around so more police will be needed.
Facts are facts, crime follows this store around. The new bigger
better store on 350hwy. will bring bigger and worse crime with it.
Not to mention the deteriorating neighborhoods around it lowering
property values bringing an all new element to this town.

It's not right for you to compare Raytown's fine police department
and officers to what you see on some TV show. That's like saying
all athletes are drug users. Every profession has good and bad,
you only see the bad because it makes good TV.
(or bad TV in some people's view.)

Anonymous said...

Just read in the Raytown Post about the new living quarters for the firemen. Wow! Separate bedrooms with guest rooms, dining areas so big that entire families can join with our heroic firemen for dinner.

Does your workplace offer those niceties?

Gee whiz! Do you think it will make them better at putting out fires?

What a bunch of saps the Raytown taxpayers are for paying for such extravagance Such a waste!

Andy Whiteman said...

Anon 9:07 AM, I didn't aee the article, but are you aware of a firefigter's work hours? They are on duty at the station 24/7 for several days in a row. In my opinion, they deserve quality family time! This may not improve the quality of their work, but will improve the working conditions and morale and may lower the turnofer rate. If a firefighter is having family issues because of no quality time with their families, it will impact their work to some extent.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Wake up Andy, there is no turnover rate in our fire department, they have to run them off. They've never had it so good. I only wish that I would have had such a nice work place. I'd probably preferred to live there instead of my home too.

Oracle said...

WANT TO SEE YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK?!
Visit the new fire stations. Hot tubs, jacuzzis, LED flat screen 34" TV sets, kitchen facilities large enough to cook banquets for up to 36 people in one sitting. individual bedrooms for each fireman (with a couple of extras in case someone has a guest).

The list goes on and on.

Not to worry, the constructions of these facilities is costing a mere 8 million dollars of your tax money.

Keep voting more taxes. Show the spenders that you will never ever say "NO." Get ready for more.

A source close to the scene tells me the school board is coming back with another hit next spring.

More taxes, better education, you all know the routine by now. Keep your checkbook handy, you will need it.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about working 24/7 for days in a row. But the environment must be terrilby unhealthy.

Most of the firemen have guts so big it looks like they shoved a bowling ball down their pants.

Shouldn't they have a fitness standard?

I guess all that stress really puts the weight on!

Andy Whiteman said...

This came via an email from the CWA. It is pretty well known hoe Walmart manages its labor relations.

"They were telling me how to vote."

That's how a Wal-Mart worker from Missouri described Wal-Mart's latest anti-union efforts.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Wal-Mart has been holding mandatory meetings with its employees urging them not to vote for pro-labor candidates like Barack Obama because they support the Employee Free Choice Act.

This kind of voter intimidation is a prime example of the lengths Wal-Mart and many other U.S. companies will go to prevent workers from organizing -- and it's exactly why the Employee Free Choice Act is so important.

Show Wal-Mart and other anti-union companies that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated -- tell your friends, family and co-workers to sign our petition supporting the Employee Free Choice Act:

http://cwa.bluestatedigital.com/page/invite/cwataf2

It is illegal for companies to advocate for political candidates to hourly employees. But here's how a customer service supervisor from Missouri described a mandatory Wal-Mart meeting:

"The meeting leader said, 'I am not telling you how to vote, but if the Democrats win, this bill will pass and you won't have a vote on whether you want a union.' I am not a stupid person. They were telling me how to vote."

The truth is, the Employee Free Choice Act does not take away workers' ability to vote on union membership. It simply puts the decision about how best to organize into the hands of the workers, instead of leaving it up to companies like Wal-Mart which mislead, threaten, and even fire workers just for trying to improve their lives and working conditions.

This bill is essential to allow workers to exercise their right to organize free of employer pressure and intimidation.

Help get this important bill passed into law. Tell everyone you know to sign our petition for the Employee Free Choice Act:

http://cwa.bluestatedigital.com/page/invite/cwataf2

With our economy struggling and workers' wages stagnant, it is critical that we fight workplace intimidation and other heavy-handed corporate tactics.

Thank you for being part of this effort.

In solidarity,

CWA e-Activist Network

Anonymous said...

You don't have to go any futher than a polling place to vote to be told how to vote. Yesterday my teenage son and I went to vote. A man helping at the table told him that he didn't have to vote that party he could vote the other party if he choose to and then he asked my son if his mother (looking at me )told him how to vote and my son said no. In my opinion that man should never be allowed to sit at that table again and help with voting procedures. If he does he needs to keep his mouth shut!!!and do the job he was hired to do.

Anonymous said...

I would give my last dollar if the mayor would get off his big fat political rump and so something, something is better than nothing which is what he has done so far. You people better wake up and quite voting in these unnecessary taxes. For Gods sake wake up and quite being lead around by the ring in your nose.

Anonymous said...

No more taxes for anything in Raytown until we see some accountability. I think the state should be in here auditing the city, the water company, the school district and the fire district. THESE IDIOTS ARE OUT OF CONTROL!!!!

Anonymous said...

It's a shame that no one was overseeing the construction of these fire stations. Why do we need all of these plush buildings? The city is not growing, does this mean I'm going to get better fire protection because these firefighters are living in luxury?

Anonymous said...

Why not put some of our police officers in plain old "beater" kind of cars, dress them in blue jeans and and t-shirts and have them drive around Raytown and sit in some of the "hot spots"in Raytown and nab the criminals that are lurking in store parking lots and such. Any criminal seeing a "black and white" sitting in the parking lots is going to straighten up right there and now. Boy would they be surprised not knowing what to expect!

Being a former employee of the Raytown School district, you can bet there will be tax increases almost every year! I wouldn't send my "cat" to a Raytown School for an education! The money goes for the "big wiggs" at 6608 Raytown Rd. for their salaries and HUGE pensions. The waste is just unbelievable in the Raytown School district!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I hope that the 'RAT' Electrical work shorts out at the fire stations.... you get what you pay for, and the Firefighters have a union, and they hired a RAT contractor. Thanks for the terrible use of my tax money derived from UNION WAGES!

Andy Whiteman said...

The firefighters put in L O N G shifts away from home and family. They deserve the amenities. I do not covet because I have no deserve for HD TV, jacuzies, etc. Firefighters prepare their own meals and deserve decent kitchen facilities.

I finally saw the article in the Post and much of the work was donated, saving the district money. I feel if firefighters wants to do the work to get these amenities, more power to them. They have a right to do that. I have worked in offices where the employees bought their own microwave for the office. We wanted one so we got it ourselves.

As for physical condition, I think all departments have physical requirements. Being corpulent does not relate to physical condition. True it is unhealthy but it does not realate to physical condition. If a firefighter can wear a bunker coat, helmet, backpack of air to breathe through a face mask, as well as drag a hose full of water, and carry a victim our of a building, they are obviously fit. Don't let appearances fool you. That may be the guy who carries you or your family out of a burning building or cuts you out of a wrecked car.

In Alamogordo, NM the Police double as firefighters. They carry their firefighting equipment in their cars and shift from Police Officers to firefighters when a dispatch comes across. I am not suggesting this. I am stating that is how one city handles it. I can thing of several negative aspects with this system.

I have the feeling that those who are complaining work 8 hour days and then go home. If you worked a 24/7 shift that lasted days, you might feel differently.

Andy Whiteman

doc summers said...

I just have to reply to a few interesting and uninformed comments.
First a little background
I graduated form Raytown High School in 1987.
I work as a Captain with the Raytown Fire Protection District.
I started in October of 1992 as a reserve fireman.
I was hired to the full-time staff on april 15 1996 after a medical condition forced the retirement of a very good driver.
I was promoted to Captain in 2001 and i serve as the Union President and have a hand in the Labor contract between the firefighters and the fire district.
I usally read through this blog and i find it interesting that everybody has something to say but very few ever sign there name.
Any how, LETS DISPOSE OF A FEW MYTHS ABOUT THE NEW FIRE STATIONS.
There are no hot tubs or jacuzzis
There are no guest rooms(each assigned firefighter has his own room which is shared with two other firefighters on seperate shifts.
The seperate bedrooms are because of the simple fact that we have two female firefighters and they deserve there own space(kinda like mens and womens seperate bathrooms at your workplace).
There is no family or personel vistors allowed in the stations after 10 pm and there is know family spending the night
There are two addtional bunk rooms(these were added in the event that Raytown EMS was housed here or absorbed by the district sometime down the road)(NOT EVEN IN DISCUSSION SO DONT START)
There is a very large open kitchen in both stations however it is no bigger than the kitchen in my residence and is smaller than some the kitchens i have seen in my time with the district.
And i enjoy the fact that after being here all day we can have our familys up and enjoy a home cooked meal and time with our kids as we are a family.
We sit with our kids and help with homework and here about the things they did while we were at work and im truly sorry you do not get that kind of luxury at your job.
Yes we do have a large flat panel tv in our day room(it will be great on sunday for football)and two flat panel tvs in the training area for class(we do do training to maintain all paramedic and emt certifications along with rapelling,confined space,hazmat,fire investigation..
We teach CPR and provide mass CPR Training for the High schools
all other tvs were bought by the firefighters out of there own pockets no tax money was used.
We also do have a physical and mental health requirments..we have personel who run triathlons,participate in bodybuilding,soccer,softball,basketball and mixed martial arts compition.
YES,WE HAVE LITTLE TURNOVER
the fire department is comprised of motivated,clear thinking people who know what they want out of a career and are willing to work harder and longer than anybody else....when they come on they relize quickly that this is a great place to work...it also goes to fact that our Fire Chief and our Board of Directors care about every member and this is a family.
We are very lucky we have a Chief and a Command staff that is committed to making this a top notch fire department and taking care of the employees and the citizens we serve.
AND YES WE DO WORK A 24/7/365
We are a 24 hour on 48 off 3 shift fire department...However we have some injuries(lifting,strains,shoulder repairs and what was a open postion so there are some people pulling extra shift..i alone worked 158 hours in last pay period(14 days) and im in the low end of hours worked.
We also have about 75% of our department have 2,4 year college degrees in fire science,public service,emergency management,fire admin.
We also have three members in Paramedic school and two more slotted to test for thier certifications.
WILL IT MAKE THEM ANY BETTER FIREFIGHTERS....i dont know but i dont see alot of burned out buildings on the Raytown Landscape
I will tell you this we are on pace to run another 3200 FIRE/EMS calls this year and Raytown EMS will top 5000 again with transfers...And believe it or not the POLICE WILL RUN ALOT MORE THAN THAT.
Citizen oversight group
As promised during the election there was a commitee in place and it was public record.
They were in place during the design and construction phase.
Im sure that a open house will be set up at the end of the construction phase and you will be able to see for yourselves.
On a lighter note all are invited to watch the Raytown Police and the Raytown Firefighters play (NOT THE ON DUTY CREWS SO DONT ASK) a charity softball game all proceeds will go to REAP so please come out and enjoy some time with the people that serve the community COST IS ONE (1)CANNED GOOD.

I hope that this is viewed as information and not as a angry retort.
Captain Darren "Doc" Summers
Sta# 1 B-shift

docsummers said...

i mean there is NO family members spending the night...i was typing and we had a call for service and i did not catch it...

and to the Union Electrition...kinda angry i think about the wires shorting out...The Local imput on contractors was limited..
but your

Anonymous said...

Let's share a dirty little secret about fire departments in general. If you want to be a fireman it sure does help to have a relative already working there.

Ain't it the truth, doc?

Where did you say the minutes from those oversite committee meetings were kept at? Bet it would make for some interesting reading.

Got to admit that bringing in the wife an kids to take care of family time and being paid for it as well is a pretty sweet deal.

I'll be in the crowd at your softball game. Nothing more entertainging than to watch a bunch of fat bellys running around the base paths.

Anonymous said...

I bet the union hall could have furnished you with a list of UNION ELECTRICAL CONTRACTORS.

Pat Casady said...

To Doc Summers,
I'm glad you tried to set the record straight. I have known many fire fighters
through out my lifetime and I have always envied the way they got to
live in a dorm type atmosphere among close friends.
However, that's where the envy stopped. I also know what they go through when they have to go to work.
One of my neighbors homes caught fire, and it was a bad one. They lost their baby girl and all the rest of the family was burned badly. It took years for them
to recover enough for them to try to get back to a normal life.
My point is, I watched the firemen do everything possible to save these people including the badly burned baby and I knew then and there I didn't have what
it takes to be a fireman. They went into that burning house without any thought
to get to my neighbors.

So I believe that if the firehouses have some great spaces, modern kitchens
and separate bedrooms the firemen and women deserve them.
Sure these firefighters may not have to fight fires everyday but when it comes
time they are needed I would rather have a well rested firefighter with a great
attitude, and one that loves his work and living quarters heading my way
than someone that hated their jobs.

There are, in my opinion three jobs that get no respect from the uninformed people. Teachers, Policemen and Firefighters.
Do you that are complaining about the new fire stations think the firemen demanded these changes? Do you think they demanded that this money be spent on them? I doubt it very much.
That's like blaming the soldiers for the war.
I don't know how much they pay the three careers I mentioned above but
it isn't enough. Especially after they read what some have written and think of them.
So Doc Summers, please know that not all of us think the way of the
"Anonymous" writers on this blog. Most of us are glad you guys are here for us.

Anonymous said...

All you bloggers blabbering about firemen working 24/7 should wake up and smell the coffee.

Government statistics show that being a fireman is one of the most
sought after jobs in the nation.
The stats also show that the mortality rate for firemen is much lower than many other occupations; i.e. sand hogs, construction girder placement installers, window washers.

From what I have observed, most firemen are out of shape to a point of being grotesque. Take a look at our local fire chief. He is easily 75-85 pounds overweight. Looks like a small version of KU's football coach.

Maybe that is why men under him are so horribly out of condition. I would bet anything the main reason firemen get injured is because they are not in shape to fight the occasional fire.

With all their new, gigantic cooking facilities, perhaps the firemen will eat at home instead of homesteading at Denny's for a couple of hours every morning.

It's a sad situation.

Andy Whiteman said...

Doc Summers,

Thank you for taking the time to post the facts about fire stations and fire fighters. I wonder where the Anonymous people get there information?

Every time I have called Police or EMS in Raytown, I have received a prompt, professional response. I have never called fire, be they usually arrive with EMS.

Thank you for your service,

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...

Doc Summers,

Thank you for taking the time to post the facts about fire stations and fire fighters. I wonder where the Anonymous people get there information?

Every time I have called Police or EMS in Raytown, I have received a prompt, professional response. I have never called fire, be they usually arrive with EMS.

Thank you for your service,

Andy Whiteman

docsummers said...

I will answer some of the questions this time..just be aware if you cannot sign your message like a adult and have a civil discusion based in fact i will not respond.
Mr Cassidy,
I on behalf of the uniformed members of Local 1730 Raytowns Firefighters and Paramedics we thank you for your support and we feel that it is a privlage and honor to serve the citizens of Raytown.
I have been involved in this community for along time.
I have met alot of outstanding people and have been able to help alot of people in their time of need..and it has been rewarding career.
AND On to the dirty little secrets
Helps to get hired if you have a relative on the job.....lets think here for a second..in the 70s and 80s i would have to agree with you and in some of the bigger departments that still may be the case..i cant speak for other fire departments out of the 30 union firefighters we have one (1) whose dad retired from the Raytown Fire Department...
As for my family history my Grandfather was a volunteer after he returned from service in the pacific during WW2...He helped build and man the first Lincoln, Missouri fire truck,My father and his brothers and my cousins run a rough-in construction company which employ several firefighters from raytown and kc (no firefighters in the family)...however my wifes cousin dated a KCFD Fireman whose dad was killed in the big explosion at the construction site...and wait i figured it out The best man at my wedding is a KCFD Firefighter that must be the way i was pulled in....thanks for helping me clear that one up...I thought for a second it was my graduation from the fire acadamy,my work as a volunteer for the district for four years and my willingness to work hard and apply myself...
Minutes from the oversight committee
I believe that the department human resources manager may have them archived...i can find out and IF THEY are public record i will make it a point to share them...you may call me at the station on sat between 0700 and 0700 sunday morning....
lets see what else...yea taking care of family time on company buisness...my suggestion is that you can run for fire baord director when the next position comes avaliable and if you win maybe you can bring forward a policy that if our family comes up to eat dinner that you will dock us time from our checks as a scheduled break...that is your option..im sure there are more but thats the only one that i could come up with(sorry we were out 3 times after midnight so im a little tired today)
okay whats next oh yea the fat guys running around the bases..
I am 5 ft 8 and i weigh 204 pounds..never has that got in the way of doing CPR,dragging hose,pulling sheetrock,cutting a car open,taking a blood pressure carrying a person down three flights of stairs or bringing them up from a basemet,rope work off of a building or reading a address or driving a fire truck...i bet i can work in my gear outside as long as you can stand to sit at your desk..
little info on our softball team
We play the Police department every year as a benifit to REAP and for bragging rights...we like our police officers and enjoy our working relationships and the good natured ribbing between departments
We also play in the annual MDA tournement in Gladstone Missouri this is hosted by Gladstone Fire department...we have won the thing 2 out of 5 years and we lost to Lenexa and KCFD in 2 championship games..we won the Lee Summit fire department tournement....We also play a local girls fast pitch team every year as a fun get together...
We have a competive golf team and reasonably good basketball team..
our last dirty little secret is that we volunteer our off-duty time we do construction work for the handicapped boy scouts organization we have constructed tent base decks,deck on the admin house,we have cleared brush,painted and helped with the upkeep on the property,our paramedics voluteer to work the health lodge and ensure that campers get medications and are there for any on site emergencey, we adopt families at christmas time as a working partner with Al Brown and Reap, we volunteered time to help with the steel construction of the new REAP building...we adopt families in need we have fixed roofs,installed flooring,tile,fixed bathroom,sheetrock and we have built many wheel chair ramps. We sponser kids softball teams.....
And just so you have this info alot of the radio wiring and speakers all of the IT computer reporting systems,server and on line reorting to the state ,some of the painting and flooring in the basement work out room was done by the men on duty to save money...
And yes im sure the union hall could have provided a list ...you would have to take that up with the firm that is handling the construction.....i will say this that the guys that did the work were some great guys they interacted well with the crews and we very pleasant to be around they drank coffe with us and asked us how the night went...i dont think that they would have said i hope it shorts out and wont work if they did not get the job.....i think thats kinda childish....oh well it really comes down to choices...i chose a job i love and is very family based...we work,eat,live together our kids play together we share the same problems mortgages,bills,heartache,family members passing daily struggles with kids,things we see,gas prices,food just like you we bleed we get sick we get tired we get hurt but we roll out on the rig everytime we are called....so you can either like us and support us and the police and EMS or you trash us ,call us names make fun of us...it really makes no difference..IF YOU NEED US WE WILL ALWAYS COME
Please sign your remarks
Captain Darren "Doc"Summers
Sta#1 B-shift
Local 1730 President

Pat Casady said...

To Anonymous 10:28,
I started to write something to you about what you have written
about the fire department. But then it hit me. There is no need for
comment. What you write and how you write it pretty much lets
everybody know what kind of person you are.
The fact that you criticize under "Anonymous" Speaks volumes.
You are probably afraid that if you would need the fire department
they wouldn't come. Not so, they have class.
As far as firefighter being the most sought after job, you didn't mention
how hard it is to go through the training or how many wash out
or quit because it's so hard.
It's easy to sit on the sideline and criticize. I'm sure you could do it better.
But I think I'll stick with the pro's.

Anonymous said...

The fire stations are still too big. Bigger doesn't mean better. I bet Lee's Summit doesn't have all this space and they're a much bigger city than we are. I think the oversight committee failed in their responsibility to the taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

Doc Summers, I know for a fact that you guys were out last night after midnight because, you were at my neighbor's house around 3:30am due to a medical emergency. You guys and the EMS group were very professional. Thank you for the service you guys provide our community.


I hope you know not to take most of the folks on this blog seriously. NOTHING, absolutely nothing, will make most of the folks happy. Most of these folks are just chronic complainers, bless their little hearts, they just cannot seem to help themselves. If you would have used Union workers, then they would b**ch about that, if you had a simple bunk house, then they would complaint that you need a larger bigger station.


I understand the need to respond, but I just hope that you know it is a losing battle with most of these folks. Most of them just seem to get dumber and dumber with each post.


Now on to REAP.


I have been a supporter of REAP for many years and fortunately had never had a need to call them, until recently.


REAP's website states "Our Agency is devoted to providing emergency services while keeping clients' dignity, self-esteem, and stabilization a priority" It also states " Raytown Emergency Assistance Program is determined to help the people in our community who are temporarily unable to help themselves. Our goal is to provide a hand up to our clients, not a hand out."


I was severely injured and told that it would be 6 to 8 months before I could get back to work, you cannot imagine the panic I felt. I had never been in this situation before and needed to know what options were available, so we called REAP, since their agency is devoted to providing emergency services while keeping clients' dignity, self-esteem, and stabilization a priority, but what happened when we called was NOT about keeping clients' dignity, self-esteem, and stabilization was NOT a priority, it was just the opposite. The man on the phone, Mr. Al Brown, acted like we were freeloaders just looking for a handout. He was just down right rude and a complete jerk. We were left feeling our dignity and self-esteem were destroyed.


Please note we were just trying to see what options were available, we did not know if we were going to need their services and fortunately we did not, but my feelings about REAP has changed and I have told everyone I know who supports them about Mr. Al Brown's rude and inappropriate behavior toward us.


I understand that alot of people are just lazy bums, and looking for a handout, but that was not our case and not the case of many who are falling on difficult times and the last thing anyone needs when they are in these difficult positions is some guy who is supposed to be there to help you, treat them like they are freeloaders and lower than a snakes belly.


Mr. Al Brown, you may just burned out or maybe you have reach your tolerance level of dealing with people in need. I understand both of these situations, but you are suppose to be representing a group that is devoted to the Clients' dignity, self-respect, and stabilization are a top priority and if you CANNOT do that then you need to do some soul searching to to get your mind and attitude straighten out or you need to FIND ANOTHER JOB that you did not have to deal with what you feel are the freeloaders and bums.


You can put anything on a website and say anything is your mission, but when your behavior is the direct opposite of that mission then you are judged on your behavior and the behavior you showed us, well, it appeared you do not want to be of help, support and you enjoy making a difficult time for folks, who feel bad effort already, whose self-esteem has been crushed and who feels that by asking for help they have already lost their dignity, even more difficult, feel even worst, makes ones self-esteem even lower and make one wish that they had NEVER called you.

Mr. AL Brown - CHANGE YOU ATTUTIDE or GET ANOTHER

Anonymous said...

My, my you all are all wound up! As bad as the streets are we're going to have to be especially careful driving to avoid the potholes and all those sacred cows that now seem to be wandering around Raytown.

Anonymous said...

Bigger fire stations just mean a waste of taxpayers dollars. I remember the good old days when we had smaller stations and still had good fire protection.

Anonymous said...

Hey, at least Al Brown and REAP got help from the union building trades on their new warehouse, and all they had to do was ask for help, fellow Brother!!! The school district projects didn't go 100% union and neither did the fire stations. That is just an observation. There were plenty of contractors available, even local(here in the city limits) that were more than capable and probably willing to bid on the projects. Cheaper isnt always better.... Life goes on, Brother!

docsummers said...

wow more people with so much to say but no desire to leave a name...i see im a brother now..impressive..there was a bid process and it was published in the papers according to the law...i cant help if companies did not submit bids...but it was advertised in advance and submission date was published...i was there at the REAP building when they started and i did not see any Union(other than fire union)helping with the steel...i saw joe don smith his brother and a couple volunteers and kenny whistler...i heard the request for help with the roof was turned down by one of the locals and they had to pay for it..the fire union only helped set steel we were not able to provide much help after that...
Yes we had smaller stations with 4 people assigned per shift per truck and a batt chief thats 5 plus chief,sec,fire marshal,asst chief during daytime hours..that is nine during daytime hours..during training sessions that number could swell to 20 people in the station...we now have 5 assigned to the trucks...the roof leaked,the plumbing was bad,we had mold in the ceilings,bunk room and bathrooms(i have a independent mold study that was done before we moved out paper work in my filing cab...we had a rather large family of mice that were using our stove and toaster as home and food source..have picture of mice living in our bedding lockers at station one..even had one chew a hole in a box of candy next to my bed while i was sleeping...and last but not least we had no seperate shower faclities for female firefighters....
Off to Lee summit...sta#1 downtown houses a 5 man pumper and a 2 man ambulance with admin..that station takes up half a city block has 8 bays and two stories..about the same living space as we have at our sta#1....sta 5 on 150 has a 4 man pumper and a 2 man ambulance and is as big as our station two, however they do not have a outbuilding as there truck repair and service is provided by the city.
Sta 4 in lakewood (which sometimes provides ambulance to raytown via mutal aid) has a 4 man pumper and 2 man ambulance..a little smaller than our sta#2... sta#2 located nest to campbell middle school houses a 4 man truck company and they are looking to move as it is to small and not able to handle the amount of people assigned(info was recived via friends on the job there and not management staff)sta#3 has a truck and a brush rig and is the same size as our sta#2...the new station next to eagle creek subdivision is as big as our sta#1 and i believe it houses a 4 man pumper and soon a 2 man ambulance..so your claim again does not hold water...i will give you credit as it was nice try...
And to the citizen that we were next door last nite..i hope we did not wake you, if there is no traffic we try to keep the noise down to a dull roar,we know people have to work and us waking everybody in the neighborhood wont help the patient and just dosent make since...but thank you its nice to get a atta boy.....
About my job being one of the most sought out jobs in the world...i dont know...our last hiring process i believe we had40 to 50 applicants for 1 position...
and in 1991 when i tested for KCFD there was 700 applicants for 50 jobs....people are attracted by the thoughts of crawling down smoke filled hallways and knocking down the big fire and it just not that way...the big test is not the physical standards or the hard work..it is getting used to the smells and getting vomit,human and animal feces,blood,brain matter and seeing things and holding broken limbs,that sound of ribs breaking while doing chest compressions,to helping deliver a baby to telling someone in their own house that their father or mother or grandpa or their child is gone...my shift hs been lucky last couple months we have had a three structure fires 2 attics and one basement...you wont here about them because nobody died,there were no drugs involved,no dog fighting rings or big pot growing operations....just good working fire knocked down by our crews..we saved family pictures,tv,computers and furnitiure and it took longer to pick up hose and clean everything than it did to fight the fire.....last but not least
I TAKE THE ATTACK ON MY CHIEF AND HIS WEIGHT SOMEWHAT PERSONEL...he has a lot of things going on and has two boys deployed overseas..so hanging out in the gym is probably down on his list below,budget,meeting with metro chiefs,department issues and meeting with the various community groups that he is involved with...
However if you wanna call sat morning we shift change @ 7am...give me a call and you can come up and help us set up the work out room..(816)737-6034 ask for doc....you can pick the most grotesque and or fattest guy in my company and you can try to keep up(and by the way im the biggest in my company at 205 my driver maybe 190 maybe my medic 175 my emt 150 and my probie maybe 120....but im sure you know that since we are all so crazy unfit...im sure you are a piller of health or at least a finally tuned athlete on the verge of greatness...that was fun but my wife is finally home from work and they did not get to come up a see me last night because we were busy....so i bid a fond adue....last thing..
dont hammer the stations until you visit them and see for your selfs...talk to the crews when you see them ask questions and be informed dont rely on disgruntled people to form your opinions...
and just maybe a devolper will drive by and see the fire stations and think about downtown or see that there still is pride and maybe commit to building...if so you can thank yourselves your are the reason the stations were built...and i thank you
Capt Darren "Doc " Summers
Sta#1 B-shift

Anonymous said...

Looks like those people ( wonder who they were?} that were supposed to make sure our tax dollars were spent wisely, fell asleep at the wheel. They totally let the fire houses get out of control. I won't vote for anymore tax increases for anyone.

Pat Casady said...

To Doc Summer,
Doc, if you haven't figured it out yet, you can't argue with
"Anonymous" writers. They are sure enough of themselves to
take sucker punches, criticize and push their beliefs on others
but are too afraid to write their names. They say it's because
they don't want retaliation, I say it's because they don't want
people to know who really writes such ignorant statements.

I have learned from the past if you ignore them and don't
respond to them they have nothing to complain about.
I've even been asked to leave town because I stated facts and
defended my right to fight for my property, but never have
any of the people that told me that signed their names.
It's like shadow boxing or trying to reason with the wall.

You don't have to defend the fire department to the likes of
these, (probably just one) "Anonymous" writers. 99% of this town backs the Raytown Fire Department, Police and E.M.T.
to the max.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous August 7, 2008 2:55 PM

I have also been a supporter of REAP for many years and have never had to use their services; however, if I did I would expect to be treated with professionalism, dignity and respect.

I realized there are 2 sides to every story, but I did not believe you would have posted your experience with REAP if it was true and I am appalled by the unprofessional matter in which you experienced.

Maybe they were having a bad day, maybe like you said they may just be burned out or maybe they have reach their tolerance level of dealing with people in need. Whatever the case, anyone who calls REAP should be treated in a professional matter and should not feel that their dignity and self-esteem were destroyed after talking with them.

I do realize that are many people who are just looking for a handout and dope heads who spend their money on the next fix, but you cannot determine that from a telephone call, you probably cannot determine that on a person's 1st visit to your office.

I think REAP is a United Way program. Maybe they are just like the United Way - with the majority of the donations received going to the Management and not the people in need. Or maybe they are trying to save their money for their new building.

Anonymous August 7, 2008 2:55 PM, I am glad that you ended up not needing REAP services, but I wanted to let you know that there is another group in Raytown, where when you call or visit them you WILL be treated with professionalism, dignity, and respect. It is the Angel Food Program at the Blue Ridge Presbyterian Church (353-2296) and it is a great program. For $30, you can get alot of food that will last for 2 or 3 weeks.

To Doc Summers, Kept up the good work!

God Bless You all!

docsummers said...

Pat,
you are right, my wife told me the same thing,
i know that we have the support of the community as was the evidence during the election.
I believe we carried over 80% of the vote (dont quote i would have to look at the numbers)i just remember what was told to me at the election after party...
I would hope that community supports our Police and Ambulance services as well...they are all good people who help make a difference everyday in somebodys life.
To the people who feel the station is to big...I hope after you visit you will more understand why it is that size..and you wont feel so mislead or let down..,...
last but not least
DO ME A FAVOR
When you see a fire truck with its lights on..PULL TO THE RIGHT AND STOP...dont stop in the middle of the road...
Make sure your address is visable from the street on the front of your house.(it helps at 3 am)
And take a CPR class you just never know when you could help your fellow citizen,neighbor or family member....
and if anyone has any questions about the stations ask,sign your name, and i will answer all questions we have nothing to hide..
Captain Darren "Doc" Summers
Sta#1 B-shift
Local 1730 President

Andy Whiteman said...

Doc Summers,

I was reading your post as well as others at 1AM but didn't respond because Red Dogg, who is my family, wanted me to go to bed.

Thank you for taking the time to post all that you did. Not only was it interesting but provided FACTS for people to base their opinions on. Many of the posts seemed to be based on someone's vivid imagination rather than facts.

I don't think this can be said of all anonymous writers. I have seen several anonymous posts from writers who appeared to know what they were talking about. Apparently some anonymous posters are city employees, school district employees, etc. and afraid to sign their names otherwise it might be assumed they were speaking for the city, school district, etc. and put their job in danger.

I was asked how many writers this blog has. I couldn't answer because so many have the same name "Anonymous," which could be the same person or several.

I agree that drivers should pull to the right when an emergency vehicle approaches, but how do they know where it is? I was walking Red Dogg one night at Raytown Rd & 63rd when a fire truck approached. I could turn around and see it on Raytown Rd., but with the siren echoing all over, nobody knew where it was coming from. Traffic on 63rd did NOT stop and I had to control traffic. I suggested to the BOA that an opticon system be installed. Apparently no action was taken. I was driving in that area last week, heard a siren but could not see a vehicle anywhere, so I was blocking traffic by pulling to the right and stopping. I think the whole city needs an opticon system.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Mr. Summers,

My wife showed me this blog yesterday because she thought I might find it interesting. You see I am an active member of IBEW local 53 and my family and I have lived in Raytown for the past 13 years. First and foremost I want to apologize for the fool pretending to be a union brother wishing your Fire Stations short and burn. NO IBEW MEMBER WOULD EVER SAY ANYTHING THIS IGNORANT....EVER. To be honest I would have preferred to see a Union Shop do the work, however I have a couple buddies from school who work for Greg and I know for certain he does not put out sub-par work.

What is really frustrating to me though is the people in this blog and in our community who subscribe to the FOX News method of advancing their agenda. What I am trying to explain is no matter the course you take they emphasize the perceived negative. Damned if you do and damned if you don't. They never offer any real solutions they just cry about the challenges. Here is what I mean:
1) Cry Babies state the Fire Department hired non union contractors. Truth is you hired a union general contractor, mandated they pay all prevailing wage, and they selected contractor who met their requirements and had the lowest bid. If you would have passed on the lowest bidder the Cry Babies would be whining you wasted tax dollars to give preference to labor unions. Either way they try to give you the shaft.
2) Cry Babies state the new buildings are too large and lavish. Ok when did this turn into a bad thing. Two years ago as you stated 8 out of ten voters approved a sum of money to be used to complete these projects. The Fire Department is not out of this money, or hitting up voters for additional funds. I remind everyone that this budget was set two years ago when gas was 1.70 and building materials were 40% cheaper. Good for you to be able to build those impressive buildings. I do agree with the previous post that this is the fault of the over-site committee.. without them the Fire Department could have built small cheap buildings and squandered the rest as others have done. Instead seems like all of the money has gone as the 80% directed.
3) Cry Babies claim the Fire Department is fat and some anonymous coward had the nerve to single out the chief and attack him. NEW RULE If your going to attack someone personally post your picture. I bet this coward is probably a 40 something loser still living in his mothers basement. The truth is last winter I like so many attempted to loose weight by joining the Raytown YMCA. While there I often saw the Fire Department there working out. I am not going to say everyone looked like a finely tuned athlete either ( by the way I did appreciate the nod to Tincup), but at least they were there. There is even a fireman who lost something crazy like 80 pounds and was on a bulletin board there all winter. Now that the Cry Babies know this they will be whining that our firemen are wasting tax money getting paid to work out. Additionally, as everyone will tell you if you want to loose weight you have to stop eating out. Sure is good you built those new kitchens.
4) Finally the Cry Babies complain that the fire fighters have it too good and it is a highly sought after job. I again say why is this a bad thing. I like to know we had a crop of 800 candidates to pick from. Also, lets be honest here i don't care if it is the Fire Department or the IBEW for that matter it never hurts to have a close friend of relative on the inside when you are trying to get hired.

Oh well I am sure this post will flame up the anonymous posters and I know they will be brave hiding from behind vail. But, I really don't care I just wanted you to know that my family appreciates all you and your organization does and I for one am glad to see those impressive buildings go in.

David Yale
IBEW Local 53

Anonymous said...

I would rather see my taxpayer dollars going for newer and better fire fighting equipment and additional training than for bigger buildings. Doesn't this just make sense?

Andy Whiteman said...

As to Fire House size, it was my undersdanding when the vote came up that the firehouses were too small and that was part of the reason for the vote. I don't understand Anonymous's complain that the fire houses are too big! It makes good common and business sense to allow room for growth. If the fire houses had been smaller, Anonymous would still be complaining because more money would be required for expansion. I would rather seen it done right the first time than done cheaply and having to do it several more times.

As most of you know, I am very unhappy here, not only evcause of the climate, but because of poorly managed government. Since I am forced to live here, I feel that I can devote my comments to making Raytown a better place for all rather than just spouting negative comments as some do. I would like to see these writers suggest a soluting in attition to their negative comments. Why not be a part of the solution rather than running everything down?

As my father said, "You would complain if you were going to be hanged with a gold rope at sunrise."

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I agree those are important too but you cannot pay for training with a bond.

docsummers said...

Outstanding posts today...i will respond to all (my youngest son is 3 today and the family is all coming over...i even turned down 24 hours of ot to be at home)..i promise to respond tonite or first thing tommorrow morning...thanks for all support...its nice to see that somebody picked up on the tin cup reference...my wife thinks im crazy for putting things like that out...must be the age difference..
Capt Darrens "Doc" Summers
Sta#1 B-shift

Anonymous said...

I have to second Andy' thought I have never heard anyone say wish I had built a smaller house. The school district adds room every year it seems like. Good for the fire department.

Andy Whiteman said...

When Greg decided to stop his regaular weekly website and go to a blog, I told him it wouldn't work. For one thing, I don't blog. But after reading it, I saw that it was a way to exhange ideas. If Raytown want's to improve, and exchange of ideas is necessary. Maybe one person will see something that is obvious but overlooked by others. I have seen this happen in board meetings etc (not limited to Raytown) etc. Normally I still don't blog much but I am also on www.irememberlove.com
which is mainly about dogs. You can do search for my name to find my dogs' pics and comments. I also link to it from some of my web pages.

If the school district had planned for the future, they would have build extra rooms onto the schools as they were built. So what if they are vacant or used for storage, thay would have been built at yesterday's prices. From what I hear, City Hall is a little small and there is an issue of desk space for new employees. I still feel that before it bacame delapidated the Old Baptist Church could have become a school or City Hall Annex. Part of it was built as a school! Makes me wonder why the Poor Quality School District is building and adding onto schools when there was a previously useable building?

I wonder why someone with a grievance has to resort to accusations of non-Union labor, etc to make a point. True it got attention

Doc, good for you turning down the OT to be with your family. That would be hard for me to do. My wife and I used to work 24/7 jobs. I told her we could not celebrate birthdays on the correct day, but we would set aside one of our days off that week for the celebration. The only day we observed the correct day on was our wedding anniversary which we took as Personal Holidays. I still observe that day even though she was murdered.

Doc, I wonder how you hot your nickname? Were you a medic, paramedic, or EMT?

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Andy, why would the fire department need to grow? Raytown cannot grow because it is landlocked. I would rather have quality rather than quantity. Just an observation. This will only cost more tax dollars to operate these larger buildings.

Andy Whiteman said...

Anon 7:35PM, You have a valid point but Raytown can grow! If you have followed the BOA and city planning, they want to attract business. I consider that growth. Also they are considering allowing lots as small as 40' x 50' in the Central Business District with the name changed to something like Town Center. That is cramming more residences and businesses into a very small area. Is that growth? Also under the new plan, there would be no height limit to buildings in the Town Center. Isn't UP considered growth? The BOA just approved wasting $50,000 for an infill study. Isn't infill growth?

We are speaking of the Raytown Fire District. Are the boundaries limited only to the city of Raytown? I used to be Secretary-Treasurer of a Fire Protection District. I estimate our town was one square mile but our district included a much larger rural area along with industrial areas. We also provided mutual aid (especially EMS) to other districts on a frequent basis.

I think the question here is how much area does the Raytown Fire District cover? I understand that the Raytown School District covers areas out of Raytown.

Andy Whiteman

docsummers said...

Good morning all...i will try to answer questions and provide some information..
Opticon System
I believe that the fire district teamed with the city to do all of Raytown Road..it is done and we use it everyday....i believe the state did 350 hiway and they are also in service and working...the fire trucks and the ambulances are equipped with the system and automaticly engages when the emergencey lights are on.
David Yales Post
Thank you for your support and the correct info that you passed along.
Yes the fire district employees were allowed to use the YMCA while on duty because or workout rooms and weight equitment was in storage.
I know for a fact that my crew met there at 05:45 so we could get in treadmill and light weights before reporting to duty at 0700.
And yes the man on the billboard was Matt Mace he currently serves as our Fire Marshal he lost a large amount of weight and is a model for others to follow....on a side note he is one of the best Paramedics the fire district and city have ever had...
And yes i have a list of all union contractors that worked on the building they include concrete,structural steel,plumbers,roofers,laborors and so on..
I also know that his wish of electrical failure does not represent all union members...

The need for more training as opposed to bigger buildings,

That is a good statement how ever it does not represent what has been going on in the fire district for the last ten plus years
We have weekly training in which the company officers outline the training by identifying company needs Ie: forced entry,building construction,hydrant training,search and rescue.
We have monthly CEUS to maintain EMT and Paramedic certifications.
We have eight paramedics on the job we have two testing for certification and two more ready for class to start at MAST.
The rest of the department are EMTS.
We have cross training with KCFD in large area search and Rapid intervention team (rescue down and trapped firemen)
We also have some small training problems as in we have no place to train...we have been very lucky and been able to train in the old schnuks building for several years
and this year we were able to use the Raytown Plaza shopping center to preform our large area search training with KCFD.
I believe that we will be able to use the South Metro Fire Tower and KCFD Trainig facilty in the future....downside is that we would have to ship our companies out of the city and hire in crews to man back-up trucks to cover city...do that a couple times a year and you are looking at a huge budget problem paying overtime...
NEW Equitment
We have 4 thermal imaging cameras, 4 gas monitors,air bags,3 complete sets of extrication equitment latest updated air packs, life pack heart monitors,hi-rise packs and a endless list of items that help us do our jobs we are on a replacement schedule to replace older fire trucks....alot of this comes from grant money and good budget work...

And yes the city will not grow in size and we primarly protect the city of raytown we cover 53rd st to 51st on the north to 87th street on the south , blue ridge to the west and westridge to the east roughly about 10 to 12 square miles (im told)....and yes there is several things that could affect the areas that we cover..we are part of a state wide mutal aid system so any department requesting help we could respond...our department has provided assistance as far as marshal, missouri i was on a group that was sent to Sunrise Beach, Missouri (4 days) and we were one of the trucks that pumped the most water at the House of Loyds Fire in grandview,provided manpower and thermal imaging camera at the fire that killed KCFD Battaion Chief John Tevetden...we had crew at the hyatt skywalk collapse, we provide coverage while KCFD was remodeling closed sta#43 at 350/noland..we responded and provide ems care to the KCFD truck wreck that killed Acting Captain Gerald McGowen
We also could be called upon to respond via mutal aid into Kansas city to provide fire and ems services as part of a trade off to them providing those services to our community when requested...and down the road we could be part of a county wide fire service where all departments are pooled and the closet companies to a emergency could be sent.....
I hope i was able to answer all questions and provide a small glimpse of our department and what we do........and yes the final question" my nickname"
I recieved that while playing soccer for the Kansas City Soccerdomes traveling team....i was a new guy or the "Player to be named later" and we were in the middle of a four game losing skid..i was givin a start in the goal and we won our last four games and the guys were making fun of it and saying "the doctor is in " and it just took of from there i played there on the house team for over ten years and got a shot to play for the Kansas City Comets and in 1991 i got to play my only game in Kemper Arena i relized my goal of being introduced in the light show and fireworks...shortly after that the team folded and I tried out for the new team with the EMS Director Matt Cushman...the following year i joined the fire department and became a EMT..and the name just stuck and has been with me forever.....my wife and my mom refuse to call me that..everybody else does and i really like it(kinda living in the past)
Any more questions please ask....
Captain Darren "Doc "Summers
Sta# 1 B-Shift