Sunday, September 28, 2008

Let's Fix Raytown

O.k. . . . Some pretty smart people have been writing about what is wrong with Raytown on this blog. Most of the complaints are legitimate. Let's face it, there are a lot of problems that need to be addressed . At least we have taken the first step towards a solution to some of those problems. By “we”, I mean those who participate on this blog. By the “first step” I mean that we recognize the problem. It is truly the “first step” for any cure. So here is what I am going to do. For the next two weeks I will leave this page open (as always) but not publish the following Sunday in hopes of keeping the string of comments intact. The ones who really need to read this page are those who are in seats of power – that is the Board of Aldermen and Mayor. And I believe they read what is written on this blog. Like a good friend of mine once told me, “Greg, your page is like Pitch Magazine. Nobody reads it. But they all know what was in it. ” I will start things off by making some observations. Jump in any time you want. TAX ABATEMENTS: Raytown is literally bleeding tax dollars from tax abatements that have been handed out like candy to children on Halloween. By the city’s own figures, Walmart will gobble up from 12% to 16% of the sales tax revenue for the next 23 years. Instead of going to city services, those tax dollars will pay the debt incurred to make the new Walmart Store possible. We cannot undo the deal that was made. But we can make some changes in the future. In a perfect world, we would not have any more tiff or property tax abatements. But in case we do, the city should at least create claw-back provisions that would nullify the abatements, etc., if the opplicant were to shut down their operation before the abatement period ends. Raytown’s current abatement programs lack such provisions. OPEN UP THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS: The current administration has been adept at keeping legislation of the agenda that, for one reason or another, it does not want on the agenda. Jim Aziere’s smoking ban, Pat Ertz’ fireworks legislation and legislation to start a two year notification period for curbside recycling have been kept off the agenda for up to a year and a half. The bottom line is this. There is more to running a city than economic development. If you want a true sense of community, stop the stonewalling and let those issues move forward. There are good people who really care about them in our city. They have a right to be heard. SECRECY/AUDIT: Remove the veil of secrecy at City Hall. It has been a long time since the city had an audit that explored more than an annual rendering of the books. Stories of irregularities in the former city administrator’s budget should be exposed – if in fact they existed. The best way to silence your critics is to expose all you have to the light of day. If problems are exposed – what better way is there to address them? There you have it. Three areas I believe should be addressed. Remember to include a solution to your thoughts. Who knows, maybe someone at City Hall will listen and run with your idea.

85 comments:

Andy Whiteman said...

Step 1: "Our lives are unmanageable."

To cover those who really don't read this blog, I suggest printing and mailing to those in charge. I bet they still will not read it or claim to have not read it. Will it get their attention by puting it directly in their mail boxes?

I agree an audit is called for but who will start a petition? If someone gets a petition started, I will stand at Walmart to get signatures in the evenings. Is it legal to do this on private property?

Actually not only is an audit needed of the City, but an audit should take place in the all of corporate America mainly in energy fields, and all financial fields. America (not only Raytown) is going down the tubes because of poor business practices and/or decisions.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

As I see it.....

Tax Abatements, no more for large corporate box stores or even medium sized...instead lets make the Small Business feel welcome here in Raytown. WE all know (or should) that Small Business (i.e. less than 100 employees) are the backbone of the economic engine we call the USA.

Legislative process: In order to truly understand this one and the Secrecy/Audit, you need to do a Psych evaluation of the current BOA, Mayor & other government stodgies....The question to ask is, "What are each of the the BOA, Mayor, Department head afraid of losing? or What are they really being told/measured on to deliver the beliefs, behaviors and competencies in their current role? I am betting each one has their own personal agenda instead of what their Ward or department is really requesting.... Once you uncover what they really desire that will be more telling than any audit/process, because that should show Raytown what they really are...

Best of luck Greg, not sure Raytown has the brain power or stamina to take on your request...

Anonymous said...

I'd ask attorney Steve Mauer to do the same pro bono work he did on the KCMO-Independence School Districts in behalf of Raytown with the focus on undoing the Wal-Mart deal.
Then I would force legislation that required all current elected public officials and key employees to remain in their jobs until the problems are solved.
Past city managers, elected officials and key department heads would also be sued for malfeasance in office.
If city officials and even those at the federal level were not allowed to leave office before they undid the messes they've created I suspect there would be a different attitude. Or maybe they'd just figure out they are a bunch of dumb----s and finally listen to the people.
Sure this isn't realistic. But neither is your idea of expecting us to be heard by the *&^*%)*#$ who created this mess.

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

Ken you were one of the worst things that happened to the board. What you did or did not do is part of the problem we are facing today.

Anonymous said...

I must agree about Ken, he was nothing but a s__k up to that horrible Sue Frank and Curt Wenson. These two people (along with that dumb board) probably did more damage to Raytown than all the rest of the past mayors. These Wenson type people are what give city administrators a bad name.

Pat Casady said...

First off I will say yes, Ken Brown is a friend of mine. I have
known him for around thirty five years.
Second, I will state that I don't agree with him.
It's hard being in the middle of two friends that don't see eye
to eye. But, Greg has done more for me and the community
than any other aldermen I can remember.
Now, back to the subject of this post.
Although I truly wish the deal could be reversed, Raytown needs to
learn from this mistake.
The people of Raytown have got to find people to run for office that will
at the very least, talk to the people before such a huge giveaway
is done. Better yet, would be people with some kind of business
background.
Elected officials that will actually represent the people and do what is best
for the people and town.
When I mentioned electing officials that would talk to the people
I meant go around and talk the people. We all know, in the past
the friends of the officials would stack the deck for or against
what ever they wanted to get passed or defeated in the City Council
meetings. RRFT and the chamber come to mind.
The elected officials doing and voting the way the city attorney
and city administrator tell them to has got to stop. That is what
got Raytown into this predicament in the first place.
Raytown needs elected officials that think for themselves.
But there should be an across the board cleaning out
of at least eight aldermen. Maybe even lowering the number from
two aldermen per ward to one.
A perfect partnership is when each partner watches out for the other.
There has been no partnership between the people and elected officials.
That is another reason Raytown is in trouble.

Anonymous said...

Pat makes a very good point about reducing the size of the board of aldermen. It is apparent that GOOD, QUALIFIED CANDIDATES for the board are few and far between anymore. Wonder how this can be done? Can this be taken to a vote of the people? Just think how much money could be saved in salaries and expenses, by eliminating half of the board of aldermen. Maybe then you could actually attract some professional people( attorneys, CPA's, real business people, former newspapers owners) to file for the board, that is if any of them still live in Raytown.

Andy Whiteman said...

It is not a good idea to keep the same group in office or on staff until the problem is resolved. First they don't perceive a problem so how can they fix it? Second that is alavery which the USA abolished under Lincoln.

Professionals on the board is the best idea but what professional wants to donate his/her time? I may be wrong, but the last time I heard a board member made $1,000 per month plus mileage. Look at all the time an Alderman puts in besides board meetings. They have committes, meetings, and research. (I noticed Jim did a lot of research and travel for the smoking issue.) To me, compared to the amount of time required $1000 is a pittance. What professional has the time to work his job AND donate his time to the city.

We need full time alderman, but obviously the budget is not there to pay them.

I fault these part time jobs, especially a part time Mayor. I remember calling Sue Frank and the response was, "The Mayor doesn't talk to people. She has a business to run." I finally contacted her several years later after numerous phone calls.

What are part timers focusing on? The city or their regular job/business?

The City Administrator's job is totally unneeded and a waste of money. It should be abolished. I am NOT critizing Mahesh. He is a good person and doing a good job, but that job is unneeded.

A psych evaluation? Has anyone read the book "1984"? We don't need the thought police.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Andy, Mayor Frank was an arrogant, nasty, spoiled little brat, of a person. No one should EVER be told that an elected official is too busy to talk to the people that elected them. And you are right about the city administrator's position, it is a WASTE Of TAXPAYER DOLLARS.

Pat Casady said...

I wish I could think of something clever about the stock market
taking a dive. The "bailout" didn't work.
Let's see now. Who do we know that would give big money,
taxpayer money to rich corporations?
It's on the tip of my tongue, I can't quite put my finger on it.
Seems to me there are eight or ten people that would do
such a thing. Huh, I just don't know. Do you?

Anonymous said...

Pat...you're clever! I got it.

My suggestion is that Japan, Germany and everyone else since WW II bellied up and pull out fat out of the fire like we did there's by rebuilding them after "the war to end all wars," eh?

Lee

Anonymous said...

Hi Lee,

Actually, the "Great War" aka World War I, was billed as the war to end all wars, and it failed at that description rather dismally.

We didn't rebuild anybody after World War I, and the attempt to punish Germany by the Allies, largely led by France who was rather pissed that so much of their country had been lain waste in a manner inconceiveable only 50 years previous, was probably the biggest stepping stone that allowed Hitler to gain the position that allowed him to foment his particular brand of revenge on the rest of the World.

The German people didn't feel that their military had let them down in WWI, but rather blamed the loss on the politicians.

Also, I would expect several overseas countries to invest heavily in the US after the dust settles. Japan, China, Dubai, Saudi Arabia will probably buy up huge swaths of this country at fire sale prices.

I just don't expect them to be stupid enough to margin their capital at 40 to 1 ratios.

Anonymous said...

Thanks...I did realize WWI was the war to end all wars.

I'm not talking about the foreign countries buying anything here...I'm talking a straight out gift..a thank you for us saving their a--es all those years --- Lee

Andy Whiteman said...

I can think of a maximum of 9 people who would spend taxpayers money to bail out big business!

In HS history class we learned that the USA rebuilt Japan and Germany after the war. We joked that they had a good idea to start a war because they were better off afterwards after we rebuilt them.

Strange thing is my Mother majored in French in college. She had a job at the GAO (General Accounting Office) as a French translator billing French for war debts. Until she told me that, I was never aware that we billed for services rendered in time of War.

If foreign countries start buying US companies at bargain prices, we are in for a legal take over without a fight. I am afraid that the bail out could lead to Socialism if it isn't set up carefully.

Andt Whiteman

Pat Casady said...

As I was driving home, I drove by the old Herndon school
and I saw a sign blocking the entrance. The sign said
Wal-Mart on it. That's when reality hit me. This damn thing is
actually going to happen. I got sick to my stomach.
The rest of the way home all I could see in my mind was a tombstone with the words R.I.P. Raytown, It was a great little town, 1858-2010.
Not real sure about the earlier date but pretty positive about the later date.
I know of at least one reader that will appreciate my next statement.
I am really going to try and not mention Wal-Mart again..................
Until I can say, I told you so. I'm figuring somewhere around 2010 or 11.

Andy Whiteman said...

Maybe Raytown should shange its name to Wal-Town when Wal-Mart takes over and runs our businesses out of town.

Andy Whiteman

Pat Casady said...

I think I owe Greg and the rest of you an apology.
Greg asked us to come up with some thoughts on
problems this town had and the solutions to our thoughts.
I don't feel that I have done that. I have complained about
some things that I still believe are bad for Raytown but
no solutions.
Earlier is was reading on the Raytown site and I came across
a section that was labeled "City Mission Statement" and
Core Service Values."
The "City Mission Statement" states,
The mission of municipal government in Raytown is to enhance
the future of the city by providing the public with fiscally sound,
efficient and effective service.

The "Core Service Values" states,
The Board of Aldermen adopted a Core Services Value
resolution during the January 3, 2007 Board of Aldermen meeting
to communicate to the public the values and expectations under
which all city employees operate.

Those core values:

·Customers drive our priorities and the services we provide

·We provide a safe, welcoming environment

.We communicate promptly, respectfully and accurately

·We value and support competent, well-trained and empathetic staff

.We encourage creative problem solving, teamwork and efficient use of resources

·We expect integrity, respect for diversity and a commitment to customer service

My solution to many of Raytowns problems are that the elected officials and hired officials actually follow their own above ideas. It has been almost a year since they came up with this and nothing has changed.

Anonymous said...

As I see it....
Thanks for the last post Pat. What I find especially enlightening is the Core Value #1 of the BOA...

*Customers drive our priorities and the services we provide

Naturally my question becomes...WHO or WHAT is the CUSTOMER? Evidently the customer is definitely not the resident...

Andy Whiteman said...

Pat, someone has to identify a problem before someone can suggest a solution.

I think Anon 8:11PM identified a key point: The Core Values appears to have been plagarized from a business document. I wonder which business?

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

We have a huge problem with our codes department. The solution is simple for us, maybe not for the department itself because it does require work and the solution is simply get your ass out of the truck and write some tickets for violations. Like parking in the yard, trash dumped in the yards instead of hiring a service to pick it up every week, unmowed lawns. But why should they do their jobs when they are not made to by the high ups in city hall. I am sure they still get paychecks every week and for doing what? NOTHING!!! Thats whats wrong with America today do nothing and get paid .

Anonymous said...

It is apparent from talking to Mayor Bower that he is not at all interested in enforcing codes in Raytown. In fact I'm not sure that he has any plans for us other than to build that stupid Wal-Mart. As mayor he should have had the courage to stop the disastrous mess that Frank, Wenson and Graham left us known as the Wal-Mart redevelopment. He should have stepped up and demanded that the board and staff go back to the drawing board. We could have done better. Anything but a Wal-Mart, it only re-enforces our neighbors opinion of us that we are a rural, hick town, with no real direction. Thanks for nothing mayor.

Anonymous said...

http://www.pitch.com/2007-05-17/news/one-wal-mart-ain-t-enough/

This is an old article about Raytown and Walmart. Interesting to see most everyone realizes it is a bad move, the City will still move in that direction. Hurts small business, hurts citizens, helps who? WAL-Mart that's who!!!

Andy Whiteman said...

My question is why is the subject of a Walmart TIF discussed in a closed meeting and not a public meeting?

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Because they do not want the general public there to protest any of this bs as it would be negative pr for the city and Wal Mart.

Anonymous said...

Lee Gray here:

Andy at this point it is pointless to go back over the Wal-Mart TIF. I suppose that the executive session was deemed under the law's provisions for 1)legal matters 2) personnel or 3) real estate (the mostly like one).

I've been listening to Warren Buffett for the past couple of days, dealing with the national economic crisis.

And he got me to thinking...

One --- where lack of codes enforcement is concerned...how about we have employed city personnel and elected personnel spend a "donated" Saturday morning a month driving the neighborhoods and logging the code violations. They can carry nice letters saying, "You're in violation of the _____* ordinance. We, the City, want to work with you to solve this problem..." etc. etc.

*Weed, trash, or whatever.

Knock on the door and talk to whomever has the problem to see if there's a reasonable solution. If the person is simply poor or unable to take care of his or her property, start the volunteer clean up group back up.

2) Another Saturday morning idea: get the department heads and elected officials a city truck full of asphalt, hand each a shovel, and show them how to fill a pothole. Good PR...the leaders working...to do what needs to be done ...for the voters who elected them.

3) Establish a "brain trust" of sorts utilizing the talents of Raytowners who have lived here (let's say...) at least 10 years. Bring them together, open the financial books and explain exactly what the situation is, and then listen to the brain trust's expertise. The city could even offer them some type of honorarium (pay). It would beat spending another $60,000 for outside developers, who just take the money and leave; or whatever amount was wasted on the in-fill study; etc.

Now why should a City employee spent half a day a month on a Saturday donating his or her time? Because without that, there won't be any jobs the other four weeks of the month.

Don't notice if anyone else has noticed, but the unemployment rate is soaring; companies are laying off people; and sooner or later the federal, state, county and local governments will have to also.

Either that or fund a WPA-type program...but everyone to work..and repair the nation's and Raytown's infrastructure.

Lee

Andy Whiteman said...

Lee,

I agree it is pointless to address the Walmart TIF. I was addressing possible violations of the Sunshine Law and Straight Talk. If you read what was brought up in the Pitch Article, I think it should have been a public meeting and with the knowledge displayed at the meeting, the public would be up in arms.

You must have read this mornings Raytown-Indpendence section in the Star.

If City employees want to donate their time, I have no problem with it. But if they are told they will work and not be paid, the city will be in violation of the FLSA. The Post Office got stuck with a class action and had a big payout back in the early 80's.

If city employees went around waking people on Saturday morning, they may be confronted by irate citizens.

Andy Whiteman

Pat Casady said...

Lee,
You have some great ideas there but, and there is always a but,
most elected officials won't even come around and talk to the people
in their wards. That is until it is election time, until then they have no use for us. They have this, we are smarter than them attitude.
Which is another part of the what's wrong with Raytown puzzle.
The other thing I would like to see in your "Brain Trust" is local
business owners in it. And there should be no "lived here so long"
clause. Just property or businesses owners. New or old they all have a stake in Raytown.
Sad thing is it doesn't matter, it won't happen. City Hall doesn't want to listen or even talk to the people. They will tolerate us for three to five
minutes at the meetings but that's about all they can stand of us.

We need to start looking for good people to run against most of the sitting board members and start looking now. Otherwise it will be the same old thing year after year. We need people that won't be taken in by big business
and a good story. People that will ask questions about where taxpayer
dollars will be spent and how it will help the people of Raytown not some big business or devious developer. Most of all people that will listen to the
people, get their feel on pending city spending after all they are supposed to represent the people.
So you see Lee, I can dream too.

Anonymous said...

I like Mr. Gray's ideas. We should have elected him mayor. I'm sure we could have seen some progress to the mounting problems at city hall by now if Mr. Gray were mayor. Is there anyway we can recall Bower and put Lee Gray in as mayor? Sign me: ANOTHER DISAPPOINTED BOWER SUPPORTER

Anonymous said...

Andy I'm NOT EVEN going to TRY AGAIN to explain the Sunshine Law to you.

Where the Post Office example is concerned, the City is not unionized. And, of course, it can be put as "voluntary" with the accompanying "wink" that lets an employee/elected official know what eventually will happen to non-team players.

Pat you make sense. I'm okay with the business owners being added without residency. I've been in a meeting with you where some local business owners (past and present) tried to start a downtown association. What happened? Another such group sprung up with "official blessings" and the original well-intenders got left behind. And, Pat, that was because the "Fox-ess" was there to guard/undermine "the Rooster House." (You know who I'm talking about.)

Which brings us to our "discussions" here. It's like Karl Rove's and Dick Morris's functions: To divide and conquer various constituencies so the "real people" give up or stay distracted.

And to anonymous, thanks but no thanks to being mayor. There was a reason I didn't campaign. But you are correct, there would have been some things changed by now. Without the charter passing there is no recall.

It used to be that a city council could not obligate the city beyond its term of office. That alone would have taken care of the Wal-Mart deal.

I suspect, but don't know for a fact, that the people could file a lawsuit against the city over the Wal-Mart deal. But suing would just make the lawyers more wealthy and leave us with the same result.

So bottomline to Greg's call for fixing Raytown: Futility...

...unless several hundred of us are willing to show up at City Hall shouting: "We're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore!"

Lee Gray

Andy Whiteman said...

The FLSA is a Federal Law and doesn't require being unionized. As far as I know Walmart is not unionized (at least most of the stores) and they have been sued numerous times for violations as well as discrimination violations. City employess should unionize to protect their rights.

The powers that be will never listen to a "brain trust". They only listen when charged at least $50,000 for a study and then probably not listen tothe study.

Now if the "brain trust" charged $75,000 for a study, it may get attention.

Remember, our elected officials are not smart enough (as a hole) to use intellignce and common sense. As was previously stated by someone you can't cure stupid.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

As a regular City Worker, not even close to a department head, I think Lee has some good ideas. I do have an issue with the extra Saturday, our pay has not kept up with inflation over the years, not even close, some of us work extra jobs on the weekend. As far as department heads and elected officials actually getting their hands dirty, Please! I don't know if I have ever seen a department head get dirty. Some of them don't ever get out and see what is going on.
Believe it or not there are some City employees that take pride in their job. Reading this blog you would never guess it. Instead of all the negativity it would be nice to see some positive reinforcement. When you see something you like let City Hall and department heads know.

Anonymous said...

I believe it was last Saturday my husband and I were driving down 63rd street and I couldn't gelieve my eyes there were some of the Chamber members out picking up trash and cutting down weeds. I guress maybe they feel guilty about
destroying the Roundup Days event. The person I didn't see was Mayor Bower. Don't you think after the mess he has made of things with his do nothing policy he would at least get out and pick up trash. Oh I bet he was at home doing his reading on the light rail material!!!

Anonymous said...

Lee Gray here...

And I can't believe your eyes either! But if Chamber members were out picking up trash and cutting weeds, I applaud them.

I remember Jack Nesbitt's "Mayor's Clean Up Day" on a Saturday when several dozen of us showed up to go out and help people (neighbors) clean up their yards. (Then City Works Director Gene Yeokum was among us. I was impressed!)

We met at one of the park shelter houses, got our assignments and then headed out to work (with our own tools) to various addresses.

Jack, in his Dockers, was there for the do-nuts at the shelter house but announced he had an historical Kansas City bus tour that morning so wouldn't be joining us on the volunteer work project.

Mayor Sue Frank ... who I've always liked and still do despite the many differences between us and her s----y attitude toward me ... have worked shoulder-to-shoulder on Dick's Tires; weed-eating the downtown prior to Vice President Al Gore's visit, etc. (All for no pay in case anyone is wondering.)

To the anonymous city worker (above) who "does care," good for you. Sorry you get lumped in with the rest of the "whole cloth."

But it's kinda like being in the Army...you're only as good as your weakest link. As an Army sergeant my job was "to lead by example."

And from what you've said, the department heads and elected officials in Raytown apparently don't understand that.

Look, to me, it's real simple: "Put up or shut up" --- as my momma said. She also said, "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions."

I have over 20 years living here and can tell enough "true" stories to make a number of people slither out of town.

I've always held that in abeyance, instead choosing to try and get people to "do the right thing...just because it's the right thing."

My patience is thin ... as is that of most 'regular' Americans ... who are tired of our taxes being wasted, the BS that passes as policy and being told that @#*^ is apple butter.

Let's stop talking and take some action.

Lee

Andy Whiteman said...

I have no complaint about city workers. They do a good job with hard work.

My complaint is the low pay the real workers get while namagement gets $$$$$$. I have seen job ads with pay around $14/hr. That is not enough to live on in this expensive area (High utility costs).

The City Administrator job should be eliminated and the salaries of department heads cut as they leave and are replaced. That would provide funds for the real workers.

I happen to be Union and think city workers should join an Union. You guys deserve better!

Andy Whiteman

Pat Casady said...

First off I don't think anybody has a problem with the real
workers of Raytown. The street repair people, mechanics
and maintenance guys. Given what they are paid and what they
have to work with they are magicians and I'm proud to call some of them my friends.
Likewise, I feel the same way about the Fire Department EMS and the Police.
Most people don't understand that in the coming years these people,
all of the above, will have a harder job to do when the 350hwy. deal is done. They will have to do more with even less than ever before.
Crime and emergency services will climb to heights we seen before in Raytown.
City revenue is going to drop with more and more store closings.
Property values too will go down.
I know this isn't a solution to Raytowns problems but it is reality.
I really don't know what even a "Brain Trust" can come up with to offset the terrible mistakes that have been made by our elected officials.
But I do think it might be worth a try, if, it can work towards finding some good
people to run for office in the next city election as part of it's agenda.

Anonymous said...

Ain't that city budget special? There's almost $1 million up for grabs for pork! Here piggy, piggy, piggy. Can't overlay a street but sure can spend that thar mooooneeeyyy.

Among the requests:

* $30,000 for HEALTH CLUB memberships for policemen who previously got 3 HOURS OF OVERTIME PAY to workout on equipment in the department.
* $5,000 for exercise equipment for EMS employees, $10K for new flooring there, $4K for security at the building and $65K for a truck chasis upgrade to hold a new ambulance.
* $50,000 for ANOTHER STUDY to review city employees pay, $75K for a city hall generator to be powered by the BOA's hot air, $25K for an employment agency to help out the poor over-worked administration and public works, $30K to out-source Theresa Newton's previous job while she answers telephones for $40k a year.

Where's Sarah Palin when we need her? Darn, golly gee, she could be our mayor and lead us over the bridge to nowhere. Fit in perfectly here.

Anonymous said...

That worthless bunch of idiots at city hall are WASTING YOUR TAX DOLLARS. When will you folks learn, NEVER, NEVER give them another tax increase for ANYTHING.

Anonymous said...

What I find interesting with ALL governments (whether local, county, state, federal, etc.) is they can find a million ways to spend money they do not have, but cannot for the life of them cut when times are tough. Let's face it we are in tough times & we need to do some tough calls, e.g. the above, the problem is residents (who in a lot of ways are special interest groups) or natives cannot stand to see the cuts, so we go in a vicious circle. Maybe we could use O'biden who would promise the moon and we would continue to pass the buck to our children "hey not our problem, a legacy of the greatest generation", or McPalin, the people people we consider not presidential enough because in a lot of ways they are too much like us Raytowners...
My point is this, either get off the couch and get in the game by taking action or sit back and enjoy bitch about the ride....I call it as I see it!

Anonymous said...

Ladies and Gentlemen, there has to be something you can find positive about the City and all of the departments that fall under it. The negativity on this blog is unbelievable. Please don't lump all of us together as City Hall. Most of us have nothing to do with the budget and how money is spent. People need to take pride in the city and become more involved. Get to know us. If you have a question call that department and ask them. Don't come on here and complain, It is obvious that will do no good. The sqeaky wheel might get oiled first, but with only enough oil to stop it from squeaking. The aldermen and women need to become more involved also. You could line them up with ten other people and I could not pick them out.

cw

Chris Williams said...

"As far as department heads and elected officials actually getting their hands dirty, Please! I don't know if I have ever seen a department head get dirty."

Didn't we see several Department Heads and Aldermen helping out at the Raytown Clean Up Day???

Where you there???? Greg, where you there???

Anonymous said...

Mayor Bower you should be ashamed of the streets in Raytown. They are HORRIBLE and then when they try to use that patching truck they just make them worse. If you hadn't given all our tax dollars to Wal-Mart we might have been able to do some overlay. You're a POOR EXCUSE FOR A MAYOR!!!

Andy Whiteman said...

The city government appears to have no shame. The city does not care if a homeowner has no money to correct a code violation. The streets are city property. The streets are in violation of code and unsafe! The city's excuse is "NO MONEY." What is good for the goose is good for the gander. It will cost the city much more to pay for death, injury, and/or property damage due to unsafe streets

GET THE DAMN STREETS FIXED!!

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Andy,Andy,
Andy

Pat Casady said...

To Anonymous Oct. 04, 9:10pm.
As much as I am upset with our city elected officials
I have to tell you, Mayor Bower had nothing to do with
the Wal-Mart deal. It was all done before he was elected.
I will tell you that half the aldermen we have were on hand for the deal and only one, as far as I can remember was against it. Mr.
Walters. So, Mayor Bower is still working with most of the people
that think the way that got us in this position.

To Anonymous 8:17pm.
If you are a city employee and not in a management position
I have nothing but respect for you. I personally have had the
honor of knowing many police, firemen, EMT's and maintenance
workers for the City of Raytown. All good people.
I believe most of the writers are so fed up with the unqualified,
uncaring and unknowing elected officials that we tend to take it out on everybody connected with the city. I know it's not right but it happens.
You are in the same boat as the rest of us. You have not only one
boss but at least ten on a board that don't have a clue about what
you go through daily but don't have a problem thinking they know
everything there is to know about running a town.
When only yesterday they were regular people just like the rest of us.
Just being elected, transforms them into know it all city leaders that have no time for the rest of us.
Both parties in the national election are saying "Change" is needed, well I can tell
you if ever there were a place that needed "Changes" it would be Raytown.

Anonymous said...

Pat, I hate to disagree with you but Mayor Bower COULD HAVE STOPPED THE WAL-MART DEAL, he just didn't have the COURAGE to stand up and do what was right for the taxpayers.

Pat Casady said...

I think you are wrong on this one.
But, even if Mayor Bower could have stopped it, which I don't
think he could, the legal ramifications would have been too high.
I'd bet real money that the contract between the City of Raytown and Wal-Mart was unbreakable. For that you can thank past hired and
elected officials for not having the experience to deal with this kind of company. This is why we need elected officials with some kind of business background. They have been taken to the cleaners too many times by too many devious developers and company lawyers.
Actually the taxpayers of Raytown have been taken for far too long.

Anonymous said...

Pat, SPEAKING OF REAL MONEY

How about it, Greg? We could use an explanation on that almost $1million up for grabs that was outlined above. And we could use it ASAP. Are you going to let the BOA approve $30K for GYM MEMBERSHIPS for COPS? Gym equipment for EMS? We're waiting!

Anonymous said...

Is that firefighter guy still on here? A question for him, if your guys and the cops are in such trim and fit shape why would the cops need gym memberships or overtime for working out? Same question on the EMS.

Andy Whiteman said...

Albuquerque, NM is striping Lead Ave and Coal Ave with bike lanes. Lead and Coal are both busy one way streets leading to and from downtown.

I wonder why Raytown doesn't stripe streets with bike lanes? I am thinking of 63rd, Blue Ridge Bl, Raytown Rd, and any streets leading to schools. It would sure improve the safety for anyone riding a bike to school which is something I used to do.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Yep, Andy, let's focus on that. Nothing else important going on here. Not to mention that there are raytown streets with bike lanes.

Pat Casady said...

Guys, we keep losing focus here.
The Wal-Mart is going in. There is discontent with City Hall
and all we can do is complain about what has already happened?
Fact too much taxpayer money has been given away.
Too much taxpayer money has been spent on surveys and
studies. Too much taxpayer money has been given to developers
with nothing to show for it. Our elected officials ask for sales tax increases for a specific reason like street repairs and overlays then use the money elsewhere.
This is just the tip of what is wrong with our elected officials.
When are we going to talk about what can be done about finding
people to run for aldermen that will finally think of and for the people and small businesses of Raytown?
It is so maddening knowing that the future of this town is in the hands of people that can't understand what they have done to it.
They are like kids in a candy store. They get money from their parents, (taxpayers) and can't spend it fast enough. After the candy is gone there
is nothing to show for it.
Taxpayer dollars were used to buy the old church and then the taxpayers were left with the mess to clean up. Taxpayer dollars were spent on a developer
that didn't develop. Tax dollars were spent on City Administrators that didn't do their jobs. We're not talking about a few thousand
of your dollars, we are talking about millions.
Surly there has to someone out there that we can back that will do it right.
If changes aren't made, nothing will change. Government from the Federal down to the smallest town has somehow forgotten where the money comes from and that it is to be spent to make the lives better for the people.
Not big business. In the last eight to ten years we have seen business after business, home after home be closed and or up for sale. Not once did
our elected officials ask why. When in fact it was almost a direct result of their actions or non actions.
When will enough, be enough?

Anonymous said...

Pat the focus right now needs to be on that $1 million for pork projects later this month. Let's here from Greg ASAP.

doc summers said...

Yes,that firefighter guy is still aroud...Your questions is not really a question for me....But i will offer my opinion...
I cant answer for the police officers nor can i answer for the EMS service....I know the Fire Protection District allows us on duty time time work out and use the treadmill,bikes and the weight equitment that we have purchased recently and over the last few years...We also have sent a couple of employees to training to work with our personel in setting up work out plans targeted to heavy lifting,stamina,weight loss and to work with crew members in relation to eating habits...the districts provides us with yearly physicals..we have about a 85% participation in these programs...
as the union president i would never ask for or lobby for overtime pay to work out on my days off......i hope that gives you some insight...also i never stated that we were all fit and trim...that is a unfair statement by you...i will tell you that in order to get fit and trim it calls for dedication to working out and healthy eating this is a ongoing process...which calls for regular workouts....i can tell you im not in the same shape as i was in high school...as im sure you also have a few more pounds than you did back then....
WE WILL BE HAVING A OPEN HOUSE AT FIRE STATION ONE...SAT IS THE PUBLIC OPEN HOUSE...AND YES I WILL BE ON DUTY AND MY KIDS ARE COMING UP THAT NIGHT FOR DINNER....STOP BY AND SEE THE STATIONS TALK TO THE CREWS AND ASK SOME QUESTIONS...THANKS
Captain Darren "Doc "Summers
Sta#1 B-shift
President Local 1730

Andy Whiteman said...

The local powers that be need to be replaced at the next election! But the problem is whose lies do you believe when you vote? The position of Alderman pays so little that they are working full time jobs and very few devote the proper amount of time to the position. Can we expect a part time person to handle a full time job properly with little compensation?

Treuthfully I don't believe ANY polition. I don't believe or trust both Obama and McCain. As with city elections, the decision comes down to who is less worse?

Andy Whiteman

Pat Casady said...

While I must admit another costly study to study employee's pay
doesn't make any sense nor do most of the studies done
by this city. Very little can be done without an approval from
someone in upper management. They have given the OK
for what employees are paid so why a study? More waste.
Employment agency? Somebody isn't doing their job at City Hall?

I'm certainly not against anything that will help our Police, EMT
and Firemen or city workers for that matter and, I have to say if my big
Bu*% ever fell over or had a problem where the any of the above had to
lift me up, carry me to the ambulance or out of harms way I would hope
they were in good enough shape to do it.
In my opinion staying in shape is part of doing their job and so is the equipment.
This is not a new thing. Almost every city rescue, police or the like in every
city U.S.A. have these facilities for their people. In the grand scheme of things
do you think $5,000 is really that bad?
As for the rest I don't really know the whole story, if an ambulance is needed
get it.
It's the other spending that needs to be looked into. Every time we look at
the paper or go to a meeting they, it seems, want a new study or survey that costs no less than $50,000.
All they, elected officials, have to do is talk to the people once in a while or ever. That would be a start.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Pat, I do have a problem with $5k exercise equipment for EMTs and $30K in gym memberships for Cops, and all the money we taxpayers have spent to keep Captain America and the rest of the fire crew in shape. It used to be they stayed in shape on their own because their job retention and lives depended on it. I've worked construction and no one bought me a gym. If I showed up for work and couldn't do the job physically then I could find another job. Same is true today of many occupations. To you $5k is nothing. Like US Senator Everette Derksin said, "A million here, a million there, and sooner or later you're talking about some real money." Let's go ahead and kiss the bottoms of these wonderful hero professionals. When their vehicle tires blow out in one of the city street's chugholes and they can't get around to picking up your big @#$@ then maybe we can address the important issues.

doc summers said...

Very nice..i love how people revert to name calling...The Fire District has no memebership to any gym we dont pay overtime to work out and all workout equitment that we have purchased has went before the board of directors (we are not part of the city budget we are a seperate entity) as a budget line item request and has been cut in previous years...ive never been called Captain America..i was called holloywood a couple times for getting my picture in the paper.(thanks Lee Gray)..and just a little background..i to work construction and have been a rough in carpenter since 1985. i did it full time before i joined the fire dpartment and still do it ...got rained out today...i workout more to build stamina..i get plenty of muscle and upperbody work swinging the 23 oz rocket(hammer)and yes my job does depend on it as does your life and my crewmembers...spare me the sarcasm and the poor attempt at humor...we are professionals in our field we are not heros but everyday people just like you...yes that would be a devestating blow if we had a flat...however we could respond a second truck or a mutal aid department like we do now on multiple calls...i dont dabble in city politics unless they are sending out false info in reference to the fire department or the union...i will say that the problems the city faces are like all other including the federal govt..cant get along,cant set priorty projects,unwilling to take take a stand and make hard unpopular decisions....i have met some of the board and was a firefighter when Jack Nesbit was mayor,Mr Aziere was a teacher of mine and always a nice guy and pleasent when we see him around town..Barb Sclapia has always listened to our questions and has brought us cakes and pies in the past...and i personaly like the mayor he is always willing to talk to me and i see him out and about and in various charity functions...there are problems everywhere and the streets are just part of it....people need to come up with solutions and put forth common sense fixs to the problems...name calling does not fix anything....if thats all you got then you are nothing more than more of the problem...and nowhere near the solution....as always been a little slice of heaven and i am thankful for the support that many on this board have shown the Fire District,EMS and the Police and im sure Chief Lynch and EMS Dir. Cushman would thank you also...Captain America out

Captain Darren "Doc" Summers
Sta#1 B-Shift
Local 1730 President

Andy Whiteman said...

We need our firefighters, police, and EMS to be in good physical shape both for their safety and for ours.

I don't know what exercise equipment cost these days but I think $5000 may get the bare minumum. I remember back in 1985 when my wife decided that we needed exercise equipment we spent close to $1000 and that was just on weights, a stationery bike, and a Marcy Monster as a weight bench.

Why not have this equipment on hand for firefighters or EMS to use during idle time? They are on the clock so what is wrong with using the time to keep fit? If someone is injured or killed in the line of duty, the expense will be much more. Buying the equipment is similiar to buying insurance.

Andy Whiteman

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

Barb was probably on her way to the gym at the Fire Station and just thought she would drop off some goodies....

Doc, your right we need to stop name calling and deal with the issues and make the tough calls.

As I see it (tough call coming up).....doesn't look like we need to spend the $30k or $5k on fitness/gyms, but could use them for a larger metal plate for some of the potholes that are popping up on the streets.

One of the problems with budgets/beuracracys is nobody is willing to give up what they want or think they need. All should approach the table with the best intention, unfortunately, not all have the best intention at heart and figure they need to pad an area or two so they can cut and look like they actually did give something up. What would be interesting is to do a budget that is actually built off of what is actually received versus projected based upon fluffy projections. Instead of complaining of not having enough resources to complete a project, become a problem solver and influencer to get the job(s)/project(s) complete.

Have a great day ya'all and smile because God Loves You!

Pat Casady said...

Anonymous 7:47,
I wish you had the courage print your name. It's hard to understand
your points when you won't even sign your name.
However, I may have not made my feelings clearly. Yes, I'm all for
the Police, Fire and EMS departments. Also the city workers.
I am not for wasting taxpayer dollars either.
The only survey I would have welcomed the taxpayers paying for
would have been the one that never happened. That would be a
survey that would have told the all knowing, elected officials what the
Wal-Mart deal will do to this town before they signed the deal.
What we have been talking about the last couple of days is nothing
compared to the millions and millions of dollars they have given away
and what consequences will follow.
Raytown, I feel, is going to left with a lot of vacant business buildings
and houses because of this blunder. Crime will be on the rise and so
will the need for raising taxes again.
As for anything not having to do with the above services.......enough!
If the people at City Hall can't do their jobs get people in there that can.
They don't need another survey to tell them this.
I've got a survey for them, everybody I have talked to want at least
eight new faces on the Board of Aldermen. The only problem is getting
the people out, to vote these people out.

doc summers said...

just so you know..barb schlapia brought those pies and cakes after her house was struck by lightning..which started a small fire which we were able to put out rather fast....that was her thanking us for doing a good job.. and we did not even have a workout area then...the weights were in the day room by the tv because we had nowhere to set them up....i would be more worried what police and ems pay is.....compared to other cities..gym memeberships might be a small price to pay to keep good officers and paramedics..just another thought and again i dont speak for the police or ems...i only speak on behalf of the fire union...instead of captain america can i be frank castle you know the punisher?....:)
capt doc summers
sta#1 b-shift
local 1730 president

doc summers said...

just so you know..barb schlapia brought those pies and cakes after her house was struck by lightning..which started a small fire which we were able to put out rather fast....that was her thanking us for doing a good job.. and we did not even have a workout area then...the weights were in the day room by the tv because we had nowhere to set them up....i would be more worried what police and ems pay is.....compared to other cities..gym memeberships might be a small price to pay to keep good officers and paramedics..just another thought and again i dont speak for the police or ems...i only speak on behalf of the fire union...instead of captain america can i be frank castle you know the punisher?....:)
capt doc summers
sta#1 b-shift
local 1730 president

doc summers said...

just so you know..barb schlapia brought those pies and cakes after her house was struck by lightning..which started a small fire which we were able to put out rather fast....that was her thanking us for doing a good job.. and we did not even have a workout area then...the weights were in the day room by the tv because we had nowhere to set them up....i would be more worried what police and ems pay is.....compared to other cities..gym memeberships might be a small price to pay to keep good officers and paramedics..just another thought and again i dont speak for the police or ems...i only speak on behalf of the fire union...instead of captain america can i be frank castle you know the punisher?....:)
capt doc summers
sta#1 b-shift
local 1730 president

Anonymous said...

sorry about the multiple posts...got happy fingers

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Andy Whiteman said...

Doc, I have had trouble with multiple posts when the server is slow. I am the impatient type and keep clicking. If you want you can delete by making a blank post with e few "xxx" or whatever, click submit. You are logged in and click the trash can on the post you want to delete as well as the blank post.

I also think the Police as well as other city employess are underpaid. I had no idea what EMS makes until it was stated at the BOA last night. It isn't a living wage! These people are obviously dedicated and deserve some perks if we want to retain them.

I suggest a workout room at City Hall for police use as well as any other city employee who wants to use it. Part of the custodian's time could be used for clean up. Public Works could handle maintenance. I think this would be a savings over gym memberships and more a more convenient location to use before work, after work, or on breaks.

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...

PS. Many companies are providing a gym at the work site. This is nothing new. It keeps emplyees more productive saves on health care costs if employees use it.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Yep Andy but let's not spend any tax dollars on kids' after school sports. Wouldn't want them to stay healthy or out of trouble. Instead lets spend it on adults whose jobs require physical ability that they should be responsible for without tax dollars.

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

After school sports is not for ALL kids. It is basically limited to the physically elite or a chosen few. Sports is a parental responsibility if their kids want to participate. Again I point out it is not for all but only a few. I have no objection to taxpayers providing a gym for ALL kids and not only a chosen few as are sports. If sports are necessary let it be financed by admission fees as are professional sports.

Anon 3:07 PM, you are comparing apples and oranges. If a firefighter, EMT, or policeman is injured on duty; it becomes a taxpayer's expense. If a kid it hurt playing sports, it is parental responsibility, not taxpayer responsibility unless the school is negligent.

I say provide the basics, namely a gym. Anything more is parental responsibility or the kids can earn money to pay for it. I am suggesting only the bare minuimum for city workers. I bet that if the gym is open after school or weekends, it would have very little use.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Let's fix Raytown????????

Pat Casady said...

Let's fix Raytown.
I wish we could fix Raytown but I don't think there is enough
time to do that.
Let's face facts. Our elected officials although with good intentions,
I hope, have financially crippled the town. It takes tax dollars to fix streets, sidewalks and so on. They knew they had an employee in
a position that was preventing new businesses to come to town and
running off existing businesses and did nothing about it. This is where Raytown will have to get it's tax money after the giveaway deal on 350hwy.
Raytown should have welcomed new small businesses and helped
existing businesses instead they turned away from the problem.
This went on for over eight years that I know of. Some of the elected officials faces changed and still nothing changed. Business after business left for other towns, town that welcomed them.
I can't prove it but I'd be willing to bet that he and the codes department was one
of the main reasons the Raytown Plaza failed. I know what a friend of mine went through just trying to make the car wash on Raytown Traffic Way a working deal. They were making up codes as they went along, costing him
huge amounts of money.
Again, if our elected officials had some idea of how business works, most of this would never have happened.
I know some of you won't believe what I am about to say but, I think Mayor Bower is trying to get things right in Raytown. I just don't think he can do
it with this present board.
Remember, I tried to talk to the board on behalf of the business owners in the downtown redevelopment area and all but two or three voted to
not talk to us. I truly believe it was because they didn't know enough about
business to talk to us. Back then they would only listen to two people, the
City Administrator and the city lawyer. That's how they voted on most issues and never questioned their reasons. You see where that got Raytown.
An old church, a deal on 350hwy. that the taxpayers have to clean up and pay for for the next twenty three years.
It's time for a sweeping change at City Hall and a bunch of new faces on the board.
Do I think this will happen? Absolutely not!
We can fight a argue about small amounts of money being asked for
(it's not really a small amount of money) but, in the big picture it pales in comparison to what has been given away and what will be spent and wasted in the future until and when some changes are made.

Andy Whiteman said...

I would like to see business people and other professionals fun for BOA, but the plain truth is they have better things to do with their time.

Yes, Raytown needs a massive fix up of city owned property (streets). I question sidewalks? To me they are an unknown that varies by city. In Albuquerque, the city repairs side walks that don't need repairing to create work for city workers. (They replaced a section at my house that was in good condition.) In KCMO sidewalks are a homeowner responsibility, so who is responsible. I guess it depends on ordinance.

As most of you know, I would like to move. After living in this fascist fief, I have learned to check ordinances before making an offer on any house. Busisness who want to move here should do the same, but there is no way to know about unwritten ordinances or city employees who intrepret ordinances different from what is actually written.

Jeremy Wilmoth presented the budget at the BOA. He projected several years into the future. I really wonder how he can project revenues in the future. With the economy going south, I think it very likely that sales tax collections will be down, franchise collections down, as well as property tax collections down either from lower values or non-payment. As houses become vacant, I doubt even the lenders will pay the taxes because the lenders are going south.

Andy Whiteman

Pat Casady said...

I must admit I really don't understand the city budget or how it works. I read that sales tax income will be down because of
the 350hwy. TIF projects. However the budget will be increased
by 1.1 million dollars. Where is this extra 1.1 going to come from?
Evidently from the cities reserves. It's not said how much is in the reserve fund but I don't think this is what it was designed for.
This is what I have been trying to say. You can't give away millions
of dollars in income and keep expecting the taxpayers to bail you out.
Wait....I've heard this before. Government blows billions of
dollars to bail out big companies and the taxpayers have to foot the bill.
Mr. Willmoth "recommended the city dip into the reserves to get us through the down cycle."
Isn't the down cycle going to last twenty three years?
I know the city is hoping that a bunch of new stores will open around the W-M but, if you look at the small amount of new stores that opened around the new W-M on 40hwy. & I-70 it won't be enough to offset the number of stores that will close because of the 350hwy. deal.
I don't envy Mr. Willmoth and Mayor Bower. They have inherited
a sows ear and they have to make a silk budget out of it.
Independence and Kansas City may have had the money to finance a
big deal like this 350hwy. project but I think City Hall was and is asking too much from the taxpayers of Raytown. Remember the deal? If
Wal-Mart doesn't bring in enough sales taxes the people of Raytown
have to make up the difference. Just how deep is the cities reserves?
Raytown only has thirty thousand people and I'll bet not a one of them would have voted to personally finance this deal. Well, maybe eight or nine of them.
I'll tell you, I pray I'm reading all this wrong and there is silver lining in all this but so far I can't see one.
The topic of this post was "Let's Fix Raytown" I know I'm a negative thinker but I don't think Bill Gates could do it.

Anonymous said...

Obviously, Mr. Cassady, you know enough about finances and budgets to have stayed in business here a few decades. In doing so you know you can't spend more than you take in. The city announces no overlay despite taking in a new tax dedicated to just that. Then the BOA digs into the reserve fund. For what? $30,0000 gym memberships for cops and $5,000 gym equipment for EMS. In the real world the city would be laying people off instead of providing more benefits. But government never operates in the real world like business does. That's why Wal-Mart was able to bend City Hall over and City Hall's response was to thank W-M for raping it and us.

Andy Whiteman said...

Obviously our city administration has never experienced the real world? If I spent like the city, I would be bankrupt. I wonder how long the city can last spending money as the do?

The city needs to operate as a business.

I hope I am wrong, but I predict a decline in tax collections in the near future unless things turn around financially.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

No, Andy the city is not like you or me. They can just raise taxes to avoid bankruptcy.

Anonymous said...

So I take it that Andy is no longer supporting the pork for police club memberships and EMS exercise equipment. Incidentally, you 2, you are THE CITY. That's why we're called CITizens.

This is the third time to ask Greg for reasons to support or reject the almost $1million wish list items like those above. Usually Greg responds here but I'm beginning to think he's made some political deals by trading gym memberships for street lights.

Andy Whiteman said...

Greg was not at the last BOA meeting. I think he is unavailable. The City seems to think that the CITizens have NO rights the way the city runs things.

True they can raise taxes but especially the way the economy is, it gets to the point that people can't pay and/or move out. How do you collect taxes on a vacant house if the lender has gone south? They could have a tax sale, but try to find someone to buy. The house values are way down so there won't be as much as expected. Thy city owns a dome house they want to sell but the market is too low and I believe the Post stated it is in bad condition. Actually the city got a free ad published as a news story.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Actually the city BOA screwed up big time and that's why they got sued and stuck with that $175,000 house! No overlay but now we the city are slumlords. Figures

Anonymous said...

These idiots at city hall continue to find ways to throw away our tax dollars. DON'T EVER VOTE FOR ANYMORE OF THEIR TAX INCREASES. They'll just find ways to blow it. TIRED OF NO CITY SERVICES!!!

Anonymous said...

Greg's on vacation!

Anonymous said...

Greg
I am still waiting to hear about the solution to fix Raytown. Keep blaming the City Hall that you have been part of so long. It is time to vote out Greg. You and your cronies have no real solution. I live in your ward and definitely vote against you. Greg may be you are the problem not solution. Seriously think about it. I will provide you some solution (my thougts to fix Raytown) in my next posting.
Jack