Sunday, September 21, 2008

Smoking Ban on the Horizon?

Eighteen months ago Ward 2 Alderman Jim Aziere brought forth an idea to ban smoking in public places. Last April he brought a discussion item to consider bringing formal legislation before the Board of Aldermen. The majority of the Board, with a nod from the Mayor, agreed that it was time to move forward. City attorney Nancy Thompson asked that the item be held off until the first meeting in October. She said she would be ready then. Aziere reluctantly agreed to wait. Now, the Raytown Post has printed a story about a bill soon to come before the Board of Aldermen about a smoking ban. But will it? Mayor Bower has instructed that yet another discussion item be held on whether or not to proceed with the bill. Alderman Aziere is very frustrated by what appears to be shameless manipulation of an Alderman’s legal right to be bring business before the Board. He has been patiently waiting for over a year and a half. Why Bower has called for another "discussion" on whether or not to proceed with placing the ordinance on the agenda is unclear. After all, the Board has already given very clear direction for the topic to move forward. In the meantime, every city surrounding Raytown has enacted a smoking ban. From telephone calls I have received this weekend (as a result of the Raytown Post story) there is no doubt in my mind that there is substantial support for this health related issue. Aziere has proposed a limited ban on smoking that exempts smoking bars. Still the issue may prove to be a contentious one at City Hall. Three Aldermen in particular, Barb Schlapia, Christine White and Charlotte Melson, have gone on record with public criticism of Aziere’s ideas on the subject. The three seem to have the ear of Mayor David Bower on many issues. Recent examples include a bill that provided funding for a $50,000 In-Fill Housing Study and legislation supporting tax breaks for two businesses located in Downtown Raytown. PLEASE NOTE: Mayor Bower told Aziere that the “discussion item” will be scheduled for the October 7th meeting of the Raytown Board of Aldermen. The meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. and is open to the public. Anyone wishing to give their opinion on the topic may do so during Public Comments. Green Space Demolition of the Old First Baptist Church is said to be on the horizon. Most people are not aware that due to restrictions attached to federal and state funding for the demolition the property could end up with restrictions on how the vacant lot can be used. In fact, a recent advertisement soliciting bidders for the project stated that the finished property could only be used as “green space”. This is not the first time the city has tied its own hands with restrictions on future use of public property. A similar roadblock was met when the Recycling Committee was searching for a new site for the city’s Recycling Center (now located at the city’s Public Works Garage). One parcel of land we were extremely interested in was the large parking lot at the city’s public swimming pool, Super Splash. It was accessible, with plenty of room, and could easily by secured during the evening at the one entrance to the facility. Upon investigation we found that the since federal funds were used to build the facility, it was not available for use as a recycling center. As Chairman of the Committee, I explored ways to circumvent the federal rule. The agency that oversees the compliance of cash grants is actually managed by the State of Missouri. The ban could be lifted, but only for a temporary purpose, and at an extreme expenditure of time and effort. Once the “temporary” use time was expired, the property would revert to the original purpose of the grant. Look for the “green space” in Downtown Raytown to be developed as a city park with an outside chance of part of the property to be used for public parking. Given the state of deterioration of the old church, it is sure to be an improvement. Walmart . . . When? More than just a few people have inquired . . . when will construction begin on the new Walmart? It is a fair question, and given all the attention local politicians have focused on it and subsequent development around it, one that deserves an answer. So I asked some blunt questions as to when to some of the powers that be at City Hall. I promised anonymity to the one who gave the answer. Apparently, the corporate model Walmart uses in doing businesses is one of not moving until (literally) everything is in place. That includes documentation, licensing and planning of a new development. The most recent example of this work in practice is when the Walmart at the former Blue Ridge Mall site was constructed. It was a long time in coming, but once begun, quickly completed. So the short answer is, yes, it will be built. When will construction begin? A good question that is still unanswered. The timing is important. The TIF Agreement the city has signed requires the city to make payment on the $30,000,000 plus of bonds if the facility is not up and running by 2010.

35 comments:

Andy Whiteman said...

While I don't smoke, I favor freedom of choice. Customers could voice their choice either way to a business owner. If not satisfied, they will go elsewhere.

It is Alderman Aziere's right to introduce the Bill. It can go through the process and be decided either way. Since it is such a big issue, I think it should be brought to a vote of the people at the next city election. Let the people decide.

I hope the the BOA has learned something from the Walmart snafu: The next time a TIF is approved, there needs to be a time limit placed on the developer so the TIF is cancelled and the developer pays the expenses in case of failure.

One option option the city has if this project fails is to call the bonds at the first call date refunding the $30M. The city is out the interest. I hope there is some recourse against Walmart if they don't open.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I support Alderman Aziere's smoking ban, but he will have a very hard time with the women smokers, Schlapia, Melson, and White. It just shows how these supposedly educated women are really rather backward (or just plain dumb) in their thinking. They are all mothers and should be setting a good example by not only helping Aziere in his efforts to protect our children from second hand smoke, but by quitting smoking themselves. Are these women really good role models for their children and our city? I think not. By not passing a smoking ban for Raytown it really shows just how backward this dieing little town is.

Pat Casady said...

I smoked for the majority of my life and I'm happy that eight years
ago I was able to quit after many hundreds of times of trying.
Here's something I heard from several of my friends. The reason
the new restaurant opened where the Santa Fe Inn was, is a direct
result of Raytown NOT having a no smoking law. People are coming
to Raytown because it is one of the towns that still have freedom of choice about smoking.
I've said it before, if you walk into a place that has the freedom of smoking and you don't like it, you are free to turn around and go
somewhere else. It's as simple as that knob on your TV set or on
your remote change is at your fingertips.
Just because one person doesn't like to be around smoking that
shouldn't mean that fifty people should give up their freedom to smoke.
It never ceases to amaze me as to what band wagon our politicians
will hitch their wagon to.
This town is falling apart around them and smoking is the big deal
they have to worry about. Maybe it's the only thing they understand,
and that's because other cities have done it before them.

I listen to a radio station that is out of Columbia MO. and one of their commercials for a bar and restaurant they advertise the fact that smoking is allowed.
On the "Green area" I think this is kind of funny. Raytown is getting what is has given prospective new business owners for many years. Telling
them what they can and can't do with their own property and how to
do business. That is, if you are not a big business then the sky is the limit.

Andy Whiteman said...

When the SMOLING BAN is introduced, please give it a name everyone will understand, IE: "SMOKING BAN". Clean Air Act does not imply smoking ban. It implies vehicle exhaust regulation not smoking inside a building.

I support vehicle exhaust requlation since it is polluting the air. It should be illegal to leave any vehicle running while unattended or parking. I have heard parked trucks running for many hours.

Andy Whiteman

Pat Casady said...

Andy,
You have to realize who you are dealing with here.
They can't give you a straight or a simple name or answer for anything.

Andy Whiteman said...

Pat,

I agree with you. I think the idea it to pull the wool over people's eyes so they don't know what is happening until they are told that they can't smoke in their favorite restaurant or coffee shop. If the public doesn't know what is going on, they can't complain.

They had me fooled the first time it came up. I expected and ordinance banning the running of unattended vehicles, vapor recovery at gas pumps, and/or no burn days for fireplaces.

They covered up the animal ordinance in much the same manner. Doesn't the Sunshine Act require naming something properly?

I was shocked when a city official told me to burn my downed tree limbs. Where I come from it is illegal due to fire code, polution requirements, or both.

Andy Whiteman

Greg Walters said...

I was surprised to read that the story on smoking brought out the suggestion of a cover-up about a proposed smoking ban.

The purpose of this blog is to disseminate information about the goings-on at city hall. And to encourage comment from the public about the same.

Let's face it, the information out of city hall is far from free-flowing.

What bothers me about the whole situation is that Mr. Aziere is being stonewalled on his issue. He originally brought the discussion forward over one and a half years ago.

Everytime he tries to bring the bill for consideration, it is put on "hold" for one reason or another.

His job, as an elected official, is to bring new ideas to the floor for discussion. Those who are standing in his way are being counterproductive and are hurting the community they serve.

As for the issue of smoking itself. I used to share the opinion that if someone does not want to be in a smoke-filled environment that they should just not go to that environment.

Can a smoker go without lighting up for the relatively short time they are eating dinner -- perhaps a whole hour?

I think so.

This past week I received two telephone calls from individuals who cannot eat out a restaurants in Raytown because they have asthma. Their condition is such they cannot breath in a smoky enviroment.

Experience has taught me that if two people take the time to search me out to call about an issue, there are many, many more who are thinking the same.

Recent elections in the metropolitan area where voters have been given the opportunity to make the decision themselves on this issue.

Unfortunately, since Raytown is still a fourth class city, we do not have that privilege. But that is another story.

Like many readers of this page, I used to smoke. I kick myself for the harm I caused myself and others (not to mention the wasted money) from the habit.

And, like other reformed smokers, I have become extremely sensitive to cigarette smoke. I can smell it on clothing, in buildings where smoking is allowed -- even in areas outdoors where smokers gather to smoke on break, etc.

It is not a pleasant experience. Especially when one sits down to eat. I can tolerate it.

But like the gentleman who called me about his grand daughter not being able to go out to dinner with her family, it is a habit that I believe people could do without for the short time they sit to consume a meal.

Mr. Aziere's ordinance would allow people to smoke in bars -- where patrons may stay and socialize for an extended period of time -- personally, I think his idea is a good compromise on the issue.

Pat Casady said...

Greg,
Thanks for clearing that up. I thought the smoking ban
was for the whole city like other cities have done.
I had smoked a long time before I was able to quit but,
I never smoked in a restaurant. I thought it was just plain
bad manners and inconsiderate to smoke while others
are eating. Bars are a different thing all together.
However I think they should be required to have the best
smoke eaters available for the size of the building.

I still think that since tobacco is a legal product, it is unconstitutional
to pass laws to forbid it's use. However if an owner of a restaurant
or any business wants to make their place of business a no smoking
or smoking establishment they should have that right to do so without any
government interference.

Andy Whiteman said...

I think Greg is referring to me about the cover up issue. The last time it was called CLEAN AIR ACT. Clean Air Act implies excaust from vehicles, fireplace burning, and vapor recovery from gas pumps. I had NO clue that it was a smoking ban. THAT IS THE COVER UP! It should be called SMOKING BAN so that everyone knows what it is.

I don't smoke but believe in freedom of choice. I can understand a smoking ban would help people who are allergic to smoke and unable to eat in an area with smokers present. (But what about people who have a reaction to other substances? Can we have an ordinance to protect these people too?) But what happened to non-smoking areas in restaurants? As far as I an tell Raytown is the only city without non-smoking sections. Everywhere else, I am asked if I want smoking or non-smoking. Unless it is reallt a seperate room, my response is, "It doesn't matter because it is all the same room."

I used to work in a non-smoking building and the employer had to to put in a seperate smoking room for smokers.

I would support an ordinance requiring businesses that allow smoking to provide a SEPERATE smoking room for non-smokers and to offer a choice to customers.

Alderman Aziere should bring this Bill forward without delay but it should clearly be named SMOKING BAN so people know what it is. Let the people speak up during public comments.

Greg, you just changed my mind with your last post.

Andy Whiteman

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

Lee Gray here...

And look at all this silliness!

Jim Aziere, in my humble opinion, has no credibility, deserves no respect and obviously has no stick if it takes him a year-plus to get an agenda item. He was part of the country club group that controls the BOA and defeated the last charter and apparently isn't smart enough to realize that he is just another of that group's pawns.

And Greg...c'mon...do you really want your two decades-plus of service on the BOA to be lionized by being the Recycling King?

As Ron White said: "You can't fix stupid." And, in my opinion, STUPID are all these minor issues while the City of Raytown deteriorates.

Like the national body politic being distracted by "Lipstick on a Pig," Raytown is distracted by all the trivia that avoids the real problems and issues.

They are: 1) More taxes and fewer city services; 2) Inept city leadership by both the "professionals" and "elected officials." 3) Etc etc etc...

For the past couple of months I've been tempted to just quit reading and contributing to this blog. (Yes, I hear the cheers! And you're welcome.)

All the name-calling and venom over the stupid war; the stupid Republicans; the stupid Democrats; the "can't fix stupid" crowd's on-going onslaught of ignorance and misinformation....has left me with the conclusion that it's a waste of time trying to have an intelligent conversation/discussion/dialogue on this blog.

The national and local media buy into the mindless tripe that distracts most people from the really important issues (ie. the bankruptcy of America at present, etc.).

And, Mr. Whiteman, it is clear that: 1) You haven't had children; 2) Don't particularly care for them; 3) Think athletics is a waste of time and money in an Obese America; 4) Don't understand that a healthy body is part of developing a healthy mind; 5) Athletics keeps those energetic youngsters focused on something constructive so we don't need any more stupid laws (like you proposed) to corral them; 6)...never mind...you've made it obvious that you're only interested in what affects you.

And, Mr. Whiteman, you're not alone. That's what this town and country has come to --- a collection of selfish, self-centered, uniformed, uninterested individuals "who want what they want when they want it" without any greater consciousness for the "community good."

Sorry Mr. Whiteman...you're a fine guy...but someone needs to let you know how you come off with your comments.

From the past few week's blog discussions here, I can easily see why Raytown is in the shape it is.
I've never seen so much negative Karma in my life! I've never seen such whiners. I've never seen so many ungrateful people. Anyone with a different opinion is a pariah. But it's usually --- throughout the course of history --- that those unpopular opinions have often proven true and prompted progress and problem solving.

With that...I wish you all well...and look forward to you proving my points here.

Lee

Anonymous said...

Wow Lee,

I do believe you smoke as I have seen you doing it and that is probably why you feel the way you do about the smoking ban. I have an allergy to any kind of smoke and it is very unpleasant why I am around it. However, if I chose to go somewhere where I know they smoke (ie bars) I do not feel I can say anything if I am stupid enough to go there. I may not like the fact the we don't have a smoke ban but if came down to making a choice between letting the bars keep their smoking or having no ban at all I'm afraid I would be happy let the bars have it.

But my friend, you right about the pettyness at City Hall and small mindedness and lack of the concern relating to the direction the city is going. I want to go up there and knock a few heads every time I hear some of the stupid things that are going on up at there. I am greatful for Greg being willing to let us know because most of us would have no idea if Greg did not have this Blog. When he does make his editorials here I am sure his job gets harder and harder because they already don't like him you can tell that just by watching the meetings.

Greg,

I was in the one place today I NEVER GO if I can keep from it that is Wal-mart. I did not have a choice the prescriptions where $4.00 there in comparsion to $180.00 every where else I called. I could go on and on about the cost of drugs and the greed relating to that topic.

While I was in Wal-Mart I heard 2 employees say "we are over stocked and there is no where to put it. We are supposed to get a new store but it is not even started yet and nobody seems to know when it will be"

I have other friends that were recently in that store and they said the sporting good dept. has been closed. I cannot verify that because I do not have a need for that dept. They thought it was because they would be moving soon. I told them that it will probably take at least a year once they get started and there is NO reason to think it will be this year.

You are right Greg people are asking questions about what is the hold up on theie starting to dig. At first they said the VoTech school must be moved well they are and still nothing. They did work on the water and sewer line that will have to go under 350 Hiway but even that seems to have come to a stop.

For those of you who are looking forward to the new Wal-Mart I hope you don't think it is going to help this city, it's not. We will be worse shape then than we are now. We will lose at least 12% of our sales tax when it opens and there's nothing to replace it. That 12% maybe an incorrect figure because 2 years ago When I spoke to the forner Finance Direct he said 42% is what Wal-Mart brings in to the city. He also said that would be what we would be losing when Wal-Mart opens. So what does that tell you?

Anonymous said...

DearAnonymous, you are, indeed, correct --- I do smoke. But I'm frequently in restaurants and other places where I can't...and that's not a problem for me. I can even go without a cigarette on plane trips of eight and more hours. And spent years not smoking in the house when my kids were here.

Again the issue, to me, is there are bigger fish to fry right now.

Thank you for your civil tone.

Lee

PS. With the economic/lending mess I'd be surprised if Wal-Mart breaks ground ever!

Greg Walters said...

Lee,

The incidence of people in the metropolitan with respiratory problems is on the increase. Trying to do something to ease their pain and influence individuals to correct bad life style choices is not a step backward.

Our weather patterns are changing dramatically on our planet due to global warming. Our coastlines are changing as our oceans rise. Our weather patterns have become increasingly unstable.

Anything we can do as a community to reverse the amount of pollution in our atmosphere is a step forward, not backward.

Solid Waste Management through curbside recycling would actually lower the cost Raytowners pay for their trash service -- and help clean up the environment.

I think those two items rate at least as high as putting all of the city's efforts into attracting Walmart through massive tax abatements and saddling the city with TIFS for the next two decades.

Actually, I have done more than champion the relocation of the city's recycling center. And you know that.

I brought legislation that changed the city's policy on a four year moratorium by having NEW street lights installed in our neighborhoods.

When I saw the school district was making improvements at Blue Ridge Elementary I persuaded the city to add to the work by building new sidewalks in conjunction with the project.

I won't list the many instances of calls for service on individual problems people have with the city -- but they are more than just a few.

I am trying to convince my colleagues on the Board of Aldermen that we are bleeding tax dollars through tax abatements and TIFs.

My voting record on that issue is very clear.

We must throttle back on the tax giveaways to corporate America by the City of Raytown.

Serving as an elected representative is somewhat like running a small business. You owned and managed one yourself.

Sometimes you find yourself in situations that are not ideal for moving agendas forward. When that happens you do the best you can with the cards you have been handed.

Pat Casady said...

Lee,
You are probably right about us whiners that often write
on this blog. True there is some name calling and I don't get
the political Bull.... that goes on between Democrats and Republicans
that is posted here because it has nothing to do with Raytown's
problems.
However this is a good place to vent, and say what you feel, as you
just did. Some of us may not be well educated
but, we know what we feel, right or wrong.
The fact is, a person can't talk to most of our elected officials because they
don't care about anything but themselves. Most have absolutely no
business being in the position they are in. They certainly never come
around and talk to anybody, that is until election time rolls around
and they need your vote. The one exception in that statement is Greg.
He will talk to us anytime no matter what ward you are in.
But,if you go before the board and try to make
your point they look at you like a deer in the headlights, and can hardly
wait until your five minutes are up so you will go away.
The local paper will never print anything negative about the city or how
it is being run into the ground. I have never read any of the stupid things
said or done by our elected officials in any paper. In fact without having a true
reporter that isn't afraid of writing what is really wrong with Raytown
this blog is the only way anybody can get any information about the town.
True some may be not quite right but without the printed word, good or bad,
on what goes on at City Hall this is all we have.
Your 100% right about the "negative karma." You are smart enough to
know it started at City Hall. The way they treat people and the waste.
The unfriendly reputation Raytown has for small businesses.
The giving away of taxpayer money. The T.I.F's given away that reduced
the cities income for twenty three years. No street repairs after the voters
voted in a half cent sales tax just for that. Then to read now most of their
taxes will go toward the damn Wal-Mart parking lot.
You see negativity. We see nothing to be positive about.
I can promise you one thing, it's not the whiners, negative writers and the
discussions on this site that has put Raytown in the shape it is in.
For that you need only look to City Hall.

Anonymous said...

Personally I hope they NEVER break ground for the damn store, that store being Wal Wart

Anonymous said...

Lee Gray here...

Greg and Pat... Thank you for your congenial and thoughtful responses.

Pat you're correct that there is no local media to ask the tough questions and expose city hall's failings. For that reason this blog does serve a purpose.

But as I said before that's all the more reason that this medium should be a quality one where good information is provided, etc.

Greg, I understand "playing the cards" one is dealt. You're correct about air quality issues and curbside recycling. Even street lights.

But are these really...at this moment of crisis...what we should be focused on?

That's the beauty of democracy --- we all get to have an opinion.

As Winston Churchill said, we get what we deserve based on who we vote for (and what priorities we set).

Lee

Andy Whiteman said...

I don't doubt there are people in this area with lung issues. Has any one considered much of this may be from metro polution?

You can't legislate good health. A good step would be to ban unattended vehicles left running but it wouldn't be a total solution. As for smoking, business that allow smoking should be required to offer a non-smoking room. People vote with their dollars. If it bothers non-smokers, they go elsewhere. There are businesses I won't go to because of noise issues. Maybe there should be an ordinance to ban "music" in businesses. To me, it is a distracting noise, not music.

Lee, I hope you stay on the blog. I respect. your opinion even though I may not agree.

Your are correct I don't have children but I have a dog. We didn't have enough money for ourselves so it didn't make since to have children. They are a big expense. Also we are night people. It would be impossible to get a child to school during day hours. We didn't have time to go to the doctor much less take a child to the doctor.

I have no objection to children as long as I don't have to hear their noise. My father said, "Children should be seen, not heard." I didn't agree with him then, but now I do.

While I have no objection to children, I don't want to support people who chose to breed. Parents should bear the cost of their offspring as well as proper supervision. Physical fitness is important. That means a PE class. If the children want to be on a team, the taxpayers shouldn't bear the burden. This is an optional recreation.

I pay the expenses for my dog, not the taxpayers.

Yes, this Fascist Fief of Raytown deals on too many trivial issues of no major importance to the functioning of the city. In my opinion it is a diversion. If we argue about smoking, fireworks, or whatever, it takes the public's focus off street overlay and important issues. An IQ test is needed to rule out stupid officials/managers, but maybe they aren't stupid. Their battle plan is to create a distraction!

Andy Whiteman

The Graduit said...

I'm going to post about the anti-smoking diversion, because I don't know how to fix the problems with City Hall, and even if I did, no one would pay attention.

The Bar/Restaurant business is one of the toughest businesses to make a go of things that there is. If a restaurant isn't making their clients happy, you don't have to worry about a smoking ban to drive them out of business.

Look at all the businesses that have closed in the last couple of years around here, I don't believe that any of them were forced to close because of the lack of a smoking ban.

I don't smoke, but I don't tell others what to do in my presence, or especially when I am not present. If 60 or 80 or 90% of a business owners' customers want to smoke, then it should be up to him whether or not to allow it in his place of business. He's the one with the investment and the incentive to keep his customers happy. If they don't like it, or if you don't like it, then don't go there.

Isn't profit hard enough to come by in this town? Why legislate to make it harder?

Anonymous said...

Lee Gray here...

Andy, nice to read your thoughts...

Tonight PBS has a group of local (KC area high school kids) who are working to kick obesity and juvenile diabetes by weight loss via physical activity.

One girl mentioned, as many of them did, physical education classes...but enhanced by extra curricular sports programs (ie. cross-country in the one girl's testimonial).

Bottomline: As taxpayers it may be cheaper to do an ounce of prevention than a pound of cure.

That reminded me of the old Fram oil filter ad where the mechanic looks at the blown engine and intones: "You can pay me now (via an oil filter and oil change) or you can pay me later (via a blown engine)."

As "taxpayers" I believe it's a push or better to have healthy children. If we pay a little toward their extra-curricular activities it might actually be cheaper than having them on the disability roles.

Just a thought.

We seldom see - upfront - the trade-offs. I'll spare you my favorite story about the old Chinaman, who greeted each change in his life - good or bad - with the comment: "Maybe."

But we seldom see "now" the consequences of life "later."

Lee

Andy Whiteman said...

Getting rid of school buses may be healthfull by increasing physical activity.

When I went to school, I had to either walk or ride my bike (the kind that you pedal). I was somewhat an outcast because I was usually the only one whose bike was chained to the fence while most of the kids had cars. Did it burt me to bike to school? NO, I got exercise I never would have gotten. Did it hurt my social status? I really didn't care.

Since I didn't have a car, I got more exercise because I rode my bike wherever I wanted to go.

I had no interest in extra-curricular activities. I didn't like sports because they are brutally dangerous. Also I was afraid of the ball and not into athletic activity. I agree with promoting physical fitness. That can be done in class or one can pursue that on their own.

My parents didn't allow me to have I car until I could pay cash for one as well as pay for insurance and maintenance. I didn't have a car until after my first year of college. How did the other kids fianance their cars? I don't know. I lived by the rules that my parents set forth. They would not buy me a car and I don't blame them.

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...

PS. My point was the health of children is a parental responsibility, NOT a taxpayer responsibility.

It seems that in today's society people can't or won't assume responsibility but expect entitlement's at taxpayers' expense such as extra-curricular activities. These should be financed by the parent or the child could earn the money to participate if he she wants to.

I forgot to state in the previous post that I was required to mow the lawn. That is another activity at no expense to taxpayers or to my parents.

Andy Whiteman

Pat Casady said...

My feelings only but, the no smoking thing will not go away until City Hall is finished with it. It will pass because it is the popular thing to do. I'm not saying I agree, but that's what I think will happen.
What makes this funny to the point of being sad is the fact that recycling and this no smoking thing is taking up so much of our elected officials
time and they can't even agree on these items.
After reading about the landfills running out of space, recycling should be a no brainer. Without recycling, refuse carriers will have to charge
more because they will in time have to haul it further away.
How can we expect them (elected officials) to handle the big things Raytown is facing and needs, and do them correctly?
We can't and they haven't and probably won't.
I've heard people say "we ought to let Kansas City have Raytown"
I reply, what makes you think Kansas City would want it?
Elected officials should take care of the people, not big business.
The taxpayers expect and deserve good streets, safe neighborhoods
and parks and to take care of and not waste their hard earned tax dollars.
Elected officials are representatives of the people, so I ask any of you that
read this, what has your representative done to make Raytown and your life better?

Andy Whiteman said...

Sounds like maybe it is time to recycle the Board at the next election.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I hate to disagree with Pat, but I believe that the smoking thing will be defeated. Two reasons, Jim Aziere is not enough of a skilled politician to put the votes together to pass something this controversial and there are too many women smokers on the board. They are (Schlapia, White and Melson) so dumb and stubborn that they'll never even listen to the argument with an open mind. So Jim, you might as well table this and save us all a lot of time and expense.

Pat Casady said...

To Anonymous 11:18,
You are probably right. I forgot who was on the board. It's been
a long time since I've been at B.O.A. meeting and who is
on it but, you and I have to remember what Forrest Gump said about
"Is and does." This thing could pass.

Anonymous said...

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

Andy Whiteman said...

I think the smoking ban should move forward even though I don't agree with it. I can see both sides of the issue. Jim should present it. Someone said that he is not a skilled politian, but I have heard Jim speak citing facts and posing questions designed to make people think.

It is his right to present it. If the ban fails, that is the end of it and we move on.

I may be stupid, but I notified a friend who hates smoke in restaurants about the meeting and suggested he comment. I just feel, in fairness, all people should be notified and be able to state their opinion.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Lee Gray here...

The city suffers, in my opinion, what the president and Congress suffer nationally: A lack of intelligent outside perspective.

Mayor Bower has even appropriated John McCain "straight talk" campaign theme, according to the column he wrote in the Post.

Additionally, he wrote a letter to the editor praising the Post's reporters. If the Tribune were still publishing that wouldn't have happened --- so the obvious wasn't missed by anyone with a brain.

Mayor Bower said during the election he wanted to use all his opponents' expertise after the election.

Two of those opponents have talked to him and didn't feel he was really interested in their input. I talked to him once at a party but I didn't offer any advice because he would have contacted me previously if he was interested in what I think. A fourth mayoral opponent is seeking a federal government investigation of how taxpayers money has been used; a fifth opponent is an alderman; and the other opponent I've visited with but have no idea if he's had any input with the mayor.

I don't know that any of us mayoral candidates have anything worthwhile to pass on to the mayor. But he did, during his "straight talk" campaign, say he wanted our input.

I personally wouldn't waste my time. And I certainly don't think anyone at City Hall is the least bit interested in what I have to say. (Though they will read it here.)

What we see nationally and locally is the same good ole' boys club. Considering some of the people involved in the election, I'm not a bit surprised at the direction this community is headed. It's a lot like KC's "The Funk" and his wife trying to run that city.

I don't bang my head against a wall because: 1) it hurts; and 2) it might damage the one or two brain cells I have left.

Talking to the stonewall at City Hall would be an equally self-abusive exercise.

Thank you.

Lee

Andy Whiteman said...

I feel that speaking to the BOA is like speaking to a brick wall. Very rarely is a response evoked by any speaker. There are times that I was approached after the meeting with questions.

One comment did evoke an entire paragraph in the City Manager's Weekly Report. The City Manager's Weekly Report is no longer on the city web site. I wonder why? Do they want to make it difficult for people to obtain so fewer people will read it? Seems like a cover up to me.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Andy
It is obvious that you are stupid and no one cares about your personal problem. When you speak it makes no sense. Who give a damm about your misery. If you don't like this town then get the hell out of here. You made a choice to be here. This is still a free country. You are a moran and not represents any one of us.

Anonymous said...

Looks like the real moron around here is 10:02am anonymous that cannot spell or even form complete sentence structures that even make any sense. You mispelled moron and damn, yet are quick to pick on others that at least have the intestinal fortitude to stand before a group of morons and ask questions of that group that they cannot answer because they are too stupid to answer them themselves!

Anonymous said...

Well looks like everything is back to normal here.

Lee

Anonymous said...

I see they are getting ready to start tearing down the west Herndon center (construction trailer, track hoe, etc) to begin the Walmart project.

This will put the "last nail" in the coffin for the city of Raytown! It is hard to believe that the city officials sold the tax payers down the river to lure this "small business killer" to our community. All the years some of the small business's in Raytown, have paid taxes and supported the city, and NOT once did we get any help from the city officials, and they give the "farm away" to this evil corporation!

Andy Whiteman said...

Lee is correct. It is back to normal here.

As for Walmart, someone here said, "You can't fix stupid." I disagree, 1/2 of stupid can be fixed at the next election.

Let the voters show their dissatisfaction.

I remember one NO vote on Walmart. Were there any more?

Andy Whiteman