Sunday, January 11, 2009

Half Cent Sales Tax Increase Proposed

The Raytown Board of Aldermen is expected to approve the placement of a half cent sales tax on the April 7th ballot. If approved, the sales tax in Raytown will be increased to close to nine percent. Making Raytown one of the highest taxed cities in the metropolitan area. Discussion at last Tuesday’s Board of Aldermen centered on questions of how the sales tax could be used. According to City Attorney Nancy Thompson, sales tax revenue from the new sales tax would be dedicated to public safety expenditures. However, it was also pointed out that money from the sales tax could also be used to pay for regular budgetary items -- provided the are public safety in nature. This shifting of funds would free up money for other needs in Raytown. The ability of the City to shift budgetary figures to free up dedicated sales tax revenue is not new. Raytown taxpayers approved a transportation sales tax about ten years ago. Voters were promised the sales tax would be used exclusively for transportation purposes such as street repair, ATA bus service, etc. However, that portion of the city’s Transportation Sales Tax that comes from sales at the new Walmart (once it opens) will not go towards repairing streets. Instead it will be used to pay off the debt created when the TIF bonds were sold to underwrite the Walmart project. This is no small amount of money. Up to 18% of the city sales tax is anticipated to come from sales at the new Walmart. In other words, the money will not be used to repair streets, sidewalks or pay for bus service. What it Means . . . It means that promises made for this sales tax increase are as binding as those that were made for the Transportation Sales Tax. Is Now the Best Time to Increase Sales Taxes? Another detail that came out in last Tuesday’s discussion is that if the voters reject the sales tax increase, the city would be prohibited from bringing it back for consideration for a full year. What is interesting is what was not discussed. As everyone reading this page is well aware, the country is deep in an economic crisis that is the worse since the stock market crash in 1929. High unemployment figures, uncertainty in the financial markets and the unknown effectiveness of a yet to be announced stimulus packages out of our nation’s capital suggest this may not be the best time to ask taxpayers to reach deeper into their pockets. Sales taxes increases have not fared well at the polls lately. In fact, Kansas City voters recently rejected a sales tax increase for light rail. It may be wise for the city to sit back and let the economy stabilize before asking the voters for more money. Speaking of Walmart . . . What has become known as the Walmart effect is being felt in Raytown. Coddington’s Grocery, a mainstay in the local economy for many years, has been reported to be planning on shutting down its Raytown operation in the near future. Part of the reason is said to be anticipated competition from the Walmart Super Center under construction on 350 Highway. When opened, the Super Center will have a full-line grocery store as part of the Walmart complex. Normally, a person could say that at least the money is staying in Raytown. But with the new Walmart, such is not the case. When someone shops at Coddington’s the sales tax collected from the sale is remitted to the city. Those tax dollars are then use to pay for maintenance and services offered by the city. If the same shopper goes to the new Walmart the sales tax is “captured” by the TIF District. The money does not go to the city’s coffers. Instead it is used to pay off the debt created by the TIF. So, not only do Raytown shoppers lose a place to shop. They also lose the benefit of their own tax dollar being placed back into the local economy. City Hires New Community Development Director Mrs. Beth Linn has been hired as the City of Raytown’s new Community Development Director. Mrs. Linn is a former employee of Merriam, Kansas where she worked as a Neighborhood Services Manager. She and her husband, who is a firefighter, live in Shawnee, Kansas.


Andy Whiteman said...

I would like to know how someone living out of town can do an effective job as Community Development Diretcor? Mrs. Linn as no clue what it is like to live in Raytown.

ALL new department heads should be required to move to Raytown if they want the job. We don't need aliens running our lives with no knowledge of what is going on. Why doesn't the BOA pass an ordinance requiring all upper managment live inside Raytown City limits?

As for Walmart, I expect Smith Bros, Clarks, Westlake Ace, and possibility the new Hy-Vee on 350 HWY to close and Walmart's prices to go up after they leave. I was recently in Walmart in Alamogordo, NM. I picked up a coffee maker made in China that barely lasted 2 months. I bought some yogurt at a really good price. But when I looked at the frozen food, most of what I would buy was priced higher than Hen House. Alamogordo is an isolated city I would estimate to be about the size of Raytown. There is only one grocery store besides Walmart. A local person told me they shop the other store because there is a butcher department. Well and good, but who can afford meat? I don't buy meat.

I asked the board several questions about the Public Safety Sales Tax. I stated that these questions should be answered publicly. I was not stating an opinion either way but since this issue affects all citizens, I feel the public is entitled to hear the answers.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I say hell no to a sales tax increase. The mayor and Boa wanted Wal Mart now live with it and pay the price you have created for thr city and citizens. the tax increase won't benefit the citizens in any way. Vote NO

Pat Casady said...

It's time for the people of Raytown to take a stand against
Taxes. It would be different if we could see something tangible
like streets being repaired or the city being cleaned up but,
we don't see this in any part of the town.
Instead we see tax dollars being given away to the likes of Wal-Mart
and Hy-Vee. Both nation wide companies that truly didn't need
monetary aid from the taxpayers of Raytown.
Our elected officials just don't get it. They are there to make it better for the
people of Raytown not the corporate offices in Arkansas and Iowa.
If anybody runs against most of these elected incumbents, it should be
a cakewalk for them. After all what good could they possibly tell any prospective
voter they have done for them?
How can they defend the fact that their decisions have and will bring down
the people's property values and raise their taxes? How can they look any prospective voter in the eye and explain the rising crime rate that will follow?
They have ruined Raytown for many years to come.
As I stated before, Coddington's and a one other rumored grocery store slated to close is just the tip of this town's demise.
Personally, I can't believe some of these elected officials have the nerve to run again. Do they want to see if they can make things even worse?

Andy Whiteman said...

In my opinion, the AVERAGE voter is a complete idiot. Nothing will change until the voters change.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Why hire someone who is several months pregnant, knowing that after a couple of months, when they have the baby, that they will also want (and rightly so) maternity leave for six weeks. It just does not make any business sense whatsoever. Also, with zero experience as as Community Development Director, how is she going to know what to do to bring in and keep busineses in Raytown?
With a new baby on the way, now is not the time for her to be changing jobs, espically to a job that is so critical to the economical development demands of this City, which is crumpling under the weight of a bad economy and bad business decisions by the BOA and past Administrators.
Also, the Public Safety sales tax is the only way the City can dig out of the debt hole that the Wal-mart deal and Police Dept has put the City in. To sugar coat the gross mismanagement of taxpayer's dollars with a "public safety" sales tax is an insult to the tax-paying businesses and citizens of Raytown.

Anonymous said...

So, you propose not hiring someone because they are pregnant? Smart…real smart.

Anonymous said...

The zero experience (if this is true) and not living in Raytown is more troubling then the report she is pregnant.

Andy, why were you purchasing something from the great satan (i.e. walmart) in the 1st place.

As for the Sales Tax increase, lazy people are sadists and do not mind inflicting damage to themselves...with this Raytown has a lot of lazy people...

as i see it....

Anonymous said...

That great Satan, Walmart!

Gotta' love it!

Anonymous said...

He has to get his dog Ol Roy because that is the only thing that the dog will eat and you can only purchase it at Wal Mart.... I would switch to Purina Dog Chow and get it elsewhere. The dog wont know the difference anyway!

Anonymous said...

If the people of Raytown vote for this tax increase or any other tax increases, along with more Raytown school district tax increases, they must have ROCKS in their heads.

With the possibility of having the highest sales tax in the area, that for sure will run what is left of the busineses in Raytown out. Who would want to buy a car and pay HIGHER sales tax? (right now who can buy anything.

I guess one thing is for sure: YOU CAN'T FIX STUPID!!!!!!!!

Andy Whiteman said...

FYI: I don't buy my dog Ol'Roy dog food. I buy her Iams. Walmart is the only place you can get Ol Roy Jerkey treats and that is what my dog wants. The dog does know the difference and if she is not served the correct food she won't eat it. My last dog was so picky that that it had to be a certain flavor of Iams or he gave me a dirty look.

In Alamogordo, NM Walmart is the only place open after 9PM. I am beginning to wonder if Walmart is really owned by the Chicoms?

It may not make good business sense to hire a woman who is going to have a child, but not to hire a woman for that reason is a violation of Federal law and could cost the city $$$$$$.

As "as I see it..." wrote, I too am more concerned that she doesn't live in Raytown. Many department heads live in their ritzy neighborhoods and have no clue what it is like to live in Raytown. If they had to put up with unmaintained streets and 75% of our outrageous property taxes going going to the Disfunctional School District; they would have some idea what it is like for the rest of us.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Don't know much about the new hires up at city hall but anyone who wants to raise taxes in this economy is just plain nuts.

People are really hurting out there. Making them pay more for a poorly run city is not any kind of a solution.

The city council should me made to clean up their own mess without squeezing us for more tax dollars.

If they won't do it then it is time to replace every one of them.

Pat Casady said...

When it comes to voting in new taxes, you have to ask yourself
one question.
Has any of the last four or five tax increases made life better for the people and hometown businesses of Raytown?
The answer is clearly NOT!
The people of Raytown should not bale out City Hall because of
the stupid decisions they have made. It's time they learned not to
take the people for granted. It's time they learned a lesson or two.

Andy Whiteman said...

Anon 7:15AM, There is an election coming up in April and the deadline for filing for office is January 20 at 5PM! The election is the only way to replace the BOA.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Why continue to bitch about the Wal-F'in-Mart deal when there is a solution to undoing it. Contact Steve Mauer, the Charter Commission's attorney, and ask him to do Pro Bono work via a class action suit in behalf of Raytown citizens.
He did that for the Independence school patrons against the KCMO school district awhile back and got great publicity for his firm.
If Greg, who voted against the F'in WM deal, had done his job earlier, the public would have rallied before the mess was created. A court would surely see that the deal was not in the interest of taxpayers and send F'in WM and the BOA back to the drawing board.
Don't vote for any incumbents or any new taxes. Pat is right, nothing has been accomplished with previous taxes except a cathedral to the fire department.

Greg Walters said...

As Sherlock Holmes would say "something is afoot".

Mayor Bower has been spotted at a restaurant in a nearby city meeting with old line power brokers of Raytown city politics.

Could it be he is greasing up his political machine for this round of city elections?

Most under-reported story in Raytown are the contests for school board elections. So far six candidates have filed for three seats.

Insiders say that all six candidates are serious about winning. This could be exciting.

Rumors that one week from now will either be exposed or true.

In Ward 4 -- one potential candidate has been spotted passing petitions to get on the ballot. That would make two.

Look for incumbent Barb Schlapia to jump into the race at the last minute. That would make three.

In Ward 5 -- so far only two candidates have filed for the two seats that are up. Watch for that to change with at least one contest shaping up for the uncontested seat that will be abandoned by incumbent Marilyn Fleming.

Clif Sargeon may get a free ride unless someone steps up and challenges him in the next few days. There are two years left in that uncompleted term.

Four candidates are said to have filed under a coalition with roots to one local church. Two have filed, one in Ward 5 and one in Ward 4.

Two others are said to be waiting in the wings to file on the last day.

So far, Ward 1 (Greg Walters) and Ward 2 (Jim Hamilton) incumbents have yet to draw opposition.

All in all, it looks like the voters will have plenty of choices this year -- if the Mayor becomes involved, and all indications are that he already is -- there will be plenty of people on the sidelines giving advice to the voters on which candidate is in their best interest.

Anonymous said...

I've always known that Mayor Bower would try to become a power broker like Sue Frank always wanted to be. Again, I see his attempt to gain power and pass a tax increase and more divisiveness for our city. NO NEW TAXES. Also are their any seats up for grabs on Public Water District #2. This place needs a house cleaning too.

Anonymous said...

What's with Bower and these silly aldermen wanting to raise taxes all the time. Haven't they looked around at what's happening in the real world? Many in the private sector are either losing their jobs or are taking pay cuts to stay employed. He needs to take a look at what the governors of Kansas and Missouri are doing to balance their budgets. The sure aren't raising taxes. Tax and spend Bower is alive and well. Vote these jokers out.

Pat Casady said...

The Raytown popularity contest is about start up again.
Hell, with qualifications, common sense and honesty.
Everybody just vote for your buddy. No matter how much they
know or don't know or how badly they have already
screwed up this town. Vote for them any way.
What the heck! Go ahead and vote for more tax increases
while your at it. At the rate businesses are leaving town
it won't matter. There won't be any place worth worth
shopping in any way.

Anonymous said...

It may not make good business sense to hire a woman who is going to have a child, but not to hire a woman for that reason is a violation of Federal law and could cost the city $$$$$$.

Andy has stated a fact. I do tend to agree with everyone wanting anyone who is working for the city to be a resident, why it's not on the books as such is a mystery to me, always has been.

As far as the elections coming up, IMHO, we need new faces and innovated people on the council, we have had too many sitting up there for too long making careers out of it. It time for a breath of fresh air.

I didn't want to see Walmart in Raytown when it first came in, now they want to build a bigger and better one? All I see with this is my area being overcrowded with traffic and God knows what else. Taxes? No, not in this economy, we need to reassess the spending and incorporated other means of revenues.

The people in Raytown, and all over the US are dealing with living from paycheck to paycheck as it is. Our services in this town are few, and I for one do not care to pay for another Walmart coming in and taking TIP money, while the little guy suffers.

We should strive to keep small businesses alive in Raytown, and get back to that hometown feel. Maybe with a change of faces on the board this can come about, if not I hope the the ones who remain, strive to keep Raytown unique as it always has been.

Anonymous said...

Sherlock Holmes wouldn't foist mis-direction by changing the subject to elections when asked a question about a class action suit against the BOA and Wal-Mart.
Sherlock Holmes would tell "who" the old guard was meeting with Bower rather than just throw out that gossip.
Who cares what church takes over the BOA. It can't get much worse than it is.
To Clueless above Jack Nesbitt as mayor stopped the requirement for department heads to be residents.

Pat Casady said...

This is but one of the things I don't understand about our elected
officials. Raytown is losing businesses at an alarming rate and they
say it's the economy, things are tough out there, so on and so on.
Why can't these elected officials, these board members that clearly
think they are smarter than the rest of us, see that everything that is
happening in Raytown, businesses leaving, no new small businesses
coming to town, people selling their homes to get out of here, and the
probability of much higher taxes with little or know tangible results, and
higher crime rates are a direct result of their bad decisions.
This alone should be a red flag that most of these elected officials
should not be re-elected. Do they just want to see how much worse
they can make things in Raytown?
There are at least eight elected officials that should consider either
not running and or resigning, which ever fits. They have had their shot.
They need to move on and let someone new in to try and straighten out their mess.

Anonymous said...

I would truly like to see people run for BOA who are their own person and won't be influenced by the mayor or other BOA members someone who can think for themselves and who truly has a heart for the city and the citizens welfare. Think about this before you vote next time and we may get a decent board out of this.I would like to see the same think happen on the school board. It certainly it time for a change if we want to see this city move forward.

Anonymous said...

That is the point I was making. Pat Raytown has been going downhill for years, when I first came here 30 years ago the population was bigger. I raised my kids here, bought and still buy from local merchants.

Most of the younger folks headed for Blue Springs and Lees Summit, this mass exodus started in the early 90's. The BOA has changed over those years, new mayors were elected and nothing has really changed. As I say some tend to make a career out it, what we need is as Jan 15th said, people who will run and be their own person, able to stand up for the residents and to listen to them. It's time to clean house, get rid of the old and bring in the new.

Without it Raytown will become a ghost town. Remember with this election coming up to research the person you're considering make a educated choice not a choice because someone has done you a *favor* just to be re-elected. I'm not saying that it's the case here, but in most government levels that's is how it is.

Be proud of your city, no matter what shape it's in, don't bad mouth the elected officials, you are the ones who voted them in, whats the complaint? Bad mouthing among BOA members is also a sign that change needs to come. If a board member can't respect the mayor or another member then thats a sign of bad government.

Anonymous said...

What about the mayor respecting the board members? Bower is starting to come across on the tv being as nasty as Frank used to be.

Anonymous said...

I just heard another business is leaving Raytown because of city problems again. The mattress place that is where Mr B's was, is leaving because of being hasseled by the city. When will this stop. When we become a ghost town.

Anonymous said...

Point being even the Mayor needs to respect members of the board, my post was for all of the BOA including the mayor. The Mattress Place is leaving because of the city, do you know why the city would be giving them a hard time?

Seems like that corner of 350 and Raytown Rd has been having problems keeping businesses there ever since Harding Glass left. The lot across the street which has been vacant for how long? Does anyone know the reason for that?

The sale sign has been up for years, yet there are no takers, are they asking too much for the piece of property? It's a eyesore, and the red and yellow building, the title company, how on earth did they get away with painting it those colors? Why did the city not get on that eyesore? It's gives the appearance of Raytown being trashy. I know it's not important in the main scale of things, but the little things have a tendency of turning into bigger ones.

Anonymous said...

The city is always the scapegoat. The Mattress place closed because not enough Ratyown residents shopped there. I called the city to ask and there had not been any calls or complaints about the Mattress place. The business opened and did not have any special requirments. It just did not have the customers to make a profit, but its easy to blame the city. The big bad city. Why blame the city for a business decison.

If an existing grocery store choses to close, the city will be blamed. The city is already being blamed by Greg based on rumor. If the business is willing to fold before the new stores even open, how is the city to blame. Think about it, if the store is currently making a profit it would not close. It makes just as much sense to blame Greg for causing the closure. Where is the personal responsiblity to keep the store clean and well stocked to attract customers? I give HyVee credit for doing what they need to do to put a new store in our city. What initiative has been taken by our other stores. They want the city to do it for them. The big bad city. It is so easy to do. Blame the big bad city. Waa Waa Waa. Blah Blah Blah.

I am sad to see the Mattress place close but I do not blame the city. I am looking forward to shopping at the new Wal-Mart and the new Hy-Vee. I also like to shop at Smith Bros and go to Fox Drugstore. And I do not blame the city for the success of failure of any of them.

Anonymous said...

I deal with Clarks and Apple Market and Hyvee the customer service is wonderful, as a matter of fact most of the businesses in Raytown are customer friendly. That why I keep my dollar in Raytown.

You can't blame the city for all the problems, as the above poster posted it's easy to make the city the scape goat. It's easy to blame the BOA and mayor, it's just easier to point fingers when something fails and to blame someone or something else.

If Raytowners would keep the $$ in Raytown, businesses would not be failing.

So the residents are to blame also, if you want to blame the city.

Greg Walters said...

Actually, it is not a rumor that Coddington's is closing. It was reported and verified by the Raytown Post.

What seems to escape your attention is that grocery sales at Coddington's produced sales taxes that pay for our roads, police, dog catchers, etc., etc.

When you shop at the new Walmart grocery store the sales tax does not go to the city. It goes to pay the debt created when the city bought the property from the school district, built new buildings for the school district and constructed the building and parking lot that Walmart is using.

It is a complicated deal but the bottom line is that the city will lose about 18% of it sales tax revenue to pay off the TIF bonds that were sold to underwrite the Walmart complex. The life of those bonds is 23 years.

You would be better off, for the city's sake, to shop at HyVee -- at least the sales tax from that store does make it to the city's coffers.

Or, even better for your own pocket book -- to shop at Coddington's or one of the Applemarkets.

Here is why . . .

The Board of Aldermen created a special half cent sales tax district for HyVee. This half cent tax stays with the property managers of the HyVee to pay for improvements to their property.

But don't take my word for it. Check it out by calling city hall or -- an even simpler test -- when the new HyVee opens check your grocery receipt and see how much your sales tax is -- then, go to Coddington's or Applemarket and see what they charge in sales tax.

Andy Whiteman said...

All business closings can't be blamed on the city. True, some do have issues with codes and/or city officials. But each business is responsible for its own management and ability to thrive.

Why is Coddingtons closing? I was in there tonight and they have LOUD BLARING MUSIC! I can't stand the noise so don't go there unless they have a really good sale. I told the manager tonight and he couldn't understand what I was saying. I have complained previously and nothing was done. I assumed they don't want my business. Maybe others feel the same way but don't take the time to complain.

I shop the sales at grocery stores and am not loyal to a particular one. Hy-Vee and Apple Market will have my business when they have what I want on sale. Walmart will have my business because they have things I can't get anywhere else. It doesn't make sense to Boycott Walmart because they are depriving the city of sales tax revenue. Our BOA (with the exception of one alderman) voted for Walmart. I suggest excerising your dissapoval at the poles on election day.

Andy Whiteman

Pat Casady said...

To Anonymous 9:15,
I agree, you are right about the mattress store closing. They may not have
enough business to stay open.
However, Mr.B's was run out of town by City Hall and almost a couple of others too.
But you are wrong about the grocery store(s)
closing. That's right there may be yet another grocery store or two closing along
with several other retail businesses.
These closings are a direct result of City Hall.
While it's true I don't like Wal-Mart, I don't blame them for what they are
doing to this little town we all love. I blame City Hall.
Our elected officials fell for this bad deal, hook, line and sinker.
Just like in the late seventies or early eighties when the Wal-Mart opened at 67th.St. and Blue Ridge. Raytown lost almost half the retail stores
including most at the Raytown Plaza.
These city leaders failed to remember this and it ended up hurting this town.
Maybe even killing it financially.
There are few if any retail stores stupid enough to stick around when a Wal-Mart
comes to town. But, put our small town in between two giant Superstores
and that can only spell disaster.
So yes, I blame City Hall for this. You didn't make this decision, unless you
are an elected official, I didn't make this decision and the people of Raytown
didn't make it either. It was, plain and simple....City Hall.
It doesn't take a genius to know who runs the town. It's the elected officials.
They make the decisions that can make or break the town, and they did it on their own. They asked no questions as to what this would do to this town
or it's existing businesses. Which is strange considering they pay tens of thousands
for surveys and studies for just about everything else.
You tend to blame the stores but, I know that at least one didn't
want to renew their long term lease as a direct result of the new Superstore,
and I'm sure that will be the case in the other businesses that will be closing soon.

Anonymous said...

Then take the government back, they are public servants and they should not be allowed to pass anything without the peoples approval. I didn't want Walmart in, the first time around.

Too many small towns have gone broke because of them, they eat up all they can from the city and move on. Research it, you will see how they operate.

Yes, Pat I do see a trend with Walmart first coming in as far as the Mom and Pops going belly up. I'm afraid as you said there will be more. The problem with Raytown is most of the residents don't know what's going on with the city and what they are proposing, because they have no interest.

You get what you deserve, and if you don't speak up and disapprove, then things are going to slip under your nose.

Walk down the street ask any normal resident from Raytown, what date are the elections this spring, who's running, are you a registered voter? Most will not have a clue of what you're talking about.

You got to be involved to make changes.

Pat Casady said...

I'll go you one better than that.
Walk down the street and ask people who their
ward representatives are.
Nobody even sees these elected officials until it's
election time.
I guarantee you the majority of the people in Raytown don't
have a clue how their tax dollars have been used, given away
and to what big corporations.
They don't have a clue that they (the taxpayers) are subsidizing with their tax dollars, a big billion dollar company like W-M.
All, with the blessing of our elected officials.
Which is precisely why we need new faces on the board.

Anonymous said...

The bottom line is that this town is NOT FRIENDLY TO SMALL BUSINESS. It places such restrictions on the small businessman and basically "gives away the farm" to the large corporations, who don't really even need the help. So I don't believe this city will ever prosper until these idiots at city hall change their attitude and the ordinances that are causing the problems. WE'RE GOING DOWN FOR THE THIRD TIME.

Anonymous said...

That is the sad truth, I bet most don't even know what ward they're in.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous on Jan 16th at 12:55 pm could of not said it better!!!!!

Raytown constantly picks on the small business person. C & C, Smith Bros, Clarks, Fox Drug, Raytown Seed & Feed, Crumps have been here for YEARS, paying their taxes all these years and supporting the city heads and all you get is hassled about one thing then the other. Would you believe the city even require you to buy a license to have a pop machine in your business? I'll bet Walmart doesn't have to "jump through the hoop" like the rest of us do. The city just turns their heads.

Walmart Super Center will be the end of the mom and pop bsuiness in Raytown, history has shown that in other small towns.!

Anonymous said...

What the heck

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I've never seen so much uninformed opinion as appears here.
Unlike most of you I actually "ask" the business people involved.
The mattress place isn't about a lack of business or the city.
Coddington's is closing mainly because of the drain created by the Wal-Mart at I-70 and Blue least according to a reliable source inside the store.
Mr. Andy Whiteman "the music is too loud?" Is there anything you don't bitch about? Do you realize that the entire "world" is just NOT about YOU?
Mr. Greg Walters nothing is ever your fault. You can't spend a quarter of a century on the BOA and not share in the responsibility.
What we have here is The Perfect Storm.
An unresponsive BOA and mayor; an uniformed citizenship; and mega-corporations, Wal-Mart and Hy-Vee, who take advantage of the hicks we put in office.
Mr. Walters tried to get the city attorney to agree that the BOA could move money from the cop tax if it is passed. It used to be that he was the one who complained about usurping defined taxes. Now the street overlay goes to a Wal-Mart parking lot. Is that right?
And, NO, we should NEVER pass another sales tax or any other kind of tax for the city after the games played with our taxes in the past decade or two.
This blog and the so called local newspaper along with the rest of the stupidity that passes as information in this community is one reason people just don't care anymore.
Sorry to hear, Mr. Walters, about your Uncle Chuck's passing.

Andy Whiteman said...

Anon 11:52 AM and Pat are correct. Most people are clueless about what is happening at City Hall. That is demostrated by the small turnout at city elections.

As for the loud music, maybe it bothers others who don't take the time to complain. They just don't come back. I happen to be disabled and the music is so distracting that I can't remember what I want or get the wrong item. Coddingtons is supposed to be a grocery store--not a disco. Bank of America ignored my complaints until they got nailed for copywrite violation according to the manager. I read in the Red Star that a restaraunt in Waldo also got nailed for not paying the artist. Circuit City also had LOUD, BLARING MUSIC and they are going out of business. Maybe the way they treat customers has something to do with it.

I am sad to see Coddingtons go. They are one of the reasons I bought my house here, but they should listen to customer complaints. I can't understand why Anon 9:17PM says they are closing because of the Walmart on I-70 & Blue Ridge but the Walmart on Hillcrest didn't make a difference in Coddington's business. I would go to the Walmart on Hillcrest but not the Walmart on 70 Interstate & Blue Ridge. Why does onr Walmart make a difference while another one doesn't matter? I judge then to be equaldistant.

Andy Whiteman

Pat Casady said...

To Anonymous 9:17
You make some good points but yet, you don't sign your name.
Why is that? I'm not putting you down, just curious.
Some who write on this may very well be misinformed but in their
defense or ours this city government seems to make a point of not
informing the people of what goes on.
As I have said many times before, our elected officials don't
and won't talk to the people.
Do you really think this bunch would have gotten the OK to give away
18% of the cities income to Wal-Mart? Do you think if the people knew
their tax dollars are building the new Wal-Mart site that will
sink this town they would have agreed with it?
None of this would have happened if only some communication would
have been made with the people. Questions asked. Our elected officials made a business
decision without any knowledge of how business works.

So yes there may be some gossip and rumors on this site, but
having a board that won't talk to anyone but their friends, which are telling
them what a great job they are doing, they will never know how
the people really feel.
That is why the only way the people can tell them how well they are doing
is at election time.
I just hope they hear it loud and clear this time.

Greg Walters said...

To 9:17:

Actually, what you wrote is very accurate. HyVee and Walmart both get a tax abatement in the form of a "freeze" on the taxable value of their property.

Walmart captures the sales tax collected at its store that would normally go to the city. Instead the money is used to pay off the 23 year TIF to finance the Walmart project.

That sales tax includes the Transportation Sales Tax that was promised to be used on street maintenance.

The only thing you got wrong was when you wrote "Mr. Walters tried to get the city attorney to agree that the BOA could move money from the cop tax if it is passed."

Not so -- The city attorney was very clear in her responses to questions about the sales tax. In fact the recommendation from city staff clearly outlines the freeing up of money for the sales tax dollars.

See page 7 of the power point presentation by the Raytown Police Department -- I quote . . .

"The PSST will also fund the Traffic Enforcement unit to provide relief to the stressed General Operating Budget."

Or, you can go to city hall and ask for either an audio or video tape of the meeting.

What I did write in my blog this week was the following:

What it Means . . .

It means that promises made for this sales tax increase are as binding as those that were made for the Transportation Sales Tax.

As for my 25 years of service and shared responsibility. A very broad statement painted with a very broad brush.

I have a good record in my service at city hall and am proud of it. Let's talk specifics . . . ok?

Thank you for the kind words about my Uncle Charles. He was a good man.

Anonymous said...

Since many of our elected officials are using bad judgement, makes one wonder, are they morons or is there money under the table?

Anonymous said...

When Greg is going to tell you all that only little portion of the TIF money went to Wal-mart's public improvement and major portion went towards the school district and other expense.

Anonymous said...

Let's pray that no one runs against Greg and next time elect him our Mayor.
"Greg for Mayor"

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't be very interesting if no one else were to run now would it? There will always be someone who will be willing to run.

Why on earth anyone would want to is beyond me, it would just be a big headache to me.

As I said before, know the candidates and vote for whom you feel will do the best job, if there isn't any running mates, then we're really in trouble.

Anonymous said...

If it would be a headache then Greg would not run again. He has been doing it for years and having fun....
No one in this town or his ward...????

Anonymous said...

That's an interesting comment about the school district receiving most of the money from the TIF and the claim that Walmart received very little.

Better backup and look at the big picture. If the Walmart was not being built then there would not have been so much money spent on the school district, would there?

Anonymous said...

I have struggled if I should run or not for my ward...I have bounced the 'headache, safety, public eye for criticism' against we need to get something done and I am sick of watching the town I call home go down the tubes.

The fact is if I do not run and sit on the sidelines then I am nothing more than an armchair spectator who can shut the television off if my team is losing or I do not like what is going on...but the fact remains that the team I go for or what is happening in the world still happens...many think they can run from it and it will not affect them..maybe in terms of our pitiful football team but not when we see our paychecks become smaller and smaller due to incompetence, pork barrel and a lack of vision...

So the big question for posters, lurkers, armchair commentators is, what will it take to get you out to run or be more active? Is it money or do we need to come in and take your homes away?

Anonymous said...

I'm very active and know what's going on. I don't think anyone should have an opinion if they are not informed.

I keep active in all levels of government, I feel an informed citizen is a asset to his country, state and city. One who boo-hoo's and does nothing about it deserves what they get. The people are the government, and you get what you put in. That's why we have the right to vote, it may seem trivial to some but it one of the most powerful rights you can use it.

Anonymous said...

If you are planning to run then don't wait because the time is runnig out. Tuesday at 5:00 PM
Any one want to run for ward 1....

Anonymous said...

You fools are wasting your time filing someone against Greg. He's the only one who ever asks any questions. Your government would be conducted entirely in secret if it wasn't for him.

Andy Whiteman said...

I feel like Greg represents everyone, not just those in his ward especially on the big issues like Walmart, street lights, paving, and expenditure of money.

If anyone runs against him, I don't think they have a chance.

I would support him for mayor as long as he agrees not to pursue BSL, but I won't be here in 2 years.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

January 17 at 9:47pm,

You absolutlely right, none of you would really have a clue if it were not for Greg. He is the only one who is willing to ask questions and he is the only one that is willing to put himself on the line so that all of us know what is going on at city hall. If it were not for him, we would never know why or how these people vote or what they are voting on and how they spend our money. You may not like him but you don't ever have to guess what he is thinking because he lays it all out there. The reason he does that is so that we the citizens and the bank rollers of this city know wnat going on. If people would just listen once in a while for the reason he asks these questions you would find out he is asking for you because you can't. This board and the last one did not and do not want you to know about everything that is going on.

Mayor bower apparently does not know how really bad he looks on camera when he tries to shut Greg up. He looks like a bully. When he does that he shows that he doesn't want the public to know what is going on. I thought that Bower might be good for Raytown. I am sorry I voted for him every time I watch the meetings. He is almost as bad as Frank was.

Anonymous said...

I think Greg is the biggest problem this town has. Now if you believe what he says then good luck. Mayor does right thing to shut him because he is the MAYOR.
Greg's dream of becoming Mayor will never come true.

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

I doubt Greg will run for Mayor again. Greg told me that after such a lopsided result it would be difficult to justify the expense and time for another effort.

With people as dedicated in their hate as the previous blogger, I can see why he feels that way.

Anonymous said...

Well it requires someone to have broader vision then narrow minded thinking to become the Mayor which requires communitywide support. Learn from the past that Greg has only handful of issue.

Anonymous said...

Wow! 10:40 sure said a mouthful there.

Actually, Greg seems to have a very good grasp of the economic issues of this town. Something the others up there don't seemt to be able to grasp.

I bet your one of those guys who would complain if greg found a cure for cancer.

Talk about small minded and petty!!!

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't the BOA pass an ordinance requiring all upper managment live inside Raytown City limits?

Because no serious professional would risk moving to a dying community which means Raytown could not hire the professionalism it desperately needs. The last few Raytown residents in charge should be proof enough why outsiders are needed to fix the problems they created...

Anonymous said...

Does anyone understand what the public safety sales tax is really going towads if passed? Most of you people on the forum seem to think that the city will line it's pockets with the money to compesate for the Wal-Mart tax break. I thought that the "PUBLIC SAFETY SALES TAX" was for "PUBLIC SAFETY". You know for the police and EMS departments to better serve and protect the community. Hey, if you people don't need better protection and better serice then by all means vote no.

George L. Scheil said...

Someone should take a look at 53rd St. near the north city limits. Lately the Brooking Cemetary has demolished the house to open more space, as well as constructing new buildinngs with curbs. Across the street,that concern has completed a large addition to their building. Also, new curbs & sidewalks. Things are looking up to us on 53rd.

Anonymous said...

It is sad when a Mayor plays up on being a project manager and understanding how to run a business. After all if like myself I am sure you have heard him refer to himself as the "Big Dog".

Well, it is time the "Big Dog" stops chasing the big stick AKA "Box Stores" and have us giving away our tax dollars to get them to build a bigger store in our city. He might be in the business of building bigger and better stadiums. However, we are small land locked community. We were incorporated by the foresight of several small business owners and it is about time we get back to basics and start working with the small business owners.

Since he has taken office more and more business are closing up. Many will feel I am being to hard on the mayor, as we all know that we as a nation are facing hard economic times. However, then why is he supporting the sales tax increase? Would you vote for any tax increase if you lost your job or if you don’t know from day to day if you have a job? Could it be a sense of guilt for the tax dollars he has help to give away to Wal-Mart. Not to mention helping one of his supporters get a tax break for painting their building. Last time I check with neighborhood services there is a code to keep your home / business painted. Does this translate to tax breaks to all of us for painting our homes and or business? Let’s get real! We all know it is because this was a business. However, I am sure I am not alone in wanting to know how a real estate business brings about revenue to the city. All I can say is I believe we all have one real estate company in Raytown that we don’t want to use not that boycotting works.

Has he done the math to figure out how many police officer positions could have been created he not support giving in to corporate welfare? Wait that would mean our hard working associates at city hall would have to focus on more then one thing at. Gee, did I just answer the question we all have why he keeps waiting all of these studies? I am guessing he doesn’t drive by Wal-Mart that often and count the number of times we have at least one police officer out of service due to some issue at Wal-Mart. So we the taxpayers have to wait on service long as corporate America is covered. Maybe this is why he supports the tax increase, but wait doesn’t the power point presentation say the actual officers would be assigned to traffic. Maybe we are working our way through this and the public safety sales takes is to put more traffic officers on the street. They would address public safety issues related to traffic and is that not must often do by tickets that generate revenue. The revenue from the tickets could them be used to hire more officers. We could just do this now and get the same results and not increase taxes on our hard working citizens. Wait this would mean our officers would have to start enforcing traffic laws and not give away warning like they do today.

Enough food for thought. I just hope that my fellow citizen wake up before our fine mayor drives more tax dollars to other committees.

Anonymous said...

I agree with others and you can call us whatever you like, uninformed, uneducated(although I have three undergraduate degrees and have lived all over the world)...I'll be voting "NO" to any tax increases in Raytown now or in the future. This city and it's officials need to pull their heads out of their rears and work to make this city better like our neighbors Lee's Summit. Their downtown is thriving and has some nice local establishments to eat, drink and shop as well as a multiple nice developments for people to live. How about building a nice high school to replace the antiquated building my great grandfather might have attended, let's look at some of the Kansas School Districts with their amazing technology and test scores for models, not the Independence Schools that we so closely resemble.

This city and it's council members talk about doing a lot of things and then they throw money at Walmart to build a new trash infested sewer of a store. I live in one of the nicest developments in Raytown, which could have really spawned further nice developments had the city thought about investing in the city and not keeping Walmart happy.

If you want local businesses to survive, you have to create an enviornment which helps them thrive and the answer when Walmart said, "We're going to close our store in Raytown," should have been "Thank You!" Hell, last time I looked there is one 5 minutes from here.
This council doesn't seem to know much about anything except building little ridiculous parks on the corner of Raytown Rd. and 63rd streets and throwing money at corporations to rape our small businesses.
I challenge the members of City Council to do something productive in 2009, help create a positive environment for local businesses, encourage builders to build more Crescent Creek type subdivisions that make Raytown look nicer, demolish that antiquated high school(and other schools for that matter) and build something that people will be proud to have their children attend. For God and our children's sake, do something right and maybe you'll deserve to have a 9% sales tax, but for now I encourage everyone to vote absolutely NOT for any increases, especially when our revenue goes to Walmart.