Sunday, January 18, 2009

Municipal Races Take Shape

Filing Closed. Final List of Candidates for April 7, 2009 Election. CANDIDATES FOR RAYTOWN SCHOOL BOARD: One year term (vote for one candidate) Rick Thode Alison Bruflat Three year term (vote for two candidates) Kyle White Ben W. Lorentz Kristie Collins-Delarber Amy Tittle Sally Allen CANDIDATES FOR CITY OF RAYTOWN OFFICES: CITY MARSHAL Jim Lynch MUNICIPAL JUDGE Traci Fann ALDERMAN, WARD 1 Greg Walters Shane Par-Due ALDERMAN, WARD 2 Jim Hamilton Justin Tomac ALDERMAN, WARD 3 Alan Adams Christine White ALDERMAN, WARD 4 William E. (Bill) VanBuskirk Sandy Hartwell ALDERMAN, WARD 5 (four year term) David A.Ward Steve Mock ALDERMAN, WARD 5 (two year term) Clifford Sargeon Michael Lightfoot PROPOSED HALF CENT SALES TAX BALLOT LANGUAGE: Shall the city of Raytown, Missouri impose a citywide sales tax at a rate of one-half of one percent? [ ] YES [ ] NO If you are in favor of the question, place an “X” in the box opposite “YES”. If you are opposed to the question, place an “X” in the box opposite "No". A personal note to those who read and take the time to share on this page. Last Wednesday, my Uncle, Charles Walters, passed away. For those who did not know him, Charles (or, as we called him in the family, “Chuck”) was the founder, publisher and editor of Acres, USA, a newspaper of international circulation dedicated to the promotion of eco-agriculture. He also authored three books on subjects covering economic policy and its effect on agriculture. Of local interest, Chuck served one term on the Raytown Board of Aldermen (1980 – 1982). After his term on the Board he remained active in the community. He was instrumental in raising awareness of the need to replace the old wooden bridge (Raytown Road) in Downtown Raytown. He is survived by his wife, Anne, and four adult children, Chris, Fred, Tim and Jennifer. He was a good man. His voice in the community will be missed. I am personally touched by those who have offered their condolences and wish to say thank you for your thoughts and prayers. Greg Walters

178 comments:

Andy Whiteman said...

Would someone who is intelligent and has legal knowledge please run for muni-judge?

As of now, there is no choice and I will not vote on this office unless there is another selection.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Ms. Fann, has my vote.She has a degree, she is an attorney and is intelligent , and intelligent people do not criticize her. Ms. Fann will get my vote and I'm sure many others.

Seems like there should be more to choose from from the Wards who have only one running. It's time change and new faces.

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Anonymous said...

I too think Judge Fann is doing a wonderful job. She's one of the few elected officials at city hall that knows what she is doing. She's sure got my vote.

Anonymous said...

JUDGE NOT JUDGE FANN, LESS THEE BE JUDGED.

Anonymous said...

I wished someone could explain to me the economical sensiblity of the Wal-Mart deal (if there is one). I see the city paid a considerable amount of money (millions) to move the school distict out of their technology center and has given Wal-mart large tax releave for many years.

Where does the City benefit from this business plan? As taxpayers of Raytown, we deserve a honest answer.

Anonymous said...

WE DON'T BENEFIT FROM WAL MART ALL WE ARE GOING TO GET IS MORE CRIME AND INNER CITY FOLKS COMMING TO OUR CITY. I AM NOT TRYING TO BE A SMART ASS BUT THESE ARE THE FACTS DESPITE WHAT THE FORMER MAYOR SUE FRANK SAID. THE FORMER RAYTOWN REACHING FOR TOMORROW GROUP SEEMED TO THINK WE WOULD HAVE A WONDERFUL SHOPPING MALL WITH A TARGET AND EATING PLACES WELL HAS IT HASN'T HAPPENED MRS. ERTEL? IF I WERE YOU AND WITTY I WOULD GO BURY MY HEAD IN THE SAND AGAIN BECAUSE THAT IS WHERE YOU HAD IT THEN.

Pat Casady said...

First off I'd like to say to Anonymous 7:10.
You are a gutless, non-feeling piece of #@%#!

Secondly to Anonymous 10:01,
There is absolutely no economic sensibility in the Wal-Mart deal.
Most of Raytown's elected officials were duped by the developer
And the W-M company lawyers or representatives.
I have tried to understand the deal but I can't. It is beyond common
Sense. I have explained the deal as I know it to a number of people
With good business minds and they can't make any sense
Of it either.
This is and was a bad deal for all of Raytown and it will cost taxpayers millions
For years to come.

Anonymous said...

In view of the Walmart deal and several failed developers who ripped us off, is someone in the administration reciving money under the table?

Anonymous said...

Some one told me that the Fire Dept is now covering Kansas City south of Raytown , cause KC don't have any stations out there.....Hmmm ?

Anonymous said...

Pat no matter how you try and spin this Wal Marr thing we, the citizens hae been fed to the lions by the city fathers and one mother Sue Frank

Anonymous said...

The Wal-Mart deal was a well played game and the City flinched first. It is my understanding that the City of Raytown receives a significant amount of sales tax collected from Wal-Mart. I have heard over 50% of all sales tax is collected by Wal-Mart. Then they build a big super center off 40 Highway and then ask what the city will do for them.

They could build across Blue Ridge Cutoff in KCMO, off 63rd again in KCMO, how about off 470 and 50 in KCMO or LSMO, maybe just to the south of Raytown, again KCMO. The city flinched in fear of losing the tax revenue, you would have too if you’re familiar with the current budgets.

The school district wins because they get a piece of the property tax which, no doubt, will increase when Wal-Mart builds.

Anonymous said...

It was a serious professional that sold the city council on tearing down the old first Baptist church because the wrong people may want to worship there. Over one million dollars and ten years later we will have a downtown with a city center that is vacant lot. To make matters worse the city council brings in one of the worst robber barons of all time, Walmart, to drive a stake through the heart of any small business hoping to compete in this town. They give Walmart a free ride on taxes. All of this is done under the watchful eyes of out of town professionals that have been hired to run our town.

Just how much professionalism do you think Raytown can stand?

Anonymous said...

Today BO takes office why don't we ask for a bail out for the city? Of course one provision the mayor and about half of the city council must be gone!!!!!

Pat Casady said...

To Anonymous 5:45, as I understand it,
when Wal-Mart was paying the city sales tax, it was around
18% of the cities total income.
The deal made on the new W-M site is this sales tax will go toward
the building of the new store, the new school, the parking lot, and just about
everything but the stores inventory and paying their employees.
This is bad enough but here's the kicker.
If W-M doesn't collect enough tax to pay the debt for the above, the city,
you the taxpayer's will have to foot the bill, make up the difference.
This could and probably will cost the taxpayers and the city thousands.
Thousands that could have gone to help the city's redevelopment, street
repairs and so on. Maybe even millions.
Where will the city come up with this money?
Your guess is as good as mine. But, with the new store going in and paying no
taxes, and businesses leaving Raytown as they are. Raytown is in big trouble. If this is all true,
there is only one place to point the fickled finger of fate.
That place Raytown City Hall.

Anonymous said...

All the bad decisions made by the BOA makes one wonder, are they plain stupid, or are their palms being crossed?

Andy Whiteman said...

How can anyone vote for a judge who fails to enforce the barking dog ordinance and tells the complainant to move? This is rude, unprofessional, violates the Americans with Disabilities Act, and is a decision based on emotion, not a decision based on law.

When there is only one person running for an office, a vote of at least 50.1% of registered voters should be required. As it is it takes only one vote to elect a person.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I watched the BOA meeting this eventing on television.

David, I will be quick to the point.

you were elected Mayor. Not dictator.

Quit being a bully. You are making an --- of yourself.

Anonymous said...

Yes he (the Mayor) is!!!

Anonymous said...

Mayor Bower has become arrogant and disrespectful. It's only taken him less than 2 short years for the job to "go to his head." It's a shame he beginning to look so bad.

Pat Casady said...

To Anonymous 10:53,
This seems to come up from time to time on this site.
I don't believe our elected officials are on the take, getting palms greased or anything like that.
I know I put them down for the dumb decisions they make and have
made, and in my opinion justifiably so. They have damaged this town
probably beyond repair but, they are for the most part good people.
Do I want them back for another term of bad decisions? Hell No!
But that doesn't mean they are unscrupulous people. It just means
they didn't know what they were doing.
At least that's the excuse I hope is proper in their cases.

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Anonymous said...

No wonder this town is going downhill with attitudes like many posting here, that could be a reason. You know that sometimes having a positive attitude helps, talking trash about anyone gets no nowhere.

Pat, to me you seem to have the most level mind, you call a spade a spade and give credit when it's due, I don't think anyone is on the take either, and as far as Schlapia, who are any of you to judge...your coming across as small minded.

No wonder we're in the mess we're in. As your mother might have said to you "If you have nothing nice to say, then say nothing" or better yet if you really don't know any facts keep your opinions to yourselves.

That's just one of the problems with Raytown, people talking trash about each other or elected officials. You should be ashamed.

Anonymous said...

You would rather just bury your head in the sand and pretend these problems don't exist? I was always told that you had to identify the problem before you could go about correcting it.

Pat Casady said...

To Anonymous 12:14,
I don't think anyone is saying bury your head in the sand.
It's just that there are ways to make a point without rumors,
innuendos or name calling. Even if a person has a personal
problem, it's none of our business. We should wish them well
and hope them the best.
We should be able to disagree, even disagree strongly, voice
our opinions, even disagree with each other on this post.
We should voice our feelings if we think our elected officials
make bad decisions.
But name calling, making light of handicaps or personal attacks won't
do anybody any good. In fact it takes away from the writers creditability.

Mark Siettmann said...

So, with all the belly-aching in here about TIFs, economic development and waste of tax dollars, I have a question.

Who here will promise to vote for the most fiscally conservative candidate running in their ward, regardless of their opinion on other issues?

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

LOL!

Anonymous said...

With my attitude I am positive that the city has a problem....

Andy Whiteman said...

Obviously there are many problems in Raytown that need to be addressed. If someone has issues with a person as it relates to their city job, the issues should be stated rather than name calling. Maybe the issues need to be addressed.

What defines "the most fiscally conservative candidate" running in my ward? How can that be identified until we see a track record? Obviously there are many other issues involved. One needs to vote on the whole picture not just fiscally conservative. How do they feel about maintaining city property (the failed streets)? If they don't want to maintain the streets and essential services, they don't get my vote no matter how conservative they are.

Actually I would like to see the city on a cash basis with no debt. When I was Treasurer of a Fire District, we had no debt. If we wanted a big ticket item such as a fire truck, we budgeted for it each year and put out the bids when we had the money saved.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Mr. Siettmann is right about voting for those that will hold the line on spending. My first question to all the candidates would be, how do you stand on the proposed tax increase for police and ems? Anyone asking for a tax increase in these tough times should not get your vote. The police and ems must tighten their belts, just like those in the private sector are doing. NO NEW TAXES AT THIS TIME.

Pat Casady said...

If and trust me that's a huge "if" anyone running again for office
comes in to talk to me, I want to ask them why? Why did they give away
so much of the cities income? Why did they hurt Raytown's small businesses
without so much as a single question as to what or how this would damage
this town and the big question is what the Hell were they thinking?
I hope you people that have an opportunity to talk to these hopeful incumbents
will ask them these questions and many more.
I'm almost to the point of daring one of these elected officials to darken my door.
Especially since I haven't see any of my ward representatives, (I use the
term "representatives" loosely), in years.

Anonymous said...

Pat, Andy & Anon 6:36 a.m. which Wards do you live or do business in?

George W Scheil said...

Does anyone know what Raytown's exposure on the Wal-mart bonds is? Are we looking at a repeat of the whammy KC is getting from the Power & Light District?

Andy Whiteman said...

Pat, you probably have never seen a representative from your ward because you can't vote. True they should ask your opinion since you are a tax payer.

I live in Ward 2. I don't ask each business I go into what Ward they are loctaed in. I doubt they would know and it doesn't matter to me. The diagram on the city's web site is very poor (no street names for the boundaries). I can't tell what Ward I am in unless I look up the names of my Aldermen.

As Greg said at the meeting (the one not televised), shopping patterns are changing. I buy 90% of everything except groceries on the internet because 1) the price of gas, 2) my insurance rate limits me to 7500 miles per year, 3) I value my time.
**********
There have been several comments about Walmart goods made by the Chicoms. Guess what? My coffee maker (the 3rd in a year) died. I didn't want to go to Walmart so went to Westlake. The box stated in Spanish, French, and English that it was made in China. I pointed that out to the cashier and her response was, "Everything is now made in China." So what are the choices? Buy made in China from Walmart, or buy in China from a local merchant. Not much of a choice except I prefer to feed the local economy.

BTW: I was told at Westlake that they no longer advertise in the Red Star. If you want Westlake fliers, you need to register for a preferred shopper card.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Greg, that was a legitimate question and instead of answering it you just delete it.

Anonymous said...

So Mr. Whiteman...you buy 90% of your stuff on the Internet. No local sales tax from you.

Anonymous said...

It looked like a legitimate question to me too. What's up with that? If you are what people are saying, letting them know what's going on. Why can't you answer why your business isn't in Raytown? There's really nothing wrong with that, I know several Raytown residents who have business in the surrounding cities.

So, if you have the people saying you're the one to get straight answers from, why can't you answer that instead of deleting it? It gives the voting public who happen to come here, something to think about, as far as your integrity and it's like you're ashamed of where you conduct your business at. I don't really think any of us really care, but if you can go on about someone not living in Raytown and still being active in it. Then I feel you should answer.

It's a shame that politicians tend to hide things that they are afraid will hurt their image. So Mr. Walters if you are really what your supporters say, I think an answer is in order.

It is nice to see that you have heart at least by deleting the slanderous dribble, that was posted on another person on the BOA. Kudos to you for doing that.

Greg Walters said...

Mr. Scheil, in answer to your question:

The City of Raytown's exposure on Walmart is huge. The bonds are backed by the good faith of the city. That means that if Walmart does not produce the sales tax revenue to satisfy the interest debt needed to pay the bonds, the city is on the hook for the difference.

This is part of the bond agreement.

It was the main reason I voted against the Walmart bond package. The risk was simply too high. In short, it is a good investment if you are a bond holder, because the city is guaranteeing the payout on the bonds.

That makes it a very bad deal for taxpayers if the income levels are not met.

Andy Whiteman said...

Greg, I doubt that Walmart is a good investment if you are a bond holder. I asked a friend who is a CFP (Certified Financial Planner) when the bonds were being issued. He said that the bonds were too risky and he wouldn't recommend them to anybody.

Anon 7:17PM, You are not entirely correct. That is why I have been actively involved with Alderman Ertz amd Jeremy Wilmoth about the identification of Raytown for tax collection purposes. Many internet merchants collect sales tax. My concern is that many identify Raytown as Kansas City because 64133 is a KCMO Zip Code. Much of what I want is so unique that it is hard to find. Quite truthfully Raytown merchants close too early and don't offer things that I buy. If it is something I need now or one item that would cost too much to ship, I will go to Westlake or maybe Radio Shack.

I bought an item at Radio Shack in Raytown because I wanted to speak with a live person about my choice. Now I have a made in China item that doesn't work and I have been arguing with the warranty people since December and they are unable to get the part for A NEW ITEM! It should be illegal to sell things made by slave labor. We have no choice anymore.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I don't think I would answer the questions from 9:05 pm if I were Greg.

Whoever wrote them is trying real hard to set him up. If is hard to tell what for. But it is clear that the individual has an agenda.

Note the wide-eyed innocent questions followed by the hard core statements about integrity.

That writer is up to no good.

Too bad he doesn't sign his name. That would probably tell the whole story.

By the way, Greg, thanks for the explanation of the debt service on Walmart. Let's hope the store gets running soon so it can pay off the debt.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Whiteman, I am tired of hearing you say businesses close to early in Raytown. Maybe because of the few businesses left in Raytown are small mom and pop businesses that cant stay open 24 hours a day. If they do ever redevelop downtown Raytown it will probably be mom and pop businesses as well. Since you are a night owl as you mention then I guess you are left with Walmart and Westlakes. Plus the internet. Happy shopping and putting your tax dollars elsewhere

Andy Whiteman said...

My tax dollars are staying in Raytown. I am working on my taxes now. I paid close to $2100 in property taxes of which 75% went to the Dysfunctional School District. This is outrageous. Anon 9:20 AM is worried about the piddling sales tax after all that I pay. Obviously you are not aware that Westlake and Walmart are in Raytown and collect Raytown sales tax.

Nothing wrong with mom and pop businesses. I happen to be disabled and not a day person. Obviously 9-5 business don't get my business. I don't function then. If I business wants my business, they need to be open my hours and sell what I want at a reasonable price.

Anonymous said...

Then if you cant shop at mom and pop businesses because of the hours then you need to keep your opinions to yourself on their hours. It only sounds like your insulting mom and pop businesses. And before long Raytown wont get Walmart taxes. By the way everyone who owns property in Raytown pays property taxes so you are not alone

Andy Whiteman said...

Anon 11:03, Can you explain why you think mom and pop businesses can only be open day hours? Maybe in your small mind I am insulting mom and pop businesses, but I am not insulting them. They can be open evenings if they so desire. I notice Benitti's is open evenings. Obviously you forgot to order them to close with the chickens like the other mom and pop businesses.

It only sounds like you are insulting people with disabilities and you need to keep your opinions to yourself.

You are correct, everyone in Raytown pays outrageous property taxes. That may be a reason businesses don't move to Raytown. They can't afford the taxes. The property tax rate may be a good reason that homes in Raytown are vacant and can't be sold.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Dont forget about the people who work extra long hour days. By the time they get home, all of the mom and pop stores are closed. When they leave to go to work, they are still closed. And some are only open on one day out of the weekend, and if you work that same day, guess what, again, they are not open. It is kinda hard to shop somewhere when the business hours are limited, thus narrowing their profit margins.

Daniel said...

Mr. Walters,

First, I just wanted to say that I am sorry for your loss. Additionally, I appreciate the candor you offer your constituents with this blog site. It is much appreciated.

As for my issues for writing you today, there are two.

1) I read all of these comments involving Raytown property taxes and complaints of them being astronomically high. I was wondering if you could inform me what some of the surrounding suburb's tax percentages are in relation to Raytown's. Furthermore, if Raytown's tax levels are at an abnormally high level, whose responsibility is it to propose an alternative strategy than the high price/low volume theory of economics the city is practicing? That is not an attack on you, but it is a suggestion to whomever the liasion to the Eco. Devo. Commission is.

My second, and predominant reason for writing you today is the recent release of the recent cycle of MSIP reports,which for those of you frequenters to this site, if you haven't read, you should. They are jaw-dropping. At what point does responsibility shift from the Board of Education to the community's legislating body to help get things done. I know the subject of education is not your responsibility, but public safety is as seen by the recent sales tax proposal. Do responses in the 9th percentile and 12th percentile from students and faculty respectively, when asked the question, "Do you feel safe at your school?" not qualify as a public safety infringement and a need for intervention?

I love the city of Raytown. It is where I was raised, and as a 22 year-old on the cusp of college graduation, I plan to return there. However, I need reassurances that the appropriate measures are being taken to improve the community, both economically and educationally, or at the very least an idea of what I can do to help the situation.

I am sorry for the novel, but as aforementioned, you are the only one I have found that offers the open-access community citizens should have.

Best,
Daniel Thode

Andy Whiteman said...

Anon 8:58 AM, I like the way you expressed that point. I applied it to myself since I am the one impacted but of course it applies to almost everyone who works M-F 8A-5P. I have noticed a few businesses who will see people after hours by apointment. That tells me they want my business.

Since City Hall is open only M-F 8-5, I suggested to Mayer Bower that City Hall should be open at least ONE day a week to 8PM so that people who work days can transact city business. I have not seen any action. The only user friendly action I have seen is that Animal Control is working evenings and weekends and will respond to complaints. They are also on call 24/7 for true emergencies.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I like that idea of at least one day per week or 1 day per month availability beyond 5pm for City Hall, maybe some local busineses could apply that philosophy as well. I also know that the DMV or Department of Revenue has Saturday hours onece a month that also is helpful. Now if the state would only do away with the MVI that would be a blessing.

Andy Whiteman said...

Daniel,

I know you are addressing Greg but I will comment. When I do the math on my tax bill, 75% goes to the Dysfunctional School District. The school district is responsible for the high property taxes. Acturally the remainder of the tax bill seems reasonable. I can't blame the city. When I was looking for a home in 1999, the Chamber told me that Raytown has the lowest sales tax and property tax rate in the metro. That was somewhat untrue because the city tax is low but they neglected to include the school taxes.

I just received an escrow shortage notice of $333.xx from my mortgage company. My monthly payments went up about $21. Assuming I don't remit the shortage, my house payment is going up about $42 per month. The taxes may account for a large number of vacant homes in Raytown. My concern is that it will be very difficult to sell my home after I move.

If prospective home buyers check the property taxes, they probably will look for another location.

Raytown wants to attract new business. I think the property taxes as well as failed streets may keep businesses away.

I also thank Greg for providing public access allowing for exchange of ideas and complaints. I saw on Nightline the community access on cable TV is dissapearing across the country.

Andy Whiteman

Daniel said...

Andy,

Seventy-five percent of property taxes automatically handed to the school district? I knew it was high, but not that high, especially when there is no accountability for how that money is budgeted... or not budgeted, but that is a different subject in and of itself.

That said, the longer this economic slowdown continues, the lower property values will become. Being the primary source of income for the educational system, the city, I feel, will have no choice but to drive up the percentage of property taxes taxpayers pay or at least the percentage given to schools just so the district can meet its budget... or at least not face a larger deficit. Nonetheless, I agree with you that high property taxes are keeping away businesses and higher taxes will not help the situation. It is my view that the only way to help remedy the business dilemma in Raytown and lower property taxes is a concerted effort to push Senator Callahan and Rep. Kraus to fight in Jeff. City for a more equitable means of funding schools than property taxes. This city faces an uphill battle without reform.

As for public access, I would like to simply see links to sites such as this one for all Alderman added to the city's website to help create transparency into the city's government. The vast majority of this town is uninformed, especially my age demographic. The era of blogging is upon us and the city should conform. Just a thought.

Greg Walters said...

Mr. Thode,

The best place for you to go to find out the different property tax levy rates for various communities is Jackson County.

They will be able to answer all of your questions on property taxes to the penny.

As for sales tax -- Raytown is unique.

The following taxing entities collect sales tax in Raytown:

State
County
City
Fire District
Special sales tax district for 350 Highway Development (Walmart and Westlake Hardeware)
Special sales tax for Hy-Vee Improvements

Depending on where you spend your dollars, the tax can vary. All these combined sales taxes push the total sales tax up with the highest in the metropolitan area.

As for the MSIP report -- I am not really familiar with it. I did look it up on the web and will be reading up on it.

Thank you for the recognition of my Uncle.

Anonymous said...

I have lived all though the states, east and west coast and the school taxes are usually the highest, this isn't a new trend it has been going on for decades.

Andy, I don't understand your mode of thinking, you put Raytown down, but yet you remain here and give excuses on why you do, if it were I and I felt that the property taxes were going to the Dysfunctional School District. Then I would either sell or if that isn't the option rent my property out, if you can't stand the Raytown community or the state of Missouri or Misery as you refer to it, there is not a boulder on you butt holding you here, so saying you're stuck is an excuse, and just something to bitch about as you tend to do with many issues.

I too was shocked to see my taxes go up $200 for the school district, which brings me up to close to $2100 a year, I'm on disability also and it's tough but if it were to brother me so much as to make comments and and degrade the city where I take up residence and not do anything about it then I deserve it, as soon as the market gets back to snuff, I sir will be putting my house on the market and taking my loses if there are any.

Moving to a small property outside of the larger cities, maybe to AR where I can finally retire without the worry of paying outrageous taxes and dealing with this large of a populous. Paying taxes as high as that and getting nothing for it is just not what I had in mind when I came to Raytown. It amazes me how fast things can change in 20 years, and you just got to change with them, or make a change yourself.

Andy Whiteman said...

Daniel,

75% of the taxes is NOT automatically handed to the School District. The School District levys its own taxes. Recently the School District had a ballot issue to increase taxes. So it went up from 67% to 75% at that time.

We need something like California Prop 13. Property taxes are frozen at the value of the property at purchase unless increased by a vote of the people. We bought a home in San Diego county in 1984 and moved in 1992. The taxes went up only once with a vote for cosmetic improvements to the main street to look good for the tourists. We need something like that here.

I checked property taxes in Lubbock, TX when I was thinking of moving there. Senior citizens and the disabled are not accessed school taxes. I feel good schools are essential but I feel that each child should be taxed if he/she is in school. There are children in private schools with the parents paying school tax as well as tuition. It would be more fair to tax schools on an user basis.

I know more people are blogging, but I don't have as much time as I need. The only blogs I am involved in are this one and an anti-BSL blog. I agree that the city should have a blog, but this one is a good substitute. I have heard city officials say that they don't pay attention to anonymous bloggers. The email address and phone number of each alderman, mayor, and city official is on the city web site if you wish to contact them.

There are portions of KCMO with special tax districts. I discovered many years ago that the Plaza has a higher tax rate than KCMO in general. I don't know about other areas.

When and if you move to Raytown I hope you run for a city office. You seem to have the knowledge and concern for the city.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Check this out:
http://www.theraytownpost.com/three-alderman-candidates-face-possible-disqualification/

Daniel said...

Andy, I appreciate your words of encouragement. I am finishing up my degree from Mizzou while serving an internship in Washington D.C., but I will be moving back to Raytown in May and definitely hope to get involved in some respect. I grew up in Raytown and graduation from Raytown South High and am baffled at the fall from grace the schools have faced since they received their Accredited with Distinction award several years back. Call me overly loyal, but I think with the right leadership and community effort, the educational system and business district can be turned around.

As for the use of property taxes for education, I understand the Board of Education levies its own taxes, but there is still no accountability for how that money is spent. Additionally, I think that Prop 13 has its place, but would be better to implement in times of economic stability. Students in Lee's Summit attend the 7th ranked school system while students born ten minutes down the highway don't even feel safe in the schools according to the MISP reports. Somewhat of a more even playing field is needed.

In terms of accessing taxes on the retired, I would like to see the state as a whole go to a no state income tax policy on retirees.. Critics say the state would lose too much tax revenue, but with the maintenance-housing at the Lake of the Ozarks and Truman Lake being established, I think Missouri would actually benefit in the long run. Florida has gone completely state income tax free and it has worked. No reason a variation of that philosophy wouldn't work here.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 1-24 9:05 P.M., Unfortunately this is not news. If you've lived in Raytown very long you would know that this seems to be common occurrence every election cycle. They'll all get paid up and no one will get kicked off the ballot. Sounds like the Post is desperate for a headline. Just shows you that these young men ( new Post owners) haven't paid much attention to their history about Raytown. Also Post has such limited circulation probably not many will ever know it happened anyway.

Anonymous said...

limited circulation, yet they got you to read it and talk about...sounds like that "desperate headline" actually worked.

Anonymous said...

Would never have known about Post article without this blog. So who's more effective, Post or Reporter? Think about it.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what that means. I would bet the people at the Post would just be pleased that you heard about the article no matter if it was word of mouth or the blog. The point it you read it.

As someone who has read The Post over the last several years I can say that it has been a pleasure to finally have a paper that is readable, informative and thats layout is well designed. It baffles me how people on this blog will act like they are the biggest defenders of local business, but fail to see the newspaper as a local business. Maybe the person making these comments is actually Lee Gray, which would make sense that he is upset at the paper for proving that a small town paper doesn't have to be crap.

Anonymous said...

You speak of this small business. How much sales tax does it generate? NONE How many jobs has it created? VERY FEW, if any. A local business needs to contribute to the city's economic health. Compare a newspaper to any retail establishment and you will see what I mean. Does this local newspaper really contribute that much to our city's tax base?

Andy Whiteman said...

Definately the Post should be recognized as a local business. I feel they serve and important part in this community. The Red Star is an area newspaper. True they have a weekly Raytown/Independence section but they can't fully cover all Raytown news unless something big happens. The Post is a family business and does a really good job of covering local Raytown news. Why not give them a chance and buy a subscription? I see improvement and more timely coverage with the new owners. The BOA meeting on Tuesday is covered in the edition delivered on Thursday. There isn't a week long delay. I would suspect the election may be covered the same week as the election. (By the way, several local businesses and craftsmen advertise in the Post. If you want to hire someone local, look in the Post. I hire a local handyman when I need something done.)

Anon 11:08AM, do you mean to say a business must be BIG to contribute to the local tax base? In Economics 101 I learned about the the trickle down effect. You see, the readers patronize the advertizers adding to the economy, the businesses pay employees aho spend money and so on. Are you insulting mom & pop businesses?

Daniel, as for the schools, I have heard good things from people who wanted to stay in Raytown because of the schools. My Realtor contacted me because a client was looking for a home in a particular elementary school area. So there is positive feedback. The negative remarks came from some bloggers. If you look at some of the students you may find the safety problem is the students and lack of parental control rather than the school system itself.

The Dysfunctional School District appears to have no financial accountability. It appears that management (as usuall) receives high pay while those doing the work receive little. The district purchased the vacant sewing machine shop next to Raytown High for an outrageous price. Apparently the building was to be used for storage but is unsafe with numerous code and safety issues so it will have to be razed and used as a parking lot. Does that sound like prudent use of money? To top that off we had an election to raise the district's take of the taxes from 67% to 75% of the tax bill! Of course the used different terms such as "it will cost the average tax payer only $30 or $50 per year." Well my escrow shortage is $333.xx so does that sound like only $50?

As for tax free states. Texas is income tax free. I was checking a home in Lubbock and the property taxes were outrageous(something like 23% of assessed value). The Realtor explained it, "That is because there are no income taxes. They have to collect the money somehow."

Tax free for seniors may help some but I doubt many seniors have enough to tax. I am retired with low income. With my writeoffs for property taxes, home interest, and medical my income is not taxable.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

The Post has no advertisers, that's why no one would ever PAY for a paper this small. Why do you think the Tribune left town?

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

It appears the taxes and fees had to be paid by January 20th. If the taxes were not paid, how do the candidates get back on the ballot. This is big news for our small town. Greg not on the ballto?

Daniel said...

The Raytown Post, in my opinion, demonstrates the work in progress that Raytown is. Before, the Tribune and Post were both below-average publications. The current Post has new, young owners with a new direction in the paper in a short amount of time. I think it is well on its way to becoming a paper the city can be proud of.

Personally, I think the city would benefit from a fresh look as well. A youthful, rejuvenating spark might be what the community at-large needs to see in order to get more involved. A more involved community leads to more attention in civic activities which leads to more people reading the local paper which leads to more requests for advertisements.

Just an idea. Either way, the Post, itself, is a respectable paper.

Andy Whiteman said...

As I said, the Post is a big improvement from the previous owners. Anon 2:16PM said the Post has no advertisers. Very strange but my issue has advertisers. The post carries the local news I want. If I want a local service provider, I can find one in the Post where they ADVERTISE.

I notice the Red Star has fewer adverisers. Westlake told me that they no longer advertise in the Star. I had to sign up for their customer rewards card to get on the mailing list.

I am waiting for Greg to address the tax/city service payment issues. A anonymous writer stated this happens every election. I have lived in Raytown since 2000 and this is the first time I can recall. If it happened previously, I didn't see it in the paper or didn't read the paper.

I did check the tax records and Greg's taxes WERE PAID on Jan 23rd.

Andy Whiteman

The Graduit said...

Okay, so Wal-mart also got a TIF plan from Kansas City to build at the old Blue Ridge Mall. Although, I believe I've read that it was half the collected sales tax, not all of it, that will stay with Walmart for a number of years. This is now how Wal-mart does business.

At any rate, it doesn't look like too many businesses opening up near that Walmart are afraid of the Big Bad Wal-f. True all are chains except the East Buffet which is the old Hong Kong Buffet, right?

It doesn't look too good now, but maybe the Walmart deal won't look so bad in a few years. Granted 350 hiway is not frontage on a major interstate, but the easier on and off of a state hiway may work to Raytown's advantage. Maybe.

Either way, the decision has been made, and most of the prime movers of this debacle have , uh, moved. We're strapped in to the roller coaster now, much of the fate is out of our hands.

Anonymous said...

Andy,
I am surprised by your discovery about the taxes that Walters paid on 23rd. If it is true then I expect Walters to respond soon.

Anonymous said...

Andy, Andy, Andy, as I said before their is always a candidate or two that doesn't have their taxes paid. Yes, the reason it isn't always on the front page of a local newspaper is because IT'S NOT NEWS. They pay up, once it is brought to their attention and life goes on. You just haven't lived here long enough.

Anonymous said...

Anon, Anon, Anon. IT IS NEWS. The Post reports “…no person shall be certified as a candidate for a municipal office, nor shall such person’s name appear on the ballot as a candidate for such office, who shall be in arrears for any unpaid city taxes or municipal user fees on the last day to file a declaration of candidacy for the office.” Can't you read. The last day to file a declaration of candidacy was JANUARY 20. Andy says Walters paid his taxes on JANUARY 23. TOO LATE!

Anonymous said...

To Daniel said: I am an employee of the Raytown School District, and I can tell you first hand the waste of tax payer money is sickening!! No accountability!

The head decision makers for the school district are paid way to much for what they do and the "grunts" make very little as paychecks. I can assure you that the district will come back for another tax increase, if not in 2009 but in 2010. They are in the red now and always will be. It is a know fact if you don't spend the funds by July 1st that the state gives you, that you won't get as much the following year.

Anonymous said...

You idiot, certification and declaration of candidacy are two different things. Declaration of candidacy is done by the city clerk, certification is done by the Jackson County Election Board. Two different processes.

Anonymous said...

It really makes you wonder who and what on earth are running, if they can't pay their taxes on time. What makes them any different then any other Joe on the street?

If you're going to run for any office you should have your affairs in order or don't brother running, if this is what the norm is for Raytown then the city is in a sad state of affairs. I personally do not condone candidates running and not having their affairs in order. Unless they can prove otherwise. You may take it as being the normal way of doing business in Raytown, but if it were someone not running the city would be all over them like white on rice, what makes them any different?

There should not be any leeway for anyone who is considering running if their affairs are not in order. It's not the way that things should be done. Shows you what we have running. How do you *forget* to keep your affairs in order when you're in the public eye. The voters should take heed of this, especially with the with those running when the time to vote comes.

I cannot believe that they would even file with knowing that they owe the city money, do they not have any scruples?

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

What taxes are you talking about? The ordinance states 'unpaid city taxes or municipal user fees'. Now tell me how if it was like County personal Property or County Real property taxes how this applies to running for office Einstein? Municipal and city are one and the same!

Anonymous said...

Just as farcical is January 25, 2009 10:19 AM aynonomous comments that Lee Gray is posting here since he signed off at the end of last year with a simple Goodbye. The poster can think what he wants of Mr. Gray's newspaper but he wouldn't say that to his face or the "crap" he saw would be that which Mr. Gray knocked out of him.

Chris Wilmes said...

"Anonymous said...
What taxes are you talking about? The ordinance states 'unpaid city taxes or municipal user fees'. Now tell me how if it was like County personal Property or County Real property taxes how this applies to running for office Einstein? Municipal and city are one and the same! January 25, 2009 9:43 PM"

Are you kidding me?? How can you NOT know that the County personal Property or County Real property taxes bills that were Due Dec. 31, 2008 went to pay for the schools, the City, the Park Board, the Fire District, the Board of Disabled Services. the Metropolitan Community Colleges, the Library, the Mental Health Board, and the Blind Pension???

Did you not even READ your bill???

Perhaps that is part of the problem....

Andy Whiteman said...

I bet Lee Gray is sitting either here or in Florida laughing at all of this. (LOL)

Let me correct myself. I said that Greg paid his taxes on the 23rd. I should have said that Greg's taxes were posted on the 23rd. There is a difference. I have pointed out numerous times to the BOA of the delay in posting my sewer payment. It is entirely possible that Greg paid the taxes before the 20th and a clerk didn't get around to posting it until the 23rd. I mailed a payment to Omaha and it took a week to be received and posted. These issues have to be resolved on Monday so we may hear an explanation then.

I paid my 2007 taxes at City Hall. There was a slight delay in sending the receipt and a LONG delay in cashing the check. Maybe the board should pay attention and investigate the delayed postings.

If I was in Greg's ward, I sure would write in his name if he isn't on the ballot. He truly represents ALL people in Raytown except I disagree with him about BSL and Pit Bulls.

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...

Chris, I will tell you the AVERAGE person has no knowledge of where his/her tax dollars are going. When the school tax increase came onto the ballot the average person was clueless as to how much the schools already received.

Most people have a mortage and therefore NEVER receive a tax bill except a total on their escrow analysis. The county refuses to mail a tax bill even if requested. I feel this is a conspiracy to keep this information away from the average person.

My escrow was $333.xx short this year. I bet people start paying attention when they get their shortage notices!

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Taxes, taxes. taxes, you all seem to be worried about the few dollars that these 3 candidates might be delinquent. Probably doesn't amount to $200 between the 3 of them. Where were you
when Mayor Bower and this incompetent board were GIVING AWAY your tax dollars to Walmart? This is the real issue that you should be enraged about.

Andy Whiteman said...

I am unhappy about the Walmart deal. I also remember that Greg Walters was the NO vote on this deal. Too bad we didn't have 4 move NO votes to shut down the deal. The Walmart issue can be dealt with by not letting it happen again. There is the election in April and another one in 2 years. Hopefully the voters will make a change.

As for the deliquent tax dollars, it is not the few dollars. It is a STATE LAW that could be violated. If the law is violated, the election in those Wards could be challenged and a revote required at a great cost to the city.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Why is everyone so negative about the new Wal-Mart. I don't get you people. You would complain if it was a cloudy day. You would also complain ifthe sun was to hot. You people just complain. That is all that you are doing instead of doing something about the problem. The new Wal-Mart agenda is to better the city all around. You narrow minded nit-wits can't grasp. Look at what the 40 hwy Wal-Mart did for the out Blue Ridge Mall area. It basically restarted it. Made it a public shopping area again. Well why else would we try this in Raytown. I don't know. Maybe to get the same effect and make this area grow a bit more. WOW! Grow wouldn't that be something to be happy about versus complaining about. I guess that you people really don't care about that. You are just a bunch of OLD-TIMERS who can't stand change.
FET OVER YOURSELVES! Change happens live with it or move.

Anonymous said...

You apparently don't know much about Walmart's history. First of all they don't treat their employees fairly and they have a history of driving out all the local small businesses. When they have a monopoly they raise their prices on everyone. Don't take my word for it get on the internet and see for yourself. It has nothing to do with change I would have loved to have seen a nice quality store, Target, Kohls, Sears, etc., but no our elected officials settled for a Walmart. SO SAD

Anonymous said...

Okay so Kohls and Sears are less expensive that Wal-Mart. Clearly you do not shop a lot. Also Target is Wal-Mart in red. No difference. Oh accept it's overall more expensive. So I don't know history and you don't know economy.

Anonymous said...

Do you want to buy cheap or quality? WALMART IS NOT QUALITY.

Tom Rigot, Sr said...

To anon. 11:51
Speaking for myself, my problem with the Wal Mart deal is that the current Wal Mart is contributing something like 14% of the annual sales tax for the City of Raytown. Taxes that are paying for the things that taxes are suppose to pay for in a city. Things like street repair, public improvements and such. The deal offered to the new Wal Mart sends that same sales tax to pay for the building of the new Wal Mart or something to that effect for the next 21 or 22 years. So Raytown will lose something like 12% percent of it's annual income for the next 2 decades or so, funds that would have gone to infrastructure maintenance or improvements is now paying for the building of the new Wal Mart. Shopping there will do nothing for my local community. Sure it will be nice to pick things up just 5 minutes from my home instead of driving to Lees Summit but shopping at Wal Mart does not put any sales tax revenue in the Raytown tax coffers. Who is going to make up that loss of income? Mr. Pat Casady has explained this point several times on this blog a lot clearer than me. What was Wal Mart offered when they built in Lees Summit, Independence or the old Blue Ridge Mall? I'm all for giving up a little incentive to bring on new business but giving away everything for 2 decades doesn't seem logical to me. Again, this is just my opinion!

Anonymous said...

Either way Wal-Mart would be contributing nothing in taxes. If they left they would contribute nothing which is what they said they would do if they didn't get the tax breaks for their new store.
I hate Wal-Mart as much as the next guy and blame them for this mess, not the city. The city took a bad situation and tried to salvage at least some positive out of it by hoping to encourage development.

Anonymous said...

Why not just let the city default, go bankrupt and let Wal-Mart eat grass?

Daniel said...

Anon. School District Employee,
I agree with you that tax payer dollars are being misplaced and more accountability and oversight financially is needed. That is actually why I talked my father into running for school board for the one year term. He is a retired "Big 4" accountant of 32 years. I think the board does have some strengths to it with the educators/parents currently serving, but I believe a financial perspective could bring some balance to the table.

As for the Wal Mart issue, I more than likely would have joined Greg in voting "Nay". However, regardless of the personal views we all bring to this forum, Wal Mart is moving in. Instead of the in-depth research into reasons the project will fail, why don't we be proactive. If Wal Mart completely shut down all towns and cities, there would be no communities left. Clearly, thats not the case. Sure, we might have been able to negotiate a better deal, but thats over. The next question is how do we use the Wal Mart to help bring in new business. Somebody previously suggested looking up the deal Lee's Summmit received. That is no longer relevant. Instead, how about we find out how they used the Wal Mart to their advantage.

Maybe I'm the only one who thinks this way, but public bickering does nothing productive. It just deters people from getting involved.

Andy Whiteman said...

I agree with Daniel. Walmart is a done deal. We can't stop it, so why waste time bickering about it? But we should make sure we don't make the same mistake again. The BOA seems to have a reputation for being sold a bill of goods by developers. We need to deal with that the next 2 elections. Walmart complainers please bring up the names of city officials favoring the Walmart deal just before the election.

As for the comment about poor quality at Walmart, what is new? Poor Quality is everywhere. As I said I needed a coffee maker after going through 3 in a year and didn't want to go to Walmart. So I went to Westlake and the coffee maker was made by the Chiacoms! The clerk said that everything is made in China. Where can I find made in the USA?

I said that there is a posting of funds issue at City Hall. Please see the following link:
http://www.theraytownpost.com/par-due-and-walters-challenge-city%e2%80%99s-claim/

Andy Whiteman

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

Well I for one am interested in seeing wh would want to step in and to fill the seats in Ward 1, if Walters and Par-due are accually not going to be on the ballot. A new face other than Walters maybe what this city needs. All i have ever seen him vote on or do is oppose others. It seems to me that he was the strife, that conflict in Raytown polictics. This is just my opinion and i know that i will get hateful commoents about it. I just am a firm believer in change. You know, like the new federal admin.

Pat Casady said...

True the Wal-Mart deal is done.
There is nothing anybody can do about it.
However, by voting out the people that OK'd the deal
and replacing them with with people that will think more of
the people than big business, Raytown doesn't have to get
any more nails in it's coffin.
It's time Raytown had a new bunch of elected officials that will
spend taxpayer approved dollars on the town, (streets, sidewalks
recycling, street lights etc.) as voted for. None of the incumbents
other than Mr.Walters has done this. Their votes on how your tax
dollars are and will be spent has probably damaged this town to the
point of no return. Please don't reward these people by letting them
have another four years to finish Raytown beyond all hope.

Anonymous said...

Did you ever think that maybe Mr. Walter's is the one who is right on the issues and the others on the board are wrong? Just because you're in the majority doesn't make it right.

Anonymous said...

Some one told me once that Mr. Walters does vote for some Raytown inprovments, but does not vote for improvments in the public safety area. I personally would like to see more things come for our excellent police and EMS departments. I have friends in other cities in the metro area that wish that there police departments offered as much as ours does. With the crime free multi housing, the elderly assistance, crime watch, and other extra things the provide this city. All of you complain of the pot holes and street lights etc. what about the other things that are slightly more important, like public safety.

Andy Whiteman said...

Anon 7:40AM and 7:55AM, some like to live on rumor; but if you read this link:

http://www.theraytownpost.com/par-due-and-walters-challenge-city%e2%80%99s-claim/

You will see a NEWS article about Walters and Par-Due stating that they paid their taxes and sewer bills in a timely manner. I told the BOA several times that there is a posting problem of collections at City Hall. No one paid attention. Maybe now it will get some attention.

As for Walters voting record, I have agreed with him on all issues except animal issues. Also, he usually publicly states his reason for a vote which I have never seen anyone else do. If I lived in his Ward, he would have my vote.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

A city is must provide ALL services to it's residents or it should not continue to exist. Police, EMS, and providing good streets to drive on are all important, along with code enforcement and other city services too numerous to mention. But the answer is NOT to continue to raise the sales tax every time we turn around. The sales tax is a regressive tax and it hurts the lower income and especially the elderly. Bower and his cronies MUST find a better way to support our city or it needs to go out of business, just like a business would in the private sector. Why do you think homeowners are leaving Raytown?

Anonymous said...

The previous poster is correct. I watch ALL of the BOA meetings. Walters always makes a point of explaining his vote on the tough issues.

I may not always agree with him but at least I know from his actions that he does give a lot of thought to the decision making process.

As for those who want change for the sake of change -- spare me the rhetoric -- Your vote should be based on the record, not on personalities.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Whiteman
Accually the only thing i got out of that article was that they both paid their dues prior to the cut off date for election. Mr. Walters as it states in the article did not pay his taxes by Dec. 31

Anonymous said...

To Anon 10:57 and 11:03. What other way than to increase sales tax. Its not like you all just shop in Raytown anyways, and if any of you say you do you are liars. A half a cent extra than what you are paying now. You all wanna complain about the city but aren't willing to pay to keep it up. You want some one else to take care of you. That is pathetic. You all need to take resposibility for yourselves and stop hoping and praying for some one else to foot the bill. Next you will be asking for some one to pay for you house and car. The liberal people are what is bring this country and this city down. Hoping that som one else will take care of you. Humans are the sentiant beings of this earth take a little resposibility for yourselves and stop your Oliver Twist i want more without thinking you have to give it as well.

Anonymous said...

To Anon 11:03
you said in your comment that Mr. Walters always makes a point of explaining his vote. Right you are. He always explains how the issue is not benefiting him. I am not sure how Mr. Walters given the great person that he is has been in Raytown politics as long as he has.
On another note I think that Anon. 9:31 has a valid point about the public safety sales tax. I it neccessary for the future. We all can see it. Our streets getting worse. The surrounding area around Raytown is declining in civilness. No one wants to think of the bad. I didn't either. BUT! Enough is enough. This sales tax from what i read cannot be used for anything other than Police and EMS. It does not go to the general fund. It will not be out there for the BOA to have control over. I would incourage all of you to at least read what it is about before bashing it on the blog.

Anonymous said...

You would think in this time and age, most people would pay on-line. When making payments to the county if paid on-line, it's posted the same day. Most of the utilities do the on-line payment and it is posted the day you make the transaction.

I pay my property and personal taxes on-line and I print the receipts out when I'm done paying them. It clearly shows what date it was paid. There is no human posting involved it shows up as being posted the same day.

Now, if I were to pay by check and send it snail mail, which I will not do again, that would be a different story. If you're going to run for office, does it not make better sense to pay on-line? Last year I payed my personal and (before the Dec 31st due date.)property taxes by snail mail and it took 3 weeks for the check to even clear. Most people use the on-line payment option since it will post the same day.

If your are to say that it isn't secure, well it is I've never had any problem paying anything on line, since the major companies are secured that even goes for all levels of government.

Lesson here being, pay on-line and you don't have to prove anything, except to show your paid receipt when filing.

Pat Casady said...

To Anonymous 12:04,
Do you remember the last sales tax increase the voters voted for?
It was for the street repairs or "overlays."
It was passed with little or no problem.
However the citizens didn't get what they voted for.
So I think what most people have a problem with is
What our existing elected officials do with the tax money collected.
That along with the fact they have no problem giving away millions
In tax income, thinking as we see it, no big deal we'll just ask for
More and more tax increases.
If this town of ten square miles and a population of around 30,000 people
Can afford to give away that kind of money without as much as asking the
Taxpayers to get a feel what they were about to do, then they don't deserve
Anymore increases.

Anonymous said...

Don't give city hall anymore taxes until they have a state audit and prove that they really need the money. Someone said it's been almost 30 years since they had one. Don't you think it's about time.

Anonymous said...

You are wrong.

Anonymous said...

To anon 12:04, did you ever hear of raising property taxes to support your city government. The city sales tax was never intended to finance all that these people are trying to squeeze out of it. We are soon going to have the highest sales tax in the whole KC area.

Anonymous said...

The last state audit was done in 1981, go check the records at city hall.

Andy Whiteman said...

Mr. Anonymous 11:53AM, There may have been another link in the article. The article states that it was alledged that Walters and Par-Due didn't pay taxes. They both disputed that allegation. It may have been on another link. In fact, Walters said that he paid before the due date of December 31st.

As to other posts that say people should pay online. The law requires payment by Dec 31st. It doesn't stipulate how it must be paid. I suspect some may actually pay with cash.

I pay online if I can use my credit card at no charge because my credit card pays me a rebate. But the last time I checked, there was a charge for paying county taxes online with a credit card. I do NOT allow a debit to my checking account because I must have that piece of paper (check) for my bookkeeping.

Generally online payments are secure if you know who you are dealing with so that is not an issue with me. Some of us are old fashioned. If a person pays in cash, they can't pay on line. I used to know one lady in Colorado who didn't have a bank account. She bought money orders with what I would consider large sums of cash. (At least more than I would feel safe with.)

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Mr. Whiteman are you nieve enough to take politician at his word. That is a mighty bold thing to do.

Anonymous said...

Honestly have any of you read the public safety sales tax purposal. It says money goes to Police and EMS, NOT the general fund. I don't know how cut and dry you could make it. It does not go to the City just 2 sections of it. How many of you know some one who benefits or may benefit from the elderly assistance program that the police department was doing until funding was cut by the BOA. If nothing else this money is going for the roots of this community. I know at least one of you knows some one here in the wonderful city of Raytown that needs and relies on the police to check on them in the event of a power outtage or some other disaster.

Pat Casady said...

I hear people say everyday that the tax give away's on 350hwy
were the worst waste of tax dollars in the history of Raytown.
Especially as their favorite stores are closing or could close.
These are everyday people such as you and me.
They wonder why some elected officials fight against recycling.
They wonder why so many homes are for sale and, why that when
election time comes around in Raytown there is some kind
of tax increase on the ballot.
It's no secret that Raytown's tax structure will soon be the same
as Lee's Summit's, one of the highest taxed cities in the whole state.
However, if you look at what the people of Lee's Summit receive for their tax dollars
and what the people of Raytown get for their tax dollars, there seems
to be something amiss.
Lee's Summit is constantly working on making their streets better.
Somehow they draw new businesses to their town and you never hear
a word about them running off businesses or giving new small business any stupid hoops to jump through.
I'm not pro Lee's Summit. It just seems something's not right. Raytown has lost a lot businesses to Lee's Summit and with the way that city is
always working to make itself better for the people, it doesn't seem they
are giving away all their tax
income either.

Anonymous said...

Pat is right about the taxes in Raytown. They are getting higher and higher and what are we getting for it? Lee's Summit is delivering on BASIC CITY SERVICES, something Raytown is failing to do. Also utilities, water and sewer are CHEAPER in Lee's Summit. Just ask one of you friends that live there and compare it to yours. I did and I was shocked at how much more Public Water District #2 is charging over Lee's Summit. Our Sewer is also much higher. Most of us don't mind paying more taxes if we receive something for it. That's why I won't be voting for this new public safety tax. DON'T TRUST BOWER AND HIS FRIENDS to deliver on their promises. Maybe we should be cutting back on police instead of adding, that's what they are doing in the private sector.

Capt. Geoffrey Spaulding said...

Greg Walters-

My sincere condolences to you and your family on the loss of your uncle.

I appreciate your blog as I live on Raytown's borders and have had many "experiences" in the town over the past 40 years....

-Groucho

Andy Whiteman said...

Mr. Anonymous 7:43 AM, I am a doubting Tom and don't believe politicians as well as many other people. Just because two candidates for Alderman say they paid their taxes and sewer bill doesn't make it true. It is just that I tend to believe them after the experience I have had with the city as well as private business posting payments.

The candidates will have to provide proof of payment. It is not a question if I believe them. It is a guestion if they can proove what they say. I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt until they resolve this issue.

Walters and Par-Due both prooved payment. I think the city owes both an appology for improper bookkeeping. Please see this link:

http://www.theraytownpost.com/alderman-candidate-dickmann-not-certified-by-city-2/

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

To Ms. Casady and Anon 8:35.
Yes the streets need repaved and improvments, but you are talking about the public works area NOT the police and EMS. The police and EMS departments have nothing to do with the paving of roads. Remember that.

Pat Casady said...

To Anonymous 11:27
I have never been against giving the Raytown Police or the EMS
departments or the real working employees of Raytown anything.
I am however against any tax that could find it's way into the general
fund or could be given away or wasted by the our elected officials.
They have proven time and time again they don't care how or where taxpayer
dollars go. I would hate for our fine Police Dept. or the EMS to suffer
from a no vote but the city needs to be shown they can not waste taxpayer dollars
and just keep coming back for more.
Our elected officials are supposed to doing right by the taxpayers not
big business.

Pat Casady said...

I have a question for everybody out there.
The 800 billion stimulus package our government gave to
the rich banks hasn't seemed to help much has it?
Here's an idea. If my facts are correct and I just looked them up
on the web. The U.S. Population is 305,702,248 as of July 2008.
Our government could have given each of us one million dollars and at the same time,
would have saved a fortune.
No people losing their homes, the banks would get the majority deposited
in to their coffers. Almost everybody would be debt free.
Can you think of a better economic stimulus than that?

Anonymous said...

To Anon 8:35. You sound like Alderman Aziere at a meeting a couple of weeks ago. Sounds like you are saying why even bother with a Police department. Wow! bold works from him and bld words for you. I suppose that we don't need the fire department either, or EMS.

Ms. Casady.
That is a very good point about the stimulus. MAybe we should send that to our freeless leader in DC.
Since he is for the debt free americans. Everyone call your congressmen or congresswomen lets find out why out of the original 700 billion stimulus and the mostlikely 800 billion new stimulus all we ever saw was 600 to 1200 dollars. I for one am with Ms. Casady. Lets revoke the current Sec. of Treasury and elect her.

Anonymous said...

Pat Casady.
Well i don't have uch to say to that. But, what i do have to say is that the public safety sales tax, again as i read it, goes to POLICE AND EMS, and NOT THE GENERAL FUND. I don't think it could be anymore clear than that. No. BOA shift of funds. It all goes to "JUST" police and EMS. I should not have to write that again.


EVERYONE JUST READ THE PUBLIC SAFETY SALES TAX purposal listed on the raytown home page.
Here is the link directly to the purposal http://www.raytown.mo.us/vertical/Sites/%7B418C71C3-E397-4C87-B464-C498EC8900F9%7D/uploads/%7BF0F176E0-B266-4317-BEA1-55605AEE8EE1%7D.PDF

Anonymous said...

If this is so iron clad, why aren't we getting street overlay with our transportation tax? No New Taxes without a state audit, period...

Anonymous said...

Because Mr. Intellegent the transportation tax was not as "IRON CLAD" as you so well put it. I am fine with a state audit. But that does not change the fact that the police and EMS need more people.

Anonymous said...

Because Mr. Intellegent the transportation tax was not as "IRON CLAD" as you so well put it. I am fine with a state audit. But that does not change the fact that the police and EMS need more people.

Anonymous said...

with the state of the economy no new taxes this year.

Anonymous said...

I guess it's a mater of opinion whether we need more police or just need to utilize the ones we have in a more efficient manner. Many of the surrounding cities in the area have fewer police per capita then we do. What gives.

Pat Casady said...

To "Anonymous" 1:07,
Just so I don't have to write this again......
I did not say the tax would go into the general fund.
I said I was against any tax that could find it's way into the general fund.

Anonymous said...

Here is what I say about the new tax they want to stick us with. Take a good long hard look at your tax bill this year. Did your taxes go up? I bet they went up ALOT. That alone is one good reason to vote no on the tax. The police department should take a page from KC police they are tightening their belt and NOT asking for more money. That is exactly what Chiel Lynch needs to do. None of us have a money tree growing in our back yard and I bet none of us draw a big salary like the chief. Retired citizens just remenber we WILL have ambulance and police service if the tax doesn't pass. Don't be scared into voting for this like you were the fire tax. Putting more money into something dosen't mean it will be better. Get those policeman that are pushing papers back out on the street. Here is a novel suggestion maybe the chief could even patrol one shift once a week or even once a month.

Daniel said...

Anon 1:07,
Though I had read the proposal previously, I re-examined it per your request. Your attacks on Pat Casady, as I expected, are unfounded. Though you are right that the plans layed out have 85% of the revenues going to Police and EMS services, that still leaves 15%, or 165,000 dollars, in a reserve fund with no explanation of who has the authority to exercise those funds. Furthermore, earlier in the proposal states explicitly that the revenues are to be used for "public safety purposes". It goes on to say that these purposes INCLUDE Police and EMS services, but makes no "cut and dry" statement of fact that those are the only services that will receive the remaining 165,000 expected revenues.

That clarified, before voting for this legislation, I would like to hear the definition of public services. Personally, I would like to also see part of that reserve funding go towards safety in the schools. As I have previously referenced, the MISP reports peg Raytown Schools among the lowest ranking in the state when it comes to the perceived feeling of safety in school by out students and teachers. I consider security in the schools under the umbrella of "public safety" and would definitely vote for this proposal if I knew these revenues were going to improving these rankings. Until then, I would like it laid out the steps necessary to authorizing the use of the reserve fund

Anonymous said...

A good example is those Great Big Fire Stations that we got. Does that mean that my fire protection is any better than it was with the smaller stations? Don't Think So!!!!

Anonymous said...

There is a power point presentation on the city's website about the tax. Check out page 19 under "reallocation of funding".

And I quote, "The Public Safety Sales Tax will also fund the Traffic Enforcement unit to provide relief to the stressed General Operating Budget."

Doesn't sound like they mean to use all that money for the police, does it?

The promises by the current Board of Aldermen on this tax is about as solid as the promises they made on the transportation sales tax.

Anyone seen an asphalt truck in your neighborhood in the last three years?

By the way. Whoever wrote that the real answer is in better management of our city hit the nail on the head.

Voters, you have a chance to do just that on April 7th.

Anonymous said...

Please. Pat your math is all wrong on the bailout. That's been discussed a million times.
And to the rest of you, c'mon. If I could buy Johnson & Johnson KY Jelly stock geographically based on Raytown I could become a millionaire within the next year.
I don't mean to be mean but stupid is as stupid does. You don't give city raises in these times. You don't increase taxes for anything! Period!
Fear and greed are mankind's motivators and that's what is going on here.
Please!

Andy Whiteman said...

Pat, I think your idea of giving every person $1M would lead to runaway inflation if it happens. Maybe it is my imagination, but some prices seem to be down due to the the recession which I think is really a depression. Dumping that much money to people's hands will bring prices sky high plues taxes with really rise.

With $1M at todays prices I could buy about 6 houses in NM. But if everyone has $1M, I bet the price of the house I just bought for
$159K suddenly become worth $159B.
Maybe you should suggest it to Pres. Obama. He wants to give our money away more than the city fathers of Raytown.
*************
Daniel, I think money will not solve the problem of safety in Raytown schools. I have observed many students are good students and really want to learn. (I have a friend who just graduated from Raytown South and is now in college.) But, on the other hand, I have observed HS chuildren with no parental control raising Hell. Face it, if a girl wants to stab another student, she will sneak the knife in no matter what! Parents should be held accountable for the actions of their children.

If there was a per child tax to fund schools, I think parents would want value for their money and demand more from their children in academic matters.

Andy Whiteman

Daniel Thode said...

Andy,
No, money will not SOLVE the safety problems in the Raytown Schools. Again, you are right that family dynamics play a pivotal role in the school system. The main question, though, is what constitutes "public safety purposes." The number of Raytown students answering yes to the question, "Do you feel safe at school" left the district in the 9th percentile across the state. The teacher's yes answers placed them in the 12th percentile. To me, that is more than simply parental problems and does fall under safety. I'm not saying we need to throw money at the problem frivolously, but this would be a tax proposal that could at least address the issue as a public safety problem.

As for the 1 million dollars to every person theory, Andy is right. it makes no sense. In the end, the net results are the same. People still need more money. The reason for the stimulus package (not that I agree with the package as is) is job creation. That is the biggest issue created during this recession, not people's discretionary spending. People's purchasing power generally stays fairly close to the same due to the lower costs of goods and services (i.e. gasoline and home values). Like I said, the issue is layoffs and unemployment, which is why I wanted to ask this question. There are three bills in the Missouri House Economic Development and Job Creation sub-committee (Rep. Will Kraus serves on this committee) that deal with this issue. Two of their proposals offer tax credits to advanced technology companies headquartered in Missouri. The other of which is taking off the annual cap on tax credits to companies in compliance with the Missouri Quality Jobs Act. The city Chamber of Commerce wasn't one-hundred percent positive when I called, but said they didn't think the city claimed home to companies that meet either one of these proposal's conditions. Does anybody know of any local companies that do or would receive tax credits from these programs?

Pat Casady said...

OK guys,
I was only trying to point out how many taxpayer dollars the
the government is giving to the rich to have parties, buy
new jet airplanes and spend millions of those dollars to renovate their offices,
while the taxpayers get nothing!
But, I can see that there are people that clearly don't think the federal and
even this little town's government can do anything wrong.
I don't know, maybe it's my age or I'm in a bad mood but, I'm tired of
paying taxes just to watch them be given away to people, corporations
and banks that don't need these handouts.
To those that think my "thought" of giving each taxpayer a million
dollars instead of the banks and corporations is a bad thing.......
Congratulations! You now think like our government wants you to think.
Although for the life of me, I don't understand why you think it's OK to
give away BILLIONS of your tax dollars to the rich but, you think it's a terrible thing to vote for a 1/2 cent sales tax.
Don't get me wrong, I don't want anymore tax increases but this doesn't add up.
That little pipe dream of them giving each of us a million dollars would have
only saved you and me, as taxpayers, over four hundred BILLION DOLLARS.
So I can see why you might think that I'm a dumb A#%.
Sorry.

Anonymous said...

Pat's right.

What Bush and Obama have done with the handouts will only stoke the furnace called inflation.

The bailouts to the rich and the handouts to the rest will not increase production or create jobs.

I remember a cartoon from the election. The crowd is cheering the promises of free health care, free food, free everything -- and then the candidate promises jobs.

A voice in the crowd answers back -- What do we need jobs for?

We will all have plenty of cash. But your cup of copy at Bennettis will cost you dearly.

Andy Whiteman said...

I don't believe in entitlements and socialism as planned by President Obama. The dynamics of economics need to function by itself with no meddeling by our now socialist government. The taxtayers can't be bailing everyone out.

Pat you have a good point. People don't want to pay 1/2% . But if the government gives them something, that is different. They don't realize that EVERY taxpaper is paying for it. I didn't appreciate the $300 giveaway last year because I was paying for everyone else to receive it. It was NOT a free gift. Everyone paid! It is known as redistribution the wealth AKA Socialism.

Where are the jobs?
The good jobs Americans had are now offshored or eaten by technology so they don't exist. That is why Americans have no jobs. My job was sent to India as many others hve been. Jobs need to be brought back to America and not offshored.

Andy Whitemanb

Anonymous said...

What's with Mahesh commenting about the politics in Raytown? This guy is skating on very thin ice. These type of comments are what has gotten city employees fired in the past. First of all he's just an employee and he doesn't even live here. I'm really tired of all these outsiders, city, chamber, and others that don't live here trying to tell Raytowners what's good for us.

Anonymous said...

Tell me why you love Raytown.

Daniel Thode said...

I'm not sure who the last comment was directed towards. Personally, though, I hear people who have lived in this city for years talk about how great of a place it used to be to live. I think with the infusion of the right minds in government, it could return for to that status. It is an inner-ring suburb so people who work downtown have a short commute. Really, anywhere in the metro can be reached in 15-20 minutes. With 350 HWY, it sees daily traffic which is an excellent starting place to attracting new businesses. Plus, with the discussions of building some sort of light rail/metro transit system still on the table could make Raytown a hub for commerce. Being this close to downtown there should be no reason we can't lure businesses to building their headquarters in Raytown. As aforementioned, we are very convenient to downtown, yet we do not have the same business taxes or property costs as associated with downtown. All of the commercial advantages aside, Raytown is an affordable place for people to raise their families as well.
The city, as suggested by others, does need an external audit. From there, we need a specific plan and we need to follow that plan. The problem isn't the city, the problem is there is no specific direction. Their is no stated goal.

Hope that answers your question to some extent.

Anonymous said...

Daniel Thode,
Thank you so much for your response. Raytown needs about twenty young and talented people like you. As you have noticed from this blog there are five regular writers who mostly feed negativity and false information. Most of their comments are unorganized, misleading, and meaningless. I wish your dad a good luck. I believe he is running for the school board. Correct? Once you complete your study and return to Raytown, I hope you get involved in the community and encourage people from the minority group to participate. We must be proud of our diversity and respect every citizen who lives, work, travel, and shop in our town. It all starts with positive community image. People who are proud to be residents of Raytown should tell us why they are proud of Raytown.

So, I would urge others to tell us why they love Raytown.

Justin Tomac said...

Why I love Raytown?

The large yards!
The access to the Kansas City Metro Area!
The opportunities that exist for this City due to its locale!
The LACK of a City Sales Earnings Tax!
A blog where people can voice their opinion and seem to be heard!
The small town feel!

Please feel free to add.....
Justin Tomac

Anonymous said...

Thank you Justin and wish you good luck as well for the upcoming election.
Again, please share your thoughts about why you LOVE Raytown.

Andy Whiteman said...

Daniel mentioned that we need a plan for development.

Since this wasn't aired, it may not be public knowledge: After the last BOA meeting a company was presenting a plan for development. It wasn't aired on CH7. It was available only to those in attendance. It will be followed up by surveys and meetings. The idea is that we need a good, focused plan rather than running off on various half cocked randomly disorganized ideas.

Daniel is correct that Raytown had a good location and is cheaper than downtown. We are ideal for office type businesses. We used to have BHA and a call center. I don't know what happened to them. Daniel states that Raytown is 15-20minutes from anywhere in the metro. I can't agree because it is 45 minutes to dog school at NW 64th and Waukoimas and also about 45 minutes to western OP. But Raytown has good access to the rest of the metro which should attract office type business. Generally when the word "business" is mentioned, people think of stores which is what I sm was thinking of.

The School District needs a State Audit.

Daniel, would you ask you father to post his standings on the issues before the school board? Why is he running? What does he want to achieve? How does he feel about the high school taxes and reckless spending? What will he do about it?

I would like to know the platform of those I may vote for. I think others will too.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

What I love about Raytown.

I love that people are beginning to wake up to the hyprocrisy that has our town by the throat.

I love that people are waking up to the reality of life and seeing through the double-talk that has led Raytown down the wrong path these last ten years.

I especially love the fact that we now have a place where we can voice these opinions without recrimination from those who are intolerant to views other than their own.

Daniel Thode said...

Anon. 8:20,
I definitely plan on getting involved upon my return as I would like the under-25 population represented in planning Raytown's future.

Andy,

Truthfully, my dad is not a regular "blogger" and probably never will be. After a difficult career working long hours, he prefers to spend his evenings spending time with his wife (my mother) or reading. That said, A I have made him aware of your interest in his credentials and he asked me to post his "campaign letter". He also asked me to leave his number and email address listed on the letter in the event that you, or anyone else for that matter, have questions not addressed by this document.

Dear friends and neighbors,

On April 7, I am running for a seat on the Raytown Board of Education. Here's why I felt compelled to run.

John Adams once said, "facts are stubborn things." Let me give you a few facts about Raytown schools. Our School District will lose at least $2.5 million this year, another year of losing money. Last spring, we passed a tax increase, for good cause, to pay our teachers more money, but it did not reduce our losses. Over the years, our "rainy day" savings have declined significantly. The economy could likely reduce our State Aid and tax revenue, causing considerably more losses next year. This trend must stop, or we will face another tax increase. Our taxpayers will struggle with more school taxes during a recession.

In short, the District has a financial problem. We have a competent Superintendent, Administration and teachers who can assess the curriculum issues. We have a Board comprised largely of former educators and community volunteers who have successfully provided oversight over the curriculum. Yet, the District has a financial problem which requires financial people to sort out the risks and opportunities.
.
I am a financial executive and have dedicated my career to protecting the public's interest. Now, I want to help the District balance its budget. Here's my background.

As a CPA for a global accounting firm for the past 33 years, I have financial experience to work with this board to balance the budget through collaboration and fiscal discipline.

As a former managing partner in my firm, I have hired and managed hundreds of professionals in offices in five major cities. Such responsibility requires negotiation skills and open communication which I can offer this Board.

As a business leader, I know how to cut overhead while not sacrificing results. I have already targeted areas where the District can reduce spending and eliminate waste and duplication, allowing these monies to directly benefit students, rather than spoil taxpayer dollars.

As an independent auditor of many major companies, I have represented the interests of investors and directors in demanding that CEO's speak the truth. As a Board member, I will be open about our financial problems.

As a civic leader, I am past president of the Board of the Children's Center for the Visually Impaired, a Mayoral appointment to the Special Sales Tax Citizens Review Committee and the Raytown Economic Development Partnership, a former board member of the Raytown Sports Association and the Kansas City Sports Commission, and a past member of the Kansas City Area Economic Development Council. In these endeavors, we set budgets and met them without sacrificing important services to the community.

I will use this experience to balance this budget. I will work closely with State Rep.Will Kraus, who has endorsed my candidacy, to advocate our District in Jefferson City. I will have time for this position since I will retire from my Firm on June 30. I want the best for the district which educated my three sons.

I seek your vote on April 7, and your support, both in spreading my message and financially. I know times are tight, but fliers, signs, and postage are expensive. Be it $10 or $100, every little bit helps. If you are able to donate to the campaign, please mail donations to "Rick Thode for School Board Committee" at 9704 East 84th, Raytown, Missouri, 64138. Call or email me if you have thoughts or ideas for my campaign at 816-582-4263 and rickthode@gmail.com.

With kind regards,


Rick Thode

Anonymous said...

Mayor Bower said in his state of the city address (I saw this remark in the Raytown Post) that the city will tackle the number of home foreclosures. What a joke he needs to leave that to someone who knows how to handle it. What he needs to do is city business like enforceing codes. If the people who have these houses in foreclosure are made to keep the yards looking nice and clean up the property then and only then will we attrack some decent home buyers. Come mayor wake up and do your job and for once do it right.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell me anything about the jokers who are running for school board. This is the best kept secret in town.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell me anything about the jokers who are running for school board. This is the best kept secret in town.

Anonymous said...

We don't need more police we just need to get the chair warmers and pencil pushers back on the street. The chief needs to use what he more wisely. I don't thinnk we need more emts either. All they need to do is just thighten up their belts and they will be fine.

Anonymous said...

Public Safety Sales Tax? It should be called "Keep the Police Fat and Happy Sales Tax...

Pat Casady said...

Anonymous 8:20,
You ask the the people on this post to to write why they love Raytown.
I can't fault you for that but then you mention "five regular writers that
feed mostly negativity and false
Information " along with being "unorganized, misleading and meaningless."
I have to disagree with you. But, I won't throw out a bunch of meaningless words,
I'll just ask you to prove it. And while you are at it, why not sign your name.
I don't have a problem with criticism. I don't have a problem with people that
don't like me or what I think. What I do have a problem with is someone
who criticizes others, calls names and makes unfounded statements without being
honest enough with his own feelings or beliefs to back them up with his or her
name.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:57 - You ask whether anyone can tell you anything about the people running for school board, indicating you don't know anything about them. Despite that lack of knowledge, you still refer to them as jokers?

Anonymous said...

There will be a forum for the candidates for School Board on Tuesday, March 24 at 7 PM in the District Admin Building on Raytown Road. The forum is not sponsored by any of the candidates or their committees. Each candidate will be allowed a few minutes to talk about why they are running. After that, questions submitted by those attending will be addressed to the candidates. The forum will end at 8:30. Reminders will be posted in various places as we get closer to the time of the forum.

Andy Whiteman said...

Anon 7:57 AM, Please scroll up this thread. Rick Theode has written a letter posted by his son, Daniel. Rick is not into bloging per Daniel. At least you will know something about one of the candidates.

I am not a blogger either (lack of time), but if I have an interest in something, I will make the time. I am only on 2 blogs: This one and one related to discrimination of certain dog breeds mainly in Denver.

Andy Whiteman

PS (I wish this blog had spell check!)

Anonymous said...

Pat,
I always ask Greg to get rid of this anonymous thing. He is the blog administrator. What is the difference if someone signs the fake name?
Jack

Pat Casady said...

Signing a fake name or under an anonymous name
it doesn't make any difference.
If a writer calls others names and makes statements about other writers,
they should have the guts to back their words and write their name.
It's a credibility thing. Anybody can take cheap shots at others and
use "Anonymous" or fake names.

Anonymous said...

OK
Tell Greg to fix this.

Anonymous said...

Many people wish to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation from city government. Believe me this happens in this petty little town. That's why you need a change on the board and a new mayor.

Anonymous said...

And you need to watch the national news where every major city is cutting police by 10% not asking for more money and giving raises.

Anonymous said...

As a Raytown School district employee, I can not sign my name cause I will loose my job (I have no freedom of speech because my bosses don't want me "to let the cat out of the bag" about the wasteful spending that goes on every day).

Mr. Thode, you can run for the school board, but if you are not part of the "good ole boys club" you won't get anywhere with the other board members. I hate to sound negative, but that is how it works with the city and the school board "in bed together" and they will spend money on the dumbest things and you won't be able to change it, I see it every day. Sounds like you don't know what is going on with the wasteful district. I would spend my time doing something more meaning full (volunteering for some cause) than being on the school board.

VOTE NO FOR ANY KIND OF TAX INCREASES!

Andy Whiteman said...

The anonymous issue has been addressed here before. I umderstand many (such as school district or city employees) have good reason to remain anonymous. It would show some courtesy if an anonymous writer wants to be critical of a person to please state what facts give you that opinion.

Anon 8:15 mentioning "the good ole boys club" makes me think that even if the majority votes for wastefull spending, that still doesn't make it right. That is why an audit is needed. I wonder if a new board menber would call for an audit? Actually I think if a certain CPA is elected, he could do his own audit and point out any wrong doings.

Actually it sounds like it should be called "the BAD ole boys club."

I will sign my anonymous name,
Helmet Head

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

no more emts "just tightn up the belt and they will be fine"...you are right no more emts,...however more paramedics would be good...another example of somebody who has no idea what they are talking about...do you know the costs involved with running emergency services...?
i have to comment on the fire station slam...is it better?...they were able to hire six new firefighters....and who cares about the size of the building at least they are taking care of it....it is the nicest building in town, im glad i voted yes for the fire department.
how about this question for all of you...how come the fire department has paramedics and emts and they are not running the ems department?
sounds like a duplication of services...put that in your pipe and smoke it
jeff

Greg Walters said...

Signing of a name does not always remove the anonymity of the writer.

For instance, someone signed "Jack" says he has spoken to me of requiring people to sign their real names to their posts.

I can assure you no such conversation took place. Nor do I know who "Jack" is. For all I know it could be Jack of Jack and the Beanstalk or Jack the Ripper, mayber even former Mayor "Jack" Nesbitt.

The point is, even though the name is signed, it does not really tell the whole story. But it does show, from my point of view, that someone who has signed anonymously does not want others to do the same.

Seems to me that the veil of hypocrisy is crossed very easily by the writer. It is obviously someone who is more interested in trying to disparage the blog, or for that matter, me, for not "handling" the situation.

Even if I were to require email confirmation of names and addresses a clever person could easily maske their identity.

It comes down to this. Some people want to sign their names. Some do not for their own reasons.

Either way, the individual is getting their say. And that is what is most important.

Anonymous said...

THEN WHY YOU DELETE THE COMMENTS

Anonymous said...

Here is an overview of the “plan” for usage of the proposed sales tax increase if passed.
(This is information provided by the city of Raytown)


PUBLIC SAFETY SALES TAX 2009


HISTORY

 The City of Raytown requested that the State of Missouri authorize the City to seek a sales tax for public safety purposes.

 The Bill was approved by the Governor in August of 2008.

 The passage of this bill has enabled the City to bring this proposal forward.

PUBLIC SAFETY SALES TAX

• Question: Shall the City of Raytown impose a sales tax of one-half cent (1/2¢) for public safety purposes?

• The sales taxes collected may be used only for “public safety purposes” which includes Police and EMS salaries, equipment, training, supplies, etc.

• The sales tax, if approved in April would begin on October 1, 2009 with the first receipts entering the Cities coffers approximately November15th.

• $1,100,000.00 current projected revenue

THE DEVELOPMENT PROCESS

 The process consisted of identifying areas of improvement in the City’s public safety services.

 This process made allotting personnel a fairly straightforward matter.

 The improvements are easy to understand when the areas of concern are explained.

PLAN OVERVIEW AMOUNT/SERVICE INCREASE

$366,000.00
6 New Officer Positions

$100,000.00
3 New Detention Positions

$54,000.00
1 Dispatcher

$75,000.00
1 Crime Analyst Position

$55,000.00
1 New Paramedic position

$10,000.00
Advanced EMS training

$275,000.00
Reallocation of funding for current police programs

$165,000.00
Reserve Fund

$1,100,000.00
TOTAL

INCREASED NEED FOR POLICE SERVICE

 In 2001 the Police Department’s authorized strength was cut from 60 Officers to 56.

 Call volumes have increased significantly since that time and we are beginning to see a decrease in coverage.

 We are beginning to see significant blackouts, during peak call times.


SIX (6) NEW OFFICERS

 4 of these officers are to be assigned to patrol to add more resources during peak activity times.

 Currently the Patrol division operates on two 12 hour shifts.

 There is also 1 Officer that overlaps the day and night shifts.

 These 4 new officers will be deployed to enhance the coverage of the overlap shift (2 officers for each daily rotation).

IMPACT IN INVESTIGATIONS

 Two officers would be assigned to the Investigations Unit.

 This enhancement allows us to augment the Investigations unit by devoting Officers to addressing community concerns such as drug activity complaints, directive patrol, warrant details, etc.

THREE (3) DETENTION PERSONNEL

 These 3 Detention Personnel add much needed depth to that unit.

 The Detention unit has also seen and increase in workload, much of which is being handled through overtime of full time employees.

 Adding additional personnel also makes a much safer environment for our Employees when dealing with violent detainees.

ONE (1) DISPATCH

 This Dispatch position also allows for shift relief to minimize instances in which the entire dispatch center must be operated by a lone dispatcher.

 We feel this enhancement is also needed to sustain service levels in our communications unit.

ONE (1) CRIME ANALYST

 The Crime Analyst function has become a standard function in modern Law Enforcement.

 Raytown is one of the last agencies in the metro area to implement a Crime Analyst position.

 Due to the geographic location of Raytown, the crime analyst is particularly helpful.

WHAT IS A CRIME ANALYST?

 Crime Analyst have promote productive information sharing with other law enforcement agencies.

 They analyze area crime trends and reports to identify crime hot spots, develop crime bulletins, and assess the threats from area crime groups.

 Provide data for investigative and intelligence purposes.
C/A establishment

 As part of the development phase for this position, our department has consulted with the International Assoc. of Crime Analysts.

 We feel the Crime Analyst function will maximize the use of our limited resources.

EMS PERSONNEL AND TRAINING

 This addition of a Paramedic will allow EMS to staff a third vehicle and provide shift relief within their ranks.
 The training enhancement will raise Raytown EMS certification levels to the highest possible level in the field.

REALLOCATION OF FUNDING

 This reallocation includes the return of our Neighborhood Services and Elderly Assistance Programs.

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

 In keeping with the City’s principle of maintained a fund reserve, this reserve will provide some safety from revenue shortfalls and program expenses in coming years.

 This amount represents and estimated 15% of the anticipated revenue from the Sales Tax.



I hope that all potential voters in the city of Raytown will take the time to actually look at and analyze the proposal they will be voting on. Just voting on “feelings” or “rumors” is a poor way to cast your ballot. It is imperative that voters understand the power of their vote and the related impact it will have on the future of our city. Since this WILL be on the ballot in April it would be futile to argue whether it should be or not at this point in time. I hope each of you make a wise choice when you go to cast your vote related to this issue as well as the candidates you choose to vote for.

Bill Van Buskirk

Candidate for Alderman (Ward Four)
Home phone: 737-2799

Anonymous said...

DON'T TRUST CITY HALL. NO NEW TAXES!!!

Anonymous said...

OFFICIAL BALLOT
CITY OF RAYTOWN
APRIL 7, 2009


Shall the city of Raytown, Missouri impose a citywide sales tax at a rate of one-half of one percent for the purpose of improving the public safety of the city?

[ ] YES

[ ] NO

If you are in favor of the question, place an “X” in the box opposite “YES”. If you are opposed to the question, place an “X” in the box opposite "No"



This is all of the information that you will see on the ballot when you cast your vote in April related to the "Public Safety" sales tax issue. There will no details for voters to see who are not familiar with the issue.

Bill Van Buskirk

Anonymous said...

YES
YES

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 1-31-09 10:07 PM; No one was asking for your vote right now, the sample ballot was obviously displayed to inform voters.

Anonymous said...

Inform voters:><"?????

Anonymous said...

Do you realize if we pass this sales tax we will be one, if not the highest sales tax in the whole KC area. People may not think much about it when they are buying a nickel or dime item, but they sure will if they're thinking about big ticket items. We will start losing business to other cities with lower sales tax rates. CAN WE REALLY AFFORD ANY NEW TAXES????

Anonymous said...

Provide information before making such statement.

Anonymous said...

Provide information before making such statement.

Anonymous said...

Look at your receipts, Westlake Hardware 8.475% now lets add another half cent to that. I DON'T THINK SO!!!

Anonymous said...

All of you who are oppose to the public safety sales tax are ignorant. This is to increase the sales tax, not property tax. Half of you probally don't even do half your shopping in Raytown anyways. So the tax really won't effect you. All of you that say i only shop in Raytown are liars. No one in this town ONLY SHOPS IN THIS TOWN. For you close minded coocks need to remember that without out the Public safety aspects of this city you wouldn't have a city. All of you that are in this ridiculous thought pattern that our economy is in this horrible downward spiral need to get a clue. Ask yourselves; Am i making my mortgage payment? Am i getting back and forth to work? Am i putting food on the table? Do i have a job to got to and make money? Am i able to pay for my internet to type on this blog and bash what you weren't willing to change in the beginning. Well i would say the answer is yes to all of them. Not a one of you is having finacial hard ships, other than the ones you put on yourselves by living outside your means. the goverenment needs money but you all are to selfish to think of the big picture. Also you selfish ideals is why you think you can't afford a sales tax.