Sunday, March 1, 2009
Fireworks Reminder / Raytown Report History
Reminder: Fireworks Vote This Tuesday The Raytown Board of Aldermen will decide the fate of legislation permitting the sale and shooting of fireworks in Raytown at its regulare meeting this Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. at Raytown City Hall. This is an open public meeting. Individuals who may wish to address the Board on the proposed legislation may address the Board of Aldermen at the beginning of the meeting during Public Comments. The Raytown Report – A History In 1997 former Raytown Alderman Garth Bare and I started a project we called the Raytown Reporter. I had just been defeated in a bid for re-election to the Board (I had lost by three votes – believe me, that sets your mind to second guessing “what if”. . . but that’s another story) but still wanted to keep in touch with what was going on Raytown City Hall. So we founded the Raytown Reporter. It was truly a labor love. The format was that of an electronic newspaper. We wrote stories, editorials, had a lively Letters to the Editor column and had a pretty good time of running our little enterprise. At one point we even sold advertising with point and click coupons for local businesses. After about ten years Garth and I decided to pull the plug on the Raytown Reporter. The project had become tiresome and was a lot of work of which neither of us had the time to dedicate. However, we both saw the value of this media in the age of the computer. After a little brainstorming we decided to switch the format to that of a blog. The end result is the Raytown Report. What I find most interesting about this particular blog is that it has taken on a life of its own. Typically, the administrator posts a weekly message to guide discussion. Posts to this page make it very clear that the discussion is not guided by me as the administrator, but by the public who read and share on the Raytown Report. A good example is my weekly post of February 16th about the passing of our dog, Biskette, though read by many it was commented on by very few. However, the buzz that week on the blog was about the local politics, security alarms, door to door solicitors, etc.. And that is how it should be. One of the regular contributors to this page, Andy Whiteman, wrote that the blog is not read by our elected officials. On that point I would differ. Because I believe that the Raytown Report is read, and read frequently, by many members of the Board, and yes, even the Mayor. A good friend of mine, who used to serve on the City Council in Kansas City, once told me that the Raytown Report is like Pitch Magazine. “No one reads it (the Pitch)”, she told me, “but they (the K.C. City Council) all know what is in it”. Perhaps your elected officials do not read the page. But the counters (and counters do not lie) on this page tell of 500 to 600 people who regularly visit the Raytown Report on a weekly basis do read it. That is significant. A good example of how invaluable this blog is in bringing focus to the debate at city hall was when it was exposed on this page that former City Administrator Michael Miller was actively searching for a job in Alaska. I later learned from my seatmates on the Board that some officials at city hall were aware of his job hunting months before it was shown the in light of day on this page. Be that as it may, within two months of the posting on the Raytown Report, Miller had resigned his position at Raytown City Hall. If there is a lesson here it is that what you say is important. So keep on reading and posting – your messages are being heard and they are making an impact in Raytown.