Sunday, March 8, 2009

Pay Increases Proposed for Chief of Police and Municipal Judge

An ordinance increasing the annual salaries of the Chief of Police and Municipal Judge had its first reading at last Tuesday’s meeting of the Raytown Board of Aldermen. The increases would be effective after the April 7th municipal election for the next four year term of each office. The current office holders for the two seats, Chief of Police Jim Lynch and Municipal Judge Traci Fann are unopposed in their bids for re-election. How Much? The Municipal Judge currently draws a salary of $24,407.78 annually. The proposed ordinance sets the new salary $25,628.17. The Municipal Judge is a part time position. According to a report from the city staff entitled “Compensation History of the Marshal (Chief of Police)”; the Chief of Police currently draws a salary of $86,821.88 annually. The proposed ordinance sets the new salary incrementally over a four-year period. The total salary at the end of four years will be $96,742.87. The Chief of Police is a full time job. The breakdown of the pay increases for Municipal Judge and Chief of Police are as follows: MUNICIPAL JUDGE: Current Annual Salary................$24,407.78 Proposed Annual Salary..............$25,628.17 Percentage increase over four years.........5% CHIEF OF POLICE: Current Annual Salary.................$86,821.88 Proposed Annual Salary*..............$96,742.87 *Increased incrementally at 5% the first year, 2% years 2, 3, and 4. Percentage increase over four years..........9% Fireworks Ordinance Passes The Board of Aldermen approved a new Fireworks Ordinance at its March 3, 2009 meeting. The changes in the ordinance were two fold. SHOOTING OF FIREWORKS: The ordinance allows the shooting of fireworks on the Fourth of July until 11:00 p.m. at night. SALE OF FIREWORKS: The ordinance allows the sale of fireworks for a seven day period prior to the Fourth of July. It requires a license (with a limit of ten licenses in any given year) to be administered by the Raytown Fire District. Licenses to sell fireworks are available only to non-profit organizations based in Raytown. The ordinance also restricts the sale of fireworks to areas that are commercially or industrially zoned. Need for Reform in Elected Salary Increase Rules The pay increase packages proposed for the Municipal Judge and Chief of Police throw a glaring spotlight on how salaries are increased at City Hall for elected official. On the 11th day, at the 11th hour, the Board of Aldermen will increase the salaries for the two positions. Waiting until after the filing deadline to raise salaries for elected officials, be they Aldermen, Municipal Judge, Chief of Police or City Collector smacks of elitism. It has the appearance of an attempt to sneak in a pay increase before the new Board of Aldermen is sworn in. City attorney Nancy Thompson was quick to tell the Board that the ordinances enabling the pay increases after a filing deadline were valid under Missouri State Law. That may be true – but it is also irrelevant. It is not a question of legality. It is a question of fairness and even-handed treatment of all those who run for election in the City of Raytown. Pay increases for four year terms of office should be considered at least six months before they take effect. In short, Raytown should set a higher standard when it comes to increasing pay of elected officials. Good and Bad news . . . According to figures released by the County Executive’s office in Jackson County, Missouri, the City of Raytown has been the hardest hit in the area by falling property values. The drop in property values will have a negative effect on the amount of money for any entity collecting property tax in Raytown. The numbers were based on property evaluations made in Jackson County for next year’s property taxes. The county used the geographic areas of the school districts to make their comparison. Coming in a close second behind the Raytown area was the Hickman Mills School District. And the good news is that Raytown will be receiving $378,061 for street improvements due to the national incentive programs coming out of Washington, DC. Combined with money already budgeted for road improvements now exceeds the 1 million dollar mark. The Raytown Police Department is also in line to receive approximately $40,000.00 of the incentive money for use in public safety.

100 comments:

Anonymous said...

Greg,

Please double check on our good old chief of police. The info on his salary sounds correct, but I believe he also get some other set amount that is only around $5,000 or $10,000 anually for being head of emergency services committe or some silly thing like that.

Anonymous said...

If this is true(and I believe it is) it chaps my ass. No wonder they (city hall) want to keep salaries under wraps,and Lynch wants to ride this gravy train for as long as he can. Wake up people and see what fools they are making out of us.

Daniel Thode said...

By my calculations, when combining the stimulus package to be used for public safety, and money saved (through opportunity cost) by voting down the salary increases, we would already be at 4% of what the public safety sales tax is hoping to raise.

This raises more questions as to whether or not the sales tax increase is warranted.

I'm not saying we shouldn't support our police department and EMS services, but it appears we might be able to raise that money by reallocating existing funds versus generating new ones.

I would like to see the BOA, not an external study, conduct a meeting examining the budget line-by-line and look for areas to trim some fat.

If following this public meeting it is determined we still need the sales tax, put it on the November ballot. It seems it might receive a more unanimous city backing if we know all measures to avoid a tax increase have been taken.

JWDT said...

Hi Greg,
Can you help clarify a few things:

1st - Will the county automatically re-evaluate and reset our property value or do we need to call them for this?
2nd - Are city employee merit increases (especially the Chief of Police & p/t Judge) based upon a Pay for Performance or is it always a set amount per year?
3rd - How do these salaries compare to other 4th Class cities?
3rd - How does this process work, i.e. who presents the pay increases for the BOA to approve is it a sub-committee or the city manager?

At a first glance, this seems out of line especially in today's economic situation. All of my raises are based upon performance and this year the company I work for has decided to forgo all merit, bonus & adjustments.
As for my property value, I knew several years ago that it was over inflated. Just hope the County decides to re-adjust the value to what it currently should be.
Thanks,
Justin Tomac

Anonymous said...

JUST SAY NO to the city sales tax in April. Make the mayor and board justify this increase to us with facts, instead of some slick campaign flyer like the were passing out this last weekend. This piece really said nothing to me except we want to spend more of your money. And yes, Jim Lynch makes WAY TOO MUCH money for little old Raytown. We can't afford him anymore.

Anonymous said...

When companies and cities all around us are tightening their belts and not giving raises laying off and not filling jobs of people who have retired etc. Raytown has got to be the laughing stock of every city around. Asking for a tax increase in times like we are having now. If Jim Lynch thinks we really need this then why in heavens name doesn't give up some of his money. God only knows he is raking in buckets full. I would like to know if he has a degree in criminal justsice? Someone tell me and if he doesn't we are in a sad state of affairs.

Anonymous said...

Someone has to go!!!I believe it needs to start with these high paid employees who do nothing except hold out their hand for more. IF there is any way we can get our hands on a city budget and find out how much these clowns are paid we need to do it. Can we get a budget are we entitled to see it. If so tell me how and let's take a look at this first hand.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Thode we don't (the public ) vote on raises for city employees. The BOA does. So make sure you take note of who votes for it. and vote those sons of b's out of office.

Anonymous said...

NO NEW TAXES WITHOUT A STATE AUDIT. The board of aldermen call call for one without it being forced by the voters.

Daniel Thode said...

Anon. 9:05,

I was connecting the issues of the salary increase and the sales tax increase. I recognize that the city at-large does not vote on pay raises, but we are voting on the sales tax increase next month. To me, these go hand-in-hand.

If a government comes to its people asking for a tax increase, this should mean there is no better alternative to generating the necessary funds.

By proposing a 9% salary increase for a city employee, it sends out a signal to me that this tax increase may not be a last resort.

That is why I think they should delay the vote of the tax increase until November so the BOA/city has time to look over the books and see if funds can be reallocated from other unsuccessful or duplicated programs. If somebody stands up in September and makes a convincing, well-researched statement there is no alternative to a tax hike, I feel the city at-large is more likely to get behind it. Using this blog as an indicator, we are not there yet. Likewise, there is a niche of believers that feel the series of appropriations bill passing through congress will put the country in a situation to turn the corner in a positive direction by the end of this year. I am not sure if that will happen, but if supporters of that mode of reason are correct, it would present a much better time to vote on a tax increase than 4 weeks after the release of the new property value appraisals

As for the BOA voting on salary increases, I would hope they vote no. It sends the wrong message to the city at a time when we can ill-afford to send wrong messages.

All-in-all, I think we are on the same page.

Andy Whiteman said...

What flier was passed out? I didn't receive one. I guess I am not on their mailing list.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Andy,

I think they focused on Wards 4 and 5 this past weekend. At least that is where I have received confirmation of the propaganda being passed out.

I have received two different copies of this miss lead endeavor and the city web site has a 3rd version. Although much of it is the same, I get concerned when bit and pieces changes as it makes me believe they are just selling about of lies.

One of the pieces doesn’t even have the required disclosure of who paid for the thing. This was nothing cheep to produce multi-color slick paper that was folded 3 times. I got mine up at the McDonalds on 350 where some one had left a stack. There is indication of city hall or the police doing this as it suggest calling a Randy with the police department if you have any questions. What else should we expect from those at city hall they already believe they are above the law?

Anonymous said...

Why is everyone on here so down on the Mayor Bower?

I know I can not wait to see him and thank him for all the hard work he has done. I like most of you don’t plan to sell my home any time soon so I welcome the decrease tax assessments and the lower tax bill we will see this fall.

David I just wish you would have shared this master plan with all of us so people would stop picking at you. Do you know how much lower we need to drop so that our entire city can be park of a state “Enterprise Zone”? I for one can not wait for those additional tax savings. At that time, will Mr. Knabe be offering any lectures at city hall on how to apply for these exiting tax breaks? He sure seems to know how to find those tax breaks to bad he didn’t run this time he might have found us a lot of grant and / or stimulus money.

I hope that everyone’s picking on you doesn’t discourage you from running again as I am sure we have only began to see the good things you have planed for all of us. It is nice to know we have good citizens always “Reaching for Tomorrow” that help to deliver strong candidates like you.

Anonymous said...

Pretty funny 12:44 pm. Careful. Not everyone will pick up on you being factitious. There are some of Randy Miller's Raytown Sally types here and they'll think you're serious.
It seems to me that KCMO is making a sensible statement on priorities by reneging on the stadium support to save $2 million toward the PD's $10-12 million deficit. HOWEVER, the PD is not a sacred cow either. Especially here since we now know there is a grant of $40,000 coming from OUR federal taxes, and since the BOA thinks a 9% raise is appropriate for the city marshall and since there are NO BUDGET CUTS planned at City Hall. (Just services as usual.)
How come there are so many sacred cows here and so few Hindus?
Bhagwan Yesucan

Greg Walters said...

In answer to questions raised by this week's post:

CHIEF OF POLICE COMPENSATION:

The Chief of Police receives his annual salary (currently $86,821.88) per year, a city vehicle/maintenance and fuel, and an $80 a month cell phone allowance. Health, dental and/or life insurance benefits.

The following answers are to Justin Tomac's questions:

1st - Will the county automatically re-evaluate and reset our property value or do we need to call them for this?

The County re-evaluates property values every two years. If you wish, you may appeal the decision.

2nd - Are city employee merit increases (especially the Chief of Police & p/t Judge) based upon a Pay for Performance or is it always a set amount per year?

Depends on the administration in charge.

The Municipal Judge has not receive a pay increase in many years. The Chief of Police has received 5% increases for the past four years. The Board of Aldermen has not had increase in 12 years.

It is the BOA's perogative as to how much and when raises are given.

3rd - How do these salaries compare to other 4th Class cities?

A comparison of other cities can be obtained from the Mid-America Regional Council.

3rd - How does this process work, i.e. who presents the pay increases for the BOA to approve is it a sub-committee or the city manager?

These two pay increas packages were sponsored by the Elected Official Compensation Committee. According to the minutes of those meetings, three of the five members were in attendance when the recommendation was made.

Ultimately, the BOA has the final say on the matter.

Anonymous said...

Greg,

I would assume that these raises could not be tabled until the new board takes office as the elctions might change who gets a raise if any.

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

Wow to the guy above me, Anon 11:29pm. I like that guy. He came to the light.

One thing Greg your time stamps are off. DST is in effect.

Now Mr. Whiteman. I am sorry to hear that they did not give you a flyer. I think all of you should get it. If you are anything like me. When reading a computer screen i just feel like i will miss something when scrolling. So i read the flyer. Guess what? I did not miss anything. It is still cut and dry. Plain and simple. So i am still rediculously baffled by all of you who cannot figure it out. What is not too get. Of course now there is Mr. Thode and is math skills. tell me Mr. Thode, how is $40,000.00 from the government stimulus and the 9%pay increase hat you wanna take away from the City Marshall going to give us the $1,100,000.00 that the Public Safety Sales tax will give us? I don't have to have PHd in Math to figure that your math is off. Way off. So rethink your figures please.
Seriously where do you come up with some of your stuff. The research is there and it was done perfectly. Have you read the purposal? It is all right there. It was done by the police department and EMS to show what needs they have and why? Simple. I don't know how you cannot figure taht out. Even if there was money in the city's pocket that could go for the police department an EMS instead of something else. There are some people on the BOA, Mr. Walter's included who would never let it go to them. Mr. Walter's has proven time and time again, in his voting as an Alderman, that if there is no oversight by the BOA he would never give the police or EMS money. He is not the only one mind you. Mr. Aziere being another who in is votes makes me assume that he does not think we need public safety. Mr. Walters has only proven to me that if his hand is not in a controlling part of something he is apose to it. Well I think the Police department and EMS are second to non in this Metropolitan area, and if they require money to keep up the good work then let that be that. The only think you are really voting against is your safety. If that is how you want it then fine. That is your 5 votes.

I personally would like to see a new face for Ward 1. I will be voting for Par Due, if only for one thing is would be that. I have not been pleased with Mr. Walters and would welcome new repersentation.

The Hawk

Anonymous said...

Hawk it is very plain to see that you are full of the same thing your diaper is !!!!!

Anonymous said...

You should like the guy above, He's a Hawk clone. you both spell the same way. you must have gone to the same school.

Greg Walters said...

No profanity allowed.

Say it in a civil manner or your message will be deleted. Those of you who are using "bl-nk sp-ts" when spelling certain words are skatingon this ice.

From this point forward any messages using profane language either correctly spelled or as noted above will be deleted.

Take this as a fair warning. Keep your message clean or it will not be allowed to stay on the page.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate that Greg. Thank you. Finally you are getting the point.

Anonymous said...

To Hawk post 12:05 a.m.,

How much money has to be spent in order to raise the $1.1 Million that the PD wants or claims in its flyer?
Is this number realistic in this economy?

Anonymous said...

Friend of the Hawk,

Not only as one other bloger pointed out that you are unable to spell, but you no common sense.
First you are buying this tax proposal hook, line and sinker. However the individual who you are critical of is correct. Please follow up on Campaign Finance Disclosure Law Section 130.031 of the Missouri Statues. Item number 8 should clear up that a disclosure is required.

Anon 11:00 and anyone else receiving one of the flyers with out the “paid for by disclosure” should contact Missouri Ethics Commission. They are the ones that are charged with enforcement and investigation of violations.

It is said that there are those like Hawk and Friend of Hawk that run their mouths on here, but don’t have the facts. Might I suggest you both just fly back to the Hawkeye State and get an education before spilling more miss leading information, as well as helping to push scare tactics to get unneeded tax measurers passed.

I don’t want to sound as down as you make others feel. Therefore, congratulations on constantly making employee of the month! What else would any of us think from your blinded contrition to this blog? It is good to have followers, but be cautious as people are measured on whom they run with. A free thinker doesn’t have these issues as we are able to check on the facts, research the truth and understand the law.

Daniel Thode said...

Just a point of clarification Mr. Hawk, I was not saying the 51,000 dollars saved would cover the entire tax increase. It simply indicated to me that this might not be a last resort. I am for public safety, but I am also for fiscal responsibility.

I just think pushing the vote to the November election makes more sense is all.

Anonymous said...

Jim Lynch should impose a freeze on his salary to show the voters that he is willing to sacrifice in these troubled times. If he doesn't then we should all vote against his police department tax. Also vote against any of the aldermen that vote to raise his salary. WE ARE WATCHING!!!

Anonymous said...

I am for a sound police department but, I am also for low taxes. I wonder if the PD is top heavy (more Chiefs than Indians)Could you possibly move some of those paper pushers out on the street? Years ago you could drive up and down 350 Highway and see police men now about the only time you see them is sitting in the park on the cell phone!!! I also believe the man who REALLY works up there is under paid(not by alot) but the big wigs are really cleaning house when it comes to salary. Let's not give them the tax increase they want and make them work for it and be accountable for my money and YOURS...

Anonymous said...

I am sick and tired of how do we compare to other cities when it comes to other cities our size. We are Raytown we may not have the business to bring the sales tax in like other cities around us. Let's get off the kick of comparing us to other cities our size and deal with Raytown and what we have to work with.

Anonymous said...

ooooooooooooo Greg is now the Word Police. George Carlin is probably rolling over in his grave or planning to haunt Greg tonight. ooooooooooooooooooooo

Andy Whiteman said...

Bhagwan Yesucan, There have been budget cuts at City Hall. I consider unmaintained streets to be extreme budget cuts.

Putting off off the elected official's wage increase to the next board is not an option. Nancy Thompson said that any wage change must happen BEFORE the election. I said it should have taken place before the deadline for filing and from what he said I believe Greg agrees with me.

Good Day,
Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Greg at least is trying to bring decency to his blog, which is something within his control. I wish he would take a little more control of his ward and get some of these code violators to clean up their act, as this is something really needing policed. However, that would mean he real has substance at city hall. I guess 25 years on the board doesn’t give him this respect or maybe our city administrator just has a lack of respect our elected officials. I am sure it is not that he is unaware of the code violations within his ward from the posting on his blog as well as form the number of individuals in his ward that tell me he has been out walking.

Maybe we could all flood the blog with the violations, so there would be a doubt there is more cleanup to do in the real world then the virtual world.

Anonymous said...

Greg for my clarification as well as those that have not heard. I understand, Chief Lynch will receive 50% of his salary annual salary at retirement for life.

I think this is important as it plays right in to him already being over paid.

Anonymous said...

Why do all these Republican mayors keep raising our taxes? Republican Mayor Sue Frank raised our taxes an now Republican Mayor Bower wants to do the same. Have these conservatives forgot where they came from?

Anonymous said...

what is wrong with these city officials thinking they deserve pay raises in this economy. People are being laid off everywhere and yet they feel no need to tighten there own belts. oh and lets vote a new tax hike in. why are they suggesting this. what is wrong with these people.

JWDT said...

To Anon 9:44 a.m.,

I agree lets work with what we have.
How do we know what we should have? If we do not have something to compare to are we setting our sights too high or low? How do/will we deal with people who use other 4th class cities or cities of similiar size for comparison?
It is often said a good defense is an even better offense, thus we want the info for our back pocket.

Thanks for the discussion,
Justin Tomac

Anonymous said...

Sue Frank is lining her own pocket by campaigning for this tax hike. Why? Police Captain Ted Bowman, her husband will get a BIG RAISE if the tax is approved. So much for Frank wanting to help the city.

Anonymous said...

unbelievable that is just great. NOT

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the rest of the family tree. Ted Bowman's sister is Christine White, Alderman from ward 3

Anonymous said...

we can only hope that alan adams will push christine white out of her position. change the boa and maybe raytown will have hope

Anonymous said...

We should all thank Mr Adams from running at least those in Ward 3 have an option. I wish I could say the same about our chief of police and judge.

Anonymous said...

I for one Thank You Mr Adams for running against Christine White.

Salamander said...

The Saints be Praised!!!

The whack ball mayor of Kansas City finally did something right!

He wants to cut off the 2 million stipend Kansas City gives to our local pro teams each other.

Apparently this custom began more than 30 years ago when the stadiums were originally built. Our then Mayor and County Executive thought it would be a nice gesture of "good faith" to give a couple of billionaires $2 million of city/county tax dollars every year.

From where the Salamander sits it appears we have shown enough good faith.

Funky is right on.

Both owners are among the richest people in America. Neither lives in the area. Why on earth we should subsidize those studies of mediocrity the newspapers call "professional" ballplayers is beyond me.

Way to Go -- Funky!!!

Salamander said...

The Saints be Praised!!!

The whack ball mayor of Kansas City finally did something right!

He wants to cut off the 2 million stipend Kansas City gives to our local pro teams each other.

Apparently this custom began more than 30 years ago when the stadiums were originally built. Our then Mayor and County Executive thought it would be a nice gesture of "good faith" to give a couple of billionaires $2 million of city/county tax dollars every year.

From where the Salamander sits it appears we have shown enough good faith.

Funky is right on.

Both owners are among the richest people in America. Neither lives in the area. Why on earth we should subsidize those studies of mediocrity the newspapers call "professional" ballplayers is beyond me.

Way to Go -- Funky!!!

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget that Christine White has voted for every budget that: eliminated this cities street maintenance programs. Gave hundreds of thousands in tax give away's to big corporations and is opposed to recycling too. As did most of the others running to be reelected.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if a Organized group against the sales tax? - where can I get a yeard sign?

Anonymous said...

Give your info

Anonymous said...

no, but i will take one of those signs

Andy Whiteman said...

Anon 11:29 AM, Why not be productive and notify codes of each violation via email? BCC it to yourself so you have a record of it. If you don't receive a satisfactory response, follow up and CC the follow up to someone higher up the pecking chain. That is the way to get action.

I thought of Mayor Funkhouser as a fruitcake until now. Cutting the stadium funding is the most intelligent thing he has proposed. I have nothing against the teams. I just feel they are for profit and the owner's should assume responsibility. Besides that, one player makes more in a year than all workers in any city department will make in a lifetime!

Good night,
Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Right from the city budget here is the breakdown on the magic 56 officers referenced in the material supporting the tax increase. I would say from a quick review we are extremely top heavy. If this was a corporation it would be time with our current economic state to cut some middle management. This would reduce cost and allow for more officers on the street and less being used to hold down furniture at city hall.

When Bishop was chief of Kansas City, MO, he changed policies that would require even senior officers to spend time out patrolling. Maybe in these tough times it is time to review his approaches. It could be this is the benefit of an appointed chief, but we still live in a fourth class city thanks to those that worked against the last charter like Chief Lynch and former Mayor Frank.

1 - Elected Police Chief
2 - Captain
4 - Lieutenant
6 - Sergeant
5 - Corporal
10 - Detective
28 - Police Officer

Anonymous said...

Additional interesting things in the police budget.

We list no reserve officers last year or currently, but yet last year (2007) we spent $41,708 on them. For 2008 we budget $46,120 and it really jumps for 2009 to $71,841. If according to paper we do not have any officers in this category then where is this money going. I understand reserve officers do not receive any type of compensation for the city.

Why did we spend $292,590 on commissioned officer overtime in 2007? If we assume starting salary and benefits for a regular officer to be between $40,000 and $50,000 a year. We could have been able to hire 6 or 7 officers. I realize that you are not going to be able to cut all overtime, so I am guessing the more realistic number to be 4 officers. However, I think we get the point. We don’t need additional taxes to solve the issue of hiring more officers. What we need and deserve is better management.

Again there is no cost to any of us nor a reduce in any other service if we find ways to better spend money the police department already has.

Anonymous said...

I see Willard Ross is supporting the tax increase. Is he not the same mayor that used the police department as a personal chaffer service? Under his 16-year reign as mayor you would often find a police officer assisting a certain elderly lady with shopping and other personal appointment like getting her hair done.

I fear this practice might still be conducted today if not for the current mayor’s family maybe the chief’s Bad practices will keep this voter for supporting an police tax increase for some time especially when supported by Ross.

Andy Whiteman said...

Anon 8:17 AM, it sounds logical that hiring more officers will cut overtime. Maybe, but it won't help the budget. When I worked in another field, I suggested hiring another person to cover 40 hours of overtime per week. I was told that the cost of benefits for another person would exceed the money saved by cuttin=g OT.

Besides that OT is needed in this State of Misery just to have enough to live on. Due to extreem heat and cold plus humidity the utilities are outrageous. I had to work one day of overtime each month and it went to pay the gas or electric bill! Base pay doesn't provide enough to live on.

Good Day,
Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Andy,

I appreciate your comments, but be realistic. Someone who builds their budget on the assumption they will always have a set amount of overtime are the same individuals who end up in greater debit when the overtime is cut or eliminated. It seems this is the philosophy at city hall.

Yes, you are correct that there are other expenses like benefits that would have to be paid out on additional employees, but if you would take the time to reread my comments on the overtime you would see I have included that in my calculations.

However, please tell me how many companies are and remain successful if they don’t examine their books and decide if additional full time employees (FTEs) would save money. If you or anyone else real believes that we couldn’t hire any FTEs for $292,590 and still come out ahead then it is no wonder our city is in the shape it is in and we keep ending up with the type of leadership we have at city hall.

Greg,

Would you be able to amuse both Andy and myself and disclose what the actual cost with benefits is for a starting patrol officer?

I also would be interested in you father’s thoughts on this being he has ran a successful business for years.

Thankful for Pro Teams said...

I wish the Salamander would shut up!

Going after the Chiefs and Royals over a few million dollars is petty.

Lamar Hunt gave so much of himself to this area that we are forever indebted to him.

David Glass has sacrificed endlessly for the people in Kansas City. Look what his Walmart is doing for Raytown.

How can we ever repay either of them?

Anonymous said...

interesting that you think a few million dollars is petty.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like if we would learn to manage the money we have at city hall we wouldn't need any new taxes. Wish Mr. Thode was running for city office.

Anonymous said...

Also from the land of the city budget

Property Taxes – a 1.22% decrease – primarily due to flat assessments
and a decrease in County agent fees.

Sales Taxes – a 1.69% decrease – primarily due to flat sales and a final
quarter sales tax reduction due to the 350 Highway TIF coming on line.

Misc. Taxes – an 11.09% decrease – due to our decreasing sales.

Now how do they really thing the sales tax the propose is going to help. Are we sure it is not to make up the money we are lossing thanks to the TIF as well as all the business Wal-mart is driving out of the city?

Anonymous said...

The teams do not own the stadiums the county does. Why should the teams pay for up keep when they do not own them. That is like saying renters should paint the house they live in and mow the lawn.

Anonymous said...

Duh! Renters don't mow? Gimme a break! Ever hear of a triple net lease?
And to Thankful for Pro Teams..you are kidding, right?
Bush League Teams especially thanks to Glass and the goofball Nashville wannabee before him.
Really I wonder sometimes what the color of the sky is in the world you live.
Look, we can all disagree agreeably but I sometimes think this blog's home base is in Indiana because some of you Hoosiers don't know sic'em from come'here.
I do appreciate the sincere and intelligent comments but there are just too few of them.
This site does prove one thing (as does City Hall's leadership) and that is that Raytown is in the shape it is because there's just not a lot of brain power here.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone consider the possibilty that there are more important things in the city than street lights and street overlay. The employees are hard working PEOPLE who have feelings as well as families to feed and bills to pay as well. The poor raises they received or no raises for a lot of years were not fair or justified. But they keep working hard despite certain people on the BOA not wanting them to have raises because we have to overlay a street.

Unless you have worked in city government (not a part time alderman or mayor), you have no idea what the employees have to deal with. So let's stop acting like the employees at city hall don't know what they are doing. Has anyone on here who has constantly complained about the employees ever told one of them they are doing a good job in person.

Pat Casady said...

The "Blue Collar" workers of Raytown should receive their planned raises if any are due. Upper management's salaries should be frozen. No way do the real workers of Raytown make the kind of money that management does.
Raytown will, in my opinion, need more police officers in the near future. With the new box store about to open, which will bring down property values
even more, with it will come more crime and undesirables, it's a given we will need the protection.
What I don't understand is why? Why didn't our elected officials see this coming?
Everyone else did. Some of us even tried to tell them that the 350 live tax deal wasn't good for this little town. All but one ignored the people. Now they want the taxpayers to pay for their bad decisions. You don't have to be smarter than a fifth grader to
realize if you keep giving away your income it won't take long until you are financially
in trouble. Which is exactly where Raytown is now.
Property values going down. The city asking for more and more tax increases.
No tangible improvements to be seen. It's time for this mutual admiration society to be dismantled and some new people elected.
To "Thankful for Pro Teams....."
I hope you were being sarcastic about what sacrifices the very rich Mr.Glass has made for K.C. And you should have said look what his Wal-Mart is doing "TO"
Raytown instead of "for."

Anonymous said...

City employees should quit whining. They are lucky to have a job in this economy. Many of our citizens have either taken pay cuts or are out of a job entirely. As for street overlay, curbs, street light and so forth, that's what city government is supposed to do, provide BASIC CITY SERVICES. If we've come to the point where we can't do that, then the city government should cease to excist. Sounds radical I know, but it's the truth. Then what would happen to all those employees?

Pat Casady said...

I know quite a few city workers and I personally have never
heard one of them whine about their pay. They are good, decent
hard working people that do their jobs for us. As far as I know
they are happy they have their jobs. So let's not guess about what they are feeling or saying. I don't even know if they are up for pay increases
at this time but if they were, I think if anybody deserves a raise it is them the real workers.

Anonymous said...

Alderman Pat Ertz was in my neighborhood last Saturday campaigning for the new city sales tax. My question is why is Mr. Ertz allowed to use a taxpayer owned vechicle to promote this tax. Mr. Ertz's truck belongs to Public Water District #2. Could this be an ethical voliation subject to action by the Missouri Ethics Commission?

Anonymous said...

Alderman Walters I often appreciate you standing up for Raytown and your values by being the only “No” vote on the board. However, you lost my support shortly after you ran for mayor and I understand now why outside of your own ward you can not get any respect. You where walking out South in my ward and I asked if the parking a semi-truck at a residence every passed. You told me it hadn’t and that as a homeowner we should have that right. I was pleased to hear this and so I told my cousin it would be okay to come by and spend some time with us the next time he was delivering and pickup a load in KC. About two months later he showed up and with is truck, which was parked it our drive. We noticed an old bald headed man parked in front of our home so we went out to ask if he needed something. We quickly learned that we had to move the truck as the city did have an ordinance that had been on the books for some time not allowing us to have the truck at the house. You can guess I was less then happy so after checking with city hall if we really had an ordinance and if we did who voted for I be came less then impressed with you. I was mad as heck at myself for voting for you and I still need to thank all those nice people that voted for Bower. Here is the thing. I am not mad at you for how you voted. I am mad you told me it was okay to bring the truck to the house and that you didn’t vote for it. If you can recall that is okay, just take my number next time and get back with me. However, being I am not in your ward I doubt I will have to see you anytime soon.

Greg Walters said...

The posting before this one is fiction.

The conversation did not take place. I am very up front about where I stand on issues as they come before the BOA.

My first inclination is to remove it from the page. But I think this would only create more outlandish lies, etc., etc.

So, I thought, how do the other posters feel that particular comment and others like it should be handled.

Anonymous said...

I am with you this guy is dreaming up a good story. Anyone who knows Greg knows he would not do this or say anything like this.I say push the delete button. There is always someone wanting to destroy good people and here is a prime example of a true nut.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like 3/12 8:18am could be my neighbor. If he lives in ward 4. My neighbor is always stirring the pot. But about all he ever accomplishes is making people mad at him.

Anonymous said...

This time I agree with Pat it is time for the people at the bottom of the food chain to get help. They are the ones who do the REAL work. Believe me they don't bring in anything close to $91,00.00 a year.

Andy Whiteman said...

Greg, I feel the best way to handle posts like the one above yours is to do as you did and state it is fiction along with your side of it. Deleting it will raise cries of "censorship" even though it is an out and out lie which is against your rules. (Actually I couldn't believe that post at all.)

As for OT, of course no business can exist paying out overtime on a consistant basis. I am sure there is a certain amount of OT where it is cheaper to pay OT than hire FTEs.

I notice the employer that told me it was cheaper to pay OT now has ended most of its OT now. Of course this is 30 years later, a different economy, and people using other services than they did then hence less business.

A pervious post stated the numbers of Corporals and Sgts on the Police Force and implied that they are chair warmers. I dispute this. I used to work at a Sheriff's Department and the Cpls and Sgts were on the street the same as an officer. The rank denotes a higher level of responsibility and/or supervisory status. I called the RPD a few years ago, asked for a Sgt and he called me back from his cell while on patrol. He definately was NOT a chair warmer!

As I have previously stated, I agree with Pat that the real city workers, not upper management deserve the raises.

In reply to another poster, there are city workers I have personally thanked for their service. If they have done something out of the ordinary (such as responding for a raccoon or skunk after hours) their supervisor as well as the Mayor received an email from me.

Good Day,
Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

About the poster. This person is fantisizing about Greg. One only has to watch one BOA meeting to know that Greg is the only one that you know where he is standing. Never in doubt in my mind.

JWDT said...

To anon 3/11/09: 11:04 a.m.,

It has been my experience in business that if you use a factor of 1.25 to 1.35 you will cover the entire (Total) cost of the employee. This includes Profit Sharing, Healthcare, 401k match, etc.. A factor of 1.3 x the base salary gives a total cost.

With this in mind if the base is $50k/year, the total cost (without OT) is roughly equivalent to $65k/year. If we spent $292k on OT that would mean for a $50k base salaried employee Raytown could afford 4.5 FTE's or, round down to be conservative, 4 more Police officers.

What is the average base salary for a city worker?
Thanks,
Justin Tomac

Anonymous said...

With the Police Department you can not come real close to guessing how much OT is going to be needed. The officers never know if they are going to be able to leave on time from one day to the next. There might be a homicide, serious accident or someother major event that would take a lot of manpower to handle the situation on OT because you have to have other officers to cover the streets for events that happen during the major incident.

This chief is better than any other chief this city has seen. We definitely don't need to go back to the Turnbow or Beeler days. Good police protection costs a lot of money. Look at how low serious crime (what they call persons crime murder, rape and robbery) is in Raytown compared to the areas surrounding Raytown. The chief and all of his people do a great job of protecting Raytown. There is no way to stop all crime because no one has that kind of manpower. Be thankful for the short response time and effort Raytown gets. Talk to some of the Kansas City residents that have to wait for hours for response times.

Andy Whiteman said...

The trouble with attempting to eliminate Police overtime is scheduling when crimes will be committed. Criminals will not comply with an ordinance restricting what time they may commit a crime. True scheduling officers can be based on past statictics and known events that will take place. Also special enforcement such as 87th St could then be scheduled during regular shifts if additional officers are hired.

My point is any major event will require Police overtime. There was a double homicide here a few years ago. I don't know if this used OT but I suspect it did. There was a standoff/suicide shortly after I moved to town that required most of the force. It obviously involved OT!

Raytown has received State grants for special traffic enforcement such as HWY 350. Obviously this involves OT. Since it is state funded, is it counted as OT used by the Police? It would not be proper to count this as a city funded OT expense since it is State funded.

Justin, The average base for a city worker is NOT a living wage. I have seen help wanted ads by the City posted as Legal Notice in the Raytown Post. Last summer they advertised for parks workers and the wage was so low it was laughable if they find anyone willing to work for that pittance. I believe it was around $9.50/hr but was so low and ridiculous that I don't recall the exact figure. I have seen code enforcement advertised at $14 or $14.50/hr. Hopefully these wages have gone up since I saw the ads. The base wages are public record. Anyone can make a Freedom of Information Act request for the city wage tables. They have to provide the wages by job title but obviously wages by employee name is private information and does not have to be furnished.

Good night,
Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

If crime is so low then I say we don't need to increase taxes while our citizens are hurting from a bad economy. No New Taxes.

Anonymous said...

Interesting article, if you don't like what going on, file for a audit.



http://www.bnd.com/33...

Sunday, Mar. 08, 2009|
Analysis: Requests rise for audits of governments
By DAVID A. LIEB - Associated Press Writer

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Citizen distrust of government appears to be on the rise in Missouri, based on a surge of audit requests for cities, schools and local governing bodies.

The Missouri auditor's office averaged 14 requests annually to conduct special audits of local governments from 2005 to 2007. Last year, that spiked to 26 audit requests - an 85 percent increase over the norm.

That's "a huge increase, which I think indicates that people are somewhat dissatisfied with what's going on in government," State Auditor Susan Montee recently told a group of media executives, editors and reporters gathered at the Capitol.

The auditor's office routinely audits state agencies, statewide elected officials, some counties and courts.

Residents who think something is amiss can petition the state to audit political subdivisions, such as cities, school districts and water districts. Or citizens can turn to the governor's office, which also has the power to request a state audit of governmental entities.

The threshold to get a petition audit varies according to the population of an area.

For example, a jurisdiction where fewer than 1,000 people voted in the last gubernatorial election needs signatures from 25 percent of registered voters. A jurisdiction with more than 50,000 people who voted in the last gubernatorial election would need the greater of 5,000 signatures or 5 percent the votes cast.

So the citizens of Quitman, population 46 in rural northwest Missouri, needed just nine signatures when they petitioned in late 2007 for an audit. They turned in 16 valid signatures.

The residents of St. Joseph, population about 74,000, needed and submitted more than 3,212 signatures for an audit of their city government.

Both of those audits were completed in January. None of the 26 audits requested in 2008 are complete yet.

But Montee says nearly all have something in common.

"We always find Sunshine (Law) violations in these areas," Montee said in an interview with The Associated Press. "It's a common thread: If you're not being open in your little city and people don't know what's going on, they will think you're doing something wrong."

In many cases, Montee said, it boils down to simple things, such as failing to post meeting agendas or balking at public requests for copies of meeting minutes and government memos.

The audit of tiny Quitman, for example, found that its meeting minutes were not sufficiently detailed and there was no evidence it held public hearings on proposed tax rates or that the tax rates were formally approved by the board. The audit said Quitman also lacked a budget for its fiscal year that ended in April 2008.

When open-government violations spur citizens to petition her office, the ensuing audits find other notable problems in about half the cases, Montee said.

A lobbyist for cities also connected the Sunshine Law to the increasing number of citizen-requested audits of local governments. But Gary Markenson, the executive director of the Missouri Municipal League, doubts there's actually an increase in open-government violations or any greater distrust of local government.

Markenson said he believes increased attention to the Sunshine Law by the media and various Internet sites has led residents with grievances to more frequently organize against city officials. He calls Sunshine Law requests and audits the latest "offense tools and weapons against city governments."

"Cities are so intimately involved in your daily lives with rules an regulations - you can't park here, you can't have too many dogs - and that angers people and they retaliate," Markenson said.

Montee attributes part of the public's increased attention to open-government issues and audits to the lengthy 2008 presidential campaign, in which government accountability became an issue.

When citizens petition for a state audit, it is the governmental entity being audited that must pay for it, not the petitioners or the state.

The auditor's office estimates the audit of Quitman to cost $4,000 to $8,000, an amount about equal to the town's entire cash balance in its general fund and road fund. The St. Joseph audit is estimated to cost $60,000 to $80,000. An ongoing audit of the city of St. Louis could cost around $1 million, Montee said.

In that regard, the audits sometimes can be ironic. Citizens concerned about waste, fraud or abuse of government resources can end up costing their governments more money. But sometimes, the audits are the best way to shed light on problems.

"The procedure is out there so that a grass-roots effort can be made to have someone come in and look at the way government is operating," Montee said.

Anonymous said...

What bothers me the most about the tax increase city hall wants is that they don't act like they need the money up there.

5.5% pay increases for every city employee. A 9% pay increase for the cheif of police. Another 5% for the judge.

Sure doesn't seem like they are hurting too badly to me.

My job has bee cut back to no overtime and no raise this year. My neighbor lost his job. To make matters worse, my property value hss been decreased by the county.

I usually support tax increases. But not this time.

Anonymous said...

Raytown City Hall doesn't need to worry how they spend money when
there are suckers in town that will vote for the tax increases and believe everything
City Hall tells them, RRFT, New Kids, The Chamber.
Just as the elected officials that vote to give away tax income
and spend the street overlay money on other things, expect the suckers to vote them in for another four years of bad service to the people. It's like we stand in line for a swat in the billfold and then say, thank you elected official, may I have another?

Anonymous said...

I understand that the Raytown Police Department is slated to get some of the federal stimulus money. Why don't they use this to supliment their budget instead of asking for another tax increase?

Pat Casady said...

To Anonymous 6:51
Sad but that maybe true.
Raytown does need changes of elected officials but do I think it will happen?
I truly hope it will but, with low voter turn out, I fear things will never change for Raytown until it's too late and Raytown can't be fixed.
This tax increase is a troubling one. On one hand I know we will need more police officers by the end of Summer when the big box opens on 350hwy.
But, with the economy being as it is making us pay more for already too expensive goods may be asking too much at this time.
The Post listed a six city list of decline in total property values in area school districts.
Raytown was the hardest hit. Now we have to ask ourselves what is causing this decline?
Let's see what's new in town? What have our elected officials let happen to this town?
Why are there so many houses up for sale? Why are so many businesses leaving town?
Maybe the voters need to think about this before they pull the switch in April.

Andy Whiteman said...

Audit? Many writers have suggested an audit, but no one has started the petition. I wonder why?

It could be the cost of the audit does not justify the benefits. I wonder if funds are mishandled, can they be recovered either by criminal or civil prosecution of those involved?

When will the assessment notices be mailed out? Are they waiting for protest from the taxing entities? I already received my assessment from NM, protested, and the assessment was lowered.

I hope there is a big turn out for the April election. Hopefully voters will be angered enough to VOTE.

I may be weird, but I like lower assessments because that means less taxes. Property taxes here are outrageous!

Good Day,
Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

How would you know whether the cost of a state audit is justified until you conduct one? Also, I believe the last one was done in 1981. Don't you think maybe one is justified every 25 or 30 years? If there's nothing to hide I believe that the mayor and BOA should order one. They don't have to wait for petitions. It would sure tell us whether any new taxes are needed.

Andy Whiteman said...

Yes, I agree you don't know if an audit is justified until one is conducted. From what I have heard and observed in both the Dysfunctional School District and the City, I feel an audit is warranted.

I doubt anyone in office would request an audit. Rick Theod is a CPA and said that if elected he would conduct his own audit of the school district.

Some one needs to get the petition started. I think there will be plenty of signers. I will sign both!

It should be SOP to have an audit when there is a change of administration (especially the Finance Director) just as a CYA for the new person because it is pretty difficult to follow something back over 30 years!
********
Whose fault is the declining population and lower property values in Raytown? Part of the fault MAY be poor government, but I think a big part is the economy and subprime loans. Take a look at this article:

Why Suburban Life, as You Know It, May Be Over

http://finance.yahoo.com/family-home/article/106732/Suburbia-R-I-P

I have been here 9 years. If I had it to do over again today, I would look at the property taxes. They are so outrageous with close to 75% going to the Dysfunctional School District. I can sure understand why people don't want to buy homes or open businesses in Raytown. If I had to do it again, I wouldn't buy a home in Raytown but I sure will emphasize RAYTOWN SCHOOLS when I sell.

Good evening,
Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

It looked like the Raytown folks were busy today ---putting up their sales tax increase signs. Wonder if all those people will vote for it. My neighbor just kills me he is always saying I will never vote for more taxes we will be taxed right out of our houses and guess what he has a sign up personally I think he is a brown noser. Wonder how many brown nosers we have out there. I just pray it will fail or we will be taxed right out of our houses.

Anonymous said...

If Thode gets elected for the Raytown school district board and he wants an audit, it won't take long for the rest of the current board members to shut him up. He better learn to be one of the "good ole boys" or they will make it rough on him for the duration of his term.

I know how they work at the 6608 building cause I am a school district employee!

Anonymous said...

If an audit is done it has to be started by a group of residents. The city would never request one. So what needs to happen is to get a coalition of people to ask the state to do any audit, also the state can do an audit on the school district if it is requested.

Andy Whiteman said...

It seems to me that a CPA, if elected as a board member, has the knowledge to conduct his own audit.

I definately think audits of both governments are in order, but who will start the petitions? This has been a topic for a long time. I think someone should get the petitions going. Both petitions could be circulated at the same time.

Red Dogg says it is bed time for her.

Good night,
Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Thode sounds like the type of guy we need on the school board. The rest of the board can't physically stop him from conducting his own audit. Once he's drawn his conclusions, he can bring them up at a public meeting. If the numbers are as bad as I think they will be, then the Post will definitely make it a public issue.

If the board then fails to act on his findings, it makes those individuals look bad. I think he has ability to be a reformer on a board that hates reformer which is exactly what we need.

Anonymous said...

I hate to disagree with you, but I don't believe the Post will ever get involved in anything controversial. If they did no one would know about it anyway, because of their low circulation. They haven't been a good investigative paper since Lee Gray sold it to those failed owners, can't even think of their names. How soon we forget.

Anonymous said...

I hope you are wrong about the Post not taking on controversial subjects. But them staying away from the 9% pay increase for the Chief of Police and the 5% pay increase for the Judge indicates that you may be right.

First thing they need to learn is that there are no sacred cows.

Andy Whiteman said...

If a CPA conducts his own audit and the board fails to act, it may provoke the public to petition for an audit.

Anon 9:40 AM & 7:18 PM, The post has new owners. I have noticed a change. We don't know what the real circulation is. There is no public count of the online version. I prefer a paper copy, but a friend emailed me a recent online article.

The old Post used to address election issues the issue before the election. Why should the new owners take a stand on anything this early? By election time most people will forget what was published. It is better to publish at a time that the issues will be fresh in peoples minds.

Good evening,
Andy Whiteman

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

Politicians should be afraid of the paper. The paper should expose how inept they are. Instead this paper is afraid of the politicians.
It's got new owners but, sad to say, it's contents is the same as it has always been. You won't be reading anything about
bad decisions and mistakes made by city officials.

Anonymous said...

It is time for you to shut up Pat. Your mouth is foul and you should be given that title of foul mouth Pat. I am sick and tired of you out of towner telling what our paper should be writing about.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:36, you just don't want to hear the truth. Pat is right about the Post, it's a lap dog, instead of a watch dog paper. Hasn't been the same since Lee Gray left. Sad, sad excuse for a paper.

Anonymous said...

Happy Sunday.

Andy Whiteman said...

The Post is here is sell papers. If they critize inept politicians, they risk offending readers as well as the politicians.

The Post could publish inept actions as news without editorial comment to get around taking a stand if they wanted to.

Pat since you don't attend BOA meetings, I will tell you the BOA now has a press table! Raytown has come out of the dark ages, but at the last meeting, I saw only one reporter there. I guess Raytown doesn't merit coverage by the Red Star, TV stations, or radio stations. If something big comes up, they will probably be here. I am glad the table is there even if only one reporter is there. We know who is reporting on Raytown.

Good evening,
Andy Whiteman

Pat Casady said...

To Anonymous 11:36
Here's what I'm tired of reading or hearing.
I'm tired of people writing on this post that accuse me of things
I never do! I have never been foul mouthed! I try to respect
others rights. If I have a problem with someone, I at least have the
intestinal fortitude to sign my name!
Read this very closely, I own property in Raytown! I pay Raytown taxes!
I collect sales tax for Raytown! That gives me just as much right
to voice my point of view as anyone else.
If you have a problem with me or what I write at least have the guts to try and find facts. Quit making up things to say about me and sign your post! I'm sixty one years old, do you think I'm going to come after you?
If I did it would be with the truth, unlike yourself.

Anonymous said...

Years and years and years and years the good people at City Hall got nothing for pay raises, their cost of living increased, their health insurance increased, and they got the pat on the head and a 2% increase every other year... In a way, with all the other increases and the inability for the City to provide cost of living increases, the people at City Hall got pay cuts... Police and EMS employees are paid at the bottom of other communities and we base all this debate on the fact that a commission decided that pay should increase for a judge and the police chief. This is not the issue. Do we need more police officers? Yes, we have less now than we did just a few years ago, and in doing so, created a public safety concern not only for our police but for the community. Do we need additional police staffing in the jail and the dispatch center. Oh my yes! Do we need to enhance our EMS to keep them at the front of the care they provide? Yes we do. Is it worth $1.00 on every $200 you spend... Are you kidding me...? YES IT IS!

You can be critical of Mr. Lynch for a lot, but one thing that the police department has done is get cut and cut and cut over the years, and even he has instituted some good consolidation of administration, and created a more economical schedule for coverage. You cannot predict overtime in public safety, and all departments have to justify their budgets both at the begining and the end... You would be hard pressed to find waste. You just can't mix numbers around to come up with this funding. You take from one, another department suffers... When you cut the budget, you cut services... And oddly, we are in a time when all of the City Services are well performing and underfunded. The City has done more with less for years... Lets move on and for once agree that we need this. You can not like people and continue to pick on them in all sorts of fun ways for you... but lets remember who we are really hurting. Oddly it just might be ourselves...

I believe in Public Safety and will surely be glad to pay for it!

Anonymous said...

My property was assessed at a value of $205,000 two years ago. I was shocked as there was no way it would have ever sold for that amount. I fought and it was dropped to $200,000 - not much. It was recently appraised for a refinance and came in at $150,000 - a 27% decrease in value. This is more than the 10% the paper mentions. I doubt my real estate taxes will go down 27%. They have increased from $1700 to $3200 in the last ten years. It's a killer. Also, does anyone track if the alderman, school board members, mayor, policeman, EMT personnel etc are paying their personal and real estate taxes?