Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Fall of Our Leader

Richard Tush Contributing Editor Alderman Van Buskirk and Ligthfoot still have not had a one on one meeting with our mayor. It is a standard practice to for this meeting to bring the new Alderman up to date on issues facing the city, receive committee assignments and the learn the direction, which the mayor would like for the city. The lack of inclusion seems to mean one of two things. Either these two Alderman were not the mayor’s choice. We all clearly recall the mayor appointed Alderman Lightfoot’s predecessor therefore it only makes sense Lightfoot was not his candidate. The only other reason is the rumors that the mayor will not be seeking re-election must be true. Again we could be jumping to conclusions and forgetting when David Bower was running for mayor he did indicated he would be traveling from time to time in conjunction with his employment. I believe many of us would agree that from time to time professional life eats up more time to tend to other maters. However, it was Bower himself that said wherever in the world he was traveling he could still be reached by his satellite phone. With that being the case wouldn’t you believe he would have found the time for at least a phone call to cover these topics with the new incoming members. It is time the mayor steps up to the plate with the one on one meetings being completed sooner then later. Let us also remember this was the same individual who campaigned on bring together city hall, the school board and the chamber of commerce. It seems that must have been only entertaining campaign propaganda to obtain the votes of the faithful followers. Without his outreach to all elected officials how can we truly have the transparency his administration boldly boast about and the ability to move our city forward? If he has had enough and decided to throw in the towel it is time to share this with the citizens. This will give additional time for a new and active leader to emerge. It appears at least two Aldermen are ready to step up. Alderman Aziere and Ertz have both reached out to the new Alderman in an attempt to obtain their support for mayor pro-tem. Maybe this is the first step both are making in preparing a campaign for mayor. Richard Tush, contribution editor


Anonymous said...

I did watch the BOA meeting on television last night. I was happy to see the new alderman, at least three of them asking questions, and not just bobbbling their heads. I would like to ask Chris White why do we still have a blighted building on 350 HWY. It is a yellow building which use to be a crappy car lot now it is just a crappy building. Why doesn't the PZ do something about that? That certainly isn't the image we want for Raytown nor is the smoke shops or the cash loan places why don't you really do something to solve Raytowns image.

Anonymous said...

Hey maybe ParDue or Creamer will make a run for mayor also. They are two young whipper snappers who act like they know it all, and have all the answers. And Chris White she has worked so hard single handed to make a good image for the city. Let's don't forget Cathy Mack she didn't know how to read the school budget she would make a perfect mayor she would fit right in. As you can see we have a slate full of candidates. The big question is WHO...

Anonymous said...

Again Mayor Bower is showing his pettiness by not including all aldermen in the discussions at city hall. A suggestion, if he keeps dodging these new alderman, I believe that they know where he lives and works. Wonder what Bower would do if they showed up at his home some evening or early on a Saturday morning?

Anonymous said...

Hey, Eagle. You sound like a guy who benefits from the good ol' boy system in place at city hall.

You know, when health issues on private properties are allowed to stand without violation. Where complaints are allowed to be ignored by the p.d and codes.

Are you one of those guys who benefits by those in authority turning their head the other way?

Be honest, now.

Pat Casady said...

I wish I knew the answer to the above questions but, the sad fact is without more voter turnout, things in Raytown will never change.
Our image is one that City Hall doesn't want new small businesses
and our parks are not family friendly any more.
It has been proven time after time, regular everyday people that are elected to the Board of Aldermen somehow lose their minds. They forget why they ran for office. I know this because how could anyone start out
wanting the best for Raytown and then try to ruin it. Common sense goes out the door along with intelligence.
Good things that the people want like recycling, safe parks and neighborhoods are fought tooth and nail or ignored and tax income is given away without a problem. We all know how our streets are doing, even after the people voted for a tax increase just for the streets. But the elected officials that are supposed to watch out for the taxpayers and
do right by them don't seem to have a problem handing out pay increases to upper management using taxpayer money. They don't understand that the reason for a lot of people moving out of Raytown is a direct result of most of the things they
have done to this town. Then when the well is running
dry they ask for another tax increase. They know that without a good voter turnout they can pass anything they want. But, with every tax increase, more homes
go up for sale. I don't just mean sales tax either, check you real estate taxes. They
just took a huge jump. Now we hear the school district will be asking for another tax increase.
I'd like to say without voter turnout Raytown is getting what it deserves, but honestly no town deserves this.

Andy Whiteman said...

The Eagle sounds like an Attorney to me. Eagle, are you an attorney?

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Bower is beginning to act a lot like Funkhouser in Kansas City.

How is that petition drive doing anyway?

Anonymous said...

Just because one or two people get on here and say they don't like how the skateboard kids look at them or that people are parking on the grass by a shelter does not mean the Parks are going to hell in a handbasket or that they are not safe. Pat when was the last time you went to a park? I do not feel unsafe when I am in a city park. If you don't like the skateboarders try a different park.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I got an idea. Meet me at Kenagy Park tonight at 10:30 p.m. Bring your spray paint. We can join in the good clean fun of grafitti, tagging, you know, the kind of fun things that are being done in our parks.

Give me your address and I will invite all gang (oops, I meant kids) over to your neighborhood to play!

Yeah, Raytown Parks are real safe.

Andy Whiteman said...

The park located at the Royal Palace (10000 E 59th St.) looks safe to me. It is probably on video and the PD drives by frequently.

Also the pocket park is a good looking park. Seems safe there too. There is always traffic by it and the PD drives by but not as frequently as at the Palace.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

To anon 737am
The eagle doesn't live in Raytown anymore. He got smart and moved his family out the Raytown. He does work in Raytown, so there is no good ole boy benefits. I have seen no proof of the p.d. ignoring any complaints, just some people who don't like the p.d. so they are going to bash them every chance they get. I am sure the people at the p.d. know more about the law than most people in this town, but certain people think they are the end all be all when it comes to Raytown.

Raytown is faling apart because MOST of the people LIVING in Raytown don't give a damn anymore. A vast majority are tenants not homeowners so there is no pride there. Years ago Raytown was a proud place to live. he landlords don't care as long as they are getting their money. The tenants don't care because its not their property.

Raytown has always wanted to be a bedroom community, which is fine, but to be a bedroom community you have to pay higher property taxes because we don't want big businesses to come in. Raytown has not passed a sizable property tax increase for the city since 1974. Yes there has been a few minimal increases over the years that the BOA can pass without a vote of the people. Maybe if people told the fireman, the parks, and the school district no once in a while, the city could have had an increse of the their portion of the pie. These services you want the city to provide are not free. Just like the recent clean up day. Do you think the city even came close to breaking even, I highly doubt it? Find out what the cost the city in hauling stuff off plus OT for all the employees that were there all day.

It comes down to what are you willing to pay for.
The Eagle

Anonymous said...

I would not dismiss complaints about the police department as police bashing. Anymore than I would say the Eagle's comments about the police are nothing more than a serial apologist.

Let's face it. The police are reluctant to enforce laws that deal with neighborhood squabbles like those we've read about at the parks, barking dogs, etc.

Deny it if you wish. But that does not make the reality go away.

As for how city hall is run on a day to day basis. Go up there and try to get something done. The place is disfunctional. They are all so busy running around telling each other what a fine job that they are doing that they forget to do their jobs.

The 63rd Street bridge is a good example. About a year ago I read in the Raytown Post that bridge will be rebuilt this spring. Now I read that it will be rebuilt (maybe) early next year.

Why? No reason is given. It is just not getting done.

With the exception of the old First Baptist Church being torn down there has been hardly anything of note accomplished out of city hall in the last two years.

And, please, please, please, do not write back how giving tax giveaways to Walmart and HyVee are signs of progess.

It is because those places do not pay their share of taxes that our streets are allowed to go to ruin.

Maybe the extra money from the Obama crowd in Washington, DC will help in that matter.

But even that is not a local accomplishment.

No, most of our local effort at city hall manifests itself in the form of 5.5% pay increases when the rest of the world is taking pay cuts.

Maybe this new city council will make a difference. But from the looks of things Bower still has sway with enough votes to keep the mediocrity humming along at its do nothing pace.

Pat Casady said...

To the Eagle,
I do agree with you that services are not free. However can you
answer this question for me?
Raytown as we all know spent over a million dollars on the old church
property, while true all the money didn't come out of Raytown's bank account
it was still taxpayer dollars. Then there are the developers of the past that
duped our elected officials out of over 60,000 taxpayer dollars with NO results.
Studies and surveys like 50,000 to answer stupid questions
like how far to set a house back from the street.
Now we learn the our elected officials have given away another $45,000
to CBS Outdoors to remove a billboard to make way for Wal-Mart that will
probably put up a huge sign of their own and, it wouldn't surprise me if the taxpayers
of Raytown wouldn't have to pay for it too.
So my question to you is, why are services for the citizens of Raytown costly
and the services to big companies free?
You say the reason Raytown is falling apart is because the people living here
don't give a damn anymore. I say it's because the city and the elected officials
don't give a damn about the people or how their tax dollars are being spent.
I can take you to houses with code violations like five cars in a back yard, trash
piled in bags along the back fence and over five dogs and two cats. This property isn't rented this is a home owner that has been reported
time after time and nothing has been done about it.
Alderman Christine White was quoted in the Post saying "We've spent a lot
time, blood, sweat and effort trying to clean this city up and I think it's time
that we stick to our standards." I thought she was trying to get a laugh because
even she, being in the real estate business, clearly doesn't get out much.

Andy Whiteman said...

Were city employess paid overtime on clean up day? Mayor Bower thanked them for donating their day off. That lead me to believe that these people think enough of their city to donate their time. If OT was paid, can you imagine how much management was paid?

The people voted a sales for several issues and also a tax for the Fire District. Obviously the people think these are worthwhile funds, but were ripped off on the transportation tax when lead to believe it was for road maintainace.

I really prefer Prop 13 in California where taxes were frozen at the purchase valuation and any increase must be voted in by the people. It keeps taxes afforadable for the elderly assuming they do not move.

I agree with the Eagle that tennant occupied properties are likely not to be maintained. That is obviously why two aldermen are proposing that the city license and inspect rental properties.

There is one man in the neighborhood who owns rentals and it is obvious he maintains his properties. I would prefer to see owner occupied properties, but many people cannot afford to buy.

Andy whiteman

Anonymous said...

Eagle you are an idot... I will give you the School District runs their fair share of levy items. The Park and Rec are part of the city and draw from the same levy check your tax bill. The Fire Department has had only one levy item on the ballet in the past 17 years not a lot to me. Get your fact straight before you go running off at the mouth.

Anonymous said...


I can assure you that the city employees were paid overtime for there work on Saturday. Check it out at city hall. It is public information. But be forewarned. They will not drag their feet and come up with all sorts of reasons to not give you the information.

Anonymous said...

The employees were paid overtime. Management is on salary so they they don'tget overtime. Why should a city employee be exoected to donate a day. I don't know if the public works employees had a choice but I know the police officers that worked there did not have a choice about working on their day off.

I thought personal attacks were not allowed on this blog but anan 401 calls the eagle an idiot. The park levy is seperate from the city levy as eagle stated. And there has not been a tax levy for the city voted on by the people since 1974. There has also been more than one fire tax levy in the last 17 years. And this last one was a doozy. Those 2 fire stations are the palaces of raytown not city hall. City Hall is 35 years old.

Pat if I remember right you had nothing good to say about any of the development plans brought up for downtown raytown. Do you know that codes has done nothing on these properties you talk about? Maybe it is in the court process. If you have ever been to see our wonderful judge in action, she continues most cases for months on end. And if the person responsible does not show up in court that delays things even more.

If i remember correctly the 63rd st bridge was delayed because it had to be redisgned again, which means the bidding process has to be redone.

The biggest slumlord in this town is by far Neal Clevenger. Have you seen the condition of all of his properties, yet he made a fortune off of the school district when he sold them land for the new votech bldg.

Beagle said...

You should be equally angry at the Mayor for making misleading statements like thanking city employees for "donating their day off".

As for code violations. A building located in Downtown Raytown is still subject to the laws as far as codes goes. Pat Casady is not off base in suggesting that the codes be enforced equally and fairly.

The 63rd Street Bridge has already been re-designed. The article in the Post reported Sharma said it will not go out for bid for quite some time.

Want my guess? They have tied the money up elsewhere. But who's to know. The transparency at city hall is pretty cloudy as of late.

Remember, those payments for the bonds paying for Walmart start in August. If that building is not up an running the city will still have to pay the piper.

Neil Clevenger made money on his property. That is capitalism. He bought it. They wanted it. He sold it.

Why no outrage over spending $45,000 for two worn-down billboards on 350 Highway.

Want to know who the real winners are with all the money spent for Walmart and moving the school buiding around -- check out the salaries of your professional staff serving our school district.

Andy Whiteman said...

Anon 9:01PM, I believe you. What bothers me is that Mayor Bower thanked all of these people for giving up their day off. This implies that they donated their time. I would like to know if the tie wearing chair warmers receive overtime? $100,000 annual salary translates to $591.93 for 8 hours overtime. True salaried people shouldn't receive overtime, but we don't know what the contract states. When one comes all the way from the boondocks on his DAY OFF, I sure have to wonder.

As far as I am concerned, when I was working, the overtime check was thanks enough. A supervisor once thanked me for coming to work on my day off and I told her that the thanks was expressed in the check.

Pat, codes are enforced depending on who the violator and complainant are. I know of one lady who complains about being in court for non-existant violations. If you have several hours to listen to her, I will provide her name if asked personally. Personally I don't know if her claims are true or not. I have suggested she get an attorney.

The city attorney has explained that the $45,000 CBS Outdoor will received is NOT from general tax money. It is funded by the TIF funding. My translation is that it is from different tax money since we are paying a higher sales tax if we shop at Walmart or Westlake.

Anon 7:37AM, I have had the Police out several times to enforce noise issues and they have handled it promptly and in a professional manner. The Police don't handle barking dogs. That is up to Animal Control and is impossible to enforce especially when our kangaroo Judge tells the complainant to move.

Andy Whiteman