Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Richard Tush Contributing Editor Shop Raytown What has happened to all the hype at city hall for us to get behind our local merchants and "Shop Raytown First"? At the April 14th Board of Alderman meeting the board agreed, without question to purchase five new Crown Victorias under the Mid America Council for public purchasing contract from Shawnee Mission Ford. However, from speaking with the fleet manager at Dick Smith Ford the city never contacted them about bidding on the job. In all fairness, the city’s assumption was correct and it would have cost an additional $100 per vehicle to purchase locally. However, wouldn’t have been nice to at least given this opportunity. We also need to keep in mind this would have keep city dollars in Raytown. If we look at the bigger picture of what the city has done for Wal-Mart or a downtown real estate company would the additional $500 really been out of line. At the same time, it is refreshing to learn that Jackson County Water District # 2 will be purchasing vehicles from Dick Smith Ford. It should also be noted that these are hybrid, which will provide additional savings over the life of the vehicles. Congratulations, Alderman Ertz for your leadership at the water district. We should all take pride in you taking the first steps to shop Raytown and finding environmentally friendly options for the water distinct. Movie Nights Friday, May 29, 2009 - "The Princess Bride" rated PG. Friday, June 26, 2009 - "The Last Mimzy" rated PG. Friday, July 31, 2009 - "Vertigo" rated PG. Saturday, August 15, 2009 - movie not selected yet. All movies will be shown at Colman Park, 5912 Lane starting at dusk. Bring your lawn chairs, blankets, etc. Concessions will be sold. No alcohol please. Public Committee Meetings For The Month Of May/June, 2009 May 18 Clean Air Committee; 7:00pm May 19 Board of Aldermen Meeting; 7:00pm May 21 Human Relation Commission; 6:00pm May 26 Municipal Committee; 6:00pm June 2 Board of Aldermen Meeting; 7:00pm June 9 Board-Goal Setting Session (Fire Station 1 Training Room); 6:00pm* *Meeting will follow meal catered in for members of the Board of Aldermen. Quote of the Week Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. -- P.J. O'Rourke, Libertarian

67 comments:

Greg Walters said...

I've often wondered why Raytown does not become more proactive on environmental stage.

Purchasing hybrid vehicles from a local car dealer would have been a step in the right direction. It would have kept the money in Raytown. As your article points out, it would have made economic sense. And, it would have helped improve Raytown's image in the metropolitan area.

A couple of years ago Raytown took a big step forward when it upgraded its recycling center to its new location. Since then, very little has been done on that front.

The Board of Aldermen did hire a consultant to help craft a plan for solid waste removal in the city. But was close to half a year ago and nothing has been done on that front either.

With our small size (only 10 square miles), central location in the metropolitan area, and excellent access to one of the best freeway systems serving a large metroplex, these ideas make a tremendous amount of sense.

It's too late this year on purchasing hybrid vehicles for the city, but not too late on the solid waste management.

The ball is in the City's court on this one.

It will be interesting to see if they will move forward on solid waste management.

An excellent article, Mr. Tush. My congratulations as well to Mr. Ertz on taking a forward thinking step in the Water Department.

Anonymous said...

I too have always thought that it was like city hall was "talking out of both sides of their mouth." They asked the citizens to "shop Raytown", but they can't even allow local merchants to bid on products that city hall uses. This policy was implemented by Curt Wenson and Sue Frank, so local business should blame them for this fiasco. Think about this if you're in the market for a new insurance agent. Maybe Ms. Frank's agency doesn't deserve consideration. It can be changed by this new board and I hope someone will bring it up for discussion. It's a shame a good corporate citizen like Dick Smith Ford was not allowed to bid for these new police cars. City hall needs to get it's act together and quit sending out mixed signals to the community.

Anonymous said...

I see Mr. Tush wrote an article for the blog and Mr. Walters wrote the previous article. I thought there were going to be three people other than Mr. Walters involved in managing the blog. Any updates on how things are being handled?

Andy Whiteman said...

Is it true that Dick Smith Ford specifically was not allowed to bid on the vehicles? I don't believe it. Does someone from city hall have to call the local auto dealers? It is customary to post LEGAL NOTICE that bids are solicited. I see them all the time in the Raytown Post and Red Star. I don't remember if I saw a notice for the vehicles, but this is the legal way to receive bids from all bidders.

Maybe Dick Smith Ford would charge $100 more, but I think the benefits of buying locally along with local warranty service would outweight the $100 especially when $100 is a small fraction of the total price.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

That is so interesting about the catered dinner at Fire Palace No. 1 for the Board of Aldermen.

Since it is an open meeting, will the public be invited to eat as well?

Justin Tomac said...

Richard,
Excellent article...very informative with at upcoming events that residents should be aware of.
In my opinion, the lead article was also excellent editorial. Short, concise with alternating points made.
It does beg the question for someone at City Hall to answer as to why?
Thanks,
JWDT

Anonymous said...

Andy To answer your question about the car bids. Dick Smith is NOT ALLOWED TO BID under the city's current bid policy. If your dealership is not on the MARC list then you never hear about it. I hope these new board members like Lightfoot and Mock, (both local business owners) and Van Buskirk can bring this up and convince the others that this needs to be changed. Wenson and Frank are gone so let's throw out their old outdated policies and start to support LOCAL dealerships again.

Anonymous said...

I am sure that Dick Smith recieved the MARC bid, so they could have bid on it. So it appears the City is just following the rules that are set up to purchase off someone else's contract. I guess we could hire a purchasing agent to write bids for everything the City buys so that we could ensure that we buy in Raytown, but that seems like spending thousands of dollars to keep a few dollars in Raytown. Seems like an argument that looks good on the surface, but doesn't make that much sense.

Anonymous said...

MARC publishes their bids in local papers and electronically, all dealerships in the area have an oppurtunity to bid on the vehicles. Some choose not too, I don't think that is Raytown's fault.

Tom R. said...

Information on the bid tabulations for the vehicle purchases is found at the following web location. http://www.macpp.org/2009VehicleBid/bidtab-final.xls.
According to the documentation on the website "Dick Smith Ford was disqualified as a bidder in the MARC bid process because they could not guarantee their prices would be good for the year."

Anonymous said...

You don't need a purchasing agent for the city. Get those department heads, full time city attorney, and that city administrator off their duffs and you would have no need for additional employees. We have more administrative people at city hall now than anytime in Raytown's history and we still can't get the job done. Let's be honest, the city has no intention of trading with Raytown Businesses.

Anonymous said...

The administration at city hall still uses the Sue Frank policies. The only difference is that the gender of the mayor has changed.

Still the same tired faces being appointed to all the committees.

There has been no real change at city hall in the last two years. Still the same pandering to Walmart, special favors for Knabe and his type that bellieve the city of Raytown is for them to plunder.

When will Raytowners wake up?

Anonymous said...

Fire Palace!

You've gotta love it. There are some very witty people out there.

Andy Whiteman said...

Looks like the board is saving money by using the Fire Station (which by the way the taxpayers paid for) rather than using a country club. I like the frugal method. A country club is money wasted. Buy why the catered meal? Is a catered meal necessary? Can't people eat before the meeting? Or can't someone stop by Hy-Vee, Arbys, KFC, Wendy's, or wherever on the way to the meeting?

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I read in the Post that the School District wants to challenge the County's propery value assessments in Raytown.

It seems the value of our residential properties has decreased by about 10%. And now the school distric is crying the blues because they will not have as much money.

They never complained when property values were increased.

What a crock! I've seen my income from savings and my job decreased over the last year.

The school district must think we are made out of money.

They should have to do with what they have instead of hiring expensive lawyers to increase our property taxes.

What on earth are those on fixed income going to do? Starve themselves so the school district can stay fat, dumb and happy?

Anonymous said...

If the city buys local you guys would say they are spending too much...they buy from another city to save money and you say they aren't being fair to the local guys. Either way the will loose with you all because no matter what they do you will complain. It makes your job easy and their job hard.

Anonymous said...

The catered meal at the FIRE PALACE for the board of aldermen is just typical of the waste at city hall. First of all I've talked to people that have attended these "goal setting sessions" and the usually turn out to be a lot of talk and not much if anything is ever followed through on. Also these are open to the public (Missouri Sunshine Law) so I would encourage those of you that want to see for yourself to stop by.

Anonymous said...

It appears we have some early morning posters that have not had their caffeine for the day. If they would take the time to fully wake up they would clearly see that those how normally post on here are asking for the basic three changes:

1.) If city hall wants us to clean up our property then clean up city property first
2.) If city hall wants us to buy Raytown then they need to start supporting local business
3.) If city hall wants to impose restriction on property owners makes sure the city is also with those guidelines

Simply, city hall needs to take pride in how they handle things and learn what professionalism is.

I have never heard anyone on here complain that someone has property that is overly maintenance

I don’t believe it is too much to ask for them to shop Raytown when there is $100 difference in the price of a vehicle. This is a far cry what was given to a former Alderman for painting his business. You might note a business that generates no revenue for the city. I also talked to one of the former agents and current Alderman who made it clear there are areas in Raytown they won’t even try to sell a home. What pride this business has for our city.

If the city has fences that are 10’ tall then why shouldn’t a homeowner be allowed to do the same thing? Short of the fact that would have meant someone from city hall measuring the city owned fences prior to bring the item up to be placed in an ordnance. Any of us that have attended or watched from home know to well how even the mayor is snowballed into believing the city employees can not multitask. Yet, at same time telling us we hire the best people.

Please, all I want is to be treated equal and start being respected for paying their salaries!

The Sly Fox

Anonymous said...

A very good point as to the MO Sunshine Law.

I am sure Nancy Thompson with all of her wisdom has explained anytime a group of them meet and they talk city business they best communicate this meeting to the public.

For those on the board that might believe otherwise or have been miss informed by our city attorney please review this link.

http://ago.mo.gov/pdf/MissouriSunshineLaw.pdf

From page 12 of that document
Does the Sunshine Law apply to luncheon meetings of members of a public governmental body where public business is discussed? Yes. A public meeting is any meeting of a public governmental body where public business is discussed, decided or public policy is formulated (Section 610.010(5)). Public business is defined in Section 610.010(3) as all matters that relate in any way to the performance of the public governmental body’s functions or the conduct of its business. In The Kansas City Star v. Shields, 771 S.W.2d 101 (Mo. App. W.D. 1989), the chairman and two members of the Kansas City City Council Finance Committee, city manager and city budget director held a luncheon meeting without notice in a private dining room of a Kansas City restaurant. The following day, the committee unanimously adopted a budget agreement. This meeting, during which public business was discussed, constituted a public meeting and notice should have been posted. (See Attorney General’s Opinion No. 10-75).

Anonymous said...

You know the Dodge truck used by animal control was bought in Raytown off the MARC bid, so they do buy local. Oh and I believe that was with Wenson and Frank still in town.

Anonymous said...

What is this that our city doesn’t shop Raytown?

The 2006 Christmas dinner at city hall was catered by Raytown’s Hy-Vee.

Who do you expect them to use one of the truly locally owned and operated restaurants?

Come on their were already working on the deal to pay for that nice new building they have on 350 highway.


Makes me thinking of the music to “Dukes of Hazard”, but changing the lyrics

Just good old boys doing the best they could to take the hard earning dollars from our citizens and spending them any way they could.

Doesn’t matter if it benefits anyone as long as the good old boys are having some fun.

Forget the local merchant soon the box stores will put an end to them.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know whom I would need to check with about catering in my dinner to the meeting at the fire station? Well, is it the city as it is their meeting or is it the fire department it is their building.

I was going to go about 6:30 or 7:00 as I figured that would give those nice folks time to eat. However, now read the posting about this sunshine law. I believe I want to go early and make sure they are not covering city business while dinning.

I don’t know who posted this stuff on the sunshine law, but I sure would like to thank them. I have never heard anything about this from those good folks at city hall. Does make me wonder if that group wanting an audit is a crazy has I heard they are at my weekly coffees.

Anonymous said...

Once upon a time we had a President who said, “Read my lips no new tax”.

For those old enough to remember the late eighties we know that never happened with that administration.

Today Raytown has a mayor who while campaigning would say; “I will bring the city, chamber and school district together”

It sure is nice these two guys can dream the good dream. As the failure of that President to ensure no new taxes so has our mayor on bring the city, chamber and school district together. Otherwise wouldn’t it be the chamber defending one of the local car dealerships and not Mr. Tush and those of us who share the concern and wrong doing towards a Raytown business.

It should further be noted that this dealership is a member of the local chamber. What a fine job the chamber is also doing to ensure the strength and stability of its members.

Overworked and Unappreciated Taxpayer

Anonymous said...

The Raytown Chamber is a joke when it comes to preserving and promoting business in Raytown. They are more concerned with making sure their fundraisers are successful so the can line their pockets with the profits. You know most of their operating budget goes to salaries, just like the city's. They have always been more of a "social club" than a working chamber.

Anonymous said...

Alderman Aziere and Van Buskirk asked some very vital questions about the wonderful new and improved Wal Mart comming to your town. We did give Wal Mart everything including the kitchen sink. Now it is time for them to give something we need, security at the store when and if we do decide to shop there. As for the money stsore go to a local bank the city has plenty of them to do business at.

Anonymous said...

After watching the BOA last night and hearing what Al Brown had to say my first thought let him slide. But, the more I listened I figured it out . He knew what the requirements were and he decided not to follow them and now he wants a pass. I wonder if any other organization would be allowed to slide? Here is another prime example of breaking the rule. Who will be next????? What is fair for the goose if fair for the gander as my Grandma would say.

Anonymous said...

Alderman Creamer just because there is a position open on codes doesn't mean the city has the money to pay to fill that position. For just once in your life look at the bigger picture here. If the city has no money that means we are broke. So put it on the back burner. Maybe if Wal Mart hadn't been given everything we could have moved forward with your plan. And the way codes does their job now it would sure be a wste of money. Let codes prove themselves first before we add more on them. It is not reasonable to give them more to do when they can't do what they have now, or maybe I should say won't do.

Anonymous said...

Maybe they should televise the meeting at Fire Palace No. 1. They could video it and then play it later. We could watch our tax dollars being used to fatten up the Board of Aldermen.

Then we could listen to their plans for our future.

How enlightening that would be.

Anonymous said...

You know, nobody says that Raytown has to use MARC to bid for automobiles. They can contact the same dealers and ask for prices outside of the MARC bid process

I think it is embarrassing that our city fathers do not try to work with local businessowners for city work.

But then again, this is a city where only one appointed department head lives within the city limits.

Let's see. Where do they come from?"

Park Board Director Kevin Boji lives in Harrisonville.

City Attorney Nancy Thompson lives in Gladstone.

City Finance Director Jeremy Wilmoth lives in Lee's Summit.

City Administrator Mahesh Sharma lives in Raymore.

City Clerk Teresa Newton lives in Peculiar.

So why should we be surprised that our local merchants are passed over?

Anonymous said...

The sunshine law should come into play anytime that they meet for a couple of beers and discuss how they may vote on that matter at their next meeting.... makes you think about how politics and the good ol boys network really works here in Raytown!

Anonymous said...

Hey buddy you missed one.

The new comunity development director, Beth Lynn, lives in Merriam, Kansas.

Anonymous said...

You forgot another one, the Chamber of Commerce director, Ms Turnbow lives in Raymore. It's so sad that most of the HIGHEST paid employees at city hall live in other communities. These people have no LOYALTY to the city. They are here for one reason and that is to draw a paycheck and take it home to their community to be spent. I'll bet that most of them don't even buy a tank of gas or purchase their lunch here. This is another reason that Raytown is going downhill fast.

Anonymous said...

Who is having beers and talking about their votes?

Pat Casady said...

What about the "Executive meetings" after the board meetings?
This is where the real meetings take place. The televised meetings
are for show. I found this out the hard way a few years ago. I asked
to let the downtown business owners talk to our elected leaders, no special meeting, just let us have more time than ten minutes.
But when put to a vote on camera it was five for and five against.
Mayor Frank cast the deciding vote and it was no. But they would
discuss it in the "Executive meeting" after the board meeting.
You can guess what the vote was behind closed doors, two for our talk, and the rest against. I know, for those of you out there that are ready to fire back a letter, that it was along time ago.
But, the way the elected officials think of us is the same. They know
more than we could possibly know and they even know what's best for
us.
To Anonymous 7:55, you said " no matter what the city does we will
complain about it, it makes our job easy and their job harder."
Ever think if they did their job right like, enforcing codes fairly, looking out for the people and hometown businesses of Raytown first, and spend taxpayer dollars like it was designed to be done in the first place, to make the citizens of Raytown lives better? Instead of giving away tax income
and bending over backwards for big box stores. If the city and our elected officials expect respect then they better start respecting the people and the businesses they have or there are going to be a lot more closings and homes for sale. This is why property values are going down. Along with
becoming one of the highest taxed towns in Missouri.
Some elected officials need to drop the better than thou attitude and start working for the people instead of ignoring them.

Anonymous said...

Pat,

Thank you for your posting about Mayor Frank deciding it was appropriate to discuss rather or not to allow other downtown business owners and you more time to speak before the board in executive session.

This is just another fine example of Sue being above the law. It seems the city best be finding a city attorney that is able to actually advise them on Missouri law and in this instance specifically around the “Sunshine Law”.

I too want to thank the individual who posted the link and information on the “Sunshine Law”

If we now could only get the Board of Alderman and Nancy Thompson to take the time to read the “Sunshine Law” before they get the city into trouble with the state.

By the way if Nancy is miss leading the board, what kind of misleading and misinterpretation of the law is she providing to our police department? I hope it doesn’t lead to the Justice Department paying our city a visit and all of the corresponding negative publicity that would be in the news.

Anonymous said...

Again I once thought that Ms. Thompson might be a good fit for Raytown, but I've changed my mind. First of all I don't believe that a city as small as ours need a full time city attorney. They seem to be continuously trying to find "MAKE WORK PROJECTS OR WRITING OPINIONS" to further justify their position. I believe that we operated far more efficiently when we had a part-time contractual city attorney and it sure cost us a lot less.

Andy Whiteman said...

Since Pat said it was long ago and mentioned Sue Frank, I think this obviously happened before Nancy Thompson was hired so don't blame her for the actions of a previous City Attorney. I previosuly stated to the BOA that I wondered if that City Attorney really wrote an ordinance because it was something a law clerk wouldn't written?

I think it is peculiar that Department "Heads" are not required to live in Raytown. They have no business writing and enforcing ordiances because they don't know what it is like to live in the Fascist Fief of Raytown. These Lords of the Fief should be required to live among the peasants.

BTW Did anyone see CH9 Tuesday that the Dysfunctional School District abuses special needs children by locking them in a closet for as much as 6 hours? A parent said that if he did that his child would be taken away. The Dysfunctional School District replied that "no teacher has complained." HOW DUMB!

There should be a Federal complaint against the Dysfunctional District as well as the staff and administrators personally for violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.


Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Andy,

It should be noted that Nancy has instructed those that have inquired that they city is not in violation as long as there is not a quorum. Based on the information on the Attorney General’s website, she needs to do more research before providing direction for the city to follow.

Yes, I agree Nancy was not part of the city within the time frame of the “Sue Impact”. However, if the abuse still continues and Nancy believes this type of behavior is acceptable we have gain nothing.

Perhaps as many have stated the underlining issue is she doesn’t live her so she is not impacted by the miss guidance she provides.


Thanks for bringing up about the actions going with the school district. I am sorry that I missed seeing that on the news. Oh, the stories I could share how the principal at the alternative school believes she has the final say and lives above the rules the rest of us face. If she lived in the city, she would fit right in with the majority of them on the Board of Alderman.

Andy Whiteman said...

12:08PM, I did a site search and couldn't find the story. Try www.kmbc.com . You might email the station requesting the link. I can't believe it is not there unless the Dysfunctional District objected.

I really question if a BOA meeting can legally take place there is not a quorum? My opinion is anytime 2 or more board member discuss anything, it is a meeting of those people. They can't vote, but technically it is a meeting.

9:12AM, Maybe a City Attorney isn't needed but at almost every meeting Nancy Thompson is asked how to conduct the meeting: "Is a roll call reqired?" "What are we really voting on, the amendment or the ordinance?" "What does than mean?" etc.

This city is so backwards that they really need an Attorney as a CYA measure so they don't get sued.

BTW how much does it cost the taxpayers if either the BOA or Dysfunctional School District get sued? Hopefully both have errors and omissions insurance. Members of both boards need their own insurance because attorneys will file suit agains the city or district as well as each individual involved and let the court decide on the personal liability from each person. That puts it all into one trial rather than several.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I know for a fact in the alternative school they have "hot boxes" in each room for kids that get out of hand. They have a desk and a light above them. They put the kids in there to go "nuts" (urinate, scream, kick, write on walls) and what ever.

There suppose to be "think tanks" but it is used for correcting them. I think most of the school board members should be thrown into the "hot boxes" also for the continued waste of tax payers money.

A Raytown School District Employee!

( I helped build the boxes!!)

Anonymous said...

Don't we all go to work for a paycheck. I like my job most of the time but I am not going to do it for free.

If the city buys local you guys would say they are spending too much...they buy from another city to save money and you say they aren't being fair to the local guys. Either way the will loose with you all because no matter what they do you will complain.

I agree 100%.

CW

Anonymous said...

I read in the Raytown Post that Alderman Joe Creamer wants to crack down on rental property owners in Raytown. He claims that 30% of the homes in Raytown are rental (a figure I really doubt as accurate). He want to hire another code enforcement officer to make this happen.

Sounds good. But I don't think it will work. Here's why I think it is doomed to failure.

Last weekend I drove by the new HyVee store. A workman was repairing some damaged concrete at one of the entrances to the store. How nice, I thought, a corporation taking care of business, making repairs on their where their property meets the city's.

This evening I stopped to get gas at the BP gas station in front of Walmart. There is a drainage grate across the southern entrance to the parking lot. A section of the grate has been missing for well over a year. A warning sign has been stuffed into the hole in the entrance so that motorists won't break an axle driving into the gas station.

It looks like something from the ghetto.

Tell you what Joe, prove to me that our codes people can fix that problem. I'm sure you have seen it too. You live a whole block from the gas station. You can't help but be aware of it.

If they can fix that small real problem that is a traffic hazard and unsightly, then come back to the BOA and tell them of your plans to make rental property owners take better care of their property.

If they don't fix the problem you will just be hiring another chairwarmer to take up space at city hall.

Anonymous said...

If you come to the FIRE PALACE make sure that you park on the side of the building and dont block the garage doors Heaven forbid we might have to do some work and its a Fire Station, I am sorry it happens to be one of the nicer buildings in town. I love how everyone complains about the dumbest possible things, yes the same things that have been wrong with this city since i came here in 1981..

Andy Whiteman said...

9:47PM, That area is borderline KCMO/Raytown. At least there is a sign on 350 HWY "KCMO". I don't know the area that well, but is BP in KCMO or Raytown. If it is on the border, it is probably a lost cause.

I think some kind of enforcement is needed for rentals but NOT regular inspections. Tenants don't want to take a day off work for the inspectors to come. Also it is a privacy violation. I would be in favor of handling rentals only when a complaint is called in by the tenant. Otherwise it is a waste of money and resources especially when codes doesn't enforce visible violations and violations that are reported. Of course it depends on who you are.

I can agree with Joe to a point because I have a friend who was renting with a leaking roof, a wasps nest, and wasps in the apartment. This has to be a violation of some codes!

BTW: There was a legal notice in the todays Post that the city is accepting bids for a street overlay. It didn't say which streets. You have to buy the packet to find out. I am glad that we are finally going to have some decent streets.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

A comment on the 'post Executive BoA' meetings...may want to change these to 'pre', judging by my experiences with current and former Alderman, a few seemed to imbibe a little too much prior to the meeting. If you do not believe or like what I say...see for yourself. Stand and speak with a few prior to the BoA meetings or other public functions, pay close attention to the smell of their breathe, speech patterns as well as their behavior before and during the BoA meetings. If they are drinking a lot of water, turned a flushed color, slur their words, etc., you can bet your last dollar they are 3 sheets to the wind or a bit stiff..

I got a chuckle out of today's Raytown Post as well in regards to Mr. Creamer...It seems since Mr. Walters isn't on the board Joe can now think of all sorts of things to go after. My question to him is where was this thinking a year ago or so and has this Alderman actually spoken to the businesses in Raytown or is it his token two that speak for the rest of us?

Rachel said...

I think what they are thinking Andy, is an inspection after or before a new tenant moves in. That way it doesn't inconvenience anyone and they can make sure it's up to code. Now lets not all jump on me at once, by up to code I mean the mechanical end that would be a health hazard or cause death such as faulty wiring, making sure smoke alarms are working etc.

All in all I really think it's a great idea and should have been done years ago.

Pat Casady said...

To Rachel,
I promise I'm not jumping on you.
But, here's what I think. I don't think they think!
I also feel all they see is another way to get more money by licensing land owners, over and above the real estate taxes they pay.
This is so typical of City Hall. I read nowhere in the article about
if and when they do the inspections that they would fine the renters for destruction of private property. No, in fact, as usual, our elected officials don't care about the property owners rights. As long as they
can charge a business (rental property owner) a fee for a license
they don't care. What really surprises me is that this ....elected official
while dreaming up this stuff, didn't throw in, that the renter
would have to get a license to rent too. He's missing another opportunity to shaft someone else out of their hard earned money.
So come on Mr. Creamer get with the rest of your buddies on the board.
Hunker down, there's more money to be taken away from the people out there.
Does anybody else find it funny that when Mr.Creamer, in the article mentions that "After the community was hit the hardest by a Jackson County Property assessment," he doesn't mention that the reason for the
decline in property value was a direct result of what our elected officials have let happen to this town.

Tom R. said...

Anonymous 8:47 on May 20 left out an important fact from the case cited. A quorum of the budget committee in Kansas City was present when the budget was discussed with city manager.

The rest of the facts from Kansas City Star Company v. Shields, 771 S.W.2d 101 (Mo. App. W.D. 1989)are:
A violation of the Sunshine Law occurred when THREE MEMBERS OF A FOUR-PERSON BUDGET COMMITTEE of the city council met with the city budget officer and city manager and discussed the city budget in a luncheon meeting that was not announced as required by 610.020.

Andy Whiteman said...

Rachel, who will pay the ACTUAL cost of these alledged inspections? The cost may be too much for landlords. Will codes actually be inforced? They aren't now. What about the person who has lived there a number of years and the roof starts leaking and wasps are flying around the bedroom? A complaint system needs to be set up so the violation can be observed when it occurs.

Before I buy a house I pay for a professional inspector. Most times I think this is a waste of money. I just bought a house and the inspector neglected to report that the house had only 125 AMP electrical service. He also neglected to report that the facia was in need of painting. I can live in a house a year or 2 before I find something is wrong. Will an inspector see something that takes me 2 years to discover and a professional PAID inspector soesn't see at all? They will be cursory inspections at best.

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...

11:21PM, I have no sense of smell so never would smell alcohol on someone's breath. I don't hear slurred speach during the meetings. IN this is the State of Misery (hot muggy) people dehydrate. I am drinking more water now but I am not drinking spirits. I put GatorAide out for my letter carrier, UPS man, meter reader, etc. but I don't assume they are drinking an prohibited substance (while on the job). They are thirsty.

Maybe the BOA needs to self-police themselves and if a member has alcohol on their breath, he/she should be excused. No comment needs to be made to the public other than the person is absent. In that case maybe whoever it is shouldn't be driving.

Andy Whiteman

Rachel said...

How do you know what the cost would be? What if it's handled as a special use permit, like they do with Daycare? Maybe a yearly business license?

You don't have to charge an arm or a leg for a permit to rent a house out, and why would a tenant have to pay a fee? I still feel it's needed and it should have been done years ago. It should have been included in the rest of the ordinances with codes. I feel the fire dept should go in and do an inspection also, like they have to do for the rest of the businesses, yes renting out property is a business.

Right now I'm having problems with renters who are out of control, I have to call the police almost every weekend, why should I or any of my neighbors deal with that? The city (who is aware of the problem) should be the one to contact the owner and tell him that the tenants are disturbing the rest of the neighborhood. I believe that they (the city) has and so far the problem has settled down quite a bit, but the house is in disrepair and you never see the landlord.

On the other hand the house next to me is a rental, the landlord takes care of the property and makes checks while it is rented. He has ALWAYS had tenants who the whole neighborhood hated to see move when the time came, they have moved because of buying a house or whatever. After speaking to him he too said he wouldn't mind paying for the right to rent. He's also peeved that the slum lords, and that is what he termed them as, are the ones that make the good landlords have to pay, it's always the case. The good pay for the bad. If all landlords would take care of the property and rent to decent people then there wouldn't be an issue.

Andy that's the point, the tenant could go to codes if there be a problem with the house and the landlord is not doing the repairs that need to be done. At least there is something on the books. I have a friend who rents in Raytown, while saving to buy a house. Her basement leaked during this rain and had all of her packed belongings ruined, she had rental insurance so the articles were covered, smart gal.

What about the black mold? Is that not a health hazard? Shouldn't she be able to take action to get the landlord to do what he is supposed to be doing? Some homeowners insurance companies pay for the clean up of black mold. Some of these landlords won't report it to their insurance companies because of a rate hike. She got told to get a bottle of bleach. The city is the only one who can handle something like that, and require action on the part of the landlord. Sure you will find something wrong with what I'm saying...who's going to do what, who's going to enforce the code? Sure most codes aren't enforced, but if you call enough times and become a pest you will get things done. I know because I have called the police on the property I'm having problems with for the past 7 years that I don't have that many fingers, and lost count.

Coming up with a solution is sure better then complaining the residents should be doing something about it, I'm and will continue to call when my peace is disturbed.

In the city of Philadelphia tenants have rights, if they are without heat because of a faulty heater they can pro rate the rent for that month, if they go without hot water they do the same, the longer it takes the landlord to fix something the more comes out of the landlords pockets.

So if the code does not get enforced at least the tenant can take the complaint higher or sue.

Maybe they can add that to the ordinance if they pass one.

The Wise Old Owl said...

Tom R

It seems someone needs to provide you with clarity on the “Missouri Sunshine Law” and the opinion 10-75 citied, which impact the case of The Kansas City Star vs. Shields.

You should be reminded that the link to the “Missouri Sunshine Law” as well as the link to the opinion are both located on the State Attorney General’s website. Based on your interpretation of The Kansas City Star vs. Shields, it appears you not only disagree with Chris Koster for posting the updated information on the sunshine law, but also with John C Danworth for is opinion that is sited.

We should thank you for you non-partisan review of this case and opinion. However, until said time that you are elected by the people of this state as the Attorney General, I for one hope you do not offer an more legal opinions or interpretations.

You might further be surprised that a former city attorney appointed under the Frank administration shares the opinion and interpretation as provided in 10-75. You also might not know that unlike Nancy Thompson the former city attorney did provide trying on this to the Board of Alderman, which she was hired to serve.

http://ago.mo.gov/opinions/1975/10-75.htm

From the opinion:

. . . The obvious intent was to cover any gathering of the members where the members deal with some matter on which foreseeable action will betaken by the board."

Based on the foregoing decisions, and an examination of the provisions of Missouri's Sunshine Bill, Sections 610.010 to 610.030, V.A.M.S.,--particularly Section 610.010(3), which specifically includes informal meetings--it is our opinion that luncheon meetings of either the majority party members or of the minority party members of the St. Louis County Council, at which public business is discussed, are required to be open to the public under the Sunshine Bill.

As to your interpretation on a quorum

From page 13 of the Sunshine Law
It also must be remembered that the Sunshine Law will apply to meetings of groups with less than a quorum when the entity is deliberately attempting to evade the Sunshine Law. For example, a public governmental body may not purposely meet in groups with less than a quorum to discuss and or decide public business and then ratify those actions in a subsequent public meeting

The underlining answer to opinion 10-75 appears to be right in that paragraph part about public governmental body may not purposely meet in groups with less than a quorum to discuss and or decide public business and then ratify those actions in a subsequent public meeting.

I am sure you will be the first to contend they would never purposely meet to discuss anything or decide public business in non-public meeting seating. However, again it is nice to know the opinion appears to focus on the meeting rather then having a quorum.

Your miss understanding and interpretation of opinion 10-75 clearly supports the need not only for English to be the official language of the United States, but to also ensure that individuals are able to actual understand the English language.

Anonymous said...

I think the point of the post on Creamer was that if the codes folks enforce the housing standard thing like they do regular violations it is a waste of time, money and the little energy that will be used to enforce it.

Show us you can fix the obvious problems like the open trench at the BP gas station just west of Walmart.

You live one block from it and I know you drive by it on a daily basis. I also know you read these posts regularly. So Joe, what do you say?

Anonymous said...

I think some of those that had "bad breath" before council meetings "retired" this last election, but there still may be some left. There is no excuse for this kind of behavior while conducting public business. These people should have been impeached. Many in the public and on the board knew this was going on but no one would confront her.

Anonymous said...

What good does it do to hire any more codes people if we have a Mayor that doesn't want people hasseled. He would rather have the neighbors take care of the problems. He doesn't want any waves in his adminstration that could make him look bad. His word were " I just want to be the Big Dog on the porch."


This 380 degrees thing that the city adminstrater likes to talk about does not work mostly because the codes people don't do it. If they did our city would not look like it does.

Also when someone calls in a code complaint and the codes person that comes out says "Why do you care it's not your property?" That person should be fired on the spot but he wasn't.

Andy Whiteman said...

Wise Old Owl, Thanks for the legal opinion. Now all of us should have a better understanding of the Sunshine Law. Either you are an attorney, law clerk, or someone who likes to do research.

Rachel, I didn't say that the fee would be paid by the tenant; but, obviously it will be passed on in the rent.

It was discussed at the BOA that license and permit fees do not cover the actual cost of inspections so any fee would have to be high enough for the city to recoup its cost.

You cite numerous unfit living conditions and I agree with you on these points. Codes is unwilling or unable to enforce violations that are in plain sight. Do you really think that any inspection will be any more than a cursory walk through? What about problems that develop after the inspection? Like I said, I may not notice a problem until I have been living in the house for a year or more.

Allstate no longer covers mold and I don't believe any insurance does because it is too expensive to clean up. Cleaning it with bleach yourself is really dangerous. It should be done by professionals.

I didn't know the owner was responsible for the tenants being a nuisance. That is obviously why the city never notified you. You cannot control another person. All you can do is evict but it will be expensive to you.

I will be placing my house on the market after I move. Hopefully it will sell but if it doesn't I may be forced to rent it. I sure wouldn't consider it to be a business but it will be a last resort. If you want another rental, please give me a call between 9:30AM-12N or after 3:30PM and we can discuss price etc.

Andy Whiteman

Rachel said...

Andy,

I don't understand why it would be expensive to me. I made the complaint and more then likely I will have other neighbors signatures complaining also, if it continues and gets worse. I'm not the only one on the block being annoyed and complaining by some of the renters behavior or the landlord for that matter.

The owner of the property will have to evict. I know this because we have done it in another city in the past, the landlord in that case was fined for violations of codes with the property and avoiding the complaints of the neighbors, who had tried to resolve the issue with the tenants, since the landlord was never seen at the property, and no one knew who he was (turned out to be a company that invested in properties). The neighbors had to go the city and have them handle it since they were able to get the records of who owned the property, and the renters were given notice to vacate.

It was on the books, as long as it's a law it has to be enforced, now I know you say that a lot of ordinances are not being enforced and I do agree with you, but I can tell you that they are out there. My son's car was sitting in the driveway with expired tags, only a month past due. Yes they did cite him. My neighbor was burning leaves, and of course who shows up but the codes department, oh and when I put a new roof on the house who showed up....you guess it. The roofer didn't get the required permit. So I really don't understand everyone saying they aren't doing their job.

In the pass 6 months with both those instances, and a year since the roof they were right there and I know for a fact it wasn't coming from the neighbors complaining, we're a tight group.

To repeat myself, keep complaining they get tired of hearing from you, keep following up, it's their jobs. Get names, dates, times you have called cover your butt, and have something to prove it's not a first time complaint.

I do consider renting property a business, I believe even the IRS requires you claim it as income. So I feel it should be handled as one. Lord forbid if a business owner allowed his property to fall into despair, the codes department would be all over it, why does a rental property have to be handled any differently?

So if it's money out of their pockets, too bad we deserve better as far as tenants and properties being kept up. Look around Raytown you'll notice how many houses are rentals, you can tell just by the condition they are in.

Now I'm not saying all rentals are like this there are some very good landlords in Raytown, but they are far and in between.


With all the foreclosures, the investors are going to come in like carpetbaggers, and Raytown will become rental city. I prefer that not to happen. I like living here, but if the city allows landlords to do what ever they want I'm outta here.

I pay enough taxes to live in a nice quite neighborhood, without having to deal with tenants and landlords who don't give a damn.

Andy Whiteman said...

Rachel,

I thought it was your house with the obnoxious tenants. It costs money to go through eviction, the tenant does damage, and you have a vacancy while finding a new tenant.

Your are correct, IRS considers it a business. But what I am saying is it isn't a business I want. If I can't sell the house it is the last resort for me. Besides, I will be an absent landlord that people don't like. I am selling the house "as is" and I certainally don't want to waste money fixing it up for a tenant. People seem to assume that I will rent, but that is NOT the case. I don't want the nuisance of dealing with a rental from a 3 day drive away.

As I said, codes or enforced or not enforced depending on who you are or who complains. The kangaroo Judge won't enforce a barking dog ordinance. I know a lady who claims to be harrassed over alledged violations. They have seletcive enforcement. I have heard from a friend that codes people are looking for what they think are unlicensed or junk cars. I don't know why a car has to be licensed. Anywhere else if you don't license your car you can park it off the street and not drive it. That is one of the strange ordinances that has no valid reason.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

You can bet Mr. Creamer didn't think of this new ordiance by himself. Someone did it for him.

Rachel said...

Maybe he didn't, so what's the issue. Some council people listen to the residents, I can tell you mine does. Most welcome input by residents.

So who care who thought it up, if something can be done to make something from going downhill, I'm for it and I believe a lot of us are.

It's just not with the tenant/landlord issue it's with anything that the residents have a concern about. It's called doing what you were elected to do, no matter who you are or if you are liked or not.

I still don't get why the bashing of council people, we should be concern about bashing ourselves, after all WE did elect them. So who's fault is it if they are not doing the job you think they should be doing? That why we have elections.

Anonymous said...

How many people are thinking up Dictator Obama's bone headed plans for him?

Andy Whiteman said...

This blog is getting hard to follow with delayed posting. I just saws Pat's post I hadn't seen.
May 22, 2009 8:05 AM at 9:50PM 5/23 as well as another post. I can understand Greg's reasons for doing it. I do the same on the guestbook on my website. This blog now has better quality posts.

They are missing another tax. Raytown used to have a vehicle sticker tax which I understood Greg got rid of. Under the clean air ordinance, they could tax the air but that might get too many people angry.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Andy,

The BP Gas Station is in Raytown. It is located just north of Commmerce Bank and the west side of the Walmart parking lot. On the north it is bordered by 67thStreet.

If you were to drive your car through the concrete drainage cut in the entranceway you would do serious damage to your car.

The owners of the property have shoved an old fashioned hazard marker, the kind they used to use before the orange barrels and cones, in it so people do not drive through it.

It has been there for well over a year. Drive by and check it out. It is on the 67th Street side entrance to the gas station.

I've complained to Creamer about it the past. Last time I mentioned it to him was when he was campaigning for his buddy Pardue.

I don't know why the city will not get it fixed. It is in the city's right of way. They should either have the BP gas station owner fix it or fix it themselves.

The code inspectors must be wearing blindfolds not to see this one.

Rachel said...

I have to agree with you Andy it is hard to keep up, the topics jump around when the posting is delayed.

I understand why, but if I were the admin I would just moderate and delete the unwanted posts, or reword them.

Andy Whiteman said...

9:18AM, I will take your word that the condition exists but this is a borderline area. I question if it is actually in Raytown or KCMO? If someone damages their car or suffers injury, BP will be out $$$$$$$. I pring this up because the QT at 63rd and Blue Ridge is in both cities. I had a traffic complaint about exiting vehicles but it turned out that the exit is in KCMO and Raytown has no jurisdiction.

Rachel, I think the reason Greg doesn't moderate and delete unwanted posts is because many people read them before he has a chance to delete. I have read several that were in really poor taste before they were deleted. Several were accusing Greg of censorship because he was deleting. Many were violating his simple TOS (terms of service) and should have been deleted.) I have a guestbook on my website and it built up over 5000 spam entries and it bacame too time consuming to delete. Finally I deleted all posts and started over with posts not appearing until approved by administrator. For some reason they don't even try anymore. It may be because I banned search engines from spidering my guestbook. I thank Greg for hosting this blog.

Andy Whiteman

Rachel said...

Andy,

That side of Blue Ridge is in Raytown, the other side part is in Raytown and the other in KCMO. The entrance of the Floral Hills is on the Raytown side, and the offices and the viewing areas (I don't know what they call them.) are all in KCMO.

I also can see what your saying with the moderation of the blog.

To be honest, I think that hole has been there more than a year, and yes something needs to be done. I know some cross Blue Ridge to catch the bus and it would be awful if someone fell into it.

Andy Whiteman said...

Has anyone addressed the property owner and/or called the corporate offices? Seems to me that would be easier than making a code issue out of it. Sometimes a call to corporate will get action.

AndY Whiteman