Monday, June 15, 2009

Going To Far

Richard Tush, Contributing Editor It has come to our attention that last Friday the chamber was telling local business that they couldn’t park on their own property. If this was not going too far in itself, defiantly attempting to place potties and trash dumpsters on the private property was way over the line. Like many of you it is joyful to see our community gather together at events like "SummerFest". However, those sponsoring events like this should be mindful of the business owners they impact and never attempt to place things on private property without first getting permission from the property owners. While the chamber will surely be calling the event a success others will be setting back and see how long it takes for the tent to come down as well as the damaged sod to be replaced. It seems a true sign of success for the chamber would be to start filing the vacate spaces throughout our city rather then place all of their focus on their annual fundraiser. Don’t Become the Next Prey It seems alarm companies are once again targeting homeowners in Raytown. Just last weekend I found one of them at my door. This was quite a surprise considering I clearly have post on the front door "No Soliciting". However, this was not as concerning as the inability of the solicitors to understand the word "No". I would have actually written the whole event off except for the fact the solicitor started insisting that Raytown Police Department was not only supporting them going door to door selling this extra piece of mind, but the police deportment was picking up the cost of the unit. Any who follow the blog on a regular basis know that our city doesn’t have the funds to engage in any kind of venture like this. We are all too aware our city is facing finance struggles that already impact the ability to resurface our streets. However, this must be a great sales tactic to use against the less informed and elderly within our city as they keep trying to play up on it. When asked about being licensed to solicit within the city they promptly provided me with their brochure indicating they are part of the better business bureau. It seems this solicitor just couldn’t capture a break with me as once they finally did leave my property I promptly contacted Raytown Police Department who responded within minutes and had them leave the city until they could obtain the proper license from the city clerk. I encourage others to contact our police department when you find solicitors in your neighborhood. Our police department is more then willing to come out and verify the solicitor is actually licensed in our city. Thank you Jim Lynch and your department for keeping those using questionable tactics from preying on our citizens. Costly Impacts from the Real Will It is always nice that "The Raytown Post" provides editorials from Representative Kraus. However, we should question that this same level setting of actives in Jefferson City are not given to the other three representative districts that make up Raytown. A recent editorial from Representative Kraus sparked several postings over the last couple of weeks and even generated in a call to me. After speaking with the concerned resident of Will’s district, I did some research of my own. I quickly learned that we should all question Will about his voting record related to the "Motorcycle Helmet Law" and the corresponding loss of twenty-five million federal funding dollars if Governor Nixon signs the bill into law. Will did a great job of sing his praise in the editorial, but failed to mention his vote on this bill (H1377) and the financial impact it will have on the state of Missouri. He also would have like to seen more out of the session, but still gave the over all session a B-. I guess he has not taken the time to review the number of bills passed in prior years and use that information as a means to measure the true failure for results this session. By the way the other three state representatives representing Raytown either voted against this bill or were absent at the time of the vote. Fix This Eye Sore DAY 15 – 84th Street Sanitary Sewer Project: The mess left behind by the city after sanitary sewer improvements remains. No official word has been received as to a plan for resolution of the problem. DAY 8 - Time to Get Serious About Cleaning up Raytown: The proliferation of large trucks using our city as a parking lot. It is especially noticeable along 350 Highway. DAY 1 – Stop the Mosquitoes: It seems that years after development of the corresponding lots at 79th & Spring Valley there is still a drainage issue. Every time it rains water sets on the corner lot which remains a grand breeding ground for mosquitoes. With the additional virus carried by mosquitoes like West Niles it is past time for the city to ensure public safety and crack down on property owners that allow stagnate water to sit on their property. An email about this problem has been sent to Mayor Bower, Alderman Ertz and Alderman Van Buskirk.


Anonymous said...

Thank you Mr. Tush for again pointing out the various number of growing code problems in the city. The one at 79th and Spring Valley is especially interesting since it is owned by former alderman Gary Knabe. I still believe that he is being given preferential treatment by the current city officials.

Anonymous said...

Pigs will fly before anyone from the Frank/Bower Administration will make Gary Knabe do anything.

If you haven't figured it out yet, here is how it works.

The rules and laws that govern our community are for all of us. Except for those who find it inconvenient to follow them. Particularly those in power or with friends in powerful places.

That is why the REAP building can be sided with siding that anyone else would have to remove from their building. It is why our city administrator does not have to live in Raytown even thought the ordinance very clearly states that he will and it is why Gary Knabe will not have to clean up his mess at 79th and Spring Valley Road.

Andy Whiteman said...

Our City Administrator was allowed 3 years to move so that his daughter could complete High School. Since graduation requirements differ by district, I feel that is reasonable provided he really does move at the end of the allotted time.

I still object to other Department Heads living away from Raytown. They should be required to move here if they want the job. When I was offered my first job at the Post Office, I was told that I had to live in the city. I never thought otherwise because it would have been a 4 hour commute each way.

I was approached by an alarm vendor 2 or 3 years ago. They would give me one but I had to pay for monitoring! I didn't want one. I saw on one of the TV station some time ago that selling alarm systems was being used as a ploy to scope out homes for possible later burglary.

Thank you for posting pics of the damage done by the chamber. I will comment on it at the board. I already had a comment prepared.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I went by the green space this morning and guess what----the tent was still up. Am I surprised hell no. If the Chamber leaves it up for a month the city won't say or do anything. Personally I think this was the worst year yet. The ground conditions were horrible if it had been on the street it would have been much better. But hey the Chamber knows best.

Anonymous said...

Gary Knabe walks aroung like he is the hottest thing since sliced bread. If he only know what the public really think of him and his dealings. I think he would die of shock.

Over Tax Taxpayer said...

Greg and Richard, It appears you need to do a count of the number of days it takes the chamber to remover their tent. Odd as I recall reading the information for the vendors, which made it clear they were to have everything removed Saturday night. I guess once again the chamber is leading by example.

Richard, I agree with you why doesn’t the chamber focus on bring new business to our city. Are they not taking this active role as they know are elected officials like Mayor Bower and Former Mayor Franks sold out the small business owners? What a shame that we can not increase our sales tax base without giving everything away.

Anonymous said...

Should we really be surprised by the tax breaks David Bower wants to give business? Not really, when we look at the driving force that has keep him gainfully employed is building bigger and better sports stadiums on the purse strings of over tax communities.

Who should we hold accountable helping elect someone that wants to give our city away? His good friends at “Reaching for Tomorrow” who didn’t take the time to see the mentality that had been embed into him over the years. We can hope that in the future “Reaching for Tomorrow” will either stay out of city elections or be willing to donate their homes and belongs to cover the cost of “Giving Away the City Today”.

Over Tax Taxpayer said...

Anon 12:24, You make a good point at how “Reaching for Tomorrow” has actually done more damage for Raytown then good.

One of the others they like to support is Christine White. If you recall she was the leading force to keep our city from going to a single trash company. If we would go to a single trash company it would save all of us just like it has done for other cities. It would also cut down on at least four extra trash companies going up my street each week and the wear and tear those big trucks do to the streets. Remember these are the same streets our city can not find the funds to keep maintain. We all know the long they go without being fixed the more costly it will be to put in a whole new street and not just overlay a couple of inches of pavement.

Thank you, for “Reaching us into the slum of today we have become”

Anonymous said...

Can someone tell me what successful business has a goal setting session where the leadership spends all kinds of time stroking each others egos on what a fine job they are doing? It seems a fine job would be measurable in positive results and therefore wouldn’t need any ego stroking. If and more so when we can elect individuals who will represent the best interest of our city and not trying to make a name for themselves we might once again be the city we where 30 years ago.

Until that time Alderman Van Buskirk is going to have an uphill fight on his hands to be the shining light at city hall. Although, I have read many good things that Pat Ertz is doing for Water District Number 2, I am still waiting for him to take these same type of stands at city hall. Pat please work with Alderman Van Buskirk to make Ward 4 the leadership ward in our city and bring solid none tax break reaching business back.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure Pat Ertz is doing anything good for District #2. Let's see, he used a Public Water District #2 truck to campaign for an increase in the city sales tax,( I'm sure this is a clear violation of the Missouri Ethics Commission laws) he buys hugh gas guzzling trucks for his employees to ride around in, and he keeps raising our water bill ( we're higher than Lee's Summit's) every time we turn around. Can't say I've got much respect for the way he's conducting our affairs as district #2 boss.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone taken the time to speak with anyone at the MO Ethics Commission about Pat Ertz using the water district truck to campaign for the “Safety Sales Tax”. If yes, will they really do anything?

Rumor has it you can be a state representative and not really live in the district you are elected to represent and the MO Ethics Commission will not do a thing about it. Also, I have heard you can be a state representative and not pay taxes on your vehicle. It is sad that government agencies like the Ethics Commission don’t do a better job of reviewing those that are elected. If they would start to clean out those that can not play by the rules I believe more people would have faith in the over all election process.

Yes, the one in question represents part of Raytown. Maybe that is why “The Raytown Post” never runs an editorial on this clown.

Anonymous said...

The writer complaining about the improve your credit signs is 100% correct. Our city codes enforcers and their non-resident bosses must put on blinders everyday to ignore the signs.

City Hall has become a place where excuses are more often invented than results to citizen problems.

Anonymous said...

We not only have ordianances regarding all of these signs in the right of way but we also ordinances against sign on telephone poles. We have ordinances regarding these PODS storage containers and those like them but no one seems to see them either. I just saw a new one today. We also have laws that say you can't thether your dog in the front yard unless you are with it at all times but I have yet to see a codes person do anything about that on 81 Terr and Appleton. We also are suppose to have codes personal until 7pm and on weeekends but I sure don't see them out on the streets during those hours any more.

I had hoped that our new administration would make a difference but I can see that it was wishful thinking.
The person who wanted those of us who care about our city to do the cities job. If we are going to do that why do we need the codes dept.? The city could save a hell of a lot of money on salaries and benefits but who is going to pay for our gas? I am so tired of driving down thwe street and seeing things that should have been taken care of and I know they haven't been. If I wanted to do the cities jobs I would have gone to work for them. What I don't want is to see our tax dollars wasted on these people who can't or more likely won't do the jobs they were hired for. Fire their buts and that includes the dept. heads if that is what it taked to see that things get done properly.

Anonymous said...

We need to start holding Mayor Bower accountable for these city employees. If he won't talk to the citizens about these problems them I suggest that we start stopping by his house in the evenings and on weekends to show him we're serious.

Andy Whiteman said...

The codes people on duty until 9PM M-F and on weekends were intended to be call out for animal control. You may find that they actually may not be on duty but are available to be called out. I have had to call them and they respond from a cell phone to decide whether or or they will come. I actually called at 2AM one time for an emergency and received a call back. I really doubt that they will enforce regular codes on weekends. They are there for animal issues not regular code enforcement.

As of a little after 20:00 this date the tent was still up. I assume it costs $$$$$$ to set it up and take it down. Aren't they having an event next month they will use it for?

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

There is an interesting story in the KC Star about blogs. It's entitled "Issues and Politics Fly Through Cyberspace" and was written by Brian Burnes. It's in the Neighborhood News section.

It highlights two area blogs, the Raytown Report and one in Blue Springs called

A pretty good story.

Mr Daily Word said...

The Word of the Day:

Pay for performance (human resources), a system of employee payment that links compensation to measures of work quality or goals

I can only hope Mayor Bower is taking the time to read the blog and learn a new word.

Pat Casady said...

One problem I have with the Chamber is when they have these
Summerfest or Round Up Days they mark the streets where their
vendors will set up with spray paint! This city gave Gary Fox a
warning letter to remove the graffiti someone put on his back wall.
The letter said he shouldn't paint graffiti on his wall, like Gary would
even think of such a stupid thing. The letter threatened both him and his
wife with fines or worse.
My point is the paint on the back of Fox Drug Store was about a two
foot square, most people couldn't even see it.
I wonder what will happen with the paint on the streets of Raytown that
everybody driving north on Raytown Rd can't help but see.
For years I had to see the paint in front of my shop and for as many
years I asked why couldn't they use chalk like other towns?
Chalk will go away, this white paint will be around for years.

Greg Walters said...

I saw the story too.

Bower and Creamer have it all wrong. The problems at City Hall are of their own making.

The negative image they perceive Raytown to have is because of them. The uncaring and incompetent way they govern has a price tag.

We see it every day when we drive on streets that have not been repaired in years while our tax dollars go to pave a new parking lot for Walmart.

Those two have lost sight of what is important about running a city.

They think it is measured by how many new buildings they can erect at taxpayer expense.

So sad. They look in the mirror an cannot even see their own reflection.

Anonymous said...

If you know any of the codes people I can tell you at least one has a backyard full of violations. This codes person has ticketed people for grass growing in their driveway (gravel) and for not having a border on each
side. All the while this codes person has the same violation on his property.
I wonder if the head of codes is still off on maternity leave?
But, I don't think it would make any difference because our fine leaders don't care if our department heads are residents so why should they care
they don't have to look at any of these violations but for eight hours a day.

Anonymous said...

I don't know, Andy. Do you really think it is too much of a burden for our codes people to stop the truck they are driving, get out of the vehicle and pull up the illegal yard signs that blight our landscape?

Let's face it. Raytown is not run rampant with domestic animals on the lose 24 hours a day. But those ugly signs sure are everywhere.

Maybe our city department heads might notice them if they opened their eyes when they drive into town from Shawnee, Gladstone and Belton.

I do know this, when they go home at night the codes people in their home towns pull up those signs on a regular basis.

Perhaps patrolling for domestic cats and dogs and looking for illegal signage at the same time (some call it multi-tasking) is beyond their capabilities!

Anonymous said...

It's not hard to find out the codes people's address's.
Maybe we could help them out and pick up the yard
signs and put them in their yards. Or even better deposit them
on the City Hall lawn.

Anonymous said...

Again I must conclude that our codes department is in name only. The drive by hundreds of violations daily. I know this for a fact because I have followed them and watched. This new department head that is overseeing codes will NEVER be successful at her job because she DOESN'T LIVE HERE. She's only in it for the paycheck so don't expect things to change. My solution is to move to a quality city where they care about your property values.

Anonymous said...

If you want to get the Mayor’s attention you need to start calling the school district and ask to speak with Mary Bower. Then ask her why her husband has not done anything for Raytown as well as why we are paying city employees like those in code enforcement that do nothing.

David made it clear when he ran two years ago he didn’t want people to bother or upset Mary. Well David, stop upsetting us by miss management and miss using our tax dollars. If you can not learn to do that then it is time to send you a strong message by contacting your wife. If her and you don’t like us doing that then grow up and start leading this city or step down. The ball is in your corner.

Anonymous said...

I don’t disagree it is time we start removing the illegal signs if the city won’t step up and tend to the ordinances on their own. However, I believe if we would place the “We Buy Ugly House” signs in the yards with the Knabe real-estate signs we might send two messages at once.

The first being we are tired of these trashy signs being allowed to be placed throughout Raytown.

The second being we are tired of Mr. Knabe being allowed to trash our city with property he owns and doesn’t maintain like the Southwest corner at 79th & Spring Valley. We still need to hold him accountable for asking for and taking tax dollars to paint the outside of his business down on Raytown Road.

Let us be real what has he and his business done for Raytown. I know of at least one homeowner he talked into selling their home way under the market value. Yes, the house sold quickly, but really less then 100,000 on a home that should have gone for 120,000. It is sales like this that help drive down our property values as well as using his type of maintenance on property. What a leader this guy must have been when on the board of alderman. He was on the board at the beginning of the fall of Raytown then his good friend Sue finished us off with the Old Baptist Church.

Andy Whiteman said...

Yes, one would think a codes person could stop the truck and pull up a sign, but is it really that simple? They probably have to account for how their time is spent. If they are on an animal control issue, a sign violation has to be charged to a different function code. Also, it may require writing a report on the sign violation since everything has to be documented. Are they allowed to pull up a sign, or does it require a 10 day fix-it notice?

Mayor Bower made a speach at the end of the meeting last night. He stated that it is not a park. It is a green space. I don't understand the difference. Looks like a park to me. He felt that the green space is supposed to be used if it brings people downtown. He doesn't seem to care about the damage and nuisance. I ask is it important to bring people downtown when most businesses are closed? What does that accoumplish?

Pat, the problem with chalk is that chalk can't be sprayed. Maybe you should report a code violation and DEMAND a clean up. The annual weekend of Hell needs to stop or at least moved off the street and public areas. The old Hy-Vee has a big, unused parking lot. Why not move the carniaval/barbecue there where it won't bother anyone? Hy-Vee would probably give permission for all the free advertising. Who knows? They may like to offer their deli service at the event.

Andy Whiteman

The Wise Old Owl said...

The Kansas City Star did do a very nice article about the blog

It comes as no surprise that Alderman Creamer and Mayor Bower would see the blog as negative. However, the articles from Mr. Walters and Mr. Tush as well as postings from individuals like Pat Casady and Andy Whiteman make it clear Raytown is being lead down the wrong path.

We continue to hire additional employees, but still are unable to provide any transparent results. If you take the time to speak with those at city hall they will tell you our city is pro-active on code enforcement. However, I believe we are all wise enough to know that it only takes driving down ones own street to see this is a mirror illusion in the minds of those at city hall.

If Alderman Creamer and Mayor Bower really don’t like what they read on this blog then why don’t they start to address the issues at city hall that have everyone blogging about. It seems simple to me that before we pass additional ordinances or hire additional employees that those ordinances already on the books need to be enforced. If the current employees at city hall are unwilling to perform their duties then it is time that we start replacing them with employee that are willing to actually work for the pay check they receive.

Mr. Daily Word, Thank you for taking the time to provide the word of the day. I am sure any working at city hall have had heartburn since see the daily word. However, your word very much play into what changes needs to take place at city hall. I believe if Alderman Creamer and Mayor Bower would focus on things like “Pay for Performance” most if not all of the complaints about city hall would start to come to an end.

Richard Tush said...

Mr. Whiteman:

I wanted to let you know that I am sorry to hear that one of your posting was not published last week. There must have been some type of server issue with us either receiving your posting or when we clicked to accept the positing.

I have never found Pat Casady or your posting to be outside of the guidelines Greg and I have asked to be followed. As well, I always look forward to your posting and reflection of the direction our city is headed. If we could only get some of the foul fowl to follow our guidelines then they too might not feel we are censoring posting.

If you every have any concerns please feel free to contact either Greg or me.

Andy Whiteman said...

Richard, I sure can understand server problems. I bet blog spot is overloaded with traffic. I have also had much trouble with IE7. I now use IE7 or Firefox depending on what I am doing.

Wise Old Owl, I view the foul fowl as being negative. Glad to see them gone because they really had nothing to say anyway. I think that some people view any posting they don't agree with as negative. If Alderman Creamer and Mayor Bower don't read this blog, how can anyone possibly expect them to address the issues expressed here? That is why I address the BOA. At least I provoked a response last night. Mayor Bower is entitled to his opinion and even though I don't agree with him, I wouldn't say he is negative.

Pay per performance is a good idea, but how would it be administered fairly? Would it be case of the boss' friends are given good evaluations hence higher pay? I worked for one company with pay per performance. The performance was rated by attendance, being on time to work, from breaks, and lunch, as well as how much time was used for bathroom breaks. It didn't relate to job performance and was easy to achieve.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

It is my understanding that the parks department is going to place some picnic tables and playground equipment at the old Baptist Church sight. This will help the economy by bringing more people downtown for lunch and give Sue Frank and her employees a place to enjoy the sunshine on their lunch hour.

Anonymous said...

Anyone wishing to read the story from the Wednesday Kansas City Star can use this link:

Andy Whiteman said...

8:24 PM, How can the Parks Department place picnic tables on the Olde Baptist Church site? Mayor Bower stated strongly that "it is NOT a park, it is a green space." Are picnic tables legal in a green space?

Personally, I think it is a good idea for ANYONE who wants lunch, dinner, picnic, or just a place to sit and enjoy themselves. Mr. Good Sense and Wendy's are in walking distance or food could be brought from anywhere. Why not buy coffee at Benetti's or City Groungs and enjoy it in the greenspace that is NOT a park?

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

This park like setting that has been created by the removal of the old Baptist church would be a good place for Christine White's FREE concerts that she wants to promote. My question is where does she think the money comes from to provide FREE concerts? I'm sure the city has no money for these type of things because they don't even have the money to fix our horrible streets or to do minimal code enforcement.

Anonymous said...

Andy, Did they indicate any name for this green space that is NOT a Park. Like “Frank Green Lands” or “Costly Flat Lands”

Also if not a park then who will maintain this “GREEN SPACE” Public works as if the parks department maintains it or “Bob Smith” starts talking about it at the Park Board Meetings it sure sounds like a park to me.

Unhappy With Codes said...

I would like the offer the city a more cost effective may to obtain additional “Green Space” or other property then what we “THE TAX PAYERS” spent to purchase the Old Baptist Church and tear it down.

Property like the undeveloped grass area at 63rd and Blue Ridge Blvd that never seems to get mowed like it should. Needs to be keep mowed by the city and have the cost plus fines added each mowing to their tax bill. We need to stop the practice of remind after reminder for these repeat offenders. As I understand this property is actually being managed in some form of a trust for an elderly lady. I feel for her, but at the end of the day it is not mine nor the rest of Raytown to worry about the miss management of her property by a trust or property management company.

We will either make money for our city that can be used to resurface our streets or if the tax bill remains unpaid long enough claim the property for the cost to the city and have that additional green space. Green space for way less then what now seems to be over 1 million dollars for the fine piece of land “Sue Frank” just had to have the city own.

Anonymous said...

Anything Christine wants Christine gets!!!!!

Anonymous said...

If we are so short on funding to repair our streets then why does Chief Jim Lynch not have a policy of zero tolerance for violators in Raytown. Other cities in the Greater Kansas City area help address short falls by having policies like this and what do you know all of the streets are well maintained, with curbs and all the street lights they could ever need. I have learned that the police officers have a great area of lead way on stopping violators however this cost you and me when they don’t. It also puts us at risk if the violator doesn't have auto insurance and is our driving around. Come on Jim changing the policy for your officers doesn’t mean you have to spend any time on the street or anymore time being the chief we really deserve.

Pat Casady said...

Be careful there Anonymous 7:29,
Some that read this post don't think Raytown has any speeders.
They think like the city does, doing forty five or fifty in a thirty five
mph zone isn't speeding. School zones, what school zones?
Remember I commented on this a few weeks
ago and criticism went on for days.
As for if it is a park or green area......if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck.........Besides aren't most parks green areas too.
I haven't heard about the free concerts, can somebody tell me more?
Isn't Christine's husband in a band? I heard they are pretty good.

Anonymous said...

Christine White needs to get her head on straight. She thinks we can be and do the things that Lee's Summit is doing. She's kinda forgets that they are a thriving community (with rising property values and a growing population) that apparently has some vision and leadership. Raytown is losing population and property values are declining. Says a lot about Bower's, White's and those other elected officials leadership.

Anonymous said...

Gary Knabe should be arrested for the way he keeps his property's. Instead the city gives him a tax break to paint his property. What a disgrace this board of aldermen is.

Andy Whiteman said...

Why can a prominent businessman get away with alleged code violations but lil ole ladies are harrassed and jailed? Something is rotten in the state of Denmark, as my mother would say.

I haven't heard any name mentioned for the green space. Officially it is green space because the Federal funding was for GREEN SPACE NOT park.

Being disabled, I cannot tolerate noise and opose any concerts in the park (er Green Space) as a code violation. This type of noise can travel some distance and penetrate buildings. Any concerts should be held in a closed soundproof building so as not to disturb the citizens.

If Christine White wants to be like Lees Summit, maybe it would be cheaper for her to move to there rather than change Raytown to suit her.

7:10 AM, What is the true cost of the Green Space? I think much more than $1M. How much was paid for the church, plus interest? The cost of demolotion and sodding may be closer to $1M, but I think there is much more than $1M down the gutter.

Andy Whiteman

Mr Daily Word said...

The word of the day:

accountable: an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one's actions public officials lacking accountability

Something lacking from Raytown City Hall and Mayor Bower

Anonymous said...

I just came from the post office and was pleased to see the chamber decided to take down the tent. I didn’t think about driving by to see if they fixed the grass.

No Family Values at City Hall said...

Can someone tell me why we are not making better usage of the property the city owns over by the “Yellow Barn”? I understand that public works might be using the garages to store equipment. I hope if that is the case it is stuff we actually use and not a hiding place for junk. I also wonder why we couldn’t convert the house into a community center being for whatever magical reason the old Baptist church was not used for a community center. Yes, go pull some of “The Raytown Post” or “Raytown Tribune” from the library and there were several stories about using it just for that. Sad that we still doesn’t have a community center, but a nice piece of grass. I guess our city leaders have no family values.

Anonymous said...

Andy, I bet you are right that we have spent over 1 million on that park down town. I also think we are smarter then the mayor gives us credit and as Pat and you said green space is just a word for park.

The odd thing is how much state and federal funds did we truly receive to address the blunder Frank building. I recall about 400,000 or so from the state and additional 500,000 from the Fed both received under the Bower administration. However, I also have seen minutes from a Frank Board Meeting and it clearly covers an additional 500,000 that was to be used on the church, but Sue and crew decided it would be best spent on the old wooden bridge.

Now we are talking about close 1.5 million. Gee, how many streets could have been fixed if we had not had to satisfy Sue and buy that church.

I believe if a certain alderman candidate would have came out with this he and not Christine White would be alderman now as she was one of the miss spenders.

Anonymous said...

Now there might be a good headack for Mayor Bower to find out thanks to the actions of his good friend Sue and miss representing the use of federal funds that he has to figure out how to repay the federal government.

With a friend like this it is no wonder the charter didn’t pass anything for Sue

Pat Casady said...

If all my saved literature is correct and I haven't missed
anything, the cost of the church with interest, the removal
and the new sod adds up to just under one million.
That doesn't take in to consideration the city paying for
maintenance and insurance on the property. However if
you add in the tens of thousands paid to bad developers
by our elected officials, it should take us well over a million
for the old church site. Now, if you add in the personal legal cost
of several business owners when we were being threatened
with eminent domain not once but twice the cost is even higher.
Then you can add in the businesses that closed up and left
scared of losing everything and business lost by those of us
that have remained the cost again goes up in lost taxes collected
for the city. The old church site and just about everything City Hall
has done for the past twelve years or so has cost this great little
town a fortune. Just think if we had all the money wasted or given
away. Well, lets just say our streets could be in a whole heck of a
lot better shape.

Anonymous said...

Bower can say all he wants about this not being a park, but I think most on here are right. Green space is just another word for a park. If Bower didn't want a park why didn't he just asphalt it? Sounds like he trying to convince someone that he hasn't made another BIG mistake.

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't Gary Knabe have to live by the same ordinances that the rest of us do? Would you think it might have something to do with his association with Mayor Bower? Just wondering.

Anonymous said...

Why has the chamber destroyed the two most important events that used to bring our community together? Round up days is gone and the annual barbecue seems to be getting less and less attention the past couple of years. Is this a lack of leadership at the top or is it the board of directors fault? I know their membership is shrinking, but surely there has to be a few of them that still can get things done. DISSAPPOINTED

Anonymous said...

As for the elderly persons property, What makes you think that the city would keep up that property if they owned it? Do you remember the city owned the First Baptist Church and look how well they took care of that.

If the city is going to cite Gary Knabe for his property than they should also cite Will Kraus, our current State Rep for the 48th District, for his property as well. It is know better.

The rumor is that Kraus wants to run for Mayor in the next election. Actually I was told he is the one who said that so it's not a rumor. But then he also an appointment from Govner Nixton and would even swich parties to get it. I can't understand why either party would want him.

Anonymous said...

Personally I think Raytown would be better off without Christine(Barbie Doll) White. The whole time she has served as an alderwoman all she has done is seconded motions. Any trained monkey could sit up there and do that. That certainly doesn't take any brains.

The Wise Old Owl said...

Speaking of parking on the grass it appears to be illegal and enforceable by a nice fine of $75.00. Our city could really generate some money and cleanup the parks at the same time. I wonder why the head of the park board is not on top of the police to enforce the laws. Unless it is the fact he has been on the park board so long he no longer really cares about Raytown.

I guess no one has told Pardue that Greg was not the only one with more then 25 years of service to the city. It is a shame that Pardue doesn’t hold this same standard of move the old guard on with the membership on the city appointed boards. I guess his dislike of Greg actually had nothing to do with the years of service like he stated when running.

This link is to the city fines and covers the parking on the grass at the parks

Anonymous said...

Greg, Maybe you could post a comprehensive list of all those on appointed boards with service of at least 25 years then said the list to all of the alderman asking them to bring fresh ideas to city hall just like Shane said he was going to do. I bet the general public would be shocked at how these boards have had the same old blood for way to long. Yet, another example of why we can not seem to move our city forward.

Andy Whiteman said...

Shane has a new idea for regulating rentals. Other than that. I haven't heard much from him.

One of the TV stations, I believe CH4, announced Summer fest with a pic of the ruts left from last year's Summer fest. I wonder if that influenced the decision of anyone to come on out?

The park or green space cost too many people way too much! If it quacks like a duck..............

Mr Daily Word, I suggest you put the Dysfunctional School District on top of the list.

As for the care of the parks, the Park Director is an alien, not living in Raytown, so does anyone think he gives a damn? Being local, if I was parks director, I would drive by each one on different evenings just to check on whats was going on as well as appearance. As I have said, ALL DEPARTMENT HEADS SHOULD BE REQUIRED TO LIVE IN RAYTOWN AS A CONDITION OF THEIR EMPLOYMENT. The US Postal Service requires Postmasters to live in the community they oversee. There is one exception I know of because I received a complaint.

Andy Whiteman

Mr Daily Word said...

The word of the day:

Nepotism: The showing of favoritism for relatives or friends based upon that relationship, rather than on an objective evaluation of ability or suitability, for instance by offering employment to a relative, despite the fact that there are others who are better qualified and willing and able to perform the job.

One of the main underlining issues at city hall, something that accountability and pay for performance would quickly address if we had a mayor with any kind of real leadership skills.

Anonymous said...

Ever read the local paper and wonder where they come up with the stuff they write about?

A good example is this week's Raytown Post and a story about how great the city's website is. Ward 1 Alderman Shane Pardue is quoted as saying "(A resident) can take advantage of the ACH withdrawal for their sewer bill, but they aren't allowed to sign up on for it online."

So, I went to the website and searched for information on the ACH withdrawal -- you know, things like, how much does it cost per transfer, etc.

Trouble is, there was no mention of it in any of the headings. So, I used the search engine and typed in "ACH Withdrawal", no matches found, was the response.

So I typed in "pay sewer bills".

I was given a link that led the minutes of a Board of Aldermen meeting held on 9/16/08.

At that meeting, during public comments, Raytown's own Andy Whiteman told the Board that he had checked out the ACH transfer. The cost is $3.00 per transfer!!!

Thank you, Andy. You did in one public meeting what the tens of thousands of dollars spent on the city's website would not do. Tell us how much the transfer cost.

What the Raytown Post and Shane Pardue did not tell you was that if you wanted to actually save money on your sewer bill, you can do so by making one lump sum payment for a discounted annual rate.

That little gem was the brainchild of former Ward 1 Alderman Greg Walters and is still in effect today.

But I digress.

There is a lesson for the Raytown Post here.

Check your sources. The ACH payment is not even mentioned on the city's web. And, it is a costly proposition for those who use it.

For Shane Pardue. When you pound your drum about yourself, tell the whole story. Three dollars may not seem like much to you, but to others it may make a big difference.

As for the city's website. It is as disfunctional as the rest of city hall.

Case in point. Go to the Frequently Asked Questions at the bottom of the site menu. The last question (No. 9, if you are counting) asks, "When is recycling picked up?"

Click on it.

You will be directed to a link that tells you when the recycling center is open (which is the first and third Tuesday of each month for inquiring minds).

When is recyling picked up? Not even mentioned. The honest answer is that it is not picked up.

So, you have all this maneuvering all over the website to find out what could have been answered honestly with "recycling is not picked up in Raytown."

My friends, it is just like City Hall. All sorts of activity, but none that produces a result.

By the way. I looked and looked and looked but never saw in the Raytown Post how many attended the Summer Fest in Downtown Raytown.

The Post had quoted one Chamber official as "predicting" crowds of 15,000 to 20,0000!

I wasn't there. But I hear it was more like 1,500 to 2,000. And that was only if you counted people who went Wendy's to eat or drove by slowly but did not stop.

How about it Raytown Post editors. You printed the outrageous crowd estimate before the fact. How about your guess after the fact!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Daily Word, you have made some very good points about city hall and have made it clear to our non-self thinking mayor about the changes he needs to make to bring new life into our city.

I wonder how many people really know about all of the Nepotism that goes on at our city hall.

I thought I would start with what little I know about and maybe others would be kind enough to add the pieces I missed.

Linkage to Sue Frank: She is married to police caption Ted Bowman, Ted Bowman’s sister is Alderman Christine White. Christine’s first husband was Alderman Robin White. Christine’s current husband is former Alderman Jeff Kinman and Jeff’s brother was also an Alderman from Ward 2. Let me not forget Sue’s dad was not he a former mayor.

Linkage to Vicki Turnbow: She is married to former police chief Chris Turnbow and her brother is one of the Raytown police officers.

Anonymous said...

Sue Frank's husband is more than just a police officer. He is the number 2 guy on the department after Lynch.

His job position took a meteoric jump after he married Sue.

To be fair. He is a damned good cop. A hell of a lot better at being a cop than his wife was at being Mayor.

Anonymous said...

You should know by now nothing the Chamber does is for the
city or Raytown business. The Summerfest and BBQ is so the Chamber
can make money to pay for their luncheons and other activities.
Likewise you shouldn't believe that Creamer, Par-Due, Hamilton,
Ertz, White or Aziere will do anything for the people of Raytown.
It's not in them. They don't care. All you need do is look for something
to call good for the people of Raytown they have done.
Look at the streets, sidewalks, lighting of the streets, recycling and check the
records of voting. I know Par-Due is new, but, he's a Creamer clone
so it's all the same. Then look at tax revenue given away and the
Tif's and where your street repair money is going, then you'll see where
their bread is buttered.

Andy Whiteman said...

The first 7:41AM, It seems the city government is full of double talk and non-speak.

You might want to call the water department to ask a person about ACH. I don't know if there is a charge because I would never use it because I don't have control on my money if I allow someone to debit my checking account. Some people like it and it is a benefit to the city to avoid unpaid bills.

I DID say there is a $3 charge for credit cards which is different from ACH.

The city website (or any website) is GIGO (garbage in garbage out.) It takes someone to input the correct information.

Mayor Bower stated numbers of people at the Summer Fest. I don't know how he did the counting because there were no admission tickets sold. I assume any stated numbers are wishfull hope for that many.

There was an insert in the last sewer bill with the new rates and mentioning the 3% yearly discount. Not enough to get my attention. Offer a 10% discount and I may take advantage of it.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I am curious to know if anyone of you who have complained about the lack of codes enforcement, have accually taken this matter up with the Mayor or at a City Hall meeting. I know that Andy frequents the meetings and expresses everything that he can; But how many others expect things to get done when only one is talking about it. All of you who think that the Mayor or many of the alderman read this blog are completely nieve. Even if they did read this blog. there is only a hand full of names. When Raytown is populated by over 30,000 people. The message will never hit home. You people need to get out of your desk chairs and be as proactive as you want the Codes Dept., to be. That only makes sense. Roughly 10 guys crying on a blog is not how things get done. It is not how change is made.

Lets put it into visual perspective.

Lets say there are 10 people on the blog. (1 person counts as a household, so average household is 4 REMEMBER THIS FOR BELOW)
Those 10 tell 2 of their neighbors their issues with the community, and their neighbors agree and want to do something about it.
That is 30 more people at City Hall for the BOA meeting.

Now lets say that those 30 who are proactive go to 3 of their other neighbors, and get some sort of community signed document that explains the neighborhood concern.
That is 90 people who want some thing done, Which equals 90 households. As stated above if the average household is 4, that makes 360 people. 360 people telling City Hall, AT A BOA MEETING, that they are not happy with their community direction and WANT CHANGE.
So 10 voices on a blog or 360 voices at a meeting. Which will hit home. You decide.

I am hawk, and I and running for President...

Over Worked Tax Payer said...

Hawk, I think you have a false perception of the over all number of citizen that have actually contacted the mayor or alderman about issues facing our city rather they be the lack of enforcement of code violations. One would believe if these elected official had any integrity they would actual resolve many of the complaint the first time they hear them and not have to hear the same general point brought up by time and time again by additional individuals.

What year census did you use to believe we actual still have a population of around 30,000. Just drive around our city and take a look at all of the vacant homes our census has to be way down. Please also be reminded by the petition in Kansas City, MO that you really have to be a registered voter to carry any weight. Otherwise, their mayor would be looking a recall vote.

The only thing that made any sense in all the bawk you did was to indicate that a signed document outline our complaints needs to be gathered by a larger group of Raytown. I suggest this document actually be called a petition for a state audit! Again, if the mayor had any integrity he would request the board of alderman call for an audit so as to not look like his administration is been part of any conspiring.

As far as rather the mayor or member of the board of alderman read this blog it should like Mr. Walter and Mr. Tush have addressed that issue by the emails they are sending to them regarding “Fix This Eye Sore”

I look forward to you pointing the bawk to the pavement and start the petition drive. I am sure it won’t take long to gather the 600 or so signatures of registered voters to find out were all of our tax dollars are being spent.

Mr. Daily Word, here are some additional words that we need to push in the minds of our elected officials.

Integrity: consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations and outcome. Integrity may be seen as the quality of having a sense of honesty and truthfulness in regard to the motivations for one's actions.

Bawk: The noise produced by a chicken

Conspiring: to join in a secret agreement to do an unlawful or wrongful act or an act, which becomes unlawful as a result of the secret agreement.

Petition: A document embodying such a formal written request

Audit: A formal examination of an organization's or individual's accounts or financial situation.

Andy Whiteman said...

Hawk, I agree with you. I really wish more people would address the BOA. One person means nothing, but if several complain it gets attention. They think they can ignore me but I think that is rude and I will complain at every meeting if I have to. We need more people to stand up and be counted! Hey people, public comment is at the start of the meeting. How about taking 15 minutes and then you can go home if you want.

I have invited people to come when there were really important issues being discussed but they said that the have better things to do. To tell the truth, I do too but I make the time.

My NUMBER 1 code complaint is the city and the Dysfunctional school district in violation of city codes. Why write the codes if the city intends to violate them? The Mayor, Aldermen, and city officials should be required to comply like anyone else. But I forget we have a kangaroo court so how can they be enforced? They jail lil old ladies for violations. Why is city staff not accountable for their violations? Where is the accountability?

Pat and I want the painted markings removed from Raytown Rd. Graffiti is illegal and must be removed.

How many people live in Raytown is a good question. When I lived in a village, I would say there is an average of 4 people per house and multiply the number of houses. Won't work in Raytown because of vacant houses. I can't believe 30,000 live in Raytown but we will know in a couple of years since the census is next year.

Anonymous said...

The state of Missouri has said that Raytown has lost about 1500 in population since the last census. I'm sure that number will be greater when a new census figure comes in after the 2010 one. Look around in your own neighborhood and you will see all the empty homes. Again I place a lot of the blame square on Mayor Bower for allowing this to happen. When you allow the city to deterioate like he has, it can't do anything but get worse. I'm sure that you have seen your new county assesment by now and it took a tremendious drop. Most of us have taken at least a 15% drop in our property values. But from my observation most who are trying to sell their homes can't even get this price.

Andy Whiteman said...

I was glad to see the assessment go down. That means my taxes will go down, expecially for The Dysfunctional School District which are the worst of all. It might be easier to sell my house with a lower assessment hence lower taxes. I chacked with my Realtor and he confirmed my opinion. The assessment has nothing to do with the price of a home. The sales price is what a willing buyer is willing to pay a willing seller.

Some of Flint, Michigan is going to be bulldozed under a Dictator Obama plan. That same plan may benefit part of Raytown.

Andy Whiteman

Mr. Daily Word said...

The word of the day:

Attrition: a reduction in numbers usually as a result of resignation, retirement, or death.

A practice the city needs to start to reduce the departments that are over staffed and therefore produce unacceptable results. One would have to assume based on the over staffing at city hall that this is a term none of the department heads or our mayor has ever heard.

Andy Whiteman said...

Mr. Daily Word, I think the BOA as well as the Mayor never heard of this word. Attrition should be used as department heads and the city administrator leave. At least the salaries should be reduced and the replacement REQUIRED to live in the city that employs them.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Wrong Andy..........they can, and probably will increase the levy to make up the reduced revenue. Sorry pal they are going to get your money one way or the other!

Andy Whiteman said...

Did anyone see that Dr. Markley wrote on page 2 of their publication "The Edge" that due to lower assessments, the Raytown School District levy may be changed. Aren't they past the deadline for submitting that to the county? They are already taxing the people of Raytown to death.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I am not sure that I attended the same Raytown Barbeque the writer from the Raytown Post attended.

The one I attended was held on a grassy area that was so dripping wet that I was glad I wore flip-flops on Friday night.

You actually sunk into the soft earth through the turf as you walked along.

Families enjoying the event by spreading out blankets?!? Not at the event I went to. There were actually very few people there. They operators of the barbeque tent had placed plywood on the entrance way to keep people out of the mud. The woods was slippery and treacherous.

I really had high hopes for the Post. But it appears it is going to join the "everything is beautiful in Raytown" crowd.

By doing so they will lose credibility and eventually their advertisers. Just like the previous owners.

Anonymous said...

Have ya'll noticed that the number of illegal signs in Raytown has decreased dramatically this week in Raytown?

Keep up the good work bloggers.

They are hearing you lould and clear up at City Hall. You are having a very positive and proactive effect. You are actually making them do their job!

Anonymous said...

What editorial by Will Kraus in The Post are you talking about? I haven't seen one for almost a year.

Anonymous said...

The article on Will Kraus was in the week before Manorial Day. I can easily understand how you missed it as “The Raytown Post” seems to be on its last leg. I know that if I had not received a paper at my house that week I too would have missed the article. I am not sure if it made their website. It seems to be dying faster then the actual printed version.

Mr. Daily Word said...

The word of the day:

Misappropriation: the intentional, illegal use of the property or funds of another person for one's own use or other unauthorized purpose, particularly by a public official, a trustee of a trust, an executor or administrator of a dead person's estate or by any person with a responsibility to care for and protect another's assets (a fiduciary duty). It is a felony, a crime punishable by a prison sentence.
Misappropriation does not occur in instances where the capital was obtained for a service rendered.

The misappropriation of federal funds received tare down the old Baptist Church that were instead spent on the old railroad bridge question what other misappropriations took place under the Sue Frank administration and explain why Mayor Bower will not call for an audit.

Anonymous said...

Another example of an incompetent city government is the inability to get the traffic signals fixed at 79th and Raytown Road. This is Sunday and I know that they have been out since Thursday. Again another example of a mayor not being able to handle the simplest of BASIC CITY SERVICES. How about it Bower, when are we going to get some service for the HIGH TAXES we are paying?

Andy Whiteman said...

I am not making excuses for the Fascist Fief but if the must call an outside contractor, they have to wait their turn and remember people won't work on weekends. I was going to ask if it had been reported, but I saw it tonight and they put up a STOP so obviously they know about it.

Maybe it is too much to fix a stoplight. We have been waiting 2 years for street overlay and repairs. Maybe a stoplight is 3 years or even 4! We can't expect too much.(LOL) We are only surfs on this fief.

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...

PS. I used to work in telephone repair. Some traffic lights are controlled by point to point data lines for the timer that keeps them in sync. I don't know what the problem is, but if it is a telco line problem, it is wait until they get around to it and they they don't work evenings or weekends unless the customer pays overtime. At least that is the way it was a Mountain Bell.

If parts have to be ordered, it will take time.

Of course I am speculating on what the trouble or situation may be. I had a transmission go out on a car with less than 20000 miles and was told the car was too new to get a transmission and had to wait almost 2 weeks. A light bulb for the dash was a week!

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...

Richard, I think I found what happened to the missing post. I had another missing post earlier today and I just posted one that almost went missing. I am using Firefox and when I click "PUBLISH", it sometimes opens a tab with a blank screen. If I close the screen, it goes missing. This last time I went pack to the 1st tab and clicked PUBLISH, Lets see if it came through. Should have been in the last 10 minutes.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

City crews were seen working on the traffic signal on Friday morning. Why would it take so long to fix a simple, basic, city function. This sorta qualifies as an emergency. What if we would have had a serious traffic accident here. Is Bower going to accept the responsibility?

Anonymous said...

I think that it is very fitting, and even outsiders coming through this town can see that there are serious monetary problems within local government from the delapidated buildings, pavement conditions, street lights that are not functioning properly, vacant housing, more renters that look like freaks, and 10 families living in single family housing. I think someone with a concience if they were mayor would step down now before it gets any worse!

Anonymous said...

The idea of an audit is not a new one. There should have been one conducted when when the last city administrator left office.

Some of the stunts pulled off by Sue Frank screamed for an audit.

Like the time her city attorney resigned and was then hired back by the city through the law firm she had gone to work at a higher rate of pay.

Wake up Raytown. We are paying the highest taxes in the metro. We receive nothing in return.

The Schoool District's plans to raise the property tax levy is a perfect example. During fat times, when home prices were going way past the true value of the school board NEVER considered rolling back the levy rate.

Now that property values have settled to their real value they want to increase the property tax even more.

Look to some of the simple services we do not receive that we should. The pictures to the right of this message tell it all.

There is no reason Knabe should be allowed to trash up a neighborhood by not maintaining his property. Or that large over the road tractor trailer trucks are using our city has a parking lot.

Check with your neighbors in surrounding cities. It is not allowed there. It should not be allowed here.

Since the election last April has anything come out of city city hall of value? The only change I have seen was when the bloggers on this page put enough pressure on to make the city fix a pothole at a gas station.

Bower, Creamer, Pardue, White and the other leaders at city hall are letting us down on a daily basis.

Anonymous said...

As far as the traffic lights, go you have to know what is causing the problem and it might even not be the city. It could be the power company that supplies the power for the lights that is the problem. Things like traffic lights have many working parts s it takes time to figure it out. If people would pay attention when they drive, it would not be a big concern.

The Eagle

Anonymous said...

I think it would be great if someone would start a petition for an audit because once it was over you would all learn that our city is doing a great job. You would then need to find new things to write about and stop complaining about our mayor and the board of alderman.

The Eagle

Andy Whiteman said...

I totaly agree with the Eagle. I was going to say the same thing.

Maybe we should post signs on the gateways: "WELCOME TO BLIGHTED RAYTOWN--HOME OF THE HIGHEST TAXES IN THE METRO!"

From what I am reading, it seems that fixing a hole at a gas station is the most important event in Raytown is the most impostant event in Raytown in the last year. Surely there are more important things affecting the entire city.

This city is obviously blighted The Olde Baptist Church was razed and we have a new park (greenspace). The streets will be resurfaced this year. The city has asked for bids to stripe the streets. And a hole at a gas station was fixed.

One writer said the lower assessments will ruin the Real Estate market. I remember when people WANTED lower assessments. Maybe that writer should protest and ask that his assessment be raised. The Real Estate market is down because of forclosures. Some of them are in bad condition and people won't pay top dollar. That lowers the comps which lowers the value of other properties.

Someone suggested the Mayor and certain Aldermen resign. I doubt that would change anything. Who would appoint their replacements? There would be no change. If we could have an election, remember people don't vote in Raytown!

Andy Whiteman

Mr. Daily Word said...

The word of the day

Multitasking: The ability of a person to perform more than one task at the same time.

It would be nice to see the city associates learn the art of multitasking so we that city hall would be more productive in address the concerns and issues facing our city.

Anonymous said...

Did soneone say something about Will Kraus running for mayor? Oh my God I hope not. If we think things are bad now just let that fool get in and see what happens.

Anonymous said...

Why hasn't the city done anything about Gary Knabe's lot at 79th and Spring Valley. Is Mayor Bower interfering with the enforcement of this violation?