Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Block Blues…

By Richard Tush It seems ironic we have members on the Board of Alderman that want to pass a landlord ordinance as these same members have not spoken out against the commercial property management companies. Perhaps the answer lies within the fact these Aldermen have been supportive of these property management companies and their master plans to help boost economic development.

As we drive past these properties we see that they are some of the major eyesores within our community. At Woodson Village the light post are slowly rusting away while pieces of ceiling fail upon heads of customers as they walk along the sidewalks that join the business. Many of the storefronts set vacant, but this is just one of many vacant promises from this company. The East Side of Raytown Road at 350 Highway is a ghost town of properties managed by this same company that are slowly decaying and transforming into the new icon of Raytown’s blighted future. Our mayor and aldermen believed that somehow this company would be the saving grace to the Wal-Mart give away. Yet this past week even the "Sunshine Happiness" normally report in the "Raytown Post" clearly pointed to the disaster in our future. Thanks to our elected officials buying the words of this developer a new shortfall awaits us. One would have thought we would have learned our lesson after Red Development left us in the "Red" with our downtown project. First Impressions… By Richard Tush CBS Advertising was very eager earlier this year to obtain approval to replace a billboard on 350 highway with an even larger one. Yet, while I was out this week I noticed many of the billboards operated by CBS in Raytown face maintenance neglect. The poles and / or sign frames are rusting and yet this company wanted to add an additonal one of their eyesores to the city. It seems that the business going before the Board of Alderman would cleanup their act and make their properties as presentable as they do the individuals they send to city hall to make presentations on their behalf. An Editorial Reply to a False Accusation… By Greg Walters An anonymous writer wrote the following false statement in a recent blog. Greg may have voted no, what was his real reason? Was he just wanting to cover himself if something went wrong? Since I was there and the anonymous writer was not I thought it would be best to set the record straight on my "NO vote" regarding Wal-Mart. The Board of Aldermen held many meetings before it went public that Wal-Mart was being courted to come to Raytown. I never was wild about the plan. In the first place, Wal-Mart has a reputation for destroying local economies. I am also not wild about TIF’s and tax abatements. In fact, it was a rare event that I would cast a vote in favor of one. But that was not my main reason for opposing the deal. To make a long story short, the Wal-Mart proposal was a no-win situation from the beginning. The city literally gave everything allowed by law to entice Wal-Mart to open a new center on 350 Highway. Part of the TIF deal was to obligate any sales tax generated by the new Wal-Mart to pay for the TIF bonds. That meant breaking a promise the Board made to the voters when approval was given for a half-cent transportation sales tax. The promise broken was that money raised from the half cent tax would be used exclusively for transportation purposes in Raytown -- street repair, street overlay, bus service and so forth. That promise was quickly forgotten when the Wal-Mart TIF was approved. I told Board members that I would be voting against the Wal-Mart deal because it was not a good deal for Raytown. My fear was that if fuel prices were to spike (they did, to about $4.00 a gallon) or if the economy were to go south (the mortgage/housing crisis followed by the current recession) Raytown would have a Wal-Mart Store, a tremendous amount of debt and a lot of vacant land. Economically speaking, a perfect storm. Even worse, part of the deal guaranteed payment of the TIF bonds by the city’s general fund if Wal-Mart did not produce the money through sales tax revenue. Most readers may not be aware of this simple truth. It is not a common practice for governing bodies to guarantee TiF bonds. The reason is simple. If it is such a good deal – a slam dunk, a sure thing, whatever – why does it need to have a guarantee? The burden of risk in venture capitalism should rest with the investor. In the Raytown Wal-Mart case, there is no risk. We have promised to pay whatever the Wal-Mart Store does not produce in sales tax. That is why the City is in the situation it is facing today. The written contract in the TIF agreement clearly states that the city will make the bond payments if the sales tax from the new Wal-Mart Store does not meet expectations. The store is not completed and obviously behind schedule. The TIF Bond payments must be made. That is why the city will be making $800,000 in TIF payments in December. An additional million dollars will be due in the summer of 2010. That loud sucking sound you hear is the sound of your tax dollars paying for Wal-Mart. I did not just stand back after the deal. I spoke against the proposal in public meetings before and after the vote. In fact, in a guest editorial published in the Raytown Post, I went into minute detail explaining how the TIF financing worked and why it was a bad plan for Raytown. This impressed some of my fellow Board members so much that they wanted to impeach me for practicing my constitutional right of free speech. So, my anonymous friend, go tell your tales to someone else. Don’t try to hang the foolhardy decisions of the Board of Aldermen around my neck. The rope does not fit. What Our Readers Thought… Last week we asked if non-residents should pay higher fees to use park services. The results were 74% of our readers believe that fees for usage of park services should be tied to residence. We hope that with the park board considering requesting renewal of the sales tax to fund services that they first look at taking some of the burden off the residence and increase fees for non-residences. By the way the parks department estimates that around 90% of those currently paying fees to use our services are non-residents. Fix This Eyesore… DAY 64 – 84th Street Sanitary Sewer Project: The mess left behind by the city after sanitary sewer improvements remain.

Day 57 - 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 57Stop the Mosquitoes: The breeding ground for mosquitoes appears to have been fixed after checking for standing water following Tuesday's rain. Day 57 – Green Space: The grass areas that were damaged by the chamber event still remain unrepaired. At a BOA meeting prior to the SummerFest event Alderman Charlotte Melson said the Chamber would repair damage to the grass. Day 43 – Minor Smith Park: The mess left behind by the city after sanitary sewer improvements remain. Day 26 – Crescent Creek: Wires still dangle from the pole. Day 29 – Former Religious Store: Allowed to decay. Day 8 – The burned home at 8510 Stark: Remains a nuisance to the neighborhood

NOTE: Click on any of the picture to enlarge it.

Local Meetings and Events: Aug 4th – Board of Alderman meeting 7:00 PM at city hall. Aug 6th – Planning & Zoning Commission meeting 7:00 PM at city hall Note: call the day of the meeting to make sure it has not be canceled due to no items being brought before the commission. Aug 8th –Raytown Fire Department vs. Raytown Police softball game at Coleman Park Aug 10th – Board of Education meeting 6:30 PM at school district office Aug 11th – Finance Committee meeting 7:00 PM at city hall Aug 13th – Board of Zoning Adjustments meeting 7:00 PM at city hall July 20th – Park Board meeting 7:00 PM at park administrative office Aug 17th – First Day of School Aug 17th – Park Board meeting 7:00 PM at park administrative office Aug 18th – Early Childhood Preschool Begins Aug 18th – Board of Alderman meeting 7:00 PM at city hall Aug 20th – Human Relations Commission meeting 6:00 PM at city hall Aug 24th – Board of Education Tax Rate Hearing Meeting 5:30 PM at school district office Aug 25th – Municipal Committee meeting 6:00 PM at city hall  


Anonymous said...

It was my night to watch the BOA meeting on channel 7. I have never been so disgusted with anyone in my life. The mayor who calls himself a professional is nothing more than anrrogant bully who dosen't know shoe polish from applebutter. I thought the BOA meetings were open for discussion and opinions from the aldermen. I was totally wrong as far as our mayor is concerned. That only holds true if you are in complete agreement the the mayor. The man is a liar. I was at a debate for the candidates had when he ran for mayor. The question was asked of him. With all of your traveling how will you will be available to the citizens. He ever so proudly held up his phone and told a big fat lie. I will be available 24/7 via my cell phone. This man enjoys putting people down so he can look good. Well Mr. Mayor you look prety sad in my eyes and in eyes of alot of other citizens. So enjoy your power while you have it because when you fall you will fall hard.

Anonymous said...

I watched the meeting as well.

Mr. Bower, you demean yourself when you resort to shouting down those that disagree with you.

There were such high expectations when you took office. It looks like you have chosen the path of your predecessor, Frank. Bullying is not leadership.

What's next? Appointing some of your allies to high paying positions at city hall?

Nothing would surprise me at this point. You should be ashamed at what you have become.

Anonymous said...

FYI: It is spelled 'residents' not 'residence'. Residents are the people who live in a house, town, city, or state. Residence is someones home, domicile, shelter, etc.

Don't bother printing this as you censor everything that I say on here anyway......

Anonymous said...

I held out high hopes for the newly elected alderman, but it appears that Mock and Lightfoot have fallen into the mayors hip pocket along with the other seven alderman who can't think for themselves. Shame on you!!!! I am so tired of the alderman praising staff for everything they do. If my memory serves me correct that is what they get paid for is to WORK. So knock off the brown nosing and let's get to the important business.

Anonymous said...

It's rumored that Christine White will resign her seat as Alderman in Ward 3 so that Bower can appoint her Raytown's Economic Development Director.

This is madness. Christine has absolutely no credentials in economic development. Her background is that of a residential real estate agent. One who does not even actively worked in the trade.

She has no standing in the development community and will find doors to her shut everywhere.

Development on the scale that Raytown should look at is an insider's game.

If anyone thinks they can take a small town politician and put them in that tank of sharks and expect results they must have rocks in their head.

The lack of discussion by anyone at Tuesday night's City Council meeting on the subject of economic development (except for Bower throwing a fit and yelling at Ward Four Alderman Van Buskirk) indicates that most of the Council has their marching orders on this one.

Over $200,000 has been set aside for creation of the position.

There are good professionals out there that could help the city. Don't throw this opportunity away by appointing a political hack as director!

Pat Casady said...

Woodson Village, Raytown Plaza, car dealerships, the old HY-Vee and Center 63
just to name a few empty storefronts in this town, and our elected officials
are worried about landlords of houses?
This is why I say these people don't have a clue as to what they are doing.
They don't have their priorities in order.
It doesn't make sense worrying about housing landlords when everybody
is moving out of town because there are so few businesses left.
People want convenience and stores close or within walking distance.
Our elected officials gave them a big box store that will give the city
no tax income for twenty three years and drove out at least a half a dozen
businesses, so far, and will more than likely cost the people of Raytown hundreds
of thousands of dollars and it's not even open yet!
Man that's planning!
I'm not upset with Wal-Mart as much as I am embarrassed for our town and
the deal that was given by our so called representatives.
No other small town would give away so much to receive so little.
No other town would have believed the BS thrown at it by WM representatives,
the City Administrator and several devious developers.
No other would......except ours!
One writer stated that our mayor leads by bullying and shouting down those
that don't agree with him. He does it because they let him! They don't stand
up for the people they are supposed to represent or themselves. Never have
never will, and the people and businesses of Raytown will pay because of it.

Anonymous said...

I worked with Christine in the real estate business. She couldn't make it there. She quit actively working in the marker months ago.

Anyone that thinks she can bring any hope to Raytown's econonic woes either does not know her or does not have a clue about economic development.

Anonymous said...

How on earth does Christine White think she will bring economic development to Raytown?

If she is appointed to this position will she truly work to bring business to every corner of the city? I ask as I was speaking with her a couple years back when she was still active in the residential re-estate market. At that time she made it clear there where parts of Raytown like Gregory Heights where she wouldn’t list a property, as she wouldn’t be able to sell it. If her mind set is that she can not find buyers for all areas of the city then why would we want her to be our economic developer. Just for the record she lived in Gregory Heights for years and I was actually shocked to hear her take on the area she formerly called home.

Be honest finding businesses that want to move into our downtown area is going to be very difficult. Not only are we as a nation still facing economical issues there are many areas surrounding downtown, which are very unpleasing to the eye as has been pointed out on this blog. We also have to realize there is less traffic flow in this part of town as compared to 350 highway.

I have read the Raytown Post and understand the logic about bringing in support business to surround Wal-Mart, but can we really afford to give more away? Also do we really need more potential vacant buildings in Raytown with all that we already have? Let me remind everyone of several strip malls with vacant space: Woodson Village, Blue Ridge Plaza, Center 63 and Raytown Plaza. This list doesn’t even touch on the number of openings on 63rd street, Raytown Road, and 350 highway.

We also have to recall that we have actually had this position in the past. We just seem to rename it from time to time, but the most important thing to recall is nothing good as ever came from anyone in this position other then them drawing a nice fat check from our tax dollars.

One really needs to ask all the alderman and mayor why they are not out selling our city to business when they are doing their own shopping. Those who have heard Mayor Bower speak should be able to recall that he often talks about taking his wife out to eat. However, he only talks about restaurants outside of our city with this being the case why doesn’t he take the lead and try to bring them to our community?

Finally what are we going to do with Beth Linn, who was hired to handle both neighborhood services, also known as code enforcement, and community development, which was to include the duties outlined for the new economical development position. It seems that those at city hall have learned she miss represented her abilities to do both jobs, which is why we are now going down a new path. However, I believe based on the code violations any of us have seen throughout our city as well as what has been listed on this blog that she can not even handle the neighborhood service piece. The Raytown Post article listed the city administrator as not sure were funding for the economical development position would come from, but it seems clear that Beth Linn need to resign or do the full job she was hired for. This would eliminate the need for an additional position and the cost associated with it.

Anonymous said...

Bower and his cronies are spending us into BANKRUPTCY. What is wrong with him? He works in an industry where they have deep pockets and that's exactly how he is spending our tax dollars. We need to cut employees at city hall to save money. The KC Star today had an interesting article on how the city of Peculiar is going to save taxpayers money. Bower needs to open his eyes and follow some of these other cities lead. And did you see that the city of Independence DEFEATED a public safety tax. More bad news for Raytown merchants, that keeps their sales tax much lower than ours driving more purchases outside our city limits.

Pat Casady said...

I have it on very reliable authority that Christine White
Is not being considered for the Economic Development
Director's position.

Anonymous said...

Pat: You wouldn’t be saying that as usual misleading information is being past to those attending the “Reaching for Tomorrow” gatherings. I can not believe that our outstanding elected officials would be pushing information at the little gathering they started to better their clique of elected officials.

I am sure everything that is introduce by our elected officials and their confederacy is always presented for the betterment of our city and never the self serving needs they might have to repair the inadequacies they have created.

The only sad piece is those of us like you and me are faced to deal with the miss guidance these individuals have presented to the majority of faithful voters. It is a shame these same group of voters are not self thinkers, but instead are the by product of individuals like “Simple Joe” that just take the right smack on the back to get their heads bobbing the “Bower” way.

Andy Whiteman said...

I wonder is anyone who lives in Raytown is peculiar enough to drive to Peculiar to save a little sales tax? One attorney said cutting work hours by 10%. Makes me wonder how many will quit? The employees can file for unemployment as underemployed, but probably won't collect because they are earning more than unemployment pays. But is would still be a peciliar claim against Peculiar.

Strange, I was at the BOA meeting last night and didn't hear the Mayor shout at anyone. He made his point calmly and politely. Maybe the volume on the TV was too high.

Some qualifications for the new Economics Developement director were stated at the BOA meeting last night. If Ms. White doesn't possess these qualifications, clearly she cannot be hired. Even if she resigned as Alderperson and was hired, it is a conflict of interest. She wants Raytown to be a Quality City. From what I have observed, this is wishfull thinging on her part with little or no action.

Andy Whiteman

The job qualificiations

Pat Casady said...

I can't believe that bunch is still around. (RRFT)
I thought that went away when Wenson left.

Anonymous said...


Glad to hear it. Of course the best way to dispel the rumor would be for Ms. White to make a public announcement.

Kind of like Mike Sanders did just the other day when it was written in the Kansas City Star that he was the most popular (possible) candidate for KC Mayor by Hearne Christopher.

Why not go back to your reliable authority and suggest that solution to them?

Anonymous said...

Ms. White has never been successful at anything she has ever attempted. Who in their right mind would even consider her for this position? If it happens it just goes to show you that there is just more politics as usual at city hall. MAYOR BOWER keep that GOOD OLE BOY OR GIRL SYSTEM alive and well.

Over Taxed Tax Payer said...

Greg and Richard:

I want to thank you two for pointing out that the school board is having a special meeting on Aug 24th with the sole intent to hit are pocket books harder. What is up with the group of self centered individuals? Next to our city handing out TIFs like there is no tomorrow we have our school district spending money on projects like the turf at the two high schools, billboards on Raytown Road and who know what else. Now it appears time to pay the piper and we all know to well that means we will be expected as home owners to tighten our belt once again because of your rude and disrespectful spending. It is apparent that the school systems in the nation need to get back to the basics: reading, writing and math to ensure future generations learn to spend within the limitations of their income.

I do not know of any employer in this nation that employees can go to demand additional pay because they over spent their income. Time and time again the Raytown School Board has gone before the voters and requested additional funds. Each time presenting the issue to address the means of better pay for teachers or building improvements that would save us money in the future. However, when we already had knowledge of financial issues facing not only the school district with the reduction of property values, but also the economy facing the nation what do these self righteous members do, but go out and spend nearly a half a million dollars on turf and bleachers. Almost two months this big blunder was made public on the news was a high school in Kansas City, KS that was looking for donations and other means to fund a similar project. What a wonderful idea to take the burden off the taxpayers and find new and creative means to achieve the same goal. We all have something to learn form or Kansas neighbors about doing the right thing.

Perhaps at the meeting on Aug 24th this group of under thinking over spenders embarrassments to society can each bring their detail personal budget so we can learn of their ability or inability to manage finances.

While on the subject of the school board, what happened to Richard Thode? We never seem to hear about him anymore, yet he was going to be the saving grace to save us from the overspending of this under achieving group. I recall his opposition during the campaign placing the spending crazy on the shoulders of the administration and not the board. Her claim was they could only approver or disapprove the budget so how could over spending be their fault.

We might want to recall Thode was the outsider and it was the other members of the board supporting his opposition. I guess none ever heard of “Line Item Veto” or the famous Nancy Reagan quote, “JUST SAY NO”!

Anonymous said...


Raytown Reaching for Tomorrow is still alive and meet Thursday’s at the Rock. I don’t go around this group any longer as a result of the false tales they like to spend. You also might want to note that whoever responded to you at 11:19 today is correct that this group can not be trusted. I figured this out when they tried to get me to change my vote for alderman. It seems they found the nice gentleman running in ward 4 to be the worst individual even seeking election.

Odd as I more then once have had the opportunity to meet with Mr. Van Buskirk and this couldn’t be the furthest thing from the truth. I have been very please with the results that I have seen from him so far and only wish some of the other members would grow a back bone and question what is going on as much as he has.

Had the rest of the board followed his direction the city would have saved $45,000, but I guess he must be the only one that doesn’t like wasteful spending. Maybe that is the true underlining reason the Raytown Reaching for Tomorrow group was working against him because their spend happy friends on the board told them he would cut funding waste.

Anonymous said...

There is shock and disbelief at city hall today. Independence didn't pass the safety sales tax. I am sure city hall was counting on this passing. Now Raytowners if you are smart you will go HyVee on 40 Highway and spend less on taxes. We as usual shot ourselves in the foot AGAIN.

Anonymous said...

Higher taxes less shopping opportunities – Thank you Mayor Bower

Andy Whiteman said...

After enlarging the new photo at the top of the page, it looks like some city poles need maintenance or replacement.

What on earth is the photo of the clock for? It won't enlarge.

Why doesn't codes do a yearly inspection on signs and billboards for safety and code violations? It wouldn't take a lot of time. The city could be divided into areas and put a rotation and an hour or 2 a week spent on each area.

1:24 PM, Anyone can make a public announcement, but is it truthful? It could very well be a lie.

I think Mr. Van Buskirk is the 2nd Greg Walters. Both have integrity and asked detailed, pointed questions.

What would the BOA be like if both Walters and Van Buskirk were there?

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

As a Raytown School District employee, I told Rick Thode that the school board would "eat him alive" trying to stop them from spending money foolishly. It is not going to change. I understand the board is going to want a BIG property tax increase since Raytown's real estate values have dropped. If the voters pass the increase, that will put the final nail in the coffin for the city of Raytown, no one will be here.

Also, why would the Raytown school district put astro turf down as a playing field. It is proven that you have more injuries playing on astro turf. Just wait till the kids get hurt bad and then the parents will sue the Raytown School district!

Richard Tush said...


I fixed the picture that you inquired about so it will enlarge if clicked on.

It actually shows the ceiling above the sidewalk at Woodson Village that is starting to fall down.

Anonymous said...

The blog about Mike Sanders announcing he was not running for Mayor in Kansas City was enlightening.

Christine White should follow his example and remove any doubt of those who suggest she is trying to make a grab for power and money by parlaying her city council seat for a high paying city department job.

What do you say Christine? I'm sending a copy of this message to your city web address.

With one short announcement you can remove all doubt (and fear) of your intentions.

Andy Whiteman said...


Thanks for fixing the photo. A property owner is likely not to notice this. Has anyone notified the property owner?

10:19, if Ms. White made an announcement would you or anyone believe it? What is she made such an announcement and then was GIVEN the job? In order to get the job, she will have to demonstrate that she has the required credentials and qualifications.

Andy Whiteman

Greg Walters said...

Good morning,

This is just a reminder to our readers that this weekend is a Sales Tax Holiday in Missouri. Many items are "tax free" from local and state sales tax for purchases of up to $100 for clothing to up to $3,500 for computer equipment.

Due to the high sales tax rates in many local communities, shoppers will realize a savings of over 8% on their purchases from not having to pay the tax.

Couple that with any sales items, such as footwear, clothing, computer soft and hardware (just about anything considered a "back to school item) and you are talking about some significant savings.

Make sure the store you are shopping in is in a community that is participating. Generally speaking, most Kansas City, Missouri area cities are participating.

Raytown, Kansas City, Lee's Summit, Independence, Blue
Springs and Grandview are all participating in the event.

The tax holiday is NOT in effect in Kansas. The following Missouri communities are NOT participating in the state wide event - Claycomo, North Kansas City, Oak Grove, Peculiar, Platte City, Platte Woods, Riverside and Sugar Creek.

Pat Casady said...

It's too bad there are still groups of people around
that will blindly follow bad leaders. It was bad enough
when Wenson had them in his hip pocket.
I wonder who is buying them donuts and coffee now.
A big part of Raytown's problems are because groups
like this one. But, the main problem in Raytown is not
enough people get out and vote. Groups like this one
all get out to vote for their friends and often vote the way
they are told to by somebody and City Hall.

Andy Whiteman said...

Pat, Isn't the slogan, "Vote early and Vote Often?" I wonder if that is happening in Raytown expecially when it comes to the Dysfunctional School District tax increase. As my mother use to say, "The tenants are voting for it because they don't pay it."

I know someone her will point out the landlords will raise the rent. Doesn't apply because many of them don't pay rent or move to another dump (hopefully not in Raytown) if the rent goes up.

Andy Whiteman

Salamander said...

Forgive me but I just cannot recuse myself from this observation. “I told you so!”

My reference is to what is occurring with the Wal-Mart Project, also known as “The salvation of Raytown.”

Think of the irony of it all. An addle-pate controlled board of aldermen, several years ago, voted to give one of the richest corporations in the world a 23 year tax exemption if they would just come and build a store.

To hear our former mayor tell it, this one act by a forward looking board would save Raytown economically.

And all the while many of us thought purchasing the Old Baptist Church was the dumbest thing Sue Frank ever did. Not by a long shot.

Read the Post. For once they actually printed something which had a little “mean” in it. Usually that paper reads like a down-graded version of the now defunct Grit Gazette.

Trouble is the Post didn’t tell it all. They barely scratched the surface telling us how bad the Wal-Mart deal is.

One example: Though Westlake Hardware will also collect the 1.5 cent extra sales tax once Wal-Mart opens – if it ever does open – the revenue does not go to the city. It goes to Wal-Mart.

But, that’s only for the next 23 years. After that Wal-Mart will generously let us keep some of the revenue. As Mike Savage says, “Unbelievable.”

Renee said...

That's if they are still here. Walmart is very well known for coming in sucking the money out of cities and towns, taking TIFs polluting the water with the garden center run-off. EPA was after them and suits begun. Let's see, having made Mom and Pop stores vanish, treating employees as items...we all hear and seen that, I could go on about what is going on in other countries that Walmart either has shops operating, and using slave labor.

Walmart is the devil, heck when the employees set up a fund for other employees who would suffer a set back or natural disaster they put well over a million into the pot out of their own pockets,the Walton family contributed very little. Google anything about Walmart and most of it is bad news. They suck the towns dry leave and let the buildings go to crumbling, look at the one at the Bannister Mall area where a Walmart sat. It's going to happen with Blue Ridge too.

I wished the city never allowed them to even build another, how many does one area need?

Anonymous said...

If mayors company should ever down size and he should loose his job, which I hope never happens. I feel he would have a hard time finding a new one. He has no personality and certainly can't handle finances, and make wise decisions. Look at the mess he has put the city in. Also I feel the same way about the staff at city hall. About all they could do is put another city in the same finanicial shape we are finding ourselves in. I agree with person who said quit praising staff, board of alderman they get a very healthy check for the work they are suppose to do. This makes me sick to my stomach every time I hear it.

Andy Whiteman said...

Welcome back Salamander. Greg Walters also told us so. Raytown has gone to Socialism if we have to support private businesses. How did the Walls make their fortunes? Obviously not by using their one funding. They got TIFs and didn't venture their own money. They underpay and treat their employees like trash. The last time I was in Walmart, I overheard 2 employees talking. One said, "Just ask HR, it is based on your age." They had to stop talking to ring up my sale. I asked the clerk if wages or benefits were based on age? She said wages, but I really think she didn't want to answer.

I think the sad state of Raytown finances can be blamed on many including various City Administrators and inept board members. We can't blame an individual when we have a board of 10 members. Actually the blame is on those who voted them into office or didn't vote at all!

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...

PS. I still ask was there anything under the table?

Justin Tomac said...

Block Blues....great article Richard!
I guess if one examines why some members of the BOA or the City Management put so much credence into the 'property management companies' it comes down to this orthodoxy - rely on the 'experts'.

What is interesting is the 'experts' in this case are out to make a buck, with or without the city. So by relying on the fox to watch the henhouse we end up with the pickle we are in. Now some think like I do...that you should try to form your own thoughts, which may require gathering opposing points of view, and gathering relevants facts to truly understand the issue(s). My guess is, we are all busy and it is easier to abdicate the authority or in this case strategic leadership thinking (e.g. how to boost economic development without spending as much) to the 'experts' (in this case foxes) then to devise your own thoughts and try to persuade or influence the BOA members or city management.

The question remains for the BOA & City Management to answer, "besides hiring a econ develop czar (with a budget of $175k/year, not having to live within the city they are to develop, etc.) or more TIF's (super or regular), what are other ways of boosting economic development within our City?

My guess and bet is they do not have any ideas, thus they rely on the foxes (i.e. property management specialists (think RED, Block & Commercial Real Estate agents)....in this case are we the hens in the chicken house?


Greg Walters said...

News Updates . . .

The Raytown Planning and Zoning Commission has approved an application to open a tatoo parlor at 74th and Raytown Road. The vote to approve a special use permit for the application was unanimous.

The applicants currently operate one location in Belton, Missouri.


The Raytown School District has joined several other area school districts in an attempt to raise property taxes by reversing property tax assessments made by Jackson County.

Jackson County is required by state law to evaluate property values for taxation purposes. The Jackson County Assessors office had lowered property tax values in response to a declining real estate market and a record number of foreclosures due to economic downturns.

The school districts, which never complained of property evaluations as they were increased year after year, is asking the court to over-turn the County Assessors rulings.


MY VIEW . . .

The Jackson County Assessment office use the same guidelines for setting property values in past years. It is important to point out that the School District never complained of those rulings in the past.

The simple truth here is that this country is a deep economic slump. We all know it. We all have to live through it.

As homeowners in Raytown we have all had to tighten our belts. The Raytown School District should live within its means.

Perhaps they should take a harder look a some of their questionnable decisions in the past years.

Critics have complained of waste by the School District. They point to recent decisions to put artificial turf on football fields as a waste of tax dollars.

In retrospect it is hard not to agree.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of taxes . . .

I see the Raytown School District is holding a Tax Rate Hearing on August 24th at 5:30 p.m.

Do you think they could draw an even smaller crowd if they held it at 4:30 p.m.

Remember those incumbents on the School Board the next time they are up for re-election.

They really don't want our input. Hence, the meeting time scheduled for when many people living in Raytown are commuting to and from work.

Anonymous said...

I think it is a disgrace that the school district is trying to get the courts to order higher taxes in this rough economic time. If they weren't wasting so much of our tax dollars they wouldn't need an increase. People are loosing their homes everyday to foreclosure due to layoffs and cutbacks. We all know that our property is WORTH WAY LESS than it was a couple of years ago. This school board and superintendent no longer deserve our support. I can't wait for them to ask for ANY FORM OF REVENUE increase because they sure aren't going to get it from me. And watch out school board incumbents when you seek re-election next April, because you're going to have opposition.

Pat Casady said...

I would appear that every body in the world knows
and understands that Wal-Mart is bad for small towns
and their small businesses. It is also a well known fact
that this big monster will and does kill small towns.
So the question is why? Why do our and other elected
officials fall for the BS handed them by such a well known
destroyer of small towns?
The answer is simple. They don't know what they are doing.
They don't understand business and certainly don't understand
that there are people and businesses that care little about what
they do to your town as long as they make money.
If our city officials don't think somewhere behind W-M office walls
there is some group of W-M deal makers laughing their collective
butts off, they are wrong!
All I'm saying is there is a reason to have ten people on the Board
of Aldermen, although most of the time it seems five too many,
and that reason is to have ten different views and questions.
Ten people asking questions like, what will this deal do for, or
to, our town and the people. That question should be the first up
for discussion in anything these elected "representatives" do
or consider. It's past time for "yes" men and women determining
the future of our town. If they can't, or they take the easy road, and won't
think for themselves and ask the tough questions, it's time they
leave and let someone in that will.
I know the W-M deal is done. I just hope Raytown isn't "done" too.

Anonymous said...

It figures that Raytown should have a tattoo parlor. It fits right in with our redneck image of pit-bulls, potbellied pigs, fireworks and trashy neighborhoods. I can't believe that planning and zoning didn't have the courage to say NO to this sleazy type of business. Deny them and see if they have the nerve to sue the city. That's what we have that HIGH PRICED CITY ATTORNEY for. Again another business that generates NO SALES TAX. Thanks Mayor Bower for appointing people that have no backbone to stand up to these sleazy type of businesses. What's next STRIP CLUBS? We have some great locations with all our empty buildings. Any yes, they can still smoke in these clubs, so that makes Raytown even more attractive.

Anonymous said...

What is with Mayor Cower?

He promised so much, but has delivered so little.
Yet, he thinks he is the witty fellow

His corporate ways have allowed Wal-Mart to destroy our sales tax base.
Yet, he still shows up at board meetings with a smirk on his face.

He gathers in the chamber high praising his empty ways.
Yet, you and I will be forced to pay

He thinks that we the citizens are blind.
Yet, soon Election Day will come and he will find himself in the unemployment line

Andy Whiteman said...

I don't use tattoo palors but know some who do. I don't judge people by their tats even though I don't care for tats and piercings.

People complain that there are no businesses in Raytown and they have to go out of town for what they want. If the pallor is approved, people can get their tats locally without leaving the city. Or it may attract others who want this "service" and they may patronize other businesses such as fast food, gas, and shopping.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

With downtown failure in the wind, it seems time to get creative filling the buildings that lay within. These day’s more and more conditional usage permits are coming our way. So why not create a conditional usage zone, which will allow all of these business to roam about. The business and their clientele can celebrate breathing the breath of life back into our downtown’s blighted sight.

We already have a couple of bars to kick the party up good and hard. Just down the street we can stop to get our favorite smokeable treats. As the morning light hits our red eyed faces off to the coffee shop to declare we never had any disgraces.

So what better place for a tattoo shop close to the bars to help lessen the sting from the needles soon to be working on the seen. If you can not afford the adventure that awaits then why not move the legal loan sharks to this place. We all have seen their signs lining our highest traffic carrying road. Have you ever asked what tax they generate to help brighten our blighted state. None that I have ever heard but more and more seem to be moving in.

Why not only allow tax-generating business to these high traffic areas so we can bail ourselves out of the Wal-Mart fix and at the same time cleanup our vacant downtown mess.

Anonymous said...

The Raytown Post is singing songs of praise for the work underway at Gergory and Raytown Road. However, the main gateway to downtown keeps crumbling to the ground. What will it take for the 63rd Street Bridge to get its remake? We can only hope and pray that something is done soon. It seems replacement of this would be a greater safety issue then building rock towers to boost the egos of our elected officials failed attempts to improve our lives.

Anonymous said...

The only thing to say about what Mr. Rick Thode has done for us so far.

Outcast of a
Disappointment to
Educational savings

For the Simple Minded Alderman said...

Simple Joe wants to believe he is about cleaning up our town, but the crony he has brought to the board still has a home that looks like it was pulled out of the slums. I guess no “Above Par Service” there! Only a shameful homeowner who just doesn’t care. I for one am not surprised both as both of these guys believe the rules don’t apply to them as they are homeowners and do not live in a rental properties.

I guess they have answered their own question that it is not just the rental properties needing a fixing.

See how simple the answer is, Simple Joe, just look at your friends on the board and you will quickly see the messy example you all are setting for good citizens like me.

Anonymous said...

I just heard about the board meeting on Tuesday night and it is great to learn the Mr. Van Buskirk doesn’t fall into the Simple Joe mentality of playing follow the leader. It the rest of the wards could elect leaders like Bill then maybe you and I wouldn’t be flipping the bill for the miss adventures of Bower and his merry followers.

Anonymous said...

The Bower experience… Higher taxes and greater disappointments

Anonymous said...

It appears to me as though Alderman Lightfoot and Mock have not spoken at city council meetings because the cat has their tongue. And let's not forget Pardue if he does say anything it certainly doesn't make any sense. I'll be anxious to see if these so called men can find enough backbone to stand up for themselves and not be one on Bowers bobble heads.

Anonymous said...

I received a call from a friend of mine who lives outside the city, and he was asking if the P&Z board approved the tattoo and body piercing parlor. I told him they were completely spineless and it passed without opposition. The news was just what he wanted to hear as he has plans to bring a gentlemans club to our city. I might warn you he has the money and team of lawyers to get the job done. It looks to me like P&Z has opened a Pandora's box.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how Christine White will vote on the tattoo parlor? She was one of them that voted to WASTE thousands of our tax dollars to take down the UNSIGHTLY billboard because she didn't want her children and grandchildren to have to look at this horrible image of Raytown. I bet she'll be all for this, because it's such a good image for our children. Heck, she'll probably be first in line, after they open, to try out this new establishment. I can't wait for those new strip clubs that I hear are coming.

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

Go tell your friend that we have a top notch city attorney Nancy Thompson and she will stop him dead in his tracks. HA HA!!!! Why do we need an EDD when business are already comming to us wanting to locate here? Brighter days are ahead. Just think a gentlemens club next best thing to heaven..

Anonymous said...

Mayor Bower is very worried about Westlake keeping up their property with the new and wonderful Wal Mart comming in. If he would take his blinders off long enough to look at the dead limb on the Bank of Americans property and have codes take care of it. I know for a fact that has been called into codes twice and the last time I went by it was still there. He has nothing to worry about with Westlake they have been good for many years keeping their property up. Why don't you worry about something that is important.

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

I would suspect that Ms. White will say that a Tattoo Pallor is not part of a quality city.

A gentleman's club? I assume KCMO is too restrictive and they want to get away from that. It could provide employment for at least one of our citizens I know.

Just think the Police could find violations and drunk drivers there that generate revenue for this city.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Hey, Mr Over taxed Taxpayer, when have you attended a School Board meeting? You should have attended the june meeting where the budget and tax levy increase was discussed. Mr. Thode told the admininistration that the large tax levy increase was morally wrong without a public vote. He and two others voted against the Administration's budget because it included added tax levy money without a public vote. Four members of The School Board are now prepared to vote for a tax levy increase to offset lower revenues from the property tax reassessment. Mr. Thode is not one of them.
Why don't you come to the next school board meeting and hear Mr. Thode ask the tough questions that need to be asked. He doesn't back down and is the first member that I can remember that does not suck up to the Administration.

Anonymous said...

Mayor Bower, if you love this city as you have said may I suggest that you step down as mayor. Maybe then and only then can we bring back the city that we all love. At this point you are killing it everyday you stay in office. Please be a man and step down.

Anonymous said...

QUESTION: Does the park department contract out it's mowing? The reason I ask is that as I was in Kenagy this morning there were three kids on mowers running rough shod over the park attempting to mow it. Pretty dangerous situation, as there were many visitors in the park and they were throwing grass and other debris all over were people were trying to walk and play. Why not mow during the week when park is less populated?

Greg Walters said...

Thode or his son frequently posted on this blog during his campaign. His arguments against a propety tax increase for the School District will be like a tree falling in the forest.

If he wants to make an impact he should get his message out.

That is what this forum is for -- the invitation is open.

I can speak for Richard Tush as well when we say that all our elected officials are welcome to post what is going on in their particular area local government.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of mowing!! Gary Knabe's lot at 79th and Spring Valley needs mowing again. This guy is just a HORRIBLE neighbor. What is his problem?

Anonymous said...

The light at Crescent Creek is KCP&Ls to FIX and they have had the message for 7 Days

Andy Whiteman said...

11:31 AM, I recall from a BOA meeting that the city contracts for for mowing. The bid went to a company from Lawrence, KS as being the lowest bid.

I agree it is idiotic to mow on Saturday when the park is in use. It may be that they do it Saturdays because the kids are off from school or work.

The city should control what days and times mowing is done. It may be logical to close all or sections of a park for mowing during the week It sounds like an accident waiting to happen and a big lawsuit.

I suggest you contact Public Works, The Parks Department, your Alderperson, and are the Mayor about this lunacy.

Andy Whiteman said...

I have called Aquilla when street lights were out and would have to call 2 or 3 times. It is not a priority with them. If the Crescent Creek wires are bare and a hazard and you so stated, the would have to come out PDQ.

Rick Thode's son was the one posting here. Mr. Thode will respond to emails but from what I hear he is not a blogger. Each post takes me 15-30 minutes. It is pretty time consuming.

It would be ideal if officials would post but we must remember it is a secret government and they don't want the public to know what they are doing. Obviously that is why the city went to sumary minutes rather than stating who said what. Keep the public uniformed and they won't complain.
I thought Mayor Bower said he had an open government, but things have changed.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

If Bower is so concerned about Westlake Hardware he should follow some of his own advice and go and talk to them about it.

That's what he told a group of us to do during his campaign for mayor.

While he is at it, he can go and talk to one of his supporters, Gary Knabe, about mowing his property WITHOUT having to be reminded of it every time.

He should practice what he preaches.

Anonymous said...

What happened to Bower and his promise to bring diversity to city hall that matches the diversity of citizens?

I know he has place a colored man on the park board and one on planning and zoning. However, he keeps reappoint the existing individuals to the city boards and committees. This mentality will never bring new ideas or greater diversity to these same bodies.

He did find one individual of color to accept a position on the Board of Alderman, but this person never got out and campaigned. I guess he really didn’t want to take the time to truly represent the people.

I have yet to see the diversity with the hiring of department heads shy of our city administer.

I am not surprised the mayor too often talks about celebration of thing like our diversity or the transparency of his administration.

However as I have pointed out he seems to be out of touch with the true demographics of our city and the appointments and hiring done, but the city. As others have pointed out he has gone to simple minutes for meetings as he seems to care less about the details that lead to decisions that impact us and our pocket books.

It seems he needs to work on his interpersonal communication skills as he might actually learn what the citizens are expecting to receive in services from having some one of the highest taxes within Greater Kansas City. As well it might be noted that on more then one occasion his minister Dawn Weeks has wrote articles in the Raytown Post celebrating the diversity of our community. I guess he must have missed her corresponding sermons that I understand from several member of her church that she has given.

More then likely based on what I have seen we have just made the wrong choice in electing someone that his self serving and lacks a true understanding of the diversity that is transparent to the rest of us.

Andy Whiteman said...

When hiring or appointing to a position, the job should go to the most qualified. Chosing a person based on race is discrimination and can open the city to a discrimination complaint.

It was stated above that Sarge didn't campaign for reelection. Why should he? The job doesn't pay enough to spend money campaigning. If I was to run for city office, I wouldn't waste time or money campaigning because the low pay doesn't justify it.

I was critized when I campaigned for a non paying Fire Board office.

Clean up this eyesore
A neighbor and I complained about an oversized, illegal sign. The sign was removed in a timely manner.

That makes me wonder if the items posted on this blog are complained about in the proper manner of is it just bitching trying to say that City employees aren't doing their job? Unless people complain, there is no way for city empoyess to know about it. I know I am a big complainer, but after I complain, I will complain to a higher authority if my complaint is not answered.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

yep thats what we need more diversity and pc talk....wake up clean out your slum lord properties,section 8 housing and run the thugs and wanna bes out of this town...if everyone in this town picked up their own yard, mowed their own grass put their trash cans in the garage,keep your house painted and taken care of....maybe driving through the neighborhoods would be less than depressing....and i got news for you diversity does not equal right way..everybody is equal black,white,yellow,purple...dont be a race baiter....a black person is just as smart as a white person as is just as smart as anybody else......drive around take few pics of potholes..

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:00 Why must you associate diversity with political correctness? Raytown should be proud of its diverse population without you yelling “PC” because Anon 9:34 is questioning Bower’s ability to deliver on what he goes around and tells everyone. I do agree with you that everyone is equally as smart and the color of ones skin doesn’t impact ones ability as related to intelligence. Therefore color of ones skin wouldn’t impact anyone from being a performer for they job they were hired. The odd thing about this is our city hired Beth Linn to address the issues that you bring up about property maintenance. I would like to believe you would agree with me that we have yet to see any improvement to our city. Therefore I must ask did we really hire the best person for the job. Perhaps as other has stated on this blog the underlining issue with Beth Linn is doesn’t live in the city so she really doesn’t care. I have said for a long time department heads must live in the city for which they are employed or they loose touch with those they are working for, as they have no true vested interest. The only other fix is one that turns everyone at city hall sick, but would fix employee issues at all levels if we would simply go to pay for performance.

PS you also touch on cleaning up the slumlords. Might I remind you one of the problem individuals in our town is former alderman Gary Knabe? Until we the citizens make it clear that your elected status doesn’t make you better then any other citizen in this town we will continue to have the problems with property maintenance that you mention. By the way you need to take the time to drive over to 67th and Elm. The house on the North side of 67th right before the Elm intersection belongs to the news elected codes violator. It is very ironic that his campaign promised above par service. However, as others on this blog have pointed out he seems to lack any kind of serves to his property. You should also note he is not along as his good friend and the individual that talked him into running, Alderman Creamer. He has issues with keeping his property painted and last time I drove by still has windows scattered around his home to be replaced.

If you need an additional example of code violations please drive down Northern between 53rd and 55th as one of the codes enforcement officers lives over there and seems to not understand codes implies to him just like the rest of us. Perhaps the issue with him is he doesn’t see the violations in his own yard, which would explain why he can not find signs on the right away, high grass, or other violations the rest of us notice. Either way these are performance issues that would be addressed under pay for performance for both him and his boss Beth Linn.

Live and Let Live said...

Anon 1:00

What is wrong with section eight housing?

From a landlord perspective this means guarantied money rather it is in the monthly rent checks or knowing any damages will be covered.

It also provides a means for those who wouldn’t qualify for a place to live with some place to call home.

You should further understand that like group homes the city can not ban them from the city.

I would recommend learn to accept others and not judge them on whatever challenges they have had to face that has forced them in to the section eight housing program. I personal have had the opportunity to work with individual who because of some set backs in their life have been forces to go down this path until they could get their feet back on the ground. I will tell you that they had neighbors who were also under the program that will disrespectful to the property in which they lived as well as everyone around them.

However, we can find this same disrespect from property owners who care less if they keep their house painted, trim there bushes or park on the grass. A prime example as Anon 3:43 pointed out is Mr. Above Par Service. It is no wonder you are complaining about how neighborhoods need to be cleaned up with elected officials like this that can not tend to their own yard.

So before beating on those in government housing programs ask you fine elected officials why they feel the need to add blight and descries to our city.

doc summers said...

this is off topic from your blog, however I would like to thank everybody that came out to the softball game between the Fire department and the Police department.
We had a great evening and enjoyable three games of Softball it was nice to have all emergencey services out there.
The wifes ,kids,(fans) and players had a great time.
Detective Hawkins did a fantastic job setting up the game again this year.
Thanks to Mayor Bower,Chief Lynch and Former Mayor Willard Ross for attending and having a good time.
And the results........ the Fire department pulled it out again as we had to make up for the lopsided loss to the Police in Basketball.
Capt Darren Doc Summers

Andy Whiteman said...

I thought elected officials were royalty while we are the peasants to be trampled. At least one thinks we don't deserve a courteous response to a complaint about their conduct.

As for painting. I hate painting. Has anyone thought of siding? I bought my house here because of siding and location. The house I just bought in NM is brick which requires no maintenance. My electrician sent me a photo of some of his work and I discovered that the fascia needs painting, something which the inspector I paid failed to report. He also failed to report the house had only 125 amp service. I feel like he ripped me off.

Andy Whiteman

Pat Casady said...

The problem with our downtown area can be directly
attributed to City Hall. Nobody had the intelligence to
see what their bad decisions were going to do to
downtown. With a new Wal-Mart on 40 hwy. and another
going in on 350hwy.
Via their short sightedness and unwilling to listen to
reason as to what two of these big boxes five miles
apart from each other and our downtown in between
them would do to downtown Raytown.
Couple that with a then City Administrator and a Community
Development Director that tried to run all the businesses out
of Raytown and wouldn't let in new, you can see how our
downtown went away.
Now there is another problem. The companies that own the
Raytown Plaza and Center 63 shopping areas are asking
extremely high prices for their spaces. Even a small space
will cost a prospective renter over fifteen hundred dollars
a month and they still have to fix up the space they rent.
I don't know what the answer is. But, I do know there are
very few if any people in City Hall that has any answers.
And, there is no accountability for what they have done to this town
we all love. The millions of taxpayer dollars this town has spent
on the old church property, bad developers, hiring of several
bad City Administrators and department heads, not to mention
The hundreds of millions given away, all done at
10000 E. 59th St, has done little to help this town, but our elected
officials think they are doing a great job. I guess you could say they are legends in their own minds.

Andy Whiteman said...

When I lived in Littleton, CO; we had a similiar situation with 2 KMarts close to each other. A friend knowledgeable in economics pointed out that the KMarts were actually competing against themselves! The same holds true for our Walmarts. They are competing against themselves. Either the one on 40 HWY will lose business or the one on 350 HWY will receive less business. Neither will receive 100% of the business it should receive. Obviously Walmart doesn't care because they have no investment in these stores. One is funded by the Socialist Fascist Fief or Raytown and the other by the Socialist City of Kansas City.

I again ask who got what under the table. Something is rotten in the State of Denmark.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Whoever wrote the Live and Let Live piece is a the very definition of naive.

The theory behind Section 8 Housing is warm and fuzzy. But the reality is that it does not work.

The new housing goes rapidly into decline and in a very short period of time, you are back into the blight that people were trying to escape in the first place.

What's the answer? Proper manintenance of your housing codes.

Does Raytown do this properly? Look around. You be the judge.

Anonymous said...

I've heard that Crescent Creek is slated to become section 8 housing because there is no demand for the type of housing that they originally wanted to build there. What will that do for downtown?

Pat Casady said...

I believe I know the new person in charge of Crescent
Creek, and although this city has treated him with contempt
and has singled him out for some codes problems, (He was
trying to make a point everybody around him had tall grass but
he was the only one written up) he doesn't have any plans to turn
Crescent Creek into section 8 housing.
However, I think it would be great! Remember what they say about
paybacks. With the former man in charge of codes and the person that
gave my friend so much trouble living in Crescent Creek, I think it
would be fitting. But, the fact is section 8 housing would cost my friend
or whoever owns Crescent Creek a lot of money. Remember there are
still a lot of houses unsold and I doubt those high dollar homes would
be considered for section 8.

Anonymous said...

I agree with your concern about the Raytown Post. Last week's paper was a perfect example.

The story of the year has to be that Walmart has not opened on time and the city is paying upwards of $800,000 to pay bondholders to make up the loss in sales tax.

Felder writes a re-assuring piece full of all the spin city hall can put on the news. The response from city hall that they saw this coming and are prepared for it is pathetic.

Tell us Ben. What are the consequences of the $800,000 going to pay for Walmart.

It was not budgeted. Where did it come from? What city service is being ignored because of it?

Instead you waste editorial space bashing Ward 4 Alderman Van Buskirk because he was the only NO vote on another study/plan/administrator (pick one, it really doesn't matter)that is doomed to failure in this economy.

Pat Casady brought up an interesting point about what is happening to rental rate in Downtown Raytown.

Now that is information for a story that affects us all.

Become a reporter Ben. City Hall already has enough people all to willing to spin rosey pictures of a disastrous situation.

Anonymous said...

The Raytown Post has turned into a joke. The real people of Raytown either don't see it or won't read it. They can't be printing over a few hundred copies each week and their online version is so hard to follow. The truth is that without a fair and impartial newspaper in this town we will just die that much quicker. Felder needs to get his head out of the sand and make this paper something he can be proud of or SHUT IT DOWN.

Andy Whiteman said...

Obviously a little over 1/2 of the $800K will come from the AT&T tax payment. This city cannot depend windfalls for any expense.

Ben is publishing the news as the city powers that be feed it to him. As journalist it is his duty to publish the news without altering it. Of course he could make an editorial statement on the editorial page. Maybe be believes what was told to him. I recall similiar complaints about the previous owner of the Post.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Thanks, bloggers Knabe finally mowed his property at 79th and Spring Valley.

Anonymous said...


Even if the $400,000 so-called windfall helps to pay Walmart bond holders their interest payments, is that why Raytowners paid the tax on their phone bill in the first place - To bail out Walmart and the very poor business practices at Raytown City Hall?

So remember this Walmart shoppers. Next time you want a street light and your elected officials cry they have no money. Remember that they did have money for Walmart.

Or if your street looks a little shabby, go up and enjoy those new entry ramps and the parking lot at Walmart. Because that's where the city council chose to spend your hard earned tax dollars.

The next election is still over two years off. It is a good idea to remember who city hall puts first.

Andy Whiteman said...

9:21 PM, I totally agree with you. It was stated at the BOA what it was unknown how these funds will be spent. I think it is fairly obvious where they REALLY will be spent. I would like to see the money go to street lights, road maintenance and things we really need other than financing Big Business to run our small businesses out of business.

I bet Westlake shuts down shortly after Walmart opens. I saw a True Value hardware in Albuquerque lose an employee to Home Depot after one opened behind it. Then the Hardware store shut down.

You mentioned the next election hoping for change. Remember people in Raytown don't vote and our elected officials are elected by a few people.

Andy Whiteman

Star Watcher said...

The Kansas City Star has announced that it is enforcing mandatory leaves of unpaid absence of one week for all employees by the end of the year. Their employees salaries were frozen last year.

They should hire Mayor Bower as their CEO. He handed out 5% pay increases across the board at Raytown City Hall. Now he says he says the city was ready for the $800,000 bailout to pay Walmart property bond holders their interest payments this December.

What a guy. He knew this was coming and still handed out the 5% pay increases!

That's o.k., David. Debt is good. It robs from those with the least and gives it to those with the most.

Bower believes Raytown taxpayers can just suck it up. They really don't need those basic services for street lights and street repairs, do they?

Why, that deserves a "special tax". Whoops! Bower and Company already used that one for street repair and diverted the money to pay for Walmart's parking lot!

Anonymous said...

"If you need an additional example of code violations please drive down Northern between 53rd and 55th as one of the codes enforcement officers lives over there and seems to not understand codes implies to him just like the rest of us."

And right there, at 56th and Northern (it's not 55th), southwest corner, is a yellow house for rent with a code violation posted on a tree because somebody needs to mow the lawn there. So that would seem to tear a gaping hole in your little rant.

Andy Whiteman said...

7:29 AM, Mayor Bower didn't give city employees a 5% increase. The BOA did. All 11 should be running the Red Star. I feel that very few of them have experience running a business. If these 11 ran the Red Star, the Red Star would be bankrupt in short order! Our BOA apparently is trying to copy Dictator O'Bomba by spending more than thay have to the point, there is no way that people can pay the taxes. (Or is the Dictator learning from out board and trying to enact his gradieous, nincompoop ideas?)

As for the Red Star, my bill for one year is close to $270. This is outrageous. I called their call center in the Phillipines and aske to speak with someone in KC. Of course they gave me the wrong number. I finally reached a rep here and first addressed the issue my bill was incorrect. My end date was changed from 8/23 to 9/4. I complained about cutting content and then I said that $270 was outrageous and a friend just got 6 months for $26. That is for new subscribers who haven't had service for 30 days. The rep offered a 25% discount that would cost me only $205. I said that was too much. She asked what she should do? I told her either lower the price or cancel the paper. My last issue is 9/4.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I believe the address of the offender on Northern is at 5521. That last time I check the owner needs to address the grass that is growing up through the gavel as well as the sharp and dangerous drainage pipe down at the ditch. These are the two violations that anyone can see by driving by and learning what is acceptable if one is a city employee. Odd as I understand this same employee has written up many others around him for not address the issue of the grass growing up in the gravel. I hope those he gives notice to in the future will visit his property to learn first hand how they should maintain their gravel drives. I bet they will quickly learn theirs is in better shape. It is sad the Bower and his dear Beth Linn have not addressed property violations of city employees.

Anonymous said...

It seems as if most or maybe all of these officials at city hall are "in over their head" as the old saying goes. Bower, Mahesh, and the rest of these HIGH PAID department heads are accomplishing NOTHING. If I were the board I would FIRE THEM ALL and combine many of these positions, get back to a part time city attorney and GET RID of city employees that are not doing their jobs (codes). We as taxpayers are being asked to pay more and more but we're getting NOTHING IN RETURN. Hiring an ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR is another joke. They will NEVER move here and will bring nothing (there's nothing to work with) and will be gone in less than 2 years. Just another resume builder is my prediction. I'm just hoping that my house sells soon so I can get away from this MISERABLE CITY GOVERNMENT.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:54 it is apparent you have spent too much time listen to the ramped raging of individuals like Alderman Simple Joe. Joe and you would like us to believe the blight facing our neighborhoods is a result of residential rental property. In your case directly with those properties with the section eight program. However if you would look past the closed minded bias that you have been taught you might note many have pointed out the true violators of our city are homeowners just like Simple Joe and his faithful side kick Above Par Service. Until our elected officials cleanup their piles of disaster and danger how can they expect to do the same.

The only thing we agree on is cleaning up our city starts with enforcement. But you my friend must learn enforcement must be universal and not simple-minded enforced on section eight properties or rental properties. My actual recommendation would be for those who claim to bring “Above Par Expectations” start leading the way by cleaning up their own and fellow elected officials “Over Examples of Violations”

Anonymous said...

Andy please realize the city and big business move at their own pace. Otherwise wires would be fixed at Crescent Creek. Also Wal-Mart would have been open in Aug as promised and not later this year. That is if we see it then again this is the “Show Me State” and the “State” Bower and his merry band have us in it best be sooner then later.

We have the lazy dog overseeing our city and therefore safety violations are on the raise and Wal-Mart will bleed us dry. April 5th 2011 can not get here quick enough, but again the mislead voters who got us in this mess will once again mock things up. When will they realize that “Reaching for Tomorrow” is not really a club by a code used at city hall to draw more money form all of us poor mugs.

Anonymous said...

Actually, it was Bower's budget. Not all of the city council supported it. Two members voted no.
But they are both gone from the council now.

Make no mistake about it. What is left is a bunch of men and women, who, for the most part, say "how high" when their out of town carpetbagging city staff says jump.

Bower empowers the staff to do this and they are loyal to him for it.

Most on this city council are not even aware they are being played.

Andy Whiteman said...

Everyone, remember this is also a show me city. Anonymous complaints, even from the Raytown Report even with photos are not accepted. If you have a complaint, you must follow the proper procedure of reporting it. A neighbor and I reported a violation and it was corrected shortly after the neighbor went to City Hall. I reported it about a week earlier and apparently the the 2nd complaint from another person got things moving.

Andy Whiteman

Justin Tomac said...

In regards to the KC Star's plight...I for one am glad. I cancelled my subscription in July, only to have to re-cancel in August because they kept on billing (without sending the paper). I enjoy objective and both sides reporting, but could not tolerate the Star's one-sided slant and opinions.

In regards to the Post, I hope Ben, et. al., succeed.

As for the "economic developer" position, I can see the need for such a person but honestly ask myself "why now?", what is the compelling reason as for "now?". Why not several years ago?
Greg, maybe you can help shed some light on this?


Anonymous said...

I saw Alderman Van Buskirk out last night doing codes job and was out taking down signs that were illegal. It is a shame he has to codes job too in his neighborhood. Thank God at least one alderman has pride in the city.I think it might be a thing if he was given the job of running codes bet they would get off their lazy butts then and get some work done.

Greg Walters said...


Anonyous complaints are accepted at City Hall. They even have a hotline that can be called to turn in complaints "anonymously".

When I was on the Board I regularly took complaints and turned them in for constituents. If they wished to remain anonymous, I simply did not forward that information with the complaint.

It is similar to some complaints that Richard Tush and I have received on this blog. For instance, a large number of complaints have been received about some property at 79th and Spring Valley Road. The complaints we receive were anonymous. Yet the city still enforced the code.

Anonymous said...

Way to go Bill!

You must have been picking up some of those invisible signs that our highly ranked (lol) codes department does not see as it patrols the city.

Or, they may be ignoring them, because someone did not turn in the complaint properly!

How sad to see what has become of the meaning of "service" at city hall.

Anonymous said...

This city offers NO SERVICE anymore. It used to be that all you had to do was make one phone call to the proper city department head and the problem was take care of promptly. In other words our city employees responded to the needs of the taxpayers. Potholes were filled, weeds were mowed, ditches were cleaned, and stray animals were picked up. Our streets are not even safe for walkers anymore because of the infiltration of pit bulls and other dangerous animals. The city attorney is giving these city employees bad advice on how to do their jobs.

Anonymous said...

There should be a little bonus in Alderman VanBuskirks paycheck for the extra effort he and his wife are putting out trying to clean up our city.

Andy Whiteman said...


I was told by a city official that they won't respond to anonymous complaints. I asked why there is a voice mail for anonymous complaints and received no reponse. I think some discrimination is involved as to who is making the complaint and maybe it also depends on which official you speak to.

Andy Whiteman