Thursday, August 13, 2009

Raytown’s Historical Economic Development…

By Greg Walters Justin Tomac wrote and asked what planning the city did for economic development before this latest scheme to create a department of economic development. This entire economic development craze began when Sue Frank was in her second year as Mayor. Then City Administrator Curt Wenson sold the Board of Aldermen on a scheme to buy the Old First Baptist Church. The Board was pretty much told that once purchased, the Old First Baptist Church property would be prime space for development. Three development companies applied for the task. We took one called Harpool and Associates. Under Harpool's watch most of the property owners were disillusioned and angry over what they saw as threats of condemnation. During this period the exodus of businesses in Downtown Raytown was accelerated by the uncertainty of the city's position on development. The city also helped Harpool develop a wooded area at 59th and Crescent Street now known as Crescent Creek. I will never forget the meeting. About two locals stood up at the microphone and, one at a time, began each statement with "thank you Mr. Harpool . . ." Harpool failed. City Administrator Curt Wenson, announced he was leaving Raytown to go to work for Liberty, Missouri, and arranged a deal to get RED Development as the city's new savior in economic development. The city paid RED about $60,000 for their effort. After a period of time passed, I believe it was three months, the big meeting came where RED gave its report. They had page after page of retailers they had contacted about Downtown Raytown. When they were finished I asked how many had committed to locating in Raytown. The answer was "none". I was very angry about the report and told their spokesman (in open session) not to come back to us with just a report of who they had contacted. Within a short amount of time (about two weeks) RED Development announced they were pulling out of the project. While this was going on Downtown the city was also looking at plans for development along 350 Highway. David Block was hired and through a number of deals became the owner of the area to be developed. The area south of 350 Highway was supposed to be developed before Wal-Mart. In fact, Block had created some conceptual drawings of the development and some solid leads that would bring some tenants. Then the housing crisis struck. Followed by an economic meltdown that has hit the Midwest especially hard. Should we be creating a department specifically for economic development? In my opinion, not in this market. Corporate America is shrinking its markets, not growing them. Even Wal-Mart has stopped building new facilities. This is a time to wait and see on major developments. The city would be better off trying to entice small entrepreneurial interests to its vacant properties. Historically speaking, such businesses are the economic backbone of the American economy. It may not be as exciting or as flashy as the new mall, etc., but it works. Look to your areas that are holding up well in the metropolitan area. Broadside and Waldo are two prime examples. Neither is populated with large box stores. But they are full of businesses that are both vibrant and making money. Economically speaking, large firms like HOK are divesting themselves because they are the economic dinosaurs of a past era. Incidentally, this is not the city's first attempt to create such a department. During Jack Nesbitt's term as Mayor the city "partnered" with the Raytown Chamber of Commerce. The Board of Aldermen pulled the plug on the project two years after it was started. Had it been successful, it would have been continued. But it was not. New Sidewalks on Gregory Boulevard . . . Finally!!! By Greg Walters Some good news from City Hall is that they are finally recognizing that Gregory Boulevard was in need of sidewalks on the north side of the street. Money from the Obama Stimulus Plan is paying for the project. Wherever it (the money) comes from, I’m glad to see it being spent on Gregory Boulevard. The sidewalks have been needed ever since street was widened more than 40 years ago. And, the city has been well aware of it. Want proof? Check out the curb cuts for sidewalks on the original construction. Time Will Tell . . . By Greg Walters A lot of posts last week had to do with a rumor about Christine White and her alleged desire to be the city’s economic development director. I did some investigating and found that the source of the rumor was probably Christine herself! Apparently, Ms. White told a number of people at an informal meeting that she was turning in her realtor’s license so that there would be no conflict of interest if she were chosen to take the position. I wondered how do you turn in a realtor’s license. I mean, do you call up some realtor board and say, "I am officially resigning my realtor’s license." Would it be like turning in your driver’s license if you decided not drive anymore? Whatever her reason, there can be no doubt that there was a lack of people saying what a good idea her alleged ambition is. The big question is, did White get the message? What Our Readers Thought… Last week we ask if members of the Raytown City Council should be allowed to appoint themselves to highly paid Department Head positions. The results were 96% of our readers believe that should not appoint themselves to highly paid Department Head Positions. Fix This Eyesore…
DAY 71 – 84th Street Sanitary Sewer Project: The mess left behind by the city after sanitary sewer improvements remain.

Day 64 - 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 64 – 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 50 – Minor Smith Park: The mess left behind by the city after sanitary sewer improvements remain. Day 43 – Crescent Creek: Wires still dangle from the pole. Day 36 – Former Religious Store: Allowed to decay. Day 15 – 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 15th – Movie in the Park "Bolt" at Colman Park, 5912 Lane starting at dusk. 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 – Finance Committee meeting 5:30 PM at city hall Aug 18th – Board of Alderman meeting 7:00 PM at city hall Aug 20th – Finance Committee meeting 6:00 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 Sept 1st – Board of Alderman meeting 7:00 PM at city hall Sept 3rd – 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.


Anonymous said...

What I want to know is what happened to the 63rd street bridge? I understand that we seem to have the money to do another COSMETIC FIX at Gregory and Raytown Road, but still no progress on a definite safety hazard at 63rd and Raytown Road. How about it Mayor Bower, where are your priorities?

Anonymous said...

How long now has the city been talking about hiring a Economic Director or whatever they will call him/her/? It seems to me it has been at least 2 months or more. Why is it the new alderman are just now getting around to asking the questions about what has happened in the past? The fact, is there isn't enough people left at city hall who can answer those questions because they are new as well. Never the less those new people should have been asking those questions long before now there are plenty of us out here who could have told them. We have watched it over and over again and saw nothing happens.

I'm sorry but I do not believe that Ms. White has the kind of personally to bring a developers into this city or any other city for that matter. We will be in the same place we are now but with less money in the coffer.

Anonymous said...

Haven't you learned by now that Mayor Bower is just a puppet that nods his head when the city administrator, city attorney or anyone else pulls his string. he is just a modern day Howdy Duty.

Andy Whiteman said...

3:48PM, These positions are reversed. I have said for a long time the CA job is unneeded. We need a FULL TIME mayor to be doing this job. Maybe I am wrong and the mayor's job is unneeded. Anyway one of them is unneeded.
I have noticed no additions to fix this eyesore this time. I wonder why?

Andy Whiteman

Greg Walters said...

From the Kansas City Star.

A short but interesting report about the number of foreclosures in the month of June to July. The number jumped by surprising 7% increase.

From a historical point of view, that increase is a 32% increase from the previous July!

This means that there are still many people who are "on the bubble" when it comes to home foreclosures.

Consider this . . . the Raytown School District is reported to have a split on its Board on the question of raising the property tax levy to make up money they will not received due to re-assessment.

The foreclosure rate is not abating. It is growing. The June/July numbers were a record high.

How many people will be forced from their homes by higher propety taxes if (raise the tax) School Board members get their way?

August 24th is a Education Tax Rate Meeting of the Raytown School Board. The meeting begings at 5:30 p.m. It will be held at the Distric Headquarters at 6608 Raytown Road.

Given the inconvenient time they have scheduled the meeting it is quite clear they do not really want much in the way of public content.

Taxpayers, interested in protecting their property values should plan on attending that meeting.

It is a public hearing. By that definition of the meeting you will be allowed to speak and be heard.

The School Board has made some pretty bone-head decisions as far as their finances go. Raising property taxes will only create more hardship on Raytowners. Especially those living on fixed incomes.

Don't miss this chance to speak out

Anonymous said...

Hire Christine White as the city's economic development director because it won't be as much a waste when it fails?

That is some of the most twisted thinking I have read in a long, long, time.

Why not save all the money by not creating the position?

Andy Whiteman said...

8/13 3:00 PM, Any project/hiring that spends this much money expecially with a long term sommittment, should take some time and be well thought out. Why is the new alderman not questioning it until now? Why not ask him? He seems to be investigative and well thought out so maybe something got his attention.

Greg, Where did the Star get their figures from? I hope they are incorrect. If you listen to Real Talk with Dave (KMBZ 980AM SUN), Dave once said that the figures come from RealtyTrak (or RealtyTrac) and are skewed because they count late payments as forclosures. Dave's URL is

Obviously the Dysfunctional School District doesn't want people there with a time like that. Can the same be said for the BOA with their early time on Aug 28? These times happen to be dinner time for most people. You said that they have to allow public comment, but will this fall upon death ears?

My grandmother always said that she was a widow living on a fixed income. I have wondered all these years what fixed income means? The term makes no sense because my Grandfather was a Naval Officer and received a fixed income. My father was and Aircraft Inspector and received a fixed income. When I worked, I received a fixed income unless I was lucky enough to work overtime. So, doesn't everyone live on a fixed income?

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what the code enforcement officers really do each day? I mean do they have to address a set number of violations and does anyone including our fine Mayor and his band of merry followers every check up on them. I don’t want to assume none of them do, but based on an ever-increasing number of code violations and lacking sightings of active code enforcement officers one of reasonable knowledge has to assume no one is doing anything.

I understand Richard and Greg send in the complaints form the “Fix This Eyesore” section as well as normal contributors like Andy have indicated they report the ever increasing mess. I am still taken back then that if everyone is talking about it including Alderman Creamer with his attacks on rental property that city hall his not proactively addressing the issue.

Can anyone tell me the last time that Beth Linn actual went out and assisted with address these issues in an attempt to get things back under control? Maybe I see the role of management in a different light then the none resident department heads that have invaded our city. To me a truly great manager would be out working with their team to get things caught up this would even include her manager Mehesh, as the lack of addressing the code violators is a reflection on the both of them.

I actually wonder why Beth is still with us. Let’s be honest if this was a private company and not a public entity she would have been gone by now for not being able to meet the expectations for qualification related to the position she was hired. I know of too many private companies that associates must wait 90 or longer to prove their ability to perform before being permanently hired. At anytime during the probation time frame they can be let go for not being the performer they promised to be. From the lack of improvements with the code issues facing our city it is overly apparent that Beth Linn has proven her inability to bring our city forward and properly address the code violations facing our city.

This should also sever as a further clue that department heads need to live in our city!

Anonymous said...

If I make a list of companies that I have talked to about opening a location in Raytown can I too receive a check for $60,000 that seems like easy work. I guess this is why Christine White wants to be hired for the economical director.

Anonymous said...

Andy: You often like to talk about past places you have lived. Can you explain to the rest of us why other cities don’t set on the sidelines and allow property violations to continue? Instead they take a prompt approach that either the owner takes care of the issue or the city will and just add the cost to the property tax. It seems like if this works else where it should work here. Again it would mean finding city employees at all levels who are about doing the job their were hired to do. I guess we should stop importing department heads and we might clean up city hall.

Anonymous said...

Has the “Raytown Reaching for Tomorrow” group ever doing anything positive for Raytown. I mean this is the reason the rest of us had to deal with the misadventures of Sue Frank and now we have the Tower of Taxes bring us down.

I would be embarrassed to have my name associated with a group that produces results like this.

Anonymous said...

Reaching For tomorrow was a bunch of "ole has beens" that were so impressed that someone at city hall would show them a little attention. THEY WERE USED by Sue Frank and Curt Wenson to frighten these folks into voting us into one of the highest taxed cities in the area. SO SAD to have used our SENIORS in this way. Frank and Wenson should be ASHAMED.

Anonymous said...

Regarding The Economic Developement Director issue. Who ever said that if Ms. White was hired into that position it would not be as much of a loss if she failed. I'm worried about your thinking if you think a salary of 80,00-100,000 a year isn't going to be a major loss I don't know what is. That is the salary range that has been set. Who knows how long it will take the city to figure out once again nothing is happening. On the other side of that it really doesn't matter who they hire if nothing happens it's still going to be a loss of major dollars so lets at least hope they hire someone with the credentials for the job.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone spoken with Mary Bower to find out if David is as wasteful with their money as he has been with ours?

Anonymous said...

Greg and Richard

What happened to Rick Thode’s son? During the campaign he always had something to say now we hear nothing from him. Funny on the news we hear about the school district suing to have our property taxes increase, which will help line, their fat pockets. When are these people going to learn that like the rest of us you need to make cuts and stop spending like you is a board full of fools? We didn’t need the magic grass for the fields, the fancy mailers, or the billboard that was up for ever and a day.

If the board wants all this junk then let them pay for it and level us seniors alone we already are paying enough.

Anonymous said...

Mary Bower can be reached at the School District Administration, maybe we should be taking our problems to her since the mayor is so hard to reach anymore. This guy is such a liar. Remember that cell phone that he held up at a candidate forum, " I'm only a cell phone call away."

Anonymous said...

Greg and Richard:

Have either of you thought about contacting all of the senior groups in Raytown and get them up to that school board meeting on the 24th. With the cost of meds and the market down I am sure I am not the only one pinching every penny these days. I can not believe how these individuals can look themselves in the mirror after the may they spend our tax dollars and then want to suck even more out of us. Someone needs to remind them if not for us, “The Greatest Generation” this individuals and their children wouldn’t have the freedom they have today. They can not say the pledge of allegiance in school, but can take our savings…enough is enough….shame on them and their up bringing.

Andy Whiteman said...

1:54 PM, I have wondered the same thing myself. Raytown does have a procedure of contracting the work and adding it to the tax bill. I wonder why they don't just send our Public Works and bill for time and equipment. Sounds logical to me. I think the problems are:
1) how long it takes to get a codes office out there.
2) With the repos, the present owner must be located.
3) a 10 to 30 day fix it notice is mailed. This can be appealed or more time requested with good reason.
4) Codes goes back out and if the work is not done, a citation to court is issued. The defendant may or may not appear or may request a continuance, etc.

This procedure can be take an extended time in some cases. As an example, my fence was a 30 day fix it notice. I appealed which brought it to close to 60 days. Then I applied for a variance which was probably another 60 days due to publication of legal notices, etc. The variance hearing gave me an extension due to economic hardship of I believe another 6 months. This whole procedure took close to 9 months.

There can be circumstances unknown to others.
When the city does a new hire, including executive, before there is a binding contract, there should be a 90 or 120 day probation. During the probation, a person can be fired for no reason.
I have observed Andy Boyd actually doing his job. Because of the complaints listed in this blog, I sent the Mayor a positive comment about Mr. Boyd.

Andy Whiteman

Daniel Thode said...


I am still around. I worked on Capitol Hill in D.C. from January-May. Not knowing anyone out there, I had a lot more time in the evenings to follow this website and comment. Since returning to Raytown, I have necessarily replaced my "blogging time" with other activities.

That said, I can not say that a lack of leisure time is the only reason I neglect to write on this website. During election season, Mr. Walters posts appeared to delicately balance adoration of achievements with constructive criticism. I have found its content has become much more bitter and cynical since Mr. Walters took on additional authors. Take for instance the "Fix this Eyesore" section of the blog. Eyesores in this city, or any city for that matter, are not new to the post-Greg Walters era in Raytown. Comments about such eyesores have been present since I began following this blog, but it was not until Mr. Walters was no longer affiliated with the city administration that the "eyesores" become the primary focus of this website. If this blog is to serve as a platform for the public to reach the city/school district's administration, it should offer productive, progressive ideas and constructive criticism instead of a barrage of negativity towards members of office.

Do not take my criticism of this blog as a criticism of Greg Walters and Richard Tush. I know little of Mr. Tush and was disappointed to see a quality Alderman in Mr. Walters off of the Board.

As to the questioning of the authorship of my comments during election season by Mr. Walters, I can assure you that I, Daniel Thode, was the author. My father and I agree on somethings and disagree on others. As Andy mentioned, my dad is not a blogger and probably never will be. But, like in his campaign, if you have any questions/comments/concerns, feel free to call or email him. If you want my views on something, feel free to ask.

One final thing. Andy, I respect your insights on events surrounding the BOA. You are a productive member of this society. Yet, you call the School District's administration "Dysfunctional" and do not take the time to make your presence felt by attending their meetings. I agree with Greg. If you, or anyone else has an issue with the District's administration, make it a point to be at the open meeting on the calendar listed above.


Daniel Thode

Greg Walters said...

Welcome back, Daniel.

And thank you for your kind words. Though I cannot say that I agree with your take on the "Fix This Mess" portion of the Raytown Report.

I would not call it negative. I would call it "effective".

Walk a mile in my shoes.

There is not doubt the last year I had on the Board of Aldermen was frustrating. Turning in blighted sights and forwarding complaints about blight in neighborhoods was always something I did while on the Board of Aldermen.

The frustrating part was to see nothing done. Even the simplest of tasks, like pulling illegal signage in the city right of way was routinely ignored by those on the city payroll paid to perform that task.

I remember one time I drove by some signs on my way to work that had mysteriously popped up at 63rd and Raytown Road (just two blocks from city hall).

I called it in to codes and asked that they be removed. Three days later the signs were still on the right of way.

I was so angry about it that I pulled the signs and replanted them in the flower garden in front of city hall.

Where, interestingly enough, the remained for two days before someone at city hall finally pulled them!

If it takes posting pictures of the ugly eyesores, broken promises and blight in Raytown to make city hall do its job then so be it.

The pictures will remain. As will the number of days the city has ignored the situation.

Ignoring obvious violations or doing something about is not the worst part of what has happened to our city.

The foot-dragging and outright blocking of legislation I saw in my last year by city staff on issues like curbside recycling, smoking ordinances and so forth, was close to criminal.

I am not at all surprised that issues like curbside recycling, which would actually lower the cost of waste disposal in Raytown, has not been pursued by our elected officials.

What is worse is that it is becoming very clear that the majority (but not all) of the Board back this style of non-governing in which very little is accomplished.

The taxation in Raytown has skyrocketed to the second highest in the metropolitan area and we have nothing to show for it but a large corporate presence (Walmart) that is slowly strangling the town economically.

Even today, with the city having to pay what Walmart has not delivered to the tune of $800,000 by the end of this year, there are those on the Board who consider this economic failure a success!

Please tell your father hello and ask him to hold the line on NO tax increase for Raytowners.

I may not be an elected public official, but I still keep in touch with people. The on-going recession (the happy talk will not make it go away) has hit Raytown homeowners especially hard. Many are living on the bubble.

An increase in property taxes, no matter how noble the cause, will cause more hardship than cure in Raytown.

Andy Whiteman said...

Dan, Welcome back. I also didn't appreciate the change of topic to Fix this Eyesore. But obviously in this recsssion it affects both property values and attracting businesses and customers to Raytown. I have pointed out street maintenance for a long time asking why would anyone buy a home or open a business in Raytown when this city looks like a ghetto? I wouldn't have bought my house here if the streets looked like this 9 years ago.

A city official told me I am wrong because business is moving to Raytown and he named several. That is true, but they are on 350 HWY or off Raytown Rd. where this maintainance is not such a proplem. I am wondering if I will be able to sell my house after I move or if I will have to be one of those unwanted landlords. If I rent, it will not be for profit. It will be at a loss and a real hardship for me to deal with a tennant from a distance.

Codes do need attention to preserve quality of life, property values, and to attract businesses as well as customers. The problem is they are not clearly written to apply to all. In order to have enforcement first a codes officer has to intrepret a code and decide on the "intent" of the writers. Is the codes person a licensed psysic qualified to make this detremination? I believe sometimes enforcement or non enforcement depends on who is complaining or who is complained about. Just read previous posts. Some seem to be exempt. One the other hand I know one lady who claims persecution for non-existing violations. If this is true, are codes enforced fairly?

My policy is if a violation affects me such as an illegal sign near me, I will complain. But if it is some distance away, whoever lives in that area should take responsibility for complaining.

Greg says that the city should go out and remove signs in the right of way. Mahesh says that the owner of the sign must be notified first and told to remove the sign and it is not easy to contact the owner. So who is correct? From what Mahesh says it seems like an impossibility.

Dan, you make a good point about about my not attending School Board meetings. Like your blogging, time is an issue for me too. A BOA meeting is 2 to 4 hours for the meeting plus at least 2 hours of prep time. A school board meeting would like take the same amount of time plus the fact it is heald at a ridiculously early time. I have hypoglycemia and throwing my body out or wack for a meeting does not make good sense. I really don't wake up until after dinner.

I really feel, even though I have the righ to speak, I will not be listend to. A few aldermen may pay attention to what I say, but basically I feel like I am speaking to brick wall.

As I have said, I am waiting to move. While my new house is being remodeled I need to be packing. My regular activities take all of my time and there is usually no time left over for packing at night. I am lucky if I ever have 2 hours or even 1 hour for packing. If something out of routine comes up such as shopping, a doctor's appointment, a phone call, too many emails, or a meeting comes up; I am behind schedule and there is no time at all for packing.

Basically it is a time allocation issue and guity frankly, I don't have time for more envolvement.

Yes, I gripe about the Dysfunctional District and never attend a board meeting. The same can be said to 95% (or more) of those those on the on this blog. I was especially disappointed when they didn't appear at the last BOA to complain about a meeting cancelled for no valid reason.

Rick Thode is ONE vote on the board. One vote will not bring change. I would like to see change but I don't have time to speak to a brick wall.

Now I am one hour behind due to this post as well as other happenings and will be late for my nap.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

City officials are not telling you the whole story about business in Raytown. We are loosing many more businesses than are coming here. I would challenge the city to publish a list of SALES TAX GENERATING businesses that have located here over the past year. They won't talk about the ones that have left. Service industries that just occupy office space don't really count.

Anonymous said...


I am starting to think those elected officials at city hall who believe you are confused are correct. Yes, these would be the ones that stair like a brick as you yourself have indicated, and appear to ignore you. I will let you in on a secret this is not an act you long with the rest of the good citizens are being ignored. Those of us who complain including yourself, Mr. Walter, Mr. Tush and whoever the lady is that removes signs are a burden on city halls

The reason I am in shock is that you a leading complainer now finds fault with Mr. Walters for adding the “Fix This Eyesore” section. I guess we will start seeing a more friendly out going person in you as your prepare for your transition to New Mexico.

As for the rest of us who too well know that the only way to get results out of those at city hall is to constantly remind of issues needing address as well as the fact they work for us, “THE TAXPAYERS”.

By the way, I have had direct one on one conversations with Mr. Boyd and the only thing that seems to motivate him is reminding him that next conversation about an issue will be a call to the mayor’s house after 11:00 PM. It has now become a little game. He takes the position that there could be issues, but doesn’t want to address them until he is reminded of the escalation position that I stand by.

I agree to all that it is sad I feel the need to go down this path, but until those at city hall want to be proactive and respective to public this is the only means we have. As for the Mayor Bower, he best believe I will call at whatever time of day or night that I believe will get his attention that we the citizens of Raytown are tired of the games played at city hall.

I hope Greg and Richard will continue there effort until the city becomes proactive and we see a decrease in the number of violations as we travel our beloved city. I am sure you would share my feelings towards our city if you ever had the true intention to call if your life long home.

Andy Whiteman said...

4:31PM, I didn't complain about Greg's Fix this Eyesore episode. I said that I didn't appreciate it. I did go on to state why codes need to be addressed.

Haven't many of these pictured violations gone on close to 3 months? I was told the city does NOT or maybe they meant will NOT respond to a blog complaint even if it is emailed by the Raytown Report. A neighbor and I both reported a sign violation that was corrected promptly. I inspected the open drain hole at the convenience store/gas station near the old Walmart when I was in the area and personally emailed a complaint. I suggest that those who have complaints, personally make the complaints themselves. I think if a pic of the sign had been posted in this blog without a personal complaint from 2 people, the sign very well could have been there for another year.

We are taxpayers. So what? The same people will be reelected simply because voter turn out is so low. When something comes up like a School Tax increase, voter turn our is still low. Apathy is our number one enemy.

4:31, I share your feeling about Raytown and am working to be a part of the solution. Maybe I don't fit in with you because I don't desire to make Raytown my life long home. I have previously pointed out I was forced to move here. The problems I have with Raytown is not Raytown itself but the fact the climate is unfit for human habitation. It is too humid. There are days it is difficult to breathe because of the heat and humidity. In the winter some of my fingers turn blue and are very painful because of the cold. One need to be rich to live in this area. Utilities are so expensive I cannot afford to properly heat or cool my house. Red Dogg has been complaining about the heat this summer. She complained last winter too, but more so in the summer. I can find no logical reason to stay in the State of Misery. I can't believe people actually like it here. They must be rich or just have extra money to spend on utilities.

Andy Whiteman

justin tomac said...

I for one have no problem hiring an econ dev person. My main concern is they cannot or will not develop a robust enough strategic plan for Raytown. Current thinking is all about large box stores as the cornerstone. I could not disagree more. What we need is what makes Raytown unique or different, then build on this.

Take the recent action of some to hilight the local artists. Add that with number of organic types, you now have a certain niche, along with others to build smaller businesses that will SURVIVE times. As Greg, Waldo and Brookside are great examples of this.

Anonymous said...

Mahesh Sharma is full of beans if he expects people to believe that the owner of an illegally posted sign must be notfified before the sign can be removed.

He offers excuses. Not solutions.

Typical of the Bower do-nothing adminstration.

We will continue this downhill slide in Raytown until we have elected officials who care and department heads who are proud to call Raytown their home.

What we have now is chair warmers who look forward to their $450.00 a month and carpetbaggers who are biding their time while their resume' is being circulated in other communities.

Anonymous said...

Andy, what you wrote is unbelievable!

Mahesh Sharma says that you cannot remove the signs without notification of the owner of the signs.

Let's try a test of this ridiculous theory.

Travel to Belton, Peculiar or where-ever Sharma calls home and put some signs advertising how to lower your credit rating in the right of way in front of his house.

See how long they are allowed to stand. You've already written that the city cannot remove them. If Sharma removes them from the right of way, by an extension of this ridiculous logic, he would be guilty of theft.

If this if what is being passed off as legal advice in Raytown City Hall then it is time to get another lawyer.

No wonder nobody has any respect for our so-called city leaders. They actually sit by and allow their employees to make decisions based on this type of idiocy.

To make matters even more laughable, you have council members like simple Joe who talk of grand plans of cleaning up neighborhoods while he closes his eyes to the blight around him.

If this is what is being passed off as leadership then the best we can do to clean up our town would be to remove the blight at city hall.

Andy Whiteman said...

Justin, I have said for quite awhile the problem is Raytown is NOT a destination point. Except for 350HWY Raytown has no through traffic. Waldo and Brookside have through traffic. I used to live in that area. To be a destination point Raytown needs something really unique to attract people.

Someone previously suggested an office park. That would get people here and they would probably buy lunch, gas, shop, service their car, etc.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

People reacting based on what Andy write is in itself nonsense. Tell Mr. Whiteman to provide the proof of whatever he says. It is unfortunate that rumor is what has been spread on this blog.

Andy Whiteman said...

Anon 4:06PM, I don't understand you. What do you need proof of? What kind of proof? What have I said that is non-sense? Maybe you need to provide proof of what you write. Of course you are one of many anonymous writers so no one can challenge an unknown writer.

Is the FACT that Raytown has no through traffic except 350 HWY nonsense? Is my opinion nonsense? If you think my opinion is nonsense, you can disagree and state your opinion.

I usually don't reply to posts such as yours, but you are on the verge of nonsense for not being specific.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I will continue to pull illegal signs up and also garage sale signs off poles. It appears city hall needs to read the laws of Raytown. What I would really like to do with these signs I can't say but for right now I have a nice pile gather and just beware city officials they may end up at your house even if you don't live in Raytown!!!!!

Pat Casady said...

To Mr. Thode, and others,
I don't think people on this blog are so much negative as
they are tired of tax increase after tax increase with little
or no tangible results.
We see code violations going on for days into months and
probably into years at the rate this town is moving. But, bring
up some kind of a tax increase and the school district or city
council can't move on it fast enough. I think people are just tired
of elected people that clearly, for the most part, don't know what
they are doing.
I believe that the people of Raytown would truly do what is best for this
town and school district if they could see some kind of spending
restraint being self imposed instead of these two tax dollar spending
monsters trying to outdo each other as to how much money they can suck
out of the taxpaying public.
Most of the people are feeling the recession. We all have had to cut back
on our spending. But, it seems this is not the way the city or school district has
chosen to go. They want more money so they can keep on spending.
The people are tired of this. If you go before the boards they look at
you like you don't know what you are talking about. So this form of venting, this blog is all we have.
It's really kind of sad. We elect people to represent us on each of these boards.
We expect them to spend our tax dollars as we would wish them to do. Instead
they spend our money for everything except the way we wish them to do.
All of a sudden they are smarter than anybody else on the planet and we mean
nothing to them. We are just "Cash Cows" for them to keep milking as they see
fit. Enough is enough! It's time for huge changes in attitudes. Our leaders need
to cut back just like the rest of us. QUIT spending for the sake of spending!
Again if people aren't doing their jobs then get rid of them. Seventy days is
too long for any code violation as is even thirty days.

Justin Tomac said...

I agree, Raytown is currently not a destination city. What we do have over Waldo/Brookside is Hwy 350. We just need to figure out a way to have the traffic re-route for a reason through other parts of Raytown. One of the things I have always admired about Waldo/Brookside is they have created the want/need for people who come within their neighborhood to want to stop....all we need in Raytown is understand this and act upon it....

Anonymous said...

Something that I don’t like about those that smoke, which I have not heard, brought up is all of the cigarette butts laying around the streets, parking lot and entrances to buildings. If you are going to smoke and don’t want society to dictate where you can start cleaning up after yourselves. Until then maybe the nice lady we all read about on the blog that is cleaning up signs in the right away can start cleaning up the butts. I would recommend she take half of what she collects to Alderman Pardue and the other half to Alderman Van Buskirk. Maybe then these two elected officials will see the mess smokers leave behind.

Pat Casady said...

I want everybody that reads this to understand
I'm not against those that smoke or drink. I used to smoke
and I'm not about to say I don't enjoy a drink every now and then.
And I'm not putting anyone on this post down.
But, I must say I am against anyone that wants to take away any
more of our rights.
The arguments against smoking that have been written on this blog
like the used butts laying around on streets, parking lots and entrances
to buildings, can be said for beer bottles and cans too. It can be said
or fast food wrappers and cups as well as many other disposable items
we all see laying around that discuss us.
We all have the right to smoke or not to smoke. We all have the ability to
turn ourselves around if we go into a place and we don't want be around smoke.
We don't need some elected official that can't even do right by the city they
"run" telling us how and where we can do legal things.
We are all adults with the ability to recognize what and where we want to
eat, drink and have fun. If fifty people are in a place that allows smoking
I don't think that one person should be able to come in and complain about
the smoke. He should just turn around and find another place to be.
How simple can that be?
I've said it before, alcohol, fast food and other items are just around the corner
for some pompous jerk to complain about next.