Thursday, September 3, 2009
The Salamander Returns!
by the Salamander So, The Raytown Post bit the dust. Or, as they say in the field of journalism, the final “30”. The Salamander is not surprised. The Post’s demise was inevitable. Not one time, during its short life, did the paper assume its mantel of responsibility as a community leader. Not even once. The Post operated like a paper from my youth. It was called “The Grit Gazette.” The “Grit,” at the time had a national circulation. Its premise was that people wanted to hear only good news. Nothing else. The “Grit” adhered to this policy to an extreme. When John Kennedy was assassinated the paper carried no mention of the incident. That head in the sand type of journalism died years ago. It is not coming back. The function of a newspaper should be to print all the news; all the facts; all the varying opinions and then let readers make up their mind. Not the Post. Their policy was to print only one side of any issue. The result of such a misguided thinking is evident. No circulation; few readers; out of business. The paper showed no leadership; none when an unneeded safety sales tax was the issue; none when the City Council allowed Walmart to commit the economic rape of the community -- even after it was exposed that the city will pay $800,000 of your tax dollars to the bond holders because Walmart has not opened on time -- the Post allowed the clever politicians at City Hall to act like that was "business as usual"; not even when an out of control school board ran around crying “poverty” while ordering up a two million dollar artificial football field for a handful of students to play on. Every one of the items mentioned beforehand helped increase our cost of living. The Post totally ignored the impact of continual tax increases. Just for the record – Missouri Gas Energy and KCP&L have both filed for rate increases. Dig a little deeper folks. You can bet the city will get its share of your hard earned dollars by taking a 7% Franchise Tax on each increase. If the Post were in business, they would claim it is a sign of progress. It was apparent the Post was on life support when, several months ago, the paper filled its editorial pages with obituaries. The point of no return had been reached. Is the Salamander happy the Post is out of business? No. He is not. I am confident that if the publisher could afford another issue he would write an editorial extolling the “good sign of progress” his paper’s demise is a forerunner of. Lee Gray, where are you when we really need you? Hogs at the Trough (part 2) by Greg Walters It is old news now, but still deserves mention. Last Monday night the Raytown School Board increased the Raytown School District levy to a new high. The decision to increase the levy was approved by a vote of three yes, two no and one member absent. Approximately 40 people attended the public hearing before the vote. All of the public speakers (except one) spoke in opposition to the levy increase. The decision comes on the heels of a similar move by the Raytown Board of Aldermen to increase the city and park board's tax levy last Friday night. That levy increase passed by a vote of 7 yes, 2 no, 1 absent. THE VIEW FROM HERE: There is little that can be done at this time to correct the injustice of such heavy tax increases in the midst of what is becoming known as the great recession. No doubt, those who voted for the levy increases are hoping that time and apathy will dull the memories of the voting public one and one-half years from now. Remember their actions when the time comes. The Raytown community reached out for help and the two governing boards collectively turned their backs to them.