Sunday, November 8, 2009
In This Week's Raytown Report . . .
Will the Real Joe Creamer Please Stand Up? What Raytown Needs O’Hara Women’s Volleyball Team Repeats as 3A State Champions Raytown South and O'Hara Football Teams Advance in Post Season Play Will the Real Joe Creamer Please Stand Up? by Greg Walters I received a call yesterday asking why the city’s recycling center has had its hours cut. To be honest, I have never heard a reasonable answer. I do know that when City Hall increased our property taxes this year Ward 1 Alderman Joe Creamer was quoted as saying that he voted for the tax increase so that services would not have to be cut. Two weeks later, Creamer voted to cut the hours of operation for the recycling center by half. Go figure! Unlike other city services, the Recycling Center actually produces income for the city. So, why did Creamer and his seatmates on the City Council vote to cut one of Raytown’s most successful operations? A telephone call your area representative would appear to be in order. What Raytown Needs By Greg Walters It is the nature of blogs to attract people who are generally dissatisfied with how things are running in this world. That is not a bad thing. By and large most who post on this page are genuinely interested in their home town and want things to go well. With that in mind, here are my suggestions for making Raytown a more efficient and viable community. I urge my fellow readers to throw in with their suggestions. Who knows, maybe our city leaders will take note and do some proactive thinking to take care of some of Raytown’s needs. MAYOR DAVID BOWER refuses to use the tools at his disposal to clean up Raytown. Instead he wants neighbors to tell each other how to maintain their properties. Hardly a proactive approach. Here is my suggestion. Mr. Mayor, get past the sloganeering and recognize that there are a lot of people who want their neighborhoods to look as nice yours. They need the city’s help to enforce the city’s codes. Put your code enforcement people to work on a proactive basis – not a complaint basis. TURN OFF THE TIF MACHINE: The new Walmart Store that was supposed to lead an economic boom in Raytown is actually draining the city of needed tax dollars. This December over $800,000 of city money will be paid out to make up the shortfall of sales tax revenue that Walmart did not produce. The money will pay investors the interest owed on TIF bonds that built the project. One business owner currently enjoying a free ride on property taxes in his downtown business also owns blighted property that is a health hazard in a residential neighborhood. The property, located at 79th and Spring Valley, is turned into a swamp every time it rains. Within days, the neighborhood is swarmed by mosquitoes. It does not take a financial genius to see that what has been done is not working. In the case of the property on 79th Street – it is downright disgraceful. THE BOARD OF ALDERMEN HAS GIVEN THE CITY OF RAYTOWN a reputation of being way behind the times in the eyes of the metropolitan area. A good compromise bill on smoking legislation that would have allowed people to smoke in social settings in public but still respect those who wanted to sit down to a meal in a smoke free environment was thrown aside. City Hall, get your act together. The bill should have passed. It should not have taken a $5,000 study (yes, they did!) to come up with a solution that no one had the presence of mind to count the votes before calling the roll! A PROMISE to move forward on waste management and curbside recycling has been broken by the current administration. Even worse, they have cut the number of days the highly successful recycling center is open to the public to only once a month. Every community that has embraced solid waste management has saved money for the city and for homeowners and business owners by doing so. Check it out. The Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) has done the studies to prove the point. The blue print for a successful curbside recycling program is already in place. Copy it and use it. EVERY DEPARTMENT HEAD AT RAYTOWN has a buy-out clause in their contract. The buy-out clause guarantees six to 12 months (depending on the individual) a full salary and insurance benefits AFTER they leave City Hall. This insulates the bureaucracy at city hall from being responsive to elected official desires. I experienced this myself when a key member of city staff’s response to a request to move solid waste legislation forward was to throw a temper tantrum. Alderman Jim Aziere experienced the same stonewalling when his no smoking legislation was held back for nearly two years before it was considered. The same was true for fireworks legislation sponsored by Alderman Pat Ertz was put on hold for over nearly one year. City leaders need to re-think the hiring practices at Raytown City Hall. Raytown is the only city in the metropolitan area run by a staff of non-residents. Residency requirements on new hires and a re-negotiation of contracts without buy out clauses would go a long way in fixing the problem. So, what can be done? In some instances, like Walmart, very little. The TIF agreement ties up Raytown for 23 years. The only hope to turn Walmart into a winner for Raytown is to pay down the debt as quickly as possible. At that point, the city will start to collect and keep the sales tax dollars. Even then, you are looking at a solution that will take up to at least 15 years. In other instances – frankly speaking, there is a lot the city can do. The first would be an attitude adjustment by our city leaders. As has been pointed out time and time again by contributors to this blog, code enforcement needs to be improved. Drop the excuses. Start thinking about solutions. Get serious about cleaning up the city. The people are crying for it. Surely our elected officials can hear them. O’Hara Women’s Volleyball Team Repeats as 3A State Champions by Brother Richard Geimer Once again the O'Hara High School Celtic volleyball team successfully defended its 3-A State Championship, and this year, with relative ease. Villa Duchesne had to settle for second place after O'Hara posted 25-16 and 25-13 games on Saturday evening. Numerous kills by Michala Boehm and Tori Hurtt, spectacular digs by libero Katie Huber, and accurate settings by Lindsey Hanaway led the way with support from Jordyn Wyatt, Madison Clark, and Janell Jordan. In the first game, the score was close until it reached 6-5 with neither team leading by more than a point. Then the Celtics pulled away and led by as much as nine at 21-12 and coasted to the win. In the second game, the Celtics jumped ahead 4-0 immediately and stretched the lead to ten midway through the contest. The defending State Champs won all of their pool games on Friday, November 6th to face Villa Duchesne for the STATE CHAMPIONSHIP on Saturday. Villa Duchesne was the only team to score more than 16 points against the Celtics! O'Hara's scores in the pool games were: O'Hara over Villa Duchesne 25-11 & 25-20; O'Hara over Logan-Rogersville 25-16 & 25-14; O'Hara over Notre Dame Cape Girardeau 25-11 & 25-14. In the other pool games, Villa Duchesne won over Notre Dame 25-12 & 25-22. The other two games were splits: Villa Duchesne winning 25-16 and losing 19-25 to Logan-Rogersville AND Notre Dame winning 26-24 and losing 27-29 to Logan-Rogersville 27-29 in the closest contest on the evening and determined which team had the honor to face the Celtics for the Championship game. O’Hara and Raytown South Football Teams Advance in Post Season Play RAYTOWN SOUTH 30 / LEE'S SUMMIT WEST 14 Raytown South beat the Titans on the strength of several big plays and a high-flying defense. The Cardinals defense harassed Lee's Summit West all evening, forcing four interceptions, taking away two fumbles and sacking West quarterback Zach Harris twice. Cardinals linebacker Eric Brantley led a spirited group of defenders, recording a sack, forcing a fumble, recovering it and returning it 50 yards for a touchdown with 10:33 left in the fourth quarter. The highlight-reel play gave Raytown South a commanding 30-7 lead. FOR THE REST OF THIS STORY CLICK ON THIS LINK http://www.ihigh.com/raytownsouth/article_15324.html O’HARA 32 / CHILLICOTHE 29 O'Hara got by Chillicothe 32-29 in scoring five touchdowns and a two-point conversion. The Celtic defense held the Hornets to two offensive touchdowns. However the game was close because Chillicothe scored a defensive TD, three field goals, converted two 2-point conversions and a kicked an extra point. But that wasn't quite enough. The real excitement in the close game came at the very end. The Hornets were ahead 29-26; the Celtics had the ball on the 12 yard line needing 8 yards to accomplish a first down, and it was fourth down with 21 seconds left in the game! FOR THE REST OF THIS STORY CLICK ON THIS LINK http://brrichard.blogspot.com/2009/11/celtic-football-team-win-regional-game.html