Sunday, November 29, 2009
In this week's Raytown Report . . .
How Accessible are Your Elected Officials? Raytown Offers Unique Services Final Reminders High School Sports How Accessible are Your Elected Officials? Your elected officials in Raytown are you most direct link to local government. The city is divided into five wards. Each ward is approximately two square miles in size and is represented by two aldermen. The small size gives elected officials a unique opportunity for hands on representation of those who elect them. In this day and age the most common way for people to contact for services is by telephone. Though it should be noticed that some make use of the internet (as is evidenced by this site) as well. But when it comes to city services it is fair to say that at least 90% of calls to city hall are exactly that -- telephone calls to city hall. In most cases the reason for the call is taken care at that point. If it is not, the next logical step is to contact your local elected official. While dinging around the city's website this weekend I stumbled across the information on our elected officials. It was interesting top note that ALL elected officials had telephone numbers listed. Some, however, seem to have numbers that make it easier to contact them than others. For instance . . . Four Aldermen list their home telephones: Aziere, Ertz, VanBuskirk, Mock Four Aldermen list their cell phones: Creamer, White, Lightfoot, Pardue (Mock lists BOTH his cell and home phone) Two Aldermen list a city hall telephone number: Hamilton, Nelson Mayor Bower, Municipal Judge Traci Fann and Chief of Police Jim Lynch list their city hall telephone numbers. City Collector Kathie Schutte does not list any number. Which is the best way to keep in touch? Nearly all of us own and use cell phones. No doubt that we have also experienced dropped calls, missed messages or messages that arrive too late to be effective. Using a city hall number is problematic -- Board members do not visit city hall on a daily basis, so messages can be delayed. The question that needs answering is what is the most effective way for elected officials to reach out to their constituents. Are those who delegate their calls to a clerk at city as responsive as those who rely on their cell phones? Are cell phones preferred to land lines? What's your opinion? Raytown Offers Unique Services Raytown is an area of land roughly ten square miles in size. Approximately 30,000 people call Raytown their home. Given its relatively small size and low population the City of Raytown is able to offer some unique services to its citizens. A short list of some of the services is posted below. SAVE 3.6% ON SEWER BILLS BY PAYING EARLY: Raytown has a unique sanitary sewer billing system. Most communities base sanitary sewer billing on water usage. Raytown bases its sewer billings on winter usage of water. That way, you are not billed for water used on your lawn, garden, car washing, etc. Since your bill is based on an average use during the winter, it is possible to estimate your sewer bill for the entire year. Those who wish to do so may make one annual payment for their sewer bill. This saves the city and homeowner postage and handling. In turn, the city gives a discount of 3.6% to the rate payer. Of course the city is also receiving your money before the service is rendered. Still, it is not a bad deal. That’s a better return on your money than you would receive from a Certificate of Deposit from your local bank for the same amount of time! To take advantage of this program call 737-6000 and ask for the Sewer Billing Department. THE RAYTOWN POLICE provide many services that are tied to their regular patrol duties. To take advantage of any of these programs call Police Community Services at 737-6187. Please note that you will be answered by a recording. Leave your information and an officer will return your call. Following is a short list of services that are offered: GOING OUT OF TOWN? Call the police. Let them know when you will be gone. The information is given to police officers so that they can check out your home and neighborhood between calls. that patrol your neighborhood. It is a “heads up” that is very helpful to police should a call come concerning your home while you are gone. CARRIER ALERT: This program is jointly run by the United States Postal Service and the Police Department. Alert your mail carrier when you will be gone and the information will be share with the police. “HERE” PROGRAM: This program is designed for those citizens who are “shut-in” their homes most of time. It alerts police to unique situations of shut ins and any special needs they may require. PROJECT LIFESAVER: This program registers those suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease. The police put together a profile of the individual in case they go missing. Raytown is uniquely positioned for this service. The Raytown Police Department stores and monitors all of the information for the metropolitan area. In other words, they are the gate keepers with the most access to the information should anyone go missing. RAYTOWN RECYCLING CENTER: The Raytown Recycling Center is open twice a month on the second and third Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Center is located at the Public Works Garage located at 6417 Railroad Street. Raytowners are encouraged to bring their plastic, paper and metal products (glass will soon be accepted as well) for recycling. Where do these ideas come from? Most, like those from the police department, are an answer to a need, recognized by those providing the service on a day to day basis. Others are the result of legislative action. Two notable examples are the Recycling Center and the annual payment for sewer bills. The reduced rate for early payment on sewer bills was the brainchild former Alderman Greg Walters and former City Finance Director, Dan Estes. The Recycling Center (originally located at what is now the new Walmart location) was the result of the Board of Aldermen recognizing the need to start up the service back in the 1990’s. Budget constraints nearly closed the operation in 2000. However, former Aldermen Jerry Briggs and Greg Walters raised $10,000 to keep the center operating. The current location of the Recycling Center, located at the Public Works Garage, was the result of work by the Recycling Committee at Raytown City Hall. Mayor Bower disbanded the committee in 2008. Final Reminders . . . The Raytown Main Street Association Window Display Contest will end on November 30th. Entry forms can be found by visiting their website at http://www.raytownmainstreet.org/ The Raytown Holiday Lighting Ceremony will take place on Friday, December 4, 2009 from 6:15 to 8:00 p.m. at the Pocket Park located at 63rd Street and Raytown Road. If you are an entrant in the contest you must be present to win. HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS 2009 O’Hara Celtics Football A statisticians look back . . . By Brother Richard Geimer Only two Missouri 3-A football teams surpassed the 12-2 O'Hara Celtics in 2009. Undefeated Bowling Green topped Priory 20-7 to meet once-defeated Cassville who dropped the Celtics 23-7. They play next weekend for the State Championship. Priory ended their season with a 7-7 record. THE SEASON: In their fantastic season, the Celtics scored 32 or more points in all but three games, and only once did they fail to score at least 20 points. The team had two shutouts and their only loss prior to the semifinal game was by 8 points to 4-A Smith-Cotton, the winner of the West Central Conference. O'Hara scored a total of 502 points for an average of 35.86 per game. Raphael Spencer was the team's leading scorer with 29 touchdowns and three 2-point conversons for 180 points. T. J. White was second in scoring with 114 points on 18 touchdowns and three 2-point conversions. The next four scorers were Aaron Stubblefield with 44 points, Terrell Johnson with 42 points, Joe Melchior with 35 points, and Louis Golden with 34 points. For the rest of the story please use this link: http://brrichard.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2009-01-01T00%3A00%3A00-06%3A00&updated-max=2010-01-01T00%3A00%3A00-06%3A00&max-results=50 Big Talent and Big Size Means Big Expectations For Raytown South basketball coach Brad Oestreich practice goes a bit more smoothly this season than it might have in the past, and why shouldn't it, every kid on the court knows what their coach expects out of them as Oestreich enters his fourth season at Ray-South and his first complete cycle of coaching freshmen to seniors. "The last four years have been just as much a change for me as it was for the kids," said Oestreich. "We coach a different style than these kids were used to in the past but the kids I started with who were freshman are now seniors and it definitely makes practices a lot smoother because we are used to each other now and they know what I expect." For the rest of this story please use this link: http://www.ihigh.com/raytownsouth/article_16237.html