Sunday, December 27, 2009

In This Week's Raytown Report

Happy New Year! from the Raytown Report Snow, Snow and More Snow New Year Resolutions High School Sports 63 Better Places for your Glass as reported by the Kansas City Star

Boulevard Brewing Company has announced a new venture called Ripple Glass. It is a glass recycling program for the metropolitan Kansas City area. In Raytown recyclers can take their glass bottles, jars and other glass containters to to Berbiglia, located at 9150 East Gregory Boulevard.

Look for a large purple bin.

A NOTE TO RAYTOWN CITY HALL . . .

Our hats are off to a local merchant (Berbiglia) and Boulevard Brewing Company for taking the lead in offering this service to Raytown.

Most metropolitan area recycling centers are also participating in the program. Raytown's Recycling Center is NOT listed as a drop off place for glass. Raytown city leaders should take note. This is an opportunity to offer a service to the community with very little cost to the public. Most other area city's are making their recycling center available to the venture.

Lead by example -- open the city's recycling center during the week. If the private sector can make this available to the public, certainly city hall can do the same. There is more than enough room at the city's Public Works Garage (site of Raytown's Recycling Center) to accomodate a container for recycling glass.

Snow, Snow and More Snow by Greg Walters The Christmas snow storm that visited Kansas City in 2009 was a treat to the eyes but a nightmare to drive on. Everyone reading this page can relate to how the storm affected family gatherings and, in many cases, brought us all closer together. I know that the drive home from my sister’s house on Christmas night took over 45 minutes (regular travel time is 15 minutes) with four stops to clear the ice from windshield so we could see the road. A discussion item has surfaced on the blog as to the quality of snow removal in Raytown. I know from my 27 years on the City Council that Public Works does prioritize streets when it comes to snow removal. Your large streets, like Raytown Road, 63rd and 87th Streets come first. This is followed by those collector streets that feed neighborhoods onto the larger roadways. Cul-de-sacs and dead end streets are typically the last to be cleared. My experience this year is from the outside looking in. I noticed that street crews were out before the storm hit putting down salt on some streets. Once the storm hit a plow did make a single pass down my street, which was followed the next day with a more thorough plowing of the road. Raytown is only ten square miles in size, so it is not unreasonable to expect every street to have adequate snow removal. I thought it would be interesting to see how my fellow Raytowners rated the snow removal from the Christmas storm. So, take a second and check out the opinion poll (just under the Herb Lady ad) on the left side bar and cast your vote. New Year Resolutions New Year resolutions are something that many of us make and most of us break. This year I’ve decided to make only three resolutions – one for the Raytown Report, one for City Hall and finally, one for a few of my readers. So, without any further ado, here they are: RESOLUTION No. 1: I’ve been planning to make a change to how the Raytown Report functions, looks, etc. for quite some time. Like most us, I have been slow to follow up on the task. But now, with what appears to be a lengthy stretch of cold weather to keep me indoors and focused, I am ready for the job. Look for a new format with added features to the Raytown Report in the near future. RESOLUTION No. 2: This one is for our good friends at City Hall. Please realize that the maintenance of our neighborhood streets is as important as traffic monuments and paving parking lots for Walmart. The taxpayers in Raytown have twice voted for a Transportation Sales Tax. But with the TIF in place at Walmart, nearly 18% of the revenue of that tax is taken to pay off the debt to bondholders of the Walmart TIF. The voters were promised that the Transportation Tax would be used to maintain our streets (that includes our neighborhood streets as well). Keep your promise and restore the neighborhood street programs that have been so drastically cut. RESOLUTION No. 3: A couple of recent posters have allowed some colorful language to creep into their posts. Be it resolved to say what you have to say in the same language you would use in a church. Otherwise, look for your post to be edited or deleted. High School Sports CARDINALS START TOURNAMENT WITH 40 POINT WIN In St. Louis for the annual Normandy Christmas Tournament, the Raytown South Cardinals handed out a belated Christmas present to Sumner in the form of an 81-41 dominating victory for the Cardinals who will advance to the second round of the tournament on Sunday evening. "We started a little slow like a team that had been on the road all day," said coach Brad Oestreich on a day when his team traveled across snow-covered I-70 for their 9 p.m. tipoff. "But we got our legs under us and really played well tonight especially in the second half." For the rest of this story and other stories about Raytown South sports use this link: Raytown South Sports O'HARA WINS FIRST ROUND AT HOLIDAY BASKETBALL CLASSIC by Brother Richard Geimer On December 26, the O'Hara Celtics won their first round game of the 30th Annual Holiday Basketball Classic at William Jewell 85-59 in the Patterson Division. They faced the Blue Springs Wildcats and moved on to the December 29 game to play the winner of the Grandview-Park Hill contest. D. J. Jackson got the Celtics off to a good start with five points while O'Hara carved out a 12-3 lead. A bit later in the first quarter, the Celtics led 17-11 and then scored the next eleven points for a 28-11 bulge. Jevon Lyle, T. J. White, D. J. Jackson, and Josh Ruppprecht contributed to the run. The Wildcats were outscored in each of the ensuing quarters by more modest margins as the Celtics emptied their bench. Josh Rupprecht was O'Hara's scoring leader with twenty points, all of which were done within the first three periods. T. J. White added 12, D. J. Jackson had 11, and both Andre Jordan and Ronnie Miller pumped in 10 apiece. For more stories about O’Hara sports use this link: O'Hara High School Sports

43 comments:

Andy Whiteman said...

Please see my post on the next string. I won't repeat myself here, but I did vote EXCELLENT on the poll. So far excellent is 71%. It will be interesting to see the final result.

Greg, I understand since you have other things to do; it is a time issue to review posts. I really don't have enough time to do everything in a 24 hour day and I don't have to go to a job. You are doing more than I expect in maintain this blog FREE as a community service. I really appreciate it.

Thank you,
Andy Whiteman

Bill Van Buskirk said...

I am pleased with the job Raytown's pubic works personnel are doing related to the snow storm. I realize that this particular storm has been a special challenge due to the drifting and ongoing snow, making it difficult to clear some of the side streets just in order to keep the primary (emergency) routes open.

Without a doubt our street crews and support staff are tired and pretty much worn out by this point in the operation. Yes, it is their job and they are compensated for it, but it's still tough having to miss Christmas with your family and it's stressful having to put in those long hours. My wife's father retired from MODOT, and she has told me about how difficult it was for her and her family when her dad had to go out to clear the highways, especially on holidays. He was very dedicated to his job and always took it seriously even though he received very little thanks for the good job he did and all of his hard work.

I have been in some of our neighboring cities over the past few days and I would have to say that the job our street crews have done is superior to that I have seen in other cities in the area.

I'm sure some criticism will be heard (that's inevitable), but I want to personally thank our public works personnel (at every level) for a job well done.

Bill Van Buskirk
Alderman Ward IV

Andy Whiteman said...

I agree with Bill. It was stated on the news that that MODOT and KDOT were having difficulty clearing the roads. This was a BLIZZARD not just a snow making everything more difficult. I think that many in Raytown are expecting too much. If MODOT can't clear I-435, how can Raytown be expected to clear residential streets?

I thank out Public Works people for a job well done.

A writer on the last string commented on no paper and no mail for 3 days. The Red Star didn't deliver to anyone on Christmas day. The Post Office didn't deliver Christmas Day or Sunday so don't blame the City of Raytown.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Bill shows support for public works? What, did the rest of the board say something against it?

Rebecca said...

Define "last"....66th Terrace and Arlington have YET to see a plow or a grain of salt. 66th Terrace is a Culdesac, and I understand that but here it is Monday, and I still have to get out to go to work!

Anonymous said...

I hate to disagree with Alderman VanBuskirk, but I just don't believe that Raytown has done a good job of removing this snow. Two of the TV stations, channel 4 and 9 have spoken more than once about how bad the conditions are in Raytown. I'm sure Mayor Bower will be pleased about this NEGATIVE PRESS that we are getting. Many streets are still very slick, and if they don't get them pushed and salted today it is going to be much worse by tomorrow morning. Call Mayor Bower and remind him why we are paying these high taxes.

Robbie said...

The main streets in Raytown were reasonably cleaned throughout the snow storm. It’s hard to keep the streets clean when the snow is blowing everywhere.

However, the side streets leave a lot to be desired. My son lives at Gregory and Manchester (KCMO) and his street has been plowed twice. He said that with the sunshine yesterday, his street is dry. I live in Raytown and my street had yet to be plowed once. When I left for work this morning, people were getting stuck on the street because the snow was so thick.

I know a couple of people who work for the city and plow the streets. It’s not a question of their dedication or their ability to do a good job. They are hard workers who do the best they can with what they have. I think that either a) there’s not enough people and equipment to do the job adequately, or b) they were instructed to only plow the main streets and get the residential streets later.

I know that the businesses pay a lot of property taxes and expect their customers to be able to get to them to conduct business. But, darn it, I pay taxes too. If you put all the individual property tax payers together, you’ll find we pay a lot more in taxes than the business owners. That means we should be entitled to the same city services.

I only gave the city a “fair” grade because of the lack of attention to the residential areas.

Anonymous said...

I was in south Kansas City today (shopping) and their residential streets seem to be much better than Raytown's. I can't see how anyone could say that Raytown did an excellent job on their snow removal unless they live on a major street. With the temperatures dropping to near zero tonight getting around on our side streets tomorrow could be very dangerous.

Anonymous said...

I live on a culd-e-sac off of 59th and Hunter and you play hell getting the city to send a 2 ton truck and a plow to clear it. I don't care if they push into the yards, the street sucks! Raytown is full of culdesacs. I called the city and was told they don't have a small enough trucks to handle the culdesacs. That is a bunch of bull! I told her that I would hire a private contractor with a pickup truck and blade and the contractor can send the bill to Mayor Bow Wow and the 7 Dorks and let them pay for it.

This city (or what is left of it) is a joke!

Andy Whiteman said...

Complainers, I thought I was the top complainer, not not on this issue. I think the city did a DAMN GOOD JOB!

Does anyone know what a blizzard is? What did everyone do back in 1900 before snow plows or even the car was in use?

Was anyone on this blog here during the October 97 Fall blizzard? How well did Raytown do then compared to now?

It started at 47 degrees at midnight 12/23-12/24 with the temperature going down! We had a heavy rain followed by sleet then snow. I took Red Dogg out at 6:30 PM Christmas Eve and my back porch was wet. It was warm enough not to freeze at that time, but I knew it would freeze after the snow fell and melted. I have 2" of ice on my back porch, sidewalks, and drive. On top of all of that there was a wind making it impossible for the snow plow drivers to see where they where they were going.

Lets look at this in a reasonable manner. I think that the city did all that was reasonably possible.

I will complain about unmaintained streets, the city violating its own codes, and discrimination over my fence; but in this case I am satisfied.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

SNOW REMOVAL I missed the Kansas City Star Friday and Saturday, and my mail hasn't been delivered since Thursday. What does this say about our snow removal?

Andy Whiteman said...

9:01 PM, The Star didn't deliver to ANYONE on Christmas day. Do you have curbside mail boxes or a mail box at your house? If you have door delivery, the mail carriers park and walk. If your sidewalk or porch are too hazardous, they are not required to deliver. I suggest you call the Post Office and ask the reason for non-delivery. I saw deliveries being made Saturday and Monday.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

We as Americans are spoiled. When we want something we want it now. I think the street department did an excellant job. If you don't like it than the next snow storm go and volunteer at the street department and let's see how good a job you do. Put your money where your mouth is.

Greg Walters said...

Apparently a good number of people have been following the discussion on snow removal on last week's comments. To view those comments go to the "comments" section following the December 20th post.

Anonymous said...

The problem is, there are too many chiefs and not
enough Indians. Raytown is too fat at the top, Raytown
pays department head too much money for too little
service. This translates into not enough hard working
people at the workers level. Pay too much for nothing
and that's just what you get, nothing. No services. No plowed
streets, no street repairs.............etc.
What we do get, is a bunch of over paid do nothings that couldn't
do a hard days work if their life depended on it.
Not to mention THEY DON'T LIVE HERE! Why would they care.

Anonymous said...

I think you make a good point about snow removal and the city department heads NOT living here. If they lived here they would be taking pride in getting things cleared as quick as possible. All they care about are the streets clear to city hall so I can get to my office and sit on my butt, while the public is struggling to get out of their neighborhoods.

JWDT said...

I agree, Raytown should open the recycle center to the weekdays, maybe not all of them but at least a few days in the week.

Apparently Ripple Glass sees the need for recyclable glass, maybe we can find a Plastic Company in the Metro Area to open up a Plastic Drop Off site. These Businesses are the Real Leaders in the Community, IMHO and should be frequented often.
Justin Tomac

Andy Whiteman said...

This comment is not about snow removal, but city services in general. If the overpaid executives were required to live in Raytown, we would see improved city services such as street maintenance, etc. If one of these people live in Raytown near a mosquito swamp, something would be said.

Now to snow removal: I used to live in a village of 125 houses. The only snow removal was by the county and only on one street to clear the route for the school bus. The homes at the top of the hill were the most expensive homes formerly for DuPont executives. The Postmaster, Eva Woolley, lived at the top of the hill. She was in her 70s and walked to work every morning, home for lunch, and back after lunch. I never heard a complaint from Eva. Some people expect too much.

Why do you think I own a 4WD? It is for the miserable weather we have here. I knew how miserable it is so I am prepared. I also owned a 4WD in Colorado. I sure wonder why people here aren't prepared with 4WDs? True my 4WD wouldn't have gotten through these drifts, but it will handle a normal storm. THIS WAS A BLIZZARD!

Andy Whiteman

Lee said...

Andy,
People in Raytown shouldn't need a 4WD (4x4) to get around. I own one, and could have gone anywhere over the weekend even with 2-3' drifts. But I certainly wouldn't want to drive a 7000lb truck every day of the week. Not to mention the fuel costs. I NEED 4x4 a couple times a year, and I currently live on a very steep hill. I have yet to see a street in Raytown like it.

Raytown is relatively flat, and if streets were plowed most cars would have no problem getting around. If streets aren't being cleared, the question that should be asked is are Raytown citizens paying for a service they are not getting?

The comment about cul-de-sacs not being cleared is troubling. Not necessarily because people can't get out, but emergency equipment can't get in. Ambulances, fire trucks, and police cars aren't generally 4WD either.

Rebecca said...

ANON 12/29 6:37 am. I do believe I HAVE put my money where my mouth is...in TAX DOLLARS..the flippin hill on Arlington is still treacherous and the "plowing" that was done on 66th Terrace is atrocious. Oh well, my tax dollars at work, I rekon. Hope everybody had a Merry Christmas and will have a Happy New Year.

Anonymous said...

Get some guys that know how to drive the snowplows and maybe it would have gotten done a lot better and faster! I can do a better job blindfolded with one arm tied behind my back! Come on people, get with the program! I have paid my fair share and then some with taxes, show me some results!

Andy Whiteman said...

67% of your tax dollars go to the schools and they don't do storm removal or much of anything except spend money. Our tax dollars at work!

Lee, Anyone who lives in an area that had this much snow needs a 4WD. Even if the shouldn't need one in Raytown, who is going to stay in Raytown. There are hilly areas in Raytown. Just try to go down the hill to Wildwood Lake.

It was stated at the BOA that Public Works would plow on an emergency basis if there was an emergency call by Fire, PD, or EMS. By then it is too late.

Honestly this storm was so intense that no jurisdiction could keep up with it.

We are lucky that Raytown clears residential streets. I have lived in cities that don't clear residential streets. The city I am moving to has no equipment at all to clear snow. I guess my street or any street won't be cleared.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

To 6:37,
You are right.
We are spoiled. We pay our taxes for high
paid seat warmers at city hall, and all we expect
is them to do their jobs. Why should we expect them
to worry about our streets, codes, neighborhood
safety and keeping our streets passable?
BECAUSE, IT'S WHAT WE PAY FOR!
Raytown's snow removal problems weren't from the
people driving snow plow trucks, it is with the people that
tell them where they have to plow.

Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to see how much direct supervision there is of the snow plowing that is done. In some areas it appears that there is none.

No doubt Mayor Bower will be offering self agrandizing praise for the fantastic job by the city in removing snow at the next City Council meeting (january 5).

An honest evaluation of how well the city did would be in order. I bet all we get is some cheer leading by the mayor and city council.

Anonymous said...

For all you chair warmers here is your chance another snow for you to tell the public workers director how it should be done. Better yet why not go to city hall fill an app for employment then I am sure it will be done right!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Sources at city hall say that they have received hundreds of calls about the lack of snow removal. What do you want to bet that Mayor Bower will put a spin on how great a job was done by city workers? Again, he lies.

Rebecca said...

I give credit where credit is due...our Cul De Sac at 66th Terrace was plowed today, and quite nicely. Arlington is good as well.

Anonymous said...

I have decided to run against Mayor Bower. I am so disappointed in this man. He is one of the most uncaring mayor we have had sense Jack Nesbit.

This mayor does not care what his constituents think. He doesn't care what those of us who voted for him feel about the job he is doing. He does not listen to those who are willing to try to talk to him. He only wants to be the big man and does not want any waves. The problems is he has many problems. When you sit on your backside and cover your eyes and ears so the world can't get in nothing never positive ever happens.

So I've decided to run against this man. I can't do any worse and I'm absolutely sure I can do much better than he does. I can assure you the people of Raytown will me much better off than they are now.

I am not ready to put my name out there yet because I'm trying to have hope things will change. But I'm not holding my breath either.

Anonymous said...

You write like a reasonable person who very clearly knows your potential opponent. Like you I am extremely disappointed in the lack of leadership, the (almost hateful) uncaring statements and positions he takes.

I wish you good luck in your campaign.

I hope there are others who are willing to take on the majority of chairwarmers (who are just like him) on the city council.

We need some changes in city hall. The clock is slowly ticking down to the next city election in April 2011.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 10:51
I doubt Mayor Bower will run again. I mean what would
he run on, how much better off the people are in Raytown?
That won't fly. There aren't enough W-M employees that
live in Raytown to elect him.
The only problem you may have is the Raytown standard or
"The Good Old Boy" groups of city hall hangers on, this town
seems to use to elect them.
But, if everybody that can vote would get out and vote, to vote
out everyone that is up for re-election you and the people may
have a chance.
Unless you are John Wiley........then we are all doomed!

Anonymous said...

If any qualified candidate runs against Bower, Bower will lose. I too agree that he doesn't care about the people that elected him. He's a bully that thinks he has all the answers, when he really has none. He has the WORST city administrator and department heads ever assembled at city hall. The are all "OUT OF TOWNERS" so they're only here for a paycheck. This guy can't manage his own financial affairs, so how can he ever manage the city's. Looking forward to April 2011!!!

Anonymous said...

Anyone who has said anything bad about the snow removers can eat it! You cant do a better job than them! Haven't you ever wondered when these men sleep!? no, probably not. Your too selfish to realize that they work ten times harder than you. i sit and watch these men almost kill themselves to get out roads done. you know these men out 12 hours a night andt they keep working until they get it done. If you think your such a hot shot why don't you get your A@#@%#@ down to the Public works Dep and plow! Let's put all these tough talkers to the test. You all need to realize that maybe we need to look a little more into who is supervising these men. Is it a women!?

Raytown againest stupid leaders said...

I think the roads of Raytown are as good as they can get. How can anyone say that the plowers don’t do a good job?! I see those men out from 6 am to 6 am! Always working.. I bet we did not say a special thank you to those who worked CHRISTMAS?! AND who is this Tony Mesa? You really think you’re a "LEADER”? HA!!!!!!! Only time i have ever seen this guy is when the BIG DOGS are around and he wants to look like he is doing all the work. I had a run-in with this boy (MESA) and let me tell you, i think i could have a better conversation with a pig! He knew nothing about Public works. He had to call his employees to get an answer... and this is who is in charge? Scary! So when you start complaining about the workers why we don’t take a look at that is supervisory because obviously they are the ones making bad calls. I do drive down by the Public works Dep. frequently- You know that those employees are using old old equipment. This could be another reason (besides poor management) that our roads don’t' look perfect. Maybe we can stop giving bosses raises (since they do not deserve it) and use it for equipment. Tony Mesa is your head today?! We all see you don't work so why not look at the big picture and realize you don't fit your position. McDonald’s is hiring!

Andy Whiteman said...

It doesn't matter who runs or doesn't run. What really matters is who VOTES. Remember in Apathytown a small percentage votes and elects the administration. Apathytown definately needs more voters if any change is going to be made.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I live on a main drag (BRB) so I have no complaints, other than all the snow pushed into my driveway! That's the tradeoff.

PW does a great job with the streets in Raytown. I was out in Lee's Summit last night...not so hot out there once you get off the main roads.

So the grass isn't always greener.

Pat Casady said...

To "Anonymous 8:41.
Nobody and I mean nobody has ever said anything bad
about the workers that drive the snow removal trucks!
Raytown's city workers, the guys and gals that actually
do the work for us are some of the best in the area.
Please don't try to turn things around. The people that have
voiced their disapproval with the snow removal were not
directing it toward the drivers. They were talking about the department
heads and city leaders that control these drivers.
We all have to remember that this storm happened on a
long holiday weekend.

Anonymous said...

I still say the snow removal was horrible compared to what good service that we used to get, say 12 to 15 years ago. But, I AM NOT BLAMING THE WORKERS. I too believe that they are doing what they are told by these so called supervisors, who seem to have very little experience in Public Works. There are still streets out there that are barely one lane, so it does make it hard to get around town. Again it starts at the top and when you have POOR LEADERSHIP from our elected officials we can't expect much from the city administrator and the people that are below him.

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year and let's pray next year will be a better year for Raytown.

Anonymous said...

Pat you might want to re-read this post. December 29, 2009 10:41 PM This person takes a shot at the people that do the plowing. The sideroads in this city are filled with cars parking on both sides of the street and no curbs, a little hard to plow when you can barley fit down the street. Go drive some side roads in KC.

Andy Whiteman said...

Due to the economy service and quality have been cut in many places. I am disappointed that even some brands that I used have been discontinued. The salaries of tie wearing chair warmers should be cut before city services. Raises for the chair warmers should not take place at all. They are overpaid.

Willow has been classed as a FAILED street for some time. After this last storm, it is obvious from all of the cracks. The city really needs to tend to issues such as this before some is killed or injured.

Happy New Year to all,
Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Anyone who parks their car on the street durning a snow storm should get a ticket. They are making it very tough to get the street plowed properly and doing their neighbors no favors. Mayor Bower do you thing this could be done or I guess I should ask Nancy? (Mrs. Mayor)

Andy Whiteman said...

7:53 AM, I agree with your point but some people have no other place to park. Remember it is illegal in Raytown to park on the grass. So where do people park if they have no garage, no driveway, or too many cars to fit into the garage/driveway.

It is definitively illegal to park on a snow route during a snow storm.

Andy Whiteman

Pat Casady said...

To Anonymous 9:03,
I stand corrected.
I guess there is one in every bunch.
However, I still say the drivers only plow
where they are told.