Sunday, September 5, 2010

Every Picture Tells a Story . . .
First day of the ride, Ragbrai 2010. Approximately 20,000 bicyclists get on their bikes and start a journey across northern Iowa. Seven days and about 470 miles later, the ride will end at the Mississippi River.
Crowded roadways are not uncommon on the first day of the ride. As the week progresses the riders will spread out even though the number of bicyclists will increase as day riders join in for part of the ride.
PHOTO CREDIT: Phillip Seidl

Special Invitation to Raytown Report Readers

On Tuesday, September 14th, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Yellow Rock Barn, located at 8307 Westridge, Raytown, MO 64138, I will be holding a fundraiser in support of my campaign for the Sixth District seat on the Jackson County Legislature. If you are interested in attending the event please "click" on my "new leadership" ad to the left of this text. It will take you to my campaign website where you can view the the details of the event.

All are welcome to attend.

I hope to see you there!

How Would You Reform Raytown?

The last unique attempt to “reform” Raytown was when the Board of Aldermen unanimously endorsed a plan to move the city’s recycling center to its current location. Attempts to pursue a full blown recycling program were cut short by the Mayor. Sad to say, his promise to revive the

attempt after Walmart was established has been broken.

There are other areas where individuals have shown the vision to improve the quality of life in Raytown. Often times the suggestions fall on what seem to be the deaf ears of those who are currently running our city.

You don’t have to go far to find examples. The outcry for residency requirements for senior department heads at City Hall would go a long way in returning a sense of pride to the community. More than likely you would not have debacles like Willow Street being turned into a one way street by nearly 100% of those who use it on a regular basis. Another example would be the lack of maintenance of proper signage for the safety of our children in residential neighborhoods, as was experienced by a neighborhood along Hedges Street in the Southwood subdivision.

Other suggestions have been floated before the City Park Board. Too often the ideas are quietly listened to and then shelved.

When the Board of Aldermen moved the curfew for minors to 10:00 p.m. (a move applauded by nearly all of Raytown), the Park Board did not even respond to a suggestion that they close their parks at the same time.

Another suggestion, that the Park Board explore the idea of using one of the smaller city parks as a “dog park” where neighbors could gather to socialize and exercise their pets, has yet to receive a public hearing by either the city or the park department.

The idea has merit. By converting a park prone to vandalism and illegal activity into a popular gathering spot by Raytowners the city will literally reclaim the park for the public. The influx of law abiding citizens would force the miscreants away. It would also bring a sense of community

to those who use the park.

City and Park leaders should give these ideas a proper hearing. It is puzzling that city and park department leaders do not give these ideas serious thought. Most have little economic impact on their budgets. All would improve the quality of life in Raytown.

Maybe someday city leaders will consider such ideas with as much zeal as they do in creating tax breaks for commercial developers.

to empower and strengthen that which makes any community unique. The operative word here is pride.

te ideas, both new and old

I’m a Little Hippity-Dippity by Jenn Walters

According to one online Urban Dictionary, “hippity-dippity” is an old person’s old person’s euphemism for sex. Another one, and I’m not making this up, says, “A word that means ‘please’ but when anyone actually says this, most laugh at them.” Just so we’re not confused on what I’m talking about today, my definition of “hippity-dippity” is radically different than the internet’s. Mine is more hippity than dippity and describes a person who is open to all kinds of things—meditation, yoga, Yanni. You know, the New-Agey kinda folks. The Hippity Dippities!

As I’ve gotten older and practiced more yoga, I’ve become increasingly interested in more non-mainstream ideas. I’ve gone to a few meditation classes, heard a lama (not the animal, folks, although that would be cool, too) speak at a Buddhist center and gobbled up Eat, Pray, Love like Elizabeth Gilbert was my long lost sister. I also became somewhat obsessed with ridding myself of ego whenEckhart Tolle was on Oprah darn near every week. (A friend and I even affectionately nicknamed him the “Wise Little Gnome” whom we’d reference multiple times a day in conversations over AIM.) I’ve always been interested in what some people—including my grandma—would call hogwash. It’s the same thing that draws me to corny and mostly fake ghost hunting shows or books about psychics. Heck, I’ll even let my massage therapist “balance my energy.” It’s fun!Over the years, I’ve also become extremely fascinated by hippity-dippity’s relationship to fitness. I mean, if there’s a way to get fit AND become enlightened, sign me up! Although many yoga DVDs are not spiritual by any means, some of them very much are. I’ve been a long-time fan of Rodney Yee, who seems to walk a fine line of being spiritual without being too spiritual. Yes, he tells me to “lie in the ocean, lie in the sand” during deep relaxation, but he also says “buttock flesh” in such a way that I know he’s giggling inside, too. And don’t forget about my somewhat spiritual experience surviving 105-degree temps with Erin in hot yoga.

Recently, Kundalini Yoga Cardio, Stretch, & Strengthen with Ana Brett and Ravi Singh was thrown my way (via the mail). I’d heard great things about Ana and Ravi, and was excited to try it. You know, since I’m all open and stuff.

That’s when I got my hippity-dippity reality check. For me, the DVD was like an acid trip with a very pale and nimble instructor breathing loudly, bending all over the place and dancing awkwardly in combat boots.

I’m not joking. That really happens in the DVD. And I spent half the DVD staring at it like it was the circus.

Thankfully, their hatha yoga DVD, Yoga for Beginners & Beyond, was way more my speed (read: no combat boots), but the whole “trip” taught me an important lesson. When it comes to fitness—and just being—you are who you are. For most, working out—really digging deep and proving that you can do something—is a somewhat spiritual experience. Whether it’s intense yoga, running a marathon, completing a backpacking trip or even hitting the gym consistently for a week, fitness can be very personal and sometimes spiritual.

It’s great to try new things, really learn and challenge yourself, but at the end of the day, you’re only as hippity-dippity as you’re born to be. That’s why I’m going to stick to my usual power yoga and running workouts. I may not be as hippity-dippity as I once thought, but I’m okay with that.

To read more of Jenn’s musings visit her website at

Clinton's Extra Points Edge O'Hara 27 - 25

On September 3rd, the Clinton Cardinals and the O’Hara Celtics each scored four touchdowns, but the Cardinals made three extra points while the Celtics were held to one.

The Cardinals scored on their first possession. Starting at midfield, they got into the end zone on a 16 yard pass play from Dylan Stadter to Collin Garvin. The two-point conversion attempt was stopped by the O’Hara defense.

For the rest of this story go to O'Hara High School

Cardinals Bruise the Bulldogs

Cardinals defeat Bulldogs 42 - 12 Friday night. After a slow first quarter the Cardinals unleashed a powerful offensive attack, scoring 26 points in the second half.

For complete stats of this game go to

Last Week's Poll Results

Do you plan to vote in the November 2, 2010 Election.

Yes . . . 97%

No . . . . 2%


Lee said...

Requiring city workers live within the city is a good start. More transparency would be a good thing as well. Full minutes of BOA meetings and doing away with Consent Agendas. If an item is worth having, it's worth discussing and voting on individually.

One thing that really annoyed me in another city's BOA meeting is they used to bring up an ordinance for vote and say "we discussed this in xxx committee and xxx committee recommends it". The average citizen can't make every BOA meeting, expecting them to attend committee meetings too is asking too much. Take a minute and explain the ordinances in one place, the BOA meeting.

Aside from elected officials, Raytown needs to start utilizing their website more effectively. The only 'news' on the front page are the 63rd bridge info (not updated since the project started and incomplete) and the Triangle detour info, also out of date.

The web site would be a good place for Raytown city leaders to post issues. (curfews, Willow, neighborhood crime problems) That way the public would know about 'public' meetings and what is going to be discussed. All public notices from city government should be posted on the web site! Linked from the front page. This is something that costs the city virtually $0 and time. That governments are so far behind the times with their web resources is inexcusable. The web site would be a good place to post where projects fall in priority. Is recycling held up by finances or public interest? Public funds are limited, we understand that, is a dog park prioritized above or below recycling?

This is very important, so I'm repeating it. All public notices from city government should be posted on the web site!

Are some of the services that residents are requesting something that volunteers could handle. Could the city appoint someone as a contact and coordinator for volunteer services? I'm sure there are residents that don't have the income to support more taxes that would like to be more involved with their community.

BTW Greg, county government could be more engaged with the general population as well.

Andy Whiteman said...


I have expressed this same opinion about full minutes and consent agendas to the BOA numerous times. It fell on deaf ears except for maybe Alderman Van Buskirk. In my opinion, summary minutes tend to keep actions and mainly the discussion thereof secret. Consent agenda forces through issues without discussion or even thought.

I agree, the city website would be a great place for public notices. Currently they consider CH 7 to be a public station which it is NOT because it is limited to the rich who pay for cable TV. Legals must be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county. The Red Star has low circulation due to price. Legal notices are in no order and difficult to read due to small font. Raytown has a high quality local media but due to the way it is distributed, I have difficulty receiving it. I assume others may also have this problem.

Why would a dog park have additional expense beyond signs and maybe a fence? Owners would be responsible for cleanup after their dogs. I think Greg has a good point. Turn the dogs loose in the park and they will clear out the miscreants. Dogs have an uncanny way of identifying this type of individual. We need a good dog patrol. Hank Dogg and I used to do a foot patrol several times a day. He would come to a point at anything out of the normal.

That section of Willow isn't the only part with issues. Between 63rd and 67th Willow is a feeder street. It is a residential street with a speed limit of 35~~should be 25! It is narrow for a feeder street and people park on the grass because parking on the street would impede traffic. Part of this section has failed, crumbled and is unsafe to pedestrians. This has been pointed out to the BOA several times. In fact, it is a code violation!

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

We need a dog park like we need for David Bower to be elected to another term. Enough said

Greg Walters said...


I agree that Jackson County government could be run a whole lot better.

It is why I am running for the Sixth District seat. I believe I can do a better job of making certain we receive a better return for our tax dollars in Jackson County government.

Raytown is not unique in poor governmental decisions. Many of the same problems, a bureaucracy that seems to answer to no one, a lack of leadership, decisions that are not thought through before they are finalized. A tendency of elected officials to not disagree too loudly because they won't be accepted by their peers.

I could go on and on, but I think my point is made.

Andy is right that the more people become involved in government, even if it only means taking your civic duty to cast a vote, the better off we would be.

Last week's poll indicated that a very high number of those who read and participate on this blog do vote and simply by expressing their views are participating in the give and take that makes our form of government one of the best in the world.

Anonymous said...

WOW! A dog park! I can hardly wait! Gee, we have enough neighbors with dogs that can't seem to clean up the poop left behind in their yards (which by the way smells oh so wonderful, in fact, strong enough that it is an embarassment to us and we don't have guests over for cookouts, etc because of this)

And they have way too many animals in too small of a yard. If it rains or gets humid, it stinks worse, and have I mentioned the flies yet? You know where those flies have been, and then they land on your plates, cups, utensils, and food.

They want a dog park? Who is going to keep this clean? And don't tell me that the owners of the animals are going to, because it just does not happen. Try walking on the paths in the parks and you will find poop everywhere.

Let's work on BASIC city services like fixing the streets and taking care of nuisance properties first.

Anonymous said...

The biggest problem in our town is CRIME. It appears that this situation is getting out of control. Board and Mayor need to do something and make elected chief accountable or ask him to resign. ENOUGH is ENOUGH.

JWDT said...

As for the dog walking park....I would support it if those who have dogs would use it. I don't mean a few, I mean all dog owners. One thing that could help is dog owners taking responsibility for cleaning up their dog doo waste when they are out with their dogs or if their dogs get off the leash and decide to use the neighbors yard. Back where I grew up we usually took care of pests like this with a 12 or 20 gauge, not sure too many residents would appreciate their prized pets running home with some buckshot in them. Maybe bb pellets are more humane?
Justin Tomac

Andy Whiteman said...

12:03PM, That is one of the many reasons I am against the city's new zoning that will allow smaller lots.

5:44 PM, The mayor and the board have no authority over the chief. He is an elected official. It is the people who may take action at the polls.

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...

Justin, I understand how you feel but discharging a weapon in the city limits is illegal. Also there are cruelty to animals charges. If these are prized pets, residents would keep them at home.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Actually things are very easy to find on the city's website using Google; you just have to know how to look.

Also by any stretch of the imagination, Andy, The Kansas City Star is a general circulation newspaper in Jackson County, Missouri.

The reason things you say fall on deaf ears is that like an annoying background noise, people get used to it before long.

If you wouldn't get up and speak for twenty minutes at every meeting, perhaps people would take you a little more seriously. I mean for heavens sake, you still think Obama isn't a citizen?

Anonymous said...

I applaud Andy for having the intestinal fortitude for standing up and speaking his mind. I've watched him on television at Council meetings. His message is usually very clear.

Makes a heck of a lot more sense than those statues they have propped up in the seats at the dias.

At least he has something to say!

As for the maneuverability of the city's website. Whoever put it together was undoubtedly paid for it. They really soaked the city council on that one. It is cumbersome, slow and poorly organized.

It is apparent it is rarely updated by anyone at city hall.

Here's my favorite excerpt from the front page!

"Plans for redevelopment along the highly traveled 350 Highway corridor will add new shopping and dining experiences, while additional redevelopment planning is underway in our downtown to restore and reinvigorate the heart of our community. Crescent Creek at 59th and Raytown Road is an award winning, new traditional neighborhood currently under construction. Offering 128 new housing units in a mixture of styles and prices, Crescent Creek boasts a pedestrian friendly environment with wide sidewalks, wide front porches and carriage houses on rear lanes."

Been down 350 Highway lately. Check out Crescent Creek. Both have been unchanged for the last what, four, five years?

- 'nuff said

Anonymous said...

Other communities have dog parks. How do they enforce the rule that dog owners have to clean up after their dogs? The doggie doo would be the chief concern.

I would never take my dog to a dog park. There is no guarantee that the dogs are disease free. I don’t want to risk my dog getting heart worms, ring worms, or hook worms from dogs that aren’t properly cared for. My dog could also get distemper from other diseased dogs. I have a nice, big yard, and my dog will have to be content with that.

Another concern would be the danger of other dogs running free off-leash. We can’t blame dogs for doing what comes naturally to them. If they perceive another dog as being a threat, they will attack. That’s just what they do. I’ve seen several dog owners walking their pit bulls down the street. While the pit bulls seem like nice dogs, there’s no telling what would happen if they were allowed to run free in a park. My neighbor has a Rottweiler. That dog charges the fence and snarls at any one who gets close to the property. I sure wouldn’t want to meet that dog off-lease in a park.

If Raytown has an off-lease dog park, all dogs would have to be allowed. The owners will claim their dogs are gentle and wouldn’t hurt anyone, but who knows.

Andy Whiteman said...

7:41 AM, I agree that paragraph is a real lie that out of towners may believe. Locals know it is and out and out lie. It sounds as if it was written by a well paid PR firm!

7:32AM, Probably the Red Star is the only paper of general circulation in the county but the legal notices appear in NO order and the font is too small to read. They should be alphabetically in order of jurisdiction and printed in a readable font. My attorney in Albuguerque told me many years ago that the legal notices are placed so people can't find them.

How can I speak 20 minutes when the limit is 5 minutes?

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

The First Baptist Church has had a sign out by the hiway for a few weeks inviting people to use their dog park so see the city doesn't need to spend our money to do that. To bad VanBuskirk isn't telling people that. Oh right, that's Mrs. Vanbuskirk she's the only one who reads this blog as we all know no one at city hall reads it sure they don't.

Anonymous said...

Don't dog parks separate the animals by size?

I think it would be fun to get together with like minded people who enjoy their pets.

It would not surprise me if the person who wrote the blog complaining about everything about a dog park is probably a cat person.

Or, one of those folks who is unhappy when it is a sunny day because they might get a sunburn!

Andy Whiteman said...

Unfortunately dog parks have no separation for size or breed. Actually the breed doesn't mean a dog will or will not be aggressive. I wouldn't take a dog to a dog park because any dog no matter what breed will defend what he feels is his territory. Getting too close to the owner or another dog in the family could provoke a bite because the dog is being defensive by its nature.

9:11PM, Good point about cat people. If we have dog parks, we will have to have Cat Parks so as not to discriminate.

I wish I could remember the exact words but Pastor John Wiley stated something at the BOA meeting like the city administration was not in control and staff was making decisions when the administration should be in charge. It would be nice if he was on this blog to restate exactly what he said. I agreed with him (in my thoughts not verbally). Mayor Bower finally stopped him as being off topic about Willow. I thought he was on topic at least as to how this problem came to happen.

It took 2 hours for this one item at which time Mayor Bower asked Mahesh and Andy Noll to present recommendations for widening the street or other options along with approximate costs and then stated the issue would be resolved.

The City Attorney said that an ordinance must be passed to change the one way so it appears it will take at least 2 meeting so resolve this problem unless an ordinance is written and a motion made to suspend the rules and pass with one reading.

Watch out for scam phone calls claiming to be from VISA. The callers spoof the 1-800-VISA911 number on caller ID and try to get personal info. I didn't hear the phone but recognized the 911 on caller ID, returned the call and they told me what was happening.

So don't give out personal info unless you originate the call and know with whom you are speaking.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Wiley was correct that there is little supervision of employees at city hall.

Bower is wrong to cut him off from speaking just because he does not like what he hears.

There is a name for people like Bower. Every school yard in America has one.

He is a bully.

Tell me Andy. When did they vote on the ordinance to change the street to a one way street in the first place?

Seems like there are two sets of rules here. One for city hall bureaucrats and another for the people who live here and pay the bills.

Didn't any of our esteemed Aldermen step up on behalf of the people who live on Willow?

Maybe the Board of Aldermen could just set aside the ordinance, like they did for City Administrator Mahesh Sharma on his residency requirement.

Keep diggin' that hole Mr. Bower. You're going to find out how hard it is to get out next Spring!

Pat Casady said...

I think we are missing the important thing here.
We need to reform our city government. We need at
least eight or nine new "representatives" that actually
"represent" the people!
We don't need to elect more people that will continue
Giving away tax income and then raise our taxes to make
up the difference.
We need department heads that will do their jobs.
Most of all we need new people that will spend our tax increases
for what we were promised they would be used for.
Every body at City Hall says they want the downtown area to thrive.
My question is what have they done in the last ten years of saying this?
We in the downtown area fee this is a dumping area for lip service.
Our sidewalks are cracked, our streets are bad, crime is up and the only thing that
has changed is the old church is gone.
We have had four City Administrators in the last eight years and
the only thing any of them could come up with is giving away the biggest part
of Raytown's tax income for twenty three years to the world's richest
corporation. A corporation that they knew full well would run off most of
the small businesses in town.
We need new people that will not go to work as either an elected official
or a hired department head and just sit behind their respective desks and do nothing. We need reform in a real way.
We need new people that will do what is best for the people for a change.
This means keeping their tax increase, spending promises.
So, dog park maybe. Making Raytown, Raytown again is the most
important reform I can think of.

Anonymous said...

After last nights BOA meeting it looks like Mayor Bower has a real contender for the position of Mayor. Mayor you might want to call Jeff Roe to see how to handle this!!!! I'm not a fan of John Wiley but he sure hit the nail on the head on this one..

Max said...

I agree with Andy that Wiley was right on last night. The staff at City Hall provide the Alderman with the information, but when that information is comng from people that don't even live in Raytown, then its time for a change. When people apply for a job that says that they must live in Raytown, then they must live in Raytown. How many times have they given a extension to Mahesh already? One year..2 3 years. What employer lets you change the job description to fit YOUR needs? People on staff at City Hall are so out of touch with Raytown they need to be replaced, and soon.
Wileys comments about the downtown area were so to the point that Bower had to cut him off. In the 60's downtown was a happening place to be. But when all the emphasis went to developing 350 Hwy, downtown almost became non existent. The Main Street group is trying, with what I hear very little help from the staff at City Hall. If the plan that was submitted to the City for Ida's Bridal is denied by the the idiots at City Hall, kiss downtown goodbye, who else would want to deal with that group of idiots. There was (is) stimulus money available, but in my opinion, the people at City Hall couldnt find any if it came up and bit them in the butt.
As for Willow street, according to the attorney it was an illegal move to change the street to one way as the people that live in the neighborhood were not contacted...but "we will investigate and have the staff get back to us with the correct information". Act then re-act..what a way to run the City.

Andy Whiteman said...

I was surprised that there were almost as many people at the BOA as they had during the Pit Bull debates. Obviously people were concerned!

Aldermen Aziere (who brought up the discussion item) was the most outspoken on the issue followed by Alderman Hamilton. Other Alderpeople did speak on this issue but I can't remember everything that was said. Hopefully our local media source will publish an article next week. I have difficulty obtaining that publication. Hopefully others don't experience the same frustration obtaining the publication.

I remember some time ago an ordinance came up to make certain streets one way "due to the fact they were narrow streets." It then came forward as an ordinance naming the streets. Since I didn't use those streets, it didn't concern me. No one appeared to protest. It came out at the last 2 meetings that only the 8 property owners with driveways on Willow were notified. This change impacts 3 neighborhoods and a large number of people who may or may not live in the neighborhoods. It came out it was due to one individual's complaint of drivers cutting across his yard. (My father would have put in carpet nails.) Actually there was no protest because others who used the street were not notified.

The city attorney said notification is required only to those living within 185 feet but more than one stated they received no notification. There are simply too many unknown people to notify. I was getting ready to suggest a sign when Mayor Bower finally had the brilliant idea of a sign.

I am happy to hear the our BOA is finally listening to We the People and intend to move forward without the political hoops of the Municipal Committee etc.

Yes, the ordinance can be waived, but the City Attorney stated an ordinance is required to change the status of a one way street created by ordinance. The main concern at the BOA is that this be done correctly and a good decision be made. I agree with that concern. This issue NEVER should have been allowed to take place.

In my opinion it was not a question of of supervision. It was staff making a poor decision with the Muni Committee and the BOA rubber stamping it with no investigation. Again I state the City Administrator should be required to live in Raytown as required by ordinance. Also ALL department heads hired in the future should be required to live in Raytown. Loction of domicile could also be addressed as contracts are renewed.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Some very thoughtful comments here.

I love this blog!

Andy Whiteman said...

Mahesh had a 3 year extension to move to Raytown. That has expired and he now has another 3 year extension (totalling 6 years!) Ridiculous! I thought the first extension was for good reason. The man knew he had 3 years and should have been making plans to move but he defies the ordinance and is granted another 3 year extension! If I was mayor, I would have told him to move to Raytown or find another job.

What is the problem with Raytown? As I see it, there is a big lack of focus! The BOA has split and divided the people by directing our focus on trivial issues rather than the large picture. I am NOT saying that Willow or the parks are trivial issues. They are important but all of these issues have distracted our focus away from the big picture. Instead of developing Raytown as well as improving and maintaining the streets we are distracted to neighborhood issues. The BOA meeting took 2 hours to discuss Willow while at the same meeting there were public hearings on development issues as well as the budget. I did have a comment to make at one or more of the public hearings but I didn't stay because Red Dogg needed me and I have too much to do trying to move.

I don't know where the idea of a dog park came from. A dog park would be nice for the dogs. As happened in KCMO, the neighbors will complain they don't want one and there will be a big argument as to where it should be. Isn't it more important to focus on the city as a whole?

I question is there an intent to distract the people's focus or is it just poor management?

For me this is another night of no packing and very shortly Red Dogg will tell me to go to bed.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

The only reason our aldermen are "finally" listening to the
"We the people" is because it is election time again.
Don't be fooled by these people, they don't care about
"We the people" at all.
They just want to make us think they will do something good
but, we all know, or should know, by now it's all a front. Ask yourself this, what have they ever done for the people? What have they done to make your life as a Raytown citizen better? Look at the streets and ask yourself what did they do with that promise?
Look at the crime rate and ask what they did with that "safety tax?"
Now look at the New Wal Mart and know where their loyalty is.

Pat Casady said...

Andy, do you think the board investigates anything?
This and other boards before them with the exception of
a few members, the rest only do what they are told to do by the City Administrator,
the cities lawyer or the mayor. They never ask the people
how they feel about a subject. Because they don't
want to talk to you. Maybe it's because most don't actually know
what they are doing. But, I do know we need changes.
I don't personally care much for Mr Wiley but, if he has any
better ideas maybe we should listen to him if he decides to
run for mayor. However, I must caution everybody, we have all heard campaign promises before. Even by Mr. Wiley. And we all know, they are seldom kept.

Max said...

As long as the staff members that dont live in Raytown continue to make the decisions we will not get anywhere. In my opinion, Mahesh and Beth Linn have to be the first to go. They dont live here, dont have a vested interest in our town and are paid way to much for their worth. To take 2 hours discussing a one block long street that was made one way because of one person, and was done illegally is surely a waste of time. I also think that having 10 Alderman is 5 to many. How much money did the City give Aldi in concessions?
Tom Cole said in his gathering that there are several projects that are ready to go,,,where are they? Hung up in staff..More projects mean more work and more work means they cant get home to their out of Raytown communities in time to make dinner.

Andy Whiteman said...

7:17 AM, I think the deciding factor will be what the board ACTUALLY does to resolve this issue. Raytown has has a small turnout at city elections, but I bet every one of those people as well as the entire neighborhoods will cast votes if they are unhappy. If they are appeased, they will sit at home on election day and never think about voting.

Pat, I would say 50% of the board fails to investigate anything but I can name 5 alderpeople who will ask very pointed questions depending on what is at hand. If we count one who was defeated, the number would be 6.

I don't trust ANY promise a candidate makes. He/she will say whatever it takes to get elected. I call that buying votes even though no money has changed hands.

In the case of the Mayor's election, I think it will go to the best orator which is what happened in the last Presidential election.

If Wiley runs, Bower has met his match. It sounds like the debate has started at the last BOA meeting.

I was thinking of running for office at the last election, but it would be a disservice to the people since I am moving.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

"we will investigate and have the staff get back to us with the correct information"

Typical bureaucrats! Because of their incompetence and failure to notify people affected by changing Willow Street to a one way street the city has spent nearly five hours wringing their hands over of "what will we do!?!"

For starters, the out of town department heads should apologize for their ignorance of how and why the good people of Raytown travel about their town.

Then, the city council and his highness, the Mayor, should re-think their position of using only out of town department heads to manage our city.

They are the ones who are truly at fault. The carpet-baggers are being carpet-baggers.

But they would not be able to do so if the city council and Mayor had not sold out the people of Raytown in the first place.

Next April cannot get here soon enough for me.

David, you fooled me once. You will not fool me again. Same for your cronies on the Board.

Anonymous said...

It is nonsense debate on this bogus forum. Almost 60% of the people who work for the city are non residents and 70% of the teacher are non raytown school residents. 80% of the people who live in Raytown do not work in Raytown. I think you all should be looking into the mirror to search your soul before you make nonsense statements.

Anonymous said...

Willow street is a smaller issue to divert your attention from bigger issue such as CRIME.

Andy Whiteman said...

Mahesh should be the first to be REQUIRED to more to Raytown per city ordinance which never should have been waived.

The others can be addressed when their contracts expire/renew or when replacements are hired.

But the ordinance needs to be set in place first requiring department heads to live in Raytown.

It is simple, move to Raytown or look for another job.

If I ran for Mayor, that would be my first priority!

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

No, it is not nonsense. Kansas City requires that its department heads live within city limits. So does Lee's Summit and Independence.

It is a very legitimate concern.

Be fair about it. Given a choice, wouldn't you rather your department heads live within the city?

Wouldn't you rather all of our police officers made their homes here?

You spout off about crime a lot. So I would think you would like to have the 50 or so sworn police officers making their home here.

Be patient, you will have plenty of time to make excuses for the Mayor and his Board next April.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe John Wiley and Gary Knabe are buds so therefore,if John should run for mayor I would vote for him because I think he would make the slum land owner clean up his mess on 79th and Spring Valley.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 1016
Rules are rules! If a town is not going to obey the rules
it sets up for the way a town is to be run and managed
then get rid or the rules. Raytown's forefathers thought it was necessary to have department heads live within the city so what
has changed? Better yet why has it changed?
I can see a short time period for someone to find a place to move in to but, lets face it, six years is a bit too much.
To answer another remark, Raytown's population is around
ten thousand people. Even when Raytown was thriving there weren't
eighty thousand jobs to be had.
Although the people should have their opinions listened to, the people don't get paid a big salary to run the town.
And, I don't believe there are any rules about where teachers have to live.
I think, the school board members have to live in Raytown. Being an
elected position.
How are the people supposed to think when our city leaders break the rules.
With some elected officials breaking the codes rules, the city changing the rules to
fit their own needs, receiving tax money for one thing then then using it
elsewhere? Deceiving the people they are supposed to be representing.
However Anonymous 10:16, I will agree with you on a part of your statement. (six words)
"It is nonsense to debate this," because nothing will ever change.
It's like a person on drugs. They can make up any excuse to do what they want.
They can tell themselves it's OK to break the rules because they made them.
A little power is the worst drug of all!

Andy Whiteman said...

The School Board must live in the School District. That doesn't mean they must live in Raytown since the district extends past Raytown. And 2 of them don't pay their taxes until it becomes an issue prior to election! That was my reason not to vote for those two.

The REAP manager asked for donations stating that 30000 people in Raytown need help with food and utility bills. To my knowledge City Hall seems to think there are about 10,000 people. I wonder where the extra 20,000 came from?

10:16 PM, I was forced to move to this area for a job. I accidently found my house after my Realtor was unable to locate a suitable house and I made a wrong turn when I came to inspect the Post Office. How can people who live in Raytown possibly work in Raytown when there are NO jobs that pay a decent wage? I know of only one employer that pays decently except to new hires. The city pays next to nothing unless you are a tie wearing chair warmer. So where do you think Raytown residents should work?

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

We are not Kansas City or Lee's Summit. We are Raytown and that's the fact. We would like to think that we are better than Lee's Summit but that in someone's head not the reality.

Andy Whiteman said...

9:50AM, Obviously. I am wondering why the BOA keeps using the excuse, "other cities in the metro are doing it?" Obviously they don't know this is Raytown, not another city except for the fact ALL of the tie wearing chair warmers are from other cities.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Who are you kidding, Raytown is considered "a slum" when you get into some of these other progressive communities such as Blue Springs, Independence, or Lee's Summit. They are thriving with new residential and commercial growth. They are clean, have well kept streets and are considered much safer than Raytown. It's no wonder that we have to "BRIBE" a business with huge tax incentives to come to Raytown. Would you want to locate in the GETTOH? I understand that there are 274 homes listed by just realtors on the market in Raytown. Also I'm sure there are 100's more that are for sale by owner. What does this tell you? It tells me that people are trying to get out while they can still get something for their property.

Anonymous said...

I can tell you have not been to Blue Springs lately.

You "understand" there are 274 homes listed for sale in Raytown.

I suggest you a take a drive through Lee's Summit. There are a lot more homes for sales in that town than in Raytown.

The economy is in the dumps and people are losing their homes due to high taxes and house payments they can no longer afford.

As for living in the ghetto, I can tell you have never been through the ghetto, or for that matter, west Independence.

It is easy to spot someone that likes to hate. There is spotlight shining on you.

Anonymous said...

It appears as though some are utilizing skewed statistical information on here. How about citing reliable sources? I wouldn't trust any of this information unless I get factual information that is confirmed. My time is way too valuable to base decisions upon false information. Back it up with something that can be proven other than 'Because I know it'.

Andy Whiteman said...

When I was forced to move here, my Realtor, who was having difficulty locating a home for me, finally suggested that I consider Lees Summit. First off, the Post Office failed inspection. Second, prices were so high, Lees Summit was obviously for the rich and too expensive for me.

I will be selling my house at a loss. Recently 3 homes on my street were for sale: one was clearly overpriced (and a code violation~~tall grass), the other was miniature and old so I didn't try to evaluate price, the 3rd was priced fairly but didn't sell so the owner took it off the market. The first finally sold after the price was reduced from $145K to $116K. The only way to sell a home in Raytown is at a loss. This may be true for the metro area. Link to listing:

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Have to agree with the last comment. Whoever wrote the post calling Raytown a ghetto was way out of line.

Blogs are a sounding board of opinion.

As for skewered information, where do do you find the truth?

I'm still waiting for them to find weapons of mass destruction in the Iraqi desert. Then I can understand how a withdrawal of all but 50,000 troops is any kind of withdrawal at all!

Andy Whiteman said...

I agree, where do you find the truth? The actual number of homes for sale by owner (FSBO) can never be factually determined. MLS listings can be counted and also MLS has calculations for average time on market if you ask a Realtor. (Which I did in '94. At that time is was 6 months for Raytown.) Foreclosures are another questionable area. There is an internet company that inflates the count by including delinquencies inorder to sell their service.

As for ghetto it depends on what you consider to be a ghetto. Those stating ghetto should define the term so we have an understanding of where you are coming from.

I have been debating Dictator O'Bomba with a friend in AZ. We finally agreed to stop the debate when her husband was very ill so she could spend time with him. Now our focus is on how do me know the media is stating the true facts since obviously there is a bias. Anyone can post anything on the internet and people may accept it without question. I tend to agree with Fox Mulder, "Trust no one!"

Andy Whiteman

Lee said...

Here are some actual numbers for Raytown: 30,388 (2000 census), 28,931 (2009 estimated, We'll have to wait a year or so to see the 2010 census data.

As far as house prices, you have two things working against you. First you had the housing bubble that greatly overvalued houses. Then you had the crash and all the foreclosures undervaluing. I would bet Raytown has at least 5 years before values re-stabilize. Here are some examples; I ran checks on many of the houses on my block and looked at the last sale price and assessed values. (public info from Jackson County) An educated guess would say that these houses are worth $50-60k. In 2007 several sold for $90k+ and most have been foreclosed. I bought mine for $30k in 2008, and JaCo had it assessed at $60k in 2009 and $50k in 2010.

Jackson and Wyandotte counties in the Metro are still overloaded with foreclosures. You aren't going to sell for true market value until most of those are gone. On a brighter note, many of the people who are buying those houses are making big investments in them. I lost count of how many I saw getting new windows. And one was a HUD foreclosure, and the Gov't rebuilt the detached garage so it would sell.

Of course, if you aren't investing in your own house (keeping it fairly modern) and just complaining that the neighbors don't mow to suit you, then you'll find yourself at a disadvantage again later trying to compete with newly remodeled homes with new siding and windows. I personally have put close to $20k in updates into my house and will probably do another $10k if I can get a permit for a sun room.

Andy Whiteman said...

I bought my house to live in, not as an investment. The only remodeling I did was to suit my personal needs. I feel remodeling for sale is not cost effective. The upgrades may not be wanted by the buyer so the cost of the "upgrades" would be wasted money and never recovered.

As an example, my new house had an upgrade of expensive tile flooring in the hall. To me a tile floor is unsafe. I wanted carpet and had to pay extra to have the tiles ripped up. For that reason, I am selling my house "as is, where is." The buyer may install the upgrades if the want them. I just won't waste money on something that may be of no value to the next person. If I do up grades, it would have been because I want them not with the intent of sale.

Andy Whiteman

Lee said...

If your house isn't "move-in ready", you will get a lower offer. If it looks like your kitchen and bathroom haven't been updated since your house was built 6 decades ago, you will get a lower offer. If your house was decorated in the 70's, you will get a lower offer.

Sure there will be some things a buyer might want to change; the color of the walls, the type of carpet. But if they look at your house and see 'outdated' and a whole bunch of work to be done, you aren't going to get the price that the newly remodeled house down the street will get. In the end its a trade-off between the cost of upgrades and what can be recovered in the sale, regardless of whether those changes are for you or the buyer.

But remember, Jackson County is a buyer's market. And although there is a buyer for every type of house, the buyer is going to set the price.

Andy Whiteman said...

Obviously, but I really doubt if the costs of upgrades would ever be recovered. I feel it is like throwing good money after bad. My house is for sale "as is, where is." I expect a lower price. It isn't worth investing $30K to maybe get $5K more or maybe nothing at all. I view upgrades in hopes of a sale as wasted money.

There are expensive upgrades in my new house the Realtor required of the seller. Even with the upgrades, the house was basically a fixer but not advertised as such. I had to pay extra to rip out the expensive tile hall to put in carpet. I am having upgraded single handle plumbing pulled out and installing plumbing with separate hot and cold faucets. Can't change the tub because the works is in a wall.

I would rather pay more for a house from the 70s than an upgraded house because I don't like the new stuff. I am paying to remove the upgrades!

Anyone who thinks upgrades are a good idea, can buy my house, spend money on upgrades and try to recover their money. To me upgrading is a gamble especially in this economy.

I bought my Raytown house because I prefer olde stuff~~not new.

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...

I just checked and there are 623 homes listed. This is not accurate because it includes homes in KCMO that are in Zips 64133 and 64138.

I did a search for comps and a home one block from me that is over 2900 sf was only $120,000 which is less than I paid for mine. Obviously I can't reasonable expect that much for my home. Of course I assume the other home is in move in condition. I could waste money upgrading mine and NEVER recover the money.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I believe Andy has it correct in that the one way change to Willow was due to one individual being upset with cars pulling over onto a small area of grass to make way for others to pass by. This person does not even live on Willow and the grass we are talking about is a side yard along Willow. I live in this neighborhood and can tell you that this person has run into the street in front of my car yelling profanities at me when I yielded to another vehicle. It is disturbing to me and other neighbors that such an individual could solicit this change and the elected officials agree to it without any regard or notice to the neighborhoods it affects. Willow has always been a narrow street and drivers have always used common courtesy to make way for one another. I was under the impression that the three feet next to any public road was city easement. Whatever the case, this issue is important to this neighborhood that encompasses at least a three block area. It does create inconvenience and safety issues, especially for the children in our neighborhood. It is also another perfect example of how things at City Hall are being handled. It appears to me that there is a complete disregard for the welfare and interests of the citizens of Raytown. I agree completely with the Raytown residency issue! If you don't live here how can you serve and/or protect our community? I can tell you that I will definitely be using my vote to try to change things in the next election.