Yard signs are a politician’s curse. They are the most effective way of letting the world know you exist. But they are expensive, time consuming to put in place, and a favorite target of children and some adults who act like children.
Last week I received a call from a campaign supporter who told me she saw a public works employee pull up her street, stop in front of her neighbor’s house, and remove my campaign sign from the yard. Upon investigation I found that same scenario was repeated over 20 times last Thursday.
I called Mr. Andy Noll, the Director of Public Works, and asked why city employees were stealing my signs. He told me they were helping out the codes department in enforcing the sign ordinances by removing signs from the right of way.
I found the explanation less than satisfactory because my signs were on private property and well back from the right of way.
I was told the signs would be returned to me. Three of them were, two without the wires. I went by the Public Works Garage to retrieve the rest of them to find out that the trash hauling service had just left with the signs.
To say the least, I am upset about the string of events. Especially because there were inconsistencies in how the city picked up the signs.
- If my signs were alone in a yard, they were picked up. If they were in with a clump of other candidate signs, they were not touched.
- Large 4’ x 8’ signs that are a lot closer to the road, and no doubt on the city’s right of way were allowed to remain standing. The maximum size for political signs in residential neighborhoods is 4’ x 4’ (which makes the 4’ x 8’ signs illegal).
- Signs were removed from streets that have virtually no right of way, like 59th Street between Raytown Road and Blue Ridge Cutoff. I had a personal role in having that street designed and built. I can assure you the right of way ends at the property owner’s edge of the sidewalk on 59th Street.
I am not a litigious person. But if this type of activity continues, I will become one.
If any of my reader should witness city employees removing my yard signs from private property please call me at 816-517-6852 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want a yard sign, please contact me as well.
Finally, a personal note to Andy who frequently posts on the blog. I know I owe you a sign, but have misplaced your address – please resend it to me.
Speaking of Tax Breaks . . .
Word on the street is that one of the businesses City Hall gave a property tax abatement to in Downtown Raytown is said to be closing its doors. If it proves to be the case, the tax abatement, under the agreement written by the city, stays in place even though there would be no business occupying the building!
The city can easily avoid this situation by writing “claw backs” into their tax abatement agreements. A “claw back” requires a business to occupy the property when a tax abatement is given. If the property “goes dark” (out of business) the owner of the property is required to pay the full amount on property taxes.
This is not the first instance in which the city has been left holding the bag on a property tax abatement in which the owner vacated the property. Schnucks Grocery (current location of Hy-Vee), left the Kansas City market after only a few years of operation. The property tax abatement stayed in place for an empty store.
A new property tax abatement was granted when HyVee moved to the location two years ago.
Progress as Promised on 63rd Street Bridge
Last Friday evening I drove across the new 63rd Street Bridge. The light poles now have lights on them. Three of them were even lit up!
Saturday afternoon I was on the bridge again. This time ALL of the lights were lit up.
Now, if they can just get them to all light up at night and turn off during the day we will be one step closer to having a completed bridge!
I Ran Like a Girl by Jenn Walters
Spur of the moment, I had the opportunity to attend Nike’s Global Running Summit and run the oh-so-popular (and rightly so) Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco. AsTish has already pointed out, Nike knows what’s up. They wine you, dine you, dazzle you with new products, and let you pound the pavement for 13.1 miles. It’s fitness bliss at its best—and sorest.
In future posts, we’ll review some of the new running gear that I tried out, including Nike’s new Lunar running shoe offerings. (It’s amazing what technology and thought goes into new products.) But for now, I want to give you a recap of the half marathon, or what I like to call “The Biggest Challenge of My Running Life Thus Far.” (I know; it’s probably a little lengthy to catch on.)
The 13.1 miles of the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Fran were as beautiful as they were challenging—a start at Union Square, hills, breathtaking scenery, hills, Fisherman’s Wharf, hills, Alcatraz, a MILE-LONG HILL, amazing cheering spectators, more hills, the Golden Gate Bridge (it was covered in fog, but I could feel it), hills, running along the Great Highway between forest and ocean, a few more hills and a finish line with handsome tuxedoed men handing out Tiffany boxes filled with “Run Like a Girl” pendant necklaces. It. Was. Awesome. And hilly. But so totally worth it.
I was even close to tears a few times because the landscape was so amazingly and almost unfathomably beautiful. Plus, I was running with more than 20,000 women from 50 states and 25 countries who raised more than $14 million for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. See? That alone makes you feel a little verklempt, right?
Despite the hills…and the near-crying…and the walking on hills twice…I took 2 minutes off my previous and only half marathon time. It’s awesome to see how this full marathon trainingis really getting me more fit with faster times. Sure, I got passed by about 3,000 people (seriously not exaggerating here), but I saved enough in my energy tank that, near the end, I passed at least 20 or so of those people with a final hard push. There’s nothing better than sprinting to the finish line once you have it in sight.
Immediately after the race, my muscles were tight (heeelllooo warm bath), and the two days after the race I was SORE. My legs were heavy as to be expected, but my traps were incredibly sore, even to the touch. I never get sore there after my long runs and I felt like I was pretty relaxed during the race, so I wondered what was up.
And then I realized the one thing I did differently this race than any other time that I run: I texted. A lot. I had the “brilliant” idea to text my husband during the race, so he could (graciously) upload my texts to Twitter and Facebook. (Ironically enough, Twitter was down during the entire time that I ran. Bastards.) It was a fun way for me to let my friends, family and readers know how I was doing, and, honestly, it gave me something fun to focus on. Plus, it reminded me how much support I had out there. All warm and fuzzy stuff.
What’s not warm and fuzzy is that apparently when I text while running, I clinch my shoulders up to my ears in order to keep my upper-body steady enough to text amidst the jostling of jogging. And my body isn’t used to that. Hence the insane soreness. I even have the proof in the race photos, where the photographer got a photo of me texting. My loved ones got a kick out of that, and, truthfully, so did I. At least I look happy texting.
What did I learn, you ask? Three things. One, if I’m going to text during a race, I need to train for it. Two, “running like a girl,” the official motto for this girl-power race, really means running like a bad-ass, and it results in jewelry from Tiffany. And three, I could really stand to add more hills to my training.
To read more of Jenn’s musing go to Fit Bottomed Girls
High School Sports . . .
To catch up on O'Hara Sports use this link O'Hara High School
To catch up on Raytown South Sports use this link Raytown South High School
Last Week's Poll Results . . .