A Question of Residency by Greg Walters
The Raytown Board of Aldermen is the legislative branch of the City of Raytown. They are the final word on the laws in Raytown. They set the standard of how the city is to be run.
The actual running of the city on a day to day basis is left to city staff. In Raytown, the city staff is led by the City Administrator. Directly under him are the various department heads. These are considered to be professional positions with a broad base of knowledge on how to run a city in a professional manner.
Some, like the positions of City Clerk and City Prosecutor, are required by state law.
Others, like the City Administrator, Community Development Director, Economic Development Coordinator, Public Works Director, Finance Director, City Attorney and the Director of Parks* are positions created by the Board of Aldermen. They have duties unique to their field of expertise.
They all have three things in common.
1. They are all appointed by the Mayor and approved by the Board of Aldermen.
2. They are the highest paid positions in the city**.
3. None of them live in Raytown.
The cost of these eight positions to the tax payers is $497,333.12** annually.
That figure DOES NOT include the cost of insurance, auto allowances, or federal and state employment taxes paid by the city. It is fair to say that the pay out by the taxpayers comes to well over half a million dollars a year.
All cities within the Metropolitan Kansas City area have residency requirements for their department heads. All cities, that is, except for Raytown.
The reason for having department heads live within city limits is simple. It fosters pride in the community. It also helps for those individuals to learn about the community they serve and give them the experience and knowledge to help make sound management decisions.
A good example is the recent debacle on Willow Street. More than likely, a department head who lived in the city and was aware of the ebb and flow of traffic in residential neighborhoods, would have known better than to turn a two way street into a one way street. What is worse, when the decision was made to create a one way street, it was pointed In the wrong direction.
A QUESTION OF PRIDE
I am reminded of an experience I had when the city hired its first City Administrator. The Mayor at the time was Jack Nesbitt. The Board of Aldermen had just hired our first City Administrator, Andy McCown.
The Mayor took me aside and confided that Andy, who was relocating from the Denver area to Raytown, was having trouble finding a house suitable for him in Raytown. I told the Mayor that Andy would just have to look harder. The majority of the City Council agreed.
Mr. McCown found and made his home in Raytown.
The lack of pride in the community by the current City Council baffles me on this subject. I have yet to hear one reasonable explanation as to why the city has been set on this path.
The collateral damage of this poor decision to not use the tool of residential requirements when hiring department heads is also economic.
As stated above, over half a million dollars leaves this city each year to places like Lee’s Summit, Raymore, Gladstone, Kansas City, Shawnee – even as far away as Harrisonville!
Do the math. The above collectively works out to over $240 per hour that is being taken out of the city because the Board of Aldermen does not have a common sense rule regarding residency requirements. This loss of revenue is part of the collateral damage to the city's bottom line at budget time.
Last year for Thanksgiving, we reviewed a KILLER workout DVD that promised a huge calorie burn, which was, you know, totally appropriate for a day that is centered around food and watching football. Earlier this week, Erin gave some great tips for tackling the table on turkey day, but we also wanted to get some reader feedback on this day of thanks.
So today we are sharing what you do to be healthy and happy on Thanksgiving. We recently polled ourTwitter followers and Facebook fans for their Thanksgiving day rituals, and here’s what we came up with.
mnupp: I used to organize a football game in my hometown, but last year nobody had a football. This year, we’re turkey trotting.
jacaranda67: Every Thanksgiving morning, I walk 5 miles around a nearby lake.
HealthyLoserGal: Not a ritual, but I’m doing a 5k turkey trot fun run/walk to benefit a local food pantry on Friday morning after turkeyday!
befitnpretty: Family 5K Turkey Trot!
Runeatrepeat: My Thanksgiving fitness ritual is running on the treadmill while watching the Macy’s Parade. I rack up the miles!
FitnessToGo: Me and my parents (in their 60s) run our annual family turkey trot around town, which is 4 miles.
LenetteNakauchi: I give my muscles some recovery time by sleeping in! LOL.
spring4fal: I like running the Thanksgiving Day 5k with my 13-year-old daughter. Helps feed the hungry. Slam dunk!
Love2Mags: I do the turkey trot! This year my brother is running with me! He’s a great runner.
Sandy ‘Maloy’ Gaier: I walk the local 5-mile turkey trot in the AM.
Christine Case: I’ll be in Punta Cana this Thanksgiving!!!
Christina Stetler: Last year I ran a mile Thanksgiving morning. It got me in the groove of running and lead me to run my first 5k and 8k this year.
Cristin Slattery Chao: I just signed up for my first ever two-hour turkey day spinning class! I just hope I don’t have to eat standing up!
Hope LaFrazia: I usually try to teach the turkey day spinning class.
Patty Jasper: My gym has a super duper all in one cardio session (combo of Body Step, Body Pump, full-body workout) that goes just less than 2 hours on the morning of Thanksgiving. It’s packed, and it’s a great class. I’m already looking forward to it.
Chrissie Balding Tune: I always start the day off with a turkey day 5K! It makes me feel better about all that eating (and drinking!) I’ll be doing later on.
Jenny: This year I’d love to start the day off with some relaxing yoga, which I’ve recently taken up. I think it’s going to be crucial to centering myself before what is always a hectic day. It’ll also save me some calories if I can cut back on the wine! After the feasting, I go for a powerwalk with the dog and wind down with some stretching.
Happy Thanksgiving and happy fitness holiday rituals to all no matter what they may be! And thank you, dear readers, for coming back day after day! We are most thankful for you.
Jenn Walters and Erin Whitehead jointly publish Fit Bottomed Girls. To read more of their thoughts on lifestyle choices and fitness go to Fit Bottomed Girls
Raytown Holiday Lighting Ceremony
Mark your calendars for the Raytown holiday Lighting Ceremony held in Downtown Raytown. This year's Ceremony will be held on Friday, December 3, 2010 from 6:15 to 7:30 p.m. Meet at the Pocket Park located at the Southwest corner of 63rd Street and Raytown Road.
Please join Santa Claus and his elves and the downtown businesses as they kickoff the holiday season in Raytown.
The Holiday Lighting Ceremony includes the lighting of the Pocket Park, the arrival of Santa Claus and holiday music provided by Little Blue Sing-O-Gram Team from Little Blue Elementary School
Tour Open Houses in the Downtown Businesses Visit Santa inside UMB Bank and listen to music provided by Raytown Community Band Flutes Hop on a hay ride around downtown Sit by the fire at 62nd Street and Blue Ridge Boulevard (across from Mr. Goodcents) and listen to holiday music provided by the carolers. Stop by the Gingerbread House at 62nd Street and Blue Ridge Boulevard (across from Mr. Goodcents) to enjoy a cookie and sip some cider.
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 . . .
Last week's polls asked readers to "grade" the five aldermen up for re-election next April. The poll question(s) set a historic high water mark for poll participation in the Raytown Report. The results are interesting. Some members received high positive marks while others received high negative marks. Here are the results . . .
How do you rate Ward 1 representative Joe Creamer's performance on the Raytown City Council?
Good: 22% Fair: 9% Poor: 51% Don't Know: 16%
How do you rate Ward 2 representative Jim Aziere's performance on the Raytown City Council?
Good: 15% Fair: 21% Poor: 54% Don't Know: 7%
How do you rate Ward 3 representative Charlotte Melson's performance on the Raytown City Council?
Good: 29% Fair: 27% Poor: 27% Don't Know: 15%
How do you rate Ward 4 representative Pat Ertz performance on the Raytown City Council?
Good: 53% Fair: 10% Poor: 24% Don't Know: 12%
How do you rate Ward 5 representative Michael Lightfoot's performance on the Raytown City Council?
Good: 23% Fair: 35% Poor: 23% Don't Know: 17%