Candidates for the public offices in the City of Raytown, the Raytown School District, the Raytown Fire District and the Jackson County Water Supply District No. 2 opens on Tuesday, December 14th. For more information about filing for public office use this link: Raytown Public Office Filing Information
The following list of candidates filed is current as of 5:00 p.m., December 14, 2010.
FILING FOR OFFICE April 5, 2011 Municipal Election Mayor - 4 year term expiring April 2015 David Bower Bill Van Buskirk City Collector - 4 year term expiring April 2015 Kathie Schutte Alderman Ward I - 4 year term expiring April 2015 Joe Creamer Alderman Ward II - 4 year term expiring April 2015 Robbie Tubbs John Jacob Jim Aziere Alderman Ward III - 4 year term expiring April 2015 Duane Basham Alderman Ward IV - 4 year term expiring April 2015 Pat Ertz Alderman Ward V - 4 year term expiring April 2015 Michael Lightfoot
Street Lights and Public Safety by Greg Walters
About six years ago the City of Raytown hired a firm to conduct a survey in Raytown. The plan was to find out just exactly what they people in Raytown wanted for their tax dollars. It covered everything. Parks, police, sanitary sewers, ambulance service, tax collection, if it had anything to do with Raytown city government, it was on the list. The city paid over $50,000 for the survey.
By far, the most requested and number one concern was the need for adequate street lighting in our residential neighborhoods.
The Board of Aldermen responded by providing funding for a small number of street lights with more promised for the following years. That lasted one year. The following year the Board removed the street lights from the city budget.
Last Monday night a group of about 50 people met at Raytown South High School to discuss ways to fight the increasing crime rate in Raytown.
Four Board members showed up*, as did the Chief of Police.
The participants broke into discussion groups. The first item brought forward was the need for more street lights. This was immediately countered with the worn out excuse that there is no money in the budget.
*Board members in attendance, Bill VanBuskirk, Michael Lightfoot, Steve Mock, Pat Ertz.
What are the Board’s Priorities?
Last summer the Raytown Board of Aldermen agreed to an economic development package to entice an Aldi Grocery Store to locate in Raytown. The package includes an $850,000 “loan” from the City of Raytown to the development project – plus – a 1% additional sales tax to be paid for by anyone who shops at Aldi’s. The revenue from the additional sales tax is to be used to repay the loan. The money from the loan is for the developer to pay for construction/development costs such as the store, parking lot, sewers, etc., needed to build the Aldi’s Store.
Raytown taxpayers have spoken very clearly that they want more street lights. The Board of Aldermen spent a lot of those tax dollars to find out what the people wanted. The desire for more street lights to make our neighborhoods safer has since been repeated at every crime watch forum held by the City this past summer.
So why isn’t the obvious being done?
Because the Mayor and Board of Aldermen say there is no money in the budget?!?
Wait a minute. Are these the same men and women who agreed to “lend” $850,000.00 to an out of town developer to build a new Aldi Grocery Store?
Don’t buy the “no money” excuse. There is money. It is a question of setting priorities. It is a question of what is most important.
Another excuse from City Hall for the lack of street lights is that they are an ongoing expense. The lights are owned by Kansas City Power and Light. The city pays the utility for power and lights on an annual basis.
That is correct. There is an on-going expense. The taxpayers also pay “on-going” taxes for proper street lighting. So where is the problem?
Is the safety of our neighborhoods as important as a fourth grocery store on a one mile stretch of 350 Highway? You be the judge. Next April the Mayor and half of the Board of Aldermen are up for election. You will have your chance to hand down your verdict at that time.
PROPER LIGHTING / NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH
A representative from the Raytown Police Department was in attendance at last Monday night’s “Step Up and Step In” Crime Watch Meeting. Two items dominated the discussion. One was the obvious need for all of us to get to know each other, keep an eye on our neighborhoods and call the police whenever anything seems out of place.
The other was to increase the illumination around out homes.
It is a documented fact that areas well illuminated at night have a lower incident of vandalism and burglary than those areas without lighting.
Four examples come to mind.
Check out the lighting at Raytown City Hall and Blue Ridge Elementary. It is bright enough to play baseball at night on those two parking lots. Check out 67th Street across from the old Walmart. When the City last budgeted for street lighting, Chief of Police Jim Lynch was instrumental in having those lights put in place to combat what was once a high crime area.
Another example is Coleman Park. I am personally familiar with the decision to install new lights in a park that was once plagued by vandalism and vagrancy. I sponsored this action which was adopted by the Board of Aldermen despite a moratorium then Mayor Sue Frank had placed on new street lights in Raytown.
In all of the above-mentioned scenarios the incident of crime has decreased dramatically.
If it works for public properties, our schools, city hall, parks and streets, then it will work in our neighborhoods. Crime watch programs are a good idea. It helps if you have enough light to see what is going on. So spend a few dollars to light up your property – even if it means just leaving a porch light on at night.
ROBBIE TUBBS ANNOUNCES CAMPAIGN FOR WARD 2 ALDERMAN
Robbie Tubbs announced her candidacy for the Ward 2 Alderman seat on the Raytown Board of Aldermen today.
Ms. Tubbs is a 12 year resident of Raytown. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration and is the Office Manager of Mobile Hydraulic Equipment Company, located in North Kansas City, Missouri. Ms. Tubbs is a member of St. Bernadette’s Church. .
“Our property taxes keep going up, and our property values keep going down,” said Ms. Tubbs. “When my opponent in this race voted to raise our property taxes after the County had devalued our property . . . well, let’s just say it was then that I began to seriously consider running for Alderman of Ward 2,” continued Tubbs.
On August 28th of 2009 at a Special Friday Night Session of the Raytown Board of Aldermen the City Council voted to increase property taxes by 13%. The new rate set an unprecedented high water mark for Raytown Property Taxes.
“I was disappointed that my Alderman did not stand up for the people of Raytown,” said Tubbs.
When I talk with residents in Ward 2, the issues of taxes, code enforcement, a rising crime rate and the lack of city services are a common theme.
An article in the Kansas City Star placed Raytown’s sales tax as the second highest in the metropolitan area. Tubbs sees the increases in the sales tax as tied directly to tax incentives the city has handed out to large corporate concerns in Raytown.
“If you check your sales receipt at Walmart you will find Raytown’s sales tax leading the KC area at 9.1%,” said Tubbs.
Ms. Tubbs says she is happy to see new businesses coming to Raytown. But she believes it is not the local homeowner’s job to underwrite these new businesses with increased taxes.
When asked to sum up her candidacy Ms. Tubbs said, “I just want the people of Ward 2 to know that if they elect me as Alderman, I will not forget that my first responsibility is to them, not an out-of-town commercial developer.”
Ms. Tubbs is a long time observer of the politics of Raytown City Hall. This is her first attempt to run for public office.
Very Supersticious by Jenn Walters
We’ve already determined that running long distances regularly turns your mental state a bit freakish. And today I’m going to share with you a few more freak-tastic things that marathon training has done to me. I figure it’s not good to keep these “idiosyncrasies”secret, right? (And I have a feeling I’m not alone…)
Weirdness #1: Food: I have never spent more time thinking about what I’m eating—not because I’m obsessed with gaining weight or eating perfectly—but because I’m so attuned to how that food will affect my run. And now that my “short” runs are now no shorter than 5 miles, a bad run isn’t a quick workout to fight through; it’s a full-out hour-long torture session to endure. And life is too short to suffer through, so I like to eat healthy foods that are easy for me to digest and don’t weigh me down. I used to be a pretty regular breakfast-lunch-dinner kinda gal, maybe with a snack or two here and there, but now I am a mini-meal queen. Five to six times a day, I’m noshing on some fruit or veggies with protein. It keeps me full, energized, and makes the next run that much better. Sadly for Yellow Tail, I’ve also cut down on my wine consumption, limiting myself to a glass or two only one or two nights a week. I am a changed woman, I say. (If you’re reading, I still love you Yellow Tail chardonnay! You are my favorite deliciously cheap wine, and we will reunite in 2010!)
Weirdness #2: Getting Ready: Going to a party? I can get ready in 10 minutes flat. With a shower? Thirty minutes, tops. I am VERY proud of my get-ready speediness. How long does it take me to get ready for a run? Well, ahem, that’s a different story. I timed it last week. From getting up on a Saturday morning to eating breakfast, loading up my ipod withpodcasts, Aquaphor-ing my feet to prevent blisters, filling up my water bottle with Gatorade/water, packing myhydration pack with my cellie (you know, for texting muscle-buildup purposes) and ID, strapping on the heart-rate monitor and GPS watch, digesting food, checking this awesome what-to-wear tool and FINALLY kissing the hubby and pup goodbye before I leave the house for 3+ hours, it takes me an hour minimum to get ready to run. Wait, isn’t there a Dixie Chicks song about that? I really should add that to my getting-ready-to-run playlist…
Weirdness #3: Thinking Everyone Is As Obsessed As You Are: I have been CONSUMED with training for this marathon. Everything I decide to do or not do (see weirdness #1 above) relates to running. Do I want to go to happy hour? No, I have to run. Do I want free wine at lunch? No, I have to run. Do I want to meet Brad Pitt? Um, can I do it after I run? Seriously. And every morning when I go into work, I give everyone not only the mileage on how far I ran but also how it felt. You know…because they care. Or they just like to watch the crazy. Yes, a lot of people in my life are right there in the obsession with me: my husband, my best friend who’s virtually training with me, FBG Erin and my parents (albeit in a “Don’t kill yourself, we love you” kinda way) are all interested. But others? I forget that they’re not. I drag them along for the ride anyways. If you’re within six feet of me, I WILL discuss my training with you. You’ve been warned.
Weirdness #4: Sleep/Rearranging of Schedules: I have always loved my sleep. Like even in grade school, I’d put myself to bed and tell my parents if I was ever up past my bedtime. I was weird, still am. And now that little I-heart-my-sleep grade schooler is even MORE obsessed with getting her ZZZs. It’s not uncommon for me to be in bed by 9 p.m. or even 8:30 p.m. Heck, when you have to run 9 miles at 6 a.m. the next morning, you start seeing your night differently (and you’re really tired if you already got up that morning at 5 a.m. to run 6 miles). Sure, leaving a warm bed is tough in the wee hours, but it’s the best time of day for me to get it done. And seriously, how bad-ass is it to have run 10 miles by the time you get to work at 9 a.m.? Again, see weirdness #3.
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
LINKS TO OTHER RAYTOWN NEWS SOURCES . . .
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
To catch up on Raytown High Sports use this link Raytown High School
To catch up on the Raytown Police Blog go to Raytown Police Blog
To view Raytown Crime Statistics go to Raids on Line