Sunday, December 19, 2010

Every Picture Tells a Story . . . MADONNA AND CHILD The Madonna and Child collage on the right was created by students of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish School located in Raytown, Missouri.
Each class created a portion of the image which was then assembled into the finished product.
The full scale work of art can be viewed in the reception lounge at the west entrance of Our Lady of Lourdes Grade School.
To all my readers and contributors to the Raytown Report . . . God’s love and peace to you and those you hold dear on this Blessed Christmas.
Greg Walters
Candidates for public offices in the City of Raytown, the Raytown School District, the Raytown Fire District and the Jackson County Water Supply District No. 2 have until January 14th to file for public office. For more information and to see who has already filed use this link: Raytown Public Office Filing Information The Salamander Returns! This week’s lead editorial comes from the pen of that wily master of the English language, the Salamander. It is in response to a number of editorials written by Yael Abouhalkah of the Kansas City Star. The subject is the Kansas City Earnings Tax slated for election next April 5th. Dear Yael, In the "profound observations" section of your editorial page you confided a hope that you will be able to continue the barrage of pleas for a "no" vote on the Kansas City Earnings Tax next April. Don't worry my friend. I am confident we will have many an opportunity to see that staid, age-old photograph of firemen in front of a burning building. Or, that equally ancient photo of a police officer standing by a wrecked car. A nice touch if you are going to resort to intimidation. I, personally, would prefer a somewhat different approach. How about listing the salaries of all the K.C. City Hall employees who are drawing a salary in excess of $150,000.00 annually? Last count published by the Star was in the high hundreds! Or, you will love this one and I feel certain it would get a good reaction from readers: How about a photograph of the City treasurer or whoever gives out the money at city hall handing one of the ball team owners an annual check $2.6 million dollars as a sign of our city's "good faith" in their teams. We have apparently been doing for two score and ten years. Why? A gesture of good will, we are told. Try this: A list of all the elected and retired or tossed out of office public officials who are drawing pensions? I personally believe no one, without exception, should draw a pension for serving in an elected office. Being an elected official is an honor itself. Something as crass as money should never pollute the picture. Back to the 2.5 million annual handout to the ball teams. . . . I know. I know. Right now your answer is: "2.5 million is not a lot of money in the overall picture." Perhaps that's correct but I would bet my teeth that if someone handed you 2.5 million you would exclaim, "That is a lot of money." It's all in one's perspective. As for the Earnings Tax itself. Try a little transparency. It is not just an Earnings tax. It is a THIRD INCOME TAX. To call it anything else is blatantly misleading. We certainly would not want to mislead anyone about the euphoria having a third income tax shoved down their throat would we? I realize, Yael, the possibility exists you sincerely believe the city cannot go on without the third income tax. Kansas City will not only exist, it will prosper. Kansas City was a vibrant city for more than a hundred years without an Earnings Tax. I have not seen that much improvement during the last 45 years with one. In fairness to the subject you should point out the tax will not terminate all at once. It will go out during a ten year period. Surely, there are effective mechanisms governing programs which can be developed over a ten year period to equitably replace money needed to run the city. Kansas City will survive. Who knows, maybe we can stem the flight of businesses and residents to the State of Kansas who are fleeing the Earnings Tax. And not having to give large corporations enticements (aka; kick-backs) to keep them from leaving Kansas City, Missouri. My suggestion is that you and the rest of the editorial board quit playing "chicken little". The sky will not fall when Kansas City’s third income tax is abolished. The Salamander Final Anaylsis . . . by Greg Walters Last week one of our rival news sources in Raytown ( we won’t say who, they can sell their own product) made some disparaging remarks about a press release from Ward 2 candidate Robbie Tubbs. It seems the editorialist (we will refer to him as “M.D.”) took exception to Ms. Tubbs’ remarks about how much the Raytown Board of Aldermen increased property taxes back in 2009 when Jackson County devalued home prices in the Raytown area. In her press release Ms. Tubbs wrote, “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.” In response, M.D. opined, “As editor I do reserve the right to clarify and or examine any ‘facts’ cited in any press release or literature . . .” Sounds reasonable. Let’s examine the “facts”. In 2008 the tax rate was 48 cents per hundred dollars valuation. In 2009 the tax rate was 55 cents per hundred dollars valuation. That's a 13% increase. Here is the formula for those who want to check it out: 55 cents – 48 cents = 7 cents 7 cents / 55 cents = 13% Score one for Robbie Tubbs. Her numbers check out as to the percentage of the increase. M.D. then argues that since the County lowered property tax values in Raytown that the city was allowed under state law to increase the tax rate. That is true. But what M.D. “forgets” to write is that Raytown was not the only community who saw property values fall. In fact, a large portion of Jackson County properties were adjusted downward. A number of school districts increased their rates. But the City of Raytown is unique as it is the ONLY city that increased its tax rates. Even Jackson County, which was the hardest hit of all government entities, did not raise their property tax rates. That’s right, the increase was not mandatory! The Board of Aldermen did it all by itself! The bottom line on this subject is that our property values were lowered. The Board of Aldermen increased the tax rate. As a result you dug deeper into your pocket to pay your taxes. We had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Tubbs at the recent Crime Watch meeting held at Raytown South High School. Her press release says she has a degree in Business Administration and is the Accountant for the firm she works for. She struck us as a well-informed candidate who is eager to serve her community. On the other hand, M.D.’s convoluted reasoning in trying to explain away one of the major crimes foisted on the people of Raytown by the current Mayor and Board of Aldermen smacks of extreme partisanship. Final analysis: Robbie Tubbs – 2 M.D. - 0 Grapefruit Glam by Erin Whitehead I try not to go too extreme for vanity these days. No tanning beds (eek!) or fake nails (ouch!) for me. But plenty of women are willing to go to extreme lengths for beauty, according to recent findings by the Florida Department of Citrus. The investigative fruit squad recently released findings of the “Grapefruit Guide to Glamorous Moments Poll,” which reveals American women’s true confessions about preparing for life’s glamorous moments, including weddings, first dates and reunions. One interesting finding? Two-thirds of women who try to lose weight for a glamorous occasion admit that they have followed a fad diet to get quick results. Women! We know better! Aim for healthy eating and activity for the long term. Or I’m coming after you. Merry Christmas From the FBGs! by Jenn Walters No matter what race, religion or background you have, here’s wishing you a healthy and happy holiday! Take some time to sit back, relax, enjoy good food and spend some time with the people you love in your life! And, for fun, check out a post we did last year that teaches you how to say “Merry Christmas” in darn near any language! We promise, you’ll be the envy of all your friends! Happy holidays! —Jenn & Erin 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 Last Week’s Poll Results Should the City of Raytown loan $850,000 to pay development costs of a new Aldi's Store? Yes . . . 30% No . . . 66% Not Sure . . . 3%


Andy Whiteman said...

This describes Raytown which has a "Holiday" tree lighting without stating which holiday:

Twas the month before Christmas
When all through our land,
Not a Christian was praying
Nor taking a stand.
See the PC Police had taken away
The reason for Christmas - no one could say.
The children were told by their schools not to sing
About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.
It might hurt people's feelings, the teachers would say
December 25th is just a ' Holiday '.
Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit
Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!
CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-Pod
Something was changing, something quite odd!
Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa
In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.
As Targets were hanging their trees upside down
At Lowe's the word Christmas - was no where to be found.
At K-Mart and Staples and Penny's and Sears
You won't hear the word Christmas; it won't touch your ears.
Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty
Are words that were used to intimidate me.
Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen
On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton!
At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter
To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.
And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith
Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace
The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded
The reason for the season, stopped before it started.
So as you celebrate 'Winter Break' under your 'Dream Tree'
Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.
Choose your words carefully, choose what you say
not Happy Holiday!
Please, all Christians join together and
wish everyone you meet
Christ is The Reason' for the Christ-mas Season!

Andy Whiteman said...

I wasn't at this years tax hearing because it was on a bad day, but last year the city used illogical logic of stating that "the mill level is rising, but the amount collected is staying the same." That is nonsense to me. If my property value goes down, obviously my taxes should go down.

I still ask: Did the City of Raytown learn from Dictator Obummer or did Obummer learn from Raytown? Tax the people into poverty and spend money until we are into bankruptcy. This is a totally insane economic plan.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I agree Andy. The double-speak from city hall would make George Orwell proud.

Do you get the feeling that our city council is hoping that no one pays attention?

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:14am
Of course they're hoping no one pays attention. Why else would they vote on the tax increase on a Friday night? They could have done it at a regular Council meeting, but they thought they could sneek it through by voting at a special session. WE ARE NOT AS STUPID AS THEY THINK!!!!!

Pat Casady said...

It only makes since that someone would put down
Mrs.Tubbs. after she in more qualified than more
than half of the aldermen we have now. Certainly
more than Aziere. Any body with a degree in business
is more worthy than most on the board.
Not belittling house wife's and retirees but, I would
take a person with a degree in business over the rest
in a heartbeat.
I don't know who M.D. is nor do I care. What I do care about
is the people of Raytown electing a good, honest and caring
person that will look out for the people and their tax
dollars for a change.
When looking at a candidate please think..what has the
incumbent done to make your life in Raytown better?
Have they raised your taxes? Has your property values gone down?
How safe have they made your neighborhoods? Lastly, what have
they done to lower the crime in Raytown?
Remember these are the people that want to cut the police budget and
cut city services. Doesn't sound like they have you and your family
in mind does it?

Andy Whiteman said...

Need I repeat we are surfs living in the Fascist Fief of Raytown. The BOA, just as Dictator Obummer, doesn't care what the people want. They are smarter than the people.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I see what you mean about people taking Christ out of Christmas. just left the Raytown C2 School District page. The announcement on the page says that they are closing the schools down for their annual Winter Break!

The laugh of it is that the same school district, city and country that enforces idiotic rules so as not to mix religion with state also bend over backwards to celebrate Martin Luther King Day.

Which is fine -- but wasn't his message as much about religion, tolerance and loving each other as that same message at Christmas and Easter?

I see that the city of Raytown went so far as to enclose a flyer with its sewer bills about a local celebration at a -- you guessed it -- a church!

For Christmas the City had a flyer put in about the Holiday Celebration at the Green Space!

Maybe they will change Martin Luther King Day to "be kind to your neighbor day".

Robbie Tubbs said...

Mr. Casady,
Thank you for your kind words. If elected as Alderman for Ward 2, I pledge that I will make the people of Raytown my number one priority. You have a right to expect your elected officials to do what is right for you, not the big corporations.

There are hundreds of businesses in Raytown. When the vast majority of the business owners started their businesses, their either dug into their own pockets or took out a loan from the bank for their start-up capital. They didn’t go to the city for a loan. They certainly didn’t expect the residents of Raytown to pay higher sales tax to cover their expenses. The same should apply to the big companies. If the little guy can do, the big guy can, too.

You have a right to live in a nice neighborhood. You have a right to expect your neighbors to work just as hard as you do to keep your property looking nice. If we keep our houses painted and our grass cut, we can start to take pride in our community again. This standard should be for everyone. The select few should not be allowed to ignore the law. When one of my neighbors read the article in the Raytown Times and learned that I was running, he said, “We have codes up the wazzoo, yet the guy next door won’t cut his grass and the city won’t do anything about it”. There has to be a way to fix this.
We have a good police force in Raytown. There just aren’t enough officers on the streets. As the revenues from the Public Safety Sales tax come in, we’ll be able to hire more officers.

As I talk with residents of Ward 2, I hear repeatedly that when they call City Hall and leave a message, no one calls them back. I will call you back. I may not know the answer to your question or problem, but I promise I will find out. It may take awhile to resolve your problem, but I guarantee I will do everything I can to help you. That’s what you’ll be electing me to do. You have every right to expect it of me.

Andy Whiteman said...

Robbie, As a suggestion have you introduced yourself to businesses in Ward 2? It means a lot to business owners when an Alderman or candidate actually contacts a merchant to ask their opinion.

Anonymous said...

Part of the problem is "business" is involved with all levels of Government.... why do you want this involved with Government? I don't want it!

Anonymous said...

Heard a most unsettling rumor last week. The House of Pancakes want the abandoned gas station at Raytown Road and 350 Highway torn down. The developer who owns the property says he does not have the money to do it.

City Hall has talked about creating yet another thax to tear it down! or even worse, using the transportation sales tax dollars to pay for it.

That money was promised to us to be used to improve our neighborhood streets.

When they build the new parking lot is city hall going to use the tar and gravel covering that has replaced asphalt overlay on our streets?

Hey city hall. My driveway needs to be repaired. Why not create a tax to pay for tearing it out and replacing it for me!

Pat Casady said...

Business is just a word with many definitions.
The most important in this case is, "The area of
economic activity that includes trade, commerce,
finance and industry." This is the understanding of
how business works. It would mean that when a big
company comes in and promises the world to our
Board of Aldermen, they could see through the BS
and not be taken like the in the Wal-Mart deal.
Remember there were promises of more businesses along
350hwy. We were even told there were seven new businesses
just waiting for the building on the south side of 350hwy.
Our BoA were told that other businesses would build close
to Wal-Mart. Promises, promises, promises.
The then Board of Aldermen agreed to giving away over
twenty percent of this towns total income. A good
knowledgeable business person would never have fallen for
this. Greg Walters, a businesses man, was the only alderman
to vote against this hurtful deal.
So yes, I'll take a business mind over a normal citizen
any day. Business people have to work within a budget.
They don't spend or give away their money without careful
consideration or the knowledge it won't hurt their business.
Also, most business people won't let themselves be
snookered by fast talking developers and lawyers. They can
think for themselves and aren't the normal "yes" men or
women. Again I have nothing against the elected officials
of Raytown but, I don't have much respect for some of the
sad decisions that have been made.

Anonymous said...


No surprise to me as David Bower is all about giving our money away.

I question why he doesn't get on codes to start going after this property owner. I have yet to find one of their properties in Greater Kansas City that is properly maintained.

We all know that is not the case in Raytown.

We have codes on the books to address this issue. If it comes down to it we need to use tax dollars to cleanup the mess then put a lean on the property and add the amount to the tax.

After 3 years if this property owner doesn't get the tax paid than request that the property go up on the auction block for back taxes. I am sure some other developer would love to get the property for a song and dance.

We cannot allow friends of David Bower like David Block to hold the city hostage for the deliberate neglected he has decided to take regarding the care of property they own.

We all need to contact David Bower at home and let him know we are tired of the games he and his friends are playing with our city and our tax dollars

David can be reached at 353-4915

Andy Whiteman said...

4:21 AM, I was referring to the small, local, mom and pop businesses, not the big box stores.

10:04AM, Is that number ever answered or a call returned?

1:57 PM, How about calling Martin Luther King Day, "I had a dream day?" The current administration both city and Federal is operating entirely on dreams with no hope of reality. No disrespect to Dr. King, but this city and country are going downhill fast.

Andy Whiteman

Robbie Tubbs said...

Mr. Whiteman,

I have talked with some business owners and managers in Ward 2. After the first of the year, I plan on visiting more businesses. I am trying to get a feel for the problems they are experiencing and how some of the decisions made at City Hall have affected them.

This was a great suggestion, Mr. Whiteman. Since I’m new to campaigning, I’ll take all the suggestions I can get. You help is much appreciated.

Robbie Tubbs

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:14am



Anonymous said...

I do not know who put the business about I Hop on here but it's is untrue. Block is going to tear down the carwash and the old Amaco without the city giving any money away. It's a done deal so who ever you are get your stories straight before you say something. I checked today just to make sure I was right. It's in the contract.

Andy Whiteman said...

Robbie, Please call me Andy. From previous posts here, I know business owners dislike lack of contact with their aldermen or those running for election. Some may be supportive if they like what they here.

Looks like RPD had a slow day!

Daily Neighborhood Watch Report
Crimes within 5 miles of Raytown, MO
DECEMBER 19, 2010

No crimes to report.

Lee said...

Greg, I'm going to disagree with your math. Based on those numbers, the increase was 14.58%, not 13%. You should be dividing the 7 cents by the existing levy at the time, 48 cents.

Anonymous said...

I hope you are right about the Amoco, IHOP, etc.

But tell me, is this the same contract that says we will have development on 350 highway south of the new Walmart BEFORE the new Walmart is opened?

Does the contract say that Bloch will remove the existing street that runs south of the old Amoco station?

I didn't think so.

Don't fall for that old trap at city hall of only being given half of the information.

As for the contract between Bloch and City Hall. If this part of it is honored it will be a "first" in a long line of broken promises.

Let's revisit this issue when the wrecking crews are tearing down the building, the street is being dug up and see who is really paying for all of it.

Anonymous said...

Speaking about getting your stories straight,
Block has already been paid to remove the
station and car wash. It was part of the W-M deal.
However he is getting money from your tax dollars
to build the Ihop. By the way did you know that
the people of Raytown had to come up with over
a million dollars to pay for the W-M bonds? That
running total to have this store in town is over
1.8 million in bond payments. That doesn't count the
lost tax revenue being lost monthly. Not only did
our elected people give away tax income but they
made us the taxpayers pay the difference in bond

Anonymous said...

And that is why instead of nice smooth asphalt on your streets they have used tar and loose gravel that doesn't really repair the road, just cover it for a few more years of life at a less than acceptable level.

Tired of broken promises? So am I. that is why next April if it is an incumbent and running for office I will not vote for him or her.

Andy Whiteman said...

7:34, You and I will be part of the very few who vote. Remember our city officials are elected by a very small minority of the citizens.

Looks like the criminals or on Holiday vacation for the 2nd day in a row:

Daily Neighborhood Watch Report
Crimes within 5 miles of my address, Raytown, MO
DECEMBER 20, 2010

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

From the KC Star this morning. In a story by Yale T. Abouhalkah about property tax rates in the K.C. area.

"The last house was mine, and it was the highest on the list because the Raytown School District had the most expensive property tax levy of any other school district checked -- almost 28 percent higher than the Kansas City School District. And the Kansas City district rate was higher than those for the Blue Valley, Shawnee Mission and Olathe districts in Kansas."

Greg Walters said...


I think the mistake was mine on the website. I believe I have recovered the new page in its entirely.

My apologies.

Andy Whiteman said...

Greg, No problem. With my disability, I have a difficult time finding the newest string and after checking several, finally decided that there was an issue. I never trusted Google anyway. I won't use the Google pay system because they track everything.

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...

The Post Office has a sign "CLOSED CHRISTMAS DAY." But the royal palace at 10000 E 59th St has a sign "CLOSED FOR THE HOLIDAY," with no mention of which holiday. I really feel that the Fasist fief has no right to close and give employees paid days off when they are unable to name the holiday. What is wrong with out elected leaders? This is poor management of taxpayer's money.

I wish all on this blog who recognize Christmas, a Merry Christmas. Please drive savely. Even locally the roads are likely to be dangerous.

Merry Christmas,
Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I think it is the same mindset that calls an undeveloped city block of land the green space instead of something that actually has some character.

For those in need of a "holiday" (since Christmas will apparently not do) here is a greeting for you.

Happy Festivus.

But remember, Festivus, like the term "holiday" was developed directly in response to an event that happened a little over two thousand years ago. My gosh, we even date our calendars from that date!

Guess it goes to show that no matter how much you twist and turn it the real meaning of the "holiday" comes out.

Anonymous said...

If you're going to call people names Andy it is, at the very least, polite to spell them. It's fascist.

Also, memo to the Salamander. The Star lists everybody's city salaries here. Have at it.

Thanks Greg and Merry Christmas.