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 WaltersCandidates 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%