Sunday, January 9, 2011

BREAKING NEWS . . . Two more candidates have filed for seats on the Raytoown Board of Aldermen. Incumbent Ward 3 Alderman, Charlotte Melson, filed to retain her seat on the City Council on Friday. Ward 4 also has a race with the filing of Michelle Williams for the City Council. City Hall will be closed on Monday, January 17th in recognition of the Martin Luther King Holiday. Any candidates wishing to file for the April 5th Raytown City Election must do so on Tuesday, April 18th. Filing will close at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday. For more information on who has filed for public office in the City of Raytown, the Raytown School District, the Raytown Fire District and the Jackson County Water Supply District No. 2 use this link: Raytown Public Office Filing Information Every Picture Tells a Story . . . So you think we have a lot of snow? The picture at right was taken in the Kootney Mountains, Canada, located about four hours north of Spokane, Washington. The area receives so much snowfall that it technically considered a temperate rain forest. The summers are dry, but the snowpack from winter keeps the mountain streams flowing all summer long -- creating a lush woodland for hiking. BOA Endorses Another Tax Abatement Last Tuesday night the Raytown City Council endorsed a new tax abatement for a fourth grocery store in Raytown. The owners of the now vacant Thriftway that had been located at Raytown Trafficway and 63rd Street were given an abatement of $800,000 for 10 years for a strip mall at that location. The main tenant involved with the abatement will be a Save-A-Lot grocery store. Save A Lot Stores lack grocery-store style shelving, instead presenting items in specially printed cut-out cardboard shipping cases on industrial-style shelving. Locations stock fewer items than a typical grocery store, about 1,250 items per store. Save-A-Lot's biggest rival in the no-frills market is Aldi. This action by the City Council is the fourth taxpayer supported abatement for grocery stores in the Raytown area. The other three stores to receive similar abatements are Walmart, HyVee and Aldi. The vote was not without public dissention. Raytown School District Superintendent Allan Markley and Raytown School Board member Rick Thode spoke against approval of the abatement. Both pointed out deep cuts into the bottom line of property tax revenue to the Raytown School District. Every time a tax abatement is granted the money is taken from the taxing entities within the geographic area. The abatement lowers the tax amount due to commercial interests to entice them to locate their businesses within the city. Tax abatements are considered by many to be counter-productive because they create an unlevel playing field for established businesses and eventually increase the tax burden of a city to residential home owners. The vote on the City Council on granting the abatement was nine to one. Alderman Shane Pardue cast the lone “no” vote. Walmart Sales Tax Breakdown A good number of people have asked me exactly how the sales tax collected at the Raytown Walmart is disbursed to different taxing agencies. The Raytown Report did some checking with Raytown City Hall and came back with the following breakdown on a purchase of $100 at the Raytown Walmart. Let’s say you go to Walmart and buy $100 worth of merchandise. The sales tax rate is 9.10%. That means you pay $9.10 in sales tax for the $100 you spend. Here is where that $9.10 of sales tax goes: $4.23 Goes to the State of Missouri $1.13 Goes to Jackson County 0.25 cents Goes to the Raytown Fire District 0.13 cents Goes to the Raytown Parks Department The following taxes end up paying for Walmart: 0.13 cents Goes to a Transportation Development District (TDD) 0.87 cents Goes to a Community Improvement District (CID) $2.36 Raytown Sales Tax dedicated to pay for TIF Bonds The following taxes end up in the City of Raytown coffers. 0.00 cents ALL of the city sales tax is dedicated to pay off TIF Bonds TOTAL SALES TAX COLLECTED = $9.10 Board Approves Grant for Urban Renewal In other action the Board of Aldermen approved the receiving of a grant for the repair of demolition and foreclosed homes. The grant, similar to programs operated by Housing and Urban Development (HUD), funds the repair or demolition of homes. The homes are then re-sold on the open market to buyers based on income levels. The vote was 8 to 2 in favor of the ordinance. Aldermen Van Buskirk and Lightfoot voted “no”. A similar program was adopted by the Board of Aldermen last year for housing on James A. Reed Road and on 87th Street. The program was not used because none of the houses qualified for it. Speaking of Politics . . . Two items of note here. At Tuesday night’s meeting the Mayor told Board members that if he were to vote on the tax abatement given to Save-A-Lot that he would support it. His reasoning was that the owners are trying to maintain their property and not letting it go as he said “the one at 53rd Street and Blue Ridge.” If they did not get the tax abatement, would the deal be dead? The property owners have done a good job of maintaining their property. Their occupancy rate (aside from the former Thriftway Store) is pretty high. It is a fair question that probably should have had more discussion. As one Alderman told us after the meeting, “In hindsight I wish we could have tabled the motion and held another meeting to clarify the concerns of the School District.” A lesson well learned. Next time someone pushes the panic button and says we have to move now on a money issue is probably a good time to sit back, reassess and move forward caustiously. Bottom line here is that the $800,000 will be made up by increasing other property owner’s property taxes over the next ten years. Most of those increases will be made up in residential property tax increases. Another interesting topic is the candidacy of Wayne Basham. Mr. Basham has filed for Alderman in Ward 3. He also recently received a 353 Property Tax Abatement for his business from the City of Raytown. Which causes one to wonder, since he is a recipient of an on-going property tax abatement, will he have to recuse himself on any votes if he is elected to the Raytown Board of Aldermen? So far, Basham is the only candidate filed for the Ward 3 aldermanic position on the April ballot. Hilarious Competitive Aerobics Action by Erin Whitehead 2 Comments The 80s were such a fun time in the fitness world, so we thought we’d flash back to the classic aerobics championships of yesteryear. This video is great, from the name of the group (the Bad Boys) to the booty slapping. Then there is the precision! The high kicks! The leg warmers on dudes! Seriously, what’s not to love about this? Embedding has unfortunately been disabled for the video (why they don’t want to spread this far and wide is incomprehensible) so you’ll have to click on the picture at left or go straight to YouTube. And yes, sirs, that is Alan Thicke as the host. Update! After writing this initial post, I watched an episode of Tosh.0 that featured a reunion with the Bad Boys! So watch the original clip.

Get Paid to Lose Weight? By Jenn Walters 4 Comments Losing weight can be hard work, but what if the reward wasn’t just a fitter bottom and a healthier heart (although those are AWESOME)?

What if you could actually get paid to drop those pounds? Would you be more likely to stick to that eating well and working out plan?

Maybe. According to a recent Journal of the American Medical Association study, those who had a financial incentive to lose weight were almost five times as likely to meet their goal when compared with dieters who had no possible cash reward. Five times! Want to get in on this new wellness trend? A few new websites are offering the rewards. Drop weight, gain moolah!

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 Do you think 2011 will see the economy . . . 23% Improve 26% Remain the same 32% Get worse 19% Who knows!

To post a comment click on the word comments below:


Andy Whiteman said...

The Walmart deal was the most stupid, idiotic thing I have seen. The old Walmart was 15% of sales tax income to this city. Now the city receives 0% but by my thinking it is really a negative tax flow because the city is providing city services and receiving no sales taxes at all In effect, the city is paying Walmart to be there. In my opinion, 9 of those votes were by those completely ignorant of the issue.

Greg, strange point about Basham. I say all of this without knowing who Mr. Basham is. I don't remember which TIF he received. Obviously he has to recuse himself if his TIF comes up for another vote such as a failure to comply with the agreement. He has a personal interest in that one, but others don't affect him personally. Likewise should the other Alderpeople recuse themselves because they DON'T have a TIF? Using your logic, all 10 should be recused from votes on a TIF. But who would approve or deny a TIF?

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

The danger with savalot is that the parent company is not really that stable. It has mountains of debt. Its bond rating is called speculative.

How do you spell "junk bonds".

It happened to GM. It happened to Circuit City. It can happen to Savalot. Mr. Pardue seems to be the only one who understands how importantit is when you make financial decisions to learn about the product you are buying.

The rest of the Board and Mayor are like wide-eyed tourist in Hollywood. Oblivious to the fact that a lot of what they see is smoke and mirrors.

Anonymous said...

Please vote these money give-a-way artists out!
It won't be long until Raytown moves back into the days
of dirt streets and no sidewalks.
Withou income how can they repair our streets?
You know it's bad when the huge spenders at the Raytown
School Board don't like it. It's almost like they know
the more tax money the city gives away the less chance they
have of picking our pockets.
Several years ago someone said they thought it would be better
if Kansas City to take over. Guess what! They don't want us!

Darth Seriness said...

With the latest snow, here a hint and tips from MoDot on how to shovel your driveway, and keep the snow plow from leaving that hump of snow in your driveway. It works because I do it. Another hint is to do it first, so if the plow comes while you are working, it will make it easier.

KMCCLA said...

Is it me or does it seem like Raytown Schools are closing quicker now days. When I went to Raytown C-2 some 25-30 years ago (mid 1970's to mid 1980's, would have been Class of '88 at South, but went to private school for my last four years), school closing was a relatively rare occurrence. Back then the "rumor" was that they would only cancel school if the superintendent could not get around in a 4X4 (or something like that). Not to say the today was not bad -- it was to some degree, but they now also close if it is going to be too cold. Raytown is one of only the few, and I think the only in this area, that keeps all of the busses inside, there is not ice to scrape, no warming them up, and perhaps a few other things that other districts do not have. I am not complaining per say, but it seems like even with the threat of snow, or cold weather, down they go. One of the "banes" of being in C-2 was we where one of the last to close. I checked tonight -- and sure enough, at 8:00 PM KMBC has it received that Raytown C-2 closed.

Anonymous said...

I bet you all shop at wal mart all the time. Helping to put the competition out of business. Thanks!

Andy Whiteman said...

Save-a-Lot is not getting the TIF. The developer made application and is receiving the TIF. It just happens that Save-A-Lot is the proposed tenant.

100% on the poll state they will vote in the next election. Are readers of this blog the only people who vote?

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...

I rarely shop at Walmart. Hy-Vee has lower prices on what I buy. About all I buy at Walmart is jerky treats for Red Dogg because they don't sell them anywhere else I have been at that price.

Tomorrow morning will be extremely cold with wind chill per the weather reports. I think the reason the schools are closed is so the children won't get frostbite and/or hypothermia while waiting for the bus. In other words, they are afraid of law suits.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

The bitterly cold weather will be hard on out pets. Please keep them indoors today. Domestic animals cannot withstand extended exposure to such extreme cold.

If you see an animal out doors for a long period of time please call Raytown Animal Control at 737-6000.

Anonymous said...

Liability and threats of lawsuits. That is the main reason for calling off school. Another added issue is people complained about the district not doing cancellations with enough 'advance' notice so that parents could make other plans for child care or to take off of work to do their own child care. Some businesses are getting flaky about parents taking off of work because of early school dismissals and inclement weather also, which doesn't help matters either. And the businesses are getting so stupid that they want a 24 hour advance notice to take off of work even for weather related issues. That is pretty stupid if you ask me.

The reasons for the bus barns are to keep the little 'thugs' in check so that they cant vandalize the buses, and to keep them out of the weather also.

It was not just a rumor, it was a fact that the superintendent of schools during that time period had a 4x4 and if he couldn't get around, then school would be canceled, which was a rarity.

Andy Whiteman said...

By William Spain, MarketWatch:
"Supervalu has been busily closing stores and exiting markets, leading a 4% drop in retail square footage in the latest quarter alone. In addition, the company is cutting costs elsewhere by, among other actions, asking some employees to take unpaid time off in the current quarter.

Supervalu’s new pricing strategy going into the December quarter suggested it would reduce prices faster than it lowered costs, according to Chuck Cerankosky of Northcoast Research.

“This is a company that had shrunk its retail sales base by about 15% over the last four years. The reason for that contraction stemmed from its steady market share losses,” he wrote in a research brief."

I wonder if Save-A-Lot will open this new store? The developer may have a problem.

Anonymous said...

you can sure tell that one post was written by anyone who has never owned a business!

Anonymous said...

The only time I shop at wal-mart is when I can't find it anywhere else and I mean anywhere else. I have driven miles not to shop at wal-mart.

Andy Whiteman said...

1st 4:06PM, Animals left in the cold is cruelty to animals. I sure would make an issue if they refused to respond. Maybe they are saying it is too cold for them to investigate.

I suggest you click on the Chain of Hope link on this blog then click on contact us. There is a phone number. She will come out and pick up the dog if necessary.

Andy Whiteman

Greg Walters said...

I don't know how many of those who visit this blog take time to check out the Raytown Police Blog link (located at the end of this week's post) . . . but there is some very good advice offered on the second posting entitled "Is That Cop Really a Cop". Posted on December 23, 2010.

It gives some very sound advice on how to be able to identify a law enforcement officer.

With so many opportunities offered by social networking (face book, etc.) it is a good idea to become familiar with (legal) ways to identify police personnel. The easiest is to call 911 and state that their is a police officer at your door or car -- a "real" officer will not object to the call.

A predator disguising himself as a law enforcement officer would object.

Anonymous said...

It is apparent that the elected officials both
city and school district don't have a clue what
bad economic times are. Our city was the only
city to raise property tax after all of Jackson
County property values went down. They along with
the school district, don't understand that everybody,
including taxpayers have to tighten up and stop spending
and giving away money. The reason other cities and towns
did not raise their tax base was because they don't have
the wasters and spenders Raytown has.
When stock markets and the economy fell what did our
school district do? They spent well over a million and a half of
your tax dollars on artificial turf! When we voted in
a new sales tax for street overlay's, that's new asphalt,
our city leaders lead by Christine White, gave the money
to Wal-Mart. I really don't want to say we in Raytown
are stupid but, we er-elected her to another term!
I guess we get what we deserve when we do stupid things like that. But, she's not the only bad
official we have.
PLEASE GET OUT AND VOTE! Ask your neighbors to vote.
Offer them a ride if they don't have one. We need a huge
change in the way this city is run.
Please, before it's too late.

Anonymous said...

School closings: I too graduated years ago (mid-70's) and remember few snow days. I have two opinions on why schools close quicker these days. First, many of our teachers live in other districts. If those districts close we close out of respect for our teachers who have children in school. I believe Raytown also follows Lee's Summit for the school calendar, again because so many of our teachers with children live there. This helps Raytown keep their teachers as they start families. Second, busses used to run two routes: high school / junior high and one elementary. Now our buses run four separate routes: high school, middle school, early-start elementary and late-start elementary. If the roads are bad, it is indeed the littlest ones who may be waiting for hours. We can't blame the little ones if their parents don't dress them warm enough to wait for an hour or more for the school bus – and we know many do not.

Side note: I have never been in the Wal-mart. If that is the only place that has an item, I just don’t really need it. Many also forget that Wal-mart was closing the store on Blue Ridge whether or not Raytown gave them TIF on a new one. There was so much hope for other growth with the new store; unfortunately the economy really hurt that hope. I don’t like Wal-mart and obviously don’t shop there, but I think that 15% in taxes would have been lost whether the new Wal-mart was built or not. Now, the services the city provides are another story… I just really hate hate hate the business it takes away from other locally owned businesses, their business practices, overseas purchases, benefits, etc.

Anonymous said...

Are our elected officials really stupid or prentending to be stupid and receiving $$$ under the table?

Andy Whiteman said...

I received the following email from Chain of Hope. They will check on any animal a person has a concern about:

Chain of Hope focuses strictly on abuse and neglect of animals. We do provide help for dogs and cats. We would be happy to check on the welfare of any animal a person is concerned about if they can give us a specific address. However we do not get involved with dealings with animal control so wouldn't be able to help in the aspect of them not responding to calls. Thank you for your email.
Chain of Hope"

Andy Whiteman said...

I suggest readers check the Raytown Police Blog for information about

Health Emergency Assistance Response (H.E.A.R.)


Postal Carrier Alert Program
Either or both of these services provide valuable assistance to seniors and disabled people, especially those living alone.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

The J.E. Dunn Project TIF Project in Kansas City will require an infusion of $200,000 of taxpayer money to keep from defaulting on its bonds. The city is already expected to pay in $10,000,000 (ten million) to keep the Sprint Center open.

If it can happen there. Can it happen in Raytown?

I wonder if the Walmart TIF is meeting its payments? Or is the city quietly dumping additional funds to keep it open.

It makes a difference. I see that the commuter bus service subsidy was cut by $40,000.00 by Raytown City Hall this year. That means longer waiting periods for those who use the service.

Wasn't that service part of a promise when we voted the transportation tax?

I wonder where that $40,000 went.

It seems the professionals at city hall have let us down again.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 6:37
The answer to your question, "is Wal-Mart meeting it's
payments?" Is a huge NOOOOOOOO!!!!! We the tax payers have had to pay over $1,800.000.00 of our dollars to pay for
the store that has ruined the small businesses in Raytown.
Wal-Mart hasn't yet made or collected enough taxes to make
a full payment towards the bonds. So you and I, thanks to our
city officials, have had to make up the difference.
Anyone else see the urgent need to vote out these losers?
Our town and the people should come first. We should not
have to finance multi billion and multi million dollar
I think this town should elect all new people, default on the
Wal-Mart deal that was made by people that were bamboozled by slick talking corporate BS artists. What are they going to do leave town?
I doubt that very much. They wouldn't even get anything from a
legal action.
Raytown needs to stand up to Wal-Mart and demand a better deal or
Raytown should consider keeping our police out of that business area.

Andy Whiteman said...

I believe that Walmart didn't make the first payment due to delayed opening. The city had to make the interest payment.

A friend who is a Financial Advisor said he would never recommend that bond to anyone. High risk!

As for the $40K, Jeremy Wilmoth should know if someone asks.

The Sprint Center was a bad idea from the beginning due to poor location. It should have been in a vacant, open area such as near KCI. I won't go there because of no parking and to much of a crowd downtown. I don't patronize any business in that area due to location.

The city should get out of the lending business. If a business want to open, great, but they should provide their own funding!

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

The Kansas City Sprint Center and our Wal-Mart deal was
the action of both elected people and hired city heads
of departments trying to leave a name for themselves.
The did! Too bad it wasn't a good name. Unfortunately
it is the taxpayers that have to pay the bills for bonehead
mistakes made by these egomaniacs.
Is it a coincidence that both of these mistakes were made during
the mayoral terms of female mayors? I doubt it very much.
I would like to point out they both had bad information given to them by their city administrators. But, if they are to take the good
they do and boast about it, then they have to stand up and take the
credit for the bad. By the way the two male mayors in this case
haven't done any better abd they make sure they have the final say.

Andy Whiteman said...

Since Walmart isn't collecting enough sales taxes to pay the debt, legal action should be taken against them.

I doubt that Aldi will retire their dept either.

I feel that withholding police service would be illegal. It would also be stupid since it would create an island of crime and an area where criminals could escape onto a no mans land. As an FYI, that "business area" has other businesses one of which is Westlake who stated that Walmart increased their business.

Personally I would like to see 100% turnout at the election.

Greg, Please publish the names of those voting for the idiotic Walmart give away close to the election.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Uh, are several of you here confusing the Sprint Center with the Power & Light District? The Sprint Center has been very successful. It has attracted MANY concerts and sporting events that would have never come to Kemper Arena. It has received ratings as the second busiest arena in America. The profit-sharing arrangment with Kansas City also had AEG (the managers) pay Kansas City over $2 million last year. It was primarily paid for by people who rent cars and hotel rooms in Kansas City, most of whom don't live here.

Power and Light is a different story. It has nothing to do with Sprint Center. Projections were clearly overestimated and construction took too long. I think it is a good concept but it needs more people to visit. Until then, Kansas City will have to continue the subsidies.

Anonymous said...

Correct me if I am wrong. But aren't the Sprint Center and the Power and Light District supposed to be joined at the hip.

It was a joint venture. If one half of it is failing -- that means it is failing.

Not a success story no matter how you twist it!

Anonymous said...

If the current mayor gets my vote it will depend on what he does and how he acts the next several months at the board meetings. Just remember I can detect a fake and liar and I will be watching and listening very close as are alot of other citizens,we are watching you!!!!