Tells a Story . . .
I heard one of the local weather guessers say that this winter has been one of the coldest on record. No one will argue that!
Spring training starts in about two weeks. It is a sure a sign of warmer days and shorter nights.
The picture was taken at the Royals Spring Training facility in Surprise, Arizona. The game was between the Dodgers and the Royals . . . The Royals won!
-- BREAKING NEWS --Van Buskirk Withdraws From Mayoral Race Ward 4 Alderman Bill VanBuskirk withdrew his name from the race for Mayor earlier today. According to his wife, Mary Jane VanBuskirk, her husband withdrew because of a recent illness which prompted his doctor to recommend that he reduce the amount of stress in his life. When asked if this meant that Mr. VanBuskirk was considering resigning his seat on the Raytown Board of Aldermen she said that her husband will fulfill his commitment to the voters and finish his term in office. Van Buskirk's withdrawal leaves two candidates for Mayor in Raytown. Incumbent David Bower and challenger AK Khan. A Question of Residency by Greg Walters The day to day business of the City of Raytown is run by the city’s Department Heads. Two of those Department Heads, the Municipal Judge and the Chief of Police are elected to their positions. The other Department Heads are appointed by the Mayor with approval of the majority of the Board of Aldermen. This article is about those appointed Department Heads. How Much Do They Cost the Taxpayers? Appointed City Department Heads collectively earn $525,054.00 in take home pay from the City of Raytown. This figure does not include costs to the City for pensions, health insurance, state or federal employment taxes. So it would be fair to say that the final tab for their services runs approximately $600,000 annually. It is also a fair argument to say $600,000 leaves the community annually with their paychecks. The reason is simple . . . Only one of those Department Heads call Raytown “home”.* They live in other cities like Kansas City, Lee’s Summit, Raymore, Shawnee, KS and beyond. One lives in Harrisonville! When they go home in the evening they take the money they earn with them. - Their real estate property taxes are not paid in Raytown. - Their personal property taxes are not paid in Raytown. - They do not pay the Raytown neighborhood kid to shovel the drive or mow the lawn. - They do not use local Raytown merchants in their day to day shopping. - They do not do their grocery shopping at the taxpayer supported grocery stores in Raytown. The fault here is not the Department Heads. You would expect employees anywhere to look out for what they consider their best interest. Uprooting their families and lifestyles would be a big change for anyone. The problem is a situation the Mayor and Board of Aldermen have allowed to develop. There Is No Place Like Home Many years ago I took a property nuisance complaint (a collapsed out-building in a residential neighborhood) to the Department Head in charge of the city’s Codes Department. He reported back that the building was “acceptable by Raytown standards”. I was upset by his conclusion and questioned how he could even make such a judgment since he did not live here. He had no answer. I am happy to say that particular department head no longer works for the City of Raytown. As it turned out, he took another position in another city. Incidentally, when he took that position in the “other city” he was required to move to that city and take up residency as part of his job requirement. A Question of Community The lesson learned is simple . . . When you are not a part of a community it is easy to begin to view that community as “less” than where you call home. It is why most major cities in the metropolitan area require their senior department heads to live within city limits. Residency requirements give the Department Head a stake in the community. In turn, the community will gain a working relationship with leaders to work for a common goal. That common goal is called pride. It cannot be earned with just a title. When it comes to pride in a community it is something you must live. . The Solution The Raytown Board of Aldermen (and in this I include the Mayor) should reverse their policy on residential requirements of appointed department heads. At the very least the policy should be changed for new hires. More importantly, they should stand by that decision and not waffle on it. A decision made by the Board this past year is a good example. The current City Administrator was hired with an understanding that within three years he would move to Raytown. When the time period came up, the Mayor and Board of Aldermen granted another three year extension on the deadline. Our City Fathers really showed some nerves of steel on that one. Both parties had three years to prepare for the inevitable. Then both parties quietly walked away from their promises to the people of Raytown. Attrition in the appointed Department Head positions at Raytown City Hall will solve the problem if our elected officials will have the intestinal fortitude to stand by their decisions. *The list of Department Heads was determined by using the published list of “Appointed Department Heads” from the City of Raytown’s official website. Salary amounts were obtained from Raytown City Hall. The Director of Emergency Medical Services, does live in Raytown. His salary was deducted from the total used. Don’t Diet: 16 Reasons Why by Erin Whitehead 11 Comments We loved this article from over at Daily Venus Diva. The author, Golda Poretsky, a holistic health counselor, gives a fabulous list of reasons not to diet. As we aren’t fans of the dreaded D-word either, we thought we’d share. If you’ve ever wanted reasons not to diet, read on, sisters and brothers, read on. What’s Wrong with Dieting? We are constantly bombarded with dieting program ad campaigns and magazines that tout the achievements of people who have lost weight. We’re constantly told that if we’re not vigilant, if we don’t keep up the struggle, if we don’t measure and write down everything we eat and pay for packaged, calorie-counted food then our bodies will fall apart and we’ll gain hundreds of pounds and no one will ever love us etc., etc., etc. About a year ago, I developed this list to support my clients in finally getting off the dieting roller coaster. Refer to this list often. Refer to this list whenever your friend calls you up and tells you about another diet that’s working for her. Refer to this list whenever another Weight Watchers mailer arrives in your mailbox and has you believing that this time, it might work for you. Refer to this list if intuitive eating appeals to you but doesn’t quite make sense yet. Forward this list to every unhappy dieter that you know (just be sure to credit Daily Venus Diva). 16 Reasons Not To Diet Many diets support the use of non-nutritional, highly chemicalized foods like fake fats and fake sugars. These chemicalized foods negatively affect body chemistry, cause low-level undernourishment and often encourage overeating when the dieter gets the signal that s/he is not getting properly nourished. Diets have such a high failure rate that they really are a gamble with a low chance of success. Why not just play Keno? If you look at the fine print of most studies on diets, they will tell you that—despite potential immediate success in limited numbers—diets have a 90-99 percent long-term failure rate. People lose some weight, only to find their weight creep back up, often surpassing their initial, pre-diet weight. Even the “successful” dieters often don’t keep all of their weight off. Dieting gives dieters the message that they cannot trust their internal sense of what nourishes them. This distrust of internal signals affects other aspects of a dieter’s life, where they seek external approval and control of their non-food related actions. The diet industry has a deep interest in the failure of dieters. If everyone got skinny, they’d go out of business. Dieters’ self esteem is often tied to their weight—they feel good about themselves when they’re losing weight and bad about themselves when they’re gaining weight. This is a particular problem given item No. 2, if most dieters regain the weight they lose, they spend much of their lives feeling bad about themselves. The diet system reinforces low self esteem in dieters by making them feel like they have no “willpower” when they have diet lapses. In actuality, diets encourage people to ignore their internal will in exchange for the perceived will of the diet industry. This out of control feeling reinforces low self esteem and makes dieters feel out of control in other areas of their lives. Rather than being about nourishment, food often becomes about reward and punishment for dieters. They let themselves have a “treat” because they’ve been “good” on their diets and deprive themselves when they’ve been “bad.” Food is a necessary part of life. When food is about reward and punishment, we override our internal cues about what our bodies actually need. Diets cause dieters (who are often women) to revolve their lives around food rather than other things that may really matter to them (relationships, careers, social issues). Who knows how many great ideas, inventions, beautiful relationship etc. the world is missing out on because so many of us are so obsessed with dieting. Diets cause a lot of body hatred, particularly when the dieter isn’t losing weight. Dieters tend to see their bodies as wrong and problematic when they’re not seeing the “results” they want. But really, body and mind are connected, and this false conflict creates a great deal of unhappiness. Diets often categorize foods as good/okay vs. bad/forbidden. Just like our culture’s genesis story revolves around a woman eating a forbidden food (the apple), it’s human nature to want what’s forbidden. Thus, it’s no wonder that dieters often crave forbidden foods even more once they are forbidden, and then hate themselves for eating those foods (maybe because they’re made to feel as though they’ve caused all of humanity to become sinners). Diets encourage what I like to call “lottery thinking.” Most dieters know that diets haven’t really worked for them nor most of the people they know, yet they think that some new diet is going to make them thin, and they’ll finally be in that tiny successful group. This creates a great deal of disappointment for dieters who are constantly trying to achieve something that is nearly impossible. Most diet programs are expensive. I cringe when I think about the money that I and my friends and family have spent over the years on Weight Watchers, special shakes and diet pills! For some people, diets are like Band-aids on deep scars. For people who really overeat and eat unconsciously, they often eat to numb their feelings and consciousness. Their issue is not really “portion control.” In fact, they often are too controlling of themselves and their emotions. Diets assume that all fat people eat too much. They don’t account for the fact that people come in all shapes and sizes, and that a person’s weight is not always an indicator of overall health. The weight loss/gain cycle created by dieting is more stressful on the body than just being plain, old fat. Diets work on a scarcity principle. Diets make dieters focus on lack, tell them they can only have “this much and no more” and that to want more is a bad thing. Because dieting is so all encompassing, this scarcity principle often filters into other aspects of dieters’ lives. They begin to see lack and scarcity in their relationships, in their jobs and in the world. 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 support elimination of the Kansas City Earnings Tax? 66% . . . . Yes 32% . . . . No 2% . . . . . 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