Sunday, June 19, 2011

Paul Livius
Raytown Board of Alderman Meeting by Paul Livius

June 21, 2011

There were many Raytown residents who addressed the Board of Alderman at this meeting. If I misspelled anyone’s name, I apologize in advance.

The invocation was given by Pat Windham of the First Baptist Church of Raytown.

• During the open comments to the Board, Joel Riesehanger said he was with the Raytown Amateur Radio Club. They are setting up behind City Hall this coming weekend and will operate for 24 hours. All are welcome to come and experience amateur radios.

• Larry Hayden asked the Board if they could set it up so that residents could get the Government channel through ATT U-verse. Mayor Bower asked if anyone from Communications was present. No one answered, so Mayor Bower said he would check into it.

In his statement to the Community, Mayor Bower thanked Beth Linn and said she will be missed. She developed the City’s animal Control Plan and did a good job at it.

Mahesh Sharma, City Administrator, said he agreed with the Mayor. 

Sharma said, "Beth Linn has done a good job for the City. She took her department to the next level. She reorganized Neighborhood Services. He also said that the Raytown EMS Services received 100% rating on their license review. Because the Raytown EMS were the first responders in Joplin after the tornado, they received a letter of recognition from Governor Nixon."

Police Chief Jim Lynch and Captain Frank Stranimier spoke to the Board about Emergency Preparedness. He said the outdoor warning sirens had been outdated, but now all sirens have been upgraded. He said that if the residents are indoors, they may not hear the sirens. The outdoor sirens were never meant to be heard indoors. They are to warn residents who are outside when severe weather strikes. Residents should tune into their television or radio stations when indoors. They should also invest in a weather radio. He said residents can purchase weather radios from Price Chopper at a discount. Residents can also sign up for NIXLE, a service that warns users of imminent weather.

Sign up at This works like a reverse 911 that sends alerts to cell phones or pagers. He urged residents to have a disaster plan in place, complete with food, water and clothing. Captain Stranimier said the aging radio system is a challenge. An upgrade to the radio system is necessary. The cost for the upgrade will be somewhere in the neighborhood of $2,000,000.

Alderman Aziere said that when Raytown was hit by the ice storm in 2001, the Board of Aldermen met at 2:00 in the morning to discuss the budget.

• The Board appointed Yulunda Cohee and Elander Hale to the Human Relations Commission.

• The Board authorized the opening of a bank account at UMB Bank for the Community Development Block Grant Administration.

• The Board authorized the purchase of Police uniforms as budgeted.

• The Board authorized the Prosecutorial Agreement between Raytown and Ross Nigro, Jr. Jeremy Willmoth said Mr. Nigro is the City Prosecuting Attorney. Raytown has more dockets and more cased per docket than other cities. Because of this, the City has agreed to raise Mr. Nigro’s salary from $24,659 to $28,000 annually.

• The Board authorized the Mayor to enter into an agreement with Grandview and Sugar Creek for the administration of the Neighborhood Stabilization program. Beth Linn said that 25% of home purchasers must be under the average income level. Her research indicated that income level to be $24,700 for a one person household. She said the rebates for appliances won’t be passed on to the property owners, due to IRS regulations.

• The first reading to grant a conditional use permit for a Residential Care Faculty at 9706 E. 79th Place was heard. This facility will care for six senior citizens, and must be licensed by the State of Missouri. Ms. Debra Thomas spoke to the Board and said this will be a long-term residential facility for elderly so they can be in a home like setting. There will be staff on the premises 24 hours a day. Larry Saden stated he was concerned that the commercial operations take down property values. Victor Smedley said both his in-laws were in Ms. Thomas’ facility and were given good care. Willie Chamers said he supported Ms. Thomas’ facility. Diana Hammel has relatives under Ms. Thomas’ care and knows all residents will receive loving care. Connie Hunt, from Lee’s Summit, said her mother received excellent care at Ms. Thomas’ facility.

• Alderman Aziere said there is a difference between a facility that cares for the elderly and one that cares for Alzheimer patients. He asked if the facility has a pulley system to assist resident who can’t walk to get into and out of the tub.

• The second reading will be on July 5.

• The Board heard the first reading to amend Chapter 13 of the City Codes relating to dismantled, inoperable, junked and unlicensed vehicles in commercial areas. These vehicles must be in a building or behind a screened area unless the business is licensed for vehicle sales or repair. Alderman VanBuskirk asked if a licensed mechanic would have to put unlicensed vehicles in an enclosed area if they are being worked on. Beth Linn stated that if the body shop or mechanic has a vehicle dismantled while it was being repaired and can be moved on its own, it would not have to be enclosed. Alderman Van Buskirk said he was concerned that they were creating problems for legitimate businesses. He was also concerned about the tractor trailers parked on commercial lots, especially behind Block Buster and Taco Bell.

• The last order of business was to appoint John Ness to the Policeman’s Retirement Fund.

Raytown's Gateway Stump

Fix It or Decorate It! by Greg Walters

The picture at left is of what remains of a tree at Raytown’s premier Gateway Entrance located at 63rd Street and Blue Ridge Cutoff. 
We first noticed that the tree was not doing well about a month ago when its root system had loosened so much that the tree was in danger of landing on vehicles in the turn lane. The police must have noticed it as well because a short time later the tree was gone . . .  well, almost gone.

The tree should be replaced. Or, at the very least, remove the unsightly stump from the traffic island.

We’re not sure who is responsible. At one time the City and the Park Department had an agreement by which the Park Department was to maintain traffic islands. In fact, a number of traffic islands have signage that says certain areas are maintained by Raytown Parks and Recreation.

We have sent copies of this story and the accompanying picture to Ward 1 Aldermen, Shane Pardue and Joe Creamer, (after all, the intersection is located in Ward 1) as well as the Mayor and the Director of Raytown Parks and Recreation.

We are sure they all agree that proper maintenance of Raytown’s streets and intersections deserve high priority.

It has been a month since the tree was cut down. Fix it or decorate. 

Greg Walters
Better Late than Never by Greg Walters
Ward 4 Alderman Pat Ertz has sponsored a bill that would regulate used car dealers and auto repair shops in Raytown. The city has received numerous complaints about junked and inoperable vehicles allowed along 350 Highway.

Mr. Ertz’s solution is simple. The ordinance would require the same regulation for the storage and licensing of vehicles on commercial property as it does on residential property. 

Automobile repair shops would be allowed to have inoperable vehicles on their property. However, such vehicles would have to be concealed from public view.

The ordinance, if properly enforce will go a long way to cleaning up Raytown’s busiest commercial corridor.

Paul Livius
Questions from Paul by Paul Livius
Since I am the new kid on the block at the Raytown Report, I thought it appropriate that I reach out to the readers to see what they want in the way of news coverage at Raytown City Hall.

I cut my teeth a couple of weeks back by writing some reports on what is happening at Raytown City Hall by giving an account of regular meetings of the City Council.

I believe in letting the actions and words of our City Council, Mayor and other City Officials speak for themselves.

It is my plan to continue with that reporting style.

I’ve given some thought to expanding that coverage to Committee meetings and meetings of the Planning and Zoning Commission as well. Since it is quite a bit of work, I thought I would see what you, the readers, have to say about it.

So, blast away and tell old Paul what you expect in the way of news coverage at City Hall and I will do my best to make it happen.

“Inspired” to Run (with a Giveaway!) by Jenn Walters
EDITOR’S NOTE: The Giveaway portion of this story closes on Tuesday. The average number of individuals participating in the giveaway program is 100. So if you are interested in the giveaway – read on, quickly!

Although, in my mind, Mizuno is one of those sports-apparel brands that the “real” runners wear (sort of how I feel about only Ironmen being cool enough to rock designer sport sunglasses—yet this could be just my inner-sports-fashion hangups projecting onto others), it turns out that they pretty much have apparel for any and all, no matter... Continue reading

O’Hara’s Spencer is MVP by Brother Richard Geimer

The Missouri All Stars won the Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association All-Star Challenge high school game 21-13 over the Kansas All Stars at Southwick Stadium Complex on June 16th.

Raphael Spencer was named the game's most valuable player.

The Archbishop O'Hara High School running back was part of the reason the Celtics went to this year's football quarterfinals and he had an outstanding day in the All-Star contest.

In the second quarter, Spencer broke free for a 71 yard touchdown run from scrimmage that put the Missouri team ahead by two touchdowns.

In the final quarter when only eight points separated the two teams, Spencer was called upon to help run out the clock and keep the ball out of the Kansas players' hands.

He carried out his mission with four carries eating up thirty valuable yards.

The Missouri team was able to convert three times in a row on third and short situations and Spencer came through on two of them.

The defenses for both teams played well and whereas the Kansas defense did give up three TD's, the Missouri defense held their opponents to one touchdown and two field goals.


Anonymous said...

Re: The tree stump:
I drive this route about once a week, but since I report gas prices, my focus is on QT and traffic not code violations. I had to look at the photo a long time to see what was wrong.
Agreed, it is customary to cut tree stumps to the ground. It is a safety hazard a pedestrian could trip on or a vehicle could hit if the driver doesn't see the stump. I know vehicles shouldn't be there but drivers do strange things or may make a sudden swerve for an unforeseen reason.

Replacing the tree could be extremely costly since the old stump will have to be removed causing a street and medium dig or a dig in a different place for another tree. I think that is a bad location for a tree anyway. Nevertheless the stump should be cut to ground level ASAP! In my opinion, it is a 10 minute job with a chain saw.

@Paul, I appreciate your reporting on BOA meetings. The P&Z meetings will take a lot of your time. If you are willing to take the time, I and I am sure others will read it. It will give insight to what is going on before it may get to the BOA. I was invited to attend but don't have the time.

Andy Whiteman

KMCCLA said...

With the weather events we have seen occur in Joplin, Sedalia, Boston and other parts of the country, everyone has heard of Amateur Radio playing a rose in communications and volunteer work with the various public service agencies. You may now see what “ham” radio can do.

Raytown Amateur Radio Club will be participating in the annual Field Day exercises June 25 and 26. This will display for the public what Amateur Radio is capable of doing if the need arises. The Club will set up and operate a large radio station for the two day event which demonstrates their capabilities to communicate under emergency circumstances.

The Raytown Club will set up and operate stations that use voice, morse code, VHF, and satellite communications. The event is sponsored by the American Radio Relay League and the National Association for Amateur Radio. Stations from all over North America will participate. They are graded according to how many other stations they are able to make contact with and how well they demonstrate Amateur Radio’s capabilities.

The Raytown Club normally ranks very high, in the top 25 stations, out of 2,000 to 3,000, that will participate nationally. The Raytown operation is the largest in Missouri and the entire Midwest. The Raytown operation will be in the field behind Raytown City Hall, 10000 E 58th St. in Raytown and is open to the public. For more information, contact Steve Lufcy (816) 353-6705, or go to

Anonymous said...

I went by the site of the cut down tree tonight. We were lucky that a strong wind didn't topple the tree before it was cut down!

I noticed that there is a grate that could be removed to allow work in the area of the tree, but from my experience, digging up a stump is very expensive. It should be cut down to ground level, the grate removed, and bricked in so no one trips or falls into the grate.

I still feel the center of the street is NO place for trees.

Sav-A-Lot is now open!

Gas prices 7:30PM $3.49:
QT 63rd and Blue Ridge
QT across from Hy-Vee
Conoco Raytown Rd. at the one way bridge.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate amateur radio. It is a vital communication function encase of various emergencies and even non-emergencies. During recent tornadoes and earthquakes people have been using Face Book and other internet functions. I don't consider the internet to be 100% reliable to function during emergencies because it is dependent on land lines and electric power which may be interrupted. Under ordinary circumstances, the internet may still become very contrary.

A phone patch may be used to provide a telephone connection to areas without telephone service either for emergency or non-emergency use.

I appreciate the time, expense, and effort put forth by amateur radio people.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I commend Mr. Ertz for trying to do something about the junk cars along 350 hiway but as you already know the city does not do anything about junk cars in neighborhoods now what makes us thinks that they will do anything about the hiway. As I remeber the same ordiance we have for the neighborhoods is also for anywhere in the city.

I believe the Parks Dept. is responsible for the tree. Even if it were the contractor his warranty is probably void by now. Usually trees only have a one year warranty.

Anonymous said...

Back to the parade and Fall round-up-days issue from last week's post, how does the Chamber get their money? Dues? Fundraisers? Since it is almost July 4th, it made me wonder what groups have fireworks tents and what do they do with their money. Do they net much? Whey couldn't the chamber use that as a fundraiser to sponsor community-wide events? Seems like they did this many many years ago...

KMCCLA said...

Andy, if you can, come on out, we can even put you on the air on our GOTA (Get On The Air) station. Everyone is invited to come out and see what we do. We will begin at 1:00 PM Saturday to 1:00 PM Sunday. We also would like to have elected (an) official(s) to show up, perhaps one of the Aldermen.
We also will be demonstrating various of things, like satellite contacts, and message handling.

When all else fails, there is Amateur Radio.

Anonymous said...

The Gateway Stump! I like it. I wonder if Randy B. will pick it up and cover in his Raytown Times?

I bet you dollars to donunts that city hall doesn't do a thing about it.

After all, most of those who would give the order to thave the stump remove don't live here.

Why should they care if stuff likes this makes Raytown look like part of a ghetto?

Andy Whiteman said...

The city wastes a fortune on Gateways that only serve only a cosmetic purpose. They look nice, but are otherwise totally useless and a waste of taxpayer's money. At least one of them came from a highway grant. Totally wasteful!!! I opposed them from the beginning.

Now there is the stump. @Greg, I would be interested in your posting the response(s) you receive.

BTW: If Randy B. publishes the story, he should give Greg credit for the story and a mention of the URL to this blog.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I think the mayor likes being the mayor of a subur ghetto community. The plain truth is if he didn't he would be on some one at city hall to get this city cleaned up. We are waiting for you answer this Mr. Mayor, as we all know you read this blog

Anonymous said...

The new Sav-A-Lot has opened. A word of warning. You have to pay a quarter if you want to use their shopping carts. Also, they put your groceries back in your cart. Even if you bring your own sacks. You have to sack your own stuff. I have trouble walking and I need help getting the sacks to my car. They won't do that. The clerks are not helpful or friendly. I won't go back. There are too many grocery stores that have customer service.

Anonymous said...

3:14PM, Both Sav-A-Lot and Aldi are based on the no service concept. You don't pay a quarter for the cart. It is a deposit which you get back then you return the cart. That means they don't have to pay an employee to fetch carts. $$$$ saved. Aldi requires you to bring your own sacks and both require you to do your own sacking do your own sacking. Aldi has a work requirement that a checker must scan a certain number of items per hour when on the register, hence they don't have time to sack. Remember the American's with Disabilities Act. I suggest you tell the manager you have a disability and ask for assistance. You might have to point out that Federal Law requires a reasonable accommodation. I would think they would have had similar requests in the past. When I was in rehab, I had difficulty walking and felt more comfortable pushing the cart. The rehab leader asked me why I always volunteered to push the cart when no one else wanted to? That was the reason. I haven't been to Sav-A-Lot yet but have a $5 coupon and will go when they have a sale on something I want since I shop only sales. I don't carry money so have to remember to bring a quarter.
When I go to Lake Lotawana for dinner, I usually fill with gas at Phillis 66 on Colburn Rd just east of Hwy 7. I noticed I always get better gas milage there so asked the clerk about it. They hav NO ethanol in their gas in the summer and 2% in the winter. It is not worth a trip to buy gas but it is worthwhile to time the need for a fill up if going that way. BTW: I always fill facing the street to get the tank full. There is a slope facing the station that prevents filling the tank completely.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Another great move by our elected officials! I can hardly wait until the other cheap store Aldi's opens.

Anonymous said...

Again the Mayor acts like a BIG BULLY which by the way he is. The truck situation was brought up last night at the BOA meeting by Alderman Van uskirk and the mayor was nasty as always. I would like to see the trucks given permission to park a the city property on Westridge. Wonder how the Mayor would like that as well as the judge and Alderman Mock. Let them listen to what we have to listen to night after night. I hope and pray someone is planning now to run aganist this bully when his current term is up. About all Alderman Mock wants to talk agbout is the past and how Raytown use to be and not address the current problems we have.

Daniel Thode said...


As I do every summer, I am participating in the Big Brothers Big Sisters fundraiser and I need your help.

To entice donations, I am raffling off my personal floor seats to the Kenny Chesney Concert at Arrowhead Statidum. I will be holding the drawing at Fred P. Otts on the Plaza a week from Thursday. Tickets are $1 each or 7 for $5.

If you would like to contribute by cash or check, please email me at so we can make the appropriate arrangements for collection. If you would rather donate directly by cash you can go to the following website.

I understand times are tight but every little bit helps.


Daniel Thode

Andy Whiteman said...

Remember I said that I don't consider Aldis or Sav-A-Lot to be grocery stores since they don't have a full selection.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

The stump will be there next year at this time. Just call it a ghetto landmark!!!

Anonymous said...

I was alking to a teacher in our Raytown schol district. She said we need to come to a school board meeting to we could watch Bobbi Saulsbury sleep another great example of one who truly wants to improve the school system. I was also told that Markley is as bad as the previous administrator we had. Seems like we don't want to improve things we just keep hiring the same kind. Sorry for the kids who are there to learn.

Anonymous said...

geez, at least the fire ems merger or lack off was exciting, i see we are back to the same ol same ol. I was hopeing more facts would come out.

Anonymous said...

Just so you know you will have to pay that quarter at Aldis too but you should get it back when you put the cart back where you got it.

Anonymous said...

Customers of Aldis and Sav-A-Lot don't have to pay a quarter for the cart. Since the quarter is returned when you return the cart. I would term that a deposit, not paying. I told Aldis that I don't carry money and they told me that if I would come into the store, they would loan me a quarter.

BTW: The only credit card that Aldi takes is Discover and they charge 25 cents to use the card but they don't tell you about it. They just tell you to press the green button twice. One of the presses is to accept the 25 cent charge which they attempt to conceal.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Aldi and Save-a-lot are what are called discount grocery stores. They are bare bones, and do not have any services, that is how they can charge such low prices. There are only a few people working in the store, perhaps only three at the most. You have to pay for the bags, or bring your own, that or you can find boxes. You pay the quarter for the cart so that you will return it, so they do not have to go out and get the carts. If you want grade triple A service, go to a full service grocery store, and of course pay more. On the other hand, if you want to buy a case (24 cans) of canned goods, lets say green beans, you might pay about $8-10. Also, for the most part, they are as good as the high priced can goods. These type of stores provide fairly inexpensive stables like canned goods, paper products, and dairy at a price that people who are of lower incomes, and are not too proud and stuck-up to shop at a discount store. Why pay more, unless you have too, and like too?

Anonymous said...

8:38PM, Agreed, I like the prices of both Aldi and Sav-A-Lot but not the selection. Since I shop only sales, I go to various stores including the aforementioned depending on which has what I want. BTW: Sav-A-Lot has really cheap bananas at times. If they are green, I buy 6 or 7 and let them ripen.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Talking about an eye sore, the island between lanes at the 350 light in front of KFC, is littered with nothing but cigarette butts.
Thought we would get pretty flowers or at least shrubs to look at. Just saying............ Is this one of the gateways to Raytown or out of Raytown????

Anonymous said...

Discount grocery stores - Save-A-Lot and Aldi's. These are cheap stores because they sell low-quality food and do not provide many jobs to the community. I have tried most of their dried goods, canned goods, chips/crackers, produce, dairy, frozen foods and paper products. I have basically found every single item to be low quality and often their items have less product in the box/bag/can than "regular" grocery store items. I also like that I can see local high school kids getting their first jobs at Hy-Vee, Apple Market and Price Chopper. And I truly did miss the service. I don’t really enjoy grocery shopping, so nice service makes it more palatable. They are not for me, not at all.

Anonymous said...

Who is going to enforce this new code on commercial areas?

What I am trying to say is codes are not enforced now so why come up with new ones.

BTW I thought we already had codes about the trucks a Block Buster and Taco Bell. Heck, I have even see signs that indicate simis are not to use the parking lot to just park in.

So why is the city not address these code violations?

Anonymous said...

How many people stop their car at the medium in front of KFC and get out to check for cigarette butts? The person reporting this, should contact Public Works and ask them to clean the area up.

How about a Monument sign to mark the stump as the ghetto landmark?
BTW: Greg, have you had a response from the officials? I hope someone is going to take action.

The only quality issues I have is produce packaging at Aldi. I am not able to select what or how much I buy but must buy a whole package. I did get some cheap strawberries but was disappointed because they were insipid.

It is really necessary to watch container size. The first time I shopped Sav-A-Lot, I thought I found a good price on coffee. The can looked like the 34 oz can but stated it was 23 oz. I call that deception since most people don't read the size.

Andy Whiteman

KMCCLA said...

Point of correction -- it is Joel Grieshaber, not Joel Riesehanger.

Greg Walters said...

The Gateway Tree Stump is history.

I drove by Blue Ridge and 63rd Street this evening and -- it was GONE!

Don't know who to thank, but thank you for removing it.

The intersection looks much, much better.

Anonymous said...

Greg, I appreciate you calling someone in the city to action!

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Andy, its seems when there is a red light & I HAVE to stop according to law, you can't help but see them.

Anonymous said...

9:45 AM, I assume you are referencing the butts. When I am in that area, I am south bound on Raytown Rd making a left turn. Besides that I don't go around looking at the ground. I pay attention to traffic even if the light is red. I would have to get out and walk that area looking for butts if I were to see them. I wonder how many other people drive around watching the ground? Ever thought of reporting it to Public Works?

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

June 22 at 9:27pm,

Your idea about the trucks parking on the city property on Westridge is perfect. That way maybe the mayor, Alderman Mock and Judge Fann will be able to keep an eye on them to make sure safe and will kept on their to and from home.

We have an ordinance that states no parking of any truck over 28,000pounds can park over night or all weekend anywhere in Raytown. Not in commerical or residential areas.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone noticed the corner of 79th & Spring Valley, commonly known as the Gary Knabe Swamp? Well I have. because I have to live by it. Now it appears that he is using it as a place to dump brush. Why will our codes people not go after this irresponsible landowner? Maybe because he is a friend of Bowers? Raytown will never change, just keeping the good ole boy circle alive and well

Anonymous said...

11:45AM, Have YOU notified codes of this violation? Nothing will or can be done unless there is a complaint.

I am wondering what happens when you mix weeds with a swamp? I bet a really vile mixture.

I wonder why Mr. Knabe doesn't bring in a few truckloads of landfill and end the problem? It should be simple to resolve.

It should be condemned as a public nuisance. I suggest Swamp Knabe be put on Tom Cole's list for redevelopment. Anything would be better than a swamp.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Andy, That's a great idea! Tom Cole can declare it blighted, then get federal tax dollars to clean it up. Gary Knabe can also claim that sense its blighted, he qualifies for a tax abatement. Everybody wins.