Saturday, July 30, 2011

August 7, 2011

Greg Walters
Early Meetings not Working as Planned   
by Greg Walters
One month ago Mayor David Bower announced that future committee meetings would be held at 6:00 p.m. immediately before regular Council Meetings. The state purpose was so that ALL members of the City Council could become better informed on the business before them. 

We doubted that the plan would work because of the early hour of the meeting. The early meeting time placed an unfair hardship on Raytowners who may wish to attend the public meetings. We also wondered if the meeting time was legal, since Missouri State Statutes require public meetings of governing bodies he held at time convenient to the public.

None the less, the Mayor moved forward with his plan.

The first thing we noted was that there was no roll call at the meetings. The reason became obvious. Very few Board members were attending. In fact, this last week’s Finance meeting before the regular Board meeting only half of the City Council bothered to show up.

Simple Questions / Evasive Answers
We also noticed that whenever a Board member has a question that goes into detail of any sort that the canned response from staff members usually goes along the lines of  “I will get you that information later”. Such was the case this past Tuesday when Alderman Charlotte Melson asked the Finance Director for the Bid Documents concerning which bank the city should use for banking services. The documents were not on hand even though that was the one of the purposes of the committee to meet – to review and recommend which bank to the city should use.
No doubt Ms. Melson was provided the information at a later time. But it defeat the purpose if such information is not timely and share with the public. After all, that is why the discussions are held in public, so that all of Raytown can understand the reasoning behind decisions.
Paul Livius recently pointed out to me that there seems to be a pattern of only giving out the bare minimum facts in web packets provided by the city for City Council meetings.
A similar discussion took place later that evening when Alderman Jim Aziere asked if a three-quarter inch sealant would ride as smooth as a two inch asphalt overlay (as used on freeways). The Public Works Director said that city traffic and freeway traffic were at different speeds and therefore a comparison would not be accurate.
Okay, how about if compared at the same speeds? Common sense dictates that two inches of asphalt will perform better than a three-quarter inch sealant.
The Board of Aldermen meets in Public Session to discuss business. One cannot help but wonder if omissions and less than fulfilling answers would be tolerated in other business meetings.
Short answer to this . . . The Board should expect and demand more accountability from those they have hired to run our city.
Park Board has Four Vacancies
An interesting bit of information is noted from The Paul Livius Report. The Raytown Park Board has four vacancies on their Board. At the last Board of Aldermen meeting the Park Board reported that they did not intend to fill the vacancies.

As Sherlock Holmes would say, “something is afoot”.

First of all, the Park Board does not fill the vacancies. The Mayor nominates and the Board of Aldermen vote to approve or disapprove the nominee.

In other words, the Park Board did not decide to not fill the vacancies. The Mayor did.
Which is his right as Mayor. But it does throw open some other questions.

During the meeting the Mayor and some Board members made quite a fuss about redistricting and how the city will be working with the State Legislature to make sure new district lines are worked out properly. They even went so far as to say that the Board of Aldermen has complete faith in those handling the plan.

Once again, “something is afoot”.

How so?

In this case the City Council is late to the party. The Republican and Democratic Caucuses in the state capitol have already completed their work of redrawing state legislative and senatorial lines. In fact, sources in Jefferson City say that the lines are so divergent from each other that the matter will probably be decided by the Courts. 

So there really is not anything to work out with the state on redrawing Raytown’s aldermanic lines. In fact, (and I speak from 27 years of experience on this), the aldermanic lines in Raytown rarely change.

That is unless the Mayor has plans to reduce the number of representatives on the Board of Aldermen.

It is known that Mayor Bower would prefer a smaller Board of Aldermen. The word on the street is that is exactly what the Mayor has in mind. Time will tell if the rumors are true.

Now, do the vacancies on the Raytown Park Board begin to make sense?

Check out this week's p0ll question to learn what your neighbors think of reducing the number of members on the Raytown Boafd of Aldermen.

Jenn Walters
Pregnancy Cravings, the Twin Effect and More! By Jenn Walters
From tips to make your pregnancy cravings a little healthier to shedding some light on “The Twin Effect,” there has been some great stuff over on Fit Bottomed Mamas! So, what are you waiting for? Go check it out! If you’re pregnant and craving junk food, try these tips for healthier eats for you and baby! Stronger arms in just three... Continue reading

P.S. I have to put in a shameless plug for my daughter-in-law’s website “Fit Bottomed Girls”. It is a very successful site promoting healthy lifestyle choices. While we were peddling her website received some free attention from JILLIAN MICHAELS on the biggest LOSER Web Cast. The response in hits to the website was so large that it exceeded the 200,000 limit set by the site and shut it down! You can access the site through my page or at www.fitbottomedgirls.com

Paul Livius

The Paul Livius Report 
Thursday, August 4, 2011
FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING
BOARD MEMBERS IN ATTENDANCE: Aziere, Lightfoot,  Melson, White, Mock

The Raytown Board of Aldermen met at 6:00 for a Work Session.  The first item discussed was the banking agreement.  Jeremy Willmoth reported that State law requires cities to send out bids for banking services every four years.  He said they were unsure when the last bid was sent, so they decided to do it this year.  Four bank representatives attended the pre-bid meeting.  Two banks, Commerce Bank and UMB Bank submitted bids.  After the staff reviewed the bid documents, they visited both banking facilities.  Since they had a good working relationship with UMB Bank, they awarded the bid to UMB Bank.  Alderman Melson asked to see the bid documents and Mr. Willmoth said he would provide them to her.  She asked when this will go out for bid again.  Mr. Willmoth said they would send out bids in four years.

Andy Noll, Public Works Director, came before the Board to discuss the 2011 Asphalt Overlay Project.  The city bid package included two bid documents.  The first was to overlay six streets using 2” thick mill and overlay mix.  The second bid was to substitute a ¾” thick Ultra-Thin Bonded resurfacing material on Raytown Road and Raytown Trafficway in place of the 2” asphalt. Both bids included concrete repair and paint striping.  The alternative bid called for 2” asphalt on:

  • 59th Street from Arlington to Blue Ridge
  • Harris from 72nd Street to 72nd Terrace
  • Hedges from Blue Parkway to 83rd Street
  • Woodson from 75th Street to 350 Highway. 
Raytown Road from 63rd Street to 74th Terrace would have the ¾” Ultra-Thin Bonded material.  Superior Bowen Asphalt won the second bid with a total cost of $465,044.  Alderman Melson asked if Raytown had used the Ultra-Thin material in the past.  Mr. Noll said we had not, but MoDOT and many other cities had used it with good results.  It has an estimated life of 10 years.  Asphalt has an estimated life of 10-12 years.  Mr. Aziere said when he travels on I-70, it is a very smooth surface.  He asked if the Ultra-Thin material would be as smooth.  Mr. Noll replied that it was not a fair comparison because the speeds in the city are slower than the highway.  Mr. Aziere also asked if the City would be using the gravel and oil again this year.  Mr. Noll said that we would, but it hasn’t been bid yet.

The meeting then adjourned.

Raytown Board of Alderman – August 2, 2011
MEMBERS ABSENT: Hamilton, Pardue, Ertz

The invocation was given by Steve Jones from the Brooking Heights Baptist Church.

The Board of Aldermen issued a Proclamation recognizing Pam Clark-McKinley as MML Citizen of the Year, 2011.

  • Andy Whiteman addressed the Board and said he had been notified that the signatures on the petition from the last meeting were verified by the City staff.  He said the early work session meetings were held at the wrong time.  He stated that 6:00 is dinnertime and residents don’t have a chance to get home from work, eat dinner, and be at City Hall by 6:00 for the special meetings.  He read in the Raytown Report that absent Aldermen were clueless about what happened at the work sessions.  He appreciated Paul Livius’ reports in the Raytown Report.
  • Jan Winn told the Board she is starting a pilot program called “Let’s Move” to fight childhood obesity.   On August 11th, at 4:00pm at the church across the street, they will have Camp Kids to show kids how to stay fit.
  • Mayor Bower said he hopes the Aldermen will join him at Camp Kids.  He knows they have jobs, but it would be good if they attended this event.
  • Mayor Bower also said that the Board had gone to the new work session format.  He thought the new format was working well.  The intent is to get communications to the Board.  The Legislative Committee has expressed an interest in joining the new format.  Mayor Bower asked Aldermen Aziere, Pardue, White, and Ertz to join with Committee Chair Lightfoot on the committee.  He said he has decided to form two new subgroups.  The first will be the Police Pension Plan Review Committee.  He appointed Aldermen Ertz, Melson, Hamilton and Van Buskirk to this committee.  The Police Pension Plan has not been reviewed by the Board since 2003. The second subgroup will be the Park Board Review Committee.  He appointed Aldermen Cramer, Mock, and White.  The Committee will research the organization of the Park Board as it pertains to State laws.
  • City Administrator Mahesh Sharma read a letter from Neil Clevenger.  Mr. Clevenger thanked the city for the quick response to the water main break at 5520 Railroad.  There was a very quick response from the Police Department and Public Works.  The cones were put up promptly and he was glad to see the different entities working so well together.
  • The position of Community Development director is still open.  There is no deadline to fill this position.  On July 22, they started reviewing about 50 applications.
  • His department has started working on the 2012 Budget.  The department heads have submitted their initial budget requests.  The new budget will be brought before the Board in October.
  • EMS reported there were five heat related transports last week. 
  • They have started on the upgrade to the data network service and hardware infrastructure with the installation of the new firewall.
  • Janet Pell retired from the Finance Department.  Joyce Wholer is now the primary Payroll Clerk.
  • The Legislative Committee is working on redistricting issues.  They are working with their own map and have the full support of the Board of Aldermen and the Mayor as to how Raytown should be represented.
The Board had a Study Session with the Raytown Park Board.  Present were Kevin Boji, Director, and Bob Smith, Park Board President.  State laws required the Park Board of Directors to make a report to the Aldermen about the Park Trust.  He explained the park structure.

  • The Recreation Division improves the quality of live for Raytown residents by meeting their recreational needs.
  • The Aquatics Division provide certified life guards and a well-trained staff to ensure the resident have a fun, safe and clean program.
  • The Parks Division maintains all park grounds, facilities, and equipment.  They also landscape areas in the public right-of-ways outside the park system.
  • They partner with the Tree Board, the Rice-Tremonti house, the BMX track, Raytown Girls softball and the Friends of the Park.
  • The parks maintained by the Park Board are the Super-Splash, Sarah Colman Park at 59th and Lane, C. Lee Kenagy Park at 79th and Raytown Road, Southwood Park at 81st and Arlington, Minor Smith Park at 81st and Ash, the Raytown BMX track, the Rice-Tremonti Farm Home, Henry C. Kritser Park at 75th and Woodson.
  • The National average of cities the size of Raytown for park space is 638 acres.  Raytown has 171 acres (63 are undeveloped).
  • The maintained right-of-way areas are the Center Gateway at Gregory and Raytown Road, the 63rd Street Gateway at 63rd and Raytown Road, the traffic islands at 63rd and Raytown Trafficway, and the traffic island at 63rd and Ditzler.
  • There are 10 full time employees and 120 part time employees.
  • Super Splash had 41,000 guests in 2010 and hired 120 youths, putting tax dollars back into our community.
  • The Raytown Parks Board provides many programs for kids and families.  Included are youth tennis lessons, youth volleyball lessons, youth golf lessons, the fishing derby and swim lessons.
 Expenses for 2010-2011 for the Park board include:

  • Replacing the Minor-Smith Park bridge at a cost of $188,000, which included a new trail
  • Replaced 3 aging department vehicles at a cost of $51,000
  • Replaced Super Splash photo ID system for $3,000
  • Added 2 additional Right of Way areas at the Center Gateway and 63rd Street Bridge
  • Secured 65% voter approval to extend the 1/8 cent park sales tax in August, 2010 for an additional 10 years.
  • The Park Board is currently evaluating proposals to repair Coleman Park tennis courts at an estimated cost of 250,000.
The only budget overage the Park Board has incurred is for the Right of Way Beautification. 

The voters approved 20% of the sales tax and they have spent 30% of the tax.

The Park Board approved the following:

  • Loaned Rice-Tremonti $60,000 in 2008 to purchase the property east of the house.  This is a 10 year loan.
  • Replaced the bridge at Minor-Smith Park for $180,000.  This project was completed in June, 2011.
 The Park Board faces the following challenges in coming years:

  • Continued decline in participation in all group sports.
  • Individual activities, such as tennis, Kids Day at Kenagy Park, and the Fishing Derby continue to be popular.
  • The Movies in the Park and sponsored bus trips have had less than expected participation.
  • Coping with vandalism in the parks.  They spent $30,000 last year in repairs.
  • Maintenance of aging facilities
 They reported on Super Splash.

  • Decreasing headcount and revenue since the high in 2003.
  • Increasing competition from other water parks in the surrounding communities.
  • Schools start earlier and let out later, which decreases in visitors.
  • Revenue has decreased from $308,000 net profit in 2003 to a $16,000 loss last year.
  • They have not added new major attractions, which are designed to attract and retain visitors.
  • In the future, they must decide if they will have to close parts of the pool areas, shorten hours, attempt to sell the complex to a private party, or close and sell off the equipment.
 Alderman Melson asked the Park Board what type of marketing they use for the movies in the park and the bus trips.  Mr. Smith said they put the information on the Parks & Recs website and in the local paper.  They put signs in local store windows.

Alderman Melson said the Park Board did not submit current financial information and asked when that would be available.  Mr. Smith said it would be in the upcoming budget package.

Alderman Aziere asked if Super Splash is closed, could they turn it into a community center.  He was told there probably wouldn’t be the funds available do to that.

Alderman Van Buskirk said there were four vacant positions on the Park Board.  He asked when those positions would be filled.  Mr. Smith said the Board has decided not to fill those positions.

The Board of Aldermen then moved on to other business:

  • Reappointed Tommy Bettis to the Planning and Zoning Commission.
  • Reappointed Dwight Robinson to the Planning and Zoning Commission.
  • Reappointed Kevin Wilson to the Planning and Zoning Commission.
  • The Board approved moving $10,000 from the jail detention budget to the police laboratory fees budget.  Chief Lynch reported that there were extra expenses associated with the court cases.  He said the County requested additional DNA testing, and the city is responsible for those costs.
  • The Board approved entering into a contract with Cook, Flatt & Strobel Engineers for the design of the 350 Highway Bicycle and Pedestrian trail.  The contract totals $126,100.  Andy Noll pointed out that this is only for the design and not for any construction.
To post a comment on this blog click on the word comments below:
     
    What I did on my Summer Vacation by Greg Walters

    I’ve been out of town the last week on my annual sojourn to the Hawkeye State (Iowa) for Ragbrai. Ragbrai is the acronym for the Registers Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa.

    This year’s event was unique in that every day the heat index was well over 100 degrees with nighttime temperatures sometimes barely dipping below 80 degrees. In other words, it was hot – hot – hot!

    In my absence, I see that Paul Livius has done an admirable job of keeping the blog up to date and posting a few stories of general interest himself. A big public “thank you” to Paul – I am sure our readers and especially our bloggers appreciate his efforts.

    I noted that on the day I left for the my bicycle trip that an anonymous poster wrote:

    Greg,

    I have not seen you at any Raytown events lately and was wondering if you are still active in the Raytown community
    .

    Thanks for asking.

    Let’s see, I took off from my regular job on the Fourth of July Holiday weekend – seven days worth – to volunteer to sell fireworks for my Church.

    Oh, by the way, while in Iowa I did do something of note . . . check out the following news story from Des Moines ABC affiliate WOI-DT Des Moines/Ames Television. I think you will find it enlightening.
     
    That pretty much is what has taken up my July. What did you do in the last month? Be sure and sign your name this time so we can continue the conversation.

    The following newscast tells the story.

    Dangerous Heat for RAGBRAI Riders

    There is more to the story.

    Actually, Kris Osmus of Portland, Oregon was the one that spotted Cindy. We took Cindy across the street to some shade and emptied out water bottles on her. It did not seem to help so I took the bikes, Kris took Cindy, and we walked up the hill (about a city block away) and stopped at a house where other bikers were resting. 

    Cindy told us she had cramps in her legs and that her right arm was numb. 

    Her condition was not improving. 

    We found a water hose at a nearby house and had Cindy lay down on the ground. I told Cindy to get ready, the water was cold and she was going to get very wet. We hosed her down until the ambulance arrived. 

    The heat index was well over 100 degrees. While waiting for the ambulance a line of riders formed to be sprayed down as well. Cindy was back at camp that evening to pick up her gear and say goodbye to everyone. The rest of the newscast sums up the story.

    Erin Whitehead
    Fit Bottomed Girls . . .

    Fruit Goes Crunchy by Erin Whitehead

    Full disclosure: I am not, nor have I ever been, a fan of dried fruit. I have to check my gag reflex when eating fresh bananas. Dry them out? Gag city. Dried apples? I'd rather have my fruit fresh and juicy. That being said, I put my dried fruit prejudice to the side to try out Crispy Green's FuitziO products - freeze-dried fruit snacks. Continue reading
      

    Jenn Walters


    Do a Pull-Up, Cucumber Smoothies and More! By Jenn Walters

    Summertime and the living is easy. So are these reads! You all know warming up is important before a workout. But what about before a race or big event? —FitSugar Healthy foods to add to your diet. —Prevention Well, this is a new one. —Sunday River Take the challenge and get moving! —iVillage Yes, you can do a pull-up! —Cranky Fitness Seven... Continue reading 







    This Week's Poll Question
    While peddling through Iowa's cornfields I noticed that in every town we entered the public buildings had been opened up so that people would have a place to cool down. Schools and city halls were frequently used by riders and volunteers of the event to escape the oppressive heat and humidity.

    It is important to note that Ragbrai funneled close to 20,000 riders into a community each day. So it is understandable that special precautions were taken to help riders avoid the heat.

    Still, even though Raytown is only 10 square miles in size, with a population of 30,000 there are bound to be those who need some relief from the heat. The weather forecast is for another heat wave starting Sunday evening through at least midweek.

    The Raytown City Council Chambers are empty during the daytime and seats over 150 people comfortably. 

    So, what do you say? Should City Hall be opened to the public as a shelter from the heat? Check out the poll at the top left corner of the page and cast your vote.

    Coming This Thursday . . .
    Watch for The Paul Livius Report on what is going on Raytown City Hall. Up to date news of what went on at Tuesday night’s City Council Meeting will be featured.
    To post a comment on this blog click on the word comments below:

    35 comments:

    Andy Whiteman said...

    The BOA chambers have a multi function purpose uncluding court room and other meetings.

    A paramedic told me the library was the cooling center which I refuse to use because I need to lie and not sit and Red Dogg would be with me.

    I was drinking water and the paramedic told me that water was not good enought. She told me that I needed to drink Gator Aide which I did and gradually 8-32 oz bottles during that day.

    Raytown has many more issues than cooling shelters! I emailed department heads about one. Only Matt Cushman and Chief Lynch replied. The other department heads and Mayor didn't respond at all. Apparently they don't give a dam about the city. Why should they care? The don't live in Raytown.

    Andy Whiteman

    Anonymous said...

    A library as a cooling station?!?

    Such nonsense. Libraries are supposed to be quiet. The Raytown Library does not have the room or the people to police an influx of people.

    On the other hand, City Hall has plenty of room. The Council Chambers can be closed off from the rest of the building and the police are located one floor below if needed.

    Using City Hall makes sense. Using the library is just plain stupid.

    Andy Whiteman said...

    7:19PM, Brilliant observation about our government. I will say it applies to some elected officials, but not all.

    BTW I think the people who voted them in are stupid!

    Andy Whiteman

    Anonymous said...

    Who is kidding who about court being held at city hall? The municipal court, when it meeets, has its hearings early in the morning or evening. During the heat of the day the city council meeting room is completely empty.

    The simple truth is that our city administrator does not want people messing up his kingdom. Ask the folks at city hall why they have two bathroom facilities on the main floor but only one is for the public to use.

    The other is for city employees and requires a key to get into.

    Andy Whiteman said...

    8:36PM, I disagree with you about the heat of the day. During this Ring of Fire it has been unbearable ALL DAY and ALL NIGHT. There was no cool mornings. I have gone out at 2AM and it felt like an oven.

    After all City Hall is public property and should be opened to the public. It would be necessary to install cots and have water, food, and supervision available. Maybe that is too much to achieve. Yes, I said supervision. That is to monitor medical conditions, dispense food and water, as well as keep the peasants in order.

    Andy Whiteman

    Anonymous said...

    Agreed the heat can be bad at night and very uncomfortable. But it is the heat of the day that is the killer. If it stayed in the 80's both day and night it would be bearable. The body would not get to such high temperatures that it would not be able to cool down.

    I hope city hall acts before someone gets seriously sick.

    Anonymous said...

    Why would you lock a bathroom during business hours at a public place? Sounds like Bower and his cronies think they are too good to use a bathroom that the public has used. This is probably illegal if the truth is really known. The taxpayers are paying for this PUBLIC facility and the are not allowed access to it. Sounds like the ALCU should be made aware of this.

    Anonymous said...

    Why no one is mentioning schools. Every school has large gym and they are located in every neighborhood. Also, churches are located in every neighborhood and have large space suitable for cooling stations.

    Anonymous said...

    City hall is better because you have the emergency people (police) on hand in the building. We live in a large metropolitan area with all kinds of folks around. The schools are somewhat isolated. Plus the Raytown School district does not really have much of a reputation fro stepping up to help people. They would fritter away the time until the weather changes. The city council meets this Tuesda. They could make the decision that night.

    Andy Whiteman said...

    Many businesses have a public restroom as well as an employee restroom. The restroom mentioned is not in the public area but rather in the office area which really is a non-public area.

    I have not been there but suspect there is another restroom in the lower level for Police use.

    Andy Whiteman

    Anonymous said...

    fyi,
    The locked employed bathroom have been that way for as long as I can remember. I guess they think that they will catch something from the public. It's not just the current city adminstrator who wants it that way.

    Anonymous said...

    WAKE UP RAYTOWN!!!

    Your tax dollars have been alive and well in Raytown.

    The library has a large room in the basement they use for the training programs.

    The library just added an elevator a year ago so this would be a good place to use.

    I am also sure many would come and enjoy reading a book up stairs by themselves.

    I cannot believe the comments on these blog about this issue or how closed minded you all are about how or tax dollars are being used.

    NOTE: Both city hall and the library are already being cooled with our tax dollars so why not let those in need benifit.

    I forgot.... The Republicans run city call and that Republicans only care about the rich.

    Pat Casady said...

    I would like to invite each of you to read Charlie
    Reese's final article. "545 vs. 300,000,000"
    The following is a couple of
    pieces of it.
    I find it amazing that if you replace the numbers with
    Raytown's numbers it still hit home.
    Raytown's government has twelve to fifteen people
    instead of the 545 in the federal government. Also
    Raytown has around 30,000 people.


    "One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one President,
    and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human
    beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally,
    morally, and individually responsible for the domestic
    problems that plague this country."

    "Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy
    convincing you that what they did is not their fault.
    They cooperate in this common con regardless of party."

    "They, and they alone, should be held accountable by
    the people who are their bosses.
    Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their
    own employees..."

    Anonymous said...

    Get Real Andy!

    The "private bathroom" at city hall is located in the hallway. It is not located in an office. It is accessible from not 25 feet from the window where we pay our taxes.

    Whoops. I mean it is there but it most certainly is not accessible to you or I. That's because it is locked to keep the public out of it.

    Anonymous said...

    It's probably locked to protect their
    high dollar TP!
    The rest of us have to use the cheap stuff.

    Andy Whiteman said...

    7:50AM, I have used that restroom. Is it locked some times and not others? Actually it is in a hallway leading to administrative offices, not a generally public place. Those who have objections should address the BOA LOUD AND CLEAR as I do. Why do people critize on this blog and not address the BOA?

    Andy Whiteman

    Anonymous said...

    No. The executvie washroom at city hall is not in the executive offices. It is in the hallway. If you exit the bathroom and walk down the hallway to the right you will exit the building on the east side. If you turn left you will find yourself in the large area in front of the pay windows.

    It is definitely a public area in which it is located.

    The only unfriendly thing about it is that you and I cannot use it. We just pay for it.

    Anonymous said...

    I wounder if Bowers friends at Wal-Mart and Hy-Vee get to use that nice private restroom. After all he does everything else for them at our expense.

    What a good example of why I don't belong to any church seems the church people these days are like the ones Jesus kicked out of the temple.

    Andy Whiteman said...

    Maybe they should put a coin slot on the door to raise revenue. The last time I was in Julian, CA I was surprised that the "public restrooms" required a coin deposit. It sure gives an unwelcome feeling.

    Andy Whiteman

    Pat Casady said...

    Andy,
    Please don't give them any ideas.
    They already waste and tax enough of our money.

    Raytown First said...

    All this talk about opening city hall up for a cooling center had me wondering about the following things:

    1.) What happened to the Mayor’s master plan of neighbors helping neighbors?

    Simply wouldn’t this include the city and other government agencies doing their part? On the news the Mayor of Kansas City has talked about the cooling centers in Kansas City and the fact the fire department will take and bring the people home from the centers that need. Seems our city should be doing something!

    2.) What happened to our community center?

    I am sure there are those who will say the citizens of Raytown had never been promised a community center, but one of the original promises for the former First Baptist Church, which is now know as the “green space”.

    That is right folks Raytown citizens had been promised a community center, but than again we had been promised that if we approved a tax for the street the streets would actually be overlaid. We had been told if the city didn’t agree to the Wal-Mart deal we would loss 18% of the city’s tax revenue, but today we get nothing and will not for well over 20 years. In fact we have had to at least twice make up for a short fall in tax dollars that are being generated by Wal-Mart. What we did get from Wal-Mart is an increase in crime and the associated cost of dealing with the crime.

    Raytown is NOT moving forward and will not until those at city hall, but the citizens of Raytown first and not attempting to hand out money to any corporation that comes asking for us, the tax payers, to pickup the cost related to them opening and or maintaining a location in Raytown.

    It is time those business in Raytown who didn’t and never will get a tax break from the city step forward and identify themselves as “Citizen Friendly Business”.

    A classification reserve to those who don’t believe the taxpayers owes them for opening and / or keeping a location in Raytown.

    Pat Casady said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Anonymous said...

    We need strong and enforced codes for residential rental properties!

    Anonymous said...

    Okay what is taking Raytown Water so long to fix the street at Raytown Road and 55th. If this was done by public works you would be complaining. Now they have another problem at 53rd and Raytown Rd. Maybe the Funk was right when he fined companies that left those big steal plates on the road for more than a few days.

    Anonymous said...

    The City Administrator reported at the meeting that EMS transported 4 people for heat related problems last week. Why is the City not helping its citizens by opening City Hall for those without air conditioning? Call you Alderman and ask him/her about this!

    Pat Casady said...

    Why is this city trying to fill the
    vacant position of Director of Community
    Development? We have gone for several years
    without one....even thought Beth Lynn was
    being paid for the job.
    Why not combine the Economic Director and
    the Community Director's jobs. Let's face it,
    Raytown isn't big enough for both positions.
    Besides after our elected officials have
    given away a quarter of the city's income
    we surely don't need to replace this position.
    I also heard that our great elected officials
    are threatening to take more money away from the
    police department. This after our police department
    didn't get much of the promised "Safety Tax."
    You see after the voters were promised that all the
    Safety Tax money would go to the police department
    and none...none would go into the general fund,
    guess what? Most of it went into the general fund.
    Just like the street overlay money disappeared.
    Oh and by the way, to the police department bashers.
    The SUV's wanted are for special need units.
    I know for a fact that every penny spent by the police
    is accounted for. They don't waste money like City Hall.

    Anonymous said...

    Good report Mr. Livius.

    I was especially tickled by the part about Jim Aziere asking if 3/4" of street overlay will feel like 2" of asphalt overlay.

    Let me answer that for you Jim.

    No, it will not. The 2" of asphalt overlay will feel far superior. It will look better and it will last longer.

    The 3/4" wonder seal or whatever they want to call it is what we in the real world call a shortcut.

    It's like putting down gravel and oil and saying that it is as good as 2" of asphalt.

    Anyone that tells you otherwise is telling you a lie.

    You know. Like when you guys promised that if we passsed a transportation tax that we would have all of our streets well maintained with good overlay.

    That was a lie too.

    Guess we know what that makes you!

    Andy Whiteman said...

    9:11AM, I wasn't at that meeting because it was too early, but having seen Jim Aziere at the BOA many times, he wasn't asking a stupid question. That is Jim's way of politely making a point by asking a question to something that should be obvious to everyone.

    Andy Whiteman

    Anonymous said...

    Why are our city officials not telling us about the loose of another car dealership on 350 highway? It is in print that the Robert's Chevrolet dealership will be leaving Raytown early next year. The Chamber, Mayor Bower and our Economic Development Director are either lying to us or they haven't been told about it. IF THEY DON'T KOWN ABOUT IT THEY SHOULD ALL BE FIRED OR ASKED TO RESIGN. Sign me: TOO MUCH SECRECY AT CITY HALL

    Andy Whiteman said...

    There is no ordinance requiring a business to notify the city of its intent to leave. I haven't seen it in the press. If it is in the press, why should City Hall be required to issue another public notice?

    Andy Whiteman

    Anonymous said...

    Andy, It has been in the press (Lee's Summit) and the point is, what are our city leaders doing to stop these mass exodus from Raytown? NOTHING, NOTHING, AND NOTHING!!! They'll probably claim it's a good thing so they can justify more tax give aways for our wealthiest corporations,

    Anonymous said...

    I leaved here too, if I could only sale my home. But with the high crime rate, high property tax, section 8 housing, and foreclosures, I am going to have to give it away, leaving me with nothing. Just drive around and look at the demographics. It is not the quiet, nice town that it was when we move here 20 years ago. Loved it then, hate it now.

    Andy Whiteman said...

    I spoke with an investor a couple of weeks ago. She said homes in Raytown sell VERY slowly.

    My biggest problem is unhealthy climate. I received my KCPL bill for $232.18 and I have my a/c set sat 80 from 9AM-1AM and 78 from 1AM to 9AM. If I had a comfortable temperature, the bill would be over $600. Of the $232.18 $21.11 was city taxes! This entire area is not an affordable place to live.

    3:45PM, I think a lot depends on which part of Raytown you live in and the lifestyle of your neighbors. I have had some downright obnoxious neighbors, but 2 of them are gone.

    Andy Whiteman

    Andy Whiteman said...

    7:20AM, Didn't Robert's Chevy on Troost close? How can the city mandate that they stay? Businesses are downsizing these days. The city should downsize upper management.

    Andy Whiteman

    Andy Whiteman said...

    I just noticed that the car dealer at Metcalf and I-435 is no longer there.

    Andy Whiteman