Thursday, July 7, 2011



Meeting Before the Meeting by Greg Walters
There is one constant in politics. Every new government feels it is re-inventing the wheel. Talk to a veteran of any School Board, PTA, or City Council, and you will hear the old cliché, “been there, done that”.

Mayor David Bower’s administration is not an exception.

Last Tuesday night he announced that Finance and Municipal Committee meetings and will be held one hour before the regular meetings of the Raytown Board of Aldermen.The intent, to create more participation by all members of the Board of Aldermen, is laudable . . . but it does not work.

Problem is, not everyone can make a six p.m. meeting.

Sources at City Hall tell us that the decision to hold the Committee meetings before regular Board meetings was made at a recent goal setting session of the Board of Aldermen.

Despite a unanimous decision to change the Finance and Municipal Committee meetings to the “meeting before the meeting” format, only five Aldermen were in attendance.

City Administrator Mahesh Sharma stated that a roll call was not necessary at the meeting.
It is, however a matter of public record that previous meetings of the Finance and Municipal Committees (before this format change) not only held roll call votes but also kept published minutes of the proceedings.

It appears that the change is a step backwards from transparency in the handling of the public’s business at City Hall. 

Former Mayor Sue Frank tried this same format. Meetings were scheduled for 6:00 p.m. – just as Mayor Bower is now doing. The irregular start time was difficult to make for some members of the Board. 

This caused tempers to flare during the regular meeting when questions that were covered in the “meeting before the meeting” were re-asked by those who could not make the 6:00 p.m. start time. Some members would complain that issues had already been discussed in the previous meeting. Even though it was clear all members were not comfortable casting votes without pertinent information being shared from the earlier meeting.  

Hardly a fair position to take if someone was at their job and simply could not make it home by 6:00 p.m.

The other problem with the “meeting before the meeting” is that it only allows one hour to discuss the issues. The purpose of a Committee is to delve deep into issues to discover all the facts. One hour is simply not enough time to accomplish that goal.

It is Time for a Serious Look at Residency Requirements
There is also the question as to the real purpose of the “meeting before the meeting”.
All but one of Raytown’s appointed  Department heads live outside of the city’s limits. 

Some of them have quite a trek to get back and forth to City Hall. The two committee meetings a month means they either stay at city hall until the starting time of those meetings (generally 7:00 p.m.) or, go home and then drive all the way back to Raytown for the meeting.

Of course, this could easily be resolved by requiring senior staff members to reside within the city that pays them so well.

They could start right now. The city is currently advertising to fill the position of Community Development Director vacated by Beth Lynn last month.

By requiring the new hire to reside in Raytown, the Board of Aldermen would be taking a huge step in bring more accountability and transparency to how the city operates.

It is important to remember that all members of the City Council agreed to changing the time to 6:00 p.m. for their Committee Meetings. Yet, only five bothered to show up for the meeting. 

Unless ALL members of the City Council attend the 6:00 meetings, there is no point in holding them at that time.

Melson Skips Meeting to Practice for Play
Ward 3 Alderman Charlotte Melson excused herself from last Tuesday night’s monthly meeting of the Raytown Board of Aldermen to practice for a part in the production of “Hello, Dolly” by the Raytown Arts Council. 

She did, however, stop by the Board meeting to put in a plug for the play during public comments. 

Melson was dressed in a period costume to make the announcement so there is little doubt that she was on her way to rehearsal.

Mayor Bower announced that Melson’s absence was a legitimate excuse for not being at the Board meeting. He also said that Alderman Joe Creamer had an excuse for being asbent though he did not elaborate as to Creamer’s whereabouts.

Anyone interested in the upcoming production of “Hello Dolly” should visit www.raytownartscouncil.com


Board Makes the Right Decision on Residential Care Facility
The Raytown Board of Aldermen deserve recognition for standing up for a residential neighborhood when it voted five (no) to three (yes) to turn down a residential care facility at 9706 East 79th Place.

A more detailed report is contained in Paul Livius’ report following this item.

For the record, here is how the Board members voted:

YES:          Christine White, Shane Pardue, Jim Hamilton
NO:           Bill VanBuskirk, Michael Lightfoot, Steve Mock, Pat Ertz, Jim Aziere
ABSENT:    Joe Creamer, Charlotte Melson 

Raytown City Council Meeting - July 5, 2011 by Paul Livius










Paul Livius
Before the regular Board of Aldermen meeting, a work session with the Finance Committee was held.  Jeremy Willmoth, Finance Director, discussed the 2nd Quarter Financial Statements.  The City’s total 2nd Quarter revenues were $12,714,298 and expenditures were $11,208,127. 

Under the heading of General Fund (Total Revenue $6,178,158):
  • Total Property Tax revenues (including Real Estate Tax, Personal Property Tax, Delinquent Taxes and Penalties, etc) were $1,094,643. 
  • Sales Tax gross revenues were $1,391,434, less TIF Payments of $334,347, leaving a net of $1,057,087. 
  • Franchise Fees (Community TV, Gas Service, Aquila, and Telecommunication Franchise) were $2,253,978. 
  • License and Permit Fees were $83,534
  • Intergovernmental Revenue was $580,003
  • Charges for City Services (Weed mowing, ambulance fee, impound fees, police reports, etc.) were $512,652
  • Fines and Forfeitures (Municipal court fees, Police and Court training, DWI Recoupment fees, etc.) were $439,027
  • Miscellaneous Revenue (Interest earnings, investment earnings, etc.) was $157,232
Other Revenue:
  • Park Board Fees $704,151
  • Transportation Sales Tax $474,001
  • Capital Sales Tax $425,108
  • Public Safety Sales Tax $543,393
  • Tax Increment Finance $1,254,915
  • Sanitary Sewer $2,982,730
  • Other $151,840
It was reported that 2nd Quarter revenues were $10,952 less than this time last year.

There were some significant changes in expenditures this year from last year:
  • $48,440 increase in Administration expenses due to hiring an Economic Development Director
  • $115,742 decrease in Police spending was due to less overtime by the Officers and staff
  • $36,948 increase in Finance Department spending due to the costs associated with the Annual Audit
  • $50,988 increase in Public Works spending was due to an increase in the cost of electricity for street lights
  • $23,010 increase in Community Development was due to the cost of the Community Development Director, but was offset by a savings of $10,898 because of fewer code department expenses
Mr. Willmoth stated there are three Crown Victorias and two Ford Taurus surplus vehicles that will be auctioned off.  He said they use Purple Wave, an on-line auction service.  This is open to the public.

Jim Hamilton said that he looked over the list of surplus vehicles and wanted to know what the City’s policy was on replacing vehicles.  The vehicle from the Community Development Department only has 76,028 miles on it.  He said his vehicle has over 176,000 miles and he doesn’t plan on replacing it any time soon.  Mr. Noll stated that this vehicle was replaced.  Mr. Hamilton asked about the replacement policy.  Mr. Noll replied that he thought it was 4 years or 80,000 miles.  Mr. Hamilton asked why the city replaces the vehicles so soon.  Most people keep their vehicles longer and put a lot more than 75,000 miles on them before getting new ones.  Mr. Noll said that the City’s experience was that at 75,000 miles, the vehicles started to need repairs, and it was cheaper to replace rather than repair.


Raytown Board of Aldermen Meeting – July 5, 2011 by Paul Livius

MEMBERS ABSENT: JOE CREAMER, CHARLOTTE MELSON

The Invocation was given by Cory Thompson of the Beacon Free Will Baptist Church. 

During the public comments segment:
  • Charlotte Melson addressed the Board, stating that rehearsals for “Hello, Dolly” were starting.  This will be produced by the Raytown Arts Council Summer Production at Raytown South High School on July 15-16-17.  Tickets can be obtained from the Raytown Hy-Vee.  For more information, go to the Raytown Arts Council website.
  • Andy Whiteman asked why the finance and budget meeting was held at 6:00pm and not the usual 7:00pm.  He asked the Board if their intent was to keep people from observing the meeting.  He pointed out that 6:00pm is dinner time.  He also said there was a fireworks related fire in Raytown.  He reminded the Board that airborne fireworks are banned in Raytown and wanted to know why the ordinance was not enforced.
Mayor Bower said the city lost a very special young lady when a stray bullet, mixed with fireworks, struck her in the neck.  He said the city’s condolences went out to the family.
He explained that at the last goal setting session, it was decided to try a different format.  They will have the Finance meetings at 6:00, before the regular Board meetings

  • The Board voted to appoint Darlene Gregory to the Human Relations Council.
  • The Board approved change orders for the Public Works department renovation project.  This was for replacing rotted roof decking, concrete curbs, and interior walls.  They would also insulate the entry vestibule and use a different primer on the shower areas.
  • The Board amended the budget for the 86th and Arlington Sanitary Sewer project.  Andy Noll told the Board that currently the sewers require monthly cleaning and still the residents experience a back up of the sanitary sewer into their homes.  He estimated the cost to be approximately $90,000.
The Board heard the second reading for the conditional use permit at 9706 E. 79th Place as a residential care facility. The city attorney, Joe Willerth, reported that he had received a valid protest petition.  He said he and his office have verified that there are more than the necessary signatures.  He told the Board that this means that the resolution will require seven out of 10 votes to pass, instead of the usual simple majority.

Ms. Debra Thomas came before the Board to ask them to vote for the permit to operate her residential care facility.  The mayor opened the floor for public comments.

  • Brenda VanNoskly said her aunt was 96 years old and was in Ms. Thomas’ facility.  She had been receiving good care.
  • Roslyn Drafman said Ms. Thomas takes very good care of the residents.
  • Andy Whiteman asked that the petition be read into the record.
At this point, the mayor asked Mr. Willerth to read the petition.  It said, “We the undersigned are opposed to the Board of Aldermen issuing a conditional use permit at 9706 E. 79th Place, Raytown, MO.  This is a residential area that should not be used as commercial establishments.  We feel allowing this conditional use permit would have a negative impact on the character of the neighborhood.”

  • Mr. Yocum addressed the Board and said he was opposed to the permit.  When he moved to Raytown, he understood all the homes in his neighborhood were single family homes.  He thinks this will decrease the property values.
  • Barb Schapla asked the Board if this business fits in with the neighborhood.  She said they would be operating a business that will be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  In 2007, the Board voted to keep day care centers, residential care facilities, and short term care facilities 1,200 feet apart.  This was so they didn’t dilute a neighborhood with care facilities.  If the Board allows this, what will keep another property on the street or down the street from being purchased and another care facility operated?  She pointed out that there are many places in Raytown zoned for multi-family and perhaps that would be a better fit.  The residents in the neighborhood are not concerned with the level of care at the proposed facility, but with land use.  She asked the Board to deny the permit.
  • Herb Braben said the issue is not good health care, but whether a business should be allowed in a residential neighborhood.  If the Board allows this, then any business could be allowed in the neighborhoods.

Alderman Perdue suggested the vote should be postponed until the full Board was present. 

Alderman Ertz asked about the traffic in the neighborhood.  He wanted to know if traffic would increase due to the nurses and staff coming into the area, as well as doctors, pharmacy deliveries, hairdressers, etc. 

Alderman Mock said that in December, 2010, the City Staff became aware that Ms. Thomas was operating her Adult Day Care Facility.  He said they found out she had been operating it for five years without a city license.

Alderman White said the city has a comprehensive plan for mixed uses in areas of the city, including residential.  She looked into traffic counts and there are not high traffic counts on a daily basis.  She feels this fits what is allowable in Raytown.  She made a motion to approve the application.

Alderman Aziere said the City needs to take into consideration the residents who live there before approving the application.  The residents’ feelings and homes should be given equal credit when looking at the application.

Alderman Ertz said it’s not the care, but the where.  Many residents have lived in their homes a long time as single family residential homes.  The Staff could find many properties that fit the bill and having two facilities next door goes against the intensity we should have.  There are wonderful places in town for this facility to locate to.

Alderman Pardue asked Mr. Ertz where he thought a better place for this facility would be.  Mr. Ertz said he thought it would be better in an area where there are apartment complexes and multi-family homes.

Alderman Aziere said we already have several facilities in Raytown that are in areas zoned for commercial.  There is an ordinance that says there can’t be two facilities this close together.  When one takes two homes and makes them into a business, it’s no longer single family, it’s commercial.

Mayor Bower asked Ms. Thomas if she wanted to postpone the vote until there was a full Board.  Ms. Thomas said no.  She wanted the vote that night.  The vote:  3 yes – 5 no. 

The Board heard the second reading for the Ordinance amending Chapter 13 of the City code prohibiting dismantled, inoperable, junked, or unlicensed vehicles in areas used for purposes other than residential.  Alderman VanBuskirk said this was an issue that had needed to be addressed for a long time.  When the vote was taken, the ordinance passed.

The Board heard the first reading of an Ordinance establishing a procedure to disclose potential conflicts of interest.  The proper operation of municipal government requires that public officials and employees be independent, impartial and responsible to the people; that government decisions and policy be made in the proper channels of the governmental structure; that public office not be used for personal gain; and that the public have confidence in the integrity of its government.

The meeting was adjourned.

Jenn Walters
What Type of Fat do you use for Cooking? by Jenn Walters

A few days ago we looked at the pros and cons of butter versus margarine and buttery spreads. Which got us to thinking about fat - dietary fat, that is. And  you know what? Dietary fat seriously rocks. While you obviously don't want to go overboard on it, healthy fats are an essential part of a healthy diet . . . . continue reading.



To post a comment on this blog click on the word comments below:

47 comments:

Andy Whiteman said...

The decision to replace vehicles should be based on each particulare vehicle rather than at a certain mileage. When a particular vehicle requires too many repairs, that may be time to consider getting rid of it.

I bought my car with 70,000 miles on it in 2004. It now has about 98,000 miles. New cars aren't constructed to meet my physical needs and cost too much, hence I must keep my old car running because it cannot be replaced.

My father replaced his car approximatly every 2 years citing the cost of repairs making my mother upset because of the payments which she couldn't afford being the one who maintained the fianances.

I feel the city is wasting money on new vehicles. The need for replacement should be on a vehicle by vehicle decision rather than mileage.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

1. Police vehicles need a higher level of dependability than someones second car.

2. A police car has a lot of stop and go and idle time hours on it. Hard miles and hours of idleing are not the same as highway miles.

Andy Whiteman said...

4:36PM, Agreed. Why wasn't it stated these were police vehicles? I guess I am the dummy and should have assumed it from the model. But we all know what assume does so I didn't want to assume.

BTW doesn't this come from the police budget rather than the general fund?

Andy Whiteman

KMCCLA said...

Anonymous -- July 8, 2011 4:36 PM

You are correct. Police Cruisers put up a lot of miles -- city miles. I am a parts driver for NAPA, in Lee's Summit. Just on my truck, I put on an average of 150-200 miles per day. You can expect a police car to put on similar mileage, if not even more. They also have to replace rotors and brake pads, as well as other up keep. These vehicles rack up a lot of miles, and wear and tear. After so many miles, it is simply better to replace them. Also take into consideration (at least in Lee's Summit) they simply do not put on the cheapest pads and rotors. While they might be okay for your personal vehicle, the rotors and pads used on a police car tend to be on the high performance quality. Sorry to say, I think keeping the fleet current, is much better than having a vehicle down for maintenance.

Anonymous said...

Read the article a little more carefully. The vehicle they are gettig rid of is used in Community Development. Not the police department.

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind that some old police vehicles have also been passed down to other departments for use like public works and community development and could have high miles anyway.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps some people shouldn’t be pet owners. If you find that your pets are bothering you, and you put them outside, chances are that they are bothering your neighbors too. If your pets spend more time outside than inside because no one is around all day because they are working, and gone all weekend because of partying with friends, out of town, at the lake, etc., maybe you are not paying enough attention to your pets. And then perhaps your pets are annoying the neighbors with their barking and whining at 4 am on the weekends, especially if they would like to sleep in an extra hour or two. It is not fair to your neighbors, or your pets. Please be more considerate of your neighbors. Most responsible pet owners will bring their pets inside at night so that their neighbors are not disturbed by them. And most responsible pet owners will clean up after their pets to keep nuisance odors down as well. Hopefully most people will be understanding about this. Of course, some wont be.

Andy Whiteman said...

Obviously the city needs a better maintenance schedule for its vehicles. If a Public Works vehicle needs replacement at 76,028 miles something is very wrong! This is wastefull spending. Would most people replace their vehicle at 76,028 miles? I think not. I sure couldn't afford to do that. I might buy a vehicle with 76000 miles since I can't afford a new vehicle and I can't drive the new ones due to the new forward leaning headrest since I wear a helmet.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

the mid 70's mileage car might have made sense years ago but not with the quaulity of vehicles driven by police and public works today.

These cars are built to last and last and last.

Check out other departments in the area. If raytown is retiring cars at 75,000 miles you will find out that they are the only city doing so.

What a waste!

If we had a Mayor and City council worth their salt they would put a stop to such a wasteful practice.

Andy Whiteman said...

12:55PM, From what I read about that meeting, one alderman is questioning that practice. That is a beginning. I know at least one or two more alderman who are custodians of the taxpayer's money and I think they may think the same view.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Yeah, if the bureucrats don't stonewall and ignore them.

They are pretty good at that at city hall.

Andy Whiteman said...

A few aldermen have conservative minds of their own and won't back down.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

If it was a Crown Vic, it was probably a police car at one time, before being passed down to some other city department.

Anonymous said...

We give them more tax payer dollars and they waste more tax payer dollars.
City hall is broke and sadly, more than just financially.

Lee said...

Cars may be lasting longer, but the cost of replacement parts has risen dramatically too. So have labor costs. Replacing vehicles when it statistically makes sense rather than personal experience based on one or two vehicles saves the city money.

For example, the mechanical fuel pump on my old Ford cost $35 to replace and 2 hours of labor. On my newer Chevy with an in-tank electric fuel pump was $350 for the pump and 4-6 hours of labor.

Vehicle replacement schedules are based on the same statistics that are used for determine the cost of providing warrantees. Also keep in mind, added maintenance would also require additional personnel or an increased dependance on third parties.

Andy Whiteman said...

Obviously it is cheaper to spend $20,000 to $30,000 for a new vehicle rather than $350 for a repair! I can't follow that. I am a common serf and can't afford a new car.

Now it is obvious how the city is going broke using our tax $$$. Now we serfs are broke too!

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Having meetings earlier is for a reason.
It is clear city hall doesn't want a lot people there to see how badly they are using taxpayer dollars.
As for the city automobiles, cars and trucks are lasting longer. They are being built better.
Raytown has it's own mechanics and they are great
mechanics. They know what they are doing. They are there day after day so Raytown's labor costs are
the same every week.
Let's face it. Our elected officials like to spend
our tax dollars on everything except what they are supposed
to. Hey, Mrs. White! How's our street overlay doing?
Here is a woman that hasn't done a thing right for this
town since she was elected. Along with Pardue and
Hamilton. It shows by the way they vote. AGAINST
how the people in there wards want them to.
They aren't the only one's either. We have Creamer,
Melson and Aziere that haven't done much for the
people either. I guess we all know where Melson's
loyalty is. Frankly Charlotte, we give a .....
You were elected to a job. Even though you don't
have a clue how to do it, you should show up anyway.

Andy Whiteman said...

I pointed out that the early meeting was a borderline violation of the Open Meetings Act to hide information from the public but our Mayor seemed to deny it.

A cover up is a cover up! Why am I the only one who complains? Am I the only one who dives a damn? Are the others afraid or lazy? If you don't complain, it is assumed that you are satisifed.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

PD sells crown vics patrol cars and buy $40,000 ford expiditions, with smoked windows, chrome wheels, dvd players, eletric windows, seats.
Thanks PD, I feel safer in my neighborhood, knowing you're driving around to Police golf tournaments and other police galas in large gas guzzling SUVs, decked out with all the options.

Wasteful spending at the highest level in PD. And the BOA allows this to happen? Who runs City hall anyway? get more money, waste more money

Andy Whiteman said...

Who runs City Hall? Obviously people who are rich or wasteful who think us serfs can afford cable TV. From their wasteful spending I tend to believe they are wasteful. This comment applies only to those who vote for the waste and also keep the wasteful meetings at a time the public is unlikely to observe them unless the public are either rich or wasteful enough to have cable TV.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

The SUV and 4x4 truck are seized drug dealer vehicles. FYI.

Andy Whiteman said...

I wasn't aware that an Alderperson was required to obtain an excuse from the Mayor to be absent. As far as I am concerned, they are either present or absent. What does "excused" mean. If they were paid per meeting, as some cities do, the excused status could mean being paid for that meeting.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Andy,

Nobody needs the Mayor's permission for skipping a meeting. That's just his way of taking care of his own.

You will never hear him make the same excuse for VanBuskirk or Aziere.

The more independent members of the Board pay the price for not being a good little alderman like creamer or melson.

So the Mayor plays favorites. What else is new?

Anonymous said...

Check this out.

You will not fine another city in the metroplitan area that replaces its vehicles when they hit 75,000 miles.

Guess that's why instead of asphalt we get rock and oil on our streets.

probalby why the city is too poor to afford new street lights.

As long as we are on streetlights, check this out as well. If the pole is already in place the city does not pay for the light or the installation. That cost is absorbed by the power company that owns the light and pole.

The only cost the city has is the electrictiy.

Like I said, what's more important street lights or cars retired at 75,000 miles.

Call your aldeman and ask him or her. Better yet, call the Mayor. Good luck finding him (lol)!

Anonymous said...

You want to stop stupid spending?
STOP VOTING FOR HIGHER TAXES!!!!!!!

Pat Casady said...

The police and city cars may not have a lot of
miles on them but you have to remember they are
rarely ever turned off.
I know what is next, someone will say well shut them off. Then you run into small parts issues.
Starters, alternators, sensors and batteries.
The police radios and electronic equipment take a toll
even when the cars are left running. But, if shut off
and the electrical equipment is still in use, the battery
won't last ten minutes.
Truth is the cars have more running miles than actual
miles on them. Think about it. As long as the engine
is running, even at an idle you can figure from 10 to
25 miles added on the engine per hour. Maybe more.
By 75,000 actual miles these cars are pretty well used up.
This is NOT where you tax dollars are being wasted.
I don't know why people have to come down on the city service
people. Police, EMT's and city workers. The waste is at city hall
and your elected officials.
This cities financial problems are not brought to you by
the services. They don't give tax breaks nor do they finance
rich corporations.
Just remember.....you keep them in office.

Anonymous said...

Selling cars at 75,000 miles?!?

What does that say about the quality of workmanship of the American autoworker?

Such a waste.

Andy Whiteman said...

Selling cars at 75,000 miles speaks toward the upkeep of the owner rather than quality of the auto maker. I certainally can't afford to but a new car at todays prices so I consider 75,000 as low mileage when buying. Thanks to cash for clunkers, cars with $75,000 miles are still priced pretty high.

Our Fascist Fief is good at wasting momey. Obviosuly the peasants don't really need guality street maintenance or even street lights, but Walmart gets a paved parking lot with our tax dollars. I wonder who will maintain Walmart's parking lot?

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

It looks like two arguments here. One about police and the other about code enforcement and other staff cars.

Face it, folks, 75,000 miles is considered low mileage on today's cars. The inspectors do not leave their cars running like the police do. They don't drive them like the police do. Quit trying lump them altogether!

As for the police vehicles, maybe its time to step into the 21st century and take a serious look at vehicles that are designed for in city driving and also designed for lots of running without a lot of wear and tear from it.

They are called hybrids.

They incraease fuel efficiency threefold and are not that expensive to buy.

Some of our neighbors over in Kansas have already started this trend. Maybe Raytown can LEAD on the Missouri side instead of being the follower.

Andy Whiteman said...

When I was an EMT, firefighter, and dispatcher in CO we used a loner ambulance from the 1930's that looked like a hearse painted white that had way over 100,000 miles on it. It was well maintained, ran fine, and still saved many lives. We were happy to have it and kept it until a taxpayer saw the need and donated the money for a new rescue vehicle since legally we could not call it an ambulance. BTW: Since the vehicles were use only on emergency calls, we took turns doing a weekly check for gas, oil, tire pressure, Oxygen tank over 1/2, equipment working, and supplies stocked as well as actual driving so it had use and a battery charge.

I agree with 6:40PM. We are comparing 2 different uses of vehicles.

I just saw Pat's post and agree about the high use, left running vehicles. But just drive by 10000 59th St and see how many vehicles are parked turned off! Not all vehicles are left running. I suspect there are vehicles sitting there encase department heads or upper management need to go out on city business. I am sure the same is true for the PD especially with the unmarked cars. How much use does the PD SUV get? I assume they are for special use or winter use. At one meeting, it was stated the purpose of a new SUV was to transport gear to the scene for an operation 100. So how often is it run?

If the SUV is up for sale, send me a use log, as well as a maintenance log. I am close to needing a new car and may place a bid. BTW: I bought my first car a Studebaker Lark at auction for $250.01 and sold it a year later for $500.

Andy Whiteman

KMCCLA said...

I have another comment about selling the cars at 75 K miles. While it might be in the best interest not to sell them, there perhaps could be some benefit to it. Yes, it is considered to be in today's terms low mileage. But, reselling it at that point they might be able to get a fair amount out of it, instead of waiting until let's say it had 100,000 miles. Yes, a car depreciates as soon as it is driven off the lot. But a car that has only 75,000 miles on it, and is in good condition, is sure to fetch a higher price than a car that has a 100,000 miles on it, and is in poor condition. Just a thought.

Robbie Tubbs said...

From Channel 9 News:

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Jackson County Prosecutor's Office announced Thursday that it has charged a 50-year-old man in connection with the death of 11-year-old girl, who was hit by a stray bullet on the Fourth of July.

KMBC's Diane Cho reported that Aaron Sullivan was charged with involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action.

Blair Shanahan Lane died after she was struck in the neck by the stray bullet. Her parents were on hand when the charges were announced.


Police said they were able to later recover the gun that was used to fire the shot near Whispering Lake Apartments in Kansas City, Mo.

Investigators said Sullivan's 9 mm gun matched ballistics in the case. His bond was set at $25,000.

Anonymous said...

The suggestion that the SUV's used by the Police Dept. were confiscated is pure fiction, you need to go back and check the purchase records to get the real facts. They were purchased with TAX Dollars!

Anonymous said...

does anyone know what has happened to Greg he hasn't posted in a while.

Andy Whiteman said...

12:41PM, It would be logical to convert confiscated drug property to city use. I wish it could be done, but the money must go to a fund and trickles back to the city. I agree with your statement about the assumption of where the SUVs came from because I was at a BOA meeting when at least one was PURCHASED.

KMCCLA, I agree with your logic but have you looked at used car ads in the paper? The prices are outrageous. In 2010 county assessment of used cars went up instead of down because the value of use cars is rising due to the cash for clunkers giveaway taking them off the market. I recently called for an insurance quote and the agent quoted liability only stating that my car was worth only $1,000 due to age. I checked KBB.com and it cost close to $10,000 to replace the same model with about 100,000 miles. That is more than I paid for it in '04 with 70,000 miles on it! Just wondering, where does the money to pay for the new vehicles come from even if the old cars receive a higher price selling them early? In my house, I have to come up with $$$$$$. I don't have unlimited tax $$$$$$ to waste.

The charges in Blair's murder are a travesty of justice:
"involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action."
The charges for ALL 4 should have been:
1) Homicide or at least negligent homicide
2) Conspiracy
3) Armed criminal action.


The firearm was discharged intentionally. 3 scum bags got off with no charges and 1 was charged with minor crimes compared to homicide.

I won't be here, but I hope this becomes a campaign issue the next time the DA is up for reelection! I am sick and appalled!

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

The SUVs are a complete waste of tax payer's money. PD needs to rein in their wasteful speanding and be more prudent on what is really necessary to maintain public safety. I seriously doubt $40,000 SUVs are going to stop crime and make neighborhoods any safer.

That money could of been better spent on other city services. Shame on PD for being so irrogant and for the BOA for allowing such waste of precious tax payer dollars.

Get more money, waste more money.

Greg Walters said...

I'm here. My last post was on July 11th. I had left the Paul Livius July 7th report on the City Council meeting up from the week before. Rather than change the publication date, which would have pushed Paul's report back one week, I added my report on the 11th.

In the future I will add a "post date" line to individual stories when they are out of sync with the headline post date.

I was looking at the stat page this morning. The hits on the Raytown Report are going through the roof.

Paul and I are pleased to see so many Raytowner's sharing their views about their hometown on the Report.

It is a definite sign of a re-birth of community spirit and pride in Raytown.

Pat Casady said...

It's a shame that people can complain about
the city spending tax dollars on new city
automobiles but, hardly anyone complained about
the millions of dollars worth of tax income lost
by the Wal-Mart deal. The Aldi's eight hundred thousand
plus taxpayer dollar loaned.
Only a few of us complain that the street overlay
tax increase was not used on our city streets as promised.
Remember? It went to the Wal-Mart parking lot and the
street in front along with the traffic lights. I still
can't believe MoDot let those lights be installed.
Holding up a fifty cars to let out one and then the
light lasts longer than any other in town. It's
not even in sink with the other two lights.
But what the Hell, if Wal-Mart asks, this bunch will
give it to them.
So go ahead raise Hell about the city buying new vehicles
at 75,000 miles. That's only a little over a couple hundred
thousand.
Don't say a word when they blow millions on bad decisions.
Don't forget the bond payments either. The bond payments
to pay for W-M have cost YOU over two million so far and
there are only twenty more years on the W-M deal left.
Again, it isn't the city's services that are taking this town
down. You could buy new cars every year and not touch the
amount of tax money that is being spent on everything but
what it should be spent on.
Just keep re-electing them, I'm sure things will change....
NOT!!!!!!!!!!!

Andy Whiteman said...

Since the BOA started the early "secret meetings", The Raytown Report with Paul Livius reports are now Raytown's ONLY source of current BOA news. If the print news source publishes the news, it is a week late because the meeting is after the print paper's deadline. Circulation is not dependable unless someone is willing to go look for a paper. A friend has been bringing the paper but not this week. Maybe he was busy.

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...

I hope my post wasn't lost after 15 minutes to write with this blog as well as other services it provides:

"Conflicting edits
There was more than one attempt to edit this resource at the same time. This may have been because you double clicked on a link or a button or because someone else is also editing this blog or post.

Please hit the back button on your browser and try again. If the problem persists, please contact the Blogger Help Group. We apologize for the inconvenience."

Anonymous said...

Pat, as ususal, your most recent blog was right on spot. The City blows millions of dollars on bonehead deals, to the point that commenting to the ridiculous amount of money Police Depart. spends on large gas guzzling SUVs does seem foolish.

I remember when Alderman Melson questioned the Police about $800 chairs and drew an outraged public retort from X-mayor, Sue Franks. Perhaps because her husband is a captain in the department??? Of course it was.

I guess there is no way that this blog, any aldermen, or fed up citizens can ever change the nonsense and waste that the City has shown us for over the past 10 years.

If I was a department head making $100,000 a year, I would'nt want to move to Raytown either.

Anonymous said...

About the city automobile policy, Maybe it's not how often they trade them but what they are buying in the first place. Take a look, why would you buy a quad cab gas guzzling pickup, that only one person rides around in? SUV's for the police department are a waste. I would make this a campaign issue against Lynch in the future. Look at the chief's car, what a gas hog and I bet he hasn't chased anyone in years. Has anyone heard of hybrids and small pickups? Look at what PWSD#2 has done, they have at least one hybrid and a number of small pickups in their fleet. Come on Mr. Ertz get these jokers at city hall on the same path as your water board is.

Andy Whiteman said...

I agree with Pat about what people will complain about. I have been an elected official and on the board of a community club. I made the same type of comment as Pat just did and it was explained to me that people will complain only about something they are aware of and understand. Obviously the average citizen in Raytown is either unaware of the Walmart and Aldi financing or simply doesn't understand it. People don't complain about things they don't understand. These things happened in the past while the cars are now so obviously it is useless to complain about the past. The cars are the logical target. I suspect not more than person will address the board regarding the cars. The BOA thrives on apathy.

Traveling around the country I have noticed that most big box stores have traffic signals. It is a safety hazard for traffic to make a left turn into 350HWY assuming oncoming traffic is traveling the speed limit. I doubt the lights can be synced because traffic would either be waiting an excessive time to leave Walmart or the lights would activate when there is no one there.

Andy Whiteman

Pat Casady said...

I don't think Hybrids will work for police cars.
Too much sitting and idling.
Check into the prices of the battery packs for
these hybrids. They average around $6,000.00.
You might save on gas but in the long they aren't
that cost efficient. With all the electrical equipment
I can't see them working that well as police cars.
That's not to say they wouldn't work for city cars
that are merely transportation.
However if the taxpayers supply cars for department heads
it might force them to move closer to Raytown. Just buy
them a car that has a thirty mile limit.

Pat Casady said...

Anonymous 6:43,
I appreciate you agreeing with me but you
misunderstood me. I will never go against the
police on how they spend their money. When I
need the police I want them to be there for me
with all the equipment they need. I don't want
some light weight under supplied Hybrid heading
my way. You want to cut costs? Get rid of the
spenders and wasters you voted for. Get rid of the
people that spend your tax dollars other than the
way they promised you they would.
Just think how much better this town would have
been without the give-a-ways that have happened in the
last ten years. Just think how much better our streets
would be if they actually used the street overlay tax for....
OVERLAYS!
Just think how much money this town would have had to use
If they didn't have to pay over $2,000,000,00 so far
to pay towards the Wal-Mart bonds that the genius's at city
hall agreed to.
If our city leaders really cared about this town they would
be hunting for a way to get out of that deal and quit giving
away your tax dollar income and use it for what tax income
was designed for. To make this town a better, safer place
for the people.

Andy Whiteman said...

I agree with Pat about hybrids for Police work. An idling vehicle will NOT be recharging the battery and will be using a lot of gas the same as it does now.

I wasn't aware department heads had city vehicles for personal use. The city vehicles should be parked at city hall for city business use only (i.e. to check on something in the city, attend a meeting, or to transact city business.) Take home vehicles are a waste of taxpayer's money. If this is happening, it should be stopped immediately!

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...

Since the taxpayers paid for Walmart's parking lot, I suggest parking meters or possibly a gated entry that requires a payment of 25 cents for each vehicle entering. Meters would create more revenue but a standard entry fee wouldn't require meter maids to check for expired meters.

Andy Whiteman