Sunday, August 28, 2011

Which Streets Will Be Repaired This Fall?

One of our regular readers sent us an email asking which streets are slated to be repaired in Raytown this Fall. Seemed like a fair question to us. We put in a call to Raytown's Public Works Director, Andy Noll, and asked if he had a map showing which streets would be repaired. He said he had a map and would forward it to us. So keep an eye on this page and we will all find out which streets have made the list this year.



Street Talk by Greg Walters 
It is good to see that the City is doing some much needed repair work on curbs along Raytown Road. But it has not been without problems. In his weekly report City Administrator Mahesh Sharma wrote that the city may award the remainder of the contract to another bidder because the original contract winner is not moving quickly enough on the project. 
  • At a recent work session of the Raytown Board of Aldermen, Ward 2 Alderman Jim Aziere told the Public Works Department that people were disappointed in the oil and gravel sealant used on residential streets. According to Aziere, one neighborhood had even put together a petition asking the city not to use the gravel and oil mixture on their street during last year's elections. Aziere also expressed his disappointment in city staff because they were aware of the petition but did not inform him the petition was being passed. Clearly, somebody at City Hall needs to work on their communication skills.
  • Public Works Director Andy Noll has stated that the sealant increases the life of street and is less expensive than asphalt. We believe him. But that does not especially make it the best material to repair streets with.
  • At the last meeting of the Board Noll told Board members that he intended to use a new ¾” thick ultra thin bonded resurfacing material on Raytown Road from 63rd Street to 74th Terrace. A section of Interstate 435 (just west of Raytown) has been resurfaced with the material. It rides smooth and looks like newly laid asphalt.
Back Down Memory Lane . . .
I remember during my first term on the Raytown Board of Aldermen (1980) that a similar debate was being held. At the time the city had been using a rock and oil “slurry seal” on streets. Residents did not like it and let their elected officials know in very clear language that they wanted asphalt on their streets.

The Public Works Director at the time listened. He quit using the oil and rock slurry seal on residential streets.

The new ¾” ultra thin sealant sounds like a good compromise.

The question is, will the Board of Aldermen collectively work up the nerve to direct the Public Works Department to change direction.

Times have changed a lot since 1980. The Board at that time was much more responsive to constituent complaints and took a more active role in directing city policy. It may make sense for the current Board of Aldermen to look back to find a solution to residential street repair that is not meeting the standards Raytowners expect in their neighborhoods. 

Aldi's to Open on September 1st 

Aldi's Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening is scheduled for Thursday, September 1st at 8:45 a.m. Tours of the new store will be provided by the Aldi Leadership Team.

The development of the Aldi's Grocery Store / Restaurant was made possible by an $850,000 payment by the city to the developer. The city hopes to recoup the $850,000 through a CID District sales tax of 1% paid for by those who shop at Aldi's or eat at the restaurant. 

At the time the CID District was formed a restaurant was said to be planned for later in the development. There has not been any announcement from City Hall of when or what restaurant will be built.

by Jenn Walters
The Best Type of Yoga for Your Personality
Hatha, Vinyasa, Bikram, Kundalini, Iyengar…there are so many freakin’ different types of yoga out there. While we are by no means yoga pros, we have tried just about every type of yoga out there, be it in workout DVDs or in live classes. So to help you decide what type of yoga is right for you, we put together the below guide. While it... Continue reading

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60 comments:

Andy Whiteman said...

It was my understanding that department heads are highly paid EMPLOYEES and take DIRECTION from the board.

It seems to me that in this case, the cart is driving the horse which is backward from the way it should be. I sure wonder why the board voted to approve the contract? They could have rejected all bids as unsatisfactory materials and but the project back up for bid.

As to selection of grocery store, it is difficult to answer. Due to money and time issues, I limit my shopping to once a month and sometimes twice. I shop only sales at which time I stock up. My shopping varies depending on if most the items I want are on sale. Also double coupons factor into the decision. There are some frozen meals I eat for lunch. Hen House had them on sale one time for $0.95 (which was a good price.) I happened to have 50 cent coupons. After doubling the coupons, Hen House was paying me 5 cents for each meal I purchased.

I shopped at Aldi on Friday after my doctor appointment because I was in that area and they charged a price I was willing to pay on the items I wanted so I bought a whole case of that item as well as other things that I like. I even bought Sundae cones to share with Red Dogg on these hot days.

Walgreens also happens to have groceries which are really overpriced, but this week they have a good sale on prune juice so I just returned from there after buying the limit of 4.

I will vote for Hy-Vee since they usually have better sales and in the past Hy-Vee regular prices, at times, have been lower than Hen House and Walmart depending on the item.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Whenever I mention that Aldi's will be opening soon, everyone says good. A lot of people like Aldi's. Question - what happens if people shop at Aldi's and not Walmart? Will it cost the taxpayers more money?

Greg Walters said...

Interesting question. The TIF debt on Walmart relies on city sales tax revenue to pay it down. Raytown is saturated with grocery stores. That means that most area shoppers are pretty much set with where they buy their groceries.

I'm sure there are Aldi Grocery Store fans who will go out of their way to shop at their store.

Which would bring in new revenue.

But with high gas prices, and time constraints in our lives today, shopping patterns are probably dictated more by convenience. That means most of the shoppers at the new Aldi Store will come from other area stores.

Walmart and Aldi's are relatively close to each other on 350 Highway. There will undoubtedly be an impact.

I wonder how well Aldi's policy of not taking credit cards (they do take debit cards) will work out.

The retail world is becoming more and more paperless. Not using credit cards at Aldi's may hurt their sales.

Pat Casady said...

I would like to know what part of the passed sales
tax for asphalt overlay does the city not remember?
They promised that if the people of Raytown would
pass the 1/2 cent sales tax increase the streets would
be done as promised.
It would appear that all the bad decisions of giving
away our tax income has bit our leaders on the butt!
I don't claim to know everything but, I have been in
business long enough to know if you give away most of
your income you can't last very long and your service
will suffer. It's a shame that our leaders aren't smart
enough to realize that the people of this town are all
they have. Breaking promises and raising taxes to make up
for bad decisions isn't the way for the people to be treated.
Bending over for big business does nothing for the people
they are supposed be working for.

Pat Casady said...

I meet with friends for breakfast at Hy-Vee
at 6:00am so sometimes I shop after I eat. This
is usually for small items I need at my business.
When I need groceries I shop at Apple Market.
I buy my meat and cheeses at The Store. I have never
found better tasting meat than The Store. Plus
they are localy owned as is Apple Market. I will never
go into Wal-Mart or Aldi.

Anonymous said...

I haven't done a scientific survey, but every time I have been by Sav-A-Lot the parking lot looks empty. I don't see them and Aldi both surviving.

Andy Whiteman said...

The merchant must PAY the credit card company for the service. When I was in business, it was 3%. That means merchants must raise their prices to cover credit cards.

Aldi does take Discover so I use my Discover card at Aldi I couldn't shop there because I don't use cash or debit cards. I am surprised they take Discover. They must have received a good deal from Discover. There are certain times of the year when Discover offers a 5% rebate for using their card at grocery cards.

7:21 AM, I don't consider Aldi or Sav-A-Lot to be grocery stores because they do NOT offer a full selection. I doubt they will hurt Walmart or any other store because of this selection issue. Veggies are prepackaged/preweighed so you can't pick out what you want. You must buy a whole package even if some of the bannanas (or whatever) in the package are overripe or spoiled. I do shop Aldi and Save-A-Lot but only for a few items because I like their prices on those specific items.

BTW: There was a $5 coupon in the mail Saturday for $5 off a $20 purchase at Sav-A-Lot.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Personally I don't see anything making it in Raytown.

Anonymous said...

We approve a Transportation Sales Tax, we get oil and gravel. We pass a Public Safety Sales Tax, we get gas guzzling SUVs. Crime is up and property values are down. What does City Hall do? They build stores, loan money, and give tax breaks to multi-billion dollar corporations. What did they do for you and me - the citizens and backbone of this community? They raised our sewer rates and property taxes, year after year.

Pat Casady said...

Who do we have to blame for the way this city is
being run? Is it the incompetent elected officials?
Is it the hired non-resident department heads?
I believe it is the people for not getting out to
vote the bad decision makers out. I haven't figured
out why everybody will complain about these people
but nobody will get out and vote them out.
Let's face it they have too many friends that
will vote for them even though they know they are hurting
this town.
When you have a town of over thirty thousand people and
only four thousand get out to vote that tells a sad story.
Please find it in your heart to find good people to run
against these people and get out and vote! Ask your
neighbors to vote!

Anonymous said...

Don't blame me I voted and I supported Greg Walters!!!

Look at the increase in crime and greater code violations we now face.

Anonymous said...

What is wrong with this town is that the mayor has to many of the alderman in his hip pocket. Watch a meeting on television and you can pick them out just by watching. These are the ones that need to go and go now!!!!!

Andy Whiteman said...

Yes the public are being lied to indirectly! Sales tax issues on the ballot are misnamed. The name Transportation Sales Tax implies street and traffic light maintenance and repair, We are lied to because no one read the fine print. Some time after the election, City Attorney, Nancy Thompson, disclosed that the Transportation Sales Tax also included building commuter bus stops and paying the KCRTD for Raytown's bus service.

Apparently everyone thought we were voting for street maintenance, but, in effect, we the people were lied to. Our elected "leaders" failed to make full disclosure.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Just a little FYI. A friend of mine told me he went to Debbie Grant’s funeral in Harrisonville tonight. Debbie used to be the City Clerk in Raytown.

On the way out of town, he passed a Raytown Fire District command SUV, headed to the funeral home. Just wondering if that is a good use of taxpayers’ dollars, the gas there and back and the vehicle being out of service during the evening like that. Not sure how many they have but the gas alone is enough to warrant a look.

Has anyone heard anything about a merger between EMS and FD?

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Raytown Fire Department could someone tell me why Mayor James of Kansas City is parking an ambulance down at station #1?

Is Mayor James using part of that 1% earnings tax to pay the good citizens of Raytown back for the use of a stall in our fire department?

Seems that Mayor James needs to make sure we are getting paid for the space and that if we are not that they think about annexing the land between Raytown’s East boundaries and Lee Summit.

This would also solve the issue of KCMO police drive down 63 or 350 highway at high speeds without lights and sirens to provide service to that area.

Andy Whiteman said...

9:22PM, I really feel that vehicle use should be addressed with the Fire District. If you can't or won't do that, I think CH4, CH5, or CH9 investigative reporters would have a field day with that one! They usually require you attempt resolution yourself before calling them. Another resource would be the Watch Dog at the Red Star. He could take a good bite on that one if they don't have a good excuse.

I am sorry for Ms. Grant's passing. BTW: Isn't it strange our city clerks come from that area?

As for the merger of the FD and EMS, "I have heard nothing, nothing," to quote Sgt. Schultz. In my opinion KCMO has had many issues with that type of merger. There are many reasons I think it will be problematic even though the 2 agencies work together. If they had started together originally as they should have, it would be a non issue.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

For those having issue with the public safety sales tax, remember one thing. THe City Council froze between 4 and 6 police officer positions. If the city won't let the police department hire the required numbers then the Mayor and City Council are at fault for the crime as well. Not the Gas Guzzling SUVs.

Anonymous said...

Andy,

Debbie Grant was not from Harrisonville. When she was the city clerk in Raytown she lived in Raytown. The Harrisonville City Council required that she move to that town if she wanted the job.

Oh, my! Another backward community with residency requirements.

The Raytown City Council reminds me of the proud mother watching her son in a marching parade.

"Look at my little Johnny. See how well he marches! Why are all of the other children out of step with him."

Pretty enlightening about the four vacancies on the police department. That means the promise made of more police if we passed the safety tax was just another lie from our elected officials.

Or does it really mean that it was more important to give Aldi's $850,000 to open another grocery store? Was it more important to make Walmart's tax payments for them?

I guess so because that is what our Mayor and City Council did instead of filling the four police positions.

Anonymous said...

I thought I read on this very blog that Raytown had a fire board that oversees our fire departement.

What is this fire board doing and when do they meet?

Sounds like they have several issues

1.) Other cities using our stations to house their equipment.

2.) Using fire department equipment to attend events outside of Raytown and for individuals that never worked for the fire departments.

Maybe it is just me, but what other things are they hiding from those of us who pay the taxes that keeps them employed.

Pat Casady said...

You are all right about how your tax dollars are
being spent and wasted. This is another reason for
us to start looking for good candidates for the
next election. We need to make flyers to pass out
telling the people how their tax dollars are being
used and given away. All directly because of most
of our elected officials.
Remember it wasn't the tax payers that made the
deal with the devil (W-M) that has cost taxpayers over
a million eight hundred thousand so far.
It wasn't the taxpayers that lied about the street
overlay tax. It certainly wasn't the taxpayers that
loaned their money to Aldi's.
It wasn't the taxpayers that took the safety tax increase
and put it in the general fund after they were promised
it would only go for new police officers and safety equipment.
I'm sorry but I have lost just about all respect for our
elected officials. After all, how can you respect people
that clearly don't care for the people of Raytown and their
wishes. Officials that don't listen to the people.
Officials that don't take our taxes and use them for the
correct reason. We pay taxes expecting our city leaders to
use them to make Raytown a better place NOT to flush the
money down the toilet. NOT to help big business.
Somebody needs to step up and try to break the contract with
Wal-Mart before it breaks this town. It's too bad most of our
elected officials don't have the guts to stand up for the people
or what they believe in. Instead of cowering down to avoid conflict.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:49 AM on 8/31,

If the police department would either cut the ranking officers from the staff and/or put them on the street, we wouldn't need to hire additional officers.

In other words, city marshall Jim Lynch needs to take on his share of the blame for allowing us to have a top heavy department.

It might come as a shocker to city marshall Lynch and others in Raytown, but other cities in the Greater Metro Area have required their senior ranking officers to be on the street. This actually was a very productive move in the KCMO police departement about 20 years ago under Chief Bishop.

It is to bad that Raytown does check with other cities to find out what is working and saves the tax payers money. Keep in mind KCMO doesn't elect a city marshall and if they did I bet they would still do the right they had actuall have an appointed chief of police so their board could address staffing issues with the department.

Anonymous said...

The reason you see KCFD units parked at Raytown stations is called mutual aid. If a Raytown unit is unavailable, KCFD responds. And vice-versa. Raytown units go into KC all the time...and vice-versa.

Sorry to see the Godfather's Pizza on Raytown Trafficway close. It closed over the weekend.

Andy Whiteman said...

Keep in mind that KCMO is NOT a 4th class city that is required to elect a town marshall.

I don't know which street is in the photo, but the definately need a complete repair, not an oil and sand mixture.

I have been wondering for a long time about the way tax $$$$$ are spent in a wastefull manner: Did our city officials learn from Dictator O'Bummer or did Dictator O'Bummer learn from our officials? Both are wastefull.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

The KCFD ambulance has been there since May 2009 with free room and board. It was one of the board members idea.

Groucho K. Marx said...

FYI all...

The Raytown Fire Protection District and KC-MO have what is called by their fire departments an "automatic mutual aid" agreement.

Both fire and EMS units can be or are sent to incidents or to fill-in for empty stations in either city.

Raytown definately benefits here by the better-trained and equipped fire responses of KC-MO companies- but I'm not sure how the costs differ to residents when it comes to Raytown's own EMS service responding versus KC-MO FD-EMS..


Enjoy your very informative blog Mr. Waters from a guy who once married a RSHS Class of 1970 grad and therefore knows Raytown for a long time and oh too well. ;)


Jim "Groucho" Meyer
http://groucho-karl-marx.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

I didn't Godfathers had closed. I am also sorry to see it close. Like one blogger stated nothing ever makes it in Raytown. Here is the proof..

Andy Whiteman said...

12:40PM, The KCFD ambulance location is unknown to me, but I don't patrol the fire stations.

Fire Departments generally provide mutual aide. There are areas of KCMO that their FD and PD must pass through Raytown to get from KCMO to KCMO. If they are needed in Raytown, they are already here. Back when Mast was in operation, Mast responded to my 911 call apparently because Raytown was busy on other calls.

It is best for the welfare of the patient to keep the ambulance near for a quick response. If someone has a heart attack, stopped breathing, or has serious bleeding; a person could die from a slow response. If one of your family members died and KCMO said, "Sorry it took us so long, but we had to drive all the way through Raytown," would that be an acceptable excuse?

Mast used to park a unit at QT on 63rd ST & Blue Ridge. Since KCFD ambulances are no longer parked around the city, I assume this ambulance replaces that parked ambulance.

I suggest that those concerned ask the RFD and/or KCFD for an explanation.

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...

6:05PM, is it possible business closings may be from this rotten economy? Blockbuster went bankrupt, closed in Raytown and bloggers blamed Raytown.

It could be the competition. There are many Pizza places in Raytown. I went to Godfathers ONCE, waited 10 minutes, and left after a server never came for my order. I wonder how much business they lost due to poor service?

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Godfather's had been in that location since about 1980! Many other Godfather's have closed during that span of time including the one in Lee's Summit. Sorry to lose them but it's a sign of the times.

Anonymous said...

Godfathers for most of the last 10 years was poorly managed and they never modernized their dining area. They occasionally tried to clean it up, but never made it modern and inviting.

I love their pizza, but usually got it to go. I don't think their closing can be blamed on the city.

Pizza Hut's $10 deal probably finished them off.

Pat Casady said...

Please don't get me wrong on this but, other
reasons Raytown is losing businesses besides
the economy is that big box on 350hwy. Raytown has
lost over thirty small businesses since that store
opened. Everybody except City Hall saw that coming.
Another reason is the crime rate going up in Raytown.
I don't blame the police department either. We voted to
on a safety tax to help the police and they as well as
we got the short end of the stick.
Running a town is like running a delicate machine.
If one part goes bad the machine won't work properly.
We first must blame our codes department
(for the raising crime rate). If people
were made to keep their property up to code maybe
some of the undesirables would leave or take some pride
in this town. Let's face it if they don't care how they
live, the city should care where they live.
Next we have the money flying out of City Hall faster
than it is coming in. This is tax money that was supposed
work for this city not pay off an asinine deal with
the Wal-Mart bonds. I still think that deal is illegal.
That money could have been used to "overlay" streets.
Make our downtown look better to draw new small business.
So you see the biggest reason for Raytown losing businesses
should be directed toward City Hall.
Any one part of the machine not doing it's job will wreck the
machine. We are witnessing a train wreck in Raytown.

Anonymous said...

I don't know who is been feeding you the bull, but you best get facts.

Mutual aid has nothing to do with housing equipment for other departments and I am willing to bet the state requires ambulances to be keep in a heated grage.

The KCMO fire department down off 350 near Noland Road doesn't appear to have a place for an ambulance so what do you bet that is the true reason we are housing this ambulance.

I might also point out why does someone believe KCMO fire department and EMS are better trained than ours. Might I remind you we don't make the news in a negative way. We don't run ads or ask for a 1% earnings tax or make a stink without it service leavels with stink.

When MAST ran the ambulance service in KCMO and not the fire department they didn't park ambulances in Rayton's fire stations. You might see them with a crew and ready to run out of Quick Trip.

Speaking of a crew for this ambulance who is paying for it and who is paying to house and feed them. This too is not mutual ad and Raytown needs to start charging rent. The board meember who came up with this idea needs to be named and step down.

Maybe this is why I have heard the fire board meets behind closed doors at 9:00 am. That sure doesn't seem like a time most would be able to attend. I thought our state had a sunshine law that requires meetings to be no earlier than 5:00 PM so most working people could attend.

The more I hear the more I believe the list present by someone else on this blog is much longer than just a couple of outstanding questions.

Anonymous said...

Andy,

Get real!!!

KCMO has a responsablity to all of their areas to provide fire and police it is not Raytown or any other city near them to have to deal with cars being driving at high speeds without lights and sirens. The city should have thought about this be for grabing the land years ago, but all they wanted was extra city taxes without providing services. This is why they have an earning tax becasues it is all about the money.

It should also be noted that many KCMO fire and police live in the same area that is in question. So, I wonder if the cars in question are going to a call or are late getting home.

Maybe Mayor James could like into what his employees are doing, but from what I have seen on the news he cannot even take care of his home life so I am sure managing as many employees as KCMO has will never happen and we will be forced to deal with the dangers of high speed disrespectful KCMO employees that put the citizens lives in danger.

Andy Whiteman said...

I thought big box stores attracted crime. I fail to understand how lack of code enforcement causes crime. Criminals live in well kept homes as well as the slums of Raytown. They have a choice of where to live and where to conduct their "business".

I wonder where Godfather's was hiding? My wife and I used to go to the DMV from '94-'97. If she had seen Godfathers, I am sure she would have wanted to go there. Instead she saw Las Chilis and wanted to eat there. I never knew Godfathers was there until they published a coupon and I went looking for them only to be ignored by the server. If they ignore too many people it could cause them to go out of business.

Andy Whiteman

DOC SUMMERS said...

I guess i have to come out of retirement and answer the questions and respond to the comments about my employer The Raytown Fire Protection District.
Lets start with anon 9:22
The Vehicle you saw is the reserve command unit. This vehicle is used to move personnel around between stations, It is also used to retrieve firefighters from the hospital when they ride with EMS for manpower (critical calls)CPR, Gunshots, Strokes, OB Calls Respitory distress and anything that requires more than one set of hands. The Districts color guard uses it as well for Funeral Detail and Funeral precession. The District also uses it for out of town training which is covered in the Annual Budget.
Anon 9:46
Mayor Sly James is not parking his EMS Unit at sta#1
When KCFD took over MAST that ambulance was slotted to be assigned to the fire station#39 at 47th and Pittman. The station is currently a two bay station which houses Pumper 39 and Truck 13. The station that is under construction at 47th and Sterling will house those units as well as the Kcfd EMS unit at sta#1.
The trade off for them or as the payback for us is that we can never be turned down or a EMS unit in Raytown if both our EMS units are on calls(You would be very surprised at how many times this happens).This is a huge win for Raytown Residents.
Andy @ 10:20
I am sure permission was granted by the command staff to take the vehicle as is always the case.
Not sure if the TV news would do the story. Ch5 Accused the EMS Service off being Racist in treatment of a stroke patient.
Anon 7:38Already answered your number one complaint so on to number two.
Yes, Debbie did not work for the Raytown Fire Protection Department.
Her Husband did for 37 years as a firefighter/driver and retired last year. We are a family.
Anon 12:40
Yes, they have been here since May 09. It has not been free they help us and respond to calls with us when our EMS service is out on other calls.
PT 1 OF 2

DOC SUMMERS said...

Groucho marx
Yes we have Automatic Aid with KCFD, we also have state wide aid and a whole host of other aid packages.
My exception to your post was the training comment. Raytown Firefighters all carry state certification as FF2,1/3 of our firefighters are Paramedics/Half of our firefighters have degrees in Applied Fire Sciences, many are cross trained in rope rescue, fire investigation, building collapse and we are a hazmat decon team for KCFD. We carry a vast amount of tools and extrication equipment and thermal imaging cameras. By far more training and available equipment than KCFD (this is only by the sheer size of the there department and amount of ground they cover they cant afford the amount of equipment). So actually this is a gain for Kansas City residents.
The cost i cant answer to because i have no hand in billing for either services.
I will end this post with this.
KCFD Ems #39 is not living here for free. We offered a space for them to get some downtime and rest outside of the ambulance in between calls. They help with station duties and help out whenever they are here. These guys and girls run anywhere from 5 to 15 calls a shift and get sucked into downtown to fill in spaces. If you drive by here and you see them it is a miracle.
We also run a lot of calls in Kansas City with the automatic aid package ie 470 and view high and the 350 Noland corridor With our extrication equipment.
Call Volumes
Raytown Fire 3300/year that is about 9 a shift.
Raytown EMS 5300/year that is
about 14 a shift
these are averages.
EMS /FIRE Merger why?
Both department work together very well. Director Cushman runs a very good service which has alot of very good medics and emts.
Fire Chief Mawhirter as well fields a very strong department that works in conjuction with Raytown EMS to provide quality care and to protect life and property.
On a side note we have lost four members of the Fire Districts Family in the last two weeks.
Retired Driver Dale Schaffer
Retired Captain Gilmer Phillips
Retired Driver Mark Grants wife Debbie Grant.
Current Battalion Chief Mike Hunleys mother.
In the spirit of being here and answering questions i will ask the Fire Union to write a check to the Fire District for $25.00 to cover the Fuel that was used in the back up utility SUV as to not burden the taxpayer.
Thank you
Captain Darren Doc Summers
Sta#1 A-shift

Anonymous said...

Back to the Gas Guzzling SUV's those are driven by the Administrative staff of the police department. I saw two of them yesterday alone driving through the city stopping vehicles. I stopped and chatted with an officer at the 350 highway Quik Trip, and inquired about the new vehicle aditions to the police department. He told me that they are for those officals that are basically on call 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Swat team, detectives, etc. He also said that the head of those persons of rank frequently patrol during the week and do in fact assist in daily calls for services and vehicle stops. I would say that being the case then the police department is doing the best they can with what they have to work for. I personally have seen, over the summer months, 6 vehicle stops near my residence that I was told resulted in the arrests of several burglary/larceny susepcts who are behind bars now. I can say that it appears to me that dispite the moronic desisions being made at City Hall, the police department is still keeping the community as safe as they can.

Greg Walters said...

I received a call from the Raytown Fire Department regarding a RFD District Vehicle at former City Clerk Debbie Grant's funeral.

Debbie's husband, Mark, served on the Raytown Fire Department for 32 years. The vehicle was used to transport a four member honor guard who served at Debbie's funeral.

According to the Fire District spolkesman, the use of the vehicle as transportation for the Honor Guard was official business.

Anonymous said...

So let me get this straight, people on here are upset that the Fire District is not charging KCFD for housing? Were you also upset when the Fire District gave the city a $400,000.00 EMS station for a dollar? The Fire District receives no funding from the city, and in fact has to pay the City of Raytown a great deal of money for the privilege of having them answer the 911 call when your house is on fire. If god forbid something happened to the EMS station tonight and they could not live there how much do you think would be fair for the Fire District to charge Raytown EMS for housing? I would rather think of this as one neighbor helping another neighbor when they are in need.

Anonymous said...

Well I guess we're lucky that PD bought the fullsized, luxury SUVs and not the Corvettes or
lamborghinis. The point is that such a vehicle is not neccessary to conduct traffic stops, or any other Police business. There are many, many citizens in Raytown who are suffering under the heavy tax burden we pay. Sure, buying a standard stocked squad car instead of a Fullsize Expedition would save ten thousand dollars, or more. But save 10 thousand dollars here and 10 thousand there, and that adds up to millions for sidewalks, curbs, more police protection, etc., rather quickly.

Has Cityhall and PD forgotten how to be frugal with precious taxpayer dollars? Sadly, It appears more and more to be the cases.







s

doc summers said...

greg,
are you going to print the second half of my post?
doc summers

Andy Whiteman said...

Greg and Doc Summers, thank you for posting regarding the comments on the RFD. (I wondered where Doc was.) This issue wouldn't have mushroomed if the person with the allegations had called the Fire District and received an answer. I know I am strange, but if I have an issue with someone or something that happened, I contact that person or their supervisor first. It seems more logical than escalating the issue out of peroration.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I've beeen reading the comments and I have to say that it is hard to understand why the city is using vehicles that are gas guzzlers with fuel prices where they are.

Greg Walters said...

Doc,

It must have been lost in transmission -- who knows! I've published all I have received.

Sometimes there are issues with Google's software.

Please send it again and I will post it.

doc summers said...

Groucho marx
Yes we have Automatic Aid with KCFD, we also have state wide aid and a whole host of other aid packages.
My exception to your post was the training comment. Raytown Firefighters all carry state certification as FF2,1/3 of our firefighters are Paramedics/Half of our firefighters have degrees in Applied Fire Sciences, many are cross trained in rope rescue, fire investigation, building collapse and we are a hazmat decon team for KCFD. We carry a vast amount of tools and extrication equipment and thermal imaging cameras. By far more training and available equipment than KCFD (this is only by the sheer size of the there department and amount of ground they cover they cant afford the amount of equipment). So actually this is a gain for Kansas City residents.
The cost i cant answer to because i have no hand in billing for either services.
I will end this post with this.
KCFD Ems #39 is not living here for free. We offered a space for them to get some downtime and rest outside of the ambulance in between calls. They help with station duties and help out whenever they are here. These guys and girls run anywhere from 5 to 15 calls a shift and get sucked into downtown to fill in spaces. If you drive by here and you see them it is a miracle.
We also run a lot of calls in Kansas City with the automatic aid package ie 470 and view high and the 350 Noland corridor With our extrication equipment.
Call Volumes
Raytown Fire 3300/year that is about 9 a shift.
Raytown EMS 5300/year that is
about 14 a shift
these are averages.
EMS /FIRE Merger why?
Both department work together very well. Director Cushman runs a very good service which has alot of very good medics and emts.
Fire Chief Mawhirter as well fields a very strong department that works in conjuction with Raytown EMS to provide quality care and to protect life and property.
On a side note we have lost four members of the Fire Districts Family in the last two weeks.
Retired Driver Dale Schaffer
Retired Captain Gilmer Phillips
Retired Driver Mark Grants wife Debbie Grant.
Current Battalion Chief Mike Hunleys mother.
In the spirit of being here and answering questions i will ask the Fire Union to write a check to the Fire District for $25.00 to cover the Fuel that was used in the back up utility SUV as to not burden the taxpayer.
Thank you
Captain Darren Doc Summers
Sta#1 A-shift

Andy Whiteman said...

On Tuesday's BOA agenda:
R-2419-11: A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE CITY ADMINISTRATOR TO ENTER INTO AN AGREEMENT WITH VANCE BROTHERS, INC. FOR THE 2011 LIGHT WEIGHT AGGREGATE SEAL PROJECT IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED $144,200.00
and
7. Public Hearing: A public hearing to establish the 2011 Property Tax Levies.
7a. FIRST Reading: Bill No. 6269-11, Section VIII. AN ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING THE ANNUAL PROPERTY TAX LEVY RATE FOR THE CITY OF RAYTOWN GENERAL OPERATING FUND AND THE PARK FUND FOR THE YEAR 2011. Point of Contact: John Benson, Interim Community Development Director/Senior Planner. Sponsor(s): Planning & Zoning Commission.

I suggest a mob turnout to protest the half assed LIGHT WEIGHT AGGREGATE SEAL. Remember they don't listen to one person. A somewhat disgruntled but peaceful mob gets their attention!

Greg Walters said...

Doc,

Mystery solved!

I posted part two of your letter this morning. Since I had some time, I decided to clean up my computer. I noticed that the SPAM folder was getting pretty full -- guess what I found as the first message.

Part two of your letter.

It is rare that a message to the blog portion of this page would end up in that folder.

I apologize for the error.

To all of my readers, if you send a message and it does not get posted, please do not hesitate to contact me.

If you take the time to write it -- we all want to read it.

Anonymous said...

EMS /FIRE Merger why?

I will tell you why. Combining services would reduce overhead, reduce top heavy organizations, reduce adminsitrative support, reduce equipment costs, reduce duplicate service. Reduce, reduce, reduce.

I guess it is easier to simply raise taxes, seeking more taxpayer dollars, than it is to combine service and reduce costs.

The way it has always been done, is broke and so are the citzens who pay large tax bills. We do not need a seperate EMS and Fire service and anyone who tells you otherwise is only concern for their own job title and quirks.

That being said, let the hateful responses begin...

Anonymous said...

I firmly believe that the EMS and fire department need to be combined. Saying that I also strongly feel that the park department needs to be under the city as does the police department need to be under a police board. The PD needs to have an appointed chief and a board to answer to. Right now they are not answering to no one. I feel this would be best for the city and its citizens.

Anonymous said...

I see emergency vehicles pass my house on calls everyday. There is almost always a fire truck and an ambulance.

I don't understand why we are buying fuel to send a fire truck to every ambulance call. Why can't a smaller vehicle be used for non-fire related calls?

Andy Whiteman said...

Greg, What were the results to last week's poll? Somehow I am not seeing poll results.

I don't like SPAM filters. They filter out stuff that is not SPAM. I have had posts that didn't sppear and assumed that I neglected to click PUBLISH due to my memory loss or it wasn't accepted. Each post takes 30 minutes to an hour to write and it is rare if I will have another hour to write it again.

Andy Whiteman

doc said...

reduce what?
we still need two ambulances and if call volume continues a third would be nice and we need two fire trucks.
Reduce top heavy departments? who do you cut? The ems director works on shift and they have one human resource person.
Fire district has 4 shift officers and a fulltime fire marshall who fills in on shift to reduce overtime and one human resource person.
Reduce people in the field is that what you are asking for? There are some calls for service that we need all of the hands between the fire truck and ambulance.
I guess it is easy to ask for reduction in services if you do not use them.
Do you know how much it costs to run the EMS System?
If it was folded into the fire service there would be addtional costs of training EMS Workers to fulfill Fire suppression functions as required by FLSA.
Do you think a merger would really reduce costs?
Do you think it has not been looked at by both sides city and fire district,outside independant organizations.
The only title i have is Captain which i earned through testing and training, The only quirk i have that i still collect ball cards.
Come up with some numbers to back up your Anonymous idea,lets make it fun if you can produce the numbers that says it will save money and be a benifit. I will dig through the files and see if i can find the last couple studies to share.....but only if you sign your name. How about it.. it will be fun...Deal?

Captain Darren Doc Summers

Greg Walters said...

Andy,

I take the poll questions down on a weekly basis and post a new one. I don't save or post the results.

The last poll before this one had to do with reducing the franchise tax in some manner to pay back the taxpayers for the windfall of Franchis Tax Fee the city reaped over the last year due to the extremes in cold and heat. Our estimate, based on financial figures from City Hall, is that by fiscal year end the city will have gained over $225,000 over last year's franchise tax.

Those who participated in the poll over-whelmingly chose to ask for a roll back on utility franchise tax fees to bring some balance back to the picture.

Andy Whiteman said...

Greg, You used to post the poll results at the end of the following week's column. I guess your policy has changed.

Doc, I sure hope Anonymous takes you up on you challenge. I would like to see anonymous posters back up their theories with fact and logic.

I will tell you how it is done in Alamogordo, NM, but this method may or may not be suitable elsewhere. They have a Department of Public Safety which is Police, Fire, and EMS. All responders are cross trained. Police car trunks contain bunker gear for the officers to put on at the scene. A driver drives the fire truck and/or ambulance from the garage.

The last time I went into town there was a bad accident where 2 highways intersected. It looked like a crime scene with at least 6 Police cars, ambulances, and fire trucks.

While going from my new house to the motel, I counted 12 police cars going Code 3 (red light and siren) towards me. I was on 10th St which is a through street like 63rd. There were also police cars
making sudden turns from side streets onto 10th! The fire truck came after all of this followed by another police car! It reminded me of the Keystone Cops.

I feel that type of response is both unsafe to the public and personnel as well as poor planning. They MAY have cost savings because the firefighters are doing another job of police officer rather than remaining at the station. Another issue I see is since the entire Police Department will be at a fire scene, who responds if there is a crime in progress? It is possible criminals would start a conflagration and then stage a major crime.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Captain, My Dear Captain;

No one can detail the cost savings of merging EMS and Fire in which you are asking. Who has access to the books to make that determination?

But anyone with a practical business aptitude, could find validity in a merger to lower costs. It is a proven avenue to being more efficient, and providing better services.

Perhaps an independent study from an unbias source, experts in mergers, would be able to provide that answer, but it appears Fire and EMS are pleased as punched with the status quo of raising taxes and not seeking viable solutions of what a merger may or may not save the citizens.

Google EMS Fire Merger Savings and see the reasons and results of other communities merging, or considering merging Fire and EMS.

It appears several communities have successfully merged their Fire and EMS services resulting in cost savings and improved protection.

Why not Raytown?

Andy Whiteman said...

Anonymous, My Dear Anonymous,

The books are public record. Anyone may file a Freedom of Information Act request.

Andy Whiteman

Lee said...

Just a some random thoughts as I read through all this week's comments....

Aldi will need to sell $85 million dollars in groceries before the 'loan' is repaid.

Stores like Aldi and Sam's Club like Discover because they can negotiate a minimal or no transaction charge agreement. They tend to be exclusive agreements. Costco favors AmEx. Some also take debit cards because it doesn't cost them. But if you favor debit cards, realize that you have no legislated protections like a credit card if someone cleans out your account.

Prior to Raytown's Godfather's closing, Grandview lost theirs and the one at 87th and Blue Ridge closed. In the past I used to frequent one in St Joe, and one of their two stores closed. (after building a new building) Godfather's as a chain has been struggling for decades. It's a shame, no place to buy a good taco pizza anymore. Many here like Funhouse Pizza, what I got there was a sloppy, greasy mess. I'd rather buy Dominos, and I have had Domino's cardboard pizza ONE time.

And Andy, if you can't see Godfather's when you go to the license bureau, maybe they shouldn't be giving you a license because you are obviously blind. :-) Godfather's was at 6204 and Las Chilis is at 6210.

Speaking of Mexican restaurants, I was in Raytown around lunch time about a month ago. Fortunately, Long John Silvers had a huge line and I drove east through the parking lot and stumbled on to a Mexican restaurant in that little shopping center. If I eat out, it's generally for lunch so I don't eat in Raytown very often. I'd recommend this place for price, quality, and quantity. Unfortunately, the name escapes me.

Also, if you want to see the new road resurfacing material, there are quite a few places around town where it is being used. In addition to 435 near Raytown, 435 near Shawnee Mission has also been resurfaced with it. I also noticed the ramps at 50 and 3rd in Lee's Summit had it. And Metcalf from 435 out past 119th. MoDOT is using it extensively. From a driver's perspective, if you didn't see it being applied, you probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference from an overlay. If the road is in relatively good shape (no ruts, no structural damage, no pot holes), it is a good alternative to extend the life of the current roadway. OTOH, if the roadway isn't in good shape you need to repair it before resurfacing. That is what is happening on 435 near Renner Rd.

Anonymous said...

Andy, you should consider typing your posts into Notepad and then copy/paste into the blog window. You can then save the Notepad file into a folder for all your blog posts. If it so happens that a post ends up missing, you can reference your folder to repost.

Andy Whiteman said...

Don't use debit cards because the money is gone instantly and I don't keep money in my checking account. My money is in interest bearing accounts and the checking account is for transferring funds only. I use credit cards that give me a rebate. My rebate depending on the credit card is from 1/2% on Discover up to 5% and I have 30 to 60 days before the bill is due! Consequently I use Discover only when they have the 5% rebate offers or at Aldi since that is the only card they accept.

The Discover merchant charges must have changed. Many stores don't take Discover. I asked about that several years ago and was told that Discover had higher merchant charges than the other cards.

Lee, Quite frankly I was surprised that my wife didn't see Godfather's! I had a hard time finding them when I was looking for them. Anything in a strip mall is hard to find unless drive past every store but far enough back to see the name about 20' off the ground.

I-435 south of Gregory has been resurfaced. It is nice and quiet now. Before resurfacing, I heard a loud tire noise which I hated.

I hope a mob shows up at the BOA to protest accepting the bid for the tar, sand, half-assed overlay. Remember they don't listen to one person. It takes a disgruntled, but somewhat polite mob.

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...

Where did the latest article and comments go? (The one about the Zoo.) It disappeared. The votes are still there.