Sunday, September 25, 2011

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Every Picture Tells a Story . . .
The picture was taken at Lake Tahoe in an area called Desolation Wilderness. The hike passed by four small mountain lakes. The day was perfect. Temperature in the low 70’s, bright and sunny, there was not even a hint of a breeze. 

The calm, bright conditions turned the lakes into natural mirrors of the surrounding landscape. 

The mountain surrounding Lake Tahoe are mostly made up of granite. The trails, when not rocky and steep, felt like a beach of coarse sand. But the sand is really pulverized granite. Lake Tahoe and the surrounding lakes are fed by snow melt from the previous winter. The granite serves as natural filter of the water as it makes its way to the lakes.

Open House to Discuss Future of Mass Transit in Raytown
Mass Transit Options in Jackson County In an effort to gain public input on how to best enhance transit service in the Kansas City metropolitan area, the Project Partnership Team for the Jackson County Commuter Corridors Alternatives Analysis (JCCCAA) will host several opportunities for community comment over the course of the next week. 
Transit routes under discussion.
The purpose of each event is to discuss transportation needs along the I-70 and Rock Island corridors and to seek public input on transit options under consideration. 
Short presentations will be given at 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. to update the public on the alternatives analysis process, which is a necessary step in applying for and receiving federal transportation dollars to help construct new transit systems.

To complement this formal open house, additional opportunities for comment will be available to the public. The project boards from the open house will be displayed at key locations in the corridors from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Project partnership and consultant team staff will be on hand to answer questions from 5 to 7 p.m. 
A meeting will held in Raytown at the following date and time:
September 28, 2011 
Mid-Continent Library 
6130 Raytown Road
Raytown, Missouri
Last December, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) awarded a competitive grant of $1.8 million to the project partnership team in order to study a regional transit system. The grant funds are being used to conduct this alternatives analysis along the I-70 and Rock Island commuter corridors as well as a recently completed study that identified a preferred route and use of streetcars for a starter line in downtown Kansas City, Missouri.
For materials and updates on the commuter corridors Alternatives Analysis as well as other regional studies, visit MARC’s SmartMoves website at:

Wildwood Lakes back on the Agenda by Greg Walters
The controversial issue of whether or not the City should use Raytown tax dollars to fund the cleanup of a private lake was placed on the shelf at the last meeting of the Board of Aldermen

It appears that there has been some communication behind the scenes as well because none of the spokesmen for the Wildwood Homeowners Association were in attendance at last Tuesday’s meeting of the Board.

Sources at City Hall tell us the issue is far from the dead.
The Public Works Department has been gathering information for the Board of Aldermen to use in their due diligence on the issue. It is anticipated that the next meeting of the Board will bring more public discussion on the issue.

So far, City Hall has heard over two hours of testimony from Wildwood Lake homeowners. Couple that with opinions and questions from the Board to city officials and you have the makings for one of the more interesting debates before the Board of Aldermen for quite some time.

As a former member of the Board there is a question that keeps nagging at me regarding this highly volatile issue. There has been plenty of discussion by the Mayor, Board members and the public. What there has not been is any form of a bill to or resolution to give direction on the issue.

Normally, business before the legislative body is brought before the elected body in a formal package. It can be as simple as a resolution or, if money is involved, should be in the form of an ordinance.

Fulfilling that requirement would bring focus to the debate. As it stand now the Wildwood Lakes question appears to be an ongoing debate without anyone stepping up and saying what is proposed. It is a sloppy way of doing the public’s business. The question should be asked if the Board intends to use public tax dollars for repairing a private lake.

Then the debate should begin. After which, each member of the Board of Aldermen should step up in cast a public vote as to where they stand on the issue.

Help Us Create the Ultimate Sammie for National Sandwich Day 2011 by Jenn Walters
The following is a post sponsored by Arnold Bread. For our sponsored post policy, click here.  There’s nothing like chomping into a good sandwich. Whether it’s for lunch, dinner, or heck, even breakfast (breakfast sandwiches are ah-mazing!), we’re a fan of the sammie. So when Arnold Bread (who also makes Brownberry and Continue reading

Paul Livius

Work Session September 20, 2011

Present: Aldermen Ertz, Lightfoot, Melson, Mock, Pardue
Absent: Aldermen Creamer, White, VanBuskirk, Azire, Hamilton

Jason Hanson, City Engineer, explained to the Board the proposed repairs to the Sanitary Sewer System in Raytown.  There will be three projects:

  • 7702 to 7804 Crescent Avenue.  They will remove and replace the manhole covers, pipes, and driveways for 752 feet in order to fix the sewer main offsets, sewer main sags, and multiple cracks in the sewer pipes for a cost of $101,200.
  • 8301 Lane to 9000 E. 84th Street.  They will remove and replace the manhole covers, pipes, and driveways for 714 feet in order to fix the sewer main offsets, sewer main sags, and multiple cracks in the sewer pipes for a cost of $123,800.
  • White Oak West Line will be funded by Sanitary Sewer bonds, but the bonds cannot cover the cost of the easement acquisition because of the restrictions on the bonds from the State Revolving Loan Fund.  The easement cost will be approximately $32,575.
These items will be presented to the full Board on October 4, 2011.

Raytown Board of Aldermen Meeting – September 20, 2011

The Invocation was given by Gene Calhoun of the First Baptist Church of Raytown.
  • Mayor Bower presented Becky Adney, of the American Business Women Association, Royal Ridge Chapter, with a Proclamation thanking the business women of Raytown for their significant contribution to the local economy.
  • Mayor Bower stated that the bridge in the Minor Smith Park was open and is very beautiful.
  • Mayor Bower represented Raytown at the Missouri Municipal League.  He told them about the economic developments in Raytown.
  • This Friday is the annual Police Department golf tournament.  The proceeds this year will benefit REAP.
  • Mayor Bower wished Alderman Hamilton a happy 75th birthday.
There were no public comments at this meeting.

Jeremy Willmoth reported that the man who damaged the sign in front of City Hall has insurance and the City will be reimbursed all costs to replace the sign.

Alderman Melson reported the Sheppard Center is having its “Super Saturday” fund raiser on October 8 from 11am to 2pm.  She also reported the Sheppard Center will be having the annual “Fall Clean Sweep” on October 24 and November 6.  This program helps older adults by cleaning the leaves and branches from their property.

Jeremy Willmoth spoke to the Board about the Property Tax mill levy.  He recommended the rate of 36.62 cents per $100 assessed value for the general city operations and the rate of 18.29 cents per $100 assessed value for the park operations remain the same.

The Final Adjusted Assessed Valuation:

  • Real Estate values increased by $1,132,802 or 0.477% from last year's amounts for a 2011 value of $238,251,391 (New Construction amounted to $2,189,225 of this increase. Without this, the value actually decreased by $1,056,423 or 0.4455%);
  • Personal property value increased by $846,793 or 1.477% from last year's amounts fora 2011 value of $58,165,194;
  • State assessed utilities values increased by $772,351 or 15.037% for a 2011 value of $5,908,703;
  • Total assessed values increased by $2,751,946 or 0.919% for a 2011 total value of $302,325,288.
  • This is a reduction of $109,350 (-$1,206,256 to real estate and $1,096,906 increase to personal property).
Actual collections are forecasted to be 95% of the possible amounts. The Public Hearing Document and the 2011 budget will show $1,038,000 in revenues for City purposes. A comparable Park revenue amount would be $517,000.

Mayor Bower invited public comments about the mill tax levy rate.  Andy Whiteman said he thought the mill levy for the city was at a reasonable rate.  He thought the taxes for the School Board was too high.

A representative from the Public Works Department, gave a report relating to the snow emergency regulations.  There are street that should be removed from the emergency snow route list.  He explained that the emergency snow route simply says one cannot park on those streets during a snow storm, but does not affect the order in which the streets are plowed.  Alderman Hamilton asked if there were signs designating the emergency snow routes and indicated no parking.  Mr. Noll said he did not know, but would report back later.  The list of the streets being removed from the emergency snow routes:
  • Cedar from 63rd Street to 64th Street
  • 51st Street from Woodson Road to Blue Ridge Boulevard
  • 63rd Terrace from Raytown Road to Willow
  • 64th Street from Raytown Road to Willow
  • 75th Street from Blue Ridge Boulevard to Hunter
  • 87th Street from Raytown Road to east city limit 
The Board moved to a closed section to discuss Legal actions, causes of action or litigation involving a public governmental body and any confidential or privileged communications between a public governmental body or its representatives and its attorneys.

O'HARA WINS HOMECOMING FOOTBALL GAME 48-17 by Brother Richard Geimer
An explosive 21 point third quarter made a big difference in Archbishop O'Hara's 48-17 homecoming football win over the Saint Pius X Warriors on Septemer 23.
The Celtics scored the first of their seven touchdowns in their first series on a 19 yard pass play from Jake Fortin to D.J. Griffin.  In the five plays of the scoring drive, Griffin also hauled in a pass for a 26 yard gain. Use this link to continue reading

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Anonymous said...

2 hours of public meetings about Wildwood Lakes? Was this limited to Wildwood residents only? There was no public notice of said meetings? What if non-Wildwood citizens wanted to comment? This is quite typical of the Socialist Fascist Fief of Raytown to have public meetings that are not truly open to the public.

Andy Whiteman

Greg Walters said...


You are correct. We have changed the language to refer to City Hall. Our sources tell us that Alderman Mock and Aziere met privately with representatives of the Wildwood Homeowners Association. There is also record of former Alderman Jerry Kinman, who lives in the Wildwood Lake subdivision meeting with the Mr. Andy Noll, the Director of Public Works. Add that to the public comments made by members of Wildwood homeowners during the Board meeting two weeks ago, and we are certain you will have well over two hours of comments which have made there way to city hall by one path or another.

This is issue is one that will not go away until the question of whether or not tax payer money should be used to repair a private lake is resolved one way or the other.

There are compromises like tax benefit districts that are a reasonable solution to the problem.

Whether the BOA will go that direction is yet to be seen.

Anonymous said...

I love these private but public meetings. Anyone may meet with an Alderman or Department head as an individual or group but I don't consider them to be public meetings. Maybe it is just a matter of terminology.

Wish I had run for Mayor in this election. I didn't because I felt Van Buskirk would be voted in easily then he dropped out for health reasons.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

There were probably more meetings than are admitted to. I watched on t.v. and heard the Whitman lady say she would be back next meeting with more people. The next meeting came and the Wildwood Lake folks did not show up.

It could be a conincidence but I have my doubts.

Anonymous said...

There doesn't need to meetings either
behind closed doors or in front of everybody.
If our elected officials give special tax deals to
Wildwood Lake they have to give every taxpayer the
same break.
You have to remember this is your money! It is
to be used to make your town a better place not
just one little section. I would imagine that if
the tables were turned the people of Wildwood Lake
would be just as upset as the rest of us.
This is all because of political promises that
Aziere and maybe one other alderperson may have made to help
them get re-elected. The fact is it is unfair to the
rest of the people.
That is unless the Wildwood Lake home owners are
willing to open the lake for all taxpayers. In a since
it would belong to all taxpayers if taxpayer dollars are used.

Anonymous said...

Might have an impact if Wildwood people could fill the whole room. The board would be intimidated by numbers and they may get their way.

Andy Whiteman

Lee said...

Let's see; someone brings up an issue at a BoA meeting. As a result, an Alderman meets with his constituents to get an understanding of the issue. But since there is no proposed ordinance or scheduled public meeting, obviously something nefarious is going on?

How about we wait and see what options are proposed before we start looking for demons.

FWIW, I own a home in the area. I was told I had the option of joining the Wildwood HOA, giving me use of the lake. But chose not too because, like Andy, I have an aversion to HOAs. (non-government bodies dictating how I can use my property)

From my perspective, if the silting is the result of the lake being a catch basin for city storm drains, then city bears some responsibility for remedying the problem and will continue to get the benefit of using the lake for storm water control in the future.

As far as making it open to the public, I would be opposed. My street would likely be one of the streets used for access from 67th and it's too narrow for current traffic. Also, currently there is very little, if any, available parking around the lake.

Anonymous said...

I cannot see how any fair minded person can even attempt to justify giving tax dollars to fund teh cleanup of a private laek that we cannot use!

I don't know if any of the city coumcil is trying that hard trying very hard to make a wildwood bailout happen. If they were you would think that they would take some sort of formal action to make it happen. Has anyone gone onthe record to bring a bill or even a resolution to make a wildwood bailout a reality?

Anonymous said...

I am in agreement with Lee. We don't know what was discussed at these public but private meetings. It is logical for aldermen and the Public Works Director to have conversations to determine what is going on. There is no way to reach a decision about what needs to be done without investigating the issue. Any reasonable and prudent person would do that.

So far all that has been stated is that a problem exists. All of us are putting the horse behind the cart by trying to make assumptions about what is needed and what the city intends to do.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Water from a storm sewer system usually has less debris than one from say a field. That's because it being moved to the destination faster and without picking up dirt, debris, etc. that can clog up a lake.

this means the cities storm sewers actually help to keep the lake clean.

Silting in lakes is a natural process. The build up of silt encourages plant life that cleanses the water as it flows into the lake. The plants, like cat tails and other reedy deep rooted water plants help to clean the water in the rest of the lake.

As for who should pay for the maintenance of the lake. Let them who own the real estate act like responsible owners and take care of it themselves.

If you want me as a taxpayer to pay for your lake, then give the me the same privileges to me as any other property owner around Wildwood.

Anonymous said...

Some interesting comments.

It seems to me that if anyone wants to discuss an issue of public concern like Wildwood that they should do so in some sort of formal way so that everyone in Raytown can participate.

After all, you don't want people to think of the decision making process as a private club that only some are allowed to participate in.

Anonymous said...

7:39 PM, I am not a storm water expert, but have you ever seen what is in Raytown Storm intakes (you know the holes in the curbing where the storm water enters the sewer)? I have observed them when walking Hank Dogg and have noticed accumulations of trash and leaves that either blow in or flow down the gutters into the storm sewer. I even reported a tree growing in one! There is one on my property line that is usually full of leaves. Just take a look at the gutters. Everything in the gutter including sand from snow removal will eventually enter the storm sewer and then Wildwood Lakes when there is a storm. This certainly is NOT clean water.

7:43PM, Maybe a public hearing would be in order if the city needs to be involved. As I remember, that Last time there was a public meeting regarding minors at large, Mayor Bower allowed the meeting to get out of control.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Of course there will be debris at a storm sewer inlet. If it were an open storm drainage ditch it would move on down the stream to its a destination like Wildwood Lake.

BEcause there is storm sewer inlet the debris is stopped at theat point and does not go to the lake.

They are designed to stop such objects and only allow water through.

Of course they have to maintained and cleaned out by the city. But that is another subject for discussion.

The point is that most of the water going to any lake in Raytown goes through storm storm sewers that are designed to remove water efficiently from our neighborhoods so that there is no flooding.

The wildwood lakes will get silt. It is a natural process. It is part of the responsibility every homeowner on Lake Shore Drive (wildwood lakes) was well aware of when they bought their home.

I did not buy their home. It is not my job to maintain their property. It is not why I pay taxes.

I would much rather the city used my tax dollars to repair my broken down street. And I don't mean to repair it with a poor man's slurry seal like they do on country roads.

Pat Casady said...

I think the problem is that re-election promises
by a couple of aldermen for votes has come to light.
About making the lake open to the public. IF taxpayer
money is used for the clean up and if you didn't live
in the area I'm sure that if your tax dollars were
being used for this, you would expect to be able to
use the lake too.
I have nothing against the people that live at or around
Wildwood Lake. In fact a couple of my friends live there but,
in the big picture, having a private lake, "general
public not welcome" certainly does not give the residents
the privilege of dipping into the public's tax dollars.
The definition of private:
Belonging to, concerning, or reserved for the use of a
particular person or group; not public, not under public
Pretty much sums it up.

Anonymous said...

Rumor has it that city hall is trying to get its nose and hands into the park departments funds. This is the last thing we need, they can't even manage what they have. We do not need park funds going into the general fund so they can be spent on anything but parks. Parks are one of the few jewels in the city. Let your alderman know that you want the parks department totally seperate from the city, I know I will!

Anonymous said...

My comment on the mass transit issue submitted :
"I am a citizen of Raytown and even though public transit does not fit my lifestyle or schedule, I feel that light rail along 350 HWY and/or I-70 would benefit not only many commuters and shoppers but as well benefit the economies of the areas near the stations. The Kansas City metro area has a bad problem with pollution which better mass transit would help reduce.

I used to live in San Diego County, CA where "the Coaster" was widely used.

My main complaint with mass transit is it usually is geared only to those using it to go to or from work or travelling during day hours. Night, evening, weekend, and holiday service is usually very limited or non-existent which prevents people such as myself who worked late evenings into the night, weekends, and holidays from using it. Any new mass transit should serve ALL people 24/7 and not a limited few day people. Not offering 24/7/365 service renders the service useless and a waste of taxpayers money!"
Thank you,
Andy Whiteman

KMCCLA said...

Here we go again, with talk of reopening the old Rock Island line. I am old enough to remember trains on the old Rock line (we even almost go hit by one on Brick Yard Road, when I was very young). The Rock Island was one of my favorite railroads. As we all know, this has come up several times, every few years, for the past 30 some odd years. When the CRI&P (Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific) went belly-up in 1980, the live was bought by the St. Louis Southwestern (SSW aka Cotton Belt), which was a subsidiary of the Southern Pacific (SP). Later, when the SSW was merged into the SP they looked in to reopening the line -- twice -- once in mid to late 80's and then soon after the 1993 floods. In 1996 the SP was merged into Union Pacific (UP). The UP seriously looked into reopening the line, but decided that it was not worth the expense. They later moved to abandon the line from Pleasant Hill to Union, Missouri. They retained the portion from KC to Pleasant Hill. Long story short -- it was a win, win, win situation for them. They blocked other railroads from a entrance to Kansas City, they leased the right of way to utilities (water, and fiber optic), and if it was ever reopened -- the railroad that bought the rest of the line only had track rights on that line. Now that there is little chance of the rest of the line ever being reopened, the UP might be more willing to let go of it. But mind you, it still will be very expensive to reopen. All we have there is a right of way. It will have to cleared and grubbed (remove 30 years worth of vegetation), pull up all the track, rails. Rebuild the roadbed, put in a bridge at 59th street (Raytown will have to pay for,), clear all of the grade crossings, and infrastructure (gates, lights, cross-bucks, etc), rehab bridges, and the Vale Tunnel, drainage, lay new track, and everything else. About 10-15 years ago it cost a million dollars a mile, JUST TO LAY NEW TRACK, not counting everything else. I am just guessing, but we a looking a easily five million per mile, just to reopen this line.

I am from Missouri - you go to "Show Me". I doubt anything will ever become of this, and I will only believe it when I see a train rolling though Raytown, whether it is light rail or not.

Anonymous said...

7:37 PM, Do you have any details? I remember a BOA meeting where the Parks Dept. presented their annual report. Upon questioning by Charlotte Melson, the parks people were uncertain where there funds were kept stating that it was part of the general fund implying that the money was in a checking account. Otherwise they didn't seem to know at all how their funds were maintained. I discussed this with Charlotte since I used to be Treasurer of a Fire District. At the next meeting I suggested that Jeremy Wilmoth review how Parks funds are handled and invested.

I agree that Parks funds must be separate from from city funds. But parks funds intended for long term projects should be separated into interest bearing accounts not a general fund and checking account.

Andy Whiteman

Pat Casady said...

If the parks and rec. department use taxpayer
dollars to clean up the Wildwood Lake then it should
become a park for everyone to enjoy.
I really don't see a win for anybody here.
Wildwood could lose their "private" lake and
the taxpayers could have their money used on
a lake area where they are not wanted and
might not be able to use.
If election promises were made, the people that
made the promises should pay for the repairs.

Anonymous said...

I see the city is neglecting it's duties in code enforcement again. The Knabe swamp/over grown vacant lot at 79th and Spring Valley, is becoming a trash dump. Old limbs and trash are being stored here. I can't believe that the two ward 4 aldermen are allowing this to go on. What about it Ertz and VanBuskirk are you giving up on our city too? Knabe needs to be fined and maybe even spend a little time in jail for allowing this problem to continue year after year.

Anonymous said...

5:39 AM, Do you really think the storm water is filtered before it reaches the lake? If may be if there was proper maintenance but when I see the storm drains filled with litter and leaves, it is obvious that there is little or no maintenace.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

One of the more impressive blogs I've seen. Thanks so much for keeping the internet classy for a change. Youve got style, class, bravado. I mean it. Please keep it up because without the internet is definitely lacking in intelligence.

Anonymous said...

I agree with that last post. I really appreciate the weekly reports on this blog.

Especially the Paul Livius columns. It is good to have a news outlet that reports the facts on not just the fluff of what is happening in Raytown.

Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

I am certain of this one thing city hall is corrcupt starting with the mayors office. I think he is the reason Gary Kabe is allowed to continue to break the law is because the mayor won't allow codes to do their job. Anyone agree with me?

Anonymous said...

How many people would actually ride a train from Raytown to KC? I have a 20 minute commute to 40th & Main each day. When I looked at riding the bus, I found it would require a $95 monthly pass, drive to the park/ride, over an hour to arrive after changing buses and walking the last two blocks.

If I still have to use my car to take the bus, it's not worth it. A train will probably be no better, because even if it is faster, it won't get me within two blocks of my office, then I have to take the bus.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the last 2 posts. Paul Livious reporting on board meetings somewhat lifts the Socialist Fascist Feif's veil of secrecy. It is easier to control the serfs (sheepole) if they don't know what is going on.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

8:04 AM, I agree with you, but there are those who see advantages to mass transit. Such as people who don't have cars or can't drive. Also how much is parking downtown? When I worked DT '94-'97, I parked in a lot on Truman where the Red Star now stands and paid 50 cents after 4PM or $2 before 4PM but other lots were high! I have seen them up to $10 (non-event) or even $20 during an event.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

After I said that I agreed with "the last 2 posts," 2 more posts came before mine which I may or may not agree with. It was the 2 post previous to those.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

If you want to see outrageous parking prices go to a Chiefs football game. $27 to park your car on a parking lot paid for by the taxpayers.

If there is an award for corporate greed it shoulld go to the Cheifs for gouging Kansas Citians at the gate!

Anonymous said...

5;55AM, Agreed! Who can afford to go to the Chiefs game even if parking wasn't an issue?

This is a time that I think public transit would be a BIG benefit! It is cheaper and more logical to park and ride if public transit is available.

When I lived in San Diego, I went to a couple of Padre's games on the bus. I don't know what the charge for parking was, but I just didn't want to drive in that traffic as well as trying to squeeze in and out of a parking place. I drove to a shopping center less than 2 miles away and it sure saved the parking and traffic frustration.

KCATA could make $$$ if they promoted bus service to Chiefs and Royals games. Who wants to drive to a game anyway?

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I don't know andy. For the ATA to run an efficient service that actually benefits people would take effort. I am not sure they are to that.

Remember, we are talking about the governmental sector here. It's not lke the private sector where they expect results!

Anonymous said...

Subject: Fw: SMART METERS - SCARY!!........
Big Brother was here as was Kilroy!

Anonymous said...

Herman Cain for President

Anonymous said...

8:16 AM, I am thinking that now too but I am waiting for the campaign to really get underway and hear more from all players.

BTW: I keep getting emails from Dictator O'Bummers official website stating that for a contribution of $3, I will have a chance in a drawing for dinner with the Dictator. As had as I am concerned he would have to pay me for my time! Needless to say I told them to remove my name.

Andy Whiteman