THE PAUL LIVIUS REPORT . . .
Wildwood Homeowners ask for Help with Private Lake by Paul Livius
Wildwood Homeowners ask for Help with Private Lake by Paul Livius
At Tuesday night’s meeting of the Raytown Board of Aldermen representatives of the Wildwood Homeowner’s Association asked the Board of Aldermen for help in removing silt from the privately owned lake located in Ward 2.
The Wildwood Homes subdivision is considered a political stronghold of Mayor David Bower and Ward 2 Alderman Jim Aziere. At the April 12 meeting of the Raytown Board of Aldermen, Wildwood homeowner and political activist Witty Whitman reminded Ward 2 Alderman Jim Aziere to remember his promise to help Wildwood homeowners.
Ward 1 Alderman Shane Pardue cautioned the Board that if the city were to participate in cleaning up Wildwood Lake that there are other privately owned lakes in Raytown that would rightfully deserve the same service.
Ong Lake and Elm Lake are located in Ward 1. Ong Lake, located at the southern boundary of Gregory Heights, is used by the City of Raytown as a retention basin. Ong Lake is the first of two large retention basins maintained by the city. The use of the lake and a similar basin in a nearby cemetery has saved the city close to one million dollars in storm sewer construction costs downstream.
Wildwood Lake, because it is literally at the “bottom of the hill” is not a retention basin. Any cleanup of Wildwood would be for aesthetic purposes only.
Ward 2 Alderman Jim Hamilton added that Gregory Lake, located at 70th Terrace and Gregory Lane, should receive the same treatment as shown Wildwood Lake.
Hamilton lives on the southern edge of Gregory Lake, which is facing the same silting problems as is Wildwood Lake. The lakes fill up with silt that comes with storm water runoff from surrounding watersheds.
Complicating the matter is that Wildwood Lake is a privately held property. The general public cannot use the lake. In fact, anyone using the lake who is not a member of the Wildwood Homeowners Association can be arrested for trespassing.
Bushels of Fun St. Bernadette Fall Festival 5-9 pm, Sept 10. BBQ Rib/brisket dinner, Raffle (top prize of $1,000), Games, Silent Auction, Country Store, Car Smash, Live Music, Fun. Children’s games and activities. Come join us at 4pm Mass and stay for festival. St. Bernadette Church, 9020 E 51 Terr, Kansas City, MO (816) 356-3700.
WARNING: SNEAK SALES TAX INCREASE PLANNED FOR NOVEMBER 8TH ELECTION
Zoo Tax Deserves a “NO” Vote by Greg Walters
I was looking at the results of a CNN Poll this morning about how Americans view the economy. The headline read that 8 in 10 Americans believe the country is in an economic recession.
Which tells me that 20% of those polled are wide-eyed optimists who believe it never rains after 9:00 a.m. and the temperature never goes over 90 degrees in a Kansas City summer.
The Friends of the Zoo, an organization that has a contract to run the Kansas City Zoo, must also be part of that 20%.
Like most true believers, they will not rest until they get you to become one of them.
They have a plan to hold an off-year election on November 8th, 2011 to raise your sales tax to pay for expansion of the Kansas City Zoo.
Before I go on, let me explain that I like the Zoo. I even go to visit it every now and then. Last time I did I took along my trusty Canon PowerShot A720IS and took pictures, some of which ended up on this page.
I also like groups like the Friends of the Zoo. In fact, I was a card carrying member when my children were young and the Zoo was a frequent destination for family outings. Friends of the Zoo does a fine job of managing the Zoo for the City of Kansas City.
That being said, I am still opposed to their scheme to raise our sales tax. Yes, even by one eighth of a cent.
Let me tell you why.
We are in a recession. Jobs are very scarce, particularly in the Kansas City area. As many of you know, my business office is located in Downtown Kansas City. Used to be there was a traffic jam going to work every morning in my daily trip from Raytown to Downtown. An even worse one in the evening.
That was then . . . . This is now.
There is no traffic jam in the morning. In fact, the traffic does not even slow down. In the evening there may be a brief slowdown, but that is really because of construction underway at the I-70 / I-435 interchange.
My point is. There is not any traffic because the jobs are gone. Despite the best efforts of our leaders in Washington to restart the American economy those jobs lost in the past and current recession have not come back.
A one-eighth cent sales tax may not sound like much. But to those who are without a job, with bleak prospects of finding a new one, every cent counts.
Most of the people who read this page are pretty well set financially. We spend our time sending messages via electronic media as a way to share ideas, entertain ourselves and relax.
Not everyone shares our good fortune.
Some evening stop by the Public Library and try to find a spot at one of the computer terminals. Arrive early, because you will have to wait your turn. Some of those folks cannot afford a computer of their own.
The same can be said for many of our senior citizens and young families. People who have seen their pensions diminished by inflation, their jobs downsized, or even worse, eliminated.
None of the above can afford the eighth cent sales tax increase.
This is especially true in Raytown. Our city used to be called a “low tax city”. Not anymore. Pass this tax increase and watch Raytown’s sales tax shoot up to 9.225% in stores like Walmart on non-grocery items in Raytown.
We want Raytown to be a leader in the Kansas City area. Having the highest sales tax rate is not an enviable goal to achieve.
As originally planned, the sales tax question was supposed to go before voters in four Missouri side Counties, Jackson, Clay, Platte and Cass*.
The elected officials of both Platte and Cass County have decided not to put the issue on the ballot. It is, after all, their county and they are elected to make such decisions.
That means that if the tax passes, the sales tax burden will be carried exclusively by taxpayers in Jackson and Clay County.
The reaction by the Friends of the Zoo has been to force Platte and Cass County through judicial intervention to place the sales tax increase on the ballot. That’s right. They are suing the counties to force them to place the issue on the ballot.
As ballot issues go the proposed sales tax increase by Friends of the Zoo is a train wreck happening before our eyes.
- It is already a matter of litigation just to place it on the ballot.
- It does not have the popular support of the elected officials.
- It burdens those who are suffering in this down economy who can afford it the least.
- It is being pushed during an off-year election so proponents can “target” the voters in a “sneak” election.
The Zoo Sales Tax Increase deserves to be defeated overwhelmingly. Please mark your calendar and remember to VOTE NO on November 8th.
*It is interesting to note that none of the governmental bodies in Kansas were asked to participate in the election. Keep in mind that many parts of Johnson and Wyandotte County in Kansas are closer (geographically speaking) to the Kansas City Zoo than most of the people who live in Cass or Platte County in Missouri.
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