Sunday, December 11, 2011

Editor's note: The following article is reprinted from the Basehor Sentinal.This is the second story in a Sentinel series examining events preceding the firing of former Basehor City Administrator Mark Loughry. To view the entire story use this link: City Attorney's Letter


City attorney’s letter claimed Loughry lied about previous salary

Basehor City Hall is at 2620 N. 155th St.
Basehor City Hall is at 2620 N. 155th St.
October 26, 2011

Mark Loughry
Mark Loughry

City administrator firing

Previous Sentinel coverage of the Basehor City Council's dismissal of Mark Loughry:
Sept. 19: Basehor City Council votes to fire administrator Loughry
Sept. 21: Vote sparks shock, questions at City Hall
Sept. 22: Loughry to clean out office; police chief asked to fill in
Sept. 27: Allegations, benefit questions preceded firing
Oct. 5: Council voids $50,000 severance check
Related document
Related document
Related document
Related document
A 2010 letter from Basehor's city attorney accused former city administrator Mark Loughry of misrepresenting the salary he was paid by his previous employer, the city of Hays, during his negotiations with Basehor in summer 2009.

The allegation was one of four specific issues raised in the April 2010 letter from then-city attorney Patrick Reavey to city council members and Mayor Terry Hill regarding Loughry, who was fired in a surprise 3-2 council vote in September. The Sentinel obtained the letter, along with documents containing supporting evidence, in an open-records request last month. Read More

Mark Loughry Hired for Raytown Finance Job 
Mark Loughry
The following article is reprinted from the Basehor Sentinal. Raytown City Hall has not formally released any information about the city’s new Finance Director. The article was written by Matt Erickson of the Basehor Sentinal.

December 8, 2011

His surprise firing continues to reverberate more than two months later in the form of efforts to recall three different elected officials, but former Basehor city administrator Mark Loughry is moving on.

Loughry was hired earlier this week to be finance director for the city of Raytown, Mo.

The city's 10-member board of aldermen voted unanimously Tuesday to approve an employment agreement with Loughry for a salary of $79,500. He is due to start work there Monday. Read More

Greg Walters
New State Representative District for Raytown by Greg Walters
Every ten years the Missouri State Constitution requires that state representative and senatorial districts be redrawn to bring balance to shifting populations. The goal is that all the citizens of the State of Missouri receive equal representation in the two legislative branches of government in Jefferson City.

This year the redistricting squabble between Democrats and Republicans ended up in court. But something unusual happened that may be a benefit to Raytown.

The “unusual” event occurred when a Judicial Panel handed down its decision on how the new districts will be divided.

Raytown came out a winner.
How so?

Traditionally Raytown has been the center of the metropolitan area where state representative districts are carved up. The result has been up to five state representatives sharing the duties of Raytown’s business in Jefferson City. Since Raytown is only ten square miles that means the areas represented by the various legislators is a very small part of their district. 

Simply put, a small constituency does not receive as much attention as a large one.

Raytown is a winner because the newly formed state representative district contains all of the city. The boundary line stretches from 87th Street on the South to just north Interstate 70 on the north.

On the East the boundary line is Woodson Road and Westridge Roads.

On the West the boundary line is Blue Ridge Cutoff.

Another interesting twist is that the new district does not have an incumbent State Legislator living in it. That means the seat is wide open for the next Primary election in August and General election in November.

The open seat has already attracted a number of candidates.

On the Republican side Raytown Ward 2 Alderman Jim Aziere is said to have stated his intention to run for the seat. Aziere is a senior member of the Raytown City Council and a former Republican Party Committeeman for the Raytown area. 

On the Democratic side, no less than four individuals have shown more than passing interest in representing the newly formed District.

Daron McGee, Chris Moreno, Tom McDonald, and Matt Cushman are four names sources say are taking more than a cursory look at the possibility of a campaign.

Of those four, Cushman and Moreno have the higher name recognition in Raytown.

Cushman recently resigned his position as the head of the Raytown Ambulance Service after serving 17 years in that position.

Moreno is a seasoned campaigner who waged a campaign against former State Representative Will Kraus (now Senator Kraus) in which he carried the southern half of Raytown – the last Democrat to do so in over ten years. He also worked in Governor Jay Nixon’s office as a liaison to the Department of Labor.

Tom McDonald currently serves in the State Legislature. However, due to the redistricting, his home in northern Independence is not within the new district borders. In fact, he now resides in another District. The shifting District lines have him paired against another 
Independence State representative, Ira Anders.

Daron McGee is a relative newcomer to Raytown area politics. He currently works for the Jackson County Prosecutor in the COMBAT anti-crime unit.
No doubt there are other potential candidates who will test the waters before the filing deadline in late March, 2012.

We will watching and promise to keep our readers up to date on what undoubtedly will be one of the most watched races for the State House in western Missouri.

Heard on the Street . . .
The Raytown Park Department is scheduled to meet with City officials to decide the fate of a plan to consolidate park and city services. Insiders from both City Hall and the Park Department are in agreement that the talks are all about the money (what else!). The main question remains as to who can best manage Raytown’s parks.

It is well known that Mayor Bower would prefer to have a smaller Board of Aldermen with which to conduct city business. Some say it is a matter of control. City Hall observers point out that he should be careful for what he wishes. Smaller governmental bodies may be easier to control. They are also easier to replace.

Christmas is just around the corner . . . which means that retail outlets are kicking it into high gear to chalk up the bulk of their profits for the year. This is especially important for the City of Raytown which has guaranteed the debt payments for the Walmart Store and staked $600,000 on the success of the new Aldi’s Grocery Store. Let’s hope they meet their goals. If they do not, there is only one place left for the city to raise the tax revenue to pay down debt – the taxpayers and businesses with city limits.

Paul Livius
Raytown Board of Aldermen Meeting by Paul Livius
Alderman Steve Mock thanked all sponsors and volunteers who helped out with the Holiday lighting ceremony.
Alderman Melson requested items R-2460-11 and R-2461-11 be removed from the Consent Agenda and voted on separately.  Alderman Van Buskirk requested item R2457-11 be removed from the Consent Agenda and voted on separately.

The remaining items on the Consent Agenda:
  • Resolution authorizing a maintenance contract with Motorola Solutions, not to exceed $34,416.68
  • Resolution authorizing the purchase of office supplies from Office Depot in excess of $15,000.00
Resolution R-2457-11, reappointing Pat Jackson to the Jackson County Board of Equalization to represent the City on issues relating to the City of Raytown.  Alderman Van Buskirk said his real estate assessment increased 22%, but his home value stayed the same.  He and his wife both called Jackson County to try to get the assessment reduced.  He talked with two or three different people.  He was told if he continued to pursue the assessment reduction, the County would come to his house and then his assessed value would be increased. The reappointment was approved.

Resolution R-2461-11 authorized the continuation of services with Edwards Chemical in excess of $15,000.00.  Alderman Melson said she had this item removed from the consent agenda because the Aldermen’s packets were missing information about this resolution and she wanted to make sure everyone had a copy.  The resolution was approved.

Mahesh Sharma introduced Mark Loughry as the new Finance Director for the City of Raytown.  Mr. Loughry thanked the Board and said he appreciated the opportunity to work in Raytown.  Mr. Aziere welcomed Mr. Loughry to Raytown.  The Board passed a resolution authorizing the Employment Agreement with Mr. Loughry.
  • The Board passed a resolution authorizing Change Order #1 with Vance Brothers for the 2011 Light Weight Aggregate Seal Project.  Andy Noll said this is the final payment for the project.  The change order was to put down double seals on areas with heavy cracks.  He thinks the areas look nice and will last a long time. 
  • The Board passed a resolution authorizing the expenditure of funds in the amount of $25,789.89 to Tyler Technologies.  This is for a software upgrade needed by the Finance Department.
  • The Board passed a resolution authorizing a 60 month lease with Pitney Bowes for a Mail Solution System and Folder-Inserter machine, not to exceed $18,936.  Mahesh Sharma said this is to increase efficiency when sending out the City Sewer bills to the residents.
  • The Board passed a resolution authorizing an inter-local agreement with the City of Kansas City, MO and the City of Raytown for the permitting and inspection services related to Mt. Olivet Cemetery.
  • The Board heard the first reading of an ordinance approving an intergovernmental agreement between Jackson County, Mo Board of Election Commission and the City of Raytown to utilize Raytown City Hall as a polling place for precincts BR 14 and BR 15 during the 2012 calendar year.
  • The Board heard the first reading of an ordinance approving the first amendment to the first amended and restated Raytown Live Tax Increment Financing Plan and approving Project 2 as a redevelopment project and adopting tax increment financing.
The Board of Aldermen moved to a closed session to discuss the hiring, firing, disciplining or promoting of employees.

Why I Don’t Eat Meat by Kristen for Fit Bottomed Girls
As a high school senior, I interviewed the teachers who had taught kindergarten to the kids in my class, and when I spoke to my old teacher, Mrs. Lake, she actually remembered a story about me. We were singing all the verses of She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain, and, when it got to the verse that says, “We will kill the old red rooster when she comes,” I raised my hand and asked, “Couldn’t they just order a pizza?” Continue reading

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Anonymous said...

Mr Walters,

Please stay with the facts and the fact is a large part of Represtentative Tom McDonalds district is in Raytown.

Representative Tom McDonald has been very helpful to the citizens of Raytown and has as much if not more name recognitionl as those you wrote about.

Anonymous said...

After reading the Sentinal Internet articles it appears Mr. Loughry is accussed of misrepresented the facts concerning his pay, during contract negotiations and then backdoored his way into receiving full insurance coverage from his employer. When his employer found out about these activities, Mr. Loughry was immediately fired by the city.

Not sure what to believe, but very interesting to hire a person with these accusations hanging over his head. Especially given the level of responsibilities the city has hired him to perform.

Anonymous said...

It appears the campaigns are already beginning!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Aziere is more a Republican than I am a Democray. Nice try Jim!!!!

Jim said...

I remember Mr. Moreno when he campaigned against Mr. Kraus. The last time I seen him he was the Political Director for Mr. Nixon. My wife and I found him to be a fine young man. If he runs he has my support. We need more strong Democrats like him.

Anonymous said...

For more information go to

A 2010 letter from Basehor's city attorney accused former city administrator Mark Loughry of misrepresenting the salary he was paid by his previous employer, the city of Hays, during his negotiations with Basehor in summer 2009.
The allegation was one of four specific issues raised in the April 2010 letter from then-city attorney Patrick Reavey to city council members and Mayor Terry Hill regarding Loughry, who was fired in a surprise 3-2 council vote in September. The Sentinel obtained the letter, along with documents containing supporting evidence, in an open-records request last month.
Basehor City Council President Dennis Mertz mentioned the letter as possible justification for firing Loughry at the council's Sept. 19 meeting, after making the motion to do so.
The other issues raised in Reavey's letter regarded Loughry's opposition to Reavey's legal opinions on the separation agreement between the city and former city clerk Mary Mogle and on the possible annexation of three lots in the Cedar Falls subdivision south of Basehor, as well as an alleged revision to Loughry's contract to provide his family with fully paid health insurance, which the Sentinel examined last month.
Reavey's letter said Loughry had reported to Hill that his salary in Hays had been $86,000 and had written on a Basehor job application that it was $85,000, but a League of Kansas Municipalities survey had reported his salary as $76,000. According to a background check

Anonymous said...

document included by Reavey as evidence, the city of Hays reported Loughry's base pay at that time as $77,800. Loughry was assistant city administrator in Hays at the time.
In the letter, Reavey characterized Loughry's behavior as an “unethical negotiation for a higher salary.”
In an email response to Reavey's letter sent in April 2010, verified as authentic by Loughry and a recipient, Loughry wrote that the salary he reported included an annual longevity bonus and a performance-related raise he was scheduled to receive at the beginning of September 2009, less than a month after he was to begin as city administrator in Basehor.
“This is a non-issue,” he wrote.
Contacted by the Sentinel for this story, Loughry said he would continue to decline public comment on anything related to his firing, based on the advice of his attorney.
Hill told the Sentinel he was aware during negotiations that Loughry's reported salary included the increase he was due to receive in about a month.
“It was no attempt to misrepresent his pay,” Hill said.
Payroll records from the city of Hays, obtained in another records request by the Sentinel, listed Loughry's annual salary as $77,800. But he was also scheduled to receive an annual longevity bonus worth 3 percent of his salary, bringing his yearly total pay at that time to about $80,130, not including a $6,000 car allowance.
But Erin Niehaus, human resources coordinator for the city of Hays, said Loughry did have a chance to receive a raise ranging from 1 to 5 percent of his salary at the beginning of September 2009, based on a performance review. The background check results included with Reavey's letter indicated that Loughry expected a 4.5 percent raise.
And the payroll records from Hays revealed that all city employees were due a 3 percent cost-of-living adjustment at the beginning of 2010, and that Loughry's longevity bonus in 2010 was set to increase to 4 percent of his salary.
All told, according to those figures, Loughry had a chance for his total annual pay to increase to as much as $84,140 by September 2009, if he received the maximum possible raise. By 2010, that number could have increased to as much as $87,500. If he received no performance-related raise, his 2010 pay would have totaled about $83,340, based on guaranteed increases.
Hill said his intention was to match the pay Loughry would have received in Hays.
“He could stay where he was and in four weeks be making more money,” Hill said.
Mertz, who was on the council at the time of Loughry's negotiations, said he was unaware then of the discrepancy between Loughry's reported salary and his actual pay at the time. He said Hill should have told council members about the issue.
“I think before we actually hired him, we should have known that there was a discrepancy,” Mertz said.
Fred Box, another council member who voted to fire Loughry, said Loughry's alleged misreporting of his salary in Hays was a factor in his decision.

Anonymous said...

“I feel like he lied to us right from the start,” Box said.
Box said he first saw Reavey's 2010 letter to the council sometime this past summer. He was elected to the council in April.
Reavey told the Sentinel last month that he had never intended for his letter to become public, but he stood by everything he wrote.
Hill said the letter was the result of a heated conflict between Reavey and Loughry, which was resolved soon afterward. Reavey continued to be the city attorney for about another year after sending the letter.
“It's unfortunate that the three folks who want to get rid of Mark are using it as a document indicating fraud,” Hill said.
Mertz declined to comment on whether Loughry's alleged misreporting of his salary played any role in his vote to remove him. He said he did not want to discuss the reasons for his vote because of possible legal procedures concerning the firing. But he said he wanted to assure residents that he had the city's best interests at heart.
“Any decision that was made was a business one and not a personal one,” Mertz said.

Raytown Resident said...

So, Mark Loughry got caught lying. He ought to fit right in at the Raytown City Hall. They all have been caught lying on many occasions.

Anonymous said...

Seems like Mr. Loughry has a way of twisting things around and that "misunderstanding" always benefit him financially.

What professional overstates his salary during salary discussions, and pencils in wording in a contract after it has been signed by both parties and approved by the City Council and expect it to stand up to scrutiny?

Lot of double talk, he said, she said.

Perhaps his employer tired of the constant round around of trying to get a stright up answer and just decided to end his employment, at a steep cost to the citizens.

History has a way of repeating itself.

Pat Casady said...

Jim Aziere as a State Representative?
Maybe he should look at his history on
representing the people of his ward.
Trust me on this one. Ward two had more
helpful representation from Greg Walters
in Ward one than ward two ever had from Aziere.
We don't know Mr.Mark Loughry but I have a question.
If a person applies for a job to head a town's
financial department and has a questionble past
about finances why would our leaders hire them?
Our leaders have hired people without a past
problem and have had a great deal of problems
with them. This may be a great ride for this town.
The number one qualification for being an elected
official should be that they are at the very least
sharper that a ball bearing.

Anonymous said...

Raytown has had proplems for as long as I can remember so I sounds logical to hire someone with a problem. As a previous poster said, "Sounds like a good fit." If I was to fill out an application, quite frankly, I can't remember what my last salary was. In fact I can't remember what my current Social Security or retirement is. All I know is are not enough to live on.

6:27 PM, I vote for the man or woman regardless of party.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

It's actually not appropriate to reprint an entire article like this. You cited where the article is from, but it really should be a brief intro and link to the online version of this story.

Anonymous said...

Pretty obvious that Mr. Loughry misrepresented himself, claiming a total benefit package from his past employer as his salary to increase his beginning salary during hiring negotiations, and was able to have penciled into a signed contract, 100% paid insurance. For this he was fired.

Greg Walters said...

Earlier this week we received an email about one of the potential candidates for the new state representative district in that takes up all of Raytown. The email was full of many allegations and accusations about one of the candidates that were, to say the least, disparaging. The writer was short on facts, but dropped third party names to back up the statements made. It was a clever message – but it was clear that the intent was to condemn while hiding behind the mask of anonymity.

It is one thing to make an anonymous statement asserting a position or a belief. It is another to use this forum to vilify another person without having to at least stand up and say so publicly.

In our view, making such statements with intent to damage another person’s reputation without having to expose oneself is cowardice and underhanded.

Paul and I discussed whether or not to post the missive. Here is our decision.

We will publish the message, provided the individual will sign off on the message, -- and -- allow us to verify their identity.

Anonymous said...

Again, Raytown elected officials appear to have made a BAD CHOICE in hiring someone to run the finance department at city hall. The people that we hire for these positions should be SWEAKY CLEAN. There are too many people out there looking for jobs right now, so I can't imagine why you would hire someone that has a CLOUD hanging over their head. Raytown just doesn't need this kind of NEGATIVE publicity. It just shows how bad our board of alderman and city administration really are at making the simplest of decisions. Too bad we don't have a charter, I believe that a costly mistake like this, would be grounds for recalling them ALL.

Anonymous said...

Greg, I am glad that you are verifying negative comments about a person and requiring the letter be signed. Some negative comments have previously been posted about one person. I know the person and doubted the truthfulness of the vague allegations. I believe the posts were deleted since the count of the posts decreased by 2 for that week.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

8:32AM, I suggest that YOU as well as everyone VOTE in the next city election and replace those who make poor decisions.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Wow, “unethical negotiation for a higher salary.” Very serious accusation, combined with knowingly violating certain ethical and perhaps legal laws by altering a legal, binding contract, to extract additional benefits.

Why did the City hire him, again?

Anonymous said...

7:36AM, Assuming all this to be true, it may be to the advantage of the city to have someone who knows how to accomplish underhanded things. Of course it could backfire and cost the city $$$$$$.

BTW: Isn't the technical name of this type of person liar or fraud? I can also think of some words that Greg won't allow.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Quoting Greg, "Cushman recently resigned his position as the head of the Raytown Ambulance Service after serving 17 years in that position."

Not true, Tom Taylor held that position until he was fired during the Wenson Regime, apparently for not being a team player. This event was concurrent with the Charter proposal. It will be many years before this town heals from the Wenson/Frank fiascos, if ever.

Maybe now we can at least get rid of that star-spangled whorehouse design/color scheme on the ambulances. Apalling.

Anonymous said...

It costs $$$$ to repaint vehicles then people would complaint about wasting taxpayers' money. (I would too.) As new ambulances are ordered, I suggest Ward La-France yellow for visibility. My car would be that color if I had a choice of color.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the job you guys do in exposing what is going on up at city hall. If we relied on our elected officials we would know NOTHING.

Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Yes, we are like Sgt. Schiltz without the Raytown Report.
"I know nothing....nothing!"

Andy Whiteman

John Holiday said...

before i would look at changing the paint on the ambulances maybe you should think about hiring somebody to run the service...just sayin..who is in charge?

Salamander said...

I have friends in Hays, Ks. It won't take much effort to get all the facts about the city's new finance director.

Anonymous said...

As a long time resident of Raytown and involved in local politics, you should run for the state representative. This may be your best chance to win. But I understand your business obligation may not allow you to run and spend time in Jefferson City. Just a thought crossed in my mind.

Greg Walters said...

I am flattered that some would want me to run for State Representative. But am honestly not interested in it at this time. Maybe someday in the future.

It appears that there is going to be healthy stable of qualified candidates running this year. Hopefully one of them will take charge and do our City proud as its rep. in Jefferson City.