Sunday, December 18, 2011

-- Breaking News --

Police said they were looking for whoever was responsible for firing shots into a Raytown house early Sunday.

Officers said they were called to a home in the 5300 block of Hardy Avenue, where a party had been going on. Police said one of the residents got into a fight with one of the party-goers and made that person leave.

Police said shortly after that person left, someone fired shots into the house. They said they believe someone inside the home fired back.

No injuries were reported from the shooting, but police said there were signs of injuries that may have come from the fight inside the house.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Crime Stoppers TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS.

A Little Transparency Please! by Greg Walters

Like many of you, we have been reading the story(s) about Raytown’s new Finance Director, Mark Loughry. It certainly does make for some interesting reading. (see last week's Raytown Report)

One question comes to mind about the whole mess . . . how much did the Board of Aldermen know about Mr. Loughry’s past?

The readers have the facts before them as reported in the Basehor Sentinal. We assume the Board of Aldermen had those same facts as well.

We won’t use this space to pass judgment on Loughry. It is clear to see from the newspaper accounts that the City of Basehor is deeply divided over what has happened.

Raytown City Hall has a well-deserved reputation for making many decisions behind closed doors. Observers of City Council meetings have often commented that public meetings often seem to be an afterthought with the decision already made, the public vote a mere formality.

It is not uncommon to read in the news about other communities where applicants for the higher paying positions in government are narrowed down to a short list of candidates.

For instance, City of Kansas City, Missouri recently hired a new Chief of Police. Before the decision was made the four finalists were announced to the public through the local news media. The four top contenders were showcased on the front page of the Kansas City Star. 

The point is that opening up the process to the public may be a good idea. At least there are no surprises, and, the public can  have a better  understanding of how their city is run. It also allows for public feedback that may be a help in the process.

A little transparency may prove to be a healthy way vet candidates for management team positions.

The Board of Aldermen would do themselves and the community a favor by opening up the process to a more free-flowing format in place of the closed door meetings. Announcing the finalists would raise public interest and remove any stigma of back room wheeling and dealing. 

Missouri state law allows local governments to go into closed session to discuss matters of hiring and firing. It is important to remember that it is an option that local governments may use. To what extent is they use closed meetings is entirely up to the governing body. 

City / Raytown Parks Memo of Understanding Back on the Table
On Monday, December 19th, the Raytown Parks and Recreation is scheduled to conduct its regular monthly meeting. Though an agenda has not been published, a Memo of Understanding (MOU) between the City and the Parks Department is expected to be discussed.

The controversial Memo of Understanding would dramatically shift responsibility of park funds from the Parks Department to the City of Raytown. 

Raytown Parks and Recreation is governed by an independent board which sets its own funding and programs independent of the city. The Park Board is appointed by the Mayor with approval of the majority of the Board of Aldermen. 

There are currently two vacancies on the Park Board that the Mayor has yet to replace.

The meeting is open to the public. It will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, December 19th at the Raytown Parks Headquarters located at 5912 Lane Street. (59th and Lane, Coleman Park)

Poll Question . . . 
From news stories we have read, this year's Christmas shopping started out with a bang on Black Friday but has quickly fizzled with shoppers being extra careful on how much the spend on gifts, etc. for Christmas.

We wondered if that trend was true for Raytowners as well. So, please take a moment to check out our poll question in the top left corner of the page.

Blog Rules Re-Defined
Last week we received an email about a potential candidate for the new state representative district that takes in Raytown. The email was full of allegations and accusations about one of the candidates that were, to say the least, disparaging.

The writer dropped names of public figures like raindrops in a thunderstorm to verify the accusations. 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 aforementioned message, provided the writer will sign off on the message and allow us to verify that he or she is the true author. 

By doing so the playing field is leveled. The accusations can stand or fall on their merit. 
As for the rest of those who like to share their thoughts on the blog, they may continue to do so anonymously. The new restriction only applies to those who make personal attacks on the Raytown Report blog.

Kitchen Sink Soup by Jenn Walters for Fit Bottomed Girls
Ever heard of kitchen sink soup? Where you put whatever you have (but the kitchen sink) in a pot and turn it into an edible and hopefully delicious soup? Well, I have no real proof to back me up on this besides my husband’s feedback and my own ego, but I’m going to go ahead and declare myself the Queen of the Healthy Kitchen... Continue reading

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


Anonymous said...

Christmas spending? Raytown recognizes some unknown holiday, certainly not Christmas.

Not having enough income to live on, my gifting is very limited. Christmas is too commercialized with obligatory gifting. I try to avoid that. Any shopping is online and during sales long before Black Friday. I don't have time to go to stores or malls. 90% of my gifts are 2012 calendars with a subject that is of interest to the recipient.

Greg, I am in favor of your rules regarding negative comments towards an individual. There needs to be accountability!

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...


I received a pop up Friday that resembled a Windows application. It is named XP SECURITY 2012 and seizes control of the computer demanding that you pay to remove malware.

Don't pay...they will rip off your credit card.

I took my puter to Raytown Computer Repair in the strip mall at 67th & Raytown Rd where the Pizza Hut is. The malware was removed promptly at a reasonable price. I high recommend this business for computer issues. This is a local Raytown business and you receive prompt service instead of leaving your puter several days before a shop in OP or wherever has time to look at it.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the "heads up" Andy. I appreciate it!

Pat Casady said...

There are two ways to look at the new finance
director. First I doubt very much that any
of our elected officials looked into his past.
That would require a little more work than the
two nights a month they spend "representing" the
people of Raytown.
Second, it doesn't much matter who or why they hire
because they will be gone in two to three years.
Raytown doesn't make any department head live here so
there is absolutly no commitment needed.
After several department heads have left for greener
pastures our elected officials still haven't figured
that one out yet.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately times have changed with the economy. Rush Limbaugh pointed out some time back that people no longer stay in the same job or same company until they retire. I have observed that companies want the cheapest employee; hence, they tend to get rid of employees with high seniority because the pay is much higher and the benefits are much more costly. The preference seems to be hiring new employees at a lower salary and less costly benefits or temporary employees with no benefits at all. This saves the company $$$$. Or else the offshore the jobs.

AT&T did this and I notice the Post Office doing it too! The Post Office is hiring casuals with no benefits and retirement is stated as Social Security which translates to no retirement. The casuals are let go after a certain length of time and may or may not be rehired after a break in service.

I think it is quite normal for empolyees (City or otherwise) to seek greener pastures. I don't think the city is responsible for this. It is a sign of the times. I noticed that when one City Administrator "resigned" there had been news stories and a citizen complaint addressed to the BOA. In my opinion, I think he was told to resign or be fired.

Andy Whiteman

Lee said...

Mr Loughry was also a candidate for the position of City Administrator for Platte City, but was passed over. Our previous, in my opinion useless, administrator moved on at the end of his 3 year contract with a glowing recommendation from our BOA.

Platte City also suffers some of the same problems as Raytown as far as transparency. Since both are small towns without an established newspaper, no one brings issues to the public. You can't expect self reporting from ANY government. PC uses the same summary minutes where none of the discussion makes it to the minutes and if you want to know what Ordinance XYZ is, you have to download the meeting packet and find it. And PC, to my knowledge, does not have the same public access agreement with Time Warner than Raytown has with Comcast. I don't do business with Time Warner or Comcast. Not because of cost, but because I refuse to support businesses that provide a shoddy product and treat their customers like dirt.

Somehow we have to encourage a new generation of journalists who can grasp an Internet model for a newspaper. Rather than struggling as a print newspaper that few want. Even the KC Star struggles with the concept that there are hundreds of news aggregators on the Internet and we don't need a print copy of the UP and API news feeds.

I never touch a print copy of any newspaper, but I read national news on an almost daily basis. If Raytown or Platte City had a local, online newspaper that covered local events, issues, and city meetings I would likely subscribe. I don't read Raytown Report for the political discussions, I find the current political polarization tedious. I read it for local news.

Anonymous said...

Here is another Christmas survey from the Alamogordo Daily News. BTW: They have a Christmas parade, not a holiday parade!
Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet?
"Total Votes = 46
Yes, I was done months ago
15 Votes, or 32.60 %
Yes, finished it on Black Friday
5 Votes, or 10.86 %
No, still have a few items to buy
16 Votes, or 34.78 %
No, I ll wait until Christmas Eve - again
10 Votes, or 21.73 %"

Anonymous said...

I read print papers. I will NOT pay for an internet subscription. It is much easier to read a print paper. I can cut out an article and save it. It is very difficult to read on the internet unless you know the title and do a search. You can't browse the same way as a print paper. With an internet paper, Big Brother can change the news at will. I have gone back and searched for an article a few days or weeks later and either it was no longer there or was rewritten.

The Red Star is trying a half (can't use the word here) approach. By referring print readers to the web site. I am paying for paper copy and expect to find the whole article in the paper. I ain't going to look it up on the net after I put down the paper.

Andy Whiteman

Pat Casady said...

I agree with you.
As we have seen in the past, this town
hasn't had a real "News Paper" since Lee
Gray sold his Raytown Post. I believe
without a reporter to relay the honest
news to the people, a government can, will
and does run amuck. What I mean by that is there is
nobody to watch what, where and how our
tax dollars are used. That is until it's too
late. I would be willing to bet that over
three quarters of the people of Raytown don't
know that our department heads that are supposed
to live in Raytown don't. I know for a fact that
the people don't have a clue how bad the Wal-Mart
deal was for this town and more, don't know who
was responsible for it. Let alone how much it
has cost them as taxpayers and in higher property
taxes. Without a true news media especally in a
mid-sized town like this one the people don't
have a clue about some of the bad or good decisions that
have come out of City Hall.
A great example of this is last weeks Raytown Times
article on the new finance director Mark Laughry.
Not one word about his questionable past. They have a right
to know who they are hiring to watch over their money.

Anonymous said...

Pat, you are right about everything you just posted. This Battagler guy who prints the little rag he calls a newspaper, will NEVER report anything BAD about city hall. He's a poor excuse for a newspaperman, but what can you expect from Raytown. As I have said before, and I hate to say it, but it's true, Raytown's best days are behind it!!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know why Joe Creamer was wearing a fool's cap at the City Council meeting tonight?

Anonymous said...

8:49PM, I wondered the same myself but it was a Santa's cap in the wrong color. Aldermen van Buskirk and Aziere also wore the wore them. Bill spoke at public comments and all 3 turned them on at the same time. They made a Santa sound, "Merry Christmas," and the tops moved around. Actually I thought Joe's cap looked like a dog wagging its tail.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Wow! Impressive. Are those guys going to take their act on the road?

Pat Casady said...

I could really say something about the hats
and who's wearing them but, instead I will
use this time to say

Anonymous said...

Pat, I admire your ability to take the high road. May you and yours be blessed.

Anonymous said...

I wish all of my friends a Merry Christmas. Please drive safely.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Anon from 12-20: You are right about the Raytown times. theres a guy who has another Raytown website but he only copies what other people write. He don't wright his own stuff like Greg and Paul does. This is the only website that has original thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Merry Crhistmas to Paul and Greg. I really like your reporting of what's going on in town.

Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

My wish for the year is that we all work together to make Raytown a better community

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.