Sunday, January 15, 2012

Iraq War Memories Haunted Raytown Veteran  
by Brian Burnes / Kansas City Star

An Iraq War veteran fatally shot Thursday by Raytown police had been haunted by memories of his service, family members said in a statement released this week.Some media reports had described Long as excited about his upcoming deployment to Afghanistan, according to the statement.

But, the statement added, “those who knew Rob best recognized that, although excited about serving his country, Rob was troubled by lingering memories of his previous deployment to Iraq.”

Read more here: Raytown Veteran Shot

An Argument for More Stringent Voter Identification by Greg Walters
The following happened to me two years ago.

I was visiting with one of the Directors of the Jackson County Election Board. Somehow the topic honed in on voter fraud. At this point in the conversation I was surprised to hear the Director tell me that he had received a call from the FBI regarding my voting record in the last Presidential Election. He did not elaborate, just said that they had called and wanted a copy of the record.

I did not give it too much thought . . . until . . . two years later when I received a phone call at ihome from a young lady who identified herself as a member of the FBI. She explained that in their investigation of voter fraud in the Kansas City area they had come across my name as voting five times in the last Presidential election in 2008. She asked if she, and another agent could visit with me regarding the matter. Since I was home that week anyway (recuperating from a bad allergic reaction to a spider bite) I asked them to come by the house.

They arrived, showed their credentials and came in to discuss the multiple votes. Though they did not say as much, I believe the real purpose of the visit was to establish in person that I was, in fact, Greg Walters, and, that this was actually my home. They also shared that four other “voters” has used my name and address to vote in the 2008 election.

After visiting for a while, they excused themselves and left. They told me that they doubted that I would be contacted again regarding the alleged multiple votes.

The whole episode made me a believer in more stringent controls on identifying voters . . . especially in Presidential elections.

I wondered how come my name was used. The agents had told me that people in public life (at the time I was still on the City Council) are sometimes targeted for such fraud by individuals. They did not explain why.

Many states have kicked around the idea of using photo identification. Most people in Missouri have a driver’s license or a state approved identification card. Both cards have photos on them and are easily obtained. 

A simple change of our state’s laws regarding proper identification at the polls would go a long way in protecting the integrity of our elections.  

Basehor to Move Forward with Recall Effort from the Kansas City Star
Recently appointed Raytown Finance Director Mark Loughry is busy getting his office in order at Raytown City Hall. 

As regular readers will remember, Mr. Loughry’s previous employer, the City of Basehor, Kansas, ended their contract with him in what can only be described as a cloud of controversy. We have not commented on his previous employment at Basehor. But we do believe the story has merit and that many of those who were following it would be interested in the continuing story. The following was originally printed in the Kansas City Star on Sunday.

A Leavenworth County judge says a recall election against Basehor Mayor Terry Hill and two city council members can proceed. 

But Hill said Thursday that he will appeal the ruling to allow a Feb. 28 recall election against him and city council members Dennis Mertz and Iris Dysart. 

Hill’s lawsuit alleges the grounds for recall were not sufficient to remove him from office.
Opponents alleged Hill misused a city credit card and didn’t preside at all meetings. They also questioned his efforts to give former City Administrator Mark Loughry health benefits and severance pay without city council approval.

Judge David King ruled the first two issues were invalid for the recall but the allegations involving Loughry were sufficient for an election.
Mark Loughry was hired by the City of Raytown as the city’s Finance Director in 2011.

This Week's Poll Question
This week’s poll question is in response the extremely high traffic counts posted on this blog over the best path for Raytown to take with regard to the Ambulance and Fire Emergency service. 

There have been a number of well thought out comments and opinions on the blog this past week regarding the issue. You may want to read through them before casting your vote.

New Raytown Fire Department Website Launched
Newly appointed Fire Director Barb Schlapia has not let the grass grow under her feet in her position on the Raytown Fire Board.

One of her first request was that the Fire District begin to publish minutes of their meetings. She contacted us last week to let us know of a new website hosted by the Raytown Fire Department that gives up to date minutes of public meetings and other tidbits about Fire Department business.

Schlapia credits Fire Marshall Matt Mace with constructing the new website.

We found the site to be interesting and newsworthy. Use this link to check out the new website.

One “Ataboy” Award for Teachers at Spring Valley Elementary
Last week teachers at Spring Valley Elementary for keeping their promise of spending a night on the roof of the school when students reached a pre-set goal of donations to the Raytown Emergency Assistance Program.

The teachers who fulfilled the bet have done a service to community but just as important was the life lesson they taught their students. A promise is a promise and they should be fulfilled. 

Drink Gatorade, Not Haterade! by Tish for Fit Bottomed Girls
Have you ever had a run-in with a hater? I run into them sometimes, even when it comes to Fit Bottomed Girls. A couple weeks ago, a fellow from my day job hit me with the “best-friend nepotism” angle. You see, Jenn and I have been best friends ever since we were fourteen. She and Erin created this snazzy sight, and I applauded... Continue reading

To post a comment on this blog click on the word comments on the line directly below this sentence.


Jim "Groucho" Meyer said...

In regard to the fatal fire- it seems the City of Raytown had better purchase accurate CLOCKS.

The report on this blog has the fire department arriving on Willow one minute after the fire alarm was dispatched (5:02 am CST)- which wasn't the case.

Question to Capt. Summers: What is standard shift manning on those two in-service engine companies?

KCFD didn't dispatch the regular alarm to Raytown's fire until 5:09 am.

It seems to me that since the fire/police dispatcher had the report there was a person trapped inside the residence when the initial 5:02 am dispatch went out- why didn't the dispatcher call KC immediately and start that "automatic mutual aid" to get adequate crews there fast?

Station 39- with a pumper and ladder company- was actually closer to the fire than RFD Station 2!

It took until 5:17 am to find Mr. Sherrow inside the house- and as a former KC firefighter- I knew the poor gentleman's fate was sealed since he had been inside the burning structure that long.

Hell- EMS didn't even have Mr. Sherrow enroute to Research until around 5:45 am!

BTW- I work contract news gathering for a local TV station- so it was my job to note and log the sequence of events early Saturday morning.

Jim "Groucho" Meyer

Anonymous said...

I am glad to see that the Fire Department has a website! Fire calls are posted there if anyone is interested to seeing those reports.

Greg, Thanks for publishing the link.

Andy Whiteman

doc summers said...

well jim
I was not there but i will try to answer your question.
Both stations are manned with 5 assigned 4 minnimum and one shift battalion chief.
I was told first on scene company darked down the fire and crew split into 2 2 man teams and began primary.
They went in and went left and began a search. He was found shortly after the search started.
Command cancelled the KCFD automatic response when fire was darkened down.
I was not there so i cant speak to the reasons.
I will offer my perspective ten firefighters on a 800 sq feet house was more than enough manpower for a one room fire with a rescue.
If you were on the job you know there is no reason to roll 60 guys to a job like this so you can stand around in the yard.You put more people in danger with the respose alone.
On the time issue this is all i can say the time that we use are recorded via the fire department server when we get tones and dispatch it automaticly records to the server.(any time the radio is used) You cant alter or sway or change them.
I have found when comparing them to the Raytown Police Dispatch times there are sometimes a differance in 1 or 2 mins. This does not alter a response time as the dispatch over our speakers is recorded on arrival time is recorded with the radio traffic.
And to answer your P39 T-13 is closer?
That is a big maybe ..geographical sure but we are dispatched then minute or so the radio call is made to kcfd who in turn has to relay and dispatch the closet AVAILABLE UNITS. By the time KC is getting the call E-2 is at Raytown rd/Raytown Trafficway with the closet plug already in the Captain and Plugmans mind.
So to answer your question is NO they are not.
We can have this discussion all day long as i have sat in the station as couple trucks run hot past us and we never get the call.
I have listened to the radio for P-43 calling for extrication at 350 Noland which we are right there and you send T-8 from Bannister Mall.
So if you are trying to start a riff please save it for somebody else.
I also dont know if the Police dispatcher got the info of the trapped person.(i did not here and have not listened to the traffic)Maybe the lifealert dispatcher only relayed the the house was on fire?
I suggest you contact Fire Headquarters and ask for Fire Marshall Mace as he is the PIO for us and this incident.
The ems question i cant answer other than the medic on the ambulance is a top flight medic and i trust his judgement.
For a former fireman i expected a little more knowledge of the way it works.
Is it just because we are not kcfd and we are the lowely ol Raytown Fire department that you can question our delivery of service?

You can go the fire district blog page you will find the PIO information there

doc summers

Matt Mace said...

Jim I hope you don't mind but I will be the one addressing your concerns.

Response times: I cannot attest to your means of obtaining times anymore than you can for mine. It is not as important that we be synchronized as it is that we have an accurate accounting for the time elapsed. That said our communications center shows the time dispatched as 05:00 hours, I do not have the seconds. Then has Engine one arriving at 05:03:48. As far as the KCFD dispatching I do not have access to those times but will investigate that further.
Staffing:, We are NFPA 1710 compliant and staff five regularly on our apparatus with a minimum staffing of four. The other item worth mentioning is our apparatus are fully ALS capable and staffed with paramedics. When you combine these two items we meet or exceed the staffing level of any Fire Department in the metro area.

Matt Mace
Fire Marshal
Raytown Fire Protection District

Pat Casady said...

I don't understand why people are so at the ready
to take shots at Raytown's Police and Fire Departments.
I wish the cheap shot artists would just leave Raytown
alone. I guess they are jealous because we have some of the
best people in the area.
We may have a problem with City Hall but, the Police and
Fire Departments carry more than their weight when it comes
to taking care of the people of Raytown.
Groucho, just because you may not have made it as a fireman
doesn't mean Raytown's firemen aren't the finest!

Anonymous said...

I am glad to see that Fire Department management is reading this blog and responding to signed comments. I feel that our city leaders should do the same. What is wrong with our elected officials? There never is a response. Sometimes a BOA comment is mentioned, but I feel the people are entitled to a reply!

Greg, I question how anyone can vote 5 times unless the system is flawed? Did the FBI say who you voted for? I felt the last Presidential election had much voter fraud starting with Acorn.

The way the system works here everyone must vote at their precinct. You present picture ID and they mark that you voted as well as the voter intialing a box. How can 4 others vote your name unless they are registered in 4 other places but this is impossible if they have to vote in the assigned precinct? Do a search engine search for "Greg Walters"(use the quotes) and see how many people have the same name.

I come from NM where in the past there were more voters in Rio Arriba County than people counted on the census. Upon investigation it was discovered that people were voting the names of residents in cemetaries because their names were never purged.

The first time I voted here my drivers license was not accepted because is shows my address as a PO Box. They wanted proof of residence and I have none that I carry with me.

I agree a photo ID should be required and it is in the Show Me State. A photo ID is not that easy for everyone to get. My father required my mother to drive in case of emergency. The last time she drove was in 1956. The drivers license was free in NM for seniors but after he died she cancelled the license and had to pay for a state ID. It was a real hassel for her since someone had to take her to renew it and she had to pay for it. I agree a photo ID should be required but it is incorrect to state that it is simple to obtain one.

With the identity theft we have it is certainally possible for a criminal to obtain a photo ID in the name almost anyone and using the photo of the criminal.

Andy Whiteman

Greg Walters said...


The FBI told me they believed the fraud to be ACORN based. Apparently they would have an individual register as a new registrant -- using my name.

When election day would roll around they would go vote and claim they were Greg Walters.

I agree with you (from what I have read during and after the election) that fraud was not that uncommon during the 08 election.

Anonymous said...

Andy I couldn't agree with you more, it's impressive to see the Fire Department being this proactive. I doubt it is all because of the new board member, but she may have helped nudge them in the right direction. It is hard to spread rumors when the fire chief is on here stating fact. Good job guys I for one appreciate the new spirit of openness.

Anonymous said...

If the fraudulent voters voted at the proper precinct, since you are well known in Raytown, they should have been turned away.

I sure hope the FBI stops election fraud this year. We don't need a repeat of the Royal Family in the White house.

Raytown has the best, dedicated emergency responders. Police, EMS, and Fire are ALL top notch! I have worked in all 3 fields and know quality when I see it.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Andy, a state issued non-drivers picture I.D. is very easy to obtain at any State Drivers License Office. At the last presidential election a bus load of mentally handicapped persons (that had been registered to vote by unscrupulous persons) were brought to my polling place to vote for Obama. I applaud Gregg for his comments regarding voter fraud; most Democrats fight it tooth and nail.

Anonymous said...

Greg and Andy

You want us to use id to vote like a state drivers license.

That is only as good as the system, which would need better controls and go back to being operated by the state.

To prove there is an issue look at all of those ids issued at St Joesph last year. I was on the news just a few weeks ago. Yes, they are not going after the license office, but come on you mean they allowed that many fake documents to slide through and isuse ids for all those illegals. I recall over 3,000 in fact at one office and the red flag should have been the one lady who brought that group to that location time and time again.

No this is a much larger issue!

Anonymous said...

8:19PM, State issued IDs may be easily obtained at DMV offices but the issue is getting to the office if the person doesn't drive. Nevertheless, I still feel that a picture ID should be required to vote. I thought one was required in the State of Misery but in Greg's case someone had fraudulent ID or ID wasn't checked.

Andy Whiteman

Raytown Resident said...

Showing picture ID at the polls might cut down on voter fraud, but I doubt it. I can get a picture ID in the name of anyone I want. It'll cost me about $35. The illegials do it all the time.

The problem is that the folks at the Election Board aren't doing there job. When I moved last year, I had to show not only my picture id but proof that I lived at my new address. I took my water bill with me. More than picture ID is requied. Proof of residents is required also. If the people at the election board don't ask for it, shame on them. My dad is 95 years old, and doesn't drive. My sister is leaglly blind and doesn't drive. Why should I tote them to the state office, and wait 3 hours for them to get state id. If the election board did there job right, it wouldn't be a issue.

PJS said...

Shouldn’t relevant financial data and a cost analysis been provided prior to or included with the poll question? Oh, I get it - obviously it’s an opinion poll based on nothing more than how someone is feeling at the time.

With regards to the voter ID, I agree with Mr. Walters. Your last line was right on, “it is about protecting the integrity of our elections”.

Anonymous said...

Hey guys. It is not an insult to the fire department to suggest that the city and the fire department be combinded to save money. It is not demeaning to the firemen or the policemen. It is a common sense solution to the ever growing cost of government. Face it. There is a lot of duplication of effort and energy in Raytown's ten square miles. To ignore it is like the story of the kid who said the Emporer has no clothes.

I don't know who suggested it. But whoever wrote about our six figure salaried city administrator being able to earn his salary by bringing the fire department under control of the city is right. The fire department would not change. But you could consolidate some command positions. Eliminate some positions and save the taxpayers some money.

Anonymous said...

I heard on the news that KCMO wants to cut 100 from the Fire Department staff. Does it make good sense for the city to cut their budget by cutting the fire department?

I know I am comparing a different city, but it is likely that Raytown may want to cut the budget at the Fire Department if they had that power.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...


I am sure there are many who believve the public sector is immune to the economic times that plagues the private sector. The propoal to eliminate 100 firemen in the K.C. is a sure sign that there is no safe haven from a down economy.

Pat Casady said...

I think it might NOT be a good idea for the
city to take over the fire department.
The parks and recreation saw through the
cities bid for their money and I think the
fire department should do the same thing.
I don't think this move will save the fire
department a cent. I think it could be a losing
situation for them.
The city has given away millions in tax income.
That's a fact. The city has paid millions of your tax
dollars toward the Wal-Mart bonds. Another fact.
The city needs money, another fact.
They have raised taxes almost to the breaking point
for taxpayers. If I were the parks, fire department
or any other body of service in this town I would
be questioning the reason behind the cities interest
in us.
The "ever growing cost of government" is clearly
caused by bad decisions, income give-aways and wasteful spending
from City Hall.
Public safety should never be cut back.
What should be cut is the high cost of administrating
fees. If you want to combine something you might try
combining some of the jobs in City Hall.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone looked at the number of firemen and policemen that Raytown has for the few square miles it covers? Maybe there are reductions that can be made here. Just because you are a public employee doesn't mean that your department can't get too big and need to reduce staff. The private sector has to do it all the time just to survive in hard economic times.

Anonymous said...

If anyone believes that the proposed layoffs in KC has anything to do with fiscal responsibility you are sheep. KCFD has a new union president and the City is testing the water. They will just spend the same amount of money only now it will just go to building fancy bus stops nobody wants to use, or to do another study on why no one wants to move to 31st and Jackson. Now the city wants to take over the school district, wow that makes sense. Next we will cut schools funding to tiff a downtown baseball stadium.

Anonymous said...

Raytown Police and Fire are fat heavy at the top. They know it, and will fight against any changes to their self-serving existence. Therefore, why even have this discussion because nothing will take place as long as those at the top are more concerned with self-preservation than for any cost savings to the tax-payers.

All that has been has done for years and years is to raise taxes. It will never end as long as those in charge fight to maintain the status quo.

Sorry for our luck, tax-payers, but we're not getting a tax break unless something is done to change the mindset of those in charge that WE the tax-payers are tired of giving away our family income to support a system that is broken and is in need of an overhaul.

Anonymous said...

Raytown only has 30 firefighters, that's 10 per day if nobody is off. If the guy stays at the truck to run the water pump they are down to 9. How many you think they can spare? Sounds pretty thin to me, not really sure what this size of the town has to do with it. I would look at the age of the town more than anything. Older homes, older wires, older furnaces, older buildings, older building safety codes, and let's not forget older residents all add up to a lot of need. I read on here where Doc says they run 3200 calls a year, that's 8.8 calls a day. That doesn't sound like the cake job some of you claim it to be to me. You will never know you don't have enough emergency workers till you need them and by that time it's too late.

Anonymous said...

Hey anon 8:08 are you kidding me you think Raytown has too many cops? Are you serious we had six homicides last year. We have at least 6 burglaries a week, and at least 2 hone invasions a month. They arrest 7-12 people a week at Wal-Mart alone. That's it your right who needs cops, lets overlay streets and put sidewalks in downtown instead, that way when we get robbed the bad guys can get away faster...That should help our property values...

Anonymous said...

Anon 1/18 @ 8:08 AM,

I understand our police department has around 20 officers that hold a rank (chief, captain, lieutenant, sergeant or Corporal) and 35 regular officers. While this doesn't include any of the support staff, like those in booking or dispatch, it does paint a clear picture that we have a 2:1 ratio.

I am sure you will agree if any business has a 2:1 ratio it cannot be financially successful.

So to your point why should we as the stock holders (taxpayers) continue to allow this ratio that will only further burden each of us taxpayers?

Our city Marshall might control the direction of the department, but the Board of Alderman control the purse strings and it is time they tell our city Marshall to reduce management level by 50% and if he is not able by a given date then change the form of our police department as allowed by state statue to where the Board of Alderman appoint the Police Chief and the city Marshal just becomes a position of title with no power and no pay.

What a step forward for Raytown to finally act like other cities in the Greater Kansas City Area and those in the 21st century.

I wonder what the ratio is with the fire department!

Anonymous said...

A 24 year old man arrested in the Independence Mall shooting. I hope they put him in and so far back they have to pump him day light.They say he has a little 2 year child, boy he is fine father material isn't he? He is a danger to society and I pray his sentence is hard, and long very long.

Anonymous said...

Just think if we combine EMS with Fire we would not need as many employees

It is time our elected officials start finding ways to save us money.

Raytona Beach Bum said...

The fire department has 30 fire fighting personnel and 5 chiefs thats a 6:1 ratio which exceeds both the US military standards and those set by the Harvard review as acceptable. When you factor one of these five is the Fire Marshall and he is not directly over any of the personnel the ratio jumps to 7.2:1. How is this top heavy in your book? Or are you just spouting controversial rhetoric hoping nobody will actually know the facts. I have an idea get a business degree or even just get a clue before you start giving ideas on what is needed to succeed in either a company or as a country.

doc said...

this is where you make me laugh.

if you do away with the fire district you also do away with the funding that is set up for this. the property tax and 1/4/cent sales tax.

you place the fire department in the city control the city will have to find a way to fund the department.
I still have yet to see anybody put out one fact or example of top heavy department that you claim?i have yet to see any figures on how much a merger would save? (just because you say it will dont mean it will)because you still need the same amount of people unless you cut the service.
i know the figures at least the eight year old figures because i did the work. i had help from the IAFF and did all the leg work myself. as i said i did a paper on fire/ems mergers when i did my fire officer 1 class as part of my degree.
i am tired of feeding people who spout half truthes and have no clue to what the costs of the service are.
i am done..i have explained it ten times that its money. i have explained our call volume our department structure.
I have layed out our training levels and what services we provide.
i will no longer post here in any forum relating to my job,my department and dam sure will not reply to anybody that questions our delivery or our dedication.
Most of you have no clue to what goes on in the city after the sun goes down.
goodnight Raytown

Anonymous said...

that's an interesting statistic about walmar. Not only are they a drain on the sales tax revenue to Raytown they also tie up our police.

Talk about a lose / lose proposition!

Doc, you should be more tolerant of those who do not agree with you.

Anonymous said...

Doc, I ignore most of the "merging posts" as GIGO from people with little or no facts. Many people are ignorant and think any merger of no matter what saves money. That may or may not be true depending on circumstances and management but so far I have not observed a merger that worked. KCMO merged EMS and FD causing response time issues with EMS as well as pension and other issues. Now they want to cut firefighters and go from 4 men to 3 men per truck. If there is to be a savings, it will probably be through a cut in personnel resulting to inferior service to the public. Insurance companies will base rates on Fire service and distance to hydrant. People my find their insurance rates go up and property value go down due to the assumed "savings."

I am thankful that Raytown has top notch Fire, EMS, and Police. All 3 have responded to my residence at one time or another.

Andy Whiteman

New to Raytown said...

I moved to Raytown during the summer. Now that it is cold, I find my neighbors using wood to heat their homes. Don't get me wrong, a fire in the fireplace on a cold night is nice. But my neighbors use their fireplace all day and all night. Because of this, my house smells like a camp fire. It sometimes smells like they burn their trash as well. Is there some sort of law against burning the fireplace all the time? Who should I talk to at city hall who can help me? Thanks for your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Raytown should look to bring ems into the fire department, they key is you will have to reduce the number of employees to make that work and I don't see the union allowing that to happen. If the city is committed to cutting cost then they need to make it happen and hold thier ground on letting employees go.

Anonymous said...

Thank god we renewed that earnings tax last year. They said if it didn't pass they would lay off 150 firefighters. So does this mean they are going to stop taking 1% of my pay?

Pat Casady said...

I don't think some of you people
understand the ranks in the police and fire departments.
Think military. Every platoon has to have a leader. There are many ranks in the service as there are in any police and fire
departments. It doesn't mean high salaries.
It means there is a need for the position for the jobs that need to be done.
I don't pretend to know how it works.
Maybe Doc could tell us. However, Kansas City's problem is not our problem. This article was
if the city should take over the fire department and ambulance service or not.
I say NO! Leave them alone. Let's face it, this cities leaders haven't done such a great job
of handling our tax dollars so far and then give them the fire and ambulance departments bank accounts, well, lets just say I think the citizens of Raytown
would pay to high a cost. I think it's too bad the police
have to be under the cities thumb.
Those of you that are taking shots at our fire and police
departments should at the very least sign your letters.
But, I guess this just shows what kind of person you really are.

Anonymous said...

Doc has finally admitted it, it's the IAFF that is providing all of these figures. Sounds a little "fishy" to me. Of course the union is going to try and protect their own. Maybe we need a real "independent" audit of the fire department? How about the State of Missouri, they certainly have no "axe to grind".

Anonymous said...

10:34 PM, Maybe your neighbors can't afford to heat. I have a friend who has moved away from Raytown but heated the entire house with firewood when they lived here because of the high cost of gas. I can't afford to heat and have kept my thermostat at 61. Maybe you should offer to pay your neighbors heating bill if it bothers you.

BTW, welcome to Raytown where ONLY the rich can afford to live.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Anon 1/18 10:34 PM

If you can smell the smoke coming in from the outside you best get someone out to your house and find out what the issue is.

I have several arround me that burn often even in the yard and I only smell it when I go outside.

Just think what you could save on utility bills if you would spend the money.

You should thank this person who is burning or you might not have known about the wated energy.

Anonymous said...

I just looked at what doc wrote about the iaff and you are twisting what he wrote. he got information from the iaff but it showed it as money losing merger and that more money would be needed to fund it.
Try reading all the posts.

Anonymous said...

I noticed that those who are running down Police, Fire, and EMS don't sign their names. I wonder why?

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Is it running down the police and fire departments to hold a discussion on another way of managing them?

I have re-read the posts and do not see one that runs down the police department. The fire department discussion is just people bringing out ideas of how to better manage the public's money.

Perhaps people do not sign their messages because they see how easily their intentions are twisted.

Do you really wonder why people are afraid (and consider that word for a moment) to sign their names to their thoughts on the subject?

Anonymous said...

BUM: Does your 6 to 1 ratio and comparison to the army include fire dept captains and army non-coms?

Salamander said...

Regarding the fire board and their pay for volunteering. Salamander’s calculations were not entirely accurate. The glitch was caused by a computer input error.

Mea Culpa.

More disturbing than a calculation error is the fact that apparently some readers missed the point.

It is not just the money some selected individuals receiver for services as volunteers on a civic board.
It is the concept that a unit which lives off the largesse of the taxpayer spends any money at all.

Volunteer service in any non-profit group or organization should be just that – VOLUNTARY.

We are told the fire board is composed of volunteers. That being the case, the Salamander believes those individuals should not receive any pay for whatever they do.

Their pay is the knowledge they volunteered to help create a better community organization.

Here is a list of some of the volunteer organizations in Raytown. None of them pay a salary.

The Raytown Zoning Commission
The Raytown School Board
The Raytown Parks Board
The Raytown Tree Board
Public, Parochial and Private School PTA’s

The list could go on Ad Infintum. None of the many volunteers who are instrumental in the functional operation of any volunteer board listed receives pay.

Why should the fire board be an exception?

The Salamander will not beat around the bush. The stipends paid to members of the fire board are nothing but a sinecure and unjustified use of taxpayer dollars.

jim said...


its good to have a opinion.
I have a pretty good opinion about you.
im sure whatever job you have could be outsorced to a untrained 6th grader.
I see the fire department had another fire this morning on blue ridge.
i talked to a couple of the guys at qt this morning.
i hope that they release the info on the web site.
they did say they are approaching 200 calls for the year already.
doc any comment on the fire or salamanders point?

Anonymous said...


Why should we pay the Mayor or Board of Alderman?

Anonymous said...

I read the Salamander's ipinion. All he said was that the fire board members should be a volunteer position. I think they get paid $150 per meeting. There are three of them on the board.

They don't go fight fires.

So why has the blog writer after the Salamander's blog have his panties in such a bunch.

If you want to see the sixth grade mentality maybe he should go look in a mirror.

Apologies to all the sixth graders out there!

jim said...

i dont wear panties i am commando.

i find it funny the underinformed people can say whatever hey want and people think it is all true.

i will ask the fire board at the next meeting as i plan on attending and if they have public comments i plan to ask questions.
i think you should sign your name but if you dont it shows your character make up.

Anonymous said...


As a Raytown Firefighter I know some don't like us. But I do believe their hate is misguided.
Yes we cost a lot of money. And I feel for the taxpayers being one myself.
But dont look at us, the one who rides the trucks and are there within 5 minutes as the ones to blame for spending all of your money.
You need to only look at our Chief Rick Mawhirter,
He is threatening us with laying off 6-9 firefighters. These are the same firefighters that come to your house at 3am because you have chest pains. Yes, we are there before the ambulance is, and we are qualified to do the same things they are except for having a vehicle to transport you to the hospital. Also in this increasing lifestyle of the American Public who is more sedentary and are frequently overweight and obese.... yes, we need that many people to take you out of your house to get you onto an ambulance safely.
What is interesting is that OUR policy states that everyrman on the job should be qualified to fill a spot below them. You have to ask yourself why doesn't Rick and all of the other chiefs (but one as far as my knowledge goes) even hold an EMT license? They are not qualified to man the trucks.
But beyond that, You must ask yourself why is some of the stupid things in 2012 budget (that was of course approved by Rick) even there?
He approved software upgrades....I have been using an earlier version of windows at home that has been used for years without problems.
He approved video recording equipment expenses. I'm sorry people. But I am in the business of saving lives and property, not making movies.
He approved money to wash the windows on the Chief's side of Station #1. Serious? Is he to pompous and lazy to grab a ladder and some windex to clean his own windows?
He also has approved money for a lift so we can change light bulbs in these fantastic palaces he approved to build. Once again... we are firefighters, we know how to use ladders.
So please people of Raytown, don't hate the fire Department, you need to hate the management who runs it.

Bob said...


well said!

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:06 I have to question your integrity and your motivation for this. I do not know the inner workings of the fire department, put you sure seem like you have an axe to grind. My guess is you either an ex fire fighter or one of those guys who spends his whole day on the tax payers dime shinning his new truck that you just bought or that bass boat you had to bring to work. Greg shame on you for even printing that attack on the fire chief. He has been in his position for as long as I have lived in Raytown (19 yrs) and he has always been an honorable and kind man and these personal attacks should not been tolerated.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 4:06
I too happen to be a Raytown Fire Fighter, and I happen to be in the group that would be laid off should it happen. You sir are an idiot, all I have ever heard the Chief state is the last thing he wants to see happen is a reduction in manpower. He has begged the Union to work with him to reduce and limit expenditures. Fact is everything that could be reduced has been. Our training budget alone has been cut by over 80%, maintenance 64%, equipment 70%, the only thing left to cut are items that are guaranteed under the Union contract. I was at the last Union meeting where the senior members clearly stated that they would rather see a reduction in the force then take a reduction in benefits. I bet if they could be laid off their opinion would change, and I have a feeling yours would too.

Anonymous said...

Hey fireman something doesn't ring true, if I add all these things you list up I get around 10,000 tops. Most of those items actually sound pretty legit from a management point of view. You need to have a plan to upgrade software, and if the lights in your palace happen to be high the a lift might be the safest way to change them. For the 75.00 Allright charges you couldn't pay a single workmanship comp visit.
The part that doesnt ring true is that if you are talking about laying off 6-9 firefighters and Doc says he makes 65,000 dollars that's 390 to 700 thousand dollars to make up. Your items hardly seem like a drop in the bucket, sounds like we need to look to cut some firefighters to me. Thanks for the idea.

Anonymous said...

Jim, I am in agreement with your comments. Being disabled, I am unable to attend their meetings due to the early hour. The average day worker is also being denied the right to attend.

Good luck at getting answers. If the meeting is conducted like the BOA, there will be no response. You may have to contact a board member personally.

4:06PM, I oppose any layoffs of firefighters. What is the reason?

Sounds like really extravagant spending. Window washing company? I thought firemen did that when not answering calls. Lift to change lights? Isn't that what ladders are for? Really weird spending? Did the Chief do all of this without board approval?

I have no complaint about taxes. You guys provide GREAT service worth every mill! It seems to me cuts could be made to wasteful spending. I sure hope Barb takes a look these issues. My complaint is with the school district where 69% of my property tax dollars go.

When I was on a fire board our mill levy was about 0.75 mill (3/4 of a mill) and we had to save several years to buy a new pumper!

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...


Maybe you should come out in the real world and try working for a living.
Theres no sleeping in the chair, washing my car and playing xbox at my job.
Layoffs? Threatning?
You do understand that the economey is bad and all jobs are trimming back pay and cutting people.
You should try paying attention to current events instead of whatching tv on the taxpayers dime.
I wish i was your boss because your terrible attitude would be the first on the chopping block.
I sure hope that all of our public servants are not like this one.
I will be upfront i DO NOT want this firefighter in my house.

Doc do you work with this person? Is it really this way?
How much is your budget? How much is payroll and benifets?
Do you wash windows? Do you pay somebody to do the yardwork?
I am coming up with some good questions for the fire board meeting.

Anonymous said...

Interesting piece in the KC Star.

Who's going to tell KC police they aren't so special?

Read more here:

Maybe it is time that Raytown Fire, Police and EMS realize that times are hard and to take note.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:06
I wonder after reading your post, one, how much help you had writing it, and second, do you put as much effort into your job as you do complaining about it. you should really be thankful that you have a job. If you worked for me with that attitude, I would have fired you long ago. To many who would give anything to have your job and all you can do is complain about it. Grow up and get a life loser.

Pat Casady said...

I think I know why the people that are cheap shooting the
Fire Dept. don't or won't sign their names.
They are afraid some on the fire dept. may be as gutless
as they are.
Rest assured Mr. Anonymous, they are not!
They would save your butt in a fire even if they knew
who you were. As would the police and our city workers.
It is a damn shame that a great bunch public service's
like Raytown has, have to defend itself against people
like this.
I proudly sign my name to this!