Sunday, January 8, 2012


Breaking News

Raytown Man Dies in Fire by Lynn Horsley of the Kansas City Star
The Raytown Fire Department has identified the victim of an early morning fire. Raytown Fire Marshal Matt Mace said Donald Sherrow, 85, died after fire broke out in his home in the 5400 block of Willow Avenue.

Mace gave the following account:

The fire occurred shortly before 5 this morning in the living room of the residence.

Sherrow used a medical alert device to alert 911. He said his home was on fire and he was unable to get out of the residence. At 5 a.m. police arrived and were unable to gain entry due to the severity of the fire. At 5:03 a.m., firefighters arrived on the scene and found heavy fire and smoke coming from the front of the structure.
Firefighters quickly extinguished the initial fire while additional crews got inside and began to search for Sherrow. He was found, unconscious, in an adjacent room.

Emergency rescue crews tried to resuscitate him outside and continued this effort en route to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Firefighters said the fire started in an area around a living room recliner, and the cause is still under investigation.

The home did have working smoke detectors, and these had been recently replace by family members.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2012/01/14/3370181/one-person-killed-in-raytown-house.html#storylink=cpy

Raytown Police Shoot and Kill Armed Man from KMBC.com

Police in Raytown said an officer shot and killed a man on Thursday afternoon.

Officers were called to the area of 79th Street and Manning Avenue, just south of the Mount Olivet Cemetery, after reports of a man threatening his roommate with a rifle. Officers said that when they arrived, the man pointed the gun at an officer. The officer fired a shot and injured the man. 

Neighbor Brian Hendrickson said there was a huge commotion."I heard the sirens, heard the cops coming. I saw the cops running around the house across the street with guns," he said. 

"They were yelling at a guy to drop the gun and he didn't drop the gun, officer across the driveway took a shot."The wounded man was taken to a hospital, where he died. Police initially said they didn't think his injuries were life-threatening. His name has not been released.

Spring Valley Elementary Teachers Spend  Night on the Roof from KMBC.com

Some Raytown elementary school students put their teachers out in the cold on Tuesday evening. Teachers at Spring Valley Elementary School challenged students to do something good for the community. When those students exceeded their goals, some of the school's staff wound up sleeping on the school's roof.

"It started last year with a group of teachers that decided, 'Let's give our students an incentive to bring in good for our families here in Raytown that need that,'" said principal Greg Owen.

The students at Spring Valley responded to the challenge, helping in fill the shelves of the Raytown Emergency Assistance Program (REAP) with canned goods. "I think it's great," said Tim Wessley of REAP. "I went to Spring Valley Elementary School, so I've been around awhile. We never had a chance to put our principal up on the roof."

Under the terms of the challenge, the more food the students brought, the more teachers would have to sleep on the roof. At 1,800 pounds of food, the principal would join in. The students collected 1,900 pounds. "Our kids love seeing this," Owen said. "They love leaving in the bus and waving and enjoying it, and then coming up and seeing us once again up on the roof."

Staff members had hot drinks and tents on hand to help fight off the winter chill, and a long night of living up to their end of the bargain. Owen said he didn't think he'd have to sleep on the roof. The students were several hundred pounds short of the goal as the campaign's final days approached, but a late surge put the students over the top.


BREAKING NEWS: Three candidates file for Raytown School Board - see the last story in this week's Raytown Report.

Photos of America's Past
Last week we published pictures taken by the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information. They are some of the only color photographs taken of the effects of the Depression on America’s rural and small town populations.
To view the pictures use this link: Rural America 1939 - 1943

This week we have added pictures from a collection of images from The Pacific War, a term referring to parts of World War II that took place in the Pacific Ocean, the islands of the Pacific and the Far East. 

To view these pictures go to The Pacific War

EDITOR'S NOTE: The pictures were originally posted late last week. Since many of our readers view our pages earlier in the week we have re-posted. The same is true for the Paul Livius Report, which follows our weekly editorial.


Greg Walters
Bits and Pieces . . .by Greg Walters
Closed Meetings and the meaning of “transparency”.
The Raytown Board of Aldermen have strongly bought into the act of using a Consent Agenda so thoroughly that it takes a motion from a member of the Board to remove items onto an agenda for public discussion. Even then, a majority of the Board can refuse to discuss the item and leave it on the consent agenda.

Another trademark of the Board of Aldermen is their penchant for using “closed sessions” to discuss city business. The practice has become so common place that the number of public meetings is almost eclipsed by the number of closed door meetings.

The public is easily confused when the Mayor announces that by State Law the Board of Aldermen may recess into closed session to discuss legal matters having to do with lawsuits, personnel matters, contracts, etc., etc., etc.

The operative word here is “may”

That’s right. The Board is not required to go into closed session. From my personal experience as a member of the Raytown Board of Aldermen for over 27 years I can tell you that frequently the reason for the closed session is flimsy at best.

For instance, should the Board of Aldermen go into closed session to exempt the Raytown City Administrator from city ordinances that require him to live in Raytown? 

It happened. Given the frequency of the Board’s use of closed sessions there is little doubt the abuse continues.

Schlapia Asks for Public Access
Not all public servants believe that governmental actions should be held in private.

This past week we received an email from the newly appointed member of the Raytown Fire Protection District, Barb Schlapia.

Mrs. Schlapia wrote . . .

“I HAVE ALREADY TALKED TO CHIEF MAWHIRTER ABOUT PUTTING A SLIDE ON CHANNEL 7 WITH THE NEXT BOARD MEETING DATE AND HAVING A LINK THAT WOULD TAKE YOU TO THE AGENDA FOR THE MEETING AS WELL AS SOME TYPE OF "WEEKLY REPORT" THAT WOULD BE SENT TO THE PRESS.  IT WILL BE A PROCESS, BUT I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO IT.”

Who knows, maybe the Board of Aldermen will follow her lead and practice the meaning of transparency at City Hall.

Are Closed Sessions the Only Way?
In a word . . . No.

The best example of this was when former City Administrator Michael Miller resigned his position at Raytown City Hall.

The Raytown Report discovered and published that Miller was actively seeking employment for a position in Alaska. This was barely one year into his tenure at Raytown City Hall.

When hired by the City, Miller had promised that he intended to make Raytown his home for at least three years.

How did the Raytown Report confirm the story?

It was easy. 

We looked up the newspaper that carried the article. Upon further investigation we discovered that Mr. Miller’s job interviews had been videotaped and broadcast to the public in Alaska.

By comparison, the hiring process in Raytown is one that is shrouded in sessions closed to the public.

We agree that the early interviews should be held privately for the consideration of those making application. But once the field has been narrowed down in a job search, the information should be made public. 

The public release of information allows the public to complete the vetting process of applicants for leadership positions.

Paul Livius
The Paul Livius Report by Paul Livius
Raytown Board of Aldermen Meeting – January 3, 2012

Invocation was given by Steve Jones of the Brooking Heights Baptist Church.

Mayor Bower proclaimed January 16, 2012 to be Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Scott Gilligan was sworn in as a Police Officer in Raytown.

Mayor Bower said 2011 and 2012 saw major infrastructure improvements in Raytown.  He thought this was because Raytown has the best Senior Public Works Staff in the metropolitan area.  He said the Board of Aldermen were also very good.  They come prepared to each meeting.

Tom Cole told the Board the end of year tax receipts continues to be strong.

  • The Board approved the minutes from the last meeting.
  • The Board passed a resolution between the City of Raytown and UMB Bank Mark Loughry to replace Jeremy Willmoth as the authorized agent for UMB banking business.
  • The Board authorized an agreement with Design Studio for City Hall Renovations.  The first project will be the renovations to the bathrooms on the first floor that will impact board chambers, conference room, public bathrooms and employee bathrooms. The proposal is from Incite Design Studio that completed the facility plan for City Hall. The total amount requested of $20,300.00 includes the base design fee, Audio/Visual Design fee and a $2,000.00 contingency fund for reimbursable expenses.
  • The Board approved the purchase of a 2012 Ford F-150 truck from Dick Smith Ford for the Public Works Department.
  • The Board Approved the purchase of five new 2011 patrol cars at a total price of
$122,495.00 which is to be paid from the Capital Sales Tax Expenditure Budget.  Alderman Van Buskirk asked about the cost of outfitting the vehicles for the Police Department.  Chief Jim Lynch said there will be the following costs: 
            Decal and unit markings                     $    1,300.00
            P-25 Compliant Radios                       $  15,094.50
            Emergency Equipment                       $  10,000.00
            Strobe Lights                                        $    2,140.00
            Total for 5 vehicles                              $151,029.50
  • The Board approved an agreement with the Ditzler Community Improvement District for the 350 Highway improvements.  This will enable the start of Phase 2 of the project, which proposes a 5,500 sq. ft. multi-tenant retail building including two national restaurants and at least one general retailer.
  • The Board heard the first reading of a Resolution authorizing MoDot to begin a preliminary project design for the 350 Highway improvements.  Alderman Aziere moved the rules be suspended.  When the motion passed, the second reading of the Resolution was performed.  The resolution was passed by the Board.
The Board adjourned and moved to closed session 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.

The Rules of the Run by Kristen for Fit Bottomed Girls
I rarely run alone these days. I have a weekly group run on Thursdays (which always ends with a beer or two), and I have several friends who join me on my long runs on the weekends. And, perhaps most exciting of all, my husband has started joining me on most of my shorter runs during the week, and even stays right around my preferred pace…for... Continue reading

Filing for Raytown C-2 School Board Closes January 17th

Filing for two, three year terms on the Raytown C-2 Board of Education is open until January 17th.

Candidates may file between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday at the Raytown School District Headquarters located at 6608 Raytown Road.

Candidates are required to be registered voters living within the District. All property and personal taxes must be paid in full before filing for public office in Missouri. The Election for the Raytown School Board will be held on Tuesday, April 3, 2012.

As of this date three candidates have filed for the Raytown School Board. The two incumbents, Kristie Collins-Delarber and Amy Tittle have filed. A  newcomer, Alonzo Burton has also filed.

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

47 comments:

Andy Whiteman said...

I thank Barb Schlapia for standing up to the public's right to open meetings and records. I once spoke to Barb when she was working day hours. I hope the next step is to change the meetings to a decent time so she and others don't have to take off work. I used to be active in a Fire Board as well as a Fire Department and EMS. If the meetings here had been held at a decent time, I would have had an interest.

Is there any information on Alonzo Burton? I don't care for Mrs. Tittle and don't know Kristie. The only way I will vote for an unknown party is if I know his qualifications and agree with his goals as a board member. BTW: I think I will still be here for the election.

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...

Did Michael Miller get the job in Alaska? If he was hired, how long did he stay? It is too cold there for me. At the time he resigned there were issues on the news and raised by a citizen during public comments. I may be wrong, but I assumed that was the reason for his leaving.

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...

No person or family could exist with a budget like this one!

This rather brilliantly cuts thru all the political doublespeak we get. It puts it into a much better perspective.

Lesson # 1:

* U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
* Fed budget: $3,820,000,000,000
* New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000
* National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
* Recent budget cuts: $ 38,500,000,000

Let's now remove 8 zeros and pretend it's a household budget:

* Annual family income: $21,700
* Money the family spent: $38,200
* New debt on the credit card: $16,500
* Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
* Total budget cuts: $385

Got It ?????

OK now Lesson # 2: Here's another way to look at the Debt Ceiling:

Let's say, You come home from work and find there has been a sewer backup in your neighborhood....and your home has sewage all the way up to your ceilings.

What do you think you should do ......

Raise the ceilings, or pump out the sewage?

Your choice is coming Nov. 2012

Greg Walters said...

Andy,

In answer to your question regarding Mr. Miller. He did not get the job in Alaska. If I remember correctly, he was the second runner-up for the position.

Note to our readers:

In the last couple of weeks we have received a number of emails that directly name local individuals in their text along with comments that are, to say the least, less than complimentary.

Per our new policy at the Raytown Report, those comments were not published because they were signed anonymously.

If the authors of those comments would care to sign their name and allow verification of the authenticity of that signature, we would reconsider publishing the messages.

Raytown Democratic Association said...

Presents
Missouri State Senator
Victor Callahan

7:00 PM Thursday, January 19th
Las Chili’s Restaurant
6210 Raytown Trafficway
Raytown, MO

Senator Callahan will cover efforts to address KCMO School Districts accreditation loss and the impacts it has created on other districts.

Salamander said...

Ever wonder why companies, families or cities go broke?

The Salamander has read with interest the story regarding selection of a new director for the Fire Board.

Nothing too interesting turned up, EXCEPT for a tidbit about how the three individuals who comprise this board are paid for a position they volunteered to fill.

Your correspondent wishes to make it clear he feels voluntary service on any civic committee should never be a paid position.

Be that as it may, serving on the fire board is a paid position. In fact it pays more than just cigarette money.

Here is the breakout of what these people receive for doing a civic duty:

Fire Board members receive $100.00 for each meeting.
(The board meets twice a month)
There are three board members.
$12,000.00 per year to pay for these meetings.
The president of the board (a former mayor in his 80’s) receives an additional $50.00 for each meeting. $1,200.00 for being the number one honcho.
DO THE MATH: A total of $12,200.00 of your tax dollars for a board which, literally, does nothing.
A special note: The Salamander is unable to determine whether attendance at a meeting is requisite to collecting the $100.00.

The foregoing is another example of how your tax money is subtly transferred from the payer’s pocket to the favored few.

The Salamander has a tough time understanding just what a fire board does. Surely, they are not inspecting equipment nor do they have any discernible knowledge of operation of a fire station.

An attempt was made to access the fire board’s website. Couldn’t find anything; not one iota of what goes on at the board meetings.

Perhaps some reader can enlighten the Blog.

Andy Whiteman said...

In my opinion, $12,000 IS a PAID position even though it is not enough to live on. It might be called gas money. (I just paid a little over $50 to fill my tank.) $12K is enough to throw someone into a higher tax bracket.

It is unclear. The President of the Board is paid $50 per meeting, but I fail to understand is it an additional $50 to total $150 or just $50.

If I had been asked to serve, I would have stipulated that I not be paid or the money go directly to REAP.

Salamander, have you ever been of a fire board? You said they do nothing. I was on a fire board where no member received pay...NOT ONE PENNY! I was secretary-treasurer and
1) Prepared the minutes and had them posted at the firehouse by the next afternoon.
2) Prepared the budget for approval
3) Calculated the mill levy.
4) Kept the books.
5) Administered the retirement fund.
6) Administered purchases and bill payment.
7) In inspected equipment in my station including a complete check of equipment and Oxygen system in the EMS vehicle as well as replacing the water in O2 system with fresh water. Conducted a weekly air horn (alarm) test if there had been no calls that week.
8) Since we were a rural department made trips to town on behalf of the department with no reimbursement.

(Item 7 was also done by other members of the fire department and not solely my responsibility.)

I have heard similar statement about the BOA. People don't realize that these positions aren't only attending meetings. Much time is involved in addition to meetings including reading the agenda and having knowledge of subjects to be discussed. From watching our BOA, it is obvious who has done their home work and who is clueless. There are also committees, legislative work, etc.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I guess my math is differeent than others.
If there are three board members that receive
$100.00 twice a month for two meetings a month
I get per board member $200.00 a month. Times twelve
is $2400.00 a year. Times the three board mambers
comes to $7200.00 a year for all three and then add
in the $50.00 per meeting for the leader is a hundred
extra per month, I get a total of: $8400.00.
Granted it is a lot of money for maybe doing nothing
but not $12,000.00.

Pat Casady said...

I don't think the math is correct but one thing
about this article from the Salamander does bother
me. Why couldn't he find anything on the Fire Board.
Any tax paid body of government should be accessible to
taxpayers to see where our money is going and how
it is spent.
The thing is this Fire Board is probably a necessary
board with a true function but, since they are paid
for by taxpayers, their minutes should be posted on the
city's web site.

Anonymous said...

Pat,

One thing to remember is this is a fourth class city and therefore the fire board is out side of the city's operations.

The fire district has a website and it is not the most friendly, but does have historical documents.

I would agree it needs updated

John Henry Holiday said...

Try calling the fire station and ask for the Chief or the PIO.
The fire department has a website. Have you thought of looking there?
The fire department is not a city department.
They are set up along the same lines as the Blue Springs Fire Department.
I assume the board overseas the Budget and all items attached to it. Do they Run calls? NO. Do they have any first hand knowledge of budget control?..YES Former Mayer Willard Ross is board president..Do any have fire experience? Bob Palmer retired KC Fireman and Raytown Resident serves on the board...Salamander is just grasping at straws.
I called 737-6034 and had every question answered.
John Henry Holiday

Anonymous said...

Salamander,

I think one question that needs to be asked of the fire district is why do they need so many Chiefs.

I have heard they have four or five who only believe in working days.

I can see have a chief and an assistant chief, but for a departement that covers 10 Sq miles do we really and to be that top heavy on management.

Before we are asked to do additional funding, the fire department needs to look at their management level and cut some positions just like private businesses would do.

Speaking of staffing and pay has anyone see a detailed list of the positons and corresponding pay.

Being the fire dirstrict is a government body the information has to be made public!

Andy Whiteman said...

Apparently the Salamander made a mistake on the math, but $2400 is still enough to put a person into another tax bracket! I find fault with paying per meeting rather than a flat stipend or nothing at all. That is because there is much more work than just attending meetings. Attending meetings is irrevalant to the total amount of time and effort put forward.

I agree with Pat that minutes should be posted since these are "public" meetings spending taxpayer's dollars. But the fire department and city ar NOT connected as a government body. In some cities the city runs the fire department, but not in Raytown. The city's website is not an appropriate place but maybe the the two sites should link to each other. I don't understand why the fire department is separate.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I have several issues I would like to address. First of all we have the up comming school board elections. Several months I asked a board member if the school district was accredited and the answer I got was unacceptable to me, "I think so" excuse me you are on the board and you should know either a yes or no not a think so. As far as I know we are provisional accrediated. Anyone who knows the right answer please post. Secondly after the post Mrs. Schaplia posted, someone needs to educate her to the proper use of how to use the internet . When sending an email or posting on a blog you only use all caps when you are screaming at someone. I guess maybe she is trying to impress which she noit not done as far as I am concerned. Her past tells me far more about her than what she is doing now.

Doc said...

We only have five Chiefs
Rick is the office 5 days a week.
Gary,Jim,Mike are the duty shift Chiefs and they work 24 hour shifts on rotation of 24 on 48 off with their shifts.
Matt is the Full Time Fire Marshall and works Monday through Friday day time hours.
But he also attends city meetings when requested as well as the Fire Chief.
Matt and Rick cover shifts when other Chiefs are off.
We had one Chief that Retired and his position was not filled.
All you have to do is ask. Dont make things up
Doc

Raytown Resident said...

I looked up the Raytown Fire District. I found it in about 30 seconds. Go to http://www.raytownfire.com/administration.htm.

This will give you information about meetings, budgets, etc.

Hey Salamander, how about checking your facts before you post items on this blog? It would seem you are only trying to start trouble.

PJS said...

Mr Whiteman, on 1/2/2012 7:29pm you stated that “the quality of voters in Raytown is getting lower and lower”. I must admit, it made me chuckle.

On 1/8 you state, “you don’t know who Kristie (Dr Kristie Collins-Delarber) is? She’s been on the board since 2006, that’s over five years now. Currently she is the Board President. Maybe you don’t know her - but how can you not have known of her?

On 1/11 you state, “I don’t understand why the fire department is separate”. The fire department was formed and incorporated in 1948under the name Jackson County Fire Protection District #2. This is 1.5years PRIOR to the City of Raytown incorporating. In 1950, the fire department was responsible for an area in Jackson County that was over 2.5 times the size of the City.

Anonymous said...

Doc,

Are you an exfireman?

I ask is it seems you agree we need all of these chiefs.

I agree with the earlier writer that it appears with the budget issues we are top heavy.

Maybe you could share with us what a fireman makes and what a chief makes.

I am sure it is a 2 fireman if not more for the cost of every chief.

Now you justify that to the voters on election day!!!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know anything about Alonzo Burton? I fear Raytown schools are going to end up like Kansas City schools. Boy do I hope I am wrong.

Andy Whiteman said...

I went to the Raytown Fire website. It is difficult to navigate. You must go to sitemap to find anything. There are no minutes posted for 2011 and the entire year of 2010!

A public website should be user friendly.

As to the number of Chiefs, the explanation for Doc is satisfactory. Obviously the needs of the department are met without over staffing.

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...

PJS, I thought unsigned personal comments were not allowed. I don't recognize your initials but will answer you anyway.

Thanks for explaining the formation of the fire district. That is before my time and obviously have no knowledge of this fact.

As for Dr. Kristie, I never heard of her. I don't remember who was elected in the past. I have NO contact with the school board mainly because of the ungodly early hour of their meetings so obviously I wouldn't know who is President.

The School Board gets little media attention compared to the BOA so why would you expect anyone to know who is on that board. All I know is they are ripping off my tax $$$$ with wasteful spending.

Andy Whiteman

Doc Summers said...

no i am not a ex fireman
I grew up in this town and went to Raytown.
I am a current Fireman.
I am assgined to Sta#1 A-shift and i am a Captain.
I have been with the Fire District since October 1992 when i started as a volunteer Fireman/Emt. I was paid roughly $250.00 a month and spent roughly 200 hours a month in the station and running calls.
I paid for my EMT Training with the help from several full-time firefighters who chipped in to help me.
I was hired in April 1996 when a full-time member retired and my starting pay was $7.32/hr roughly 24,000 with all incentive pay.
I finnished my Degree in 2000 and
I was promoted to Captain in 2001 and i make 65,000.00 as a topped out pay scale Captain with 16 years full-time serving this community.
I have served as the Union President. MDA officer and currently am responsible for the Uniform budget and have been for the last ten years.
The Duty Chiefs that handle all shift responsibilites i can not speak to there pay you will have to ask them. The truth is i dont know and it would not be fair to inject a figure that is simply a guess.
I also would say that a starting Firefighter/Emt will start at $11.89 a hour and $33,000.00 a year.
I also know that the Fire Marshall has developed a blog that will have information including our call volume and public service info.
Doc Summers
I am willing to answer questions as long as they are in good taste.
Doc Summers

Pat Casady said...

This article was about the Fire Board. NOT
the fire department! Raytown has, in my opinion
the best police and fire departments in the area.
Every man and woman on these departments are good
civic minded people that care for this town and
the people living in it. More so than the leaders of
this town. I think, chiefs are the leaders of each
firehouse. It's not like having two or five city
administrators. There has to be a leader in each
firehouse, someone to run the day to day workings.
Someone to be in charge, maybe hand out orders.
In other words blast the Fire Board if you must but,
don't take shots at our firemen and women.
We should appreciate everything they do for us.
I doubt I'd have the guts to run into a burning
building to save you or anyone else.
While I'm on this soapbox, I don't think the police
or firemen are paid enough for what they do for us.

Anonymous said...

Doc,

Thank you for the information.

It is nice to see someone who attended the schools here become part of the community as you have as a fire fighter.

I must say that I am shocked that we start off a figher salary at slightly under $12.00 and hour.

Someone has to be better said...

Anon 5:42,

What do you mean you fear our schools well end up like KCMO district with Alonzo Burton running?

I too do not know anything about him, but let me remind you about the two incumbents. They both where on the board when the board spent all that money on those fields.

I don't know about you, but I have yet to have those fields help me understand the history of this nation or improve my English.

My point is we should always plan for hard times and never loss focus on the classrooms.

I am sure their are many in Raytown who jump for joy when someone talks about these two incumbents, but what have they done to improve our district and save the taxpayers.

Our test scores are not much better than KCMO school district and we keep moving in the wrong direction, but the administraction in the district remains the same.

The board justifies spending and cost, but we are one of if not the highest cost per student in the Metro, which really doesn't make sense with the test scores that we have all seen.

Again!!! I do not know Alonzo Burton, but I do know we need change in the direction the current board members are taking us and if the current members do not what to find ways to reduce the cost per student and improve test scores, while still allowing those in the administration leavel to serve it is time for new members to represent us on the board.

Andy Whiteman said...

In my opinion fire fighters and police officers in Raytown are underpaid. These people risk their lives to protect us. When AT&T forced me out due to my disability, I had an office job and was making much more than that and still didn't have enough to live one without overtime, holiday, and shift differential. The cost of living in Raytown is for the rich considering high property taxes and high utility bills along with the franchise fee and city sales tax nearing 11% of the bill! If I worked a day of overtime it went to pay the light or gas bill.

I also feel Doc's salary is low for the responsibility, danger, and hours involved.

Both police and fire fighters are providing a much need service at low pay and poor working hours. I really appreciate their dedication to our community.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Pat,

Both the fire department and police department are top heavy.

Yes, the boards need to take responsablity for letting this happen, but do you really think those in those top heavey position didn't push for more and more leadership positions.

Doc Summers said...

top heavy? We have 30 Firefighters and five Chiefs
we have two stations we man two Advanced Life Support Pumper Companys.
Chief works monday through Friday 7am to 5pm(later most nights)
Fire Marshall monday through friday 8 to 5 pm. I hope alot of you are planning on showing up if they have the board meetings at night. Because it is going to cause the fire chief and the fire marshall to stay later not to mention the department human resource person who will have to work past her normal working hours to transcribe and to answer certain questions.
Line staff manning levels are
10 Firefighters(assigned with minimum of 8)(Vacation time,sick time and injury time) and one Chief on shift work 24/48(a,b,c shifts)
We work a 120 hour pay period.We get paid twice a month.
So please explain to me how this is top heavy?
This will be the only question or statement that i will address without being signed.
Anybody can spout half-truthes.
Lets put out statistics and facts.

And just to add a little human emotion to this topic.
Does anybody know that we recently lost a member of the Citys Emergency Services (Passed away in her sleep)She was a mother and a wife.
We had a firefighter from my crew fall threw a burned out floor and ended up having to be rescued from the basement of a burning house in Raytown less than three days ago?
Does anybody know that the Fire Department Ran over 3200 calls last year. The cities EMS department ran somewhere south of 5000 calls for service.
Just something to think.

Check your smoke detectors and please get your furnaces serviced.
Thank you
Capt Doc Summers

Anonymous said...

You know, Doc, if the meetings were held in the evening when the vast majority of the public could attend maybe we would all know about what is going on in the fire department.

i don't think it would be too much of a burden for your captain's schedules to be adjusted to accomodate the tax paying public.

Here's another idea. How about merging the the fire department and the ambulance service. It is long over-due.

I hear from city hall that it is costing an arm and a leg (no pun intended!) to maintain the two services doing the same job.

Maybe people would show up at an evening meeting to discuss it.

Keep in mind that it will take time for people to become used to the idea of being able to attend a meeting. In other words, don't expect a huge jump in attendance overnight.

Anonymous said...

The police department and the fire department have always been top heavy. Why? Because in these smaller departments that's the only way that the boards can justify raises. Promote them to justify a raise is their solution. Instead of saying (like they do in the private sector) that sometimes a job "tops out" and then only cost of living adjustments are given. Another question, why doesn't the city take over the fire department? This would make much more since, then you could eliminate the fire board and do as most other cities do, let your city administrator earn that big salary that he is making by combining EMS and fire into one operation ran by the city. Just something to consider in these hard economic times.

Doc Summers said...

too bad you didnt leave your name as i can answer a good part of your Fire/Ems merger idea.

And it would be my Chiefs schedule not my Captains schedule.
I am a Captain and i work 24 hours shifts.
I will tell you that all command staff and all Union Officers attend the Board Meetings.

It all comes down to money.
Both services do not do the same thing.
We both provide in tandem all EMS services.
We both share the same medial director and protocals.
But after that we are two vastly different organizations in training and services provided.
What more in depth answers sign your name.

Keep all your medications in thier pill bottles.
Make sure your address is visable from the street.
It helps us at 3 am when we are looking or your house.

Doc Summers

Andy Whiteman said...

Maybe the title "Chief" is confusing. Possibly there would be less outcry if we had one Chief and the shift Chiefs at each station were called Assistant Chief or Deputy Chief instead of Chief. I always viewed Fire Chief as the one person responsible for the entire department.

I don't feel consolidation will necessarily help anything. The city I am moving to has a DPS (Department of Public Safety) where police, fire, and EMS are staffed by the same employees. Police carry their fire fighting gear in their trunks. If an officer shoots a criminal, he may be the one providing emergency care. The last time I was there, there was mass confusion. I was driving from the house I bought to the motel I was staying at. Several police cars came from both the opposit direction and side streets red light and siren. I thought it was a bad crime but finally the fire truck came followed by 2 more police cars. It looked like the keystone cops. There is a real hazard with so many vehicles responding Code 3 to one scene. I also have a concern about what if a crime is commited during a fire? Who will respond?

BTW: These are the same people who enforce codes.

Doc, does each chief have to attend each board meeting? I feel sorry for people who are reguired to work day hours since I never functioned days. I noticed that the city employees who attend BOA meetings are paid annually and attendance is in their job description. The exception is the camera person. I don't know if she receives overtime ot comp time off. The meetings need to be in the evening to be open to the public. Honestly, I doubt there will be much attendance unless there is a specific issue. Usually there is little attendance at the BOA. When I was on a fire board, I recall almost no citizen attendance. Most in attendance were officers, firefighters, EMTS.

I am sorry to hear of the lady who passed away and the firefighter who fell through the floor. The (local) press sure doesn't cover this.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Doc,

How come the consolidation of ambulance and fire services works in Kansas City but will not work in Raytown?

doc summers said...

Who says it is working?
They are struggling with response time up north and alot of other problems that come with change.

I personally think it could work the big problem is MONEY..
Whats happens if we merge and the EMS workers dont want to be fireman and move on? Then you have to hire more peolpe to make it work=MONEY$65k/person including benifets.
The ones that want to come over need to be trained in fire suppression (fire school)=MONEY about $4000 per person
Then to outfit the with bunker gear and uniforms $1200 per person for fire gear and at least $300 per person for uniforms and boots
You do understand it is a money losing operation. If it was making money the city would not want to get rid of it.
MONEY,MONEY,MONEY that is where your answer is.
I see overnight we had yet another fire.
Please buy a carbon monoxide detector that has a led readout on it(nighthawk is the one i use).
If you dont know CPR maybe you should think about learning?
Doc Summers

Anonymous said...

The Raytown Fire Protection District seems to be stuck in the 50's. In today's society is is much more efficient to have all of these services under the management of city government. When will these "boards" that govern these two entities realize this and consolidate them to save "us" the taxpayers lots of money.

doc summers said...

yep stuck in the 50s just like blue springs.
Tell me how would the city fund the fire department?
And you do understand the fire department was here before the city was.
The funding of the fire department comes from taxes and property tax.
You have to disband the fire district which doing that erases the funding.
So back to my question..where would the city come up with the funding.
Make a plan including funding and strategic goals the incorperation of fleet maintenece into city budget,health care and retirement,uniforms work comp.
Then devolop a plan for delivery of service and include a mission statement.
Its easy i did one for my fire service instructor class 8 years ago for merger of EMS into fire service.
there is no vast money savings but please feel free to look into it submit a plan to your alderman.

C-shift fire and the ems department did a great job last night rescuing a man from the bedroom of his burning home. The man passed away but the boys gave him a chance.
Great job.

Evrybody has this grand idea about saving money and mixing services.
Dont you think we would have already done that if there was that much to be saved?

please have your chimneys cleaned.

dont overload you extension cords they are not safe.

Doc Summers

Andy Whiteman said...

I have smoke detectors as well as a combination CO/gas leak detector. The CO/gas detector is electric with a battery back up. It drove me nuts one night when it started beeping every minute. I was running all over the house trying to find the beep because I am unable to hear direction a sound comes from. Finally found it and removed the battery. The manufacturer's date showed it was over 3 years old which made me assume the battery as at least that old. I think it would good idea to replace the battery when you buy a "new" alarm because it could have been on the shelf many years.

I also have my house number painted on the curb in large white reflective numbers on black to help any emergency service find my house.

11:46, Do you honestly think the city can or will manage anything well? EMS and Police are well managed. Streets are (words I am not allowed to use here) which I will speak about on Tuesday night and I will use those words then. Some of the city is well managed but the poorly managed parts are a dismal failure.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Can we actually consolidate the fire district into the city.

After all there has been at least three trys to go to a charter form of government for our city.

However, our elected officials from the city are the ones holding the city back in the 50's

Anonymous said...

Mickey and Minnie Mouse weould be better to serve on the school board than Tittle and Delarber

Anonymous said...

the barbarians at raytown city hall would take our most prized possessiion, the raytown fire department and combine it with other services. they wuold save the city taxpayers money.

what a novel idea!

don't worry, doc. it will not happen. there are too many forward looking people in positions of power to make certain that common sense move never happens.

it is much more important to protect the kingdom of the fire department and maintain the status quo.

Anonymous said...

whatever anonymous 9:42

That has to be the dumbest statement in this lame -ass blog.

Maybe you should disband all services and merge with Kansas City.

DUMB

Anonymous said...

Have the City run the fire department? The City can't even manage their own house, how in the world could they manage a fire department? What I do see as a innovative ideal, is for the fire department to envelop the City EMS service, thereby reducing costs, redundant services, overhead, etc.

But like all the other "this is the way it has always been done" mentality, cost saving changes will never truly take place. The only solutions that are so called leaders have are to raise taxes, raise taxes and raise more taxes. As Doc already noted, the EMS loses money year after year so the Fire department is all against this. Also, Raytown EMS is fat and happy with being autonomous.

I, for one, have grown tired of the constant raising of taxes to support the mismanagement of our high and mighty city hall, police, fire and ems no matter how good they or other feel they are, they still need to tighten their belts and reduce costs, instead of always hitting the poor taxpayers up for more money.

Anonymous said...

Ole doc is gloom and doom when it comes to changing so we can save the taxpayers money. The money to fund the fire department, under the city, would come from the same TAXPAYERS that fund it now. Whether the tax is transferable to the city or vote a separate one in the same amount as the one you gave up. You sure want to make a simple solution complicated.

Groucho K. Marx 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.

http://groucho-karl-marx.blogspot.com/2012/01/csw-breaking-victim-found-in-raytown.html


Sincerely,
Jim "Groucho" Meyer

Andy Whiteman said...

Groucho, Thanks for the link. I bookmarked it.

I don't know Raytown's procedure, but it seems logical to me to dispatch the closest station as first responders even if they are from KCMO. When a person is trapped inside a burning building, time is of the essence.

I was a firefighter, EMT, dispatcher, and fire board member in a rural area. We did receive calls from people who didn't know who there fire department was (no 911 service in that area). We would dispatch our crews so someone would be en route and then notify the correct department we were responding. We were never cancelled because we were the closest department. The other department did respond after us because it was their call.

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...

Somehow I am reading these posts out of order.

Feel your extension cords. If they are warm, they are overloaded. Get a cord designed for the load or take something off.

1:32 PM, I think you have an even dumber idea! KCMO is worse than Raytown in city services! I question what city would want to merge with Raytown? I can't believe any city would want Raytown's problems.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Groucho you sir are misinformed and the fact you state you gather facts for the media only solidifies my belief they only get the facts correct 50% of the time. I live across the the street form the Sherrows and was awaken by a loud noise and glass breaking. When I looked out the front I saw more fire than I have ever seen in my life. I went and got pants on and looked at my clock and it said 5:02 when I got outside I saw a Raytown Police Man running around the house, before he made it around the house the fire truck was pulling up. I was there and your timeline does not add up.