Sunday, January 29, 2012


Ugly Signs Blight Raytown by Greg Walters
You see them everywhere. Ugly signs on telephone poles advertising for cheap loans, we buy ugly houses, etc. Not only are they ugly, they are illegal. A number of people in Raytown, including some of our elected officials, have taken it upon themselves to pull down the signs. 

With all of that activity you would think the signs would be history in Raytown. But they are not.

So what has happened?

Whoever is putting up the signs has changed tactics. He is putting them so high up on the telephone poles that most people cannot reach them without a tool or a ladder.

I visited with City Administrator Mahesh Sharma last week about the signs. He explained that the city is actively removing the signs. It’s just that the people putting up the signs keep putting them up. 

So it appears that the city workers charged with removing the signs must be having trouble locating the signs. After all, Mr. Sharma did say that the policy at Raytown City Hall is to remove the illegal signs. 

A SOLUTION . . .Since most of the signs are beyond the reach of the average person to take down without equipment – call city hall and report the location. City Hall telephone number is  737-6000. 

For instance, the signs pictured at the left are of illegal signs on 63rd Street just east of Raytown’s Gateway intersection at 63rd and Blue Ridge and the other is located on the south side of Elm Street between 68th Terrace and 69th Streets. Incidentally, the sign on Elm Street has been there all winter!

Now the good people at city hall know where at least two of the signs are located so they can remove them.

If we all work together we can make Raytown the City where you do not put ugly illegal signs on telephone poles. That’s a reputation we can all live with. 

Jackson County Executive Michael Sanders  has made it known that he wants term limits for the Jackson County Legislature. It is a good idea and one that is long overdue. Some members of the Legislature have been in place longer than many who are reading these words. One member has been there since I graduated from High School in 1972 – I’ll do the math for you – that’s 40 years!

But there are those who doubt his plans for term limits will pan out. The County Legislature recently debated whether or not they should change how candidates are placed on the ballot. It is not uncommon for candidates to “cue up” for the first position by lining up outside the courthouse to capture the coveted first position on the ballot.

Problem is that incumbents have been known to sneak inside the courthouse to pre-empt a challenger from being first in line.

The State of Missouri, and most municipalities (including Raytown) long ago went to a lottery system to place candidate names on the ballot.

The legislature turned the plan down cold.

If such a simple reform cannot be accomplished do not hold your breath for term limits to be accomplished.

Red Light Cameras are in the news again. This time it has been reported in the Kansas City Star that the number of accidents have actually gone up on those intersections in which they have been installed. 

More than likely, the problem is a false sense of security by law abiding drivers who believe that simply because a red light camera is in place that someone who is drunk, putting on their makeup, dialing their cell phone, texting, or any other thing besides driving is going to pay more attention when going through an intersection.

The lights cost the City of Kansas City over $70,000 each month!

The number of accidents has gone up at the intersections are which they are installed.
But do not look for them to be taken out any time soon. They are revenue producers for the city and the Kansas City Police Department.

Does anyone believe the City would give up tax dollars for something as mundane as public safety on our streets?

Like Michael Sanders term limits, don’t look for those cameras to be taken down anytime soon.


5 Tips for Buying a Good Workout DVD by Jenn for Fit Bottomed Girls

With so many workout DVDs on the market, it’s easy to occasionally get hoodwinked by one or two. You think a dance workout will be totally fun and easy, yet the moves are so complicated it would take you years to master. Or you go to do a simple yoga DVD and end up needing everything but the kitchen sink. Or, worst of all, you spend three easy payments of $19.95 for a set of workout DVDs you end up never using because they’re just too darn hard. Sound familiar? Yeah, we’ve all made a workout-DVD mistake or two. But no longer!


Here on FBG, we review workout DVDs almost weekly, so we’re kind of like experts when it comes to separating the good workout DVDs from the not-so-good ones. And what makes a really good workout DVD for one person does not mean that it’ll be a fit for someone else. So with all of that in mind, we’ve put together a video with five tips to help you buy a good workout DVD for you. Continue Reading

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

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Did you forget we have a democratic governor with veto power?

The same rules were in place when Obama and Hillary were going after each other four years ago.

Guess that means it is okay in your book to have a primary if you are a democrat, but not if you are a Republican?

Anonymous said...

Greg.

Thanks so much about your article about the unsightly signs blanketing Raytown. This city looks like the dumping ground for any sign that can't go into Lee's Summit or Oeverland Park Ks. Why is it that? It's because our city staff does not do there jobs. When they are out working they can't miss seeing those signs if the rest of us can. Before they leave the area they should spot and pull them down and then when they get back to city hall have someone call those people and tell them they will have a citation, a court date and a very stiff fine of $10,000.00 if they find anymore signs in Raytown. We have enough trash in Raytown without having those kinds of signs.

Andy Whiteman said...

It is assumed the the Dictator will win the primary. This assumption may be incorrect, hence the Democrat primary is required. Didn't the Dictator originally announce he was a one term President? Maybe he will keep his word. Who knows?

Lets not overload 737-6000 with all the calls. There is a direct number to report code violations.

I wonder since there are phone numbers on the signs, why doesn't the city contact the offenders and then issue a cease and desist order if it continues?

Even though these people are not in Raytown, they can still be issued a court summons. Do they have a Raytown business license since they are posting signs in our city?

I have removed some cheap windows signs and will use the wires if I want to make my own signs.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I wonder if anyone at city hall has called the phone nnumbers on the illegal signs and talked to the people about the consequences of them continuing to break the law. Raytown has cops all over the place, if you see someone posting these signs call 911 and report the crime. Maybe one of our local guys in blue will apprehend them and give the a nice place to stay while their bond is being set.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Greg on this one. If we can't take care of what amounts to blatant examples of littering in our town how can we expect to tackle the larger problems.

Come on city hall. Step up an take care of business.

Pat Casady said...

I am certainly not putting down
our police department but, try driving on any Raytown street, doing the speed limit, and see how many people fly by
you. If this city needs money, and we all know it does, they might try nailing
some of these speeders.
Maybe if we could get some of our police away from the high crime area we all know as
WAL-MART, they could fix the speeding problem.
Or, here's another idea. The city should start charging W-M for any police calls after four or five. It is a fact that W-M won't press charges for less than thirty dollars so what's the point of calling the police and wasting their time?

Tom Rigot Sr said...

Red Light Camera Study in KCMO.

The statistics show an increase in overall accidents where cameras are in stalled. The company in charge says the cameras are a success because t-bone accidents are actually down indicating fewer people are running red lights. Stats also show rear end accidents have increased. That would indicate to me that people, in an effort to avoid a ticket, are braking harder or more suddenly and being slammed from behind. I don't know what these stats really mean other than I should avoid those intersections. People make decisions while driving as if their schedule is more important than the safety of those around them.

Andy Whiteman said...

7:35 AM, 911 is for EMERGENCIES ONLY. Posting an illegal sign is not an emergency. Calling 911 for a sign conld delay response to a true emergency. The correct number is 737-6020.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I saw on the news where another city was putting police dummys (manequins) in police cars, parked along busy roads to slow down traffic. Maybe we could trade a Police Captain, or two for a couple of the dummy manequins. At least they would get something done.

Pat Casady said...

Maybe you should ask to ride with an officer for a shift and see how much, as you say they get done.
I think you might be surprised how much actually goes on in this little town.
I'm convinced that the reason we have a speeding problem is because of all the other crap our
police have to put up with. I have to say that I know the police can't be everywhere all the time. I get upset as I drive on Raytown road doing the speed limit
and have some jerk go by like I was sitting still.
Remember Raytown has changed in the last ten to fifteen years. I'm afraid not for the better either. Crime has risen greatly and
our police department hasn't been able to grow with it.
Remember that safety tax you voted for? It was all supposed to go toward hiring more police and getting some new equipment. None of it was supposed to go
into the general account. Can you guess where a lot of it went? That's right into the general funds account.
Aren't political promises wonderful! Just to make it
clear the police department was promised by our elected officials they would get that money as well. They were fooled by city hall the same as the rest of us.

Public Employee Pay said...

I wounder how many of those employees accross Missouri and Kansas know that their salaries are public information.

For more information on this please click on my name "Public Employee Pay"

Andy Whiteman said...

One of the posters here pointed out that the primary election in the State of Misery is a waste of money and a news story called it a beauty election since the candidates are chosen be caucus instead of election. So why are we wasting our time voting?

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Sounds like it is time the city and fire district release the names of the employees, along with their title and pay or do the goverment agencies in Raytown have something to hide.

Andy Whiteman said...

7:28AM, Any citizen may make a Freedom of Information Act request if they want the information.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Andy,

I heard the city doesn't think they have to provide the names of the employees.

If this is public information what are they trying to hide?

Anonymous said...

Pat,

The only place that crime appears to be on the increase in Raytown is Wal-Mart where there always seems to be a police car parked.

Crime must also be bad at Hy-Vee in the late even as I often also find a police car parked there.

Please do not forget Hy-Vee is right next to Applebee's and too often at night they are found there too.

Wait...Is that an out break of crime or something more being all those places also are in TIF areas.

Maybe special treatment for special places, which just doesn't seem right for the other businesss in Raytown.

Does you business get special protection?

Andy Whiteman said...

2:52PM, Did you "hear" this or did the city refuse your request?

In my opinion it may be a privacy issue. I suggest asking the city and/or filing a complaint with the state. If it is a privacy issue, you could request a list of job titles and amount paid to each person with that title.
*****************
I read in the Raytown Times that REAP's pantries and almost bare. If anyone has extra food, please donate. They need it now, not in the Spring when they do the food drives.

Andy Whiteman

KMCCLA said...

Andy, that is why I do not even intend to vote next week. It is a non-binding vote, so it is not going to count for anything, but so called State Law says they have to have the primary at this date. The RNC asked them to move it, they tried, and it was vetoed. It is a waste of money and time, and both parties are at fault.

Andy Whiteman said...

6:16PM,

In my opinion Walmart is a crime attractant. The Walmart on Hillcrest was next to a bad neighborhood and the old Bannister mall. The KCPD had a mini station in that Walmart. Maybe Raytown should do the same. It also serves as a point of contact if the public wants to see an officer.

I have been worked in law enforcement in the past. It is normal for an officer to patrol an area as a preventive measure. That doesn't mean there is crime.

Applebee's has a bar. It is common for officers to conduct bar checks. Hy-Vee sells liquor. Maybe you observed a liquor store check.

I have seen officers in Arby's. There was not a crime. It was their lunch break.

I was at 119th & Roe and spoke with a Leawood officer who was doing a bike patrol. It is not a crime ridden area. I viewed it as a preventive measure and establishing a police presence.

I appreciate seeing or men and women in blue in public. It makes me feel more secure and discourages the bad guys.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Don't know who wrote it but if some school employees are making students shake hands when they get on and off the bus they need to talk to the school district authorities or one of the tv stations about it. When schools are closed down because of easily tranmittted diseases making children shake hands it pure stupidity.

Pat Casady said...

I really don't like to reply to people
that write and sign Anonymous but, I don't
understand what Anonymous 6:16 was trying to
say. The police that are around Gregory and
350hwy are there for a reason. There are a lot
of accidents at that intersection. People seem
to run the red light there.
If you call our police department being called to
Wal-Mart over thirty times a month, "special treatment"
then I agree with you. If you were trying to be funny
and say they aren't at W-M all that much maybe
you should ask a policeman how many calls they
get for that store. Plus I don't think it's funny.
When you consider how many calls that have been
added and the extra load put on our police department
I don't think that is funny either.
I'm trying to understand what point you were trying
to make. We don't need our police? You don't like
our police? Or you just don't get what a police
department is supposed to do.
Either way If you feel strong enough to put them down,
then feel strong enough to sign your damn name!

Anonymous said...

Andy,

Did you miss the piece from the KC Star that was reposted on this blog?

In either case you need to reread the piece as it was clear names need to be included as it is only a privacy issue if the home phone and / or address information is included.

I do not know who is having the issues with city hall and I would like to think by now they have been fixed.

Based on the complaints on this blog, it does sound like we have some training issues that need to be covered at city hall before our elected officals call the staff at city hall professional.

Please keep in mind this means the city has to pay for the training and our elected officals need to attend events and speak with the public to find out what expirance they have had with the city staff.

The elected officals need to then follow up and provide additional training so that we end up with the professional staff they like to say we have.

Anonymous said...

Andy,

I agree 911 should only be used for calling the police when a crime is actually happening.

With that said if someone spots the individuals who are placing those illegal signs they do need to call 911 and the police need to do their part to put a stop to the issue. Again part of the issue is catching those doing it in the act.

Based on the number of officers our department has there should never be an issue with having an officer read for a call.

Andy Whiteman said...

8:24AM, The number of officers in the PD have nothing to do with officer availability. The number of calls at a given time are a variable. There have been times when ALL officers were handling calls hence unavailable.

Obviously you think criminals will schedule their activities only when officers are available.

I agree, the sighting of someone placing an illegal sign is a crime in progress. But that is much like a stray dog call. The perp is here now, immediately leaves the scene, and nowhere near when an officer arrives. Besides that placing a sign is a code violation. Do we take an officer away from writing a speeding or red light ticket to handle a muni violation where the perp will no longer be there? I suggest calling in a description of the perp and vehicle along with license number so the perp can be stopped if seen later.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

For those of us who work from 8 to5, where and when can we drop food off for REAP?

Anonymous said...

Maybe we will get lucky and the guy will be putting up the illegal signs and a cop may be near by who can handle the call.

The important thing is that the call can be made.

As for getting a license number why not call the phone number on the sign. How about tracing the phone number to the office of the place that is having the signs put up.

there are plenty of ways to enforce the laws we have. The first step is to want to enforce them.

Making excuses is a cop out (pardon the pun!).

Andy Whiteman said...

12:19PM, Good question. I suggest calling REAP. The Raytown times said they may do a pick up if the quantity is large enough. It doesn't hurt to ask.

9:41PM, I have also raised the question why the city doesn't contact the number on the sign. Seems like a nobrainer to me!

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I agree with Andy. City Hall seems to be a place of excuses instead of solutions. I hope that a Raytown policeman who encounters someone posting illegal signs would stop and arrest them just as they would anyone else who is willfully littering.

Our city has a law department. Why not go after those that continually trash our city streets with illegal signs?

Anonymous said...

Anon 1/29 @ 8:23,

Not sure I or the rest of educated people of Raytown understand your logic.

It is state law we have to have the primary so how is the govenor going to veto somethng that is already law.

The govenor vetos bill that are sent to him that he does not want to become a law.

The issue if you would take the time to follow the news is the Rebublican National Party set a date and the State Republicans in Missouri wouldn't follow the direct of their own party.

So this is just the fault of the Republicans and shows how they can not work with anyone even those within their own party

Anonymous said...

If the city officals will not require department heads to move into Raytown, why do people on this blog think the city will real do anything about those ugly signs.

Andy Whiteman said...

12:45 PM, Another good reason the tie wearing chair warmers should be required to live in the ghetto in which they work.

Andy Whiteman