Sunday, May 6, 2012





More Than Just A Photograph!






 














OTHER WRITERS DISCUSS . . .
Divider in Chief by Charles Krauthammer of the Washington Post

“The pundits like to slice and dice our country into red states and blue states.”
— Barack Obama, rising star, 2004 Democratic convention

Poor Solicitor General Donald Verrilli. Once again he’s been pilloried for fumbling a historic Supreme Court case. First shredded for his “train wreck” defense of Obamacare’s individual mandate, he is now blamed for the defenestration in oral argument of Obama’s challenge to the Arizona immigration law.

The law allows police to check the immigration status of someone stopped for other reasons. Verrilli claimed that constitutes an intrusion on the federal monopoly on immigration enforcement. He was pummeled. Why shouldn’t a state help the federal government enforce the law? “You can see it’s not selling very well,” said Justice Sonia Sotomayor. READ MORE

EDITOR'S NOTE: This week's Raytown Report is being published without editorial Comment. However, we do ask readers to pay special attention to that portion of The Paul Livius Report regarding Raytown SuperSplash (highlighted in bold type). We are interested in your take on the situation. Please participate in our Weekly Opinion Poll.


The Paul Livius Report BY PAUL LIVIUS
Board of Alderman Meeting - May 1, 2012

The Invocation was given by Kathy Wood of the Raytown Christian Church.

PROCLAMATIONS AND THANK YOU.

Mayor Bower proclaimed May as Older American Month.  

Then, Mayor Bower proclaimed May to Bike Month.

Then, Mayor Bower thanked out-going Mayor Protem Jim Aziere for his one year of service as Mayor Protem.

The Board has since elected Ward 5 Alderman Michael Lightfoot as its current Mayor Protem.

  • Meredith Schultz told the Board she has worked at Super Splash for the last 12 years.  She does not believe the hiring of a management company is a good option.  She reminded the Board the management company they are looking at will only manage the life guards, not the concessions or front gate.
  • Ann Johnson told the Board she has worked at Super Splash for 8 years.  She told the Board they have three experienced managers with a combined experience of over 30 years who are willing and able to step up and manage Super Splash.  She told the Board the life guards were not paid for the time they spend taking the certification classes.  Now, they are being told they will have to become recertified and not be paid for that time.
  • Kathy Wood told the Board the Raytown Christian Church will again provide the Summer Lunch Ministry.  Last year, they served 500 lunches daily for six weeks.  They are looking for volunteers again this year.
Mahesh Sharma, the City Administrator told the Board there will be a Blood Drive at the EMS station from 3-6 pm on May 23.  For more information, call Kim at 816-737-6030. 

The ribbon cutting for the NSP3 homes at Laurel Avenue and 55th Street was held on Wednesday, May 2nd. Congressman Cleaver, Andy Papon from the Missouri Department of Economic Development, Tom Wood, Chair of Builders Development Corporation along with Mayor Bower all spoke. Approximately 30 people were in attendance at the ribbon cutting which included some neighbors who expressed their appreciation and excitement over having the two new homes constructed in their neighborhood.

Design plans for Phase 1 of the CBD Streetscape Project are being finalized. The design consultant along with city staff met with the Raytown Water Company on Friday, April 27th, to coordinate the project construction with planned water line improvements along 63rd Street. Both projects are planned to be bid in conjunction with each other to avoid construction conflicts.

The contractor Black & McDonald is scheduled to start the installation of energy efficient decorative street lights next week. There are 61 decorative street light fixtures that will be replaced with energy efficient LED decorative street light fixtures. The cost of purchasing and installing the energy efficient versions is paid for by a grant administered by MARC in which the city participates. The decorative fixtures are generally located at the gateways located within the city.

  • The Board authorized the reappointment of Pat Law to the Council on Aging.
  • The Board passed a resolution establishing the rates for medical and dental insurance for the insurance coming plan year. The resolution would reduce City participation in the single plan by 3% and then share the increase in premiums proportionately.  Mark Loughry told the Board the City currently covers 97% of the premiums for City employees.  This resolution will reduce the City participation to 94%.
  • The Board passed a resolution accepting the donation of two Zoll Autopulse systems valued at $30,828.00 from Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation.
  • The Board passed a resolution declaring vehicles to be surplus and authorized them to be disposed at auction. Andy Noll told the Board those vehicles are:
  • 2008 Crown Victoria with 98,000 miles and 4,980 hours
  • 2008 Crown Victoria with 97,000 miles and 4,700 hours.
  • 2010 Crown Victoria with 79,000 miles and 4,300 hours. 
  • 2006 Crown Victoria with 85,000 miles and 6,300 hours.
  • 2010 Crown Victoria that was involved in an accident and was totaled.
The Board heard a resolution to approve the execution of a Super Splash USA management agreement with Midwest Pool Management of America, Ltd in an amount not to exceed $245,831.00.      

Kevin Boji told the Board Super Splash is scheduled to open May 26.  The pool lost money the last three years.  Alderman Creamer asked how Super Splash was supposed to open on time if they didn’t pass the resolution.  Alderman Aziere asked if the new management company plans to repair the underwater lights that haven’t worked for several years.  

Mr. Boji said they would not.  Alderman Aziere said the landscaping around Super Splash was very nice and asked if the new management company would maintain the landscaping.  Mr. Boji said the Parks Department would maintain the landscaping.  Alderman Aziere asked who would provide swim lessons and hire the life guards.  Mr. Boji said the management company would schedule swim lessons and hire the life guards.

Alderman White asked who would be responsible for the concessions and front gate.  Mr. Boji said the Parks Department would handle those.  Mr. Boji also told the Board the management company would decide what certification would be required of the life guards. 

Currently, this management company requires certification by Star Fish, not the Red Cross.  It will cost the city an extra $3,200 to recertify the life guards.  Alderman Van Buskirk asked if the staff will retain their current salaries, and was told there would be no reduction in wages. 

Alderman Melson asked Mr. Boji if the Board failed to pass the resolution, does the Park Board have a “Plan B”.  Mr. Boji told her if the resolution is not passed, the park may not open on time.  Mayor Bower told the Board that if this resolution is not what they want, they can delay the vote and hold a special meeting later. 

Alderman Hamilton asked if the Park Board will monitor the management company, and was told they would.  Alderman Creamer asked what 2011 revenues were. 

Mr. Boji said the park had $178,000 in revenue and lost $15,000.  Alderman Creamer asked Mr. Boji if the Board did not pass the resolution, how long would it take to hire another Aquatic Director.  Mr. Boji said they could not hire a new director with experience this late in the year.  Anyone with experience has already been hired by other parks. 

Mayor Bower said he was as not concerned with showing a profit at the park as he is with providing an excellent amenity in the Super Splash facility.  He wants it to be clean and safe for our kids to swim there.  We need to make sure we continue to provide this to the community.  Super Splash is such an asset and even if we break even with it, and if our citizens see it as a shining star, he’s fine with it.  The Board passed the resolution.

  • The Board passed a resolution amending the 2011-2012 budget related to parks and recreation capital improvements at the BMX track in an amount not to exceed $25,000.00.  Kevin Boji told the Board this money would be used for capital improvements to the park in order to attract National BMX races.
The Board passed a resolution amending the legal description of the International House of Pancakes property.

My Hips Are A-Swivelin’ AgainFit Bottomed Girls

Swivel Hips! BY ERIN
  
Workouts are back on, baby! Zumba started, so I am now getting my uncoordinated groove on and working up a sweat. I had such a good time in the first class, although no instructor can compete with the one FBG Jenn and I had in Lawrence, Kansas, where my love of Zumba began. I was slightly surprised at how hard it was to do 45 minutes of... Continue reading

OF COMMUNITY INTEREST
RAYTOWN EMS COMMUNITY BLOOD CENTER DRIVE

Raytown EMS will be hosting the Community Blood Center’s Blood Drive at the EMS Station on May 23rd from 3:00 to 6:00pm. You may sign up either online at savealifenow.org and use raytownems as the password or contact Kim (737-6030) to schedule an appointment or for any questions. Walk-ins are also welcomed. All persons who attend the blood drive and attempt to donate blood will receive a voucher for "buy one get one free" ticket to Schlitterbahn Water Park.
Free Tai Chi Classes at Coleman Park
Friends of the Raytown Parks in conjunction with Raytown Parks and Recreation will be offering a free 5 week Tai Chi class on Thursday evenings at Colman Park, located at 59th and Lane Streets. The classes will begin this week on Thursday and run for five weeks. Participants are asked to meet at the flag pole monument located at the northwest corner of the park. READ MORE

What is Tai Chi?
The health effects include strengthening the body’s bone structure, toning the muscles, increasing cardiovascular circulation, and flushing the body’s lymphatic system of toxins. The movements can enhance the body’s blood circulation and metabolism. When practiced properly, Tai Chi Chuan can be an effective form of self-defense.
To post a comment on this blog click on the word comments on the line directly below this sentence.

36 comments:

Andy Whiteman said...

From what I just read our "brilliant" BOA and Mayor made a decision based on the threat of not opening Super Splash. It is fine with me if Super Splash doesn't make a profit and operates as a public service but our "brilliant" elected officials voted to operate at a loss of approximately $245,831.00 based on a threat.

Why do our elected officials vote based on threats from "staff?" Something is rotten in the State of Denmark (err Socialist Fascist Fief of Raytown).

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I am baffled, what happen to the aquatic director? You hire a pool management company for $245,000 and this only takes care of the lifeguards. The park department then employs people to concessions, front gate and people to clean bathrooms and etc. They are going to lose a lot more than $15,000. How can you have no "plan b", maybe because plan A requires no work from the Parks Director. Looks like the ship is starting to sink.

Anonymous said...

Why and where did the old aquatics director go? Good question. The Mayor and City Council are known for secrecy and back door politics. Don't look for much transparency from them on this one.

Looks like we are paying the price for more incompetence from our city government.

Anonymous said...

Dear people:

I think the real question to ask the state attorney is can our board of alderaman and mayor decided how money is spent by the parks department.

Maybe there needs clearification abut who owns super splash, but I was always under the understanding it was the parks departement.

If it is the parks departement and being we are a 4th class city the parks departent needs the approval of the parks board not the mayor and board of alderman.

Remember a great part of this board and several of their old budies want to keep Raytown a 4th class city and the state of MO spells out what powers are given to a 4th class city and it sounds like our mayor may be crossing that fine line.

We want a real meaty story and therefore I would sugguest that Greg and Paul contact the state AG office.

Let us get the state to spell out to the mayor what he can or as it sounds in this case cannot do!

Anonymous said...

A quarter of a million dollars to manage the water park, all because the director left? I imagine the water park employees who stood up and spoke against this will soon be forced to leave as well. Promote staff and save the City some money please.

Anonymous said...

Kudos to the three brave women that spoke out against waste in the Park Department.

Shame on the BOA for caving in to the Park Director's bullying tactics.

tsk,tsk, mayor Dave. Standing by and letting the BOA make such a terrible decision. You did not display ANY leadership last Tuesday.

You should be ashamed.

Anonymous said...

I have tried to sound the alarm for months. The Mayor bullies the Park Board President, Bob Smith, into quitting. He gets some of his cronies on the Park Board and the plan is set in motion.
The Park Maintenance staff has been overworked for the last two years due to a retirement and no new hire. Then the Aquatics Manager quits, who picks up his slack in getting the pool ready, well the same maintenance staff.
The maintenance staff is five people. This is for everything, trash pickup in all parks, some mowing, plumbing and electrical at the pool, maintaining softball fields, maintaining all tress, flowerbeds, right-of-ways, pool landscape and much more.
The City keeps piling more right-of-ways on the Parks. They have two people on the Horticulture staff. These are two of the guys that will have to come up with an extra $3,000 just to keep their jobs. I am sure they are both looking for new work. I would be willing to bet half of the Park staff is looking for a new job. Especially now that they are down to nine employees and more work is piled on them. Some of these guys have degrees in their field; it hopefully won’t be that hard for them to find something new.
The problem is that there is nobody that will fight the City on their takeover of the Parks. The Parks Director is not negotiating with the City he is just letting them run him over.
There is so much more, I quoted Missouri statutes six months ago and nobody took me seriously. I am too close to the situation and cannot do anything myself. Someone needs to help!!!!

Lee said...

Ok, someone please tell me I'm misunderstanding these numbers. Last year Super Splash had $178,000 in revenue but it cost $193,000 to operate. And the city's response is to hire a management company for $246,000 to take care just part of the operations? (lifeguards only?)

Assuming the park has the same revenue as last year, it's now on schedule to lose $68,000 plus the costs of staffing concessions, gate and maintenance.

I can see ignoring some losses, city pools are rarely operated for profit. But this deal makes no sense unless this management company is providing super lifeguards.

Pat Casady said...

This my friends is how Raytown works.
The Super Splash is losing money, year
after year. First thing that inters my
mind is where is all the money going?
Isn't this a mostly cash business?
Then, why would our leaders spend a
quarter million of our tax dollars on
a management company to handle life guards
and not oversee the how's and why's it isn't
making money? In a business you make money
first, but, if you are having problems making
that money you hire someone to find the
reason you are starting to lose money.
Espeaclly if it has started losing money just
in the last three years. Read between the
lines here.
When are our so called representatives
going to start asking the people how we
feel about where our tax dollars are going.
Tax dollars are not meant to be an unchecked
money source for stupid spending and asinine
decisions!

Anonymous said...

Watching the city council in action is almost painful. They ask some good questions, get answers that are less than complete and then accept it like, "there, I've done my job, I asked the question!"

They have become so used to taking their orders from the city administrator and following them for fear of the wrath of the Mayor that they quiver at the thought of having to make a hard decision on anything.

And god forbid if they have to be one saying "no". Why, that would be mean.

They may not get invited to have a beer after the meeting with their buddies on the board.

Don't any these people have any kind of a back bone?

Anonymous said...

I wholeheartedly approve of council's handling of Super Splash.

Anonymous said...

I don't see any "handling". Looks more like rubber stamping. Did any one council member even say wait a minute. Maybe we should take a hard look at some options. No. They just caved like a bunch of dominoes. Gotta' love the way Mayor said we could hold this over if you want to. That's leadership for you!

Andy Whiteman said...

7:10PM, Why do you approve?

9:27PM, From what I read there were NO options. Either approve it or Super Splash wouldn't open. If I was on the board, I would have let it stay closed until a better option was explored. What is the urgency of opening on time? That is a recreational, luxury option and not a necessity. It wouldn't hurt anyone to be fiscally responsible.

This whole deal sure reminds me the way Dictator O'Bummer dictated to Congress before more Republicans were voted in at the last election. Does our Mayor have connections with the Dictator or his he trying to replicate His actions in Raytown?

Too bad Bill Van Buskirk had to drop out of the last election.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I heard through the grapevine, our mayor
calls the only Raytown paper to let MR.
Battagler know when and where he will be
speaking and showing up.
I think the mayor has let his mayoral
job go to his head. In my opinion so far
he has nothing to be proud of.
Neither does anybody in city hall.
Our elected people have let this whole
town down and the people in it.
It's time the seventy percent of the
non-voters in this town get off their butts
and make some changes! It may be already too late.

Anonymous said...

Andy, I have news for you. Mayor Bower is a Republican. Before you start throwing stones at a particular party, check your facts. Oh, I forgot, you get all your facts from Rush.

Anonymous said...

I know this like my last comments will not be posted, but why is the city calling the shots for the parks department.

Sure not what I read in the state law for a 4th class city, but again.

I am able to read and speak English, which is more and more less common these days!

Andy Whiteman said...

11:21AM, The Mayor's political affiliation has no meaning to me. His actions speak louder than an (R) or a (D) after his name on a ballot. Just because he is an (R) doesn't mean I will automatically condone his actions. Frankly his actions are very much like Obama's.

7:51 AM, In my opinion the 70% non-voters have let Raytown down because they are responsible for who our elected officials are. These 70% could change the political make up of the board and the Mayor in only one day.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I heard that the swiming coach for Raytown South High School doesn't know how to swim.

I was wondering if there was any truth to this.

Anonymous said...

Did the Raytown Times finally go out of business?

I have checked the last several weeks at the places I used to find it, but no one at those business know anything about the paper including what I am talking about when I ask about it.

Well, I guess if I still want worthless information I can just go back to reading The Pitch.

Anonymous said...

What a joke Bower is. He should submit his resignation now alongwith another joker Boji.

Pat Casady said...

It appears that City Hall has no problem
spending taxpayer money to hire an outside
company to manage Super Splash, and not for
the loss of money in the last three years.
Then turn around every chance City Hall gets,
they try to mess with our police departments
pension.
I don't understand this. I know many of our
police officers and they are hard working
devoted people and work hard to make Raytown
safe for us. Yet, City Hall treats this department
like it is dispensable. All the while giving
away tax income and giving tax breaks to big
corporations. Just think how much income this
city would have if it wasn't paying millions
of taxpayer dollars for the privilege (NOT!)
of having a Wal-Mart. Hundreds of thousands
for Aldi's and IHOP. Heck we may have even had
nice streets.
By the way Anonymous 9:16, The city took over
the Parks and Rec. a few months back. I guess the
joke was on them. It's a money loser and as it
turns out another hole for our leaders to throw taxpayer
money down.

Anonymous said...

Only Republicans would spend money like Bower and his band of fools did in approving having a company only manage the life guards for Super Splash.

I wonder how big of a donation this company is making to some campaigns.

What is up with this Bower!

You and the band of fools are always saming what professionals we have working for the city. If that is the case like you want us all to believe why do we not have someone who works for the city that can manage Super Splash.

Maybe we need to follow you around and start demanding answers at events and other locations where we spot you.

Andy Whiteman said...

12:45 PM, You and I both can read English, but as Festus Hagan said, "How do I know that the person who wrote the reading wrote the reading right?" I had that issue when I disputed a code about my fence. I was overturned by the Planning and Zoning Commission that stated their judgement was based on "the intent of the ordinance." Apparently what is actually written has no bearing on anything. How does anyone actually know what the writer intended?

9:26 PM, I remember reading in the Raytown Times that free distribution was going to be only via advertisers of the publication. It is also available by subscription. If you want a copy you must buy a subscription or go to one of the advertisers.

10:10 PM. I am NOT laughing. City government is pathetic and not a joke.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

May 10, 8:50am,

Bower is Republican and so are all but one of the city council does that tell you anything??

Anonymous said...

Pat,

Are you offically saying we never approved Raytown to have a Charter, which would take it out of a 4th class city, but Bower is now running it that way?

I ask as I never have trusted him and if he has done this then he needs to go to jail like any other piece of slim.

Anonymous said...

For those that can read and understand English:

Park board--organization--powers.
90.550. Said directors shall immediately after their appointment, meet and organize by the election of one of their number president, and by the election of such other officers as they may deem necessary. They shall make and adopt such bylaws, rules and regulations for their guidance and for the government of the parks as may be expedient, not inconsistent with sections 90.500 to 90.570. They shall have the exclusive control of the expenditures of all money collected to the credit of the park fund and of the supervision, improvement, care and custody of said park. All moneys received for such parks shall be deposited in the treasury of said city or town to the credit of the park fund and shall be kept separate and apart from the other moneys of such city or town and drawn upon by the proper officers of said city or town upon the properly authenticated vouchers of the park board. Said board shall have power to purchase or otherwise secure ground to be used for such parks, shall have power to appoint a suitable person to take care of said parks and necessary assistants for said person and fix their compensation, and shall have power to remove such appointees; and shall in general carry out the spirit and intent of sections 90.500 to 90.570 in establishing and maintaining public parks.

(RSMo 1939 �� 15337, 15345, A. 1949 H.B. 2038)

Anonymous said...

Andy,

When the Fox guards the hen house we are all headed for a world of hurt.


Pat,

Churchill was wrong "The only thing we have to fear is government"

Anonymous said...

There are those that look at things the way they are, and ask, 'Why?' I dream of things that never were, and ask 'Why not?'

Robert F Kennedy

Anonymous said...

It appears that Prsident Obama has become a prisoner of his political base. Reminds me of the movie Wag the Dog.

Anonymous said...

It appears that Prsident Obama has become a prisoner of his political base. Reminds me of the movie Wag the Dog.

Anonymous said...

Churchill didn't say "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself" Franklin Roosevelt said it. Right era, wrong speaker.

Andy Whiteman said...

1:33PM, I Googled that one because sometimes a quote is used by more than one speaker so I had to check. You are correct:
http://drjeffadams.com/2008/09/25/who-said-it-the-only-thing-we-have-to-fear-is-fear-itself/

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder"

Raytown sure has some leadership at city hall that as a sick idea of what is beautiful based on the condition our city is in.

Anonymous said...

"WAR - What is it good for!"

Edwin Starr

I guess George Bush never heard of the song or maybe George Bush wouldn't have gotten us into so much debt and cost us so many lives

Anonymous said...

"Here is my principle: Taxes shall be levied according to ability to pay. That is the only American principle. :

Franklin D. Roosevelt

It seems other than Warren Buffett very few of the richest American's see things this way.

It is no wonder the working class feel so abused!

Some Officals want TIF Restrictions said...

Does anyone one know what happend to a bill to stop the misguided and misuage of TIFs.

For full story click on my name

Officials from St. Louis and St. Charles counties are pushing for changes in state law that would give more control to voters and less to municipalities over the issuance of lucrative tax increment financing benefits.

Bills pending in Jefferson City could curtail city council authority to pass TIF plans for Walmarts and other projects by giving the public a vote on the proposals. The votes could involve school, fire and other districts and sometimes the entire county.

The county leaders contend that the otherwise estimable theory behind TIFs — that they bring development and jobs to troubled neighborhoods — has been hijacked in favor of an every-municipality-for-itself pursuit of tax revenue.

They cite a Walmart project under way in Bridgeton and expected overrides by city councils in Ellisville and Maplewood in favor of TIFs for retail developments as evidence that the law needs to be changed.

Four years ago, the Legislature changed the makeup of the local commissions that rule on TIF proposals. The law requires county executives in St. Louis, St. Charles and Jefferson counties to appoint six members of the 12-member commissions.

The change in 2008 was intended to prevent municipalities from grabbing private retail developments from one another, thereby simply shifting the tax revenue around the county.

But if those commissions reject a proposed TIF, a city council can override that decision.

Last week, a House committee endorsed a bill to change that. Its backers say they are hopeful for its passage this year. According to that bill, a TIF commission's rejection could be overridden only by two-thirds of the voters in the taxing districts.