Sunday, June 10, 2012


It’s been awhile since we posted the following interview. Remember that the interview took place in the midst of the Cold War. The topic the two are discussing just to goes to show that the game remains the same, the players are different.

Greed - Friedman/Donahue


Coleman Park Update
We wondered if last week's picture of the illegal parking at Coleman Park had an impact -- so -- it was off to the ballpark we went!

Good News and Bad News:
The illegal parking was gone! Well, as the picture can attest, almost gone. The pickup truck on the right is actually parked legally. However, the Sno-Balls vendor with its obnoxiously loud generator (and the truck towing it) are very much in a no parking zone. We took a close look at the vehicle for a business license from the City of Raytown. Couldn't find that either.

A copy of this picture and story, along with the other story regarding illegal parking at Coleman Park have been sent to the Mayor, City Administrator and Board of Aldermen.



Open Letter to the City Adminstrator BY SHIREEN McLAUGHLIN
 
Shireen McLaughlin sent the following letter to city officials last week. It is re-printed here because much of what the writer penned is (sadly) accurate. The author takes an additional step that is worth mentioning. She makes some common sense suggestions for solutions to many of those problems. She challenges city officials to step up and become more proactive in their responsibility to manage Raytown.

We hope they listen.

Editor, Raytown Report


Raytown City Administrator
City Hall
10000 East 59th Street
Raytown, MO  64133

Dear Sir:

I am writing this letter to Mahesh Sharma, City Administrator and sending copies to Jim Lynch, Police Chief, Kevin Boji, Director of Parks & Rec, Ray Haydaripoor, Neighborhood Services and – if I am able to find a mailing address - to the Raytown Times and the Raytown Report in hopes that many people will read it and get really angry about what is happening to our City and maybe, just maybe start a Take Back Our City campaign or something similar.
 
As I read over what I have written before I send this letter, I see it is not a grammatically perfect letter and it is wordy.  I hope you will each read it anyway, in its entirety.  The issues I bring are important and are being overlooked.

I began this letter May 7.  Now, adding to the despair I already felt living in Raytown is the horrible crime that happened on one of our busiest streets two Sundays ago. 
We are fast becoming nothing better than an extension of KCMO…and that is not a good thing.

I have become very disappointed with Raytown.  The peaceful life I thought I would have here has completely diminished.  The pride I use to have when having guests from other parts of the metro area into my neighborhood is gone.

I have always told my friends from other communities that when driving to my house, once they got past Brywood, things would change drastically.  Not so much anymore.  In fact, I’d rather meet my friends in a restaurant in Brookside or on The Plaza than ask them to come to Raytown.  Don’t you think that’s a shame?  This is where I live.  This is what I’ve paid a lot of money and continue to spend a lot of money for.  I’m talking about my house, my neighborhood, in Raytown.

As you can see from my address above, I’m just a hop and a skip from Brywood.  Just past Brywood, we have the beautiful ‘entry into Raytown’.  The ‘entry into Raytown’ was a waste of money and makes as much sense as trying to put a tuxedo on a pig.  Raytown is what it is and what that happens to be is part of the hood.  The departments I’m writing to are responsible for that.  Anyway, back to the ‘entry into Raytown’.   

Why not spend that money fixing crumbling medians or at least knocking the weeds out of them?  Why not use some of that money to paint stripes on streets that people can actually see, rather than them having to rely on really good eye sight or an ability to guess what exactly is the middle of the street?  Why not use that money to clean things up a bit.  One big clean up day per year is NOT going to get it.  Have you looked around?  Do you even live here?  I walk most mornings – no, I don’t.  I walked most mornings until Harry Stone was killed.  Now I don’t walk at all.  When I was walking I saw so much trash along my route – 63rd & Hunter to Raytown Road to 59th to Coleman Park and home.

Yep.  I saw a lot of trash.  I saw a lot of houses that had code violations – or things that should be code violations.  Trash.  Upholstered junk furniture sitting at the side of houses.  Cars with flat tires parked in front of houses.  Huge trash cans left in driveways for days.  Boats on trailers parked alongside houses on non-paved areas.  Garage sale and many other types of for sale signs nailed to posts or stuck in the ground. 

What I didn’t see is police car lights flashing, stopping the people speeding through the school zone on 63rd.  In over one year of walking almost daily, I saw someone stopped two times.  That is ridiculous.  Think of the income if you’re not going to think of the safety of the people (children) who might be in that area.   

If not for the kids, why is it we have the lowered speed during school hours?  And while I’m on flashing lights, why is it that police visibility seems low unless there has been a major crime and then they’re everywhere?  If we’re ever to clean up our city, doesn’t police visibility need to be high everywhere every day?  I would so much rather see a police officer driving the neighborhoods than see them sitting in the park waiting for speeders or doing paperwork.  That wouldn’t scare me if I were a criminal.  I think someone looking to commit a crime would be less apt to do so in a city where they knew police patrolled constantly.  While I’m talking about police sitting in their cars in the parks I think of this – Coleman Park.   

I use to live IN Kenagy Park.  I rented a house from the city.  It was wonderful.  It was kind of a rough little house but I was never scared there, I didn’t see anything I didn’t like.  That’s all changed, too.  In Coleman, there are No Parking signs at the south entrance.  People park there anyway, even though there are two whole, mostly empty parking lots below.  The people that live in my neighborhood drive through the park a lot, just to get home.  With people parked on both sides of the street at the south entrance and behind the cars that are parked in parking spaces and sometimes grilling behind the cars and frequently sitting in lawn chairs around and behind all that activity, it’s difficult to get through any night there is a baseball game.   

The police department does nothing.  I’ve called on this more than once and it hasn’t changed.  We’ve already put in a permanent, ugly, bright yellow porta potty because someone came up with the great idea that people shouldn’t have to walk down to the perfectly nice restrooms that are provided.   

Then we have all the people that bring their lawn chairs and park them on the sidewalks rather than using the bleachers that are provided making walking on the sidewalk impossible during baseball games.  They won’t move so a walker has to go into the street which is unsafe due to the cars being parked along the curb in the no parking areas.  I don’t know what percentage of people playing baseball in Raytown parks actually have Raytown addresses but my guess is that it’s not too high.   

My guess is that they’re not from here and having nothing vested in our city so they just don’t care.  I see the litter the mornings after baseball games and basketball games.  I’ve got two words for you Raytown:  Swope Park.  One of the most beautiful parks in the United States.  It was ruined long ago.  Why?  You know why.  Such a shame.  It doesn’t have to be that way.  Kansas City police turned a blind eye to such things as no parking signs in that park.  Are you going to continue to do that?  Please don’t.

To Neighborhood Services:   Drive around.  Look around.  Start writing citations and don’t make them warnings.  People have got to believe we want Raytown to be something special and if that means being very harsh in the beginning, so be it.  Don’t expect me to do your job for you by calling with complaints.  Do your own job.  Get out from behind that desk.  Write people up for code violations.  Collect the money.  Earn your pay.

To the City Administrator:  Manage your city.  Don’t expect me to do your job for you by writing letters.  Do your own job.  Get out from behind that desk.  Write department heads up or fire them for not doing their jobs.  Earn your pay.

To the Police Department:  Do your job.  Get out of that patrol car.  Write people up.  Collect the money.  If you’d keep the criminals out of Raytown, you wouldn’t have to worry about solving crimes.  Keep the criminals west of Blue Ridge where they belong.  Put back up that invisible barrier that Raytown use to have so that the hoods were afraid to even drive into our city.  Now they live here!  Earn your pay. 

To the Parks Department:  Why not post signs along the fence and near the basketball court – and then ask the police to enforce it – that say something about littering causing the closing of the diamond and the court?  Don’t let the dollars generated by the ball teams and the job security the litter causes guide you.  Do the right thing.  Post signs.  Make them visible and strong and ask the police to enforce.

Just think about this – if I don’t feel safe in my own home or on the streets or in the parks, if I don’t see anything that is pleasing to the eye, if I don’t want to invite friends in to my own home because of where it is, if I don’t think the people holding jobs with the city of Raytown care about anything other than getting a paycheck, why would I want to live here?

Sincerely,
Shireen McLaughlin


What’s Wrong With This Picture? BY GREG WALTERS
The following photos were taken last Thursday evening at Coleman Park. The illegally parked cars are parked along the street posted “no parking” are quite clear. In the first picture, a car can be seen blocking the handi-cap entrance way to the Walking Trail.
It is hard to believe that Park and City officials are unaware or this all too common occurrence at one of Raytown’s busiest parks.

Recently there was a serious medical emergency at one of the softball games. A player collapsed at second base during the game. Fortunately, the ambulance, police and fire protection responded quickly and were able to evacuate the player to the hospital. The emergency vehicles entered the park from the north entrance at 59th and Lane Street. Had they entered from the south entrance it is doubtful they would have reached the player in a timely manner.

Raytown Summerfest a HUGE Success
Raytowners gathered to celebrate the Annual Summerfest Festival this past weekend. Temperate temperatures and a good stiff breeze helped to make the time spent at the annual event pleasant and enjoyable.

Pictured on the left, the final heat of the Weenie Dog Races. Mayor David officiating the popular event.

Bottom left: Spectators cheer on their favorites in one of the earlier heats.

Bottom Right: The winner and owner of the smallest dog contest.


  

The Paul Livius Report
Raytown Board of Aldermen Meeting – June 5, 2012
The Mayor and Board of Aldermen observed a moment of silence when the meeting had been brought to order.

Vicki Turnbow, with the Raytown Chamber of Commerce, invited everyone to the Summer Fest June 8-9.  She said there will be a carnival, craft booths and a whiffle ball contest.

Mahesh Sharma told the Board the Blood Drive held on May 23 collected 23 units of blood.  He also reported the Computer tablet training sessions have been underway for Senior Staff and members of the Governing Body. This will allow the staff to provide electronic agenda and meeting minutes to the Board and to reduce the time and expense of creating of City agenda and meeting minutes.

Kevin Boji gave the Board of Aldermen the Annual Park Board report.  He told the Board the Park Department oversees Park Operations, Administration, Aquatics, Recreation, and the BMX track.  There are 9 full-time employees and over 125 seasonal employees. Raytown Parks and Rec improves Raytown with the landscaping at the Gateways, the “Welcome to Raytown” signs, City Hall, traffic islands and the Eubank fountain. Mr. Boji provided the following information for Super Splash:

  • Revenue        $363,670
  • Expenses        $378,834
  • Net Loss        ($40,626)
  • Per Capita Spending was $2.37 per person.
  • 4% increase in swim lesion registrations
The current year budget:
·         Revenues     $1,221,680
·         Expenses      $1,220,356
·         Under the Consent Agenda, the Board appointed Charla Roberts to The Council On Aging and appointed Tiara Fields to the Human Relations Commission.
·         The Board approved the acceptance of $51,219.86 from the US Department of Justice for federally forfeited property seized within the City of Raytown.  Chief Lynch told the Board these were items seized last year.

The Board approved an agreement with the Missouri Highways and
Transportation Commission for sidewalk improvements along 350

Highway.  Aldermen Melson said she likes the idea of improving 350 Highway, but she has liability concerns about the sidewalks.  Alderman Van Buskirk said he also likes improving 350 Highway but has concerns about this plan.  He said he came into Raytown on 350 Highway from the airport and traffic was backed up like it tends to do in rush hour.  He believes the elimination of the shoulder will only cause more problems if there were an accident or stalled vehicle.  Alderman Ertz said MoDot worked with the City of Raymore to improve Mo 150 Highway and there is plenty of room for stalled vehicles there.

      The Board heard the first reading of an ordinance to approve a contract for Transit service with The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, not to exceed $60,446.  Alderman Melson said she had several questions, but the ATA representative was not at the meeting.  Mark Loughry, Finance Director, told the Board the ATA Representative was scheduled to be at the meeting.  Several Board members told Mr. Loughry the ATA Representative must be at the next meeting if he wants this agreement passed.  Alderman Hamilton said there were only 23,225 people who used the Raytown ATA bus service in 2011.  He said that averages out to 73 riders per day, or less than 1% of the Raytown population.  He asked what other services the City offers where less than 1% of the residents benefit.  Alderman Melson asked how many busses were part of the routes and what hours they ran.  Mr. Loughry said currently there are 2 busses.  They run from 6-10 am and 2:30-6:30pm.  He is considering reducing that to one bus and route.  The Board told Mr. Loughry the ATA Representative must be at the meeting in 2 weeks.

The Board then adjourned to a Closed Session meeting.
 
Fit Bottomed Girls
Mud Runs, Down Dirty and Dangerous BY KELLY

Running is no longer enough: Themed fun runs and mud runs have exploded in popularity, requiring racers to not only race for miles but also to navigate obstacles through mud, while covered in foam, while being splattered with paint—or even while being chased by zombies. The original, and most popular fun run still remains the mud run, but no matter the theme, these races are a fun way to spice up your workouts and bond with your friends over some laughs. But with mud runs popping up all over the U.S., the volume, and severity, of injuries sustained during these races have many worried this new trend could do more harm to your health than good. Continue reading

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38 comments:

Andy Whiteman said...

I wonder why Shireen McLaughlin didn't send her letter to the Mayor and each alderperson? Our elected officials are responsible for this mess! The tie wearing chair warmers don't care at all because they don't live in Raytown and receive their big pay checks no matter what the living conditions are in Raytowen where they don't live. As I have stated many times ALL department heads should be required to live in Raytown so they can suffer like the rest of us. Also each tie wearing chair warmer should be required to conduct a foot patrol so that the entire city is covered at least once a year. Each would be responsible for a portion of the city. On a foot patrol they would actually observe code violations and where street maintenance is needed. They are called PUBLIC SERVANTS and they work for us...Lets make them earn their pay checks! If they won't move into Raytown or do their jobs, we don't need them! I live in Raytown and will agree to stay here and do the City Manager's job for 3/4 of the pay. I am sure there are Raytown residents who could fill these jobs.

As for the photo, the signs aren't posted properly. Since many are unable to read English, a universal road sign is required. Also signs should be added, "VIOLATORS WILL BE TOWED AND IMPOUNDED AT OWNER'S EXPENSE AND NOT RELEASED WITHOUT RECEIPT FOR PAYMENT OF FINE"

The ATA payment by the city should be discontinued. The service is only during very limited hours which limits availability to the public. True there are some commuter routes, but they serve only people who work downtown during the day and no one else. To be useful, public transit should operate 24/7. Those who use the ATA should bear the full cost, not the taxpayers. I suggest raising the fare with no city expenditure.

As to tablet training, this is an expensive luxury item. How will the data transmitted to tablets be available to the general public? I can't afford one of those new fangled, wasteful items, besides that being disabled I require paper copies.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I’ve got two words for you Raytown: Swope Park. One of the most beautiful parks in the United States. It was ruined long ago. Why? You know why.

How precious. No Shireen, I don't know why. Are you white? Then I think I already know the answer: you don't like brown people intruding on Raytown. Well, a lot of them are moving here for the same reason you did: to get out of the city. They want a safe, clean, affordable place to live as much as you do...if not more so. And in Raytown they find it. Raytown has its share of problems like every other community in metro Kansas City - every one - but waving the bloody shirt does't help matters.

Also, school zone speed limits are set by state law. That's why they're there. I don't care if they enforce them or not but they serve their purpose to make people more aware of children being in the area.

And complaining abour parking? spare me. (you too, Greg, but it's your blog!)

It's merely anecdotal but about 90% of the people I know in Raytown like it here. Safe, clean, affordable. Not perfect. The other ten percent frequent this blog.

Anonymous said...

What is the tablet training Mahesh Sharma was talking about? Who bought all the tablets for the Mayor, Board of Alermen and the City Staff? What does he mean when he said it would reduce creating the agenda and meeting minutes? Will they no longer be available to the taxpayers off the internet? Is that even leagle?

Andy Whiteman said...

12:51 PM, Raytown is NOT affordable. Utilities are outrageous thanks to miserable climate, high utility rates and over 10% in city taxes tacked onto the bill! Property taxes are not affordable due to close to 67% going to the Dysfunctional School District. Also sales taxes are close to being the highest in the metro depending which part of Raytown you shop, but I don't count sales taxes towards affordability because I shop the stores with the best sales regardless of the sales tax.

How can you say Raytown is safe? Have you read the crime reports?
Harry Stone was gunned down while jogging a few weeks ago! Just a few years ago we had a quadruple homicide and a double homicide a few years before. There are numerous assaults, assault with deadly weapon, etc. in the crime reports In my opinion, no part of the metro is safe.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

It is so sad to see some people try to reduce the ills of Raytown to a question of race. Speed limit laws should be enforced on a everyone, regardless of the color of their skin. Would you rather that a child be hit by a car because it is not enforced?

Streets should be kept clear of illegally parked cars. Asking for that to happen is not a racist statement.

Anyobody who tries to twist that into a statement on racism is a sick individual who has lost sight of why a community sets up laws to self-govern themselves.

As for the City Administrator and his magic tablets, I would rather see him expend as much energy trying to enforce our laws, fix our curbs and streets.

Maybe he would care more if he lived here!

Andy Whiteman said...

I have observed Raytown Police enforcing school zones. In fact I have a friend who claims her daughter was unfairly ticked in a school zone because she was going with the flow of traffic. I don't buy that excuse but am glad the RPD is doing their job. I don't want ANY child to be killed or injured.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Yeah I agree. Hard to believe a thinking adult would not care if the speed limite is or not enforced in a school zone.

Anonymous said...

It makes no matter what we comment about on this blog. The Mayor, boa and out of town department heads simply choose to ignore us as ranting complainers who are never happy and have an ax to grind against cityhall.

Times have changed and sadly not for the better in Raytown. The city is ran by (so called) professionals, who choose not to make Raytown their home and really do not care about Raytown, except only for a paycheck to pay for a standard of living in safer, cleaner neighborhoods, for themselves and families.

Raytown PD is only interested in pay raises, pension plans, and what new sports car and gas guzzling
SUV they can get to drive to their out of town, lake side resorts, disquised as a siminar.

Pretty soon, if not already, Raytown will be the highest taxed, highest crime area in the metro area.

Change is needed and it begins at the top.

Pat Casady said...

I don't think it is a matter of color.
However, some seem to want to make it
that way. It is clear the people in the
picture are breaking the law. Those cars
and trucks don't have a lable on them
stating the skin color of the owners.
This is Raytowns problem and only Raytowns
problem. NO PARKING means no parking!
Blocking a handycap ramp is breaking the
the law. Still no sign as to color.
Just because people move to Raytown for
a clean, safe, and affordable place to live
doesn't exempt them from obeying the laws.
No matter what color they are.
On the other hand, what can you expect if the
laws aren't enforced.

Shireen McLaughlin said...

I tried to post the following to your blog but it wasn't accepted...I don't think. I plan to go to the July 3 Aldermen meeting just to see how it all goes. Not that I'm running. Just want to see how it goes. My neighbor works w/Joe Creamer. He hadn't read my letter. Told her that since he's in politics he doesn't think he should read the papers.

I am quite pleased with the attention my recent letter received. I knew someone - at least one someone - would throw the race card out there. It always happens when issues of this nature are brought up. It is, I'm afraid, an effort to take attention away from the real issues. Not to defend myself, because I don't feel a need, but to clarify: the inoperable vehicles parked on the street or in driveways in my neighborhood are owned by caucasion people. The yard that has upholstered, junk furniture next to the house and a boat in need of repair on a trailer in a side yard that is not paved is that of a renter in my neighborhood, also a caucasion family. A very nice caucasion family, but one that is costing the neighborhood. That being said, I don't care if someone is white, black or purple. It would be nice if they had pride enough to take care of what is theirs. It would be nice if they would see that their junk is - in the long run - costing them and everyone else in their neighborhood money. How can a person expect to get top dollar for a house they're trying to sell when it's in a neighborhood OR A CITY that either doesn't have strong codes or doesn't have strong code enforcement? They (the City) create all the rules and regulations and then do little to enforce them. I think anyone who really read my letter got that that is the issue I have with Raytown. Not the good people who live here, not the good people who come here for one reason or another. My issue is mostly with the people that work for the City. They don’t work hard enough to look after the residents that do actually care, that don’t turn a blind eye to what’s going on. It is overwhelming. Things have changed too fast. That doesn’t mean it can’t go back to good if we do something NOW. I still maintain and will continue to do so, that if all the departments were doing their jobs 100% of the time, the City of Raytown would be a great place to live rather than an ok place to live. It’s the lax, at best, management that’s killing this town. Are you aware how many of the department heads even live in the City of Raytown? Let's hear comments about that! They drive into Raytown to come to work and drive out of Raytown to go home.

Shireen McLaughlin said...

PART 2

What about that makes you think they’d have any interest in our City at all? They get their paycheck, they leave. I read Carol White's letter that was written in response to the letter I wrote. She thinks all is well in Raytown. In fact, she seems to think that there are no problems in Raytown other than the people who notice how things have deteriorated. She thinks its fine that people litter the parks so that the Parks Dept. will continue to have jobs? Come on. That it's okay for them to litter because they're out playing a game? Seriously? Why do you excuse, no, why do you embrace bad behavior? I’m supposed to start a clean up committee or something? I have a job. Nope…I have two. That’s what I do to make my world work. As far as Carol White’s suggestion that I clean as I go. For one thing, I’m not out on a stroll. I’m walking fast for exercise for my dog and I. I use to take a bag with me when I walked. I use to try to keep litter picked up, at least in my neighborhood. I walk two miles. I couldn't get two blocks before the bag was full. You say since people are out playing that of course they create litter. Why? Why is that a given? There are many trash receptacles in the park. If people throw things out their car windows, why not take it home and put it in the trash instead. Her comment that of course people create litter makes me sick because it doesn’t have to be that way. Excuses, excuses. Her attitude about this one thing - the litter - is a prime example of why things are going to hell in a hand basket. Let someone else take care of it! Let someone else be responsible! Nope. MAKE everyone responsible. And when they're not, fine the heck out of them. The issues are way bigger than litter. Way bigger. And as far as me selling my house to move to another community is concerned, please believe me when I say that if I thought for one minute I could come out on my house, Raytown would be so far behind me it wouldn't even be an after thought. But because of the economy and because Raytown is not desirable as it once was, I'm in a tight spot here.

Andy Whiteman said...

Shireen McLaughlin,
Please feel welcome to attend a BOA meeting. It is open to the public. If you would like to speak, please sign the list as you enter the room. You are allowed 5 minutes; however, those speaking for a group are allowed 10 minutes. (I suggest preparing your speach aso you aren't cut off before you are finished. I found that 6 pages of legal sized paper with 36 font is just over 5 minutes unless you talk fast. That equals about 1-1/2 pages of legal sized paper with 14 font.) Since I have memory loss, I prepare my speaches otherwise I forget what I wanted to say.

I think people tend to play the race card if they don't like what you said and have no valid rebuttal. They turn it back to you as being racist. Everyone who disagrees with Dictator O'Bummer is accused of being a racist.

I personally know at least 2 Aldermen and maybe more who read this blog because they want to know how the people feel. Others claim not to read the blog. I know that someone in city government is reading it because I received a comment from a City offical about something I wrote. Either that person reasd it or someone in his office read it and passed it on.

As for moving, it is easy to tell someone else to move, but those doing the telling don't know anything about the time and expense involved. Moves are very expensive. I am moving not because of the way Raytown is run but due to miserable climate which I can't tolerate. It took me over 6 years to locate a house. The last 3-1/2 years after buying the house, I have been remodeling the new house and packing. I still have a lot of packing to do before I move. If anyone would like a house cheap, please see:

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/10412-E-64th-St-Raytown-MO-64133/2400437_zpid/

Andy Whiteman

Lee said...

Revenue $363,670
Expenses $378,834
Net Loss ($40,626)

What kind of math is this? The numbers don't add up, so who walked off with the other $25,000.

BTW, if you are upset about the value of your house, codes violations aren't the primary factor. It's all your lovely neighbors that walked out on their mortgages. I'm not looking to sell, so as long as my tax assessment agrees with market value, I don't care what the value is. Lower valuations costs me less in taxes.

Andy Whiteman said...

Shireen McLaughlin,
PS. I don't know if you think code enforcement is supposed to somehow observe violations. Someone needs to make a report before they are noticed. Do you report violations?

That is why I feel the tie wearing chairwarmers should do a foot patrol so the whole city is covered at least once a year. Much more can be seen while walking than while driving especially if they trip and fall on a hole or crack in the pavement. There will be a big issue made when they have medical bills and and have to buy a new suit!

Again, the board should require ALL department heads to reside in the city of Raytown where they work so they can suffer like the rest of us. Our City Administrator was granted 2 exemptions. I feel the first one was reasonable because his daughter was in high school. The 2nd exemption was ridiculous because he couldn't sell his house. There is no requirement that he sell his house. The requirement is to live in the City of Raytown. He could have rented it or left it vacant. He also could have rented a house or apartment in Raytown. I have bought 2 houses before selling the previous house.

I could recommend several Raytown residents who are well qualified to be department heads.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Some things do'nt have to be reported to be enforced. Like the picture of the illegally parked cars on this week's blog. I find it disgusting that our city's finest drive by and ignore that handicap access is blocked by illegally parked cars.

If our codes department shares this attitude we are in worse trouble than anyone can imagine.

The only ones who can fix this ugly picture is the Chief of Police and our elected representatives. How long will they continue to be like the three monkeys that see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil?

Andy Whiteman said...

Obviously cases like illegal parking should be noticed and enforced by the Police and/or the parks department but there are many types of violations that aren't easily observed by someone driving down the street.

I think the case of illegal parking is "monkey see--monkey do."

The city is sure missing out on a cash cow! I wonder how many $$$$.$$ would be collected if each and every car was cited? In my opinion, they should also be towed as a public nuisance and hazard.

Just run the plates..some maybe stolen or warrants out for the owners.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Don't be so hard on the park director, Lee. He has a long drive to and from Harrisonvile EVERY day. Come on, give him a break! You would have trouble with numbers too if you had that long of a commute each day!

Andy Whiteman said...

6:51PM, If the Parks Director lived in Raytown, as he should, he wouldn't have a long drive. I don't feel sorry for any tie wearing chair warmer who makes a long drive. They don't have to make a long drive! I suspect the Parks Director didn't do the calculations. I suspect someone working under him or in the Finance Department did the calculations.

Greg, The picture looks much better. A ball game is a good place for a vendor. My question is did you see a Jackson County food service permit? That is more important than a Raytown Business License, at least for public health.

Andy Whiteman

KMCCLA said...

The Raytown Amateur Radio Club will be participating in the ARRL 2012 Field Day, June 23-24, 2012 behind the Raytown City Hall. All are welcome to attend and see what amateur radio does for the community. The Raytown ARC is on the top rated operations nationwide, taking second place in Class 2A in 2011. We encourage people to attend, and if children under 18 operate, and make twenty contacts on our GOTA (Get On The Air) station, we will receive extra points. We also get extra points for elected officials as well.

Amateur radio provides communications in the case of a disaster. With in hours of the Joplin tornado, local hams had set up and where operating for several weeks after the event, providing vital communications support. This is a sense is a National Disaster Drill for Amateur Radio.

Kelly McClanahan / KC0KM

Shireen McLaughlin said...

This is 2012. Can we stop mentioning race for just a little while? The issues I bring have absolutely nothing to do with skin color. They're actually so much more important than skin color. My color - you said white, you're right - doesn't really matter now, does it? If you live in Raytown, no matter what color you are you know that we're all in this together and in Raytown, it's sink or swim time. If you'd get over it - your race issue - you might hear what I'm really saying. This isn't about race at all. It's about people - no matter their color - abiding by the laws and when they choose not to, our city doing their jobs to either get them out of our city or fine the hell out of them. Jeez.

Greg Walters said...

Playing the race card is the last bastion of those who cannot justify their actions or inaction. In the K.C. Star this morning there was a story by Mary Sanchez that it all too typical of how the race card is played.

As most of you probably know, the fountains at Crown Center have been a popular place to sit and relax since 1972. Often times children and sometimes adults run through the fountains on a hot day.

That is all at an end. The reason why is because some people feel the public space should be a place to lounge all day. Bring your lawn chair and let your infants play in the water. When nature calls, the dirty diapers get changed in the fountain water, which is then pumped back with the other water so everyone can enjoy the dirty diaper water in a very personal way.

As Sanchez wrote, "The new ban is not racial, as some have alleged." . . . "People should have realized that the fountain area wasn't meant to be a water park. A little splish-splash fun, maybe send even half an hour there, sure. But don't bring a folding chair and expect to park yourself all day. Doing so displays an over-reaching sense of entitlement."

She is right on the money.

I will add that it is not a racial statement to say that parking laws should be enforced. That neighborhood housing codes should be enforced.

The truth is those that cry racist on law enforcement as basic as what is being discussed on this blog is, in itself, a form of intimidation (call if bullying if you will) that most people see right through.

Andy Whiteman said...

I agree with Greg. The race card is played much too often in all issues where the opposition is unable to make a valid arguement and needs a fast, easy way out. Personally I won't accept the race card as a debate point.

Andy Whoteman

Anonymous said...

Ms. Mclaughlin,

It is true that the one you should be upset with is the mayor. It is his jop to see that the department heads do their jobs but it is not his priority when it comes to codes. The police dept.is not under the mayor, that dept. is only under the police chief as an elected offical but it not his priority either. You would think that they would work together to see that our city is the best it can be but they don't.

You are absolutely correct it is not a matter of race it is a matter of people who don't do their jobs. This city is so afraid they will get sued that they don't want to do what needs to be done to clean up our city.

I have lived here long enough to know it's not a race problem. I,ve had 3 white families that were far worse than the new black families that have moved in over the last few years. The childern of one of those families live in that house now and are worse than their parents ever were and I did not think that possible.

We need to clean house at city hall starting from the mayor and down from there. Unfortunitely, the elections are staggered so we cannot get rid of them all at once but we need to start somewhere so why don't we start with Cramer, and the other one from ward 1, Azier and Hamilton in ward 2, Ms. White who can't say anything but yes to whatever the city wants in her winy voice, Ward 4, seems to have 2 alderman that at least try to get answers to their questions the others don't even ask and ward 5, I'm sorry I don't even remember who they are that should tell you something shouldn't it. We need to start at the top with the mayor and the police chief.

Know who's running in the next election and know where they stand and tell them you are going to hold them accountable for how they do their jobs. The next time there is a chance to vote for a charter be sure there is a right to recall of our elected officals in there and vote for the charter.

Anonymous said...

Our mayor was recently on tv talking how they were going to cleanup Raytown because Raytown is the closes city to Royals stadium and the All Star Game. He thinks people will come here because it's closer. We have so many places for them to go and drink and eat. I almost laughed, it takes the same time to get to Independence via I-70 as it takes to get to Raytown and they have many time more thing to do than we do and it only takes 15-20 min. via I-70 to get to downtown and 30 minutes to get to Johnson County via 435. I thinks he thinks because we are a smoking community that will bring them here. Good luck Mr. mayor, you are dreaming, all of those reasons for them to go to all of those other cities are the very reason we all have to go to other cities for entertainment and resturants and we go to bars without smoking. That includes yourself I seen you there.

Mr. Mayor stop thinking about the all Star Game and start thinking about your constituents and your responsible to our city and the people how live here.

Anonymous said...

Mayor Bower thinks we live in Mayberry. Go and help my neighbor clean up his yard are you crazy. Now days your neighbor would shoot you. Mr Mayor you may live in a make believe world the rest of us don't. We see what needs to be done. You need to stop holding codes back. Step aside and let them do their job. We all know you are hard headed but for once do what is right for Raytown and let these guys do their job and if you can't do that the maybe you should step down from your office

Andy Whiteman said...

10:11PM, Which TV station did the Mayor speak on? If it was CH 7, I don't have a CH 7. He was speaking to the rich who have money to waste on cable TV which is the wrong audience.

I would like to see Raytown receive business from the All Star game but there is really no direct road to Raytown from the stadium if we remember these are people who are unfamiliar with this area. If people don't know what is in Raytown, they won't come.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I am not sure how we expect City employees to follow the rules when enforcing codes, or writing tickets when the City Administrator can't even follow the rules. He took this job knowing that he had to move to this City within one year. He has skirted this for several years. Rules are Rules; the CA, Mayor, Aldermen, you are all hypocrites for letting this slide.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be a lot easier just to declare Obama "king Obama" and then he can rule by divine right?

Who needs a Congress or a Senate when the President decides he can just mandate anything that comes into his head.

He did first when he lied to the churches about abortion. Now he has turned his back on American youth who cannot find jobs.

Andy Whiteman said...

12:34 PM, It isn't just the youth who can't find work. People of all ages can't find work. A friend in Raytown has been unemployed about 3 years. A friend in Denver has been unemployed for an extended time, is having her house foreclosed and is filing bankruptcy. I haven't been working for about 10 years because I was fired when my job was sent overseas.

The Obamas live like the Royal family with wasteful spending including extravagant vacations. Obviously Herr Obama thinks he is either King or Dictator. Queen Elizabeth won't accept his rude behavior.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Andy,
Bower was on channel 9 and yes there is a direct route to Raytown from the stadium because I drive it everyday. It's Raytown Trafficway to Blue Ridge Cutoff north to stadium.

Shireen McLaughlin said...

Andy: It's too bad since your unemployed friend live in Raytown he/she can't find work in the City of Raytown! I recently had a conversation w/an Alderman who actually told me when we hired the VA and our Dept. heads, we HAD to hire from outside Raytown to get the caliber of employee we needed. Ha!

Andy Whiteman said...

6:33PM, I watch CH9 at 5 PM and 6PM and didn't see our mayor. I don't consider the route you stated to be direct since it takes some navigation. People need a good reason to drive around seeking something in Raytown. I doubt if most people going to the stadium even knows that Raytown exists. Something needs to be done to make people want to come to Raytown such as a restaurant advertising a special or a group of businesses advertising at the stadium. I certainly don't drive randomly around with no specific destination.

Shireen, My friend is unable to find decent employment in the metro area, not just Raytown. If Raytown is unable to locate Department Heads in Raytown, there should be a requirement that they move to Raytown. Personally I know some who I think are qualified but they may not want to give up their businesses to work for the city. It seems to me that most of the department heads are short term, transient type employees looking for a stepping stone to the next job. Raytown needs long term department heads who will make Raytown a career and intend on staying in the job 10 to 20 years or longer. Our non-resident city administrator seems to be the one who has been here the longest.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Andy,

Don't buy that lie that they cannot find anyone who will move to Raytown for a job that pays (with benefits) over six figures.

It is more accurate to say that you have a very weak city council with an even weaker mayor.

The tail is definitely wagging the dog at Raytown City Hall@!

Anonymous said...

Drove by 63rd Street and Raytown Trafficway. There are some very young kids (look to be about 12 years old) hustling motorists for donations to send them to "nationals". There signs says they are from Belton, Missouri.

None of them are wearing optic orange vests (as required by city ordinance). Do you think the police are aware of them being there? City Hall (and the police headquarters) is just 3 city blocks away.

I doubt the solicitors are registered with the city, as required by city ordinance. Do you think the police got the memo?

Andy Whiteman said...

11:58AM, I totally agree. Moving to Raytown within a certain length of time should be in the employment contract. I suggest 1 year as a reasonable amount of time.

12:03 PM, I suggest calling the non-emergency dispatch number 737-6020 and to report this. You are assuming that an officer has observed this. You know what assuming will make out of you and me.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Couldn't it be possible though that perhaps the parking violations in Coleman park aren't enforced because the police and the city officials in general are afraid of the race card being played, i.e "you only gave me a ticket because I'm a minority"? I agree it doesn't matter the race, but anyone who has been through Coleman for the majority of the ball games can see it's mainly African Americans playing there. Perhaps they are being exempt from having to follow the laws and ordinances BECAUSE of their race?

Anonymous said...

Another Neighbor of William Eairheart. We have lived next door to the same neighbor for about 23 years and have never had a problem with him at all. The information Mr. Eairheart stated at the meeting is 100% false and compeletely unfounded. Mr. Eairheart is angry because the neighbor called the police when her heard him verbally abusing his girls. He also raced his car up and down the street while his girls and wife were locked out of the house and standing in the street. Mr. Eairheart has also damaged this neighbors' property. Mr. Eairheart is also harrassing another neighbor up the street. Come to find out, the neighbor he complained about in the meeting, has never had any altercations, reports or charges of any kind involving children (from a attorney friend), never has had any "Orders of Protection", unlike Mr. William Eairheart who has had two (2) and resisting a Cop. Two (2) other neighbors across from Mr. Eairheart have moved because of him and his repeated calls to City Hall. I can tell from the lack of comments on this topic that the Raytown People can read between the lines of truth and a vindictive neighbor. Just wanted to add my comments. Hopefully, City Hall will investigate the truth before listening to such a bully.

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm a little late to the party it seems. But this page seems a s good a place as any. I found this blog through a Google search involving the deterioration of Raytown. I have lived in Raytown my entire life. Born in the early 70s. Graduated from Raytown High in the early 90s. Most of my childhood it was a great place to live. Both sets of grandparents lived there too and never had an issue with anything while I was a kid. Of course, once the late 90s hit, my grandmother got followed to her home over by Funhouse Pizza, beat up and mugged. And 15 years later, its even more of a crap shoot. You can't even feel safe out for a morning jog anymore. I remember Rayotwn PD being so strict once I got my driver's license, that I was stopped on Woodson, long about 59th while returning to work from my lunch break. The reason? My car matched the description of someone stealing things from peoples' yards. I got pulled over on a friday night because they were looking for someone throwing eggs. My car happened to have been egged that very night. I also got stopped while walking down 67th to a friend's house after dark, so they could ID me and see if I matched the description of "someone they were looking for". The list goes on and on. It was annoying at the time. But I would really like to see them get invoved with actually trying to preserve the integrity of the town, rather than sweep up after its been destroyed. I remember kids from other high schools being scared to drive through Raytown because they'd get pulled over for something. Maybe they need to reinstate that reputation. Maybe it would chase all the bad seeds away that now call this place home. I see no level of respect from fellow patrons at a store. I get no respect from drive through clerks even when I say thank you. There is no common sense or courtesy left on the streets of Raytown anymore. A stolen car was parked in front of my dad's house around 63rd and Sterling and set on fire in the middle of the night two years ago. Also the neigbors on either side have both been broken into within the last 10 years. The cancer that migrated there in the late 90s has completely destroyed the place I grew up and still reside. And the only thing that will stop the parasites is them completely exhausting and ruining the place, or if the powers that be actually take a little pride in this town and bring some integrity back. I'm sick of it. And if anyone even reads this page again, being so outdated, this is not a matter of race, but a matter of fact. A different level of human has infiltrated Raytown. And the bad thing is, it has been allowed to happen. Its not the nice friendly place it once was. People, stand up to rude behavior. Cops, start pulling people over for no license plate light, burned out headlight, or just out of pure suspicion, like you did to me so many times. Odd thing is, profiling didn't even cross my mind when it happened to me. One way or another, we need to save the place before it meets the same fate as many of the surrounding areas. Anyone remember when Bannister Mall was hopping? I do. "What's Bannister Mall?", some of you may ask. It was a great place to shop before they started allowing people to behave however they wished. Once that happened, decent people stopped going there, shops moved out, it became a ghost town, along with all of the surrounding strip malls and the place was eventually bulldozed. So get on the ball people. I for one, don't want to be forced to be armed to the teeth and constantly looking over my shoulder in the next 15 to 20 years.