Sunday, August 19, 2012


Everybody likes a freebie. Here is one that is especially sweet. 

Each year the Smithsonian Institute holds its annual National Museum Day. It is a day when certain museums open their doors to the public. To get "free" admittance all you need do is go on line a the link below and follow the instructions. The number of tickets are limited, so don't delay! This year's choice of museums includes the World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial, the Jazz Museum at 18th and Vine and the Toy and Miniature Museum in near UMKC (5235 Oak Street). 
Use this link to print out your free tickets! NATIONAL MUSEUM DAY

GREG WALTERS
Google in Raytown? BY GREG WALTERS
“A boring and tedious meeting” is how one observer described last week’s meeting of the Board of Aldermen. After reviewing the tape of last week’s meeting with Paul Livius it is hard to disagree.

Still, as with every dark cloud there is always that silver lining. Last week’s meeting was not an exception.

That “silver lining” manifested itself in comments of Mr. Brian Morris who asked if any attempts had been made to Google Fiber into Raytown.  In response Mayor Bower told Mr. Morris the Board does not interact with people during Public Comments. (see the Paul Livius Report below)

However, once the Public Comments portion of the meeting had been closed, Bower did address the subject.

He said several residents had asked about the Google Fiber and the staff is looking into it.  The City Administrator told the Board that Google chooses the cities they want to offer their products.  The cities can’t go to Google and make that request.  So far, Google has chosen Kansas City, Missouri, Kansas City, Kansas, and several smaller communities.

Raytown certainly falls into the last category. With only ten square miles of land and tightly populated by 30,000 people, Raytown would be a perfect fit for Google.

Here is a chance for City Administrator Mahesh Sharma to show he is worth the $30,000.00 pay increase handed to him by the Board of Aldermen two weeks ago.

PAUL LIVIUS
The Rest of the Story BY PAUL LIVIUS
At the August 14th meeting, City Administrator Mahesh Sharma told Mayor Bower that Google Fiber determined which cities would have the new service and that cities can’t go to Google and make the request.   

That is not exactly correct.

We know from reports in the Kansas City Star that Google had originally planned to offer the service to Kansas City, Kansas.  Seventeen days later, after negotiations with officials in Kansas City, Missouri, Google announced they would extend the offer to both sides of the state line.  A couple of weeks later, we learned that Westwood, Ks, Westwood Hills, Ks, and Mission Hills, Kansas would also be offered the new Google Fiber.

We had to ask ourselves how such small communities got so lucky.  Well, it wasn’t luck.  Scott Canon of the Kansas City Star reported Westwood Hills Mayor John Heeney (population 359) first solicited Google shortly after the tech firm announced it had chosen Kansas City, Kan., for the launch of Internet service.

Westwood Mayor John Yé (population 1,500) said the project is key to outfitting Westwood View Elementary School with ultra-fast Internet.  If the mayors of these small communities can solicit Google to install Google Fiber, why can’t the City Administrator of Raytown do the same?

If not Google, How About U-Verse?
At this time Google may be out of reach for Raytowners. But it does raise another question. How about U-Verse?

The Raytown Board of Aldermen broadcasts its City Council meetings on Comcast cable service. For reasons that are not clear, those broadcasts are not being televised on U-Verse.

We checked with a local U-Verse executive and found that Blue Springs, Grandview, Greenwood, Kansas City, MO, Lawrence, Olathe, Lee’s Summit, Raymore, Overland Park, and the Johnson County Government broadcast on U-Verse. So why not Raytown? It is a question that we receive from Raytowners frequently.

The city already provides the manpower to broadcast on Comcast. It would be very easy to send the signal to U-Verse. Subscribers for U-Verse would be able to watch City Council meetings from the comfort of their homes. Just like their neighbors who subscribe to Comcast.

We have sent a letter to the Board of Aldermen asking them to look into upgrading the broadcasts from City Hall.

The ball is in their court. Let’s see what they do with it!

POLL QUESTION: This week's poll question asks if the City of Raytown should pursue the broadcasting of City Council meetings on U-Verse.

The Paul Livius Report
Raytown Board of Aldermen Meeting – August 14, 2012
The invocation was given by Rex Block of the Raytown Baha’i Community
  • Mayor Bower recognized Loretha Hayden as the 2012 Missouri Municipal League Citizen of the year.
  • Mayor Bower said this is the 4th year in a row that Raytown’s Finance Department received the Government Finance Officer Association Award.
  • The City Clerk administered the Oath of Office to Police Officer Robert Fisher.
  • Brian Morris went before the Board and asked if any attempts had been made to Google Fiber into Raytown.  Mayor Bower reminded him that the Board does not interact with people during Public Comments.
  • When the public comment segment of the meeting had been closed, Mayor Bower said several residents had asked about the Google Fiber and the staff is looking into it.  The City Administrator told the Board that Google chooses the cities they want to offer their products.  The cities can’t go to Google and make that request.  So far, Google has chosen Kansas City, Mo, Kansas City, Ks, and several smaller communities.
  • The Board passed a resolution approving the purchase of digital p25 capable/compliant mobile and portable radios and equipment from Motorola Solutions, in an amount not to exceed $158,500.00.
  • The Board passed a resolution approving the purchase of dump truck equipment from American Equipment Company from Kansas City, not to exceed $20,657.00.  Andy Noll told the Board this will make salt distribution faster and more economical.
  • The Board passed a resolution authorizing agreement with Superior Bowen Asphalt Company, for the 2012 asphalt overlay program, not to exceed $378,000.00.
  • The Board passed a resolution directing the city clerk to place on file for a period of 90 days the uniform codes regulating the construction of buildings, mechanical, plumbing and electrical construction; and fire prevention.  The Board was told these were the construction and property maintenance codes.  When the codes are updated, they have to be on file for 90 days in order for all residents to have an opportunity to review them.  These comply with the International Insurance Standards Office Codes of 2012.  When a city’s codes are up to date, insurance companies do not raise the insurance premiums.
  • The Board heard the first reading of an ordinance that would grant a conditional use permit to a Motorcycle Sales and Repair business on property located at 9615 E. 63rd Street.  Karen Bosarge told the Board she had a business license to sell motorcycle accessories, but she didn’t realize she needed a license to sell motorcycles.  The second reading will be on August 21, 2012.
A Raytown Report “Believe it or Not”

DID YOU KNOW . . .
Raytown was the first city in the metropolitan area to receive cable television service. The original company was named Raytown Cable Television. Raytown Cable was eventually bought and resold many times. The most notable owners were Jones Intercable and the current owner, Comcast. 

Raytown was also the first City in the metropolitan area to broadcast live coverage of its City Council meetings.

Two young Aldermen serving in their first terms of office (Garth Bare and Greg Walters)  pushed hard for the agreement to include an obligation by one of the owners of the cable service, Jones Intercable, to provide a channel for the city to broadcast on.

To their surprise (and the rest of the Board of Aldermen and Mayor as well) Jones went one step further and upgraded the city’s equipment to handle color broadcasting.

The generosity of Jones Intercable sealed the deal and the public broadcasting of City Council meetings has since become a fixture at Raytown City Hall.

Morning Workout Challenge . . . Breakfast! BY KRISTEN
At some point, I swear I’ll stop going on and on about how I’m finally becoming a morning exerciser. I promise. But, today is not that day. However! I’m not here today to brag. (Okay, maybe a tiny bit. I get up early three or four days a week! I’ve biked and run and swam countless miles before lots of people have... Continue reading

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

34 comments:

Sandy said...

A few questions to think about. How upset are you about the way codes are being handled? How important is it to see that things change? If there was a way for you to help make the those changes would you be willing to do it? I DO NOT mean going and doing the work yourself or talking to your neighbors. I just had to turn in one of my neighbors to day so I know how that makes you feel but it was obvious that it was never going to get cleaned up if someone didn't do it. However, it should NOT have been me that did the dirty deed of turning them, in it should have been the codes dept. who saw it when they were driving by but of course, they would have had to be doing that driving by thing wouldn't they. If you are interested in finding out more please send an e-mail to Sandy at smtnair@aol.com. Also think about this, how can we complain if we aren't willing to step up to the plate and try to help solve the problem.

Andy Whiteman said...

"Mayor Bower told Mr. Morris the Board does not interact with people during Public Comments." Is this a true statement?

In the past I or others have asked a simple question and received the same statement. As I recall the meeting previous to this, the Mayor entered into debate with a lady commenting on Super Splash. Is that interacting with people? The commenter soon reached the end of her allotted time. I ask is this interacting with the public. I call it rudely interrupting the public?

At the same meeting the Mayor attempted to debate me but since I had more than 5 minutes of comment, I avoided debate.

I recall other times the Mayor debated or argues with commenters.

I fail to understand why Mayor Bower told Mr. Morris the Board does not interact with people during Public Comments but the Mayor will interact if he disagrees. I feel his actions are not maintaining the policy and also to be extremely rude! Is the Lord Mayor of the Socialist Fascist Fief going to observe his own policy or not? I am confused as to that the exact policy is? Is it the police at some times and not others? Some explanation is required.
***************
GOOGLE FIBER:
It is my understanding that that Google will establish a fiberhood only if there are enough subscribers to make it profitable. I went online and requested that Google notify me when it becomes available here. I feel that is a show of interest and suggest others do likewise and/or contact Google Fiber personally.
As an FYI I have been involved in the Telecom business. It is rather time consuming and very expensive to get right of ways, easements, installing fiber optic cable, as well as all of the equipment, as well as connect and install to customer premises.
************
COMCAST vs. UVERSE:
I don't remember where I heard it but the answer lies in that the camera equipment was provided by Comcast hence they have a proprietary right to the transmission. Personally I don't care for AT&T, but feel BOA meetings should be televised on ALL CATV networks simply because they are public meetings. Anyone who is rich enough to afford cable TV should be able to watch, not just a select few!

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...

Sandy, I have found that in talking with neighbors, they either ignore me or become obnoxious, but they are polite when approached by a city official.

Drive bys don't make all code violations visible. Many are not that obvious and take a lot of observation. When I was walking Hank, I observed many most of which were city violations which they refused to resolve.

If the codes people want to see violations, they need to get out and walk the neighborhoods. I have already suggested that department heads be assigned a portion of the city that each must walk at least once over a period of one year so they may observe what things are like since none live in Raytown. What are we paying them big bucks for anyway?

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Basehor City Council agenda includes $200,000 settlement with former administrator Loughry

Great job for the City Finance Director. Get fired for dishonesty by your past employer, then receive a 200,000 bonus.

http://www.basehorinfo.com/news/2012/aug/16/basehor-city-council-agenda-includes-200000-settle/

Get ready Raytown, your next.

Greg Walters said...

Andy,

The equipment given to the City of Raytown by a cable television company was a gift. It had no strings attached. I do not know if that same equipment is in use today.

It is our position that in the 21st Century our leaders at Raytown City Hall should use every means available to communicate with the public.

U-Verse is available. The City should take advantage of this fact and broadcast its public meetings on that media.



Andy Whiteman said...

Will Loughry be rehired in Basehor?

Greg, I agree that "our leaders at Raytown City Hall should use every means available to communicate with the public." But why is UVerse the only media mentioned? There are other cable companies used by the rich. Also I feel it is discrimination to air BOA meetings only on cable because there are many citizens who don't have cable. It has gotten to the point that the city thinks airing on cable is "legal publication" which is ridiculous because not everyone has cable!

I ask, why should BOA meeting be aired on Comcast and UVerse but not other CATV companies and over the air? The audience is being limited to the rich who have one of 2 particular providers. Airing of BOA meetings should be available to ALL and not just the rich. Why is it assumed that thos eliving in Raytown are rich enough to have CATV? Actually one must be rich to be able to afford to live in Raytown. I met someone besides myself who can't afford to live in Raytown.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Andy and Greg

We live in a wonder world full of new things like the internet that allows the posting of this blog and comments from the readers.

With this in mind one has to question why those at city hall don't step up and better use this to get information out to the citizens.

As it stands today there are only two ways to watch the Board of Alderman meetings.

One either has to attend the actual meeting or one has to have Comcast.

The question is why do other city have their meeting online for individuals to watch.

I am sure if those at city hall do not understand how to get this done they could call the city of Independance who have had this service for several years now.

It does make one to once again question if we truely have professionals working at city hall or just individuals who feel they are due a 30% raise!

Anonymous said...

The City should also stream the meetings on their website.

Andy Whiteman said...

12:26 PM and 4:46 PM I agree with both of you but I think the steaming of meetings is a bandwidth issue. I don't know how much it would cost the city, but I question is if citizens could receive it easily? If someone has dial up forget it. Even with my WiFi some video down loads take forever. A friend told me that a different modem would speed things up. I switched to Cricket for less than a week in preparation for my move. They finally cut me off for using too much bandwidth. I suspect the average citizen will not be able to receive it or will max out their bandwidth. Shane ParDue is an IT person. Maybe someone should ask him.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Thank you Raytown Report guys for telling us about Free Museum Day. I've already received my free passes to the Liberty Memorial Museum.

My daughter and I appreciate the information.

Anonymous said...

Andy

Who uses dailup anymore?

It is old and outdated and for around the same cost got to at least DSL

One can also go to the libarary and use there computers for an hour at a time, which would cover most meetings.

Andy Whiteman said...

Mr. Loughry was mentioned in the Red Star today...I believe it was page A4. That is the first time I have noticed a small city council meeting covered by the Red Star. I guess $200,000 is large enough for the paper to cover.

I am surprised he didn't demand his job back to stop the drive to Raytown.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Andy,

The question you should be asking David Bower is how can he keep justifying providing private businesses with buildings using tax dollars, while at the same time not spending money to streamline the Board of Alderman meetings.

The streamlining of the meetings would allow a larger population to be in the loop with the happenings at city hall and David Bower needs to be reminded that he wants transparency then he needs to step up and provide more means to obtain transparency.

I have no ideas what it would cost to provide the streamlining of the meetings, but David Bower was able to pull $30,000 more per year out of some city services so that out of town city administrator can have the raise while the rest of the city employees bowls are empty.

The question you should be asking David Bower is how can he justify the $30,000 for a man who agreed to move to Raytown, but always has an excuse as to why he cannot. How can we trust anything from our city administrator when he will not even live up to the agreement he made with the city when he accepted the job.

Anonymous said...

My family were just talking about this very subject this Sunday and over by the zoo my parents neighborhood has just gained enough preregistered houses. Now they have been added to the list. It takes I believe it was 100 or so with a deposit! If you fail to meet the mark it will be refunded. I believe it is worth a shot. We really need it here in Raytown!

Anonymous said...

The City can afford $30,000 for a City Administrator raise, but not one red cent for UVerse or Internet Steaming.

City hall is broke and broken. Time for the chair warmers to pack their bags and head back home. Good riddence to all of them.

Andy Whiteman said...

12:04 PM, I don't know if anyone uses dial up. There may be people who can't afford DSL. But I used to use dial up when traveling if a motel didn't have WiFi or DSL as many motels in rural areas or mom and pop motels tend not to offer internet. Ramada Inn in Carlsbad used to have internet only in the lobby, but who wants to go to the lobby? I have WiFi which is faster than DSL and sometimes videos still take forever to download.

Why would someone go to the library to watch a BOA meeting? What a waste of time! If they had that time to waste, it would be easier to go to the meeting. I don't know about audio quality of the BOA meetings, but I was watching a City Council meeting where I am moving reference a grievance I had with water billing. There was so much background noise that I couldn't hear a word that was said. My councilman had to get the City Clerk to prepare a transcript of that part of the meeting especially for me. Kind of a backwards way to to handle city business. The water department told me I had to contact my councilman and it took a council meeting to make a response.

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...

What is wrong with gas prices in Raytown? Driving north on Blue Ridge Blvd. gas drops from $3.60 at Phillips 66 to $3.49 at several stations in that Independence area. That is a BIG difference!

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...

6:33PM, I am irked when the BOA claims they can't pay a decent wage to the workers who really provide a service to the public but somehow they can find $30K for the CA. Where did the $30K come from?????? Makes no sense to me. Internet streaming isn't my priority...a living wage for ALL city workers is my priority. I bet if they put the $30K to internet streaming, you, I, and others would complain!

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

The people of Raytown have a big problem.
They live in a town that has a dysfunctional
city hall. The people are governed by a self-
serving government that only cares about the
people that work between the four top floor
walls of city hall and then only the department
heads and the elected officials. That is if they
are the elected officials that nod their heads
up and down kissing the back side of our bully mayor.
A several days ago a writer on this site challenged
someone to list all the good things city hall
has done for the people of Raytown. To this day
nothing has been brought forward. I guess that
just about sums it up for the rest of us.
Sure makes you proud of a city that gives, in
one swoop, a raise that is more than most
city employees make in one year. Who I might add
have been told they would not be receiving a raise
because this town couldn't afford to give ANY
raises. OOPS! I guess they lied to everybody about
that one. So the next time you are asked to vote
for a tax increase be aware that it will only go
toward the dysfunctional family that lives at
10000 E. 59th st.

Andy Whiteman said...

I was thinking about internet viewing of BOA meetings. The logical solution to me would be for the city to upload the DVD to You Tube. It would require only one upload so the city wouldn't use a lot of band width. Of course it probably wouldn't be uploaded until the next day so it wouldn't be live. If someone wants to see it live they can go to the meeting if they aren't among the rich with Comcast.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Andy, there is a time limit for you-tube videos. They only can last 90 seconds.

City Hall can stream the video of the meeting on their website. They can leave one meeting on the website until they are ready to upload the next meeting. In most cases, the meeting would be available for two weeks.

Anonymous said...

Mayor Bower,

You say Raytown is not a ghetto. Well it is fast becoming one. I had lunch today at a well established restaurant at 350 Highway and Maple. As I was leaving the restaurant, a car pulled in. The driver's side had 6-8 bullet holes in it. They parked, and the driver got out. He was wearing low rider pantswith his underware showing. With him was a young woman with a child too young to walk and she looked to be about 6 months pregant. Both were smoking cigarettes and cursing loudly.
This, Mr. Mayor, is what Raytown is becoming. Congratulations. Job well done!

Andy Whiteman said...

3:40PM, True the the city could stream video from their website but it will eat up a lot of bandwidth. It could become expensive depending on how many downloads there were and how much bandwidth the city is paying for, People don't think about bandwidth but ISPs sure do! Some charge by amount of use and others throttle the bandwidth speed if you are a heavy user.

I wasn't aware that UTube had a 90 second limit. I have seen videos, probably posted on other sources that were much longer.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Earily similar situation to Raytown don't you think? Google it to see what has become of this situation...

http://www.theindependent.com/opinion/editorial/what-s-going-on-in-g-i-s-city-hall/article_052edf90-b1c2-11e1-a281-001a4bcf887a.html

Anonymous said...

You Tube does not have a 90 second limit. Most of the links that are posted at the top of the Raytown Report are from You Tube. ALL of them have been over 90 seconds long.

City Hall should just do the right thing and join all of the other cities it the area and try real hard to let the public know what is going on at city hall.

Don't look for it to happen. David Bower may have preached transparency when he ran for Mayor but his actions are those of an elite who believes he knows better than everyone else.

Anonymous said...

Andy,

The last Board of Alderman meeting was missing something...

...yes, the missed you!

Andy Whiteman said...

I always thought that transparency meant to hide or to make transparent from the public's knowledge. Bower did as promised.

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...

6:51, I wish you had signed your name. I appreciate your comment since many have expressed that they didn't like what I had to say.

Being disabled, my time is limited. I need to keep up with my daily things and pack to move away from this State of Misery. I don't want to be trapped here another winter. I am gradually cutting back on BOA meetings unless there is something I specifically want to comment on.

Specifically I am disgusted with:
1) A mayor protem who will not allow public comments during a public hearing.

2) A Lord Mayor who enters into debates during public comments when he disagrees with what is said despite a policy of not engaging in dialog with the public.

If I am still trapped here, I may run for Mayor if there is no good opponent. I don't want to have a 3 way race and cause a swing vote. I was going to run last time until Bill threw in his hat. I felt that he was a strong opponent to Dave, but he dropped out after it was too late to file.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Transparency as used by Bower (and for that matter, by Obama when he ran the first time for President) was meant to mean there would be no hidden agenda, no secrets, etc.

In both cases the promise of transparency belongs with to of the other "great lies" of our time.

1. The checks in the mail.

and

2. I'm from the government, I am here to help.

Anonymous said...


I see Mayor Bower is at it again, being disrespectful to the people he serves. His recent actions at the last council meeting are clear indicators that he is out of control and MUST BE DEFEATED. He wants to control everything behind closed doors and totally looses it when confronted in public. ATTENTION MR. MAYOR, this is where the public's business SHOULD BE DISCUSSED, out in the open so we can all decide for ourselves who is really right. It's no wonder Raytown has such a horrible image in the metropolitan community.

Andy Whiteman said...

6:54PM, Agreed, all that should be discussed in closed session is that which involves personal actions, personal data, and legal issues that could compromise the city if made public.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Bower seems to have forgotten that he is spending our tax money, (ie)the $30,00.00 raise, it's not his. I have been thinking about this for sometime now here is my thoughts. We must take some responsibility for some of the things going on at city hall. How many of us go to the meetings even once a month or even 2 months or even ever? How can we except the children we put into office to do their jobs if no one ever checks on them to be sure they are doing what we elected them to do. We don't raise our children that way do we? We ask to see their homework and report cards don't we? What makes us think that these people will do any better if we don't make them justify the jobs they are doing.

When you do go to the meetings the papers you can pickup are every few and have very little information on them. They don't want to have questions asked. Bower is very bad about not wanting to answer any thing and he is a bully if you want answers.

I watch the meeting the other night and was very upset because of how he spoke to the lady who was trying to get answers about the budget I think. He believes that he should not have to answer questions even about our tax money he is spending. I was embarassed that we have people running our city that think they are Hitler and don't have to justify their jobs.

All of us need to start going to the meetings and ask questions if you need to, it's our right. It's fine to watch from home but the more people that showup at these meetings maybe he will get the idea we expect more from our elected officals and we expect answers when they are needed. I plan to do just that, if for other reason than to support others who have questions. Hope to see you there.

Anonymous said...

Any more news on getting Google fiber to Raytown?

Google fiber would boost the economy and help develop the Raytown area.