Saturday, December 29, 2012



HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM GREG AND PAUL

We will open the book.
Its pages are blank.

We are going to put 
words on them ourselves. 

The book is called Opportunity. Its first chapter is New Year's Day.







Greg Walters
Professionalism? BY GREG WALTERS
Official business before the Raytown City Council is supposed to require to public readings of the bill before it acted upon.

The reason for that is so the City Council will have time to investigate the legislation and be in a position to make an informed decision before the vote is taken. It also creates a window of opportunity for the public to learn of the proposed bill so that they will have time to provide feedback to their elected representatives.

To evade the two meeting requirement two-thirds of the City Council must publicly vote to suspend the regular rules of business. The heading of the bill is then read twice into the record by the City Clerk. At which point the Council can then vote (without discussion) on the bill before them.

Sometimes, the need is apparent for quick action on legislation. On those occasions the City Council may suspend the regular rules of business and vote immediately on the bill in question. This is known as an “emergency ordinance”.

Last week the City Council had two emergencies. Or were they?

One bill was a contract with the Jackson County Election Board to lease the City Hall Council Chambers on expected election dates in 2013. The City Clerk said the County Election Board was late getting the paperwork to the City for approval and they claimed they needed it as soon as possible.

The Election Board’s procrastination is the problem here. It does not constitute and “emergency” for the City of Raytown. Especially when you consider that the next election scheduled or Raytown is not until April of 2013!

The other instance is a more complicated issue. It has to do with the Police Pension Fund. There has been scant coverage of this issue that the public is aware of. But there has been a roaring debate at City Hall. Most of the discussion has gone on behind closed doors. Very little is being shared with the public.

It is well known at City Hall that the rank and file of the Police Department are less than pleased with the changes in the Pension Fund.

However, because of the manipulative way in which the ordinance was rushed through city business there was very little discussion. 

Which is not really surprising when you consider that over 90% of the legislation passed by the Raytown City Council is voted through unanimously.
 
An attorney apologized for the lateness of a report needed to complete the legislation. The fault does not end there. City Hall is well stocked with highly paid professionals who are supposed to administrate and ride herd on city business before its elected officials. Snafus that require a quick fix by declaring an ordinance an emergency is not a professional way to handle the city's business.

The City Council should expect and receive more than lame excuses on the timing of legislation before them.

FOOTNOTE: As most readers know, I served 27 years on the Raytown City Council. During that time I saw and voted on many so-called “emergency ordinances”. Some were legitimate. Most were not.


There was more than one instance in which the Board had to re-submit legislation for consideration to correct errors in laws that were passed without due consideration.


The process used to legally make that change is cumbersome and time consuming. Whoever coined the truism that “haste makes waste” was probably a member of a legislative body.

Other City News . . . 
Tom Cole, the City's Economic Development Director, made a verbal slip in the presentation of his annual report to the City Council. He referred to the area known as the Green Space in Downtown Raytown. The city spent hundreds of thousands of dollars demolishing the old Church. Now, according to Cole, the city is selling the property to JMC Realty.

In his report Cole said an interested party plans to have construction started by late Summer of 2013. But he did non elaborate as to what is being built. Nor did he say if the city was allowing any tax give-aways like CID, TIF, Property Tax Abatments, etc., to encourage the deal. 

Before doing so, he should study the mistakes of the Walmart debacle that continues to be a drain on the city's tax base. The city does not receive any tax revenue from the Walmart Store on 350 Highway. According to the terms of the various tax agreements with developers of the property, all of the tax dollars collected are committed to paying off the  cost of the Walmart development. That includes land purchase, construction, and highway improvements. The agreement signed off on by the City has a life of 23 years. 

It was enlightening to read that the owners of the property who brought in the failed Sav A Lot store are being held accountable for tax abatements they received. In the development business, such actions are called claw backs. The claw back provision guarantees the developer must meet the conditions of the tax abatement or lose them.


Paul Livius

The Paul Livius Report BY PAUL LIVIUS
Economic Development Report for the City of Raytown

Tom Cole, Economic Development Administrator, gave the report to the Board of Aldermen during a study session on December 18, 2012.
  • Roberts Chevrolet has relocated to Lee’s Summit. The city is aware of a few interested parties on the vacant location, but nothing has been formally presented to the city.
  • Buffalo Wild Wings closed their storefront in November, 2012.  Management cited a dated interior that would have requied extensive and expensive improvements to become compliant with the corporate facility goal.  A replacement tenant should be announced soon.  The owner of the center has diligently been pursuing other opportunities to fill the space.  The replacement tenant may not be a sales tax generating business.
  • Fashion Bug is closing at the end of the year as the result of restructuring by the parent company.  Over 600 Fashion Bug stores in 43 states will close.  The center’s owner ispursuing a replacement tenant.  That tenant will be Rainbow Shops.  They offer women’s clothing for juniors, plus sizes, and children.  Mr. Cole gave their website as www.RainbowShops.com.
  • Sav-A-Lot also closed the Center 63 location less than a year after opening.  The parent company, Super Value, closed 22 Sav-A-Lot stores and over 60 Super Value stores in an effort to consolidate and restructure.  The Center received Chapter 353 Tax Abatement in 2011 after the owner of the center invested over $800,000 in upgrading the former Coddington Grocery space, establishing a white box of 15,000 square feet area for a future tenant, parking lot and landscaping improvements.  The Tax Abatement for the center is contingent upon maintaining a steady employment base at the site.  As such, City staff has met with the ownership team and has expressed that the abatement can and will be nullified if a replacement tenant is not secured by March 1, 2013.
  •  Ritter BBQ, 67th and Raytown Road,  will be closing at the end of the year.
  • Towncraft Wood Products was closed in September, 2012 by its owner who is retiring.  That space will be occupied soon by a regional firm that produces interior furnishings for national restaurants.  This project will bring 20 new manufacturing jobs to Raytown.
  • Heartland Fabrication and 3-Feathers Construction are relocating from Indpeendence to a 25,000 square foot industrial building at 10220 E. 65th Street.  The firm manufactures parts for the Department of Defense and specialty cutting tools for the meat processing industry.  The project will bring over 60 iron workers and tool and die specialists to the facility.
  • Raytown Plaza will have some new tenants. Northcraft Carpet and Granite, Raytown Raceway, Raven’s Dance Studio are relocating their businesses to the Raytown Plaza. Those three businesses were already located in Raytown. Home Skillet and Mr. Goodcents is expanding as is the tech firm, eComm. More restaurants and retail are planned for the property as parking lot, storefront and façade improvements continue to be completed. Names of the restaurants were not included in the report.
  • Napoleon Bakery recently relocated from Westport to the Blue Ridge Plaza at 52nd and Blue Ridge Boulevard.
  • The "Green Space" in Downtown Raytown is being sold by the city to JMC Realty. At one time the property was the location of the First Baptist Church. The sale pretty much ends any hope of the area being used as a City Park. He said a single tenant retailer is interested in developing the property and that construction is expected by late Summer, 2013.
  • B and B Clothing has remodeled an existing building at 9913 E. 63rd Street.  The owners recently moved to the area from California.
  • The Sabah Café, a Middle-Eastern cuisine restaurant, opened at 63rd and Raytown Trafficway in November, 2012.
  • Extreme Grand Prix will be opening soon at the former Hy-Vee store.  It will offer electric go kart racing, bounce houses, dining, meeting space, and a variety of entertainment options.
  • Chipotle and Game Stop recently opened in the Gregory Square center.  Jimmy John’s is scheduled to open at the end of December, 2012.
  • Hy-Vee purchased the property formerly owned by the Jeep dealership and will open a convenience and fuel store at 9401 E. 350 Hwy.  They have plans to open a car wash and/or a coffee shop on the site.
  • The former Laurel Lanes Bowling center will reopen as Players Paradise, an indoor baseball skills training facility.
  • Calvert Auto purchased and renovated the former Car-X at 350 and Laurel.
  • Kennedy’s Animal Hospital has opened in space recently occupied by the former Oasis Day Spa and Salon at 350 and Woodson.
  • The city has received plans for the Newsroom Café, a casual dining restaurant at 6020 Blue Ridge Blvd.  It anticipates opening in the first half of 2013.

FIT BOTTOMED GIRLS

Revisiting Coconut Water BY ERIN

So guess what happens when you go on the record saying that you never want to taste another sip of coconut water ever again? You have coconut water companies like Greater Than try to convince  you that it’s not the most horrid drink on earth. (In that vein, bah, I just hate chocolate and wine and snuggly socks—yuck,... Continue reading
  

Raytown Tree of the Year Contest
Raytown Tree Board and Smith Bros. Hardware are sponsoring the 2013 Tree of the Year award. Residents are encouraged to nominate trees within the city limits of Raytown, Missouri.
  1. $50 gift certificate to Smith Brothers Hardware store
  2. Certificate of Achievement
  3. Lawn sign signifying the location of the Raytown Tree of the Year
Click for details.

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

16 comments:

Andy Whiteman said...

I am glad to hear of the new business openings in Raytown but sorry to hear of Ritter's Closing. They had my business after KC Masterpiece closed.

As an FYI, my house is under contract but bacup offers are being accepted.

I wish my Raytown Friends a Happy New Year. Link yo my ecard:
http://www.jacquielawson.com/viewcard.asp?code=3931130975526&source=jl999

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

The rumors I'm hearing say that Wal Mart will be building a "home style" grocery only store in the green space. An adjacent property on the corner of 63rd & the Boulevard was purchased recently by Wal Mart at considerably more than market value to gain access or visibility for the new store from that direction. Don't know if this is all true but I have heard it from numerous independent sources and where there is smoke, there is usually something smoldering.If this is the case then I am real curious about what tax breaks or other concesions are involved.

Retired Newspaper Guy said...

Just got through reading the Raytown Times (happy news only!) newspaper. Some of those stories had a familiar ring to them. Particularly the ones about redevelopment in downtown raytown.

Then I remembered. It sounded familiar because it was almost verbatium what the Economic Development guy told the Board of Aldermen at its last meeting.

Running press releases is okay and been done for years by many papers. But disguising them as news stories is kind of over the line.

Randy, you are supposed to have the author sign their stories. Otherwise people might think you wrote them.

We know you did not.

Anonymous said...

i know what you mean. it is like too mcuh chocolate cake. when you pile it on so much it becomes to rich to appreciate.

Anonymous said...

The Raytown Times is a joke !! This is NOT a real newspaper. Why would anyone care about what a guy that lives in Hickory County Missouri would write in an urban "so called newspaper"? Yes Bob Phillips is so out of touch with Raytown it's pathetic. He keeps harping about Obamacare. Maybe he should do a little research and he would see that President Obama carried Raytown by a very comfortable margin over his Republican opponent. By the way I believe that every Democrat running won Raytown. Think maybe we've become a Democrat town? All you liberal Republicans running for city office next spring had better watch out, you just might get defeated.

Andy Whiteman said...

Oh Boy, Who has the "brilliant" idea to put a Walmart Grocery is the green space, formerly the rubble space? It will be rubble again if this happens.

1) Walmart was a fiasco! The BOA should learn from their mistakes.
2) Two grocery stores have closed nearby.
3) There is no through access to the area and the green space will not become a destination point.

A better location would be the Thriftway/Save-A-Lot location on 350 HWY. I have no objection to any location as long as Walmart uses their own funding with NO TIFs or other taxpayer funding.

Andy Whiteman

Pat Casady said...

I have been approached once about the
possible purchase of my property. I was
not told of the proposed new business
going into the "Green Area." Nor was I offered
an amount for my property.
Here is what I have been told, Fox's Drug
Store, Four M Co., C&C Starters and Raytown
Screen printing company along with the Police
Union building next to WalNic's have been
approached.
I will believe it when they place a check
in my hand! We have been through this too many
times just to see plans go away.

Anonymous said...

I too have heard that the green space is going to be a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market, and they have one year to decide if they even want the property. Bet the fat cats at city hall are chomping at the bit to give them even more tax breaks to run out of town.

With apologies to George Will said...

Go figure!

Obama and Company pushed through Congress a patch on the fiscal cliff that actually made permanent almost all of the Bush Tax Cuts.

Barack Obama has (as Winston Churchill said of an adversary) "the gift of compressing the largest amount of words into the smallest amount of thought."

His incessant talking swaddles one wee idea, raising taxes on "millionaires and billionaires," including couples earning less than half a million. He has nothing pertinent to say about the steadily worsening fiscal imbalance that will make sluggish growth, under 3 percent, normal.

Anonymous said...

How much is under the table for the Walmart deal?

Andy Whiteman said...

Pat, All are prime properties! Fox Drugs to your location could be converted to a single business.

What about parking requirements? Here in Alamogordo they have off street parking requirements.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Just what the h e double hockey sticks upside down does pres liar call wealthy. We are retired and WORKED for everything we have and raised our children to do the same. I didn't lay on my back popping out kids so I could collect welfare. I say if you don't have some kind of job no welfare. Help with the first kid everyone is allowed one mistake after that sew the sucker shut and casterate him this should take care of some of the problems. Do I sound mad? you bet your a-- I am.
So all of you idiots who voted for this commie hope you are proud of what you have done to my country. So when they come after your money and they will don't say a word YOU did this.

Andy Whiteman said...

The gas rate here is about 1/2 of that in Raytown. Consequently I set my heat up to 70 most of the time and 72 when I am in bed. My bill ending after Christmas was $60 for one month. I can afford to heat my house here, but not in Raytown. My electric bill here has lower use than in Raytown. It maybe be due to the fact the florescent lights I installed are T8s using lower electricity. The last person had 75W bulbs in the over head fixtures (some fixtures had 4-75W bulbs!) I gave them to Animal Village NM and replaced them with CFLs.

My Raytown house is under contract and back up offers are being accepted,

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...

I urge everyone NOT to use Aardvark Moving from Blue Sprins They provided the WORST move I have ever had and I am still suffering from their rushed, poor quality work. I have a long complaint that I will furnish details upon request too long publish here and not relevant to Raytown except to warn the public.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

FYI, I was told by someone in community developement 2 months or more ago that the Dollar General that has been in Brywood Shopping Center is coming to the Green Space in downtown Raytown. The city would not approve their moving to the green Space to the East of Blue Ridge School at 63rd and Elm. They want to build their own buildings now and that is why they will not consider any of the available vacant buildings here in Ratytown. As for Wal-mart I don't know anything.

Anonymous said...

I'm now going to my basement to mint my coins to cover my debt. If Obama can so can I