|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.
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.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.
Other City News . . .
Other City News . . .
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.
The Paul Livius Report BY PAUL LIVIUSEconomic 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 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.
- $50 gift certificate to Smith Brothers Hardware store
- Certificate of Achievement
- Lawn sign signifying the location of the Raytown Tree of the Year
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