Friday, March 29, 2013

-- BREAKING NEWS --

Photo credit: KSHB-TV 41
Local Leaders Voice Concern Over Walmart
In the wake of a sweep of local elections in which three new Aldermen were elected to the Raytown City Council some local leaders have stepped up to speak out on a proposed Walmart Grocery Store in Downtown Raytown.

Former Raytown Mayor Sue Frank and the President of the Downtown Raytown Main Street Association, Steve Guenther, were interviewed by KSHB TV 41 in a story broadcast on Wednesday and Thursday this week. 

In the news report broadcast on KSHB-TV 41 both Guenther and Frank express concern over what is planned by Walmart.  

To view the entire newscast use this link: VIEW NEWSCAST VIDEO

". . . Frank doesn't want it.

"That becomes the image of your community, rather than the neighborhood character and downtown feel that we've been trying to develop for a long time," Frank said.

The Raytown Main Street Association has a vision for the downtown area, calling for a more attractive streetscape, obscured parking lots and big windows on storefronts.

Main Street Association president Steven Guenther said he doesn't oppose Walmart itself, rather the size and look of the 42,000-square foot store.

"It would be a dramatic setback," Guenther said.

The downtown area has design standards as new businesses come in. The city of Raytown said Walmart has requested to opt out of those guidelines for its proposed store.

Guenther envisions a town square-type atmosphere for the empty lot with a larger number of small retailers. He thinks Raytown needs to wait for a different plan.

"I think we have to realize at some point in time, we can have something better," Guenther said."

To view the entire newscast use this link:  
VIEW NEWSCAST VIDEO


To post and view comments use this link comments
 





ELECTION RESULTS
WINNERS ARE MARKED IN BOLD TYPE

 

For Alderman, Ward 1
Josh Greene . . . 272    Richard Tush . . . 121

For Alderman, Ward 2
Jerry J. Kinman . . . 51    Jim Hamilton . . . 110      
Jason Greene . . . 279

For Alderman, Ward 3      
Christine White . . . 48     Janet Emerson . . . 219    
Chris Merrill . . . 62     Mark Moore . . . 21

For Alderman, Ward 4
Rita Bennett . . . 107    Bill VanBuskirk . . . 328

For Raytown School Board
Pam Arnuld . . . 1746    Bobbie Saulsberry . . . 1852
Richard Thode . . . 1738    Ken Grist . . . 948



Greg Walters
The Candidates Have Had Their Say
NOW IT IS YOUR TURN BY GREG WALTERS

April 2nd is Election Day in Raytown. Since early in January one of the most crowded races in recent Raytown history has been taking place.

Candidates have been going door to door, asking for you vote. Yard signs have been popping up in neighborhoods. Strangers to most of us before the election process, the candidates have been doing their best to raise your awareness of their vision for Raytown’s future.

Municipal Elections are truly a unique American experience.

So please, if, on Election Day, you are at all hesitant about voting, remember this.

Even though we live in the 21st Century, there are still many in this world who can only dream of voting in an election to choose their leaders.

Please remember to vote on Tuesday, April 2, 2013.

Raytown Debate Draws Small Crowd
Last Tuesday the League of Women Voters conducted a “meet and greet” event at Raytown City Hall. The forum was a step away from the usual debate format used in past years.

I was going to watch the event from the comfort of my home. So I popped a tape into the machine, turned on the television and went upstairs to grab a bite to eat. When I returned I was surprised to find that the event was not being televised on Raytown’s Channel 7.

So I grabbed my coat, hopped in the car and drove up to City Hall to watch in person. I missed the beginning of the meeting. Judge Traci Fann, City Marshall Jim Lynch and both candidates for Ward 1 had already spoken.

What surprised me was the low turnout. There were 14 candidates at the event. Only 27 people showed up to watch.

It was good to see Aldermen Charlotte Melson and Michael Lightfoot in attendance at the meeting. Neither of them are up for election this year, but by their presence they showed a sincere interest in this year’s election.

The Mayor was absent, as was City Administrator Mahesh Sharma.

All in all, the event was a step backward from the give and take of a debate. An exchange of ideas that can only be made in the give and take of a debate, the occasional bold accusation, watching how a candidate performs under pressure, are elements missing from the meet and greet forum used by the League of Women Voters this year.

I sincerely hope that next election whoever is hosting a pre-election event will bring back live debates.

Whoever made the bone-headed decision not to televise the event should be sent to sit in the corner with a dunce hat on.

The city’s expense in televising candidate forums is almost non-existent. We live in a time with amazing technology that allows us to view live uncensored, unedited events so that voters can judge on their own how to cast their vote.

The decision not to televise the forum was just plain wrong.

Fortunately, there was an individual who took the time to make a video recording of the event. To view that recording, use this link USE THIS LINK.

The races are divided by wards and school districts. Scroll down the page to view the video you wish to watch. (VIDEO COMPLIMENTS OF RAYTOWN ON-LINE)


Paul Livius
Why We Do Not Make Endorsements BY PAUL LIVIUS

Sometimes we are asked if we intend to make endorsements in city elections.

A fair question. It deserves a fair answer. It is a simple one.
No.

The reason is quite simple. We all have a different point of view on how our city is run, who will do the best job and, in general, what direction we want our community to go. Greg and I do not view our opinions as any more important than anyone reading this page.

Make no mistake about it. We will give our opinion on different topics. But we draw the line when it comes to endorsements, which we view as “telling” someone how to vote.
But we do strongly believe in helping those who want to step and serve their community a platform to tell their story.

So here is what we are doing.

Way back in late December, when filing for office opened, we decided to offer our space, free of charge, to candidates to tell their neighbors why they are running for public office. A good number of the candidates took us up on that offer.

Following the Fit Bottomed Girls column is a reprint of those essays by the candidates who chose to participate. We start with the municipal races and move through the School Board races. If a candidate is not shown, it is because he or she did not respond to the opportunity.

Raytown elections are usually a very low turnout event. Please join Greg and I by going to the polls on Tuesday, April 2nd to make this election one for the record books.

 
FIT BOTTOMED GIRLS
Something to Shout About! BY GREG WALTERS

GREG AND HIS HAT
Okay, so I am not a Fit Bottomed Girl. But I did want to take this space to share something with you about the FBG site we have been hosting on the Raytown Report.

They have made the big time. And not in a small way.

Last week Time Magazine posted its annual The 140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2013. The FBG website ranked number 83 in the Health and Family category.

When something this good happens the appropriate thing to do is go shout it from the rooftops. It is especially special because the Fit Bottomed Girls website is anchored here in Kansas City with a truly national list of writers from across America.

We know from tracking that some of our readers made their way to the FBG’s ranks from the Raytown Report. Keep up the good work girls. We are proud of you!

Check out the Time Magazine story at: READ MORE


WARD 1



Josh and his fiance', Macee
Hello Neighbors!

My name is Josh Greene and I seek your vote for Alderman in Ward 1 on April 2nd.

I feel that there are several issues that need to be addressed in our city to secure a strong future for our city. One of my biggest concerns for Raytown is the fact that a substantial percentage of the population of our city is over the age of 55. When this baby boomer generation moves out of their homes, Raytown will be faced with a challenge. Either we will have laid down the framework to encourage young families to move into Raytown, or landlords will purchase an abundance of property in Raytown, causing depreciation of property values. City Hall must take an active stance to promote this through proactive government.

Another issue that is very important to me is the current situation with the Raytown YMCA. The closure of the Raytown YMCA deeply saddens me. That being said, I believe that the city; in collaboration with the school district, should start and maintain an open dialogue to open a community center in Raytown. Many other cities within the metropolitan area have one or more community centers, and I believe it is time for Raytown to join that group. With a community center, we provide our seniors with a place to be socially active, and also provide our youth and students with a venue to participate in activities, keeping many kids off of the street. This also provides another venue for community events to take place.

Lastly, we need to promote transparency and accountability at City Hall. Government cannot be truly effective without maintaining legitimacy, and legitimacy is lost when people feel they cannot trust their elected officials. If elected, I will only be a phone call away to help you in any way, shape, or form that I possibly can within my power. It is the job of any elected official to not only represent you, but to listen to your needs and wants from the local government.

I hope I can count on your support on April 2nd. If you have any questions, feel free to call me anytime at 816-260-6325.

WARD 2

Jason Greene Seeks Raytown Alderman Seat 
Raytown, MO- Raytown educator and former 5th Congressional District candidate Jason Greene, has filed and expressed his intentions to become a Raytown Alderman, representing Ward II. “I’ve decided to run for many reasons, but ultimately to help facilitate a more accountable and transparent city hall.” Greene said. “I hope to have the opportunity to be a voice for all taxpayers, and stand for the responsible use of our dollars. In addition, I plan to promote and advocate for sound residential and business investment.”

Jason has been a resident and a Social Studies teacher within Raytown community for the past 7 years, serving also as a head coach for both Cross Country and Track and Field. He received his undergraduate degree from Northwest Missouri State University and attained his graduate degree in Political Science at University of Missouri – Kansas City. If you wish to contact Jason Greene, you may through email at Strengththroughliberty@gmail.com


WARD 3
Chris Merrill and Family
Chris Merrill Files for City Council in Ward 3 
My name is Chris Merrill and I am running for Alderman in Raytown Ward 3. I am 36, been married for 14 years with 1 child, and lived at my current address for 15 years. I started attending Raytown schools in first grade and graduated from Raytown South High School in 1994.

I have been a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (I.B.E.W.) Local #124 for 17 years. At the end of my 5 year apprenticeship I passed my masters exam to recieve my Masters Licence. Since that time I have recieved many other certifications. I am a very active member of my union, volunteering my time for DADs day (dollars for diabetes), Christmas in October, Local #124's Childrens Christmas party, and delivering Christmas baskets to the widows of deceased members of Local #124.

My wife, Jeannette Thomas Merrill, is a paraprofessional for students with special needs in the Raytown School District, and my son attends school at a Raytown Elementary School. I am a member of the Union Sportsmen's Alliance. I also like to coach my son’s sports teams. I have coached baseball at Kansas City Baptist Temple and now at Raytown Sports Association. I am also a youth wrestling coach for Mat Rat Wrestling Club overseen by O'Hara High School.

I would like to have the opportunity to be the voice of my ward. I am a very good listener and would work to correct the concerns of the people of my ward. The best way to contact me would be email, chrism7280@yahoo.com

Janet Emerson
Janet Emerson for Ward 3 Alderman
My name is Janet Emerson, and I am a candidate for Raytown Ward 3 Alderman this coming spring.  Now having the time to devote to this important position, I have the concern and drive it takes to bring positive change to this City.  I want to help return Raytown to the prosperity it once knew.  In order to do this, I will need your vote in April.
           
I have been a resident of Raytown for 36 years.  I have seen Raytown thrive from its early years, but I have also witnessed a troubling loss of businesses.  In 1997, I started a company with nothing, and it independently grew to be one of the top international astronomy/telescope stores in less than five years.  In addition, I have been instrumental in founding two other companies which have achieved success.  I will use my knowledge and experience in this field to help guide the commerce policy in Raytown so that businesses want to come to and enrich our city and remain and prosper in it.

I raised my daughter through the Raytown School District from kindergarten to when she graduated and left to go to college.  She received a quality education via the teachers and administrators of this District.  I want to ensure that quality education is available for every student here because our young people are the future.

If elected, I will keep the Citizens in my Ward up-to-date as to what is considered and planned so that they may voice their input about how this City is being run.  Unfortunately, I do not feel that the Citizens are typically aware of the workings of the City.  I want there to be as much transparency as possible and for them to be as involved as they want to be.  After all, it is THEIR community.

I wish everyone in Raytown a marvelous 2013.  Please, if you haven’t done so, register to vote before March 6th (voter registration forms are available at the library on Raytown Road), and if you’re in Ward 3, please vote for Janet Emerson on Tuesday, April 2nd.



WARD 4

Rita Bennett
Rita Bennett Files for Alderman in Ward 4
I am Rita Bennett and your candidate for Alderman for the 4th Ward.  I have lived in Raytown for 15 years and first moved here because of location and stayed because I felt safe and comfortable here.  I have been the resident manager of Raytown Village Apartments for 8 years, having been Assistant Manager the prior 2 years.

I have been active in the community, was a volunteer for the Reaching for Tomorrow effort and a member of the original Tree Board for three years, serving as Chairman for one year.
I am seeking a position on the City Council because I am interested in how issues are being handled at City Hall and am concerned by recent events that have taken place.

I feel strongly that Raytown can be in a leading position in the Metro area as to providing a wonderful place to live and having all the amenities people want close to their homes.  There is already a forward movement to attracting all types of business which is the driver to bringing people into the city, and I would like to see Raytown be a place that offers neighborhoods that welcome people to come in either singly or with their families.

There is no reason why Raytown cannot be a jewel in the crown of the greater Kansas City area.  The location here is very attractive in many ways, especially in the economic times we find ourselves in.  I would work hard to bring Raytown to the attention of young people just starting out as to buying a home and settling in for a lifetime.

Keeping finances in mind, Raytown could invest a relatively small amount of money in a city-wide effort to connect all areas in a theme such as the stonework and street lights already installed at 63rd Street and Gregory and Raytown Road.  These places have a finished look, and where there is room a fountain could be added.  While we are enjoying the benefits of being stronger commercially then can we not extend this to the neighborhoods and areas where we live?

Election day is April 2nd and I would very much appreciate your vote.  If you are not registered yet then you can do so at the Public Library, 6131 Raytown Road, phone# 353.2052. until Mar 6th for this election.  If you go to all that trouble, then please vote for me!

Bill VanBuskirk
Bill VanBuskirk Files For Re-election
I have filed to run for Alderman in Ward IV. I have worked hard over the past four years for the people of this ward and for all of the people in the city of Raytown. To do the job of alderman right it has to be an 'every-day' job, not just a 'now-and-then' job. For me it has been and will continue to be an 'every-day' job.

Anyone who knows me well knows that I have worked hard to improve our codes department and its enforcement, promoted economic development, always striving to maintain and improve our infrastructure, as well as continuing to work on a multitude of other important issues. The safety and security of our city has and will continue to be a priority for me. If I am re-elected on April 2nd I will continue to work hard to make our city a better place to live.

We have been able to acquire grants that have saved our citizens millions of dollars on a large number of projects, we encourage our staff to pursue any grants that might be available to us; I credit the diligent efforts of our staff for successfully accomplishing this, it will be an ongoing effort.

I have always made myself available to constituents, listening to concerns, problems, opinions, and ideas. Unfortunately, I can't always make everyone happy, but I will always do everything I can to resolve each situation within the limits of my power and make a fair judgment based on the information at hand.

We have accomplished a lot of good things over the past term, but there is still a lot of hard work to be done, and a multitude of tasks to tackle. There have been hundreds of resolutions, ordinances, and issues that I have had to make decisions about over the last four years, some decisions are easy to make, and others are very difficult. My colleagues and I don't always agree, but I will always do what I believe is in the best interest of those who have chosen me to represent them. It would be impossible to always make decisions that everyone in the city will agree with, but I will always weigh all of the information and evidence available to me prior to making a decision regarding any issue.

I feel we should never be satisfied with where we are as a city; we always need to be striving to make our community a better place, which is a never ending job. We have faced many challenges over the past four years and there will be many ahead of us.

My wife Mary Jane and I have been married for over 48 years. We have been homeowners in Raytown for over 40 years, living in the same house. We raised our family here, they all went through the Raytown school system, and we are members of a local church in Raytown. We raised four boys and have six grandchildren. I retired from Hallmark Cards in the graphic arts field back in 2004 and was employed there for over 40 years. I also proudly served as a reserve police officer for the city of Raytown for many years. I now work part time for Enterprise-Rent-a-Car in Raytown. I currently serve as president of the board of directors of the Salt Springs Cemetery Association. I am a member of the Raytown area Chamber of Commerce. My wife and I have been involved in many activities and organizations in our community over the years. I have served on both the Municipal and Legislative Committees, and currently serve on the Police Pension Review Committee. My wife serves on the Council for the Aging.

I do have an opponent, I don't know much about her, nor do I know her motive for running. But, I can assure you that my motivation for running has not changed from what it was four years ago; it is to serve our community and to strive to make it a better place to live.

Anyone wishing to reach me can call at: (816) 737-2799, or you can e-mail me at:
re-electBillVanBuskirk@comcast.net. My campaign facebook page is: Vote Van Buskirk. I appreciate any support you can give; allowing me to place a sign on your property, volunteering some time, or urging friends and neighbors to vote for me.

I am thankful to have had the honor to serve the people of our city, I will always serve to the best of my ability; it is my hope that you will allow me the opportunity to continue to do so.


Contact Information: Email: ritajoanbennett@gmail.com Facebook.com/rita.bennett.397.

RAYTOWN SCHOOL BOARD
 
Rick Thode
Rick Thode for Raytown School Board
I am Rick Thode, and I am running for reelection to the Consolidated C-2 Board of Education. I was elected in 2009 to serve a one year term and reelected in 2010 to serve a three year term. My wife, Sandy, and I have lived in the school district for 25 years, and our three sons (and Sandy) attended Raytown schools. I am a graduate of Wichita State University, obtained an MBA from Northwestern University and served as a CPA for 33 years before retiring in 2009. I serve as Treasurer on the Park University Board of Trustees and am past President of the Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired.

I am standing for reelection for three reasons. First, our schools significantly improved their test scores last year through standardization of curriculum, enhanced teacher training and strong leadership and commitment from the Administration and Board of Education. I want to continue our upward path and believe that attention to rigor in the classroom will further boost our success and enable our kids to graduate and attend college.

Secondly, it is essential that the district win its appeal to the Missouri Supreme Court of a recent lower court decision which would require our schools to accept student transfers from the non-accredited Kansas City school district. In my view, the decision was wrong and the transfer law is unconstitutional. If the decision is upheld, our district will become overcrowded with student transfers, and Raytown taxpayers could be required to pay the bills.  I will fight to make sure that every legal and political argument is made to the Supreme Court to win the appeal and protect our district from this illegal encroachment on our schools and taxpayers.

Finally, I will fight TIFs which allow cities to wrongfully take taxes of school districts and other jurisdictions and reallocate such monies for projects which have nothing to do with education. I participated in the successful negotiation of the Winchester TIF which would have cost Raytown schools over $14 million in district money. TIFs are designed to line the pockets of developers and lawyers and take money from our teachers, schools and children. I will fight to protect our schools from the egregious misuse of public funds and will demand that TIFs be structured with claw backs and terms that require authorities to use money for valid growth opportunities.

I seek your vote on April 2nd.

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

105 comments:

Anonymous said...

Greg - I watched the videos and some of the candidates are calling for a community center, but none of them explain how the heck we are going to pay for it. Also Greene said he has lived in Raytown since he was 10, I thought he just moved here last year, but use to go to school here when he was 10, but maybe lived in the Kansas City part of the district. Some fact checking please.

Salamander said...

Say "Good-Bye" to the Y.

Let the finger pointing begin.

First finger-pointer out of the chute was Raytown News Editor, Randy Battagler.

Randy blames the Y's action on "corporate greed."

Here is what he wrote in the week's editorial column.

"The Y has become like a lot of greedy corporate types and just want more than they should."

Nice-sounding populist verbiage, Randy. But how do you know how much money the local Y was making? Are you their accountant or bookkeeper?

We do know this much. Membership has dropped almost 50% during the past two years.

If anyone feels like pointing a finger of accusation the Salamander suggests we look toward Mayor David Bower.

Mayor Bower admits he knew in advance what the Y was planning. He kept silent. Apparently he was asked to keep his lip buttoned. And he did.

That kind of inaction deserves some sort of accolade -- perhaps a "sleeping watch-dog of the year" award.

Perhaps Mr. Mayor is just being open with his admissions. Who knows. Stranger things have happened in Raytown.

Some years ago former Mayor Willard Ross was on the Board of Directors of the now-closed Park Lane Hospital.

The board voted to close the establishment. Believe it or not, Ross (who was then Mayor of Raytown) admitted that he was not aware there was even a vote of the Board to take the action.

What can be done about the closing? There are avenues to explore.

1. Have the city take over the Y-operation and run a community center. This would surely take another sales tax increase, which is unlikely. It is just as well. There is not a chance of a snowball in Hell that the city would be successful.

Look at the city's track record.

City Hall doesn't have the business acumen to operate a swimming pool which is open only three months a year.

The park department made such a mess of Super Splash they had to go out and hire someone to come in and straighten the place up.

2. How about the school district?
Problem is the first thing they would want is a property tax increase. That bunch knows only one mantra: "More taxes. We need more taxes. Don't you care about your children."

The district already receives a mountain of money which, rightfully, should not go to them.

Example: A large number of children who are residents of Consolidated C-2 District go to either private, parochial or other schools. C-2 is paid handsomely for every one of those children. The annual amount received by the district is staggering, and it would easily fund operation of a community center.

3. Go out and find someone interested in purchasing the facility and running as a "for profit" entity.

It might not be as difficult as you think. The city can pretend the interested party is another Walmart, HyVee or a now defunct real estate firm.

Promise them all the TIF money, CID funds, and other taxpayer funded goodies they need. Surely this largesse will pique the interest of some entrepreneur.


Anonymous said...

Did some fact checking for you.

Mr. Greene has lived in Raytown since he was ten. The confusion may be a result of the following.

He just bought his first home in Raytown six months ago.

Looks like he's here to stay!

Anonymous said...

I just went to my mail box and what did we get? A flyer filled with the BIGGEST RUBBISH I have ever read and written by none other than Sue Frank, former mayor who gave the Raytown Wal Mart the sweetest deal ever. She needs to ckeck her facts. READ THIS THE 'GREEN SPACE HAS NOT BEEN SOLD. Read IT AGAIN THE GREEN SPACE HAS NOT BEEN SOLD".. If Wal Mart does build there, they have not asked for anything. As far as fitting into the design standards I am SURE it will. Sue you need to drive over to Metcalf and see what a NEIGHBORHOOD WAL MART LOOKS LIKE. Did you know that Blue Springs is also getting a neighborhood store? As for Save A Lot closing they closed numerous ones accross the country(due to the state of the economy) As far Apple Market the one on 75th and Raytown Road, it is in need of some major clean up. I am sure you would like to think you were the best mayor Raytown ever had. Well I really hate to tell you. you were not. As for the police department the reason they don't have more officers could be because they have spent the safety sales tax for everything but hiring more officers. How about motorcycle boots for $1000.00 a pair. That could have very easily been spent on hiring more officers.. As for an abandoned Wal Mart building we have a wonderful Sutherland there. You really need to get out more. If you want to keep Raytown in a down trodden state, just keep up with the lies. I really thought you were bigger than this.

Anonymous said...

Today I received a letter from our former Sue Frank regarding the Walmart store in our downtown. If you have not seen this letter I suggest you find a copy of it. I have not always agreed with Mayor Frank but in this case I do.

Walmart will not care about the other businesses in Raytown any more than they do about their employees who they treat like second class citizens. I pray the board of zoning adjustment and our city council tell them to go take a flying leap. It's bad enough to have one Walmart in Raytown we sure don't need another one.

Walmart has caused the tax payers in this city so much money by not holding up their end of the bargain. If you believe mayor Bower and his statement that "they haven't asked for anything" you are crazy but we all know that we can't believe anything he says don't we.. Walmart always asks for something and usually gets it in small towns because the powers that be think it will better their city but it usually isn't.

I am so proud of the Waldo community because of how hard they have fought against Walmart. I hope that Raytown stands against Walmart and Bower as hard as Waldo has.

I suggest again you get a copy of that letter if you did not get it in the mail today.

Anonymous said...

A $30,000 pay increase for a City Administrator that refuses to move to Raytown.

A City Council that has squandered our city tax dollars on tax freebies to corporate America.

A City Council that refuses to listen to its people when they cry out to no more tax giveaways to Walmart.

How could anyone vote for an incumbent this election?

Anonymous said...

To: anonymous March 31, 2013 at 7:38 AM. Most of your comments have nothing to do with the current people who serve, it was the former board that you should be mad at! It's amazing how much mis-information is on this blog.

Anonymous said...

Sue, you hit the nail right on the head with your letter.

You Go Girl!!!

Anonymous said...

Even if the problems of Raytown are not all this current board's fault, they (the incumbents) have done nothing to correct it. In fact they, White, VanBuskirk, Mock, and Hamilton DID VOTE FOR A $30,000 RAISE FOR someone who thinks he is TOO GOOD TO LIVE IN RAYTOWN. Now these are the FACTS!!!!

Anonymous said...

Sue Frank has very selective memory. How much money did the city loose when she gave money to Red Development to develope Blue Ridge Plaza? I don'r remember the exact amount but I do remember it was a nice chunk of change. When she was pushing Super Wal Mart she had Witty Whitman,Mrs. Titus the Atkinson's and many others get up and sing the praises of Wal Mart. She sabotaged the charter(which set the city back.) There was MANY TIMES when then Alderman Greg Walters wanted to state opposition to the Wal Mart, she was down right nasty to him, definately not acting in a professional manner. Now she is sending out trash. I don't have any respect for her. And I am in favor of a Wal Mart Neighborhood store. We will get tax money from this store, we aren't getting it from the deal Sue made and won't for about 25 years. Sue you are such a liar. I have lost all respect for you as an individual and a so called professional business woman.

Read the Agreement said...

I agree with Sue Frank's letter. Wal-Mart is a greedy, self-efaacing
destroyer of business and all that goes to make a community grow and thrive. I think anyone who supports the downtown grocery operation should read the Wal-Mart agreement.
You will find that the extra two percent sales tax which the 350 store sticks into its pocket provision will also apply to the downtown store. in other words,therereally will be very little, if any, economic gain from the new operation.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell me why stuff like this happens? It is so weird. Like a national chain that has a curse on it. I've read about people getting crushed in mobs scenes and Walmarts. I've read other bizarre stories and you probably have too.

Why?


(CNN) -- A man plowed a car through the front doors of a Walmart store in California Sunday, then attacked customers with a blunt object, police said.

The suspect drove more than 10 feet into a store in San Jose, California, got out of the car and began assaulting people, San Jose Police Officer Albert Morales said.

"He almost ran me over. ... He was in there to hurt people," one shaken witness told CNN affiliate KTVU.

Four people were injured, one seriously, Morales said.

The CNN affiliate showed video of the deep red Oldsmobile that had smashed into a beer display, leaving boxes and cans of Budweiser scattered on the Walmart store's floor.

The suspect was arrested on assault charges and remained in police custody Sunday afternoon, Morales said.

His motive was unclear, Morales said, but police believe drugs or alcohol may have been involved.

Anonymous said...

Wal Mart employes people, keeps then off the welfare roles. Think about it people. Stop being so bulled headed.

Anonymous said...

You mean Walmart only employs minimum wage folks?

This sounds like a true success story in the making.

I wonder how many small businesses make it with just minimum wage folks. Because those are the job creators that Walmart is known for taking out of business when they locate in a town like Raytown.

Walmart has a reputation.

It is well deserved.

It is a NOT a warm and friendly corporate partner for anyone.

Anonymous said...

80% of walmart employees are on food stamps and govt. healthcare. www.makingchangeatwalmart.org Go to the website and check out FACTS.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Sue Frank for your letter.The part that bothers me the most is that while the City Council and especially the Mayor were busy denying that a Walmart was being planned of the area they had in their possession a letter telling them what Walmart would and would not do.

I am voting tomorrow and I am voting against the incumbent that misled me about Walmart.

It is time to show City Hall that poor judgment has its cost.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that Walmart agrees to a 24 hour operation in their Waldo Store but has not agreed to it in Raytown?

Why is it that the City Administrator gets a $30,000 pay increase and then refuses to move to Raytown?

I am so tired of the city I love to call home is made the butt end of jokes by the poor leadership at City Hall.

We need people that put us ahead of bureaucrats who openly show their contempt for us by their actions.

We need people who will put Raytown citizens first. Not second behind Walmart and absentee bureaucrats.

This election is our chance. PLEASE go vote and find a friend to go vote with you.

Pat Casady said...

You all sound pretty good with your comments
but, here is the reality of it all. The friends
of this cities government will re-elect their
friends. Most likely the Neighborhood Mart
will go in and even sadder is the fact the
donut shop, as I warned, is losing customers
because of their politics.
Our downtown area is finally showing some
glimmer of coming alive again and the people
don't want it to happen. The Raytown Plaza
is starting to live again. As I said before,
the downtown area needs an anchor to bring
in more businesses. Someone to invest and show
Raytown is not dead yet.
If our city leaders let this happen and don't
protect the downtown businesses that we have now,
then I will be at the head of the line calling for
their removal. Before administrations ran businesses
out of our downtown and nobody stood up for us.
Now they want to bring back business and the people
don't want it.

Andy Whiteman said...

When I lived in Raytown, I had a conversation with a Walmart worker. He liked the job despite low pay and the fact that they kept his work hours just under enough to qualify for benefits because he was going to college and the hours fit his schedule. Obviously the work suits some people.

TO THE CITIZENS OF RAYTOWN:
Less than 20% of the sheepole vote in Raytown city elections. That means elected officials are elected by a small fraction of the sheepole, namely special interest groups, their friends, church groups, and fellow club members. IF YOU REALLY CARE ABOUT HOU YOUR CITY IS RUN, PLEASE GET UP, GET TO THE POLLS, AND CAST YOUR VOTE. IF YHOU DON'T VOTE YOU HAVE NOT RIGHT TO COMPLAIN!

Anonymous said...

Why do Raytown police officers work at hyvee as Sackers? The cop parked his patrol car in front of the pharmacy. He was in full uniform including gun, taser, radio and night stick. It was late at night and the line at check out was long. He sacked groceries for the 20 minutes I was in line. It's bad enough raytown gives Walmart free help but now Hyvee? No wonder people aren't safe in there homes.

Anonymous said...

Pat. I think you are wrong and will go one step further and hope that you are wrong. I look for three new Aldermen to be elected in today's balloting.

I'm going to go vote now. After which I will go to 63rd and Woodson and buy myself a donut and a cup of coffee to celebrate.

One final word, Pat. Walmart is a step backward for Raytown. Not a step forward.

Anonymous said...

Please go vote today, and when you do remember the current City Council that gave a $30,000 pay raise to the CA., And are misapproiating the money from the Public Safety Sales Tax. These people are not listening to the taxpayers who are footing the bill. Send them packing and maybe the newly elected officials will do the right thing for us.

Anonymous said...

I agree with both statements.

Let's show Pat how wrong he is vote.

Vote and buy a donut!

Pat Casady said...

I'm not saying this is the way I want this to happen
but, I've been here for over thirty three years and
this is the way it has been.
PLEASE, PLEASE PROVE ME WRONG!
I don't mind being wrong. In this case I hope I am
wrong. Now, having said that, will one of you that
don't want the Neighborhood Mart, please tell me
what would work? What will draw other businesses to
our downtown? Remember this is a grocery store NOT
a full out Wal-Mart.
It is no secret I hate W-M I have ever since the
first one went in Raytown on 67th st.
Raytown lost over half the businesses when it opened.
We lost over thirty more when the new one opened.
But, you know how this happened? You the people, telling
me I'm wrong, shopped at these W-M's you seem so against.
I know some of you are going to tell me "I don't go in
W-M," and I'll tell you they don't stay in business
with nobody going in them!
By the way, I hope I can join you with a donut and coffee
at your Pat was wrong party.

Anonymous said...

I would rather see a park than another walmart store. I don't shop at Walmart.

A 24 hour grocery store in the middle of a residential neighborhood, surrounded by residential neighborhoods on the path to get there will bring an element to this town that you do not want.

If I am to believe what I read in the Raytown Times the Raytown Plaza is bursting with activity.

Who needs a Walmart when you already have the growth and activity at the old Raytown Plaza?

Andy Whiteman said...

4:02 PM, Hy-Vee hires off duty Raytown officers for security. I question why you saw "his" patrol car parked outside unless another officer was nearby on a call or that officer had a take home car. It raises a good question you should address with the officer or the Police Department. In the past I observed an officer sacking groceries and asked her why she was sacking groceries? Her response was that it gave her something physical do do rather than just standing there. From experience I can tell you that a "standing there" job is more strenuous that doing something.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...


Is it just me, but why would a former mayor send a letter to the citizens that the Wal-Mart downtown would be a bad thing for our city.

This makes no sense as this is the same lady who thought it was a great idea to give away the farm to Wal-Mart on 350 Highway.

Don’t forget this is the same person who forced the city to buy the Old First Baptist Church so that we could turn it into a great downtown retail place.

Now she doesn’t want a business in that same location that will help generate sales tax and pay the salary and over generous pension plans that went into place when she was mayor.

I just have one question for her, which we should all ask...

...What do you really want?

Anonymous said...

Jim Hamilton and Christine White both lost. That's three new people on the Board. I wonder how Randy's going to explain this. I wonder if he will say his buddies would have been reelected if more folks had voted. All I know is we got three new faces this time. If we can get three or four new faces in two years we can start to have a real town again. And maybe get rid of Mayor Bower.

Anonymous said...

I think it was a victory for the Raytown voters. Maybe their elected representatives will listen to them in the future.

At least it is a signal that the incumbent Aldermen were less than responsive on issues like Walmart, the City Administrators raise and the secrecy we have come to expect from Raytown City Hall.

I hope they rest of the Board listens and pays attention to what the voters said.

These were not small victories. They were landslides!

Anonymous said...

You got the numbers wrong on the School Board race Greg.

Rick Thode lost by 8 total votes to Pam Arlund for the second spot.

Greg Walters said...

You are right.

The earlier returns did not include all of the Kansas City precincts. The corrected numbers are up.

Apologies!

Anonymous said...

This is a sad day for our sachool district that Rick Thode did not get re elected. Pam Arlund has got some big shoes to fill!!!!

Elisa Breitenbach said...

WOW! THANK YOU RAYTOWN! You have made me the happiest donut lady in the world! And Pat Casady come have some coffee and donuts on us. You and Good Old Randy make the GREATEST case on why Raytown needed new faces on the Board of Alderman:) Thanks From The Bottom Of My Heart!

Anonymous said...

I voted yesterday at first baptist and had two incumbent alderman approach me to push for Jim Hamilton. Im was very irritated by this as this shows a sign of this good ol' boy system. These guys acted desperate and stupidly like Im ignorant tried to explain this nonesense thats going on. I hope the man I voted for knows these are the people he has to work with.

Anonymous said...

Looks like a sound statement about the current Board, and the Mayor had lost a couple of key mouth pieces......too bad. Maybe now we will have elected officials that carry out our agenda instead of Bower's.

Anonymous said...

Be fair with Pat. He wrote that he wanted the change in leadership. He is not your enemy.

Maybe Randy will read the results and realize that he has a responsibility to report news instead of carrying the Mayor's water.

Time will tell.

Pat Casady said...

I think you misunderstand what I am saying.
I'm glad I was wrong!
I wanted a change in our elected officials.
I just didn't think it would happen.
Even in this election only 1618 people
voted for the aldermen. All of them put together!
That's less than each of the three top vote getters
in the school board election. Even at that, realize
there are, I think, over ten thousand registered voters
in Raytown.
Our only difference as I see it is what to do
with our downtown green area. I want this
town to grow. I want an anchor in the downtown
area to bring in more people and business.
I don't care if it is a grocery store or a nice
restaurant. I just want this town I have been in
and a part of for over thirty years to finally
be the town I know it can and should be.
You don't like W-M. Neither do I. I guess the
thing is, what brand name company would you
feel good with moving in? It's going to happen
so all of us are going to have to deal with it.
Will I shop there? No. I like "The Store,"
Consentinos, and Apple Market. Some Hy-Vee too.

Anonymous said...

I am addressing Pat's comments. My husband and I are two longtime Raytown citizens who have never, ever stepped foot in the Raytown Walmart. I'm sorry there are not more of us. We shop at Apple Market, Hy-vee, Westlake's and Target in Lee's Summit. I totally understand the need for taxes in Raytown and the proposed smaller Walmart grocer would provide that, but I would not be a patron. Second topic, to all of you who want the current Mayor out, well, let's just remember the only candidate who ran against him last time. I don't know the Mayor, but I know he was the better of the two candidates. I wish there had been a third, but there was not. There are not enough skilled leaders in this country and we often have to make due with the best we can and be thankful somebody wants to take their personal time and effort to do such a thankless job.

Anonymous said...

I am glad to see some changes at City Hall. It seems they need to learn to listen to the citizens. I am also glad to see that Raytown residents won. These are some people who have invested their lives in our home town. Now, we need to keep an eye on the old ones and the new ones to make sure that they work for us. Take the time to go to the meetings and voice your opinion. Write emails and send letters. Post on blogs. If your voice is not heard, you have no voice.

Anonymous said...

Lifting the residency requirement for the City Administrator - $30,000

The downtown redevelopment- $1.2 Million

350 highway Wal-Mart flop- $69 Million

The look on the Mayor and BOA's faces Tuesday night April 2nd- PRICELESS

Note to the Mayor and all of the Aldermen... Either work for us or we will replace you. Raytown has spoken.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anon.4:48. The voters who thought Bobbie Saulsbury should be retained over Mr. Thode made a huge mistake.

Maybe he'll run for Alderman or even Mayor next time around!

Anonymous said...

Whoever mentioned Park Lane Hospital... it's in Kansas City and not in Raytown. What could go in the green space instead of WalMart? Why not a Farmers Market? Lastly no Raytown P.D has a take home car except Lynch.

Anonymous said...

I worked the poles yesterday and have to say that I am very disappointed in Raytown Residents. I have worked the poles now for many years in all elections and this year is the worse turn out I have ever seen. Maybe if there had a better turn out we would not be bound by ball and chain to 3 key party alderman. God help Raytown now.

Anonymous said...


NO MORE WALMART !!! Walmart sells GMO food, undermines local businesses, gets unprecedented tax breaks and attracts unwanted crime element, attracts unwanted traffic/traffic pollution, and pays lowest wages. Their profits go out-of-state. Raytown needs to attract business whose profits go back into our tax base; who help to build this city which is so woefully and visibly sliding into demise with trashy looking storefronts announcing a more-than-ample number of dollar stores and thrift shops. We've got Walmart on 350 and 40 hwy already. Considering their "real" cost to the community vs. what they give back why would anyone in their right mind consider more of the same? It's time for our City Council to drop the dunce caps, stop the greed and desire for the easy fix and get off their glory-seeking, greedy backsides and do their jobs to grow this crumbling example of a city into something of a profitable, beautiful desirable and profitable nature instead.

Chris Merrill, proud Raytown Resident said...

Apple Market - Raytown Road
Apple Market - Woodson Rd
Apple Market - Blue Ridge
Aldi's - Gregory
The Store - Raytown Rd
Hy Vee - Gregory
Hy Vee - 40 and Noland
Walmart - 350 hwy
Walmart - Sterling and 40
Price Chopper - 63rd St
2 failed grocery stores downtown and 2 empty grocery store buildings near by.
Truck route next to a retirement center, apartment complex loaded with kids at play, and a library.
Forget how walmart is a horrible degrading company that feeds off of government money, it is still just a bad idea for downtown.
The GREENSPACE needs to be a GREENSPACE. A fountain dedicated to the original Raytown Resident, Ray the Blacksmith. A small parking lot/farmers market on the east side. A gazibo/water garden on the northwest corner for senior pics or wedding pics. A park on the southwest corner specially designed for handicaped children and handicaped parents to play with thier children. Benches spread around a walking path for elderly to walk. You could get a shake from a newly renovated soda fountain at Fox Drugs( donated by frinds of Fox Drugs?) and eat it on the park benches.
This would be my dream, what is yours?

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable!

The new aldermen elect have not event taken their oaths of office and their is already someone bashing them.

Whoever you are. Mayor Bower and Company were bringing this city to its knees. The apathy you complain about is the most obvious symptom of a public that begins to believe that no matter what they do their leaders will ignore them.

Yesterday the public spoke.

The big question is, will the rest of the Board of Aldermen listen?

Anonymous said...

I guess Ms. Frank didn't get the Real Estate deal with Walmart...wasn't she on the BOA when the last Walmart Deal went through?

Anonymous said...

I watched the news report on KSHB TV. I think Mrs. Frank and Mr. Guenther bring up some valid points.

I don't think we want a Walmart loading dock facing our library, and a 24 hour grocery store downtown. I agree with Mr. Guenther.

We can do much better.

Anonymous said...

OMG couldn't the tv station find someone who didn't have a personal ax to grind to interview. If wal mart wanted Mr. Guenther to design and build the store he would be on it in a flash. He is in this for personal gain and personal gain only. And as for Sue Frank she is just plain angry that people are being made aware that she has hung a millstone around the citizens neck for the next twenty five years. We need an anchor in downtown and a bridal shop wast't it.

Anonymous said...

I wholly agree with Chris Merrill's suggestions for usage of the Green Space. If all of his ideas were completed, it would be great! He included Raytown residents from age 1 to 100. How great it would be to get a shake at Fox's, walk around the Raytown Plaza, get a book at the library, pick-up some fresh produce in the summer and all without a car. Maybe some local musicians would be playing on a Saturday afternoon while kids played at the park. Fabulous ideas.

Elisa Breitenbach said...

I Love TV 41 Action News! They are the first to get the word out for us. We need to all thank them. Also we need to thank Sue & Steve GREAT JOB GUYS!

Pat Casady said...

I think Mr. Guenther said the most relevant statement
so far when he said:
"He doesn't oppose Wal-Mart itself, rather the size
and look of the 42,000-square foot store." He went on
to say "He would rather see several stores on the property."
I believe this is the best idea I have heard so for.
I hope City Hall will listen to a sound idea such as
this. Our leaders need to limit the size of a single store
that can go in to the green area. Let's face it, a big
store in the center of this town will look ridiculous.
This is a chance for the leaders of this town to design
a downtown we all can be proud of. A chance to actually
have a Main Street with shops that we all can be proud of.
NOT another huge building so other towns can laugh at us even more.
I have always said, our City Hall worships at the house
of Wal-Mart. I wish they would prove me wrong and downsize
this plan and let Raytown really grow like the people
want it to.

Anonymous said...

I too was glad to see some new faces get elected to the BOA on Tuesday. Gone are some of the old "yes" people, the Bower cronies that have kept spending us into bankruptcy. It's too bad that we couldn't have gotten rid of the other two liberal republicans, VanBuskirk and Mock. But folks, 3 out of 5 "ain't" bad. I look forward to some positive changes. Watch out Bower the changes are a comin.

Anonymous said...

OF COURSE the newly elected Aldermen cannot be held responsible for past occurrances - that goes without saying. However, those who are newly elected incur no harm in heeding the caveats provided them in this forum. Raytown residents also need to do their part by getting out for the vote unless they are prepared to live with undesirable consequences. I got two people who weren't going to vote to go to the polls; we should all more actively pursue community involvement in this fashion. As new directions for the city are considered, beware those promoting the life-sucking, shrouded actions which are out-springs of the United Nations Agenda21 (aka ICLEI at the local level). Thanks to Emmanuel Cleaver, Jackson County took the bait in the form of a big payout and KC is already heavily involved with Smart ports, light rail and more. If you don't know what Agenda 21 and ICLEI are, please educate yourselves and help to suppress them. If allowed progression, they will strip you of your property and personal rights, including the right to live, worship, work and travel where you want to. Santa Cruz, CA was one of the first cities to embrace this nightmare which was developed by the UN ((an NGO (non-government organization)) and they have been working very hard ever since to release the shackles it put on them. They're not alone; multitudes of cities have awakened to find themselves deeply embroiled in this insidious, vile system. They are strenuously back-peddling wherever possible to release themselves from the throttling effects of Agenda 21's ICLEI. Smart Growth is not smart! It is the "happy talk" that disguises those big gov't programs, as does the verbage "Green Space". If it is available space or a park that you're discussing, call it that as use of the ICLEI's language on a frequent basis lends to its' acceptability to those who have no idea of exactly what it is they are innocently/ignorantly promoting. Remember, ours is not a Democracy; the United States is a Republic and we, as well as our Aldermen, owe it to ourselves to protect that difference by becoming well-educated about the root cause of what is going on in our city, county, state and country. On another note, since Raytown has space available and healthy food is getting harder to come by please give serious consideration to using it for a community garden/farmer's market. It would give everyone (including children, renters and the elderly) the opportunity to grow their own food and would be a wholesome place for people to congregate to grow and sell. A highly visible location such as ours would be very desirable. Growers would 'rent' their space and that rent would include the cost of water and roto-tilling, etc. Pergolas with benches and/or small tables would provide a place to rest while shopping local businesses or out walking, to visit or watch gardeners while in the shade. Imagine attractive signage at the entrance reading, "Raytown - A Growing City". It would promote a stronger sense of community and that, my friends, is part of what helps to keep people in the cities where they live (rather than light rails to no where).

Tom Rigot Sr said...

Tom Rigot, Sr.

Part of me says it would be nice to have a brand new business near my office that generates traffic flow. As long as no tax breaks are offered up and a new source of sales tax would be added to the city coffers to help offset the loss of revenue from the 350 HWY wal mart's 22 year non tax contributing fiasco. The other part of me says we already have several other long time community grocers in the area and some will probably fold from the loss of business if this walmart home style grocery store happens. That bothers me! I envisioned the green space being a community gathering area with a stage for free weekend concerts just like so many of our other local communities have. Families setting up lawn chairs and enjoying a great evening. Or maybe a new community center with indoor walking, pool facilities and meeting rooms like the one in North Kansas City off Armour Rd. Instead it seems we'll get another wal mart sucking the life out of our town. When you flush a toilet the water in the bowl lifts slightly before it begins to spin slowly and gains momemtum just before everything disapears down the drain. That, I'm afraid, is what will happen if this wal mart thing goes through. Anybody want to by a downtown commercial building?

Pat Casady said...

I thought you all might get a kick out of
what I found in my almost three foot high
stack of old Raytown papers.
The following was the headline in the August
30, 2006 Raytown Post:
"BIG RETAIL INVESTMENT COMING SOON ON 350."
"When the Raytown 350 Live project is fully
developed, revenues of local taxing entities
will be greatly enhanced, according to a
cost benefit analysis prepared for the developer.
The analysis is based on the initial plan for phase
2 for a second large box store.
Projected total revenues to all taxing jurisdictions
over the 23-year financing period of the development
would be $60.3 million versus $5.9 million if the area
is not redeveloped."
THE BREAKDOWN:
"City of Raytown--$11.2 million versus $2.8 million.
Raytown C-2 School District $3.1 million versus $1.6
million. In addition the distric would have new and
improved buildings and facilities worth at least
$18.5 million.
Raytown Fire Protection District-- $3.8 million versus
$463,566. In addition, the fire district will receive
$450,000 for additional equipment."

My question is: since the developer hasn't lived up to
their agreement then why should the people of Raytown be
responsible for making up the unachieved sales tax bond
payments?

Anonymous said...

I am just another anonymous poster wanting to weigh in on the "downtown" Walmart. Please, please build it and the increased traffic will probably help the dying "downtown" I want a good food store within walking distance and it's on one of the few streets in this city with sidewalks at all. Thank you Gregg for this website

Anonymous said...

Chris Merrill you need to put on your BIG BOY PANTS and start thinking like an adult. Raytown has five parks. Who do you think pays for up keep on these parks? We the tax payers do. The greenspace was bought for the intent on selling it and making money on the resale of it. Even with the make over of Raytown Plaza we are far from bringing downtown back to what it once was, and to be honest it may never happen. I pray it does make a comeback but we must have a store that will draw people to the downtown area to shop. Parks are great but not this time, not this location. I hear a tattoo shop is wanting to come to downtown, I am aganist this too. This is not a business we need to improve our downtown image. We let a tattoo business try at a location on Raytown Road and it picked up and left. They were scared by the people who were comming in late at night to receive their services. My opinion on this let them go to Knob Town there is one there.

Anonymous said...

April 4, 2013 at 8:04 AM

Vanbuskirk is a democrat. Both Greenes and Emerson are die hard republicans.

Chris Merrill - proud Raytown resident said...

As for my big boy pants, I just ran for Alderman to try and make a difference in the community. I volunteer for diabetes, christmas in october, kids christmas parties, delivering christmas baskets to widows, and am currently working to get donations for Habitat for Humanity to build a home for a single mother of 3 that works as a school teacher in Raytown. I am also looking for volunteers to help in building the home. I comute 3 hours a day / 6 days a week for work. I am a coach for my boys baseball and wrestling teams. I am currently researching some local comunity organisations and committes to get involved in. I am a redneck countryboy that feels that Raytown is an older community and should look and feel like an older community. The old time town square with old men playing checkers and talking fish stories while thier wives are shopping at the mom and pop stores all around the outside. Kids riding thier bikes, moms pushing strollers, couples walking dogs. A place where people wave and say hi. A place where people help each other. Everyone should get involved in at least 1 thing. Volunteer 1 day a month with something you like. GIVE TELL IT HURTS!

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Anonymous said...

So...didn't Wall-Mart get a TIF? What about all of that money we have lost? And now they want to take over downtown? Once again and finally some officials and former officials are catching a clue...no Wall Mart-like some of said in the first place!
Question for some who have been here a long time...did the Y get any tax breaks? I recall something about that but cannot remember. If so, wouldn't those still be in effect and possibly give some leverage to stop the closing?

Anonymous said...

If Van Buskirk is a Democrat then why is serving as a Republican Committeeman for Brooking Township?

As for the other three newly elected city councilmen, I don't care what party they belong to as long as they listen to what we have to say and put us first.

The ones they are replacing lost by big margins because they did not listen to the people.

Anonymous said...

Did the Y get tax breaks when it was built?

Anonymous said...

To Pat:
How about a small movie theatre instead of a Wal-Mart?
Like the Fine Arts, etc.?
Raytown has never had a movie theatre.....

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Anonymous said...


Hello Bloggers.

We truly need to make sure we can get the word out for the next big meeting for the Wal-Mart deal. We are so very lucky to be able to talk like this. I enjoy it more when people are not afraid to put a their name on what they want to say but I understand the fear factor many people have because of city and government officials. I love to read these blogs! I hope to read many, many more!

Anonymous said...

Do you really want to know why downtown looks like it does? It is some of the landloards who own the buildings. The city wouldn't let me have rundown property like that. I would be getting tickets left and right. So come on codes department do your job and make this man clean up his property before they fall down someone is hurt and then a big law suit to follow. Let's see some action on this...

Anonymous said...

This is a very noteworthy and overdue discussion. I agree that the Codes Dept. needs to do their job and ticket property owners continuously until they fully adhere to the code law of Raytown. And whoever has the job of making sure property owner's keep their trees from obscuring street and traffic signs needs to get up and out to do their job. Move the street sign at 47th and Raytown Rd. out from behind the trees so that it can be seen. Finish the pavement job in the block that runs south from 63rd and Blue Ridge Rd. Raytown is a dumpy little burg full of citizenry who care about their city and wish those on the payroll and in positions of power would simply DO THEIR JOB. And if they will not or can not, they need to be ushered out the door. It is not acceptable to be in public office or on city payroll and merely show up for work. There are new people here now, forced to downsize by the the policies of the progressives in the Fed, who are well-educated, well-traveled and well-read. We read, observe and communicate in order to get to the bottom of things and those in gov't will come to see that narcissism, cronyism, spin-doctoring, ducking responsibility and idolatry of the (worthless) buck are not acceptable 'job skills'. You know who you are. So do we. Get your resumes ready because you're going to be looking for a new job. Once the riff-raff is out of office and healthy change is underway, the population here will also change to include even more young and middle-aged employed adults. And as the tax base grows and that money is wisely invested we become what we should've been all along, a vibrant, clean, attractive, energizing suburb of Kansas City. If we don't clean house, Raytown will just remain a run-down, depressing, dirty stopover in life populated with welfare recipients, pedophiles, Walmart thieves, and drug dealers where anyone whose life holds promise and who has self-respect runs from as soon as they are able. If you're reading this blog, it shows that you care and if you care you should talk with your neighbors and friends. Encourage them to attend City Hall meetings with you and to vote! Your thoughts and opinions matter a great deal but they aren't going to jump off this page and into the heads of the powers that be. They work for us (never forget that) and our direction is what guides them. p.s. Keep Walmart Out!

Anonymous said...

Gee Whiz bloggers!

How about this for an idea. What if the city were to link to the Raytown Report through its website.

These comments are the first real discussion I have read about Walmart and the development in Downtown Raytown.

That way City Hall could find out what the people are saying.

Last Tuesday's election sure did show how out of touch Raytown City Hall is. Maybe their new Public Information Officer could join in the discussion.

What do you think?

Anonymous said...

That's a marvelous idea about linking City Hall officials to this site! What's stopping them? I know for a fact that Raytown PD uses twitter but personal privacy issues keep me and many others from using that or Facebook so this blog is THE way to go. Kudos to a creative contributor.

Andy Whiteman said...

6:32AM, "How about this for an idea. What if the city were to link to the Raytown Report through its website." Good idea but this aint going to happen because the Raytown Report doesn't support the consiracy at City Hall. I feel the PI officer should comment here, but it is the general policy of City Hall to ignore the Raytown Report. Many claim not read it, but some do since I have had email responses.

If Walmart really wants to open a grocery in Raytown, I suggest a prime location:

The vacant building at 63rd and 350HWY abandonded bu Sav-A-Lot along with a vacant pod next to it. Not as large as they want but the area had good traffic flow and parking! It is already under a TIF so a TIF is not needed. If Walmart wants to open, let them use their own money, not ours. I say "ours" because I paid my property taxes even though I no longer live in Raytown.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

If you want to know why the mayor and the city say (and I mean they say) they don't read this blog is for 2 reasons. This came from the mayors mouth. 1. It's because it's Greg Walters who owns it and the mayor dosen't like him. Greg ran against bower. 2. He (the mayor) says we all pick on him so he's not going to read it.

I have always felt that a mayor or for that matter any elected offical should want to know what the people they represent feel about what is going on even if they don't like it. Mayor Bower doesn't want to know because it doesn't fit into his plan whatever that is. However, I also know that even when they say they don't read it there are several people in city who do read it and even make comments. I know the city adminstrator at least in the past has read it because he was reading it when I went into his office one day but of course, that was before his latest raise maybe he doesn't now.

I wish to god I had not vote for him he is a pour accuse for a mayor.

Anonymous said...

April 12 6:12 AM,

I am totally in agreement with you but the fact is you will need to get rid of this mayor to get what you want done. He want to make us the people do their jobs especially in regards to CODES. He thinks the citizens should tell the neighbors to clean up their yards not the city. Why then are we paying those people to in the codes dept?????

Anonymous said...

To: Anonymous April 5, 2013 at 6:12 AM: 47th and Raytown Rd. is in Kansas City, not in Raytown!

Anonymous said...

the turnout for the April 2nd election was terrible. After what happened to me at the polls I can't really say that I blame people for staying home.

I vote in Ward 1 at the Episcopal Church.

When I pulled up to park one of the most obnoxious, ill mannered louts I have ever encountered approached.

At first I thought he was handing out ballots. No way. This guy was on some sort of rampage, bad mouthing former councilmen, mayors, anyone who ever held elected office.

As a result of his crude behavior I voted for the guy he was NOT passing stuff out for.

Someone told me this guy goes to every political meeting and always has an axe to grind, but never anything positive.

Anonymous said...


To: Anonymous said...
Do you want to invest your money in 'a small movie theatre', or do you know someone who does? You must think the city is a developer (NOT). I don't see any people lined up wanting to develope anything there, do you?


April 4, 2013 at 9:05 PM

Anonymous said...

To: Chris Merrill April 4, 2013 at 8:16 PM. Many of us wish it was 1960 again, but it isn't. You need to face reality!

Anonymous said...

Chris. Don't pay too much attention to the haters. I think developing the green space in a city park is a good idea.

Oh, and for those who are not aware, developing parks is something that cities do.

Anonymous said...

I guess the Parks Dept. could buy it from the city for $650,000.00 if they wanted to. But it would never create 1 cent of revenue and in fact would cost a lot to develop and maintain!

Anonymous said...

Deja Vu!

Buy some land in Raytown. Clear it, build a big box store on it. Build a parking log and entrances to the local road system.

And never collect a penny of sales tax for the city.

Why, that's exactly what they did on 350 Highway with Raytown's mega Walmart.

And it cost the city 22 years of debt. Not a mere $650,000.

At least we would end up with a park for our trouble.

All we got with the Walmart on 350 highway was more crime.

Anonymous said...

I am not a Walmart "Hater" like many here are. However, I too do not see a need for a Walmart at the Green Space. Truth be told, if they really want to build, or put something in, there are plenty of other sites that could be utilized. I do like a park idea, and all would be needed is a quaint simple park. As for it being maintained -- some has to be mowing it, so what is the problem? A simple design, with a pathway, and perhaps a fountain dedicated to William Ray. It also could be utilized when we have community events. Some here tend to throw out insults like Democrat and Republican as is one side or the other is better and the opposing view always wrong. Mistakes perhaps have been made, but even I do not see the need of another Walmart. When the Walmart and HyVee where at the old location I rarely went there. I would go to the Walmart by Bannister Mall, and then to 40 Highway. Now I always go to the new Raytown store. As or HyVee, I often now go there as well. I guess it was simply a big mistake for them to move, as now I think more people perhaps use them. I am mildly upset that we lost the Y. However, why where not more using it? We did not use it, so we are going to lose it, I do not like it, and in fact we canceled our membership, because we did not want to go to one of the other sites. Instead of complaining, do something about it.

Anonymous said...

This Wal-Mart proposal has absolutely nothing to do with the other one (Super Wal-Mart, which was a terrible deal for our city). They apparently are not asking for any tax breaks, it would mean the city would start collecting revenue as soon as it opened. Plus they would be able to dispose of the property at a good price. This is property the city (and it's citizens) have been burdened with for many years. You either don't have your facts right, or you don't want to have your facts right. Also, the proposed store is not a 'box store' (one where products are left in the box, rather than putting them on shelves). My understanding is that it would be a regular grocery store.

Anonymous said...

Call it what it really is, it's a vacant lot, not a 'green space'!

Chris Rathbone said...

I usually just troll this page and read the comments. This is the first time I have posted anything on here. My kids have always gone to Raytown schools and a year ago I bought a house with my family here in the city limits. I am not anti Wal-Mart, I am anti TIF. Tax revenues have to come from somewhere and when a business as big as Wal-Mart isnt contributing money to the city, the burden falls on the small business and its residents. I can guarantee you that a large percentage of customers at the Wal-Mart are not Raytown residents. I would guess that a large portion of the arrests at Wal-Mart are not Raytown residents as well. That being said, I dont think Raytown is any less safe as when the Walmart was in its old location where the Sutherlands is now. The only difference I can think of would be if the old Walmart was a 24 hour store or not. I don't recall. As far as a grocery store of any kind going into the green space, I think we can do better. People here dog Chris Merrill, but at least he is coming up with alternative ideas. If we are going to city hall with complaints, we should also be coming up with solutions. We put them in office, they are there to listen to us. If they dont, then we get what happened this week.

I really like the idea of using some of the green space for a farmers market. The city could charge a nominal fee for booth space and use the money to offset some of the maintenance costs for the green space. This would draw people into downtown on the weekends and also encourage more people to start their own gardens. Overland Park has a farmers market downtown and it is well attended. Im ok with using some of the green space for some small shops, mabey plant some trees, and put out some benches. There are lots of things we could do with the space. I just think we could do a lot better than a grocery store.

Unfortunately, I think the city council is set on making the Walmart store happen. I spent all day at a polling place for Jason Greene. I had conversations with several aldermen throughout the day. They were all giddy about the petition that is out against the Walmart grocery store and happy that some of the new aldermen had signed the petition. They think that if you signed the petition that you have to recuse yourself and will not be able to vote on it and they will be able to push it thru, even though we voted new people in to try and stop it. They mentioned getting lawyers involved. Im just wondering why they are plotting and trying so hard to make this happen, but in a public forum, they say nothing is set in stone?

Anonymous said...

Chris, the comments about Aldermen currently holding seats being giddy about newly elected officials signing off on a petition shows how ignorant they are of state law.

It takes six of ten Aldermen to approve zoning for Walmart.

If three of those votes are invalidated it still take six aldermen to approve the zoning.

In fact, the three votes invalidated (which I seriously doubt is a real issue) are technically "no" votes because they cannot be counted in the affirmative.

It amazes me that any one of the current Board would spout such nonsense. All of them have served at least one term (four years) and, if you statements are true, they still have not figured out the rules that govern how they make laws in a fourth class city.

Anonymous said...

By the way, you are right. Chris Merrill has some damned good ideas. He knows how to think outside of the box (pardon the pun!).

Let's hope the BOA can do the same. Walmart in Downtown Raytown will be a blight on our town.

Anonymous said...

None of the three newly elected alderman signed the petition. That is a FACT. Even though they may be against the new Wal-Mart.

Anonymous said...

Funny I spoke to the baker and she made it clear that in fact one of the candlestick makers had signed the petition.

It seems at a BOA meeting he did a 180 and told the baker he was going to take the roll of the butcher and move is name from the petition of fame.

So rub-a-dub-dub we have one who is already pulling the wool over our eyes

Anonymous said...

If someone wants to play a game of rhymes, then let me play as well.
Rub-a dub-dub, 10 aldermen in a tub. With Mayor Bower they thought they could tower over the citizens of this town.
I’m tired of rhymes…..
Even if the newly elected aldermen signed a petition, so what? Do these incumbents think they can silence a vote? Do they really think they are going to lawyer up and stop them? News flash, THEY WEREN’T EVEN ALDERMEN AT THE TIME IF THEY EVEN SIGNED! Ever heard of the 1st Amendment?
I hope the BOA tries to stop these new guys, if they do they don’t have any legal ground to stand on and will bring even more embarrassment to themselves, but sadly to this town.
I will be paying close attention to what happens with how the current BOA treats these new members. It sounds like to me that we need to have a completely new board with this childish remarks and ignorance of state law.

Anonymous said...



This false issue that newly elected Aldermen cannot vote yes or no on the controversial Walmart issue because these new Aldermen may have signed a protest petition may result in a Federal criminal investigation. If current members of the Raytown Board of Alderman intimidated voters at the April 2 election through false representation of this situation this will be referred to the U.S. Justice Department.

Raytown voters and candidates have a right to exercise their rights expressed in the United States Constitution. Local tin-horn politicians should beware.

Anonymous said...

this is great same story 20 years later, or is 50, if its not Frank it Hall or Ross. Its always about what has happened. 3 new bodies on the thankless BOA, they cant do anything, they cant change anything. The rest wont trust them or even talk to them for the first 6 months.

Blame it a who ever but you have to show up and vote to change it and the one fact that never changes is that the people in Raytown don't Vote

Anonymous said...

Steve Guenther is an honest, hard working man who has stepped up and made Raytown a better place. He is a professional who has donated literally thousands of hours to the City. He is the President of the Raytown Main Street Association. A group that has gained area wide recognition for the design of a sustainable Downtown Raytown.

Shame on you for celebrating his ill treatment by the Mayor.

Jody Smith said...

This site is full of haters and people who don't even have the facts! And they don't even put their names on the site, they are such chickens. I think that alone shows ignorance.

The donut lady is nuts! I wouldn't go back in there and take the abuse she's putting out for anything. She ought to read the reviews on line on Yelp and Urbanspoon she's getting ripped.

The brown space (its ridiculous to call it green space) was bought (during Sue Frank's time) to be sold for a lot of money from the taxpayers. Which Frank could not make happen during her tenure but she beats on it now. And she was in office during good economic times. Her letter was full of misinformation.

I don't know how Greg Walters who is just a person who couldn't win his election so he decided to hate on everyone in office, says the city could have saved the Y is crazy. They only knew for a few days, to save the Y it would need to go to a vote of the people for a tax increase. You can't make that happen even in a few weeks. You should be mad at the Y not the city. Markley knew ahead of time too but also kept confidential but he isn't ever mentioned and the school was not willing to put up any money and they use it the most! He said so in the meeting he held.

And why should the city come on this site? You are just angry ignorant people who think the city can just make money but don't want to pay any more in taxes.

I'm sure you'll find some more hate in your heart to beat on this post, its what you do....have you signed up to volunteer for a board or commission at the city? I doubt it.

Jody Smith said...

Main Street has not gained area wide recognition. They haven't made anything happen Downtown. They have a plan from a developer that didn't even think it would work. And you'll notice he didn't develop. Sue Frank, Steve Guenther and their gang couldn't make it work during good economic times and that space has sat empty....you guys want to blame the current elected officials but Guenther and Frank put the city through all types of hoops to get a bridal store, the city put money into it and what happened it went bust, couldn't even get financing and again that was in good times.

Chris Rathbone said...

What other facts do we need? Im pretty sure the more facts we do get, the worse it will look. All the board is doing is trying to distract us from the real problems. Were there problems under the last Mayor? Definitely, but things have continued downward under our current Mayor's leadership.

Mabey if city hall were more open and less deceptive, the citizens would not be so up in arms.
The BOA votes to let Sharma continue to live outside the city limits and then gives him a $30,000raise. That is unacceptable in my opinion, or does my opinion not count, since apparently I am one of those angry ignorant people that just dont want to pay taxes.

I dont mind paying my fair share of taxes, I just want to make sure the big busineses in this city are also paying their fair share. The residents and small busineses of this town shouldnt have to take on more than they should because of a huge TIF given to a big business. Yes, I know this happened under Frank, so you dont need to remind me.

Some citizens hear rumors that a new store is going in downtown and they go to city hall to find out. Instead of being open about it, we find out later that lies were told, and that has been proven.
Why would anyone want to volunteer for a board when they see how business is done?. Volunteer for years and when you express an opinion that differs from the Mayor's he gives you the boot. The Mayor is running this town like a dictatorship. He allows you to come to meetings and speak, but you cant ask questions. If you question the city you are branded crazy and God forbid you own a business here in Raytown and speak out. His lackeys will post all kinds of junk about you to try to run you off too. It is just sickening.

Mabey the new guys we voted in can make some kind of change, but I have a feeling we will have to wait another 2 years for that to happen.

Anonymous said...

I am thankful we have Steve Mock on the BOA. If you want my opinion he should also be over city codes.

Elisa Breitenbach said...

Greg Thanks For This Blog! You Have Done A Great Job! Next Sat. at 9:00 A.M. we will need drivers and walkers to help get the word out to everyones door in Raytown. Even if someone can only do one block with us driving or walking, they will be part of Raytowns History. Join in the fun of taking a stand and showing your LOVE for Downtown Raytown!

Anonymous said...

Quit trying to turn Walmart into a personality issue.

David Bower was a BIG supporter of the Main Street Coalition until all the businessmen in that group decided not to do his bidding. His response. Kick the president of their group off the BZA.

The bad behavior here is someone trying to force a bad development on Raytown taxpayers.

I am proud of the Main Street Group for having the nerve to stand up for what is right.

You should be too.

Anonymous said...

It is not an allegation. The attached letter is proof that Bower was actively negotiating with representatives of Walmart back in December. If you read the whole letter carefully you will see that an earlier meeting is referenced in November.

I am not sure if any of the BOA new of these negotiations. My gut feeling is that most of them found out much, much later.

Plain and simple. The Mayor was caught doing end runs around the public and probably some of his own alderman.

A sad state of affairs.

Please go to Thursday night's meeting and let your voice be heard.

Anonymous said...
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