Friday, April 19, 2013

You have to watch this! The art form is called Shadow Dancing. The name of this performance is "Love Story". 


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Planning and Zoning Defer Final Decision on Walmart Until May 2nd 

Planning and Zoning Commissioners listen to Citizen input at Thursday night's meeting.

The Raytown Planning and Zoning Commission has carried over its final recommendation on the controversial Walmart Grocery Store planed for Downtown Raytown until a meeting scheduled for May 2nd.

Over 100 people packed the Raytown City Council Chambers to participate in five hours of testimony and discussion between the public, city officials and representatives of the retail giant. Seventeen speakers from the public came forward. All were in opposition to allowing design standards to be changed in Downtown Raytown.

Prior to its decision to carry over the issue, the eight members of the Planning and Voting Commission deadlocked on a motion to deny the application from Walmart in a four to four tie vote. Raytown P and Z rules allow the Chairman to vote on all issues.

In its motion to carry the item over until February 2nd the Commission included three stipulations for Walmart representatives to take back to Bentonville (Walmart's world headquarters) for an answer.

Those stipulations are:
  •  24 hour operation would not be allowed
  • Design plans for three ten foot monument signs must be scaled back to meet city regulations (about half the size of those suggested by Walmart)
  • A planned parking area on 63rd Street that would replace approximately one-third of the street with a parking lot would be scrapped
The Planning and Zoning Commission is expected to make its final decision at the Thursday, May 2nd meeting. The meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. and is open to the public.

The Planning and  Zonging Commission final recommendation will be forwarded to the Raytown City Council for review. The City Council will consider the issue at two separate meetings. Public comment will be taken at both meetings.

The City Council is not bound by the Planning and Zoning recommendation.

All meetings are held at Raytown City Hall. The meetings are open to the public and public comment will be allowed.
  • PLANNING AND ZONING, Thursday, May 2nd, 7:00 p.m.
  • RAYTOWN CITY COUNCIL, Tuesday, May 7th, 7:00 p.m.
  • RAYTOWN CITY COUNCIL, Tuesday, May 21st, 7:00 p.m.
To learn more details about the proposed Walmart Store in Downtown Raytown use this link Downtown Raytown

“Smoking Gun” Letter BY GREG WALTERS

Opponents to a 40,000 square foot Walmart grocery store in Downtown Raytown have uncovered a “smoking gun” letter that shows how long city officials have been negotiating with Walmart representatives.

In a four page letter dated February 7th, Mark S. Bryant, an attorney with the law firm of White Goss BowersMarch Schultz and Weisnfels wrote:

“As a result, Wal-Mart prepared multiple revise sketch plans in an effort to incorporate the initial comments and, on December 7, 2012, Jeff Clayton, Rick Rohlfing (via teleconference) and I met with you and Mayor Bower to discuss alternatives. During this meeting, Rick Rohlfing and BFA, Inc. explained in detail, the pros and cons of 6 different plans prepared since the November 28th meeting." 

The letter was obtained by Elisa Breitenbach, owner of Doughboys Donut Shop.

The significance of the letter is that Mayor Bower participated in a meeting on December 7th to discuss design plans for Walmart. Yet, as late as mid-February Mayor Bower and other city officials routinely denied that the retail giant could be identified as the party interested in the green space.

In fairness to all of the Board of Aldermen it is possible that some were unaware of Mayor Bower’s participation in the December 7th meeting. If that is the case, if some members were left out of the loop of information at City Hall, then there are some serious problems with the politics at City Hall.

Such a scenario suggests that on a Board of equals, some members are more equal than other members.

Which brings us to this point: How can elected officials be trusted to put the public’s concerns first if they are not privilege to all the information on an issue?

For instance, many Raytowners are concerned about the possibility of a 24 hour operation if Walmart were to open a grocery store Downtown. Yet in the four page letter from Mark Bryant to the City, the subject is not even broached.

Though topics such as the size of the parking lot, the type of lighting to be used, how much space is needed for tractor trailer trucks to make deliveries, which trees will be allowed to be remain standing, how rooftops air conditioners will be screened from view, the status of a proposed drive-thru pharmacy and so forth are covered. 

Everything except the hours of operation is addressed. Yet, this is a subject that the public has brought to members of the Board of Aldermen as a serious concern.

The viewpoint of Walmart is very clear. In his closing sentence Mr. Bryant wrote:

“Further, since a Walmart Neighborhood Market is not compatible with the duly adopted Town Overlay District or the Central Business District Design Guidelines, Walmart requests that the Planning Commission and Board of Aldermen adopt a Planned Zoning Overlay District so your professional staff, Planning Commission and Board of Aldermen have latitude and flexibility with respect to location of buildings, structures, roads, drives, open spaces and uses.” 

Translated that means Walmart will be exempted from the design standards adopted by the City for Downtown Raytown. Those standards were our guarantee that we would have a pedestrian and user-friendly environment in Downtown Raytown. 

To exempt a retail giant from those rules is a mistake. It is a betrayal of the trust the public established when the Board of Aldermen  adopted design standards for Downtown Raytown. 

It is a promise that should not be broken.

Thursday, April 25th, at 7:00 p.m. at Raytown City Hall the first of three public meetings on this topic will be held at the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting. The public is invited to testify at this meeting. So come prepared to have your say on this important subject about the future of Downtown Raytown.

Greg Walters
How Can You Help?
Walmart is a worldwide corporation that is used to getting its way. The final say on whether or not Downtown Raytown will exist as a sensible, planned, user-friendly environment Raytowners can enjoy rests with the Raytown Board of Aldermen.  

The Raytown Main Street Association has come out in opposition to the Walmart plan for Downtown Raytown. To learn more about this important organization of local business owners and why they are opposed to the development use the following link:


To learn more about how you can help local businesses and your neighbors in this important issue for Downtown Raytown use the following link:


Paul Livius
The Paul Livius Report
Raytown Board of Aldermen Meeting – April 16, 2013

The invocation was given by Michael Stephens of the Southwood United Church of Christ.

The Mayor thanked Michael Lightfoot for his service as Mayor Pro Tem.

The city clerk administered the oath to Thomas Greer, a newly hired Police Officer.  Chief Jim Lynch said Officer Greer was a graduate of Raytown South High School.

Phyllis Goforth and Pam Clark thanked the Board for their support in making the Raytown Egg Extravaganza a success this year.

Richard Tush told the Board it is important for them to move Raytown forward and bring about businesses that provide additional stability to our community, not only with increases in sales tax, but also strengthen the values of a family oriented community.  The issues of family values and moving Raytown forward in a positive manner doesn’t end with the closing of the YMCA.  It goes to the discussions of the Board regarding the addition of a pawn shop and tattoo parlor in Raytown.  He asked the Board to take a step back and reflect on the type of community they want their own families to grow up in.  He requested they put the two resolutions on hold and review what other cities in Jackson County have done for family values by limiting distances between pawn shops and tattoo parlors as well as the overall number in the community, based on the population of the community.  Lee’s Summit requires 5,280 feet between these businesses.  Blue Springs limits the business to one for every 4,500 people.

The Board passed a resolution amending the schedule of fees and charges for the City of Raytown.  Alderman Van Buskirk said he was concerned that the EMS fees for both residents and non-residents had increased from the previous week.  He said there was still a severe problem with bad debt in the EMS department.  He has been told for several years they were working on the problem and it continues to get worse.  He was not in favor of the large fee increases.

The Board passed an ordinance granting a conditional use permit to operate a pawn shop at 8834 East Highway 350.  Jon Michael Tyson on behalf of the property owner Marilyn Kay Green is seeking approval of a conditional use permit application.  Alderman Ertz asked if Raytown had limits for pawn shops by population.  Mr. Benson said there are currently no limits.  Alderman Lightfoot asked if the owner of the pawn shop still agreed to not deal in payday loans, title loans, and sell firearms.  Mr. Benson said that was correct.  Alderman Van Buskirk said the Grand Prix Go Cart would be opening close to the pawn shop.  The Grand Prix will be attracting young people and he was concerned about the pawn shop being so close.

The Board passed an ordinance granting a conditional use permit to operate a tattoo business at 8910 East 63rd.  During the public hearing, Chris Rathbone said he had no concerns about a tattoo parlor being in Raytown.  Khadijah Hardaway said she was the owner of Lasting Impressions Salon and she was against a tattoo parlor being in the proposed location.  She has many elderly and young clients.  The building has to use common bathroom facilities.  She is also concerned about increased crime and drug activity that will be in the area, drawn by the tattoo parlor.

The Board passed a resolution authorizing an agreement with A and A Concrete Company for the 2013 concrete repair project in the amount of $110,000. Alderman Emerson said she had been up and down a lot of streets in Ward 3 lately.  Hunter Terrace is the worst street in her district.  She said it was like a washboard.  She also said Willow has a sink hole in it.  She wanted to know why the majority of the work was being done on the south side of Raytown and the rest of the city was ignored.  Mr. Noll said the south side has the most curbs and sidewalks, so that area gets the majority of the concrete work.

The Board passed a resolution authorizing the repair of the wastewater and storm water infrastructure in Raytown, in the amount of $62,337.00.

A full house greeted new Board.
The Board heard a resolution appointing Christine White to a vacant term on the Board of Zoning Adjustment. Alderman Mock said there were three new members on the Board and they hadn’t had time to know what was going on with the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA).  Alderman Ertz reminded the Board that Ms. White had been on the BZA before, and she stepped down because she thought other people should be given a chance to serve.   

Alderman Josh Greene said they would like time to review the information before voting.  He suggested the vote be delayed until May 7.  The Mayor said there was no reason to delay the vote.  He indicated the majority of the Board members knew Ms. White and could make the decision.  Alderman Jason Green cited the city ordinance that stated Aldermen have the right to conduct interviews with applicants.  He moved the vote be delayed until May 7.  That motion passed by a vote of eight to two. Alderman Pat Ertz and Alderman Charlotte Melson voted against the motion.

The meeting was adjourned.

New Aldermen Take Oath of Office
A Council Chamber packed to over-flowing were on hand last Tuesday night when three new Aldermen took their oath of office. Pictured at left at Ward 1 Alderman Josh Greene, Ward 2 Alderman Jason Greene, and Ward 3 Alderman Janet  Emerson.

Prescription Drug Take Back Event 
Public Water Supply District No. 2 of Jackson County and the Raytown Police Department are sponsoring a Prescription Drug Take-Back Event on April 27, 2013, at Apple Market on 75th & Raytown Road and the City Hall Parking Lot at 10000 E 59th Street. The public may drop off outdated prescription drugs from 10:00 AM to  2:00 PM.

Six Life Lessons I Learned From My Dogs BY KRISTEN
This week in celebration of Fit Bottomed Pets’ Week, each FBG is writing about her experience with pets and how they make us healthier, happier and generally more awesome.  My dogs, Rudi and Hollie, didn’t exactly pass their obedience classes with flying colors, but when it comes to living life to the fullest, well, they… Continue reading

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Elisa Breitenbach said...

The "Smoking Gun" Letter is GREAT but did the City change the 25 meeting to the 23?

Greg Walters said...

Thank you, Elisa.

The correct date Thursday, April 25th for the Planning and Zoning meeting.

The correction has been made.

The mistake got past both Paul and I. Which is unusual because Paul edits everything I write. Usually does a fantastic job at it too.

Just goes to show you cannot be too careful.

Just goes to show

Andy Whiteman said...

Why is it that big businesses think they can dictate city zoning? From the attitute of the letter it seems that Walmart is being asked to locate in Raytown rather than Walmart's requesting a permit as it should be. The cart is runing the horse.

Since the Walmart Neighborhood Market is not compatible with the Town Overlay District they should seek a location elsewhere.

I ask again how much is under the table and to whom?

An afformentioned city official should be replaced at the next election.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Looks like a nice building and parking lot over at center 63 and what do you know it is already zoned to meet the needs.

What a way to fix a big problem and stop the debate.

Anonymous said...

Center 63
Shopping center at 5200 BRB
Empty lot at 51st and BRB-was supposed to be a Walgreens I believe
The old MAACO body shop at 59th and Raytown Trafficway
OOOOR, why not the YMCA

All would be better locations for the Walmart Market. All locations would have better visability and easyer access for traffic and truck routes.

Anonymous said...

Officials at City Hall claim they don't read this blog, but I noticed they corrected the spelling of rabies after Paul pointed it out. Hmmm.......

Anonymous said...

PLEASE answer this question for me. When did the Main Street Association stat telling us what can and can not be put downtown? What authority do they have? I believe again this was something Former Mayor Sue Frank started. I don't believe they have any say so as to what goesin downtown. AGAIN PLEASE answer my question.... Also is Neal Clevenger on this association board and if so why????

Anonymous said...

You know blaming Sue Frank for Bower's faults is like blaming George Bush for Obama's.

Why don't you guys get off the personality attacks and talk about the business at hand.

Is Walmart good for Raytown. No, there is a lot evidence that says it costs the city thousands and thousands in tax dollars for all the tifs and tax giveaways created for Walmart.

How about downtown Raytown. I cannot think of anything more hayseed than people pointing to an ugly box store and saying, "see we're uptown. We have a brand new Walmart and everything Downtown."

Anonymous said...

There is a reason people are afraid to go to Walmart at night. It is not safe.

Here are some safety tips for when shopping at Walmart.

Park in a well lighted area as close to the store as possible.

When you park your car, DO NOT put anything in the trunk. And for heaven's sake do not leave anything in clear view of the windows. More than likely you are being watched.

It only takes a couple of seconds to jack open a trunk with a crow bar or smash a window to "smash and grab" someone's property.

When you leave the store to go back to your car, look around.

Criminal types look for potential victims who are isolated and burdened with bags of merchandise.

Now ask yourself. Do you want this shopping experience in Downtown Raytown?

Anonymous said...

Mayor Bower. Please believe me when I write that I will not support you for re-election in two years.

To the BOA members up in two years. Please listen to the people. We are many and not forgetful. We are asking for your help.

Please do not turn your back on us.

Pat Casady said...

If it is true that Mayor Bower knew about the
Wal-Mart deal, then shame on him for not telling
the truth. When an elected official lies to the
very people he or she is supposed to represent
and especially in this towns highest office, they
should step down. We don't need liars running our
I was for the new grocery store but, at a scaled
down version. Now who can you trust? This deal
may already be done! I suggest we all e-mail
Wal-Mart and simply state, WE DON'T WANT YOUR
Elisa, if you can please send Wal-Mart the number
of names you have on your petition.
On a day we remember when the Nissan and Mitsubishi
planes bombed Pearl Harbor Dec. 7th, our mayor and
some other elected officials may
have torpedoed the people of Raytown.
I proudly sign this letter as a business and
property owner in this great town of Raytown.

Pat Casady said...

To Anonymous 5:00,
Get your facts straight!
Sue Frank did NOT start the Main Street Association!
It was started by a good man wanting the best for
this town. I will not post his name without permission.
It is made up of downtown business owners. It was
and is a group of people trying to make this town
a better place. City Hall has nothing to do with
the Main Street group other than to listen to some
ideas, (NOT Orders) the group may come up with.
Truth be told, as I see it, this group of Raytown
business and property owners are the best thing that
the people of Raytown could hope for.
It makes more since to have a number of small stores
in the downtown than one big one.
Putting a big store in the middle of this small town
is like having a huge boil on your thumb. There is no
room for anything else.
Let's face it. When Wal-Mart has used a town up, they
move on. In the future it would be easier to unload
a small building than a huge one.
Did I like everything Sue Frank did as mayor? No!
But, she never lied. She was a straight shooter.
Her City Administrator......that's a different story.

Anonymous said...

The mayor knew about Wal-Mart last June. He was at Summerfest telling anyone who would listen that Wal-Mart was coming to that spot and they had to find another before next year.

Anonymous said...

How do we impeach the Mayor

Elisa Breitenbach said...

Pat we have a Little Wal-Mart Spy who drops in our Donut Shop from time to time. He is also a Little Blogger from time to time on here. He loves our apple fritters. He is also over 8 Wal-Mart Stores Security. He was in Saturday with his daughter. He looked at our petition and even thumbed through our clip board to see how many we have. We are having them typed up. Each page we finish we take off to be typed. They (Wal-Mart) are in for a huge shock from Raytown. Most of the people that live & work in this 10 Sq. Mile City will NOT Support Any More Wal-Mart. The people here are not going to put up with anymore big or little bully. If Wal-Mart was smart they would back off Raytown before these next two meetings. I am sure we will have Media at both meetings and I am sure Wal-Mart will be sorry they ever messed with Raytown. Our City Officials are in for the meetings of their lives! What I respect about you Pat is you tell it as you see it. Wal-Mart will see our petition on TV SOON VERY SOON AND I WILL SO ENJOY IT!

Andy Whiteman said...

WalMart grocery would not be an issue in another location, such as the old Sav-A-Lot location provided they use their own venture capitol and don't ask for a TIF.

Elisa Breitenbach, in view of the spy issue I suggest you keep the signed pages in a secure location not in public view. They could suddenly dissapear. Ay least you got a new customer!

Andy Whiteman

Elisa Breitenbach said...

I sure hope everyone makes the meeting Thursday Night. I have been told the Mayor will be at it. This could be a great chance to talk to him:)

Anonymous said...

This mayor has to go! He questioned the reason why one of the new alderman wanted to wait and vote on the Christine White appointment, it's none of his business and was out of order. I felt very satisfied when Greene cited an ordience to shut him down. I am so tired of this man's bully tactics, maybe one of these new aldermen can run for mayor in two years and get him out of dodge!

Just Wondering said...

Can anyone explain to me why none of the aldermen are speaking out on the controversial proposed Walmart Store downtown? It would seem to me that they would want to increase discussion of this important issue. If not here, they could send a letter to the Raytown Times or that other website in Raytown.

It just doesn't make sense that they are not participating in the dicussion.

Anonymous said...

The Aldermen won't talk about it because they take thier orders from Bower and have already decided they are going to approve it, but don't want the citizens to know it until it happens.

Anonymous said...

Then we have to convince them of the error in their ways. There is no doubt that Bower has his votes on the BOA. But I do not believe he controls a majority of the Board.

I read that he is frantically trying to get his few remaining friends to come to the meeting to speak in favor of Walmart.

Let's see how successful he is. Like the last election the numbers will tell the story more effectively than all the spinning in the world.

I see Michael Downing is showing his true colors. His website has published the city's bureaucratic recommendation of approval of Walmart.

Wait to go Michael. I am sure the Mayor will pat you on the head for your help!

To make it work they literally have to trash all the recommendations of past BOA's on the planned commercial district for Downtown Raytown.

The hypocrisy at city hall literally oozes out of the building!

Anonymous said...

How do You Impeach a Mayor?

Glad you asked...
Sometimes people decide to have their Mayor
impeached when they think that they are not
doing a good job. To do this really depends
on the laws in that area as each may be different.
The first step is to start a petition. Once
it is signed you can then submit it.

Then again, this answer might help you...
You can impeach your Mayor by bringing up
an accusation against him to the city council.
Then the city council votes to impeach.
When the Mayor fights it, the courts have to
decide if the evidence is sufficient.

Anonymous said...

We must keep in mind the only other candidate who ran for Mayor at the last election!

Andy Whiteman said...

8:09AM, That is why Bower had my support in the last election. Hopefully a better person will oppose Bower. I am thinking of people such as Walters, Mock, Ertz, and VanBuskirk not mentioned in any particular order.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I hope you don't expect to much from the Planning and zoning board tonight. In the past I have watched them say NO and the city council goes ahead and votes yes anyway especially with this board. I hope these new alderman have the guts to vote for their constituents and not the mayor but don't hold your breath.

Andy Whiteman said...

Just read about the Lees Summit Walmart. Seems like it is also a violation of the open meetings act to have a re-vote after the public has left!

It seems Walmart intends to force their way in by any possible means. How much is under the table and to whom?
Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Count at last nights meeting was WRONG not over a hundred people Greg, only 97.

Greg Walters said...

The 97 count that was taken at the meeting was of Raytowners in the audience.

It did not include the eight members of the Planning and Zoning Commission or the city staff.

That places the actual number of participants at 111.

Either way, I think it is fair to say, as attested to by the photo accompanying our story, that the Council Chambers was full. The parking lot was overflowing with vehicles.

All in all, a good night for democracy in Raytown.

Andy Whiteman said...

As previously proven at the BOA, outraged citizens and meetings packed with these citizens get attention.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said " I hope these new alderman have the guts to vote for their constituents and not the mayor but don't hold your breath."

April 25, 2013 at 1:57 PM

I don't think you need to worry about the new guys, worry about the old guys.....

Anonymous said...

I was one of those 111 people at the p&z meeting last night and I was so glad that there were so many people there and that they were there to speak their minds. My concern is that there are some on that board that seem to not want to listen to those of us of us either for or against this application for Walmart. Some alderman were there but did not hear much from them as to how they feel about this thing.

There were at least 21 things walmart wanted to eliminate from the Designs standards that were put in place as ordinances years ago. My question is why should Raytown have to take less and why do we have to have another Walmart? OH, I forgot it's only Raytown. I do not understand our mayor either from the look on his face last night he could not understand why we do not want another Walmart or he had told walmart it would go through without any problems. Guess not Mr. Mayor but I pray the council does not do what he wants.

Anonymous said...

There are two kinds of elected officials.

One believes he was elected to vote the wishes of his people.

The other believes that he is enlightened because he was elected.

The first one will listen to what the people say.

The second one will hold the people in contempt because he knows so much more than those he represents.

What kind of Alderman do you have?

Anonymous said...


Has Sue been honest about that special deal for the police officers that Raytown will be paying for years to come that she got pushed through!

Anonymous said...

I would like to remind the mayor that we all live in a 4th class city.

With this being the case his job is to bring names to the Board of Alderman to fill positions on city boards and committee.

It is the Board of Alderman who actually get to decide to seat the individual who the mayor has requested to be appointed.

Therefore the Board of Alderman do not have to place Ms. White on any board or committee.

Maybe the next time the mayor is asked to support a charter he will decide it is what is best for Raytown.

However, this is the same man who thinks Wal-Mart is best for Raytown

Anonymous said...

I just heard that the 2 alderman from ward 4 are for the walmart in downtown if that is true then they have just lost my vote. How disappointing I thought they were smarter then that. I guess that are the kind that feel contempt for the people and feel entitled. neither one of them have spoken to my husband or me so how do they know what the people want if they don't asked.

Elisa Breitenbach said...

WOW Did everyone see the story on 41 today? They called it Raytown Planning & Zoning Maybe Split On The Wal-Mart Decision. The only lady that was for it at the meeting was on it.