Sunday, June 16, 2013



Want to watch something that will make you feel good?

Click on this link . . . TRAVIS PRATT



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. . . IT IS OFFICIAL . . .
WALMART WITHDRAWS APPLICATION

ENDS CONTRACT TO BUY GREEN SPACE IN RAYTOWN

City Administrator Mahesh Sharma read into the record a letter from representatives of Walmart, The Katz Law Firm, terminating an agreement for purchase of property from the City of Raytown.

The letter identified approximately a 3.78 acre tract of land commonly known as the Green Space in Downtown Raytown. It (the letter) was dated July 14, 2013 and delivered via Pro-Ex Courier to the city. 

Ward 3 Alderman Janet Emerson, whose ward abuts the Green Space, brought to the table discussion that would revert the zoning of the property to the Planned Development zoning prior to the Walmart application.

Mayor David Bower asked that Alderman Emerson bring the matter up as an agenda item at the next Board meeting on July 2nd.

Board members were also given a "corrected" copy of the agreement between Walmart and the City of Raytown in which operating hours of the store were included. The operating hours were left out of the original document provided members of the Board of Aldermen. 


TERMINATION LETTER OF WALMART PURCHASE AGREEMENT


BREAKING NEWS . . .


In the wake of news that Walmart has decided not to develop in Raytown comes a newscast on Fox News Channel 4 of plans for supporter of Walmart to gather petitions and make signs and banners in support of a Walmart development in Downtown Raytown.


The news reporter makes a point of stating that there has not been any definitive word from Walmart on its plans not to develop a store in Downtown Raytown.

Yet, the following news sources, the Kansas City Star, Channel 4, and Action News Channel 41 all carried stories announcing the decision by Walmart. The Raytown Report quoted city officials who confirmed the breaking news last Friday.

So, what exactly is going on?

It appears the Mayor, who was reported visibly shaken by the announcement, is trying to rally support for the Walmart development in Downtown Raytown.

On another front, opponents of the zoning change have discovered the ordinance signed by the Mayor, City Clerk and City Attorney does NOT include an amendment setting the hours for the Walmart Grocery Store in Downtown Raytown from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

According to the official minutes of the meeting the amendment to the zoning ordinance passed by a vote of 8 yes to 2 no. 

The document was obtained from City Hall through the Freedom of Information Act. 



GREG WALTERS
A Chance for Raytown to Move Forward BY GREG WALTERS
Chris Rathbone and some of his friends are anxious to make some positive changes to how the City of Raytown is governed.
They have taken the effort and time to educate themselves about Charter government in Missouri. They have touched base with the Jackson County Election Board and the Missouri Secretary of State’s office to make certain they are following the proper form needed to bring the issue before Raytown voters.
So far, eight private citizens have stepped up and filed petitions to place their name on the ballot to be a part of the process.
The only roadblock they have encountered has been at Raytown City Hall.
It has been reported that one of the petitioners, when filing to have their name placed on the ballot, was told by the City Clerk that the petition would not count. 
The City Clerk has since denied the encounter.
Whichever version of events is correct this much is known.
The reception received at City Hall was so negative that the person filing wondered if the petition should even be left at the City Clerk’s office.
It was that little showdown that convinced Rathbone to contact the Jackson County Election Board.
“The Election Board”, said Rathbone, “has been very helpful in answering questions we had about the process.”
According to information provided Rathbone from the Election Board Raytowners can expect to vote on the Charter question at the next municipal election.
Why the Disconnect?
The City Clerk may have done a disservice to the candidate filing for the Charter Commission. But the real damage manifests itself in the relationship between Raytown citizens and City Hall.
When a public official is rude, uncaring and unhelpful to the public, it only goes to underscore a feeling of distrust.
In this case, the recent debacle over the Walmart application for a store in Downtown Raytown is the root of the distrust.
The powers that be, whether it is city staff, members of the Board of Aldermen or the Mayor, did not grasp the enormity of the opposition to the Walmart application.
Early denials by elected officials as to the nature of the Walmart application turned out to be false. When written correspondence proved otherwise (see the following excerpt from the “smoking gun letter”), showing knowledge of the applicant as early as November -- Raytowners packed City Hall to capacity in opposition to the plan.


“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 Planning and Zoning Commission listened to them and agreed when they recommended the Walmart plan be denied. 
Despite the recommendation and the overwhelming testimony from the public in opposition to the Walmart plan, the Board approved it. Many People feel their wishes were ignored by those they elected to represent them. 
The fact that a fund has been established that has already raised more than $30,000 to take their fight to Court underscores the public’s resolve. 
City leaders have wasted a lot of political capital in on the Walmart debacle. In its wake city officials have seen their credibility erode. That foundation of trust needed for real leadership will be hard to rebuild.  
That task has fallen on the shoulders of private citizens like Chris Rathbone. 
Chris Rathbone and his friends have taken a positive step for Raytown’s future. Community leaders should embrace this opportunity. 


PAUL LIVIUS
City Hall’s Problem . . . Credibility BY PAUL LIVIUS
The announcement that Walmart was removing itself from consideration on the zoning application last Friday came as a surprise to many. The message, which has since been confirmed by City Hall officials, is accepted with a sigh of relief by many Raytowners who were opposed to the Walmart planned for Downtown Raytown.
Now it is time for City Hall to make amends and move forward.
But it doesn’t look likely to happen.
In the wake of the announcement came news stories that showed some Raytown officials making unsubstantiated claims and Pollyanna like posturing.
The Kansas City Star said Raytown’s Public Information Officer Brenda Gustafson indicated there may still be a way for the city and the retailer to work something out.
Ward 3 Alderman Charlotte Melson told Zach Tecklenberg of 41 Action News. 
"I think it was a very positive step for the community, a very positive step for the business community able to bring something down here to this green space, that really concerns me as a resident, and also as an alderman," she said. "There were a lot of vocal people at our meetings, which ran until the wee hours of the morning, but there was also a lot of positive people that didn't come to those meetings."
Oh, really, Charlotte?!!!
  
Did the vocal forces of evil stop the “positive people” of Raytown from attending over 20 hours of public hearings?
And Brenda, that is some interesting news. They might be able to work something out with the City?
How about some detail? I thought that was what a Public Information Officer was all about.
Your comment re-enforces my belief that Raytown City Hall’s standard operating procedure is one of secrets best kept away from the public.


FIT BOTTOMED GIRLS
Have You Had Your Skin Checked Lately? BY ERIN

I’m super conscious of skin health. For the past 10 years, I’ve been slathering on the sunscreen like a wildebeest (a wildebeest who wears sunscreen, obviously), and I get seriously pissed if I accidentally get a sunburn. It helps that my husband is actually allergic to sun—if he gets too much exposure, he starts itching… Continue reading

Mid-Continent Public Library Events
One of Raytown’s best kept secrets are the educational services and entertainment offered at our local library. There is something for everyone on the agenda. So check it out and take advantage of one of Raytown’s gems.

June 20, 2013, Thursday at 6:30 PM - (For teens)
Teen Movie Night Come together with friends for popcorn and a movie. Registration is required.

June 25, 2013, Tuesday at 7:00 PM - (For adults)
Summertime Salads No picnic is complete without a tasty salad. This class will explain the different types of salads and include demonstration of a grilled vegetable salad and a fruit salad. Handouts and recipes available. Registration is required.

June 26, 2013, Wednesday at 10:00 AM - (Ages 2 and up)
Mr. Michael's Kidz in Motion It's never too early to start having fun with fitness. Mr. Michael uses music and various forms of dance and acrobatics to instruct and enhance each child's development. Recommended for ages 2 - 5. Registration is required.


Raytown Democratic Association Meeting Notice

The Raytown Democratic Association will hold its monthly meeting on Thursday, June 20th, 2013 at 7:00 PM at Las Chili's, 6210 Raytown Trafficway.The guest speaker this month will be Scott Burnett, Jackson County Legislator, 1st District, and Jean Peters Baker, Jackson County Prosecutor.

Mark This Date on Your Calendar

Saturday, June 22nd, from Noon to 2:00 p.m. the Annual RDA Picnic Fundraiser will be held at C. Lee Kenagy Park located at 79th and Raytown Road (79th Street entrance). Tickets are $10 per meal plate. 

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54 comments:

Richard Tush said...

If Raytown is to have a Charter form of government then first the idea needs to be brought to the people in an open process. This allows for large diversity of citizens to be on the Charter commission and end history the past three failed Charter attempts that ended as we all know in frailer because select groups wanted to control the Charter and not work with all to “Move Raytown Forward”. Until we learn from our past mistake, we will not see a Charter pass. I therefore wish the best to this group, but hope they slow down and start reaching out to other key players in the city so that this Charter passes.

The process all so needs to be reviewed so that the timing of corresponding elections will bring out the people and provide us with enough votes to pass a Charter.

With this being the case now is the time to inform the public about the steps need to be taken and the positive things a Charter can do for the city.

I understand the Charter Commission only has one year to bring back to the voters the Charter for them to vote on for approval.

If that is true, we need a special election this November so that next November when people go to vote for the county officials and State Representatives that we will have a large enough population at the polls to pass a Charter.


Andy Whiteman said...

Did the private citizen who filed to place his/her name on the ballot ask the City Clerk why it wouldn't be counted? There may have been a valid reason.

Maybe anyone filing a document at City Hall needs to take a witness or be recording the conversation.

Greg said, "That foundation of trust needed for real leadership will be hard to rebuild." I disagree with my 2 opinions:
1) To me that trust will NEVER be rebuilt and in the case of certain individuals the trust has been long gone!
2) There are citizens who will forget this in 2 years while there are many other citizens (nearly 80%) who don't care and don't vote.

Andy Whiteman

Chris Rathbone said...

I agree with you 100% Richard. I have spoken with quite a few people the last couple of weeks, trying to build bridges, and also try and dispel some rumors that have been going around.

It has been said that we have some kind of agenda and are unwilling to work with anyone else. This is far from the truth. We do have an agenda, that part is true. It is to empower the people of Raytown, but to say we won't work with anyone else is a lie. I would be stupid to think that myself, and a few friends know what is best for all the citizens of Raytown. Before we even printed up the petitions, we approached quite a few people to see if they wanted to help circulate petitions, and have their name on the ballot for Charter Commission. Some wanted to, and some did not, for various reasons, but all of them were supportive of this cause. I have been in contact with some other "key players" in Raytown and we all agree we need to get the word out about this. We need maximum participation to get a quality document that Raytown can be proud of, and the voters will vote for.

I spoke with Tammy Brown at the Election board last week and she told me they were almost finished certifying the petitions and they would mail them back to the City Clerk when they were done. As soon as Teresa Henry receives the certified copies, the city will lay out the process to go forward. I was led to believe that Teresa should have the petitions back by last Friday, but I have not heard back from the Election Board yet to see if they were finished. I will contact Tammy Brown tomorrow to find out.

I will be working with others to get the word out on how they can help with this, as soon as I find out how the city is going to proceed. For example, the City may not require anyone from here on out to submit a petition. We will have to see. If I don't get a satisfactory response from the City soon, the only recourse we have is to go thru the Secretary of State. Hopefully this will go smoothly, but so far the encounters I have had with the City Clerk have been less than friendly.

I also agree that there has to be some strategy as far as to when the elections are held. The Election Board is supposed to be speaking with their attorney to see if this will be placed on the ballot this November, or next April. They have not been able to give me a definite answer on that yet. You are correct, from the time the Charter Commission Board is elected, we have one year to submit a charter to the voters.

If you like, please email me your # and I would be very happy to speak to you or anyone else about this. I prefer you to use this email: crathbone78@yahoo.com

Chris Rathbone said...

Andy,
The City Clerk said that none of the individual's petitions to get their name's on the ballot would be counted because there had to be a vote to go forward with the charter commission before anyone's name would be placed on a ballot.

This is not correct and the Missouri Constitution clearly states that the question will appear on the ballot along with the candidate's for the charter commission.

It appears that the election board had a talk with the City Clerk, and the next time I spoke with her, she denied telling anyone that their petition would not count.

Chris Merrill, proud Raytown citizen said...

Chris Rathbone, Janet Emerson, Lisa Emerson, and any others that have petitioned for office in the new charter. Maybe you should think about going to the Democratic meeting with Richard Tush. This charter cannot be all REPUBLICAN. It is going to need a mix of Democrat and Republican support to be successful. Lets all work together to get this done, for the good of RAYTOWN.

Anonymous said...

The people in Raytown who stood up to the Wal-Mart ripoff are to be congratulated. It is heartening to, once in a while, see the will of the people fulfilled.


As for those on the city council who voted for the WalMart giveaway, all I can say is this: "Your job, as an elected official, is to ahere to what the people want, not what you want."

Most troubling in the matter is why Mayor Bower was so adamant that we give in to WalMart's demands. Tt just doesn't make sense. I would hope our Mayor makes a statement explaining his unusual behavior in tis whole affair.

Congratulations, again, to the Residents of Raytown.

Just wondering

Pat Casady said...

To Mr. Rathbone,
While it is important to work with others meaning some
elected officials, I urge you to move with caution. As we
have seen in the past, some elected officials and friends
of elected officials will tell you what they think you want
to here and then stab you in the back when the charter
is on the line.
The reason is, the charter will probably hold them accountable
for their actions. They don’t want anything to do with that.
They are quite comfortable making decisions behind closed
doors in their “Executive Meetings.” I am convinced that
the open meetings are just window dressing for the people.
The decisions are made in the Executive Meetings away
from the people.
I think you have already seen how warmly City Hall is willing
to work with you. I wish you and the “good” people that get
on the charter board good luck I fear you may need it.

Anonymous said...

Chris Merrill,

I would argue that this is NOT a Democrat or Republican issue, it is a Raytown one. There are more perspectives than just an R or a D by the way. Secondly, I have seen those who have applied for the committee so far and I noticed local Republicans and Democrats on it, so get your facts straight.
It seems this "group" whatever you wish to call them has at least on this blog demonstrated their willingness to reach out.

Richard Tush said...

Greg,

I would like to see post that claim the RDA supported Republican candidates come down unless someone can offer proof that the RDA has in fact supported Republicans in city elections.

Anonymous said...

Shirley Whitman and the Wildwood Homes Associations supported both Aziere and Bower. She is (was?) head of the Wildwood Homes Associations and also a member of the RDA. There were several candidates that declared themselves to be Democrats that the RDA would not support. The RDA wouldn't even let the Democratic candidates speak before the RDA. They sure fell all over Aziere and Bower, though.

Anonymous said...

Would someone let me know when they hear of any new businesses planned for the downtown area? I am anxious to see what replaces the grocery store that wasn't.

KMCCLA said...

The Raytown Amateur Radio Club, K0GQ will be holding our annual ARRL Field Day, behind Raytown City Hall this weekend. We will begin at 1:00 PM, Saturday June 22, will operate until 1:00 PM Sunday June 23. We will have a GOTA station the public will be able to operate on, under the direction of licensed operator. Field Day is national event to promote amateur radio, and is national disaster drill to allow operators to set up in adverse conditions and operate for 24 hours. Come on out and see what amateur radio does for the community. K0GQ is one of the top operations, not only in the state of Missouri, and the region, but nationwide. Come on out ans support your local amateur radio club and see what we do for the community.

Kelly McClanahan/KC0KM

Truth Watch said...

Raytown be afraid be very afraid of your city elected officials and there hidden agenda.

Fox 4 reported tonight that the city has NOT received notification from Wal-Mart that the deal with the green space is truly over. In fact, Fox 4 reported that citizens, businesses and other in favor of a “Downtown Wal-Mart” are in the process of obtaining their own signs and banners showing their support for this corporate giant who has a well-known history of sucking the life out of small towns like ours and the unique business the cities are known for.

The Raytown Chamber has also been identified as sending out a survey to its members to get their take on the “Downtown Wal-Mart”. The concern expressed to me by one member was the fact that there was only one question, which was do you or don’t you support the effort to bring Wal-Mart to downtown. I would agree there are many more questions then just that one that must be answered before an organization like the Raytown Chamber picks a side in this fight. The Raytown Chamber also needs to look at its own history, which was original setup by three local business owners to support their and other local businesses. I don’t think if they were still with us today would see that a company the size of Wal-Mart ever fit into that plan. With that being the case, I question if the chamber can afford to infringing on the “Free Market”, by supporting this corporate giant and tell local business some of which as we all well know have a 73 plus year history in our community that “The ALMIGHTY DOLLAR and CORPORATE INTEREST” comes before our own citizens and life time friends.

The Raytown Chamber needs to remember their membership numbers are on a decline, the paid help is doing nothing to energize the businesses in Raytown and help them grow nor have they done anything to be a driving force to fill the vacant store fronts we have, there fundraisers continue to be on a decline every year since they decided to end the tradition of the Raytown Round Up Days Parade. So the question the members and non-supporters of Wal-Mart should ask the officers of The Raytown Chamber is can you afford to enter this battle or is it best for what is now just a social club and not a betterment for business of Raytown to cautiously watch from the side lines.

Anonymous said...

With the actions of the our city officials, let us not forget the words of Niemoller

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn't a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

Pat Casady said...

When I heard that Wal-Mart had pulled out, first
I was happy, then it hit me. We’ve seen this ploy
before. Remember Wal-Mart told City Hall if they couldn’t
move to 350 hwy. they would pull out of Raytown.
By now you all have to know this asinine deal cost
the taxpayers millions.
This could be a way for the big store to pry tax
breaks out of this city. After they found out they
have a majority vote on their side. (Aldermen)
Truth Watch is 100% right about being afraid of our
elected officials. This could be the plan. It is too easy
to insert a big store in the middle of Raytown. To go
along with the original plan of multi stores in the green
space would require a lot of work for City Hall and their
hired department heads….Oh wait, that is their job!
So why is it that the only solution to the “Green Space”
for over fifteen years has only been a big grocery store?
The answer, it’s easy, it might generate a lot of sales tax, that is
If the tax isn’t given away, and they don’t have to work at
finding several businesses to come to town.
In Randy’s Reflections he states a faction in town that
opposed the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market is now
asking for donations to file suit against the city. I don’t
know about a faction but, I do know that over a thousand
people signed a petition against the deal and the elected
officials went against what the people wanted and passed
the deal any way. He also passed off the board meetings
as a trivial amount of people against this plan. I have been
to many meetings and I don’t remember seeing as many people
as the Wal-Mart meetings. The people of Raytown don’t and
didn’t want this store. Why is it so hard for Randy and City Hall
to understand this?
Has Wal-Mart pulled out? Is this part
of a bigger plan to shaft the people again.
Yes, Truth Watch, the people should be afraid, be very afraid!

Andy Whiteman said...

What is the criminal penalty for not writing the ordinance EXACTLY as voted by the BOA?

A disclosure is needed of elected and hired city officials who have investments in Walmart or receive any income from Walmart.

Andy Whiteman

Elisa Breitenbach said...

The Show will start at 7:00 P.M. Can Raytown get any stranger? I sure hope not tonight at the BOA Meeting?

Anonymous said...

What we need is a Facebook page that showcases all the businesses we have in Raytown thus showing what we have to offer and possibly attacking other business to come to our area

Anonymous said...

Thank God, No Walmart Grocery store in the green space!! The citizens of Raytown won this battle. Now if we could find a way to get rid of the Mayor and his puppets!

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:51 - We do have a way to get rid of the Mayor and his puppets. Three of them are already gone. We can get rid of the rest of them in 2 years. All we have to do is get the people off their butts and to the polls.

Anonymous said...

I am not a business owner in Raytown and don't even know anybody who is. I am a quiet regular citizen who has lived here for over 50 years. I've seen the changes, but I'm still here. Raytown is my home. It is only common sense that a small town be built on many small businesses, not a large one. When one small business closes, another will often reopen there. But when a huge one closes, it sits and sits and sits until the locality pays to have it torn down. Rarely is a new entity ready to step in. We have seen it time and time again around this area. I have not attended any BOA meetings here nor have I written any letters, but I, too, am against any type of Wal-Mart in the green space. Totally! Why doesn’t it move to the old Thriftway location? If it went out of business there in three or four years, we are no worse off that we are now. Traffic would be so much better for the Market on Raytown Trafficway. It really only makes sense. Two points to address: 1) If the city thinks they are going to get more taxes from the Neighborhood Market, I would like to see how. Raytown only has so many citizens and those citizens buy only so many groceries. The taxes that will come from the new Market will only be coming from purchases transferred from other Raytown grocery stores. This is not organic growth in any way, shape or form. 2) Most of the local business owners that appear to be “for” the new store do not sell a product that will be available at the Market. I see why they would like the supposed increased traffic to the downtown area. There will be no negative effect to their business. Lastly, the Mayor and Alderman truly need to focus on making Raytown more inviting. To start enforce property codes and keep grass and weeds under control. Levy fines on owners that do not comply. I think about 20% of the homes in Raytown are in dire need of a new coat of paint; encourage owners to do that with a community initiative. Issue more speeding tickets and keep a watchful on expired license plates – there are so many. Do something about the rental problem in Raytown – that would be time well spent by the Mayor and BOA. How many taxes have we lost over the past ten years when all the car dealers moved out of town? This needs to be a grassroots movement and from what I have recently seen and read about the citizens of Raytown wanting good things for the community, I think many are ready to step up and be a part of a revitalization. There are so many other ways to improve our community without getting into bed again with Wal-Mart.

Anonymous said...

good luck finding anybody else to pay $650,000.00 and take no tax breaks or tifs for the land .

you just kissed a ton of tax money good buy.

hahahahaha well done sheep

Anonymous said...

I was not keen on another grocer in Raytown either. We all need to work together as a community in a friendly manner; after all local bussiness's be it a chain or privately owned is still our local bussiness's and draw people in. If this was Raytown of 1960 then only people who resided in Raytown would run local bussiness's and the others would be in their own town. Many our privately owned bussiness's do not reside here in town and yet we welcome them and should. Predjudice should not exist all our bussiness's are Local be it chain or private owned so let's all become community and celebrate our Raytown

Anonymous said...

I am so proud of Raytown and especially those who took the time to speak for many of us that saw the flaws in a Walmart Grocery Store downtown.

I did not attend all of the meetings but watched many of them on t.v. What struck me the most was that so many people came up on their own just to be heard. It was not the usual choreographed nonsense you see all too often at city hall. It was real people telling their story.

It made me proud as an American to see democracy in action.

Over Taxed Tax Payer said...

5:26

I am at a loss at what you are trying to say.

Are you are you not in favor of another chain grocery store?

Yes, we need to work as a whole for the best interest of all, but too many large corporate businesses are all about the money they can make and not about how they are viewed in the community the serve. Keeping in mind every one who is on business is in it to make money, but when a sub group of businesses think it is a RIGHT for them to use tax dollars to build their business then this gives them an unfair advantage in a free market over the small local business of the same type.

The treatment often called Corporate Welfare leads to the hate and out cry that was shown towards Wal-Mart and Wal-Mart has no one to blame, but themselves for their history of finding every tax break they could.

If big chains what to be accepted in our city or any they need to play by the same rules as everyone else and let us just drive by Wal-Mart anytime day or night and see the special attention they get from our police department. Is it right that a company the size of Wal-Mart that also got a major tax break in Raytown have a police car parked in front of the building almost 24/7?

Wal-Mart could easily tell the chief and mayor that they don't want the negative impact and therefore no longer want the police car or will have to find other off duty officers to work security so that the appears of special treatment for a Raytown TIF project is not actually happening.

So when you ask that your fellow tax payers support the big business in Raytown like the local owned just keep in mind that first city hall and the big businesses need to play by the rules of the old home town boys.

Susan Dolan said...

Yellow Journalism and Walmart

Today, I picked up a copy of the June 19, 2013 Raytown Times and read two pieces, written by Editor Randy Battagler which were loaded with misinformation and bias. His front page Top News, Walmart pull plans for grocery misstates that “much of the business community favored the new store”, that the PZ voted nay based upon signage and business hours, and that the BOA voted yea “but with several conditions.” Randy must be very, very close to Mayor Bower since he also wrote that Bower has told Corporate Walmart that he wants to meet with them to convince them to “stay the course” and that Walmart had “left the door open for reconsideration” at the time they pulled their Raytown proposal. No legitimate news source said anything about Walmart's willingness to reconsider and the general consensus of those who spoke at the City's BOA meeting with regard to Walmart indicated any desire for Bower to behave like Pavlov's dog, running after Walmart and begging them to “stay the course”. In fact, the converse was true.

On Page 4, Randy's Reflections darkly muses over the potential loss of the great Walmart deal. He states that Walmart doesn't take a loss easily and educates that large companies keep track of what each other are doing. Wow! Randy must be a lot smarter than the rest of us. He calls us hard to deal with and unpredictable. Continuing in his condescending tone, he says that those opposed to the Walmart in Raytown will brag and celebrate while our city services suffer and taxes spiral out of control; that we're in a big economic war with a stagnant property tax base. Battagler says those who oppose Walmart are nay-sayers; juvenile-thinking people who were 'stirred-up' by a few 'negative-thinkers'. Sticks and stones from a man short of intellectual ammo.

This editor contends that Raytown welcomes Walmart and is excited about them coming here; that the only reason the hundreds of citizens he knows of who feel this way did not speak up at City Hall meetings was because they were scared of making friends mad. Scared.......Really?

To the contrary, those who spoke out in opposition to Walmart are the well-informed, responsible citizenry who presented their views in a respectful and thoughtful fashion and in formidable numbers.
We have withstood the condescending tone of our Mayor and Editor Battagler who have both failed to conduct themselves as maturely and responsibly.

Our property tax base is a ludicrous point for Battagler to raise in light of the fact that Wally World would suck in all the capital they can off the backs of our local businesses and funnel it off to the Walmart Corp. offices in Bentonville. Then, after they've succeeded in driving our local businesses in the ground, they'll pull out of Raytown leaving us with a vacant eyesore on 4 acres of heat -generating, deteriorating concrete that we can't sell or tear down because “smart” people like Bower were stupid enough to sell them the land (at a fraction of its' worth) instead of leasing it with a built in demolition clause.

Money spent in locally-owned businesses is recirculated locally (not in Bentonville) - Economics 101. Economics 102: After the big box store has driven local competitors out of business and pulls out of town, local citizenry has to leave town to buy groceries because now ALL the grocery stores are gone. What do you suppose will happen to the property values and tax base then????

Since Battagler has scored a fail on a demonstrated comprehension of those basics of economics, and has unduly insulted a number of citizens perhaps he, should keep his opinions to himself. That would surely benefit his advertisers!

Anonymous said...

To anonymous June 19, 9:43 AM Should Raytown be in the business of selling city property to gain revenue? If the future of our city is riding on the sale of this one piece of property then we are in SAD SHAPE. I still believe that this open space should be turned into a park. This Walmart would have only brought more crime and continued deterioration to downtown. Why doesn't the city work on getting these empty downtown buildings filled before trying to build new ones?

Susan Dolan said...

Yellow Journalism and Walmart

Today, I picked up a copy of the June 19, 2013 Raytown Times and read two pieces written by Editor Randy Battagler which were loaded with misinformation and bias.

His front page Top News, Walmart pull plans for grocery misstates that “much of the business community favored the new store”, that the PZ voted nay based upon signage and business hours, and that the BOA voted yea “but with several conditions.” Randy must be very, very close to Mayor Bower since he also wrote that Bower has told Corporate Walmart that he wants to meet with them to convince them to “stay the course” and that Walmart had “left the door open for reconsideration” at the time they pulled their Raytown proposal. No legitimate news source said anything about Walmart's willingness to reconsider and the general consensus of those who spoke at the City's BOA meeting with regard to Walmart indicated any desire for Bower to behave like Pavlov's dog, running after Walmart and begging them to “stay the course”. In fact, the converse was true.

On Page 4, Randy's Reflections darkly muses over the potential loss of the great Walmart deal. He states that Walmart doesn't take a loss easily and educates that large companies keep track of what each other are doing. Wow! Randy must be a lot smarter than the rest of us.

He calls us hard to deal with and unpredictable. Continuing in his condescending tone, he says that those opposed to the Walmart in Raytown will brag and celebrate while our city services suffer and taxes spiral out of control; that we're in a big economic war with a stagnant property tax base. Battagler says those who oppose Walmart are nay-sayers; juvenile-thinking people who were 'stirred-up' by a few 'negative-thinkers'. Sticks and stones from a man short of intellectual ammo.

This editor contends that Raytown welcomes Walmart and is excited about them coming here; that the only reason the hundreds of citizens he knows of who feel this way did not speak up at City Hall meetings was because they were scared of making friends mad. Scared.......Really?

To the contrary, those who spoke out in opposition to Walmart are the well-informed, responsible citizenry who presented their views in a respectful and thoughtful fashion and in formidable numbers.

We have withstood the condescending tone of our Mayor and Editor Battagler who have both failed to conduct themselves as maturely and responsibly.

Our property tax base is a ludicrous point for Battagler to raise in light of the fact that Wally World would suck in all the capital they can off the backs of our local businesses and funnel it off to the Walmart Corp. offices in Bentonville. Then, after they've succeeded in driving our local businesses in the ground, they'll pull out of Raytown leaving us with a vacant eyesore on 4 acres of heat -generating, deteriorating concrete that we can't sell or tear down because “smart” people like Bower were stupid enough to sell them the land (at a fraction of its' worth) instead of leasing it with a built in demolition clause.

Money spent in locally-owned businesses is recirculated locally (not in Bentonville) - Economics 101. Economics 102: After the big box store has driven local competitors out of business and pulls out of town, local citizenry has to leave town to buy groceries because now ALL the grocery stores are gone. What do you suppose will happen to the property values and tax base then????

Since Battagler has scored a fail on a demonstrated comprehension of those basics of economics, and has unduly insulted a number of citizens perhaps he, should keep his opinions to himself. That would surely benefit his advertisers!

Pat Casady said...

To “Anonymous 9:43,
“Kiss a ton of tax money good bye.”
Are you kidding? Where have you been? OH wait, you
must mean like all the sales tax Raytown collects from
the store on 350 hwy. I suggest you ask your city representative
how much that store has donated to the tax coffers of Raytown.
Then ask how much of your tax dollars it has cost you and the
other citizens of Raytown in bond payments. While you are
at it, ask them how much tax income would they lose from all
the other stores that would be forced to close.
As far as the sale of the property, This city could get more
revenue from selling four or five businesses lots than one big
sale and, collect more real estate and sales tax too. It only takes tunnel
vision to see one big store. It takes hard work and true vision to
see several new businesses on the same piece of ground.
By the way to those that say the people that were and are against
the Neighborhood Mart are negative thinkers and trouble makers
think about this. They have just as much right to think the way they want
as you do. One more thing, I haven’t seen them gloating and calling names
like some of the people that were for the deal.
I guess there is only one more thing to say,
BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.

Anonymous said...

Just got finished reading "Randy's Reflections". Besides the poor writing, I think his logic for supporting WalMart is awful. Pretty much that we are Raytown and we are nothing so we should be thankful they want to come here and shut up. Then he speaks to the effect that people need to act like adults, at the same time he makes false claims and broad assumptions, in addition to name calling. Raytown needs a better quality paper!

Anonymous said...

To 10:32 pm ; again we do not need another grocer and again we have chains such as subway, jimmy johns to name a few. We dodged the bullit of Walmart in the Downtown area. Lets now focus on the revitizatio. Of Downtown and move forward putting all our energy into that . And by our friendliness and Community existence attract the companies we wish to join our local bussiness's .

Anonymous said...

YUCK!

I just finished reading the Raytown Times. Talk about negativism and sour grapes. Randy ought to change his column to Randy's Rants.

Instead of bashing the good people of Raytown Randy should take a hard look at why Walmart bailed.

Over 1200 folks signed a petition voicing their opinion against taking up all of the space in Downtown Raytown with one store. Hundreds showed up meetings on their own to voice their opinion against the development.

Randy, you remind me of the proud mother who, watching her son in the parade exclaimed, "Look at my Little Johnny! He is the only one stepping in time."

Are you so owned or jaded by the Mayor and his shrinking majority of votes on the BOA that you cannot hear what the people are saying?

Anonymous said...

Has anyone else noticed the muddy mess that the Chamber of Commerce made of our “Green Space”?

It is time they get in there and get that mess cleaned up or are they have a new fundraiser this week of mud wrestling?

Anonymous said...

I watched the news a couple of days back and saw this lady talk about all the signs and posters she and her friends were going to make in support of Walmart. So I watched the next meeting of the BOA expecting to see someone show up in support of Walmart. It did not happen! A real big banner was put up an empty building in the old Blue Ridge Plaza. The Raytown Times had a two full page spread banner ad supporting Walmart and I was told there was a big sign on the old Bowen Apartments. But I never saw it. Someone told me the wind blew it off.

My question is where is the support? It looks like one property owner and a newspaper with a bad reputation of carrying only news that supports City Hall is the only support I have seen. Except maybe that one lady who spoke up on the television news.

The more I read and have seen the more I believe that darn near everyone was opposed to the Walmart Downtown.

Randy Battagler may spew venom at the people of Raytown. But it was Walmart that pulled the plug. His anger is misdirected.

Anonymous said...

Pat, Ask Sue Frank why we are not getting revenue from the Wal Mart on 350. Because she did it and she did it for 25 yes 25 years. Now that is what you call a dumb ass move. Thanks Sue

Anonymous said...

The Walmart deal is over folks! Instead of rehashing who was for or against it get busy on the revitalization of downtown. After all isn't that what it was all about in the first place? Or was it just all about a fight? Dig in folks put that energy into mainstreaming the revitalization of downtown; it's going to take time and effort and you have all showed you can do that: now channel those energies into making downtown prosper

S Dolan - Sovereign of State of Missouri said...

June 21 - Anonymous Anonymous said, "The Walmart deal is over folks! Instead of rehashing who was for or against it get busy on the revitalization of downtown."

Don't believe it's over; keep watching over your shoulder. Bower axed one PZ member on the backside of his threat, "Don't screw this up for me" and Raytown Times reported Bower is still planning to pursue Walmart. The Mayor's threat, "Don't screw this up for ME" (not Raytown) leaves one to wonder just what was in it for him - can you spell graf? That may be worth looking into. I doubt Bower has given up and I fear his next move if he doesn't get his way on this deal.

Anonymous said...

"Springfield has 158,000 people. We have two SAM'S, 6 Wal-Mart Super Centers, 3 grocery stores completed and open, with 2 more to go! This does NOT count the Super Centers in Ozark and Republic, all less than 9 miles away. I do not shop Wal-Mart! Last time I was up there I heard about the battle with Wal-Mart! I have several friends who are now in a fight to stop a Wal-Mart grocery store from the downtown area. Since I grew up in Raytown, a Wal-Mart will effectively destroy the area businesses."

Reclaim The American Dream said...

Mr. Mayor,

Let me remind you:

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Therefore, why is it that you find it so hard to understand that Raytown is part of the United States of America?

You treat the people as your servants even though we live in a land where people are ELECTED to be the servants to the people.

You treat the out of town department heads like royalty from a foreign land where they are allowed to be ruled and unruly towards the people

You only appoint people to committees and boards that beckon to your call and will jump to fall upon their own sward all to meet your personal desires

Yet, you still think you are doing best for Raytown. A personal ongoing delusion supported by those that fall at your feet in warship of your misguided ways.

Surely as God has shown his grace upon this Nation he will upon our city and deliver us from the evil of crime and corporate greed that you have brought upon us.

Elisa Breitenbach said...

Was Mayor Bower the Mayor when Raytown put the 350 Walmart in? I was told that he was. If that is true why do we have a blogger telling everyone it was Sue that did it?

Anonymous said...

I find it very interesting that there is a new Facebook group page as of June 18, 2013 that is called “Raytown Wants Neighborhood Market” and the group is using the same slogan on banners around the downtown area that states “Save our Downtown”. There are at least two possible fictitious people with aliases that have been created since that groups page creation. Both have tried to stir the pot on other Facebook group pages. I believe that the aliases are being used by a current local business owner in the downtown area that is unhappy that the Wal Mart development plan has been withdrawn from consideration. I believe that this type of nonsense is not at all constructive or beneficial to trying to bring the community together so that we may find a better solution for downtown. This only helps to create more hate and hard feelings. Time will heal the wounds. There are better plans out there, this was just not meant to be.

Anonymous said...


To S Dolan 5:23 .... Yes let's get busy on a revitization plan, you can still look over your shoulder wondering and worring if the Walmart deal is or is not over but at least we all will be doing something to bring it to reality. Think of all the things we would like to see accomplished in the Downtown and get a grass roots movement to clean it up and attract bussiness's in on

Greg Walters said...

In answer to the blogger who asked during whose term the 350 Highway was approved -- the answer is Mayor David Bower.

I know because I was serving on the Board of Aldermen when the Board approved the final ordinance closing the deal with Walmart.

How am I so sure? The vote was nine to one -- I was the "one" who voted against it.

Check it out. Call the City Clerk and ask her for the minutes of the meeting. But don't be surprised if they ask you to pay for retrieving the information and then pay again for a copy of it as well.

That's how they do their "business" at Raytown City Hall these days.

Susan Dolan said...

To Anonymous on 6/22,

While it is a warm-fuzzy to only think about the new town square it is because of the way "they do their business at Raytown City Hall these days" (quoting Greg Walters 6/22) that I call for a heads-up. "The Salvation of the State is the Watchfulness of the Citizens" is a quote on the ediface NE State Capital, which also applies to Raytown.

Going forward, the city owns the land (that's you and me) and I believe a 3 or 4 year plan for shops, etc. is done, bought and paid-for. Barring any strings that came with the money Cleaver got from the Fed to raze the church, what's to forestall putting "our" land to use? It's summer! Farmer's Markets, swap meets and flea markets are everywhere but here. Income from those types of quaint events could be going into the coffers toward the goal. Let's face it, we don't have the $$$ for the big, grandious plans right now but we "could" be doing something toward getting there, instead of nothing. It doesn't have to be all or nothing. This isn't rocket science, just common sense.


Andy Whiteman said...

Elisa Breitenbach, Apparently it depends on how you look at it. The 350 Walmart deal started when Sue Frank was Mayor but final approval overlapped into Bower's administration.

Bower invited me to a meet with him about other issues before the BOA approval. I suggested that the Walmart deal be stopped. His response was, "It is a done deal," and that was before the BOA vote!

So who is responsible? I put the blame on 9 members of the BOA.

Andy Whiteman

Greg Walters said...

Ms. Dolan,

I think your ideas have a lot of merit. My daughter lives in Kansas City in the City Market area. The City Market is the definition of success. Overland Park also has a very successful city market.

Why not Raytown?

I don't know -- but I am willing to add my voice to your suggestion. If the city were to dedicate half the time, money and energy that went to the ill-fated Walmart plan we could have a City Market in Downtown Raytown.

It at least deserves public discussion.

Hopefully, some of our city officials will read your thoughts and join in.

Oh, and one other comment deserves some attention.

Mr. Whiteman, it is true that the 350 Walmart TIF was begun during the Sue Frank Administration. It is also true that the final decision was made during Mayor Bower's first year as Mayor.

The difference is important.What happened in the past is not as important as what is current. If nothing else, the Walmart decision (which was eventually made by the applicant, Walmart) -- all that happened previously was erased by one final decision.

Mayor Bower was warned that the 350 Highway Walmart Store would saddle the City with 23 years of crushing debt.

He ignored advice not to move forward with the plan.

He did and took most of the City Council along with him on the decision.

We are paying for it today in low grade street improvements, budgetary crisis that are unending and a feeling of constant strife at City Hall.

Sue Frank may have made mistakes as Mayor -- all of them do. But the responsibility on Walmart is Mr. Bowers.

Susan Dolan - Sovereign of State of Missouri said...

Andy, to be fair, there were 4 members on the BOA who had their heads on straight and voted "NO" on Walmart and they deserve our praise. If your Alderman was one of those four, do as I did and write them a note of thanks -- they earned it!

Andy Whiteman said...

Greg, Agreed! I sure wonder how Bower could tell me it was a done deal before the BOA even voted on it.

The City Clerk has the elected officials submit a conflict of interest form yearly. Due to all that is going on with Walmart, someone should investigate conflicts of interest. I think something is rotten in Raytown.

Andy Whiteman

Susan Dolan said...

There is strong evidence of "learned helplessness" in this city.

I read of the idea of selling a few lots to businesses from within the town square. Bad idea!

The city owns the land. The city should maintain ownership of the land and develop it, then lease the developed business space(s).

Land is a precious commodity. Once our land is sold we lose ongoing lease revenue as well as our control regarding its' use, look and feel. So, let's start a piggy bank toward that end versus giving it all away.

We are not at the mercy of anyone. Politicians work for us to carry out our vision and it's time the tail stops trying to wag the dog.

This citizenry does pull together when it really matters and our voice will carry more weight as we enjoin the latent interest of those who may simply need to be reminded by their neighbors that their opinions and votes are welcome and important.

Bring your friends and neighbors - make it an event! Tail-gating at City Hall prior to a Council meeting, Raffle tickets for seats inside, Home parties for real-time televised Council meetings over public access TV, ... I digress :-)

Susan Dolan said...

I pulled the trigger too fast on my last post and do apologize for that. So here is what I 'should' have communicated. The city (we) own that land. Development of that land should not be done by the city because that's BIG GOVERNMENT which is to be avoided at all costs, but rather according to strict adherence to the code for that area, on leased land with a demolition clause which may or may not be enforced at the discretion of the city. The land should NEVER be sold. We need to do away with the Walmart overlay and at the same time add language that prevents similar recurrence.

Anonymous said...

So are you saying the land is owned or the land was leased? And are you saying the plans for a multi use office and retail can and could never be done? I'm confused as to why mainstreet would of given us the idea that could be done??? And I was under the assumption that the church and land was purchased and said church demolished and said land to be placed as a green space for a time before selling it.

Susan Dolan said...

Hi Anonymouse 6/24/13, whatever your name is... I offered a potential solution which is realistic in light of the fact that this city is apparently too cash-strapped to move forward with anything else at the present time. Confusion and assumptions can be rectified on your own via research.

Andy Whiteman you wrote, "Due to all that is going on with Walmart, someone should investigate conflicts of interest."

Here's a link for you Andy, to the Missouri Ethics Commission:
http://www.moethics.mo.gov/EthicsWeb/Compliance/Compliance.aspx

Anonymous said...

Leasing the land and retain ownership, then let bussiness's build and in the event they leave an abandoned building the city would have the right to demolish

Susan Dolan - Sovereign of State of Missouri said...

Anonymous 6/25 @ 8:47pm You got it exactly right!