Sunday, November 10, 2013


Usually the movies give us their best shot at entertainment with the original show. Sometimes that is not the case. See if you agree with this list of the Ten Best Movie Sequels.


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Ambulance/Fire Department Merger BY GREG WALTERS

A merger between the Ambulance and Fire Department that was predicted to save the city $300,000 annually is now in the dustbin of failed proposals.

In retrospect, it never had a chance.

Initially, the Fire Department received a letter from Mayor David Bower to the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) asking the IAFF to conduct a feasibility study from the City concerning a merger of the two services.

A meeting was held at the Mayor’s office between City and Fire officials. City officials included in the meeting were City Administrator Mahesh Sharma, Mayor David Bower, and Ward 3 Alderman Charlotte Melson. Fire officials included Fire Board members Bob Palmer and Barb Schlapia, Fire Marshal Matt Mace and Battalion Chief Mike Hunley

Goals and guidelines were set as to what was needed in the proposal. Matt Mace and Mike Hunley were assigned the task of putting the package together.

One month later, Hunley and Mace presented their 87 page report to the Raytown Fire Board. The proposal was passed on to Raytown City Hall.

As Chairman of the review committee, Alderman Melson called a meeting of her committee to review the document.

However, prior to the meeting, Mayor Bower took the unusual step of contacting Fire Board members to tell them that even though the Committee meeting was a public event, he would prefer Fire Department officials not attend.

Despite the Mayor’s request, Fire Chief Rick Mawhirter, Matt Mace, Mike Hunley, Bob Palmer and Barb Schlapia attended the meeting.

Fire Board member Barb Schlapia, who also serves as liaison to the City of Raytown, was specifically singled out as not welcome.

So, on July 21st, Alderman Charlotte Melson convened the first (and only meeting) between the two governing bodies.

At the outset of the meeting, Melson announced that any questions to the Fire Board would be written down and passed back to the Fire Department for clarifications and answers after the meeting.

One hour into the meeting, when it became very obvious that city personnel were ill-equipped to provide answers, Fire Marshal Matt Mace asked that he and other members of the Fire Department be allowed to answer the questions. After similar requests from member of her own committee, Melson finally relented and allowed limited cross talk between members of the Committee and Fire Officials.

On October 5th, members of the Fire Board received an email from Melson to hold another meeting. Fire Board members agreed tentatively to an October 28th meeting date.

Then at the October 15th meeting of the Raytown Board of Aldermen, Melson surprised everyone by abruptly announcing that her Committee had rejected the Fire District’s proposal.

Committee members have since said there was no formal vote on the decision. In fact, a number of them did not find out about Melson’s announcement until the night of the Board meeting.

Members of the Fire Board were not informed of the decision until after the fact via a Facebook post.

To view responses from the Fire Board to Melson’s announcement and subsequent letters from the Mayor to the Fire Board visit last week’s post.

The City of Raytown has every right to reject a proposal from the Raytown Fire Board. But the clumsy and indelicate way in which Mayor David Bower and Alderman Melson handled the event is shameful.

The Mayor’s attempt to stifle public debate about the proposal appears to be a continuation of a policy of secrets held back from the public. Alderman Melson’s high handed way of running a meeting and blindsiding even members of her own committee with an announcement that is, to say the least, less than accurate, is just plain wrong.

Fire officials are rightfully angry for the way they were treated. It is understandable that they would be reluctant to pursue future discussion with the city. The saddest part of this story is that Raytown could have received improved service along with a sizable savings. Money that could have gone into increased security in our neighborhoods in the way of street lights or used to make improvements on residential streets.

City officials have stated that it is not in the city’s “best interest” to pursue a merger. That is a decision which should have been decided by the Board of Aldermen. After the dust has settled it appears the real decision was made by Mayor David Bower and Alderman Charlotte Melson.

Board members are remiss to not ask some very tough questions as to their roll in governing. As the events above show, their participation was minimal at best. More transparency and participation by Board members would go a long way to clean up Raytown’s battered image. Board members should step up and do so.

Raytown Farmer’s Market One Step Closer to Reality
The Raytown Main Street Association has been asked by the Board of Access Farmer’s Market to take on the role of developing a Farmer’s Market in Downtown Raytown.

Steve Guenther, President of Raytown Main Street Association, said he was recently contacted by representatives of the of Board of Access Farmer’s Market.

“We will be spearheading and directing the effort,” said Guenther.

Ward 3 Alderman Janet Emerson, who has been a driving force on the Raytown Board of Aldermen for the creation of a Farmer’s Market, views the effort as a step forward.
“This gives local control to the City Market . . . it looks like things are beginning to come together”, said Emerson.

The location of the proposed market will be just west of The Green Space in Downtown Raytown. The surface is paved with plenty of space for customer parking. The market is scheduled to open in the first week of May, 2014.

A public meeting has been scheduled for input from anyone interested to share their thoughts on the proposed Farmer’s Market. All interested individuals are encouraged to attend and say their piece regarding the proposed market. Time and date of the meeting is:

Farmer’s Market Public Meeting

Raytown City Hall

(10000 East 59th Street)

Monday, November 18, 2013

7:00 p.m.

The public is encouraged to attend and share their thoughts
about the proposed City Market.  


Bread Therapy: How 
to Make Focaccia BY KAREN

Americans love to see how much they can cram into one day. We rush around at the speed of light, multitasking like madmen. Instant gratification is the name of the game, but not when it comes to bread baking — that is a beast we have yet to conquer. Of course, we’ve tried to move things along with “quick-rise” yeast, but even that will only take you so far. Yeast breads cannot be rushed — unlike everything else in this world — one simply must slow down and wait. Read More

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Anonymous said...

One more good reason for a charter. Bower and Melson would be gone.

Peter said...

So very excited about the farmers market!!! This will be such a wonderful experience for the youth of Raytown who have otherwise not had family transportation to the downtown K.C. Market. I was surprised at just how many students' families only buy produce at the local grocer. Nothing better or fresher than a Farmers Market.

Anonymous said...

Greg I just had dinner at 5 guys and KSHB reporter Ryan Cath was sitting next to me. I just shared your story about the ambulance with him. Seemed interested said he would check in to it.

Anonymous said...

5:41 pm - You're so right. Maybe they wouldn't be the only ones. It surely be a breath of fresh air for the voters to have greater say over what goes on here instead of having to plead our case to a city hall who runs us broke and manages by fiat.

Residents know what's right/wrong or outright ridiculous for our city and have demonstrated that. Just give us a well-written Charter that doesn't micro-manage, gives us back our muscle and protects our interests and I'll vote for it!

Then we'll be able to clean house.

Pat Casady said...

NOTHING, Charlotte Melson does surprises me!
What surprises me is how the Mayor can manipulate
people into believing anything he says. Asking the
Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) asking the IAFF
to conduct a feasibility study for the City, concerning
a merger of the two services and them doing so in good faith.
Then the mayor completely ignoring the study is a
slap in the face of the hard work done by the IAFF.
Putting Melson in charge was the same as nominating
himself to the position. She one of most elected
Officials that can’t or won’t think for themselves.
They only do what the City Administrator, City Lawyer
or the Mayor tell them to do.
It is plain to see that the unelected officials Fire Board
members Bob Palmer and Barb Schlapia, Fire
Marshal Matt Mace and Battalion Chief Mike Hunley
were thinking of the people of Raytown, trying to save
$300,000.00 of taxpayer money. Let’s face it, this goes
against the grain of our elected officials who, enjoy spending
and wasting taxpayer dollars.
I think our elected officials have forgotten the meaning of
their position, PUBLIC SERVICE. This means working for
the public not your own beliefs or agendas.
When was the last time any elected official has come
around and asked you what you think? Trust me, if they
come around it is every four years to lie to you for your vote.

Anonymous said...

I'm planning to attend that Farmer's Market meeting next Monday to suggest the City let us name our Farmer's Market ourselves - take a poll. There's plenty of time to do that. Access, the name that's been assigned, rings empty to me. Why not Raytown Farmer's Market or Historic Raytown Farmer's Market which tells people where it is?

Anonymous said...

hmmm. Missing from the agenda this week - update on the RFP for the green space - proposal where due Friday 11/8.

On the agenda
Approval of an Economic Development Policy to provide guidance regarding the use of Economic Development Incentives in Raytown, Missouri.

what is this all about?

Anonymous said...

where else can you get charter applications and applications to file for an elected position other than the city clerk?

I maybe interested in both however I don't want the city to know that I am considering either.

Also what elected positions will be voted on in 2014???

thanks for the help

Anonymous said...

A possible savings of only $300,000 for the city of Raytown? Big deal for a city that has frittered away millions! In most areas Fire and EMS are combined but what would provide the best EMS service to the citizens and passers by of Raytown is what must be considered over possible savings.

I wish there was a farmers market in Raytown when I was there. There was one individual gardener who had a stand on a feeder street. There should be a requirement that the farmers market be open in the evenings. Being disabled, I have been unable to go to a farmers market anywhere because they are usually open only during very early hours.

Andy Whiteman

KMCCLA said...

The Raytown Amateur Radio Club will be holding it's second annual Hamfest (Amateur Radio swap meet/flea market) this Saturday, November 16, at Our Lady of Lourdes in the school gym.

Hours will be form 8:00 AM - 1:00 PM. Amateur Radio testing will begin at 9:00.

Admittance is free, however tickets can be purchased for the door prizes.

Chris Rathbone said...

Anonymous 10:35, I think I still have the file I made with the original petitions I used. I can email it to you if you like, or you can always have someone else pick up the petition for you at City Hall. My email is Oh, and happy Veterans Day to all my fellow Vets.

Peter said...

Chris as always; you are very helpful to those in need. I am looking forward to this charter as many are and would like to thank you for your conti her work on such.

Anonymous said...

When was the last time the city employees, other than the city administrator, get a pay raise? Seems like it has been a while! Absolutely ridiculous!

Anonymous said...

Andy if a merger maintains the same people, the same, number of units, with better response times , and the same medical oversight how is it less of a service.

Anonymous said...

thank you 6:38 for pointing out the obvious.
everybody seems to over think this merger.


Pat Casady said...

To Anonymous 9:29,
After there was so much uproar about the huge raise
the City Administrator received and the fact that other
city employee pay had been frozen for a couple of years,
the city thought it might be a good idea to give token
pay increases to other city employees. Something like
a 2% increase. Far and away from a thirty thousand a
year increase like for the CA. Granted Raytown could
not afford to give out those kind of raises to everybody
in fact, that thirty thousand shouldn’t even been given
to an employee that agreed to move to Raytown then,
did not honor his promise. But, that’s Raytown City
Hall taking care of their friends. Let’s face it, in City Hall
the only friends they have is each other.

Susan Dolan said...

Forth-Class Cities

This online .pdf (Adobe Acrobat) file is a published booklet for our the operation of our current City government.

Expand your knowledge by downloading it to your computer and study it.

For example, regarding Closed Meetings you'll read:
"Violations and penalties
Any person can challenge a public governmental body with violating this
law. Once the challenger demonstrates to a court that the body is covered,
it becomes the task of the public governmental body to prove it did not
violate the law’s requirements. If the board is found to have knowingly
held an improper closed meeting, each member who voted to close and
who participated in the meeting is subject to a fine of up to $1,000, plus
court costs and attorney fees for the challenger. If the closed meeting was
purposely held, the penalty is $5,000 per participant, plus court costs and
attorney fees. In addition, the court usually nullifies any decisions made at
the improperly closed meeting, leaving the board to conduct the meeting

You can read and download it from this web address:

Anonymous said...

6:38 AM, Good point to which I agree if this is true. Some issues:
1) Will personnel have the same duties or be forced to cross train? (Some may want to work EMS only and not cross train as a firefighter or vice-versa.)
2) Will salaries remain the same?
3) What about pensions and other benefits?
4) Seniority issues?

As I remember it the merge of MAST and KCFD brought up numerous issues. All of this needs to be addressed before it turns into a fiasco.

Andy Whiteman

Susan Dolan said...

And here is a more current version of law regarding fouth-class cities. It is part of the Missouri Revised Statutes Aug. 28, 2013. Read from it online at:

Anonymous said...

Simple math:

If the city doesn't need to have $300,000. by Mayor Bower's own response.

Clearly the city doesn't need the tax renewals they are asking for this coming April.

Join me and others who know it is past time to stop the wasteful spending and vote "NO" on any tax issues!!!

Anonymous said...

Andy, for that to happen the city would have to be willing to sit down and communicate with the fire dept. King Bower would never allow that to take place.

Anonymous said...


You should check out this web site from the State of Missouri.

Clearly our local elected official have not

Anonymous said...

Could not believe Steve Mock took that from the Mayor. The Steve I know would have cleared it up for him. Sorry he's not around any more

Anonymous said...

If the city buys cots to lift people does that mean they don't need the fire department on calls anymore?

Anonymous said...

andy all of those questions were addressed and spelled out.
The issues KCFD had with bringing MAST in are different.
You merged a ALS provider with a BLS provider.
And merged 800 plus people together.
Hell the city council cant even agree on best course of action for the city. There are what twelve of them.
So yea they have had some difficulty.

Anonymous said...

2:02 I will be voting NO right along with you. The BOA and Mayor continue to prove that they are not spending our tax dollars wisely.

Andy-The items you bring up were addressed as a part of the Proposal to the City. Please read the document so you will be educated on what you are writing about.

KMCCLA said...

I just got off the phone with Walmart -- about the trees. A few weeks ago, I emailed Walmart about the dead trees (twice actually, but this is the first time I have ever heard back). The shift manager told me that they are aware of the problem, and it is being looked into. It seems that at this time they are in between landscapers. Once the new landscaping company is hired, they will look into removal of the trees. A bid will be given, and that will be submitted to the home office. The guy I talked to seemed to be concerned, and fully aware of the situation, and agreed that it is a problem. I do not know if anything will really ever come of this, but it at least it appears that something is in motion about the removal of the dead trees. One can only hope.

Peter said...

KMCCLA ; thank you for your effort and letting us know of this

Anonymous said...

I assumed that with Walmart a simple maintenance issue would require headquarters approval. I had an accident due to a safety issue at JC Penney. I asked for a manager to report the accident. I was contacted by the insurance adjuster but the issue was never corrected. I called the general manager of the store who said he would have to submit my request to corporate. It has never been corrected. Apparently JCP has no concern about safety. The fix would really be cheap and simple, but they don't care. That is the way large box stores operate!

Andy Whiteman

Susan Dolan said...

Has anyone heard anything about the new RFP for downtown OR Approval of an Economic Development Policy to provide guidance regarding the use of Economic Development Incentives?

I am aware that those ICLEI 'visioning' studies roll in at around $100,000. each and sincerely hope this is not another of them.

With all the ICLEI 'toolkits' you'd think our local socialists could figure out how to give our money away (redistribute our wealth) via development incentives without having to have a vote for 'Policy' on the matter.

.... smelling another rat.

Anonymous said...


Maybe JC Penney is taking a play from Ford addressing the issue with the Pinto

Anonymous said...


I didn't know employees are allowed to tell a business what they will and will not do as in the case of cross training.

Are those employees not quickly known as the unemployed, which is how the real world works.

However this is Raytown were our elected officials give one guy a $30,000 raise because he says he will leave.

Anyone who really cared about the city would have called the chief of police into that individuals office and after retrieving the keys and other city property walk that individual to his car.

MeganEMTP said...

Not all of Andy's points were addressed in the proposal. When asked about senority at EMS/Fire committee's meeting, Mace specifically stated that he could not answer how that would be handled. He said that it would have to be worked out between the union and management AFTER the merger went into effect.

And also, the cross training issue turned out to be not nearly as clear as we initially were told. EMS personnel were initial told that everyone would be required to pass Fire 1 & 2 and a physical, but NO ONE would be required to fight fire if they did not want to. I had no problem with those conditions. I made a purposeful decision to go into EMS, not fire. However, when addressed during the meeting, Mace then stated that perhaps in severe circumstances, EMS personnel would have to leave the ambulance (leaving no stand by ambulance!) to go fight fire. Wha????!!! THEN Palmer said, "Well, if they just absolutely positively do NOT want to fight fire, I guess that's just what you call a 'day job'. They can just come in and work 9-5".

Salaries would remain the same even though we would be cross trained, but we would be plugged into the fire dept's pay plan and have the same retirement and medical benefits.

9:09, I'm not really sure what to make of your comment. Are you being snarky or is this a legit question?


Anonymous said...

What I find ironic about the EMS Fire Department mess is that the city goes into negotiations with a condition that EMS employees be promised job security. Then they enact policy changes that eliminates jobs at EMS.

After witnessing that I would not trust City Hall in negotiations, period.

The Fire Department is probably better off without having a deal with as many hidden agendas as has city hall.

Anonymous said...

Look, RFPD is NOT happy with having to run nearly twice the calls into KC as KC runs into Raytown (costs Raytown xtra $$$ too). Their dispatch is not working well either (MARC screwed that up for everyone). While I'm sure RFPD's union with love to have more dues paying members to support their lobbying, that's tough. We need to watch out for our own butts. Our EMS works and their response times are great as is their advanced life support. If our fire department untangles itself from KCFD and only covers Raytown we'll be just fine. Each covered our 9.8 sq. miles just fine. McKaskill, Cleaver, Bower and MARC make a mess out of everything they put their greedy palms on. They need to bug off.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:42pm:
You wrote "However this is Raytown were our elected officials give one guy a $30,000 raise because he says he will leave.

Anyone who really cared about the city would have called the chief of police into that individuals office and after retrieving the keys and other city property walk that individual to his car."

Jim Aziere explained it at the time. He said that if Sharma left, the City would have to start another search for another CA. He went on to say that takes a lot of work. In other words, he admitted they are too lazy to do the jobs they are elected to do.

Anonymous said...


Do you not have any friends who work in the private sector and been impacted by a merge and / or acquisition?

I am taking it that you do not or you would know there are always changes. One can hope for the best, but not always. It is called life!

I have several friends that through some merges had to go through the process of a new hire and yes loss their seniority. By the grace of God, when that company was merged with the next company the new company decided to go back and re-activate all prior service with any of the prior companies. However, this tends to be the exception.

Other friends have had to accept new duties and total changes within a business to remain employed so do to the changing times and increase abilities of technology some do to cost saving measure to move duties to other locations where cost of living is less. It is call life!

We no longer live in the world that our grandparents did where someone starts with a company right out of high school or college and retire from that same company when they reach retirement age. It is called life!

Don’t get me wrong I am not saying I agree with the way the world works today, but until we decide to put trust back in God and not the all mighty dollar we will only see more things towards employees that we all know in our hearts is not right.

Anonymous said...

Well we are not in the private sector. And unfortunately we have not decent raises in years and the citizens views that we owe them something because we have a job is a bunch of bunk. We, as public servants deserve some respect and do have rights.

Peter said...

4:42pm well said! And yes you do deserve a raise. You could of chosen any career but you chose to protect citizen and I for one greatly respect you and so should other citizens. Where would we all be without you?

Anonymous said...

4:42pm Your sense of entitlement is symptomatic of much of what is wrong in this country. In this economy, you are fortunate to have a job, let alone a raise. You, and everyone else in this country 'deserve' no more than what you earn and that includes respect. Rights - ah, there's a word. The socialist leaning public sector has and is doing unprecedented damage to the private sector especially since 1992. A vast majority employed in the public sector have been insulated from the ill effects we've suffered as government takes care of their own while at their hands, the private sector be damned. Your rights are the same as anyone else's and like anyone else, you are free to exercise them. Your job and your 'respect' are not rights. Don't like it? Get in line kiddo.

Anonymous said...

Peter 9:48 pm
Let us understand. Public service is a career choice, choice being the operative word.

I stand in awe that you feel you're in a position to state, "I for one greatly respect you and so should other citizens". I am free to respect whomever I want without your directive of what you deem I should do. Further, I find it difficult to respect this particular individual who whines about their lack of a raise while MILLIONS of people in this country (through no fault of their own) have lost their jobs and healthcare, are homeless and going hungry.

This individual, who expresses such disdain for his/her contrived perceptions of the public's attitude and contempt regarding his/her lack of a pya raiseis likely not the person who would provide the best 'lifesaving' care.

It's been said Gratitude is an Attitude and in the case of this particular individual, who expresses so much malcontent, we'd probably be better off without them performing work where lives are at stake. This person said that just because he/she has a job it is a bunch of bunk that the public feels they owe us something. Well, if this person is going to continue to take OUR money to do THEIR job, they better get busy on a change in attitude or get a job (if they can) elsewhere.

This person doesn't have my respect or my sympathies.

Anonymous said...


I recall the tax and spend leadership at city hall giving 5% raises across the board when other cities were freezing salaries and / or laying their folks off.

To think all of this was just a few years ago.

Anonymous said...

Sharma's Raise

8:55 AM I could not agree with you more.

Sharma's threat to leave sounds like up or I walk. He should have been told to walk.

What could he possibly have possessed that was worth that kind of money? Was it the people and/or organzations he's connected to? Was it something he knew that City Hall didn't want us to know?

We, obviously, don't have that kind of money to be tossing around and for all the VALUE he's delivered, he certainly wasn't worth it to us.

If we had a City Charter with provision for Misfeasance (when a Public Official takes inappropriate action) a suit could have been filed, naming he who approved the salary increase in the face of Sharma's threat to leave.

Anonymous said...


Here is a wake up call and one of many that you too can find if you take the time to actually look at reality and not your magic eight ball.

Anonymous said...

If people were more influenced by the golden book; the first book of all times; the Rules and guidance would show much of the same in their responses and thought processes. Our rights, our respect, all by and decided upon by our creator

Anonymous said...

Boycott Super Splash next summer and hasten the unavoidable end of that money pit.

Anonymous said...

This link is most interesting and Im sure there are many more from other towns and states as well. It is always interesting to see how people from other areas are dealing with things and this comment shows that people from everywhere check in with the Raytown Report. Thanks for sharing this