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Please enjoy TOP TEN MOVIE SONGS
PUBLIC MEETING . . .
There will be a public meeting at Raytown City Hall on Monday, November 18th at 7:00 p.m. to discuss a Farmer's Market for Downtown Raytown.
The public is invited to attend and share their views at this meeting.
Raytown City Hall is located at 10000 East 59th Street.
The Paul Livius Report
Raytown Board of Aldermen Meeting – November 12, 2013
The invocation was given by Pat Jackson.
Before the Aldermen gave their Committee Reports, Mayor Bower announced he had decided the only reports that would be allowed were the ones concerning Committees that are Board appointed. When he ignored Alderman Emerson, she told him she wanted to give her report on the Farmer’s Market. Mayor Bower told her the Farmer’s Market was not Board approved. Steve Mock told the Board the Holiday lighting ceremony will be at the Pocket Park on December 6. He also told the Mayor he wanted to hear Alderman Emerson’s report on the Farmer’s Market. The Mayor again said the Farmer’s Market was not Board approved.
The Board passed a resolution authorizing the continuation of an agreement with Cochran Head Vick for the performance of professional audit services. Alderman Josh Greene asked Mr. Loughry when this service was last bid. Mr. Loughry said it was 2009. Alderman Greene asked when it was going to be rebid. Alderman Creamer said the Board shouldn’t worry about rebidding the contract until the staff said it was time to rebid it. He said the City has won awards for its budgets, therefore, the Board should trust the staff in all things.
The Board passed a resolution authorizing a service agreement with Arista Print. Mark Loughry told the Board the City currently mails out approximately 12,000 sewer bills on a monthly basis.
The staff processes, prints, folds and inserts the bills and a return envelope into a billing
envelope. Because of the amount of mail the City generates it must be delivered to the main hub in Kansas City. This process requires equipment leases, bi-monthly address updates and a high-capacity printer. It also requires approximately 18 hours of staff time. Prior to the changeover in 2013 to bulk rate mailing, the process had an annual cost of approximately $97,000.00 not including labor. After switching over to bulk rate mailing the cost is estimated at $83,000.00 without labor.
Starting in February of 2014, the post office is changing the requirements for bulk rate mailing which will cost the City approximately $3,000.00 in initial setup with an ongoing charge of $1,500.00 annually to continue processing the mail in house. This cost is in addition to the current cost of approximately $83,000.00 plus labor. While this still represents a savings over the first class rate, staff decided to explore other options for utility billing mailings.
After reviewing the current process and issues it creates, staff explored other options for utility billing. It was determined that by outsourcing the actual printing and mailing of utility bills the City could receive additional savings over the bulk postage rate. Some of these savings would be realized through the elimination or downsizing of current equipment. Additionally, the bulk purchasing power of supplies by a large mailing firm is passed on to the City as well. City staff time currently devoted to printing and distributing bills would be repurposed to customer service related phone calls.
The Board passed a resolution adopting an Economic Development incentive policy for the city of Raytown, Missouri. It covers Tax Increment Financing, Tax Abatements, Neighborhood Improvement Districts, and Community Improvement Districts. The policy can be found at
http://www.raytown.mo.us/vertical/sites/%7B418C71C3-E397-4C87-B464-C498EC8900F9%7D/uploads/11-12-13_Web_Packet.pdf starting on page 30.
The Board passed a resolution approving information technology related services with MDL Technology. In Fiscal Year 2012-2013, the Board of Alderman approved a three year agreement guaranteeing service pricing for three years, approved annually, with MDL Technology, LLC to manage the IT services of the Police Department. The agreed upon service plan is a monthly fee of $80.00 per workstation and $400.00 per server.
The Board passed a resolution approving a maintenance contract with Motorola Solutions. The Police Department uses the Motorola radio system during its normal course of duties. To ensure the life span of the equipment having the manufacturer perform the maintenance will make certain the equipment has the best service available. Proper maintenance is necessary to extend the usable life of the radios. This is a recurring yearly contract between Motorola and the City of Raytown to provide maintenance and infrastructure repairs to the radio system in case of failure. Motorola is the sole source provider for this service.
The Board passed a resolution approving the purchase of two powered ambulance cots with mounting and associated hardware from Stryker EMS Equipment. The three powered ambulance cots, purchased in 2006-2008, are reaching the end of their service lives; one of them has already irreparably failed. The remaining two are requiring frequent, costly repairs, and are not anticipated to remain serviceable much longer. The model we currently have has been redesigned by the manufacturer; consequently, replacement parts can be expected to become more expensive and scarcer, or cease to be available at all. This purchase has been reviewed by the Sales Tax Oversight Committee, and was found to meet the intent of the Capital Sales tax.
The Board passed an ordinance amending the Buildings and Structural Appurtenances, relating to the abatement of dangerous buildings. John Benson said the Staff is proposing to amend the City’s dangerous building abatement regulations by which a building can be deemed dangerous. The amendments are for issues relating to abandoned buildings and structures that may be structurally sound as determined by City Code, but are abandoned and have other code violations that have gone unresolved for an extended period of time. These violations can contribute to lower property values on nearby properties. For more information on these codes, go to
Bad Policy. BY GREG WALTERS
A moment of bad public policy was demonstrated at City Hall at the last meeting of the Raytown Board of Aldermen. If you have not done so, please read the bold face type in the Paul Livius Report to understand.
Here is the back story to Mayor Bower’s bizarre decision to forbid Aldermen from talking on subjects of which he does not approve.
Since her election last April, Ward 3 Alderman Janet Emerson has quietly been working to bring a Farmer’s Market to Downtown Raytown.
Originally, she took the idea to officials at Raytown City Hall. The consensus from that meeting was that the city would not take any active participation in the project.
Fair enough . . . she made the effort. They said they would help where they could but did not have the time or personnel to run a Farmers Market.
Alderman Emerson, along with other proponents of a Farmer’s Market for Raytown, enlisted the help of Advocates for Family. This particular group is well known throughout the metropolitan area in Farmer Market circles.
However, Alderman Emerson saw that progress was not moving along quickly enough on the project – she went to Steve Guenther, President of the Downtown Raytown Main Street Association. Guenther took a proposal to the Main Street Association Board of Directors – they gave their stamp of approval and are ready to move forward with a Downtown Raytown Farmer’s Market.
In fact, a location has been settled on for the project, just north of 63rd Street and Raytown Road on the west side of Downtown Raytown’s Green Space. An opening date in early May of 2014 has been established.
Things are starting to come together to make the Market a reality.
All of this time Alderman Emerson has been dutifully keeping the Board of Aldermen and the community informed by giving timely reports of the progress of the group. In short, she has been doing her job.
So it comes as some surprise that at the last meeting of the Board of Aldermen, Mayor David Bower announced he decided that Board members could only report on items, concerning city sanctioned committees.
Ward 5 Alderman Steve Mock objected to the Mayor’s decision, publicly stating that he would like to hear Alderman Emerson’s report on an upcoming meeting of the group (to be held this coming Monday evening, November 18th at 7:00 p.m.) at Raytown City Hall.
Despite the Mayor’s attempt at absolute control of what his fellow elected officials could speak, Emerson did publicly state that she understood the Mayor’s decision not to allow her to announce the meeting scheduled for public input on Monday evening.
Emerson later told the Raytown Report that Mr. Guenther of the Downtown Raytown Main Street Association had planned to make the announcement during the Public Comments portion of the meeting but was called away on business.
What does it all mean?
Hard to say.
Is the Mayor opposed to a Downtown Raytown Farmer’s Market. In his short preamble to his ruling he mentioned that some Board members had objected to topics being brought to Board meetings that were not part of the agenda. But he did not say which Board members they were.
We did a quick check with Board members and we cannot find anyone who would own up to the Mayor’s reasoning.
There is history between Steve Guenther and Mayor Bower. At one time Guenther was a big supporter of the Mayor. That relationship soured when they split over the failed Walmart Neighborhood Market application.
For her part, Alderman Emerson has been keeping her eye on the goal of a Farmer’s Market. It looks like she is going to succeed. The Mayor and members of the Board opposed to those plans should follow her example of accomplishment.
We think a Farmer’s Market in Downtown Raytown is a splendid idea. Other cities like Overland Park, Lee’s Summit and Grandview are moving forward with this idea. It is time for Raytown to join in.
Paul’s Rant BY PAUL LIVIUS
Mayor David Bower has a reputation as a control freak. He does not like surprises. Apparently, he does not like anyone else moving forward with ideas that do not carry his stamp of approval.
We have seen this in the past.
Remember when (former) Alderman Greg Walters pushed hard to improve Raytown’s efforts in recycling. Bower disbanded the Recycling Committee. What Walters was able to keep open for over ten years. One time, he led an effort to raise $9,000 to pay for expenses of running the Center.
Bower has since found a way to shut the recycling center down permanently.
At the last BOA meeting, Bower literally “banned” any comment from Board members on items that did not meet his approved agenda.
He has it so wrong
And those Board members who are sitting lamely by as this goes on should take note – they are just as wrong by not calling the Mayor’s hand in this outrageous display of public bullying. Only two members of the Board even commented on the Mayor’s ruling!
The ten Board members and the Mayor have one thing in common. They are equals. They were elected to represent the people of Raytown. None of them have the right to censor what they other says. They can disagree. They can argue. But they all deserve the courtesy of having their time to speak on matters during meetings of the Board of Aldermen.
The Mayor was not elected king. His job is to run the meetings. It is not his role to censor the comments of his fellow elected officials.
Have you noticed that while Mayor has effectively muzzled members of the Board of Aldermen, he still allows himself the ability to speak on any topic at any time?
He treats the Board as if they were school children given turns to make comments. There is no live debate at Board meetings. Give and take between Board members, even as simple sharing of ideas is a very rare event -- just stilted comments as to positions before votes.
We wonder what is next. Will Raytowners be refused time to discuss a proposed Charter at meetings of their City Council? Will Board members not be allowed to discuss what is being brought to them by petition from those they represent?
The Mayor has chosen a very ugly and dark path by refusing to allow members of the Board of Aldermen to speak.
What is worse, is the Board allowing this outrage to be played upon them.
I remember watching Board meetings when individual members announced plays at the local high schools and other public events unrelated to Council business. No one objected to those announcements.
Mayor Bower, and the un-named Aldermen who are opposed to even mentioning a Farmer’s Market in a public meeting have stepped over the line on this one.
This REALLY Made Me Angry! BY PAUL LIVIUS
Today is November 16. I logged onto the City’s website to get the latest news. I went to the City Administrators reports to find out what is happening at City Hall. He usually writes good reports that are concise and informative. I was disappointed to find he hadn’t filed a report since October 11. That’s more than a month. This from a man who was given a $30,000 pay raise for the fine job he was doing. If he can’t do his job, he needs to be sent packing.
FIT BOTTOMED EATS
Beef Barley Soup
Beef Barley Soup
With the news media filled with the much-acclaimed benefits of natural foods, one would think that the quest for health through nutrition is something new, but it just isn’t so. Proof positive is my 1942 edition of the Woman’s Home Companion Cookbook. Editor Willa Robert’s forward reads much like poetry as she describes the importance of home-cooked meals made with a variety of farm-fresh ingredients: “A nation is as healthy as the food it eats.” Amen, Willa! READ MORE