Saturday, November 23, 2013


As we see it . . .

. . .  our point of view is that in Raytown we have much to be thankful for.

This past year we have witnessed an astounding show of civic pride when the public hearings on a Walmart Neighborhood Market were held. It was a rare event when so many Raytowners came together to show how a democracy is supposed to work.

In an interesting twist of fate, the nay-sayers at City Hall were taught a civics lesson in real time and life.

Now we are witnessing another example of Raytown pride . . . 
  • A very committed group of people are putting together a Farmer’s Market in Downtown Raytown. They have acquired the land, they are working with vendors. The opening of the market in May of 2014 has been set. Through the selfless efforts of people like Ward 3 Alderman Janet Emerson, the effort is gaining momentum and support from the public. 
Even on the political front we see activity . . .  

Finally, we are watching the unfolding of an attempt to bring a more modern and inclusive form of government to Raytown.
  • A Raytown Charter proposal is scheduled for the public ballot in April of 2014. Unlike earlier attempts at a Charter, this effort is petition based. It has no ties to City Hall. It is truly an example of people coming together to better their rules of government.
All of these efforts have a common thread. They are the result of a community coming together to better itself.

Let’s hope the progress continues in the years to come.

Happy Thanksgiving 
from Greg and Paul

We wanted to know more about Thanksgiving, the age-old holiday of giving thanks, so we dug in and found some gems. Did you know that one of our Presidents actually pardoned a turkey? Do you have any actual idea how many calories we consume on Thanksgiving?


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Driver crashes into Raytown drug store FROMFOX4KC.COM

RAYTOWN, Mo. — A man suffering a medical episode was rushed to a local hospital after he crashed his truck into Fox’s Drug Store, located at 63rd and Blue Ridge Blvd., in Raytown, Mo., on Tuesday.

The driver was headed northbound on Raytown Road, when his vehicle veered off the road and struck the building.

At least three employees and two customers were inside the building when the crash occurred, but no injuries were reported.

“The entire truck is in the building so there’s about 8 to 10 feet of penetration. Luckily it just happened to be in an area where people weren’t standing,” said Matt Mace, with the Raytown Fire Protection District. READ MORE AND WATCH VIDEO

Heard Around Town BY GREG WALTERS 
Most people reading this blog know next April there will be a vote in Raytown on whether or not to form a Charter Commission. Most other news outlets in Raytown have chosen to ignore the April Charter Election with an “oh, is there an election in April?” type of posturing that really does the question a disservice.

People are curious about this charter effort because it is not coming from City Hall, but through an initiative petition. All of the previous Charter attempts were proposed by City Hall. In the view of many political observers in Raytown, that has been one of the poison pills responsible for derailing earlier Charter attempts.

Urban Legends . . . a generally believed “fact” that upon close examination proves to be false.

Lately, one has been floating around Raytown – don’t know where it started. But you can bet it will end when you finish reading this column.

A couple of weeks back we asked City Clerk Teresa Newton the deadline for Raytowners to file for the Raytown Charter Commission. She quickly responded the final date for filing is January 21, 2014. She also shared with us that the minimum number of signatures required to be placed on the ballot is 36.

Still, we kept hearing from people in the community that the deadline is a myriad of other dates we will not share here, because it will only prove to confuse the issue.

After hearing this particular “urban legend” we emailed the City Clerk to make certain of her previous position that the final date for filing for the Charter Commission is January 21, 2014.

She wrote back, “The last day for candidate filing  for the April 8, 2014 General Municipal Election is January 21, 2014.  My information comes from the Missouri Secretary of State web site and the link below should be helpful.”

To make certain her information was correct, we contacted the Jackson County Election Board to check as well. They re-affirmed City Clerk Teresa Henry’s answer.

So there you have it.

Urban Legend . . . . “0”
Truth . . . . . . . . . . .  “1”

We could not help but notice a couple of things in the wake of the stormy November 5th City Council meeting. You may recall, that was the meeting Mayor Bower decided that comments from Board members would not be allowed during Committee reports unless they were “approved” city committees.

Mayor David Bower stated that he made this decision in response to Aldermen requests. But he stopped short of naming the petty minds that came up with this bonehead idea of muzzling fellow Aldermen. For their part, the guilty Aldermen are laying low, hiding in the Mayor’s shadow.

Mayor Bower made a mistake on this one. It is doubtful he will compound the error in judgment by ratting out those who influenced him to go down that path.

The Paul Livius Report

Raytown Board of Aldermen Meeting – November 19, 2013

During Public Comments, Alderman Emerson said the Farmers Market meeting went very well.  The Main Street Association has agreed to sponsor the Farmers Market.  This will support local farmers and agriculture producers.  The will also be several programs monthly, such as cooking classes.  There will also be a children’s area to teach them about vegetables and healthy eating habits.  The Mayor thanked her for the report and said it is a wonderful program. 
The Board was visited by Ms. Christmas Tree, Ms. Snow Lady, and Little Miss Snowflake.  They said the Holiday Lighting ceremony will be December 6 at the Pocket Park.  Ceremonies will start at 5:45. Santa will be at the UMB bank from 6:15 to 7:30.  The Raytown Bank will play and there will be hayrides.  Cider and cookies will be served at the FOP at 63rd and Blue Ridge.

Chief Jim Lynch came before the Board and said the Police Department was working on a Missouri Crime Free program for Multi-housing units.  The Police Department used to promote the Neighborhood Crime Watch program, but that requires 50% participation of the residents in the area.  Since they don’t get that high participation, they are exploring other programs to help reduce crime.  Raytown currently has five police officers trained to do surveys of businesses and residences to help increase security.  There is no charge for this.  Raytown Police are also promoting a Crime Free Lifestyle.  The officers will go to individual homes or businesses and assist the property owners with the reduction of ID theft and break-ins.  All these services are paid for by our tax dollars.

The Board passed a resolution authorizing the continuation of an agreement with Tyler Technologies for the maintenance of software provided by Interactive Computer Designs.  The City utilizes Incode Software, a division of Tyler Technologies, Inc. for all financial, purchasing, utility, payroll, human resources, courts and customer service software.

Previously these functions were split among four separate software vendors all with annual maintenance contracts.  The annual maintenance provides for support, online training and any software updates or upgrades that are released. As long as the City maintains the annual maintenance payments, there should not be a need to pay for upgrades to the software that is not considered custom work. There will be a need for some overlap in coverage as the City transitions away from the other vendors.

The Board passed a resolution the approving the purchase of a 2014 Chevrolet Cutaway 4500 van.  Doug Jonsei told the Board based on evaluation of historical data, patterns of use, and industry trends, Public Works/Fleet Services has determined an optimum replacement schedule for Raytown EMS ambulances in order to maximize useful life of the equipment and to obtain the greatest economy of operation and maintenance. This purchase represents the second new ambulance in the 12-year cycle. It is to replace the oldest unit in our fleet of ambulances; the unit to be replaced is approaching the 100,000 mile mark, and it is the second chassis to be mounted under this particular coach.

The Board passed a resolution approving the purchase of a new Ambulance conversion from Osage ambulance/emergency Services Supply.  Doug Jonsei said it is several thousand dollars cheaper to purchase the chassis and ship it to the ambulance upfitter.  That’s why the purchases are in two separate resolutions.

The Board passed a resolution awarding a two year bid to Alamar Uniforms for the purchase of police uniforms and minor equipment.  Chief Lynch said It is anticipated that by switching back to Alamar Uniforms as the vendor for uniforms and minor equipment based on the bids received, that the Police Department’s expenditures will not dramatically change. However, prices from all vendors increased, and therefore, there is a possibility of a slight increase in expenditures that would occur with either vendor.

The Board passed a resolution approving the purchase of fuel from Maher Oil Company. 
The City of Raytown is presently purchasing fuel from Maher Oil Company utilizing a cooperative purchasing contract administered by Kansas City, MO. This contract provides the City of Raytown favorable pricing associated with the combined purchasing power of the City of Kansas City, City of Independence, City of Lee’s Summit, Unified Government of Wyandotte County, and Little Blue Valley Sewer District.

The Board passed a resolution approving change order no. 1 to the agreement with J.M. Fahey Construction for the 2013 asphalt overlay project.  This Change Order #1 is to bring the bid quantities to the final measured amounts.  The Board of Aldermen previously approved the bid of $298,561.00, as well as an additional $31,439.00 for possible overruns, for a total approved project amount of $330,000.00. An extra area was added to the project – line item no. 11 was added to pave an area from the Public Works driveway entrance off of 65th Street into the back lot in front of the City salt barn. This is included within the final project cost and change order.

The Board passed a resolution authorizing the final payment to Vance Brothers for the 2013 light weight aggregate seal project. The Board of Aldermen previously approved the Bid of $267,984.00, as well as an additional $2,016.00 for possible overruns for a total approved project amount of $270,000.00. Line item 1 overran with more areas that needed the initial patching. Line item 2 under ran for the final Light Weight Aggregate Seal from curb to curb. The final cost over ran the projected amount to a final total of $273,743.29.

The Board passed a resolution authorizing an official to change our authorized representative for the Missouri Department of Natural Resources State Revolving Fund from Jeremy Willmoth to Mark Loughry.

Reward Increased in Jogger’s Death
The reward for information leading to the capture of the murderer of Harry Stone has been increased to $5,775.00.

Mr. Stone was gunned down while jogging with his dog on May 13, 2012 by two individuals in a dark colored four-door car. The shooting was captured on surveillance video from a nearby gas station.

Anyone with information is asked to call 816-474-TIPS (8477). 

Pocket Park Christmas Lighting Ceremony
Mark your calendars for Friday, December 6, 2013 for the Annual Christmas Lighting Ceremony in Downtown Raytown. The lighting ceremony will take place at 5:45 at the Pocket Park located at 63rd Street and Raytown Road.

The lighting of the park will include the following events from 6:15 to 7:30 p.m. in Downtown Raytown.
  • Visit Santa at UMB Bank
  • Hop a hay ride around Downtown Raytown
  • Stop by the Winter Wonderland at 63rd and Blue Ridge Boulevard for some free cider and a cookie.The first 100 children will receive a craft kit. Santa’s elves will be on there to help put them together. Parents must accompany children. 
  • Visit Open Houses in the Downtown Business area.
  • Music provided by the Little Blue Singers and the Raytown Community Band Flutes. 
Farmer’s Market Meeting Draws a Good Crowd
Last minute confusion over where the meeting was to be held did not deter over 25 people from coming together last Monday to a public discussion on a Downtown Raytown Farmer’s Market.

For reasons that are not clear, city staff had approved use of the Raytown City Council Chambers on a Monday night. However, the Council Chambers are reserved on Monday nights for Municipal Court. A last minute realization of the snafu gave Ward 3 Alderman Janet Emerson enough time to stand in front of the building and direct interested parties to the city’s Public Works Garage.

Discussion at the meeting covered a number of topics, one of the more interesting being the operating hours of the farmer’s market. According to Alderman Emerson it looks like Thursday evening and Saturday daytime may be the times the market will be open for operation.

Though she is quick to point out much will be determined by the schedules of individual growers and vendors.

Date and time of future meetings will be announced after the Christmas holiday.


stuffed-pumpkin-slide-435Giving Thanks 
Without the Bird: Pumpkin Stuffed 
With Everything Good!

Traditions are meant to be broken. Turkey, green beans and pumpkin pie are sooo last year, or shall we say, more like the last 400 years! Besides, I eat turkey all year long, and not just in deli sammies either. Turkey tenderloin on the grill is a summertime favorite and — news flash, people — you can roast a turkey any time of the year. Just turn on the oven! But those super cute little pie pumpkins are only available in the fall, so take advantage of them while you can. Read More

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Anonymous said...

If you call a good crowd for the city market meeeting about 20 people I must disagree poor showing in my book.

Anonymous said...

I read the article too. First of all it said their were over 25 at the meeting. You wrote "about 20". Why do I get the feeling you really do not want a Farmer's Market in downtown Raytown.

Anonymous said...

I really hope that people on this blog get active in supporting a charter and getting some of these aldermen replaced in two years. The way I see it there are a couple new ones I like, with few more hoest souls up there, maybe we can get this town where it needs to be.

Peter said...

Sounds like Alderman Emerson did a good job of detouring patrons of the Farmers Market Meeting to a plan B. Way to go Janet! Sounds like a good crowd for the first meeting. Having a week night will be good for those who work on Saturday morning. Certainly wish I could of made it to this meeting. Thanks to each and everyone who did.

Anonymous said...

How do you know if your charter commission petition has been accepted by the city?

Chris Rathbone said...

11:40, If you are talking about the petition to get your name placed on the ballot for charter commission, here is the process: After you submit your notarized petition to city hall, the city clerk then sends the petition to the Jackson County Election Board. I would plan on it taking 2 to 4 days for the Election Board to recieve it. The Election Board then certifies the signatures and verifies that there enough qualified signatures on it and sends it back to city hall. That could take another week. You can, and I definitely would, call the election board to verify the status of your petition. The length of time all this takes can vary and may go faster or slower than I mentioned above, and it is the Election Board in Independence. Hope this helps.

Peter said...

To everyone... Have a fantastic Thanksgiving week

Anonymous said...

Your description of the process for verification of signatures is accurate. The timelines for verifying signatures seeem to be exaggerated. They really are much more efficient than that when it comes to verifying signatures.I am not sure what happens to those petitions that are short on verified names. My guess is they give you a set number of days to correct any deficiency in numbers.

The role of government agencies like city hall and the election board is supposed to be one of encouraging participation in political elections.

Anonymous said...

I believe the number reported on attending the Farmers Market meeting included children. Still think it is a good showing?

Anonymous said...

I can see it taking 2 to 4 days for your petition to reach The Election Commision and a week from that for the signatures to be verified and it to return via mail to City Hall. Postal takes a few days both ways. Bob is very effient at JCEC and will have the staff jump right into to verify signatures; they are a great group of staff there

Andy Whiteman said...

I am sure that the time for verification of signatures has a lot to do with the number of signatures. Also, can the signatures and addresses be read? The last time I was asked to sign a state initiative, I told the requester that I was unable to write so that it could be read. All I can do is scribble. She had to print my name and address and I scribbled my name. I suspect there are very few people who will admit that they can't write. Can you imagine being in the county clerks office and having to try to read addresses and signatures?

Recently in Albuquerque, NM the signatures on an initiative could not be certified in time for the election causinging a 2nd election be held at great expense. This was because the City Clerk was verifying signatures herself to insure it was done correctly.

I wish my friends a Happy Thanksgiving. Please drive safely.

Andy Whiteman

Chris Rathbone said...

My experience with turning in and tracking the petitions went faster than I described above. I think city hall had them sent out in about a couple days, and I think it took the election board about 3 days to finish them up and send them back. I just put those times up there because we never know how busy city hall, or the election board might be, and I thought the times I listed were a reasonable period of time to get them finished up. No need to stress out if you havnt heard anything back within a few days. My experience with dealing with the election board was very friendly and they did their very best to accurately answer all my questions.

Anonymous said...

I think there is real dedication when shown when private citizens take it upon themselves to try to improve their community. It could be a Farmer's Market. It could be City Charter.

I think most people are open to these ideas and will study them.

I really have little use for those who spend their time trying to ignore, ridicule and belittle those who are stepping up to do something good for the community.

Anonymous said...

9:10 am ....are u kidding? Really? Have a happy thanksgiving! There is so much for all of us to be thankful for if we only look with a thankful heart and mind

Andy Whiteman said...

I think it is good for children to be at the farmers market meeting. It may be of interest to them and they will learn how the process works. When I was a child, I went almost everywhere with my parents.

The last time I checked the mail pick up at the box in front of city hall the collection was 12N. Consequently if Teresa or anyone else drops anything into that box in the afternoon, it sits there until next day, so a petition could be delayed an extra day by the mail pick up time.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I agree Andy. For the life of me I cannot understand why anyone would want to throw water on this great idea. It is wholesome, good for people, builds pride in community.

Maybe the one writer who keeps harping about it can explain his or herself. There must be some reason they are trying to degrade the effort.

Anonymous said...

The only reason I can figure why our mayor doesn’t
want a farmers market would be because the people
want it. Let’s look at the facts. He wanted the green area
to be used by his favorite company WalMart. The people
didn’t want it. The people are tired of the waste and spending
coming out of city hall. The people got upset because our
leaders seem to bend or ignore rules when it comes to
themselves or their friends i.e. the city administrator not
having to live up to his promise to move here as stated in
this contract and the city bylaws. Then when the people
got upset with his thirty thousand plus a year pay increase
they were again ignored by our mayor and elected people.
Trying to stop a city market is just another petty way of
showing the people who’s boss of Raytown. I feel bad
for the two or three good aldermen we have in this town
because since the others are so firmly planted behind
the mayor, they have an uphill battle to do as the people

Anonymous said...

This really needs to be addressed again obviously..... I thought that there was a city ordinance that banned any and all signs in or along the public right of way. Things are getting out of hand and trashy looking again, isn't there a provision to prosecute the businesses or individuals involved, and why is the city no longer proactive in the enforcement of this law??? Really, do something about the $169 Window guy or gal, and the We buy Houses any condition for cash...... Come on, this really makes our city look good to those coming back to town for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Can we possibly clean it up?

Anonymous said...

9:31 am
You asked why the city doesn't do anything about the signs. Maybe because of the stupid policy at city hall. My neighbor raked all his leafs into the street and left them there. After three days, I called city hall and was told they couldn't do anything if they don't catch the homeowner actually raking the leafs in the street. That's because they can't prove it happened. I told them the leafs were in the street at that very moment, and if they went there, they would find them. They said they would send someone. The leafs finally blew away.

Anonymous said...


I agree the city needs to do something about the people that feel it is their right to blow all their leaves into the street.

1st - Why would a yard have the corresponding street adjacent the property overloaded with leaves while the yard has very little leaves if the property owner didn't have knowledge and / or was the person who put the leaves in the street.

2nd - The leaves in the street create the following problems and safety issues.

A.) Clogs drainage ditches.
B.) Clogs street sweepers
C.) Make streets slick when combined with moisture.

3rd – The city claims to be concerned about public safety which is why they brought before the citizens a public safety tax. This tax was to hire at least five additional officers of which none have been hired and the funding is now pulled from the police budget.

This should have us all asking where is the city on public safety and what is the city doing with our tax. Also why are they allowing a few citizens to increase expenses related to the leaves in the drainage system in a time when they are asking for tax renewals. Shouldn’t city hall take the steps to find savings and hold those few responsible.

Just another reason I am voting “NO” on any city tax renewal or increase!

Anonymous said...

It seems that city personnel are really good at one thing. Making up excuses to do nothing!

Anonymous said...

I'm the one who posted at 8:45 pm to our friend who just can't let go of trying to discredit the farmers market meeting. I think those kids are great to be there. They are Raytowns next generation so that's good insurance that the farmers market will continue to exist into the next generation. Hope that person realize the message before

Anonymous said...

If you see someone shoveling their leaves into the street, grab a camera or vidcam.... that will be enough evidence.

Anonymous said...

It makes me so angry when I read about city employees who routinely answer they cannot do anything about problems like leaves, signs, and so forth.

The City Administrator should sit down with each and everyone of them and remind them of their jobs.

It is not to make excuses but to find solutions.

I hope some of our city leaders read this and have a talk to City Administrator.

They gave him the $30,000 a year pay increase. He should earn it by taking care of business.

Anonymous said...

Listen, in the city’s defense, it’s obvious since your
neighbor is the only yard without leaves and right in
front of his house, in the street, is a pile of leaves,
then it is as clear as the nose on our faces. The good
Lord came down and raked only his leaves into the
street! Case closed!
I guess it’s too cold outside for the codes guys to stop
by your neighbor’s house and inform him of the law
and ask him to clean up the leaves or he would get
a ticket. Oops I forgot….cold day warm car.

Anonymous said...

Mayor David Bower is encouraging residents to participate in Small Business Saturday on November 30, by visiting locally-owned retailers.

Anonymous said...

What a super idea 8:32 pm. That way it couldn't be a he said she said which is a waste of time . Most cell phones have those features on them and most people carry theirs with them.

Chris Rathbone said...

Hold the phone!!! I was recently informed of the city changing the way they are handling the charter petitions. Someone who had recently turned in their petition said they were told by someone at city hall that the petitions that are now being turned in, will be held by city hall until sometime in January, and all of the petitions will then be turned in to the election board at the same time.

I left Teresa Henry a voicemail yesterday, and also emailed the City Administrator around noon yesterday, to see if this is true, and to let them know I am very concerned that some people's petitons are sent off in a timely manner, and others will have to wait till close to the cutoff time.

I have yet to hear back from either of them, and I will keep you all updated with any new information I find out.

Have a happy Thanksgiving.

Anonymous said...


With any election the city doesn't turn over the paper work until after closing date for filing.

Anyone who wants to be on the ballot for the charter would therefore need to get their paper work in prior to the set date for filing closing.

Anonymous said...

This Thanksgiving I want to thank those people with the signs "We buy ugly houses" for leaving their "ugly signs" all over the right a ways.

Susan Dolan said...

Missouri Revised Statutes
Chapter 115
Election Authorities and Conduct of Elections
Section 115.337

August 28, 2013

City election authority to assist county election authority, verify signatures, when.

115.337. 1. When an election authority for a county and an election authority for a city have jurisdiction within the same county, the county election authority may, for the purpose of verifying signatures on any new party or independent candidate petition filed with its office, deliver copies of petition pages to the city election authority for registration verification. The city election authority receiving a copy of petition pages shall check each signature indicated by the county election authority against its registration records and return all such copies to the county election authority no later than the day designated by the county election authority. At the same time the copies are returned, the city election authority shall certify to the county election authority the page number of each page it received and the total number of valid signatures from the city on the pages. The county election authority shall not designate any deadline for returning copies and certifications which is less than six or more than twelve working days after the copies have been received by the city election authority.

2. If copies of petition pages are sent to a city election authority for registration verification under the provisions of this section, the county election authority's final determination on the number of valid signatures submitted on the petition from the city shall be based on the certification made by the city election authority.

(L. 1977 H.B. 101 § 10.075)

Effective 1-1-78


Missouri Revised Statutes
Chapter 115
Election Authorities and Conduct of Elections
Section 115.331

August 28, 2013

Receipt to be given for filed petition.

115.331. When any petition is offered for filing with the secretary of state or an election authority under the provisions of this chapter, the officer receiving the petition shall prepare and issue to the person submitting the petition a receipt indicating the number of petition pages presented from each county. The receipt shall be evidence of the filing of the petition pages subject to the determination that the petition complies with the provisions of this chapter.

(L. 1977 H.B. 101 § 10.065, A.L. 1978 H.B. 971)