Sunday, January 26, 2014

RAYTOWN'S LEADING NEWS SOURCE


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BY PAUL LIVIUS

The Paul Livius Report
RAYTOWN BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING
January 21, 2014
Shirley Wittman told the Board that after doing research, most cities in Missouri are 4th class cities.  Some are as old as the State of Missouri.  Raytown is a 4th class city.  The main difference between a self-ruled charter-form of government and our 4th class government, she told the Board, is that once in a while, Raytown has to seek approval from the state in order to make certain decisions.  Over the years, as many as six proposed charters have been presented to the ballot box for the registered voters and each time have been rejected by the voters.  It will cost the city $30,000 to put the vote on the ballot.  After one year, the proposed charter will be presented to the voters at a cost of another $30,000.  She told the Board to consider the money the city has spent on previous charter endeavors.  She believes the previous proposed charters have included a number of unsatisfactory changes to our current form of city government.  She also believes residents will approve a simple charter form of government.  Once approved, changes can be made through amendments sought by Raytown candidates and residents at the ballot box.  She said she feels each and every person running for charter commission should announce in the local newspaper and public forums what changes, if any, to our current city government they propose to inject in the proposed charter.  She firmly stated she wasn’t talking about blogs.  She also said she was on the last Charter Commission and she was extremely disappointed in the outcome.  She rejected the charter at the ballot box because there were a number of commissioners who had special interests.  She said she was asking each and every Raytown resident to require each candidate to state what changes they plan to make to our form of government.  She plans to vote “no” on the first question about forming a charter commission.”  She said she will encourage everyone she knows to vote “no.”  She encourages residents to vote only for those candidates who want a simple charter. 

Mahesh Sharma read the list of candidates for the Charter Commission and said they were listed on the City’s website.  He also reported the White Oak West Line sanitary sewer project continues in the 83rd Street and; Elm area.  Missouri Gas Energy began relocating their gas mains in the Gregory Heights subdivision this week.  This work is planned to last through the spring.  MGE is relocating all of their gas mains from the back yard rear easement to the front yard right-of-way. Google Fiber submitted their Right-of-Way permit applications for work within Raytown from the end of January to the middle of March, weather permitting.  This work will cover approximately 75% of Raytown.  A map depicting this area of Google Fiber construction will be placed on the City’s website next week.  This work will not include connecting homes to their internet and television service yet; that will come later in the year. Asphalt crew placed cold patch asphalt in potholes on the main roads.  Storm sewer crew cleaned inlet throats of debris from 74 storm boxes.  Crews removed traffic signal mast arm at 63rd & Woodson and they are now fixing the wiring and making necessaryrepairs to the signal unit. Public Works hopes to get this flashing red light signal back up and in operation by the end of next week.

John Benson explained the “All Ages Program” sponsored by MARC.  The KC Communities for All Ages initiative was formed in 2008 to coordinate a community response to thefuture needs of the aging baby boomer generation.  The work of the KC Communities for All Ages initiative focuseson five major areas: housing, transportation and mobility, civic and social engagement, caregiving, and health care.  Aspart of this work, last year MARC partnered with several cities, including the City of Raytown, and several non-profitand private entities to develop two books entitled  “Communities for All Ages Idea Book” and “Making YourCommunity Work for All Ages Tool Kit”, which can be used by individual communities to make themselves more agefriendly.  For more information on this presentation, please go to http://www.raytown.mo.us/vertical/sites/%7B418C71C3-E397-4C87-B464-C498EC8900F9%7D/uploads/01-21-14_Web_Packet.pdf.  See page 3.

The Board passed a resolution approving the repair services of wastewater and storm water infrastructure in the City from Wiedenmann & Godfrey Construction.  Andy Noll told the Board the maintenance staff periodically identifies storm water and sanitary sewerinfrastructure that needs repair or replacement.  Some of the repairs stretch the capability of the City’s equipment and staff capacity. The contract establishes hourly rates for equipment and personnel and a markup for supplies.  A section of pipe from a sanitary sewer has significantly deteriorated and needs to be replaced.  The anticipated cost of the replacement is $61,400.00.

The Board passed a resolution approving the purchase of computer equipment and supplies from Dell Marketing.  Chief Lynch said The Police Department utilizes an IT hardware replacement schedule.  This allows thedepartment to better forecast expenditures and avoid large, single time expenses of hardwarereplacement.  Thirteen workstations are scheduled for replacement this year.

The Board passed a resolution approving the purchase of ammunition from Gulf States Distributors.  Chief Lynch told the Board that this resolution will allow the City to take advantage of a cooperative bid with the Stateof Missouri Law Enforcement Agencies.  The Police Department orders a variety of ammunition types from Gulf States Distributors.  Theammunition is for training and duty use.  Most weapon systems are purchased through this vendor.

The Board passed a resolution approving the purchase of three 2014Ford police interceptors from Dick Smith Ford.  The Police and Public Works Departments annually evaluate the Vehicle ReplacementProgram to determine which vehicles are reaching the end of their life cycles.  This year,three marked patrolvehicles are due to complete their service based on mileage, age, and projected maintenance costs.

The Board then went into a closed session meeting.

BY GREG WALTERS

22 Candidates Certified for Charter Race

If anything has been proven this week it is that the hope for change is alive and well in Raytown. At the close of filing last Tuesday, twenty-two candidates were qualified to run for the Raytown Charter Commission.

The list is such a unique mixture of candidates that it deserves comment. Those reading this page will recognize themselves. I wonder how many of the readers will.
Consider the following:

A record number of current City Councilmembers have filed. Four of the ten members of the Raytown City Council are seeking a seat on the Charter Commission.
  • A “mother/daughter” team is filed.
  • A Raytown School Board member is a candidate for the Charter Commission.
  • Two members of the Raytown Police Department’s Command Staff have filed.
  • A member of the Raytown Planning and Zoning Commission has filed.
  • A leader in opposition to last summer’s Downtown Walmart Neighborhood Market has filed.
  • A leader in support of last summer’s Downtown Walmart Neighborhood Market has also filed.
Finally there is a last group of candidates that I find bothersome.
  • Listen closely to what a candidate has to say. A couple of them have made public comments in opposition to this Charter effort. Some have a track record of opposing Charter efforts in the past. Candidates like that do not deserve anyone's vote.
  • If a candidate dwells on “stopping” someone, or making certain reforms are not put into place, they are probably opposed to the Charter and running to block its final passage.
  • Equally nefarious are candidates who file solely to bolster an image for a run for political office in future years
I count five of the candidates filed as falling into the above list. In my opinion, they do not deserve anyone’s vote.

If you do the math, even with those five removed from the list, it still leaves a list of at least 17 candidates to choose from.

Each of those candidates has their story to tell and hopes for a better Raytown. Take the time to learn about them between now and April 8th.

We will do our part. This week the fourth candidate in a continuing series of articles appears at the end of this week’s publication. (to review this and other stories use the following link)

USE THIS LINK: CHARTER CANDIDATE PROFILES 

REMINDER TO CANDIDATES: Candidates for the Raytown Charter Commission are invited to share your story on the Raytown Report. Send your article along with a photo of yourself to gregtwalters@sbcglobal.net  

We will take it from there.



Paul’s Rant

“Unreal, unbelievable, bizarre”, those are the words that came to mind when I watched the last City Council meeting.

It was not because of the antics of the Mayor or any of the members of the Board of Aldermen. No, last week’s entertainment came courtesy of a speaker during Public Comments.

Shirley Wittman, a candidate for the Raytown Charter Commission, gave a speech that was so "wrong" it was laughable. Suffice to say the words that spilled out of her mouth were a collection of conspiracy theories, out-right fabrications and very questionable "facts". 

For instance: Wittman claimed the Charter Election will cost $30,000 to hold in April and then $30,000 if a subsequent election is held to approve the final Charter product.

To say the least, it is a jump to a conclusion fraught with faulty assumptions.

The election cost this Spring is shared by the City of Raytown and the Raytown School District. Both have issues on the ballot. The School District has a property tax increase and the City has two sales taxes. I am not sure the final cost of the election, but I do know the cost will be apportioned to the two public entities.

Now, let's say the voters approve the formation of a Charter Commission. One year later the finished Charter is put before the voters for approval or disapproval. Coincidentally, the City will be holding Spring elections at that time. So the election cost was already there, already being paid for by the City. Short story -- the election is being held and paid for whether or not the Charter is on it.

So much for Mrs. Wittman's wild assertion of $60,000 in election costs!

But what she closed with is the “unreal, unbelievable and bizarre" part of her one woman show.

She told the audience and viewers of the meeting at home that she was urging them to vote against the formation of a Charter Commission!

Imagine that -- She went out and passed a petition to get her name placed on the ballot – and then tells people to vote against forming the Commission she is running for! She then went on to tell voters to elect her just in case the Charter does pass.

Lady, I would not vote for you as dog catcher.

Raytown has an opportunity to pull itself up and join the 21st Century by dumping a form of government designed for small farm communities. Our city is the largest Fourth Class City in Missouri. It is hamstrung by an archaic set of laws that can trace its beginning back to the 19th Century when the Missouri was granted statehood.

There is a no-brainer of an election coming up on April 8th. One of the questions you will be asked is if a Charter Commission should be formed. The short answer is “yes”.

Another decision will be which of 13 candidates should serve on the Commission.

Greg and I plan to endorse candidates this time around. There are 22 individuals who have stepped up to serve their community. They are to be commended for their choice to roll roll up their sleeves and go to work for the rest of us in Raytown.

As far as I am concerned  Shirley Wittman has made our job easier.

Now there are only 21 candidates we will consider to endorse.


School Board 
Candidates Unopposed 

Three incumbent candidates for the Raytown School Board have received every politicians dream, the "Free Ride".

According to a press release from Kathy Kennedy of the Raytown School District . . .

As of 5 p.m., January 21, 2014 – last day of candidate filing – the Raytown School District has 3 three-year term director positions open and 3 candidates signed-up. Therefore, for the first time there will not be a question on the April 8 ballot for School Board Directors.

The following candidates will run unopposed: Rick Moore, Terry E. Landers, Jerome Barnes

Even though there will not be a School Board Election on April 8th, there will still be a School District tax question on the April 8th. The Raytown School District is asking voters to approve a property tax increase.

The City Council has also placed two sales tax questions on the ballot as well. The tax questions ask for approval of 1.25% in the sales tax rate.That will set the total sales tax burden at 8.25%.*

*Sales tax rates at Walmart, Hyvee, Adli's, I-Hop, Sutherland Lumber and Westlake Hardware are higher because they are in special tax districts.

FIT BOTTOMED EATS
Homemade Gluten Free Protein Pancakes BY KAREN
Call ‘em pancakes, griddlecakes, hot cakes, flapjacks, or even slapjacks — you know we’re talking breakfast! Golden brown, light and fluffy, dribbled with real maple syrup; a stack of cakes puts a smile on my face!

Unfortunately most pancakes — even some of the homemade, whole-grain yummy ones — are nothing more than a stack of carbs, which is fine if you are headed out to run a few miles, but without the powerful punch of protein, you’ll most likely be looking for breakfast No. 2 in a couple of hours. READ MORE


THE FOLLOWING IS THE FOURTH IN A SERIES OF ESSAYS BY CANDIDATES FOR THE RAYTOWN CHARTER COMMISSION.
  
TO VIEW OTHER CHARTER CANDIDATE PROFILES . . .
USE THIS LINK: CHARTER CANDIDATE PROFILES


BY ROBBIE TUBBS
Robbie Tubbs for Raytown 
Charter Commission

My name is Robbie Tubbs and I have been a Raytown resident since 1998.  I believe Raytown residents should have a voice in how our City is governed.  That’s what the charter will do for us.

Should the citizens have the right to petition on a local level?

Do the residents want the senior staff employees to live in the city?

Should the citizens have the ability to recall elected officials? 

If the residents of Raytown agree with me, then we need a charter.

If elected, there will be twelve other Commissioners, many of whom will have very good ideas about the charter.
 
I look forward to working with them and creating a viable document for Raytown. 

Unlike other candidates, I will urge everyone I meet to vote “yes” on the charter question.

ROBBIE TUBBS

TELEPHONE     313-1075
EMAIL              Robbie317@hotmail.com




Rice Tremonti Elects 
Board of Directors

The new Board of Director of Friends of Rice-Tremonti were elected into office Jan. 15,2014.  They are as follows:

President                  Barb Schlapia
Vice-President       Leigh Elmore
Treasurer                 David Wurth
Secretary                 Marilyn Fleming
Corr. Secretary     Vi Guinn

The Board will be holding a planning session instead of the normal February meeting in order to determine future projects for the Home.

JACKSON COUNTY AWARDS RICE TREMONTI
The Jackson County Historical honored Friends of Rice-Tremonti Home January 16, 2014 at its 55th Annual Meeting and Awards Program.  Leigh Elmore, past President along with other members were there to accept the Award which was given for:

Bringing Living History to Life
Partnership with JCHS for “Blood & Ashes”
150th Anniversary Re-enactment of General Order No. 11

The event was held last year at the Pre-Civil was home in Raytown, and was attended by many local residents. 

Also honored at the same event was Raytown’s own Ralph Monaco II, for Historical Book of the Year

Scattered to the Four Winds: General Order No. 11 and Martial Law in Jackson County, Missouri, 1863.

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44 comments:

Greg Walters said...

Not so sure that Elisa's comments are off the mark.

After all, she was the one who blew the whistle on the City last summer.

Let's see how this plays out before some go off half-cocked with baseless accusations.

It is the City of Raytown that has the penchant for secrets. Not the other way around.

My guess is this last blast at Mrs. Breitenbach comes from one of the folks who supported the 40,000 sq. ft. Grocery Store in the Mayor's so-called Green Space.

Sounds like someone has one heck of an agenda in play. Doesn't it?

Time will tell if Mrs. Breitenbach is accurate.

Oh, by the way, Elisa has a name. It is not Doughboy. That is the name of her Donut Store located at 63rd and Woodson.

Andy Whiteman said...

It seems strange to me that someone would say that a charter is not needed and suggest people vote "NO" to form a charter commission and at the same time run to be on the same commission that she opposes. What would be the point of her being on the commission other than to sabotage the effort? She is obviously satisfied with being a serf in the medieval fiefdom of Raytown.

One on the several reasons I moved away from the Fief of Raytown, State of Misery is that the cost of living is unaffordable. Property taxes are outrageous! Utilities are also unaffordable due to the high price of gas and electricity plus city franchise and sales taxes added to the bill. Excessive taxes are responsible for people moving away and lowering Raytown property values and standard of living. Higher sales taxes will drive shoppers from Raytown hurting businesses. I sure hope more than 20% of the sheepole get off their duffs and get out to vote in the next election. It is not necessary to go to the polls at all. Those who are too lazy or can't vote on the designated day may simply call the county election board and ask for an absentee ballot to be mailed to them. They may vote at their leisure from home and return their ballot by mail. It is not necessary to to leave the house and make a trip to the polls.

Andy Whiteman

Susan Dolan said...

*** THIS IS NOT AN ADVERTISEMENT ***

I followed Paul Livius' link to the web packet from the last city hall meeting. A couple of links within led to additional documents about aging in place. This heads-up is for those who are aging and use a home personal computer.

My neighbor is in frail health and hard of hearing, enjoys his PC and wants to live out his life at home, alone. As it was, he could not afford to add the devices that would improve his quality of life and safety.
c
The work arounds I installed for him made all the difference.

I put him on clearwire wireless internet @ $35/month broadband, added voip-dot-com (voice over internet) phone service @ $14.95/month, VRI home medical monitoring service that works flawlessly with VOIP phone service (homemonitoringcare-dot-com) free unit and delivery with monitoring @ $34.95/month and Caption Call (captioncallphone-dot-com)which transcribes the caller's speech into writing for him while he continues to respond verbally. This device and a router were delivered and installed for free. There is no monthly charge for the service.

Long story short, for $85/month, he still has fast broadband internet but also has far more feature-rich phone service, can alert for help from anywhere in his home if he needs it, and can understand all of what people who call are saying. He dropped his ATT phone service and previous internet provider so he's paying less for more and is able stay in his home. In his case, finding devices that would work with his wireless internet took a little extra research, but was well worth the effort.

I've done this for others as well, in some cases also switching them off cable t.v. and onto OTR t.v. so they could eliminate that bill (they were very happy with the trade-off).

This to say that if you plan to say in your home, there are changes that can be made to ensure you can surf the web, communicate, summons aid, enjoy great t.v., and still be able to afford to eat. Don't despair and surrender your independence prematurely.



Anonymous said...

Gee January 26, 2014 at 7:41 AM, you were hard on Elisa.

Tell you what. Since you're so sure she doesn't have the facts, we must deduce that you do. Otherwise your counter is groundless.

And in that case, please let us know exactly what the facts really are (or put a lid on it).

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't we refer to Mrs. Whittman as Witty Whittman if that is how it will be known as on the ballot? She doesn't seem to be all there.

Wise Old Owl said...

Paul,

Thank you for printing Witt’s statements to the board.

The only piece I disagree with her on is asking voters to not vote for the charter.

We will never fully move our city forward without a charter and the home rule it provides.

With that being said she is right on point that this needs to be keep simple so it will pass.

For example those that believe it needs to have a piece about department heads living in the city are wrong as this has caused the charter to fail in the past and therefore must stay out of this one.

Now do not jump to a conclusions that I don’t I support department heads living in the city. However, unlike several of the candidates I learned from the past that if the city was under a charter and had referendum and initiative the citizens would by now have brought forward the petition that would have required the all department heads to live in the city.

Go ahead make the list of what I call nice to haves, but just give us recall, referendum and initiative and within five years we can have all the other things we need like department heads required to live in the city.

Anonymous said...

1:22p I don't know if it matters how you refer to her - there is only one Whittman on the ballot. Some I've talked with refer to her as wing nut. She has self-assured her unflattering notariety.

Anonymous said...

I don't agree with with the Wise Old Owl. Most people agree with residency requirements for department heads. The last charter did not fail because of that issue.

The big difference this time around is that the dynamics of who is supporting who has changed so dramatically.

Mayor Bower does not have a popular following as did Sue Frank when the last Charter was proposed. Frank's opposition to the Charter was a big factor in its defeat last time.

With her husband running for the Commission it is doubtful she will come out against it again.

With the exception of three of the candidates running (Aziere, Walters and Whitman) this is an entirely new batch of leaders stepping up to take charge.

Don't make the mistake of national leaders throughout history believing that the battle before them will be fought the same as the one in the past.

Nearly every city in the metropolitan area has residency requirements for their upper management. It works for them. It will work for Raytown.

Anonymous said...

Pass a charter that has nothing in it?!?

And then wait for the City Council to make the reforms itself?

Not a good plan. Sounds like someone trying to protect the way things are.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Wise Old Peregrine Falcon said...

Wise Old Owl isn't so wise; a similar post for a a skeletonized charter last week under anonymous. I wonder if it was the same writer? It made no more sense this time than the last.

As with our country's founding fathers, this commission will work to build-in the protections that our city's political history has proven to be necessary.

Paul Livius said...

The previous post was edited to remove an unsubstantiated claim against a charter candidate. If a writer wishes to make an accusation without proof of it being true, they must sign their name to the post for purposes of verification.

Andy Whiteman said...

I remember when candidates were NOT allowed to make political speeches as public comments at the BOA. Have the rules changed or does his Majesty the Mayor allow comments only if he agrees?

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Paul,
Using Shirley Wittman’s name as you did is
an insult to dog catchers worldwide.
Since Mrs. Whittman is so against a charter
I think the people of Raytown should be
kind to her and not put her through the
riggers of being on the chamber board
again. She clearly doesn’t like this town
but she thinks it doesn’t need any changes
in how it is run. This makes no sense. But
then it is Shirley Whittman we are talking
about.

Anonymous said...

10:54

I am so sorry, but it sounds like you got your civics taught to you by one of the names of those running for the charter commission.

Might I recommend that you take that time to understand referendum and initiative.

Anonymous said...

Please explain about how it is an insult to dog catchers

Anonymous said...

8:46A I agree. You ARE sorry because 10:54 was spot-on in his or her comment. You are the ill-informed party.

Anonymous said...

8:46

What an ignorant statement, maybe you should take they time to understand civics. I think the one you're reffering to holds much more information than you will ever have.

Anonymous said...

Once the charter is in place any changes that are made have to go to a vote of the people. That's another reason a charter will give you a citizen more control of the city.

Anonymous said...

anonymous 10:02
I'd be happy to.
She shouldn't even be elected to clean up after the dog has finished it's business

Anonymous said...

The vote in April is if you want a charter to be commisioned and if so whom do you wish to see work on said charter Commision. The vote is to begin the process. After it is commisioned it then goes to a vote for acceptance by the citizen before anything can be put in force from the charter

Anonymous said...

To 7:52 that doesn't explain why it is an insult to dog catchers everywhere. Saying that person shouldn't be allowed to pick up poo???

Anonymous said...

so many interesting comments. The Charter question seems very simple to me. Can our city be run better than it is. The stuff I have seen this last year tells me we need to make some changes.

Whether you agree with that thought or not really does not matter. We owe it to ourselves to look to what might be better options.

Need To Know said...

To me a Charter means inclusion versus exclusion, respectful consideration versus tyrannical bullying, decisions made in the best interests of the stockholders (local homeowners and business owners) versus non-residential politicians and developers looking to advance their political career and/or financial gain at our expense. I believe that with a city government that is open and responsive to the people for whom they work, Raytown will revive and far exceed the dismal expectations we've been lead to expect.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 7:53 & 3:53
I will try to explain one last time.
She is not worthy of the people of Raytown.
She has stated she is against the charter but,
Wants to be on the board. She says she will
vote against the charter but yet, she wants
to be on the board. It is clear she wants only
to be a disturbance in the process. Only a crazy
person would try to be elected to something
she clearly is against, and the people have
shown they want.

Anonymous said...

The public's right to petition and referendum are extremely powerful tools. Anyone who experienced the schemes of city hall last summer over a Downtown Walmart Neighborhood Market can relate to that.

If we had the right to petition under a charter we could have forced the development issue onto the ballot for a public referendum.

Under the current fourth class status the right to petition is not there.

Now you can understand why some at city hall are not too excited about a charter for Raytown.

Pat Casady said...

Back about ten or more years ago, when the
then City Administrator Mr. Curt Wenson, was
trying to get the green area developed.
By the way, Mr. Wenson wanted a grocery store too.
Raytown went through a couple of developers. Dial and
R.E.D. Both failed to prove themselves as Raytown’s
Savior. But, they did do one thing. They made me
read the Missouri Constitution. You see they
were talking about eminent domain and condemnation
of all the property around the green space. I
found, back then, a small paragraph that stated
a fourth class city without a Charter
does not have the power of
eminent domain or condemnation. This might
have changed but, you can see my problem.
I think Raytown needs a Charter. But, if Raytown
gets a Charter it gives power hungry politicians
the power to eliminate who stands in their way.
This may come as a shock to many of you but,
City Hall doesn’t exactly call me their best friend.
(a little humor)
If Raytown is to get a Charter Board formed it
should be formed only with people with this
towns best interest at heart. The asinine statements
and past records of some of the people wanting
to be on the board should be taken seriously.
They only want to be on the board to ruin
the proceedings.

Raytown Newbie said...

Not to dredge up old business, but since I see continual references to last year's green space debacle. Please permit me to say that(IMHO) the campaign to keep Walmart out should have been named "Save Woodson Village" not "Save Downtown Raytown" unless the meaning of save here is to be taken as to preserve the status quo. Now don't get me wrong... if I had a business that would be threatened by the potential Walmart, I would have tried to derail it too. Call it special interest or whatever it's just human nature. I just think it was fairly misleading to suggest someone with a business in Woodson Village would be worried about saving downtown Raytown. More like keep out the big retailer who will cost me business. Just my 2 centavos

Need To Know said...

Agreed 7:44a and let's not forget all the additional fiscally irresponsible fiascoes over the recent past which the voters could have averted had they the ability that a well-drafted city charter affords. That some at city hall are not excited about a charter is likely an understatement. Campaign promises and flowery speeches aside, their ineptitude and flagrant disregard of their purpose for being has not gone unnoticed. It is fitting that their skin crawls as their days of running rampant at our expense draw to a close. Who is chosen to craft the new charter is of great importance as is public input and knowledge of its' progress. Let it not be behind closed doors but out in the open so all can know (for a change) what is going on as the drafting of the charter proceeds. It will be, after all, the constitution for ALL the people of the city of Raytown.

All charter commission hopefuls need to reveal what pertinent skills, knowledge and experience they bring to the table; being likeable and photogenic are not relevant qualifications. If they don't come forth with that information, they won't get my vote.

Anonymous said...

7:44 AM

It is nice to see that someone gets what a simple charter can do for the people.

It is sad that already on the street we have those who want to serve on the charter commission wanting to add so many special interest pieces that once again I fear we will remain a fourth class city.

Let us hope those who are running and end up being elected understand that a simple charter that allows for petition as you wrote about will allow for the citizens to bring other things forward at a later date.

I hope several of those who are running and are know to have ego issues will do what is right for the city before their personal agenda.

Only with clear non-personal agenda minds will we as a whole move Raytown forword!

Elisa Breitenbach said...

Raytown Newbie if we lie to the government it's a felony. If the government lies to us it's politics. I do not support the status quo. I support local business and families. I do not support WAL-MART and it's predatory business practices on my fellow Americans. I am not a Raytown Newbie. This is the town I grew up in. We had over 40 Mom and Pop shops that the first WAL-MART took out. Today at our donut shop we served a charming group of volunteers for an area hospice. The new WAL-Mart on Noland Road came up in our conversation. One lady who lived close to it thought it may be just what they needed because once they had a grocery store there. Then another man joined in and asked if anyone had watched the story of WAL-MART on the internet. It's amazing how many of us want to try and save our communities from WAL-MART. How many of us are tired of government on all leavels telling lies to us like Mayor Bower and others did about the Raytown WAL-MART. Many of us are fed up with the status quo and feel like our communities deserve much better then what we are seeing. Welcome to Raytown, Raytown Newbie.

Anonymous said...

Looks like we have some people with passive/aggressive problems writing on this blog.

Anonymous said...

It is amusing when people come back into Raytown to conduct business for the past very few years and have been gone for 35 yrs without an interest one in Raytown

Peter said...

A lot of people grew up in Raytown. A large group of you left when you were 17 only to come to visit an elderly relative. Some have grown up here , left right after high school but now make their living in Rsytown while living elsewhere. And then there is us Raytowners that grew up here raised a family here , work here and have always lived here. So whether you are a new resident living here now or someone that use to live here over 30 yrs ago or making a living here really isn't the point!! If you have just recently got involved with Raytown OR Reinvovled with Raytown it doesn't matter, what matters is the present The NOW!!! Welcome to all of you! Now let's get to the present and focus on that . It's a far better use of our energy and talents

Anonymous said...

Elisa,

Watch out Wal-Mart is not the only company that just will not go away.

I was reading in one of the local papers a report from the last Park Board meeting and Dollar General is at it again trying to move into that lot next to Blue Ridge School.

How many Dollar Generals to they need in a less than 5 miles from another.

Need To Know said...

I am a Raytown homeowner who finds it revolting that City Hall continues to demean us and devalue our property values by continual attempts to ineptly perform functions beyond their intended purpose. Intentionally strangling us with loss of tax revenue, then looking to increase our taxes to make up the difference is criminal. Bringing in the lowest common denominator of business such as WalMart and the Dollar Store, cheapen our image. If allowed to continue, we'll be so tax-strapped we won't be able to breathe, some of our properties declared blighted and seized, and our wonderful, historic community will evolve into a horrid train-wreck of low-end and undesirable businesses that are common to so many devalued communities across the country. We HAVE to demand better for ourselves.

Their job is to literally pave the way with roads, other infrastructure, utilities, etc. Their job is not to be a major participant in (or to make taxpayers party to) the financing of private development. That is the private sector's role. I'm a capitalist who believes in the power of the free maket and whenever city government starts to question or manipulate the free market they will get into trouble one way or another. I believe the free market has spoken loud and clear and that City Hall had better listen.

Additionally, eminent domain is coming in a big way - look to MARC's plans to see for yourself and ask yourself, why is it that City Hall is dancing to the tune of MARC who is nothing more than a non-governmental agency? Local development is a local issue, period!

Anonymous said...

It is amazing to me how the people of a
small town can realize how a WalMart is
a bad thing and the leaders of our small town
wanted to have two such small town killers
in our city limits. The fact that our leaders can only
come up with a grocery store is testament
to how WM hinders small mom and pop
shops from coming to Raytown.
That and the restrictive rules and regulations
forced upon prospective small business
wanting to open in this town. If you don’t
believe me, just ask the Home Skillet people.
If we want a change to the good for
Raytown we need first to vote out
any leader that does not do what the
people want them to do. Remember every
penny they waste or give away is YOUR MONEY!
Even the huge thirty thousand dollar a year raise
given to a city hall club member, was YOUR MONEY!
Every piece of property they want to give
away is YOUR PROPERTY! If our leaders give
away the green space to a company, they might as
well have gone into your personal bank account and
removed your hard earned money and handed
to a big corporation. We need a charter. We need to
vote out all the bad city leaders and maybe Raytown
will survive but, don’t count on it.

Anonymous said...

I don't see any major business willing to or wantimg to move into Raytown. Walmart Grocery didn't want any tax abatements at all and you all whined and cried until they pulled out. Raytown is too small land wise for any big retailer. Look at the demographics of this town.

Anonymous said...

Peter, January 30,

Thank you for your comments. I have lived here in Raytown for 49 years in the same house, Raised my children here and 2 of my 3 sons still live here as well and my grandson also lives here. My sister and my parents moved here in the mid to late 50's.

We moved here when Raytown was at it's best. There was everything here we needed except entertainment which we still don't have. I have seen the best and the worst of Raytown, but I will stay here until I can know longer physcially stay in my home. Is was a great place to live. Why you ask, because I have seen what Raytown was and what it could be again. We need some forward looking people at city hall and citizens who get involved to make sure city hall is held accountable. It is your tax money that pays for changes. Things never stay the same and that's not bad thing that how we all grow and that true of cities as well. We must be always on the move upward.
I was born and raised in Kansas city, MO in but I did not get the sickness that many missourians have and that is change is always bad. However, that does not mean I am for Walmart. I believe we can do better. Walmart is ok for some small towns that have nothing else but we are a city of over 30,000 people and we already have a Walmart. This walmart has cost us all money do we really want to do that again. So city hall stop thinking small go after something that we don't already have the people of this city deserve the best. I'ed really like to see Raytown in it's prime again.

Anonymous said...

Yes, moving a Dollar General in really close to the new dollar store down by The Skillet (will that ever open?) will have a great effect on that new business. What a way for city hall to say 'we hope your new business fails'.

Peter said...

To 12:40pm ,.... I've been in Raytown 60 yrs: born and raised here. All my adult kids live in Raytown and my Grandkids as well. I know what you mean. .... And you can certainly tell the difference in the demeanor of those who have been here forever and those who recently have come back. We want the best for Raytown and do not need to be mean and nasty about it.. An intelligent steady course of action in a mature nature will best service Raytowns evolvement

Anonymous said...

8:39a Shame on you! No one screamed and whined; we came forward in a responsible and respectful fashion to exercise our right to protest the WalMart development. The only thing you were right about is that we don't need any large retailer here. There are a lot of people here who would gladly open specialty shops if there were affordable space where we could do it. Read my lips 8:39 - LOCALLY OWNED BUSINESS! And forget the ugly 4-story high parking garage and apartments too. Give us what fits the scale of the center of a small TOWN SQUARE. A clocktower, a fountain, several shade TREES, green grass. READ THIS 8:39: NO LAND GIVEAWAY - PRIVATE DEVELOPMENT - SHOPS FOR LOCALLY OWNED BUSINESSES - NO TIFS, NO ABATEMENTS. Get it? Got it? Good.

Terrence said...

Dollar General and Dollar Stores are two different breeds. Then you have Family Dollar which has even different things. I shop Dollar Store for many things and Dollar Genetal for brand names of Laundry, toilet paper hair care products. I go to both stores monthly to do my shopping. If you do not frequent either you might put them in with the same league. My son and daughter and their families frequent both. If anything the Dollar Generals would be in completion with one another.

Andy Whiteman said...

I live in a city that is about the same population as Raytown but larger in area. There are FOUR (4) Dollar General stores in this city. In my opinion they are competing against each other until one Sunday they ran an ad in the paper for Ball Park franks. I stopped at one of the Dollar General's I was passing and was told, "This store is too small to stock everything." They told me which store to go to. They had only one package of franks and no buns.

One question the people of Raytown need to ask is will all of the Dollar Generals be fully stocked or will people be sent to a larger store? It is a nuisance trying to buy something when it is not in all of the stores!

Andy Whiteman

Need To Know said...

Terrence, Dollar stores are dollar stores and they have their place, but they don't say 'quaint' do they? In addition, I know of at least 2 of their breed are already in town. We need another of those just like we need another grocery store. We're less than 10 sq. miles here for crying out load, and could use a greater variety of business establishments rather than more of what we already have. For example, I make hand-made soap, preserves and canned goods. I know a person who keeps bees here... potentials for a new small local business in our town square, but not the way things are headed.

Peter, living here all your life doesn't necessarily qualify you as an authority on development. Agreed, a steady course of action is desirable but add economically responsible to that mix too. I've lived in both the midwest and west coast and traveled extensively, which broadens the mind. City Hall doesn't need to stop thinking small, they need to START thinking small and stop trying to make us into something we're not. This is a small town with a rich history which would benefit by building on that aspect. Local businesses owners housing shops in the center of town, selling quality items, services, art and food that people can't buy in WalMart would make us a destination. THAT creates jobs and the owners STAY. They create wealth for the city and themselves. This is Raytown. Smaller is better. I've seen it work. For an example, google The Old Market Omaha or the Hay Market Lincoln. Check out Brookside. All are midwest places house small local businesses that simply boom. They are destinations! Raytown just doesn't get it - what a waste.