Sunday, March 2, 2014


To leave a comment use this link POST A COMMENT

To view the February 18th meeting of the Raytown Board of Aldermen use the following link.

Ward 5 Alderman Steve Mock contacted the Raytown Report this afternoon to tell the video of the meeting was available on You Tube. There has been a spate of activity these last two weeks about the need for the City to re-broadcast Board of Aldermen meetings via You Tube. Apparently, people are reading and listening.


There has been a troubling theme running through some, but (thankfully) not all of the comments published by Charter candidates recently.

The theme runs pretty much like this . . . pass a Charter, and then go to the voters in rounds of petitions to make changes to how the city is operated.

Sounds kind of cumbersome to me, if not prohibitively expensive. City elections do not run themselves. I won’t bore you with statistics on what elections cost. Suffice to say those election judges and the support needed in tallying up votes does not come  free.

It would seem to me that 13 adults could meet and come up with some sensible changes to how Raytown is operated.

Do we really need a special election to put in the Charter that elected officials must live within the district they represent? Do we need a special election to place reasonable safeguards on the creation of tax abatements for large corporations that cost local taxpayers increased property and sales taxes?

I hope not.

A number of candidates have taken some pretty outrageous positions in this Charter election. Some have announced they want to do very little in change. One has even said she is urging people to vote against the Charter while she is running for it!

Here is some good advice, when you run into any of those candidates, be polite, be understanding, but don’t fall for their twisted version of progress.

They promise very little.

If elected, they will deliver even less.

Faction Politics Threaten 
Charter Effort
What started as a grass roots effort to modernize the City of Raytown’s form of government is running into some familiar old stumbling blocks that sabotaged the last effort.

Filing for candidates closed early in February. Since that time a group candidates have coalesced into a couple of small factions with familiar sound themes.

The larger of these two groups is known as the “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” crowd.
They say they want a Charter for Raytown but when you ask them what they want the Charter to do, they have no answer. Their mantra is “Keep it Simple”. When pressed to respond how to address tough questions, that would reform the governmental structure at City Hall, they are ambiguous at best.

Some say “give us the tools and the City Council can make the changes needed”.

Apparently they have not watched any recent Council meetings. If they had they would have seen a roomful of adults quibble over dress codes and restrictive rules on how to conduct City Council meetings. 
They shy away from discussion of reform of tax abatement policies, residency issues of elected and appointed city officials, and any other real changes to the quagmire that makes up the current mess at City Hall.

They are not what one would call a proactive group ready to take on the challenges of an aging inner ring suburb in the 21st Century.

These “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” candidates appear to be comfortably close to a smaller faction running for the Commission.

We call them the “Status Quo Crowd”.
This group will actually tell you to vote against forming a Charter Commission! Then they suggest you elect them just in case it passes so they can protect the good people or Raytown.

This small group, made up of people who actively campaigned against previous charter attempts, do not deserve serious attention. It is made up of current council members and stalwarts of the current administration.

It is conceivable that the two groups combined could capture a seven seat majority on the Charter Commission and stonewall the earnest efforts of the other Commissioners. If they do, the wishes and hopes of many people who signed petitions to make Raytown a better community will be disappointed with the result.

The Charter will be little more than an act rubber stamping the policies currently in place at City Hall.
How to Identify Faction Candidates
DON’T WORRY BE HAPPY candidates are a clever bunch. Listen for key phrases like “keep it simple”. Ask some tough questions. What are their plans for change? If it is limited to creating a petition and recall process, you have met a “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” candidate.

Another trademark tactic of this type of candidate is for them to agree with you on reforms that are needed at City Hall. Listen carefully to what they say. Do they readily agree with you but stop short of making a commitment to the changes you would like to see made at City Hall?

STATUS QUO candidates are easier to spot. They are distrustful of newbie candidates recently active on the political scene. Some will even tell you they are opposed to the Charter. They fear the “wrong people” will get in charge. Controversial elitists, they see themselves as saviors of the status quo, protecting the imagined accomplishments of those already running city hall.

THERE are 22 candidates filed for the Raytown Charter Commission. The majority are honest, concerned citizens who will listen to you and want to make improvements as to how our city is run.

You will get to vote for 13 of them.

Consider this; make a list of those candidates that fit the “Don’t Worry Be Happy” and “Status Quo” crowd. By doing so you may find that you have culled the list down to your final 13.

And, oh yes, please consider choosing Greg Walters as one of those 13 candidates you cast your vote for.


Next Time Just 
Order the Steak
At a recent dinner out, a friend of mine announced she was “dieting” and ordered the fish, a dry baked potato and steamed broccoli. She dutifully ate it, all the time eyeballing my husband’s flatiron steak. She didn’t enjoy her meal in the least and it made me sad and more than a little frustrated. It wasn’t the time or the place to go into my healthy foods lecture, so I bit my tongue. But this is the rant that was going through my head:
Last week I consumed twenty-one meals and approximately fourteen snacks. I ate foods that I grew up with like roasted chicken and potatoes, lentil soup and meatloaf. Waffles were on my breakfast menu; pancakes too! For snacks I munched on fruit, trail mix and popcorn. Some of my salads contained nuts and cheese and none of them were consumed without dressing. READ MORE


Richard Koop for 
the Charter Commission
My name is Richard Koop and I have placed my name in nomination as a candidate for the Charter Commission.  My wife and I moved to Raytown from Kansas City in 1969 seeking a better education for our two young sons.  During the last 40 years we have seen the city go through many changes.  I have placed my name on the ballot for the Charter Commission as I feel it is important to make changes in the way that Raytown is run.  I believe that it is very important that Raytown be self-ruled so that our city will grow stronger by becoming a Charter City.

If elected I would like to be able to have a citywide vote on issues that effect the population, if the citizens petition for that.  I would like to have inserted into the charter the right to require that city leaders live in city of Raytown.  At the present time we have leaders that live in Raymore and Kansas.  These leaders should spend their money in Raytown to the benefit of our city. 

Your vote for me will be respected and you can be assured that I will vote to insure that any charter sent to the voters will be for the benefit of all.

To leave a comment use this link POST A COMMENT


Anonymous said...

An FYI. I wrote Alderman Jason Green about posting the meetings on youtube after I saw some of the comments last week. He wrote me that he contacted the city staff and they told him that they will start doing this again.

Anonymous said...

"As tribe of Gad asked from Mr Astor; please tell more and where we may find such info about the PD pension. March 1, 2014 at 8:00 PM"

I'm just a regular guy (probably nowhere near as smart as you Gadsden or Derek Astor) but it seems to me that if everything was above board, it would be a matter of public record. Or maybe Mayor Bower would answer your questions.

I think City Hall should be flying our American flag there upside down which is recognized as a state of distress.

Anonymous said...

That comment about Jason Greene is enlightening. But it is so typical of City Hall. I don't recall the city posting stuff on you tube. I know that a guy named Micheal Downey did for awhile but they were usually at least a week out before they were broadcast.

What I cannot understand and maybe Mr. Greene can answer this. Other cities broadcast their meetings on U-Verse. Why can't Raytown?

Anonymous said...

You haven't been paying attention 2:35 PM. Not everyone uses ATT uverse. Everyone who has internet can get youtube.

Anonymous said...

Mar 2 at 1:56pm the question was to Mr Aster as to the clarification of his previous comment. And the reference to the state of Mo. But thank you for your input anyway

Anonymous said...

I don't have Comcast or AT&T u verse; Is the library hooked up to either so we could watch board meetings as someone suggested or would you tube be better since more could get that even on a cell phone? And then there is the google fiber salesman also. Who knows; just would be nice to solve the problem of the masses being able to view meetings if that is the issue

Terrence said...

U-Verse vs Comcast . As far as the broadcast of meetings goes what is the difference?

Anonymous said...

I think all future appointments made by city officials should be subject to a vetting process. Is anyone on-board with this?

Anonymous said...

Not everyone has a computer. I would wager that more people have a television than a computer. If you want proof go up to the library and check out how many people are waiting to use a computer at the library.

Streaming on the internet is a good idea. But it will not reach the numbers of people who would watch on television.

I'll ask again. Other cities broadcast on U Verse. Why not Raytown?

Surely someone has a reasonable explanation.

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to see those u tube videos of Raytown Council meetings.

When did you say it was going to happen?

Anonymous said...

Not everyone has Comcast, or ATT U-Verse, some of us have Dish or Direct TV as well. In openness, perhaps the meetings should be listed on YouTube. On the other hand, years ago, when we did have (at the time Jones or was it Comcast), I do recall terrible some of the meetings, it was merely a static camera, with terrible audio. Even I could do better than that. What is needed (at least for the audio feed), is a direct line into the camera (which could come off the PA system).

Anonymous said...


Mr. Green didn't tell me the exact time the city would start putting the meetings on youtube, he just said that he spoke to city staff and requested that they be put up and he told me that they agreed to do so. I guess I can assume the next meeting or soon. If I see them up I'll post the link.

Anonymous said...

Most people who do not have a computer do not pay for AT&T u verse or comcast either they use dtv. And most eliminate home phones and use only cell phones which most serve as an Internet device as well. So does the library have AT&T u verse?

Anonymous said...

What does AT&T u- verse cost monthly? Would it be cost effient to get that over comcast to watch a board mtg if they were to place it only on the tv . But isn't that what the complaint was with the mtgs only being on comcast and not everyone having comcast ? I must agree with a previous blogger that the suggestion of u verse was not listening

Need To Know said...

March 2, 2014 at 5:17 PM: The goal is to reach the masses as opposed to the select few who subscribe to a particular cable tv service which airs such content only on specific channels, at only specific times... not so hot.

Vimeo and youtube are 2 video hosting services that immediately come to mind.... as mentioned, they can be viewed over multiple devices in addition to desktop pc at a time and date convenient to the viewer.

Drop those horse-blinders you've got on. Your 'feature rich' over-priced medium of choice simply doesn't offer the desired benefits the rest of us are looking for.

Pat Casady said...

I find it interesting that the people of Raytown
want a Charter. When you get down to it, the reason
is because our city leaders haven’t earned the people’s
trust. In many cases our leaders have gone against
the people’s wishes. Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t
the job of alderman and Mayor to represent the people
and what they want? The people voted for tax increases
for safety and street overlay. They did not get what they
voted for.
Millions in tax income given away for twenty years and
tax breaks that cost the taxpayers.
Raytown has had rules on how this town should be run.
It also has in place rules of residence for hired leaders.
None seems a concern of this current administration.
In fact one hired department head who promised to
move to Raytown within three years has not moved in
over six years. and in fact, has been given a thirty
thousand dollar a year raise. For what, not telling the truth?
This after all city workers pay had been
frozen for years.
All this makes it no wonder why the good people of Raytown
would want a Charter form of government.
You can only push, ignore and lie so long before the people
will say enough, it’s time for a change.
Our leaders have brought this upon themselves. They have
put themselves above the people they are supposed to
I’m not sure Raytown needs a Charter,
but I am sure things need to change

Anonymous said...

5:17 pm Just had an advertisement sent in the mail about Att u-verse it has a special now for $79 a month , Comcast sent one as well without any pricing noted. I think I would prefer the library for free to watch meetings if I had the option. The economy has hit on my side of life

Need To Know said...

Raytown would have / should have had a Charter years ago if there had been:
1) a public who understood what it could do for them,
2) charter commissioners more interested in the public's interests than in 'being right' and using the commission as a personal podium for serving themselves,
3) strict adherence to the law which is, the Charter Commission is an independent body separate from local government. NO ONE in city government has any say in the work of the Charter Commission whatsoever!!! unless you elect them to the commission.

Will current and past members of local government be able to advocate for the people and the current administration at the same time? Some may - it is the task of each voter to discern who can and who will not. Each of their voting records provides indisputable revelations.

I've met with some of my neighbors to discuss their track records.

Vote intelligently. Be vigilant and come to the charter meetings. It is 'your' charter Raytown.

Elisa Breitenbach said...

This Wednesday March 5th is an open meeting at the Raytown Police Department with the Police Pension Board sure hope some of us can make it at 8:00 A.M.

Need To Know said...

I noticed the BOA minutes of 2/18/14 were posted to youtube by Brenda Gustafson however:

Ms. Gustafson did NOT entitle the video RAYTOWN Board of Aldermen Meeting.....

If I'm searching youtube for Raytown related items, they MUST contain the word RAYTOWN in the title. Perhaps that detail escaped Ms. Gustafson.

Additionally, as a city PIO, I take issue with her including her personally 'liked' Budweiser Superbowl XLVIII... video along with our city business. That is unprofessional of her.

It's a start but Ms. Gustafson's lack of professionalism does show.

Anonymous said...

I wondered the same thing. Is this being posted by the indiviudal Brenda Gustafson, or the city's paid Public Information Officer Brenda Gustafson.

The Budweiser ad has a nice warm and fuzzy message. But the city could be in deep doo doo if they are using transmission of publicly produced material and adding private corporate messages to it.

I also wonder if the meetings could be published more timely. It does not take two weeks to post something you tube. I guess it may take awhile for them to work out the bugs.

Maybe some of our elected officials will give an explanation as to just what is going on. I think one would be in order.

Anonymous said...

RPD Pension is taxpayer funded.

Are they finally going to address the missing 7.5-million-dollars of OUR TAXPAYER MONEY?

Anonymous said...

"An FYI. I wrote Alderman Jason Green about posting the meetings on youtube after I saw some of the comments last week. He wrote me that he contacted the city staff and they told him that they will start doing this again. March 2, 2014 at 11:26 AM"

Bungled, as usual.

While our BOA enjoys the new tablet computers and getting lessons about how to use them, at our taxpayer expense, video of council meetings was suspended for some noteworthy duration.

Now that minutes are being published in video format again, it is bungled by our PIO.

Post those videos the next business day, unedited, and put the city's name to them. Fix what you've done and re-post them under a youtube account entitled City of Raytown as you, Ms. Gustafson, and a PIO (for that matter) may have no position in Raytown's future. Therefore, once Ms. Gustafson is gone, the account should remain a possession of the city and the password to it should be changed. This is not Ms. Gustafson's personal information to take down, should she choose to.

We only need to see one copy of the Mayor's 2014 address to the city and as 6:35a said, eliminate the private endorsements.

Ms. Gustafson - Mayor Bower, this is not Ms. Gustafson's facebook page and should not be treated as such....... carnival act indeed.

Anonymous said...

To need to know; after reading your comment I thought I would type in raytown boa mtg 2/18/2014 on you tube into Google search and it came right up along with a few other Raytown you tubes; try that it sure would be quicker than the other of searching thru you tubes

Need To Know said...

Brenda Gustafson's youtube comment regarding video of Mayor David Bower's 2014 STATE OF THE CITY ADDRESS. "Watch Mayor David Bower, give his 2014 State of the City Address during the Raytown Chamber Luncheon at First Baptist Church of Raytown."

Do the citizens of Raytown have to pay the Chamber for a luncheon to hear our Mayor's STATE OF THE CITY address first hand?

It is blantantly clear that the Mayor serves the Chamber of Commerce - not the people of the city. You scratch their back, they scratch yours, eh Davey - you self-serving hypocrit! You're an embarrassment to our town a vacuous cheap suit.

Pat Casady said...

I was reading the latest issue of the Raytown Times
and came upon the candidates running for the Charter
Commission. What struck me was how two of the
runners, mainly Aziere, Melson and Green stated
they think they know what the people want in a
Charter. My question to them is, How the Hell do you
know what the people want when you don’t talk to
the people?” when was the last time one of our
elected officials came to you and asked how they were
doing and what we thought of ANY ISSUE?
We all know Jim Aziere was one of several who sabotaged
the last attempt at a Charter. I’m pretty sure Charlotte
Melson didn’t want the last Charter either.
My business is in Ward two and the last two issues dealing
with the green area which, is on the same block of ground
I’m on, not one representative has stopped in and asked
me what I thought of the plans. The way I look at it, this
has a direct effect on my business and my living.
This is why I say this administration doesn’t give a damn
about the small businesses that have supported this town
for years. In every instance we have worried about our
future…….we had to, nobody else would. About ten years ago
I stood before the board who, back then Aziere and Melson
were on, and I asked them about the fear of losing our
business and the way the developer was treating all of us.
I was told it wasn’t their problem. Even though they hired
the developer!
I urge everyone NOT to vote for Aziere and Melson and
please don’t vote for Whitty Whitman either. She has already
stated she didn’t even want the Charter. Someone wanting to be
elected to something that the people want but, stated she
doesn’t want a Charter, well, let’s just say intelligence is

Andy Whiteman said...

Greg, You published a link to the BOA meeting, but is Paul going to write a synopsis of the meetings? Who has the time to watch 2 hours of video especially with some people being in ir audible? I realize it takes his time to write a synopsis.

A synopsis puts it into a more brief, concise understandable mode. I appreciate his time in writing previous synopsis's.

Andy Whiteman

GADSDEN said...

I agree with the last entry by Pat Casady on some items, Aziere and Melson are out to destroy the charter in what ever form it comes. Greene has spoken to a lot of the citizens in the city do not know about you but he has been in my area visiting with a lot of people. Let go of the old ones and go with people that are new to the scene. Also the same for Whitman she is also out to destroy anything.

Anonymous said...


I read the paper as well, and noticed the piece put out by Randy which he said to NOT vote for a charter. Being said, Azeire and Melson do not have my vote either, they are part of the problem up there. I will say though I am happy with what I read from Green, Koop and Dolan in the paper. Im pretty sure when Randy votes on the Charter he will vote for Azeire and Melson.

Anonymous said...

Who posts items to the City's website? They are doing a lousy job! Here is what they have posted as the list of candidates for the Charter Commission:

Shirley "Witty" Wittman, Charlotte Melson, Richard Koop,Susan Thorsen, Jerome Barnes, Mary Jane Van Buskirk
Janet Emerso, Robbie Tubbs, Michael McDonough, Jason Greene, Greg Walters, Susan Dolan, Matthew Cushman
David McCauley, Chris Rathbone, Sandra A. Hartwell, Ted Bowman, Lisa Emerson, Joe Burton, Mark Moore
Steve Guenther

Janet Emerson's name is misspelled. They left off Jim Aziere all together. I could understand it if these were ordinary citizens. But, they're not. These are people who go to City Hall at least twice a month.

Can someone please explain why we need a POI when she can't even spell the names of the people who run the city?

Anonymous said...

Maybe if the POI spent more time at city hall and less time at her coffee shop in Lees Summit, she would get the postings right.

Anonymous said...

People who are paid to sit on city council shouldn't be on the charter commission. It's a conflict of interest any way you slice it --- there's no way they can say they aren't biased ---- no way in hell.

Mentally unbalanced people shouldn't be elected to the commission either.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the mis-spelled names of Charter candidates on the City's Website. It is just a sign of the high dollar professionalism Raytown City Hall is known for.

If it is not corrected after it has been mentioned on this page then it will be much more.

It will then be a measure of the contempt the person or persons who are in charge of maintaining the website have for those running for the Charter.

Let's watch and see if the mis-spelled names and incomplete listing of candidates is corrected.

Anonymous said...

I dunt noe whet you al aer talkgin abuot?
The PIO seams KO ot em. Coeffy anyone?

Anonymous said...

I agree with you too Pat and Gadsen. When the WalMart deal was going down Greene came to my house and my neighbor's to get our opinions. I like what I see from him and Emerson and WILL be supporting those two during the Charter election.

Anonymous said...

Is POI or PIO??? I'm confused by all this switching of the intials?

Anonymous said...

Personal information officer is what I believe it is , but with all the variance of POI or PIO ; I want to make sure I am not misspelling it

Anonymous said...

It is PIO, which stands for public information officer.

Anonymous said...

With all the talk on here it is almost like the charter is doomed already; such a shame too!

Anonymous said...

How on earth did you reach that conclusion. Been drinking or visited Colorado lately for medicinal purposes?

After the shenanigans that took place last year with the green space / walmart debacle. The outright lies by elected officials. The hidden agendas of City hall.

You read that as an endorsement of more of the same?

Need To Know said...

11:38 I'm in Greene's ward too. He never showed his face at my house during the Walmart fiasco. He and Emerson both voted yes on the Flaherty development - the developer who has gone bankrupt on at least two projects under development and whose two projects mysteriously went up in flames. One of those two, it was reported went up like kindling due to a lack of firewalls (shoddy construction, not built according to code to save the developer some money) in the construction. One city was left with nothing but a poured foundation and the mystery behind the two fires was never resolved.

With that vote, Greene and Emerson turned their backs on our best interests so will not get my vote on the Charter Commission. Actions speak louder than words.

Melson and Aziere? Well, need I say more?

If Greene and Emersonn had given of their time to research the Flaherty development and the developer prior to voting as they did to the 2/18/14 Rules folly brought by Bower, Aziere and Melson, their vote would have been 'no' on Flaherty too, but they didn't.

They put their rubber stamp to a horrible development, by a developer with a horrible track record which also included yet another grocery store, another TIF, and giving the land away for free. That vote by these two candidates for charter commission revealed their lack of commitment to the voters they represent.

In fact, all charter candidates who are on the current BOA voted in like kind on this matter.

Anonymous said...

I can see where it may be hard to select the right number of people for the charter without voting a few in several times; and we truly need all to work together to make it happen. I can see where you might be sadden

Gadsden said...

After reading the March 5 Raytown Times by Mr Battagler where he says that none of the 22 will give a good group for the charter I see three good candidates . Mr Aziere also does not believe in the need for a charter, poor fellow. Just vote no such an easy remark.

Ms Melson says that she does not have an agenda, what a crock she had quite a agenda last year on the Wal-Mart green space.

Randy is in the hip pocket of the Mayor so deep that it is hard to believe, but we do not have newspapers that are of fair mind.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the charter effort is doomed.

I think the sloppy, lazy, ill-educated people who have been running city hall are doomed.

Anonymous said...

Looks like some are condescending or making an attempt at being clever. Oh well diversity can be good if done properly. Winter will be over soon

Anonymous said...

Agreed faction politics do threaten the charter

Anonymous said...

Need to know

You realize that the Walmart deal happened right after the April election. Emerson and Greene voted against the Walmart. Secondly there was NO VOTE on the flannery deal. The proposal hasnt even came in yet. You sure are in need to know.

Elisa Breitenbach said...

People are telling me Summerfest has been canceled. We have the Raytown Times telling everyone we still have the city officials working on the development of the green space downtown with Flaherty and Collins who we have been told extorted millions of dollars from The Ghazi Co. Flaherty and Collins also had $7.3 million of good faith buyer money disappear. Just as insufficient due diligence was done at the start with F&C it sure sounds sound's like the citizens-voters-taxpayers have no voice in this matter but Randy Battagler's gut feeling is that the city is on the verge of taking off and we shouldn't do anything that would hinder that. We should all be very supportive in giving away the heart of Raytown to developers for free with a TIF.

GADSDEN said...

Please note 8;55 that there was not a vote on the Flaherty and Collins offer it was not up for a vote and Emerson and Greene were not taken it by the presentation.

Randy B is so far sucked in by Bower it is disgraceful, he is not a newspaper man.

Need To Know said...

Hey 8:55a you are so wrong! You wrote:Secondly there was NO VOTE on the flannery deal. The proposal hasnt even came in yet. You sure are in need to know. March 9, 2014 at 8:55 AM

After the green space RFP's came in, the ENTIRE BOA, including Greene, Emerson, Aziere and Melson voted yes to the Flaherty plan over and above the other 2 plans submitted. Oh yea, the entire BOA chortled, this is just great, give us more pretty pictures and your best spin on the numbers! All 4 of them, ready to sell us out yet they want a voice in the city charter? And voters like you, MISINFORMED/don't bother to read but keep running your mouth anyway defend that? You're not the sharpest tool in the shed.

Anonymous said...

Need to know,

Watch the meeting and tell me where 1) the recieved an actual proposal and 2) where they voted to approve of anything. The only thing the city council did was say they would like to recieve a proposal from this group. When people such as yourself take positions on things that haven't happened yet, it really demonstrates your ignorance.

Anonymous said...


I agree, Randy B. is not a journalist but a mouthpiece for this mayor.

Anonymous said...

After learning of Flaherty and Collins past I wonder why anyone would even consider using them in Raytown.

Check out the following story.