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BREAKING NEWS . . .
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.
Paul’s Rant BY PAUL LIVIUS
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.
|BY GREG WALTERS|
Faction Politics Threaten
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.
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
THE FOLLOWING IS THE EIGHTH IN A SERIES OF ESSAYS FROM CHARTER CANDIDATES.
CHARTER CANDIDATES CAN SUBMIT THEIR ESSAY AND A PHOTOGRAPH FOR PUBLICATION TO THE RAYTOWN REPORT BY EMAILING TO firstname.lastname@example.org
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 VIEW CHARTER CANDIDATE PROFILES . . .
USE THIS LINK: CHARTER CANDIDATE PROFILES
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