Sunday, March 16, 2014

RAYTOWN'S LEADING NEWS SOURCE



There have been many copycat productions of the The BBC Planet Earth Series over the years. The following link shows there is nothing like the original.




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BY PAUL LIVIUS
The Countdown Begins

In less than 22 days voters in Raytown will go to the polls to cast votes on five ballot issues. Election Day is Tuesday, April 8th.


CITY OF RAYTOWN:
A 3/8 cent Capital Improvement Tax and a 1/2 cent Transportation Sales Tax are on the ballot. There is no direct consequence of this election. Neither tax is set to expire for two years. Sources at City Hall have said if the taxes do not pass, they will be resubmitted to the voters at a later date.

RAYTOWN SCHOOL DISTRICT:
Property Tax Levy increase. If the tax passes, the rate will remain the same. If it fails, property taxes will be lowered.

CHARTER ELECTION:
Shall a Charter Commission be formed to write a charter to change the form of government in Raytown.

Voters are also asked to choose 13 of 22 candidates to serve on the Charter Commission if it is formed.



Paul’s Rant BY PAUL LIVIUS

Stories of meetings between charter candidates and elected public officials are beginning to surface as the Charter race begin to heat up. Not that anything is illegal when a Mayor or City Council member is meeting with Charter candidates in advance of the election.

After all, they are, to this point, just candidates. They can meet with whom they want, when they want, privately or publicly. However, once they are elected the Missouri Sunshine Laws will affect the meetings. Elected Charter Commissioners will be expected to conduct their business in public forums.

Which brings up some interesting questions.

Should voters be concerned with how much influence elected officials will have on the Charter Commission?

There are four candidates for the Commission who already serve on the Board of Aldermen. Two of them, Charlotte Melson and Jim Aziere, both have very close ties to Mayor Bower.

The other two, Janet Emerson and Jason Greene, do not share the Mayor’s blessings. In fact, Bower has yet to appoint Greene to a permanent committee post nearly one year into his first term of office!

Emerson and Bower have frequently butted heads over city issues. The most infamous event was when Bower informed Emerson she would not be allowed to give a report on progress towards the creation of a City Market because it was not “city business”.

Political observers say that Greene and Emerson may be a plus to the Charter Commission because they can bring insight to the Commission on how the city operates and how Charter questions may affect day to day operations at City Hall.

On the other hand, Melson and Aziere are frequently viewed as close allies of the Mayor.

Melson was appointed by Bower to oversee merger talks between the Fire Department and the Raytown Ambulance Service. Melson abruptly ended the negotiations after what many viewed as a decision by the City Administration to not move forward on the plans.

Aziere was placed in charge of creating new rules for the conduct of business at City Hall. The plans were dropped after the majority of the Board indicated they would not support what Aziere was selling.

In fact, it was Ward 3 Alderman Janet Emerson who led the charge against many of the facets of Aziere’s plan.



BY GREG WALTERS
Mixed Signals

The “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” candidates running for the Raytown Charter Commission are sending out mixed signals which ultimately lead to confusing messages.

When you sit down and talk to them they have plenty of gripes about how City Hall is run.
They complain bitterly of last year’s deceptions and outright lies as it relates to the failed plans for a Walmart Grocery Store in Downtown Raytown. They are unhappy with the abuse and over-use of tax abatements by City Hall to large corporations.They readily accept the need  for reform and a stronger set of checks and balances to govern the city.

So, why on earth would they embrace a philosophy that espouses the creation of a City Charter that will change nothing?

This “my way or the highway” approach to governing is not a good idea. A successful Charter, one that will ultimately gain approval of the voters will require compromise and a willingness to accept new ideas.

The strident “do nothing” path espoused by a handful of the Charter candidates is a slippery slope that will eventually lead to failure.

We have three weeks left before voters in Raytown will make their choices for the Charter Commission.

Please take the time to learn about the Charter Candidates. Nearly one half of the candidates running have taken the time to share their vision for Raytown’s Charter on the Raytown Report.

To review these essays us this link CHARTER CANDIDATE PROFILES



BY JENN
FIT BOTTOMED EATS Corned Beef and Cabbage

It’s almost St. Patrick’s Day, so you can probably guess what we’ll be enjoying this weekend … green beer and corned beef and cabbage, of course!

I am a huge fan of corned beef and cabbage. In fact, whether it’s March or not, my husband and I probably make it three to four times a year. It’s just super tasty, is easy to throw together and feeds you for a week. Not to mention that’s it’s full of veggies! READ MORE

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


Joe Burton for 
Charter Commission

My name is Joe Burton.  I am number 20 on the 8 April 2014 ballot for City Charter Commission.

I grew up on the east side of Kansas City.  I graduated from East High School, attended Kansas City Junior College, and received a Bachelor Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia. I worked for the Kansas City District of the Corps of Engineers for seventeen years and the Department of Commerce in Kansas City for 13 years.

In 1982 our family moved to Raytown because we wanted our daughter to grow up in a community of good friends we attended church with.  It was a good move and I learned to greatly appreciate community.  

Since I retired in 2000 I have delivered Meals on Wheels for the Shepherd's Center of Raytown and help on projects for the Raytown Emergency Assistance Program, two great community programs started by citizens of Raytown.  Since 2006 I also participate in the Wheels That Care program of the Shepherd Center and I do Adopt a Street on 63rd Street because I feel these activities help and encourage community.

I am on the ballot for the City Charter Commission because I feel having Home Rule will empower citizens more in their government and encourage citizens to participate more in their government, hopefully, creating more community.

If you choose me to be on the Commission you can expect me to champion and support agenda that encourage and empower the citizens of Raytown.

Stephen E. Guenther 
for Charter Commissioner

My name is Steve Guenther and I am running for Charter Commissioner. My wife, Janette, and I, along with our three sons Sean, Joel, & Kyle, have been Raytown residents since 1992.  I am a licensed architect and urban planner and co-owner of Guenther Mills Keating Architects and HGK Construction Management in Raytown.  I am also a member of the Raytown Chamber of Commerce and a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. 

My community experience includes serving as Vice Chairman of the Raytown Board of Zoning Adjustments for 10 years, President of the Raytown Main Street Association, River of Refuge Board member and Boy Scout Scoutmaster in Raytown for 14 years. I am also very involved with the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) and the Truman Heartland Foundation. My spare time is spent with my family, fishing, and bicycling, including riding in the MS 150 for the last 8 years, a charity ride for Multiple Sclerosis, and serving my church.

About 16 years ago, I found out that Raytown was still a Fourth Class Missouri City and learned what that really meant in regards to self rule and governance, and how little a voice the citizens of the community had. Over the years, I’ve observed a couple failed attempts at writing and adopting a Charter. The last attempt in 2005 was at a huge taxpayer expense caused by the then elected Charter Commissioners' failure to focus and keep sight of their primary objective: that being, to write a simple charter to adopt our current governing ordinances with little to no change in how we functioned as a city.

I feel that to acquire self-rule, not change, should be the objective of the Charter Commission. Additional questions with pro and con explanations would allow the citizens a chance to decide what changes they feel are necessary.  The reason the other charter attempts failed and were expensive was because there was too much change proposed and most communities historically will not vote for that much change.  The question must be asked: If that much change had been needed, then why has the Board of Alderman, Mayor, and City staff not brought to ordinance those changes? With only a few exceptions, that kind of change is not needed.

I feel that we need a charter because it empowers the citizens with a true voice into how to operate our city and because it will provide for self-rule - apart from the State - at our local level.  It’s time for Raytown to move on from that Fourth Class City designation so that we can grow, prosper, and compete with our surrounding chartered communities.

I appreciate your vote of approval to form a Charter Commission and to appoint me as one of the thirteen Charter Commissioners on April 8th.  My name appears last on the list of 22 candidates, so start at the bottom of the ballot.  My only agenda is to stay focused to the primary objective of drafting a simple charter that the citizens of Raytown will approve.

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61 comments:

Andy Whiteman said...

Is the link to the Charter Candidate Profiles open to the public? I was looking for Matt Cushman's profile and received this error message:

Blogger

Your current account does not have access to view this page.
Click here to logout and change accounts.


Finally I went down to the next string and got in. Apparently there is an error in that link. I may not be the only one unable to access the profiles.

Andy Whiteman

Greg Walters said...

Andy, the link has been repaired. Thanks for pointing out the problem.

As of this date we have not received a press release from Matt Cushman. The blog signed by him refers to his personal website.

Anonymous said...

When people go to vote, do they vote for one person and the top 13 win? Or, do people vote for 13 candidates? What if they can't count and vote for 14 instead? Does there ballet get thrown out?

Need To Know said...


IT'S YOUR MONEY !!!

Steve Guenther wrote in his candidacy essay that "self-rule, not change should be the objective of the Charter Commission".

He further states that the previous attempt at forming a charter failed because too much change was proposed and attempts to back that up by posing the question, " If that much change had been needed, then why has the Board of Alderman, Mayor, and City staff not brought to ordinance those changes?"

1) The previous charter attempt failed because those who worked on it were inept to perform the task at hand. Obviously incapable of deciphering what protections were necessary and distracted from the mission at hand by their own infighting, they failed miserably.

2) The previous charter attempt ran expenses to the ceiling by failing to appoint a single point of contact between themselves and the attorney they hired. Frequent calls to the attorney from multiple charter members wanting numerous changes, which were obviously poorly thought-through and not agreed upon in advance needlessly increased the attorney's fees.

3) Mr. Guenther is clearly deluded if he thinks that the the Board of Alderman, Mayor, and City staff would self-monitor to the point that they would bring ordinances, if needed, that would curtail them. In truth, it is their governance that has inspired the people of Raytown to bring forth the initiative to write a Charter that would bring protections against their overbearing governance, high taxes, and diminishing city services.

4) Mr. Guenther says he believes, like many other candidates, that the primary objective of the Charter Commission is "to write a simple charter to adopt our current governing ordinances with little to no change in how we functioned as a city."

There is a major flaw in this reasoning that several candidates, including Mr. Guenther, promote.

A CHARTER'S PURPOSE IS: to improve upon the inadequate protections we have as a fourth class city.

ELECTIONS COST MONEY; It is fiscally and morally irresponsible to bring forth a city charter that, on its' face, changes nothing because the resulting cost of perfecting its' basic premises would require additional elections at high, additional expense to the city (the taxpayers - that's you and me). That this has escaped those "more of the same" candidates is a huge red flag. These will not be the candidates who will work to effect the protections that a well-crafted charter provides.

Candidates who promote the propaganda that a charter will not pass unless it makes no change to our present form of local government, need not apply.

These fear-mongers are people who obviously stand with the current city administration and want them to be able to carry on in their current ways: eroding our personal incomes, allowing our infrastructure to decay, and diminishing the city services we pay for with our taxes.

Conflicted in their values and lacking a very basic understanding of why a charter is being brought, they will obviously hinder the development of Raytown's City Charter.

Why vote for someone who would do nothing when there are others who are willing to work for you?

IT'S YOUR MONEY.

Anonymous said...

There is no press release from Susan Thorsen or Shirley Whittman either, anywhere. Did I miss any others?

It's especially noteworthy that as Shirley Whittman is prodding so hard to have other candidates yield to her special interest that she fails to come forth with an essay detailing her own pedigree to the masses. Clearly, she is an elitist, a Charter-Godess.

Anonymous said...

7:19 am Voters select 13 - any 13 they like - out of the 22 candidates on the ballot.

If a voter accidentally votes for more than 13, they can go back to the table, tell them you spoiled your ballot and get a new one. That way, your votes will count.

Anonymous said...


I see Koop is another "make no changes" candidate. What ARE these candidates thinking? Why even run for office?

Anonymous said...

I guess Cushman is too good to put his essay up on a Raytown publication. Since I'm not stupid enough to even use Facebook, I won't be reading what he may have to say about himself and he won't have my vote. So sad, too bad.

Anonymous said...

Shirley Wittman posted an article in the Brooking Eagle. She again stated she was against any charter, but wanted people to vote for her anyway. Read between the lines and she's saying vote for her and she'll do her best to derail the whole thing.

Anonymous said...

I agree with "need to know". Why vote for the candidates who would do nothing. We have a load of city officials who already do nothing and it is easy to see where that has gotten us.

What makes Steve Guenther think that city hall would write an ordinance that says they have to move here or quit their jobs. Does he think they would write ordinances that declare a recall election could be declared on any of them? Does he think city hall would write an ordinance declaring that it is illegal to take our homes or the green space by eminent domain and give it away to a private developer? Do Guenter and his simple charter friends think city hall would write an ordinance that would declare a lot of their jobs were not needed in this small town? Do he and his simple charter buddies think we're stupid? This is the kind of thinking that has turned Raytown into such a mess. I am fed up with it and will vote on April 8th.

Anonymous said...

I have seen it mentioned a couple of times in the blog that the property tax levy will go down if the school district bond issue is not passed. You may want to chack on that. I spoke with a board member last week and he said that the levy would not go down if the bond issue was not approved. The only effect is that they would pay off debt faster because they would not have this bond issue to pay off. Bond issues do not have a particular levy tied to them and the levy does not sunset when the bonds are paid off. The district is simply growing the amount of debt and extending the time for payback of all debt.

This board member assumed I would support the bond issue. I told him I would not because they added $3.1 million for a stadium at South High. The reason given is mainly for school pride - the South students would have their own stadium. They already surveyed district parents once and 53% did NOT want the stadium. It's a shame because most of the rest of the bond issue goes to infrastructure fixes and improvements that are badly needed. I just don't want to build a $3.1 million stadium.

If you want to see the background on the projects and costs, go to the district website and click on Electronic School Board. Pull up the Dec. 9 meeting and look for agenda item 11.2. You can also check the Aug. 5 meeting for agenda item 4.2.

GADSDEN said...

Mr. 8:03 AM maybe you should read his comments again, and you will see that several changes are mentioned, just not those that would kill the charter.

Anonymous said...

That is one whopper of a tale being told about paying off debt by the guy who believes Raytown South needs a new football stadium.

Public entities are not allowed to bank money collected when there the bill does not amount to what is being paid by the taxpayers.

The school district's tax levy will be reduced if the school district's bond issues fails.

The nice thing about the whole deal is that the school district does not have anything to lose in that eventuality.

It is really very simple. If there is not debt to be paid off, there is no need to collect the money in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Gadsen 5:03 you mention "several changes are mentioned, just not those that would kill the charter."

8:03 said they were not stupid enough to register for Facebook so would not read what Cushman had up there. I won't register to Facebook either - bad idea.

Cite your several changes mentioned. You obviously support Cushman despite the ethics issue.

Anonymous said...

Our Raytown School District is no different than our
Raytown City Hall. They want to tax, tax and more
tax so they can spend, waste and try to be Lee’s Summit.
To Hell with education! We need fake grass! Education?
Let’s spend tax money on a stadium….Lee’s Summit would.
Raytown will never be Lee’s Summit no matter how many
WalMarts they let in. Our school board and City Hall can’t grasp
the fact that the people are just fine without being Lee’s Summit.
That’s why so many of our small businesses have moved
to LS they care about the small businesses.
They know that’s where most of their sales
tax income comes from. Raytown would rather give
away our tax income than see the big box leave. It’s
too bad our so called leaders don’t have a clue.

Anonymous said...


The priorities are upside-down.

Shifting priorities from academics to sports sure won't fix our broken educational system.

Our children need a solid educational foundation on which they can build. Our city needs high-rated schools to increase our property values and draw quality residents to our city.

Our school district gets a grade of 'F' and needs to get their ducks on a row - give us scholars, not jocks.

Matthew Cushman said...

Sorry for the delay, I mentioned in an earlier post that I would have published information this week so that people can review my thoughts on the charter, which is far beyond its time. I am sorry if I offended with my lack of response thus far, had a lot of family medical issues explode at once. In any case, I am in it to be a part of it. I hope that my absence in the conversation is understandable. If you have any questions feel free to contact me directly at cush69@msn.com

Thanks, and stay tuned...
Matthew Cushman

Anonymous said...

9:34 PM - That is very good information. In that case, instead of paying money to the School District, I can spend that money on my child's food, clothing and medical care instead. The elderly, who are looking at medicare cuts can use that money to help cover their medical expenses. The taxpayer abuse needs to be curtailed.

Anonymous said...

9:34 - the fact is that there is plenty of debt to be paid off by the school district and that is why they will not lower the levy if this year's bond issue does not pass. They are currently paying for debt issued in 2001, 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2011 to the tune of more than $7 million per year in payments. The debt they are servicing now is not scheduled to be paid in full until 2027. This bond issue would lengthen the full repayment of all debt to 2034.

History shows they won't adjust the levy if no new debt is incurred. In 2011 & 2012, they completed the payments on debt issued in 2000 and 2002 and the levy for debt service remained unchanged. As those debts rolled off the books, they started making payments on debt issued in 2006-2011. It is not a case of being free of debt, just that they freed up enough debt to be able to take on more than $20 million in new debt at this time.

If anyone can confirm that the levy will go down if the issue does not pass, that would be great. I just know that I received the information first hand from a board member that the levy for debt service will not go down if the bond issue does not pass. They would just be able to pay off the existing debt more quickly. More likely, they would just come back in a year with a new bond issue, maybe without the unnecessary and unwanted $3.1 million stadium at South High.

Anonymous said...


CHARLOTTE MELSON - EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND

The following is from Charlotte Melson's own linkedin web page which reveals an education focused heavily on dance and early childhood education. Lately, Ms. Melson directed a flawed recent investigation regarding the merger of EMS and Fire District as well as a ridiculous attempt to re-write Rules of Conduct for the City Council. Those plans were dropped after the majority of the Board indicated they would not support what Aziere and Melson were selling.


University of Missouri-Kansas City
Masters, Early Childhood Education
1994 – 1997

Missouri State University
Bachelor of Science (BS) Education, Education, Dance, Theater, Psychology
1979 – 1982

Activities and Societies: I was director of the SMSU Dance Company and created JazzAerobics exercise program which I taught at the local YMCA. I performed with the SMSU Tent Theatre productions of Working and Dames at Sea.
William Jewell College
1978 – 1980

Activities and Societies: I worked at Concerned Care and taught dance to developmentally disabled children and adults.
Central Missouri State University
1976 – 1978

Activities and Societies: I was a member of Sigma Kappa and director for the Mulekickers Dance Team. Choreographed for the One and Only Singers. Phi Sig Little Sis.

After 15 years on Raytown's Board of Aldermen, one would think Ms. Melson would be more effective in her ability to bring forth effective results, but that has certainly not been the case. During the past 15 years, Raytown has suffered at the hands of our city council. All that while Ms. Melson has continued her self-promotion.

Given her dismal performances of late, how is it possible that Ms. Melson sees herself as one who would prove of value to the city's Charter Commission. Her lack of follow-through as head of the EMS merger committee and a demonstrated ignorance of city ordinances in her feeble attempt to write city Rules do no instill a sense of confidence in her ability to meaningfully contribute to something as important as a constitution for the City of Raytown. Clearly, she has demonstrated her lack of ability.

Perhaps Ms. Melson should have stuck with dance instead.

Anonymous said...

The school district has amassed debt that is costing us in excess of $7 million dollars a year in payments.

Meanwhile, the quality of education continues to decline.

Do the math - we're getting a dismal return on investment. The victims include us, our children and society as a whole.

It is time they stop feeding at the trough and produce results instead.

Anonymous said...

JUST SAY NO, APRIL 8th
The City has shown that they can't spend our tax dollars wisely, ie: A 30k raise for Mr. Sharma, a lack of desire to entertain a merger proposal that would have easily saved 300k, misappropriation of the Public Safety Sales Tax, the addition of a full time Public Relations person (God know they need that). I'm not about to give them one more dime until Hitler and the rest of his associates prove they know how to spend it.

As for the School District, they need to learn to live within their means as well. I will not vote for the levy.

Now the Charter Candidates....I find it difficult to identify 13 that would be able to accomplish the task. It looks like so many of them have a axe to grind with the City, especially Mr. Cushman and the ccircumstances regarding him no longer being employeed by Raytown EMS.

I urge you to Vote No and send a message to the people that have forgotten who they represent.

Anonymous said...

3:31pm,
Can you tell us what was worth all the debt incurred by
the school district? The way I look at it the school district
doesn’t need to be given any more money to spend
until they learn how NOT to get into so much debt.
If they really need an income increase then they should
promise to pay down the debt and NOT spend a dime
on anything but education. NO STADIUM! NO WASTE!
I thought city hall was wasteful but, the school district
seems to be even worse.

Anonymous said...

If the city is unable or unwilling to produce a report on transportation sales tax expenditures I am unwilling to vote for an extension of that tax, especially a whopping 2 years before it is due to be renewed.

We have slurry topping our decaying streets and a report that is over a year old (from 2012). Bus ridership is so low that it is continually subsidized with taxes.

And in his 2014 state of the city address the mayor says Raytown citizens have said we don't want to drive our cars.... I think the Mayor may well be the sole source of the problem here. He doesn't seem to think we should be driving OUR cars so he's letting our streets go to hell. Gotra say - I don't see our Mayor walking on the street because he doesn't want to drive HIS car! No, he's tooling around in his car to each of his daily destinations. So, it's one set of rules for us and another for him.

Given what benefit that tax has historically produced, we'd be fools to keep throwing good money after bad.

After Bower is gone, we can get someone into office who is intelligent enough to invest our money wisely instead of blowing it like an undisciplined teenager.

Anonymous said...

6:26 am if you go to the school district web site it will show you how the bond money is split up between all the school districts school buildings and where the percentages are designated. Also those bonds can only be allocated for buildings ; not incomes. I was unaware of much if it . And after reading this blog thought I would research it and see what is really going on

Andy Whiteman said...

ABC news reports:
1 in 10 U.S. Deaths Blamed on Salt

"The new study, by the same Harvard research team, linked excessive salt consumption to nearly 2.3 million cardiovascular deaths worldwide in 2010. One in 10 Americans dies from eating too much salt, the researchers found...."

There is a high salt content in many canned and frozen food products as well as food prepared by national chain restaurants. Some portions served in restaurants in interstate commerce exceeds the MDA in sodium content. People who are restricted from eating salt for medical reasons or personal choice are force to eat high sodium content with out a choice of salt free food.

Due to the above reasons salt should be banned nationally by law from the preparation of food involved in interstate commerce. If people want salt in their food, it is their choice to add it.

Please sign this Care2 petition:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/773/577/106/demand-no-salt-in-prepared-foods-and-national-resuaurant-chains/?z00m=20893220

Thanks,
Andy Whiteman

Frustrated in Raytown said...

I am a simple guy. I have lived here in Raytown all my life, which is almost 45 years. When it comes to this Charter, I still have no idea, 1) what is it really about; 2) why do we need/do not need it; 3) what is really going on. My father, who has lived here since 1952, is already said he is dead set against it. He merely says it is a "good ole boys" thing, and that it would be bad for Raytown. I personally do not really know how to think, or even who to vote for that matter. If we do have a Charter, how does it oppose the rules that we have as a Fourth Class City, in the way the city is run? Already, there are department heads who do not have to live with in the city, would the Charter really change that, I doubt it. To be honest, I really do not know what the big deal is, if we have a Charter or not, because I doubt it will really ever change things, one way or the other. Then again perhaps my father who has lived here for over 60 years is right as well. I also would just like a simple chart, of the people on the ballet, and if they are either for or opposed to the Charter, just to make it simple.

Need To Know said...


6:23 AM has it wrong about who has an axe to grind.

The conversation here focusing on our bloated, wasteful, ignorant and arrogant city government appropriately shifts the lens to what is and has been the problem here for a long, long time.

With a Charter, we can restore our city governance to a constitutionally sound system of checks and balances that has clearly been eroded. Undeniably, a mayor has a place in city governance but his/her role needs to be clearly defined by statute to keep it in check and in balance with with the other city offices to prevent tyranny. Whether at the federal, state or city level, this basic truth was understood by our country's founding fathers. They knew that without it, the rights and freedoms of the electorate would be overrun by those who held their personal agenda in higher regard than that of the people who had garnered their trust in them.

I'm not buying the spin, the propaganda of people like 6:23 am. The people have spoken - we don't like what what city hall has done with our trust and we deserve better.

We're not evil, looking for an "axe to grind". We're not ignorant, looking to create a constitution for the city that allows it to continue to operate in its' current unbalanced and dysfunctional way either.

It is no surprise that gremlins are coming out of the closet calling names and crying false claims like the charter will never pass. It is no surprise that they stoop so low because that's the best they've got; they certainly cannot defend what they've done while in office.

We have 22 candidates for Charter Commissioner and for the first time, this initiative is driven by the people of Raytown. We are going to clearly define the shape and scope of our city government and will build in protections to ensure our freedom and rights.

Unlike the overt, misguided actions of our present city government, this is not an overt action. It is a prudent, legal and necessary action whose time has been deferred and derailed by those in (too much) power. Juvenile acts of desperation like name-calling aren't going to divert us from doing what's in our power to legally restore balance to our city government.

I'll vote for Charter Commissions who are more like my next door neighbor before I'll elect any incumbent or past city official because what's in their hearts is closer to what's in mine. They live here, pay their taxes, and are free of any influence of our current government. Those candidates have no reason to try to sabotage the work of the Charter Commission and have volunteered to do the work of the Commission for no other reason than to bring the wholesome values of the common man to the table. That is, a clear sense of right and wrong. And if there were ever a time to value that difference it is now.

















Anonymous said...

If Ms. Melson is elected to the Charter Commission you will get the same result as everything else she has been involved with.....A DISASTER. She is one of the most self serving individuals I have met. It's no wonder that many Boards over the past 15 years have refused to elect her as Mayor Pro-tem. She has continually failed to gain the confidence of the governing body. After the mess she created with the EMS/Fire merger I am surprised she is even considering the Charter Commission, guess she wants to mess it up to. Way to go Charlotte.

Anonymous said...

8:14 pm

Your Dad says it is a "good ole boys" thing, and that it would be bad for Raytown.

The opposite is true this time because the "good ole boys" are opposing it - it is the citizens who put it on the ballot because we have seen how the "good ole boys" have abused our trust.


I personally do not really know how to think, or even who to vote for that matter.

If you don't vote for the current city officials, you'll keep the foxes out of the henhouse.

If we do have a Charter, how does it oppose the rules that we have as a Fourth Class City, in the way the city is run?

It returns the power to people like you and me, to make decisions for our city instead of being told what do to by people who don't even live here. It lets us say how many people should run the city and what they can and cannot do. It lets us say how our tax dollars can and cannot be spent. It lets us vote corrupt city officials out of office. There is much it can do to turn our city around in the right direction and we should be sure to do as much right the first time so that we don't have to endure the time and expenses of getting it right afterward by amendments. The charter committee will be advised by a constitutional attorney who has no connection to the "good ole boys" network.

Already, there are department heads who do not have to live with in the city, would the Charter really change that, I doubt it.

Yes it can! We need to change that because those people don't have to live with their own decisions. If they're not willing to live here, we simply don't want or need them.

To be honest, I really do not know what the big deal is, if we have a Charter or not, because I doubt it will really ever change things, one way or the other.

I get that. You are a victim of the propaganda of the "good ole boys" - that's what they want you to think so that they can keep your head under their boot and believe me, they are nervous about losing control. "The good ole boys" think they need to tell us how to live and what to do but they don't talk with us and don't know who we are or what we want. All we are to them is a tax-paying machine that they can milk dry while they ignore our rights. Put simply a City Charter is a constitution for the city that clearly defines who can and and cannot do what. We don't have that now.

Anonymous said...

If you live in Charlotte Melson's ward and are of sound mind, please run against her and get her off the Board of Aldermen. She is an embarrassment to the City and a waste of taxpayer money. Aziere is also ready to be turned out to pasture.

Terrence said...

To frustrated in Raytown; you have 3 very good questions that truly deserve a clear answer . I commend you for wanting to be well informed before you cast your vote. If you research rules of fourth class cities and then research charter forms of goverence you will see the difference. It is always good for people to question things because then knowledge is gained by all involved.

Matthew Cushman said...

Anonymous at 6:23 is just not correct. I have no ax to grind... but rather I have seen the good and the bad of local government. I am just a regular citizen of this community that has concerns and beliefs like any other. There is just not anything more to it than that. But if you have any question feel free to email me or call me. I think if you really want answers, that is the best thing to do. I agree also with the last post in the sense that this is driven by the people... and that is sure to make the administration and elected people uneasy. I have faith in the people of Raytown.

Andy Whiteman said...

Charlotte Melson has been Mayor Protem. I have noticed that the BOA selects a different Mayor Protem at regular intervals so that it appears to me an honorary position.

I feel that the selection or non-selection of an individual has nothing to do with qualifications but rather it is that the members take turns at serving as Mayor Protem.

Andy Whiteman

Derek Astor said...

It is an accepted fact that the Mayor of Raytown omitted several failures of his administration during the year of 2013. This reflects poor character or mental incompetence. First, he failed to bring a Walmart Neighborhood Market to Raytown. This is the fault of David Bower and no one else. Second, he failed to keep 170 General Electric jobs in Raytown. This is a dismal Bower failure and a major embarrassment to Raytown to lose another Fortune 500 company. Third, Bower lost the YMCA due to his personal inability to keep focused and head off problems before they erupt. Fourth, the City of Raytown is $7.5 million in arrears with contributions to the Raytown Police Pension Fund and must now make payments to the Missouri pension fund for several decades to make up for this. None of this was mentioned in his State of the City address. Shame on you Mr. Bower. Man up.

Anonymous said...

Just read the Raytown Times and saw another nonesense submission. David McCauley pretty much said that there is some kind of negative agenda with the folks running for charter and not to vote for it. This is the same guy that spoke in favor of the Walmart when I was at those packed meetings. It seems this individual has nothing to add but just put things down. So why run?

Sly James - KC's Biggest Embarrassment said...

From KCTV5 and their interview with Mayor Sly James.

First the man did not raise his son to be respectful of others.
Second he wanted to take over the KC School District, but thinks it is okay to take tax dollars from the schools as he tried with the Raytown School District let alone the issue with his son.

Now he gets upset with questions about the increase in violence at public places from out of control teens.

Sorry, but this man needs to be a one termer.

http://www.kctv5.com/story/25009516/fights-person-reportedly-with-gun-disrupt-free-kc-zoo-day

Anonymous said...

I for one am thankful that fire calls in Raytown are not dispatched by the Raytown Police Department.

I have once again received information from a very unhappy Raytown citizen that they called the police dispatch last night about a stray dog and were told that they wouldn't be sending any officer out.

Since when is it the dispatchers job to decide when and when not to send the police when a citizen calls for service.

To think the city wants us to approve renewing two sales taxes.

I know I cannot vote to support poor service like this!

Anonymous said...

Since when does the police department have anything to do with animal control? They have enough to do without doing another departments job for them. Get real when spewing hate when you don't know the facts.

Need To Know said...


February 20, 2011 Mayor Bower objected to holding the item over. Mayor Bower made reference to additional expense and inconvenience to City Department heads who would have to travel back to Raytown for another meeting. None of the

Department heads concerned with the CID legislation live in Raytown.

DID YOU CATCH THAT? BOWER IS CONCERNED WITH THE EXPENSE AND INCONVENIENCE TO CITY DEPARTMENT HEADS WHO WOULD HAVE TO TRAVEL BACK TO RAYTOWN FROM THEIR OUT-OF-TOWN HOMES FOR ANOTHER MEETING.

That was the indefencsible 'excuse' Bower coughed-up to suspend Missouri law, suspend the BOA regular agenda and justify a so-called 'emergency' vote to push through another tax giveaway to get Sutherlands into another of Walmart's

abandoned buildings as Walmart had already gotten their TIF to leave that building behind and move to Hwy 350.

Missouri State Law requires that all new laws before the governing body of a fourth class city have two public readings before final consideration. Proposed ordinances can be passed in one night if two-thirds of the governing body vote

to “suspend the rules” and proceed with a vote in one evening. These types ordinances are commonly referred to as “emergency ordinances” because THE PRACTICE IS SUPPOSED TO BE A RARE EVENT.
The purpose of the two public readings is to give the elected representatives time to study the proposal and receive feedback from their constituents on the bill before them.


A Mayor who abuses his power by suspending State Law on the basis that the city department heads who do not live in city limits would suffer inconvenience and expense by having to return to city hall for a second vote is sinister and

more typical than not of David Bower's standard operating procedure. Even though Aldermen Jim Hamilton, Shane Pardue, Bill VanBuskirk and Pat Ertz complained of the frequency of which the regular rules of business have been suspended by

the Bower Administration, they ultimately voted 'yea' on the ordinance to proceed and the deal was done that night WITHOUT taking time to study the proposal and without getting feedback from the voters, as the law of the State of

Missouri allowed.

This Mayoral abuse of power and lack of oversight is an issue we need to address within our new City Charter. Both the Mayor and Board of Aldermen failed to uphold the law as they proceeded without 'just cause' and is a prime example of malfeasance, which is a basis for removal from office.

A City Charter with provision for the citizen's to petition for recall is needed.

IF THE SHOE FITS said...

How is someone complaining about a dispatcher refusing to call police to tend to a hurt animal a case of someone "spewing hate"?

Raytown's police dispatchers, whether or not deserved, have a reputation for being argumentative with the public.

If the shoe fits. Wear it.

Anonymous said...


CHARTER COMMISSIONER CANDIDATE - JEROME BARNES

No one seems to know anything about this candidate for Raytown Charter Commissioner so I did some digging on my own.

examiner.net reported 1/22/14 that "School board candidates will be not be on Raytown's ballot this year. No one challenged current board members Rick Moore, Terry E. Landers and Jerome Barnes' seats."

So thought Barnes's first term was up he'll serve another three years by default.

Jerome Barnes may be a good man but may also through a wrench in the wheel due to his standing with the School District - yes, his position may be regarded as a conflicted interest. Undeniably Mr. Barnes is party to the tax-and-spend mentality of our School District (paralleling our current City Council).

Barnes has not seen fit to submit and essay regarding his candidacy for Charter Commissioner, however, in his 2011 bid for School Board he wrote, "A dynamic community needs volunteers in order to be successful and viable. With an extensive history of volunteering for area schools, I feel I can be an active, knowledgeable member of the Board, providing leadership for the Raytown School District. I am committed to learning more about the processes involved and the steps necessary to make informed, data-based decisions. From my experience as a parent and a school volunteer, I feel I have learned a great deal about what makes a school effective. I hope to be a voice for both the teachers and the people of our community and welcome open discussion among all of the stakeholders who support our local school system. Thus, based on the knowledge I have gained in working with our schools and young people, and my desire to give back to the community, I have decided to run for the School Board in Raytown."

Note: Barnes said he would make data-based, not fact-based decisions. Decisions made based upon a presentation or spreadsheet are data-based and can be easily biased. We need fact-based decision makers as facts don't lie.

Also Note: We're tax-servicing a School District debt to the tune of over $7 million dollars a year that came to be at the hands of a top-heavy School District Board in exchange for a 'fail' when it comes to the quality of our children's education and property values that (hinged on that) continue to fall.

With his standing on the ship-wreck we refer to as a School District and their failure to serve our community, I do not see Mr. Barnes as an asset to the Charter Commission for the City of Raytown, regardless of his past service as a volunteer to any cause.



Anonymous said...

I remember the Sutherland tax giveaway vote too. Sutherland charges all of its customers an extra half cent on every purchase in their store.

The Mayor and his friends on the city council do not really want this information out to the public when it is voted on, so they declare it an emergency and ram it on through without much discussion.

It's the same trick he tried last summer with Walmart in Downtown Raytown.

Thankfully the Planning and Zoning Commission held two public meetings on the topic before voting it down.

The Mayor and his council ignored the P and Z recommendation and voted to ram the legislation through anyway.

Much to the Mayor's displeasure, Walmart withdrew its application.

It is an excellent idea to build some safeguards to address this type of abuse of power at Raytown City hall into the Charter.

I hope the do nothing candidates are reading and understanding this important need.

There all way or no way approach to government is a bad idea.

Anonymous said...

If the shoe fits:
Who said anything about a hurt animal? They said a STRAY dog!

Pat Casady said...

It is clear that the people of Raytown don’t like the
way City Hall is running this town. Simply they don’t
listen to the people. The people said they didn’t want
another grocery store in town and thankfully it was pulled
off the agenda. Mostly because it was another WalMart.
But wait! Here comes another developer with a brand new
idea….or not. That’s right, yet another grocery store.
In the past City Hall has dealt with some questionable
developers but this time they have found one that is
without question the worst of the bunch.
This is why Raytown needs a Charter and City Hall doesn’t
want it.
As far as the taxes you are voting on, please remember
what happened to the “Safety Tax” and the “Street Overlay Tax”
you voted on a few years ago. What has that tax increase
gotten you?
This is why Aziere, Whitman, Melson and other friends of
the administration want to be on the Charter. They want
to ruin any chance of the people having a voice as to how
this town is run.

Need To Know said...


Mayor David Bower's abuse of 'emergency' clauses and ram-it-through legislation parallels our President's abuse of Executive Orders. Their flagrant abuse the law of the land and disregard for the well-being of the people reveals their narcissistic, elitist mentality. Narcissism is a documented mental disorder, read on:



Narcissistic DSM IV Criteria



A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

(1) has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)

(2) is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love

(3) believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)

(4) requires excessive admiration

(5) has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations

(6) is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends

(7) lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others

(8) is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her

(9) shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

These men should be removed from office and under psychiatric treatment for their disorder.




These men who disgrace their office and abuse the public trust clearly

Anonymous said...


March 20, 2014 at 9:20 PM "Since when does the police department have anything to do with animal control? They have enough to do without doing another departments job for them. Get real when spewing hate when you don't know the facts."

You contribute nothing 9:20. Point lost on you is that RPD doesn't pick up the slack when animal control doesn't pick up the phone. Animal Control should have someone answering the phone 24/7 and lacking that, RPD fails to serve and protect when needed. Your comment was insolent and reflected poorly on you.

Anonymous said...

It truly was sad that the public due to the high cost of membership left YMCA and chose the other affordable exercise establishments; while of course they did not have an indoor pool. Don't know how we could of unforced enrollment in the YMCA. But was very sad they did not keep up the maintenance and choose to close Raytown and Independence YMCA to go to greener pastures to build yet another building elsewhere. And what an insult to the Richard Green Family. Shame on the YMCA. Not a very Christian thing to do for a Christian organization . If perhaps they had lowered the enrollment cost so more of the public would have stayed members. I used the facility but would never use a YMCA again after what they chose to do to several communities. If it were truly economical on their part they would not be going for yet another one elsewhere

Anonymous said...

Did I read this right, someone wanted the police to come to a stray dog? Was it in the street causing a dangerous accident ? Did it have a gun? Was it selling drugs? Was it stealing someone's prize possessions?

Andy Whiteman said...

9:20 PM, Several years ago Animal Control started having an on call person for emergency calls evenings and weekends. At that point Raytown Police Dispatch started dispatching animal control after hours. I have called a few times for emergency service and an animal control officer was dispatched. Personally I wouldn't consider a stray dog to be an emergency unless it was vicious or injured.

Raytown Dispatchers can't be criticized as a group. I have spoken with some very good, dedicated dispatchers. True there may be some bad apples, but not the entire group. I was a fire and sheriff's dispatcher in another state and have experience in this field.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...


Matt Cushman: Exactly why was it you were replaced as Director of Raytown EMS?

Need To Know said...


UNDERSTAND THIS - THE COMMON MAN IS NOT COMMON. We don't need out-of-town, out-of-state or international ignorant empty suits to run our city. We can step up to the plate, fill our own city offices and run our city ourselves.

Here is some inspiration for you: "A Time for Choosing" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXBswFfh6AY

Anonymous said...

Please notice that all of the addresses attached to the Ys that were closed were not KC Mo. They were Raytown, Indep. and KC Ks. When their new leader was hired they chose to put the push into KC with new and renovated Ys in the KC metro. They do have a Y in Blue Springs but it is in the same shape as the one in Raytown was. You should see the condition of the one at Red Bridge. It has been added on to and is a sorry building. I will agree that they no longer operate with Christian principles. They are to really only serve the KC address area. They still want three million dollars for the building that is now slowly rotting away in Raytown.

Anonymous said...

Andy,

If someone works for any business including the Raytown Police Department and they know of a known problem with a dispatch and say nothing to the chief they too are part of the problem and why the whole dispatch can be placed in a group that needs cleaned up.

Now with that said I know several companies that come in ever so often and clean out the worst of the worst employees which gets the rest back on track and following policy.

Elisa Breitenbach said...

To everyone who lives or works in Raytown you may want to check out a letter to the Editor on Raytownonline.com by Dave Wehner who has lived in Raytown all of his life and worked as a Firefighter/EMT for 20 plus years. I shared it on the Raytown Supports Local Facebook page. I sure hope everyone can read it and share it.

matthew cushman said...

Well I resigned years ago for a lot of reasons. The primary one involved my personal Belief that I needed to go back to taking care of people that the administration was increasing not letting me do . I was increasing not Happy with a lot of things and felt it was time to move on. I am thankful for my time and what we accomplished. After 18 years it was time. Nothing more than personal beliefs and some professional differences... Nothing really exciting actually. I still follow closely the department's direction and success. Thanks for the question though. Feel free to call me or email me if you have any more questions. Thanks

Need To Know said...


Anything that this city allows to happen that came out of MARC (Metro Area Regional Council) leads to our ruination.

Sly James and David Bower (on the MARC Board) are huge supporters. What has undermined our fire department was their willingness to 'cooperate' with KCFD. What ruined our police dispatch was their 'cooperation' with MARC's dispatch system, MERCER. The asinine development plans for Raytown? MARC again.

MARC IS the non-governmental facilitator of the United Nations Agenda21 (NWO). MARC a dangerous power structure, putting UN unconstitutional, un-American mandates in place by infiltrating local government. That our Mayor is involved with them as a Board Member even as he sits as our Mayor is a travesty.

Get up and VOTE APRIL 8 to get a Charter written so we can stop what's coming with stronger laws in our city.

Raytown - your vote is terribly important - polls are open until 7pm and it only takes minutes to vote - PLEASE VOTE APRIL 8.

Anonymous said...

The letter from Dave Wehner is on this blog . You will find it on the previous thread

Anonymous said...


***** VOTE APRIL 8TH *****

RAYTOWN CITIZENS, our typical voter turnout is approximately 3,000 out of nearly 30,000.

We need to increase that number to show that we are an intelligent people who are going to improve our city.

It is our RIGHT TO VOTE. VOTING COSTS YOU NOTHING. FAILING TO VOTE CAN COST YOU EVERYTHING.

VOTE APRIL 8TH - MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Anonymous said...


"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free." End quote Ronald Reagan

A VOTE FOR A CHARTER IS A VOTE FOR FREEDOM ---- VOTE APRIL 8TH

Terrence said...

The polls open at 6:00a.m. And close at 7:00pm on election day