Sunday, April 13, 2014

RAYTOWN'S LEADING NEWS SOURCE

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BY GREG WALTERS

Post Election News
There is always a post-election slow down on reportable news following an election. City Council meetings become very short, particularly if there is a city issue on the ballot. This year there were three. Two sales tax questions and the formation of a City Charter Commission.

Elected officials become skittish and worry about putting their best face forward, even if they are not personally in the election. As a result, legislative activity slowly grinds to a halt.

So the “slow down” is really only an extension of the “slow down” before the election.
That is probably because the intensity of the campaigns are gobbling up all that is written.

This slow news period will probably last until the Charter Commission is sworn into office.

The Election Board will not be finished with their due diligence of certifying the election until April 17th. Which is two days after the next meeting of the Board of Alderman, so look for the Charter Commission to be sworn in on the first meeting in May.  

Bits and Pieces . . .
  • Raytown voters created some local history last Tuesday when they approved the formation of a Charter Commission. Not because a Charter Commission was approved. That has been done many times before. But this effort was different. It came to life from a true grass-roots effort. It was created by a petition process. That’s a “first” for Raytown. All other Charter efforts were created by City Council action.
  • Can anyone explain why the Charter question was Number Three on ballot? The petition was sent to City Hall long before the city decided to add the two sales tax questions which were Number One and Number Two on the ballot.
  • The Charter Election showed the importance of ballot position on a crowded ballot. Or did it? Of the first ten positions only four of the candidates were elected to the Charter Commission. However, if you extend that list to the top 13 vote receivers, eight of the candidates were elected.
  • The importance of absentee ballots in a low turn-out election was proven last Tuesday. The first count from the Jackson County Election Board showed only the absentee ballot count. In that tally, Mary Jane VanBuskirk was the second highest vote getter. By the end of the evening, her final position has slipped to number nine. We calculated the absentee vote and found that without that extra “push” in numbers, she may not have placed in the top thirteen.

Paul's Rant!
One item that is certain to come forward soon is what is becoming an annual event in Raytown . . . Downtown redevelopment.

A year ago it was plans for a Walmart Neighborhood Market. This year it is a mixed use project being proposed by Flaherty and Collins. Watch carefully how the BOA handles this one. Some local bloggers have dug up information showing Flaherty and Collins to have a checkered past.

The following links can be used for readers to re-acquaint themselves with the stories:

__________________________________________________

Bankruptcy Filing May End Condo Buyers' Chance of Recovering Money FROM WSOCTV.COM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The developers of an unfinished condo project in uptown Charlotte which filed for bankruptcy told Channel 9 Eyewitness News on Tuesday that people who paid down payments for homes may not get any of their money back.

Flaherty and Collins's Charlotte arm, Charlotte FC, was developing 210 Trade but it filed Chapter Seven. It has to sell what it can to pay as many people as it can. READ MORE 

Building Anxiety in Orland Park
BY SUSAN DEMAR LAFFERTY slafferty@southtownstar.com

Orland Park officials say the proposed luxury apartment building, Ninety7Fifty on the Park, will boost the local economy and serve as an anchor to further development, but similar projects ­— albeit condominiums — by the hand-picked developer have flopped elsewhere.

Flaherty and Collins, the developer of the Echelon property in Matteson, has not completed the project or responded to resident complaints. READ MORE
__________________________________________________________________

There has not been any discussion by the Board of Aldermen in public session about this information. But there should be. The city should take care to build in safeguards to protect the public’s interest in any deal made. That should include “claw-backs” guaranteeing a return on the city’s investment should the development fail or close before the bonds have been paid in full.

The ball is in City Hall’s court. Let’s see what they do with it.


Egg-Extravaganza
The City of Raytown will participate in the Raytown Main Street Association's Fifth Annual Egg-Extravaganza Saturday, April 19 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Included in the festivities will be a Vintage Car and Truck show, a Children's Reading by Mayor David Bower, a Dachshund Dash and dog costume contest along with a giant egg hunt. The egg hunt begins at 1 p.m. A parade will begin at 11 a.m. at City Hall.
For more information use this link Egg Extravaganza



Raytown’s Farmers’ Market to Open May 1st
Raytown’s Famers’ Market will begin on operation Thursday, May 1st. There will be a wide variety of produce, farm product, handmade artisan crafts, canned goods and ice cream.

At the market you buy directly from the producer - the person who grew it or made it and can tell you how to best cook, use and enjoy it. Plus, your dollars contribute directly to the local economy and assure the future of a healthy regional food system.

The plans are to make this a community gathering place with live music, great food, family activities and lots of learning and educational opportunities! 

For more information use this link Farmer's Market


BY SUSAN
FIT BOTTOMED EATS
A Wisconsin Classic: The 
Brandy Old-Fashioned Sweet

For FBE’s first Cocktails Week, we thought it would be fun for us to each share our favorite cocktail or liquor. And today Susan is giving a big ol’ cheers to the brandy old-fashioned sweet!

Like many college students, I entered my freshman year with very little cash in my pocket for the essentials, like pizza rolls and Pabst Blue Ribbon. So, like many college students, I took a bartending job.

In most places, the first thing you learn as a bartender is how to pour a perfect beer or mix simple drinks, like rum-and-coke cocktails. But in Wisconsin bars? That’s child’s play. If you want to make money, you best know how to make the unofficial state drink: A brandy old-fashioned sweet. READ MORE

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45 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't know what the Wildwood HOA effort is. But I do know that Witty Whitman is very involved with anything having to do with the Wildwood Lake area. You might start there to find what you are looking for.

Anonymous said...

This is how great our city services are.

I called Public Works on the "pot hole line" on April 8th for a Google pot hole strip to be filled at 59th and Lane, (close to the head quarters of the Parks and Rec building), and guess what? It still has not been filed in! Also 74th and Raytown Rd, east of Oreilly's several pot holes on those streets.

Has Bower stopped Public works from doing their job too? Welcome to "Dump town" That what I tell people I meet where I live, I live in "Dump Town!"

Pat Casady said...

Downtown redevelopment. Now there is a concept
that has cost the taxpayers of Raytown a small fortune.
In the past, I believe, fourteen years Raytown has had
at least three “developers.” Two for the downtown
Area and one for the new WalMart on 350 hwy.
All have cost the taxpayers of Raytown a lot of money.
The two “downtown developers” carried away tens of
thousands of taxpayer dollars without so much as turning
a single spoonful of dirt. They got a contract that had no
guarantee of action. That’s right they got money for
nothing. Remember Dial and R.E.D. they did nothing
but take your money.
Then we move to Block. They brought City Hall, WalMart.
This deal was great for Block and WalMart but a costly
disaster for the taxpayers of Raytown. Costing taxpayers
millions of dollars and still counting and will be for the
next twenty years. Block also promised our City Hall that
they had store after store lined up to move in next to and
across the street from the proposed new WalMart.
All the taxpayers got was a field for somebody to roll hay
on. Again no guarantee to keep their word.
Our elected officials like to think they
are smarter than anybody else in this town. I ask, if they
are so smart then why have they fallen prey to three, and
now possibly four deceitful and less than honest developers?
In my business, one of the first questions I am asked is “what
is my guarantee?” why can’t our “smart” elected officials ask
that question? Four words that can protect the taxpayers
and they won’t speak them. These “developers” were
smart enough to have a contract guaranteeing they would get
paid. Where was the guarantee the people will get what they
pay for?

Anonymous said...

Witty thinks it was 6 times. It was 4 times - it's a matter of public record so look the years up yourself.

Robbie Tubbs said...

7:15am. I'm not sure why the pot holes you mentioned have not been filled. A few weeks ago, I sent an email to Andy Noll about a pot hole in my area. It was filled two days later. You might try emailing Andy directly.

Anonymous said...

To 7:15 am wow no wonder you are upset since it has been 4 working days since you called the pot hole hot line and it has not been repaired.

Anonymous said...

To 11:35 am @ 4/14/14.
Thank you for your assistance ; it has been most helpful

Peter said...

Very excited for the farmers market to begin!! Checked out the Websight and also Think Raytown First

Anonymous said...

You know it has been nine years since the last effort to bring a charter to Raytown. I am amazed by those who write about what a BAD charter it was. Trouble is, they never say what was bad about it, do they?

Truth be known, it was a pretty solid document.

Mayor Frank did not like it because she thought it threatened her favorite department heads from Lee's Summit.

The odd thing is, once the charter was defeated, they all quit their jobs anyway and went to other cities!

Give credit to the former Mayor. She cobbled together a vicious campaign that was very effective against the Charter effort.

Too bad.

Raytown would be a better place if it had passed.

Next time someone tells you how bad the last charter was, ask them to tell what they did not like about it.

They will probably stare back at you like a deer in the headlights. Not knowing what to say when it the conversation goes past broad statements that hold little water.

Really enjoyed this week's columns, guys.

I credit your news coverage for making sure Witty Whitman is not going to be on the Charter Commission.

Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

All I know about potholes is that the city crews don't seem to be winning the fight against them.

Don't the police report them to public works when they drive over them? It would seem a simple solution to finding out where they are. After all, Raytown is only about 10 square miles in area.

Anonymous said...

Sue Frank - a piece of work - smeared the work of the last charter commission, dropped her suit regarding the rezoning for WalMart last year, and was responsible for bringing the 350 Hwy WalMart to town (and that is a fact!). She has done us damage.

Anonymous said...

Now ex-mayor Frank's husband ( Ted Bowman) is on the new charter commission. He's one to watch VERY close. Is he there to write a good document or just there to make sure that nothing ( no matter how good it is ) ever passes? Keep an eye on this one.


Anonymous said...

Well that downtown Raytown us with their admin and the 2 other woman and a man ; whose names you can google. All rally around Sue frank and they pushed the scam of donated money. They also should not be trusted

Anonymous said...

Don't want to be like Lee's Summit.
Don't want to be like Gladstone, Independence, Blue Springs or KC.
Don't want a city filled with fast food, dollar store, quick cash. grocery store franchises and section 8 housing (even if it is initially called 'luxury apartments).

This is Raytown and many who live here like our small business owners just fine, though more of them would be fantastic. The out-of-towners on our city council who have their hands in our pockets, heads in the clouds and noses in the air need to stop trying to make our city into something it isn't and that we don't want. If they don't like what we like, they should go back to their out-of-town homes and stay there.

Historic, small and quiet is a good thing. Those are things that are fast disappearing from the landscape and which, if correctly and creatively fostered, will make us a little gem amidst a trashy sea of development all around us that is over built, out of scale and all looks the same.

Begin at the beginning and do what common sense mandates.
There are 3rd world cities that have better infrastructure than we do. NO ONE in their right mind gives so much as a passing thought to building on a crumbling foundation, except Bower, Sharma and Cole.

Fix the streets; give us our sidewalks. curbs, streetlights and underground storm drains throughout the entire city to enhance and protect the existing property owner's investments. You work for us, we've paid for that many times over and that is your JOB.

The fact that you've ignored that elephant in the room is testament to your lack of fitness to the positions you hold.

It requires no $100,000. study or any closed door sessions. Stop the dog and pony show and demonstrate common sense - the time is neigh.

While you're at it Bower/Sharma, don't waste taxpayer money by rushing to recodify the city ordinances like you talked about doing at the last city council. It's understandable that you're nervous right now but doing that isn't going to help you.

Pat Casady said...

Speaking of streets. When was the last time any of you
drove down Willow street by the post office? I have to tell
you, I get upset every time I go down that street.
The people of Raytown were sold, with the “overlay tax”
the streets would be overlaid with asphalt. We got chip &
seal. The money would have been better spent if City Hall
just bought some brown paint and painted that street.
I can’t believe City Hall telling us chip & seal was just as
good as asphalt. Kind of makes you wonder where are
our ward two aldermen?

Andy Whiteman said...

Several years ago when horrible dust pollution was created by the Willow chip and seal which, in my opinion, hastened the death of my neighbor who had breathing difficulties; I was told by Andy Noll that chip and seal was an accepted method and used in the remote city he lives in.

In my opinion, chip and seal is a cheap, substandard, nuisance and should be banned. When I voted on that tax, I expected Willow to be paved properly. The voters were lied to with a promise that was not delivered.

Andy Whiteman

GADSEN said...

Hey Pat. Just came done Willow from the PO to about 65th it is the slurry and it is rough as a cob. The rest from 65th to 67 is ok. The slurry is the same as we have in the Village Gardens area but I realize that our homes are not as expensive.

Anonymous said...

Hey! At least the city does have a pothole number to call! I agree we are getting the short end of the stick on the slurry seal. Maybe the BOA will man up and tell the Public Works Department that substandard will not be accepted in Raytown.

Sometimes I wonder if the Board forgets that it is their job to give direction to department on how to run the city.

Anonymous said...

I see Public works filled in 1 pothole on 74th Terr up from O'reillys. They missed the biggest pot hole about 20' further up the street and still hasn't filled in the Google strip pot hole on 59th st and close to Lane.

I guess that is all the BOA will let them do, 1 pot hole a day......

Anonymous said...


Now, now, I don’t think you people should pick on
the Board of Aldermen so much. After all they can’t
think for themselves, they need the mayors guidance
along with the overpaid city administrator.
I like the idea that if our city won’t keep their promises
and do what the voters approved then they should save
taxpayer money and just paint the streets. Might I suggest
they first use a little cheap caulking in the cracks and maybe
some wall plaster to fill the holes before painting.

Anonymous said...

That google pot hole on 59th near lane and the big metal plates; what a pain and google is back on 59th and Kentucky. They've cut water lines in neighborhoods, messed up electrical and made it a threat to get school buses around them. Few of the routes the drivers go have now had google fiber flub up repaired. What a mess they are making. The USIC has marked the lines with colored flags with English written on them; appears the workers don't speak English or are colored blind .... Or both

Anonymous said...

Maybe the city should keep a better eye on the google fiber contractors, but it is the contractors responsibility to proper fill the cut holes they make.

Anonymous said...

Happy Easter week

Anonymous said...

I wish they would move faster too. Normally a city is supposed collect fees for every street cut created. This creates a revenue stream for the city and gives an incentive for contractors to move in a more timely manner and explore ways to avoid street cuts since the cost money.

In Raytown the street cut fees were eliminated for Google. Not all cities jumped on the free street cut deal Google wanted. It is one of the reasons Google is not being connected in Overland Park.

I don't know if those large metal plates that put cars out of alignmnet are Google or not. I do know that some cities require that the plates be set in a street level. That way a traffic hazard is removed and taxpayers do not have their cars front end torn up.

Wish they had thought of that in Raytown.

Anonymous said...

Google fiber has certainly made a mess of things and then they dig up areas in the yard near the street and no grass seed just hay was put down... Totally frustrating

Pat Casady said...

I guess I don’t get it. The Kansas City Star and almost
every other so call paper can’t get the story about the
Raytown charter effort right. The Star writer is saying
the charter came about because of the WalMart
Neighborhood Mart deal. Bob Phillips goes on about
how much the last charter cost. He blames the cost on
the charter board entirely. In fact it was City Hall fighting
the charter tooth and nail with law suits and lawyers’ fees.
He also blames Greg Walters for everything that went
south one the last charter attempt. Bob also says change
is not such a good thing. He points out the President’s
promise of change and look what we got.
Well, Bob what about the cry that every single administration
around the country uses to be elected? Moving forward!
Then nothing ever happens.
As I see it, it is truly time for this little town to move forward.
If it means that the elected officials have to do what they were
elected to do and it means that all rules should be observed
or answer to the people they lie to, then so be it.
When the people vote for higher taxes for improvements
and more police and police equipment they should get!
When the people say they don’t want any more WalMart stores
the elected officials should do what the people want.
Every elected official is elected to represent the people.
Not to do what the Mayor or the City Administrator tells
them to do. If they can’t think for themselves they should be
recalled. If they don’t follow the rules made by many years
of government in Raytown, they should be recalled.
Aziere, Whitman, Phillips, Battagler, The Kansas City Star
Melson and others just don’t get it. If the charter fails it will be because
of the people elected solely to sabotage it. These are the
people that will push costs up and cause trouble for the real
Raytown minded people that want City Hall to do what they were
elected to do. The people put their trust in these people and so
far they haven’t got what they voted for. There is no trust of
City Hall. Bending rules and handing out huge pay increases
for their friends and using tax increases for reasons other than
what they were voted for isn’t gaining them any trust either.
these are the real reasons the charter was wanted.
You can blame WalMart, you can blame Greg Walters. But,
the real reason is City Hall! They brought this upon themselves.

Andy Whiteman said...

Bower promised change and look at what Raytown got! A well written charter would definitely be an improvement!

April 16, 2014 at 11:04 PM, This is been a constant issue with other cable providers and utilities digging up streets, yards, etc. and showing no responsibility. I suspect it comes down to a hired contractor who is cutting corners and doesn't care!

Andy Whiteman

Need To Know said...

8:41 > Pat Casady 10-4 on that!

Need To Know said...

1% County-Wide Transportation Sales Tax is on the back burner.

Now that Raytown has just burned their own backsides by approving all the sales tax and bond issues on the April 2014, ballot, there is this one bit of good news for those of us who were against them, at least for now.

Missouri Transportation Sales Tax Amendment (2014) A Missouri Transportation Sales Tax Amendment did not make a 2014 election ballot in the state of Missouri as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. The measure would have increased the state sales tax by one cent for the next ten years in order to fund state transportation needs. State Senators Mike Kehoe (R-6) and Ryan McKenna (D-22) introduced the proposal.[

Proposed amendments must be agreed to by a majority of the members of each chamber of the Missouri General Assembly. A Republican-led filibuster prevented the measure from being approved before the legislative session ended.

Source: ballotpedia.org

Anonymous said...

They do not use hay it is straw guess that you are born in the city.

Anonymous said...

So does straw make grass? No grass seed was put down. I can see just where it would make a huge difference being hay vs straw. And how important that knowledge could be to someone. Still wonder about grass seed not being used

Anonymous said...

To 4:34 born raised and spending my twilight years where Ive always been ; Raytown

Anonymous said...

Haven't seen that fish wrapper of newspaper, the Raytown Times, yet, but from comments is looks like good old Bob Phillips is picking on Greg again. Not really surprised. Mr. Walters has always been one of Phillips favorite targets.

It looks like the Times has already started to ramp up its anti-charter campaign.

I say let's give the charter commissioners a chance and see what they come up. Then make a decision.

As for Phillips going after Greg. Sounds like sour grapes to me. Bob is doing what is expected of him. Taking his frustration out on his favorite whipping boy does not change one vote in last week's election.

Ask yourself this question. What is Mr. Phillips real goal?

Anonymous said...

straw has some stray wheat seeds where the combine leaves in the wheat stalk. It can grow into a wheat stalk with the right conditions. Hay comes in many forms, brome, thimothy, alfalfa, and mixed grass and it is more expensive. With hay the grass stalk is solid and may have seeds and weed seeds in it and packs down to the ground. Straw stalk is hollow core and doesn't pack as easy. That is why hay is used in dog houses than straw. Keeps the dog warmer and straw breaks up easily and can get into the dogs ears. Now you know...Good day!

Pat Casady said...

To “Anonymous” 4:34
I guess I have to explain myself again.
The vacant “grassy” land across the street
from WalMart, and east of the YMCA,
was told to all of us, by Block, that
Block had seven retail stores waiting to move onto
that property. However all the people of Raytown
got from Blocks tax breaks, was WalMart and a field
of grass that was turned into big round bales of hay,
and yes GRASS is hay.
I know this because I buy over three hundred bales a
year to feed our animals.
I may have been born in the city but, I’m country now and
loving every minute of it.

Anonymous said...

Why would anyone even read what Bob Phillips has to say about anything? This guy has been gone from the Raytown area so long (never did live in Raytown) he couldn't possibly know anything about our real problems. So start picking up those Raytown Times so you'll always have something to wrap you garbage in.

Anonymous said...

Wow - you really can learn a lot from this blog. Who knew there was a real difference between straw and hay? I also thought it was a north/south verbiage thing. Thanks, guys. Also, no one has to read Bob Phillips. There is another paper in town now. It's the Raytown Brooking Eagle and it's a lot nicer than the Raytown Times. The Eagle reports on more "about town" items and has color pictures all the time, not just when City Hall says so.

Anonymous said...

To 7:10 am so only the hay has grass seed in it and the draw stalk google put down without any grass seed is no more than kitty litter to cover up the mud. What a joke; no grass seed !! Hay feeds animals as well since it has often times alfalfa in it. My neighbor who is in erosion control was surprised they did not put down grass seed.. Well I guess we both know now

Anonymous said...

9:33 yep I thought that hay /straw then was north south verbiage as well; like Devan Sofa Couch etc. but I think the point was a lack of grass seed underneath atleast that's what I took from the original comment

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know which city employee the board of alderman decided to give a $30,000 raise to this year?

Anonymous said...

Alfalfa is also called hay, it is used to feed farm animals. Oats is a food for multi uses and it is grown on the stem of what is called straw. Straw is used also for farm animals as a bedding for those long winter nights in the barn to keep warm. Hay is more expensive than straw and is sold in bales for animal food.

This is probably confusing for the city dweller.

Andy Whiteman said...

5:05 PM, Mahesh Sharma, City Administrator, but it was about 3 years ago. Also he is exempted from living in Raytown as required by ordinance.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

To 6:30 am thx u and a blessed Easter to you as well

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link to the BOA meeting. Maybe you guys could offer to give some lessons to whoever sets up their web page on how to create a proper link to the videos of the meetings!

I also wonder if they have quit taking roll call a the meetings. I watched it twice and their never was a roll call taken even though one member of the Board came in late.

Anonymous said...

I kept looking until I found the Board meeting from April 15. Since I'm hard of hearing, I turned on the closed captions. Anyone wanting a good laugh should try this. During the roll call, Jason Greene said (according to the closed captions), "I opened under a skirt". Joe Creamer said he shook like a flint. I hope the City isn't paying for someone to do the closed captioning, because it's a total waste of time and money. Why can't the new PIO do anything right?