Sunday, June 1, 2014


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Commission Meeting Turns Lively
The Raytown Charter Commission held its fourth and, in the eyes of some, its most productive session last Tuesday night. Commissioners rolled up their sleeves and went to work on Articles I, II and III of the work in progress. Highlights of the discussion were as follows:

PREAMBLE: A proposed preamble to the document Charter Commissioner Lisa Emerson brought a considerable amount of discussion to the table. The short paragraph focused on limiting the power of government over individuals. A final decision on inserting the language at the beginning of the document was carried over until a future meeting.

NAME OF GOVERNING BODY: A lively discussion over whether to name the governing body of Raytown the Board of Aldermen or City Council also took center stage for a good part of the discussion. Traditionalists within the group supported the term “Board of Aldermen”.

Board of Aldermen is a term generally used to identify Fourth Class City governing bodies. The term was referred to as 19th Century type of language more fitting for an era long gone.
Proponents of the term “City Council” said that since the plan was to move the city into a more modern form of government, that it would be best to adopt “City Council” as the proper name.

One Commissioner pointed out that when politicians run for office they almost always use the commonly understood term of “City Council” in their literature and signage.

TERM LIMITS: By far the most interesting discussion was over term limits. It was pointed out that term limits are becoming more and more accepted in Missouri. The Missouri State Legislature, the City of Kansas City and Lee’s Summit all have term limits.
In two of those three examples, the use of term limits was created by direct vote of the people through initiative petition. The matter could be decided directly by the voters if the Commission should decide to take advantage of a “Pull Out” option available to Charter Commissions.

This option allows individual items of popular interest to be voted on directly by the voters. By using this option, voters would have the final say on whether or not to have term limits for the Mayor and City Council.

Raytown Charter News Link 
The Raytown Charter Commission has created a webpage to keep Raytowners informed on the progress of the Commission. The page has links to the Minutes and Video of past meetings. Use the following link to visit the page. 

Paul’s Rant!
I have not attended any meetings of the Charter Commission and do not intend to do so. However, I do watch the videos provided by Michael Downing on You Tube or on the Government Channel 7.

As with all things, there is a learning curve. So it was not a surprise that the audio on the Mr. Downing’s production was less than desirable. Downing suggested the Commission use the City Council dias for its meetings. By a lucky coincidence there are 13 chairs on the dias. The seats are all hardwired with microphones for sound, so . . . . “problem solved, crisis managed!”

So I was somewhat surprised to see the Commission back down in folding chairs around temporary tables configured in U shape for the meeting.

It seems some of the Commissioners did not like sitting at the dias because they could not face the people they ‘re speaking to. Which is, I guess, understandable. Whatever the reason, they are back down on the main floor without any proper way to amplify their voices.
This is more of a problem than one might think. A thirteen member Commission is a fairly large body of people. Greg tells me that at the last meeting Commissioners were frequently asked to “speak up” because they could not be heard. If the Commissioners cannot hear each other, how on earth is Mr. Downing expected to be able to pick up what they are saying on his videos?

Downing has suggested that the Commission purchase some tape recording devices that he could synchronize to the video. Bu t he does warn that the process is labor intensive and could become costly.

Or – the city could use the microphones they already own to during the meetings.
So, why aren’t the microphones being used?

The City Clerk told the Secretary of the Commission that the exp0sed wires would have to be taped down to the carpet to avoid a trip hazard. Furthermore, there was indication from the clerk that the city wanted to avoid damage to the microphones.

Alright, it is time to call a “time out” on this nonsense.

Trip hazard? Give me a break!

It does not bother the City Council to use the three microphones when they hold their meetings. There is a plug in located on the podium used for a separate microphone at every public hearing the city holds. The city staff uses microphones with wires strung across the floor to the staff table at every City Council meeting. The City Clerk is well aware of this reality. She steps over those cords at every City Council meeting when she takes her seat at the city staff table!

The arrangement of the tables can easily be configured to avoid any trip hazard.
As for the danger of the equipment being damaged . . . in Michael Downing you have a professional videographer who is routinely hired by local churches, and frequently used by the city for their events (candidate debates, public forums) . . . who has graciously donated his service to broadcast the meetings.

Give him the tools to do the job right.

A FINAL THOUGHT: This is not the first time the City Clerk has stood in the way of improving the recording and broadcasting of City Charter Commission meetings.
When Charter Commissioners wanted to broadcast the meetings on the Raytown Government Channel 7 she wrote:

“I fully understand your concern of televising the Charter Commission meetings; however, this is not a decision for City Staff to make.  City Staff takes direction from the Mayor and Board of Aldermen regarding this and all other matters regarding the City of Raytown.”

Charter Commissioner Jason Green, who also has a seat on the Board of Aldermen, called her bluff. He told them that he would take the matter to the entire Board for consideration.
City staff capitulated and agreed to re-broadcast the meetings.

Incidentally, Greene never took the item before the Board for consideration. Apparently, cooler heads in the labyrinth of what is called “city staff” decided it was not necessary to bother the Board of Aldermen with its decision. 

It is time for the City of Raytown to quit this foolish game of being uncooperative with reasonable requests from the Commission. Allow the Commission to use the microphones so that public can hear as well as view Charter Commission meetings.

It is easy to say “no” and come up with excuses for not solving problems. Maybe, just maybe, if some of our city’s management team would take a more constructive part in the process, they would be able to solve problems.

Heck, we would even let them borrow what is becoming our mantra at the Raytown Report, then they too could say, “Problem Solved, Crisis Managed!”

Last Week's Poll - Week 2 
Should the Raytown Charter Commission create term limits for elected officials of the City of Raytown?

57% . . . . YES
43% . . . . NO

Previous Poll Results
Which designation do you prefer for the governing body at Raytown City Hall?

28% . . . . Raytown Board of Aldermen
72% . . . . Raytown City Council

Farmer's Market Review

The Raytown Farmers’ Market opened this past Thursday at 6210 Raytown Road across from the green space.  There were over 50 people who attended the opening.  Due to the weather the past several months, the produce was limited but was of high quality.  There were several types of lettuce as well as onions and radishes.  There were a large number of potted vegetables and herbs that were ready for planting.  The chocolate mint thyme was a big hit.

Saturday was another great day for the Market.  There were over 100 people who visited the Market and purchased produce (vegetables and herbs) and other items.
Both days, the vendors sold produce as well as plants, baked goods, table accessories, aprons, blankets and flowers.  They included Stony Crest Urban Farm, Sister Friends Specialties, Emmanuel Kip's Garden, Apron Strings and Other Things.

There were downpours both days which didn’t last too long, just enough to make everyone hurry under the tents.

On Thursday, the Butterfly Lady, Terry Shepherd from the Butterfly Fields Nursery taught in the children's area.  She showed the children the caterpillar she was growing amidst ferns and other plants and explained the cycle of growth.  Each child received a prismatic butterfly to take home.
On Saturday, the librarians for the Raytown Mid-Continent Library showed the children how to make tie-dyed flowers. Each child decorated their flowers using their imagination.
On Thursday, Frank Rardon entertained the crowd with his music from the 60s and 70s.
On Saturday, Daryl Jones’ salad making demonstration produced a wonderful salad from produce purchased at the market.

As the weather gets warmer, there will be many more vendors and a much larger selection for the people attending the Market.
There were many positive comments.  The people were very pleased that Raytown residents now had their own Farmers’ Market.
The Raytown Farmers’ Market is a grower/producer only market.  All food is grown locally (within a 120 mile radius of the center of Raytown), and the person they are purchasing the produce or product from is the person who grew or made. 

Eat local, eat fresh and support your local economy.

Sweet and Savory 
Tempeh Tacos

Earlier today we shared a raspberry protein shake recipe that was a fabulous way to kickstart your day with a little healthy detoxing. And now, as promised from the The Clean in 14 Detoxwe’re sharing author Melissa Costello’s Sweet and Savory Tempeh Tacos recipe. Vegetarian, high in protein and loaded with protein and flavor, they make for a delicious meal for two! And if you’ve never tried tempeh before, this is a fab recipe to try it! READ MORE 

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Pat Casady said...

I have around five microphones my band is not using at
the present time and an audio snake that would take up to
thirteen microphones then with one cable bundle going to the
amplifier, the charter commission could use if they want.
This way they could still be on the main floor.

Anonymous said...

On another matter. Does anyone know when the Raytown Clean Up Day will be held this year?

I have not heard of a date and if it is not happening because of budget constraints then the $30,000 annual raise gifted to the City Manager is a complete croak!

GADSDEN said...

Maybe I am concerned about something that is of no concern to everyone else. A couple of months ago there was a comment that Raytown firetrucks were seen at a fire near the Plaza.

Now the KC fire dept. is planning on closing 2 stations, one near the plaza and the other in South KC.

Mutual aid is one thing but if our equipment and manpower is being used on any kind of regular basis then I for one think that it has gone too far. I am sure that no money comes from KC for equipment or personnel because otherwise why would they plan to close their stations.

Does anyone out their know how often we give mutual aid to a distance greater than just outside our city limit.

About 2 years our fire district funds were so short we were given 1 million dollars from the federal govt. This gift was the result of E. Cleaver (the same rep. that owes a bank over 1 million dollars due to a bad loan for a car wash in Grandview).

The taxpayers of Raytown pay taxes to the Raytown fire district.

If we need fire protection I think that we all want fast service by our own local fire dept. if at all possible.

Groucho K. Marx said...

There are such things as wireless microphones. Used those with a camera pickup 20 years ago....

Anonymous said...

There is no longer an annual clean up day and it has nothing to do with a $30,000.00 raise. They haven't had one for at least a year or two. You go to city and purchase a voucher or two however many you will need. They will explain the rest to you at city hall, about where you take the debris to dump it.

Pat Casady said...

Hey Groucho, you are right on about the wireless
microphones. However, they are expensive.
I have three. Also they require a box close to the
It’s always nice to hear from the dead.
Say the magic word and win a hundred dollars.

Anonymous said...

I, as well would like to know when the Raytown Clean Up days are going to be held this year.

Does anyone know?

Thank you,

Sign; Anonymous garage full of junk

Anonymous said...

Raytown Cleanup Days was originally promised by City Hall if the taxpayers would approve a sales tax in Raytown. That lasted about three years and then the city went to a clean up day where people could bring their stuff to a drop off spot. Then the City started charging those who brought stuff to the drop off spot. Then the city started selling tickets so you take your stuff directly to the dump.

In other words, the city quit doing the clean up days.

In Raytown we call that "progress"!

Anonymous said...

Raytown Cleanup Days was originally promised by City Hall if the taxpayers would approve a sales tax in Raytown. That lasted about three years and then the city went to a clean up day where people could bring their stuff to a drop off spot. Then the City started charging those who brought stuff to the drop off spot. Then the city started selling tickets so you take your stuff directly to the dump.

In other words, the city quit doing the clean up days.

In Raytown we call that "progress"!

Terrence said...

Raytown clean up days in the 1980s was held on 50 hiway when the old Joe Herndon Center was between the hiways. Then they moved it to the super splash parking lot. This past year they started the ticket thing. I used it all thru the 1980s cause my Dad had an old pick up. When it moved to super splash I only used it a couple times because the lines were so long and my Dads truck was no longer around. It had a good run since the 1980s to have Raytown clean up day.

Terrence said...

To the blogger with a garage full of junk
With school soon to be out you might want to enlist some kids to clean it out for you ; they work very reasonable.
Then you could call one of the donation sites that do pick up of usable items
Bagging up trash for your trash man and placing recyclable metals to curbside. There are several people in the area who pick up those items for free; my friend called one out if the paper but I live on a busy street so they drive by a lot and take it.
There are even those " you got junk " business's I've no idea what they charge.
This is just a few options that I and a freind have used.
Hope this helps you with the garage dilimma

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, Raytown progress. I'll vouch for that...Welcome to Raytown where we tax more to waste more.

KMCCLA said...

GADSDEN said..Maybe I am concerned about something that is of no concern to everyone else. A couple of months ago there was a comment that Raytown firetrucks were seen at a fire nears the Plaza.

Now the KC fire dept. is planning on closing 2 stations, one near the plaza and the other in South KC.

A little bit of misinformation here. First of all, only one station is being closed, that is KCFD Station 1, which is located at the old Richard's Gebaur Airport, and now the KC Smart Port. This is a fairly low run company, with P-1 perhaps only getting one run a day or less (last I read it was the lowest run station in the city). The second station, KCFD Station 19, near the Plaza is NOT closing, rather only one of the two current pumpers stationed P-32, there is being taken out of service.The two other companies, P-19 and T-7 will still be kept in service.

On the other hand, I some what agree. I am "troubled" by the fact that "our" RFPD apparatus now carry "KCFD" numbers (P-51, P-52, L-52, C-51, etc..). Mutual Aid works both ways, quite often if we get a "real fire" here in Raytown, the RFPD has to call the KCFD for help. While I do not like the idea of automatic aid, it is difficult to see why the RFPD is constantly running into Kansas City. At the same time, I do not really think that response times will all be that different. If a RFPD is at one place, the KCFD will still cover those areas as well. While I see the "need" to have the "KCFD" type of numbers on "our" rigs, I still do not like it either.

Anonymous said...

Gadsden and kmccla....there are bigger problems with it than the numbers trust me..doc

Tom Rigot, Sr. said...

So I try to keep my building looking good, I put 6 large pots in front and fill them with flowers every spring and fall. The potts are all ceramic and the plants are not cheap. Today when I arrived one pot was smashed on the ground and the others apparently stolen. What testacle sack steals potted flowers thinking "those would look good at my house". Who would steal potts from a business on a busy street under bright lights. You can't have anything nice in Raytown!

Lillian said...

Your building always looks nice. You keep it painted and clean, as well. Did you call Raytown's finest to make a report? I bet they told you they were all down at Doughboy's at the time and didn't spot anything.

KMCCLA said...

I am sure there are larger problems than the numbers on the rigs, that is just my feeling about it, and it leaves a bad feeling in my mouth about it (I do not know why, it does, however I understand why it was done.) I have a scanner at home, and I am hearing a lot of the runs the RFPD is running into Kansas City.

Elisa Breitenbach said...

Tom someone took two of my flower pots from my shop. It's sad someone would steal them away from the public to enjoy. Sorry to hear they took yours too. Lillian the police department don't come in DOUGHBOYS much. It's Gingers they eat at.

Anonymous said...

I have flower pots broken and stolen from my home also. So I don't complain I just replace them.

Anonymous said...

Concrete pots are all I use for out front.. They can be decorated for all the various seasons and last forever.
Maybe because it would take several strong people to lift and carry them.

Elisa Breitenbach said...

It's not wise to accept crime. Being a silent victim truly will not deter crime. It's good to know what is going on in our neighborhoods. When a business is a target like Tom was, it's not a good thing to be basically told suck it up and shut up about it. I know because I had a business in Independence that had also been a target of crime. Many of the buildings are empty around my shopping center because many of the people around it turn a blind eye to crime in Independence. The acceptance of crime and turning a blind eye to it tells the people doing it GO FOR IT.