Sunday, June 8, 2014


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Oh, The Things 
People Say!
Many years ago, when I had a seat on the Raytown Board of Aldermen, a colleague of mine quipped “someday I am going to read a story in the paper of the meeting that I attended.”

He was annoyed by the twisted version of events as told by the local newspaper about meeting he had attended. His words came to mind after I read Randy Battagler’s Raytown Times account of meeting last week. His mixing of issues, and the underhanded use of comments out of context is contemptible.

So without any further ado, we have prepared a short column we call  . . .

In his weekly column, Randy’s Reflections, Mr. Battagler reports on two discussions but mixes them up to read as if they happened in one discussion. The discussion took place at the last meeting of the Raytown Charter Commission meeting.

One Charter Commission member opined that some issues were too complicated for the voters to understand. I replied that the voters were very clever people who easily grasped issues and understood them quite well. I closed by reminding the Commission that “after all, the voters were smart enough to elect us.”

My point being that when politicians are hearing what they want to hear, they believe the voters are smart. When politicians do not like what they are hearing, they believe the voters are too confused to grasp the issues.

It is a position that is self-serving nonsense. I will not belabor the point.

Somehow, Randy mixed the conversation with one later on in the meeting about term limits. I had pointed out there is a trend in government to go to term limits. As examples I reminded the Commission that Lee’s Summit, Kansas City and the State of Missouri have term limits.

Some members of the Commission had said that term limits were unpopular and would hurt the chances of the Charter passing.

I disagreed, reminding them that in the case of Kansas City and the State of Missouri, the term limits were brought forth by initiative petition, directly from the people. In both cases, the term limits were passed by over-whelming majority.

The Term Limits issue was carried over to a future meeting for resolution. There was no vote taken. How will the Commission vote? It is hard to say. Some spoke in favor of term limits, some against.


A simple solution would be to include the Term Limits question a “pull out” issue so that the voters could decide directly on the matter. Missouri State Statutes allow for specific issue oriented questions to be decided by a direct vote of the people at the same election as when the Charter is voted.

This week’s poll asks the question if the Charter Commission should make the question of whether or not to include term limits as a “pull out” issue for the voters to decide.

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

Should the Raytown Charter Commission create term limits for elected officials of the City of Raytown?

57% . . . . Yes
43% . . . . No 


The Paul Livius Report

Raytown Board of Aldermen Meeting – June 3, 2014 
Police Chief Jim Lynch presented Certifications of Completion to the Community Emergency Response Team.  He said they are regular citizens who have been trained to assist in the community in times of emergency. During public comments, David Hartman went before the Board.  He said he was a Raytown Public Works employee.  He told the Board the department wasn’t given raises last year.  Many of them have taken courses on behalf of the city that make them more valuable employees, but still they weren’t given raises.  He said he saved the City over $3,000 on hazardous waste disposal and he not only didn’t get a raise, no one even said thanks.  The City will lose a lot of good employees if this isn’t rectified soon.

Mary Jan Van Buskirk said she heard on the radio that a lot of young married couples can’t afford houses.  She said there are a lot of affordable houses for sale in Raytown and wanted to know why the city wasn’t trying to attract these young families.  Bank in 1972, she said, the schools in Raytown were top-notch.  They aren’t anymore.  Property owners won’t clean up their property and the codes department needs to get on this problem.

Sandy Hartwell told the Board there is property close to her that needs to be cleaned up.  She and her neighbors have called City Hall several times.  Last year, a tree in the back yard fell and put a hole in the roof of this property.  It’s still there.  She and her neighbors keep calling and finally someone in the codes department told her they can’t do anything about it.  If she wants something done, she should contact her alderman.

Paul Davidson said that for several years the lack of participation in the Community Hazardous Waste Disposal program has been disheartening.  It only costs $1.04 per resident.  The disposal of hazardous waste is a service residents deserve.

The CPA firm of Cochran, Head and Vick went before the Board with the annual Audit Report.  For more information, go to

The Audit report starts on page 5, the Statement of Net Positions starts on page 9.  The Balance Sheet starts on page 18, and the Statement of Revenues starts on page 55.

The Board passed resolution authorizing the city administrator to enter into an agreement with A and A Concrete Company for the 2014 concrete repair project.  The Public Works Department received 6 sealed bids that were opened on Wednesday, May 21, 2014. The bids ranged from $107,000.00 to $231,350.00. A & A Concrete Company is the lowest, responsive, responsible bidder at $107,000.00 and is being recommended for approval. The 2013-14 street maintenance program budget is $772,572.00 (this amount includes the concrete project, asphalt overlay, light weight aggregate seal, street striping, crack sealing, and grant match for Blue Ridge Blvd bike lanes). The concrete project was budgeted at $150,000.00 of the $747,672.00 total.

The Board tabled a  resolution approving the expenditure of funds to The Wilson Group, Inc. related to city hall board room renovations. The Public Works Department has worked with an architect and local contractor to secure plans for the renovation of the existing board room on the top level of City Hall. The renovations will provide a permanent ADA ramp, relocate entrance to conference room, replace carpeting, update the board dais, update lighting for video purposes, and provide 2 storage closets. The board room renovation was part of the City Hall Renovations budgeted in the 2013-2014 budget. The cost of the renovation is estimated at $93,741.28. Public Works proposes to utilize a cooperative contract through The National Joint Powers Alliance. As this project is a renovation of an existing space which is currently utilized there is a significant risk that some changes will be necessary to complete the project; however, there is no concealed plumbing as part of this project and Public Works is comfortable that the estimate is sufficient to complete the project.   Blueprints for the renovations can be found starting on page 77.  Alderman Lightfoot said the lighting alone and asked why it costs so much.  Mr. Noll said it will help with the new video camera.  Alderman Lightfoot said a coat of paint, new carpet, and new chairs would go a long way to spruce up the room.  Jason Greene said he agreed with Mr. Lightfoot.  Changes need to be made, but this is a lot of money.  If the Board spends this kind of money, they’re sending the message to the residents that the Board plans on staying at this City Hall for a long time.  Josh Green said several things can happen; new carpet would be great and the ADA ramp is a necessity.  He can’t justify the cost of the other things when the money can go to better projects. Alderman Melson said she agrees it is a lot of money, but asked the Board to remember that other committees and commissions met in the Board room, not just the Aldermen.  Mayor Bower said the room needs to be redone.  It is antiquated and needs to be ADA compliant.  Alderman Mock said he agreed, but they don’t need to do all of it.  Alderman Aziere said he agrees the room needs to be redone, but not made smaller.  He can’t support the current plan.  Alderman Van Buskirk said the Charter Commission is meeting and there could be aldermen at large or fewer aldermen all together.  That could change the make-up of the dais.  He thinks they should wait until the Charter commission gets done.  Mayor Bower said he didn’t like the way the discussion was going.  Alderman Van Buskirk then made a motion the resolution be tabled until the next Board meeting.

The Board passed resolution approving the expenditure of funds to The Wilson Group, Inc. related to City Hall bathroom renovations in an amount not to exceed $84,850.09.  The Public Works Department has worked with an architect and local contractor to secure plans for the renovation of the existing bathrooms on the top level of City Hall.  The restrooms have been in need of renovation for some time due to mismatched tile,  poor lighting, stained grout lines and deteriorated partitions. The bathroom renovation was part of the City Hall Renovations budgeted in the 2013-2014 fiscal year budget. The cost of the renovation is estimated at $77,850.09. Public Works proposes to utilize a cooperative contract through The National Joint Powers Alliance. As this project is a renovation of an existing space which is currently utilized there is a significant risk that some changes will be necessary to complete the project in an appropriate manner, therefore Public Works requests a contingency amount of $7,000.00 be included in the authorized amount for a total amount of $84,850.09.

The Board heard the first and second readings of an ordinance amending ordinance no. 5465-13 which adopted the 2012 Edition of the International Residential code, regulating and governing the construction, movement, repair, location and demolition of detached one and two family dwellings and multiple single family dwellings (townhouses) not more than three stories in height.  On July 16, 2013 the Board of Aldermen approved Ordinance No. 5465-13 which adopted the 2012 International Residential Code (IRC) subject to certain amendments listed in the Ordinance which included changes to Table R301.2(1). A provision in this table relates to whether a roof  barrier underlayment, commonly referred to as an ice and water shield, is required as  part of the roofing system on a one or two-family home. Ordinance No. 5465-13 inadvertently indicated that this provision was not required.

The recent recodification of the Raytown City Code brought to staff’s attention this typographical error, as the City Code indicated that a roof barrier underlayment is required as part of the roofing system on a one or two-family home. As such, staff is requesting that Ordinance No. 5465-13 be amended to require a roofing barrier underlayment (e.g. ice and water shield), thereby correcting this typographical error in Ordinance No. 5465-13.  The purpose of a barrier underlayment (ice and water shield) on a roof is to prevent problems that can be caused by melting snow on a roof that is blocked from draining into the roof gutter by an ice  dam. As the snow continues to melt it is blocked by the ice causing it to back up under the shingles which can often cause leaks in the home. An ice and water shield roofing underlayment provides leak protection for sloped roofs subject to the effects of ice dams or wind driven rain. Staff is requesting a suspension of the rules on perform both readings of this Ordinance at the June 3, 2014 Board of Aldermen meeting, as there are a number homes in certain areas of Raytown that are having new roofs installed due to a recent hail storm. As a result, passage of this ordinance will help ensure that new roofs to be installed will be of a comparable quality and consistency as other roofs in the city.

Ruby’s Rassberry 
Dazzle Protein Shake BY JENN

As y’all know, we’re not big on the whole detox/cleanse thing. But The Clean in 14 Detox book caught our hungry eyeballs because it’s not about just drinking your food (or fasting altogether — ahhh!). It’s all about using real, whole food to help you transition to a healthier way of life and ditching what the book calls the “CRAP” (Caffeine, Refined Sugars, Alcohol, Processed Food) and the SAP (Sabotaging Addictive Patterns). We dig it!And we were super pumped when the author Melissa Costello said she’d let us share a recipe (or two — we have another one coming up later today for tempeh tacos)! Behold her super yummy raspberry protein shake recipe! READ MORE

This Week’s Events . . .

Thursday June 12th
Raytown Farmers' Market-MU Extension Food Demonstration in Adult Demonstration Area
MU Extension- Rachel McGinnis-Millsap -Eating From the Garden in Children's Educational Area

Saturday June 14th
Midwestern Beekeepers Association- Cathy Misko- Adult and Children's Educational Areas
Elvis Impersonator Ken Graham Performing

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Raytown Newbie said...

"Paul Davidson said that for several years the lack of participation in the Community Hazardous Waste Disposal program has been disheartening. It only costs $1.04 per resident. The disposal of hazardous waste is a service residents deserve."
I salute Mr. Davidson's efforts. If we are to move forward as a progressive city, we must have a safe and non polluting method to dispose of household hazardous waste. Years ago when we lived in Independence, it was possible to take such things to the KCMO disposal site. Now that we are Raytown residents we can not. So an ever increasing litter of old paint, yard chemicals, pesticides, etc, continues to build up. I wonder what others do to get rid of this stuff. Surely not down the drain or into the household trash.

Anonymous said...

I can't speak for others but the pesticides I use end up on my lawn. I have found chemical warfare is the most effective way to ants out of my house. Seriously, I agree the city should join with surrounding communities in creating a place to dispose of the poisons we use. What is ironic is that our city department heads live in cities that participate in these programs. Apparently Raytown is not good enough for the program. Our elected officials should set the tone by insisting we participate. Sadly, I do not think that will happen.

GADSDEN said...

I have brought up two problems as I see it with potential concerns in Raytown.

The first is the continued us of our assets (fire dept.) in Kansas City that will have to be replaced sooner because of the increased wear and tear on them as they are used to fight Kansas City fires. The taxpayer is the one to suffer on this. As I said before mutual aid is one thing not the type of aid that is being given.

The second is the general disrepair of the parking lot at the new Audi's store. Apparently now one from the Mayor, board of aldermen or city employees seem to care one some bit. The lot is falling in, you would expect it in a run down shopping center. If this is what our Mayor is happy with then it is one more strike against the Mayor and his lackeys.

Anonymous said...

To Raytown Newbie
A friend of mine who lives near 47th and Blue Risge Blvd a Kc Mo address took her old paints to the drop off site they had a month ago off Pink Hill Road. Also half used paints can be taken to the restore shop off genesee where they blend the colors and sale for near of nothing

Anonymous said...

So Sandy -- how's that professionalism at city hall working for you? If what paul wrote is correct it looks like the city has turned its back on your neighborhood. Not the first time this has happened and will not be the last. There is a lesson here for those who want to protect the status quo. Think they will figure it out?

Pat Casady said...

The other day I was told by a friend of mine that
some people in, at or around City Hall think I am
not such a nice guy. I was told they think I have nothing
good to say about Raytown.
They are wrong. I love Raytown, and have since before
most of those people were even in Raytown.
Do I like what these people have done to this town?
Hell no! I have seen some pretty stupid decisions go
down and some shady deals too, in my forty some
years in this town.
Without writing a long novel, I will just say, if the truth
hurts, I can’t help it.
I have the upmost respect for Raytown’s Police Department.
I also have high respect for the public works hard working
employees. Respect is earned. City Hall and most of our
elected officials have not earned my respect or
just about anybody else’s I talk to.
This doesn’t mean I hate them. It just means I don’t think
They have done right by the people or small businesses
in Raytown.

Terrence said...

Those pesticides should be used on the yard and foundation as this keeps all pest from taking up space inside. It is best to use all of the pesticide after all that's what you buy it for isn't it. Use it one month and then finish up with it the next month that way you are not wasting your money or stock pilling containers of half used pesticides. You can always offer to use it on a neighbors yard that borders yours or better yet there are many elderly who cannot afford nor are physically in shape to put pesticides down. These are many ways to solve the problem of stock piled pesticides. As far as paint goes; I take it to the Restore or offer it to a neighbor. If you see someone working on a rental property or a painter working somewhere offer it to them. Sometimes a small amount of paint can be joined with others to spruce up a bathroom

Andy Whiteman said...

It is typical of others to take what you have said, usually out of context, and use it to make you look like the person in the wrong.

Andy Whiteman

Elisa Breitenbach said...

Today the Kansas City Star has a story about Flaherty & Collins. I sure hope that people take time to read the blogs under the story.

Raytown Newbie said...

Thank for the tips on paint disposal. How about unused oven cleaner, miscellaneous household cleaning products that did not perform, various auto truck fluids such as power steering and brake fluid? My point was that there should be a place where all such unused products can be safely disposed of. I recently was at an estate sale up the road from me and noticed many, many containers of such products. After the sale a dumpster was brought in to clean out the house to get it ready for sale. It doesn't take too good of an imagination to figure out where all the left over chemicals ended up. Could be wrong but I wonder.

Raytown Newbie said...

Hey, I've been meaning to give a plug to a local business. Stopped into Dough Boys recently and bought some great doughnuts. I don't always agree with the owners views but she cooks up some tasty treats. I will be back.

Michael said...

I am happy to see discussion of codes enforcement happening at the Board of Aldermen meeting.

Michael said...

I'm happy to see codes enforcement being discussed at the Board of Aldermen meeting. Stronger enforcement will help our city.

Anonymous said...

Elisa, thanks for the heads up on the realty company.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad the city is talking about code enforcement again too. I hope this is not another situation where they just talk about it.

Wasn't it a year ago that Mrs. Hartwell went to city hall and complained about this same property? I am sure it was. The city made all kinds of noise about doing something but apparently did not. Otherwise Mrs. Hartwell would not be back in front of the Board of Aldermen asking for enforcement.

City code officials told Mrs. Hartwell there was nothing they could do. It would be more accurate to say there is nothing they WILL do.

Elisa Breitenbach said...

Yes Yael T. Abouhalkah, EVERY GRAND PLAN HAS DETRACTORS. Check out the OPINION page today. Yael did a nice job. MOM AND APPLE PIE ISSUES GETTING TOUGHER TO FIND?

Flaherty & Collins are popping up all over, trying to spread the "urban village" story thick!!! Some of their history reads like "urban legends" however there are true stories of cities who climb into bad TIF deals with Flaherty & Collins

Anonymous said...

It seems that Mary Jan VanBuskirk doesn’t have
anything nice to say about the school district or
Raytown’s codes department. Is she always that

Anonymous said...

The Codes Department at city hall should be ELIMINATED. Why?? Because they do NOTHING!!! The violators know this and that's why they continue to let our neighborhoods go down hill, into eventual blighted areas. Raytown will NEVER be prosperous until our lazy elected officials realize this. These policies are why businesses are closing and new ones DON'T want to locate here unless the get a big tax break. So sad that these 11 people at city hall have taken our once proud little town to such a low.

Terrence said...

Raytown Newbie
Even your furniture polish containers are bad for the environment .
The used car oils can be taken to Auto Zone free of disposal charge. You might ask about brake fluids as well. Bare in mind several of these have a very long shelf life so before buying new check with an auto mechanic . It always amazes me just how many trash haulers have one scoop pick up and combine recycle with ordinary trash.
You can find many free of charge places for hazorist materials drops on the internet. My neighbor ; a young man in his 30s showed me many. The younger generation has grown up with recycling and protecting the Earth; my generation sadly has disposed of items in various ways. Infact I am in my late 60s and we use to burn all our trash in Raytown and the KC metro when I was A child. We have surely come a very long way since then. I wish I could give you my neighbors name and number for he is a world of knowledge on such matters. For now I would suggest the internet. I applaud you for your efforts to recycle in a responsible manner.

Anonymous said...

This is for June 12 at 7:30 A M Seems like you are having a hard time dealing with the truth. Yes it is a bitter pill to swallow. But the fact of the matter is if you can't admit we have a problem the problem will never be fixed. So dig your head out and become part of the solution and not the problem. I admire her for getting up and speaking the truth.

Anonymous said...

That last remark was right on the money. The comment about Mary Jane accusing her of being soooooo negative was mean spirited, hateful and, come to think of it, very "negative" in itself.

Anonymous said... has dump sites listed for all hazordous waste.

Mary Jane said...

Mary Jane says Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt!!!

Anonymous said...

The hazardous waste drop offs listed by Jackson County are not free to Raytown residents because Raytown chooses not to participate. I can't afford $50 to drop off a few cans in Lee's Summit.

Anonymous said...

The VanBuskirks have always been part of the problem with Raytown, instead of being part of the solution. Heaven help the good people that are having to serve with her on the Charter Commission. She'll be a thorn in their side every step of the way. Known her a Looooooong time!!

Peter said...

Thank you Terrence
You give many good options to those whom are serious about disposing of their hazordous materials such as paint, oil etc.
the state of Missouri has a great site as well.
You showed great options for those with said items who are concerned about elivating the problem now.
Again thank you for options many of us may not of thought of.
The old saying " instead of cursing the darkness; turn on a light" came to mind when I read your blog.

Anonymous said...

I love looking through an article that can make men and
women think. Also, thank you for allowing me
to comment!