Sunday, August 17, 2014


Come on people! Raytown’s leaders have yet to find a rule that can’t be broken! Oops! Let me clarify my statement. They have yet to find a rule that concern them, their friends or department heads, that can’t be broken.”

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Bits and Pieces
The recent Republican Primary Election held August 5th had what we call a “trivial moment”. The race for two seats on the Jackson County Republican Committee had only one candidate. That candidate, Mary Jane VanBuskirk, easily won re-election to the seat.

The interesting part was a spate of write-in votes to fill the other seat. Four of the five candidates had ties to the Raytown Charter Commission.

Janette Guenther received one vote. She is the wife of the Chairman Steve Guenther.

Kristin Greene received one vote. She is the wife of Charter Commissioner and Raytown Alderman, Jason Greene.

The other two write-ins were just as interesting. Janet Emerson got two vote. Like Greene she also serves on the Commission and Raytown Board of Aldermen.

And the winner is . . . Lisa Emerson, who received four write-in votes. Emerson had just finished her first term on the Republican Committee and had decided not to run for re-election. Looks like some of her supporters felt otherwise.

Too Many 
Discount Stores?
Family Dollar is expected to receive permission to build a new retail outlet in Downtown Raytown at 63rd and Arlington. What most people do not know is that another discount retailer, Dollar General, is expected to make application for a similar store just one block away on some vacant acreage next to Blue Ridge Elementary.

The empty lot is surrounded by residential property and faced a tremendous amount of opposition from local homeowners a couple of years ago. The Board of Aldermen turned down the application at that time.

We have heard that neighborhoods surrounding the proposed sight are not letting the grass grow under their feet in organizing opposition this time around either. One of our regular readers, Missy Laval, whose home is literally at ground zero of the property in question has asked that we help out by publicizing the developer’s plans.

A public hearing is scheduled for Thursday, August 21, 2014 from 4 pm to 6:30 pm at the Holiday Inn Express located at 8551 East Blue Parkway just east of Raytown on 350 Highway. 

Anyone interested in more information can contact Missy Laval by emailing her at

The Paul Livius Report
Raytown Board of Aldermen – August 12, 2014

Mayor Bower recognized Dr. Dawn Weeks as the Missouri Municipal League 2014 Civic Leadership Recipient.

Vicki Turnbow said Raytown Chamber of Commerce will host a Senior celebration at The Point at Graceway (5600 Blue Ridge Cutoff) on Saturday, September 13 from 5 to 8 pm.  A ticket is required and the cost to attend is only $10 per person.  Tickets may be purchased at Hy-Vee in Raytown or the Raytown Chamber office until August 29 and will be sold on a first come first served basis.  Tickets are non-refundable.  Only 400 tickets will be sold so don’t wait until the last minute.  The ticket includes great music, dancing, dinner/dessert, door prizes, photo booth, and the opportunity to meet new neighbors!  Questions, please contact the Chamber office at 816-353-8500.

The Board approved the reappointment of Rebecca Clatanoff and Kevin Wilson to the Board of Zoning Adjustment.

The Board approved the appointment of Terry Copeland, Pat Jackson, and George Mitchell to the Park Board.

The Board approved the reappointment of Joseph Jimenez and Steve Meyers to the Planning and Zoning Commission.

The Board approved the appointment of Paul McKnight, Marci Swartz, Bill Zornes, Steve Scott, and Carolyn Bradley to the Raytown Crossing Community Improvement District Board of Directors.

The Board approved a resolution approving the purchase of a new phone system for City Hall.  Dan Berry, Senior Information Systems Project Coordinator and the Public Works staff has researched the needs of all the departments in city hall and have selected a phone system that will address the current needs of the departments and provide flexibility for future needs.  The proposed phone system will replace the outdated current phone system that was installed in 1997.  The current phone system has become less reliable and difficult to find replacement parts for repairs or handset replacement.  The only equipment that is typically available for the current phone system is refurbished equipment.  The new phone system will require new communication cable be run for each phone location.  The cost for the phone system is $45,287.30.  To ensure the project is completed in a timely manner and prevent coordination issues between two sets of contractors staff recommends awarding the installation of the cable to the local Mitel representative, Electronic Office Systems, in an amount not to exceed $19,500.00 for a total cost of $64,787.30.

The Board approved a resolution approving the amendments to the Budget for the Public Works Department.  Andy Noll told the Board the professional services line item in the General Fund Public Works Department is likely to go over budget due to several expenses.  Missouri One-Call expenses due to Google Fiber installations is a one-time expense, fuel pump repairs are a one-time expense, and an increase in liability insurance are all items that have caused the fund to potentially be over budget at year-end.  Public Works proposes to reallocate available funding in the amount of $35,000.00 from the Vehicle Expense line item to the Professional Services line item to rectify the situation.  The General Supplies line item in the Transportation Sales Tax Fund within the Public Works Department will be over budget by the end of the year.  Increased expenses for traffic control cabinet repair, electrical service repairs, increased salt expenses, and increased asphalt repairs are the main reasons for the increased expenses.  Public Works proposes to increase the expense account by $43,000.00 to provide funding for needed asphalt repairs through the end of the year.  The increase in expenses will be funded by the unallocated balance of the Transportation Sales Tax Fund.

The Board approved an ordinance amending the Police Officers’ Retirement Pension Plan.  Chief Lynch told the Board the City sponsors a pension plan for the benefit of commissioned officers of the Raytown Police Department.  The Police Pension Board of Trustees made the following recommendation: Revise the Plan to add an IRS requested provision that lump sum amounts between $1,000 and $5,000 will be directly rolled over to an individual retirement account if the Member does not timely elect to receive the amount in another form of distribution after notification.

The Board heard the first reading of an ordinance to change the Code pertaining to nuisance abatement for repeat offences.  John Benson told the Board Raytown staff is proposing to amend the language written in Section 28-451, dealing with general nuisance abatement, and dealing with abatement of tall grass and weeds, of the Raytown City Code.  The City has adopted minimum requirements for mowing or trimming grass and other vegetation on private property.  As provided in the attached ordinance, the amendments proposed relate to the following.  Current regulations stipulate that a violation of City ordinance exists when weeds or grass are more than eight inches in height or if any poisonous vegetation, such as poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac exist on a property.  Other vegetation such as vines, sapling, or shrubs may be a violation if it exceeds the eight inch height limitation and is clearly uncultivated.  Currently, the City of Raytown uses a nine day process for removing tall grass and weeds, as well as all other general nuisances that are found to be in violation of the Raytown City Code.  Once a property is found to be in violation of the municipal code, both the property owner and the tenant, if the two are not the same, are notified of the violation, and are given four days by which they can request an informal hearing to discuss the violation, or to remove the violation.  After those four days have passed, or once the informal hearing has been held, Raytown staff can declare code violation to be a nuisance, and order that it be abated and/or removed within five business days.  Should the nuisance not be abated within the five business days, the Raytown staff, then place a work order for the nuisance to be abated, and then certify the costs to the City Clerk, along with a $75.00 fee, paid within thirty days, or else it will then be placed as a lien on the property.  To expedite the abatement process and to address repeat violations within the same calendar year staff is proposing the following amendments:

Change from Business Days to Calendar Days: The five business days for abatement of tall grass and weeds as currently stipulated by City Code can extend the abatement process by one, two or three additional days if the five business day abatement period encompasses a weekend and/or holiday.  It is the recommendation of staff that all mentions of business days in be removed, and instead replaced with calendar days, so that the ordered abatement must take place within five calendar days of the abatement order, regardless of weekends and holidays.

The Board held a public hearing to consider a site development plan for proposed retail store at 9601 E. 63rd Street in accordance with the City of Raytown Central Business District Design Elements as specified in Division 17 of the City of Raytown Code of Ordinances.

Mark Evans with Triple C Development is seeking approval of a site development plan in relation to the Raytown Central Business District (CBD) Design Standards, as provided in the Raytown Zoning Ordinance.  The site development plan submitted by the applicant proposes to redevelop two adjoining properties located at 9509 E. 63rd Street and 6300 Evanston.  The project proposes demolition of the existing buildings and parking areas on these properties and construction of an 8,233 square foot Family Dollar retail store.  The subject property is zoned Neighborhood Commercial (NC) district, which permits retail stores as an allowed use.  The proposed redevelopment of these properties would also result in public improvements that include construction of curb and gutter, storm sewer improvements and a sidewalk along the west side of Evanston Avenue.  In addition, the project includes demolition of the existing driveway entrances and construction of a new driveway entrance on 63rd Street.   

Because thedevelopment proposes to redevelop these two properties with a new building, the CBD Design Standards Overlay District requires that the plans for the proposed Redevelopment be reviewed and approved by the Board of Aldermen following their receipt of a recommendation from the Planning & Zoning Commission.

During the public hearing, Julie Wishy said the City should have checked the traffic before considering this.  Several businesses are in that area and also there are school bus stops.  She also said they should look at truck traffic making deliveries.
Jonathan Smith said there is open store space in the shopping center behind Wendy’s.  They could put the Family Dollar there.  He said traffic is heavy enough at rush hour without adding another store.  Dwayne Bashim said this is the opportunity for Raytown to have a b rand new building in the downtown area.  He said the Board should help to make it something all of Raytown can be proud of.  Gary Knabe said the people who are complaining about all the traffic should ask the owners of Clark’s appliances, the restaurants in the area and the folks who work at the bank if they want more traffic in the area.  He said the bank has a sign out front claiming they are open and inviting people in.

The Board heard the first reading of an ordinance to establish a procedure to disclose conflicts of interest for officials in Raytown.  Teresa Henry told the Board this is an annual ordinance.  She said in 1991, the Missouri General Assembly adopted an ethics and personal financial disclosure law, which applied to all municipalities with an annual operating budget in excess of $1 million.  Under the law, municipalities were allowed to adopt their own simplified personal financial disclosure requirements by ordinance (commonly known as “short form” reporting).  The financial disclosure reporting requirements apply to each elected official, the City Administrator (as the Chief Administrative Officer and Chief Purchasing Officer), the Director of Finance (as the Chief Financial Officer), the City Clerk, the full-time General Counsel, the Park Board, and the Parks and Recreation Director.  Each political subdivision desiring to use the “short form” is required to readopt the ordinance authorizing “short form” reporting every two years.  However, in order to avoid the significant consequences of the failure to readopt the ordinance the recommended best practice is to adopt the ordinance annually. The ordinance must be adopted by September 15 and a copy must be provided to the Missouri Ethics Commission.

Missouri Revised Statute 
Chapter 79, Fourth Class Cities, Section 79.070 
Last Thursday, the Jackson County Election Board sent a letter to the City of Raytown  regarding Ward 1 Alderman Joe Creamer’s voter registration which stated  . . . “that the investigation is complete and Mr. Creamer will remain registered at his current address”.

So closes one page of a controversy that has been building for the past year at Raytown City Hall.

The question of Creamer’s registration may be resolved, but the question of his legal residence remains confused.

On April 25, 2014, Creamer filed documents with the Jackson County Circuit Court in which he identified his legal residence as 10608 East 71st Terrace, Raytown, Missouri.

10608 East 71st Terrace is located in Ward 2. Creamer represents Ward 1 on the Raytown Board of Aldermen.

Missouri Revised Statutes clearly state in Chapter 79.070 regarding Fourth Class Cities.

 Missouri Revised Statutes
Chapter 79
Fourth Class Cities
Section 79.070

79.070. No person shall be an alderman unless he or she is at least eighteen years of age, a citizen of the United States, and an inhabitant and resident of the city for one year next preceding his or her election, and a resident, at the time he or she files and during the time he or she serves, of the ward from which he or she is elected.

This means that an Alderman must live within the physical boundaries of the Ward he or she represents. An Alderman from Ward 1 cannot make his home in Ward 2. Nor can he make it in Ward 3, or, for that matter, Lee’s Summit, Missouri.

Election Board authorities told the Raytown Report that enforcement of state statutes in these circumstances does not rest with the Election Board. The ruling made by Election Board attorneys specifically addresses the question of voter registration.

Raytown is a Fourth Class City. Therefore it must follow laws as written by the State of Missouri and as a contained in the Statutes of the State of Missouri.

When a Raytown Alderman takes his oath of office he swears he will . . .  “support the Constitution of the United States and of the State of Missouri; the provisions of all laws of this State affecting Cities of this Class, and the Ordinances of the City of Raytown, Missouri and faithfully demean myself in office.” 

It is very clear that Joe Creamer does not take his oath of office very seriously. But that does not give the Board of Aldermen an excuse to ignore the State Statutes as well.

Mr. Creamer has spent nearly one quarter of his term of office in direct violation of Missouri State Statutes. There are over 2,000 homes and apartments in Ward 1. A good number of them are vacant. Creamer could have made anyone of them of his home. He chose not to do so.

As one blogger wrote last week in the blog section of the Raytown Report;

Come on people! Raytown’s leaders have yet to find a rule that can’t be broken! Oops! Let me clarify my statement. They have yet to find a rule that concern them, their friends or department heads, that can’t be broken.”

Given the current circumstances at Raytown City Hall regarding Mr. Creamer, it is hard not to agree. 

Raw Carob + Coconut 
Squares That Are Full of L-O-V-E!
It’s funny. When people think of “raw,” “gluten-free” or “vegan” foods, they usually think bland, boring and tasteless. But I swear — especially when it comes to desserts — sometimes it’s the raw, gluten-free and vegan ones that are amazingly dense, filling, moist, rich and delicious. (I pretty much credit that to copious amounts of good-for-ya fatty nut butters and coconut oil like this paleo fudge has!) And this coconut squares recipe from Karolina Eleonóra’s new ebook Snack Smarter certainly fits that bill. READ MORE

 Michael McDonough Announces 
Bid for Mayor of Raytown
Michael McDonough announced Friday, 08-15-14, his intention to run for Mayor of the City of Raytown.   Michael McDonough is dedicated to fostering an environment of cooperation within the City of Raytown.  He is committed to working alongside citizens and businesses to meet important community goals. For decades, Michael has served the public, his own neighbors, with integrity and dedication, in both public safety and local charity service, and is committed to our community's progress.  The election will be held in April of 2015.

Michael, a nearly life-long resident, has achieved many accomplishments throughout his personal and professional life.  He was most recently honored to be named the Truman Heartland Foundation 2014 Raytown Outstanding Citizen of the Year.  As stated by the Truman Heartland Foundation's press release announcing the honor, that recognition is reserved for those community members that have "used their skills, abilities, and positions to promote the wellbeing of their communities and the people that live in them. While the avenue towards change may be varied among them, all the honorees are united by a common goal, to improve the lives of their fellow citizens, and a common desire to help improve and enrich the communities of Eastern Jackson County."

He donates his personal time to many charitable organizations and serves on the Board of Directors for Raytown Emergency Assistance Program (REAP,) the Raytown Police Benefit Fund, and was elected to a position on the Raytown Charter Commission. He was also involved at Southwood Elementary School for seven years in the Youth Friends Program.

His other accomplishments include having been an EMT with training in Emergency Care of Wounded Police Officers, Scouting, Coaching youth sports, and assisting other organizations with fundraising events.  He has received the Officer of the Year Award, twice, a Lifesaving Award from the Metropolitan Chiefs and Sheriffs Association, the James Schneider Award from the Raytown Fire Protection District, the Life Saving Star from Raytown Emergency Medical Services, as well as several Quality Contribution Certificates from the Raytown C-2 School District.

Michael McDonough has lived in Raytown for the past 51 years.  He grew up in Raytown, went through school here and graduated from Raytown South High School in 1973. He enjoys living in Raytown because of the great people that live here. They are so giving and helpful to one another, and just like him, are proud of this community. Although this town is surrounded by Kansas City, it has continued to keep its small town feel.

He has served as a police officer for the Raytown Police Department since 1975. Prior to that, he worked for a year in the City Street Department, while attending community college.  His passion has been, and always will be, serving the citizens of the City of Raytown. He has been serving his community for the last 40 years, and will continue to do so.  He continues to live in Raytown because of the people, and his love for this community.

It is that dedication and commitment to our community that has led Michael McDonough to decide to run for Mayor of the City of Raytown in the April 2015 election.  Michael would be honored to continue his service to the citizens of Raytown by leading the City of Raytown with a spirit of cooperation and progress.

Email contact:

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Anonymous said...

I'm glad to see Mike McDonough is filing for Mayor. We definitiley need a change from David Bower. For some reason I fell that McDonough will be the first of many.

Anonymous said...

I was thinking of other Aldermen who resigned for one reason or another. Gary Knabe and Pat Riehle come to mind. Riehle got a new job that took him out of town. Not sure whwat Knabe's story was but I think they did the right thing in stepping down when they knew they could not meet the requirements to serve. Should be a lesson somewhere in there for the current siutation with Mr. Creamer.

Lillian said...

Anon 8:18. You're right. I remember a woman who was an Alderman in one ward and married an Alderman in another ward. She moved into her new husband's house, even though she continued to own her house. Since she no longer lived in the ward where she was elected, she resigned. She said it was the ethical thing to do. What does that say about Joe Creamer?

Anonymous said...

Could that have been Christine White?

Anonymous said...

Joe Creamer.... Just one more reason for a state audit.

Lillian said...

I think it was Christine White. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Creamer needs to resign ASAP. McDonough, hmmm if he was on the police force in 1975 that means he came in under Beeler. Not sure we need yet more Beeler boys in office.

Anonymous said...

Robin White was another Alderman who resigned because he bought a new home for his family in another part of the City. You can add him to the list of former elected officials who believed in following the law.

I wonder how long Creamer will be allowed to stay on the City Council. His fell Aldermen do not seem to be in any kind of a rush to make things right.

He's up for re-election next April. It will probably fall on the shoulders of the voters to show him the door.

Pat Casady said...

Anonymous 9:08,
I can tell you for certain, Mike McDonough is his own man.
Please don’t start the negative comments without at the
very least, talking to the man. I know Mike and he has only
the people of Raytown in mind. This is why he is running in the
first place.
I don’t know if you all realize this but when and if Mike is elected
he has to leave the Police Department. This is a big commitment
to and for the people of Raytown.
I truly believe he is the man for the job.

Anonymous said...

Why should he leave the P.D. The city can just ignore the state law that says he cannot work for the city. They are pretty good at it. The City Council ignored its own ordinance when it came to residency for the City Administrator. Now they are ignoring the state law when it comes to Alderman Joe Creamer. So why not go three for three and just ignore the one that says you cannot work and be paid for a job by the city once you are elected?

Anonymous said...

And people couldn't understand why I called Raytown a medieval fief! Raytown runs under its own rules. Now maybe you all understand.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I think that he plans on retirement anyway.

Anonymous said...

I talked to him the other day. He plans on staying on the Police Department if he does not get elected.

Anonymous said...

I have a question. Is Joe Creamer breaking the law
or is he breaking the rules.
Our city council breaks the rules all the time. We’ve become
accustomed to that fact of Raytown life. But, breaking a law
should be punishable by fine of dismissal.

Anonymous said...

79.070. No person shall be an alderman unless he or she is at least eighteen years of age, a citizen of the United States, and an inhabitant and resident of the city for one year next preceding his or her election, and a resident, at the time he or she files and during the time he or she serves, of the ward from which he or she is elected.

Wanted to make sure. Yes, as I thought, it did not say "maybe it's okay," or "unless he has a good reason".

It clearly says he MUST live in the Ward he represents.

Will the BOA enforce the Missouri State Statutes the took an oath to uphold?

That is the real question.

The only way Creamer will go is kicking and screaming.

John said...

Has anyone considered a class action lawsuit against the whole Board of Aldermen? If they didn't know before, they certainly know after Creamer put all his dirty laundry in the paper. They have a duty to uphold the laws of the State and City. If they don't, that's actionable.

Anonymous said...

Mike McDonough is the puppet. The one pulling the puppet strings is the same one who is married to the X-mayor Sue Frank.

Supreme Commander (I think he's given himself that title)Bowman.

Talk about the fox guarding the chicken coop.

Anonymous said...

Mike McDonough is a very nice guy who does not have any one in Raytown that is not a friend.

The second paragraph of his announcement for Mayor is really a bunch of hog wash. There is hardly anything that is stated about him that is of any value for a person running for mayor of Raytown.

Mayor Bower, I am sure has all sorts of good things that can be said about him. Look at what Mr Bower has become in the eyes of a majority of voting citizens of Raytown. Not a lot to be proud of.

I would like to vote for a candidate for mayor of Raytown that is his own man not trying to live up to Mr Nice guy that every one can receive a pat on the back and a bunch of bull from.

I hope that in the coming months we do have qualified candidates run for the position of mayor.

I hope that the charter commission does not opt for a strong mayor form of government as it is largely a part time position.

Anonymous said...

I keep hearing from Andy Whiteman on so many issues. Kansa City also has their own Andy Whiteman he is a man that I think lives in Tenn. but wants light rail for KC. Think his name is Clay Chaistain.

Let us just hear from the people that live in our city limits.

Anonymous said...

Why not run for City Marshal?

Anonymous said...

A policeman can not run against Chief Lynch, that would be suicide.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about that. Jim Lynch ran against Police Chief Larry Overfield and he (Lynch) is still alive and kicking.

Why would it be suicide?

Anonymous said...

A cop that works for the Chief would not run against him unless he wants to retire and I think that Lynch has a few more years in him. Run against your boss and it might be a little bit unfriendly.

Anonymous said...

Normally I do not write on blogs. but some of what I have read needs to be discussed more than just on the blog.

First is Joe Creamer. It is wrong for him to live outside the ward he is elected to serve. He knows that but apparently does not care what the law says. The voters should remember his uncaring attitude nest April.

Second, the City Council and Mayor are just as wrong for allowing this to go on. I don't know for sure, but I would be willing to bet that the Mayor and City Council have known about Creamer's illegal residency for quite some time and done nothing about it!

The comments about Mike McDonough not being able to run for Chief of Police because he is a cop on the Raytown PD is plain silly. Kris Turnbow ran Chief of Police against whoever was Cheif of Police then. Just like Jim Lynch ran against Overfield.

Of course it is uncomfortable. What poltical campaign of any importance is not?

Pat Casady said...

I haven’t read so much BS on this site in a long
long time. Mike McDonough has lived in this town
longer than most of us writing on this site. Better
yet, he has seen the good and the bad of Raytown.
It would be safe to say he has been on every street
in Raytown, knowing their condition and need for
repairs. We can’t even say that about our aldermen. I know
streets aren't our only problem but, I think Mike can
handle anything that would come his way.
He has seen the good and the bad about how this
city’s government is and has been run. As for
“Anonymous” 10:32, and some others, Mike is
no puppet! How dare you even say such a thing.
I doubt you have even talked to the man.
But then I don’t see anybody named “Anonymous”
signed up to run for mayor either.

Anonymous said...

New Finance Director salary $85k plus $4,500 for relocation however contract does not requires that she relocate with the city limits. As required.

I'm sure several can provide her with good Real Estate Agent that kind find a nice home within the city


Anonymous said...

I bet he or she will live in Lee's Summit.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if Joe Creamer has moved back to Ward 1? I heard he told all his City Council buddies he was going to be back to the ward by September 1.

Creamer's lack of credibility tells me not to believe what he says but what he does.

I bet he has not moved back. I would also bet that even if he doesn't move back the City Council would keep their "see no evil" masks on and act like everything is just wonderful in Raytown.

Anonymous said...

I doubt Creamer will move back to Ward 1 anytime soon. His court date is not until November 20th.

That would put him close to one and one half years since he lived in Ward 1.

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