Sunday, October 5, 2014


GO ROYALS! It doesn't get much better. A small gathering of friends came together last week to watch the Royals take apart the Detroit Tigers and then start to work on the Los Angeles Angels. The picture at right shows a few of them intently watching the action on the big screen.

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Walmart and Streets
I had a most interesting conversation with a member of the Raytown Board of Aldermen this week. The topics ran the gamut of current events – foremost of which was the (yet to be announced) Walmart Grocery Store planned for Raytown Trafficway and 63rd Street. The Board member told me there had not been any meetings about it.

No memorandums from the Mayor or City Administrator – nothing!

Other sources in Raytown have been more forthcoming. Last week, Randy Battagler wrote that the store was coming. The only question (according to Battagler) left to be answered is if a gasoline station will be part of the store. We can add to that bit of evidence. Sources close to the story tell us most of the current business owners on the strip mall in question have been told their leases will not be renewed.

Perhaps the Mayor, City Administrator and Board of Aldermen are unaware of something in the works.

Be that as it may, here is a topic they should be well aware of . . . the two pictures at on the left of this column are of temporary pothole patches.

The one on the top is one of a number of temporary patches put in place by the Gas Service Company. The problem with temporary patches is that they are … just that, temporary. Traffic quickly knocks the asphalt loose and re-opens the utility cut. The city is supposed to monitor these patches and utility companies are supposed to return the street to the same condition as before they made their utility cut tothe pavement. The utility cut pictured at top
has been there for over two months.

The other pictures are of potholes on Hunter Street between 59th and 60th Street. The city made a temporary patch last spring. The curb and road appear to be undermined by an active spring under the street. When the pot hole was filled last Spring I spoke with the Public Works Director about what I considered to be shoddy repair work on the pot holes. By
shoddy I mean some of the pot holes were not even half filled with asphalt.

He told me the patch was “temporary”. He he assured me street crews would be back this summer to make permanent patches.

That was last Spring. Summer has come and gone. We are still waiting.

Perhaps the City Administrator, Mayor and Board of Aldermen could find some time to look into the deplorable condition of our residential streets. They may not know about Walmart, but certainly they must know about the streets. Maybe they can spend some time looking into the shoddy work done by utility companies on street cuts. A review of last Spring's temporary patching program would be in order as well.

I read a most interesting comment in the Raytown Times last week. In his weekly column Randy Battagler told of a planned Walmart Store at 63rd and Raytown Trafficway. A comment in the column by Randy caught my eye.

He wrote about the City not being involved with the process since the property is already zoned for commercial use. He went on to say “unless they put a gas station there”.

He finished with, “After last time, who can blame them for wanting to keep things quiet.”
Battagler was probably talking about the five public hearings held on the last Walmart application for Downtown Raytown. I reviewed all of the hearings. The Council Chambers was literally packed to standing room only when the issue finally went before the Board of Aldermen for two hearings.

The Planning and Zoning meetings were also packed, filling all of the seats available.

If Battagler is trying to imply the public was out of hand at those hearings he is way off base.
It was the City Council and the Mayor’s penchant for secrees during the process that caused the uproar. Denial by elected officials of any knowledge of what was planned for the Green Space was refuted when correspondence between the Mayor and attorneys for Walmart was discovered through a Freedom of Information Act request.

One of the letters was dated nearly two months before the public was finally informed of the retail giant’s plans.

The people of Raytown who attended those meetings were well behaved and serious in expressing their concern for what they saw as a mistake in developing the Green Space with a one tenant plan.

As it turned out, Walmart officials agreed. When they informed the City of Raytown of their decision to withdraw their application for a store in the Green Space they noted they were responding to the wishes of the people of Raytown.

The City Council and Mayor should take note of the mistakes they made last time. The first being that honesty is the best policy. The second is even more appropriate, “Oh what a tangled web we weave when at first we begin to deceive.”

Did the Mayor and City Council learned from their mistakes? Who knows! Maybe this time they will get it right.

Steve’s Auto 
Celebrates 45 Years
In 1969 two events took place. One, as any Royals Baseball fan can tell you, is the Royals Baseball team held its first game.

The other event, which many Raytowners can tell you, is that Steve Hollo opened up his auto repair business “Steve’s Auto”.

Each year Steve and his extended family celebrate the opening of the local auto repair store located at 55th and Raytown Trafficway with a Customer’s Appreciation Day.

The celebration has become an area wide event. Automobile collectors from around the area turn out to show off their hotrods and vintage autos to the public. As the attached photos show, the public joins in the fun by showing up to admire the vehicles.

Steve Hollo, Senior has since turned over day to day operation of the local store to his son, Steve Hollo, Junior. Dad still shows up on most days to help out and visit with customers. Many of who are always pleased to return to a little slice of Americana to have their cars worked on.

Fire Department 
to Hold Open House
The Raytown Fire Protection District will observe National Fire Protection Week October 5th thru the 11th, ending with an Open House at fire station #1, 6020 Raytown Trafficway from 10-6 on October 11th.   There will be food and refrestments as well as a bounce house for the kids and free fire safety tips.

This year’s theme is Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives.  Please check your alarms monthly to make sure they are in good working order.

Fire Prevention Week was established in 1920 to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire, the tragic 1871 conflagration that killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres. The fire began on October 8, but continued into and did most of its damage on October 9, 1871.

Please join the Raytown Fire Protection District for this free event.  Call 737-6034 for more information.

How to Make
an Accordion Potato
The potato may be one of the most versatile veggies, but unfortunately it is one of the most ugly. There’s a purple variety that might turn a few heads, but the majority have ashen pockmarked, often dirty, lackluster skin.

But still, we love ‘em.

So much in fact, that it’s easy to get carried away and gobble down a mountain of mashed tators or grab one of those Texas-sized bakers to go along with our steak.

A six-ounce plain spud (one that will fit in the palm of your hand) is about 150 calories, and that’s before it gets mashed with sour cream and cheese or dunked in a deep fat fryer. Potatoes rank high on the glycemic index, meaning they can cause an immediate spike in blood sugar, so it’s best to keep the portion under control. READ MORE

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Pat Casady said...

I find it deplorable that after the voters of Raytown
OK’d a street overlay tax, that our streets are in such
bad condition.
It is also a shame that our leaders can’t seem to
comprehend when you give away tax income, somewhere,
someway, something has got to suffer. In this case our
As far as WalMart’s grocery store, I was all for it because
it would use a vacant building. However, after hearing
that some longtime local businesses are being forced out
this turns into a different story.
It’s not that they are being bought out, it’s because they
are being forced out of business by not having their
leases renewed.
This is a downright, lowlife way of killing the American dream.
WalMart has been the reason Raytown has lost over forty
five small businesses and countless jobs.
Yet, our leaders seem to worship at the house of WalMart.
shame on them and shame on WalMart.
Haven’t the people of Raytown given enough? Millions
In lost income due to tax breaks, millions gone out of
The tax fund to make up for WalMart not living up to
Their tax income promise to pay towards the bonds.
Don’t forget, the street tax went toward most of
WalMarts parking lot and the street in front. (WalMart Ave)
I guess that’s why the high paid City Administrator makes
The big bucks, watching out for the taxpayers of Raytown.
(Ya Right)

Anonymous said...

Walmart has made small gifts or "donations" to Raytown EMS and Police. Other than that, how many $$$$$$s are personally under the table to city personnel and elected officials?

Pat Casady said...

First off, I am going to say this is only a rumor.
I heard this morning that the WalMart on 350 hwy
might close. They haven’t made as much money
as they thought they would.

Anonymous said...

Hey, at least we are getting more of the street seal and gravel. Maybe we should be glad our city streets look like a rural road in Kansas.

Anonymous said...

I used to eat lunch many years ago with a group of Littleton, CO downtown business people. One, in addition to his business, was an investor and knowledgeable in business. At that time KMart had stores close to each other in that area. He pointed out that KMart was competing against itself which is a stupid way to run a business.

I will point out that Walmart is competing against itself with a stone on 40 HWY and another on 350 HWY a short distance away. After they closed the store on Hillcrest for not making enough money, the taxpayers build a store for them in Raytown a short drive from 350 HWY doesn't make any sense unless there is profit or a good tax write off for opening and closing a store? Now possibly a 3rd store. Will Raytown change its name to Walmarttown since that will be the main business?

Andy Whiteman

Pat Casady said...

I might have misunderstood how the WalMart deal works
So if this is wrong I hope Greg can tell us.
As I understand it, WalMart only has its own money in
their employees and inventory. They didn’t even pay
for the building. Raytown taxpayers are paying for the
building through bonds. If WalMart doesn’t collect
enough in sales tax to pay for the bonds, then Raytown’s
taxpayers are out even more as the city has to make up
the difference. So far I’ve heard the amount the taxpayers
have had to pay is in the millions. That’s a lot of street
By the way have you seen on the news how WalMart has
shafted 30,000 employees out of insurance?
What a great company!

Anonymous said...

We have streets that will jar your teeth out
and sidewalks that you can’t walk on without
leaning from side to side BUT!
Our city hall will get a renovation with tax payer
Oh! I almost forgot. The people get some more
chip and seal over the already deep cracks and holes
in their streets.
What a town! Who says city hall doesn’t care about
the people!

Anonymous said...

Why should City Hall care about the sheepole with fewer than 20% voting in city elections?

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

What are they going to do, tear down the old grocery store or just rehab it and all the other buildings to make one large grocery store?

They get that one done probably with tax abatements courtesy of the Mayor and his lackeys and then they will shut down the other store and leave the taxpayers of Ray
town holding the tax bag.

I am getting sicker and sicker with the mayor and his buddies in crime.

Gee I wonder who would do a better job Mayor Bower or Mayor McDonough. scares the heck out of me.

Anonymous said...

Mickey Mouse would do a better job for the people of Raytown.