Sunday, November 16, 2014

RAYTOWN'S LEADING NEWS SOURCE

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BY GREG WALTERS
Wanted:  
A Few Good Men and Women
The days are getting shorter, the nights are longer and cold. An odd numbered year is rushing towards us on the calendar . . . in the world of Raytown politics that can mean only one thing. There is a city election on the horizon set for next Spring.

It has been awhile since we published the list of qualifications for the different offices up for election. Next April the positions of Mayor and City Collector are up for election. So is one-half of the City Council.

So, for those who have a passing interest in running for public office, here is a short review of requirements:

REQUIREMENTS: You must be a registered voter, a resident of the Ward or City in which you live and have all of your taxes paid in full to run for office in Raytown. The elections are non-partisan, so political parties really do not play into the campaigns in Raytown.

Here are the salaries and other benefits for elected officials in Raytown:

MAYOR:

Salary: $1,000.00 per month

Car Allowance: $250 per month

Health Insurance: Eligible to participate in city health insurance plan

BOARD OF ALDERMEN:

Salary:  $200.00 per month

Car Allowance: $50.00 per month

Health Insurance: Eligible to participate in city health insurance plan

CITY COLLECTOR:

Salary: $100.00 per month

Eligible to participate in city health insurance

Filing for office in Raytown opens in early January and closes in early February. For more information contact the City Clerk Teresa Henry at Raytown City Hall. Her telephone number is 737-6000 Extension 9.

The Paul Livius Report
Raytown Board of Aldermen Meeting
November 11, 2014

The Board passed a resolution authorizing the continuation of an existing agreement with Cochran Head Vick & Co. for the professional audit services for Fiscal year 2014-2015 in an amount not to exceed $43,000.00. They will audit the Financial Statements as required by the Government Accounting Standards Board.

The Board passed a resolution the purchase of salt for roads and bridges in inclement weather from Holliday Sand & Gravel and Independent Salt Company in an amount not to exceed $42,000.00. Jim Melvin, Interim Public Works director said the Public Works Department received 2 bids.  Holliday Sand & Gravel Company provided a bid of $85.00/ton, with no guarantee of any quantity. Independent Salt initially declined to bid, but did quote $65.17/ton, with no guarantee of any quantity. In addition, we have a contract with Kansas City, MO to purchase 1000 tons of salt as needed. The price from Kansas City, MO, with loading and hauling costs included, is $58.77. Staff recommends that the contract be awarded to Holliday Sand & Gravel Company for $85.00/ton and to Independent Salt for $65.17/ton, for up to 400 tons, and that we purchase 1000 tons of salt later in the season from Kansas City, MO, when it is needed. Public Works is concerned that our current supply of salt may not be enough for the entire winter season. Therefore we are requesting authorization to purchase up to 400 tons utilizing current fiscal year funds.

The Board passed a resolution approving the purchase of fuel from Maher Oil Company.  Jim Melvin told the Board the City of Raytown is presently purchasing fuel from Maher Oil Company utilizing a cooperative purchasing contract administered by Kansas City, MO. This contract provides the City of Raytown favorable pricing associated with the combined purchasing power of the City of Kansas City, City of Independence, City of Lee’s Summit, Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Little Blue Valley Sewer District. The current contract has been extended several times, with the most recent extension being from November 1, 2014 to January 31, 2015. A new cooperative contract is planned for Kansas City, MO purchasing group beginning February 1, 2015. Total expenditures with Maher Oil Company in the previous fiscal year were $285,017.00 and staff anticipates a similar expense this year. Fiscal Year 2014 - 2015 budgeted amounts for all City Departments and the Fire Department totals $301,719.00. The Fire Department is budgeted for an expense of $28,000.00 which the Fire Department reimburses the City for the expense; therefore, the actual City budgeted expenses are $273,719.00.

The Board passed a resolution approving final payment to Vance Brothers, Inc. for the 2014 light weight aggregate seal project, accepting all work performed under the contract and authorizing final payment in the Amount of $155,426.35.  Jim Melvin said the work was complete.

The Board passed a resolution approving Change Order no. 2 to the agreement with A & A Concrete Company for the 2014 concrete repair project, and authorizing final payment in the amount of $182,220.00. Jim Melvin said the work was complete.

The Board passed a resolution approving the expenditure of funds with MDL Technology for Information Technology-related services for $122,880.00. Jim Lynch said this is a three-year agreement guaranteeing service pricing with MDL Technology to manage the IT services of the Police Department. The agreed upon service plan is a monthly fee of $80.00 per workstation and $400.00 per server. The amount budgeted for Fiscal Year 2014-2015 is $122,880.00.

The Board passed an ordinance establishing the compensation for the office of mayor for the term beginning April 2015.  The Elected Officials Compensation Committee was established by the Board of Aldermen to review the compensation for elected officials and make recommendations for adjustment. An elected official’s compensation must be set prior to a person taking office and compensation cannot change during the term of office, unless additional duties are added. Accordingly, any adjustment the Board of Aldermen deems appropriate must be made prior to the April 7, 2015 election. The recommendation of the Commission relative to the Mayor was to keep the monthly compensation at the current rate of $1,000.00 per month and increase the monthly car allowance from $200 per month to $250.00 per month.

The Board passed an ordinance establishing the compensation for the office of city collector for the term beginning April, 2015. The Elected Officials Compensation Committee was established by the Board of Aldermen to review the Compensation for elected officials and make recommendations for adjustment. An elected official’s compensation must be set prior to a person taking office and compensation cannot change during the term of office, unless additional duties are added.  Accordingly, any adjustment the Board of Aldermen deems appropriate must be made prior to the April 7, 2015 election. The recommendation of the Commission relative to the City Collector was to keep the monthly compensation at the current rate of $100.00 per month.

The Board passed an ordinance establishing the compensation for the office of board of aldermen for the term beginning April 2015.  The Elected Officials Compensation Committee was established by the Board of Aldermen to review the compensation for elected officials and make recommendations for adjustment. An elected official’s compensation must be set prior to a person taking office and compensation cannot change during the term of office, unless additional duties are added. Accordingly, any adjustment the Board of Aldermen deems appropriate must be made prior to the April 7, 2015 election. The recommendation of the Commission relative to the Board of Aldermen was to keep the monthly compensation at the current rate of $400.00 per month and to keep the monthly car allowance at the current rate of $50.00 per month.

The Board heard the first reading of an ordinance approving the first Amendment to the redevelopment contract between the Raytown Community Betterment Redevelopment Corporation and the City of Raytown for The Partners Stark assisted living redevelopment project as adopted by Ordinance no. 4193-96. John Benson told the Board the City of Raytown entered into a contract with the Raytown Community Betterment Redevelopment Corporation on May 9, 1997 for the development of Partners Stark Assisted Living Redevelopment Project, which is more commonly known as Elliott Place. The Contract, provides for tax abatement of the redevelopment of the property which the Contract identified was to occur in three phases.  Phase 1 provides for construction of 96 assisted living apartment units; a service building to house kitchen, laundry and cleaning services; and landscape improvements. In addition, Phase 1 provides for the construction of Maple Avenue as a private street through the development. 

Extension of utilities to the property; payment of up to $100,000.00 for acquisition of and construction of right-of-way to extend Maple Avenue to the redevelopment area; and payment of $118,000.00 to the City of Raytown for improvements to the existing Maple Avenue located south of Highway 350 that the City undertook to accommodate the traffic generated by the development.  Phase 2 provides for construction of 48 assisted living apartment units to be located directly west of the Phase 1 assisted living apartment units. Phase 3 provides for construction of 24 assisted living apartment units to be located west of Phase 2 near the northwest corner of the property. A bed and breakfast large enough to accommodate five or fewer families as well as a storage area for the use of residents were also approved as part of Phase 3.  Phase 1 and the corresponding improvements to Maple Avenue were constructed in accordance with the Redevelopment Contract. As a result Phase 1 is currently receiving 25 years of tax abatement that will extend through 2022. Phase 2 and Phase 3, however, have not yet been constructed. The Redevelopment Contract stipulates that Phase 2 was to be constructed within 30 months of May 9, 1997 (i.e. November 9, 1999) and Phase 3 was to have been completed within 42 months from May 9, 1997 (i.e. November 9, 2000). Construction on Phase 2 and Phase 3 have yet to begin. Though construction on Phase 2 and Phase 3 has yet to begin, the City has not declared the Redevelopment Contract to be in default. As such, Phase 2 and Phase 3 are still eligible to receive tax abatement for the remaining years of the tax abatement. 


Paul’s Rant BY PAUL LIVIUS
LIP READER NEEDED . . . EXPERIENCE PREFERRED
Regular readers of my Paul Livius Report column may have noticed there are not any quotations from the Mayor, Board of Aldermen or public in this week’s report. There is a reason. Last week’s broadcast of the BOA meeting was supposed to be the return of the city broadcast of our city government in action.

The meeting before was not broadcast because “upgrades” were be put in place. Well, at least that is what the message on Raytown’s Government Channel 7.  So, I waited anxiously to view the upgrades.


What a surprise! The picture did seem to be crisper. But there was a problem . . . no sound!

My lip reading skills are not what they used to be so I called Greg to find out what could be done. He called the Raytown Police Department (their offices are in the basement of City Hall) to send word up to Council Chambers so the problem could be corrected.
For whatever reason, the problem was not corrected.

If you want more participation in your local government you should make it easier for people see and understand what is going on. That would entail expanding the number of ways people can view City Council meetings. Comcast is the only provider that allows Raytown to broadcast its meetings.

The city should be looking at ways to expand that capability to the other two providers in Raytown (ATT and Google).

The last two weeks is not good news. The city seems to be retreating from the free and open flow of information at Raytown City Hall.

Last time I checked, it was the 21st Century. The technology is inexpensive and available to broadcast meetings of the Board of Aldermen and the other events at City Hall. It is high time our leaders at City Hall corrected this unacceptable situation at City Hall.
 


BY JENN
FIT B0TTOMED EATS
Cheers to This 
Merlot Chili Recipe
Yesterday we shared that delicious grilled salmon recipe with you and today, as promised, we have another tasty recipe from Woodbridge by Robert …Read More



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33 comments:

Andy Whiteman said...

Paul, Maybe you should have sent text messages to the Mayor and Aldermen as well as the CA and Public Works director. Maybe it takes a text to get attention. I have said for over 13 years that these meetings are really held in secret unless one attends because many don't have or can't afford CATV. I do agree that ALL CATV companies should offer a City Channel, not just the one selected by the city. Allowing only one is discrimination and favoritism.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I thought the salary for aldermen was #200.00 not $400.00?

Anonymous said...

Wow sounds to me like anonymous 5:27 PM doesnt like others to have an opinion so lets make accusations that its the cops. Couldn't be the citizens expressing their opinions could it?

Paul Livius said...

Regarding the salary of the Board of Aldermen. Three meetings back the Board of Aldermen considered three elected positions in the City of Raytown for pay increases. The following is a summation of their action as it regards the Board of Aldermen. I double-checked the minutes of the meeting. The story is accurate.

"The recommendation of the Commission relative to the Board of Aldermen was to keep the monthly compensation at the current rate of $400.00 per month and to keep the monthly car allowance at the current rate of $50.00 per month."

Paul Livius said...

In addition to the Board's deciding to leave their pay at $400 per month plus a $50 car allowance, the Board gave the Mayor a $50 per month increase in his auto allowance account. The Mayor is paid $1,000 per month.

To view the entire story go to:
http://raytownreport.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2014-11-09T08:50:00-06:00&max-results=7

Anonymous said...

I think the Mayor's salary should at least be tripled if not quadrupled for all the crap and criticism that he has to put up with including cry baby aldermen and police department shenanigans.

Andy Whiteman said...

Paul, Maybe you should have sent text messages to the Mayor and Aldermen as well as the CA and Public Works director. Maybe it takes a text to get attention. I have said for over 13 years that these meetings are really held in secret unless one attends because many don't have or can't afford CATV. I do agree that ALL CATV companies should offer a City Channel, not just the one selected by the city. Allowing only one is discrimination and favoritism.

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...

Raytown Report
submitted 11/11/2014 10:07:30 AM

Maybe the Charter Committee should address texting at public meetings by elected officials and city employees.

The last time I was at City Hall there was a sign on the entry to the meeting room, "TURN OFF CELL PHONES." Does this apply to some but not all?

Since these are public meetings, texts by elected officials and city employees during the meeting should become part of the public record.

I grew up BC (Before Cell phones) but now have one only for life and death emergencies such as a traffic accident, medical emergency, fire, or if my land line is out of order. Thanks to technology, cell phones have become a "necessary item" such as a watch or pen. They are luxury items I view as a nuisance. If a family member of a board member has an emergency, a call can be made to them via land line or a message left via text or voice mail. The only exception would be Chief Lynch or EMS personnel who are on call 24/7/365.

It is considered rude to be texting during a conversation with other people! Lets have some common courtesy.

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...

I have wondered for years if there is a valid reason for the car allowance for the Aldermen and Mayor? It is really a tax free income unless they actually drive on city business. If it is necessary for them drive on city business, I feel they should submit a statement and be reimbursed by the mile. There needs to be accountability! The 10 alderpeople are receiving a total of $6000 per year while the mayor receives $3000 per year car allowance totaling $9000 per year on top of their salaries. Does anyone in their right mind feel this is reasonable? I know some do put in a lot of travel for meetings and research but reimbursement would be more fare to them and the citizens on a per mile basis.

Andy Whiteman

Marilyn said...

Andy, the Aldermen's car allowance is only $50 a month, and yes, they do drive on city business. If there is to be a zoning change, how do you expect them to get to the property to inspect it? They should be compensated for using their own car. BTW - it isn't tax free income. It would be if they turned in vouchers for mileage. If they are simply paid a stipend each month, that is taxable income. You need to check what you write and get your facts straight.

Anonymous said...

Greg,

Will the Charter have anything written into it that the Chief of Police will be appointed by the Board or might it remain an elected position? I know the current PD would like to keep the good ol boy system thriving, but it is time for change.

Andy Whiteman said...

Marilyn, I agree that alderpeople have to check properties if there is a zoning change request. Raytown covers such a small area I think they may drive 10 miles at the most for this inspection making $50 a month seem excessive. I know some do extensive driving to and from state meetings and other city business. These people may receive more on a per mile basis. The $50/month is unfair to all.

Has the tax code changed? When I lived in San Diego County both my wife and I received $15 per Diem tax free since it was travel reimbursement for the job.

Does the mayor really drive $250 worth of miles on city business unless he goes to Bentonville? All mileage reimbursement should be documented and paid at the IRS rate of 56 cents per mile for business miles driven (up from 55.5 cents in 2013).

Andy Whiteman

Marilyn said...

Andy, I don't know how long ago you and your wife worked in California. Today, however, if the employee does not have to provide documentation for the car allowance to show when and where they drove, that allowance is taxable. Do you and your wife still receive per diems?

Anonymous said...

To 10:00 NOV. 17. Perhaps we should have a pay for performance pay scale for the Mayor's position. With the current dictator in place the city would be able to save a lot of money. I thought the job was about serving the citizens, not the pay. Oh that's right his wife is retired now.

Anonymous said...

Serve the people, HA that's a good one. You think the Chief would serve the people if he wasn't making over $100,000 a year doing little to nothing? Of course it's about the money.

Andy Whiteman said...

Marilyn, The per diem was a case of one office being closed for remodelling and we were temporarily assigned to another office. The per diem was a flat rate paid by the company for travel between office A and office B. Since the company knew the dates and distance, maybe that was the documentation. My wife was murdered in '98 and I have been disabled since '02 so neither of us can receive per diems now. I still feel that elected official car allowance, to be fair to all, should be based on actual mileage, otherwise it appears to be extra pay of $50 or $250. To receive that much, an Alderperson would have to drive 89 miles per month and the mayor would have to drive 446 miles. I doubt any drives that much except when one must attend out of town meetings. I know it seems like a small amount of money but the taxpayers deserve an accounting and I feel some alderpeople are under reimbursed while other receive too much.

Andy Whiteman

Pat Casady said...

To “Anonymous” 7:32
Put your money where your mouth is! Prove to us
our Police Chief makes “over a hundred thousand a
year!”
Greg, come on now! These “Anonymous” writers
You let spill their lies, rumors and BS, should not
be posted.

Kelly said...

Pat - On December 4, 2012, the Aldermen passed Resolution # 6304. It said "the Elected Officials Compensation Committee was established by the Board of Aldermen to review the salary for elected officials and make recommendations for adjustment. An elected official’s compensation must be set prior to a person taking office and compensation cannot change during the term of office, unless additional duties are added. Accordingly, any adjustment the Board of Aldermen deems appropriate to make to the current salary of the Police Chief must be made prior to the April 2, 2013 election.

With regard to the salary of the Police Chief, the committee recommended and the Board of Aldermen agreed to no increase in the current compensation. Their recommendation was that $96,742.87 should be the yearly compensation for the office of Police Chief for the term beginning April 2013 and ending April 2017."
If you add the money paid into his retirement and the city's portion of his medical insurance, it will come real close to $100,000 per year.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Kelly. Not all anonymous blogs are lies rumors are bs. Sorry to bust your bubble, Mr. blogger who is better than everyone else because they use their name.

Pat Casady said...


Thanks Kelly,
I was told this morning that the Police Chief made
nowhere near $100,000.00. If I am wrong then I’m
sorry. However I still feel the same way about
“Anonymous” writers and I always will.

Anonymous said...

Hey Pat "I was told". Who is your source about the Chief pay? Was it from an "anonymous" source as you so adamantly insult for postings?

Anonymous said...

Hey guys. Why argue about how much anybody makes at City Hall? It is all public information. Just turn in a freedom of information request. They have to tell you.

By the way, the Raytown Chief of Police is provided a car and all the fuel he needs to perform his job. The salary, insurance benefits, pension benefits and automobile are worth well over $100,000 annually. Pretty good pay for a city that is only 10 square miles in size and has less than 30,000 people living in it!

Anonymous said...

Andy, the mayor has earned most of the criticism he receives. He pushed the $30,000 pay increase for Mahesh Sharma when all the other city employees saw their salaries frozen. He sold out the people of Raytown for Walmart when he pushed through the ridiculous TIF on 350 Highway. Do you really think his poor decisions merit a pay increase? I don't think so. It merits him being gone.

Anonymous said...

9:05, I couldn't agree with you more about the Mayor he has become one of most arrogant people in this City, it's his way or the highway. And Sharma certainly isn't worth an additional 30k. Everyone that followed in the Mayors footsteps on that one should be voted out of office in April. P.S. the latest word on the street is that the Dictator will not be running, so your wish may come true!

Pat Casady said...


To “Anonymous” 2:59
Out of respect I will not give you their names but,
I can tell you their names were not Anonymous!
And by the way the words were “making over $100,000
a year doing little to nothing.” Not a mention about benefits.
I still don’t know why if, somebody has something to
say either complaining, cheap shooting or just plain
putting down, they can’t stand up and sign their name
to what they write. This includes you 2:59.

Andy Whiteman said...

9:05 PM, I never said that the Mayor should receive a pay increase. I was making a point that the increase in car allowance was actually a pay increase! If there had been decent opposition, the Mayor would have been out 2 years ago!

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Heard about this the other day, after the Chamber of Commerce lunch. Fifty-nine million dollars -- less the ten million the feds will kick in, so it will come out to forty-nine million for the old Rock Island tracks. Now what really is going to be done with it? All there is there, is a right-of-way, twenty-nine some odd miles long, and roughly 50-100 feet wide. How much more for everything else? About twenty years ago I was once told that it cost roughly one million dollars per mile to lay NEW track. Now that is not taking into account of the clearing and grubbing, rebuilding the roadbed, replacing grade crossings, building a bridge (oh yes, Raytown, we have to build a bridge, where the line was cut at 59th street), and everything else -- it is going to cost millions per mile in addition to what was paid for the line in the first place. And what for -- a toy train that most of us will never use in the first place. Granted, I would like to see something done with old line, but is this the best we can do?

GADSDEN said...

Thank you 5:06. You have said it very well it will be one of the largest boondoggles in Jackson County history.

Anonymous said...

I wondered the same thing. The cost of building a bridge, and I understand they have to raise the grade of the rail bed to accomodate the new bridge. Not to mention the cost of new rails and ties.

I know trains are romantic in the eyes of some, but there are viable alternatives to light rail. I read an article about some forward looking communities in California that are changing over to electric buses.

Non-polluting, quiet, and they can use existing roads and move with the traffic. No costly tearing up of roads to put in rail crossings.

If Kansas City was a hemmed in community like Portland or San Francisco it might work. But Kansas City is the place where sprawl is king. Putting in a network of iron rails with fixed routes may not be the best way to go here.

Anonymous said...

Correct, the line would have to be raised about six feet. At a 1% grade (moderate to RR terms, steep is 2% and greater) the line would have to go back roughly 1800 feet in either direction, if a .5% grade then it would be 3800 feet. Also, although not effected in Raytown, in Lee's Summit over Prior Road, they will have to lower the line, as they built the bridge with too little clearance. I like trains, and I am a "foamer". I would have loved to see the line open to a class one or two rail line. However, now that I am an adult, and know a little more about the costs involved, I see it as useless and unnecessary. Politicians have these grandiose plans for light rail, thinking it is the wave of the future. Except it is not -- while I do not remember, I know Kansas City had Trolleys and Interurban's, which is the old term for, you got it -- light rail, what happened to them -- oh that's right, no one rode them, they lost money, and they where removed. If we had a higher population density then there would be a need, but we do not, and do not need this. My suggestion -- turn it into a rail trail. Pull up the track, grade it out, put down some gravel (over the original ballast), and call it good. The scrap value of the old rail could be used to defray part of the cost (roughly $150 a ton).

Anonymous said...

Light rail is one of those things easy for people to like. It is 19th century technology for a 21st century city. The most important argument I have read is the fact that KC is not a densely populated town. The cities where light rail works are densely populated. Chicago, New York. Or they are relatively small cities crammed into very small places like San Francisco, Boston , Portland. Kansas City surrounded by wide open areas with relatively inexpensive land for expansion. There is not an ocean or a mountain in the way of expansion. So the easiest way to grow is out. It is called urban sprawl and it makes fixed rail transportation imprctical when compared to buses. Do a web search on electric bus transportation. You will get your eyes opened.

On costs, don't forget the construction is not the only burden. The railroads will not give their property away for free. Even though most of the rail right of way was given to them free by the government back in the 1800's. They will no pay it forward. They will ask for mega millioins of dollars for the property.

Kelly said...

I was in St. Louis a couple of years ago. They have a subway/Ell type of rail system. It goes from the airport to the zoo to the Laclede Landing to downtown. It doesn't try to connect all the suburbs to one another. It's basically for getting downtown or to the basic tourist attractions. That's what KCMO should start with. Just the basics.

Anonymous said...

I kept wondering what is a "foamer", so I looked it up. A new word to me, it means:

somebody who is very devoted to a hobby, especially a model railroad enthusiast

So interesting. I am sure I am not the only one who wondered what it meant. Your comments are very well written.