Sunday, November 9, 2014

RAYTOWN'S LEADING NEWS SOURCE



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Short Stories BY GREG WALTERS 
“Texting”, the furtive comments and notes sent via our cell phones can be a convenience of the modern age we live in. It can also be viewed as a curse, particularly when it takes valuable time and attention away from what is important.

Some Aldermen have complained of receiving unsolicited text messages from their seatmates during City Council meetings.

The dais the Council sits at has a short six inch wall at the top which hides Councilman’s hands. When a Councilman’s eyes appear more focused on his or her lap and their shoulders slightly “tense up” they are probably sending a text message on their cell phone.

Not only is the practice rude, it may very well be illegal. If the recipient of the text message has a seat on the dais of that same meeting then someone could be in trouble plenty.

City Council meetings are supposed to be “public” meetings. Secret messages, flying back and forth between members of the governing body can be construed as a violation of Missouri’s Sunshine Law.

Who is guilty? Ward 1 Alderman Joe Creamer is known to have sent text messages to other members of the Board of Aldermen during public hearings on a proposed Walmart Grocery Store in Downtown Raytown last year. Apparently the texting has continued.

According to sources at Raytown City Hall, the text messages are frequently unsolicited and in some cases, unwanted. Which causes one to wonder – why send a message to someone who does not wish to receive it in the first place?

Could it be the messages are not truly unsolicited? From our point of view, a conversation is a conversation whether spoken or typed. Those comments should be shared with all the members of the City Council and with the public.

Here is some good advice . . . put your electronic gadgets away during public meetings. They have no place at the table when the public’s business is being discussed.

Slow Down Janet! 
Charter Commissioner Janet Emerson has decided to head up a Marketing Subcommittee committee to publicize the Raytown Charter effort. She has not been slow to take the helm and start steaming forward. She has already held one meeting and scheduled another to lay out plans to promote the Charter. In her first meeting she spoke of the need to print the Charter document and create yard signs for the Charter.

Commissioner Mary Jane VanBuskirk wondered about the yard signs. She checked with the Missouri Municipal League and found out that yard signs promoting the Charter cannot be funded by public money. Missouri State Statutes require the municipality in which the Charter is being voted on to fund “educational material” to explain the Charter to the Public. Apparently, yard signs are considered to be “promoting” a charter.

Some Charter Commissioners have complained about Emerson’s early meeting times. Late afternoon meetings are not a practical alternative for the public or Commission members who are employed in 9:00 to 5:00 jobs . . . particularly if potential participants are away from the Raytown area during daytime hours.

The “sandwiching” of committee meetings before regular meetings of governing bodies is not uncommon in Raytown. The short half hour “meeting before the meeting” is a counterproductive effort which often leaves confusion in its wake. The shortened meeting times result in rushed decisions and often lead to mistakes in judgment.

Mistakes like purchasing yard signs as an “educational” tool to promote the Charter.

The enthusiasm of Mrs. Emerson and her crew is noteworthy. But they need to focus on providing information to help the voters make an informed decision. Parts of the Marketing Subcommittee minutes read more like a campaign committee than an attempt to inform the public.

Commissioners need to take care not to cross the line between “educating” and “campaigning”. The Charter Commission should not be used as a platform to organize a “yes” or “no” vote on the Charter.

Speaking of Short Meetings

The Marketing Subcommittee minutes are an interesting read.
According to the minutes of the agenda there were 21 items discussed in the meeting. However, the meeting, which was sandwiched in prior to the regular Charter Commission meeting, lasted only 36 minutes.
Do the math.
The result is that each item was discussed for only 1.8 minutes. There were six members on the Committee. If only half of the members joined in the discussion, it means that each member had only 36 seconds to participate in discussion per item!


Heard on the Street BY PAUL LIVIUS
Some call it the rumor mill. We call them news tips from very reliable sources. Sources, we might add, that have proven to be very accurate in the past. So far this year, they are batting 1000!

So, here is what our local tipsters tell us is going on in Raytown!

DOWNTOWN WALMART: There has never been an official announcement on whether or not Walmart is planning on opening a large building at 63rd and Raytown Road. Just rumors, sparked mainly by local business owners saying they had been told their leases would not be renewed. Now some of those same business owners say they have been told their leases will be renewed!

Does that mean the unannounced development is off?

Our ten elected Aldermen and even the Mayor (who, many will recall, took a trip to Bentonville to try to parlay with Walmart exec’s during the debacle over a Walmart in Downtown Raytown’s Greenspace) all claim ignorance of anything going on.

You would think out of 11 elected officials you would have at least one who would try to find out.

PAT ERTZ FOR  (    fill in the blank    )  On the campaign front the “on again . . . off again” campaign of Pat Ertz for Mayor has been scrapped. Apparently he has decided to run for re-election to fourth term as Alderman from Ward 4. For those keeping count his fourth term would equal 20 years.

RICHARD TUSH FOR FIRE BOARD? Raytown Water District No. 2 Commissioner Richard Tush has decided to make a run for the Raytown Fire Board seat currently held by Willard Ross. No official word on whether or not Ross will run for re-election.

MORE MAYORAL CANDIDATES? Raytown Charter Commissioner Steve Guenther has been said to be considering a run for Mayor. Ward 3 Alderman Charlotte Melson is also said to be considering a run for the big chair as well. Add those two names to Alderman Bill VanBuskirk,  Mike McDonough and David Bower and you could have a very crowded contest. The Charter Commission discussed possible primary elections but the majority of Commissioners turned the idea down. Given the current situation, they may want to follow the lead of surrounding communities that have runoffs when more than two candidates file for office.

CREAMER RESIDENCY QUESTION STILL UNRESOLVED? Ward 1 Alderman Joe Creamer’s status as a candidate for re-election is still up in the air. A source living close to Creamer’s old residence say the house is dark all the time. Which leaves one to believe the senior Alderman from Ward 1 is still not living in the district he represents. Potential opponents may want to check out Missouri State Statutes, Chapter 79, Fourth Class Cities, Section 79.070.*

*Aldermen, qualifications. 79.070. No person shall be an alderman unless he or she is at least twenty-one 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.

Aldermen, qualifications. 79.070. No person shall be an alderman unless he or she is at leasttwenty-one years of age, a citizen of the United States, and an inhabitantand 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 sheserves, of the ward from which he or she is elected.
- See more at: http://statutes.laws.com/missouri/t07/c079/79_070#sthash.uSedZoCz.dpuf
Aldermen, qualifications. 79.070. No person shall be an alderman unless he or she is at leasttwenty-one years of age, a citizen of the United States, and an inhabitantand 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 sheserves, of the ward from which he or she is elected.
- See more at: http://statutes.laws.com/missouri/t07/c079/79_070#sthash.uSedZoCz.dpuf
Aldermen, qualifications. 79.070. No person shall be an alderman unless he or she is at leasttwenty-one years of age, a citizen of the United States, and an inhabitantand 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 sheserves, of the ward from which he or she is elected.
- See more at: http://statutes.laws.com/missouri/t07/c079/79_070#sthash.uSedZoCz.dpuf


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Aldermen, qualifications. 79.070. No person shall be an alderman unless he or she is at leasttwenty-one years of age, a citizen of the United States, and an inhabitantand 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 sheserves, of the ward from which he or she is elected.
- See more at: http://statutes.laws.com/missouri/t07/c079/79_070#sthash.uSedZoCz.dpuf
 
 

31 comments:

Andy Whiteman said...

Cell phones should be banned from the dais due to possible violation(s) for the Sunshine law. Personally I view texts as a nuisance and don't send or receive them. Since each text costs 1/2 minute, I block them.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

When looking at the possible Mayoral candidates only one seems to be serious about it so far. Mike McDonough has already raised mpore money in the last 5 weeks than most candidates do in the whole race. He obviously already has a lot of support and backing behind him. GO MIKE!

Anonymous said...

I guess it go to prove that money will buy an election. We can expect big billboards all around Raytown to remind us that our new leader will take care of us.

Anonymous said...

Andy,

I agree with your attitude but when you say things like that it makes you look foolish. People have families and possible emergencies that could take place. Should they not be texting eachother... of course anyone would agree to that, but to say they should not have their cell phone with them or on is foolish. I have kids and I always have my phone with me because you never know.

Anonymous said...

Golly I guess that I grew up in a bad time, we did not have cell phones, how did we exist gee I guess we had a land line telephone that could be used in an emergency.

The thing is no one from the board needs to have a cell turned on and able to use to send messages back and forth to each other.

For once I agree with Andy.

Please just get a life.

Anonymous said...

BIG QUESTION is can Mike separate himself from the police department? I don't know that I can support him. Is he a great guy yes he is I just don't think he is the man for the job.

Pat Casady said...

To “Anonymous” 4:42,
Before you judge Mike, you might have a talk with him
to see where he stands on certain concerns you might have.
Mike has been around Raytown for a long time and has
talked to thousands of people. He has seen the good and bad
in both people and government. I really can’t see any better
candidate to head this town. Besides look at the background
of past mayors. There is and was nothing special there and
none had the people experience Mike has.
I hope everybody gives him a chance.

Anonymous said...

Mike has a heart for the people unlike this current administration. I heard he will retire very soon anyway. Point is to say that he has an agenda based off of his work experience is an arguement you can make for anyone employed running for Mayor. Some would say our current Mayor has an agenda to enhance his own career by being Mayor. I will be voting for Mike and urging my friends to do so as I have met this man and seen his heart and I know I do not believe in what we currently have.

Anonymous said...

Mike is a good man, but a puppet to Lynch/Bowman who are only interested in what's in it for themselves. Good for them, but not good for the city or tax-payers. The separation between Police and Politics is a check and balance system.

Sorry Mike, I am not anti-police, just pro Raytown and against an unfettered Police Department.

Anonymous said...

Mike may have a heart for the city so do a lot of other people but that doesn't mean he would be a good mayor. How much does he really know about city government?

Anonymous said...

Mike has my vote and a great number of other votes from the people of Raytown

Anonymous said...

A puppet? Not the Mike I know. Only someone doesn't know him would make up such tripe.

Anonymous said...

I would hope that when Mike is elected the money that the citizens approved for the Public Safety Sales Tax will be spent as promised. Which will mean funding the positions that were promised. Bower has done a great job making sure that hasn't happened. He seems to forgot how he got where he is. He is more worried about him self and his ego than the taxpayers that are paying his salary. It will be a pleasure to see a Mayor who is only interested in the people and the City. Mike For Mayor.

Anonymous said...

The money from the safety sales tax goes to the police and EMS. If you have a problem with not enough police on the street talk to Lynch about it. The police gets a lot of stuff from the safety sales tax. Example $1000.00 a pair Italian motor cycle riding boots. Maybe we don't have enough officers on the street because they are all sitting behind desks at the department. The department is top heavy. If you don't believe me check it out yourself

Anonymous said...

8:01

Wrong! The city shifted existing funding levels down for the Police Department AFTER the public saftey tax was approved. So the results that the tax payers were promised didnt happen. This was not a Police Department action but City Hall.

Anonymous said...

To 8:01:
Why don't you talk to the officer before putting misleading facts on here. I talked to the officer. First, they are American made and his first pair lasted 14 years, with quite a bit of use. He pays to have them resoled out of his pocket every year. So to me, $71 and sone change every year for an officers safety is no big deal. They need the equipment they need.

Anonymous said...

The Police Department is top heavy, that is a given. Wasted out of control spending and excessive out of town travel are the norm. The Police wants to put a person in the Mayor's chair who will see to it that Lynch and the good ol boy system, which that wish to maintain will thrive.

Only after the Police Pension plan was scraped by the City as unsustainable and the Police Pension was moved to a more viable solution, did Mike decide to run for Mayor.

Mike and others who are in the Police department and setting on the Charter Commission and running for office are only concerned about what's in for the Police. We've witness it before when Lynch was running against then Chief Overfield. It was slander after slander of Overfield so Lynch would be elected Police Chief and promote his good buddies within the Police Department to the highest rank.

Before this is over, it will become politics at its very worst.

Pat Casady said...

You gut-less “Anonymous” writers that want to sling
rumors and untruths should know just how stupid you sound!
We get it, you don’t like Mike. Most of the rest of us do.
Deal with it like an adult for a change.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 11:28 I want to see written proof not just your words

Anonymous said...

Hey anonymous 1:10. Get back on your medication.

Anonymous said...

7:31

Written proof is in the budgets, look at the funding streams before and after the tax. It's really simple and Im not the only one in the city that knows about this dirty trick.

Anonymous said...

So Bower has another feather in his cap suddenly
KC Rising a Regional steering comittee to develop business. In KC area with a regional concept
How come everything is regional with this guy?
Time for someone to take care of Raytown not add to their corporate resume'

Greg Walters said...

Some bloggers may have noticed that not all of the comments sent this week were posted right away. Paul discovered the problem last night. We have reset the links to our comment headers and added ALL of the comments that had not transferred properly.

We also checked a number of times since then and are happy to tell you the links are now functioning properly.

We have also sent a message to our software provider (Blogspot) to inform them of the problem.

We believe it will not happen again.

If you do place comment and it does not post please send an email to:

gregtwalters@sbcglobal.net

so we can look into the situation.

Anonymous said...

What your CA, Mayor and older board of Alderman have done with the Public Safety Sales Tax is called Supplanting. Look it up.
Police positions were paid from the General Fund before. Voters were promised more positions with the passage of the PSST. These folks that controlled the budget simply moved funded positions to the PSST fund and then reduced the number of paid positions in the General Fund. They can now claim that positions promised by the sales tax are filled. In truth voters have not been given what they were promised, they're paying a 1/2 cent more for the same thing and the CA, mayor and board can do what they want with that diverted money. It's not illegal, but definitely dishonest and unethical.

Anonymous said...

The person who promised us more policemen if the safety sales tax passed was none other than the Chief himself...

Anonymous said...

It is interesting to note that today Nov. 14 at 10:00 in the morning Mr. Bowers (Mayor) culdesac has already been pre-treated for the upcoming snow storm. Bet your street hasn't been done. Pehaps he thinks he is special.

Anonymous said...

Looks like a lot of Anonymous Cops on the blog. Pretty easy to read. All for Mike and slam how bad the citizens are being treated by Mayor Bower and a quick angry retort if anyone dare blog about a top heavy and wasteful PD.

The typical PD political smear campaign begins.

Anonymous said...

I hope that our undermanned police dept is prepared if we get the wrong decision in Ferguson as this thing will spread.

Anonymous said...

I hope that our undermanned police dept is prepared if we get the wrong decision in Ferguson as this thing will spread.

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?