Pull Out Issues
An on-going and very serious debate has been taking place at meetings of the Raytown Charter Commission these last couple of months.
The Commission has completed the original draft of the Charter. The arduous task of correcting grammar and consistency (of language) in the document is only pages away from being complete.
What is left is a number of issues that have been hotly debated over the past eight months. Few of them have been resolved. Two of the most hotly debated issues have to do with residency requirements of the City Administrator and the issues of Elected vs. Appointive Chief of Police.
Here is a short run-down on the two debates:
ELECTED vs. APPOINTIVE CHIEF OF POLICE:
There has been considerable debate over making the Chief of Police an appointive position. Raytown has always elected its Chief of Police. The charter document, as currently written, continues the practice of electing the Police Chief. However, there has been considerable pressure brought to bear on Commissioners to reconsider that position. Some members, who originally supported electing the Chief of Police have since changed their position and are speaking privately of making it appointive.
CITY RESIDENCY OF CITY ADMINISTRATOR:
Raytown is the only city in the Metropolitan area that does not require its City Administrator to live within city limits. The majority of the Charter Commission has been consistent in its insistence that the City Administrator be required to live within city limits. City ordinances support their position. However, the City Council has waived the requirement for the current City Administrator. For the record, when he was hired as City Administrator, Mahesh Sharma told the Board of Aldermen he would move to the city within three years of his hiring date.
A simple solution to these two sticking points on the Charter would be to allow the public to make the decision.
The Charter Commission, under Missouri State Law, is allowed to include what are commonly called “pull out questions” to be placed on the ballot along with the finished charter. The voters will then decide by voting on the two separate issues.
Whatever the result of the two questions becomes part of the finished charter.
There is some support on the Commission for allowing the public to decide.
There are also those who are adamant in their opposition to the idea of using “pull out questions” to make the final decision.
They argue that the public will become too confused to make the decision.
That argument is a spurious one.
As I reminded my fellow Commissioners at a recent meeting, “the voters were smart enough to elect us to write the Charter, I am sure they will not be too “confused” to make the decision on two pull out questions.”
What do you think? Should the Charter Commission leave it up to the voters to decide on whether or not to elect the Chief of Police? Should the City Administrator be required to live within the city limits?
Take a minute and let us know how you think in this week’s poll.
Paul's Rant BY PAUL LIVIUS
Greg told me he received a call last week from Ward 5 Alderman Steve Mock. Steve had read my report about the cost over-runs on city construction projects in the south part of the city. He appreciated the story. But he also said that truth be known there were other Aldermen who threw their two cents in on the topic of cost over-runs.
I had reviewed the meeting before writing my Rant column last week. Steve is correct. Four other Alderman did join in supporting his position.
Steve, they may have added to what you said, but the truth is what they said was just an echo of your comments. Your leadership that night were exemplary. It is probably correct that they be noted for standing with you. So allow me to take this space to recognize Aldermen Lightfoot, VanBuskirk and Ertz in joining you in your well stated comments.
Announces Mayoral Campaign
Ward 4 Alderman Pat Ertz is pleased to announce his candidacy for the office of Mayor of Raytown.
During his eight years on the Board of Alderman, Ertz has been a leader, as proven by his service as Mayor Pro-Tem and as chairman of the board's Finance Committee. In addition, he also has served as a liaison to the following: the following: the Raytown School District, the Sales Tax Oversight Committee, Parks Department, Police Pension Fund, and the Chamber of Commerce.
Ertz has been an active member of the following community boards: the Raytown arm of the Truman Heartland Foundation, the Summer Lunch Program at Raytown Christian Church, and Board of Directors of the Raytown Area Chamber of Commerce, where he also served as Chair of the Board in 2012. He also is a member of the Raytown School District’s Citizens' Advisory Committee, Suburban Water Coalition, the Chamber Government Relations Committee and is a member of the Raytown Rotary Club, where he heads the Community Service Committee.
Ertz is a 25-year citizen of Raytown and makes his home with his wife, Shari, and son, Kyle. Pat retired from Hy-Vee Food Store after having worked there for 34 years as a Meat Department manager. He is currently District Manager of Public Water Supply District #2 of Jackson County.
Ertz is adamant about keeping good city employees who have demonstrated, through their service, that they are dedicated to creating the best city possible. By continuing to insist on high standards and creating a stable city hall environment, Raytown will continue to attract high-quality individuals.
“We need to continue to find ways to recruit and retain the best employees," Ertz said. "Training employees to be hired away by other municipalities is not a sustainable solution."
Ertz also believes in the proactive approach when it comes to Raytown Police and EMS departments and has always supported their need for the best and most modern equipment. These include the city's purchase of new radios, police cars and ambulances. In addition, Ertz supported Raytown’s recent purchase of body cameras for all police officers. At the police department's request, the Raytown board members acted on the need for body cameras while many city entities are still debating the issue. “We need to take care of the personnel that take care of us night and day," he said.
While serving on Raytown Board of Alderman, Ertz and his fellow Aldermen, improved city finances by balancing the budget and reducing city debt. As mayor, he will continue to devote much attention to the city budget. Economic development has been another key issue that Ertz has stressed as alderman, which he will work to further improve as mayor; the board has attracted many businesses to Raytown, including Heartland Manufacturing, Google Fiber, Aldi's and IHOP.
During the past eight years that Ertz has served on the Board of Aldermen, the city has successfully recruited more than $8 million in grants for infrastructure improvements, including sidewalks and streets. As mayor, Ertz will continue to build upon such past successes by working to recruit even more businesses to establish a home in Raytown.
Ertz has served on the board with a growing sense of pride in his community. As mayor, he pledges to bring the same strong leadership while engaging and encouraging fellow citizens to help keep Raytown the vibrant, thriving community its residents know and love.
For further information, contact Pat Ertz at 816-356-8233 or firstname.lastname@example.org
FIT BOTTOMED EATS BY JENN
Key Lime Chia Cheesecake Is there anything you can’t add chia seeds to for extra nutritional oomph and awesomeness? It seems not. Because between last month’s Creamy Coconut Ginger-Carrot Soup (with chia!) and the below Key Lime Chia Cheese recipe (!), our chia love has reached a new foodie level. READ MORE
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