Saturday, December 13, 2014

RAYTOWN'S LEADING NEWS SOURCE

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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.


Raytown Alderman 
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 kyertz@msn.com


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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24 comments:

GADSDEN said...

PLEASE, leave the election of the Chief of Police up to the citizens. During a latter year the issue of the Chief of Police can be brought up.

I do not care if the commissioners are or may be changing their minds, what they decide may be the reason the charter fails

We do not need such a conversational issue.like that to cause the charter to fail.

There are people that want the charter to vail let us not help them.

Anonymous said...

It is kind of rare for us voters to be allowed to make the decision on questions other than taxes. I like the idea of letting the voters decide. I voted yes on both questions on your poll.

Anonymous said...

I agree, I like the fact we elect the police chief. Also the city manager should live here, if it need to be voted on than we should do it. How can someone manage a city, when they do not care enough to live here? Not being able to afford or losing the cost of the other house is BS, live here or move on, and get someone who does live here.

Pat Casady said...

I’m sorry but Mr.Ertz, in my opinion has two strikes against
him already. First and foremost, he is an incumbent. He brought
to you all the tax breaks and give-aways. Walmart and all the rest
of what nobody in Raytown wanted.
Second, Mr. Ertz has told stories about running for mayor.
He has twice said he would not run for mayor but, as you can see
he has storied about that.
Please think twice before thinking about voting for this man, then
don’t. I believe we have had enough of people telling us one thing
then doing another.

Ginny said...

You people should remember the outcry when the mayor talked about making the city judge appointed instead of elected. The residents came out in droves and said "don't take away our right to decide". The majority of people didn't even know we had a city judge until the right to choose was threatened.

Anonymous said...

I say appoint the chief with a police board. The city administrator can live where he wants as long as it is within 25 to 30 minutes away. If he needs to so do the policeman and the EMS.

Andy Whiteman said...

The CA should live anywhere he wants as long as it is within the city limits. He should experience the same quality of living conditions that the serfs in the fief experience.

The Police Chief should be elected. Albuquerque, NM had an appointed chief with officer involved shootings and abuse of power issues. He resigned and got a better paying job with Taser. The next chief has a very similar record but did fire 3 officers involved in shooting and abuse. If the Police Chief is elected, the people may remove him when his term is over or recall him. The people should be able to remove bad officials!

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I agree that Pat Ertz is part of the problem with the city hall mess. Any incumbent that runs SHOULD be DEFEATED. Let's hope a majority of the voters see it that way too.

GADSDEN said...

The only thing that I can think of is the people of Raytown do not know how volatile an issue the appointed police chief is, if you want the charter to fail then we should appoint him if you want the charter to win then you need to elect the chief as we have done in the past.

It is a shame that this is an issue, either the people do not understand or they want the charter to fail and there are a fair amount of those that do want the charter to fail so they can keep the status quo.

It is a long time until the election but a lot of thought needs to go into this charter both from the commissioners and then from the voting citizens.

Let us not blow it.

Anonymous said...

Hey, anonymous 9:07,
great idea and pay the city administrator the same as the police and the firemen.

Anonymous said...

Or pay the police and EMS the same as the city administrator.

Gene said...

I agree with anonymous 8:45. The police and fire departments are much more important to this city than the CA. We can get along without the CA, but try getting along without the police and fire and see what happens.

Anonymous said...

What's all the rumble about? What is a charter? We have gotten along without one for all these years. I say vote NO

Anonymous said...

Come on guys (Gene) let us make rational comments the city just does not always run it self, there are decisions to be made and problems solved.

Anonymous said...

Electing Mr. Ertz will be the same as elcting Mr. Bower's handpicked sucessor. He and Bower have had numerous meeting regarding his running. They are like two peas in a pod. They both thinmk they are smarter than the average resident and that we need to be 3educated to thier way of thinking. I DISAGREE and will voting to Mike McDonough, he is a fair honest man with no hidden agenda.

Anonymous said...

I would bet if you asked Lisa Emerson she would say we could do fine with the police or fire department.

Anonymous said...

If you have qualified, responsible department heads there is no need for a city administrator.

Gary said...

I don't know Mike McDonough. I know very little about the man. I do know, however, that if Pat Ertz runs, I will vote for McDonough. I don't care if he might be the brother in law to Satan, and believes in sacrificing small children, I won't vote for anyone that sits on the current city council.

Anonymous said...

I agree with that last sentiment. Three is not a one of them on the city council that I want back. We need to bring some positive change to city hall. Let's start next April.

Anonymous said...

I have known Mike McDonough for 50 years and he is a "people" person. He has seen all personalities of people being a police officer. He is smart. He will be a good Mayor because he earned his money the hard way. He will not please everyone he encounters, but he will do his best. I don't want "re treads" from the current board of aldermen we have now. They have been "poisoned" by the "Bower" way!

Anonymous said...

Well 6:13 am when are you going to announce that you are running for one of the aldermen positions?? It is easy to speak but to back it up that is a different story. Next April is too late you have to run now for the April election. Back it up big boy.

Anonymous said...

Okay. Who is up next April? Ertz and Creamer are both big bower supporters. I bet they team up against McDonough.

Don't worry Mike. We got your back in Ward 1. Just hope somebody steps up to take on Creamer. He has definitely go to go. I wonder if he has moved back into his district.

Gene said...

I hope somebody talks Greg Walters into running against Creamer. If he did, Creamer would wet his pants. He's scared of Greg.

Anonymous said...

December 16, 2014 at 5:11 PM
You take the position that we got along this long without a charter so why do we need one, which is a good question?

However, a bigger question using your own thought process is why do we need and have a city administrator.

Since we hired a city administrator we:
Give away tax deals for all these big corporations
Employee unneeded city department heads for example public relations
Buy ran down buildings from local church and end up with an empty lot

Before a city administrator we enjoyed:
Ordinances like property maintenance violations being enforced
Streets being overlaid with asphalt
Respectful city employees because they lived in the city and were invested in the community