Sunday, March 22, 2015


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Defendants in She’s A Pistol murder also charged in Raytown robberies FROM THE KANSAS CITY STAR
Two of the four men charged in Johnson County with the Jan. 9 shooting death of a Shawnee gun store owner are also charged in connection with two Raytown robberies and an assault.Londro Patterson III, 20, was charged this week in Jackson County in a January robbery of the Whiskey Barrel liquor store on Raytown Road. One employee was shot in that robbery. READ MORE

Tempers Flare 
at Political Meetings
Discussions turned into arguments at two political meetings this past week. In both instances, the disagreements were over the proposed Charter voters will consider on Tuesday, April 7th.

The Wildwood Homeowners Association has held candidate forums on a regular basis for many years. So it was not a surprise when more than 30 people showed up to hear candidates for Mayor, Board of Aldermen and the Raytown School Board. Also in attendance to speak were Raytown Charter Commissioners Ted Bowman, Sandy Hartwell and Lisa Emerson.

The fuse for the fireworks was lit when the Secretary of the Homeowners Association, Witty Wittman, informed members from the Charter Commission they would not be allowed to speak because they were not on the agenda.

Upon hearing of Mrs. Wittman’s decision, one of the candidates for Aldermen, Chris Rathbone, offered to give his speaking time to the Charter Commissioners.

After some informal discussions between officers of the Homeowners Association, the President of the Association, Gabriel Rant, decided all guests would be allowed to speak.

Both Mayoral candidates then gave their speeches. As with all of the public events between Pat Ertz and Michael McDonough, the discussion was cordial and upbeat.

The same cannot be said about the confrontation between Ward 2 incumbent Jim Aziere and one of his challengers, Chris Rathbone.

Aziere touched on comments about his college education and the fact that he did not "go to Vietnam” instead of going to school to get a degree in teaching. His comments referred to a letter to the editor published in the Raytown Times in which Aziere stated he feared the Board of Aldermen could easily become dominated by politicians without college degrees.

Rathbone replied in a letter to the Times and the Raytown Report that “he does not have a college degree because he was fighting in Iraq.” Rathbone is an Iraqi war veteran.

Aziere also complained of his yard signs being sandwiched between opposing candidate yard signs, saying such conduct was unsportsmanlike and underhanded.

Amy Tittle and Thomas Estlund, both candidates for the Raytown School Board spoke on their vision for the Raytown School District.

Ted Bowman then spoke on behalf of the Raytown Charter Commission. He spoke of the merits of the Charter stressing that the document gave a stronger voice to the people. He told listeners that once enacted, the Charter can only be amended by a direct vote of Raytown citizens.

Finally, Mayor David Bower was asked by Witty Wittman to say a few words. Bower went into a lengthy 10 minutes speech in which he repeatedly voiced his opposition to the Charter. He told the audience that if the Charter passed Raytown City Government would be “turned on its head”.

The Raytown Democratic Association (RDA) regularly holds candidate forums at its meetings. Candidates are allowed at the beginning of the monthly meetings to speak briefly about their campaigns. They are also invited to mix with club members before and after the meeting.

At last Thursday’s meeting two members of the Charter Commission, Jason Greene and Sandy Hartwell presented information to the audience of about 35 people on the merits of the Charter.

At the end of the presentation, one member of the Raytown Democratic Association (RDA), Paul Ertyl, made a motion to endorse the proposed Charter.

Another member of the RDA, Michael Downing, objected to the motion because he had “doubts” about the Charter. This brought a rejoinder from former Raytown Alderman Jerry Briggs (who served on the 2005 Charter Commission) who questioned Downing’s motives. 

President of the RDA, Richard Tush stepped in to rule that a vote was not scheduled on the agenda, he did, however, allow discussion to continue.

The next public discussion of the proposed Raytown Charter is scheduled for Tuesday, March 24th at Raytown City Hall. The meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. The public will be able to direct its questions to Raytown Charter Commissioners in an open discussion.

Thank You Candidates!
The Raytown Report would like to thank the following candidates for sharing information with the public about their campaigns and plans for Raytown. 

Pat Ertz, Tommy Estlund, Mike McDonough, Chris Rathbone, Ryan Myers, Mary Jane VanBuskirk, Eric Teeman and Greg Walters. 

You have done the public a service by running for election in Raytown and for taking the time to expand on your ideas before them on the Raytown Report. Good luck to all of you!

Public Forums Highlight 
Final Week of Campaigns 
Two public forums highlight the final week of campaigning for candidates and the Raytown Charter issue this coming week. Both meetings will be held at Raytown City Hall.

Tuesday, March 24th, 7:00 p.m. 
On Tuesday, March 24th, the Raytown Charter Commission will host its last public forum before the April 7th Municipal Election. The meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. The format used by Commissioners at its last public forum in which a free flowing debate between Commissioners and the public was allowed will be in play at the meeting. The Charter Commission attorney will also be on hand to answer any specific questions about the proposed document as well. 

Tuesday, March 31st, 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
On Tuesday, March 31st, the League of Women Voters will hold a candidate Meet and Greet for Mayoral and City Council candidates. The Mayoral candidate portion of the meeting will start at 6:30 and end at 7:15. Council candidates will be given five minutes each to address the public.  After which the audience will be invited to meet with candidates individually.

The Paul Livius Report
Raytown Board of Aldermen Meeting – March 17, 2015

The Board passed a resolution approving the appointment of Steve Ricard to the Human Relations Commission.

The Board passed a resolution approving the appointment of Anthony Moore to the Human Relations Commission.

The Board passed a resolution the appointment of Rex Block to the Human Relations Commission.

The Board approved a resolution for the advertising in the City’s newsletter.  Brenda Gustafson told the Board the City is considering sending out the newsletter four times a year.  She told the Board she polled the cities of Gladstone, Raymore, Lee’s Summit, and Prairie Village for their guidelines for their own newsletters.  She found most of the cities have similar guidelines to what we are proposing.  The newsletter costs around $11,000.00 (68 cents per piece) for design, print, postage and mail services.  By selling advertising, we have the opportunity to partner with the business community to help offset these costs to the City’s budget.

She said the City would not receive the monies.  All revenue would go to the Raytown Community Betterment Fund (RCBF), held through Truman Heartland Community Foundation.This fund would be responsible for receiving payments for advertisement and for paying the bills that are generated by the publication of the newsletter.

The City’s Newsletter shall accept only commercial advertisements.  Noncommercial advertisements for the purpose of expressing political or religious messages, or messages otherwise related to public issues will not be accepted.  Advertisements which propose a commercial transaction but which have a primarily non-commercial purpose shall not be accepted.

Alderman Van Buskirk asked why religious advertising would not be allowed.  He pointed out there are close to 60 churches in Raytown.  They all have fundraiser at different times of the year, and this would be a good vehicle for advertising.Ms. Gustafson said they did not want to restrict religious messages.  The staff would probably allow advertising of fundraisers.  Mr. Van Buskirk pointed out it is part of the resolution.  Mahesh Sharma said it was procedural guidelines.

The Board passed a resolution approving the purchase of parts and supplies for police vehicles from Ed Roehr Safety Products in an amount not to exceed $21,810.00.  The Board was told the Police Department has purchased four new Ford Police Interceptors in FY15.  Since they have adopted a new vehicle platform the department will require new up fit equipment (exterior lighting) designed to fit the new vehicle dimensions.  Ed Roehr will provide the lights and sirens for the vehicles.

The Board passed a resolution approving the purchase of safety equipment from Garon Marketing in an amount not to exceed $18,163.00.  The Police Department has purchased four new Ford Police Interceptors in FY15.  Garon Marketing will provide gun racks, window bars, partitions, etc. for the police vehicles.

The Board passed a resolution supporting the work of the Raytown Communities for all Ages Task Force and adopting the concepts, strategies and programs of the task force.  John Benson said in 2014, the City appointed a Task Force to discuss and develop aspects that can make a community more livable for residents of all ages.  The work of this Task Force was a part of the ongoing efforts to promote neighborhood revitalization.  Additionally, the  Task Force was one of four pilot community task forces in the Kansas City region that were discussing these same issues that are designed to help the communities and the region prepare to take advantage of the opportunities and challenges presented by the growing number of older and younger adults.  As a result of the work of the Task Force and those in Gladstone, Prairie Village, Kansas; and Mission, Kansas, categories were identified.  Each category has suggested policies and action steps that can help guide communities so that they can become more livable for all residents.  The categories identified include:

• Public outdoor spaces and buildings;

• Housing and commercial development;

• Transportation and mobility;

• Social inclusion, and communication and participation;

• Civic participation and employment; and

• Community and health services.

The work from each of these task forces has been used to create a checklist that other communities can now use to assess their respective communities to determine what, if anything, they may want to address the increasing number of younger and older adults and to make their community more livable for their residents.  A copy of the checklist is attached.  The categories identified, as well as the recommended policies and action steps, will form the basis for further community discussion as part of the Briefings and Brainstorming Sessions that will be held over the next few months.

The Board   passed an ordinance granting a conditional use permit to operate a vehicle rental business at 9400 and 9600 E. 53rd Place.  Last meeting, Neal Clevenger, on behalf of Emanuel Barger told the Board they are seeking approval of a Conditional Use Permit application to allow a U-Haul rental business to operate at 9400 and 9600 E. 53rd Place.  Mr. Barger would be the owner of the U-Haul business and would lease the property from Mr. Clevenger.  The property contains two buildings with parking for the U-Haul vehicles as well as for parking of customer and employee vehicles.  The applicant has submitted a site plan indicating the location of the buildings and the parking spaces in which the U-Haul vehicles would be parked.

The Board approved an ordinance granting an amendment to the architectural design standards specified in the Crescent Creek Design Manual.  The Planning & Zoning Commission voted to recommend approval of the following amendments.  Driveways in the front yard are permitted only for lots that do not have alley access and shall be a maximum of twenty (20) feet wide.  Garage Doors shall not face a street if alley access is available.  Where a garage door faces a street the following standards shall apply:

1. Not more than twenty-two (22) feet of the garage, inclusive of the garage door, shall extend beyond the sidewall of the primary structure on the lot.

2. The front of the garage shall not extend in front of the front plane of the house.

The Crescent Creek subdivision was approved by the City of Raytown in 2004 as a Traditional Neighborhood Design (TND) development.  As a TND development, certain design standards were proposed by the developer and adopted by the City as part of the Planned Development Overlay Zoning District for the subdivision.  The adopted standards include, but are not limited to such design aspects as:

• Emphasis on human scale architecture through such design aspects as porches or covered stoops in front each front door entry on every home and garages not be located in front of homes;

• The subdivision emphasizing pedestrian amenities and walkability through design aspects such as sidewalks along all streets; smaller lot sizes relative to the size of lots in conventional residential subdivisions; and homes being constructed closer to the front property line than conventional residential subdivisions; and

• A variety of residential housing types that includes single-family homes, paired houses (e.g. duplexes) and townhomes.

After beginning construction on single-family homes as well as one townhome building, the housing market softened and ultimately crashed.  This caused the Crescent Creek subdivision to go into foreclosure.  In late 2013 the bank sold Crescent Creek who in turned sold it to a new developer.  Kirk Miles on behalf of the new developer, Crescent Creek Revitalization, LLC, is seeking approval of an amendment to the Architectural Design Standards in the Crescent Creek Design Manual that was approved as part of their rezoning application for this development.  The amendment being sought relates to the width of driveways between the front of the house and the street and to the garage door restrictions on page 53 of the Design Manual.  The regulations currently specify the following:

• “Driveways in the front yard are permitted only for lots that do not have alley access and shall be a maximum of ten (10) feet wide.”

• “Garage doors shall not face a street if alley access is available.  Where a garage door   faces a street, no more than nine (9) feet of a garage door shall extend no further than nine (9) feet beyond the plane of the sidewall of the primary structure on the lot.”

According to the applicant, this requirement presents several problems with regard to the entire development.

1. The current design results in severe parking problems.  The parking problem has negatively affected property values and causes ill will between homeowners.

2. The current restrictions on driveways and garages have rendered the development unmarketable because the costs of concrete and other related materials for rear entry garages are excessive.  Current real estate market conditions will not support the home values that were previously sold when the project first stated over 10 years ago.

3. Unless changes are made to the garage requirements, the total costs of constructing new houses will be outside the market and further delay for years the development of Crescent Creek.

4. The increase to twenty-two (22) feet allows for a two-car garage to be built, which will help alleviate the severe parking problem and improve ability to market homes in this development.

In addition to the problems the current driveway and garage door regulations create, staff has noted the following issues that relate to these design requirements.

5. Several corner lots do not have alley access for the garage and these corner lots are not of a size that will allow the garage to be tucked behind the house in any manner.  Existing homes located on the corner of Arlington Avenue and 57th Street and at Arlington and 57th Terrace are both prime examples of this and have driveways and garages constructed that would comply with the proposed amendment.

6. This restriction on perimeter lots that do not have alley access necessitate the garages to be front loaded.  As such the current standards require garages to be tucked behind the house as more than 9-feet of garage door are currently not permitted to extend beyond the plane of the sidewall of the house.  In order to obtain access to the garage door for a two-car garage, the garage has to sit far back from the house resulting in a large portion of the back yard being taken up by concrete for the driveways and the garage itself.  In addition, some of the driveways could be as long as 80-feet in length.  Based upon the problems described above, the applicant is requesting that the existing regulation be replaced with the following language:

• Driveways in the front yard are permitted only for lots that do not have alley access and shall be a maximum of twenty (20) feet wide.

• Garage Doors shall not face a street if alley access is available.  Where a garage door faces a street the following standards shall apply:

• Not more than twenty-two (22) feet of the garage, inclusive of the garage door, shall extend beyond the sidewall of the primary structure on the lot.

• The Planning & Zoning Commission recommended approval of the above requested amendment subject to the following additional language being added to the Garage Door amendment.

• The front of the garage shall not extend in front of the front plane of the house.

Mayor Bower closed the meeting by thanking Anthony Scardi for attending.  The mayor said Anthony was working on a Boy Scout badge and wished him good luck on his trail to Eagle.

Healthy Easter 
Dessert Recipes
Easter is quickly approaching! But instead of putting the processed sugary stuff in our Easter baskets, we prefer to whip up these healthy Easter dessert recipes instead. They’re just a few of our favorites from around the web — plus one of our own in-house faves! READ MORE

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Anonymous said...

Jim Aziere is a piece of work...he will change his opinion to impress the crowd he is in front of. He is an example of everything that is wrong with politics in this country.

Judy said...

Every where Aziere goes, all he talks about is what he's done. He never talks about what he's going to do. I guess that means he'll do the same old things - like give our tax dollars away to the big box stores and put the tax burden on you and me.

Anonymous said...

I won't vote for Jim Aziere. He's a snake in the grass. He says one thing and does another. I don't know anything about that Rathbone guy. I'm voting for Steve Guenther. He did a good job on the charter.

Beth said...

I see where the Brooking Eagle and the times posted about the Raytown Community Alliance coming under ethics Commision and that it had never filled for a commitee organization nor a treasurer . Now this is the same Alliance that back in June of 2015 was collecting monies for a legal defense on the Downtown Raytown us site. And one that local bussiness was the mouth piece for. Made me wonder back then and now if it had a treasurer.
Guess we shall see

Anonymous said...

Sure hope everyone plans to be at City Hall tonight at 7:00 p.m. for the Charter meeting.

Elisa Breitenbach

Anonymous said...

Someone just told me that the City Administrator makes more money than the Governor of the State of Missouri, is that true????

Vicky said...

Anon 2:50 - I don't know how much Jay Nixon makes, but Mahesh Sharma makes a base salary of $130,000. Then there is the car allowance, the family's health insurance, and the retirement benefit.

GADSDEN said...

Elisa, hope to see you there tonight.

Anonymous said...

Nixon's base salary is $133,721, so he makes more.

Anonymous said...

It is obvious that sharma is over paid. Wake up yes for the charter and no to the incumbents

Anonymous said...

Sharma makes more than 133k....sorry thanks for playing. I know this for a fact!

Anonymous said...

To 8:00 am

NOT ME, They all need to go we need new blood at City Hall that will listen to the voters instead of carrying out one's own agenda.

Anonymous said...

I want to take a moment to thank the Raytown Crime Watch guys for all they do for the people of Raytown. They donate their time and I'm sure they use a lot of their own money also for gas and other things they need to make us feel extra safe. Thanks guys just know you are appreciated and also thanks to your families, I know it takes away from family time.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with 8:57
The crime watch people deserve a huge thank you.
It's community and people watching out for people that make a city/town a home. People need to get to know their nieghbors. Be observant as you travel thru . You don't have to be anything but vigilant to make a difference . Now a days people are too busy on the internet, cell phones, etc to make a difference but they can take the time to complain

Anonymous said...

Well we knew it would happen, the anti-charter group is making a late,last ditch effort to make sure the Charter is voted down. And the ring leader is none other than the Mayors mouthpiece
Whitty Whitman. She has been making such a public scene regarding the Charter I would have thought they would have picked someone with more credibility. Maybe she is the most credible. You can bet Bower, Ertz, Melson,the VanBuskirk clan and others at City Hall are behind it. God forbid they would have some of thier magic powers taken away from them and given to the people. This effort will make me spread the word more for people to SUPPORT the CHARTER. Vote YES April 7th.

Pat Casady said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Thanks to the police work that got the killers and robbers off the street. We appreciate you and all that you do.

Pat Casady said...

I am afraid i don't understand why my article was removed
from the blog. I did not use profane language nor did I
call any rude names. I did not threaten anybody or tell them
to leave town, as has happened to me more than once.
I feel my right to free speech has been taken away

Anonymous said...

The city administrator is way overpaid, if the chater fails nothing says that you have to keep this position. Think about all the good you could do with that $130,000 salary (plus benefits) for the real needs of our citizens.

Anonymous said...

Just saw a few of the anti-charter signs. I was wondering, what exactly are they against? As far as I can tell the Charter is a good thing, and intend to vote for it. However, in all what is "fair and balanced" what are some of the reasons they (the opposition) are giving to vote against it? I like to see -- and hear -- both sides of an issue, then make a decision.

Salamander said...

With election day on the horizon, and the fifth time try, perhaps it is time to look at salient facts about Charter government.

The first thing to keep in mind is, as I wrote a couple weeks ago: "If the Charter passes we will not be seceding from the State of Missouri." Far from this, we will be putting our lives and the city under a completely new set of statutes, many of which are not relevant to a town our size.

That notwithstanding, the document presented is a re-hash of double-talk and general statements. The Charter pushers admit this. They wrote a document which is so idiomatically stultified and rife with double meaning , much of it makes little sense.

Your Salamander will not hammer readers with a lot of reasons why this document belongs in "file 13," but he does have a few questions.

If Charter government is so good, why do so few cities in the State operate under Charter Rule? Why have a large number of former charter cities rejected this type of government?

Here is one suggestion to both pro or anti-charter voters: pick up a telephone and call your friends, business associates or a relative who resides in Kansas City.

Simply ask this question, " How is KC doing under charter governing? What do you think of charter government?"

More than likely they will regale you with tales of horror about reduced services, increased taxes and gross mis-management of an entire city.

If you want a real downer, ask what they think of the KC earnings tax? You will, I guarantee, get an earful.

For the record, the ONLY towns in Missouri which have an earnings tax are charter cities.

This odious levy, on every cent you earn, cannot be imposed in fourth class cities such as Raytown.

GADSDEN said...

Greg I am sorry but I was checking out a
article about Jim Aziere written by Michael Downing.

I was looking at the picture of Jim and it must have been taken at least 20 years ago, I guess that he wants to be looked at as a younger man than he is.

I look at all the things that he says that he will do for public. Sixteen years and he has not accomplished anything yet.

He loves to take credit for things that other people have done. He also has a long list of things that people talk about that he hopes will buy him votes.

I hope the citizens of Raytown will elect a new alderman for Ward 2 on April 7th.

Anonymous said...

Nor would they get a 30,000 dollar raise in one year!

Greg Walters said...

Anyone who questions whether or not Raytown voters are interested in their local government had that question answered tonight. Over 100 Raytowners filled City Hall to hear two candidates for Mayor and 13 candidates for Alderman speak to their vision for Raytown's future. The Chamber of Commerce and League of Women Voters ran a well-managed event. All who were involved did their city proud.

Paul Livius said...

Readers can view the Candidate Forum co-sponsored by the Raytown Chamber of Commerce and the League of Women Voters held last Tuesday night. The event was attended by over 100 Raytowners who listened to speeches from the two Mayoral candidates and 12 candidates for Alderman.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Paul and Greg for linking to the broadcast of the Forum. The Chamber of Commerce and Leauge of Women Voters did a great job with a very informative meeting. Keep up the good work!!!

Anonymous said...

One local newspaper looks like it was bought and sold by the outgoing Mayor. I wonder if Randy charged him for all space he used up this week trying to get the charter defeated and Ertz elected to replace him. I for one considered the source and discount it. I hope next Tuesday the residents send, Bower, Ertz, and the rest of the incumbants home for good. We need new blood with new ideas. Enough is enough!