Sunday, April 19, 2015

RAYTOWN'S LEADING NEWS SOURCE

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Paul’s Rant BY PAUL LIVIUS
After many months of asking, the people of Raytown are finally starting to get timely posting of Raytown City Council meetings on You Tube. Here is an idea for the powers that be at City Hall to consider. Why not check the links from the City’s website before going home?

Last night I sat down to write my twice monthly Paul Livius Report.

I went to the city’s website and the link to You Tube did not work.

After doing a few searches on You Tube I was able to find the meeting.

I sent it on to our webmaster (that would be Greg) to post. He promised he will check the link before he puts the page up.

I would like to think that if Greg can handle this task, anyone can handle it!

All kidding aside . . . the city pays a lot of money for a Public Information Officer and her assistant. The taxpayers deserve better service for their tax dollar.  After all, she was given an award for doing this stuff!

Speaking of news coverage last week, a blogger who identified herself as Dana sent us the following message.

Dana Said . . .

"I hope the first thing the new City Council does is lift the news black-out. There is no reason the meetings can’t be broadcast on ATT, U-Verse and Google Fiber as well as Comcast. If they can pay for the $30,000 “salary adjustment” they can pay for the hook ups necessary to keep the people informed."

Well said, Dana. I could not agree with you more. Last time I looked at a calendar we were a decade and a half into the 21st Century. There is no reason the City cannot reach out to the people by taking advantage of every day technology.

The ironic part is that many of those opposed to free and frequent broadcasting of public meetings are the same who complain of voter apathy.

When you are right, you are right. And Dana, you are 100% correct on your observation. Let’s see if the new City Council is listening.
Use this link to view the video . . . BOARD MEETING



BY PAUL LIVIUS
The Paul Livius Report
Raytown Board of Aldermen Meeting – April 14, 2015
Mayor Bower said the Raytown Emergency 9-1-1 Communication Officers play a vital role in the health and safety of the Raytown residents.  The Communication Center processes nearly 42,000 requests for service each year, 92,500 telephone calls and 20,250 9-1-1 calls.   He said these staff members serve the citizens of Raytown 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  The citizens in Raytown receive superior service through the Raytown 9-1-1 Emergency Communication Center who provides information, call processing and immediate dispatch of emergency calls to the Raytown Emergency Medical Services and the Raytown Police Department.  He proclaimed the week of April 12, 2015 Telecommunicator Week.

The Board passed a resolution approving the appointment Quentin Brown to the Human Relations Commission.

The Board passed a resolution approving an agreement with Lan-Tel Communications Services for the 2015 concrete repair project in a total amount not to exceed $150,000.00.   Jim Melvin told the Board the 2014-2015 street maintenance program budget is $775,000.00. This amount includes the concrete project, asphalt overlay, lightweight aggregate seal, street striping, 83rd Street Bridge savings, crack sealing, and grant match for Blue Ridge Blvd bike lanes. The concrete repair project was budgeted at $150,000.00 of the $775,000.00 total. This project will be for 60 calendar days, which is planned to begin in May and be completed in late June or early to mid-July. The staff is requesting an $11,000.00 increase in the approved amount for possible change order overruns in this concrete removal/replacement project. This will make an approved amount to spend of $150,000.00.

The Board passed a resolution approving an agreement with Wiedenmann, Inc. for an emergency repair project to the sanitary sewer main located in the vicinity of 8308 Hunter Street in an amount not to exceed $31,700.00. Jim Melvin told the Board The Public Works Department received a call regarding a sewer backup at 8308 Hunter.  Upon investigation with the camera, the crew found several areas where the pipe was filled with roots, and one area where the pipe had collapsed and left a 3’ diameter void that was 25’ long. The crew was able to open the areas where the roots had plugged the line, but the pipe had been damaged by the roots. With the amount of damage, and with a 25’ long void, Public Works felt that the repairs must be made on an emergency basis. The area of the long void could collapse at any time and cause backups to services above the void. The City Administrator agreed that this is an emergency repair.  The Staff contacted Wiedenmann, Inc. (the contractor on the Lee’s Summit annual repair coop contract).  Wiedenmann, Inc. estimated the cost of the repairs at $31,700.00. They had a crew available on March 27th, and the work is nearly complete.

The Board passed a resolution approving a 60-month lease with Lineage for a Neopost automatic mail machine and a folder-inserter machine off the Western States Contracting Alliance Cooperative.  Mark Loughry told the Board In 2011, the City entered into a 60-month agreement with Pitney Bowes to provide the City with a postage machine and folder inserter at a cost of $1,578.00 per month. At the time, the City was processing all sewer bills in house which resulted in mailings of approximately 12,000 pieces of mail one day a month and approximately 2,500 pieces spread throughout the rest of the month. In May of 2014, the City began outsourcing the printing and mailing of sewer bills with Arista to save money.

It was determined it would be advisable to maintain the current postage equipment until staff was comfortable that Arista could perform as promised. Additionally, it would have been very costly to terminate the lease with Pitney Bowes that early in the contract. The City has been very satisfied with the services of Arista and is ready to proceed with right sizing the postage and inserter equipment required for daily operations.

Staff has contacted Pitney Bowes  numerous times in an effort to work with them and they have been uncooperative on this subject. In an effort to move forward, staff contacted Lineage, the local Neopost representative. Neopost has a Missouri State and Local government contract in place that we are able to take advantage of. 

Lineage has proposed a program that would include all of the necessary equipment and maintenance with a 60-month lease of $850.62. This would include providing a payoff of the existing Pitney Bowes Lease. By right sizing the equipment with Lineage and paying off the existing lease the City would recognize a monthly savings of $727.38 which is an annual savings of $8,728.56. Unlike the current lease, the City will own the equipment at the end of 60-month lease.



BY GREG WALTERS
Follow the Money
The period right before and immediately after a City Election are often time periods of little legislative activity. The reason is simple. Incumbents are loath to stir the pot right before an election. Candidates challenging incumbents prefer to zero in the opposition’s record.

That has not been the case at Raytown City Hall in the period leading up to the April 7th Election. Since the beginning the year the city has been on a spending spree unparalleled by previous administrations. The large dollar amounts listed are outside the day to day operation costs of running the city.

$211,909    Renovations to Raytown Council Chambers
$  26,872    SuperSplash water slide repair
$  45,287    New Phone System
$  90,000    Master Park Plan Study
$  58,000    Police Department Architect design
$157,430    Sewer Line Replacement
$589,498    TOTAL
 
Some of the contracts signed are necessary, even urgent, as is the case of a collapsed sanitary sewer on the south part of town. But much of what has been approved was not.
The attempt by Mayor Bower and his friends to tie the hands of the new City Council should not be allowed to stand.

A new City Council will be sworn in next Tuesday. They should calmly take the reins of power the voters have given them and set their own course. The voters spoke clearly that they were not interested in the status quo at City Hall. They want change
.
Mayor Elect Michael McDonough and those who were elected with him should roll up their sleeves and begin the work of righting the good ship Raytown. The first order of business should be to nullify any of those contracts that do not fit their plans for Raytown’s future.



BY JENN
3 Protein 
Pancakes to Try
One of the best things in life is breakfast. And one of the best parts of breakfast is pancakes. And these protein pancakes? Well, yeah, we can’t get enough of them. Full of muscle-building and stick-to-your-ribs protein, they’re like a treat with benefits. So, yes, you can totally have your pancakes and eat them, too. Wait that’s not how the saying goes? It is now! READ MORE


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40 comments:

Raytown Newbie said...


I have left a couple messages that somehow were not deemed worthy of inclusion. (one dealt with the, IMHO, flawed method we use to select our police chief). Didn't think I had stepped on any toes but maybe the blog author could reply and let me know. Sign Me: Raytown Newbie

EDITOR said...

To: Raytown Newbie
We have check our inbox and also checked to see if your comment was filtered as SPAM. Neither place has your comment. Please resend your message. Make certain you are on the current Raytown Report page.

Anonymous said...

Thank you sir!
I will paraphrase my previous statement.

Previously I had made a post mentioning that not all "local" businesses were owned by true Raytown locals. Not trying to stir the pot too much, just a food for thought comment. Somehow, it was taken that I endorsed the position of one our higher up public employees to repeatedly thumb his nose at his employment agreement calling for his residence in our city. And then to the astonishment of many, including me, was rewarded with a $30K raise. That move by the city absolutely dumbfounded me.

But back to what I was getting at originally.

In a perfect world we all would shop at local businesses owned by Raytown residents who paid their real estate and personal property taxes here in Raytown. Helping to repave our streets, pay for retirement plans, keep the streetlights burning, maybe even take over the abandoned YMCA for a community center, and on and on.

Yes, I am aware that non resident business owners pay taxes through the rent they pay or directly if they own their real estate. But think how much more they could add to the pot by actually living here. And their drive to work might actually be shorter.
Anyway.... if you are in need of hardware items, check out the Smith Brothers.. friendly small town proprietors who usually have what you need plus good advice. And no, I do not know where they live.
Have a nice day. Sign me:
Raytown Newbie

Anonymous said...

Greg, was the renovations to Raytown chambers 78,750 or 781750?

Greg Walters said...

Bad typo!!!

Paul caught the mistake and fixed it.

Anonymous said...

Greg, there's still a typo. The headline reads "RAYTOWN'S LEADING NEWS SOURCDE".

Andy Whiteman said...

None to those whose posts weren't posted: I have had this trouble previously. My problem appeared to be that I was using Word because I wanted to use word spell check and then to save the document to My Briefcase. I was using cut and paste to transfer the document to the Blogger entry square. From what I could determine is that the Blogger would NOT deliver cut and paste even though the text appeared before I clicked PUBLISH YOUR DOCUMENT.
I don't understand why this is happening, but when I emailed a cut and paste item directly to
Greg, he received a blank space. I think some type of security.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Tomorrow will be a day for all of Raytown to celebrate, Bower and many of his cronies will be gone. That is what they get for thinking that they were better than the people that elected them. I say good-bye and good redence. Loooking forward to the New Mayor and Board. Please help and support them in their effort to turn Raytown arouns!

Greg Walters said...

Thanks for pointing out the typos. It has been correted. I think this week's Report is finally clean. As they say in the land of Harry Potter . . . Problem Solved, Crisis Averted!

Anonymous said...

It's always easy to be on the outside and be critical of what the elected officials are doing. Of course you can't make everybody happy so the one's who are not happy (usually about everything) are the ones who complain the most. Politics is tough. When you do right, few says anything, when things go wrong, everyone has an opinion. it's basically a no win situation.

Good luck to the newly elected. You think you can change things for the city? I've seen a lot of people try, but the course is set, no money, PD eats up nearly half the budget, crime is on the rise, neighborhoods are deteriorating along with sewer, streets and other infrastructure, but the Alderman usually just squabble over little spats that last just long enough until the next little spat comes along.

Dana said...

Anon 9:48 You're right. Money is tight. The Police do take a big chunk out of the budget. But, the new council can make some big changes. There are houses in Raytown that don't meet code. Heck, some of them should be condemned and torn down. The new council can require the codes department to force the home owners to clean up the property. If they won't, there are fines and/or jail time as punishment on the books. They need to start using them.
The business development department has done a good job of bringing in new business. A lot of them are small businesses. Collectively, small businesses employee more people than big business. We need to stop giving tax abatements to every hand that has been extended.
There are some good things that come with MARC. The ability to purchase big ticket items from the communal list is one advantage. However, we can’t compete with Lee’s Summit or Blue Springs. They have better schools and residents with higher per capita income. We need to stop trying to keep up with them.
We need department heads to run the city who care about more than just getting a paycheck. We need them to step up and do what they agreed to do when they were hired or promoted. We need the lines of communications opened. The city spent a lot of money to design a new website. We can’t see the videos half the time because no one has properly uploaded them. We have a parks department, but are spending money for a company to tell us how to manage it. What’s that about? Where’s the head of the parks department?
There are a lot of good things about Raytown. There are a lot of things in Raytown the new board can make better. Let’s give them time to try.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Bower will go out of office being a poor sport, since his candidate Ertz did not win. He has not even as much as called the Mayor-Elect to congratulate him, he also has even proposed that they meet to update him on events. Bower leaving office will not come soon enough for me.

Anonymous said...

The PD also make up over half the cities staff. Most cities have this as their biggest expenditure. Crime is on the rise in Raytown.....ummmm I think your facts are wrong on that.

Lillian said...

I don't know if crime is on the rise because I don't have the actual data. BUT - it sure seems like crime is on the rise. It used to be the only sirens you heard was the ambulance or the occasional fire truck. Now, at least twice a week, we see police cars with their lights and sirens on racing down Raytown Road or 350 highway.

Anonymous said...

Before you start complaining about the police department's budget, why not cut some of this unecessary help that is upstairs? Way too many people in HIGH PAID positions on the main floor of Raytown cityhall.

Anonymous said...


Anybody taking bets on if Bower will show up tonight?

Anonymous said...

He will because he will receive a certificate of appreciation or what ever for all of his years of faithful service to Raytown.

Anonymous said...

There has been a lot complaining about city hall not being transparent. Let's carry this one step further how about the police department not being transparent. Giving promotions in the department so they can give raises, when other city employees don't get raises, large number of outstanding warrants need I go on. If you don't get the picture then there is no hope for you.

Anonymous said...

Sounds as though the new board should have input with the PD as to outstanding warrants , they can sure be a good source of revenue for the city.

Andy Whiteman said...

This should answer the question of a poster wondering about the crime rate in Raytown:

Raytown Police Releases 2014 Annual Report
by harperdyon

Press Release

Date: 04/21/2015

From: Sgt. Dyon Harper

Raytown Police Releases 2014 Annual Report

Chief James B. Lynch and the Raytown Police Department has released the department’s 2014 Annual Report. Chief Lynch presented the report to the Mayor and Board of Aldermen at the Raytown Board of Aldermen meeting on 04-21-2015.

The report takes a comprehensive look at overall police activity, crime statistics, community activities, and features various divisions and special units within the department. The Raytown Police Department feels that it is important for its residents to be informed about their police department and how taxpayer resources are used. Chief Lynch encourages everyone to view the Raytown Police 2014 Annual Report at http://www.raytownpolice.org. A printed copy will be retained, and made available to the public, at the Raytown Branch of the Mid-Continent Public Library.

The annual report is the result of work by a small group of department members from different divisions and units of the department. That small group had a vision to not just provide a report of statistical data, but to instead provide an all-encompassing view of the department. They saved Raytown taxpayers money by writing and developing the report themselves, publishing it online, limiting printing costs, and tailoring it to inform its citizens. Because the Raytown Police Department values the feedback of its residents, a survey accompanies the report to collect input for use in future reports. The survey may be found at http://goo.gl/0PS6g6.

The Raytown Police Department strives to engage with and inform its residents and businesses, as well as the general public, as directly as possible. The annual report will be an important tool to enhance that communication, while proving to be a valuable resource for the citizens of Raytown.

The Raytown Police Department looks forward to annually producing equally informative reports.

Link to report: https://piorpd.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/2014-annual-report-ad-a.jpg

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Sorry but the Raytown Police Departments report doesn't impress me at all. If there is less crime why don't we see more police patrolling the neighborhoods and the main streets in Raytown. Less crime means less calls to answer so where are they Chief? You are going to have to do more than a shiny book to get me to believe you.

Elizabeth said...

If you look at the City's website, it doesn't show the elected officials anymore. Are they sore losers, or did the election sneak up on them and catch them by surprise?

Anonymous said...

Crime does not have a correlation to calls for service I wound not think.
That would be like trying to correlate the number of fires to the number of calls the fire dept gets.
Most of the fire dept calls are medical in nature.
So, seems to me if the FBI statistical data shows actual crimes are down then it is. But call numbers for other police services could still be up taking up time of the mobile units.
Hmmmm, sounds like someone is short sided or only wants to see what they want to see.

Anonymous said...

Well Elizabeth all has been updated, give them time.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:59 owns it. A voice of reason and common sense in this sea of ignorance.

Anonymous said...

Hey 5:24! I have often wondered about people like you. Do you enjoy bashing strangers verbally or are you just a rude, crude bully?

My guess is the bully.

Am I right?

Anonymous said...

Bully comments are only allowed to be published by the blog administrator. Otherwise we would be saved by seeing them. Sad

Anonymous said...

Let's see. You say the comment was not about bullying because otherwise it would not be published. therefore, it must not be bullying?

Fair enough, maybe you can tell me, what kind of a comment is "A voice of reason and common sense in this sea of ignorance". Poetry? Or just the brash nonsense of someone who raises his self-esteem by bashing others?

Maybe you hve a better explanation.

Anonymous said...

The comment was about Bullying and if the blog administrator did not publish it we would be saved from seeing them is what I said!
There use to be blog guidelines to follow.

Anonymous said...

Wow I put another comment that bully behavior and temper tantrums should not be published but I guess that one got deleted

Beth said...

You are Right! Bully comments are published by the administrator
And if they were Not published we would all Be saved from seeing them.
Only the admin would see them
It is sad... Very

Anonymous said...

No where does it say the comments are not bullying

Anonymous said...

Bully for you!!!

Anonymous said...

Time to move on

Anonymous said...

If there is less crime why don't we get some of the chair warmers out from behind the desk and out to serve warrants? Oh yea I guess we don't have any to serve right Chief. Seven thousand isn't a lot!!!

Anonymous said...

In regards to those warrants
Let's see I wonder how many of those are because the people that they are on don't have money to pay the fines so there goes the collecting money thing
The rest are probably bad guys that dont care
Next is most probably don't live in Raytown so you would be using resources to go to other cities to serve them
Hmmm seems like common sense to me
keep our officers here to protect us
the people the warrants are for will be caught eventually

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Mary Jane VanBuskirk lost election and she's still complaining about the police department.
Just can't please some people.
Saw this in her campaigning.

Anonymous said...

Most people with the warrants don't live in Raytown. No power of arrest on city warrants outside of city.

Salamander said...

Another month goes "by the wayside" and it is time to look back 30 days to see what transpired.

First and Foremost:

A new mayor and a largely new board of alderpersons. (We don't dare refer to this august grouping of spirited residents as Aaldermen" because it would sound sexist.

That aside, the local paper -- the one which carries local news items not fishing reports -- is to be congratulated for its interview with newly elected mayor
Mike McDonough.

From the interview it appears that Mike has survived 42 years in the beauracy and still has his
head on straight. If correct, it will be rare indeed.

Time will tell.

In the interview Mike expressed a desire to see establishment of "mom and POP" stores in the revitalized downtown district.

He, in fact, wants a lot of them.

Good idea. if our new leader is serious he will come out in favor
of a TIF program for such operations
Time will tell.
Your Salamander can't see any logical reason why Mom & Pop stores should not be able to get
TIF money for their businesses.

After all, when David Bauer and his minions were running the show every large corporate panhandler who asked for our tax
dollar was handed a bucket full of our money.

If you wonder what I mean by "Corporate Panhandlers" just think Wal-Mart, HyVee, etc.

Another subject:

For the fifth time in 40 years the charter form of government went down the drain.

No surprise there.

When, at the charter committee's first meeting, we were told that the charter document would be kept
"simple" your correspondent knew it was all over.

"Keep It Simple". How naive can a group of people be. We li ve in a most complex world. Anyone who thinks differently is out of tune with reality.

Topping that off, all voters had to do was look either west or north at our "charter city" neighbors. Obviously most of them did.

My message to the Charter affecianados is this: "Next time drop that Nirvana-laden "keep it simple," slogan and you won't get beat quite as badly.

Anonymous said...

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