Sunday, April 12, 2015

RAYTOWN'S LEADING NEWS SOURCE

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BY GREG WALTERS
Death Rattle of
a Political Machine 
The 2015 campaign is definitely one for the record books. A high water mark in the number of candidates filed for city office . . . 15 . . . is unheard of since the 1980’s. Throw into the mix a Charter Election that divided the city into two warring factions and pitted Raytown’s two newspapers against each and you have a political campaign worth remembering.

We have just witnessed the death rattle of a political machine.

Only one member of David Bower’s Administration survived last Tuesday’s election. Three of his allies on the City Council chose not to run. In Ward 1, one of his closest Aldermanic votes, Joe Creamer, finished a distant third in a three man race for Alderman.

Couple those results with the previous election in 2013 when three unknown candidates captured seats on the City Council and you have a game changer of an election.

In baseball terms, this is somewhat like the Royals beating the Baltimore Orioles for the American League Championship last year. They were not picked to win. But they were the best team and they won!

By my math Mayor Elect Michael McDonough will have a loose coalition of seven Aldermen to work with him in reforming Raytown. Alderman Elect Steve Meyers and Mark Moore had very strong ties to McDonough’s campaign, as did currently seated Aldermen Jason Greene and Janet Emerson.

Add to that count newly elected Ward 1 Aldermen Karen Black, Eric Teeman and Ward 1 incumbent Josh Greene and you have a solid base of seven votes on which to build.

Our new Mayor and new Aldermen have many challenges ahead of them. To be successful they must take the mandate of the voters to step away from those policies of the last eight years that have failed.

A re-thinking of how we maintain our streets, illuminate our neighborhoods and the priority those issues speak very clearly of their intent for the years to come.

The ball is in their court. Let’s watch and see what they do with it.



Paul's Rant BY PAUL LIVIUS 
It is interesting to observe how different opinion shapers in Raytown react to an election. My favorite is the Raytown Times. After weeks of publishing articles full of vitriol of how the sky is falling . . . they have scant to say about last Tuesday’s election. It would be fair to say the little written could be condensed to “Oh, was there an election?”

Randy Battagler wrote more about his plans to go fishing next weekend than the election!

I am not shy about my analysis.

In political terms, the old guard at City Hall got an old fashioned ass kicking. Only one of its candidates remains standing after last Tuesday (Jim Aziere). In Ward 1, the incumbent Alderman ran a distant last in a three way race. All other candidates aligned with the remnants of David Bower’s political machine will be gone after the new Board is sworn in.

What I find interesting is how the Times gave over the first two pages of this week’s newspaper  to a bureaucratic spokesman from City Hall.

The City’s Public Information Officer (PIO), Brenda Gustafson, had a front page story telling readers how successful the city’s street overlay program is!

Aside from misleading and confusing statistics, particularly when it came to the source of those funds (i.e., grants, county road funds, etc.), the story talked around the problem.

If a road surfaced is cracked, or missing sections of the top layer, the light aggregate seal used by the city on residential streets does not repair it any more than throwing lose gravel in a pothole makes the hole disappear. It merely lines it with tar and gravel. The result is an unattractive surface locked in place that is anything but smooth and safe for bicyclists and children.

Raytowners elected a new bunch to govern the city last week. I am sure they will see past the double-speak of the old guard. They have a choice. Follow the failed policies of those who have been weeded out by the voters. Or, strike a new path that gives the people better service for their tax dollar.

I sincerely hope they take the latter path.


City Newsletter wins 
National Recognition BY PAUL LIVIUS 
The second part of this column has to do with the other story the Times Editor, Randy Battagler gave over to a city press release.

This one has to do with a “national award from the Association of Government Communicators” to the City of Raytown. I wondered about the award so I visited the Association of Government Communicators website to see what I could learn.

I used the Association’s search engine to find mention of the award but came up empty handed. I did learn the Association of Government Communicators does give out quite a few awards each year (I quit counting at 200). I also learned they only give them out to dues paying members.

Greg tells me the Raytown Report once received the “Gold Award” from an organization called the Best of the Web. He received a certificate and an offer for him to buy into the organization. At which time he would become eligible for the Best of the Web’s coveted “Platinum Award”.

He turned down the offer . . . Can't say I blame him. 




BY KRISTEN
Strawberry Jam and 
Wine:  A Parfait Recipe
Normally, when I talk about cooking with wine, I mean it in the sense that, as I’m cooking something, I’m sipping on a glass of vino. It might not do much for cutting down on the prep time, I admit, but it sure makes my time in the kitchen a little more fun!

Still, I’m always game for a culinary adventure, so I decided to try a recipe I received from Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi: Strawberry & Chardonnay Jam Parfaits. I mean, that just sounds way too interesting not to try, right? READ MORE

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50 comments:

Anonymous said...

Raytown should be excited about the BOLD NEW LEADERS that they elected last Tuesday. I hope they will follow our ordinances instead of ignoring them like Bower and his followers did. Sorry Mr. Ertz, Mr. Cramer and even Mrs. VanBuskirk. You guys just didn't get it, you were THE PROBLEM, NOT THE SOLUTION. I sure hope that the board makes this city administrator either move to Raytown or move on!!!

Anonymous said...

Greg,

I would beat you have 8 votes as Aziere is not a leader.

He is and always has been a follower therefore there are clearly 8 votes, which gives them a supper majority and allow the board to set the direction of the city.

Only time will tell which one of us is right, but history of Aziere is on my side.

Anonymous said...

I think the comments on Mrs. VanBuskirk are a little unfair. She has no record as an elected official. Aziere and Creamer did. We know from their past how they feel and acted on different issues when on the council.

Cora said...

We know how Mrs. Van Buskirk thinks. She made her thoughts very plain when she was on the charter commission. Didn't you watch any of them?

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.

Anonymous said...

We have now have a mayor who was an x cop, Welcome to Chicago.

Anonymous said...

Better a x-cop than a bully.

Anonymous said...

I will have to say at least Mrs. Van Buskirk had the guts to bring to the citizens attention of the seven thousand plus outstanding warrants that are currently on the court books. When Ten Bowman and Mike McDonough both said at the charter meetings that the police department answers to the people, how is it this is the best kept secret in Raytown? I heard McDonough tell a lady at the polls when we were voting for charter commissioners the only reason he was running was to make sure the police chief stayed elected instead of appointed. Say what you may I don't think we have the best man coming into office for mayor. This election was nothing more than popularity contest. Sign me Lisa

Anonymous said...

Was an x cop? Is he a Cop now? I thought he was a recently retired Police Sargent with 30 yrs experiance.
Isn't it amazing what kind of class of people will run for Mayor. Maybe in a couple years we can look forward to those previous posters running for office

Anonymous said...

Amen. At least Mike knows how to treat people in a professional manner and has the ut most in moral integrity. Both of which Bower lacked.

Vicky said...

Lisa - of course it's a popularity contest. You can't expect people to vote for someone they don't like, can you? Who ever spins the best story wins.

Anonymous said...

It will be interesting to see how Ertz hand picks the replacement for Mr. Tusch on his Board of Directors. Will he advertise the open position of simply pick another cronie. I noticed a couple of his employees at the Water Disctict had signs for McDonough in there yards. While signs don't vote they do speak volumes.

Anonymous said...

Today I had to go to the grocery and I noticed the future mayor still has a lot of signs out. I thought they 10 days after the election to get all signs picked up. Mike had better get going and set a good example or maybe he is above that.

Anonymous said...

I thought everyone has done a good job overall on picking up signs this time including Mayor McDonough and others
I have seen some still out for he, Ertz and others
i would imagine it is hard to locate all of them
How about the people whose yards they are still in helping these people out and taking them down
so they are not a problem
simple problems, simple solutions

GADSDEN said...

First of all I have seen Ertz signs still out also.

Second McDonough has the interest of the city first a heart, I am sure of that. I would and do trust him completely.

In case you can not count if has only been one week since the election.

Some people just love to complain, I guess you can not keep all the squeaky hinges quite.

McDonough you have a good bunch of people on the board I think that we will see good changes over a period of time.

Beth said...

Well it looks like we have a new mayor to complain about . Looking back on the raytown report thru the years there were complaints of mayors Frank, Bower, and now the new mayor. Good to know you all are consistent

Anonymous said...

Dana why don't you go to the meetings?

Anonymous said...

I am saving ALL my money to spend at the Mom and Pop stores McDonough is bringing to Raytown!!! or not!! He must have investors lined up waiting for him to take office to come and set up business. It's not going to happen.

Lori said...

Anon 11:01 -
How do you know? Have you been running after him to discourage new business? Are you a city hall staff member determined to see him fail?

Anonymous said...

Beth, Beth, Beth. Such negative comments! Give our new Mayor a chance. There are a lot of good people out there who want him to succeed. I hope you are one of them.

Beth said...

To 7:22
I have known the new Mayor all my life; he is my friend. My comment was directed to all the people who just like to complain . That's why they are consistent . The man hasn't even taken office and they are starting

Anonymous said...

Beth, no doubt some are trying to stir things up with speculation about the future. Some of it the comments do have the bitter taste of sour grapes. But I do not see any attacks. As for the actions of past Mayors and their critics. Most create their own hell. David Bower with his secretive style of governing, Sue Frank with her heavy handed handling of political opponents, those were legitimate complaints they seemed to work hard to earn. I think Mr. McDonough is not cut from the same cloth as the other two. At least I hope am right. Time will tell.

Anonymous said...

We do have a few Mom and Pop bussiness that have several employees. That helps families have work and earn a living. I wish more would

Anonymous said...

I guess I am not aware of any mom and pop stores. Could you please name a few besides the bars. Stores to either clothe our families or to run our household on.

Anonymous said...

Raytown Seed & Feeds Lawnmower Shop is a Mom & Pop business that has been their since 1957. They use to sell feed and garden supplies, but could no longer compete with the Home Depot's and Lowes. So they went with repairing and selling new equipment. They do excellent repair work on lawnmowers & other equipment. You might have to wait awhile to get your equipment fixed since they are VERY busy this time of year, but the wait is worth it.

Vicky said...

At 63rd and Woodson, there is a nail salon, a restaurant, and a doughnut shop which are all locally owned. At 67th and Raytown Road, there is a restaurant specializing in fish dinners, a dentist's office, a cabinet maker and a health food store. In the same area, there is a second generation auto repair shop. The list goes on and on. All you have to do is look around.

Beth said...

Dirty Dons, Ricks auto, the garden Nursery off 55 th st. Pet stores , florist all which are Mom and Pop stores you won't find anywhere else and all employee several

Dana said...

The Mexican restaurant close to the license bureau and the coffee shop close to the high school.

Anonymous said...

Steve's Auto, The Store, Doughboys, The Herb Lady, every Chinese Restaurant and many of the Mexican Restaurants. Almost all of the stores in the Raytown Plaza.

Lesson learned.

Anonymous said...

"coveted platinum award"....very funny!

KMCCLA said...

Henry's Auto, has been a family business in Raytown for over 60 years. A lot of the independent auto repair shops are in fact family owned. Home Skillet, which is new, is a great place to eat. Now on the other hand, for house hold items, clothing are far and in between, but that is just not a Raytown thing, but nationwide. For a old fashioned hardware store however, there is Smith Brothers. For appliances there is Clarks, my father has been going there for close to 50 years now, just about every major appliance we have, has come from there. There is also the Store, a old fashioned meat market There are also some print shops, veterinarians, and other family restaurants in Raytown. As a matter of fact, we do not have a lot of the big "corporate" things here. We have a Walmart (to much of disgust of some who are Walmart haters), we have "big fast food", and a few of the "big" casual dinning, but not much else. You just have to know where too look, and start with the Raytown Chamber of Commerce.

Anonymous said...

It is interesting to me to see the conversations about "local" businesses. Next time you stop into one of the "local" businesses, ask them where they live (and pay their real estate taxes). I am amazed at how many non Raytowners own and run businesses here. I think that the definition of a true "local" business would be one owned by a Raytown resident. For example... when I moved here a couple years ago, I changed dentists to a Raytown dentist and found out later he actually lives in Lees Summit. I actually didn't care for his work and tried another "local" dentist and guess what? Yup! another Lees Summit resident. Also decided to have my taxes done by a Raytown business and not too surprisingly found out that he too lives in Lees Summit. So you don't have to be a math major to see that when we patronize some "local" businesses we often are helping to build those fine schools and parks in Lees Summit. Sign me...
Raytown Newbie

Anonymous said...

A man or woman opens up a small business in Raytown. They come here to conduct their business, offer their services to thecommunity and you fault them!

You have some very narrow guidelines for your definition. Face it.They ARE investing in the community. Who cares where they live? They choose to be here.

And, no, this is not the same as a highly paid city official who is required to live here as part of his or her contract. That person has no personal investment in the community. The small businessman does. He puts up his own money to make a go at it.

Pat Casady said...

Mike McDonough is a big boy. He has faces bigger problems
than a few people that want to run him down before he
even gets sworn in as Mayor. Sore losers abound.
He has faced down people that could shoot him. These
cheap shot artists are no threat to this man!
By the way I own C&C Starters and I have been in Raytown
for forty years. Plus I own the property. My wife and I bought
a farm in Holden for our retirement years nine years ago. But,
we are Raytowners at heart. Oh, I don’t recommend buying
a farm when in your sixties!

Anonymous said...

You still haven't answered my question!!!! Shoe and clothing stores. Yes I do go Raytown Repair to have my car repaired and Feed and Seed for my lawn mower repair and Dunkin Doughnuts, Westlake and Southernlands and have in the past used Clarks for new appliances. other than that I'm out of town.

Anonymous said...

Local means the locality. We have a lot of local business in Raytown as do other towns. Privately owned means not a chain , franchise, or one where they buy the name. You won't see Renicks flowers anywhere but Raytown for example. Type in a business name on a google search and you will see several nationwide. Mom and Pop stores are proud to use their OWN name, some however choose different locals than their place of residence because of supply and demand and where they see their living can best be made from. Years ago a small town had only locals ( local residents) setting up business 'a to sell their wares. A lot if people live elsewhere now especially if they can get tax breaks on their property just as business sets up where they can get the best break

Anonymous said...

There are a few that live in Raytown and make their living in Raytown from a Raytown owned facility ... Raytown School District employs a large number of Raytown Residents.

Anonymous said...

To 9:32
You QUESTION about shoe and clothing stores was answered in a previous comment by a poster

Anonymous said...

Sutherland is the last name of the original owner not southernland

Dana said...

Raytown Newbie:
The dentist and CPA who have shops in Raytown, but live in Lee's Summit still pay taxes to Raytown. If they own the building, they pay property and real estate tax. If they rent, they pay property tax (on tangible items) to the city. They pay real estate tax through their rent. Either way, they pay taxes. The department head who chooses not to live in Raytown doesn't pay taxes here, except sales tax if he eats here. Otherwise, all his tax dollars go to Cass County.

Anonymous said...

Ok kids!! If you work in the city of a Raytown you pay Raytown taxes on your paycheck. If you own property in Raytown you pay taxes on that. If you rent property in Raytown you pay city sales tax on utilities etc. this bit about who pays more taxes is getting silly.

Anonymous said...

Tangible items. The Mo. D.O.R explains this best. Business sale and collect tax from the purchaser then pay that tax back to the state. Use tax is the same; collected from the purchaser ( you and me) go to the web site for precise clarification

Andy Whiteman said...

A great job as usual by the Raytown Police Department! Sociopaths who can't learn the rules should be locked up for a long, long time! As my mother would have said, "....and throw the key away!

"https://piorpd.wordpress.com/2015/04/17/kc-man-sentenced-to-18-years-for-burger-king-robbery/

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

sWhat Raytown taxes do you pay on your paycheck

Anonymous said...

OK Kids! Kind of demeaning to address anyone that way, don't ya think?

Oh, I get it. You really did not want to comment on the what was being discussed. You were really more interested tossing an insult!

Sad you are, my bright shining star!

Anonymous said...

To 2:47 pm
Nope you are wrong!! The word kid is not an insult. Neither is Babe, kiddo. Should of said Guys and Gals??? So sorry if I offended you by using the word Kids.

Beth said...

Oh there is always that one person who can find a problem to every solution.

Anonymous said...

To sad you are my bright shinning star
Sorry for your loss. Many have read the book. I even hear there is a Facebook page. Sympathies being sent

Anonymous said...

Right, right, right. The reference to fellow bloggers as "Kids" or "Children", etc., etc., etc., was really meant as a compliment!

Give me a break!!!

It was mean to demean, not to praise.

At least be honest with yourself.

Anonymous 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