Sunday, April 26, 2015

RAYTOWN'S LEADING NEWS SOURCE

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Due to technical difficulties the Raytown Report will be not be published until Tuesday, May 5th this week. Thank you for your patience.

Paul and Greg
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Paul's Rant
An Open Letter from Paul Livius

To:    Mayor Michael McDonough / Raytown Board of Aldermen

I know some of you are new to your position. I am hoping you can help.

The City’s website reads “Meetings are telecast live on Comcast Channel 7 and replayed during the following week. Meetings are also placed on YouTube by the Thursday/Friday following the meeting barring any technical difficulties. You can view the meeting by clicking on the link under Video."

I wish that was the case.

It seems after most meetings the video is not available. Pick one of the following excuses. They have become routine when it comes to answering why the video is not available to the public.

Person responsible for uploading the video did not get it from the IT Department. Either the Java link was broke, the link simply did not work, or, my personal favorite, "technical difficulties.
 Five days after your swearing in at last Tuesday’s meeting, there is no link on the city’s website of the event. I repeat, there is no link and the video is not on You Tube.

The opinion at City Hall in the past has seemed to be if we want to know what’s going on, we should get off our rears and go to the meetings.

Not everyone can attend. I hope this attitude is something of the past. Please bring some responsibility and professionalism to city hall. City services should be a reliable. Not something we hope will be done.

Comcast is no longer the only source of Cable Television in Raytown. U-Verse and Google have expanded the number of hookups in Raytown exponentially. Raytown politicians are fond of bemoaning the fact of apathy and low voter turnout. Perhaps if the City were to expand its access to view public meetings the apathy would decrease.

We are 15 years into 21st Century. Yet, City Hall is still using 20th Century communications technology to bring the public on board. Fancy magazines are no substitute for real time information from City Hall. Magazines look back at the news. Live video allows the public to become participants in how the city is run. Take advantage of it. You will be glad you did.

At the very least, please correct the problem of Council meetings not being linked to You Tube on a timely basis.

BY GREG WALTERS
Greg’s Letter
Paul wrote one. So, I figured, why not? Here are my thoughts to the new Mayor and Board of Aldermen.





Gentlemen and Ladies:

It takes a few weeks to look back at an election to decipher the message the voters have sent. That space in time is needed to remove the personalities from the race, so an accurate reading can be made.

The April 7th vote totals speak very clearly. Five new officials were elected to our governing Board of Aldermen. The message from the voters was unmistakable. They want a change from the policies of the past eight years.

More specifically, they want change in the following areas:

STREET OVERLAY: It is very clear no one likes the way Raytown residential streets are being repaired. The end result is substandard. The people of Raytown pay a lot in tax dollars for their city to be maintained. They want it done properly. In those areas of the city that lack adequate street lighting, address the problem.

PUBLIC INFORMATION: Paul hit it best in his Open Letter to the Mayor and Board. We are in the 21st Century. Publishing a slick magazine with about as much real content as People Magazine is not informing the public. More could be accomplished with well written and designed newsletters enclosed with monthly sewer billings. It would save  the city money because they would not have to spend the additional postage to mail the magazine.

FIX AND EXPAND THE VIDEO COVERAGE CITY HALL: Nearly every city of any size around Raytown offers this service to the public. Raytowners deserve as much. If you need new equipment, buy it. The one-time expense could easily be recovered by publishing one less magazine.

PRIORITIZE, BECAUSE . . . you cannot do it all. Last year the Raytown Park Board recommended Super Splash Water Park be shut down. The Bower Administration reversed the decision. It comes down to it, which is more important, a new water slide for a water park that is losing money hand over fist, or, making neighborhoods safer with adequate street lighting?

Finally, a word of advice . . . I have seen administrations come and go. If there is one mistake often repeated it is a form of inertia brought on by a desire to create an image of everyone joining hands and singing Kumbaya. Don’t go down that path. It leads nowhere.

It has been said that running a democratic government in which elected representatives work for the betterment of all is like making sausage. It is a messy process. But if done correctly, the result is truly tasteful and something we all want to achieve.

In other words, do not be afraid to speak up clearly and loudly. If you do not understand what is being done, ask questions. And remember, there are no dumb questions. There are only people who cannot give adequate answers. Never forget the ones you need to please the most are your constituents.

Good luck to all of you, I truly hope your time in office will be a successful for all of Raytown.


The Paul Livius Report 
Raytown Board of Aldermen Meeting – April 21, 2015
Mayor Bower presented a proclamation of appreciation to Aldermen Steve Mock for his service as Mayor Pro Tem.

The Board voted to accept the certified election results.

Mayor Bower gave a certificate of appreciation to Joe Creamer, Charlotte Melson, Pat Ertz, and Michael Lightfoot for their service to the City.  Steve Mock gave Mayor Bower a certificate of appreciation his service to the City.

Teresa Henry administered the oath of office to Mayor Michael McDonough, City Collector Kathie Schutte, Alderman Ward I Karen Black, Alderman Ward II Jim Aziere, Alderman Ward III Mark Moore, Alderman Ward IV Steve Meyers, and Alderman Ward V Eric Teeman.

There was an adjournment – Sine Die.  Mayor Bower said this is the adjournment of the legislative body Sine die, and no motion necessary.  He explained Sine die is a Latin term for "without a day." It is a term to describe the finish of the legislative session.

After a short reception for the outgoing Board and the new incoming Board, the new session was started.

Teresa Henry swore in Police Officers: Shanna Clausen, Nicholas Quatrocky,  Christopher Smith and Joseph Wise.

The Board voted for Steve Mock to continue as Mayor Pro Tem. The vote was unanimous.

The Board passed a resolution establishing the rates for medical and dental Insurance for July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016.  Debbie Duncan told the Board The City has received the rate increases from Midwest Public Risk (MPR). The City currently offers three types of coverage: Employee, Tier 2, and Family. Each plan type has three options: HMO, Cigna Open Access 750 (PPO B) and Choice Fund 1500. The Choice Fund 1500, a high-deductible plan with associated Health Savings Account (HSA), was added two years ago and has increased in enrollment each year. The average increase for each coverage type is 3.8%, with the HMO increasing 4.5%, PPO (B) increasing 4.9% and Choice Fund 1500 increasing 2%.  Attached are two proposals to fund health insurance from July 2015 to June 2016. The City currently pays 94.5% of the HMO plan. Any employee choosing this coverage who utilizes a more expensive option would pay the difference. The City currently pays approximately 70% of the HMO plan for both Tier 2 and Family coverage. Any employee choosing this coverage who utilizes a more expensive option would pay the difference. Both proposals would fall within current budgetary amounts. Option 1 is to retain City participation at the same rate structure and then share the increase in premiums proportionately. The City share would increase approximately $2,280 for 24 payrolls for a total annual increase of $54,720.00. This option would fall within current budgetary amounts.  Option 2 is to reduce the City contribution by 2.0% and then share the increase in premiums proportionately. The City share would increase approximately $1,608.00 for 24 payrolls for a total annual increase of $38,590.00 .This option would fall within current budgetary amounts. Staff did review other scenarios but feel the two proposals being presented fall within the lines of previous years practice and within budget. In the past management has expressed the desire to slowly lower the City participation rate to the mid 80% range. However due to significant rate increases and limited wage increases over the past few years that plan had been put on hold. The staff believes with the excellent renewal and the Board approved wage increases in the current budget that it would be appropriate to reduce City participation. Therefore, it is staff’s recommendation that the Board approve option 2 above reducing city participation by 2%.

After discussion by the Board, Ward 4 Alderman Bill VanBuskirk made a motion to accept option 1, which reduced City participation by 2%. The Board unanimously approved the motion.



Is Your Pet Overweight? 
How to Tell (and Help Him Slim Down)

Today’s guest post for Fit Bottomed Pets Week is from Mikkel Becker! Mikkel is a certified trainer specializing in dogs and cats, co-author of five books in the “Ultimate Pet Lover” series, and the resident trainer for Vetstreet.com. In her professional work, Becker uses positive reinforcement and non-force training strategies based in scientific learning theory.

America’s four-legged inhabitants are fighting the battle of the bulge along with their human companions. Not only are more than 50 percent of Americans overweight or obese, but the same can said about their pets. READ MORE

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25 comments:

Anonymous said...


If warrants aren't a big thing why did Chief Lynch go to all the trouble and expense of the shiny new book and even talking about the number of outstanding warrants.. Why do we even arrest people just give them the sack of goods they shoplifted from the stores, or the bag of drugs they got caught with or the booze they had open in the car slap their hand tell them to have a good day and send them on their way.

Andy Whiteman said...

I think serving warrants may be a time issue. Serving a warrant will take 2 or more officers off the street for each service. Maybe someone should address the question to Chief Lynch.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I am confused by option 1 or 2, which one did the board really approve?

Anonymous said...

To 11:33
It reads the board unanimously approved option 1

Anonymous said...

Whoever wrote most people with warrants do not live inRaytown is so wrong. The statistics from the Raytown Police Department are specifically for those people who live in Raytown who have outstanding warrants. Why on earth would the raytown p.d. track warrants on people who do not live in Raytown?

Do you need two people to serve a warrant. No. One person can serfe a warrant. Don't know if it is advisable. But the simple fact is that they can be served and should be served. Once word get out that a police department is a paper tiger it does not take long for criminals to take advantage of it.

Anonymous said...

People can and do have warrants in other towns from where they live. It is so easy for someone to have an outstanding warrant say in Raytown and live in KC or Independence. Most of the time they are for traffic tickets and don't appear for court thus a warrant is issued. Then said person avoids Raytown completely . Some are for years back. It is the same if a person lived in Raytown and had a warrant out in Independence, Kc, Columbia , etc the list can go on and on.

Andy Whiteman said...

6:15AM, Serving a warrant is NOT simply, "Please come to court." It involves an arrest because of failure to appear in court, failure to obey a court order, or failure to pay a fine. Do you think an arrest is a peaceful encounter that one officer can handle? An arrest may result in resistance and violence; hence, two or more officers are required.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I thought a warrant was issued for someone whom committed a crime in a municipality that failed to make a court date. I didn't know that you had to live in the municipality. Something seems off about that. People could commit crimes everywhere and just keep moving don't you think.

Anonymous said...

Wow there are lots of outstanding arrest warrants all around. I read there were 49,000 in New Orleans La., and Baltimore Maryland had 100,000 as of 2007. Lots of people evading the law. Wonder how many people you pass in the malls has oustanding warrants. That's pretty scarey

Andy Whiteman said...

Outstanding warrants are are scary depending on what the warrant is for. When I dispatched a sheriff's department, I may have found a warrant on some people an officer had stopped but to my surprise 99.9% of the warrants were enforceable only in the jurisdiction that issued them. I asked about that and was told they were probably for minor offenses or fines and the jurisdiction didn't want to pay the cost to extradite. In all of my time at dispatch, only ONE jurisdiction was willing to extradite a warrant. The officer arrested the individual and brought him to our jail for pick up by the other county. When viewing outstanding warrants, one should ask, what the warrants are for and is it worth the effort to pick up the individual? Will these warrants be enforced outside Raytown or the metro area? That may explain why there are so many warrants. Some larger cities offer warrant amnesty day when individuals may come in and take care of them without penalty. Maybe Raytown should consider an amnesty day.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Some good ideas, Greg and Paul. I especially agree with your comment about how the city is ruining our streets by covering them with oil and gravel. I wonder how soon our newly elected officials will start making good on their promises. I would settle for decent street repair and some street lights.

Anonymous said...

Here's a thought. Why not set bounties for warrants. If the police are overly relaxed in enforcing the laws, pay individuals to go out and bring in the law breakers. Bet it would work. Of course it may prove a littel embarrassing to police departments. Maybe the best solution is for the p.d. to raise the bar on serving warrants. It is pretty clear that acting like there is not a problem is not a solution.

Anonymous said...

Raytown PD can't serve warrants outside of Raytown, Mo. I would guess at least 80% of people with warrants don't live in Raytown.

Anonymous said...

Bounty hunters are hired by the bailsman at a usual 10% of the bail. Some states do not allow bounty hunters.

Anonymous said...

You should rephrase your statemetn because it is misleading. MOST states allow bounty hunters. The other comment is more interesting. If 80% of the warrants set by Raytown are for people living outside of Raytown (a statemetn backed by absolutely no information)then it means 20% do live in Raytown. If the percentage is that low one would think the police could clean up the warrant problem in short order.

The real question is why isn't that being done?

Anonymous said...

I am a retired police officer and I worked for Independence. The majority of the people I arrested for outstanding warrants did not live in Independence. The warrants were for relativity minor things like unpaid traffic tickets. I would take them to the jail, and they would either pay the fines or be sent to holding. We patrolled the neighborhoods, investigated violent crimes, broke up domestic disputes and arrested violent drug abusers. We rarely went looking for someone who had an outstanding parking ticket. There were too many criminals on the streets. You should be asking what kind of warrants are outstanding. Unless, of course, you're one of those people who just want to complain.

Anonymous said...

It is apparent that 6:42 is a complainer
Criticism towards others wording when they can't check their own spelling; really??? I think most figured that at early on in their comment

Anonymous said...

Love the article about overweight animals. Gives some insight. Thanks for adding it

Elizabeth said...

I think you guys are grossly unfair. The new mayor and aldermen haven't even had their first meeting yet. Let's give them a week or two before we start crucifying them. Also, you won't see any changes in the way the streets are maintained. The contracts have already been signed. The best you can hope for is change next year.

Anonymous said...

Such nonsense. Here is a new couple of words for you. "Change Order". If you want to see how bad a street with light aggregate seal looks like go take a drive in Southbrooke. That's where they started this idiotic street repair program.

By the way, I noticed that the roadway leading up to city hall has a brand new asphalt top on it. They certainly know how to take care of themselves.

If the board members had any sand they would vote to change the contract.

Anonymous said...

That last comment is so right. I live in the Southbrook subdivision. Four years ago they put that slurry seal or whatever you call it on our street. It did not work. The cracks and missing chunks of asphalt are still there. The street looks ugly. It is unsafe. I think we would have been better off it they had not done anything. I don't know about the rest of you but I would rather have my street repaired correctly than put another water slide in at a swimming pool.

Anonymous said...

I live in Village Gardens the lower cost homes just East of Southbrook. We also had the slurry on some of our streets and as the previous Mayor was told, it looks terrible.

Anonymous said...

I hope the comment from the blogger about the contract already being signed on street maintenance is wrong. That light aggregate material they have put on streets is ugly, does not hold up and does not improve the streets. It looks like something you would use in a poor farming community. Raytown has a lot going for it. If our new city council turns its back on something as simple as proper maintenance of neighborhood streets I will be very disappointed. I had hoped for better. If any of you on the city council read this page, please do the right thing and have our streets repaired properly.

Elizabeth said...

Greg and Paul - Thanks for your letters to the Mayor and Aldermen. It is only Thursday and the video of Tuesday's meeting is already posted. I think this might be a record. Thanks so much.

Anonymous said...

Thank you to the New Mayor and New Alderman for caring enough to see that the people of Raytown are informed by getting the meetings posted in a timely manner! It's a New Day and a New administration