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|BY GREG WALTERS|
Often times Paul and I will go to the city’s website to follow up on stories that are not quite finished. A good example is this week’s headline about the contract the City is involved in to find a temporary home for the Police Department while its offices are being remodeled. (see story below, “Board of Aldermen Vindicated”).
While looking for the numbers on the Police Department story, Paul noticed the “Public Bids” column on the home page of the website. A simple click of the mouse and we found this verbiage.
Raytown Bids: Our bids are published daily in the Daily Record Kansas City. This publication is published daily Monday through Sunday by Missouri Lawyers Media.
A couple of weeks back Mayor Michael McDonough told me future bids would all be published on line by the City of Raytown on its webpage. It is a practice used by nearly all governing bodies in the metropolitan area.
I have no reason to doubt our Mayor’s word on this one. It is also evident that whoever penned the language on the website clearly did not follow the Mayor’s directions.
There may be a law that says public bids must be published in a print version of a local publication. But to indicate information is not available on the city’s website is just plain sneaky.
I really doubt the Mayor would tell whoever is running the website to purposely put misleading information on the page.
The point this . . . if you even think obtaining a copy of the Missouri Lawyers Media is simple I suggest you pick up the phone Monday morning and see for yourself how “easy” it is!
I sincerely wish you the best of luck. Don’t be surprised if you have to purchase an annual subscription to receive the information.
As I stated before, nearly all of the cities and counties, even most of the school districts, in the metropolitan area use the internet, typically through their own publication to advertise for bids. Why not Raytown?
We will re-visit the site next week to see if any changes have been made.
|BY PAUL LIVIUS|
Board of Aldermen Vindicated
At the June 2nd meeting of the Board of Aldermen the elected body chose to turn back a contract offer to create temporary housing of the Raytown Police Department. The Police Department headquarters will be closed during extensive remodeling which includes a major overhaul of the sanitary sewer system within the building.
The contract given to the Board for consideration included a section which required the City to pay all property taxes on a building located at 7002 Blue Ridge Cutoff. for the lease period.
A majority of the Board clearly stated the property tax due on the property was not the responsibility of the City and instructed city staff to return the contract unsigned to the owner of the property.
Members of the city staff, specifically, Finance Director Mark Loughry and City Attorney Joe Willerth argued the document was in order and should be signed.
The contract is back on this Tuesday’s agenda (July 7th).
It does not have the section in regarding the payment of property taxes for the period under consideration.
Ward 2 Alderman Jason Greene, who was one of the more outspoken critics of the earlier contract, told us it was his understanding the realtor made a mistake and sent the wrong contract to the city for consideration.
It should be noted that without the objection of the Board at the June 2nd meeting, a contract costing the city thousands of (extra) dollars would have been needlessly spent.
Not the First Time
The savings to the city on the real estate contract for a temporary home is not the first time since the new Board took charge. The Board has ignored city staff recommendations on a number of items, including a contract for repair of a Super Splash water slide, the conversion of vehicles ready for retirement from gasoline powered engines to compressed natural gas powered engines to mention just a few.
Alderman Greene gave us a quick run-down of the savings to the city. The amount is impressive. His estimate puts the dollars saved at near $250,000!
This new Board of Aldermen has shown it will take a course independent of pressure from city staff to do things “their way”. When it comes to dollars and cents, what they are doing saves dollars and makes sense.
Now the Board can use the saved dollars to address needed repairs to our city infrastructure. The city has long neglected neighborhood streets and the lack of adequate street lighting in our neighborhoods. Here is the opportunity for our elected officials to correct the problem.
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