Sunday, July 5, 2015

RAYTOWN'S LEADING NEWS SOURCE



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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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18 comments:

Raytown Newbie said...

SO I got around to searching for the 25 most dangerous dogs and to my surprise the pit bull was not number one... it is number two. The dog mentioned as most dangerous is ..... the Caucasian Ovcharka??? . Yup there is probably one of those in all of Missouri. So practically speaking the pit bull is most dangerous.

It was interesting to learn that the funding for animal control is derived from receipts from pet licenses. Why not become more proactive in collecting those fees by fining non complying pet owners a small amount? I think first offence is no fine if the pet becomes licensed in a week. Then maybe $25. It is just another code violation after all. If a patrolling code official sees a pet from the street, he should be able to ask for proof of licensure. If the pet is never outside then it's a bit of a moot point anyway.

BTW... the dog that attacked my dog is kept on a chain outside behind a garage and is visible from the road. I would like to see the owner get a license for it and his other "pets".

I know the blog readers are probably tired of my dog related posts but I see a real need for animal control on the weekends and 24 hour response for animal attack complaints.

Thanks, Your Neighbor and fellow Tax Payer.

Anonymous said...

I was surprised that terriors were on that list of 25 most dangerous dogs. It had all the " normal" name dog breeds on it and had some great statistics

Andy Whiteman said...

An attorney once told me that legal notices MUST be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county. That means said paper must have a 2nd Class Mailing Permit. General Circulation does not mean that the paper must be widely read! Most counties have a newspaper such as Daily Record Kansas City in which legal notices are published especially if one does NOT want them to be read by those they pertain to ans still meet the legal publishing requirement. I assume the link Greg is referring to has been on the City's website for sometime and never noticed until now. I suggest someone ask the Mayor why his direction is not being followed. I suspect it is the typical PR/IT issue of not updating the city's website.
Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Caucasian ovcharka " Russian Shepard " is a even tempered large dog; not sure where someone would find otherwise information. Anyway it's humorous

Anonymous said...

Where does it say bids are not on line??? I didn't read that??

Anonymous said...

Molawyersmedia.com
It's free and you can go to the search section if you want to skip reading everything else.
There are different sections such as business, local to name a few

Greg Walters said...

I've done my homework on this one. The city's bids are NOT on line. Public bids are required to be published in a publication of general circulation in the area asking for the bids. That does not preclude putting the information on the city's web page.

Andy is correct that the language I referred to on the website is not new. However, it was replaced a couple of weeks ago at my request to the Mayor. After the time for the bid item had expired.....down went the inclusive language -- back up went the dismissive language you see on the website today.

So typical it is sad. There are still many at city hall more interested in throwing up barriers than opening doors. They need guidance to rid themselves us such a backward looking mindset. The guidance should come from our elected officials. The situation will not change unless those who are elected to run the show take charge and bring the change.

Anonymous said...

Found the bid information fro two bids on the city's website. It is neatly hidden under the heading Forms and Applications! Why not put it under the BIDS column? Putting it under Forms and Applications makes as much sense as putting it under Neighborhood Revitalization.

Looks like some of the employees at City Hall are still operating under David Bower's "need to know" rule.

I had better hope for this new administration. It is beginning to look like the same old song and dance as before.

Anonymous said...

To 6:51 am
So glad you found the bid information !
Sometimes a little research and determination on a web site pays off!!!
Glad to know IT IS on the City webpage; just sorry it took such work.
Thank you for your efforts and giving ALl of us the information

Anonymous said...

Guess what! I just checked out the city's website and the information about bids has moved to the "BIDS" column on the front page.

Keep up the good work, guys. Someone is paying attention!

Anonymous said...

Not only was it on the web site but now it is in the proper section.
I guess we all have a lot to learn. Hopefully Everybody is paying attention and doing their homework

Andy Whiteman said...

Quite possibly the new Mayor and/or his staff cares enough to read the Raytown Report, pay attention, and take action!

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Andy; it was on the web site all along; just in a really odd place .
Someone Assumed that since there was and inform that it was on mo. Lawyer media that it was not on the city blog site. Maybe they need to word it with the words ALSO as to help some understand

Anonymous said...

I've been folloowing this string for awhile. Why on earth would someone literally hide what are supposed to be public bids like was done Raytown's city webpage. It does not make sense. But there is not arguing about it. That is exactly what happened! Go figure!!!

Anonymous said...

Following this blog from the beginning to the comment section is like a tennis match which nobody paying attention to what is going on.

Anonymous said...

Not sure what that last comment meant. But I think the blog serves a very good purpose. It gives people an opportunity to speak out on the issues of the day. No doubt there are some in Raytown who would rather not hear what people have to say, but I think the majority of folks like to here what is going on in their city.

You will always have the small minority who believe they run everything and are in charge. I'm very pleased we have a blog lilke this to speak out on.

Anonymous said...

The tennis match I believe was meant that first no this is not on the blog then yes it is then it's in the wrong place and then it's back where it belongs. This string of the blog

Anonymous said...

The blog does serve a good purpose but this thread had been a back and forth of it's not there it is there.