Sunday, August 2, 2015


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Consider the following: Two projects are budgeted for completion in the 2014/2015 City Budget. One has been completed. The other has not.

The completed budget item is the re-carpeting of the entire top floor of the City Hall at a cost of $33,822.00. Within one week of the Board of Aldermen’s approval of the contract for the job, it was completed.

The other budgeted item, the installation of new street lights, has not been begun. In fact, all indications are that there will be no new street lights installed in Raytown this year despite the fact that $50,000 was set aside in the city’s budget for new lights.

Sources at City Hall tell us the city had planned to participate in a program offered by Kansas City Power and Light (KCP&L) in which municipalities could buy back street lights. Unfortunately, KCP&L discontinued the program earlier this year, before the new Board and Mayor were sworn in.

However, the city can still install new street lights. Which begs the question, why hasn’t the city moved forward with a limited program to install much needed street lights?

The only mention of street lights since the new Board inaugurated three months ago, was when City Administrator Mahesh Sharma suggested money budgeted for street lights be used to pay for repairs to a water slide at Super Splash, USA.

At that meeting Ward 2 Alderman Steve Meyers exclaimed, “Come on people, water slides do not trump street lights!” The Board agreed with Meyers. Sharma’s suggestion was not even considered for a vote.

City staff has had since November of 2014 to come up with a plan to spend the $50,000 allocated for street lights in the budget. There is no reasonable excuse for the inaction. If the program from Kansas City Power and Light iss no longer viable, then create plan B and find another way to have the lights installed.

There are unsafe street corners throughout Raytown in need of street lighting. In the eyes of many, those street lights are just as important as replacing the carpet at City Hall. In the eyes of many people in Raytown, street lights are just as important as new carpeting at City Hall.

Now is not a time for excuses. Now is the time to address the need for more lights.The funds are there, the money has been budgeted. It is time to get to work.

Next Tuesday the Board of Aldermen has only two agenda items to consider. The extra time could be used to discuss stalled projects. From conversations with Board members, the lack of movement on infrastructural problems within the city is not only with street lights. Perhaps they could put the extra time together to give some direction to City Staff to move forward on projects.

City Staff has shown it can move quickly when it comes to changing the carpet in City Hall. They should direct that talent to completing needed improvements in our city’s neighborhoods as well.

Debunking the
Carrot Myth
I’m sure your mother is a very nice person, but she’s also a liar. So’s your father, the school nurse and your pediatrician.

Contrary to what every child has heard, eating carrots will not give you superhuman vision.

Though carrots are high in vitamin A, which contributes to the overall health of your eyes, science says eating the orange stuff won’t actually reverse or prevent poor eyesight, nor will it help you see in the dark. This explains why, in spite of eating more carrots than Bugs Bunny at age 6, I still found myself in the optometrist’s chair at 31. (I was fine with the new eyeglass prescription — I was not-so-okay with him handing it over with the “reassurance” I was “experiencing a natural part of the aging process.”). READ MORE

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Anonymous said...

I have a feeling that money is scarce and any and all projects that are for the benefit of the taxpayers will go by the way side. I am sure that the carpet will look real nice.

I would like to know how much of the funds of the city are being used to pay for the Walmart building on 350 HW. If funds are so scarce then there must be a drain of funds into that account.

Pat Casady said...

My guess on how much taxpayer dollars are being used to pay
off the WM bonds and, based on the ninety million needed for the
twenty three year agreement would be somewhere around
three point nine million a year. That’s about three hundred twenty
five thousand a month!
Now, I think some of that is taxes collected by WM. However the taxpayers
are on the line for the difference, and I believe I was told the taxpayers
have already had to pay well over three million dollars so far.
Please someone at City Hall tell us we are wrong! Surely nobody
could be that stupid to fall for such a bad deal and one that would
cripple Raytown for twenty three years.

Anonymous said...

the city is not moving forward with needed street lights and or sidewalks install and repair because we DO NOT have a 3-5 infrastructure plan. The current manager of public works is the "intrem" director. Apparently the previous manager did not create a plan.

Can any staff member at city hall tell where additional lighting is needed. But not since you would actually have to be Raytown when the sun goes down.

The Aldermen should start addressing these issues. They live in the ward and know the dark areas. If each Aldermen presented three areas that need new lights at least it would give the staff a starting point.

The cities infrastructure needs to be top priority for the elected and appointed officials. We can not continue to "know of the problem" but not take action to correct


Anonymous said...

You can easily tell where lighting needs to be placed day or night by driving in each and every neighborhood on any given day and checking the distance from light pole to light pole, variances in street angles and view points and easily figure out light output in range of feet. I don't know if anyone who knows of each and every area off the top of their head. There are plenty. As vegetation and erosion also play into lighting effects. Raytown has many hilly streets with numerous winds and turns. Several mailmen, fed ex drivers, bus drivers, senior citizen drivers whom work in the area but may not live in the area could also be helpful . It's not just a night observation that's needed .

Anonymous said...

If I recall correctly, the Walmart fiasco started when Ex Mayor Sue Frank and past City Finance Director Dan E$te$ where in cohoots and gave Walmart a sweetheart deal that has since crippled the City's tax base. If it were not for the voters approving a sales tax, which the City lied about using the funds for, i.e. more Police, better roads, the City may very well had to of filed bankruptcy. As it is, there are less Police, crumbling roads, no street lights, but yeah for us, we get a Walmart that doesn't pay taxes and is a burden on the City/PD considering the number of crimes committed there each day. Poor Mayor Bower took over as Mayor was thrown under the Walmart bus when he really had little to do with it as the deal was already in motion. To bad when city officials screw over the taxpayers for their own selfish greed.

GADSDEN said...

Very interesting comments to bad we can not go back. I hope that we do not repeat our past errors and somehow vote for another Walmart such as a grocery. So far I can not see any one on the council that has the power to get another Walmart such as the one that now has a noose around our neck.

Pat Casady said...

Bower could have stopped the WalMart deal. They had not
even broke ground when he took over. He chose not to, even
though he knew what kind of deal Curt Wenson and Dan Estes
had made with Block and the WM people. Remember, Greg
Walters was the only elected official that voted against the

Andy Whiteman said...

Anonymous said, "Can any staff member at city hall tell where additional lighting is needed. But not since you would actually have to be Raytown when the sun goes down." That is one of the reasons that I have stated several times that Department Heads should be REQUIRED TO LIVE IN RAYTOWN!

Andy Whiteman

Rebecca said...

Found out that yes...Sack and Save is closing August 31, 2015. Sam's will be relocating, but don't know where. Could not find out why, though, pretty closed mouthed about it.

Anonymous said...

Street lights are next week's meeting.

Anonymous said...

Street lights can be checked during WORKING hours of the employees.
That just makes sense. My work hours are 6am to 5 pm at my Job . I know people such as my neighbor that works 6 pm to 4 am. A job can be done in the specified hours of employment . My Job is 45 hrs a week. It is my Job not my master.

Andy Whiteman said...

How can street lights be checked during daytime hours when they are not normally on? Is there an unknown switch so they may be turned on and checked?

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

To Andy
Check the explanation to Sam from aug 3 at 3:48

Anonymous said...

I thought they were talking about adding street lights to streets that do not have enough for clear sight.