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If you want an example of the difference between this Board of Aldermen and the previous one you need not go far. The recent purchase of a skid loader for the Public Works Department pretty much tells the tale.
Just in case the reader is not aware, a skid loader is a machine used to move large skids, pallets and other packaged material in warehouses. It is a necessary piece of equipment in the Public Works Maintenance Facility. However, it is not used as extensively as in a warehouse situation.
Jim Melvin, the temporary Director of the Public Works Department, decided the skid loader used at the garage had outlived its purpose. It was about 12 years old and becoming very expensive to maintain.
So the City Administrator decided to put the piece of equipment up for auction, and, purchase a new skid loader in its place.
The item went before the Board for consideration. The Aldermen objected to the purchase because they believed a lease of such equipment made more economic sense.
City staff checked into a lease option and found the suggestion was a good one. They embraced the idea and to come back with a new proposal.
Two weeks later, a new proposal for the “purchase” of a new skid loader was back on the agenda! Apparently there was some language in the lease agreement that city staff objected to.
Then, a couple of days before the meeting, the “purchase” proposal was removed from the agenda.
Ward 5 Alderman Eric Teeman wondered what so objectionable about the lease. He made a phone call the leasing agent and found out the language had been removed from the contract. He quickly informed his fellow elected officials and city staff of the change. The contract for the purchase of a skid loader was removed from the agenda.
Problem solved . . . crisis averted. Good job Alderman Teeman!
The only question that comes to mind is why city staff had not made the phone call? Teeman says he is not sure if someone was going to, he just wondered what was going on with the lease contract, so he made the call. Little matter, as Teeman points out, the important thing is the issue was resolved to everyone’s satisfaction.
Had this happened under the previous administration before the last April election, any member of the Board of Aldermen would have raised an objection to the purchase would have been ignored, or worse, chastised for “micro-managing” the city’s business.
As this case shows, oversight is not a bad thing. In this case it led to a solution.
|BY PAUL LIVIUS|
Paul’s Rant . . .
Last April the people of Raytown made some wise decisions in replacing four of the five Board members on the city council and a new Mayor.
Greg’s “Skid Loader” story illustrates how that difference in members has brought new ideas to the table.
It is not the only area the Board has made changes from the past administration. Following is a short list of changes we know will happen and a few we expect to happen in the months ahead.
STREET REPAIR: The Mayor and Board have directed the City Administrator to quit using the subs-standard slurry seal to repair Raytown neighborhood streets. The new material used to repair streets is supposed to be far superior in both appearance and endurance. Hopefully the Board of Aldermen will keep a close watch on the process to make certain street sub-surfaces are properly prepared before the new material is used to overlay the street.
SUPER SPLASH: Raytown’s aging water park may soon become a memory. Despite a hot summer, the numbers are not reaching hoped for totals to make the park viable. Under the previous administration each year was greeted with a new “plan” to turn the facility around. The city has tried replacing staff with private management and then replacing the private management with a new enlightened staff. It is beginning to feel like we are in year five of a three year plan to make the park work.
Last year the Park Board voted to close down the facility. Former Mayor David Bower pushed through an unfunded mandate to keep the park open. The Board, on a split vote, agreed to fund the facility one more year.
It is time to face reality. The aging water park does not offer as much as other nearby venues in the metropolitan area. The numbers of young folk who are the life-blood of any water park are not here. Read the census reports. Raytown is an aging community. Not one full of people who want to go down waterslide to pass the time.
The SuperSplash is remote and secluded. Police reports tell of a high amount of vandalism both on and off season at the park. Which brings up the parks worst deficit . . . plainly speaking, people do not feel safe there.
Look for the Board to pull the plug on the operation after this year.
PRIVATE SECTOR AT WORK: Raytown will also see a resurgence of some public events. Two events slated to take place late this summer is the Festival of the Lost Township hosted by Crane Brewing Company, beer festival in Downtown Raytown scheduled for September 5th and the Raytown Arts and Music Festival on scheduled for August 29 at Kenagy Park sponsored by Dick Smith Ford.
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Both of the events would not be taking place if it were not for the participation and generosity of two of Raytown’s corporate citizens.
SMALL BUILDING BOOM: Raytowners have noticed a small explosion of building and development. Most of which is being driven by a Family Dollar Store in Downtown Raytown and a Dollar General Store at 53rd and Blue Ridge. Another area worth noticing is the recent purchase of the old Cheverolet dealership on 350 Highway by Dick Smith Ford. Plans for the property have yet to be announced. An expanded Quick Trip is also planned along the 350 Highway corridor as well.
15 Must Try Popsicle Treats
Just the other night, I finished up a group run on the beach. It was hot and incredibly humid, and all I could think about was how I wanted to drink all the water. That is, until I was handed a coconut chia popsicle, and suddenly, all was well. It was cold, creamy, delicious, refreshing … and it made me wonder why I don’t make (and eat!) popsicles every single day. And now, I can, because I’ve found enough mouthwatering popsicle recipes for every day of the week (and then some!).
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