Saturday, October 3, 2015


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      Not Available for Streets
      Not Available for Street Lights

      But there is $50,000.00 available to pay an out of town
      consultants to show us the way to raise our sales tax!

      Last week Greg wrote about a survey mailed to select voters in Raytown. The stated goal of the survey was to find out Raytowner’s view of the city’s Parks and Recreation Program. Greg made some interesting observations about the so-called poll. The use of a Push Poll in an attempt to build support for a candidate or an issue is not new.

Though it is somewhat disappointing to learn the tactic is being used in Raytown by people who are supposed to represent us on the Park Board.

If you missed last week’s edition of the Raytown Report, scroll down after this story (to last week’s Raytown Report) to view a copy of the poll.

I took some time to visit the website of the firm hired to do the poll, ETC Institute/Leisure Vision. If you had any doubt of the purpose of hiring ETC, the following should answer that doubt. The copy (shown italic type) is unedited and excerpted directly from the ETC website.
 I have highlighted significant portions I found most interesting.

Since 1996, voters have approved more than $3 billion in funding for projects that were identified through public opinion polls conducted by ETC Institute/Leisure Vision.

Our services significantly increase a community's chances for success by helping civic leaders identify what voters need, how much they are willing to pay, and their preferred sources of funding.


  Since 1992, the principals and associates of ETC Institute/Leisure Vision have helped secure funding for more than $2.5 billion of parks and recreation projects. The firm has extensive experience conducting surveys as components of plans leading to successful voter elections.

Recently Approved Voter Initiatives

  • KCATA Sales Tax
  • Olathe Parks Sales Tax 
  • Liberty Parks Sales Tax
  • Independence Parks Sales Tax
  • Lenexa Stormwater Sales Tax
  • Independence Stormwater Sales Tax
  • Grandview Community Center Sales Tax
  • Grandview Transportation Sales Tax
  • Olathe Schools Bond Issue
  • Liberty Fire Sales Tax
  • Johnson County Education Sales Tax
  • KCK Schools Bond Issue
  • Jefferson City School District
  • Rolla School District
  • Columbia Community Center

Will Raytown be added to the list? Apparently some of our local political leaders have designs to do so. The sad part is they are willing to spend $50,000.00 of our tax dollars to make it happen. Meanwhile, city streets continue to crumble, neighborhood intersections continue to be left unlighted at night.

It appears some of our leaders have lost their vision for what is important in Raytown.

A Fall Treat to Protect
Against the Common Cold 
Oh, how I love the holiday season! First comes the Halloween pumpkins, and then it’s pumpkin spice lattes and breads and treats, oh my! Fall is all kinds of great, but it doesn’t come without an occasional hiccup or two.

There’s always the possibility of a trojan horse marching in with the turkey. I’m referring specifically to colds and the dreaded flu. The worst thing that can possibly happen to you around the holiday feasts is getting some sort of illness that prevents you from actually enjoying all the holiday feasts.

It’s cruel. 

That being said, I try to protect myself as much as possible. (Because I make for a lousy sick person.) I wash my hands, try to get a sufficient amount of rest and eat as many immune-boosting foods as I can muster. READ MORE

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Anonymous said...

Seems to me this was a done deal and paid for before the present Mayor and most of the current Board of Aldermen. So it's not fair to demonize them. Since it is already paid for we might as well as taxpayers see what kind of information comes back if for nothing else to but to educate ourselves on how the taxpayers are responding and how they feel about Parks use.

Anonymous said...

Is there a intelligent individual that can tell us who authorized the expenditure of $50,000 for the survey, was it the new board or the old board or the city manager, who ????

Vicky said...

I think the survey was approved before the current Board took office. I remember Mark Moore wanting to close Super Splash way back in May. One of the Greene boys kept saying, "Let's wait for the survey! We should have it any time now." Mayor Bower and Jim Aziere were determined to keep Super Splash open, damn the costs.

Anonymous said...

So we close Super Splash then what we have is another eye sorer something to sit and rot. Rather see it open and kids having fun.

Anonymous said...

They may not have been the ones who deceived the public by saying they were doing a poll on park usage when it was really a poll to push a sales tax. Why do you think they hired someone for $50,000? Because they can't write the questions you saw on the survey? It is true the curren Board did not authorize the expenditure. It is also true they have not done anything to stop the waste either. I received a copy of the so-called poll. It has a cover letter. It is signed my Michael McDonough, not David Bower. So much for not being involved with the process. I doubt the BOA knew of the copy going out. Raytown Parks and Raytown City Hall are disfunctional when it comes to communicating. I do hope the BOA has their eyes wide open now.

Anonymous said...

It was the Park Board that approved of the survey and the old Board of Aldermen voted on it. When the new Board was discussing Storm Water and the Parks Budget, Joshua Greene made the comment to wait until the study was over.

Mayor Bower and Aldermen Ertz and Aziere last year pushed to keep SuperSplash open for political and selfish reasons, even though this has cost us several hundreds of thousands of dollars. This new Board exposed that and us the citizens are paying for it. Maybe we deserve it though as people like Aziere keep getting elected.

Anonymous said...

So we keep super splash open and spend another 100 thousand or probable a lot more. Raytown has a chance of going broke if expenses are not reined in. The taxpayers are not made of Money.

Maybe the person that posted at 7.24 AM has that kind of loose change but I bet he would not want to vote another tax in to pay for super splash?

We should all realize that the Wal-Mart store and all the other tax give aways will come home to bite us in the but.

I am really afraid of what the Retirement fund of the city employees and the police will cost the city in the years ahead. I do not think that the police fund is making 6% as the chief of police said it would.

Maybe some of board members are aware of what could hit us but I do not think that the mayor does.

Anonymous said...

I saw that cover letter too. Read it again. Figured he signed it so the money already spent by other board wasn't wasted and probably figured that it would show that folks want super splash shut down
The money would still have had to be paid to the company anyway because they wouldn't do a study without being paid by the Parks folks

Vicky said...

Has anyone been to downtown Grandview lately? Forget about downtown Lee's Summit. Grandview is amazing! They have gotten a boat load of grant money and totally redone their downtown area. We need a City Administrator that wants to improve Raytown, just not get a paycheck and go home. We now have a city counsel that will work together - at least most of them will and the rest don't matter. Call them. Tell them you want change.

Anonymous said...

There are ways to cut your losses when inheriting a bad situation. In this case the Board and Mayor could have changed the direction of the survey, the city paid the bill, they should have some say in the end game. What I saw in that survey is the first step in raising our sales tax in Raytown. It is already high enough. We already have one of the highest property taxes in the area. We are above the middle in sales tax rate. Raising our sales tax the amount mentioned in the survey would push the Raytown up to one of the highest in the area. For those tax incentive places like Walmart it would raise it to over 10%.

Anonymous said...

The downtown area of Grandview and Lees Summit are much larger than the two block spread of Raytown. It would be great to .
However right now on the main drag let's see what we have got; bar, shoe repair, insurance , bank , upholster , and Fox drug.

Anonymous said...

Heck! I could have told you people want supersplash shut down without spending $50,000. Better come up with another excuse for wasting taxpayer money.

Anonymous said...

I received a survey from the City of Raytown some years ago and was quite annoyed that none of the selection of responses expressed my feelings. I think that these days surveys are skewed to achieve an agenda since I recently completed a customer satisfaction survey from an online company where none of the response selections expressed my feelings. I agree it is a waste of $50K. I wanted Super Splash gone long ago when there were numerous employee complaints against the contracted management, the facility was in disrepair, and operating at a loss.

Andy Whiteman

Pat Casady said...

How does Jim Aziere do it?
This man can open his mouth and either something comes out that
makes no sense or it is a lie. He is the worst kind of elected official.
He only wants to do what will make him look good and to Hell with the
rest of the people in Raytown. Taxpayer money…no problem, he can
spend with the best of them. Raytown now has eight elected aldermen
that seem to care where taxpayer money goes and a Mayor that won’t
his guff. This is why you see Aziere going behind their backs putting down
the best BOA and Mayor we have had in many years. He writes letters in the local
paper going against the good people elected to help the taxpayers and
people of Raytown. If you read his dribble you will know exactly what
I mean when I say he’s the worst.
He is still upset because his buddy Bower
is gone and his other buddy didn’t get to take his place.
He has been on the last two Charter Commissions just to sabotage them
because his buddies didn’t want the Charter. He didn’t care that the
people wanted it.