Sunday, February 14, 2016

RAYTOWN'S LEADING NEWS SOURCE

To leave a comment use this link POST A COMMENT





In 2015 the City of Raytown installed handicap street cuts at a cross walk light located on 63rd Street at Blue Ridge Elementary.

Weeks later, the city disabled the lights, placed plastic bags over the crosswalk lights and removed the crosswalk buttons.

The following story chronicles why the crosswalk light was put in place many years ago and why it should be functioning now . . .

TICK TOCK BY GREG WALTERS
IT HAS BEEN OVER 25 YEARS since a young boy, was nearly killed when a car ran into him as he crossed 63rd Street on his way to Blue Ridge Elementary School.

A crosswalk guard was on hand, but the motorist said the sunrise, which is extremely bright that time of year in the morning on east bound 63rd Street, blinded her to the boy’s presence.

The drivers speed was estimated between 20 to 25 miles per hour.

The Board of Aldermen wasted no time in unanimously approving funds to install crosswalk lights at Blue Ridge Elementary on 3rd Street. Within a few years, the same would be done at all schools within city limits.

IN EARLY 2015 the city replaced the curbs at the crosswalk with handicap access curbs so disabled individuals could use the crosswalk.

Three weeks later (according to the residents in the neighborhood near the crosswalk), the city disabled the crosswalk light and placed dark plastic bags over the pedestrian walk lights.

Torn fragments of black plastic bags used to cover the lights are a constant reminder of the city’s intent to leave the lights in disrepair.

The metal boxes that housed the buttons pedestrians would use to cross the street have been removed by Public Works crews because people kept trying to push the buttons to make the non-functioning crosswalk lights to turn on.
 
People who live in the neighborhood say they were told by city officials the city does not have the money to repair the crosswalk lights.

Which is hard to believe after learning the City Council approved a $34,737.93 tax abatement for a commercial developer at the last City Council meeting.

It is not a question of money.

It is a question of priorities.

By their actions city officials are showing us what merits attention.

Apparently, public safety on our streets is not high on the priority list.

The Board of Aldermen approved a zoning change for a new Dollar General Store recently. The location of the store is less than 75 yards from where the non-functioning crosswalk light.

No doubt the store will concentrate more vehicular traffic on that section of 63rd Street.

Pedestrian traffic will increase . . . especially with the young, who do not have vehicles to deliver them to the Dollar Store once it is built.

Some call this progress and boast of the power of the free marketplace in shaping a new Raytown.

With this so-called progress comes responsibility. Our city officials need to recognize that responsibility.

The crosswalk light was placed on 63rd Street so parents could safely escort their children across the four lanes of traffic to Blue Ridge Elementary.

The recent change of zoning allowing a Dollar Store to be built at that same location will exasperate the situation.

The traffic will increase. More cars, more pedestrians, more distractions . . . fix the problem . . . tick tock!



BY JENN

Why You Should Eat a Whole Food Plant Based Diet The idea of eating a particular food for one nutrient is pervasive in our culture. We have been led to believe we should eat meat for protein, dairy for calcium, fish for omega-3 fatty acids, and even tomatoes for lycopene, among many others. This sort of thinking is misguided and has caused grave harm to human health. The quest for protein, for example, has steered us toward meat consumption. In this quest, we not only consume protein in excess of our needs, but also many harmful substances like dietary cholesterol that are only present in animal foods.


No food is a single nutrient, and we should never think of foods in that way. Any given food has countless nutrients. What matters most is the overall nutrient profile, i.e., the whole package. Whole, plant-based foods contain all the essential nutrients (with the exception of vitamin B12), and in proportions that are more consistent with human needs than animal-based or processed foods. So our question is really this: Why waste any of what we eat on inferior packages? As long as — over time — we choose a variety of whole, plant-based foods, we will easily meet all of our nutritional needs. READ MORE


  To leave a comment use this link POST A COMMENT

57 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is it a Dollar store or a Dollar General going in on 63rd st?

Anonymous said...

The $34,000 TIF issued by the City Council last week may be the last one they are allowed to issue........Stay tuned for more. They are out of compliance with the TIF'S that are already on the books!

Vicky said...

Anonymous 7:51 - does this mean they will have to recall the TIF's and pay off the bonds? Will they be forbidden from ever issuing TIF's ever again? Please say yes!
Pleeeeease!

Anonymous said...

A TIF was not issued last week...the office building received Chapter 353 Tax Abatement. A huge difference.

Paul Livius said...

I do not know if there is a problem with any of the tax abatement schemes coming out of city hall. The sudden rise in one sentence nit-picking comments seems to be increasing. Usually they hone in on a mislabel of a store like Dollar Store instead of Dollar General or Family Dollar. Or, more recently when someone mislabels one of the alphabet soup of tax schemes use by the city to entice corporate America to set up shop in Raytown, be it a CID, a TIF, tax ababement, or any of the names created to give an unfair tax break to large corporations.

Again, the one line sentence writer appears. He wrings his hands over the mislabeling of the subject matter.

Do not pay the apologist who writes these one liners much mind. His job is to cast doubt on legitimate complaints.

Anonymous said...

To Paul
Sorry You chose to see my question as "nit picking" but as a tax payer and interested citizen I really want to know and do not feel it is a question that isn't valid . Do you know the answer ? Please

Peter said...

To answer 9:11 pm
It is a Dollar General going in on 63rd st. I wonder if they are taking the Walgreens/ Cvs route of putting like stores in close proximity of one another.

Marilyn said...

Paul - why can't you just answer the guy's question? You don't hassle Andy like that even though he doesn't live here any more. What's the matter with you anyway?

Anonymous said...

Thank you Peter for kindly answering my question . Yes it would seem they are doing the same as Walgreens and CVS. They will be close together on 63rd. However I prefer Dollar General over the Family Dollar

Anonymous said...

Once again this "forum" seems bent on excluding facts from the discussion. All incentives are not tifs and Dollar Generals are not dollar stores. It's a shame that such a passionate body of seven or so misfit toys prefers ignorance over truth. Perhaps is a pandemic as a Raytown facebook page was intent on suggesting an unreported merder occurred in town while a vehicle associated with the crime was merely discovered in town. How about we all pull together to enhance our communitybrather than demonstrating reasons to avoid our community by constantly spewing mistruths? Maintaining our community isn't that hard...pick up your trash, mow, check on your neighbors, be a solid citizen, offer solutions in lieu of criticism and vote. No real magic...just a little initiative.

Anonymous said...

There is some truth that retail outlets do cluster together to take advantage of traffic and destination patterns. The CVS and Walgreens is a good example. As is McDonalds and many, many other fast food restaurants.

The BIG difference of the development of the Dollar (Store, General, Family Dollar..take your pick) on 63rd Street does not fit the pattern. The nearest similar retail outlet is nearly one quarter of a mile away!

I find it hard to believe one writer called the location as part of downtown Raytown. Pure nonsense.

The zoning change is NOT an upgrade to the neighborhood. I whole heartedly agree with Greg's editorial. The city should repair the crosswalk light on 63rd Street. I drive that street frequently and have witnessed the large amount of pedestrian traffic along 63rd Street. The crosswalk at Blue Elementary is roughly the half way point be Raytown Road and Blue Ridge Cutoff. I have seen children cross 63rd Street to go to Blue Ridge Elementary School.

I hope the city owns up to its responsibility before something tragic happens.

Be fair about it. Some of those pedestrians are going to want to cross the street at some point. The nearest two crosswalks are at Raytown Road and Blue Ridge Cutoff.

Anonymous said...

Yes Walgreens and CVS are about a quarter of a mile apart there at 350 and the 350& Gregory. I do see what you mean in saying they build in close proximity. The same holds true of many convience filling stations.

Peter said...

I must of missed hearing about a supposed murder in town. I will have to check out the Raytown Facebook pages to see what you are talking about. Interesting

Raytona Beach Bum said...

This was posted on the City of Raytowns Facebook page quietly this afternoon. Makes you wonder what's really going on at city hall this time.... First the Public Safety Sales tax, the the park/sewer tax and now the mismanagement of TIF projects. Who is running the show there and what does it take to fire them?

Letter from Mayor Michael McDonough-

Good afternoon.

An issue of serious concern came to my attention last Wednesday, February 10, 2016, regarding whether or not the City of Raytown has been in compliance with reporting requirements for Raytown Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts, in recent years. Missouri statutes mandate that municipalities report certain TIF-related information annually. It appears that the City of Raytown’s mandated TIF reporting is incomplete or nonexistent for as many as the last four years. Failure to comply with the state mandates could have serious financial consequences, including the use of TIF in future economic development projects.

I take this matter very seriously, and assure our Raytown residents and businesses that I will find out what happened, when it happened, why it happened, and ensure that it is corrected and does not happen again.

Derik said...

Well, it looks like David Bower's administration was more than just arrogant. Perhaps we need to get rid of the city administrator.

Anonymous said...

Raytowna Beach Bum
Thanks for posting what was on a City Facebook page.
But honestly anything posted on the internet is nothing called Quietly Posted

Anonymous said...

If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck.......The CA has a pretty sweet contract with the City, but it seems to me they may have "just cause" to can him.

Willie said...

11:21 - The information about the mishandling of the TIF's are on the City's Facebook page. If that's not good enough for you, go to the official city website. The letter is there also. There are none so blind as they who will not see.

Anonymous said...

This city administrator has needs to be fired, he has rode the "gravy train" long enough. Board of Aldermen, pay what ever it takes to get this guy off the city's payroll!!!

Anonymous said...

Willie
I know how to see a Facebook page and the city website; no Im not blind. But I was asking Raytowna Beach how anything on an internet is considered quietly posted. Really it is out there for all to see; no conspiracy about that

Anonymous said...

Any guesses on who would replace him if they did give him the boot? Is there anyone in our community to fill the roll?

GADSDEN said...

I have sat at board meetings where there was discussion about what company would be the auditor
for what ever year it was. Every year the city pays good money to go through an anneal audit of the
financial records of the city. It would seem to me that part of that audit would concern itself with
the TIF's that our mayor mentioned in the above. I would think that our aldermen should be maybe
also concerned enough to have telephone calls made to the audit firm. This is something that I
think our city manager would be very concerned with.

Anonymous said...

Mayor Mike's comments are interesting. He says he is going to find out why it happened, how it happened, etc., etc., and correct the problem. He left out a very important part. He should also remove the person or persons who are responsible for ALLOWING it to happen.

Anonymous said...

I would agree it was quietly posted, the mayor read the previous release about the fire victims word for word at the beginning of the council meeting, but somehow failed to mention the TIF accountability debacle in open session. My guess is that's why he added a closed session on Sunday and the Facebook sit points out. So much for transparency....Why should the public not be allowed to hear the excuses why our money has not been managed appropriately?

Anonymous said...

I love how everyone focuses on the manner which it was posted never mind this is the third strike against the professional transperant city staff in the last 6 months, as long as they remain I am a NO for anything they decide to put on the ballot

Anonymous said...

I would think that finding out The what how and why where must be found before one in figure out who or whom was responsible

Anonymous said...

So far it looks like the city is playing the run and hide game card. This is serious business. The repercussions for not following state law on reporting of TIF district funds and the lack of required public meetings sharing those reports is not an oversight. It was done purposely. Someone at city hall made the decision to not follow the law. If the mayor and board are stupid enough to take the fall for whoever was responsible, so be it.

Paul Livius said...

Greg has tried several times to get information about the Walmart TIF. It's like pulling teeth from a chicken. First, they can't release the information. Then they can't find the information. Then he should go through the freedom of information act. It's one excuse after another. I guess we now know why.

Anonymous said...

The reason Greg can't get any information is because it doesn't exist, our high paid City Administrator has not been doing his job. It is plain and simple he should have already been canned. This will no doubt cause a State Audit to get to the bottom of and the Finance Manager is no better either. The Mayor needs to get a staff that is worthy of what they are being paid and doesn't have that right now.

Raytown Newbie said...

Thanks to Raytown Beachbum.... I am another that does not regularly follow the City's website and I am not a Facebook user so this is where I get much of my Raytown news. Why anyone would be sniping about whether or not it was "quietly posted" is beyond me. Smells like somebody is being defensive.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing listed on the city's web site for tif. Open Government??? Time to stop professing it and start doing it.

Anonymous said...

Seems like everyone lacked a little foresight when this was being established. http://www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/stories/2005/03/07/story5.html

Anonymous said...

To find out more about the problems the Mayor is referring to regarding the TIF check out todays copy of The Brooking Eagle. The Fire District has no problem pointing out what the problems are, too bad the City Administrator can't be as transparent. Thank to the Raytown Fire Protection District for uncovering the activities that the City should have been well aware of. I would think after getting a $30,000 raise the CA would be more aware of what is going on.

Ron said...

For the last time - the CA did NOT get a $30,000 raise. His salary was adjusted up to what other CA's in the area are earning!

Anonymous said...

Call it what you like he's making $30,000 more than he was!!! Who cares what other cities are paying. Maybe they have a much higher tax base than Raytown. Quit making excuses for paying this man TOO MUCH.

Anonymous said...

John Benson has filled out the papers in the past, so why didn't do he do it this time? Looks like he is the one who did wrong. But Greg will never post this he is to much of a chicken.

Anonymous said...

Yea Ron but I can promise you he makes more than almost all Administrators for Missouri towns our size.....get a clue.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like the managers salary is a contentious issue. What do you feel is a reasonable salary for someone in that position?

Ron said...

Anon 9:48 - you claim John Benson filled out the papers in the past. Prove it!

Anonymous said...

I would think that the mayor or any councilman should have the authority to be able
to request a copy of the the audit report from the audit firm that is given to the city
manager. There should be a section where the firm audits the TIF;s at least to the point
of being able to see money flowing in and out and the financial liability that the city
has at each fiscal year end of the city.

Hope this makes sense, someone has the ability to do this, at least the mayor if he
deems it.

Anonymous said...

The item that never seems to get pointed out is the size of City Administrators area of responsibility. In Raytown the CA is not over the Police Department, Fire Department, Water Department, Health Department, Legal Department, Parks Department or the Sewer Department. Each of these are either under the control of a separate governing board/ Elected Official or Raytown contracts out the service. Raytown's CA only has authority over Public Works, Finance, Community Development and EMS. My point to all this is its hardly fair to compare his pay to a real CA who has oversight over 3x the amount of people. If you figure in the fact the city is starting to contact out some of community development and finance, Mahesh is basically back in charge of public works, which is what he was hired to do originally for $70,000.00 less.

Anonymous said...

Ron, here you go read it and weep http://app.auditor.mo.gov/TIF/vTIF.aspx?id=1616

Anonymous said...

May be this is why Mr. Benson is applying for a job in Minnesota.

Anonymous said...

To Ron and anonymous 3:47, sorry guys-you're both wrong.
Anonymous, I checked out your link and that is to some non-existent Tif from 2010, note the name-Downtown Raytown Tif and all the 0's, that tif never happened. Just because Benson's name's on that report from 6 years ago does not mean it's his responsibility to fill out reports for active ones. Good try to deflect responsibility.
Ron, attached is a link to average city manager's salary in the "area": http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/thonline.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/27/d2717262-fd77-11e3-8ed9-0017a43b2370/53ada28939bd9.pdf.pdf
Note: not one town is less than 30,000 population and as someone said above you would have to compare duties and employees managed. Sharma manages probably 65 +/- employees, no public utilities as most cities have, not even the fire department. He's paid in the 180's., more than twice what the city paid 10 years ago, and yes it was a $30,000 raise in one year.
At the end of the day it's his responsibility to make sure things get done-ergo the term "administrator/manager"
Seems to me we're paying for Lexus prices and getting Edsel services.

Anonymous said...

The information from Ron is nice but it is not the 350 Live project.

Anonymous said...

I went to the State Auditors site clicked on local government, then TIF projects and the Raytown. John Benson completed the 2011 350 Live report. Which is the last report the city bothered to do. My guess is the numbers are so horrible Bower and Mahesh ordered John not to complete another report.

Andy Whiteman said...

I spoke during public comments regarding the CA receiving his raise and the fact he is not required to live in Raytown. My main concern of his residence is not being mentioned in this string. He should be required to live in the city he is running so that he will experience the day to day problems other citizens have! It was said at the time that he had job offers from other cities. In that case, he should have felt free to accept one of them. But he would have been required to move to that city!

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

This has been an active week with posting to this site.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I have been reading this blog for many years. I have not commented on anything because most of the time someone else has said what I would say. BUT, I have something to say. The current administration has only been in for less than a year. The reporting requirement is from the last administration, so why are so many rushing to condemn them? I have noted that many times people that get on here are not fully informed on the matters that they comment on. I think that as early on as this current debacle is, it is too soon to make a decision on what and who is responsible and what should be done. I think if the matter is fixed then over half the problem is solved. Now to be sure it does not happen again. I own a company and I know supervision and jumping in without knowing it all is wrong on all fronts including all those postings about what should be done with whom. If you are not completely informed then shut up and see what happens. It's not the speed of the race but the justice of the result. I am willing to see what comes out in the end before I run to condemn those currently in power. Seems they have done pretty well so far. By that I mean they seem to think things out before they make a decision. Don't have to always agree with them but seems like they think things out. Sorry but I think your blog people are too quick to judge and don't look at the current information. Maybe they should be asking why this was done in Bower's time since that is when it occurred.

Anonymous said...

This entire blog is steeped in reactions based on partial info. For crying out loud, it's a blog in an age of FB and greater means to communicate. For the most part, it's the same folks chatting back and forth and in many cases it seems the same person is conversing with themself. This page is dedicated to opinion, not journalism.

Often times, people spew bitterness about a variety of things as they are desperately trying to fill a hole in their own heart. Kids are grown, career has ended...they've lost a lot of control over what they had previously commanded. Barking venom online is merely a means for them to evoke some kind of control.

It's kind of a sad scene. Do you really think people are passionately irritated that a pedestrian traffic signal was deactivated or that someone didn't file a document or 5 with the state. Isn't TIF a program members of this forum have decreed is evil? Why not rejoice in the opportunity that this apparent flub at City Hall could halt future use of TIF?

Most citizens wouldn't have noticed any of this stuff. But, since they "need" to be irritated, they tune into this hateful little page each week to see what they can express an extreme opinion toward.

Some people are only happy when they're unhappy.

Anonymous said...

I think is quite evident that the current mayor has never been in a position where he had to make decisions, he was always told what to do. He in my opinion over reacted to this situation. First of all find out who got the papers to fill out was it John Benson? If it was he is the one who should be held responsible. The CA is not a babysitter to these department heads they know what there job is and they need to do it without someone telling them to do it. Ever since the charter committee was formed last year is became quite evident the mayor and several others on the committee wanted to relieve the CA of his job. Just remember Mr. Mayor pay back is hell and this goes for Jason Greene, Mark Moore and Janet Emerson.

Anonymous said...

I have not read a single post that blames the current board or mayor and with the exception of Aziere (who has been in office the entire project) it would be inappropriate to do so. It is however entirely appropriate to hold the CA and Finance Director accountable for failure to do what they get paid to do. With that said now that the current mayor and board have been informed of this malfeasance if they do not take swift action they will be no better than the group we all voted to replace last April.

Anonymous said...

I would say that the Mayor was being open and at the forefront of keeping people notified

Raytown Newbie said...

Hi 9:14

You have not added anything, although you seem to be a regular reader. The fact that your post has made it here unedited says something about this blog. I am a blog reader in this "age of FB" I am not a FBer. So forgive my flat earth way of staying in the loop.

BTW, enlighten me... What is Facebook? if not folks chatting back and forth.

Regards to all Raytowners, RN

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:14, you are so right. Most of Raytown would have known to be outraged be the recent mismanagement at city hall and I cannot help but think how much 10000 e 59th street could accomplish if everyone would stop bothering the with demands of accountability and transparency. The examples speak for themselves, look how much Hitler was able to accomplish once Germany stopped bothering him. "The world is not dangerous because of those who wish to do harm, but rather those witness harm and do nothing about it. Albert Einstein

Anonymous said...

February 21, 2016 at 10:04 AM

Paybacks are hell you say; look up online see who signed those TIF reports, it was former mayor Bower and the CA. That tells me a lot. The way I see it is the 4 names you mentioned are the ones trying to at least be honest about what is going on. Keep your head in the sand.