Saturday, March 19, 2016


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2013/2014 City Audit
Foretold City’s
Reporting Problems
Two more issues have come to light in the wake of the TIF Tax Dispute between the Fire District and the City of Raytown.

In 2013 the City of Raytown hired the auditing firm Cochran Head Vick and Co., P.C. to conduct the required annual audit of the city’s books for the 2013/2014 fiscal year.

On April 25, 2015, Cochran Head released its audit report to the city.

In the Auditor’s management letter the firm recommended the City improve its end of the year reporting procedures to “ensure that transactions are properly recorded in generally accepted accounting principles.”

The Report cited that “adjustments were not initially identified by the City’s internal controls over financial reporting.”

The Auditor’s Report stated . . . “Year-end policies were not sufficient to identify the adjustments noted above in a timely manner.”

Auditors also reported the non-compliance of proper reporting procedures could cause problems for the city. They wrote: “Potential exists for material misstatements to the financial statements.”

To view the entire report from Cochran Head Vick and Co., P.C. go to the City of Raytown Website at
(   1)                In the “search” box of the home page type in AUDIT.
(   2)                Go to CITY FINANCIAL INFORMATION
(   3)                Go to 2013/2014 AUDIT
(   4)                To view the comments go to PAGE 71 - 79

The audit clearly shows the City’s management team was aware that year-end reports were not being filed in a timely manner. So there is no question staff was aware of the need for improvement.

The question remains . . . why weren’t the needed safeguards put in place to make certain the reports were not completed in a timely manner?

Last October the Raytown Fire District questioned why reports were not being made in a timely manner to the State of Missouri as regards certain TIF projects in Raytown. According to Fire Department officials, their inquiries were met with stonewalling tactics. Unable to find the information from the City, the Department made inquiries to the State of Missouri.

Only after the City began to feel the heat of the State Auditor’s office did the city file the delinquent reports.

The City Administrator’s assertion that staff turnover is the cause of the problem does not ring true. The same City Staff that reviewed the 2013/2014 Audit was in place as when the Fire Department began its inquiries.

In other words, no progress was made during the ensuing months after the audit found fault with the city’s reporting procedures.

The failure of the City to file financial reports concerning TIF projects and tax abatements could put future community projects in jeopardy.

Most of the Raytown governing body, including the Mayor and at least seven of the Raytown Board of Aldermen conducted reform based campaigns to win election.

They should take a serious look at why the audit recommendations were ignored.

Fire District Petition for
Audit Picking up Steam
Barb Schlapia, Vice President of the Raytown Fire Protection District Board of Governors, told the Raytown Report the petition drive is well under way for an Audit of the City of Raytown’s books by the State Auditor’s office.

“Over 600 signatures have been gathered,” Schlapia told the Raytown Report.

An estimated 1,370 signatures are required to bring a State Audit of the city’s finances.

She also said the Fire District Board of Governors has decided to withhold tax receipt payments to the City of Raytown for TIF projects within the City until the issue is resolved.

The Fire District maintains the City has over-billed the District for its share of tax receipts for the 350 Live TIF. Most readers will recognize the Tax District as the one which includes Walmart on 350 Highway.

Anyone interested in signing the petition can do so by going to Fire Station Number One located at 6020 Raytown Trafficway to sign or pick up petitions for a State Audit.

One of my jobs at the Raytown Report is to review upcoming agendas of the Raytown Board of Aldermen. They will be meeting this Tuesday, so, I checked out the agenda.

An item caught my eye that did not make much sense.

A resolution before the Board of Aldermen asks for $95,913.00 to pay a project consultant to oversee the building of a new Downtown Raytown Streetscape.

Which caused me to wonder, can’t one of our city engineer’s do the inspections, fill out the reports and save the taxpayers about $100 grand for the trouble.

While we are on the subject of the City Streetscape, I wonder what Raytowners think of the plan to have vertical parking along 63rd Street.

Not that I am opposed to vertical parking. It works in other cities, it should work here.

But the plan to require all vehicles to pull in backwards does not seem to be a good plan. First of all, I have never heard of such a requirement anywhere. And I have been around for quite awhile.

This may come as a news flash to the planners at City Hall, but a lot of older people have trouble pulling their vehicle into a spot backwards.

The reason is simple.

As you age, your mobility and flexibility become limited. It is a heck of a lot easier to pull head on into a vertical parking spot. It is not easy to shoe-peg your car backwards into a parking space – particularly if you have trouble turning your head around to keep from hitting the cars parked on either side.

Just my point of view.

What do you think?

A Recipe for
Eggplant Parmesan BY JENN
We are always looking for new delicious and clean recipes. Which is why we like The Best of Clean Eating cookbook from Clean Eating Magazine. It’s like getting a whole year’s worth of magazines in one book! One book! With 200 recipes, such as Windy City Pie Deep-Dish Pizza, Thai Coconut Shrimp with Brown Rice Pasta, Apple Grilled Cheese with Grainy Mustard, and the below dish—Eggplant Parmesan with Bulgar and Pine Nuts—this is a healthy food lover’s dream.

And the best part of the cookbook? Its emphasis on eating what you love. When you love yourself, you want to feed yourself food that is delicious, nutritious and crave-worthy. And the below recipe is definitely that—even if you’re not a vegetarian or think that “clean eating” equates to eating cardboard. This is food that feeds the soul! READ MORE

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Anonymous said...

"But the plan to require all vehicles to pull in backwards does not seem to be a good plan. First of all, I have never heard of such a requirement anywhere. And I have been around for quite awhile."

Westport and Main (where the old Katz was), and the 300 and 400 blocks of Delaware along the streetcar line in KCMO among other places.

A google search for "back in angle parking" comes up with over 8,000,000 hits.

Anonymous said...

Depends on which news source you read. The following article tells a different story. And, oh, by the way, the angle parking on Grand in Downtown KC at the KC Star allows you to pull in front first. Not sure you are correcdt on the reverse angle parking in midtown. I've seen plenty of cars pulled in front first at that location.



Reverse angled parking, which requires drivers to back into spaces, can have these advantages:

• Car doors do not open in front of oncoming traffic as happens with parallel parking.

• Children and pets exiting a vehicle are blocked by car doors from going toward the traffic and instead go toward the sidewalk.

• Because cars are backed in, people can unload the trunks while standing on the sidewalk rather than in the street.

• More parking spaces can be created on a city block than with parallel parking.

• Drivers have more visibility when pulling out of the spaces.


• If reverse angled parking replaces parallel parking, a street is likely to lose one lane of traffic and, in some cases, may have to become one way.

• If reverse angled parking replaces front-in angled parking, there is no increase in parking spots.

• To get into a reverse angled space, a driver must stop just ahead of the space and use a right turn signal to indicate an intention to park. Drivers in the same lane behind that car must stop and wait or may be unable to back up. Those same conditions occur with parallel parking, though.

Reverse angled parking requires drivers to back into the spaces. When replacing parallel parking, it creates more spots but it can also eliminate a lane of traffic.

On 6th Street in Austin, however, business owners want their front-end angled parking spaces back.

“Everybody who comes in complains about it,” said Eric Jones, a clerk at Wiggy's Liquor Store — where 900 customers have signed a petition to get rid of the back-in spaces.

He estimates the store has seen a 20 percent decline in customers because they do not want to contend with the back-in parking.

Anonymous said...

Paul, I agree with you about back in vertical parking. Some businesses (Post Office, UPS, telephone companies, etc.) do this for company vehicles. Backing is difficult for me which is why I don't attempt parallel parking unless there is a vacant spot so I can pull straight it. If it is actually reverse angle parking, I think it may be more tolerable but still difficult. This plan could cause Raytown Businesses to lose customers. I would try to find another nearby parking spot. If that fails, I would go, elsewhere and not return...just too much bother. Maybe business owners should protest the plan.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I am sure the city has all kinds of extra money and can pay of the those that sue them for making them back into places.

I wonder if those two Alderman that are running for State Rep have thought about how this is not going to help get them any votes.

Anonymous said...

Back-in angle parking provides motorists with better vision of bicyclists, pedestrians, cars and trucks as they exit a parking space and enter moving traffic. Back-in angle parking also eliminates the risk that is present in parallel parking situations, of a motorist may open the car door into the path of a bicyclist. Back-in angle parking also removes the difficulty that drivers, particularly older drivers, have when backing into moving traffic.

Above is the hype that they use for back in parking, I agree we do not need back in parking, I will use stores in that area less than I already do.

Anonymous said...

Raytown is so blessed this year that the school board has pulled graduation from the First Baptist.

It has troubled me for years that the event was at a church and even more so that a non-profit was charging the school.

Doesn't that make them a for profit and therefore shouldn't they pay taxes like everyone else.

Anonymous said...

Where will Raytown hold its graduation ceremony this year?

mb said...

I have to admit that in peak times I won't be using the back in parking. I'll either park in one of the close by lots or walk from my house. Walking to downtown Raytown isn't a big deal except during winter.

Beth said...

Does anyone remember why they widened 63st? Traffic flow !!! While people were parallel parking tying up a lane others could continue with the flow in the other lane. This taking a lane away to get a few more cars able to park infront of a hand full of stores while requiring them to back in is crazy and going to make a mess of traffic and people will avoid the few shops. Better to make parking lot behind stores in all that vacant land

Anonymous said...

I won't park anywhere that requires me to back in. Therefore, I probably will continue to not patronize businesses in that area. There are too many more desirable alternatives.

Vicky said...

Anonymous said Raytown is so blessed this year that the school board has pulled graduation from the First Baptist.

Did the school quit the church or did the church kick the school out? Think about how many problems there have been at the graduations. There have been numerous arrests, guns pulled, adults inappropriately dressed, profanity shouted in the church, and other stupid behavior. If I was the minister at that church, I wouldn't want that kind of activity in my church either.

Anonymous said...

This year's seniors at RSHS and RHS chose to have graduation on their own campuses. They voted on that a year ago. The completion of the stadium at RSHS made it easier to do. The schools have been considering this for years. Having it at the stadiums means they do not have to put a limit on the number of tickets that each student can have. It also ends objections some had with having graduation in a church. The main issue they will have with this is the possibility of inclement weather and fitting everyone inside.

By the way, any adults inappropriately dressed were not allowed in the graduation ceremony. They either had to leave or watch it on TV in a room far removed from the ceremony. Not an issue.

Guns pulled? Really? When? I recall reading about a fight or two over the years but guns were never mentioned.

Marilyn said...

The question of pulling in front ways or backing in is a non-issue for me. Why would I go downtown in the first place. I'm sure the people at State Farm are very nice, but I already have insurance. I buy cheap shoes and it's easier to buy new than try to repair. I have two cats, so I have no need of a dog trainer. I'm healthy, so I don't need a lot of prescriptions (my insurance pays for Walgreens). The bank has its own lot. Until there is something there, I'm not worrying how they set up the parking because there's nothing there for me. I wonder how many other people will think the same way?

Anonymous said...

Has anyone noticed that some merchants have parking lots their businesses? There is parking behind State Farm, Raytown Animal Hospital, and the bank. Downtown customers can certainly park there or at the bank and WALK to where they are going.

If that is not sufficient, maybe Raytown should consider a public parking lot. The city owns a rather large vacant area where the Old Baptist Church used to be that could be used for parking. Using that site would eliminate the expense of tearing up 63rd Street and the dangers of reverse parking.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

The city is supposed to follow the rules on filing reports to the tax give a ways they create. The do not do it.

It works like this. They do not follow the state laws on reports. They do not even follow the advise of their own auditors on making the reports.

I really wonder how many people ran up to city hall or called their aldermen to tell them they want back in vertical parking in Downtown Raytown? I'd wager it was very few if any at all.

Don't you get it? They are going to ignore what they want to ignore. They are going to do what the want to do. They really do not care what the public thinks. It is given they do not believe in following state laws.

Anonymous said...

So Tif accounting is wrong, internal controls are not in place and could lead to "misstatements"and federal grants are at risk because of poor accounting. I read this after looking at Greg's links.
"Without proper controls in place over the reporting of Federal awards, Federal grants may not be properly reported on the SEFA in the Single Audit report. Not only could that lead to an audit finding for the organization, but the organization could be at risk of losing future funding for those programs and/or may have to repay funds back to the grantor that were already received."
What are they doing up there? I hope everyone signs the audit petition!

Anonymous said...

Is that the fire station close to Wendy's or the one close to Popeye's chicken?

Anonymous said...

Something seems to be really wrong here and I cannot for the life of me figure out why more people are not jumping up and down.

Over the past three weeks I have noticed the following news trends;

The School District appears to be flush with cash and committed to buying up commercial property all over town, funny thing is I do not remember any of that mentioned when they renewed the bonds last year. This money they have to throw around is ours and we should have a say in how it is spent.

The City seems to be bankrupt in every sense of the word. They are bankrupt when it comes to accountability, they are bankrupt when it comes to transparency, they are bankrupt when it comes to leadership and soon they are going to be bankrupt when it comes to finance. The 350 deal is so bad that in 4 years 1/2 of the City budget will go just to paying the bonds back. This is compounded by the fact the City has been servicing the loan for the past 9 years with money they borrowed initially. The is to the tune of 8 million dollars and worst of all this money is not available to develop the rest of the property which is needed to generate the funds required to service this loan.

Lastly, some aldermen and one local paper has been attacking the fire department for making all of this an issue, yet in last weeks paper it was reported the fire department is working to save taxpayers $650,000.00 by refinancing their bonds. If this was the School District or the City they would have pocketed the money instead of returning it to the citizens.

Why are we allowing this to continue?

Anonymous said...

#1 station close to Wendy's

Anonymous said...

When are they going to put sidewalks in at 59th st from blue ridge blvd to Woodson as they have said????? This is a safety issue!!! The dumb Street scape is not!!!

Anonymous said...

Bankrupt in leadership is so correct. Very few have any use for the professionals running city hall. They do not live here. They could care less about what happens to our town. I do not understand why the city council does not man up and do something to correct the situation we find our city in today. If they think it will magically get better they are wrong. If they thinking continuing on the path they are on will make things better they are mistaken.

Anonymous said...

The only way to fix city hall is what in the private business is call a re-org. Under a re-org no position or person is safe from being let go. Three things save you the need for the position, understanding of operations (systems & policies) and truly being a top performer.

Our elected officials need to go in and clean house from top to bottom starting with the city administrator.

They need to recall the citizen spoke last April and agreed to keep this a 4th class city and a 4th class city doesn't need or have the money for a city administrator.

Sorry folks, but just because you call someone a professional doesn't make them one, which means they are not a top performer either.

From there we can do a lot of cleaning of unneeded management positions starting in departments that have 1 supervisor for every 1 or 2 employees.

We can make Raytown great again, but we first must all agree there are NO professionals at city hall. Part of that is the Bower Administration of patting failure on the back and thinking no one would catch on as long as the word "Professional" was over used. The other part is acting like we cannot live without a city administrator. The city did great without one for years and oddly didn't get into all this financial trouble until we decided to add one. Our current on has had one after another excuses why not to move here, would leave here if he didn't get a $30,000 raise when everyone was told there would be no raises and gets our elected officials to do dog tricks about how great he is for just doing his job, which is what it is to go and find grants for the citizen.

I would explain top performers and going beyond, but clearly that concept is far to great for our elected officials to understand or the city administrator would have been gone over 10 years ago.

Peter said...

Did see where the school district bought the old ratty newspaper bld/ thrift store and tore that eye sore down. I saw where the school district is leasing the old YMCA and making it a better place for our community. I also saw where they are leasing the old united super bld that sat vacant for a century and repaired the eye sore of broken glass and graffiti ; thus making it safer for the tenants that occupy the other existing blgs

Anonymous said...

Several years ago people couldn't understand why I referred to the city administration as "the Socialist, Fascist, Fief of Raytown." Is it apparent now?

Andy Whiteman

Marilyn said...

Peter, I know about the YMCA building, so I'm going to assume you are correct about the other buildings. What confuses me, however, is where in the School District's Mission Statement it says the District is in the real estate business or the building rehab business. Aren't they just supposed to be teaching the children? Could this be one reason the test scores are so low?

Anonymous said...

A few questions from all this...

1. What businesses are we supposed to be backing up to? An ancient Rx biz and an insurance agent? Walgreens is awesome and Progressive if less costly.

2. The school district is playing real estate games, drug testing kids, etc. At what point are they planning on addressing being third from the bottom on the list of kc metro schools?

Anonymous said...

Don't forget to remind your family and friends in KCMO to vote NO on the earnings tax.

Anonymous said...

The pool hall ( which hasn't changed since 1970), a bar, and the pharmacy and insurance is what you would be backing up to. Didn't know the school district was playing real estate games. Thought they were leasing the one building for storage. Guess they should of leased somewhere else; would of saved fixing the outside of the building up and we would of still had an eye sore waiting to be leased. Yes it is a shame that drug testing is prevalent across the board even in private schools. Parents can try and tell kids to just say no to drugs but some will still try and a few may get hooked further ruining their life's . Back in my day drugs weren't as prevelant and we and the schools could focus more on educating than breaking up fights and stopping drug sells. Don't know what happened to parenting. However the world has taken away rules from everyone. Glad my Grandkids go to private school; even though the parents pay public school taxes and private school tuition . Shame how the world has changed

Anonymous said...

I too wish the school district would focus on education and not property management and purchasing.

Maybe we could have something to be proud about.

Anonymous said...

5:31 - there are a couple of teenagers at the end of the block that I think are probably smoking marijuana or crack. One difference between them and my sons is that I'm here when my sons get home from school. I know where they are and who they're with. Both the other teens' parents work. I don't know when they get home, but I don't see cars in the driveway until 8:00 or later in the evening.

Oh, and I won't back into a parking spot downtown. All I need is for some fool to try to go around me when I'm trying to back up, hit me and claim it's my fault

Anonymous said...

To 5:01 pm
Your son will thank you someday for keeping close rein on him and teaching him respect of himself and adults. I do understand parents having to work a lot . But so many then don't even take the time to converse with their children when they do return home. Many are from single parents but it can be done; I know I was a single parent and my daughter is also. The kids have chores and are only unsupervised for a small amount of time with way to many chores to fit into that time. It is hard for the students who want to learn and the teachers who are trying to teach when students are being disruptive with violent fights in the class room. One of the reasons I quit teaching in the public schools.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if all the money being spent in one block of Downtown Raytown means they are not going to improve Blue Ridge Boulevard. If that is the case then it means they have made a poor choice of projects. The Blue Ridge projecdt would have given a new street all the way to the city's northern city limits. A lot of people use Blue Ridge. I would venture to say a lot more than go to Downtown Raytown. I wonder if the Board of Aldermen know they can stop the obvious stupidity of back in parking in Downtown Raytown by simply making a motion and voting on it?

Anonymous said...

It is amazing to me that with all these negative comments you would think these complainers would have some solutions,but no just whining with no evidence of what they complain about!
I have followed the news and read city info
It is obvious a lot of projects are getting started finally, including the 59th street sidewalk
But all you all want to do is complain

Anonymous said...

When did you say they were going to start building the sidewalks? Oh, that's right. You did not. There is nothing wrong with asking questions. It is not a complaint. If someone questions when a project will be constructed, they should not be labeled in a negative way. On the other hand, if people in a position to know the answer withhold the knowledge of when a project will be started. Then you have a different story.

There seems to be a knee jerk reaction by some who write on this blog to resort to name calling like "complainer" when someone asks a legitimate question.

In the last couple of days there have been questions about projects that are supposed to improve Blue Ridge Boulevard and sidewalks on 59th Street.

No one has stepped up from city hall to give even a hint of a timeline on the projects.

Why not?!?

In the scope of things those two projects are a lot more important than back in vertical parking.

They deserve to be answered.

I know this blog is read by people at city hall that should give the answer to those questions but for some reason do not give the answer.

Why not?!?

Anonymous said...

Those at city hall don't like questions.

Speaking of questions can someone confirm that our city public relations person owns a business and if so where?

My thought is she doesn't want to answer questions at city hall maybe she will when people show up at her business and maybe she will learn to do the job that she is be paid for with our tax dollars.

NO, this is not a complaint it is FACT she does not like to answer questions.

Is PR person job to answer questions?

I have heard from over 5 people just this week she will not answer questions and has started to screen her calls.

Why is she still working for the city with an attitude like this?

Anonymous said...

9:00 AM 3/24/16

Maybe you are over reacting.

Maybe Brenda is unable to answer the questions because her boss, the city administrator, will not let her.

Maybe what she is really saying is please stop by the fire department and sign the petition as she knows it is the only way we are going to get answers.

Anonymous said...

Where are all the agenda 21 nut jobs that thought the city was going to condemn their homes with the intent to lease them back?

Anonymous said...

Longtime Raytown C-2 School District PIO Cathy Allie truly epitomizes how a true professional goes about the task of courteous, friendly, and responsive information requests. Good, bad, or even when no comment is available at this time, she always makes herself available and returns calls quickly. We'll miss her as this is her last year with the School District.

Anonymous said...

Where on earth did you come from? The Donald Trump school of making friends and influencing people? Calling people nut jobs is not really a good way to introduce yourself. Same old negative stuff. Can't win an argument so you start calling people names.

Anonymous said...

Better get used to back in parking as the mayor loves it. After all we have so much money that we
can not fix our streets. Granted we receive some free money from Big Daddy but we have to spend
some of our own money and we just do not have much of it. I am wondering what the new board
is thinking.

Anonymous said...

Our streets are in horrible condition. But we will spend money on "pretty effects" for downtown street scape. I won't be shopping in downtown if I have to back in to park. People won't park in back of the businesses to shop, it is not convenient to shop, plus a chance on getting mugged from coming from behind a building. This shows where our city administration priorities are. The neighborhoods are getting trashier (cars parked in the yards like on Appleton and Lewis) and the streets are full of holes.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what the Mayor thinks of Brenda's action of not responding to people.

Is he happy that this will send a message that the city needs a state audit to get to the truth?

Just think about it he used to be a police officer and don't police officers think people they are questioning have something to hide when they don't respond.

Clearly the city is hiding something, therefore I too will be visiting the fire department to sign the petition.

Raytown Newbie said...

Good Morning All,
So we are to have back in parking and that requires a removal of a driving lane each way? And some are worried that removal of the turn lane on Blue Ridge will slow down traffic? Just wait till some of our many geezers try the back in parking. Ha-ha
Nothing against geezers, mind you, I am one too. But many of us are challenged on our backing up skills.
BTW... I think Marilyn made the best comment of the week.

And if I may say.... I'm so glad the haters were able to save our downtown so we could blow hundreds of thousands on a "streetscape". Just more real money poured down a rathole of inefficiency. Then to add insult, the city must hire an outsider to manage this boondoggle.

Okay then. Have a Great Good Friday Raytowners. And a peaceful Easter.

Anonymous said...

At least we get an egg hunt, weiner dog race and beautiful baby contest on the property once a year. Glad we saved it from the likes of am evil grocer. The nasty smell of the nearest and dearest antiquated store has some appeal i suppose. Regardless, I'm glad we get to have an Easter event on the property. Surely it brings in enough revenue to offset the annual costs associated with mowing it...right? Anyway...I'm headed to the new bar next to the fried fish joint. Drown my sorrows in ripple and coors.

Raytown Newbie said...

Yes, I am perhaps beating a very dead horse... but once every 3 months or so I head over to Noland Rd to get my Chevy serviced (no dealer here anymore) and I go past the Walmart Neighborhood Market store next to Truman High and I am amazed at how busy the place is. And after being there for some time now, all the other Independence grocery stores seem to be doing fine.

It recently occurred to me that Walmart seems to be the victim of a double standard. I don't recall all the moaning and groaning when stores like Hy-Vee and Price Chopper were busy putting so many local neighborhood markets out of business.

Sure hope the city gets busy on the 59th street sidewalk project. It needs to be ready for the next school year.

Regards Raytowners,

Anonymous said...

I'm moving to

Anonymous said...

The difference is Anon 8:10 neither Brenda or the City Administrator have the right to remain silent. We the taxpayer need to demand those two carpet bagging over paid drains on our community are held accountable. Anyone at city hall who does not hold them accountable should be replaced with those who demand it.

Anonymous said...

Wait....if you pull in forward don't you have to back out into traffic??

Anonymous said...

I visited Fox Drug once about 15 years ago. I ate at Home Skillet once. I won't need to back in to park anywhere near downtown.

Anonymous said...

Please cut and paste the link for your ecard: