Sunday, April 24, 2016

RAYTOWN'S LEADING NEWS SOURCE

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OTHER NEWS SOURCES DISCUSS
Potential Raytown 
Financial Crisis Looming 
"We did not anticipate as a board that we would see that type of situation down the road." (former Raytown Alderman Joe Creamer) 


BY Andy Alcock 6:31 PM, Apr 26, 2016, KSHB TV 41 
To view the news broadcast use this link: READ MORE



CITY ADMINISTRATOR SHARMA ONE OF THREE FINALISTS FOR IOWA COUNTY JOB
Finalists for Scott County Administrator
By Herb Trix Apr 19, 2016

Three finalists have been chosen for the job of Scott County Administrator. Tuesday afternoon, county board chairman, Jim Hancock, released the names.

They are Gregg Mandsager - the city administrator for Muscatine, Mahesh Sharma who's the city administrator in Raytown, Missouri, and Galesburg city administrator Todd Thompson. READ MORE


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BY GREG WALTERS
Looking Back . . . 
What about that 
“Investigation”?
On April 13th the Raytown Times ran a front page story in which the author (the story was unsigned) wrote . . .

“. . . the Board of Aldermen went into a closed session after the April 5th meeting to discuss legal matters, likely a complaint filed with the Missouri Attorney General’s Office alleging that Aldermen violated the Missouri Sunshine Law by holding two meetings with fire district officials at the fire headquarters.”

“The city was informed the by the Attorney General’s Office that it would investigating the complaint, apparently leading up to the city staff’s desire to discuss the matter in private.”

At the time I wondered what all the brouhaha was about. Some Aldermen were invited to sit down with representatives of the Raytown Fire District. To comply with Missouri  Sunshine Law they took care not create a quorum and made it very clear the meetings (there were two of them) were for informational purposes only

Last Tuesday night it all became very clear. 

At last the Tuesday night Board of Aldermen meeting, the Mayor and Board were blessed by a visit from former Ward 1 Aldermen Joe Creamer

Creamer went into a rather lengthy speech in which he called the Board of Aldermen the “disgraceful seven” and then accused the “junior aldermen from Ward 2 and Ward 4” of using “bad tactics” on staff and Aldermen. He closed by saying they were “under investigation”.

My oh my, what a coincidence!

Let’s be clear here. Anyone can file a complaint. The Attorney General’s office has a duty to investigate all complaint. It has been close to three weeks since this complaint was filed.

Yet, nothing has happened.

Why . . . because Creamer's accusations are without merit.

Did some of the members of the Board of Aldermen meet with Fire District officials to hear about concerns over the handling of TIF funds?

Yes, they did.

Did they take a vote, pass legislation, or conspire to bring the city to its knees?

No, they did not.

Did they break the Sunshine Law?

No they did not.

Is Joe Creamer preparing to take another shot at running for a seat on the Board of Aldermen?

To borrow the words of a former Alaskan Governor and former Vice Presidential candidate . . . “you betchya”!


A Story about Complaints to
the Attorney General’s Office
This week’s lead story reminded me of a time I turned in a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act.

I was serving on the Raytown Charter Commission at the time and wanted to review the City Administrator’s contract.

After repeated requests for the contract were ignored by the Charter Commission Chairman and the City Clerk’s office, I decided to approach the Attorney General’s office for help.

I had documented all of my requests, two of which had been made during public meetings of the Charter Commission. In my conversation with the Attorney General’s office they expressed wonder at why a public contract was not being made available. They noted that my requests were over two weeks old. The next day the information I had requested magically appeared in the inbox of my email.

Not all things are newsworthy. The recent lament from Randy Battagler and now Joe Creamer suggest there is some collusion on their part. Until the Attorney General’s office comes forward with a decision, it would be best to observe their political axe grinding for what it is.

Bits and Pieces . . . 
  • The Board of Aldermen must have got the message last week when we wrote of not being able to hear comments and votes cast at Board meetings. City Administrator Mahesh Sharma even went so far to mention in his City Administrator Report that “the sound is okay today? Very good".He was correct. All of the elected officials and most of the appointed officials could be heard crystal clear. 
  • The only exception was City Clerk Teresa Henry. For some reason, her voice either cuts out half way through the roll call or cannot be heard at all. The result is you can hear the votes by the Aldermen, but you cannot tell who is voting. 
  • Speaking of recordings . . . we had wondered who would be taking over the job of posting the meetings of the Board of Aldermen now that former Public Information Officer Brenda Gustafson is no longer with the city. Paul tells me one result of the change is that the video was available one day earlier (Wednesday instead of Thursday) than before. That’s a change for the better.Whoever has taken on the responsibility, they have already made a good impression.
  • One final note on the matter . . .  Paul also tells me the video streaming was not working at the last meeting. It is a small matter. We believe most people watch the recorded version than then live. But since it is in place, and the city has paid for it,  it should be operable.
  • Finally, we hear the musical guest at this year’s Summerfest at Kenagy Park will be Liverpool. If you have not heard this band before, you’re in for a treat . . . particularly if you like to hear live Beatles music.

Paul’s Notes: Raytown’s professional political gadfly was back last week. Former Ward 1 Alderman Joe Creamer visited the Board meeting during public comments. He jumped straight into a diatribe of accusations and veiled slander. Creamer must still be stinging from the defeat he had at the polls last election when he placed third behind Alderman Karen Black and former Alderman Greg Walters in Ward 1.

It appears Mr. Creamer has adopted the position of those members of the Board who did not meet with representatives of the Fire District. Those Aldermen are practiced in the art of obstructionism. It is interesting to note they have found someone so naive to carry their message for them.


BY PAUL LIVIUS
The Paul Livius Report
Board of Aldermen Meeting, April 19, 2016

During public comments, Joe Creamer stated he will be on the phone with television stations and investigative reporters about what is going on in Raytown with the “Disgraceful Seven”. He said he wants the Attorney General to investigate the Board of Aldermen.  The Junior Aldermen from Ward 2 and Ward 4 have used bad tactics on the staff and elected officials.  He claimed there were secret meetings and only three aldermen had the integrity to not attend.


Mahesh Sharma said April 19 was Jim Melvin’s last day as Interim Public Works Director.  He has been in that position since September, 2016.

Alderman Mock said the Raytown Arts and Music Festival will be August 27 this year at Kenagy Park.  Brewer and Shipley will not be able to perform, as they are booked on that date.  The group “Liverpool” will perform instead.

The Board heard the first reading of an ordinance granting a conditional use permit subject to allow an indoor shooting range on property located at 6326 Raytown Road. Steve Brackeen is seeking approval of a Conditional Use Permit application for an indoor shooting range to be located at 6326 Raytown Road. The property is zoned Neighborhood Commercial zoning district. The Board of Aldermen approved a Conditional Use Permit application last year that was submitted by the applicant for an indoor shooting range at 8830 Highway 350.

However, since that time the applicant has encountered unanticipated issues in installing the shooting range in that building with the owner of that property and now wants to open the shooting range at 6326 Raytown Road. Steve Brackeen told the Board the building he currently occupies is not big enough and the rent has been raised.

The proposed indoor shooting range will be located in the basement of the existing building on the property. The applicant will also be moving his gun and ammunition store (Blue Steel Gun & Ammo) to the main level of the building. The sale of guns and ammunition is a retail use and is a permitted use in the NC zoning district. Therefore, the gun and ammunition store does not require a Conditional Use Permit.

The Board heard the first and second reading of an ordinance granting a waiver to the approved exterior building materials specified in the design standards provided in section 50-421(h) of the code of ordinances and approving the use of composite siding material on property located at 8320 Westridge road.

Brian and Kenda Bamesberger own and operate Star Drywall, which is located on the property at 8320 Westridge Road. They are remodeling the existing building on the property and want to change the exterior building material on the front of the building to a composite siding material.

The composite siding material proposed,  does not comply with the Highway 350 Corridor Design Standards. As such, they are seeking approval of their request for a waiver to the allowable type of exterior building materials specified in the Highway 350 Corridor Design Standards as provided in Section 50-421(h) of the City of Raytown Code of Ordinances.  The Board approved the ordinance.

The Board cast two written ballots for the position of Mayor Pro Tem.  When no one was elected in that manner, the motion was made to elect Janet Emerson as the Mayor Pro Tem. 

Mayor McDonough read a Proclamation of Appreciation to Aldermen Steve Mock for his service as Acting President of the Board of Aldermen during 2015-2016. 

The Board passed a resolution establishing the rates for medical and dental insurance for the insurance plan year from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017. Alderman Van Buskirk moved the Board adopt Option 1 for the coming year.  The City has received the rate increases from Midwest Public Risk (MPR).

Each year, the benefit structure and pricing is reviewed to assure the program remains competitive and pricing can support it. Additionally, MPR periodically requests bids to be sure member entities are receiving the best options for the price. Our plans were last bid in 2012 and are subject to re-bid on a 5-year schedule. MPR bid our pharmacy benefit this year and changed all plans to the CIGNA pharmacy network.

At the same time, the contract with CIGNA for the PPOB and high deductible plans was extended for another 3 years. The Humana HMO is scheduled for bid in 2017. The City currently offers three types of coverage: Employee, Tier 2, and Family. Each plan type has three options: HMO, Cigna Open Access 750 (PPO-B) and Choice Fund 1500.

The Choice Fund 1500, a high-deductible plan with associated Health Savings Account (HSA), was added three years ago and has increased in enrollment each year. This is the second year we have had a very favorable renewal. The average increase for each coverage type is 5.5%, with the HMO increasing 6%, PPO-B increasing 8% and Choice Fund 1500 increasing 2.5%. Attached are three proposals to fund health insurance from July 2016 to June 2017. The City currently pays 92.5% of the HMO plan.

Any employee choosing this coverage who utilizes a more expensive option would pay the difference. The City currently pays approximately 70% of the HMO plan for both Tier 2 and Family coverage. Any employee choosing this coverage who utilizes a more expensive option would pay the difference. All proposals would fall within current budgetary amounts. Option 1 is to retain City participation at the same rate structure and then share the increase in premiums proportionately.

The City share would increase approximately $2,418 for 24 payrolls for a total annual increase of $58,024. This option would fall within current budgetary amounts. Option 2 is for the employee to cover the entire increase. The City share would remain the same. This option would fall within current budgetary amounts. Option 3 is for the City to cover the entire increase. The City share would increase approximately $3,134 for 24 payrolls for a total annual increase of $75,227. This option would also fall within current budgetary amounts.

Staff did review other scenarios but feel the three proposals being presented fall within the lines of previous years’ practice and within budget.  In the past, management has expressed the desire to slowly lower the City participation rate to the mid 80% range. Last year, with the excellent renewal and Board-approved wage increases, we dropped the City’s contribution 2%. This year, however, it is staff’s recommendation that the Board approve Option 1 above.

This retains the current rate structure and shares the premium increase proportionately with employees. Staff will evaluate decreasing the City’s participation rate next year.

The Board passed a resolution approving group term life insurance and accidental death and disability insurance. The City currently provides a group term life insurance/AD&D benefit of 1x annual salary, with a maximum of $50,000. The deaths of three employees caused management to evaluate the benefit we provide. The employees who passed earned less than $50,000/year and, although a year’s salary is helpful, it seemed inadequate at a time their families were experiencing significant loss of income. While we realized it is not the City’s sole responsibility to provide for the family, we thought we could do better.

Staff began looking at options and discussing with the Employee Benefits Committee. It was proposed the City look at offering a benefit equal to 1x annual salary up to $150,000, with a minimum of $50,000. This would ensure our employees’ families would have enough to cover funeral expenses and hopefully a cushion while trying to recover from their loss.  Working with American Fidelity, our broker with Midwest Public Risk (MPR), we reviewed quotes and arrived at a proposal that improves our benefit with no increase in cost to the City.

We currently pay approximately $1,442 per month for 1x annual salary or $50,000 (whichever is less). According to the quote from American Fidelity, if the City proceeds with the 1x annual salary or $50,000 (whichever is greater) proposal, our new monthly payment will be approximately $1,416. Based on our current annual payments and the newly quoted rate, there should be a net zero or slight savings to the City. There will be a slight administrative cost, as we will have to calculate taxes on the premium for any benefit over $50,000.

The Board passed a resolution approving the continuation an agreement with Infinity Building Services for mowing services in an amount not to exceed $52,000.  This 2015 Raytown Mowing Services project low bid of Infinity Building Services was for both the Parks Department and the Public Works Department mowing. The 2015 bid included options for a second and third year of mowing services.

The contractor’s mark-up is zero percent for both future years, and they do agree to work this year for the same costs as last year. The Parks & Recreation Department will have the contractor mow up to 14 possible areas. They included 7 park areas on the base bid which will be mowed on a regular basis, and another 7 areas on an alternate bid that will only be mowed when needed. The Public Works Department will have the contractor mow 35 areas throughout the City. Each location will be paid per the contract unit costs. The number of times each area is mowed will depend on the location of the area, as well as the weather.

The Board passed a resolution authorizing a professional services agreement with Burns & McDonnell Engineering Company for the 2016 sanitary sewer evaluation and billing study in an amount not to exceed $70,000.00.  Staff requested funds in the 2015/2016 budget for a  Sanitary Sewer Evaluation and Billing Study (SSES) in order to determine where best to spend Sewer funds to reduce the portion of the sanitary sewer flow that is not sewage, but instead enters the system through inflow and infiltration.

The study will not cover the entire City for smoke testing, but will provide a basis to determine target areas, establish monitoring for flows exiting the City and entering the LBVSD lines, and provide the opportunity to share and analyze data currently collected by the City of Kansas City in areas immediately adjacent to Raytown. Additionally, the analysis will utilize data collected through strategic placement of city owned flow monitoring systems. 

As a part of the project, Burns & McDonnell Engineering Company, Inc. will conduct a study session with the Board of Aldermen prior to the completion of the final report as well as a formal presentation of the final findings and recommendations as a result of the study. Some additional smoke and/or dye testing and analysis may be needed in 2017.

RFPs were sent out to five firms, posted on the City web page, and noticed in the newspaper of public circulation. Three firms responded. Staff conducted interviews with all three firms, and evaluated the presentations. Burns & McDonnell Engineering Company, Inc. was considered by all staff members to be the most qualified for the study, based on the replies to the RFP and on the content of the interviews. Approval is requested of the budgeted amount of $70,000.00 to fund the SSES study.

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76 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yep. I have been to court. Some do go to trial. You know what happens when the officer does not show up? Sometimes it is carried over. Sometimes it is dismissed. All of which is beside the point. Walmart does not pay for the officer being in court. Walmart does not pay for the judge, the prosecutor or the court staff. Come to think of it, Walmart does not pay for the retired officers who are on duty during court to keep the place in order. The only thing Walmart provides are the shoplifters and petty thieves.

Your turn. Make some more excuses and apologies for the walmart gods.

Anonymous said...

Police, prosecutors , Judges are all paid by the city Reguardless if it is shoplifting at Walmart, Hy Vee, Quick Trip, etc.

Anonymous said...

Glad you finally agree that Walmart is not paying for their extra burden on the city. Ever been to court? Check it out. A huge amount of the crime in our city court is connected to Walmart. Think about it. Since the TIF gobbles up all or out tax money at Walmart, they do not pay their share to support the fight against crime. It is ironic. So much of that crime is committed at Walmart!

Anonymous said...

If you ladies don't quit swinging your purses so hard the straps will break!

Raytown Newbie said...

Don't want to get in the middle of this but should we not place some blame on the creeps who commit the crimes? Seems like the fines levied against the perps should end up paying for some of the extra costs. Where does the fine money end up going?

Yes, I know, some can not afford the fines and they end up in jail costing even more, but most probably pay a fine and "court costs".

BTW... since we are going to elect a new representative soon, maybe one of the issues should be how can we make the criminals help pay for the costs associated with arresting and prosecuting them.

NOTICE; MY COMMENTS ARE NOT MOTIVATED BY ANY LOVE OR HATE OF WALMART GODS.

Have a great week Raytowners... RN

Anonymous said...

I have been following the articles about the secret meetings. I do not agree with you about the statement that nothing was done wrong. If it wasn't wrong why wasn't it posted as a public meeting for all to attend? Matt Mace said in an e mail that the mayor gave his blessings for the meeting, then he is also being investigated by the attorney general if not why not? I would also like to know are we paying attorney fees for the "disgraceful7"? God I pray not they should be paying for this themselves and not using my tax dollars for this. Alderman Meyers stated at one meeting how they(meaning the new alderman) were saving the city all this money by not attending meeting for new alderman to educate them about the Sunshine Law and other important issues they need to be informed about. If we are paying for their attorney fees for this mess they sure didn't save us any money. In my opinion they should pay out of their own pockets. When this came to light the mayor was quick to come up with a public statement how he would get to the bottom of this. Now when it has come to light that his favorite, the disgraceful 7 are wrong he has become closed mouth, in my opinion it makes things look like they are guilty, and I truly believe they are. I know Greg won't print this as he is trying to run for alderman again and he doesn't want to take a stand for anything he doesn't agree with.

Anonymous said...

extra crime burden from Wal-Mart ,That's funny Same thing can be said about HUD Housing,Low Income Housing, apartment buildings, title loan shops and tattoo shops.

But you embrace that?

Jack said...

Joe Creamer said at the meeting he was doing some work on his house and he was going to be upset if here was any retaliation from the city. I wonder if he's seeing anyone for his paranoia?

Anonymous said...

I'm 9:48 pm;
I'm not the person you have been playing confrontation tag with. I just commented so maybe we could move on

Anonymous said...

Court cost and fines are levied against the crime and associated lost. I think you make a very good point that anyone that has witnessed a court proceeding would surely know

Anonymous said...

Strawman argument with the Aldermen getting information from the fire department, sounds like there needed to be better communication with the city in the first place, the whole Tif problem could have been avoided. As for the former councilman,this is all politics, scream loud enough and start name calling because it will help you win your race. Rather embarrassing that someone would act that way, let alone someone trying to get back on the council.

Andy Whiteman said...

To understand why Theresa, the City Clerk, is inaudible at times, one needs to sit in the front and observe her. That table has shared mics rather than a mic for each person as it should. Theresa's mic is between her and the person seated next to her. Consequently she must turn her head towards the mic to be heard. If she turns her head to write down something, to read something, or to look at the board members she will be inaudible. In my opinion, this issue could be rectified by providing a mic for each person at that table.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I thought Cramer said that Green and Meyers were using bully tactics on staff? The only bully I see is that mouth of his.

Anonymous said...

to 8:37A.M.

I agree with you they should have to pay the lawyer fees (if there are any) out of their pocket. We the citizens are being robbed of services we have paid for through our tax dollars. When a statement is made by Alderman Meyers that he would do it again, sounds like he still hasn't learned a lesson. Maybe a lesson he has to learn is by not being elected again.

Anonymous said...

Learn what lesson, that he should ignore concerns that the city isnt in compliance with state law? I agree with Meyers, I think if you want your head in the sand you should stick with the Raytown Times or Joe Creamer amd his kimd.

Anonymous said...

Joe Creamer voted for the Walmart wolf in sheeps clothing deal and he is a much to blame as Jim Azeier or Dave Bower. The city is going to default on those bonds in a few years and we are going to deal with the mess Joe, Jim and Dave made for a long time to come.

Anonymous said...

Ok follow the bouncing ball. Park Board commits 90k of Raytown citizens tax dollars to have independent firm do extensive research and citizen survey concerning parks usage, needs, wants, etc. Also including current satisfaction and usage by residents of Super Splash as well as an extensive analysis of future improvement costs associated with upgrading a 30 year old attraction to keep up with other communities who have also had water parks in place many being less than 10 years old. The results are in and 3 improvement plans are outlined in upgrade and improvement costs ranging from 2 to 7 million dollars. Well as you might expect there is no budget to do any of those so Park Board tells consultunts to come back with some more options and they do just that. This time there is no plan to keep Super Splash open. Couple plans outline sell property, convert property to "desired north Raytown" park etc. I mean at this point the consultants are just facing the reality that this attraction is no longer the "Cats Meow" and people aren't stepping over their own water parks to come here as they once did in it's heyday. Time to face reality folks. But wait... There is yet another directive issued by the oh so wise Parks Board and Mr. Terry Copeland who says the need is very apparent that a 1/8 cent sales tax may need to go before the voters to generate some revenue to keep Super Splash on fumes once again. Remind me didn't this same Park board vote to close down Super Splash as recently as 2014 before being throw a last minute political election season life preserver (80k) by several Board of Alderman (Ertz & Aziere) and Mayor Bower essentially trumping the Park Boards own decision to say enough is enough tax revenue bleeding. After all 1.7 million in red ink in operations losses over 7 years can sway one to say "Uncle...Uncle"... Ok so let me understand this. Terry Copleland wants to put a 1/8 Sales Tax In front of Raytown Voters to fund a 30 plus year old aging water park attraction that is bleeding tax revenue like the Titanic was taking on water. Totally ignoring the same consulting firms recomendations hired by them and paid 90k who said to close down the operation. Oh geez almost forgot this zinger... Seems based on the survey the consultants got back from Raytown residents on average only 17% of Super Splash attendees... wait for it.. ARE FROM RAYTOWN... Your honor I rest my case... Super Spash.. Have a great 2016 Season... The Thrill is Gone..Just like BB King... It's gone Away... R.I.P. to both...

Anonymous said...

County Administrator Finalists


Jim Hancock, Scott County Board Chair announced that three applicants have been invited for interviews for the position of Scott County Administrator. The three candidates are Gregg Mandsager of Muscatine, IA, Mahesh Sharma of Raymore, MO and Todd Thompson of Galesburg, IL.
Posted: April 19, 2016 :

Perhaps this explains what the BOA was in closed session over. Good Luck Mr. Sharma, seems funny that he won't move to Raytown but will apply for a position in another state, bet they make him live there.

Anonymous said...

Well, I think Mahesh has done a really good job as City Administrator considering the whining ass, crybabies that he has to deal with. Mahesh has led the city through distraught times. Whoever his replacement is will be scorned for whatever reasons that come to the blogger’s minds anyway, so what difference does it make who the CA is? Absolutely none. Haters will always be hating.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:03

Hey - can I have some of what you've been smoking? Seem like good stuff, man.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:00 PM

I don't smoke or do drugs and your implication that I do must be becuase you disagree with me, and haters still be hating. Smoke yourself stupid for all I care. Ooops too late, you already have.

Sign Anon 10:03

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with 10:03

Anonymous said...

Ok just saw the 41 news at 6:00 and I was blown away. OMG the city is in real trouble and those at City Hall don't seem to care. I watched Creamer and Randy both conced they the Fire Districts claims are valid. This is the second time the City and its spin machine has remained silent on this topic. The Brooking Eagle ran with this a month ago and the City had no comment then as they do now. Channel 41 is far from tabloid journalism and the story was well done. I think there are a lot of folks who owe the fire chief an appalogie, Bob Phiillips the line starts behind you.
Raytowna Beach Bum

Anonymous said...

Just watched the news and I think it's a pretty safe guess what all the executive meetings have been regarding. How in the world did the City keep this quiet so long? Kudos to the Fire Department for sticking with this. Now I read that the City Admin is jumping ship like a rat on the Titanic... Figures

Anonymous said...

News flash there a five alarm fire at City Hall and witnesses claim Jim Aziures pants are the cause

Anonymous said...

Time to clean house at 10000 e 59th, hey Aldermen if your not part of the solution your the problem

Anonymous said...

40 million dollars spent without a vote of the people....How is this legal??? I am calling on everyone who reads this blog to join me at the next Council meeting to demand the resignation of the City Administrator and the Finance Director.... Mr Mayor I respect your service to the community for 30 years but if you don't step up you will be the next resignation requested. Don't know what an open Id or a URL is so I will just sign my name, Davis Applegate, 7401 Maple Drive.

Anonymous said...

Mr Applegate you are so right, it's time for the citizens to take our city back. Mr 'Mayor I would plan an a late night next meeting

Anonymous said...

Ok I missed the news tonight what came out?

Anonymous said...

Doc, tell the chief we say. "Not another dime of our money should be given to fhis debacle" Stand your ground

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting the job description for The Scott County, Iowa position has a living requirement... How will the poor Sharmas be able to absorb the loss they will have to take on their home?

Raytown Newbie said...

Okay, I missed the news too.

So $40 million is over $3300 per Raytown family.

This is big. What the heck is going on?

Anonymous said...

How come we didn't see Canidate Aziere with a comment about the financial debacle? After all he is the only elected official who voted in-favor of the deal. If that is the type of judgement we can expect he has no business in Jefferson City!

Raytown Newbie said...

Okay then, I backed up and read what Gregg had linked to. Looks like we have something going on here like Independence with its Bass Pro debacle. Everyone swallowed the "developers" pie in the sky optimistic projections and now the taxpayers are left to suffer for their foolishness.

BTW... It is easy to see in the Independence example where additional businesses could be added to the development and in fact they are slowly being added. But where in the heck are the other new businesses to be added at the Walmart location?

We already pay some of the highest taxes in the Metro. It makes me nervous to see something like this. However, a bigger concern of mine is when is the elephant in the room going to be seen and heard. I think that's the likely underfunding of the retirement accounts for our city employee retirement plans. I'm sure all of those were based on similar economic pie in the sky projections.

Looks like Mr Sharma was correct not to buy into Raytown real estate. I'm sure he knew things the rest of us are just now finding out about.

Regards, RN

Anonymous said...

Looks like the cat is out of the bag. Thank you Chief Mace for letting the truth be known, while City Hall is working on a cover up AGAIN.

Anonymous said...

So Joe Creamer's "Big News Scoop" backfires and he is put on the firepit on the news trying to explain why he and other sitting Board of Alderman at the time approved such a horrific TIF agreement. Creamer's response of "The School District were really strong negotiators" exposed what many voters saw when not re-electing him last April. He and the others had the biggest and mightiest negotiating tool in the bag but did not have the stones to use it. A simple but difficult NO vote was the right vote and call. Yes it required leadership and conviction!! Instead we have this revenue bleeding issue and Creamer and his cronies want to point fingers at a new Board who have while not always popular, at least shown the spine and constituent concern to tackle difficult issues and attempt to correct some glaring past oversights. And this guy (Creamer) think he has what it takes to make the tough decisions that are in the best interest of Raytown and run for re-election?? I'll just let his recent embarrassing charade answer that question!!

Anonymous said...

I am still wondering about the Walmart deal: How many $$$$$$ were under the table and to whom??????

Anonymous said...

Whats funny is that Creamer and Randy want to go after certain people on the city council when they seem to be the only ones trying to figure out whats going on. Looks like the chickens are coming home to roost for those two.

Anonymous said...

Someone should ask Matt Mace how much money the Fire Department is giving the City to pay off the bonds,zero(0) It is my understanding the former fire board and Chief were in favor of this development. (TIF)

The Fire Department is crying wolf now. They are setting up the citizens of Raytown to raise their levy.

They just purchased new fire trucks and equipment.
They have two newer buildings.

I agree that the Walmart TIF wasn't a sound financial decision.

It would be nice if the Fire department could work with the City to move forward to bring economic development to Raytown!

Anonymous said...

"Scott County, Iowa, ( population 171,387) seeks a highly energetic leader who builds effective relationships and inspires a vision for the future to be its next County Administrator. The County Administrator reports to a five­member Board of Supervisors, leads the Administration Department team, supervises the work of nine department heads. and ensures prompt solutions to citizen problems and concerns. The County Administrator is responsible for an annual budget of nearly S75 million, which provides for a County workforce of 477 full-time employees. Salary from S150,000 to $175,000, DOQ/E. County benefits package available. Residency in the County anticipated within six months of hire." I wonder if Mahesh plans to commute or take the job and expect them to change the requirements just for him after 6 months just because he's that good of a guy?

Anonymous said...

So Battagler and Creamer contacted 41 news in order to protect their buddy -the city administrator, and to try to redirect blame of sunshine law violations to the new board members.
Then the reporter contacted the Fire department and City hall and found out there likely was no "sunshine law violation".
So the Fire district tells the reporter the story behind the story about the Tif problems and this nightmare problem created by the city administrator.
And Creamer was only quoted that yes he voted for it and yes it's under performed. Battagler lies saying the city is trying to hide it when the mayor did a press release on it.
Gotta tell you, can't make this stuff up.
No wonder the CA is looking for another job asap. With friends like that...

Anonymous said...

The reason the Raytown Fire District is responding to so many calls is do to automatic aid that there fire board wants. Not so sure the firemen enjoy it so much.

How many calls do they respond to in KCMO using Raytown tax dollars.

Anonymous said...

If the Fire Department had not sounded the alarm how long did the administration actually think they could have kept this quiet. The City owes 40 million dollars and has no way to pay for it. Google Flint Michigan and that's our future folks, only there won't be any Federal bailout to save us...

GADSDEN said...

Raytown is in a financial mess and finally it has come out. It is amazing how many intelligent people would not and maybe still do not believe how large the mess is for Raytown.

Our Mayor goes around town shaking hands with everyone he can find and it is good old boy time.

I wonder if our Mayor has looked into the financials or talked with the CPA firm that has done the audit to find out the real financial condition of the city.

I also wonder about the amount of unfunded liability that will be do on police pensions in the future. Oh there are so many dark areas.

As Raytown Newbee stated Indep. had their share of problems with Bass Pro but now they are getting all kinds of retail.

Raytown gets a Freddies wow what fine dining that is for the citizens of Raytown.

Try and get city hall to admit that it can not afford to resurface a asphalt street with more than just slurry.

I really can not understand what Creamer gets out of making Raytown look much more foolish than we already are. I can not believe that the State Attorney General is coming to Raytown to
investigate the assertions that Creamer and and Randy have made, it is totally stupid. I guess that Creamer is planning on running for Mayor or councilman again in three years.

Maybe now people will understand why we do not need a Wal-Mart Grocery in the center of Raytown as it would also want a TIF and I think that we are about TIF'ed out.

Sometime look at the financial statements that show the amount of Debt still due on the bonds that Raytown sold and then set back in your easy chair and figure out how we will pay them off.

Anonymous said...

Too bad Chief Mace wasn't totally truthful. They may be running 4000 calls, but I'd be willing to bet more than half of those are in Kansas City because of the "wonderful" mutual aid agreement they entered into with KCFD. Their fuel costs are way up as well as maintenance costs. So don't think RFD is innocent in all this.

Anonymous said...

To Anon 11:58, is that the best you can come back with? The Fire Dist has paid on the bonds for the past 10 years totaling over 1.2 million dollars. Why would you advocate the Fire District blindly continue to divert tax dollars without accountability? That is just an insane statement.
Yes the Fire Stations are nice, they passed a bond issue and remodeled their 30 year old stations in 2007 which they just refinanced saving almost a million dollars in taxes levied over the remaining 10 years. Yes, they just financed two new trucks over the next 10 years with a 1% interest rate. These are replacing the 17 year old and 12 year trucks they are currently using.
As for the comments about the auto-aid with KCFD last month KC ran more calls in Raytown than Raytown ran in KC, only by 6 but still more. For 2015 Raytown ran 31 more calls in KC, but when KC responds to Raytown it is often with as many as 5 trucks. Admittidly that is often overkill, but as the apartment fire demonstrated last month when you need that many personnel you don't have time to wait for them to be called.
Still waiting for someone to show any evidence that Chief Mace is inaccurate with anything he stated.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 7:04, Raytown EMS Director Jonesi stated last month the ran over 4300 calls last year. They don't have any aid agreement with KC so I think your logic is flawed. Not sure what fuel and repair costs have to to with the cities mishandling of the TIF project, but hey I guess you gotta make up something to try to prove a nonsensical point.
Raytowna Beach Bum

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 11:58 are you seriously defending the incompetent behavior by City Hall by criticizing the firefighters for being fiscally responsible? Saying the Walmart project wasn't a good decision is the equivalent as saying Hitler was not a great leader.

Anonymous said...

I encourage everyone to go to Fire Station One to sign the petition for the city audit. Get a copy and take it to your neighbors to sign. Stand up! Where there's smoke there's fire (no pun intended).

The mayor and alderman need to embrace an audit, talk to them. If they don't the question is 'what do you have to hide?'. Keep in mind the alderman and mayor are basically volunteer citizens that care about the community enough to run for office. But at the end of the day they signed up to accept the 'public trust' to do the right thing, the least of which is to manage the paid professionals that run the city.

An audit from the State is much different from the audit the city pays for each year. The audit the city does is based solely on the info provided by the finance director and the city administrator-read the reports, that's why the auditor has all the disclaimers.

A State audit not only looks at the financials but also sunshine law, freedom of information, record keeping, proper reporting requirements-all of it.

All of the griping on this blog are from those that care about this town. We don't want to be on TV talking about a financial crisis. Doesn't this town get enough bad press? And now there's a fight between the fire dept -that saves our lives and homes- and the city. We all want to be proud of this town because at the end of the day it's a great place to live-but we can be better and an audit will clarify how we can improve.

Anonymous said...

I support an audit and i bet most of Cremers "Disgraceful 7" do as well. It all became clear after that report with what ive seen in the papers. These guys were trying to change the story and distract everyone with this meeting that was had when there were reports not filed and poor city policy. Cant protect your out of town city administrator anymore raytown times, you have been exposed!

Andy Whiteman said...

To 3:47PM, The job advertisement may have been poorly written, "Residency in the County anticipated within six months of hire." It saws anticipated not required. There is a big difference in these words.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

SO the other night I was leaving work, I work in Raytown but don't live here anymore, I got behind one of the Raytown Fire Trucks, Very nice its, red and very shiny, very big. We head south on Raytown road, starting at 63rd. We go south past the fire station, the south one at about 76th. We keep going they stop for red lights. It’s just like a nice drive on a sunny day. We go past 83rd. Still going south, past 87th? Why is this truck driving south still? Past 95th still going south. We get almost to 435 and the truck turns left on to old Raytown road, then it turns on its lights to back out, stopping traffic, it is a big truck. And heads north on Raytown road with its lights back off. So I see it was on a test run? Has the fire department over spent as well is that why they are out doing test drives in the truck, Big truck a fast look on google says fire trucks get .5 to 8 MPG, again using google this time maps its 12 miles to where they turned the truck around, from the fire department’s north station, that's 24 miles round trip since this was big truck let’s cut it in half and say its get 5 MPG, so it only cost Raytown 25.00 or so for that sunny drive.

Go back and read how much the school district charged for the old building that leaked, with the parking lot that, was full of holes, where Walmart now sit’s. Let look at the new bigger fire departments buildings. For a town that’s stayed about the same size and has the same number of homes. And keep pointing your fingers at City hall! But the fireboard has who on it. Who is on the school board? You have 4 taxing body’s in Raytown not 1.

Anonymous said...

Funny, the other day I made a small purchase from a 63d st. store. I mentioned that I was not happy with the back in parking and the money being spent, our money. He told me that we are fortunate because we are getting matching money from the government. The thing is it is still taking money from the city bank account and it will not be spent to repair a bad street or to install new street lights.

One other question do we need to replace the PI officer? With the shortage of funds do we need a Bower appointment to be replaced?

Anonymous said...

So the fire district was for and part of TIF. Now years later nothing has changed including any shortfalls. The current Admin is not at fault for any of this. FD has to redo bonds financing to save tax dollars but more likely their own butts.
Follow this- TIF was from WAY back before what's his name, everyone knew in a short while that it was a bad deal. So did the fire department. Now years later they're claiming how horrible it is. Something doesn't smell right in Denmark

Anonymous said...

If anybody is to blame for Wal-Mart it is Sue Frank (past Mayor), Dan Estes ( past Finance Director) and Curt Wenson (past City Administrator). There has to be under the table dealings for them to enter into an agreement that costs the City tens of millions of dollars with no return on the investment. Wal-Mart should of left town same as Estes and Wenson. We would all be better off and the City would'nt be in such financial troubles. Hey let's hire a consultant and hand him our watch so he can tell us what time it is. Ha!

Vicky said...

So how come independence gets Bass Pro Shops and now Lees Summit is getting a new Canela's and all we get is Walmart?

Anonymous said...


To ANON 1054 p.m.
The incompetency you are talking about was created years ago. One of the current Fire Board Members voted for the TIF when she was an Alderwomen.
Not the current administration that created the mess, but they are working hard to resolve the issues.
You should put the blame where it belongs.

Anonymous said...

I am the only person who sees this issue fior what it is? Yes the deal was risky, but the City has all but comiitted suicide with the manner which the project has been administered since its implementation. The mayor himself said the City failed for five years to report the financial condition of the project as well as failing for 10 years to hold mandatory public hearings presenting the status of the project. They have lost 6 boxes of records and cannot account for how 40 million dollars was spent. I don't blame the Fire District one bit, why should anyone think the city hasn't been over charging them based on all that has been uncovered? So the fire department has nice stations, big deal they are paying their bills and still manage to reduce taxes. So the have nice trucks, if my house is on fire I want a trucks built in this decade. Sorry for ranting but I just cannot believe how some people cannot see the forrest through the trees.

Anonymous said...


We give them more tax dollars and they squander more tax dollars. Cityhall, PD, Fire, EMS are crybabies. Whaaaannnnnn!!!, mooch, mooch mooch. Public Servants? Hell try Public Masters and we the everyday working taxpayers are the servants to these money grubbing, self serving, hypocrites.

Anonymous said...

Cry babies? Seriously what's next school teachers are poopie heads? Do some research, develop an informed opinion and try to express this opinion in a respectful and understanding manner. That's called being an adult you should try it.

Anonymous said...

The guys and gals of Raytown's PD and FD risk their lives every day with the crime that has sky rocketed and emergency calls. They need the right tools to do their jobs. But the Walmart deal was built by the past administrations, Bower and Crew. What happens if the bonds are not paid? Some one stated that the city would have to cut services? What services? We can't get our streets fixed, striped and codes is not active (just look around our neighborhoods). Where are they going to get the money? I know add more taxes to what is left of the small businesses that are in Raytown, that will surely run them to Lee's Summit!

Anonymous said...

11:50 That Fire Truck was on a non emergency alarm call in Kansas City and was cancelled by the calling party (alarm company) as a false alarm.
We run those as part of a closest available pumper company (pump capable) when alarm comes in.
This happens all the time and every automatic alarm that sounds in Raytown gets same package from Kansas City Fire in the form of a Truck company (elevated platform or master stream roof accessible) that responds with our companies.
Its a trade off when companies are busy or are on other alarms.

Doc

Anonymous said...

A state audit is the only way to confirm any of these issues. Until you sign the petition for the audit, you are just complaining on the internet with no real knowledge. Let's get the truth about how Raytown has been run for the last years and then we can have informed discussions.

Anonymous said...

Remember when Raytown Times Randy and Hickory County Guest opinionist writer Bob Phillips both said all this missing TIF Reports and finacial information was much to do about nothing and "No Big Deal".. Once again cutting edge reporting.. Sorry my bad... Opinion!!!

Anonymous said...

I just want to see someone from City Hall give an interview and explain where Chief Mace has his facts wrong. Mr Aziere, Mr Mock, Mr VanBuskirk or even Mr Sharma. The longer the 3 stooges and the chosen one remain silent the more guilty you appear. I don't know what's worse the belief that you all could get away with this or the belief you were all were too ignorant to know it was happening.

Anonymous said...

"aggressive budget oversight and adjustments"

Sounds like techno bureaucratic nonsense. David Bower and company already went to the well to be "aggressive" by borrowing against development funds to make payments on the bonds. There is nothing left there. The payments are going to balloon. The city will not have the money. The plug will be pulled. Bye bye Walmart.

Look at the bright side. You will probably seem a substantial drop in crime if it is closed. It will leave a very large building empty on 350 Highway. That's another problem for another discussion.

By the way, the budget oversight has translated to slurry seal on our streets. Lane markings on major roads that are impossible to see. Not sure what the adjustments you are writing about. Please enlighten us!

Anonymous said...

Other communities like having Walmarts because of the increased tax revenue they bring in. In Raytown it may result in the city defaulting on bonds. That's truly a new level of incompetence when you can take something that most other cities turn into a cash cow and instead turn it into a fatal financial anchor around the city's neck.

Martin said...

So, let's see. He refused to move from Raymore to Raytown, but he'll move to Iowa? Good bye and good riddance! I hope the door hits him in the rear on the way out of town. I sure hope the good people of Iowa know what a lackadaisical guy they’ve hired. He can’t even get his paperwork done on time.

Anonymous said...

Here is a challenge for you. Name one redeeming factor of Mahesh Sharma's tenure as City Administrator. Before he came here our streets were paved with asphalt. After he took over they started using slurry seal. He was a toady for David Bower and worked with him to bring about the economic disaster we call call Raytown Live, home of Walmart in Raytown.

The financial drain on the city is awful. He created layers of bureaucracy for a city that is only 10 square miles in size and has a population of only 30,000. I am glad he is leaving. It will be a test for the Mayor and the Board to correct the eight years of mistakes by the Bower/Mahesh crowd.

I hope they are up to the task.

Anonymous said...

Standard and Poor's make their ratings based on past financial dealings of an institution. Fourth Class cities in Missouri are not allowed to carry debt from year to year. Only through the use of bonds and dedicated taxes and they incur debt going into the future.

Raytown has problems plenty. They have thrown so much money into the false promise of Walmart being a sign of good things to come that they are scraping the bottom of the barrel to take care of city business.

Why do you think our streets are covered with tar and gravel instead of asphalt when they are (so-called) repair?

It is not because the city is swimming in money.

Raytown needs an independent audit to put its house back on order. The numbers from the audit will not lie, spin, or craft clever messages. It will lay bare the facts. Those facts will implicate the people who have been running the show at Raytown City Hall for the last eight years and even now.

Vicky said...

Where will the Fire District meeting be held on June 6?

Anonymous said...

For all those that have not read the Letter from the Mayor about Wall-Mart TIF that
is in the article by Michael Downing dated 4 May 2016. This is in his blog.

Things are coming at the taxpayer hot and heavy as we used to say.

Raytown Newbie said...

BTW.... June 6th is not FRIDAY. Clarification Please.

Paul Livius said...

Apologies to all. I misread the press release from the Fire District. I have since checked and can tell you the meeting is scheduled for Monday, June 6th. The time of the meeting will be 7:00 p.m. The meeting place has not been set because the Fire District wants the City to participate. Therefore they are leaving the location open to encourage the City to help set the venue.

As soon as the final location is selected, we will publish it.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I know all about Standard and Poors and their rating system. Did you already forget about the the home mortgage crisis followed by the banking crisis in this country? All of those involved had the highest rating of S and P.

Pay attention. Learn from past mistakes.

Vicky said...

Thanks, Paul