Sunday, May 1, 2016

RAYTOWN'S LEADING NEWS SOURCE

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
From the Office of Raytown Fire Chief Matt Mace


 PUBLIC INFORMATIONAL HEARING
MONDAY, JUNE 6TH
7:00 PM
LOCATION TO BE ANNOUNCED 

The Raytown Fire Protection District will hold a public informational hearing regarding our concerns with the 350 Live Tax Increment Financing project on June 6th at 7:00 pm.

The purpose of this meeting will be to explain the District’s position on the issue and provide our citizens with facts to substantiate this position.

On April 28th, the Fire District requested that the City of Raytown participate in this hearing (attached document titled 350 Highway TIF Issues – Raytown Fire Protection District).

On April 29th, this invitation was rejected by the City of Raytown’s Attorney Joe Willerth, who stated “I do not think it is in the public interest for an entire Fire District Board and the entire Raytown Board of Aldermen to sit down and review extensive detailed financial records in an open public meeting or attempt to negotiate the resolution of any outstanding pending issues initially in an open public meeting.”. READ MORE


- - - - - - BREAKING NEWS - - - - - - 

MAHESH SHARMA
Mahesh Sharma Chosen for 
top Administrative Position 
of Scott County, Iowa
Raytown City Administrator Mahesh Sharma has been chosen for the top Administrative job of Scott County, Iowa. Sharma has served with the City or Raytown since 2007. First as the Director of Public Works and then as City Administrator. READ MORE




BY GREG WALTERS
Political Ploy Backfires
No doubt former Ward 1 Alderman Joe Creamer thought he had come up with a clever plan. At the last meeting of the Raytown Board of Aldermen he gave a well rehearsed speech in which he condemned some members of the Board as the “disgraceful seven” for meeting with officials of the Raytown Fire District.

His next step was to contact KSHB TV 41 in an effort to retell his story to a larger audience.

The KSHB investigative reporter interviewed Randy Battagler, owner of the Raytown Times. Battagler added little to the accusations Creamer had made. Though it was clear his comments were meant to back up Creamer’s allegations of malfeasance by members of the Board.

The reporter ended up his story with a visit Matt Mace, Fire Chief of the Raytown Fire Protection District.

The result of that interview was the public acknowledgement that the City of Raytown is on the verge of a financial crisis. The cause of the crisis is the lack of economic development connected to the Walmart on 350 Highway.
That was not part of Creamer’s plan.

In fact, the story became one of a public acknowledgement that Raytown is facing a financial crisis.

Simply stated, the sales tax dollars collected at the Walmart Store on 350 Highway are not expected to meet the bond payments due in the years to come.

The result would be the City being forced to default on the TIF bonds.
To view the KSHB TV 41 newscast use this link: KSHB TV 41



IT IS IRONIC that Creamer’s actions ended up taking what was a tightly held secret in the eyes of many at City Hall and made it public knowledge.

The Mayor, Aldermen and City Administrator have been aware of financial problems with the 350 LIVE TIF for some time.

If nothing else it points to the need for a state audit of the City of Raytown so that a proper course of action can be taken to resolve the issue.

City Administrator
Shopping for a New Job
The other news story this past week came when it was revealed that City Administrator Mahesh Sharma is one of three finalists for the position of County Administrator in Scott County, Iowa.
To learn more use this link READ MORE

Fire District Saves
Taxpayers $740,000.00
The Raytown Fire Protection District has finalized a financial transaction that will save the taxpaying citizens of the District $740,000 over the next ten years. The Fire District provides fire protection and emergency response 30,000 people living in the City of Raytown.

In 2006, voters within the Raytown Fire Protection District approved the issuance of General Obligation bonds totaling $7,740,000 for the purpose of constructing additions to, remodeling, furnishing and equipping the two fire stations that serve the district and the citizens of Raytown, MO. The District issued the bonds in 2006. In 2016 those bonds became callable or subject to refunding.

“We pride ourselves on being good stewards of the taxpayers’ dollars and when this opportunity was presented to us we knew it was the right thing to do, we value the trust our community places with us and will never take that for granted.” said Fire Chief Matt Mace.

As a part of the process of refunding the 2006 bonds, the District applied for and received its first stand alone credit rating from Moody’s Investors Service.
Moody’s assigned the District a rating of Aa3 for the bonds. In assigning this rating, Moody’s noted the District’s “Moderately-sized stable tax base,” and “Healthy reserves and liquidity”. The District’s rating compares favorably with or exceeds their neighboring political jurisdictions ratings.

Ameritas Investment Corp. sold the bonds for the District at public sale. “Interest rates are at historical lows. The Government Finance Officers’ Association (GFOA) recommends refunding debt if savings exceed 3%. With savings of 13%, the Raytown Fire Protection District greatly exceeded that threshold and made a prudent financial decision to capitalize on these low rates”, said Michael Short, V.P. – Director at Ameritas.


BY PAUL LIVIUS
Fit Bottomed Zen! 
It has been awhile since we have posted one Jenn Walters stories on the Raytown Report.

For those who do not know her, Jenn Walters is Greg Walters daughter in law. She owns a number of websites (Fit Bottomed Girls, Fit Bottomed Eats, Fit Bottomed Babies, and now, Fit Bottomed Yoga).

Jenn and her crew (she has 8 writers in her stable), have been a national success story. She has co-authored three books and been a guest on the Today Show.

And they say nothing comes out of the Midwest!

We learned about her newest website, Fit Bottomed Yoga, this weekend when we were looking for a story to round out this week’s edition of the Raytown Report.

So, without any further ado, here is the inaugural story for Fit Bottomed Yoga as published on the Raytown Report. If you are looking ahead to summer and want to get in a better shape, this is the story for you.
















Yoga for Digestion: 
3 Moves That Get Things Moving 
Tummy troubles are no fun. Whether it’s bloating, gas or constipation … ugh, who wants it? Not us, and turns out yoga for digestion is a thing. A thing that really works. Read on for Kate Hanley’s fave three yoga for digestion moves. They, well, get things moving! Kate is the author of A Year of Daily Calm, a yoga teacher for people who don’t do yoga and the mind-body blogger for Acacia TV. (Fun fact: You can now try many of Acacia TV’s yoga programs for free on SparkPeople.TV!) So, you know, she knows her stuff. READ MORE
 
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34 comments:

Andy Whiteman said...

I thought it was common practice for city officials or anyone to seek another job. My father was constantly having me type up applications for him to apply for other jobs to better himself.

Possibly city employees are seeing the handwriting on the wall due to the city's financial crisis.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Financial crisis! The City wants more money, the taxpayers gives more money and still a financial crisis looms. It's the same old song with a different tune.

There is no fiscal responsibility at Cityhall and that includes the PD, which takes nearly half of the budget so the Chief and good ol boys club can drive around is city provided sports cars and SUVs while attending siminars and conferences all month long. And don't even get me started on the City Administrator $30,000 a year raise, Waste, waste and more waste of taxpayers dollars.

Anonymous said...

Oh Creamer's plan also included a very nasty article to the Raytown Times about three aldermen who he accused of being bullies to his buddy the City Manager. Its not like this town doesn't have enough problems, we need this embarrassment. How stupid were people to elect that guy?

Anonymous said...

Andy the word "Crisis" is a bit strong for the TIF debt payment issue. You aren't the 1st to pen that term so not hanging you with it. It is a financial burden that no doubt will require some aggressive budget oversight and adjustments, but given the remaining term of the bond is still 13 years, no one is turning the lights off in Raytown tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like Creamer and the others in the Raytown establishment may have just found out the new leader of the Fire Department isn't one to be toyed with. In the past it was safe to say the Fire Department was unequipped to deal with the political wrangling of the City, but it appears to me the Chief Mace beat them at their own game. I for one cannot wait to read how Randy and Bob downplay this story in this weeks edition. My guess is they are going to attack the Fire Department again, but its getting really hard for them to do since not a single member of the Administration has come forward and publicly refuted any of the claims made. Maybe now the City can quit trying to shift the conversation to some trumped up sunshine violation change and get down to dealing with the real issue. Its time for the Mayor to just own up publicly to how dire the situation is and begin to develop a plan to operate under a much smaller budget... To Joe, your 15 minutes are up and it is time for you to sit down and let the adults talk. To the Fire Department keep the heat on(ha ha couldn't resist), but seriously keep standing up for us please. To the City, its time to see that transparency you like to talk about so much.

PJS said...

Calling some of the Board of Aldermen names is,,, humm,,,classy! (while shaking my head)

Anonymous said...

I guess the truth depends on which side one is on. Just because the Fire Chief says it does not make it so. I think that we need to all look into the finances of the city and the fire department. And reading all these different things and listening to all the rhetoric it appears to me that maybe the truth is in the middle as always.

Andy Whiteman said...

"Truth is reality as we perceive it," Lew Tice--New Age Thinking

Anonymous said...

You must have a personal source to get your information from the City, because the general public is getting nothing from the City. My guess is the Mayor is going eventually come out and tell us it's not as bad as being reported, but if he doesn't back it up with real facts and numbers he's officially become part of the problem.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Andy, that just isn't how I see it.

Anonymous said...

Scott County Board announces Mahesh C. Sharma as selection for
County Administrator
May 4, 2016
Jim Hancock, Scott County Board Chair announced that Mahesh C. Sharma of Raymore, MO has accepted a conditional offer of employment as the Scott County Administrator. The Board will consider and formally approve his appointment along with the employment agreement at their meeting on May 5 at 5:00pm. It is anticipated that Mr. Sharma will begin employment on July 5. Mr. Hancock indicated that the Board members were pleased that they were able to attract a candidate with Mr. Sharma’s level of experience and qualifications. His qualifications will allow the County to maintain its quality services and regional leadership role.
Mr. Sharma has 20 years of experience in public service. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India, a Masters of Civil Engineering from University of Missouri-Columbia and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from University of Kansas. He is currently the City Administrator for Raytown, MO. He manages a staff of 224 and a budget of $30M.
Mr. Sharma was selected from a national search conducted by Waters and Company which yielded a field of 36 applicants. Following an in-depth review of applicant qualifications three candidates were interviewed. The candidates participated in an interview with the Board of Supervisors, community tour and had an opportunity to meet with Department Heads and Elected Officials.
The opening is created by the announced retirement of Dee Bruemmer, County Administrator effective June 3. Additional questions can be directed to Scott County

Anonymous said...

Lets see, he can MOVE to Scott County IOWA for a 12k pay increase but could never MOVE to RAYTOWN from RAYMORE....good riddance!

Raytown Newbie said...

"Manages a staff of 224 and a budget of $30M" I wonder though..... each major department has a manager.. police chief, fire chief, head of the parks department, etc. and each of those manages their own budget... so what in the heck does he really do? I know he didn't keep his paper work up to date.

Oh well, some time ago an alderman running for state office wanted to plant a sign in my yard. I told him no, that I did not support his advocacy of Sharma's raise and his refusal to move here. He told me me were lucky to have him at the rate we paid him and it wouldn't be too long and he would be moving on. Too bigga fish for our small pond here in Raytown is kind of what he was saying.

So now he's on to greener pastures and a much bigger paycheck. So, I guess, the jokes on us fellow Raytowners.

Regards, RN

Anonymous said...

The news about our city administrator leaving is very exciting and I cannot wait for several more that are looking or should be to level this city's sinking ship.

Keep in mind everyone that just last night the Mayor said the city had no financial issues and would still be able to meet the bond obligations.

clearly he was counting on the announcement about our city administrator leaving, who as we all know has been a drain on our city since the position itself was created.

Even more costly is the number of positions this man created of duties that were expected of him.

If city leaders keep this hard work of cleaning up city hall they just might come up with half the money they need annually, but it will not be enough.

We all know the good folks at city hall don't want the paying portion of the city, us taxpayers, to wise up to that fact the Wal-Mart deal has left us flat broke.

We also need to thank the good folks at city hall for all the tax measure promises we voted in good faith that funds are cleanly not being used as we had been sold.

Sadly, we find ourselves faced with another Mayor and Board of Alderman that believe hiding the facts means things are not as bad as they really are.

A Mayor and Board of Alderman who quietly circles the city and blames those that served before them, but just as quickly forget that by trying to hide the facts makes they just as guilty as those that got us in this mess in the first place.

I am sure if we ever have the required meeting related to the Wal-Mart TIF Project that truly makes the city compliant on all requirements will be a national news-media call out of the true cost of miss management of public funds and public trust does to a community.

Anonymous said...

Good Luck to you, Mr. Mahesh. I don't think the City will ever know or appreciate what great leadership you brought to our City.



Andy Whiteman said...

The BOA should make a careful selection of someone who WILL RESIDE IN RAYTOWN!

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Mr. Sharma's impact many years to come and will get to appreciate him every day as services or cut pay his debt

Anonymous said...

Mr. Mahesh certainly never brought his family to Raytown.

Anonymous said...

It cracks me up that the as the Mayor reads that complete misrepresentation of the truth in an effort to support the actions of his city adminstrator before he was even mayor, the CA was planning to announce the next day he was jumping ship. This marks the second employee to resign since the issue of the TIF fraud was made public, I wonder who will be next? How many have to leave before the city relizes we are not stupid and stops hiding behind lies and lawyers

Anonymous said...

Andy,

We are a 4th class city!

We are not required to have a city administrator.

Until Jack Nesibit we didn't have one nor did we have all the unneeded positions.

It is time we cut these positions that are not needed or required as we are in so much debit that only the Federal Government can save us as they have Detroit.

Anonymous said...

If you read the Standard and Poors report on City finances, which is an independent source from the City, you would know the truth.
A+ in every category of finance
Hardly a sign the city is in trouble
Maybe they are jumping ship because the Board and Mayor are expecting more than those leaving wish to give

Anonymous said...

If you read the Standard and Poors Report that the city likes to tout as proof they are in no financial crisis it also claims that the city has solid administration who has met all of the regulatory requirements for the bonds oddly enough the city has already admitted to missing five years worth of filings and ten years worth of public hearings.it is worth noting that the date of this report was September 2015 which at that time the city was still delinquent in all of the filings. Without these filings I am not sure the picture that's standard and it is worth noting that the date of this report was September 2015 which at that time the city was still delinquent in all of the filings. Without these filings I am not sure the picture that was painted by staff to S&P was factual or legal. I wonder if they have been contacted since this has become public knowledge

Anonymous said...

Here is a good way to figure out who you can trust at City Hall, anyone that Joe Cremer or the Raytown Times likes to blame for these problems are probably the ones trying to fix things. The clowns at that paper continue to embarrass themselves, I think I will start using it to line the bird cage.

Andy Whiteman said...

May 4, 2016 at 10:30 PM,
I have stated here many years ago long before Mahesh was hired that a City Administrator is unneeded. I think it would be better to leave the position unfilled and to cut the cut the budget by nearly $200K annually.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...


May 5, 2016 at 3:55 AM

You wrote: If you read the Standard and Poors report on City finances, which is an independent source from the City, you would know the truth. A+ in every category of finance. Hardly a sign the city is in trouble.

Since you brought this up it brings into question what was shared with Standard and Poors for them to provide a rating of A+ for the city.

Maybe you should invite Standard and Poors to addend the June 6th meeting the Fire Protect District is having so they can hear what the district has identified.

The question then is will the city still have that A+ rating or will the elected officals wish you had not invited Standard and Poors to the meeting.

Raytown Newbie said...

Hello, June 6th is Monday not Friday. So when is the meeting?

Raytown Newbie said...

Okay, I think I've got it..... May 6th is Friday.

Anonymous said...

I saw the past (disgraced) EMS Director, Matt Cushman on Television last night, arm chair coaching Raytown EMS. I thought he was fired from Raytown for lack pf professionalism. Who cares what he has to say? The current EMS Director had to clean up the mess that Cushman left behind that cost the City thousands of taxpayer dollars. Geeez leave already.

Anonymous said...

Wait now 8:02! So you know more than S&P about markets? Hmmmm. I think you just want to make a fight and you have no ammunition.
While I might doubt just the governments word, I would not doubt a publication that the investment world relies on and as the other person said, it is an outside organization which the city has no control over. Your comment is just silly at best. I will go with S&P not you the fire or the city

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:18 I have to agree with 8:02 and think either you misread the post or have some agenda to advance. The report does state the bonds have been administered apropreatly which even the mayor has admitted isn't correct. I agree with your point the city has no control over S&P but the city does have control over the documents and accounting they were provided so the assertion that the report might not be accuracy has merit.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2:34, Matt Cushman who is a resident of Raytown cannot comment on something he watched happen? It's easy to see why Doug Jonesi thinks issues with the care of Raytown citizens are a "Non-Issue". Doug Jobesi lives in Oak Grove, which seems to be the norm for city leaders these days. I wonder if issues with the care of Oak Grove residents are issues to him? As far as why Cushman no longer works in Raytown I do not know, but I really doubt it's because he lacked professionalism, because that seems to be grounds for a promotion with Raytown city officials. Finally, Jonesi has done a lot of things for Raytown EMS but cleaning up any messes is not one of them. Just ask the staff sometime when you see them, they make just over $8.00 an hour and have deplorable working conditions. Because of this they cannot hire or staff ambulances 25% of the time. Again, take the time to ask these professionals how things are going, do not simply take my word for it. I predict that Raytown EMS will be the next scandal the Mayor will have to deal with.
Raytona Beach Bum

Anonymous said...

I was reading one of the papers, which reported that last Tuesday the mayor said the following:

McDonough said Tuesday the city has paid the fire district slightly less than $8,100.

Can the fire district confirm this payment and/or the city provide the public with a copy of the canceled check?

Face the facts folks we have been hearing a lot of things about the city not having proof of things like the documents written about on this blog a few weeks ago that the city was having to go to their bank to obtain.

Therefore without proof of this $8,100 payment is this more bull dropping on an already poorly managed organization.

Maybe the meeting on June 6th will clear this all up or more great reports form 41 Action News.

Anonymous said...

I just reviewed the speech that Mayor McDonough made. Nowhere does it say they sent a check to the fire district. What it says was a portion of phase 2 of the TIF was refunded to the district. In following all of this and educating myself more on all of this that would mean that the city did not invoice the fire district for that 8,000 figure from that portion of the TIF. Educate yourself and know the truth. It will set you free!
I am like the person who said I would like to see the City AND Fire District audits
Bet there are several smelly herrings

Anonymous said...

It was not paid