Sunday, June 12, 2016

RAYTOWN'S LEADING NEWS SOURCE

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FIRE DISTRICT RELEASES VIDEO
VIDEO AND DOCUMENTS OF JUNE 6TH MEETING 
The Raytown Fire Protection District has released the video and documents of the Public Information Hearing held on June 6th. The video shows he entire presentation by Raytown Fire Chief Matt Mace. Supporting documentation used in the presentation were also released. The topic of the meeting was the 350 Live (Walmart) TIF package and its impact on Raytown.
Use this link to view . . .  VIDEO
Use this link to view . . . DOCUMENTS


Bits and Pieces
What a difference the two local print papers in Raytown have in how they conduct business. Last week I received a lesson in contrasts between the Raytown Times and the Raytown Brooking Eagle.

I had sent a letter to the editor to both papers. With the exception of the opening paragraph, both letters were the same. Both newspapers edited my letter. How they did it speaks volumes about both papers.

What a difference the two local print papers in Raytown have in how they conduct business. Last week I received a lesson in contrasts between the Raytown Times and the Raytown Brooking Eagle.

I had sent a letter to the editor to both papers. With the exception of the opening paragraph, both letters were the same. Both newspapers edited my letter. How they did it speaks volumes about both papers.

THE BROOKING EAGLE reporter, Kris Collins, contacted me about the story. He suggested that I refer to Jim Aziere as Alderman Jim Aziere and asked permission to make the change. A simple rule in reporting is the use of the proper name and title at first mention of a proper name. I had referred to Alderman Aziere simply as Aziere. Kris was correct in pointing out the mistake. So I asked him to make the change.

THE RAYTOWN TIMES owner, Randy Battagler handled it differently. He did not catch the mistake on Aziere. He did, however, remove an entire paragraph from the story. The paragraph gave reader the Raytown Report’s proper web address along with an invitation to visit this news/blog. No phone call, no discussion from Mr. Battagler.

Shame on you Randy! I wonder how many other writers have had the same treatment over the years.

VIDEO OF FIRE DISTRICT MEETING: Last week we told readers we would link our page to a video of the Raytown Fire District meeting held last Monday. The topic was a report on the 350 Live (Walmart) TIF. The meeting was very informative and spurred quite a bit of interest in Raytown.

We have since learned the video will be ready no later than Tuesday, June 13th. We will link to the video on that day. Look for the link at the top of the page in this week’s Raytown Report.

SPEAKING OF LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: A Fire Department official pointed out an interesting inconsistency in a letter to the editor in a local paper by former Alderman Joe Creamer.

About two weeks ago Creamer wrote a letter praising City Administrator Mahesh Sharma for raising millions of dollars in grant funds for the City of Raytown. The following week, he wrote a letter telling readers the Fire Department has had to rely on grants to keep operating.

Does this mean it is good for the city find grant money, but “not good” for the Fire Department to do the same.

Funding city projects through federal and state grants is not new. Some readers will remember the Blue Ridge Cutoff / 63rd Street Gateway intersection received heavy funding from the State of Missouri, as did the re-construction of the old wooden bridge in Downtown Raytown.



COVER OF THE 350 LIVE TIF PRESENTATION PACKET


Reality
vs. Denial

The picture at the left is from the cover of the Raytown 350 Live TIF package entered into by the City of Raytown on May 22, 2007. The tally sheet from the Raytown minutes shows the vote of the Board of Aldermen approving the deal.
 

The promise of a local shopping center with retail stores* as pictured and the date when the package was officially approved by the city is significant because they set the clock ticking on whether or not the TIF District would succeed.

*This “phase” of the project was planned to be built on the large vacant lot just east of the old YMCA on 350 Highway.

I remember very well a meeting taken shortly before the vote in 2007. City Finance Director Dan Estes wanted to make certain all members of the Board understood the risks involved in creating the TIF District and the commitment they were making if they approved it.

He stood before the Board members with his hands held out about waist high. He told the Board where his hands were raised to signified the level of income the city received from the Walmart located (at the time) at 67th and Blue Ridge Boulevard.

He lowered his hands about six inches and said that signified how much revenue the city stood to lose if the Walmart were to close and move out of town.

He then raised his hands six inches above his waist and said this signifies what the City stood to gain if the 350 Live Package were to succeed.

He then lowered his hands twelve inches below his waist line. This, he explained, was what the City stood to lose if the TIF project did not succeed.


REALITY CHECK
About ten years ago a large expanse of vacant property (east of theYMCA) remains an empty grassy field.

The owner of the property has successfully petitioned the Jackson County Assessment Department to re-evaluate the property as "agricultural".

Which means it is bringing in less money for property tax than before it was designated as part of the 350 Live TIF. 

Since the property has not been developed as part of the 350 Live TIF the city is not realizing the sales tax dollars that were expected to come with the development.
The sales tax dollars are needed to pay off the bonds created to fund the project. Whether or not the stores are built does not matter. The debt owed the bond holders remains the same.

WHAT IT MEANS
The short answer is that Dan Estes’ holding his hands twelve inches below his waste has become reality.

If the development had moved forward with the construction on the property located on the large vacant site east of the YMCA, there would not be a problem.

But the site was not developed. The sales tax dollars are not being produced and the debt is growing each year with an anticipated increase of annually.

To make matters worse, Missouri State Statutes governing TIF incentives require the sales tax proceeds from any TIF be used within ten years of the establishment of the tax. The votes to move forward with the Raytown 350 Live TIF District took place in 2007. But the tax was established in 2005.

That means the window of opportunity to use the TIF has come and gone. It is no longer a viable tool to bring new development to the District.

In fairness to the current Board of Aldermen, they did not create this mess.

But they do have a responsibility to clean it up.

We have heard comments from some members of the Board like “let the professionals handle this”. Another comment heard was to have the lawyers work it out.

They may rely on others to research and do leg work for them. But at the end of the day it is the Mayor and Board of Aldermen who are in charge.

Debt retirement payments are scheduled to increase as the TIF ages.

In the current year (2016) the city will pay 3.186 million dollars in principal and interest.

Following is a copy of the schedule of payments for the remainder of the life of the 350 Live TIF. (numbers shown are based on an average of the annual payment per period shown)

2016 . . . . . . . . . . $3.186 million dollars
2021 – 2025 . . . . $4.163 million dollars (annually)
2026 – 2030 . . . . $4.304 million dollars (annually)
2031 – 2032 . . . . $4.033 million dollars (annually)

Walmart will not be able to generate the revenue needed to meet debt requirements on its own. Other businesses like IHOP and the Freddy’s will help to pay down the debt. But they are not going to produce the sales tax dollars to keep up with what was planned when the 350 Live TIF was created.

Large box stores will create more sales tax in a month than a fast food restaurant will create in a year.

Raytowners can already see the result of the unrealized gains of the 350 Live TIF. Streets are being repaired with a process that is not meant to be used for repair but to lengthen the life of streets still in good condition.
  

There are paths the Board can take to lessen the damage of the failed 350 Live TIF. It will be up the Board to explore options with an eye towards lessening the economic impact on the taxpayers.

To ignore the situation . . . to pretend that all is well . . . is not a solution.



The Paul Livius Report 
Raytown Board of Aldermen Meeting – June 07, 2016

Teresa Henry, City Clerk, swore in Connor Allen, Scott Hanson, and Malcom Whitelaw as Police Officers.

Steve Guenther and Sue Frank told the Board the Raytown Main Street Association is raising money to purchase Holiday lights for downtown Raytown.  They will need $20,000 and on July 8-9, they will be having their fund-raiser.  On July 8, there will be a dinner.  It’ll be $35 a plate.  On July 9, there will be an auction of donated items.  They thanked John Benson for helping with the planning of this event and for all the assistance he has given the Main Street Association through the years.

Regina Ruffet said she received the Truman Heritage Habitat for Humanity Award. She wanted to thank the Board for allowing Habitat for Humanity to operate here.  She needed major repairs on her property that she couldn’t afford.  Habitat came in and did the repairs, which allowed her to keep her home.

Dana McDaniel and several other residents said there is a house in their neighborhood that has numerous code violations.  The owner died four years ago.  The property has been in violation ever sense.  The property was sold to an out of town bank, but no improvements have occurred.  She asked if anyone in the city get the property cleaned up.

Harvey Bruce asked the Board to replace the light at 75th and 350 Highway.  He said it is difficult and dangerous to try to turn right onto 350 Highway from 75th street.  The traffic travels fast and with the corner, it’s hard to see oncoming traffic.

During a work session, Kevin Boji gave the Board the Parks Board Annual Report.  He said there are nine full time employees, one seasonal employee, seven parks, Super Splash, BMX track, and the Rice Tremonti house.

Revenues:                                                   Expenses:

Property Tax   $   605,500                           Personnel                                $    601,750

Fees                $   326,300                           Super Splash                          $    445,816

Sales Tax        $   285,000                          Contractual Services                $    112,280

Grants             $       7,800                           Capital Expenditures               $    100,000

Total                $1,224,600                           Recreation Programs              $      78,850

                                                                        Miscellaneous                      $      57,800

                                                                        Maintenance                        $      38,400

                                                                        Supplies                               $      35,000

                                                                        BMX                                     $      25,000

                                                                        Total                                     $ 1,494,896



Alderman Teeman asked when the Parks Department’s Master Plan would be available.  He said it was supposed to be published last October and now Mr. Boji is say it won’t be available until maybe August.  Kevin Boji said they were trying to get Super Splash right.  Alderman Mock said the upgrades to the shelter houses were supposed to be done last year.  He thinks Mr. Boji and the Park board are running out of excuses.

The Board passed an ordinance granting a conditional use permit subject to certain conditions to allow a tow lot at 6218 Arlington Avenue.  DeAndre Briscoe, owner of Commercial Shops & Garages, LLC, is seeking approval of a Conditional Use Permit application to allow a vehicle tow lot to operate at 6218 Arlington Ave. There is an existing auto repair business on the subject address known as Hemi Auto that would continue to operate at this location as well. The subject property is zoned Neighborhood Commercial.  The Planning & Zoning Commission, by a vote of 5 in favor and 0 against, is recommending approval of the application subject to the following conditions:

1. The applicant shall submit a site plan to staff indicating the location on the property where towed vehicles will be parked or stored.

2. A six foot high pvc/vinyl privacy fence with a white or earth tone color shall be constructed along the side and rear property lines so as to screen towed vehicles on the property from view from adjoining properties to the south, west, and north.

3. Any inoperable, dismantled, or damaged vehicle shall be stored or placed behind the required solid pvc/vinyl fence and shall not be located closer than 110 feet from the edge of the street pavement.

Tim Dunbar told the Board he owns his own business on Arlington and he doesn’t want a tow lot next door.  He’s trying to build his business and encourage customers from Lee’s Summit and Blue Springs.  They won’t come if the neighborhood has a tow lot next door.  Alderman Teeman said the property really is an eyesore.  There won’t be any changes to the auto repair business because they have been there a long time.  A tow service may not be some people’s ideal business that moves in next door, but the city has a young man who wants to come in and clean up his part of the property.  He doesn’t own the property and is limited to what changes he can make, but he is willing to do what he can.  The Board passed the ordinance.

The Board tabled an ordinance an ordinance granting a conditional use permit subject to certain conditions to allow a fueling station at 6709 Raytown Road.    James Sullivan with Sullivan Palmer Architects on behalf of the property owner, Aim Investments, LLC, is seeking approval of a conditional use permit application that proposes to allow a vehicle fueling station at 6709 Raytown Road, which is on the northeast corner of Raytown Road and 67th Street. The property is zoned Neighborhood Commercial (NC). The applicant is seeking the conditional use permit as they want to tear down the existing building at 6709 Raytown Road and install gas pumps and construct a canopy on the property. The applicant also owns the adjoining property to the east of the subject property. The existing building on the abutting property to the east would be remodeled into the convenience store building. The Planning & Zoning Commission, by a vote of 5 in favor and 0 against, is recommending approval of the application subject to the following conditions:

1. The trash enclosure shall be rotated so that the gates and opening face the parking lot and not the street in order to enable a trash truck more direct access to the trash container.

2. The exterior appearance of the trash enclosure shall match the exterior appearance of the building addition.

3. Landscaping consisting of shrubs need to be planted along the south and east sides of the trash enclosure to help screen it. As a result, the curb line of the parking lot adjacent to the trash enclosure is to be changed so that the curb line on the east side of the parking lot aligns with the opening of the trash enclosure, rather than with the back of the trash enclosure.

4. The type and size of the shrubs at the time of planting need to be submitted for review and approval by staff to ensure compliance with the City’s adopted landscape standards.

5. The parking space located near the monument sign shall be removed.

6. Building elevation drawings for the existing building, the proposed building addition, and proposed canopy shall be submitted for staff review and approval.

7. The exterior material of the building addition shall be indicated and shall match the exterior material and color of the remainder of the building.

            8. A sidewalk conforming to adopted city standards shall be constructed / provided along both Raytown Road and 67th Street.

Carol Hinesly, owner of Mid-American Laminating, says her company is close to the Rayview Dental Clinic.  She is opposed to this gas station. There are traffic concerns at this location.  She contacted the Raytown Police Department and learned there have been 29 robberies at Raytown gas stations in the last few months.  This is a safety issue for the residents in the area.  Alderman Meyers asked if the permit for the gas tanks are not approved would the building look like the artist’s drawing.  The owner said without tanks, there would be no project.  Alderman Mock asked how long the current owner had owned the property.  He was told it was purchased in February, 2015.  Alderman Mock said there are high weeds and poison ivy growing on the property.  It’s not being well maintained.  He asked what guarantees the city would have that the property will be maintained in the future.  He’s seen other properties owned by Aim Investments and he’s not sure he wants it in Raytown.  Alderman Teeman asked if the Board approves the conditional permit, what guarantees the city would have that the property would look like the illustration presented to the Board.  John Benson told the Board they would have to make changes to the conditional permit.  Alderman Van Buskirk said when the Board approved the Dollar General Store, they added conditions to the permit.  He moved and the Board passed an amendment to the permit to require the building to match the illustrations as shown to the Board.  Alderman Black asked the owner if the permit is given for the building and not the gas tanks, would he still build the convenience store.  The owner said probably not.  Alderman Black asked what he would do with the property.  She was told that maybe he would sell or rent it.  John Benson told the Board if the permit is given without the gas tanks, the property is already permitted and the owner would not be required to change the facade to look like the drawing.  The only way to do that would be to include the gas tanks in the conditional use permit.  Alderman Meyers said changing the entrance to the property to 67th Street would not improve the traffic quality at that corner. He asked John Benson if there was a traffic study done by the Planning Committee.  Mr. Benson said the owner asked for and received a waiver for a traffic study.  It is a narrow street and this will cause traffic problems.  Alderman Van Buskirk moved this item be sent back to the Planning and Zoning Committee. They need to do a traffic study before this item returns to the Board.  His motion passed.

The Board passed an ordinance approving the final plat of Vishnani subdivision, a subdivision in the city of Raytown. Sameer Vishnani with Aim Investments, LLC and owner of Cloud 9 Convenience & Liquor, is seeking approval of the Final Plat of Vishnani Subdivision. The final plat proposed to combine three properties located at the northeast corner of E 67th St. and Raytown Road into one lot. The lots contain two existing commercial building, both of which are owned by the applicant. The final plat is proposed as the applicant is seeking to consolidate the properties so that they may demolish the western-most commercial building and install a fueling station with pumps and a canopy. The use of the fueling station and canopy will require a Conditional Use Permit, which is also on the agenda for the May 17, 2016 Board of Aldermen meeting agenda. The existing building on the existing east lot will be renovated and converted into the convenience store building.

The Board heard the first and second reading of an ordinance granting a conditional use permit to allow a vehicle sales business on property located at 9601 & 9617 E. Highway 350 in Raytown. They then passed the ordinance.  Alderman Meyers moved the Board suspend the rules and hear the second reading that night.  The motion passed. The conditional use permit shall be valid for a period of five (5) years from the date of issuance of a Use Permit.  Dick Smith Ford, Inc. is seeking approval of a conditional use permit application to allow the parking and display of vehicles that are for sale on property located at 9601 and 9617 E. Highway 350. Dick Smith Ford owns the abutting property to the west at 9505 E. Highway 350 on which their dealership is located. The subject property is owned by the applicant and is zoned Highway Commercial Corridor (HC). A site plan has been submitted, a copy of which is attached, which depicts the area of the property where the proposed use is to be located. The site plan includes the following: 

   • Construction of a paved pathway for customers and golf carts to use to go between the existing Dick Smith Ford dealership property to the west and the subject property. This path will include a crosswalk across Arlington Avenue which extends between the two properties.

   • Construction of two raised vehicle display areas on the property that will include construction of two stone walls, each of which will be approximately 70 feet long and 50 feet long. 

   • Installation of a pipe barrier along a portion of Arlington Avenue. This will be an extension of the existing pipe barrier along Highway 350 that is used to help prevent auto theft.

   • Installation of landscaping consisting of shrubs and trees in front of the pipe barrier along Highway 350 to help improve the appearance of the property along Highway 350.

The Board passed a resolution approving the purchase of a 2016 Ford Econoline 3500 off the City of Independence cooperative purchasing bid in an amount not to exceed $28,167.00. Based on evaluation of historical data, patterns of use, and industry trends, Public Works/Fleet Services has determined an optimum replacement schedule for Raytown EMS’ ambulances in order to maximize useful life of the equipment and to obtain the greatest economy of operation and maintenance. This purchase represents the third new ambulance in the 12-year cycle. It is to replace the oldest unit in our fleet of ambulances; the unit to be replaced is approaching the 110,000 mile mark, and it is the second chassis to be mounted under that particular coach. The chassis cost is $28,167.00; it has been budgeted, and the Sales Tax Oversight Committee has reviewed the project and found it to be within the intent of the Capital Sales Tax.

The Board passed a resolution approving the purchase of a new ambulance conversion from Osage Ambulance/Emergency Services supply off the 2016 Cooper County Ambulance District type III ambulance bid in an amount not to exceed $109,575.00.

The Board passed a resolution authorizing and approving the purchase of a Stryker power-load cot fastener system from Stryker EMS Equipment.  The Department of Emergency Medical Services recommends the purchase and installation of this equipment. The Power-LOAD cot fastener system compliments the Power-PRO ambulance cots we currently have in service. During loading into/unloading from the ambulance, the system supports the full weight of cot and patient, lifts/lowers the cot into/out of the ambulance mechanically, thereby minimizing the potential to drop the cot or patient during these operations, and eliminating the operator spinal loads which can lead to cumulative trauma. Cost includes freight, extended warranty/maintenance package, and the retrofit of one of our cots to be used with the system.

The Board passed a resolution approving the purchase of copiers and printers from Datamax.  City Staff solicited a bid for the replacement of 3 copiers, replacement of two existing large format printers with one large format printer, and the establishment of an ongoing service contract for nine high-volume copiers. The three existing copiers have reached the end of the lease and City Hall staff has experienced an increase in problems with them. The large format copiers are both over ten years old and both have limited capabilities in operations due to their age. In previous years, staff has moved forward with a program to buy all copiers outright; the three copiers included in the bid are the last remaining copiers to be purchased through this program. Bid documents were sent to seven companies, posted on the City web page, and printed in the City’s official newspaper. Five companies bid on the project. The total purchase cost for all copier/printers is $18,711.00. The maintenance program for the copiers is billed on a per-month basis; average monthly volumes project a cost of approximately $400.00 per month. Service for the large format printer will be $0.00 for the first year and $480.00 thereafter. The term of service is one year with up to five years in service with renewals.

The Board passed a resolution approving an agreement with Duke’s Root Control, Inc. Root control is performed annually in the Sanitary Sewer system. The amounts spent in past years have varied, but budget allows for $30,000.00 in 2016. Staff obtained a proposal from Duke’s Root Control, Inc. for treating the sewer mains. The amount was not specified since the contract is a coop contract through the City of Lawrence Kansas. Staff proposes an amount of $30,000.00. Additional quotes were not required since the contract with Duke’s Root Control, Inc. is part of a cooperative contract through the City of Lawrence Kansas. The cooperative contract is a linear foot contract with stipulated prices per linear foot for each size of sewer pipe. The project will not exceed the proposed amount. The funds are available from the sewer fund.

The Board passed a resolution approving the purchase of a 7400 series International dump truck and related equipment from American Equipment Company for an amount not to exceed $133,064.00. The current dump truck owned by the City is 18 years old. Maintenance costs have become excessive due to the age of the vehicle. Maintenance expenses to date have been $108,260.00. The Public Works Department staff obtained quotes from the KCMO cooperative purchasing agreement with American Equipment Company. Purchase price of the vehicle would be $77,607.00, not including the bed, hydraulics, and salt spreader. The bed, hydraulics, and salt spreader are an additional $55,997.00. Total cost $133,064.00. The budget includes funds for this purchase in the amount of $150,000.00. This vehicle is not eligible for a fleet leasing program, due to its size. While it may be eligible for a lease/purchase method of acquisition, the amount of the purchase is less than the amounts for a lease/purchase. Approval is requested for purchase of an International Harvester Dump Truck. The existing truck would not be disposed of, but would be re-purposed as a tank truck for the pretreatment of streets during snow and ice removal. Costs for the re-purpose are estimated at $10,000.00 to $15,000.00.

The Board passed a resolution approving the purchase of mobile and portable radios and equipment from Motorola Solutions.  The Police Department radio system is part of the Metropolitan Area Regional Radio System (MARRS). The radios used by the Police Department on the system are the Motorola XTS2500 Portable Radio and the Motorola XTL2500 Mobile Radio. Motorola stopped production on the XTS and XTL 2500 series radios in 2014. Motorola will provide support for the 2500 series of radios until 2019. After 2019 support will no longer be available for the 2500 series Motorola radios. A replacement plan has been developed to begin replacement of the 2500 series Motorola radios. The MARRS Board has established minimum standards for radios purchased for use on the MARRS system by Public Safety. All new radios purchased for use on the MARRS system must have the capability for AES and DSS encryption, 700-800 MHz, multi-key, OTAR (Over the Air Re-keying for encryption) capable and P-25 Phase Two capable. The Motorola APX 4000 Model 2 Portable radio and the APX 6500 Mobile radio meet the minimum standards established by the MARRS Board. The radios are to be purchased through the State of Missouri Radio and Accessories Contract O081801 with Motorola. The cost of 17 portable radios and accessories will be $49,549.05 from Public Safety Sales Tax. The cost of 2 Motorola mobile radios will be $8,475.00 from Capital Sales Tax.

The Board passed a resolution approving the purchase of mobile data terminals for police department vehicles from World Wide Technology, Inc. The Police Department has developed an IT replacement and upgrade plan for the technology-related equipment within the Department. The plan encompasses the replacement of in-car computers in marked patrol cars. The in-car computers that have been purchased in the past, the Motorola MW 810, are no longer being manufactured or supported by Motorola. As a result, research was conducted to find a replacement in-car computer to be installed in three new patrol cars this year. The Panasonic Toughbook CF-54 was determined to be the best choice for in-car field use. Pricing for the computers and mounting hardware is under the State of Missouri Prime Vendor contract through World Wide Technology, Inc. Total cost for the computers, support and mounting hardware will be $15,175.68. This project was presented to the Sales Tax Oversight Committee on 05/24/16 and was found to meet the intent of the Capital Sales Tax. 

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31 comments:

Anonymous said...

In a wonderful annual event, the Raytown Police Department defeated the Fire Distict on the softball field 12-11 on Saturday. It is unclear if the Fire District will formally blame Walmart for withholding the two winning runs somewhere around 2007.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the information on the tract of land in the center, I have long wondered about it.

Pat said...

When the Board of Aldermen get around to hiring someone to replace John Benson, please pick a person that will make the codes department enforce the laws here in Raytown. That one woman and her neighbors have been to the meetings on numerous occasions to ask that the property in their neighborhood get cleaned up. It would be done if the codes department were doing their jobs. Yeah, I know it takes time. They have to inspect the property. Then they have to give the property owner notice. Then they have to wait and if nothing is done, give notice again. At some point, they should be able to get a court order to clean it up. They then put a lien on the property and will eventually get their money back. BUT - they have to leave city hall to do all of this!

Anonymous said...

My grandfather once told me that debt is a persistent fellow. He sits down to eat with you every time you eat a meal. He watches television with you. He is even sitting beside you at a charity softball game. And though you may not notice it, he never gets tired. He is constantly working, taking a little more from you every waking and sleeping hour. He calls what he takes "interest". Debt does not force himself on you. He is often invited in with open arms. It is only later that those who foolishly yearn for his company begin to understand they have an unwelcome guest who does not always deliver on his promise.

Anonymous said...

So Dan Estes, past Finance Director was the one who recommend the 350 TIF to the Board. I thought the blame had already been placed for that financial disaster on the current (out-the-door soon) City Administrator and Ex Mayor Bower.

Throw in the Ex City Administrator Curt Wenson and Ex Mayor Sue Frank and you will have hit the trifecta on those responsible and created the TIF 350 financial crisis.

Anonymous said...

9:21

Bower and our out going Administration completed and poorly administered the deal. At the end of the day the board of aldermen voted yes when clearly it should have been a no.

GADSDEN said...

I would say that Dan Estes tried to worn the old board and mayor about the potential problems with
the Tif The staff and the board had requested what Mr Estes put together. How can you blame it on
a man who warned the board of the pitfalls. If they did not like it they had the opportunity to vote
no. You can see how many voted no.

I appreciate the information on how Dan tried to warn the board.

Anonymous said...

At this point, blame is a fruitless game. In early 2007, retail was the strongest business segment in development and the recession wasn’t in anyone’s crystal ball. If we’re all honest with ourselves, probably each of us would have predicted a new Walmart surrounded by available property would attract additional retail. It was an educated assumption. In hindsight, the TIF District should have been crafted in a manner that provided quantifiable and revocable benchmarks. But again, there was no reason to believe additional shops wouldn’t have followed a new Walmart.

On that note, are there ANY Walmart Supercenters in the metro (built in the past 10 years) NOT flanked by new/additional retail? The recession certainly slowed interest in the development, but are our low demographics and limited disposable income really to blame for the lack of quality of shops we claim we desire?

If our average household income is only $42k, retailers probably don’t think we have much left to spend after housing, food, medical and required expenses.

KMCCLA said...

To Anonymous of 6/12 @ 4:57 --

DROP IT -- It is obvious that for some reason you have a personal vendetta against the Fire District over this TIF matter. What is with you? These people are willing to a thankless job -- at least by your standards -- that you are unwilling, and are incapable of doing. They are, unlike you, to risk their lives for all of us, and all you can do is this petty male bovine excrement over the money that they have not gotten form this TIF. Guess what, if you are so dissatisfied with the Raytown Fire Protection Distinct, next time there is an election run for the office. Oh, no, that would too be hard for your diminished intellectual capacity, since your are not even "brave" enough to post your name on this. However, never mind, many know who you are anyway. Let me guess, when you find out that they are getting these shiny new fire engines in the next few weeks, are going to complain about that as well? Well, let me save you the trouble, and tell you that is it needed, since the ones we have now are getting old, and need to be replaced. It is not due to increased runs, or anything else, it is that is recommenced that they be replaced every few years. So since you "hate" the RFPD so much, please do not bother to call even if you need them. But, guess what, even with all the hateful things you have been saying, all the petty complaining and observations, they are still willing to risk their lives for you. For the record -- I am not a part of the Raytown FPD, I have not signed the petition. This TIF debacle -- sounds like that there is shady deals going on, where some are being cheated out of funds, and we the tax payers, are the ones who are being attached to another object by an inclined plane, wrapped helically around an axis. So do all of us a favor -- drop this petty vendetta you have.

Mr. Kelly McClanahan / KCØKM
Raytown, MO

Anonymous said...

Greg I didn't think you allowed name calling. Double standards for the fireman Doc?

Anonymous said...

So I see where the local Rhodes Scholar otherwise disguised as Raytown Times Editor Randy Battaglier is calling for some of the Alderman to brush up on their "Leadership" skills and read a recommended book. So tell me Mr. World According to Garp when did you become the resident expert on the subject of leadership? Tell you what when you take up being a real ethical journalist with professional research skills and a due diligence approach to readership responsibility, you can preach to others about professional standards!!

Anonymous said...

Wasn't the fire district to gain a new truck in the TIF agreement?

Anonymous said...


The fire department only had two players available to play in the yearly softball game do to already scheduled vacations , kids soccer and work schedule that fell on a day where five players we on duty. I myself missed the game and for the first time in 10 plus years I was not at third base for the charity event. I don't blame Walmart. The cops are pretty good. Your comment is childish and laughable. Enjoy your night keyboard warrior.

Paul Livius said...

The comment has been edited. The offending language has been removed.

Anonymous said...

Some of you get it. Some of you do not get it. It is not a question of who is responsible because the past cannot be undone. The question is what is going to be done in the future. There is a serious debt service problem on the horizon and people in a position to make decisions about the financial future of Raytown appear to be reluctant to take on the task. Want proof? The city holds a forum where people are told they may not participate in the discussion. Nothing new is learned from the forum. All of the information is a re-hashing of the past.

The Fire District holds a forum, invites the public, invites the Mayor, invites the City Council. To their credit, five members of the BOA show up. But the Mayor and half of the Board is a no show. Important information is shared that clearly shows a financial crisis on the horizon.

When half of the City Council refuses to show for the meeting it leaves you with a hopeless feeling for the future.

Anonymous said...

The only leaders I see in this town are the same folks that the Raytown Times bashes on. Keep doing what your doing boys. Let the children keep whining.

Anonymous said...

2011 The death of Raytown.

2011 The year the Bower Administration decided to stop the TIF filing.

2011 The Board of Alderman members amd Mayor that must be held accountable as they are the ones that started the hiding of the truth and are the three still on the board saying nothing is wrong.

2011 Board of Alderman member who came in last place in 2015 and is now acting very disturbed to anyone and too acts like nothing happened in 2011.

The one thing I know is I am thankful for the 2013 and 2015 new members that want the truth and want to fix the very destructive bonds that will end Raytown as we know it.

Anonymous said...

Yes the Fire District is currently responding to calls in a 2000 and 2005 model truck. I wonder how many complaining drive a 16 year old call daily? I know neither the police department or Raytown EMS would be caught dead in a vehicle that old. The city just approved a new ambulance last week and they can't even staff the one year old and 4 year old units they have now. With all this said I doubt the facts will sway complainers who either lost last years election or didn't have the guts to run in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Comparing fire truck to other vehicles like police and privately owned cars is like comparing a watermellon to a grape. Fire trucks are built for a long service life. They are constantly maintained. The drivers know their vehicles inside out. It is not the same as a police car or a privately owned vehicle that is driven daily.

Steve Meyers said...

The political arena is much like that of a WWE Battle Royal. 18 men enter and at the end one is left standing. In the meantime partnerships and chaos temporarily formulate to get Andre The Giante over the top rope to only dissolve quickly as you now are a target by the same assisting partner only moments ago. A great resource and useable talent would be to have your head on a swivel since your opponents are often gunning for you especially from the backside. Public service at the local level definitely requires a strong spine and an undaunting passionate commitment to serve your constituents with the belief that you can and will make a difference in the wonderful community that so many have invested in and care deeply for! In the serving of that community you as well as other fellow men and women serving in both governing leadership positions and volunteer boards and commissions will be faced with moral, ethical, and fiduciary responsible decisions that at times will not be popular and be open season for second guessing and public media comments that even attack your personal character. And guess what...That's OK!! All that means is yourself and other diligent and committed constituent servants are asking difficult but fair and needed questions. No doubt this sworn responsobility will consist of challenging the status quo, and expecting the tax paying supported City staff and personnel to deliver a high quality product within budget restraints to the citizens who in the big picture are actually their bosses. Change is extremely difficult for most all people and very few embrace it. Some are capable and some aren't. And that's ok as well. As our City faces some leadership changes, I as well as others are firmly in the belief that we are positioning ourself for some bold, exciting, and refreshing changes that will have a very positive impact for the citizens of our community.

Please stay safe in this dangerous high heat pattern we are experiencing and remember to check on the older adults and neighbors that may be living by themselves. Also please do not hesitate to contact any of the city officials who are there to serve you!!

Anonymous said...

Aldermen Meyers,

Thank you for writing and your service. When people challenge the status quo, there will be some to try and hang on for personal, social and even unethical reasons. Certain clowns are attempting to change the focus of the issues to cover up for their mistakes in votes and what they decided to support. I said this once before on this blog, let these children whine while the adults talk.

Thanks

GADSDEN said...

Greg, please keep the video etc up for awhile if you can please.

Anonymous said...

I just wish Steve Meyers would work as hard for the people of Ward 4 as he does for the fire department. A resident of Ward 4

Anonymous said...

So, the city just bought an ambulance that they can't staff........nice job.

Anyone But VanBuskirk said...

I am also a resident of Ward 4 and I wish my Alderman Bill VanBuskirk would start acting like an elected official.

I'm not sure why VanBuskirk won't get us the truth on why the Board of Alderman voted in 2011 to let Block off the hook when it has been in the paper others who agreed to the TIF cannot get off the hook too.

Something seems to be very very wrong with that picture.

Now we have VanBuskirk's friend Randy and Joe trying to blame a majority of the Board who are working to clean up VanBuskirk's mess from 2011.

Maybe I need to start working on running today for Alderman because VanBuskirt needs to go in April of 2017

Pat said...

Just remember who ran against Steve Meyers last time. It was Mary Van Buskirk. Now is the time to find someone to run against both Van Buskirks. I would, except I live in Ward 1.

Anonymous said...

Let's get real for a minute. The attacks on Bill Van Buskirk are just plain silly. One Alderman does not speak for the entire BOA. If you want to find the real devil in the very poor decision made in 2011 take a hard look at former Mayor David Bower. He had almost complete control of the Board and its votes. Go back and check the record. You will find the votes were unanimous on the decisions concerning Bloch and others.

Blaming it all on Bill Van Buskirk would be like blaming the current heat wave on him! I've known Bill a long time. He is hard working, has the best interest of the people he represents and is honest as the day is long. I cannot say the same for all of his seatmates on the Board. Can you?

Anonymous said...

Thanks Mary know quick back to the bashing the Fire Department.

You really should sign your posts.

Doc

Anonymous said...

6/18 @ 10:43 AM

It is nice you agree Bill Van Buskirk is part of the problem with the TIF issue.

After all you yourself said all the Alderman voted for letting Block out of the deal in 2011 and Bill was part of the mess.

Why now is it the Bill Van Buskirt, Jim Aziere and Steve Mock are speaking out against the other seven Alderman and not trying to fix the problems the three of them helped to create?

If Bill is so wonderful and trustworthy being he should be the first one demanding why did the city administrator stop filing in 2011 that is right if you look at the documents the "Great" city administrator that Bill speaks so highly about actually had to have knowledge of the required paperwork as he signed prior years.

If the city has met all state requirements why was there not a meeting in 2011 and more so why are we waiting on a meeting now.

It has been pointed out at one of the public meetings that the state requires posting of the filings in a local paper as well as the meeting notice posted for four weeks in a local paper.

If Bill is working so hard to "Better" Raytown than why did both local printed papers write that he didn't attend the "Fire Department" meeting. Wouldn't any great leader reach out and be part of open conversations or is his idea of "Good Government" to have a meeting where the public cannot ask questions, which would explain why the Board of Alderman have not met the state requirement in 2011 or 2016 both years Bill was on the Board of Alderman.

If this is not enough for the public to be up in arms we still need to question why his wife ran in 2015 unless it was to further try and hide the truth from the citizens of Raytown.



Anonymous said...

Anonymous June 16, 2016 at 7:52 AM, I would agree with you that comparing fire trucks to police cars is not a fair comparison, but not for the reasons you cite. I have been a heavy truck mechanic for over 28 years and can tell you the hardest thing you can do to a diesel engine is start it with no warm-up, drive it hard for a short distance and the shut it down. Add to that 7000 pounds of water which will shift as the vehicle is making turns in the city. Add to that 20,000 pounds for just the vehicle and pump. Add to that another 15,000 pounds of equipment and personnel and you have a perfect recipe for a vehicle. that requires a time of maintenance and upkeep. Overtime in these engines lose power, the transmissions begin to fail, the suspension systems fail and these units cost more to keep running than they are worth. Ask someone sometime what a used fire truck is worth and you will be supprised. Raytown will be lucky to get $25,000 for a 15 year old truck. So if they have managed to make them last that long I say good for them. Raytona Beach Bum

Rick said...

A few years back, a tornado devastated the town of Pierce City, Mo. The twister roared right down Main Street. It took out 95% of the businesses, City Hall, and the Police/Fire Station. The town had to rely on nearby towns to help with fire, police and ambulance service. It didn't take long before a couple of cities gave (as in free) their old equipment. In less than two months, Pierce City had 3 police cars, a fire truck and an ambulance. Instead of selling the used equipment, the other cities gave their equipment to needy communities. Wouldn't it be nice if Raytown could find a community devastated by Mother Nature and help them out with a gift of the old fire truck? How about it Matt Mace? Are you willing to step up and help?