Sunday, October 16, 2016


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Colman-Livengood Park
From the THE PITCH magazine
At 15 acres, Colman-Livengood Park in Raytown is not one of the largest parks in the metro. But what it lacks in size it makes up for in activity. The shelters are usually booked on weekends in the warm-weather months. Teenagers play pickup games on the basketball court. A senior softball league uses the ball diamond from April to October. The state of Missouri and the United States Tennis Association awarded grants enabling the parks department to renovate and reopen tennis courts that had deteriorated. A trail cuts across the rolling land. READ MORE

KCTV broadcast the following story on October 19th
New citizens group questions  behavior at Raytown City Hall
Posted: Oct 19, 2016 2:27 PM CST Updated: Oct 19, 2016 5:50 PM CST
By Chris Oberholtz, Digital Content Manager  By Natalie Davis, Anchor/Reporter

As area communities prepare to elect politicians into office, some Raytown citizens are critiquing their current city leadership, and they’re not being quiet about it. (KCTV5)

A new citizens group has serious concerns about government spending and worries a former mayor may still be pulling some strings.

As area communities prepare to elect politicians into office, some Raytown citizens are critiquing their current city leadership, and they’re not being quiet about it. READ MORE
- - - Breaking News - - -
Alderman Josh Greene Resigns Seat
Ward One Alderman Josh Greene announced at tonight’s Board of Aldermen meeting that he was resigning his seat on the Board effective at the end of the meeting. Sources close to Greene say he has career opportunity in a city outside of the metropolitan area.

Greene’s resignation creates a second vacancy on the Raytown Board of Aldermen. The other vacant position is the Ward Five seat. The late Alderman Steve Mock held that seat on the Board until his untimely death earlier this year.

Vote “YES” on Constitutional Amendment Number 4
The Raytown Report is recommending a YES vote on Constitutional Amendment Number 4.  The amendment protects services, generally referred to as “labor costs” from being taxed with a sales tax. Missouri currently does not tax labor related items with a sales tax.

Amendment 4 is designed to prohibit the state from creating a new sales tax on services that Missourians use every day. Here are just a few examples of the services it would continue to protect:

FAMILY SERVICES: Day care, rent, health care, self-defense instruction and tutoring.

PERSONAL SERVICES: Haircuts, manicures, tattoos, dry cleaning, car repairs and funerals.

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES: Banking, accounting, advertising, technical installations, and real estate.

HEALTH CARE SERVICES: Physicians, surgeons, nurses, physical therapists, dentists, eye doctors and counselors.

HOME SERVICES: Construction, plumbing, lawn care, heating and air conditioning, installations and repairs, appraisals and inspections.

New sales taxes on services have been proposed in the last seven sessions of the Missouri General Assembly. Just this year, Missouri’s neighboring states of Oklahoma and Illinois have discussed taxing services. Other states, such as North Carolina and Washington State, have started imposing new sales taxes on services this year. The threat is real because politicians often share bad ideas, and a sales tax on services is a bad idea for Missouri consumers.

Missouri does not currently impose a broad sales tax on services. Because Amendment 4 would protect Missouri from imposing future sales taxes on services, there would not be any financial impact on governments because they do not now collect such a tax. Amendment 4 is revenue-neutral. A constitutional amendment adds certainty that future Missouri politicians and bureaucrats cannot simply change or interpret the law to allow sales taxes on services.

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT NUMBER 4 is a win/win issue for voters. It does not affect current state revenues, so services will not be cut because of its passage. It also protects Missourians from an unfair and inflationary sales tax increase in the future.

Corrections to
the Raytown Times
Randy Battagler went on quite a rant in his column “Randy’s Reflections” last week. He accused past and current members of the Raytown Board of Aldermen of lying to the public over a topic very near and dear to his heart, a residency requirement for the City Administrator.

For the record, the Board of Aldermen re-affirmed the residency requirement. They also added language to the requirement which allowed for them to set the requirement aside. This is something previous Board of Aldermen did not do. They simply ignored the law as written. The price many of them paid is apparent. Only one member of the Board of Aldermen remains who was opposed to the requirement in the first place. That person is Ward 2 Alderman Jim Aziere.

Battagler paints with a very broad brush when he writes with about the residency requirement, he is especially harsh when he denounces all past supporters of the residency requirement as liars.

His favorite target is the Charter Commission and its effort to upgrade Raytown’s form of government two years ago.

I will say one thing for Randy. He has proven to be a one trick pony when it comes to this issue.

I had a seat on the Charter Commission. So, I feel somewhat qualified to write, as Alfred Emanuel "Al" Smith [Governor of New York and Democratic Presidential candidate in 1928] was famous for saying, "Let's look at the record."

First, let’s be very clear on the 2015 Charter issue. Randy Battagler was opposed to it from the beginning. He editorialized and urged a “no” vote to forming the Charter Commission. Once it was formed, he relentlessly attacked the Charter Commission on a weekly basis.

Battagler wrote the reason the Charter Commission was formed was to oust then City Administrator Mahesh Sharma. He also claimed the supporters of the Charter were lying about a promise Mahesh Sharma made when he promised to move to Raytown within three years of his appointment. The promise was made in a closed door session of the City Council. Sharma had asked that the requirement be waived so his daughter could finish high school and graduate with her class. I attended the meeting. The Board voted nine to one to meet Sharma’s requirement to hire him.

Three years came and went. Sharma stayed on in the position. He did not move to Raytown as promised. I will leave it to the reader to determine who was lying.

Speaking of closed sessions, Battagler writes of Sharma being “accosted by several of the aldermen during a closed session”.

I wonder who Randy’s source was . . . closed sessions are closed for a reason. It would appear someone in attendance has been playing fast and loose with the rules and laws governing closed sessions.

As for Mahesh Sharma and his legacy in Raytown, Paul Livius wrote a clear opinion last week in the Raytown Report about Sharma’s so-called professionalism and expertise in managing people.

Paul wrote . . .

“. . . the fact is the change in the ordinance from 300’ to 100’ was brought about because one of Mahesh Sharma’s department heads, Brenda Gustafson, incorrectly approved by-the-drink liquor license to a restaurant directly across the street from Raytown High School in direct violation of city ordinances.

This happened under Sharma’s watch. It was his responsibility to over-see the day to day operation of the city. In this instance, his failure was complete. That failure on Sharma’s part kicked open the door to those who will do anything in the name of raising more tax revenue.”

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Anonymous said...

I am beginning to understand why most people do not sign their blogs. Every time Andy makes a comment, someone is there to shut him down. I think most of his comments are right on the money. Keep on writing Andy. You are showing an honest opinion and have the guts to sign your name.Good for you!

Andy Whiteman said...

7:05AM, Thanks for your comment. Having lived in Raytown for 13 years, I feel qualified to comment. Honestly I am not in touch with current issues and politics other than what I read here and in this blog and RPD reports. After being gone 4 years this month, it is pretty clear that not much has changed except there are new elected officials. I always expected a new BOA and Mayor to make changes, but apparently my expectations were unrealistic. After having lived in Raytown longer than anywhere I have lived in my adult life, I still have a concern for Raytown even though I will never return. Maybe I could be a work from home City Administrator with the residency requirement waived, but honestly, I feel any department head must live in Raytown to be able to observe and suffer with current living conditions inorder to see what really needs to be done.

Andy Whiteman

Betty said...

I'll tell you one thing that's changed in Raytown - The current mayor won't stand up at the Wildwood Homeowners Association meeting and mock you for your thoughts, your disabilities, and your helmet. The BOA in place when you left chose to ignore the 83rd street bridge while the current BOA is getting it replaced. The prior mayor and CA chose not to file any TIF reports to keep the city in compliance. The current mayor demanded the reports be brought up to date and kept that way. The prior Board passed a Parks/Storm Water sales tax and then didn't allocate any of the money to the Storm Water. The current Board has started to fix that. There's a lot you don't see because you don't live or work here. Before you start talking about how bad things are and how little things have changed, get your facts straight first.

Raytown Newbie said...

Hello Raytowners,

I helped my daughter move this weekend. She works at KU Med at Stateline and 39th. Based on what she paid for her house, I'm thinking the home prices are just about double what they are here for the same type house. It's a nice little town and she is right around the corner from Joe's... some still call it Oklahoma Joe's, anyway some pretty good eatin.
So I was a bit surprised to see in this upper middle class neighborhood a .......
Walmart Neighborhood Grocery. Did not see piles of winos hangin out by the dumpsters behind the store or hooded gangs waiting to pounce on unsuspecting passerby. In fact I did not see any empty storefronts anywhere nearby where they had run some local out of business.
Just a nice clean grocery store doing a pretty good business. I'm guessing the city of Roeland Park is loving the sales tax revenue. But maybe not. In any case, it is a nice grocery serving the locals who can actually WALK to the store.
One of the few streets in Raytown with sidewalks is Blue Ridge Blvd.
A grocery store on the greenspace (in the recently saved downtown Raytown) would have allowed many of us to actually walk to the grocery store.... wouldn't that be something? Anyway maybe we can get a dog park there... that would be getting some beneficial use from the greenspace.
Have a nice week Raytowners, And remember to vote YES on 4 next month.
R. N.

And, Betty... you made some interesting comments. IMHO, that is.

Martha said...

Hey - Raytown Newbie. I always look forward to your posts. They're interesting and insightful. Now that Diane has lost her ace reporter, you ought a look into the job. I think she was close to putting the Raytown Tabloid out of business until the young man moved on. Maybe you can sign up and finish the deal.

Raytown Newbie said...

Hello Martha,

And thanks for your kind words. I will tell you that I enjoy very much having a place where we Raytowners can come and say what's on our minds. I don't enjoy the personal attacks and obviously I don't always agree with what others may say but I try not to get into debates on here.

Mr. Walters provides us and Raytown with an important outlet and I appreciate it very much. I tend to think that we the residents, homeowners and taxpayers are the major stakeholders but all should be welcome to speak up as long as it's something new now and then and not the same old "axe to grind" regurgitation.

As to whether it makes a difference or not? Well, last year I made a few posts on here regarding how our family dog was set upon by a run away pit bull and how when I called the Raytown police I was told that animal control was off duty on the weekends and nothing could be done... so sorry!

So, fast forward a year and guess what? The policy on loose dangerous animals is now that the city will respond on the weekend. So maybe just maybe what we do talk about on here finds its way to those who can affect policy.

Anyway, I appreciate your thoughts, Martha, and have a nice day.

R. N.

Greg Walters said...

The Walmart Grocery Store in Downtown Raytown failed to become reality because Walmart decided to pull the plug on the project. If you are unhappy with their decision then you should write a letter to Bentonville.

It is true that many people spoke up loud and clear in their opposition to the Walmart Grocery Store. Some did not want such a large footprint dominating the Downtown Raytown streetscape. Other simply did not like Walmart. There were others who suggested the city and Walmart re-locate one block to the west to vacant property at 63rd and Raytown Trafficway.

At the end of day, it was Walmart who turned down the deal.

Don't be angry at people for expressing through their First Amendment rights the ability to speak up.

By the way. Here are the names of a "few" more streets in Raytown that have sidewalks. Raytown Road and Raytown Trafficway, from the city's northern city limits to its southern city limits. Blue Ridge Cutoff, 87th Street, 59th Street, 63rd Street (all the way across the city, east to west). Nearly all of the Southwood Subdivision. Gregory Boulevard from the west city limits to its terminus at Raytown Road.

I am sure I missed a few. The point is, Raytown is not a bad place to live. Why don't you lighten up and find some good in our town instead of picking at what you perceive to be faults in the city?

Anonymous said...

Hey Greg. Don't forget 67th Street and Woodson Road!

Anonymous said...

I saw Bob Phillip's snarky comment in the Raytown Times about the city administrator being required to live in Raytown. Do you think he really believes it is better if the city administrator City Administrator does not live in Raytown?!?

Sounds to me like he has an axe to grind!

Then again, Bob lives about 100 miles from here and still writes a column as if he still lives in the area.

Raytown Newbie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

When someone can quickly name the streets in a city with sidewalks, it is likely the city has only a "few".

Anonymous said...

Hey Codes department in Raytown, open your eyes!

The "red" building at the corner of Raytown Traffic way and 59th St has added another red car to the pile of cars on jacks to work on or "part" out! Are we running a salvage yard at that business?

Codes department, do your job! Mr. Mayor have you noticed this mess?

Anonymous said...

So Raytown Rag Randy claims that several BOA members "accosted" former City Administrator Mahesh Sharma in Closed Session meetings prior to Mahesh leaving for greener and no doubt less demanding corn field pastures in Polk County Iowa. One of the definitions of accosted is to BOLDLY approach... Well maybe it was about time that leadership boldly approached and demanded more professional accountability and job measurements for the citizens of Raytown that apparently had been sorely lacking by the previous City Administrator and administration. The voters in the previous election sent a loud and clear message with resounding totals that new direction and status quo change was needed. I believe that this Board, Mayor, and current Administration is attempting to change some stale cultures and long standing policy practices that are long overdue for review and or amending.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:34 wrote "When someone can quickly name the streets in a city with sidewalks, it is likely the city has only a "few"." You need to re-read the post. He listed two streets - Raytown Road and 63rd Street that totally trans-sect the city for several miles. He names "nearly all of the South Wood Subdivision". That's six blocks (east/west) and ten blocks (north/south). He named a few others. That's several hundred miles of sidewalks. If you don't like the way things are being done, why don't you get a job at city hall and do it better. Is it because you would rather sit back and gripe in an effort to make others as miserable are you are?

Lisa said...

Mahesh Sharma left because the current BOA and Mayor expected him to do his job! The prior BOA and Mayor didn't care if the TIF reports were filed. OK - to be fair, maybe they didn't know about it. BUT Sharma should have known. That's his job! Sharma had unnecessary staff in place. Case in point - Tom Cole has taken over the Economic Development Department and the job of PIO. He can do the job of PIO without even breaking a sweat. The former employee was unneeded and a total waste of money. Randy can print in his Rag that the BOA was mean, but in the real world where the rest of us live, if you don't do you job, you're asked to leave.

Anonymous said...

We live on E. 75th Street and have a regular stream of people walking through our lawn. It would be very nice to have a sidewalk, and maybe a curb, and maybe the potholes repaired correctly. I guess I am a complainer.

Anonymous said...

Be sure and watch this evenings BOA meeting where the Board can give themselves, the Judge and the Police Chief a raise.

Yeah, thanks goodness the good ol boy system is alive and well at city hall. keep raising those taxes in the mean time.

We will remember when the city comes begging for more money for "public Safety," better roads, parks and storm water.

What a Joke

Anonymous said...

RN - you don't bring out the worst in people. There are just a lot of unhappy, depressed, and unpleasant people who come to this site. Like the guy said - Greg lets anyone express themselves. No filter needed.

KMCCLA said...

A little change of pace here. Last Thursday, I retraced (for the most part) my little road trip on the Missouri Rock Island Rail Trail from Pleasant Hill to Windsor. A lot has changed over six months. The trail is almost complete -- about 90-95% (if not more) has gravel. There where only a few areas that did not have gravel yet.

From MO Route 2, in Chilhowee to just beyond Route 52 in Windsor is open, with gates and trail heads at Chilhowee and Leeton. In the areas, where there had been a bridge that had been removed, and the line filled in, ramps now bring the trail up to level and cross the road. On paved roads, and highways, crosswalks and signs warn of a trail crossing. The trail is almost done, and should be open in late December.

Anonymous said...

Looks like the jokes on you!

Robbie Tubbs said...

The tree dedication ceremony before the meeting last night was very moving. A huge thank you to the Mayor, the Board, and the City Staff for making this happen. Steve Mock was a remarkable man who loved Raytown and worked hard as an Alderman to keep it a great place to live.

Raytown Newbie said...

Hello Senior Raytowners,

I got my renewal information from my Medicare Part D provider recently and over the weekend dug into it and found out they had changed the copay on a Tier 4 med I take to 50% from 25%. Wow! yearly costs jump over $1200 on that one pill.

Anyway, I went online to and did some shopping around. I am going to enroll in a Walmart/Humana plan that saves me over $500 from what I paid last year for the same meds... not to mention avoiding the extreme price increase on my Tier 4 pill.

When you go to the website, you will enter the prescriptions you take and then where you live and they find the available plans and do a cost comparison for you and pick out the top 5 or so for you to consider. You can even do the enrollment on the website. As I understand it, when you enroll in a new plan, you will automatically be unenrolled form your current plan.... at the end of the year, that is.

So, take the time and do the comparisons. I am sorry I did not last year. There's absolutely no reason, none, to stay with the same part d provider.... there's no loyalty rewards... they can and will jack up prices on you, often without any notice, so get educated and save yourself some money.

BTW.... you younger Raytowners should check with your older relatives and even neighbors to see if they can save some money... chances are good they can save plenty.

Y'all have a nice day,

R. N. , loving life near downtown Raytown, MO

Allen Roberts said...

Maybe they need to post a sign on the doors leading into City Hall that says "NO DRUNKS ALLOWED".

Anonymous said...

October 19, 2016 at 4:32 PM

Yea then Joey boy and Randy the Rag wouldnt be allowed to step foot in.

Just watched the meeting, it seems we have a board that is willing to fight for real change and accountability and an old guard trying to shift blame on existing problems from years ago onto them. Kudos to this board and mayor, with the exception of the hypocritical Jim Azeire.

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't the mayor talk to the press instead of having Tom Cole issue a statement. The mayor certainly has not cut ties with the police department and to me looks guilty as sin. Next election we need a new chief and a new mayor. People its time

Tammy said...

So - it's ok for David Bower to have a highly-paid, do-nothing PIO, but it's not ok for Mayor Mike to combine the PIO job with another department and save the city thousands of dollars a year? Maybe instead of a new police chief and a new mayor, we need citizens who aren't whiners. News flash - YOU LOST! When Mike comes up for election again, there will be hundreds of us on the streets helping him get re-elected.

Matt said...

This was a disturbing situation when during my daughters birthday party we had a yard full of kids and a pit bull walked into the yard and growled and circled my youngest daughter. The dog would not leave and continued to growl at children. I called 911 and was directed to animal control. The man who answered said they did not operate those hours. He said there was nothing he could do unless the dog went ahead and started biting. I was a very disturbing event that left me and all the parents angry. To have a pit circle a two year old and call 911 only to find out no help could be given until it was too late! Of coarse I would give my life to save a child. Why would it have to come down to that?

Raytown Newbie said...

The city I moved from has a ban on pit bulls. But it was only implemented after a man mowing his lawn was attacked and killed by the neighbors pit bull.

Last year while on a walk, my dog was set upon by the neighbors loose pit bull and I luckily was able to quickly straddle him and get him by the collar which I am sure saved my dogs life. My call to 911 was answered almost word for word just as was yours. I thought the city had changed their policy on such calls but I see that has not changed.

Now get ready for all the pit bull apologists. It's the owners not the dogs and while that may be true, it's ultimately the dogs who can go crazy and do great harm.

Glad no one was hurt.

R. N.

Betty said...

They're right, aren't they? It's not the dog's fault. It's not the dog's fault it was bred to attack and kill other animals. It's not the dog's fault it was allowed to run free in the neighborhood. It's not the dog's fault it was acting like a dog.

Oh, and just so you know, there is an ordinance on the books prohibiting "dangerous animals". If you can prove that dog attacked you or your children or your dog, you can demand the city confiscate the dog.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sick of people blaming put bulls. Our Pittie is such a sweet dog. It's the owners, not the breed. Ours was adopted from the Missouri Puppies 4 Parole program. They train the dogs, he is kennel trained and house trained. Stop blaming the breed for gods sake.

Andy Whiteman said...

I am happy to to read about the improvements in Raytown that you posted!

The previous Mayor asked about my helmet and was aware that I wore it for medical reasons. Any comments he may have made to the Wildwood HOA regarding my helmet and/or disability were in violation of the American's with Disabilities Act! If someone would have called that to my attention while I was still there, both the City and he personally could have been fined and subject to a civil lawsuit. He said that he was my friend. With friends like that, I don't need enemies!

Is the current BOA going to do something about the useless chip and seal that is a nuisance and safety hazard? One of my neighbors had respiratory issues and I think the dust created by it may have contributed to her demise. I brought this up at the BOA but it fell on deaf ears except for Alderman Aziere who asked who it was.

Honestly, from what I am reading here, I wonder if many of the writers have their facts straight?

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Agreed. The problem is not animal. The problem is the owner. But the real problem is taxpaying citizens unable to get help in emergency situations like the two year old being stalked by a pit bull at a birthday party. Don't get misled into an argument over breeds of dogs. Focus on getting out city leaders to teach the police that "we don't handle that", call animal control", when they know full well that animal control will not respond because they do not work on weekends!

The real problem is the police not responding. The other problem is that the city will not find a simple solution, like working shortened shifts at city hall during the week so they are available on the weekend when most dangerous animal calls are made.

Anonymous said...

Please don't wait for the police or animal control to protect your family. They will always be too late when it matters most. Be prepared.

Andy Whiteman said...

It is the owners responsibility to confine their dog. ANY at large dog, regardless of breed or demeanor, is an ordinance violation! When I lived in Raytown, the BOA created an after hours on call Animal Control officer to handle emergencies such as a vicious dog, injured at large animal. My first call resulted in the dispatcher's refusing service. I contacted an elected official and was told the issue was corrected. My next call resulted in an argument with the dispatcher before a/c was dispatched. Animal Control was dispatched a total of 3 times for emergencies that I reported. I learned that an a/c person was assigned a pager and responded with a phone call to decide if a response is necessary. The person is paid for answering the page and then for the time if a response is required. Why does a/c no longer have an emergency after hours response? Animal issues are 24/7/365 the same as police calls!

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Any more, everyone has a gun. Before long, you won't even need a permit to carry or conceal. If you have a problem with vicious dogs, shoot it. Let the owner explain (and/or try to deny) why the dog was running loose!

Marlene said...

Every community has its Otis Campbell. Ours is Joe Creamer. It sounds like he got his rehab buddies to help him.