OTHER NEWS SOURCES DISCUSS . . .
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.
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.WHAT KINDS OF SERVICES WOULD AMENDMENT 4 KEEP TAX FREE?
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.
HOW REAL IS THE THREAT OF A SALES TAX ON SERVICES?
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.
WHAT WOULD BE THE AMENDMENT’S FINANCIAL IMPACT ON GOVERNMENT?
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.
|BY GREG WALTERS|
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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