Raytown’s current City Administrator, Mark Loughry, has a couple of weeks left before he leaves his post at City Hall.
City officials have begun their search for a new City Administrator. It has been reported that they reached out to Strategic Government Resources (SGR) to take on the task of screening candidates for the position. Unfortunately, SGR replied they did not have the resources to take on the project. The result is that City Hall is back to square one on the search.
City officials are not discussing it out loud, but they may have a viable candidate already on the payroll at City Hall.
Tom Cole currently serves as the City's Economic Development Administrator and Public Information Officer. He has also been active in revamping how the City enforces its property codes.
Enforcement of property codes is one of the city’s most important responsibilities. It is especially true if your goal is to improve the image of a city.
The city adopts laws to set standards as to what is expected of property owners in the upkeep of homes and businesses.
For instance, if a neighbor allows his lawn to become overgrown with weeds and cluttered with trash. It is the property maintenance codes that come into play.
In the past, the city would send a letter requiring the owner to clean up the violation. If the cleanup is not done properly or within a reasonable time period, the owner would be ticketed and summoned to Municipal Court for a hearing.
The problem with that type of enforcement is that the defendant can ask for continuances, such as new court dates, extensions and so forth. The Court does not have to comply with the request(s). But the reality is the Court generally approves continuances on a regular basis.
Meanwhile, the mess remains, blighting a neighborhood.
Tom Cole has streamlined the procedure. When a complaint is filed, now the city sends a letter to the property owner. If the property owner does not clean up the mess in the allotted time, the city hires an outside contractor to clean it up for them. The homeowner is sent a bill. If the homeowner does not pay the bill, a lien is placed on the property.
Tom tells me all of the detail of the procedure is clearly stated in the letter. If a homeowner wishes to challenge the city’s action, they can do so by taking the matter to Municipal Court.
I served with five different Mayors and worked with four different city administrators in my time at City Hall (1980 thru 2009). Some of them were helpful in fixing neighborhood problems. Some, like former Mayor David Bower and former City Administrator Mahesh Sharma, literally refused to address property code issues.
I will be very clear on this one.
Raytown needs more city officials like Tom Cole.
His job description does not really include code enforcement. It does, however include Economic Development. He has demonstrated that his role as a city official is to find solutions, not excuses. This one solution cannot be understated. He has shown he can think outside the box.
Cole’s accolades stretch much further. Drive around Raytown. You will see new buildings and higher occupation rates in the business areas. All of this cannot be attributed to one individual, but it is fair to say that Tom Cole has proven himself capable in his job as Economic Development Director. Most importantly, he has shown he works well with the new Mayor and City Council.
Our Mayor and Board of Aldermen are searching for a new City Administrator. They should take a hard look within their own ranks before spending one penny with a corporate head hunter.
The money saved by not hiring a head hunter could be used to expand the street overlay next summer. Since there was not any street improvement work on our neighborhood streets this year, it would help give a needed shot in the arm to one of the most neglected maintenance issues in Raytown.
One final thought, please, use asphalt instead of the tar and gravel concoction on our streets. That mixture is meant to be used on streets in reasonably good condition. It is not meant to be used as a replacement for asphalt.
The Paul Livius Report
Raytown Board of Aldermen Meeting
December 06, 2016
Mr. Riley went before the Board to say there is an empty house near 66th and Claremont. It has high weeds and grass. The windows and driveways are in need of repair. He has been to City Hall numerous times. He wanted to know why nothing has been done yet. Mayor McDonough said there is a new program just recently implemented in the codes department and he will give them the address.
During a study session of the sanitary sewer system review of Flow Analysis and Billing, Burns & McDonnell said they conducted investigations on the City’s existing sanitary sewer system to identify opportunities to effectively manage wastewater rates. Investigations included flow and rainfall metering, a flow analysis of the data collected, smoke testing, stream crossing assessments, and TV inspections. Along with evaluating the sewer system a brief study was done to establish a better understanding of the cost split agreement with Kansas City, MO as well as billing rates from Little Blue Valley Sewer District. From this study Burns & McDonnell has developed recommendations and “next steps” that will allow the City to improve the overall sanitary sewer systems functionality while controlling billing costs.
The Board passed a resolution authorizing the reappointment of Pat Jackson to the Jackson County Board of Equalization.
The Board passed an ordinance amending chapter 44 of the code of ordinances. Over the past several years, sewer treatment costs have risen at a double-digit rate for treatment services provided by Kansas City Missouri (KCMO) and approximately 6% per year for Little Blue Valley Sewer District (LBVSD) provided services. For several years, City staff was able to maintain the City rate through the implementation of numerous cost-saving programs; however, last year staff recommended a 4% increase to help offset the rising cost of services and shortly after implementation the City was notified of a significant increase from LBVSD in excess of $600,000.00. Given the recent City sewer rate increase at that time, management elected to defer any additional increases for the 2016 fiscal year. This year in order to be compliant with funding requirements associated with debt issued for the sewer fund the sewer rate will need to be increased approximately 15% across the board. This will allow for a balanced budget in the sewer fund as required by bond documents and to ensure sustainability of the fund. Based on historical increases from KCMO and LBVSD there will be additional increases needed in future years. Due to rising costs in treatment, maintenance, and operations, staff is recommending the following adjustments to Chapter 44, Article III, Sec. 44-154: 1) Amend c (4) to read Base Rate - the Base Rate shall be $[12.78] 14.70 per month. 2) Amend c (9) to read Variable rate. The revenue charged expressed in per 1,000 gallons that is derived when the annual variable rate revenue requirement is divided by the customer volumes, estimated to be [seven dollars and twenty] eight dollars and twenty-eight cents $[7.20] 8.28 per 1,000 gallons, in excess of 1,000 gallons.
The Board heard the first reading of an ordinance amending chapter 1, general provisions, section 1-2, definitions, and rules of construction of code and ordinances. The staff is urging the Board to approve the Ordinance amending the Raytown Code to be consistent with Section Chapter 479, et al., of the Missouri Statute. On May 25, 2016, the Missouri Legislature enacted legislation known as Senate Bill 572 signed by the Governor on June 17, 2016, which, among other things modified Chapter 479.350 and created the definition of “Municipal Ordinance Violation” regarding collection of fines and court costs. The legislative changes in the laws of the State of Missouri require amendment of Raytown City Code Chapter 1, Section 1-2 on Definitions and rules of construction in the case of “Municipal ordinance violation” as defined in Section 479.350 in order to comply.
The Board heard the first reading of an ordinance amending chapter 1, general provisions, section 1-22, definitions, and rules of construction of code and ordinances. The staff is urging the Board to approve the Ordinance amending the Raytown Code to be consistent with Section Chapter 479, et al., of the Missouri Statute. On May 25, 2016, the Missouri Legislature enacted legislation known as Senate Bill 572 signed by the Governor on June 17, 2016, which modified distribution of Traffic Fines and Court Costs collected by Municipal Courts and amended Chapter 479.353 as to “Minor Traffic Violation” and “Municipal ordinance violation”. The legislative changes in the laws of the State of Missouri require amendment of Raytown City Code Chapter 1, Section 1-22 on General Penalty, Continuing Violations to comply with Section 479.353, which provided the Court shall not assess fines and court costs in excess of $225.00 to comply with the same.
The Board heard the first reading of an ordinance amending chapter 10, businesses and business regulations application for solicitation permit, standards for issuance; and section 10-353 prohibited acts of the code of ordinances The City Clerk’s office issues permits for Solicitors and Peddlers within the City per Ordinance. Every three years the City Clerk’s office is audited for compliance by the Missouri State Highway Patrol/ Criminal Justice Information Systems regarding the background checks completed under and existing ORI issued by the Missouri State Highway Patrol. In the last audit, the City’s existing ordinance was discussed regarding the parameters in which a permit is issued and the wording added was suggested in order to alleviate any situation where there may be a plea or a pending disposition. The amendment will add additional language to the current ordinance in order to alleviate any situation where there may be a plea or a pending disposition.
The Board passed a resolution approving the purchase of portable radios and equipment from Motorola Solutions, in an amount not to exceed $23,572.88. Portable radios are used on every ambulance call. In addition to communicating with the Dispatch Center, the radios can also be used to communicate with the hospitals as needed, and are set up to allow interoperability on all the local and regional systems. The existing inventory of XTS-series radios is reaching the end of service life, and beginning to experience failures. The XTS-series has been discontinued by Motorola. The APX 4000-series was selected by Raytown PD as being the appropriate model for our system. The quoted cost includes the radios, protective cases with belt loops, collar mics, spare batteries, chargers, and programming.
The Board passed a resolution approving a maintenance contract with Motorola solutions in an amount not to exceed $29,584. The Police Department uses the Motorola radio system during its normal course of duties. To ensure the life span of the equipment having the manufacturer perform the maintenance will make certain the equipment has the best service available. Proper maintenance is necessary to extend the usable life of the radios. This is a recurring yearly contract between Motorola and the City of Raytown to provide maintenance and infrastructure repairs to the radio system in case of failure.
The Board passed a resolution approving the expenditure of funds with Johnson County Missouri Sheriff’s office in an amount not to exceed $83,500.00 for fiscal year 2016-2017. On July 1, 2015 the City entered into a contract with Johnson County Missouri Sheriff’s Department to provide housing for our inmates. The contract will terminate on June 30, 2017. The Police Department is requesting approval to provide payment of invoices to the Johnson County Missouri Sheriff’s Department for fiscal year 2016 and part of fiscal year 2017.
The Board passed a resolution approving an agreement with McCoy Towing for tow services in Raytown. McCoy Tow has been the contract provider for our police-ordered tows, non-preference tows and tows requested by City departments for City-owned vehicles or equipment. This is for a three-year contract. On September 22, 2016, an invitation to bid was distributed to solicit request for qualifications (RFQ) for a tow service for the City of Raytown. On October 25, 2016, McCoy Tow and Caution Tow responded to the bid. Caution Tow did not meet the basic requirements of the RFQ. The staff recommends awarding the contract to McCoy Towing based upon their performance history, credit worthiness, ability, and willingness to meet the qualifications outlined in this contract.
The Board passed a resolution approving an agreement with Mize Houser & Company for the performance of professional audit services for fiscal year 2016-2017 in an amount not to exceed $41,000.00. On October 19th, the City issued a Request for Proposal for audit services. Ten audit firms were contacted directly and the request was advertised and placed on the City web site. The City received five responses, three from the firms directly solicited, and two from unsolicited firms. After review, staff believes that all of the firms are qualified; however, one of the unsolicited firms is a one person shop and did not have extensive municipal experience or references so they would not be considered. Of all firms, Mize & Houser had the lowest cost of services, extensive municipal experience, numerous pertinent references, and other reference resources available if needed by City staff. It is staff’s recommendation that the City enter into an agreement with Mize & Houser for audit services for the 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 fiscal years with two additional one-year optional extensions.
The Board passed a resolution approving the termination of the Consolidated Tax Billing and Collection agreement with Jackson County. Based on the declining revenue and the increasing costs associated with providing this service for the County, it is recommended that we cancel the current agreement. The agreement with Jackson County allows us to cancel January through May with a 30-day written notice. The staff is recommending a termination date of January 13, 2017.
The Board passed a resolution approving the expenditure of funds with Delta Sweeping for street sweeping in an amount not to exceed $25,000.00 for fiscal year 2016-2017. On October 24, 2016 bids were opened for the newly-implemented annual street sweeping contract. The contract, as shown in the attached Bid Tabulations, at an estimated total of 400 hours, 50 hours of Parking Lot Sweeping, 20 hours of Special Sweepings (for special events), and 10 hours of Emergency/On-Call Sweepings. The total low bid hourly rate for regular street sweeping activities was $153.00 per hour with a total bid of $73,510.00. This is in excess of budgeted amounts for street sweeping activities in the storm water fund. During the November 29, 2016 Work Session, the Board of Aldermen gave direction to staff that street sweeping shall be conducted at the low-bid hourly rate until the budgeted amounts have been reached while staff further investigates alternatives.
The Board then went into closed session.
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The Board then went into closed session.
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