Saturday, December 24, 2016


This year Paul and I decided to allow each other to choose one quote as our message to our readers.

Merry Christmas to
All of our Readers!

FROM PAUL:  God Bless us, everyone. CHARLES DICKENS, Tiny Tim
FROM GREG: “Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas...perhaps... means a little bit more!”
DR. SEUSS, How the Grinch Stole Christmas

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The Paul Livius Report
Raytown Board of Aldermen Meeting – December 20, 2016

Alderman Janet Emerson presented a plaque to City Administrator Mark Loughry for his service to Raytown.

Rev. Pat Jackson told the Board the 20th Annual MLK celebration will be held on January 15, 2017.  It will be at 3:00pm at Raytown South High School.  The keynote speaker will be Cheryl Brown Henderson.

Mayor McDonough said Fox Drugs has closed the pharmacy, but the soda fountain is still open.  Right now, they have malts, sodas, and floats.  In 3-4 weeks, they will have soups and chili available.

The Board passed 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 passed 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 passed 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 heard the first reading of an ordinance repealing chapter 50, division 11 and approving chapter 50, division 11, section 285 through 50-296 of the code of ordinances updating the floodplain overlay district.  This ordinance adopts the new countywide Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) and the Flood Insurance Study (FIS) that will become effective on January 20, 2017.  Our community is required to adopt or show evidence of adoption of floodplain management regulations that meet the standards of FEMA Paragraph 60.3 (d) or (c) by the effective date of the FIRM.  This means that our community must adopt the new map panel numbers and the Flood Insurance Study by either amending the community’s current floodplain management ordinance or by updating it.  Staff recommends adoption of the proposed model ordinance in its entirety.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency has evaluated the proposed Raytown floodplain management ordinance, and it complies with all of their regulations.  The floodplain areas in Raytown will not be physically changing in size with these new FEMA floodplain maps, and the new Flood Insurance Study.  Our FEMA map identification numbers will be updated and changed, but the floodplains themselves will remain the same.  There will be no significant impact to City operations and definitions.  Proposed Schedule: -- Planning & Zoning Commission met on Dec 1, 2016 – this fulfilled our State & Federal requirement for a Public Hearing.  The Planning & Zoning Commission voted unanimous to recommend approval of the proposed floodplain ordinance on December 1, 2016.  -- Board of Aldermen meeting on Dec 20, 2016 for 1st reading of ordinance.  -- Board of Aldermen meeting on Jan 3, 2017 for ordinance approval.
The Board heard the first reading of an ordinance amending chapter 50 (zoning), section 107 (land use table) of the code of ordinances for the purpose of updating the land use table.  The Planning & Zoning Commission by a vote of 6 in favor and 0 against recommends approval of the ordinance amending Chapter 50 of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Raytown.  The Development & Public Affairs staff has done a comprehensive review of Chapter 50 (Zoning) of the Code of Ordinances for the City of Raytown, and has made a number of recommended changes to the use table in Section 50-107 and its associated use definitions.  It has been known for some time that there were existing errors in the use table, as well as some conflicting information between the use table and the zoning district requirements.  As such, staff has put together changes to the use table to accurately reflect what is required in each zoning district, as well as to better capture the spirit and intent of the zoning ordinance.  In addition, recommended changes to definitions of certain zoning uses in Section 50-107 are outlined below:

1. It is the opinion of staff that the definitions for vehicle repair, general and vehicle repair, limited are vague and fail to distinguish a significant difference from each other.  They currently read as follows: a. Vehicle repair, general, means an establishment primarily engaged in painting of or bodywork to motor vehicles or heavy equipment.  Typical uses include paint and body shops.  b. Vehicle repair, limited, means a use providing automobile repair or maintenance services within completely enclosed buildings, but not including general vehicle repair services.  As such, staff recommends that vehicle repair, general, and vehicle repair, limited, be amended to read as follows: a. Vehicle repair, general, means an establishment engaged in vehicle and equipment body repair and painting; engine block and transmission replacement and other similar heavy repair services.  Services listed in vehicle repair, limited, may also be included.  b. Vehicle repair, limited, means an establishment providing vehicle repair and maintenance services such as brake, muffler, exhaust systems, automotive glass, wheel alignment, tire sales and repair, engine tune up, lubrication and other similar minor repair and maintenance services provided they are within a completely enclosed building.

2. Staff recommends that a new definition be added to Section 50-4 for group home, to read as such: a. Group home, means a residential facility serving nine or fewer residents and not more than two of whom are staff residents, similar in appearance to a single family dwelling and providing basic health supervision, rehabilitation training, community integration or social support.  Group homes are specifically licensed by the State of Missouri or otherwise permitted by law.
The Board heard the first reading of an ordinance amending chapter 50 (zoning), section 560 (receipt of applications) of the code of ordinances for the purpose of establishing neighborhood information meetings for applications that appear before the planning and zoning commission, as well as requiring said applications to post signage on applicant properties notifying the public of said public hearings.  In an effort to optimize the ability for the public to directly address any questions or concerns they may have about certain applications that appear before the Planning and Zoning Commission, especially those residents and businesses that are within 185-feet of said applications, staff is making a recommendation to amend Section 50-560, which identifies the procedure for public hearings that appear before the Planning and Zoning Commission.

The amendment will require that the applicants for certain Planning and Zoning Commission applications, specifically rezoning, preliminary plat, planned development, conditional use and site plan applications, hold a “Neighborhood Information Meeting”, whereby all property owners within 185 feet of the applicant property will be invited to attend a meeting, hosted by the applicant, where questions and concerns can be addressed.  The applicant will then provide a report on what was discussed in the meeting.  The Neighborhood Information Meetings will be held at no cost to the City, and neither staff nor any representative of the City will officially be involved with the meetings, unless they choose to attend as observers.

It is the belief of staff that these meetings will also help to clarify any issues the public may have, as well as help applicants make changes to their application that will alleviate any concerns by neighboring property owners, prior to any public hearings.  The second text amendment to Section 50-560 proposed by staff is to require that applicants for the same described applications as above appearing before the Planning and Zoning Commission post a sign along each street frontage of the applicant property notifying the public of a public hearing to be held at the scheduled date and time.  The sign will be provided by city staff, and must be posted at least fifteen (15) days prior to the date of the public hearing.

The Board passed a resolution appointing Tom Cole as City Administrator for the city of Raytown.  The City agrees to employ Tom Cole as City Administrator, effective December 23, 2016 to perform the duties specified in the Raytown Code of Ordinances, Raytown City Policies, the laws of the State of Missouri, the duties listed in the job description for this position, and other legally permissible and proper duties, as assigned to the City Administrator at an initial salary of $127,500.

The Board passed a resolution approving an employment agreement with Briana Burrichter as Finance Director.  The duties of Finance Director will include performing the duties specified in the Raytown Code of Ordinances, Raytown City Policies, the laws of the State of Missouri, the duties listed in the job description for this position, and other legally permissible and proper duties, as assigned by the City Administrator or Mayor and Board of Aldermen from time to time.  She agrees the City Administrator will provide policy guidance and direction, as well as day-to-day direction, at an initial salary of $89,000.

The Board passed a resolution approving the appointment of Kati Horner Gonzalez, P.E. as the public works director for the city.  Alderman Steve Meyers said he was providing the headlines for Randy Battagler.  He said it should read in 24 font, “sweeping changes at City Hall.  What you witnessed tonight is real strength and leadership for our city.”  (Paul’s note: it will be interesting to see how Randy spins this).

The Board passed a resolution approving the adoption of a personnel manual the current City Personnel Manual was adapted from the Code of Ordinances during the last recodification.  It was removed from City code with the intent of completing a thorough review and update of the manual and adopting it as policy rather than codified with other statutes.  The manual and code itself had not had significant review or update in at least ten years.  Per City Code the City Administrator is to recommend policy to the Board of Aldermen for consideration and approval.  In October of 2015 the City Administrator formed an employee committee representing each department with the intent of reviewing the Personnel Manual and associated employee benefits.

Over the course of several months this committee met as a group and within each city department to review the manual and suggest changes.  The intent was to update the policies to reflect current federal laws, ensure equitable application amongst all departments, and make enhancements or changes to areas that were outdated.  Overall the process went very well and all employees had the opportunity to participate in the review and creation of the proposed manual.  At the end of the Committee review process the proposed manual was presented to the Finance Committee for consideration which recommended it go to the full Board.  The Mayor asked that be delayed while the Police Department reviewed the proposed manual due to their expertise in policy writing.

On August 11th the staff received five recommended changes back from the Mayor and on August 29th we received six additional changes from the Mayor.  After reviewing the proposed changes or updates from the Police Department and passed on to us by the Mayor we implemented those changes which were in the nature of clarifying or expanding upon the manual submitted by the Committee and rejected some of the proposed changes that had a negative fiscal impact on the City.  After compiling the proposed changes from the Police Department mentioned above with the original document we distributed this out to the Department Heads on September 12th for further review and comments. 

We received no additional comments from any of the Departments at that time.  On November 29th the City Administrator spoke with the City’s employment law attorney, Matthew Gist with Ensz & Jester and asked him and his staff to review the manual and policies.  The personnel manual and policies as presented have been thoroughly reviewed and approved by legal counsel.  While many of the changes were intended to clarify current application of the policy there were a few areas that saw more in depth changes.  Some of those changes are highlighted below:

• A nepotism policy was added where previously there was not one
• The probationary period was updated to require monthly evaluation during probation.
• One fixed holiday was removed and an additional floating holiday was added.
• Holiday call back was better defined.
• Holiday for employees whose normal work shift is longer than 8 hours was clarified.
• Maximum vacation accrual hours were updated to reflect the agreement made when the Park MOU was adopted.
• Vacation and Sick leave for EMS administrative staff were adjusted to match other employees.
• The maximum amount of sick leave accrual was reduced to reflect FMLA requirements.
• A sick leave buyback policy was created to encourage judicious use of sick leave.
• Sick leave abuse was clarified.
• Military leave was updated to reflect Federal requirements.
• Bereavement leave was better defined.
• A tuition reimbursement policy and request form was updated/added.
• A comprehensive travel policy was added.
• A policy addressing the use of city owned vehicles was added.
• The separation from service area was updated to reflect the buyback policy and to address a few areas of concern based on past experiences.
• The Grievance policy and appeals process was updated to better define the process and employees rights or responsibilities.
• An on call policy was added.
• The donated sick leave pool was eliminated.

The Employee Benefit Committee understands that while this is a great improvement over the current manual there will always be room for improvement.  It is the Benefit Committee’s intent to review this manual and employee benefits on an ongoing basis.  This will help the City stay competitive and the city policies reflect current law and practices.  The Personnel Manual as presented has wide support from the Administrator, Department Directors, and city staff.  Alderman Mark Moore said he doesn’t want to approve the employee manual just for the sake of approving it.  He wants the department heads to take it to their employees and get their input.

A section of the employee handbook regarding bereavement leave and nepotism brought some fireworks to the debate.

Alderman Bill Van Buskirk said he had a problem with “immediate family” being defined as “domestic partners” and “co-inhabitants”. He was concerned the language could be viewed as providing health insurance benefits for domestic partners and co-inhabitants.
The city’s current health insurance plan does not extend benefits beyond biological or legal partners as defined by the State of Missouri. Van Buskirk brought a motion to remove the two defining phrases “domestic partners” and “co-inhabitants” from the language. The motion failed by a vote of five no to three yes. (two seats on the City Council are vacant).

Alderman Mark Moore said the manual wasn’t even approved yet and already the Board was trying to re-write it.  Alderman Green made a motion to table the resolution until January 3.  The motion failed.  Alderman Steve Meyers suggested the Board approve the manual and make any changes necessary later.  Alderman Janet Emerson asked to hear from the department heads in attendance.  They said they had read the manual and one department head said the only push back received were from employees abusing the lack of standard policy.

The Board eventually approved the manual by a vote of seven to one.

Voting for approval: VanBuskirk, Green, Meyers, Emerson, Aziere, Teeman, Black
Voting no: Moore

The Board passed a resolution approving the city administrator to enter into an agreement with ACS Building Services for the 2016 Raytown City Hall replacements in an amount not to exceed $425,000.  The current HVAC system at City Hall is nearly 20 years old and experiencing ongoing and increasing maintenance issues and expenses.  This project will completely replace the existing system as well as add an additional, smaller, unit for the Evidence Room in the basement.  The project will significantly improve efficiency, airflow, and circulation, temperature consistency throughout City Hall, and ongoing employee comfort.  Previously, the system was scheduled to be replaced last year with the lower level renovations, but was postponed due to high bids beyond total project budgeted amounts.

Over the past year, the system has required 24 call-outs for repairs and expenses have totaled to be more than $25,000.00 in FY 2016.  The call-out reasons include replaced compressors, system freeze up resulting in flooding inside City Hall, overheating on hot days, and broken belts.  Bids were opened on October 18 and the low bid was selected for award of the project to ACS Building Services.  The base bid was in the amount of $387,339.87.  Staff is requesting purchasing authority up to $425,000.00 to accommodate for potential change orders.
The Board passed a resolution approving an annual maintenance agreement with Harris Computer-Global software in an amount not to exceed $45,134.00 for fiscal year 2016-2017.  Harris Computer-Global Software is the Records Management System and Computer-Aided Dispatch system vendor.  These systems were installed in 2005 and at the time of implementation included 5 years of support.  That plan expired in 2010.  The support plan is now an annual expense.  This maintenance agreement will provide maintenance of the records management and computer-aided dispatch system.

The Board passed a resolution approving the continuation of an agreement with Tyler Technologies for maintenance of windows-based software provided by Interactive Computer Designs in an amount not to exceed $80,320.  The City utilizes Incode Software, a division of Tyler Technologies, Inc. for all financial, purchasing, utility, payroll, human resources, courts, and customer service software.  The annual maintenance provides for support and any software updates or upgrades that are released.  As long as the City maintains the annual maintenance payments, there should not be a need to pay for upgrades to the software that is not considered custom work.

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GADSDEN said...


Anonymous said...

I would say Mark Moore was right to vote no on the manual. If the board knew that there were already problems in it and there has not been a manual for 8 years then why approve a flawed document
Sounds like this board is having to deal with another left over mess from the previous administration

Anonymous said...

I am glad and proud of the BOA passing the manual and not letting the PD intimidate them. Job well done.

Anonymous said...

How exactly does the PD intimidate anyone? Paranoid much?

Anonymous said...

That's a little insulting to the board and the police I think. Just because it appeared that they and I believe the ambulance director did not agree with some things does not equate to intimidation but healthy debate. Whoever posted in the last blog may be right about police haters being on here. What a shame, just some more of the typical old politics that the same people are trying to blame the police for. As someone else commented if you have no proof then quit putting the BS out there.

Peggy Sue said...

I, for one, am glad the BOA and some of the department heads disagreed about the employee manual. That means folks are reading the manual and discussing it. It also means the current BOA is no longer thoughtlessly passing resolutions and ordinances. We're making progress!

Anonymous said...

Apparently cop hating is the in thing now.

Anonymous said...

Attempting to change the narrative to "cop hating" (Dec 26 8:53 PM) is a weak attempt to deflect what may be systemic top brass organizational favoritism occurring within the police dept. Issues have surfaced and whether they have merit will at some point will have to be addressed by Police Chief Jim Lynch who is running for re-election. Most anyone you speak with in Raytown respects and appreciates the service level of the men and women of the Police Department who serve and protect.

Anonymous said...

Here's to anonymous December 27 at 10:21 you got it figured out. Wish more people were as smart as you.

Anonymous said...

I believe before the election at some point Chief Lynch needs to hold a town hall meeting and address the questions the citizens have about the police department. If he doesn't than I will tend to believe what is being said about him and the running or lack of running the department. We deserve at least this much.

Anonymous said...

And if he doesn't want to, then what are you going to do? Is there another candidate to run against him? All that has to happen is for him to vote for himself and he wins. And that's because you won't put on your big boy/girl pants and file yourself. Don't tell us it's because he won't approve it or agree to it. Be brave and do it anyway. Or, are you like a former city official that makes a lot of noise but never backs it up? Put up or shut up.

Anonymous said...

If I had the qualifications I would file but I don't. So 10:04 PM does that answer your question? You sound like your one of the Jim/Mike good ole boys club. Sorry your so blind to the truth

Anonymous said...

I just know that if someone thinks there's a problem and does nothing, then they are part of the problem. I never said there weren't problems in Raytown. It's just that all we ever get is flapping gums. No one ever provides proof. So, again, put up or shut up.

Anonymous said...

I am NOT a cop hater. The smear campaign that was run by Lynch when he first was elected is political corruption, plain and simple. Shame on Ex Mayor Sue Frank to endorse Lynch when he is a friend of her and her husband, Ted Bowman.

The dirty politics used for the sole purpose of getting Bowman a higher rank within the department, along with his buddies is at the very least, dishonest and fraudulent by those in power.

I'm sure the people here labeling us "cop haters" are in on the corruption as well.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you 9:18
Tired of the verbal assault on the board, chief and mayor. Makes the city look bad for only self serving persons to throw trash at others.
So far I have seen no one show proof of wrongdoing and just because the mayor WAS a police officer at one time does not mean that there is a good old boy system in place
As you stated in your post, they need to put up or shut up

Anonymous said...

So, ex-Mayor Sue Frank is corrupt because she and her husband know her husband's boss? Do I have that right? Or, are you talking about when she was mayor? You do know that more than was 10 years ago, right? If you want to moan and groan, could you find something a little more current? That horse is dead. Give it up already.

Anonymous said...

Again, where is your proof. Because if you have none, then you are a cop hater. Overfiekd was an idiot. Show proof, not verbal innuendos.

Anonymous said...

I own property in Ward 4, but don't live in the Ward does anyone know if I can run for Alderman.

Peggy Sue said...

2:09 pm - You must live in the ward to which you are elected. Unless your name starts with J. Then maybe not so much.

Anonymous said...

I have keep my DL and voter id at the address in Ward 4 so it sounds like I should be good to go.

Thanks everyone for your support.

Anonymous said...

You have to live in the ward, not just own property.

Anonymous said...

I've heard that if your name starts with "J" you are allowed to hold office in Raytown no matter where you live. You could live in Lee's Summit and it would be okay. Maybe Mr. Creamer can enlighten us as to how that can be accomplished. Who knows, he may even add it to his list of "mea culpas" he is so fond of publishing in Randy Times.

Anonymous said...

I see that today's word is STABILITY.

Could it be the good ship Raytown is righting itself? Time will tell on this one. Golly, "stability" is such a big word. Maybe someone who is familiar with the new personnel code can give us some examples of stability coming from its pages. I could be wrong, but whoever wrote the article for the Raytown Times left a document that reads like the writer did not even open the personnel manual to page 1!

Anonymous said...

For more information about the Employee Manual go to:

Start on page 101.

You don't even have to leave your desk. How about you read it before you gripe?

Andy Whiteman said...

4:48PM, By law your DL MUST be linked to where you live or at least receive mail. You MUST LIVE in the ward where you run for Alderman!
Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...

My friends,
Please cut and paste like to your browser for an ecard:

Anonymous said...


You are wrong!!!

As long as someone is getting mail, DL and voter information is tied to an address that is all they need to run for Alderman.

If you still lived in Raytown you too would know this.

Those of us that live here also know it as the "Joe Creamer" rule.

If you need someone to explain it two you might contact Joe Creamer or his good friend Randy.

GADSDEN said...


Andy Whiteman said...

11:50 AM, What are all the facts? From what I have read, Joe DID reside in his his home, in his district, but HAD to move temporarily for personal reasons. In my opinion, that is a special circumstance that requires an accommodation! IF he or any other alderperson went on an extended vacation such as an around the world cruise or ill in the hospital would you say he is not living in his house?

HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone!

Andy Whiteman

Don Milum said...

Andy, I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt because you left Raytown years ago. Yes, Joe Creamer did move out of his house. He also moved out of the district that elected him to the Board. If you go back through the editorials at that time, Greg and Paul sited chapter and verse the state laws that regulate where an elected representative must live. No where does it say anything about special circumstances. If a BOA member goes on an extended cruise and misses months of meetings, the Board would terminate the member and appoint someone to take their place. The Board might give a little more leeway if the member is hospitalized, but it would depend on the prognosis. It is not the same as thumbing your nose at the laws and moving wherever you want. Big difference!