Sunday, January 1, 2017


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Raytown Juvenile Suffers Life-Threatening
Injuries from Gunshot Wound
Police were originally called to the 7700 block of Crescent Avenue around 5:20 p.m. to investigate a call of shots fired. When they arrived they found a juvenile suffering from a gunshot wound. That juvenile was rushed to an area hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS.

Last week we wrote a story about three appointments to the Administration at Raytown City Hall. It was not a small matter. The three positions, City Administrator (Tom Cole), Finance Director (Briana Burrichter, and Public Works Director (Kati Horner-Gonzalez), are considered the essential positions to keep the city running smoothly on daily basis.

Some members of the Board have christened the three appointments as a new era for Raytown.

We certainly hope they are right in their analysis. But we will withhold our observations until we see how things run up at 59th and Raytown Road before passing judgment.

Greg tells me he has had some dealings with new City Administrator Tom Cole. As he put it (he even made me write it down!) . . . “I was impressed how well Mr. Cole handled some difficult situations that, though difficult, had to be addressed. He was prompt, courteous and professional in how he handled the matter.”

It was not long ago the people of Raytown were constantly being bombarded about the professionalism of the previous administration as run under former City Administrator Mahesh Sharma.

In retrospect, it was not that great. There seemed to be a revolving door in the senior staff positions. Conflicts between different departments were common place.

Let’s hope this new crew under the direction of City Administrator Tom Cole proves itself. They apparently have the confidence of the Board of Aldermen and Mayor – all the appointments were approved unanimously.

We wish them well in their new positions.

It’s About Time!
The City of Raytown’s Economic Development Department has taken a strong step forward by creating uniform signage for zoning applications. It is definitely a move to improve accountability within in the zoning process.

As the following story illustrates, timely and proper notification of pending zoning applications are especially important when they end up in your neighborhood.

Many years ago, when I was first elected to the Raytown Board of Aldermen at the tender age of 25, the Board of Aldermen was made up of a number of young Turks. The majority of us on the Board were under 35 years old.

Reform was our watchword. We were not shy about correcting what we saw as unbalanced and inadequate attempts by the City to inform homeowners of zoning applications within their neighborhoods.

We recognized one of the most glaring problems as proper notification of home owners of changes in zoning that could have an effect on their home values and quality of life.

Our main target was to end the practice of “spot zoning”. Spot zoning was rampant during Raytown’s early years of development.

Essentially, it was the practice of allowing commercial buildings to be placed in residential neighborhoods with little regard to the harm caused by increased traffic, light and noise pollution. We also recognized the over-building of commercial property would eventually lead to a glut of empty commercial properties in the city.

During the 1980’s developers were required to notify homeowners within 180 feet of plans to change the zoning of property near them. Typically, this was done with a letter to the home owners via First Class mail.

The city did not verify the notification process. It was a matter of trust that the zoning applicant had indeed properly contacted those living in the immediate area of the proposed zoning change.

To correct the problem we changed the rules of the game. We required the developer to place a sign on the property announcing the meeting time and place of zoning hearings. We also kept the requirement of notification by direct mail.

At first, it worked. As a Board of elected officials we were well aware of the need for the change in laws we passed. The signs went up. Attendance by the public at zoning hearings increased. The number of questionable zoning applications dropped.

Years have passed and it has become clear some applicants have found ways to skirt the rules as written concerning proper notification.

Letters are supposed to be sent to the owners of the property surrounding the development. If the owner is an absentee owner, those people most affected by the change, the tenants renting the property, are completely shut out of the loop.

Signs announcing public hearings are supposed to be posted two weeks ahead of the meetings. Often times signs are not placed in a timely manner. Or, if the tract of land is large, as in the case outlined below, signs might be posted on the property where most neighbors would not see them.

A text book example of recent spot zoning and how it was allowed despite the protests of people living in surrounding neighborhoods can be found on 63rd Street near Blue Ridge Elementary Grade School.

Nearly two years ago, the Board of Aldermen approved commercial zoning for a Dollar Store on 63rd Street adjacent to Blue Ridge Elementary School. The applicant asked a portion of land in the middle of a residentially zoned area be changed to commercial zoning.

It was the third attempt by the property owner to re-zone the area. The two previous attempts had been turned down by previous Boards of Aldermen.

Neighbors living around the development complained they were not notified of the pending zoning change. None remember any signage or notification by mail. Most remember finding out about the proposed zoning change through a local newspaper article and a story written in the Raytown Report.

Since very few were aware of the application, attendance at the Planning and Commission meeting was sparse. With little opposition in testimony against the zoning change to guide them, the Commission recommended approval. With only one week to organize, the neighbors in opposition to the application did not have enough time to organize an effective defense against the application.

When the roll call was read, only one member of the Board voted against the application.

Last Spring the Board of Aldermen approved changes to zoning requirements at the Blue Ridge Elementary location.

According to Ralph Monaco, the applicant’s attorney, the changes were needed to jump start construction of the Dollar General Store. The zoning package contained a requirement that housing be developed with the Family Dollar Store on the three plus acres of land east of Blue Ridge Elementary.

Residential multi structures had been required to be built along with the Dollar General. The Board approved the request, and waived the requirement of design work for the houses to be included.

This past week work was begun on the property. Soon, there will be a Dollar General less than quarter of a mile from a Family Dollar Store to the East and a Dollar Tree one quarter mile to the West.

Some may call it progress. The neighborhoods adjoining the Dollar General Store call it “more traffic, more noise and light pollution.

Evidently the Board of Aldermen is aware of the problems in the zoning application process. Next  Tuesday night (January 3, 2017), the Board will vote on new regulations tightening up the application process as regards for zoning changes in Raytown.

Part of that change will be for uniform signage of zoning hearing meetings to be posted on all streets adjacent to the land to be considered for rezoning.

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KMCCLA said...

One thing I have noticed about the zoning signs, not only here, but elsewhere as well. From the street, they are often too hard too read. One might see the time and date, but what it is about is often too hard to see, unless you get out and walk up to it and read it. There should be a way (perhaps there is) that it can be looked up (like on the internet) for more details. On the other hand, perhaps they may not always want that either.

Anonymous said...

Joe Creamer wore out his "special circumstance" card a long time ago. He created his own issues in his personal life including those that lead to him having to leave his house, divorce, and eventually out of his required Ward. Why he did not resign with his admitted substance abuse issues mounting as well as his non conforming residency absolutely showed a lack of respect to his constituents and their show of votes to Karen Black leaving Creamer a distant 3rd spoke loud and clear.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the last post. Joe Creamer had plenty of opportunity to move inside of his ward. He has never gone public with where he was living for almost two years of his last term in office. It is pretty clear that it was not in the area he represented. It hurt his credibility deeply. I think his defeat at the polls was a direct result of his residency issues. Maybe he will write about it in the Raytown Times. Even if he were to write about it I do not know if I would believe his story.

Anonymous said...

The tag line is NOT meant to be permanent! Lives change, times change, people change, and the tag lines should change also. The current tag line is 10 years old. If things stay the same, things become stagnant. Quit being so negative and help this town move forward.

Anonymous said...

Another shooting but hey Chief Lynch says crime is down.

Andy Whiteman said...

Obviously, RPD can't station an officer at each house to prevent crime.

But in my experience, Raytown Police have always done an excellent job of apprehending the perpetrators in cases that appeared unsolvable!

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Joe C is once again spewing his garbage in Randy's Rag
I don't know which one is worse. Joe and his crap or Randy for letting it continue in his rag

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen it yet. Is there any proof this week, or more of his flapping gums?

Anonymous said...

Is the list of people running for office in Raytown on the city's web page up to date? Has anyone else filed since the middle of December?

Anonymous said...

Remember this about crime statistics when comparing numbers in Raytown to Lee's Summit, Overland Park, Independence and so on. Raytown is only ten square miles with a population around 30,000. If you are going to compare crime stats with other communities, you best take into consideration the population, etc. Truth is crime is up everywhere. The police seem to be powerless to stop it. I wonder, did anybody else here any gunfire on New Year's Eve? Those were not all fire works and balloons popping. I wonder how many of the idiots firing guns into the air were apprehended by the Raytown PD?

Anonymous said...

Joe C is once again spewing his garbage in Randy's Rag. I don't know which one is worse. Joe and his writing or Randy for letting it continue in his rag.

Anonymous said...

Just checked the city's webpage. No new filings listed on it. Of course that does not mean nobody else has filed. It just means they have not been listed. I think filing closes on the 17th of January.

Anonymous said...

Joe what a guy. He asks the City for information under the Sunshine Law has the correct information then makes up stuff anyway. I wonder who proofs his copy before he saends it off to Randy. Oh well freedom of speech. Ya can't make up that stuff but they do. I have talked to the officers of the police department, they don't care for Joe most think he is goofy.

Anonymous said...

Yeah Joe is goofy. He also makes stuff up. Most of what he says is not true. We all know that because he never has any proof. That's probably why he isn't running for alderman again. He knows he'd come in third in a two man race.

Anonymous said...

Many thanks to the public works department for clearing our streets so fast. KCMO streets are terrible. It wasn't that long ago we couldn't get our streets cleared. Now that we've had a change at the helm in city hall (CA), our city services are improving almost daily. Good job guys and gals.

Anonymous said...

Our public works dept. has been doing a fine job for several years with plowing the streets.

Anonymous said...

Is it me or was Randy Battagler's subscription plea this week nothing short of pathetic whoa whoa is me panhandling. It is relatively simple business product marketing 101. If your product or services is desirable the buying public will support your efforts. Insanity is defined by Albert Einstein: "Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results". Randy needs to talk to a majority of his potential buying targets and I will bet a good percentage of those folks will tell him his product is STALE. Having an out of town Hickory County, MO based Bible thumping Bob Phillips shoving his political and religious agenda down "Raytown" throats for years on end is killing his paper!! We want to read a Raytown paper for RAYTOWN INFORMATION. Plain & Simple! Joe Creamer's weekly rants have long passed the Letter to The Editor definition and is now just a weekly columnist. Randy that guy is KILLING your paper!! So as he examines his future direction of his paper and your sad pleas to Raytown people to support your publication, I would give him an an honest opinion. He NEEDS to know that he has some CANCERS disguising themselves as journalists that are adding NOTHING to information Raytown people desire and more importantly to SUPPORTING his livelihood. I wish Randy all the best in 2017 in his efforts to provide Raytown people a viable news outlet and hope these strong words of interjection are viewed by him as an opportunity to examine his business profile and product as sustainable and maybe a time to change up the INSANITY....

Anonymous said...

All we can do is hope Joe Creamer's rants and Bob Phillips' tirades will continue to drive away advertisers. That, hopefully, will force the Raytown Rag out of business.

Anonymous said...

For what good the Zoning change will do for the peeps at 63rd and Blue ridge but, hopefully will help the next location that is targeted for "improvements"