Sunday, January 22, 2017


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Tax Dollar
Expense Challenged
The Paul Livius Report is full of interesting questions raised by some Aldermen over spending items at the Board’s last meeting. Those items call into question the priorities of the city.

For instance, this last year the city did not spend any money on street maintenance. The end result is deterioration of neighborhood streets at an accelerated pace.

The following examples from last week’s meeting focuses on $158,055.00 in expenditures set aside in the city’s budget. Some of it will be spent, but with a little due diligence, the city could trim back the expense. After all, $158,055.00 would pave a lot of streets.

Not all of the eight elected officials in attendance were in agreement*. Following is a short list of three items that begs for more information before the Board approves the expenditures at the second reading of the bills before them.
*Two seats on the 10 member Board are vacant.

KCATA CONTRACT: $60,835.00
The KCATA contract will cost the city $56,335.00 this coming budget year.

The service is available 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.; and from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Ridership is not very high. The KCATA reported it only had a little more than $4,500 in fares last year.

Incidentally, the ATA keeps the $4,500. Which means Raytown taxpayers are really out $60,835.00 for a bus service that very few use.  

If the ATA’s numbers are correct -- and we have no reason to doubt them. It may be cheaper to contract with a taxi cab company or UBER to provide the same service at a much reduced rate.

Ward 5 Aldermen Eric Teeman called into question a $77,200.00 being spent on an annual basis to pay for EMS Billing and Services provided by a billing firm named McKesson. Teeman questioned why the city is paying a full year of service fees for software that is only used for three months.

Teeman was joined by Alderman Janet Emerson in his questions. The upgrades, if they are made, are not payable until the time the upgrade takes place. McKesson also takes 7.5% of every dollar it collects as part of its fee for collection service.

The contract, if approved, is for a three year period. The City can call for the contract to be placed out for bid with a 90 day notice to McKesson.

Doug Jonesi, the Director of the city’s ambulance service said “Even if we get the bids back, there was no guarantee other companies would be cheaper or better.”

Which is true. But there is no guarantee the other bids would not be a better deal for the City of Raytown. Given the number of questions raised by Aldermen Teeman, the Board would be within its rights to set the 90 day clock on the notice to re-bid the contract immediately.

Alderman Bill VanBuskirk called into question a bill that would give a city donation of $20,000.00 to Truman Heritage Habitat for Humanity. This is the second year for the program in Raytown. City Staff did not provide and statistics showing a track record of how much and where the money was spent last year.

Alderman VanBuskirk said the City should not be donating to charitable causes.

Apparently the program receives donations from national firms like Certainteed, Dow, Cree and Whirlpool. The actual repair work is done by volunteers and local churches to lower labor costs.

Which calls into question, what is the $20,000 spent on?

Filing closed for the April 4th City Election last Tuesday. Eleven candidates filed for five seats on the Raytown Board of Aldermen. The City Marshal and Municipal Judge did not draw opponents.

Here is the list of candidates you will have to choose from on April 4th.

Alderman Ward I
Frank Hunt
Greg Walters

Alderman Ward II
Jason Greene
Loretha V. Hayden

Alderman Ward III
Janet Emerson
Ryan Myers

Alderman Ward IV
Bill Van Buskirk
Chuck Henss

Alderman Ward V
Phylis Goforth
Bonnaye Mims
Diane Krizek

The Paul Livius Report
Raytown Board of Aldermen Meeting
January 17, 2017

Mayor McDonough welcomed Boy Scout Troop 283, who were visiting so they could work on their Boy Scout Merit Badge.
The Board passed an ordinance approving an intergovernmental agreement with the Jackson County Board of Election Commissioners to utilize city hall as a polling place for the 2017 calendar year.  Under state law, public entities are required to provide polling locations to election authorities free of charge and City Hall has been used as a polling location for many years.  The contract specifies the rights and responsibilities of the parties with respect to such use.  To continue the service, the City needs to approve a new contract with Jackson County.
The Board heard the first reading of an ordinance approving a contract for transit service with the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority in an amount not to exceed $56,335.  Ray Haydaripoor told the Board the agreement is in draft form and contains the language requested by the Board of Aldermen at their January 10, 2017 Work Session.  The KCATA Board will also need to approve the changes made to the agreement which should be before the second reading of this ordinance on February 7, 2017.  This is a demand-response public transportation service (Metro Service) that the City has provided under contract with the KCATA since April 2001.  The City of Kansas City, Missouri also pays the same amount as the City of Raytown to the KCATA for the Metro Bus Service as the service area extends beyond Raytown to make connections with the rest of the KCATA network to the north and to the south within Kansas City.  The hours of operation for the Metro Service are from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.; and from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.  The proposed agreement would maintain that level of service at a cost of $56,335.00.  The operational cost is within the amount budgeted by the City for this service.  This contract will be for a 12-month period that mirrors the City’s budget year.  A presentation will be provided by the KCATA at a future Board of Aldermen meeting which will provide further details relating to the number of riders, origins, and destinations of riders, and other service information over the past 12 months.
The Board passed a resolution approving the appointment of Ray Haydaripoor as the Development & Public Affairs Director for the city.
The Board passed a resolution approving an agreement with Truman Heritage Habitat for Humanity for the operation of a minor home repair program in an amount not to exceed $20,000.  The Agreement proposed would enable the City of Raytown to partner with the Truman Heritage Habitat for Humanity to implement a minor home repair program.  The implementation of the minor home repair program would provide another ‘tool’ for the Development & Public Affairs Department to use as part of the City’s neighborhood revitalization program.  The program would provide assistance to low-moderate income homeowners who are financially unable to correct the following types of property maintenance code violations on their property.

• Exterior Painting;
• Roof Repair and Replacement;
• Repair Decks and Porches;
• Repair Driveways;
• Repair and Replace Flashing and Guttering;
• Repair and Replace Siding;
• Tree Trimming for House Safety;
• Yard Cleanup.

Total repair costs per house could not exceed $3,000.00.  Homeowners needing to make repairs to address City code violations would be informed of the availability of this program by the Development & Public Affairs Department when discussing specific code violations listed above.  Homeowners expressing an interest in this program would be referred to staff at Truman Heritage Habitat for Humanity who is experienced working with homeowners to meet their needs.  Homeowners would only qualify for this program if their annual household income does not exceed 80% of average median income.  No repayment would be required by homeowners who have an annual income less than 25% of the average median income.  Homeowners with a household income of between 25% and 80% of the average median income receiving this assistance will be required to repay the cost of the repairs by making a small monthly payment, which would be collected by the Truman Heritage Habitat for Humanity.  Loans would be at zero percent interest for a period of up to seven years.  The funds collected would then be placed in a Raytown Minor Home Repair Account for future use in this program or returned to the City upon request.  The proposed program would use volunteers from local churches and other organizations to lower labor costs.  A construction supervisor from Truman Heritage Habitat for Humanity would manage each project and supervise volunteers.  There is $20,000 in the City’s current fiscal year budget for this program.  In addition to this funding, Truman Heritage Habitat for Humanity has many national sponsors that donate materials as gifts in kind.  Examples of this include paint which is donated from Valspar.  Other partners include CertainTeed, Dow, Cree, Whirlpool and many others.  Alderman Bill Van Buskirk said the city should not take tax payer money and give it to a charity.  People do need help from time to time, but that help should not come from taxpayer money.  This should be funded with private donations.  Alderman Jason Greene said this project is good for the people and good for the city.  Alderman Mark Moore said the city is spending $56,000 in taxpayer money for the bus service.  This isn’t any different.  This is especially important for the folks who complain about property values.

The Board passed a resolution approving the continuation of an agreement with Raytown Animal Hospital, for veterinary services associated with animal control in excess of $15,000.00 but within budgeted amounts for fiscal year 2016-2017.  After a bid process and an award in May of 2015, the City of Raytown entered into an agreement with Raytown Animal Hospital for veterinary services.  The agreement was for a two year period with the City having the option to extend the contract for two additional, two year periods.  The Development & Public Affairs Department budget for vet and boarding services combined is $50,000.00.  The cost relating to the veterinary services of each animal are billed to the city each month by Raytown Animal Hospital.  When animals are returned to their owner, the costs of the veterinary services are passed through to the pet owner whenever possible

The Board passed a resolution authorizing the continuation of an agreement with Raytown Animal Hospital, for animal boarding services associated with animal control in excess of $15,000.00 but within budgeted amounts for fiscal year 2016-2017.  After a bid process and an award on May 19, 2015, the City entered into an agreement with Raytown Animal Hospital for animal boarding services.  The agreement was for a two year period with the City having the option to extend the contract for two additional, two year periods.  The Development & Public Affairs Department budget for vet and boarding services combined is $50,000.00.  The cost relating to the impoundment of each animal will be billed to the City each month by Raytown Animal Hospital in accordance with the fees provided in the attached Agreement.  When animals are returned to their owner these costs are passed through to the pet owner.  If an impounded animal is not returned to its owner, then the City incurs these impoundment costs.

The Board passed a resolution approving the expenditure of funds with Stivers Staffing Services.  Teresa Henry told the Board from time-to-time various City departments have the need for temporary employment staffing and the City uses a Staffing Services to fulfill that need.

The Board passed a resolution approving the repurposing of a 2009 GMC Savanna ambulance.  The Police Department is requesting to obtain the ambulance to be used as a Crisis Negotiator Vehicle.  Currently the Crisis Negotiator Team (CNT) is working out of the back of a four door sedan and it becomes very cramped with people and equipment.  The ambulance would allow for a dedicated vehicle for the CNT to transport critical personnel and equipment to the barricade location, provide a calm quiet environment for negotiations, and offer a large work area for monitors, and completion of necessary paperwork.

The Board passed a resolution approving a continuation of an existing service agreement with McKesson for EMS billing services and supplies including integrated patient care reporting software and related hardware and authorizing payment in an amount not to exceed $77,220 for fiscal year 2016-2017.  The staff recommends approving the authority to pay McKesson, formerly known as MED3000, Raytown’s ambulance billing company, their contractually obligated fees for providing services to the City.  In December 2007, the Board of Aldermen approved an agreement with Med3000 for ambulance billing services.  The contract was renewed for an additional three years in 2013, and renews year-to-year automatically following that.  McKesson is paid a percentage of collected revenue.  Their contracted percentage is 7.5%.  The City, for that percentage, gets their collection services as well as electronic patient care reporting software.  Since the City has no other means to bill for ambulance service, the City would have no other option except to cease billing for services until another option became available.  Alderman Jason Greene said the Board talked about this last year.  Now there is not a lot of time to look for a replacement company.  Alderman Janet Emerson pointed out the city has had a contract with McKesson for three years and should have paid for all the equipment.  Doug Jonesi said that was true.  The city is only paying for the subscription to the software.  Alderman Eric Teeman said according to the contract, the early termination clause states the city is liable for the unamortized hardware costs on the equipment.  He doesn’t understand why the city would have to pay a full year’s subscription for software it uses for only three months.  He asked who agreed to that.  He also asked why the city can’t get bids back by April and a new company in place by July.  Doug Jonesi said even if we got the bids back, there was no guarantee other companies would be cheaper or better.  Alderman Janet Emerson said McKesson’s representative indicated the city was being overcharged.  Mr. Jonesi said he was told last Friday by the representative the reason the city was paying higher than market rate was because of the laptops.  Now that the laptops have been fully paid for, the rate can come down.  Alderman Steve Meyers asked if the contract expires January 31, 2017.  City Attorney Joe Willerth said the city must give a 90 day notice or the contract will automatically renew.

The Board passed a resolution approving the purchase of medical supplies from Moore Medical off the Mid-America Regional Council Emergency Rescue committee (MARCER) cooperative purchase contract in an amount not to exceed $60,779.  Moore Medical is our primary vendor for medical supplies for patient care.  This is part of a cooperative purchasing agreement negotiated by MARCER.  These supplies are mission-critical for the purpose of providing emergency care to ill and injured citizens.

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Anonymous said...

Paul and Greg,

I don't know about you, but I am concerned that our city's EMS Director doesn't understand state law and the fact that he best have bids.

This is just another validation of why he needs to go the way of several others.

It also paints the picture of why if the city has a professional attorney that he didn't speak up and remind the Board and EMS Director they need more than one bid.

I wonder when the current Board is doing to realize he is going to get them in trouble with the state and other agencies.

Don't forget he is the one that said it was okay on the understanding stuff with the Park's Board, but clearly doesn't understand the state law for a 4th class city and their limited powers for a Park Board.

He is also the one under Bower's Administration that started the 3 member at a time private meetings with the Board of Alderman.

We all know know the AG's position on those actions.

Funny former Alderman Creamer never writes about those meetings or asking the AG's office if the city is in violation of the law for the understanding document and oversight they now impose on the Park Board.

I guess none of us should be surprised being former Alderman Creamer tends to spend to much time point the fingers at others and not his own voting record on the Board or lack to during that same time frame.

Maybe one day with the right folks on the Board and having time to clean up the mess of the Bower Administration and lack of protection for the taxpayers form former Alderman like Creamer we will get honest answers and a more manageable budget through the professional staff we keep being lied to that we already have.

Three more of the old guard to go and Raytown might just be able to survive the mistakes of former Alderman Creamer

Anonymous said...

Only one more of the old guard and he isnt even on the ballot this year because the people of his district apparently cant read.

Anonymous said...

7:22 PM

You are talking elected officials, which I didn't even cover.

As for elected officials of the old guard, there is one in 4 who needs to go this time and then the one in 2 you are speaking of.

As for the department heads that still need to go as they have the old way of thinking and clearly will not change:

EMS Director
City Clerk
City Attorney

Making America Great Again one step at a time

Anonymous said...

I had heard of the "private meetings" that occurred behind closed doors during Bowers administration especially during some of the Wal-Mart discussions and at times violated the Sunshine Law. But hearing about them and proving they existed at this point is a waste of time, effort, and energy. But the sources are fairly reliable and many should find it amusing and hypocritical that those that are screaming the loudest about possible Sunshine Law violations themselves possibly and knowingly violated Sunshine Laws.

Anonymous said...

I want to thank Greg and Paul for allowing Joe Craemer to explain himself on this blog and Joe for taking the time to do that.

I hope Bill 'Those People" Van Buskirt would do the same and explain several things like who are "Those People" he always starts talking about when there is anything before the board related to low housing.

I also would like to better understand why Bill is so against a non-profit being paid to manage a program to help low income individuals take care of their property.

Is it he is just against "Those People"?

Is it the staff as in the case with the head of EMS only get the one bid?

Is it that he wants his church "Raytown First Baptist" to oversee the program being he talked about churches?

Is it that as long as the property is not in his neighborhood he doesn't care how run down it is?

This is an election year and Raytown needs answers

Anonymous said...

I always heard people would see board members and Bower at dinner before a board meeting I suppose so Bower could orchestrate who was going to say what. Or some said they met in Bowers office. You could guess when these canned & prepared speeches were given almost as if on cue. It's one thing if they meet after a meeting to discuss how a meeting went, but quite another to meet ahead of time to discuss how a meeting will go. Who knows, maybe Joe wasn't invited. Bower and Sharma were infamous for 3 at a time meetings, yet when that happened at the Fire District meetings for information only-not to discuss voting Joe & Batagler are filing complaints. Obvious hypocracy.

Anonymous said...

I see in todays Randy Raytown rag times that Joe Creamer has once again unleashed a tirade of falsehoods half truths and in accurate reporting. I hope someday he is forced to prove his accusations. Too bad Randy feels he still has to let this man berate our city and it's officials like he does without any real proof of wrong doing by them.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Randy and Joe could get President Trump to visit Raytown.

They all like those "Alternate Facts"

Anonymous said...

This is what happens when your department head is chosen because they outlast everyone else. EMS is a train wreck that scares me to death and it seems that the Board is obvious to this. Last year we learn they are only available half the time because of staffing, then we learn the Kansas City has to help 500 times a year, then EMS is investigated for allowing a woman to die because they did not want to miss out on charging a bill, now we learn they willfully ignore state law laws and board direction and just forego bidding on a 100k contract. Me. Cole it's time to drain the swamp that is Raytown EMS.

Anonymous said...

11:58 They are not falsehoods they are alternate facts

Anonymous said...

I think what everyone is missing is the probability that Randy doesn't care at all about Joe. Joe is an obviously and admittedly sick man. He may be physically sober BUT sober thought takes awhile. His thoughts are still half attled. That being said he stirs controversy with his printed ramblings. What better way for a "newsman" running a floundering paper to generate readership. Randy cares not about Joe's sobriety, privacy, or continued damage he inflicts upon his own reputation. Randy should be ashamed of himself but it's obvious shame is a foreign concept to him. To Randy I say, "Shame on YOU!"

Anonymous said...

Did I really just read that Raytown Rag and Hickory County resident Bob Phillips who rarely contributes anything relating to anything Raytown wrote "Women Will Follow Like Sheep" in relating to the large turnout of female attendees protesting last weekend over the Trump Presidential Election.
WOW...I am a man and that is nothing short of one of the most disgraceful and disrespectful blanket descriptions of females I have maybe ever read. How in the heck did that ever pass thru the Editorial eyeballs of Randy?? Oh wait...
I also see where Randy had a full page ad on the back page soliciting kids to help raise revenue for his obviously faltering paper. I'm sure this shocking and obviously chauvinistic statement by Bob Phillips will spark women in our community to run at ground breaking speeds to sign up for advertising or subscriptions.

Anonymous said...


Years back, the city PD purchased a travel trailer fitted with backup generator, etc that was supposed to be used as a command center, etc. Why is PD now asking to retrofit an ambulance when they already have an outfitted PD trailer for on-site command center. Last time I looked, the trailer sets in back of the Police department's parking lot gathering dust. PD can easily use the ready to go command trailer for their Crisis Negotiator Team (CNT)instead of wasting more taxpayer's money.

Oh well, it's easier to waste money that it is to save money when it doesn't cost them anything. Got to find ways to burn through 8 million a year to keep that budget fatten up, I suppose.

Anonymous said...

Joe Creamer for Mayor!


A Raytown Taxpayer tired of the Police department's abuse of the city's budget with no oversight on Chief Lynch's reckless spending.

Anonymous said...

Looks like a healthy lineup of candidates. Several of which I have never heard of before. Is Ryan the same kid that ran against Moore last time?

Anonymous said...

To 10:29. You are right. Randy is just using poor Joe.

Anonymous said...


They are all Creamer's group running. Shows the judgement of those folks, I wouldnt be anywhere around him if I was running for office.

Anonymous said...

If Rep. Barnes really wants the people of Dist.28 to know what is going on in Jefferson City why doesn't he talk about SB210. This seems news worthy to me instead of a bunch of jabber he wrote for the Times. I doubt he wrote it probably his secretary.

Anonymous said...

To answer your question it is the same Ryan that ran against Moore . It seems like Pat Erttz and Jim Aziere and of course Joe Creamer have been busy getting people to run. I don't think I could or would vote for any of the people they have got to run. Run on your own merits or don't run at all.

Anonymous said...

So it appears there is another large gathering of women today showing support for the Pro-Life movement. Curious as to whether Hickory County resident and Raytown Times columnist Bob Phillips thinks this is another as he put it this week in his column "Women Following Like Sheep" in describing the huge gatherings of female Trump protestors last weekend.

Anonymous said...

The Police Department budget was cut 2% in November by the Budget Committee and approved by the Board of Aldermen.

If you go online and look at the record for the WalMart on 350 Highway, it was approved by the BOA without being complete.

Joe Creamer voted for that one and also was very adamant that the WalMart Neighborhood Market was a necessity for the City of Raytown. He tried to persuade some of the new alderman in 2013 to vote for it which they did not.

Anonymous said...

Before you believe anything from Creamer ask why he always passed their budget when on the board and why has he still not proven his figures or accusations about the Police and their budget

Anonymous said...

10:11 How do you think things are done?

Maybe like Mr Creamer you need to ask why the police budget is out of control, but again I am sure you don't understand how that impacts you on a daily bases.

Anonymous said...

A command trailer is for general communication and planning at incidents A place for negotiations needs to be devoid of others coming and going so negotiators can concentrate on communications with the hostage taker or barricaded subject At least that's how other agencies do it. I would assume Raytown PD would need the same.

Anonymous said...

Okay. Update us. When was the last hostage incident in Raytown? How about naming the "other agencies". Raytown is only 10 square miles in area. Comparing the equipment needs for a small community like Raytown to Kansas City is like comparing a grape to a watermelon and saying their needs are the same.

Anonymous said...

Yea because there's a magic wall around Raytown that keeps all the bad stuff out. Heck, the cops here don't need cars, computers, or guns either probably. If they don't have it and only need it once you'll wish they had it. Other departments are not obligated to help. From what I understand there are at least a couple of barricades a year. But if you don't know about it then it must not have happened right?

Anonymous said...

That's silly
Crime is crime
We are surrounded by KC
Depending on someone else is dumb

Anonymous said...

Maybe better use of money for the police is more on the streets and less in chairs at city hall.

yes, more money on gas and maintenance, but it is also what the folk of Raytown thought we were going to get under the safety sales tax.

At least we need to all remember this and vote NO on any new and/or renewal tax in Raytown until we get the things we have be promised!