Sunday, January 8, 2017


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The Things People Say!
I was perusing the Raytown Times when I came across a letter to the editor by former Ward 1 Alderman Joe Creamer.

The part that caught my eye was something he wrote in the next to the last paragraph of his three columns in which he wrote . . .

“I want to be clear that I am in no way a cop hater as a blog by a former Alderman stated.”
Since I am the only “former Alderman” who has anything near the description of a blog. I am pretty certain Joe Creamer was writing about me.

I bring this up because I want to be very clear on what follows.

The Raytown Report is a news blog. We regularly report on the happenings at City Council meetings. Those stories are penned by Paul Livius. I usually write an opinion piece on topics of the day. Paul and I always sign our work with a “by line”, either with the title or under an accompanying photo or icon.

The “blog” portion of the Raytown Report is for the community. We have a healthy number of contributors who frequently weigh in on subjects. If there is a prize for the most popular topic on the blog there is no doubt in our mind that Creamer would win first place.

As the quote from Joe Creamer illustrates, those comments are not always what one would call friendly.

I do know this much. Neither Paul nor I wrote the comment Creamer was referring to. Futhermore, we do not know who wrote it. All we know is that it is an opinion frequently voiced by contributors to the Raytown Report.
So what is the point in all of these words? Simply stated, anything written by Paul Livius or Greg Walters  in the Raytown Report is signed by Paul Livius or Greg Walters.
Creamer is wrong to try to attribute comments made by others on this blog to other people’s comments by us.

Hope this clears up the problem for Joe.

Greg’s column pretty much covered Joe Creamer’s false accusation against the Raytown Report. After editing Greg’s typos, I told him there were a few things I wanted to add.

In his letter to the Raytown Times this week Creamer wrote “I am waiting for a return of a request for information on how many out of town meetings Chief Jim Lynch attended in the last year.”

Creamer’s request is not out of line. Police Chief Jim Lynch is a public official. When he does travel on the taxpayer’s dime the money spent on the trip is public information. Creamer wrote “the chiefs response was that they don’t keep track of that expense”.

Every private sector and governmental sector business that I am aware of requires accountability when it comes to travel and entertainment. However, taking into account Creamer’s practice of shooting from the hip (as illustrated in his claim that Greg or I wrote he was a “cop hater”), gives me pause to wonder if Lynch made the comment in the first place.
Joe Creamer has every right to speak his mind on a weekly basis in the Raytown Times. But he should take care to hone his words into accurate statements.  Falsely attributing comments is a slippery slope that will ultimately cost him and his benefactor, Randy Battagler of the Raytown Times, readersL

The Paul Livius Report 
Raytown Board of Aldermen Meeting – January 3, 2017

The Board passed 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 passed 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: 

           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.
           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 passed 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 heard the first reading of 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 passed a resolution authorizing an agreement United Missouri Bank.  With Finance Director Mark Loughery’s departure from the City, it is necessary to name replacements. The authority granted by this resolution empowers the agents to manage the City’s investment activity and authorize other banking business items as required. 

The Board passed a resolution accepting a community grant from Wal-Mart in the amount of $500.00 to further the city’s community education programs through the emergency medical services department and to reflect the increase in grant revenues. The department of Emergency Medical Services, along with the entire EMS industry views the education of the general public as a critical component to our mission. These grant funds would help us continue in our mission to provide education and training to our staff and the people in our community as well as help our effort to keep infants and children safe by providing education and training related to child safety seats. These grant funds also help us provide child safety seats to parents unable to financially provide a safety seat for their child.

The Board passed a resolution approving an agreement for medical director services with Tucker Lienhop, D.O. The State of Missouri, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and other regulatory agencies require EMS agencies to have physician oversight. The Bureau of EMS requires agencies to have this oversight in order to provide care without a direct order from another doctor. EMS views this advisor as essential to the success of the Department of EMS. Dr. Lienhop’s service to the department has so far been quite satisfactory. Failure to have a medical director would harm the department’s ability to buy important controlled substances and other life-saving medications. In addition, failure to have a medical director would diminish the ability to provide advanced life support care as well as render EMS noncompliant with federal and state requirements. Raytown EMS would not be able to operate without a medical director. 

The Board passed a resolution approving the expenditure of funds to Galls, Inc. for the purchase of police uniforms and minor equipment.   The PD Supply Unit is responsible for the purchase of police uniforms and equipment for use by Police Officers and civilian employees. On November 1, 2015 the City entered into a two year contract with Alamar Uniforms for uniforms and equipment. On June 1, 2016, Galls, LLC. purchased Alamar.   Galls, Inc. stated they will continue to, honor the contract until the expiration date of October 31, 2017.

The Board passed a resolution authorizing the expenditure of funds with Independent Salt Company for the purchase of salt for treating roads and bridges in inclement weather.   In May, Independent Salt Company submitted a bid for 800 tons of salt at $62.79/ton resulting in a total bid amount of $50,232.00. The contract, approved by the Board of Aldermen on May 17, 2016, includes the option to purchase additional salt at the same unit price of $62.79 through March 31, 2017. The city staff recommends the purchase of 800 tons from Independent Salt Company to be delivered prior to March 31, 2017 to replenish salt levels that are anticipated to be used through the winter season. The purchase of up to 1600 tons of additional salt may be purchased from Independent Salt prior to March 31, 2017. Additionally, up to 1000 tons of additional salt may be purchased from Kansas City through material transport as a back-up source of salt in the event of unseasonable levels of snowfall. If salt needs exceed the initial 800 tons, Public Works staff will request additional purchasing authority.

Tom Cole, City Administrator, lead a brief discussion about Raytown’s Tag Line.  Mr. Cole said the Marketing Committee has met eight time and worked diligently to identify two proposed taglines in an effort to “refresh” the City’s marketing, image and appeal. The two proposed taglines are: “Raytown, City of Trails” and “Raytown, Blazing New Trails”.  The City Staff and the Marketing Committee are seeking direction, via vote of the Board of Aldermen as to which of the two options are most appealing. Upon receiving an affirmative vote, the Marketing Committee will advance its efforts to establish options regarding a new City logo and local/national placement of the Raytown brand.  Alderman Bill Van Buskirk said the Board should think long and hard about the tag line.  He said tag lines are permanent and we need to choose the right one.  Alderman Jim Aziere said the only trail through Raytown was the Santa Fe Trail.  “City of Trails” is a misnomer. The California trail went through Independence, and the Oregon Trail was north of here.  Mayor McDonough said other communities have spent millions of dollars to update their tag lines.  So far, the cost has been nominal. He also said tag lines are not permanent and Raytown has had the current tag line far too long.  After much discussion, the consensus of the Board was “Raytown – Blazing New Trails.”  The Mayor asked the Marketing Committee to listen to all comments from the Board and present ideas.

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Joe Creamer said...

To the readers of this blog I say good morning. I do read this blog occasionally to get an idea of what is being said, even those that disagree with me. In reading last week's comments in regards to me I was intrigued by the comments by multiple people that after I receive information I continue to make things up. Nothing could be further from the truth, I have stacks of documentation supporting what I have written. I want to say that I have nobody advising me, it's just my diligence in finding the truth that allows me to continue writing. As far as Randy's failing paper goes, his readership is up which is why he is pushing for more subscription so that he can get a decreased mailing rate. Facts are facts and I enjoy the supportive comments as I go through town. I have big shoulders and understand there will always be people who disagree. What's sad is when people personally attack me out of ignorance, not knowing me or what is happening in my life. In the words of Paul Harvey "Good Day"

Anonymous said...

“Raytown – Blazing New Trails.” Sounds great, if this was 1954.

Anonymous said...

It would be more accurate to say that many cities have WASTED millions of dollars on tag lines. Here is a thought. Why not spend some of that money wisely by repairing the streets in our neighborhoods? How about making our neighborhoods safer by installing more street lights. Maybe even freeing some of the police from the drudgery of desk work and putting them out on the street where they can do REAL police work.

Anonymous said...

What is sad is that you attack and threaten SEVERAL people and produce nothing but claims WITHOUT evidence. You did nothing on your time on the board and you embarass the city now. In true hypocritical form your existance is. This town is better off without you and your whiskey tango actions.

Anonymous said...

Everyone i speak with thinks your crazy Joe. You are a little man bud.

Anonymous said...

It's true the city has spent a lot of money on tag lines in the past, but this time, the mayor has appointed citizens to do the work. The cost so far has been minimal. Mayor McDonough is a good steward of the people's money.

Anonymous said...

Nothing wrong with tag lines. But I really think the city has bigger problems to address. How about focusing more time and energy on cleaning up the city's infrastructure. Streets, proper lighting in neighborhoods would go a lot further in improving he city's image than creating tag lines no one will pay any attention to.

Time to think big!

Anonymous said...

I have been noticing the neighborhood streets after this very cold and snow and they are just crumbling. In a very short time they will just turn into gravel. Chip and seal needs a solid base before they can apply the stuff. We pay taxes for real asphalt not tar and brown rock!

Anonymous said...

Agreed. Using light aggregate seal to repair asphalt streets that have gone past their "replace by" date is a waste of money and time. The end product looks like a mistake. The loose gravel is a nuisance and does nothing to abate the problems of neglect and proper maintenance. Maybe our city leaders will tackle this problem once they take care of the need for a new tag line for Raytown!

Steve Meyers said...

Some tasks and decisions that fall into the hands and laps of the Board of Alderman are a bit like making and watching sausage made. It's not a pretty process and hopefully the end result will yield a flavorful result. I understand and appreciate some of the comments regarding the current task the BOA is undertaking regarding the transistion to a new Branding Statement and you can blame me for initiating the change.

I made reviewing and possibly altering our current branding statement of "Raytown Reaching For Tomorrow" one of my 1st listed obtainable goals nearly 2 years ago, and made the plea to the Mayor and fellow board members to embrace my enthusiasm. I as well as others just felt that while the hard work and time spent by the previous group of citizens had developed a very well thought out "statement", that maybe after a lengthy usage, it had ran it's course and original marketing intent and statement.

So the Mayor tackled the idea and formed a Marketing Committee which combined of numerous and talented civic and business leaders as well as Tom Cole who was the Economic Development Director at the time. After numerous meetings over 8 months several well thought out branding statement ideas have surfaced for the Boards recommendations and approval.

Certainly it is very fair to say their are much more important projects and tasks looming for Raytown, but as we market Raytown for refreshing and exciting development, having a new, fresh and appealing statement on all the cool things happening in Raytown needed to be highlighted by a new vision statement.

Thanks to all the lengthy and valuable input by all the Marketing Comittee members who enthusiastically took on this task!

Steve Meyers,
Alderman Ward 4

Peggy Sue said...

Thanks Steve. For years the board goose stepped after the mayor and the CA and nothing got done. I'm glad to see some excitement and enthusiasm coming from the Board and trickling down to the city staff.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Randy Battagler has any idea of how much harm he is causing Raytown by allowing Joe Creamer to use his paper to publish lies? This last letter in the Times was full of false hoods. His intent is clear. He hopes to throw enough garbage at incumbents up for re-election to defeat them.

Randy, this extreme partisanship may be why your paper's ad content is dropping like a rock. People do not like the small minded and hate being spewed by Creamer.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't it just last week that Randy's whole piece in his paper was a sad plea of why the community should be supporting his paper and all that he does for Raytown. As the previous post outlined his continued alliance with Creamer and out of towner Bob Phillips is exactly why most all of the town doesn't even pick up his paper let alone subscribe or place ads in it. Wake up and smell the coffee Randy!!!

Lewis Hayward said...

The front page of the Raytown claims to have pictures of a beautiful Wildwood lake. Since its black and white, it just looks dreary. How sad.

Anonymous said...

You know you could market Raytown with better codes enforcement, less tobacco, fast loan, fast foods, and less housing that allows multiple section 8 units. A brand is nothing more than putting a spin on the problems that continues to get worst, not better. I guess it gives city hall a warm fuzzy feeling

Andy Whiteman said...

I feel that a tag line means little to nothing. To me "Reaching for tomorrow" was really stupid.

10:52, Less tobacco, fast loan, fast foods, are something most people want but these all bring jobs and sales tax revenue! Obviously these are in demand. Less Section 8 housing that allows multiple section 8 units is something I agree with but that is a fair housing violation.

Andy Whiteman