Sunday, April 9, 2017


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Tax Dollars at Work
Raytown Public Works crews are shown cleaning out a storm sewer inlet at 59th Terrace and Hunter. The problem is easy to trace. Three houses north of the clogged drain, a home owner’s yard was thick with leaves. Recent heavy rains washed the leaves from the home owner’s yard to the street. The leaves were washed down the street to its lowest point, blocking a storm drain on the east side of the street.

Other alarmed home owners were concerned when they saw the result of the blocked drain. The street  flooded, the water slowly inching its way into yards. Heavier rains would have forced the water up to houses along the street, causing basements to flood.

New Street Surface for Raytown?

If anything was abundantly clear in the last election it is that Raytowners want the streets in front of their homes maintained properly by the city.

An answer may be coming from the city this year. A new re-surfacing method is being looked at by city officials. The process uses a thick layer of undercoat that is placed on the street. The substance fills cracks and self-levels uneven surfaces. The street is then overlaid with another material that hardens and holds the new surface in place.

City officials have a working sample of the street re-surfacing method. Jeff Vance, owner of Vance Brothers, located just out of Raytown, re-surfaced a street located between Tires Plus and Dominoes Pizza near 350 Highway and Gregory Boulevard. The street was in terrible shape. The finished surface looks like asphalt and wears from traffic the same as asphalt.

Mayor Michael McDonough told the Raytown Report he intends to send a report on how the surface performs to a Committee of the Board for review.

Raytown residents made it clear in the last election they were unhappy with the “tar and gravel” method being used to re-surface streets in neighborhoods.

Re-Cycling Center
If there was one topic that came up regularly in the recent election, it had to do with the absence of a recycling center in Raytown. Nearly all of the candidates expressed their support for re-starting the City’s Recycling program.

City officials are expected to look at recycling programs offered by local trash haulers and the possibly re-opening a permanent Recycling Center in Raytown. The upside to the Recycling Center is that it does not cost the users any additional fees. Most trash haulers charge an extra fee to collect recyclables.

Perhaps a partnership with the School District, which has had recycling bins on its property, may be a solution. Graduating students are required to perform public service project to graduate from Raytown.

This solution would be two fold. Students could earn their credit for public service. Raytowners who wish to participate will have a place to take their recyclables.

Paul’s Rant
One of the first rules of journalism is to keep the public informed of what is going on in the community.

Randy Battagler through the Raytown Times broke that rule. He did so in such a way that the Raytown Times became the focus of the election.

In short, he and his paper went “rogue”.

He allowed his paper to be used by letter writers to publish stories that crossed the line in accusations that bordered on libel. Worse, he used his editorial pen to support statements that simply were not true.

Were there illegal meetings of the City Council with the Fire Department? No, there were not.

Was Super Splash USA closed by the Raytown Board of Aldermen? No, it was not. It was closed by the Park Board. For those who may not know, the Park Board is a separate governing body from the Board of Aldermen – with their own budget, their own revenue stream, and, most importantly, they have their own authority to open and close the swimming pool and manage the parks.

Battagler fraudulently printed comments to a questionnaire from candidates for office. Two candidates, Bonnaye Mims and Greg Walters, never received the questionnaire. Battagler took verbiage from their brochures to make it appear they were responding!

Ward 2 Alderman Jason Greene specifically asked Battagler for a copy of the questionnaire. Battagler responded by printing in his paper that Greene had not returned the questionnaire.

Greene personally told us he never received the survey.

Everyone who reports the news desires one thing . . . it is called credibility. Why Battagler has traded credibility for a newspaper that can honestly trace its roots back to Lee Gray and John Colt is a puzzle we will never understand.

All I know is he has damaged the fabric that makes Raytown a community.

I wanted to thank the many supporters who encouraged and supported me in the April 4th Election. As it turned out, we fell 24 votes short. I went back and did a comparison of previous campaigns. Since there are other races I have participated in, one committeeman race (I won). One Jackson County race (I lost) and three Charter Commission races (two wins / one loss) I threw them into the mix as well.

The results are interesting. Twelve wins / six losses.

If I were playing baseball I would own a .667 percentage batting average!

Thank you to all who supported me on April 4th.

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Andy Whiteman said...

Yes, homeowners should be responsible for their leaves. That is why I look for a house with no or few trees when I buy a house. When I lived in KCMO, the house at 74th and Holmes had to hire 3 large trucks to haul away their leaves. I have no knowledge how much it cost them. I don't believe in raking as too labor intensive with a high disposal cost; therefore, I have my leaves mowed. Gardeners will tell you that it is better for the grass.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I am hoping now that the election is over things settle down a bit in the political arena around Raytown. But your comments were spot on Greg about Battagler's (Raytown Times) lack of professionalism and blatant disregard for public trust during the election cycle. The fact that he allows and publishes such blatant mistruths in his publication opens himself up for a certain cause of action lawsuit such as False Light. In reading the statute it describes almost exactly the defamation and near slanderous and false accusations that he has allowed be published in HIS paper about some in the current Board of Alderman. Even Letters to The Editor are subject to scrutiny if they are found to be full of mistruths that the Editor knows to be inaccurate and without proper research to verify. Frankly I'm shocked this group of City Officials haven't pursued this course of action. Seems they would have a very strong case!

Roger Martindale said...


Sounds like you may be one to something. You should give this information to your elected officials. They can't pursue this if they don't know about it.

Anonymous said...

No ethics whatsoever with that paper. I would never purchase an ad in it. Battagler and Co. should be sued for liable and yes false light looks to have a case. There are consequences to lack of ethics and downright lies. His paper is already doomed to fail, I'd just wish he would leave this town like his buddy Mr. Sharma did.

Anonymous said...

Interesting how so many attack the local rag but must be reading it to comment. I personally don't agree with much the KC Star editors have to say but I still subscribe and read it.
I only read the local paper when I happen across it at a local market. The long letters by Creamer never get my time. Feel sorry for the guy but could never get inflamed by what he writes.

I would say to those who don't like what they read in the local paper.... don't read it!
Better yet... print one of your own and distribute it for free.

Just quit whining so much. But then what would be posted on here??

elisa breitenbach said...

The election maybe over but Mr. Battagler and Co. will go on and on as long as the Raytown Times can sell ad space and as long as people welcome his paper into their shops. They will not have any consequences till people truly stand up against the lies they tell against the people they don't like. It's shocking to me how they have pushed propaganda to do character assassinations on people and yet people welcome his paper into their stores. I'm glad the election is over. I told Randy at the meeting in City Hall that if his goal is to have his paper make people never want to move here or bring their business here he and his friends are doing a good job. They are truly making Raytown look like a joke. I gave my word to Walmart I would never shop at it ever again. When the Raytown Times come out in the morning. You have my word I'm more then done with it. It's not ok or cool to lie about people, print it all out in a paper to destroy public confidence and do character assassination's. It's absolutely appalling this just keeps going on and on because so many think any paper is better then nothing. Trash belongs in the trash. This paper hurts far more then it helps Raytown. This City is AWESOME and this trash talk and lies needs to stop.

Anonymous said...

Let's check it out. Greg and Paul wrote stories about the importance of raking leaves so storm sewers do not get clogged. A possible new way to overlay streets in Raytown, and some ideas for a recycling center. Paul wrote a real good editorial pointing out the unethical behavior at the Raytown Times. And Greg thanked voters for supporting him.

Yeah, that's real negative stuff.

Wait a minute! The only negative stuff I read was your post! You never read the long letters by Creamer, so how do you know what is in them?

Come to think of it. Yours is the only letter posted on this page that could be called negative. So tell us, what exactly are you trying to do. Your comment is nonsense and I think you know it.

Anonymous said...

Yes, let's check it out.
Dear Anonymous 7:56
My comments about the constant posts attacking the newspaper and its letter writers does not in any way refer to what Greg and Paul write. I am entertained and informed by their material. I am referring to this part of the blog. The "comments" by you and others who for months have attacked the newspaper and the letters it publishes.
Why not spend some time writing your own letters to the newspaper?

Oh, I think I know why not. Because you will have to come out from your safe anonymous shelter and take credit for what you say.

At least Creamer has the guts to do that.

Anonymous said...


Problem is that people do read it, even from other communities. It is embarassing to our town and has an unhealthy agenda, so yes as a tax payer I will complain about political agendas in town!

Anonymous said...

7:23 you miss the point the negativity from Randy and is marry men as well as the countless lies make everyone in the city look bad.

We all have an obligation to protect our property values from the loss that these lies could create and the criminal element that may be live this is a safe harbor for them.

Maybe you are one of the fly by renters who doesn't have respect for the area anyway or the slum lord that is too so part of the problem.

I am glad you find the over priced KC Star to be worthy of local news impacting our city, but fear you are one of the few remain readers.

As for me I wouldn't read Randy's paper except I believe it right to stand up against the lies of that Godless man

Anonymous said...

Well said, Elisa. We are lucky to have you and your donut shop in Raytown.

Andy Whiteman said...

I haven't seen a copy of the Raytown times in close 5 years and from what I have read here, I am not missing anything! It may be the only print paper in Raytown but the Raytown Report has more credibility in my opinion. I remember telling Greg when he converted to a blog that I wouldn't like a blog format but Greg and Paul cover Raytown in an unbiased manner and I now feel a blog is a good way to have a general discussion. is also another option.

Greg, Paul, and Michael keep up the good work!

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

On Tuesday, April 18th at 7 p.m. at the Raytown City Hall, the Board of Alderman will be meeting to vote on whether to take out the turn lanes and put bike lines on Blue Ridge Boulevard. Your input is very important as it affects all motorists who travel this boulevard.

The boulevard has come to the end of its life and must be redone. The cost of this project will be $775,000.00. Back in 2013, the Board of Aldermen voted to seek a grant. The amount of the grant would $131,250.00. However, if the City accepts this grant, they must take out the center turn lane and put bike lanes on each side of the boulevard.

When talking to bikers, they assured me that they would not use the bike lanes. They would continue to ride in the street due to trash, glass, debris and cars packed in these bike lines. Lee's Summit has put bike lines in many of their streets and the bicyclists still ride in their streets.

We should consider that it could be a detriment to all motorists to take the left turn lanes out. It is possible that there could be numerous accidents to cars being hit from the rear while attempting to turn left or waiting for oncoming traffic to clear.

Many residents that live on Blue Ridge Boulevard voiced their concerns of pulling into and out of their driveways.

Is the status of our boulevard being turned into a street with no turn lanes worth $131,250.00? Should the safety and convenience of the motorists and residents who use it daily be considered?

If you wish to have a voice in this decision, be sure to come to the Board of Alderman meeting this coming Tuesday, April 18th at 7 p.m. at the Raytown City Hall. This will not be addressed until probably 8 p.m. as the old Board of Alderman will complete their term and the new Board of Alderman will be sworn in. The new BOA will be voting on this.

Anonymous said...

To be fair, I understand that the grant is to provide new sidewalks along this section of Blue Ridge as well, I do see a number of folks walking this, but few bikes. Sidewalks are great, but I'm not sure it's worth giving up the turn lanes for. Given the winding nature of the road I would be concerned about folks living along the corridor getting in and out of their drives/streets safely. It would probably slow traffic speeds some which might help safety. Unless there's a plan to keep the bike lanes free of debris, bikers won't use it. There's not been much effort in other parts of town to keep bike lanes clean or cars from parking in them.Too bad if they can't modify the grant, would make sense to leave turns lanes and provide wider sidewalks.

Anonymous said...

I live on Blue Ridge Blvd and I want the turn lane removed. It has nothing to do with bikes but with slowing down the traffic. Many of my neighbors feel the same. We are tired of seeing the turn lane used as a passing lane by impatient drivers who think 35 mph is too slow.
If the turn lane is so important, why does traffic seem to move along north of the Raytown city limit where there is none.
BTW... $131250 is not chump change.

Anonymous said...

The three new Alderman would be wise to either not vote on the bike lane or only agree to vote at the first meeting in May so they have time to get brought up to date.

The last time a Board changed and the great minds at city hall pushed something through we got Wal-Mart on 350 and that still 10 years later has not worked out for the citizens of Raytown.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon 2:23

There is no evidence that removal of the turn lane will mean more accidents. Most of the residential streets in Raytown ARE without a turn lane. Blue Ridge north of 47th has no turn lane. Show me the wrecks there?
It comes down to this: the turn lane means faster (more convenient) travel. Do the 100 or so homes on this stretch of Blue Ridge Blvd want faster or slower traffic???

I walk this stretch of road often and see plenty of proof that cars have left the road and crashed. Why? Probably going too fast.

I have personally been passed by drivers using the turn lane as a passing lane.

If a study could be done, I am sure it would show that Blue Ridge is used by Independence and Kansas City residents as a shortcut.

"Many residents that live on Blue Ridge Blvd voiced their concerns of pulling into and out their driveways" Where did you get that from? Probably just like the rest of your post... from your vivid imagination.

Respectfully, LM Helsel, Blue Ridge Blvd resident in favor of turn lane removal.

Don Milum said...

A lot of you have good ideas about the bike lanes on Blue Ridge. Now, let's see how many of you show up Tuesday night and make your thoughts known!