Sunday, April 30, 2017

RAYTOWN'S LEADING NEWS SOURCE

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BREAKING NEWS . . . The Raytown Report has learned that former Ward 5 Candidate Diane Krizek has filed for a recount of the April 4th Raytown City Election in Ward 5. State law allows that any election that is decided by less than 1% of the vote can have its results recounted at the request of any candidate who participated in the election.

Judge Jennifer Phillips of Division 12 of the Jackson County Circuit Court will conduct a preliminary hearing regarding the Plaintiff’s Verified Petition to Contest the Election filed on April 27, 2017.

We will keep you informed as the more information becomes available.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Last week we published a copy of Janet Emerson's farewell speech to the Raytown Board of Aldermen. We have received a number of complaints that the link was not working properly. We have investigated the problem and are working on a solution. Our apologies to Mrs. Emerson. Her farewell speech appears at the end of this week's stories.


Bits and Pieces . . .
Alderman Bonnaye Mims has clearly shown she is not a new comer to politics. At a recent work session of the Board of Aldermen Mims showed her attention to detail is not confined to whatever is handed to her. 

BY GREG WALTERS
Mims insisted more information be provided her in the form of past budgets and budget requests. As she explained later, “If I am going to make spending decisions of this size I will need to have more facts than can be typed on one sheet of paper.”

Ward 4 Alderman Steve Meyers made the following observation when he opined, “It is clear Bonnaye does not need training wheels to serve as a member of this Board.”

Well said, Mr. Meyers. Bonnaye, as the former editor/owner of the Raytown Post, Lee Gray, used to write, “You go girl!”

Alderman Jason Greene was elected Mayor Protem by the majority of the Board of Aldermen after the swearing in ceremony at the last meeting of the Board. The vote was nine to zero, with one abstention. His seatmate on the Board of Alderman, Jim Aziere, abstained on the vote. Aziere did not give a reason why.

But it does make a very profound statement as to the animosity and damage done to the fabric that makes up the city’s governing body in the last election.

Planning and Zoning / Board of Zoning Adjustment
The city is looking for a few good men and women to fill vacancies on the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Board of Zoning Adjustment. The Planning and Zoning Commission (commonly known as P&Z) reviews applications and holds public hearings on all new construction in Raytown that requires a change in zoning for a project to move forward. The Board of Zoning Adjustment (commonly known as the BZA) reviews requests to make exemptions to zoning regulations already in place.

Interested parties should contact their representatives on the Raytown Board of Aldermen or fill out an application form found on the city's website at www.raytown.mo.us

Raytown Parks Considering Special Needs Options for Playgrounds

The Raytown Park Board is considering a number of options for improvements to the Parks system this year. We covered one possible plan for a leash-free dog park two weeks ago.
Another topic under consideration is handicapped accessible playground equipment for children with special needs.

The idea has merit. The Park would need a well lit and secure area for the playground equipment. Just as important would be the need for park personnel to be available in case of an emergency.

The Special needs equipment is expensive and would require some upgrades in security at the park. Adequate lighting for evening use by park patrons and closed circuit monitoring of the area would be an easy fix to those needs. Raytown Park Headquarters is located at Colman as is an over-flow parking area just south of the Park’s maintenance building.

The little used parking area could easily be re-purposed for handicapped playground equipment.

The playground equipment would would need easy access for parents, grandparents and the children using the park. Another plus would be that the playground area would serve as a buffer between homeowners to the west of the park, who frequently have complained of excessive noise from the park area.

Paul’s Rant
Hyperbole (n.) overstatement, exaggeration
Raytown Times Editor Randy Battagler needs to quit his practice of overstating and (how can I delicately say this?) stretching the truth to fill space in his paper.

The last example of this bad habit is a short story about the annual Easter Egg Hunt held each Spring in the Green Space in Downtown Raytown. Battagler wrote the event had been attended by “thousands”. As one contributor mentioned on our blog . . . “Thousands suggests at least two thousand people were in attendance”. Another blogger suggested Battagler may have been counting the brightly colored plastic eggs with treats in them that were found by the children all over the Green Space.

No doubt there were many people in attendance at this worthwhile and fun family event.

But certainly not thousands. Where would you park all the cars of those attending?

Clarity and most importantly, honesty, should be the watchword of any news publication. Perhaps Mr. Battagler’s use of hyperbole is an unintended hangover from the city election last April 4th when anything said or written, be it true or not, was published in his paper. He needs to throttle back on his use of such tactics. It is seeping into his reporting of every day events.

Speaking of Accuracy
Randy’s buddy from down in the Ozarks, Bob Phillips, should go back to school to learn how to count. In last week’s paper Phillips wrote “Now the Board does not have a voting bloc, as it did before.”

I think the jury is out on this new Board of Aldermen.

No doubt there are ties between Jim Aziere and Ryan Myers. But we do not think Bonnaye Mims will fall into that category. She is an experienced legislator who will not easily be fooled by small town politics. The jury is still out on Frank Hunt. I hope he does not fall into the trap of faction politics.

The other incumbent Aldermen have been a pretty independent bunch. There is no evidence of them marching in lockstep to one drummer. Mr. Phillips is wrong to try to paint them into that corner.

Fundraiser Held for
Officer Tom Wagstaff BY PAUL LIVIUS
On Thursday, April 27, hundreds of people from Independence and Raytown attended a fund-raising dinner at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church to help the family of Independence
Police Officer Tom Wagstaff.  Officer Wagstaff was injured by a bullet fragment to the skull on  Wednesday, March 29th as he responded to a home burglary, where inside, the 82-year-old homeowner was being assaulted. Four suspects have been arrested and charged with first-degree robbery,  armed criminal action, first-degree burglary and kidnapping in connection with the case.

Officer Wagstaff is a member of St. Matthews Episcopal Church. Several city officials from both Raytown and Independence were in attendance at the fundraiser, dinner and silent auction.

Last week we published a copy of Janet Emerson's farewell speech to the Raytown Board of Aldermen. We have received a number of complaints that the link was not working properly. We have investigated the problem and are working on a solution. Our apologies to Mrs. Emerson. Her farewell speech appears below.


Raytown has just been through one of the most contentious elections in its history. Nothing says this better than former Alderman Janet Emerson's farewell speech at last week's swearing in ceremony. The Council Chambers was full last Tuesday night. Which is unusual for mid-term elections. It is notable to say that at the end of her address, Mrs. Emerson received a standing ovation. A link to a video of her giving her farewell address follows the text of the speech.

As many of you know, I fell and broke my arch in four places in February, but I'm on my way to recovery, and it won't be too long before I'm running around again.  I would like to thank the Citizens of Raytown in Ward 3 for the opportunity of serving you for the past 4 years, and I would like to thank the Board for the opportunity of serving as Mayor Pro Tem for the last year.  While working for all in Raytown, I have met some remarkable people and have made many many new friendships.

We have an outstanding mayor who has Raytown at his heart and works very hard to promote our City.  What a great person to represent us!

We have a new City Administrator in Tom Cole whom I believe is second to none.  I have great confidence in him, his staff and all the employees.  I believe you will see great things happen in this City.

I want to commend the Police and Fire Departments for their unwavering protection of our City.  They put their lives on the line every time they go out on a call.

A great big "thank you" to Tony Mesa and his crews in Public Works who tirelessly make our streets safe during inclement weather.

Your Board of Alderman, less one, has worked diligently to make wise decisions that benefit the Citizens of Raytown.  They have expertise in many fields and have Raytown at heart.  They certainly go through all kinds of work to make sure that what they vote on for the Citizens of Raytown is beneficial to [those Citizens].  And they always remember that they are representatives of their Wards.

Unfortunately, I find it very sad that we have a handful of Citizens and a newspaper of the Raytown Times who wish to publish misinformation, not complete information and sometimes lies without prior researching the complete, true facts.  It has harmed not only Raytown directly but has given our City unwarranted negativity in the Metro area.

But even with this pullback, this Board has worked diligently to help bring positive change to this City.  As you look around, you will see much new development and redevelopment in the past 2 years, and many new things on the horizon, like the Rock Island Bike and Walking Trail.  We have a new employees' manual that puts all employees on a level playing field which has not happened before.  We also have cut the budget this past year which also is a first.  We have a Farmers' Market, and we have finally started revitalization of our beloved town.

I would be amiss if I did not mention our beloved Mr. Raytown, Steve Mock, who left us way too early.  He did so many things that were so positive for Raytown.   He was a great friend and mentor, and he will always have a fond place in the hearts of many Raytown Citizens.



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31 comments:

Anonymous said...

The local paper boy has ended himself, along with his good friend Aziere. After all the lies they cast then to now paint the board with a brush and speak of a voting bloc. These boys are just that, boys and they are upset because they are irrelevant.

Andy Whiteman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andy Whiteman said...

I have never net you Janet, but it it was a great, well spoken speech! Even though I have been gone close to 5 years, I feel Raytown is on the road to recovery thanks to new leadership.

Andy Whiteman

Greg Walters said...

TO ALL: Last week we posted and published former Ward 3 Alderman Janet Emerson's farewell speech at her last meeting as Alderman for Ward 3. For reasons that are unclear to us (and for that matter, the good folks at Google as well) not everyone viewing the Raytown Report could us the link we provided to access the story. We have re-published the speech at the tail end of this week's Raytown Report. My personal apology to Janet for the confusion. It was a good speech, and from my point of view, right on the money in its conclusions.

Anonymous said...

It sad that we appear to have a soar looser therefore since they don't want to move on it is time this person and their supports owe us a response.

On behalf of the working class of Rayown, I think we all would like to know the following:

1.) How many minorities this same person has put to work?

2.) Where are the parts and other products made that this same person says they sale at their international company?

3.) How much tax dollars are really generated for Raytown being the business sales over the internet and to places all over the world and would therefore taxes wouldn't be collected as the purchaser doesn't have a presence in MO?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2:13

What??

Anonymous said...

2:13
What does minorities have to do with anything regarding a recount? Sorry but minorities should be treated the same as everyone not a protected class and everyone else just be fanned. As for a company getting products or services overseas, its called globalization, try running a business without international trade these days.

Anonymous said...

April 30, 2017 at 11:00 AM - you know who else is now irrelevant? That would be the former alderman who fried his brains and pickled his liver. Everything he said in the past year has been a lie. Jim Aziere said so!

Janet Emerson said...

The last of my speech was inadvertently left off. These were my closing statements. Again, I thank everyone for their care and concern, and for allowing me to serve as your Alderman in Ward 3 for the past 4 years.

Reminder of closing remarks:
"In closing, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to our City Clerk, Teresa Henry, for her unwavering dedication to Raytown and her assistance throughout my 4 years in office. People do not realize what this lady does on a daily basis. I believe she is the glue that holds this City together.

Again, I appreciate all the support and friendships. Let's be positive and continue to move Raytown forward."

Janet Emerson

Anonymous said...

Look's like the raytown police dept. is getting ready to raid the city budget again to take care of their bloated pension fund. I hope this city council has what it takes to stand up to them.

Anonymous said...

This city council has no choice. The previous administration signed the contract putting this in place. Now we all have to deal with it for years to come.

Anonymous said...

Yea for the current BOA voting for the police department to pay 50 50 to make their pension fund where it should be. The mayor and chief of police looked like they had been handed a death penalty. The mayor needs to come to grip that he works for the citizens and not the police department.

Anonymous said...

What a load of stuff! The city council has a choice. They are the runs that write the laws and approfve the contracts. It would be like saying the congress cannot change obamacare because a previous congress had signed off on it. Sounds like someone is trying to make it look like they have no choice. Don't buy it. It is not factual. Is it trure raytown police don't even pay anything into their pension? It is all paid for by the taxpayers?

Anonymous said...

It seems a lot of people post stuff that isn't true. Someone posted the police get 110% of their salary when they retire. Hogwash! They get between 50% and 65%, depending on the years of service. They also pay into their retirement, just like everyone else. It sounds like someone who wasn't smart enough to work for a company that has a retirement package is jealous of the ones who did. When I retire from my (private) company, I'll be eligible for 52% of my salary. I paid half and the company paid half.

Anonymous said...

From listening over the years to this pension thing it's not bloated, the past administrations didn't follow what was going on with it, then the crash of 2008. From what I understand most of this money from years ago was put in by both the city and employees. Kind a like Social Security and other pensions all have suffered across the nation. The voters of Raytown put this in place in 1966 so it's not the police department. Come on Aziere follower, find out your facts before you speak and not Aziere facts!

Anonymous said...

The Mayor seems to work for all the people from my perspective. Maybe he had the look on his face because it appeared to me many on the Board had not really done their homework on it and he was probably frustrated with some of the dumb comments.

Anonymous said...

The mayor gets frustrated when the police don't get what they want.

Anonymous said...

I think the mayor gets frustrated as well as the board when Aziere admits he doesnt read his agenda. Anyone else see his really off based question during the pension requesting a report of its summary? Two other councilmen then told him it is in his report, what the hell?

Anonymous said...

If you try an address something that changes the status quo of a political system you better be prepared to be crucified.

PD is not giving up a cent on their pension plan or their share of the city budget.

It ain't gonna happen, and that's why anyone who calls PD out for their wasteful spending, or bloated pension plan, is going to be crucified.

Anonymous said...

Let me get this straight. 30,000 people can watch their town deteriorate while the police get everything they ask for. My favorite is the writer who infers people are stupid because they do not have a pension plan!?! Raytown has madee some stupid mistkaes over the years. It is affecting all of us. Accept for the p.d. Are they above the stupidity? No, they are continuation of it if the city council does not understand they are in charge. A lot of people like to pick on Jim Aziere in their comments. They are missing the big picture. There really is a problem at city hall. The question is will the council man up and take care of business? Or will they ignore the problems and continue with business as usual?

Anonymous said...

Jim azure picks on himself with what he writes. You finally have a council standing up to the PD and people like him don't put in the time and attack them. What the hell did azure ever do his 25 whatever years on the board about this......nothing.

Anonymous said...

PD didn't pay for half of anything. It's all tax payer dollars. WE, the tax payers, pay for their bloated pension plan and wasteful spending.

Anonymous said...

What?
The police have to go through the same process as all city departments do to get things approved. You don't make sense. You use Aziere logic

Anonymous said...

People "pick" on Jim Aziere because he goes to the boa meetings and doesn't bother to prepare by reading the packet the staff puts together for the board. He is a disgrace and the people in his ward deserve better than this.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm......
Let me get this straight.
The voters voted in the old pension plan in 1966
The voters, the people!!!!
The PD brings their budget thru the same process as all other city divisions and it goes thru several steps before board approval.
So all these years you want me to believe that many Mayors and Boards of Alderman later you want to say their budget is bloated?
That makes no sense to me, oh and wait!!!!!
This Board cut hundreds of thousands of dollars from the final presented budget and deep cuts to the police and you seriously want to say it is a bloated budget!
Someone has no clue obviously

Anonymous said...

There are those that seem to think that the police dept officers contribute to their own retirement.
I looked on a lot of the pages of the audit and all I could find were contributions of the employer.
Everyone should have some skin in the game. If they have please let due know what page it is on.
To bad they have not gone to a 401-K type of retirement plan, more and more companies have done
that. But I am wrong as this is a police dept. and not a company. I forgot that our first responders
live by different standards.

Anonymous said...

The reason you could not find any reference to the police contributing to the budget to pay for their pension fund is because they do not contribute to the pension fund. It is really that simple. What I find amazing is that the city council and mayor seem to act like this agreement cannot be altered, changed, even broken by either party. Read today's KC Star. Puerto Rico, which is part of the USA just DECREASED their pension payouts to ALL public employees, including teachers and police, by 10% across the board.

When you run out of money to pay the bills, that is what happens. You can rob the street maintenance account, you can go into debt, but eventually the bills will have to be paid.

When emergencies like a giant sinkhole swallow up a street or a large bridge becomes unsafe to drive across, the scales will tip away from a pension fund that is slowly bankrupting the city.

Anonymous said...

7:37 You can blame the lack of street maintenance, sink holes, and bridge repairs on the pension plan, but how much of this would have been paid for if we still had the $3.5M that gets paid every year for principal and interest?

You need to put the blame where it belongs. This city council is trying to fix the problems from the past. They've made great progress. Given a few more years, Raytown will be the growing, thriving community it once was. Even hateful, bitter people like you won't be able to stop it.

Anonymous said...

By principle and interest are you referring to Walmart tif ?

Anonymous said...

No it cannot be simply changed
Years ago people in the pension did pay into it
The monies have to be placed there or the state will force the city to pay it
It was elected by the citizens long time ago
Watch the recording of the last meeting and get educated before you write

Anonymous said...

12:17 Two of the officials you speak of have never been in city government. Ms. Mims is new, but she has been in public office before and it shows. Give the new guys some time to get adjusted and I'm sure they will work out fine. There is always a learning curve whenever you get a new job.