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.
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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