Friday, May 26, 2017

RAYTOWN'S LEADING NEWS SOURCE

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BY GREG WALTERS
  
 
We want to take the opportunity to wish Raytown’s Nancy Nail the very best of luck today when she performs as guest soloist at the Lincoln Center in New York City.  Congratulations Nancy!
 
Paul and I decided this would be the perfect opportunity for you, our readers, to tell us of other great things happening in Raytown.  Send us an email and when we get a chance, we’ll post it.
 
59th Street Blues
This last week has seen a lot of traffic on the Raytown Report Blog about the repair and deterioration of 59th Street between Raytown Road and Blue Ridge Cutoff.

A quick review for those not familiar with what has happened.

About a month ago the Raytown Water Company experienced a major water line break at 59th and Elm Street. Repair crews came out and dug up quite a bit of the west bound lane of 59th Street to repair the water line.

East of where the work was completed, the road service became wavy. It is clear to anyone who regularly drives on the road there is definitely something going on under the street.

The picture at the left shows what was allowed to stay in place when the street was repaired for the broken water main.
Do you think a little foresight might have helped here?

Why not pay the contractor a few hundred dollars more to move the street cut over a couple of feet to eradicate the potholes and broken seams of a failing street? Do you think the water undermining the integrity of the street might be coming from this perforated pothole mess?

BY PAUL LIVIUS
Not So Fast, Bob
I was reading Raytown’s last remaining wood pulp news source, the Raytown Times, when I came across Bob Phillips “Off the Top” column. Never understood what “off the top” means in that context, but at least we are all on the same page.

Bob was bemoaning the city not taking advantage of a grant that would have paid 80% of the cost of “improvements on Blue Ridge Boulevard”. He then went on and wrote, “There is no reason to look for blame”.

An interesting thought, because in the next sentence he blames the revolving door of the city administrators, department heads, and, ultimately, the Board of Aldermen.

So much for not placing blame. Wouldn’t you agree Bob?

 
He continues about other things “falling through the cracks”, like the reports on the 350 Live TIF project.

To paraphrase a comedian of my generation, “ . . . for a guy living in the Ozarks, you sure do place a lot of blame on people living in Raytown!”

Let’s take a closer look at what Bob wrote:

“For unknown reasons the city dropped the ball and only recently the boulevard improvement was brought up again”.

Come on Bob, you can do better than that! How about, the city was broke and did not have the funds to pay the 20% needed to receive the 80% grant from the Missouri Department of Transportation.

Where did the money go? Let me help you out. The money went to pay for the construction of Walmart, buying the property from the school district on which to build the Walmart Store on 350 Highway, and, the highway entrances and signals off of the east and west bound entrances to Walmart. Don’t forget the street, aptly named “Walmart Way”.

Somebody’s got to pay those bills.

You see, Bob, Raytown’s Board during the golden age of former Mayor David Bower, thought it was a good idea to create a 20+ year mortgage through a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) scheme to jump start the local Raytown economy. The debt from those bills have to be paid. And , the shoppers in Raytown are paying it with a sales tax of close to 10% on every dollar spent at Walmart.

The sad reality is there is a finite amount of money paid by shoppers in Raytown on an annual basis. Walmart is such a large retail engine that it easily creates 20% of the sales tax revenue in Raytown.

That means roughly 20% of the sales tax collected in Raytown does not pay our police or repair our streets. It pays for the interest and debt created to build the Walmart facility.
Which brings us to your comment . . . "there is no reason to look for blame"

Actually, there is a reason to place blame. Because if we do not recognize why the city is in such financial straits then we are doomed to repeat the same mistakes again.

The blame rests on the shoulders of former Mayor David Bower and his City Administrator Mahesh Sharma. They engineered and convinced the Board of Aldermen to go down the slippery slope of creating debt to get rich.

Incidentally, it was also under Bower/Sharma watch that the city failed to report 350 Live TIF reports to the state.

It is a sad testament to the reality of the situation that even today, with all of these facts, you still refuse to accept the failures of the past that has created Raytown’s dilemma today.

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40 comments:

Andy Whiteman said...

Maybe there is memory loss of past facts rather than an acceptance issue!

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately Bob is so far up the old city admin rear end he can't see the light. I think there is no space in there with bower, ertz, randy and azieres head up there too. Doesn't take a genius to see that Sharma made a lot of poor decisions as admin.

Anonymous said...

The reason why you haven't heard anything is because the city is trying to refinance those bonds and want to keep everything quiet.

Anonymous said...

Good thing the city sold their soul to keep Wal-Mart, nothing like shopping with your kids at 9:30 at night only to hear gun shots, screams and an announcement saying to evacuate the store immediately. I will never shop there again. #timetomove.

Anonymous said...

I heard on the news this morning that the off duty officers at Wal-Mart actually work for a private security company not Wal-Mart. How is it legal for them to do this. I mean they drive taxpayer owned cars there, the wear taxpayer owned uniforms there and use taxpayer owned guns and ammunition. That would be like public works taking home a backhoe to dig pools for the waterhole on weekends. Now my guess is the family is going to sue the officer and the county and our tax dollars are going to be spent to defend her.

Anonymous said...

Hello, I don't have access to Raytown news. What happened at Walmart?

Anonymous said...

News report online says the officer involved was an off duty Jackson County Sheriff.

Anonymous said...

The original cost of redoing Blue Ridge Boulevard was $775.000. The grant was for $130,000. It can be done for under $500,00 without the grant. Doesn't take a genius to figure this out and we won't be obligated to put ine bike lanes which the grant said had to be done.

Anonymous said...

You are a sworn officer, yet are able to wear and use uniform, equipment, vehicle and weapons provided by your employer? What if I use an employer provided vehicle to do my day job, you think they would care if I used that same vehicle to deliver pizza in the evening as a private delivery person? I very seriously doubt it. It's the old double standard that persist in law enforcement.

Now Jackson county, Walmart and anyone else involved in this will be on the paying end of a lawsuit because some idiot didn't want to go to jail.

Andy Whiteman said...

8:14 AM, Since I have too much to do, Facebook is for only IF I have extra time! But I LIKED Raytown Unleashed on Facebook. I noticed posts about the Walmart shooting on Raytown Unleashed complete with a link to a CH9 video! Also there is http://raytownonline.com/ and Raytown Police sends me a daily reports of calls the previous day as well as major incidents especially those they need information about.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

First off, the deputy working at WalMart, was working as a deputy, but they are paid by a company for WalMart. Just like when officers work at Hy-Vee or school or wherever. It is so don't have to rely on people from the street. You all need to get something better to do than make stuff up.

Andy Whiteman said...

Unfortunately police officers and sheriff's deputies are so poorly paid that many work off duty jobs! I don't know if Jackson County has take home vehicles or do...some jurisdictions do while many do not. 10:35 AM are you sure that the officer's uniforms and weapons are provided by the County? Even if they are, officers frequently buy their own uniforms to have spares while their uniforms are at the laundry.

10:35 AM, You should be grateful rather than critical because these fine men and women work for a pittance and risk their lives to protect you and all citizens!

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 3:17, So would it be ok for the folks who mow for the city to take the mower home to mow yards for extra money on their days off? Why is the officer off on paid leave for actions that occurred while working for another employer? When she was went to the hospital is it workmans comp and if so who's? The Counties or the Private Security company? At the point she is hired as an employee of the security company she is working in that capacity when on their payroll, she maybe a
Deputy Sheriff but at that point and time she was only serving herself, the private company and wal-mart...I support the Police and always will, they have an unwinable job and make enormous sacrifices daily. That said, it is dishonest and outright misuse of tax dollars to allow offices to work part time jobs for private employers using public purchased equipment, public funded liability insurance and public funded workmans comp to fund this endeavor.

Anonymous said...

Is it really this hard to comprehend? She was working as a law enforcement officer, with the permission of the sheriffs department, so as such she is covered by all that. It's part of doing business. Jeez Louise you all make my head hurt. Here's a novel idea, don't break the law. Unfortunately officers are needed to work some of this stuff. And maybe if they were paid what they deserve, they wouldn't have to work extra jobs.

Anonymous said...

12:18 What you have written sounds right I am so glad that it was not a Raytown Police Dept employee.

Anonymous said...

That is the most ridiculous comparison I've seen in a long time. Please Officers are sworn officers 24 seven to enforce the law. That's where they get their powers of arrest from. The security company that Walmart employs are the ones that pay is the police for their time. The fact that they have police cars there are so they can take prisoners in which at that point in time they are being police officers, and keeps them from having to take please officers off the street to handle the arrest made at Walmart. That's been that way for a very long time at all of them all across the metropolitan area. It also provides Walmart a layer of protection and liability I would presume.

Anonymous said...

Again not a very bright comparison

Jay Martin said...

I really envy a lot of you. You seem to have your lives in such perfect order and so problem free that you can now run other people's lives.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 1:59 I assure you that Deputy makes about 4 times an hour what an EMT makes working for EMS. They too work part time jobs to get buy, the difference is they don't use a city ambulance to do it and if they get hurt or sued then they are on their own. The point everyone is making here is that the same rules should apply to all. I would like to hear from one of the various Aldermen who monitor this page... Is it acceptable for City Employees to use City Owned equipment to make extra money working part time on their days off? If so does the city agree to cover them under workcomp and liability insurance? If the answer is no then why do you continue to allow the Police to be treated as if the rules don't apply to them. That practice is how the Police obtained their special retirement plan that is bankrupting the cities coffers now.

Andy Whiteman said...

Are the officers really using city or county vehicles off duty at Walmart? I asked an RPD officer once at Walmart and he stated that he was on duty and had received a call to respond to Walmart to pick up a subject. I asked him because of complaints I read here on this blog. If it had happened in Alamogordo, Albuquerque, or Bernalillo County (NM) it would be a non issue because officers have take home vehicles.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

When is the city going to fix the 59th street "Worlds of fun roller coaster"? It is getting worse! It shouldn't take this long to start on it........

Anonymous said...

When the Raytown water company does their job and fixes what damages their league did
It may take a little longer but I'm proud of the city for not spending taxpayers money to get it fixed and forcing raytown water to do what needs to be done even if it takes a little longer

Anonymous said...

Hey Doc, we are at the Royals Game tonight and the Raytown Police brought out the flag because it's Raytown Night at the Royals. How corne the Fire Department doesn't have a team that does that. It would be nice to see you guys get recognition as well.

Anonymous said...

The Fire Department has a color guard and the team has presented colors for the Kansas City Comets indoor soccer team and Missouri mavericks hockey team at the Independence event center. They have done same at the TBones baseball game and I am pretty sure we have presented at the Royals game as we have pictures from that.
The departments color guard has preformed at funerals for retired members of Raytown Fire Department and several other line of duty deaths and retired members funerals from surrounding departments.
I am not part of the team but I'm sure that we were not asked as we rarely turn down the offer to present our nations colors.
Thank You for the question.
Have a good day support your local public service crews as we are there for you.
Police ,Fire, EMS and the Dispatchers.
Captain Doc Summers
P-51 B-shift

Anonymous said...

Than you!

Anonymous said...

Very good comparison, if you are bright enough to see it.

Anonymous said...

Who picks what color guard presents at Raytown Night at the Royals? We went three years ago and the police did it that night as well. Why not the Firemen or one of our scouting packs or even better how about raytown veterans or active duty members of the armed services? Nothing against the police, but every year....Seriously

Anonymous said...

So sick of anti-cop people. If you think you can do it better, apply and do the job. They're all hiring.

Jay Martin said...

Anonymous 2:29

No. They would rather sit back and complain. They are not the kind of people who actually do anything productive.

Andy Whiteman said...

No, they are not the kind of people you want responding when you call 911 for help.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

The Chamber of Commerce is responsible for the event at the Royals. I would assume they ask Police Dept as they are a division of the City. The Fire District is just that a Fire District run by their own board of directors and own tax base. Very professional and have boundaries the same as the City of Raytown
but not part of City government. Some City officials are members of the Chamber but not sure about the Fire District
Hope that helps

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 3:16 Since when does the Chamber have anything to do with City Hall? It's the Crossroads Chamber because they represent almost 3 times the area of the city. This is wby places like the Adams Mark happen to be members. The Fire District is no different than the School District so are you also going to make claims that the Raytown School Distict is not really part is the Raytown community because they are not run by City Hall?

Anonymous said...

Wow 12:17 kind of a strong response to 3:16 isn't it. I think they were just trying to explain something not criticizing anyone

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 10:14 you read the 3:16 response how you want and I will do the same. The way I read it is just another passive-aggressive attack against the firefighters. To say the firefighters are not asked because they don't represent city government is just idiotic, I would wager that if you took a pole of our community the majority opinion could care less about how they are governed and more about how they serve. As far as the last point made by 3:16 that some city officials are members of the chamber and this has some relevance I would like to know exactly what city official is a dues-paying member of the chamber of commerce? The mission of the chamber is to support the business community to enhance the quality of life for our citizens, so with the exception of Steve Meyers who is a businessman in Raytown, it would make zero sense for any other city officials to be dues-paying members.

Anonymous said...

Tax and Spend Republicans are once again call a special session in Jefferson City.

Anything to take advantage of the blue collar workers.

Anonymous said...

LARGE LARGE garage sale at Gregory and Blue Ridge, Lourdes church is having a
very large sale to raise funds for a good cause, prices are right

Anonymous said...

I watched the last BOA Meeting and listened with interest regarding the budget, expenditures, etc. When you have a money crisis at home, similar to what the city has always experienced, you quit spending money unnecessary. Going on city paid out of town seminars, conferences, etc needs to stop or at the very least be curtailed.

With online classes and training available, these trips are not necessary in the least bit. Yet PD, department heads and the city manager - while the city is broke and looking to save money, continue to spend tax payer dollars to support their insatiable appetite of flying to out of town events, which are in reality tax payer funded vacations where the costs for Airline ticket, car rental, hotel, food, etc. add up quickly.

And for that, the city is broke and broken. You cut expenditures a little there and a little there to achieve financial stability...

P.S. I hope every single Aldermen and the Mayor read this and does something about it... Now, I'm finished...For now.

Drain the swamp!!!

Anonymous said...

I laugh at the city officials that brag about the city news letter.

Come on folks I caught at least three events that had already happened by the time I received the the news letter.

Just another example of wasteful spending at city hall.

Anonymous said...

We didn't even get one............lol

Anonymous said...

The Newsletter is a joke. Just more PD PR campaign that is being endorsed by the Mayor and pushed by Chief.