Another Point of View
Raytown Online, another news blog published a story of its own over the train wreck of the last Raytown Board of Aldermen meeting. The story also has an active link to a copy of the video of the meeting. The video clearly documents the Mayor and Board of Aldermen did not vote on the fireworks ordinance at its last meeting.
To access the story and video of the discussion and sequence of votes taken last Tuesday on the proposed Fireworks Ordinance, use this link: RAYTOWN ONLINE
Use this link FIREWORKS to view the last meeting of the Board of Aldermen.
|BY GREG WALTERS|
Train wreck is the best words to describe the last meeting of the Raytown Board of Aldermen meeting. Here is a breakdown of what took place.
PUBLIC COMMENTS: A good sized audience took the time to attend the meeting. An unusually large number engaged the Board during public comments in opposition to a proposed changes to the fireworks ordinance that would have expanded the days allowed to shoot fireworks in Raytown from one to four days.
Chris Rathbone, President of the Raytown Park Board, told Board members the Park Board was opposed to the changes. He asked the city to help pay the cost of cleaning up the parks after four days of fireworks (illegally) shot off in the park. He also said the Park Board has offered to hire an off-duty Raytown Police officer to patrol the parks on the Fourth of July. According to Rathbone, he and Lynch have held some discussions since the Board of Aldermen meeting.
Glenda Raider, who complained of the stress that accompanied the loud explosions to pets, children and adults sensitive to unexpected loud explosions, said “we don’t need it”, to the Board in reference to the proposed changes.
Mindy McDaniel (who lives next door to a city park) told Board members the park looks like a war zone on the Fourth of July. There is trash and debris everywhere, including (illegal) bottle rockets on her roof. She asked the Board to vote the proposed ordinance down.
City Collector Cathie Schutte, said she did not want fireworks shot off in her cul-de-sac.
Former Raytown Alderman Jody Smith reminded the Board there had been three houses burned on the Fourth because of the mishandling of fireworks. She urged them to vote “no” on expanding the time period.
Jeanette Gentry expressed her dismay that the proposed ordinance removed a section that required adult supervision of minors in the shooting of fireworks. She clearly voiced her opposition to the bill.
A Vote that did not Happen
The Board appeared to be listening to the comments. Ward 2 Alderman Jason Greene proposed an amendment to change the four day shooting period to a two day shooting period of July 4th and July 5th. His reasoning was if stormy weather kept people from shooting off their fireworks on the 4th, they would still be allowed to on the 5th.
Alderman Bill VanBuskirk offered an amendment to keep the current restriction to one day. His motion was seconded by Ward 3 Alderman Mark Moore who clearly spoke in opposition to the use of fireworks except in professional displays.
HOW THEY VOTED:
VAN BUSKIRK AMENDMENT TO LIMIT FIREWORKS SHOOTING TO ONE DAY.
YES: Bill VanBuskirk, Mark Moore
NO: Karen Black, Jason Greene, Ryan Myers, Steve Meyers, Frank Hunt,
Derek Ward, Bonnaye Mims
GREENE AMENMENT TO LIMIT FIREWORKS SHOOTING TO TWO DAYS AND REQUIRING ADULT SUPERVISION OF MINORS.
YES: Jason Greene, Bill VanBuskirk, Karen Black, Ryan Myers,
Steve Meyers, Frank Hunt, Derek Ward, Bonnaye Mims
Steve Meyers, Frank Hunt, Derek Ward, Bonnaye Mims
NO: Mark Moore
TRAIN WRECK: For reasons that are not clear, Mayor McDonough allowed VanBuskirk’s amendment to be voted ahead of Greene’s amendment. We reviewed the record of the meeting and found the two amendments were voted, but could not find a record of final vote on the bill. We contacted the Raytown City Clerk’s office to find out if part of the recording was missing. City Clerk Teresa Henry told us we were not mistaken. There was not a final vote taken.
Decisions to carry over business to the next meeting are usually preceded by a motion and approved by the Board. This is, after all, official city business. Making decisions without a formal vote is a sloppy way of handling the public’s business.
Bills before the elected body should have a motion made and seconded before they are discussed. Once a motion is made and seconded, the item becomes part of a package for the entire governing body to discuss and decide.
Any decision made on how to complete the business should be voted on by the entire governing body. That includes all amendments and motions to carry over to a future meeting.
These simple rules of order are effective in running a well organized meeting. Ignoring the rules of order usuallys ends up in the train wreck of a meeting.
In this instance, as a result of ignoring those rules, the current ordinance on the books allowing the shooting of fireworks only on the Fourth of July is still the city’s law. The next meeting of the Board of Aldermen is scheduled for July 3rd.
Even if the bill is passed approved on July 3rd it is doubtful the public will know of the results in the very short time frame (less than 12 hours) before the ordinance goes into effect.
Paul’s Rant! BY PAUL LIVIUS
Confrontations between Lynch and Black, McDonough and Tony Jacob create fireworks of their own.
ALDERMAN KAREN BLACK AND POLICE CHIEF JIM LYNCH
Alderman Karen Black and the Chief of Police Jim Lynch crossed swords on a fireworks issue at last Tuesday’s meeting. Ward 1 Alderman Black asked Lynch if the police were called by the public over the illegal shooting of fireworks in a Public Raytown Park, would police officers respond?
Lynch's initial response was that he did not have as many officers as a year ago.
Black said her question was in reference to years prior to this year based on comments by the public earlier the meeting.
So the Ward 1 Alderman re-phrased her question. Lynch, who was visibly angered by the line of questioning, responded that they had many calls and would answer them as they received them.
Black said she believed the city should go the extra mile to increase patrols in public parks on the Fourth of July because certain parks are known as a trouble spot on the Fourth of July.
Mrs. Black was within her rights asking her question. She was simply doing her job as a spokesperson of the people she represents.
TONY JACOB AND MAYOR MICHAEL McDONOUGH
Another exchange that drew some fireworks was from comments made by Tony Jacob during Public Comments at the beginning of the meeting. Jacobs has all but announced he plans to run for Alderman in Ward 2 next April brought up a subject that should be a public debate. Mayor McDonough does not see it that way.
I will let the exchange between the two men speak for itself.
TONY JACOB: “. . . as for the police body camera issue I see it was removed (from the agenda) . . . it is a waste of funds if they don’t use the cameras they have because according to the Chief because of staffing issues they don’t have a person to download the camera, etc.
So if we don’t use the ones we currently have why do we need to buy new ones?
All of this was confirmed in informal internal investigations where officers were intentionally violating policy:
MAYOR McDONOUGH: “Mr. Jacob . . . you are going into personnel issues. We are not going there. I will cut you off.”
If what Mr. Jacob said was true, there is a real need for concern. Body cameras have been found to a useful tool to protect both the public and the police from fraudulent accusations. What I cannot help but wonder is how Mr. Jacob found out about what he referred to as an informal investigation.
This should be a formal investigation in which a record is kept for the public to see once the issue is resolved.
|BY PAUL LIVIUS|
The Paul Livius Report
Raytown Board of Aldermen Meeting – June 20, 2018
Mayor Michael McDonough issued a Proclamation recognizing Dee Ann Stock as Truman Heartland Citizen of the Year. She has served the community of Raytown for 34 years. She was on the Planning and Zoning committee for 19 years. She has worked with the Chamber of Commerce and has been on various committees for the improvement of education in Raytown.
Mayor Michael McDonough issued a Proclamation recognizing Raytown Amateur Radio Club. They are our link to the outside world in times of catastrophe or disaster for the past 25 years.
Damon Hodges gave the Board a report on the pavement in Raytown. For more information, go to https://raytownmo.swagit.com/play/06202018-1555
FIREWORKS ORDINANCE: Refer to Greg’s story for detail.
The Board passed an ordinance to amend city codes as they relate to addressing the board. The changes will require those speaking to the Board to only give the city of residence instead of full address. It will also reduce the amount of time to speak to the Board from five minutes to three minutes.
The Board tabled a resolution amending resolution R-1422-04 regarding establishing rules of procedure for public comment before the Board of Aldermen. Alderman Steve Meyers said he wanted the order in which people may speak during public comments should be Raytown residents, Raytown taxpayers, Raytown business owners, Raytown charitable groups, and organizations outside Raytown who are organizing events that will be of interest to Raytown residents.
The Board passed a resolution authorizing and approving an agreement with Central Salt for the purchase of salt for the purpose of treating roads and bridges in inclement weather. The City of Raytown staff advertised salt supply bids for the upcoming 2018-2019 winter season. Salt bids must be put out in the spring due to supply allocation procedures practiced throughout the industry. The bid was advertised in the newspaper, on our web page, and via e-mail and phone correspondence with known salt companies in the mid-west area. Bid information was sent to seven companies, and five submitted responses including two no-bids. Bids were opened on May 24, 2018, and the low bid was from Central Salt LLC in the amount of $43,225.00 at a unit price of $61.75 per ton. Purchases will not occur until the beginning of the 2018-2019 fiscal year. Purchasing authority will be requested prior to placing the salt order and is pending the approval of the 2018-2019 Budget. Staff recommends approval of the agreement with Central Salt LLC. The Public Works Dept. plans to budget $60,000.00 for salt in fiscal year 2018-2019. In fiscal year 2016-2017 Pubic Works spent $50,134.05 on salt and in fiscal year 2017- 2018, Public Works spent $50,835.40 on salt.