Sunday, September 30, 2018

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Three men shot
to death Sunday
in Raytown
KSHB TV 41    SEPTEMBER 30, 2018    By Tod PalmerCat Reid

Raytown police responded to a shots-fired call in the 11000 block of East 74th Terrace shortly before 8:30 p.m. on Sunday. The caller told responding officers there appeared to be bodies on the ground in front of a residence. Arriving officers discovered three dead suffering from apparent gunshot wounds.

Ambulance Service
turned over to
Raytown Fire District
At a Special Meeting of the Raytown Board of Aldermen last Tuesday, the operation and management of the Raytown Ambulance Service was formally handed over to the Fire District effective in November 17, 2018.

The vote for the change in management was eight to two with Ward 2 Alderman Jim Aziere and Ward 4 Alderman Bill VanBuskirk casting the two no votes on the issue.

Voters in Raytown will have the final say on the matter. State law requires voters approve the transfer of the service from the City to the Fire District. That election is tentatively set to be held in April, 2019.

Another election will be held to determine if voters wish to raise the Fire District tax levy on Real Estate and Personal Property to help fund the service. A date has not been set for the tax increase election. The next available date set aside for municipal elections by the Jackson County Election Board would be April of 2020.

A number of years ago the voters in Raytown were sold a Public Safety Sales Tax. Voters were promised revenue from the sales tax would be specifically earmarked for use by police and ambulance service.

FOLLOW THE MONEY . . . The reality of the situation is told in the 2017-2018 city budget. Here is how much revenue was collected and how it was allocated.

Public Safety Sales Tax Revenue        $1,654,380.00
Budgeted for TIF debt                          $   300,000.00 * 
Allocated to the Raytown PD               $1,140,451.00
Allocated to the Ambulance Service    $   109,853.00
*The $300,000 payment is part of the city's obligation to pay down the debt of the Raytown Live Tax District (commonly known as the Walmart TIF)

These numbers show only $109,853 of $1,654,380 raised was allocated to the Ambulance Service. The rest, $1,140,451, went to the police department.

Raytown Voters were promised the tax revenue from the Public Safety Sales Tax would solve the city’s funding problems for the Ambulance and Police. City Hall then shifted nearly all of the money over to the Police Department.

City officials approved a budget that literally stripped all but $109 thousand dollars from the Ambulance Service. This “crisis” was created by City Hall.

The Fire District has gone on record stating the cost related to running the ambulance service in Raytown will be an additional .13 to .19 cent levy increase on Real Estate and Personal Property Taxes.

Raytown taxpayers have kept their part of the bargain. City Hall should keep its end of the deal as well.

This pattern of “make a promise . . . break a promise” is not new at Raytown City Hall.

Readers will remember the debacle over the Parks / Storm Sewer Sales Tax ended up being used exclusively for parks for five years.

Voters were told the sale tax was to be "split" between Parks and Storm Sewer needs. After five years the Board of Aldermen finally "split" the tax receipts. The current City Council set the "split" at 75% Parks and 25% Storm Sewer.

Voters have already approved and are already paying an increased sales tax for funding of the Ambulance Service. They should not have to pay another tax because city hall has mismanaged the funds of the Public Safety Tax.

Security Cameras
at Coleman Park
Coleman Park leads other Raytown City Parks in two categories.

  • Statistically speaking – it is Raytown’s most popular park. It is home to a senior softball league and its three shelter houses are full with gatherings every weekend.
  • Coleman Park also leads in city ordinance violations. Those include curfew violations, excessive noise violations, the use of electronically amplified music and vandalism.

In an effort to help enforce city ordinances at the park the Park Board has installed high definition cameras around the park. The cameras can read license plates and can be used to identify those who participate in illegal activities at the park.

Sink Hole Forming at
59TH Terrace and Hunter Street
Those living near 59th Terrace and Hunter Street first noticed the street was always wet on the southwest corner of 59th Terrace and Hunter Street.

Last June we informed the city of the problem. They immediately sent out crews who took samples from the water. According to the report, the wet area was caused by a leaking water line.

This morning we took the time to document the damage to the street. The street has sunk at least 16” (measured from the top of the curb). On the other side of the curb, the ground has dropped nearly two feet.

The depth of the hole has eroded past the frost line of the curb.

This means that a simple repair of a leaking water line has now grown into a project in which a section of the street as well as the curbs will soon be in need of replacement.

The Director of Public Works, Damon Hodges, said Raytown Water Company is responsible for maintenance of its water lines. He also said the water company has been informed of the problem.

The City of Raytown is responsible for making certain utility companies, like Raytown Water Company, properly maintain their easements and city right of way.

Twice the city has been informed about the problem. In each instance, someone came out and painted lines all over the streets. They even put tiny little flags in properties near the problem area. This last time they added a traffic cone marking the sink hole so drivers would avoid it.

It is time they did more than acknowledge there is a problem.

It is time they fixed the problem.

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Anonymous said...

Insurance rates are based more on the profit and loss of insurance companies than anything else. For instance, when Joplin, MO was hit by a by a tornado that was half a while wide at landfall, the insurance companies paid millions of dollars in payments to their clients. As a result insurance price spiked throughout the midwest. Local improvements in fire protection do make a difference, but it is minimal to the fallout of a natural disaster.

However, every little bit counts when it comes to reducing tax rates and insurance rates. Sometimes I think those in local government forget how important it is to those on limited income.

Andy Whiteman said...

I voted for the Public Safety Sales Tax and now thanks to the Raytown Report, I learn that EMS received only a pittance! Why were the funds not applied as directed by the voters?????? Lets redistribute the funds where the voters directed!
Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

The Agenda for the BOA Mtg on Tuesday has the 59th st road repair project on it. To the tune of 400k of unbudgeted expense.

Mary Wilson said...

Andy, we're not sure why you are so outraged. You may have voted for the Safety Sales tax, but you're no longer here to pay it because you bailed.

Dave Williams said...

They're finally going to fix 59th Street? Wonderful! Who gives a rat's rear where the money comes from? I swear you people would complain about anything, no matter how good it may be.

Anonymous said...

What on earth are you talking about it? I read through all the posts and did not read one comment complaining because 59th Street is finally going to be repaired. There was a story about 59 Terrace and Hunter Streets. But nothing else written about 59th Street. Guess you could not resist the temptation to try to twist a good thing into something else.

Nice try. But you failed!

Anonymous said...

So 59th St is finally being repaired. It is worth the $400K. Who cares who's at fault? It is time to move on and quit blaming.

Stuff happens so deal with it.

Anonymous said...

Good to see that the 3 million PD didn't get for their bloated budget is going to infrastructure repairs. Imagine how good this would of been for the past 15 years or so. Also, you can spend a 100 million a year on police, that does not change the fact that Raytown, being adjacent to East KC is not going the way of the slum/getto. It's going to happen no matter what is spent, plus there are always going to be those in power who abuse their authority for their own self entitlement. So long Raytown, the once mighty working middle class community of the metro. Welcome to the hood.

Anonymous said...

And you wonder why the City asked the residents for $$$$ for roads? 400k of unbudgeted dollars out of the public works budget Is a large amount. Somethings going to go to the back burner. Not a proper way to serve taxpayers and provide much needed services. But what you gonna do when there are only so many bucks to go around.

Andy Whiteman said...

Mary Wilson, I paid the Public Safety Sales Tax while I was there. My point is all of the taxpayers were ripped off! I bailed because Raytown is way too expensive for me and the winter causes me to have a medical problem.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

400 grr
That's about what the water co paid for the BofA bldg

Anonymous said...

The extra money is because property values have gone up and it was time for reassessment. Thankfully it was a good year. I am getting sick and tired of Raytown being called a white trash ghetto by non residents. I am also sick and tired of the negative and defeatist attitude among some of the residents. Raytown is a great place to live. It’s time for everybody to get out of this negative funk and it’s time to turn things around. We need meddling non-residents to mind their own business as we have plenty of talent that can help turn the City around. We are not some third world country that can’t solve its own problems and needs rescued.

Anonymous said...

If the City Council votes to fix the road, good for them! It does show that the city does have the funds. It comes down to whether or not the city council decides to spend the funds where it does the most good. I am not sure the whole story is being told here. Did the Raytown Water company lines cause the problem or did the water lines break because the road surface failed?

Maybe there will be an explanation a the next BOA meeting.

Anonymous said...

Raytown Water companies water lines are old and Neil Clevenger is so tight, he won't spend money to fix them. The city should go after Neil for the WHOLE 400,000. The city will be responsible for replacing ALL the water lines sooner or later because Neil will somehow weasel out of paying for the replacement lines.

Anonymous said...

The city didn't ask for dedicated funds for roads and I voted no and will again.

The city cannot manage anything and we have seen this over and over again.

Don't tell me the gas tax went to roads for you need to first understand 250K is not going to fix anything and more important nothing in the ballot language prevented the city from taking $250K from the general funds out of streets and give it to some other department that doesn't need the money.

Anonymous said...

We don’t care how money gets spread around or divided, public safety sales tax or whatever, as long as service is provided. Roads, Sewers, Police, EMS, whatever

Anonymous said...

This current City Council continues to do what others in the past have failed to do. Not be concerned about re-election implications or public pot shots and make the tough and difficult decisions to serve the citizens best interests not only today but in the future. Running Raytown on a shoestring budget is a very difficult task.

Anonymous said...

As long as Aziere is on the Board of Alderman we will never be able to move Raytown forward.

I cannot believe the school district still has him on the payroll

Anonymous said...

So glad to hear that cameras have been installed in Colman Park. Hopefully, once people understand they are on camera, some of the illegal activities will end. I have heard shots fired in the park. Cars park in dark areas after curfew, with additional cars pulling up and leaving quickly from that parked car. Pretty sure the parked car wasn't selling candy late at night! Would be nice to have this beautiful park cleaned up so families and friends can use it safely for get-togethers and fun.

Anonymous said...

It’s not a city hall problem. It’s a tax payer problem. No matter what you all think, things do not cost the same as they did 5, 10, 15 or even 20 years ago. So until citizens are willing to pay for all of the services they receive, the city will continue to struggle until they can no longer pay their bills. It’s a reality whether you all continue to belittle or not. I just don’t see the city surviving in the current climate.

Anonymous said...

I am beginning to think the city lives in fear of the Raytown Water Company.
How does the BOR let them get away with the systematic destruction of our roads?
Year after year that company thumbs it's nose at Raytown City Hall.
Long ago a legal action should have had them paying for the pavement damage on 59th and plus punitive damage for how long it has taken to get it fixed.
Pretty sure Mr Clevinger has his own way of controlling the weaklings at City Hall.
Horsey lessons at his stables, nice dinners and parties, political contributions... you name it. Somehow he has some leverage with his peeps down at city hall.

If you or I destroyed city property like him, we'd be paying for it.

Anonymous said...

I haven't voted for Jim Aziere in years, but if Tony Jacobs runs, I'll not only vote for Jim Aziere, I'll campaign for him!

Anonymous said...

It’s a business problem and land development problem.

1) We need better culinary experiences.
2) Tech Hub?
3) Antique stores
4) High rise office park
5) Lodging-hotel or a B and B.
6) an entertainment destination draw
7). Highrise apartment complex
8) create an entrepreneurial climate
9) welcome franchises and startups.
10). Food trucks.

Anonymous said...

Good thing they're getting more money this year than, right? Or will you not be happy until all residents are Below the poverty level and kicked out of their house to be replaced by sec 8?

Anonymous said...

Why would either one of them want to be on the Board now? No sane person would. The city is falling apart, long time businesses are closing, the city is out of money, no ems or police.

Anonymous said...

I see Smith Brothers is closing. Just another "brick and mortar" store closing.

Between Home Depot, Lowes and especially Amazon a small business can't survive. You can't get the special knowledge, tips on Amazon. Every one goes to You-tube but either the people training you doesn't have all the information or it is wrong. The city of Raytown doesn't make owning a small business easy either.

Anonymous said...

Sutherlands, Home Depot, Lowes and Walmart have been around Raytown for a long time. That has nothing to do with Smith Brothers Closing. The owners are wanting to retire. They've worked their whole lives and now want to enjoy life. Congratulations to them.

Anonymous said...

"The city of Raytown doesn't make owning a small business easy either."

We disagree. The City is compelled to support small business. But given decades of antics from certain elected officials, we know better to complain or express any concerns however, because a couple of them have a strong record of unreserved vindictiveness and will act upon their feelings.

There are a number of factors out of anyone's control that prevent this City from progressing, but we're intend to stringently press to sideline a few of these clowns at election time.

We need new faces. This will increase citizen and business owner confidence tenfold.

We intend to open additional businesses in this city when voters get out there and get their city under control.

Anonymous said...

The tax and spend crowd have not figured it out. The days of just throwing money at problems without any accountability are over. Want some examples? The PD buys body cameras for the officers. Good idea, right? Not really, because whoever placed the order did not think to buy the space in the memory of the computer to hold all the data recorded by the cameras.

Want more?

Bet you did not know the fix on 59th Street will only cover a small portion of the damaged roadway.

Now I learn the ambulance servcie will cost more. We already pay a special tax for the ambulance. Why are we expected to pay another to the fire department as well?

Giving the city more money will not correct bad management decisions. Whoever keeps writing about how things cost more than they used to has a point. What he does not realize is that Raytown has made some real poor decisions the problem more apparent.

The real solution is replace thosse who have shown they do not have a clue about how to run a city efficiently.

Anonymous said...

Except you’re wrong. Due to the amount of time videos have to be saved, they needed more storage and the idiotic board wouldn’t approve the money so a separate server could be purchased. Technology costs money but you all refuse to pay for it. Good luck with that kind of thinking.

Anonymous said...

Check your facts. The Police did not ask for funding for the computer space. The (as you call thme) idiotic board did not receive the information from the police until after the fact. It was not in the budget so the city Board said no.

By the way, I understand that Walmart fell short by $200,000 this year in sales tax revenue to pay for the bonds that built the infrastructure they are using. Guess who gets to pay for that? If you guessed the taxpayers you would have been right. Let's keep giving Walmart free use of taxpayer paid for vehicles and other equipment paid for by the city to be their security guard.

After all. It is what the police want and by golly, it is what they will get.

Anonymous said...

Too bad you’re wrong! Check the work session agenda for the work session on July 11, 2017. The Pd did ask for money for a new server and it was denied. But continue to be brain washed.

Anonymous said...

So the board of aldermen voted not to approve the expenditure. They aldermen did approve the purchase of the cameras. Then, a while later the really smart people in p.d. came back and said they forgot to include the purchase of space to store all the data. The really smart people in the p.d. came back after the budget was set. I don't blame what you call the idiotic aldermen for turning them down.

The budget was set. Should we take what little money is still in street repair to cover up the police departments mistake? Next time, be honest in your presentation. Do not try to box someone in by tricking them into buying half a system and the act like the aldermen made the mistake when it was the really smart police department that made the mistake.

No brain washing here. Just telling it like it happened.

Which makes me wonder. Did they ever get the GPS tracking system installed on police vehicles? That was budgeted. But I do not think it was done.

You write like an insider. What happened?