Wednesday, January 25, 2023

The Raytown Report Congratulates the
The Kansas City Chiefs
2022 - 2023
On their spectacular victory over the Bengals. They certainly taught Cincinnati not to laugh too soon!  Heal up. Philadelphia will be tough, but the Chiefs are up to the task . . . GO CHIEFS! 



Zoning Change Meeting
Draws Large Crowd

Years ago, Blue Ridge Nursery operated a Tree Farm and Plant Nursery at 53rd and Blue Ridge. The nursery has been closed for many years.

On Tuesday night, a developer met with local homeowners at City Hall to explain his plans for the property. Thirty-two neighboring homeowners were in attendance at the meeting. The goal of the developer is to change the zoning of the property from Single Family Residential to Commercial Zoning.

Without the zoning change, the project cannot be built.

The developer’s spokesman provided conceptual drawings of a gasoline station with a convenience store behind the gas pumps. The drawing also showed space for approximately five private office entrances to the building. The entire building faced east on Blue Ridge Boulevard.

The developer’s spokesman told the 32 people that they had been working with City Hall for the last four months on plans to develop the site.

Also in attendance were Ward 1 Alderman Greg Walters, Ryan Myers, Mayor Michael McDonough, Planning and Zoning Commissioner Steve Meyers and a candidate for Ward 3 Alderman, Jeanette Gentry

Typically, these meetings are limited to a representative from the developer and those people who live within 180 feet of the property.

Alderman Greg Walters told us “It is unusual for so many City officials to show up at these meetings. It indicates a high level of interest coming from the Administration at City Hall”.

“Make no mistake about it,” continued Walters, “The intent of the application is to change the zoning of the property in question from Single Family Residential to Commercial”.

The meeting lasted about one and one-half hours. Judging from the comments from the public, home owners were unified in their opposition to changing the zoning to commercial retail.

The next official step by the City of Raytown will be a meeting before the Planning and Zoning Commission. That will be followed by two Public Hearings before the Raytown Board of Aldermen. The Board of Aldermen is the final authority on whether or not to accept the zoning change application.

Our View . . . 


Raytown’s most valuable asset is the people who have put down roots in Raytown and made it their home. It is not a small step. For many, it will be one of the largest investments they make in their lifetime.

So it is understandable why people feel threatened by plans to build a gas station on Raytown’s most iconic streets (Blue Ridge Boulevard). Local homeowners opposition was clear. They cited the following reasons as to not allow the zoning application to move forward:

CRIME: Gasoline stations are frequent targets of strong armed robberies and violent shootings often through acts of “road rage”.

HOMELESS: The homeless population is migrating south from 40 Highway down Blue Ridge Boulevard. The gasoline/convenience store which will sell alcohol, tobacco and paraphernalia to the public will become a gathering spot for the homeless. Nearby residents have already pointed to the problems at a nearby CVS that has become a frequent gathering spot for the homeless

TRAFFIC: A former Police Officer told those gathered the 53rd Street / Blue Ridge Boulevard intersection (where the gasoline station/convenience store is proposed to be built) is one of the most dangerous intersections in Raytown. He said the intersection does not have curbs and is already over-burdened with traffic.

LACK OF NOTIFICATION: Homeowners complained they were not notified of the meeting. Most in attendance said they found out through Facebook postings. Others questioned why the meeting was held in the afternoon when it was difficult for many to leave their job and show up on time for the meeting. It was noted there were many late arrivals who could not get off work in time for the first hour of the meeting.

Missouri State Law requires the City of Raytown to follow a set procedure of all changes in the zoning of land within City limits. Once this meeting (there may be others) is completed by the applicant, the issue will go to the Planning and Zoning Commission. The Planning and Zoning Commission will make a recommendation on the issue.

The recommendation is not binding.

The recommendation will then be sent to the ten member Raytown Board of Aldermen for final consideration. The Board of Aldermen will conduct two Public Hearings. After which it will vote on whether or not to approve the zoning application.


Thursday, January 19, 2023

RDA Meeting Report

The Raytown Democratic Association held its monthly meeting Thursday evening. Four speakers of note were in attendance. Theresa Garza, candidate for Alderman in Ward 4 introduced herself to the crowd and gave a well rounded report of her history.

THERESA GARZA was born and raised in Missouri in the Kansas City metro area.  After graduating from Raytown South High School, she enlisted in the United States Navy.  Theresa served five (5) years active duty, during Desert Storm, and was awarded an Honorable Discharge upon completion of her enlistment.  She received a National Defense Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal, and several Letters of Recognition.


Theresa holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Missouri Kansas City, a Master’s Degree in Public Administration through Park University with an emphasis on Government Business Relations and Public Management, and an Economic Developer Certification from the University of Oklahoma.”


This is not Ms. Garza’s first political campaign. She also served two terms on the Jackson County Legislature (2006 – 2015).


GREG WALTERS, candidate for re-election in Ward 1, gave a report on two major capital improvement projects slated for Ward 1 this Spring and Summer.


The larger of the two projects is a sanitary sewer project covering a residential and commercial area approximately 1.25 square miles in area. The project will upgrade and replace old sanitary sewer lines in an area. Walters reported the project is cost estimated at approximately 1.5 million dollars. The project is funded by tax dollars paid through sewer bills and held in reserve for upgrade of sanitary sewer lines in Raytown.


Greg also reported on plans to upgrade the 59th Street and Raytown Trafficway intersection later this summer. The project would solve flooding problems as the intersection experienced during heavy rains. The flooding is undermining the sub-structure of the street. The Raytown Water Company will be replacing water lines under the intersection during construction as well. Funding for the 59th Street Project comes from the State of Missouri, Department of Natural Resources.


JEROME BARNES was recently re-elected to the Missouri State House of Representatives. 

Mr. Barnes gave a report on Governor Mike Parson's annual address on the State of Missouri. Barnes gave the Governor high marks for focusing on social needs, and attention to area infrastructure in Missouri.

According to Barnes. A  notable project on the Governor’s list was for improvements on Interstate 70 by expanding the two lanes. The area would include traffic lanes from where I-70 is reduced from two lanes  (east and west) to three lanes in Eastern Jackson County. The project would speak up traffic flow in Eastern Jackson County thereby creating economic development opportunities to the area.



DONNA PEYTON recently won election to the Jackson County Legislature. Ms. Peyton a full report and update on what what where the discussion to build a new baseball stadium in Downtown Kansas City for the Kansas City Royals. According to Ms. Peyton, both the Kansas City Chiefs and Kansas City Royals lease on the Harry S Truman Sports Complex will expire in 2030. 


The Jackson County Sports Authority is the governing body that will have a lot to say about what happens in the next seven years. The Sports Authority reports to the Jackson County Legislature which will have the final decision on plans going forward after 2030.


Ms. Peyton also told those assembled that Jackson County is planning on placing at 3% sales tax on the sale of recreational marijuana on the ballot in the near future. This increase is expected to raise the sales tax on the sale of recreational marijuana to approximately 20%.

Pothole Patrol
Potholes are holes in the roadway that vary in size and shape. They are caused by caused by the expansion and contraction of ground water after the water has entered into the ground under the pavement. When water freezes, it expands. Think of when ice cubes are made.

A size 12 shoe illustrates
the size of this pothole.

I have decided to kick off my campaign for Alderman by informing the public about a simple way to inform the City of potholes in need of being filled.

Use the link at the end of this story. It will take you to a page on the City's Website entitled Potholes And Road Concerns

Choose the the heading entitled Pothole Report Form. Fill out the form, be sure to include the address location of the pothole. If all goes well, your pothole should be gone within ten working days. 

The form also has telephone contact numbers if you have concerns that need to be addressed.  

Use the following link to access the Pothole Report Form.
Pot Hole Complaint Form


Tuesday, January 10, 2023

One of our neighbors, Amanda (aka "The Plant Lady"), gave the plant shown in the photo to Mecee and me just after New Year.

It is called an Amaryllis.

Native to Africa, the genus Amaryllis comes from the Greek word amarysso, which means "to sparkle."

Bulbs were brought to Europe in the 1700s and have been known to bloom for up to 75 years.

The plant was less than half this size when Amanda gave it to us on January 2nd. It is now over 2' tall!

Amanda is a gifted gardener. She is slowly turning her yard into pathways of trees, shrubberies and flowers that are delight to walk through.



Project Planned

The Raytown Board of Aldermen has approved a massive sanitary sewer project to be constructed this summer. The project is expected to be started in February, 2023 (weather permitting). 

The project will cost $1,541,502.00 (million dollars) and is expected to take nine months to complete. 

The photo shows the properties that will be affected by the work. The work will consist of installing 18,200 feet of "cured in place pipe liner" (CIPP), 390 feet of total sewer line removal & replacement, manhole repairs, and repairing 11 private sewer service line connections to the City main.

The new sewer lines will add an additional life of 50 years to the sanitary sewers in the targeted area.

Walters told the Raytown Report, “The project is a continuing effort to upgrade or replace sanitary sewer lines that are nearing the end of their serviceable life. The tax dollars that pay for the project come from a reserve fund paid for by home and business owners when sanitary sewer tax bills are paid. Part of that tax is set aside in a reserve fund to upgrade sanitary sewer lines when needed.”

Homes and business affected by the project include those located on the following streets. Sanitary lines do not always run parallel to established streets. The areas affected by the improvements are approximate.

69th Terrace from Raytown Road to Blue Ridge Boulevard
69th Street from Raytown Road to Blue Ridge Boulevard
69th Terrace from Arlington to Blue Ridge Boulevard
70th Terrace from Evanston to Blue Ridge Boulevard
Gregory Boulevard from Raytown Road to Hunter
Hunter from 68th Terrace to 350 Highway
Kentucky from Gregory Boulevard to 350 Highway
Lane from 68th Terrace to 350 Highway
Laurel from 68th Terrace to 350 Highway
Elm Street from 68th Terrace to Gregory Boulevard

Raytown Road from 68th Terrace to Gregory Boulevard
Hawthorne from 69th Street to Raytown Road
Brooklane from 69th Street to to Hawthorne
Evanston from 70th Terrace to Gregory Boulevard
Rice from Hawthorne to 70th Terrace
Arlington from Gregory Boulevard to 70th Terrace
Hunter from 68th Terrace to 350 Highway
Kentucky from Gregory Boulevard to 350 Highway
Lane from 68th Terrace to 350 Highway
Laurel from 68th Terrace to 350 Highway
Elm Street from 68th Terrace to Gregory Boulevard

59th Street
Raytown Road
to be rebuilt

The intersection of Raytown Road and 59th Street will be rebuilt to accommodate new storm sewer lines to abate flooding of the intersection during heavy rains. 

Water lines will be replaced by the Raytown Water Company during the project as well. The Raytown Water Company portion of the project is not funded by tax dollars.

 If the manhole cover were removed it is estimated
the water would shoot six feet into the air.

The picture at left  shows how much water pressure is built up under the intersection during heavy rains. The manhole cover is bolted to the storm sewer pipe. The water pressure is so strong it forces the manhole cover to rise to release water from under the street.

The increased water pressure undermines the substructure that supports the street. The manhole cover pictured is located at 59th and Raytown Trafficway next to the Chamber of Commerce headquarters.

The four way intersection has commercial curbs on both 59th Street and Raytown Trafficway. The streets collect the water so efficiently that if overwhelms the storm drainage system under the street. 

The plan is to re-direct the flow of water under the street to another storm sewer at a lower elevation to release the excess water before it can flood the intersection.

If not corrected, this constant flow of water from heavy rains will undermine the substructure under the intersection, eventually leading to large voids under the intersection subject to collapse from the weight of traffic on the street surface.

The project is funded by a Grant through the Missouri Department of Natural Resources of the State of Missouri. Part of the money funding the grant originally came from unspent funds originally set aside to combat the Covid 19 Virus Pandemic.  

The project is expected to begin later this summer. A timeline for the construction period of this project has not yet been released by the City.


The two projects reported above reminded me of something a former newspaper owner in Raytown once opined in an editorial.

The City had just gone through a bruising campaign on some tax increases. The tax proposals had failed by a landslide vote.

This caused some on the "yes" side of the question to run around manically complaining how all was over . . . those who opposed the tax question had doomed the City of Raytown to a future of failure.

Lee Gray was owner of the Raytown Post. He did something somewhat out of character. Rather than simply writing an editorial in his paper, he went before the City Council and spoke to them.

The theme of his short but very effective speech was that despite the failure of the tax increase, he assured everyone that the sun would still rise the next day. 

He suggested the two sides set their differences aside and reach out to work together to find common ground to move Raytown forward.

It looks like Greg's two articles are on that path. I wish him well and hope that others running for public office will step up and join him in working together for the common good. 


Thursday, January 5, 2023

Paul Livius Report BY PAUL LIVIUS

At Tuesday evening’s City Council Meeting, Ms. Robbie Tubbs spoke to the Board during Public Comments. Her comments were short and to the point. Ms. Tubbs told Aldermen she believes marijuana should be taxed and treated as other restricted  products in Missouri such as alcohol and tobacco products. 

It is hard not to agree. 

Marijuana is complex chemically and not yet fully understood. Like alcohol, marijuana acts as both stimulant and depressant. Ask anyone who has ever been subject to a drug test for employment. Marijuana lingers in body organs longer than alcohol. Smoking marijuana can injure mucosal tissue and may have more carcinogenic potential than tobacco. 

Section 10, Paragraph 4 of Amendment 3 clearly states “authorities have jurisdiction over the licensing and/or permitting of said activity”. 

Section 10: Paragraph 4: A person who smokes marijuana in a public space, other than an area licensed for such activity by the authorities of the local jurisdiction over the licensing and/or permitting of said activity, is subject to a civil penalty not exceeding one hundred dollars. 

In this case, “the local jurisdiction” is the City of Raytown. It is illegal in Raytown to drink alcohol and drive. It should also be illegal in Raytown to smoke marijuana and drive. 

In our view consumption of recreational marijuana should be limited to private property where consumption by smoking of marijuana is allowed by the property owners. 

In today’s world much has been written and said of the effects of secondhand smoke. Many restaurants have banned the use of tobacco products. The unpleasant smell second hand smoke created by marijuana should come under the same restrictions. 

If you smell marijuana being smoked, make no mistake about it, you are breathing it into your lungs. 

The same is true for children and those with respiratory problems. This invasion of personal space should not be tolerated. 

Now is the time for the Board to bring focus to what areas of enforcement are important to the Raytown community.

Paul's Rant
City Hall sets election date for creation
of a 3% Sales Tax on Recreational Marijuana

Last Tuesday night the Raytown Board of Aldermen approved placing a ballot issue on the March 4th Municipal Election for the creation of a 3% Sales Tax on all sales of recreational marijuana in the City of Raytown.

When voters approved Amendment 3 to the Missouri State Constitution it created a number of new tax opportunities for different levels of taxation on the sale of recreational marijuana in Missouri. If all the taxes are approved, the following sales tax will apply to the purchase of recreational marijuana.



Sunday, December 18, 2022


  • Up-to-Date Filing for public office
  • The taxman is here! BY PAUL LIVIUS
  • 3% Sales Tax Considered on Recreational Marijuana Sales
  • Raytown School District to ask for Renewal of General Obligation Bonds
  • Raytown Democratic Association Invitation to Holiday Party

Filing for public office in the City of Raytown
closes Tuesday, December. 27, 2022.

Those wishing to file for public office in Raytown are required to make an appointment with the City Clerk, Teresa Henry to set a time when she will be available to meet with you.

Ms. Henry can be contacted by calling 816 737 6000 (option 9).

If you have filed for office in Raytown and your name does not appear on the following list of candidates, contact us at

Candidate filings for the City of Raytown
as of December 19, 2022

Michael McDonough

 Alderman Ward 1
Demonte Rochester

Greg Walters
Alderman Ward 2
Jason Sneddon
Jim Aziere
Alderman Ward 3
Janet Emerson

Jeanette Gentry
Alderman Ward 4
Mary Jane Van Buskirk
Theresa Garza
Alderman Ward 5
Diane Krizek


The Paul Livius Report
The Tax Man is HERE!

 Most of those reading these words know that the Jackson County Assessment Department has been busy in Raytown leaving notices on front doors of the homes they visit.

No doubt many of those who received the notice wonder “what’s next”?.
To find out, we reached out to the former Director of the Jackson Assessment Department.

Robert Murphy was the Director of the Assessment Department from late 2015 through mid 2018.

Murphy told us the best advice is for taxpayers to look up their property on the Jackson County website, under "Parcel Viewer", and see if the listed square footage, number of bedrooms, and number of bathrooms of their house is accurate.

The year 2023 is a re-assessment year in Missouri.  Murphy said, “The target date for mailing property owners their new valuations is mid-April. However there have been times when mail did not reach owners until late May."

The levy rates, which are used to set how much you will actually pay in tax on property and cars will ultimately be approved by the Jackson County Legislature in late August of 2023.

3% Sales Tax Considered
on Recreational Marijuana Sales
On November 8th the majority of the voters going to the polls approved the sale of recreational marijuana in Missouri.

Part of this new Amendment to the Missouri State Constitution also authorizes municipalities to charge a 3% sales tax on marijuana and certain drug paraphernalia sold in cities in Missouri.   
Before the 3% sales tax can be established, the voters within cities like Raytown must approve the creation of the three percent sales tax by a vote of the people in that municipality.
The next Municipal General Election in Raytown will be held on April 4, 2023.
On Tuesday, December 20th, the Raytown Board of Aldermen will hold a First Reading on an ordinance to create the special election required to establish the 3% Sales Tax on the sale of recreational marijuana.
Raytown School District to
ask for Renewal of GO Bonds
Another item Raytown Voters can expect to see on their ballots next April is a renewal of General Obligation Bonds for the Raytown School District.
It is important to point out that this property tax proposal from the School District is technically not a new tax. As the District is fond of pointing out, it is the “renewal” of a previously approved property tax.
It is equally important to point out that the “renewal” is on the ballot because the old property tax is about to expire.
In other words, if the renewal fails, the property tax is reduced by the amount previously dedicated to projects that have now been completed.
If the “renewal” fails to receive enough votes by the voters, Raytown School District taxes will be lowered by the amount they were paying for the old property tax levy.
There are always two sides to any tax proposal.
Something to remember . . . when it is time to vote.
All property tax increases, be it real property or personal property, must be approved the voters. It is the only way a property tax can be created or increased.
As a friend of mine once recently shared with me, why would the School District wish to raise property taxes when it is well known they intend to close a number of the schools in Raytown because of the loss of enrollment?
It is a good question. It also deserves an answer. At this time, we do not have those answers. When we hear from the School District, we will share their answers with you.


Friday, November 25, 2022

It has been a long time since that masterful scribe of the English language has made his presence known on our pages. It is good to see him back!

Paul Livius Returns!

RECOUNTS - Why they are important


The November Election seems like it was a lifetime ago . . . to most. But to some, there seems to still be a stinging effect from the results. My view? The election is over. It is time to move.

At the last meeting of the City Council Ward 1 Alderman Greg Walters was chastised for exploring the possibility of a recount of the election results. Greg readily admitted he had explored such a possibility, but learned that Missouri State Statutes already require a recount because the two Raytown tax questions failed or passed by less than one-half of one percent of the vote. It is a state law.

The number of yes and no votes changed slightly, but not enough to change the final result.

As it turned out, City Hall had also enquired about a recount of the votes.

Which just goes to show, it is not always the question that is wrong in some people’s eyes, but who is asking the question. In this case, Greg was called on the carpet for asking for a recount. Looks like he hit a nerve with his request. 

How dare he!

Greg told me, “There is nothing wrong with recounts. Recounts guarantee that every vote will be counted.”

He also shared with me that this was not his first rodeo when it came to recounts.

In 1996 Greg lost an election by three votes. He has asked for, and received a recount. Turns out one of the votes was disqualified. Greg said, “All that meant was that I lost by two votes!”

This “calling someone out” for something viewed as “wrong” by some people, seems to be an petty strategy of the opposing side.

Richard Tush, President of the Raytown Democrat Association (RDA), told me of a meeting prior to the election. Ward 3 Alderman Ryan Myers (who was pro-tax to the extreme) showed up with his pro-tax group.

Greg was at the meeting as well.

They laid into Greg because he was the only “no vote” on the City Council against the taxes.

This brought an interesting response from members of the club. State Representative Jerome Barnes replied, “what is wrong with being the only “no vote” on anything?”

Mr. Tush pointed out that being the only “no” vote is not a bad thing. He reminded everyone in attendance that Greg was the only “no” vote on the deal that brought Wal-Mart to Raytown. Tush told the members of the club, in that case Greg’s “no” vote proved to be the “correct vote”.

Not sure what this foretells, but it looks as though we have the makings of a very interesting city election coming up next April.

My wise words for this story . . . "Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and hoping the other person gets sick."   (author unknown)

Filing for public office in the City of Raytown
closes Tuesday, December. 27, 2022.

Those wishing to file for public office in Raytown are required to make an appointment with the City Clerk, Teresa Henry to set a time when she will be available to meet with you.

Ms. Henry can be contacted by calling 816 737 6000 (option 9).

If you have filed for office in Raytown and your name does not appear on the following list of candidates, contact us at

Candidate filings for the City of Raytown
as of December 7, 2022

Michael McDonough

 Alderman Ward 1
Demonte Rochester

Greg Walters

 Alderman Ward 2
Jason Sneddon
Jim Aziere
Alderman Ward 3
Janet Emerson
Alderman Ward 4
Mary Jane Van Buskirk
Theresa Garza
Alderman Ward 5
Diane Krizek

Something Different, Something New!

After giving it a lot of thought and talking it over with my boss, we have decided to expand the Raytown Report by adding links to our side/bar advertising area to Facebook Pages we believe merit recognition for what their creators offer to the Raytown community.

We have decided to name this section of links "Raytown's Gathering Place". 

The inaugural link is to Elisa Breitenbach’s Facebook Page. Elisa and her husband, Marjain, own and operate Doughboy’s Donuts in Raytown. 

Though we know she has been in Raytown forever (Elisa grew up in Raytown), we  recognize the good they have done for the Raytown community and continue to do so through Elisa's Facebook page.

We are pleased they have agreed to allow us to open the link to the right of this story to Elisa's Facebook page.

Greg and Mecee Walters                                      

P.S. If you are interested in having your website or Facebook Page added to this sidebar, send your request to us on or blog page (preferably with a link).


Filing for Office in Raytown Opens

The office of Mayor and five of the seats on the Raytown Board of Aldermen will be elected on April 4, 2023. The filing period for public office in Raytown opens on December 6, 2022 and closes on December 27, 2022. Candidates will be filing for a four year term of office.

The following offices will be up for Election April, 4, 2023

OFFICE             SALARY            CAR ALLOWANCE                TOTAL*        
Mayor                 $12,750.00    +    $2,700.00 car allowance     =    $15,540.00     
Aldermen            $  5,100.00    +    $   900.00 car allowance     =    $  6,000.00

*Mayor and Aldermen salaries (under the total column) show total annual monetary benefits.

Compensation shown includes Annual Salary, Car Allowance, Workman’s Comp/FICA.  Elected officials may also purchase health, dental and vision insurance at cost through the city’s health insurance plan.

November 8th Election – Analysis
The November 8th Election was interesting. The closeness of the race was the
biggest surprise. Voter turnout for the election hovered around 50% - which is pretty much average for a mid-term election.

By comparison, the August 8th Election had a voter turnout of approximately 30%. 

Both of the issues had an unusually high under-vote. This means that many people who voted on other issues simply did not vote on the two Raytown questions. 

No doubt being the last issue on the ballot can explain part of the under vote. It remains that the under vote as high as shown in the results is exceptional. 

Election Judges working at the polls noticed that there were a number of voters who came in, voted, and left very quickly. The opinion overwhelmingly shared was those "in and out"  voters were casting votes on the Recreational Marijuana ballot measure. 

Since the vote totals were so close they were subject to an automatic recount under Missouri State Law. 

The recount did show a very small gain of votes on the two Tax Questions. Question Number Two was a squeaker of an election. The difference between the yes and no votes was only 7 votes at one point. The re-count narrowed difference to even fewer. But there was still not enough of a change in the totals to reverse the final result. 

Question One had a larger split and never had much of a chance of picking up the extra votes needed for approval.