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Tornado watch

The NWS has issued a tornado watch for the entire KC metro until 10pm tonight

Thunderstorm watch

The national weather service has issued a severe thunderstorm watch until 5am Wednesday for Jackson County.

RAYTOWN DEMOCRATIC ASSOCIATION MEETING NOTICE

RAYTOWN DEMOCRATIC ASSOCIATION
MEETING NOTICE
Thursday, May 19th, 2016 at 7:00 PM
Las Chili’s, 6210 Raytown Trafficway, Raytown

Come early at 6:00 PM to dine and make new friends!

Our speakers will be
Jerome Barnes
Candidate MO State Representative District 28

Winston Apple
Candidate MO Lieutenant Governor

Contact
President Richard Tush (816) 356-0003
Vice President Fred Hartwell (816) 353-4431

 

Raytown High Graduation to be held outdoors tonight

raytown_schoolsRaytown High’s graduation ceremonies WILL be held outdoors tonight. Despite the forecasted rain, the senior class desires to try to have the ceremonies outdoors.  Leaving the ceremony outdoors rather than moving it inside allows as many families and friends as possible to see the graduates receive their diplomas. Moving the ceremony inside severely limits seating capacity for attendees. Staff will continue to watch the most updated forecasts, and there is a possibility that the ceremony could be slightly delayed if rain chances appear to be lessening somewhat later.

Severe thunderstorm Watch

The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm Watch for Jackson County until 8:00 PM. Potential heavy rain, hail, high winds.

Norfleet 5th Grade Recorder Club performance

The Norfleet 5th Grade Recorder Club performed with the Raytown Community Symphonic Band on Sunday, April 24 at the Raytown Arts Festival.

Four Norfleet students, two Norfleet teachers, and one guest student performed on the song “Recorder Rock” with the band accompanying.

“The students did a great job, and the audience loved the song,” Instructor Sarah Eckhoff said.  nf_recorder_club1024

Those pictured from left to right are: Sarah Eckhoff (music teacher), Sebastian Gibbs (from Blue Springs), Olivia McCarroll, Felicia Storm (5th grade teacher), Ben Gippner, Aspen Sanders, and David Thompson (seated).

What all the fuss is about

What is the core issue in a lot of these recent letters/press releases is that the Fire District is asserting that they are not getting their fair share of tax revenue. Get being loosely defined and both not getting money and being charged too much in some cases. This is about the TIF tax abatement for what can be called the Wal-Mart development. The details are complex, and since I am personally not a lawyer, tax accountant, or knowledgeable in TIFs and the details of the Wal-Mart TIF, I am very hesitant to judge the merits of either sides arguments.

Even the flow of money is complex, in that in some cases instead of not getting money, the Fire District is paying from the taxes it gets back to the city to pay for its share of the TIF. Is the amount correct, should they be liable for all phases of the project, did they agree to some aspects, is their explicate agreement requires? These are all questions that may take a judge to decide in the end.

Somewhere there is a quote about sitting on the fence getting you shot by both sides, but I cannot seem to find it.

Man Arrested, then Charged, After Sexual Assault

Released by the Raytown Police Dept.

michael_PageThe office of Jean Peters Baker, Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney, has charged Michael S. Page, a 36 year old Raytown man, with the sexual assault of a woman in the yard of a residence in the 8600 block of Hawthorne Avenue, yesterday afternoon, 05-04-2016. Minutes after the police arrived at the scene, Raytown police officers and detectives located Page and took him into custody.

 


From Jackson County charging documents

In a statement to the Raytown detectives Page admitted to arranging a meeting with the victim in an area he was familiar with (but not his residence) on a website.

After the attack, Page stated that he rode his bike to his residence in the 9900 block of E. 85th St and ditched the mask and hoodie he wore along with the victims cell phone.

He then got back on his bike intending to ride it to his ex-fiancee’s residence and was subsequently apprehended by the Raytown Police Dept.

Appendum to Raytown Fire District press release

The following support document was attached to the press release from the Raytown Fire District.

Click HERE to read the Districts request for a meeting with Raytown City officials and employees.

 

Fire District press releasae

from chief

May 5, 2016

Release from the Office of the Fire Chief:

The Raytown Fire Protection District will hold a public informational hearing regarding our concerns with the 350
Live Tax Increment Financing project on June 6th at 7:00 pm. The purpose of this meeting will be to explain the
District’s position on the issue and provide our citizens with facts to substantiate this position.

On April 28th, the Fire District requested that the City of Raytown participate in this hearing (attached document
titled 350 Highway TIF Issues – Raytown Fire Protection District). On April 29th, this invitation was rejected by the
City of Raytown’s Attorney Joe Willerth, who stated “I do not think it is in the public interest for an entire Fire
District Board and the entire Raytown Board of Aldermen to sit down and review extensive detailed financial
records in an open public meeting or attempt to negotiate the resolution of any outstanding pending issues
initially in an open public meeting.”.

Since September of 2015, the Raytown Fire Protection District has made numerous attempts with city officials to
address our concerns with this project. With few exceptions, these attempts have been met with resistance,
incomplete or missing documentation and an overall unwillingness to address our central issues. At the core of
this debate is the belief that the City misled the Fire District in 2007 and has not upheld their side of the 2007
agreement since.

In 2007, the Fire District entered into an agreement with the City to participate along with the other taxing
entities on the 350 Live TIF Project. The Fire District’s participation was based on the City agreeing to comply
with Missouri Statutes and the governing documents of the TIF project. These requirements include:

• The submission of accurate annual financial reports to the State of Missouri
• The production of annual reports describing the progress of the TIF district for public distribution
• Conducting regular public hearings and the passage of resolutions to continue the TIF project
• The captured sales taxes from all jurisdictions were to be used exclusively to fund the public
improvements and other reimbursable project costs that are within public easements and rights-ofway
and will ultimately be owned and maintained by the city or another public entity
• Providing the Fire District with detailed and accurate information to substantiate billing requests

The Fire District has investigated this matter and contends that the City of Raytown has failed to meet the
preceding requirements.

The concerns expressed by Joe Willerth are not without merit. We agree, and are willing to limit participation to
selected representatives from both the City and the Fire District. Given its significant financial implications for
our community, we believe the public deserves to be informed and included in the conversation regarding this
issue. Our invitation to the city remains open and we hope they accept our amended offer to participate in the
June 6th, public hearing.

Thank You,

Matt Mace

Fire Chief

Letter to the editor from former Alderman Joe Creamer

As many of you may know, it recently came out that 7 of our 10 Alderman have taken part in secret meetings with the Fire District. The content of these meetings is still a mystery as The Disgraceful 7 will not discuss it with staff or you, their constituents. That is precisely the reason they are being investigated by the Missouri Attorney General’s office. Congratulations to the three Alderman( Steve Mock, Bill VanBuskirk and Jim Aziere) for not being part of this group.

I addressed the board through public comment at the last  regularly scheduled meeting and let them know of what I thought and warned if they used their position to try to intimidate me I refuse to back down. So, with that I am going to tell you about my next story.

As many of you know I served 8 years on The Board of Alderman representing Ward 1 but am not currently in an elected capacity. I spent 8 years working with staff and other Alderman to try to make Raytown a better place. I found the staff at City Hall when I had questions in regards to any question I had with anything involving the community. I have set back as I am no longer an Alderman and observed the new board as they lead the community. This is where I want to take things a new direction.

I have had many conversations with people to the every day workings at City Hall and they have brought up to some disturbing revelations into the way the board is working with the professional staff at City hall. The ringleader of the disturbing treatment of staff would be the one and only Jason Greene; he believes that gotcha moments and the use of his henchmen is the way to work with staff. He uses Steve Meyers and Mark Moore to intimidate whomever is around that might disagree, whether it be staff or other Alderman. All of this while your Mayor Mike McDonough sits at City Hall for the entire day every day.

The treatment of staff is so bad that a friend confided in me that they were talking to an employee of City Hall and this person started crying because of the treatment they had seen staff members receive from the 3 listed above. I find that disgraceful! Now there are those that would argue the job of the Alderman is to ensure that staff perform to their highest level possible and that would be correct. However, if you condone the kind of activity at City Hall, put yourself in the position of the employees there. I know of nobody that wants to be in a position where they don’t know where the next attack is coming from.

These elected officials are supposed to be the leaders of our fine community but where is the leadership in idly standing by and watching the mistreatment of other human beings. I believe that Mike McDonough is a very good person but is being pulled by a faction of very selfish people who want to impose their will on the good people of Raytown. I call on our Mayor to stand up and show us the leadership we elected him for.

As a side note I have filed a complaint on all of the Disgraceful 7 with the Missouri Ethics Commission to let them determine if there is any wrong doing. There has been analysis from other news sources in regards to the matter but they are not the experts.

Letter from the Mayor about WallMart TIF

Beginning several months prior and throughout the last two weeks, there has been a great deal of discussion regarding the Raytown Live TIF District on 350 Highway including the obligation of the Fire District in regards to the project and the TIF’s success and long term viability.  Passed unanimously in March of 2005 by the Board of Alderman in place at that time, there was great hope for the TIF then.

While many TIF districts across the state and the nation implemented in the last 10 years have failed or are struggling, the Raytown Live TIF District is still progressing. No one could have predicted the economic downturn that followed the approval of the TIF, and admittedly it has been slower in growth than projected. However, at no time since the TIF’s inception has the City missed a payment or required additional input from any entity outside the original agreement.

Through a review of audited numbers and future projections, the City is optimistic that the District will continue to meet the necessary revenue requirements for the life of the debt. The City has made no additional funding requests of any other taxing entities outside the original agreement.

Some of the reasons for the City’s optimism in being able to continue to meet debt requirements on the TIF are as follows:

  • The city of Raytown currently has no General Obligation debt. Standard & Poor, who are paid to review and rate debt issuances, issued the city an A+/Stable rating in September of 2015.
  • To date, no additional funds outside of original pledges have been spent out of the City’s General Fund for the TIF.
  • Current TIF reserves are sound. The TIF fund started out with 3.8 million, and it has now grown to over 4 million dollars.
  • The City of Raytown is working to help fulfill the TIF’s original promise in attracting business and residents to the area.

While many current Aldermen and the current Mayor were not a part of voting for the TIF, moving forward, they are looking for a strategy to deal with any burden to the budget IF—and only IF—it becomes necessary.  Their goal is for the City and all its entities to remain solvent and to maintain a budget that does not adversely affect services. They are working hard to safeguard taxpayer money.

In 2007 the Fire District entered into an agreement with the City to participate fully with the other taxing entities on Project Area #1, which includes Wal-Mart. State statutes govern the remaining participation. The Fire District has since asked the City to release it from the Project Area #1 agreement retroactively, but the City has a duty to protect the bond holders and the taxpayers of Raytown and cannot allow that change 8 years later.

Per State Statute the Fire District was required to participate in Project Area #2; however, the Fire District has requested to not participate at all in this area. Missouri State Statute 99.848 allows for any district providing emergency services to request at least 50% but not more than 100% of that district’s tax increment to be refunded.

Until November of 2014 the Fire District had not previously asserted its claim for consideration by the City. While not required to honor this request retroactively, the City did calculate the amount of refund the District would be owed since the activation of Project Area #2. The City subsequently applied that refund amount of $8,096.32 to the amount owed the City by Raytown Fire.

Going forward the City will work with the Fire District to formalize their request as required by law and apply the 50% refund amount considered and presented to Raytown Fire on numerous occasions during the initial implementation of the TIF District.

“I am dedicated to moving this city forward and to monitoring this TIF District just as we monitor all parts of our budget and spending,” Raytown Mayor Mike McDonough said.

“Granted the TIF may not have been productive as those who supported it hoped, but we have to deal with it and it is still progressing.”


Click HERE for a PDF file from  Standard & Poor dated Sept. 2015 concerning this matter.

The Raytown School District hires administrators for 2016-2017

The Raytown School District is pleased to announce the hiring of administrators of for the 2016-2017 school year.
amy_cusumano

Amy Cusumano will serve as the Director of Special Education. Cusumano currently serves as the Assistant Director for Special Services and has been with the district for over 15 years. She received her Bachelor of Science in Special Education from Avila University and received her Master of Science in Educational Administration and Educational Specialist degree in Special Education Administration from the University of Missouri. Her duties will begin on July 1, 2016.

 

 

 
kevin_easley

Kevin Easley will be the Director of Transportation. He will replace Director Dennis Robertson, who retired in February. Easley currently serves as an Assistant Principal at Raytown Middle School and has worked in the district for over 10 years. Prior to his role at Raytown Middle, Easley served as a science teacher at Raytown South Middle. He received his Bachelor of Science in Education and Master of Science in Educational Leadership from Northwest Missouri State University. His duties begin on July 1, 2016.

 
Brooke 2

Brooke Rohlfing will be the Assistant Director of Communications and Community Relations. Rohlfing currently serves as the Broadcast Production Specialist for the Park Hill School District. She received her Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication from Missouri Southern State University and her Master of Arts in Communication from Missouri State University. Her duties will begin on June 1, 2016.

Raytown man charged today in father’s stabbing

Man Charged After Stabbing Father

stabbed fatherThe office of Jean Peters Baker, Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney, has charged Kevon M. Jones, a 21 year old Raytown man, with the stabbing of his father at their residence in the 8600 block of East 83 Street, last night, 04-25-2016. Jones was taken into custody at the scene.

 

A 21-year-old Raytown man has been charged in connection with his father’s assault and stabbing, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced today.

Kevon M. Jones faces Domestic Assault in the 1st Degree and Armed Criminal Action.*

According to court records, Raytown police found the 46-year-old victim at his residence. The defendant told police officers that he stabbed his father but had no reason to do so except he was angry.

Prosecutors have requested a bond of $250,000.

Controversy over Raytown Wall Mart and taxes makes the local TV News

Thanks to local channel 41 for providing the code to link to their segment on this matter.

RaytownOnline met with Chief Mace on this matter and he present documentation supporting his position that was inches thick. We are still waiting for digital copies from the Fire District to analyze, as an hour meeting was not enough given the depth of the material.  I hope to provide links to the material and supporting State documents for reader when it becomes available.

 

House Fire in area of 70th terrace and Hedges

A house fire in the area of 70th terrace and Hedges Thursday evening has left a local woman hospitalized in critical condition and cost the lives of her pets.

Public Library food for fines program

Help some one in need and pay off those old late book fines at the same time.


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food_for_fines_Page_2cropped

Board of Aldermen Meeting on April 19, 2016

I have had a couple of phone calls asking if I had any video from the April 19th 2016 meeting. They both indicated that they were not able to see it live and not able to find it on the city website. The video is available at City Hall so without editorial comment, here is the link to that video.

Click HERE to go to the Raytown City Hall location of the video.

Missing Person Alert Dylan Stickley

dylan stickley

Wynn Twins (Dancin’ 2 Wynn Dance Team) Wins Regional

Wynn_Twins_2016_Team

Wynn Twins

(Dancin’ 2 Wynn Dance Team)

Wins Regional

The D2W dance team recently competed at Midwest regionals. With 36 divisional entries the team brought home 22 1st place, 12 2nd place, and 1 3rd place.

Top Honors won were:

Overall High Score Female Solo

Overall High Score Male Solo

Overall High Score Line Category, and

Overall High Score Production Category

Special Awards won by the  team were:

Most Aspiring Dancer

Best Technical Execution

Most Entertaining,

And Best Costume.

All 36 entries qualified for the national Competition in Florida this summer, and all 19 soloists qualified for the STARS competition that coincides with Nationals. They must score in the top high score division to compete for the STAR dancer of the year. This is the first time that all soloists qualified.

Ms. Wynn quoted, “I am so proud of our team, staff, and choreographers. We are honored to represent Raytown, Missouri for the past 38 years.”

Raytown High School Senior Dominique Hampton Missouri State Champion Wrestler

Raytown High School Senior Dominique Hampton placed first in the Class 4, 220 pound division of the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) Wrestling Championships. Hampton made Bluejay history by becoming the school’s first state wrestling champion in 48 years.

“Domo did a spectacular job this weekend and this year,” Wrestling Coach Peter McDavitt said.  “He maintained his composure in very close matches throughout the tournament.  He is an intelligent young man who works just as hard in the classroom and demonstrates leadership and a positive attitude in everything he does.  I couldn’t be more pleased with him and for him.”

On his way to the championship, Hampton, whose season record was 44-6, defeated Dylan Gillete from Francis Howell Central, Kyle Stein from Lee’s Summit West, Solomon Jackson from McCluer North, and Mason Costa from Lindbergh.

Hampton’s classmate, Raytown High Senior Braden Best, placed 5th in the 182-pound competition, and is the school’s first two-time state medalist in over 30 years. Going into the state competition, Best boasted a record of 50-4.  He lost in the first round to Donovan Benetti of Nixa, wrestled back to defeat Timothy Ghormley of Melville, defeated Dustin Jones of Lindbergh and Adrian Palmer of Lebanon, lost to Elias Vaoifi from Fort Osage, and defeated Trey Storey of Blue Springs for 5th place.

Raytown High finished 17th with 35 points overall.

state champ

HY-Vee Health Fair

Health Fair 2016 front page

Police Still Seeking Witnesses to Motor Vehicle Accident

Raytown Police are looking for any witnesses of a Motor Vehicle Accident, involving injuries, at Blue Ridge Boulevard and Sterling, last Thursday (03/24/2016,) at approximately 3:40 p.m. The crash involved two vehicles, a pickup truck and a sport utility vehicle. A power pole was knocked down during the crash. Two people suffered minor injuries and were transported to a local hospital for treatment. Nobody involved fled the scene. The investigation is ongoing.

Traffic Investigators request that anyone that may have witnessed the crash call Officer Sheets at 816-737-6112.

Murder Suspect Sought by Police

rls-14-3167-johnson-malcolm-mug2

Raytown Police are asking the public for information on the whereabouts of Malcolm D. Johnson, a 26 year old Kansas City man. Johnson has been charged with Murder 2nd Degree and Armed Criminal Action, in connection with the shooting death of Monteario Hogan, 22 years old, which occurred on October 24, 2014, at a shopping center in the 5200 block of Blue Ridge Boulevard, in Raytown, Missouri.

Anyone with information as to his whereabouts is asked to call the Raytown Police Department at 816-737-6020 or the T.I.P.S. Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477.)

#14-3167

Raytown School District hires Danielle Nixon as Director of Communications & Community Relations

The Raytown School District is pleased to announce the hiring of Danielle Nixon as the Director of Communications and Community Relations. Nixon will begin her duties July 1, and replaces Cathy Allie, who will retire in June after 29 years in Raytown, the last nine in the director’s role.

Nixon earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Maryland, and was hired by the District in 2012 as the Assistant Director of Communications and Community Relations.  In addition to her communications duties, she serves as the Community Education Coordinator and Record Retention Team Lead.

“I came to Raytown with the hope and desire to become a part of and grow with the district and the community at large,” Nixon said.  “I’m excited for the opportunity ahead, and I look forward to continuing to serve our staff, families, and patrons.”

Before coming to Raytown, Nixon served as a Communications Specialist for a digital forensic contractor in Elkridge, Maryland. Additionally, she worked on social media and internal communications projects for the National Archives and Records Administration.

Danielle_Nixon_1024