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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.