The race for Mayor of Raytown is turning out to be the biggest in terms of cash contributions ever. Alderman Ertz has raised a respectable $5,533.33 and given the amount of time left from that filling to election day, should hit the normal well financed range of $6,000 to $8,000. Retired police Sergeant McDonough has raised a whopping $16,260.00 and has already set a new record for contributions.
Analysis of the named cash contributor based on their stated address shows that Ertz got 81.48% of his contributions from Raytown and the average contribution level was $270, McDonough got 55.48% of his contributions from Raytown and his average donation was $630.83. This is an incomplete picture as a large portion of McDonough’s contributions were in-kind donations and a large portion of Ertz’s donations were raised at fundraising events where small donations to not have to be itemized.
Get To Know Thomas Estlund
The New Man Running In The Raytown School Board Election
At first glance, the long beard of Thomas Estlund may make you take a second glance. But after just a few words, you find that the man behind this beard is a fatherly-figure, wise beyond his years. Thomas Estlund is running for his first term on the Board of Education for Raytown Schools. Estlund and wife, Bibi, have chosen to make Raytown their permanent home. They have 4 small children that will attend Raytown Schools, so Estlund has a vested interest in improving the educational experience of all Raytown students.
Estlund has been an upper elementary school teacher in the Greater Kansas City area since graduating from Truman State University in Kirksville with a Bachelors in English, and his Master’s in Education. Estlund’s experience in education includes being named Team Leader and Mentor Teacher, as well as speaking at state and national conferences.
Prior to his current position as a 4th grade teacher at Benjamin Banneker Charter Academy of Technology in Kansas City, Estlund taught 5th grade for three years and 1st grade for a year in Raytown. In addition he taught in Kirksville for five years after graduation. Corina Mann, parent of one of Estlund’s Raytown students said, “I found Mr. Estlund to be exciting and engaging. He enjoys opening young minds to new experiences and encourages students to explore and question the world around them.”
New experiences that could be explored if Estlund is elected include a stronger sense of community. Estlund plans to propose activities such as opening the gym for community use for an evening. Another is allowing area residents to make use of the computer labs in our schools. Estlund states, “The unfortunate consequence of streamlining processes within the social services of our government, is that those without computer access are left without the ability to communicate with those that can assist them. Computers that are unused more than half of our typical daylight hours should open previously untapped opportunities to those that pay the taxes to provide them.”
Estlund’s first priority in office would be digging into district requirements regarding preparation for tests. He would like to evaluate and then limit the amount of time dedicated to mandatory assessment preparation. His experience in the classroom has taught him that a teacher who can focus time on building relationships with students and invests in instruction has the most success engaging the students.
The differences in the population of Raytown demand that teachers be culturally responsive in order to address the needs of each student on an individual basis. Estlund is a lifelong learner and believes that teachers who lack cultural skills should be provided with the training needed to become the best teacher they can be.
Estlund fears that, “In our nation, as a whole, schools are becoming places where students are stifled, creativity is limited and there is no time for students to try things out with the freedom to be unsuccessful their first time.” Thomas Edison is well known for believing that failure is a necessary part of learning, although he may not be the author of the following quote on the subject, it still rings true. “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Estlund is certain that childhood is the time to learn lessons like these that shape who an individual becomes.
Mann also has this to say about Estlund’s run at the school board election, “He has a unique way of addressing an issue so that it can be viewed from multiple positions which encourages thoughtful discussion. As a teacher, Mr. Estlund has experienced firsthand the successes and challenges of our school district and I believe that he will use the knowledge gained from those experiences to bridge the gap between the classroom and the board room.”
The quintessential educator, Estlund is known for using Facebook to assign essays to his friends. He feels that “the district should also be using the very latest in technology and social media to communicate with Raytown.” You can check into Estlund’s Facebook page, Estlund for Raytown School Board, to learn more about him and his plans for the Raytown School District.
Mrs. Clarica Tulli, Westridge Elementary is the Raytown Schools District Teacher of the Year.
Seventeen teachers were recently honored by the Raytown School District as Building Teachers of the Year. Front row from left to right, Peggy Caton, New Trails; Cecilia Lopz, Southwood; Rachel Hufferd, Laurel Hills; Kelly Schoolcraft, Norfleet; District Teacher of the Year, Clarica Tulli, Westridge; Heather Reardon, Raytown South Middle; Angelique Hanning, Little Blue; Candance Lindley, Spring Valley; and Michelle Gowans, Eastwood. Back row, left to right, Marie Tracy, Northwood; Geri Ricciardi, Raytown Middle; Blaine Lewis, Raytown High School; Hilary Roark, Robinson; Brent Martin, Raytown South High; Geno Ostermeier, Raytown Central Middle; Tina Loman, Blue Ridge; and Kim Nelson Fleetridge.
The Raytown School District is pleased to announce Clarica Tulli as the 2015-2016 District Teacher of the Year. Tulli teaches Kindergarten at Westridge Elementary.
Tulli earned her teaching credentials from Graceland University and has taught for four years in Raytown.
Tulli is a Teacher Leader in her building, a Mentor Teacher for new staff, and curriculum writer for the district. Westridge principal Suzanne Brennaman calls her a “Reflective instructor” who is outstanding at collaborating with colleagues.
Dr. Sandra K. Hamar, Tulli’s college professor said, “Teaching is truly Clarica’s calling in life, and she fulfills it masterfully.” Tulli will be a featured speaker at the District’s annual Convocation in August and will represent Raytown as a candidate for Missouri Teacher of the Year.
Other building candidates were Peggy Caton, New Trails Early Learning Center; Michelle Gowans, Eastwood Hills; Angelique Hanning, Little Blue; Rachel Hufferd, Laurel Hills; Blaine Lewis, Raytown High; Candance Lindley, Spring Valley; Tina Loman, Blue Ridge; Cecilia Lopez, Southwood; Brent Martin, Raytown South High; Kimberlee Nelson, Fleetridge; Geno Ostermeier, Raytown Central Middle; Heather Reardon, Raytown South Middle; Geri Ricciardi, Raytown Middle; Hillary Roark, Robinson; Kelly Schoolcraft, Norfleet; and Marie Tracy, Northwood School.
The Raytown PTA held a forum for the School Board Candidates and the candidates for Mayor on Friday, March 27th at Southwood Elementary School.
Here is a video of the closing remarks by both candidates for Mayor.
Having made the decision not to run again for Raytown Alderman of Ward 3, I wanted to take this opportunity to express my gratitude for the support I have received the past 16 years. I have thoroughly enjoyed and been honored to represent the residents of Ward 3 and the City of Raytown. I have learned so much from Raytown residents and City staff on some many issues and topics and appreciate the time taken to answers all of my questions. I sincerely appreciate all those who have contacted me over the years with their gratitude or issues that needed resolve.
My hope when I started my first term in 1999 was to make a difference. It was with that determination that I made sure that I read every piece of information that came before me, prepared for each meeting with my highlighters, sticky notes and asked the questions that would get to the core of the issue and thus having the information available for me to make for the best decision for our community.
In this upcoming election, I would like to express my support for Ryan Myers who is running for Ward 3 Alderman as he grew up in Raytown and returned as a young professional to make Raytown his home. His expertise in economics and real estate will be a welcomed addition to the Board of Aldermen and his enthusiasm contagious.
I also support Pat Ertz and his bid for Raytown Mayor. Pat has not only the expertise but also the leadership and experience which will benefit our city in the coming months and assist to continue the progress in the opportunities that are coming our way. I have seen Pat’s dedication on the Board of Aldermen since 2007 and in many organizations such as the Raytown Chamber of Commerce and Raytown Summer Lunch Ministry Board. Pat is a very devoted and involved member of our community.
Lastly, I was honored to be elected to serve on the Raytown Charter Commission, as I wanted to make sure the commission followed the rules and maintained a reasonable budget. After 10 months of work, I could not sign my name to the final document as I felt that it did not ‘mirror’ the current city government and will cause extensive expenses if passed. It is not the clear, concise document I hoped would be finalized. I would ask all the voters to read it very carefully as confusion will be prevalent in any attempt to put it in reality.
The City of Raytown has certainly changed over the past 16 years and I sincerely appreciated the opportunity I had to serve as a representative for our great community.
I have trust in the voters of Raytown and know they will make the right decision so that we can continue the progress that has been made and continue forth in the great opportunities we have on the horizon.
The Raytown Area Chamber of Commerce will co-sponsor with the League of Women Voters of Kansas City/Jackson, Clay and Platte Counties, a Mayoral Candidate Forum and a Raytown Alderman Candidate Meet and Greet.
The Forum and Meet and Greet will be held at Raytown City Hall in the Council Chambers on March 31, 2015 from 6:30 to 9:00 pm.
The Mayoral Candidate Forum will be first on the agenda running from 6:30 to 7:15 pm. Each Mayoral Candidate will answer questions submitted in writing from the audience and will also give a closing statement
In the Meet and Greet, each alderman candidate will have five minutes to introduce him or herself and then answer this question: What would you like to achieve in a 4 year term as an Alderman for the City of Raytown? Candidates will be called up by ward and placement on the ballot. Following the presentations, the audience is invited to meet the candidates individually.
The forum is free and open to the public. We encourage you to attend and take this opportunity to become an educated voter.
Questions? Contact Vicki Turnbow, Raytown Area Chamber of Commerce at 816-353-8500.
B.S. in Ed from Central Missouri State University
M.S. in Ed from the University of Kansas
Social Studies Teacher at Raytown High School for 30 Years
Head District Boys Swimming Coach for Raytown Schools
16 Years as an Alderman for the City of Raytown
Jim has been at the center of the Board of Alderman during a time when the Board ended a long period of fighting and ineffective policies. During the past eight years the old First Baptist Church was town down, and we have seen remarkable economic redevelopment in downtown and 350 Highway. Bridges have been rebuilt, snow removal has become excellent, and the law suits that we experienced during the previous administrations disappeared.
Represents continuity on the Board if a huge change takes place on April 7.
Jim focuses hard on meeting the needs of his constituents in Ward 2. While many of the Alderman have put business interest first, Jim stays in touch with citizens. He knows the people want a nice restraint, a lower crime rate, a smoke free environment in public establishments, and a new community center. His leadership can make those things possible.
Recently Police Chief Lynch submitted a letter to RaytownOnline.com. It met our standards and was published. In some ways it was cryptic, as it was in response to an article in the Raytown Times, that was not published on RaytownOnline.com. The Raytown Times has given permission to reprint their piece on the matter of the Raytown Police Pension Fund.
Raytown is indebted to the Police Pension Fund to the tune of $7.5 million and it could be 20 to 30 years, or more, before that debt is retired, depending on market fluctuations.
A third party hired by the Police Pension Board indicated the fund would have to show a 20 percent return annually to be fully funded, leading city officials to believe that the fund could no longer be sustained. Police Chief Jim Lynch disagreed with that assumption, holding that stock market gains would grow assets and require less contribution from the city.
In January 2014 the Board of Aldermen moved all current sworn officers of the police department into the Missouri Local Government Employees Retirement System (LAGERS) with other city employees. Officers who were vested with at least 10 years of service at the time of the change will continue to draw part of their pensions from the Police Pension Fund and part from LAGERS. The change will have no affect on retired officers, or widows, already drawing pensions.
The Police Pension Fund has been in existence since 1966. The city’s contribution to the fund grew through the years and remained 100 percent funded until 2000. The unfunded liability grew from about $74,000 in 2000 to more than 3.3 million in 2005. It ballooned to $7.5 million by 2014. In that six-year period, 2000-2005, the city ‘s contribution to the fund rose from $110,000 annually, or 6.7 percent of payroll, to nearly $420,000, or 17.8 percent of payroll. By December 2010 the city’s contribution to the pension fund grew to $747,643, or 25.1 percent of payroll, and city officials became worried about its sustainability.
Police officers contributed 3 percent of their pay to the pension fund up until 1999. The Board of Aldermen ended the practice that year, prompted by new rules from the Internal Revenue Service that prevented pension funds from piling up surpluses.
In 2004, a study showed that Raytown police salaries were the lowest of all surrounding departments and a 5.5 percent salary adjustment was enacted. For the next six years the salaries were raised annually by 5.5 percent, thus annually increasing the city’s contribution to police pensions. Those increases put the department into a competitive position among suburban departments.
There is discrepancy in how those raises were enacted, however. Lynch maintains the pay plan was approved by the Board of Aldermen in 2004. Approval by the city could not be found in city records.
The stock market collapse in 2008 immediately reduced the pension fund assets by $1.5 million, thus increasing the city’s contributions even more. Facing a budget bind, the city froze all city employee salaries in 2009, bringing an end to the annual 5.5 percent increases for police. All employees received a 3 percent increase in November 20 14, the first since the recession hit.
Normal retirement for police officers is 55 years of age with 20 years of service. The police department provided the Times a spread sheet showing a range of retiree pensions and the percentages of their pay at the time of retirement. Pension amounts range from $14,376 annually (22 percent of final compensation) to $79,800 (112 percent of final compensation). The lowest was a patrolman who retired early at the age of 46; the highest was a sergeant who worked nine years beyond his retirement age of 55. Pension benefits grow substantially when officers work over 20 years and past the age of 55.
In summary, city leaders felt strongly that the Police Pension Fund could not be sustained while police officials believed it could with improving market conditions. The two sides finally agreed to move police officers to the LAGERS plan, but philosophical differences between the two remain. It is important to realize that during the period from 2000 to 2014, the political landscape changed with new administrators and new elected leaders. All were factors in creating “The Perfect Storm” of controversy over the Police Pension Fund.
From the Raytown Police Dept. : 79th Terr and Arlington will be closed from 9 am to 4 pm today by Water Dept.
Two men connected by Johnson County, Kan., police to an armed robbery and murder of a gun shop owner there earlier this year have now been charged in connection with two Raytown robberies and an assault, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced today.
In addition, Hakeem Malik, 18, of New Century, KS, faces Robbery 1st Degree.*
According to court records, Patterson’s charges relate to the robbery and assault of a store employee at the Whiskey Barrel liquor store on Raytown Road in January. During that robbery, one employee was shot. Malik’s charges relate to the robbery in late December 2014 of the Kwik Auto Finance business on Blue Ridge Blvd in Raytown.
Both defendants remain in custody in Johnson County, Kan.
Bold Car Thief’s Identity Sought by Police
Raytown Police are asking the public’s help in identifying a man that stole a car at a gas station in the 8700 block of East 63 Street, Friday morning, 03-20-15. The man was seen entering and driving away in the vehicle, a gray 2008 Nissan Maxima, which was parked in front of the store. The theft happened at about 7:34 AM, while there were several customers in and around the store. The car has not been located.
The man was wearing a black Carhartt-style jacket, yellow shirt, yellow gloves, and a black backpack.
Images of the thief were obtained and released by the police in an effort to identify the man.
Anyone with information about the man, or this crime, is asked to call the TIPS Hotline, at (816) 474-TIPS (8477).
Raytown South High boys’ basketball team beat Grandview 69 to 68 to win the Class 4 District 14 Championship. The game was played at Grain Valley High School on Friday March 6, 2015, where #34 Tyrone Gibbs senior led the team with 47 Points, 15 rebounds, 4 blocks. He hit the game winning free throw and was named player of the game. They advanced to the Class 4 Sectional where they were beat by Bolivar High School in the first round. Raytown South finished the season with 17 wins and 11 losses.
Raytown High School was the Suburban Mid-Seven 2014-2015 Conference Champions but lost to Lee Summit High School in the Class 5 District 14 Championship Game. Raytown finished the season with 19 wins and 9 losses.
Video Courtesy of Jeremi Barnes
The Raytown Parks and Recreation Board meeting was less than calm on Monday night. Steve Guenther and Jason Greene attended the meeting to discuss the proposed Charter for Raytown. Parks Board members were not happy to find out that under the proposed Charter, they would no longer have the same control over hiring, salaries, and facilities use. Judge Michael Hannah is reported to have ask Jason Greene, what did we ever do to make them write a charter like this. Alderman Greene did not or was not able to answer that question.
From Alderman Aziere who was at the meeting…
I attended the Raytown Park Board Meeting last night because they had questions about the proposed charter and the section on the Park Department. They did not understand why the Park Board had not been personally invited to the meetings when changes in the Park Department were being discussed.
Discussions involving the Park Department requires that the Board of Alderman inform the Park Director. The Charter Commission did not do that.
Jason Green wrote the section on the Park Department. He was questioned why the Park Department was not informed or invited. literally, every member of the Park Board were angered when they were told that it was their job to follow the proceedings of the Commission.
The provision allowing the Alderman to override Park Board Decisions incited more anger. They did not understand what the Park Board had done so badly to cause the commissioners to strip them of their power to run the Park and Recreation Department.
There are two provisions in the Charter outside the section on Park Department that seal control of that department under the power of the Board of Alderman. I am planning to explain that to the Board of Alderman tonight early in the evening.
Kristie Lynn Collins-Delarber Incumbent – Elected ’06, ’09, ‘12 (Bd. Pres. ’09-’10 to the present)
Amy Beth Tittle Incumbent – Elected ’06, ‘09, ‘12 (Bd. VP ’09-’10 to the present) (not present at the meeting)
Thomas Granger Estlund
My name is Ryan Myers, and I am running for Ward 3 Alderman. I have been a part of the Raytown community for 26 years and I am a third-generation graduate of Raytown High School.
Raytown is a great community with great schools that make it a wonderful place to live. I graduated in 2007 from Raytown High School, and hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Kansas State University. I currently work at Shaner Appraisals, a local commercial real estate appraising firm, in which I consult and value commercial real estate. I would like to use my professional background to help revitalize parts of Ward 3, along with the entirety of Raytown. I look forward to implementing a plan for new infrastructure coupled with rejuvenation of existing infrastructure systems within the community.
The average age of Ward 3 voters is 64. Family and community are big parts of my life, and I would like to focus on helping older adults in Raytown by providing transportation and activities for those who may not have any family in the area. I have been blessed to have a very close family that supports me. My grandparents, Paul and Naomi Houk and Robert and Dorotha Myers, have lived six houses apart since the early 1960s in Raytown. Given the aging Raytown population, I believe that the support of our older adults should be coupled with positioning the city to appeal to young professionals and young families to facilitate redevelopment within the community.
I would appreciate your support on April 7th to serve the community of Raytown. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about the Raytown community, or if you would like to know more about myself, feel free to contact me at Ryan.Myers816@gmail.com , or at (816) 215-8847. Thank you in advance for your support, as together we can look forward to a brighter future for Raytown.
The Raytown Democratic Association for Feb. 2015 featured a variety of Candidates for local office.
In the order they appeared.
Thomas Granger Estlund – School Baord
The Raytown School District is proud to announce building-level Teachers of the Year for the 2015-2016 school year. The selected teachers were chosen by their peers and have the opportunity to interview for Raytown School District Teacher of the Year. The winner will be announced at the annual breakfast held on Friday, March 27 where each teacher will be recognized by their principal, peers, and District administration.
Building representatives are as follows: Tina Loman, Blue Ridge Elementary; Michelle Gowans, Eastwood Hills Elementary; Kimberlee Nelson, Fleetridge Elementary; Rachel Hufferd, Laurel Hills Elementary; Angelique Hanning, Little Blue Elementary; Peggy Caton, New Trails Early Learning Center; Kelly Schoolcraft, Norfleet Elementary; Marie Tracy, Northwood School; Geno Ostermeier, Raytown Central Middle School; Blaine Lewis, Raytown High School; Jeri Ricciardi, Raytown Middle School; Brent Martin, Raytown South High School; Heather Reardon, Raytown South Middle School; Hilary Roark, Robinson Elementary; Cecilia Lopez, Southwood Elementary; Candance Lindley, Spring Valley Elementary; and Clarica Tulli, Westridge Elementary.
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