Raytown current weather conditions


Click for Forecast

Clark’s Appliances donated to REAP



Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 29 other subscribers


Kendra donated to Shepherd’s Center

raytownonline_circle

Raytown Service Specialist donated to REAP






Ads for Charity

Raytown International Raceway donated to REAP

Got Slot Cars?
 
Raytown
International
Raceway

6133 Blue Ridge Blvd
Raytown MO 64133
816-353-7568

Hours Tues, Thurs, Friday
6pm-9pm
Sat Noon-9pm
Sun Noon-5pm


A place to have lots
of fun.



Google Ad

Sue Frank donated to REAP



DAILY CARTOON click to enlarge
ANDERTOONS.COM DAILY CARTOONS
=

Upcoming Events



Raytown South High Sports Link



Raytown Arts Festival on Sunday

The Raytown Arts Festival will be held at Raytown High School. The event will run from 1:00 pm until 5:00 pm.  In addition to physical art on display, there will be musical and theatric performances.  Raytown’s Flute Fantasia, the Raytown Community Band, and Broadway Echoes are among the scheduled performers. There will also be awards bestowed on Raytown Middle and High School students This event is sponsored by the Raytown Arts Council and the Raytown branch of the American Association of University Women. 

Raytown South Football Coach takes job in Grain Valley

David Allie, the head football coach for Raytown South High, will be coaching the Grain Valley Eagles in September of this year. Allie has been employed by the Raytown School District for 17 years and head football coach for 14 of those 17 years. His win loss record is 81-62. 

Robbers of Liquor Store Come Up Empty

attempted-robbery-suspectsAt about 9:19 PM on April 3rd, 2014 the Raytown Police were called to the Hy-Vee grocery store in the 9400 block of 350 highway on an attempted robbery of the liquor department. Employees of the store told the officer that a skinny, light-skinned black male, about 5 foot 9 inches tall wearing an orange hooded sweater came into the store with a hand gun. A second slightly more muscular built black male, wearing a grey hooded sweater with a Nike emblem on it, black pants with a thick, white stripe down the sides came in shortly afterwards. The first man demanded money from the employee. The second man then began to move behind the counter. Both men ran out of the store to the north with nothing taken. No one was injured during the attempted robbery.accomplice gunman-1

If you know either of the men in these photographs please contact the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477) or the Raytown Police Department at 816-737-6020.

HOW NOT TO GET A CITY CHARTER PASSED (part 2)

Part 2 of the series on learning from the past…or…don’t do the same thing again and expect a different result.

Be fiscally responsible; otherwise it not only wastes money., it can also undermine the effort to get a charter passed.

The 2005 charter attempt resulted in about $60,000 in legal bills. That was 6 times the amount budgeted by the city and almost 10 times what the last charter for a fourth class city in Missouri cost. Fortunately the City negotiated a major portion of that away.  How can this mistake be avoided in the future? 

1. Don’t involve legal counsel until decisions must be made concerning the end result, and write the Charter in plain English.

2. Do not have a $240 an hour lawyer present at every official and some unofficial meetings of the members of the committee. 

3. Do not allow members of the commission to call up the a firm and run up billable hours unless the committee as a body has specifically authorized the expenditure in advance.

4. Do not take the position that because Missouri law does not limit the expenditures of a Charter Commission, it is the City’s obligation to pay that amount without question.

Four members of the 2005 Charter Commission are running for the 2014 Commission.  Fairness dictates that it be reported how many hours each of these four were linked to in the 2005 bills from the law firm. 

Aziere 0 hours for $0

Wittman 0 hours  for $0

Hartwell 0 hours for $0

Walters 43.5 hours for $10,440

In fairness to Greg Walters, many  of the 43.5 hours were not his alone. The law firm would list 2 or more conferences with Charter Commissioners and give a combined total billable hours for those calls. 

Click HERE to see a scanned copy of the portions of the invoices from the law firm that have the hours and who they were talking to or what they were doing.

Click HERE for a RaytownOnline.com video of the last 2005 Charter meeting that has some discussion of the legal costs.

 

 

Page not found problem on Candidate Submitted Information fixed

I created the pages from candidate submissions and set them to private, so that other than the one paid submission, they would all appear on the same date. I forgot to set them to public, so that the links to them would work. I did test them, and they did work for me, but that is because the links would work for a reader that was logged in as system administrator. 

My Apologies

Michael N. Downing

 

The Charter Commission Candidates & Ballot Questions

The charter candidate information has been organized in a table with links to the candidates’ submissions to RaytownOnline.com and their answers to the questionnaire RaytownOnline.com emailed them.  Not all candidates have responded; consequently, the table has many blank areas that hopefully will be filled in by election day.  Due to time constraints and the amount of effort this article has taken and will take, and the fact that some of the candidates will never respond, it will be published now and updated if and when RaytownOnline receives more responses. 

Candidate Questionnaire Submitted material
Joe Burton    
Janet Emerson    Click HERE
Lisa Emerson    
Jason Greene  Click HERE  
Mark Moore  Click HERE  
Chris Rathbone    
Robbie Tubbs    
Susan Thorsen    
Jim Aziere    
Richard Koop    
Steve Guenther    Click HERE
Greg Walters    
Charlotte Melson  Click HERE  Click HERE
Susan Dolan    
Sandra Wood-Hartwell  Click HERE  
Ted Bowman    
Michael McDonough    
Mary Jane Van Buskirk    Click HERE
David McCauley    
Witty Wittman  Click HERE  
Matthew Cushman  Click HERE  Click HERE
Jerome Barnes    Click HERE

Raytown voters and Raytown School District voters will have choices to make on Tuesday, April 8th.  


 Editorial Content

Feel free to share this in electronic or printed form

For Raytown voters, these are the choices:

1.  Does Raytown renew the 1/2 cent sales tax that is earmarked for transportation purposes for a period of ten years?

Yes: This one is the easiest choice to make. I have seen major improvement since this was passed.  I can remember a street that was in total failure just two blocks from my home when I first moved to Raytown. I truly might have had second thoughts about buying my home if I had noticed this and other Raytown street conditions. Further, Raytown lags far behind our neighboring cities in providing sidewalks; many of our children wait for the school bus or walk to school in the street.

2. Does Raytown renew the 3/8 cent sales tax that is earmarked for capital improvements purposes for a period of ten years?

Yes:  This tax pays for the equipment needed to provide services such as police, ambulance, and snow removal. 

Unlike many taxes, both these sales taxes are monitored by a citizen oversight committee that insures the tax money is spent in the manner that the voters approved.  Without these revenues, the Raytown would have to dip into general funds and the money is not there. 

3. Do we create a commission to frame (write) a charter (like a constitution for a city)?

Yes:  A charter would be good for the city, if it is a good charter.  There is risk, however. We could get a commission that wastes time and taxpayer money to draft a charter that will not pass,  or a charter that should not pass. Another risk would be a charter that sets the threshold for recall/initiative/referendum so low that Raytown might be drained of our tax money paying for elections for issues that have no real popular support. 

4. Which 13 candidates out of a field of 22 shall frame this charter?

RaytownOnline endorsements will be indicated by Y, N, or ?.   Many of the candidates are not well known in the community, or did not respond to the request for information, so it is not possible for me to have an opinion on how well they will serve based on previous service in elected or volunteer positions. The key word in that last sentence is OPINION, as an endorsement from RaytownOnline.com is actually only my personal opinion, based on years of paying attention to the events that concern Raytown.

You do not have to vote for all 13 positions.  Voting for a candidate you know nothing about reduces the chance of candidates you want elected actually winning. 

Candidate Endorsed Comments
Joe Burton    
Janet Emerson    
Lisa Emerson  N  
Jason Greene    
Mark Moore    
Chris Rathbone  Y  
Robbie Tubbs  N  
Susan Thorsen    
Jim Aziere  Y  Former US Constitution teacher
Richard Koop    
Steve Guenther    
Greg Walters  N  
Charlotte Melson  Y  
Susan Dolan  N  
Sandra Wood-Hartwell  Y  
Ted Bowman  Y   
Michael McDonough  Y   Excellent people and organizational skills
Mary Jane Van Buskirk  Y   
David McCauley  Y   
Witty Wittman  Y   
Matthew Cushman  Y  
Jerome Barnes  Y  Strong history of both community service and working with diverse people towards a common goal

 

For Raytown School District voters this is the choice:

Shall the Raytown School District be allowed to borrow $22 million dollars for the purpose of constructing, renovating, improving, furnishing and equipping school facilities of the District, including safety and security enhancements, roof replacements, lighting improvements, restrooms, plumbing, electrical and technology upgrades, and renovation and expansion of the existing Raytown South High School athletic facility and issue bonds for the payment thereof?

Yes: About 85% of this bond issue is targeted at needed repairs and upgrade. Failure to make the repairs would results in greater costs in the future. Failure to upgrade school security could result in a disaster.  The expenditure to on a football field at Raytown South is not a high priority item and I would prefer that money was spent building a swimming facility to replace the loss of the YMCA pool.  The bond issue addresses a multitude of needs and it is surprising that most of them deserve to be funded.    85% is a remarkably high percentage. 

Click HERE to see the Election Board ballot for the Raytown City election.

Click HERE to see the Election Board ballot for the Raytown School District election.

Feel free to share this in electronic or printed form

Sandra Wood-Hartwell, Charter Commission Candidate

1.  What are my reasons for running for the Charter Commission?
 Raytown is the largest city of it’s size in Missouri that is not a charter city.  Charter form of government is for 500 people or less and as we all know this city is over 30,000 residents.  It is time that Raytown has the right to rule it’s self and not have to ask Jefferson city what we can and cannot do for our city.  
 
2.  What is your political experience?
 
I am a former Alderman for ward 4 from 2003 to 2007
I am currently a Jackson County Committee person (3 terms)
I’m currently a member of the Planning and Zoning committee for the city of Raytown
While on the City Council I was on the Budget Committee, Council on Aging and a few others  
 
3. Do you favor charter that simply implements:
a. Our present status quo.
b. Status quo with recall, referendum, and initiative added.
c. More extensive changes to our form of government.

I favor a chart with option B.
 
4.  What budgetary restraints and guidelines should be put in place to reduce the commissions expenses?
 
The chairman should be the only person who can talk to the Commissions Attorney, if the attorney is charging by the hour.
The last charter fees were quit high because several people made individual calls to him.  It would be good if the attorney would charge a reasonable flat fee.
 
5.  What benefits do I feel that a charter would bring to Raytown?
 
If Recall, Referendum and Initiative were implemented in the charter it would give the people of Raytown a bigger voice on how things can be done in Raytown.
In a 4th Class form of government the people do not have that right or opinion

Home Skillet has New Hours, a New Menu, and is now Non-Smoking

The Home Skillet has a new menu, hours and smoking policy.  Their new hours are 8am to 9pm.  The restaurant is now none smoking, due to under-utilization of the smoking section. Too many non-smokers had to wait for a table, while tables were empty in the smoking section. The new menu and coupons are shown below.

home skillet coupons

Menu - Final (03.18.14)-DINNER_Page_1

Menu - Final (03.18.14)-DINNER_Page_2

Menu_-_Final_(03.18.14)-Table_Tent

Menu_-_Final_(03.18.14)-KIDS_Page_2

Rev. C. Howell (Howie) Bischoff Obituary

Bischoff

Rev. C. Howell (Howie) Bischoff

Rev. C. Howell (Howie) Bischoff entered his eternal home Wednesday, March 26th, 2014.  He was born April 17th, 1927 in Chicago, Illinois. He was called to the ministry when he was only 12 years old and later attended the Chicago Theological Seminary to prepare himself for his life’s work.  He married Wahneta Furstenberg in 1951 and they shared their lives until 2008 when she passed away. Grateful for his life are daughters, Angela Clark and Gretchen Schultz, and son, Robin Bischoff. Dawn Melody, a fourth child was a joy to the family in her short life.  Grandchildren, Amanda Walker, Andrew Clark, Ethan Schultz, Ryan Schultz, Eric Bischoff, and one great-granddaughter, Ava Walker will miss his presence in their lives.

 Howie served United Church of Christ parishes in Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas.  He and Wahneta retired in Blue Springs, Missouri in 1993. They remained active in the Ivanhoe United Church of Christ in Raytown, Missouri.  Music was an important part of Howie’s life and he sang tenor in choir for many years. 

 Throughout his life, Howie touched many lives through community service and world mission programs.  He was a Mason, provided leadership for the Mental Health Association in Kansas, was on the board of Stepping Stones, supported Cancer Action, Habitat for Humanity, the Heifer Project and many other charities.

His life will be celebrated with a memorial service at 10:00 am Monday, April 7th at Ivanhoe United Church of Christ, 6512 Woodson Road, Raytown, Missouri, 64133.  Graveside services will be at 2:00 pm the following day, Tuesday, April 8th at the Highland Cemetery in Junction City, Kansas. Memorial contributions to the mission programs of the United Church of Christ would be greatly appreciated.

 

Raytown Student results from District and State Music Festivals

raytown_schools

Raytown School District orchestra and band students recently participated in district and state music festivals.

In the State Large Ensemble Festival, Raytown High’s Symphonic Band received a I Rating (Exemplary) and the Concert Band received a II Rating (Outstanding).  This was the 3rd consecutive year for the Symphonic Band to receive the top rating.

The Raytown High School Symphony Orchestra received a I Rating at Missouri State Music Festival on Thursday, March 27th.

The Following orchestra students received a I Rating and are eligible to perform at State Solo and Ensemble: Hannah Scheerer, violin solo; Skylar Thompson, violin solo; Sydney Petty, viola solo; Hannah Steele, piano solo; Brianda Taylor, string bass solo; Melody Olvera, cello solo; Emma Givens and Erin Konomos, violin duet; and Rikki Davis and Melody Jonas, cello duet.

 The following orchestra students received a II Rating: Hanine AlHaydar, viola solo; Matthew Snell, viola solo; Tristan Caudle, viola solo; Ashton Yoder, cello solo; Grace Little, Anisah Marshall, Hope Romero, and Alexis Yoder, violin quartet; and Erin Konomos, Emma Givens, Briena Frost, and Lindsey Butler, string quartet.

RaytownHigh School band students recently competed in the Kanas City Metro District Solo and Ensemble Festival. 

The following students received a I Rating; these student are eligible to perform at State Solo and Ensemble: Jon Marple, oboe solo; Laura Geeding, trumpet solo; Cassy Mais, flute solo; Hunter Delamare, marimba solo; Simone Jones, clarinet solo; Crosbie Jarrett, trumpet solo; Crosbie Jarrett, snare solo; Raheem Fielder-Bey, baritone solo; Hannah Treat, horn solo; Spencer Beaman, marimba solo; Katie Rock, flute solo; Nathan Verhulst, trumpet solo; Joseph Straws, snare solo; Kendrick Reed, marimba solo; Earl Bradshaw, snare solo; and Joseph Straws, Brandon Williams, and Crosbie Jarrett, snare trio.

The following students received a II Rating: Matthew Maynard, trumpet solo; Madeline McCready, flute solo; Brandon Williams, snare solo; Emma Drace, horn solo; Alex Bearden, marimba solo; Adriana Albor, trumpet solo; Crista Pinkston, alto sax solo; Shannon Lewis, marimba solo; Dante Woods, marimba solo; Hunter Delamare, piano solo; Evalynn Lomax, snare solo; Crosbie Jarrett, Laura Geeding, and Adriana Albor, trumpet trio; Nathan Verhulst, Raheem Fielder-Bey, and Isabella Liggett, trumpet trio; Cassy Mais, Madeline McCready, and Katie Rock, flute trio; and Crista Pinkston, Hannah Wadleigh, Amanda Stoll, and  Katie Rock, saxophone trio.

RaytownSouthHigh School band students also participated in the Kanas City Metro District Solos and Ensemble Festival. 

The following students received a I Rating and will continue to the State Festival: Allison Freed, flute solo; Deja Higgins, clarinet solo; Juliana Hudspeth, bassoon solo; Brian Lollman, alto saxophone solo; Kalayna Lollar, tenor saxophone solo; Zach Shupe, trumpet solo; Hannah McIntyre, trumpet solo; Allie Hornbostel, French horn solo; Ben White, trombone solo; Alysa Orchard, euphonium solo; Michael Hudspeth, tuba solo; Brian Lollman, Michael Keightley, Kalayna Lollar, and Schuyler Hodges, saxophone quartet; and Zach Shupe, Alysa Orchard, and Ian Mahl, trumpet trio.

 The following students received a II Rating: Lynette McGee, flute solo; Priscilla Jones, flute solo; Jaime Tonasket, flute solo; TaMiya Strickland, clarinet solo; Michael Keightley, alto saxophone solo; Alden Florez, alto Saxophone solo; Paige Teeman, French horn; Allison Freed, Lynette McGee, and Jaime Tonasket, flute trio; and Kole Waters, Brandon Jones, and Patrick Torello, percussion trio.

Mary Jane Van Buskirk Submitted Information

Mary_Jane
Let me start by saying I will not bore you with a long life time bio. My name is Mary Jane Van Buskirk I have lived in Raytown at the same address for 42 years. Have had three sons and one grandson graduate from the Raytown school system.
 
Yes, I am the wife of Alderman William (Bill) Van Buskirk who is currently serving his second term as Alderman in Ward 4. I have heard a few people say (some residents and some that are not) that I am just like my husband.  Let me set the record straight, there are issues that we agree on but there are also issues that we have different opinions about.
 
The reason I am running for the Charter Commission is to see our city move forward. We do need a charter, but we need one for the right reasons. It would enable us to better govern our own city. I am in favor of electing our Chief of Police and our Judge. I don’t favor a complicated charter, we have tried that in the past several times and it failed each time.
 
I would appreciate your vote on April 8th. Lets move Raytown forward, but we need do it for the right reasons. 

Stephen E. Guenther Submitted Information

Steve_Guenther_Portrait_1024

Stephen  E.  Guenther

             Steve and his wife Janette, along with their three sons Sean, Joel, & Kyle, have been Raytown residents since 1992.  Steve is a licensed architect and urban planner and co-owner of Guenther Mills Keating Architects and HGK Construction Management in Raytown.  He is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and has served as a Scoutmaster in Raytown for 14 years.  Steve spent 10 years as Vice Chairman of the Raytown Board of Zoning Adjustments, is a member of the Raytown Chamber of Commerce, and President of the Raytown Main Street Association.  He enjoys serving in his local church, being involved with MARC and the Truman Heartland Foundation, and being on the Board of the River of Refuge.  His spare time is spent with his family, fishing, and bicycling including on the MS 150 for the last 8 years, a charity ride for Multiple Sclerosis.

            Steve recalls 16 years ago when he first found out that Raytown was still a Fourth Class Missouri City and what that really meant in regards to self rule and governance, and how little a voice the citizens of the community had.  He watched several attempts at writing and adopting a Charter fail. This was a huge taxpayer expense caused by the then elected Charter Commissioners’ failure to focus and losing sight of their primary objective: that being to write a simple charter to adopt our current governing ordinances with little to no change of how we functioned as a city. 

            Steve feels to acquire self rule, not change, should be the objective of the Charter Commission. Additional questions with pro and con explanations would allow the citizens a chance to decide what changes they feel are necessary.  The reason the other charter attempts failed and were expensive was because there was too much change proposed and most communities historically will not vote for that much change.  The question must be asked: If that much change had been needed, then why has the Board of Alderman, Mayor, and city staff not brought to ordinance those changes? With only a few exceptions, that kind of change is not needed.

             Steve feels we need a charter because it empowers the citizens with a true voice into how to operate our city and because it will provide for self rule -apart from the State-at our local level.  He believes it is time for Raytown to move on from that FourthClassCity designation so that we can grow, prosper, and compete with our surrounding chartered communities.

            Steve would appreciate your vote of approval to form a Charter Commission and to appoint him as one of the thirteen Charter Commissioners on April 18th.  His name appears last on the list of 22 candidates, so start at the bottom.  His only agenda is to stay focused to the primary objective to draft a simple charter that the citizens of Raytown will approve.

Matthew Cushman Submitted Information

IMG_541038291306855Charter Candidate Position and Release:

I am excited to introduce myself again to the people of Raytown.  My name is Matthew Cushman, and I am a lifelong resident of the City of Raytown.  I am a father of two terrific children, and a dedicated public servant.  For nearly 20 years I have been a Paramedic and for the first 18 years of my career I served the people of Raytown.  Serving both as a Paramedic and later the Director of Emergency Medical Services, I oversaw the entire emergency medical service system.  During my time as Director, the Raytown Emergency Medical Services system was recognized as one of the best in the State of Missouri and I was recognized as the Administrator of the Year as well.  In addition to being a Paramedic, I have also dedicated myself to educating others as a faculty instructor at a local college specializing in EMS training as well as other organizations.  My leadership in the area of EMS spans not only at a local level but throughout the region, and I am eager to serve my community again in providing a charter document that will be welcomed by the citizens of Raytown, Missouri. 

Since its inception, the City of Raytown has been a fourth class city.  There are many disadvantages and barriers to progress as well as inhibiting a truly open, representative government that appreciates the will of the people.  The people of Raytown have long had great ideas and as such there needs to be more power placed in the hands of those that live here.  The City has spent tens of thousands of dollars in lobbyists and staff wages trolling the representatives and senators of our statehouse in an effort to change state law to allow Raytown to do simple things that other chartered cities can do without State approval.  In an almost ridiculous fashion, Raytown needed to change a state law to change the way we sent delinquent sewer notices out.  We also had to change state law to get “permission” to place tax initiatives on the ballot.  No matter what your views are on those taxes that simply shouldn’t happen as the people of this grand community deserve the right of self determination.  In most of those cases, it took years to get any resolution from Jefferson City.  The people of Raytown deserve to make our own decisions based on the needs of the community and with our interests at heart, not dysfunctional politicians in Jefferson City.

 We have heard a lot of rhetoric recently about what a charter should and should not look like.  I have a very simple approach to how I will participate.  I come to this process with no outrageous agenda or with any preconceived notion as to what changes a charter should bring to our City. We all agree that the core principals of the citizen’s rights should be to petition their government and place initiatives of interest to them on a ballot.  We also believe in the right of citizens to engage in a recall process of elected officials when they believe the elected official violated the moral, ethical or legal requirements of their office.  Those provisions should be the cornerstones to our work on a charter document.  Those core rights are enjoyed by most of the neighboring cities in our area.  It is long past time that home rule came to Raytown.  I am eager to make those principals the foundation by which we move Raytown forward. 

 Now, Raytown has been down this road before, and in each case, we have come up short, thereby continuing to be at the mercy of the State Capital and the laws that govern fourth class cities.  I come to this process with no battle to fight, or score to settle.  I come because I feel I can make a positive difference as a commissioner and provide informed decisions based on the input of the citizens of Raytown.  It should be expected that the commission make good decisions based on the interests of Raytown. I have a history serving this community and am eager to do it again. There is little good in fighting old fights and continuing to point fingers or assign blame to the failed attempts to enact a Charter in our past.  What we can do is learn a great deal about what worked and what didn’t work.  Like all of the attempts before, there were areas of clear consensus and that should be our starting block.  There are also issues that are controversial.  I think that no matter how you feel about those controversial issues, they shouldn’t jeopardize the Charter process which is the only way for this City to get out of the fourth-class city classification. 

 In addition to that, I am a strong believer that all those issues should be given due diligence and given their time of debate before the people.   Just like I cannot rule out or rule on any of those “hot topics,” I can assure you that if I am elected commissioner, I will offer their consideration in a professional and appropriate manner.  Those issues should stand or die on their own merit, and shouldn’t dissuade support for a local charter.  Our constitution was not written in one setting. Basic rights were established early and over time, amendments and changes have been made in our history, and that same approach should be considered with a charter.  We shouldn’t lose sight of what we are really trying to accomplish. 

 I have been around and seen a lot.  I have seen when government works really well, and I have certainly seen it when it fails.  I think I offer a wonderful perspective, not attached to any faction or group.  I will not engage in the toxic venom that has both riddled the past and present political culture in Raytown.  I will offer genuine leadership and will always remember that this is the people’s process.  I am eager to begin this journey, but need your confidence and your vote.  I urge voters to look deep into this process and the candidates, and find candidates that do not have strings attached.  Our destiny is at stake.

 Great democracy and good government comes from the grassroots.  It comes from the minds and ideas of people that understand that their opinions matter.  Government should be transparent, should work for the people they are sworn to serve, and it should always be a reflection of the will of the people.  Great ideas are the seeds of progress and I hope that this charter commission will fuel a greater day for Raytown.  The people will win with a charter.  It is time.

 Yours in service,
 Matthew Cushman
 cush69@msn.com
Find me on Facebook, Matthew Cushman Raytown Charter Now

Janet Emerson Submitted Information

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My name is Janet Emerson and I have placed my name in nomination as a candidate for the Charter Commission.  I ran for office for the first time last April and was elected as an Alderman for Ward 3.  I ran because I believed I could help make a difference in our community.  I have placed my name on the ballot for the Charter Commission as I feel it is important to make some changes in the way Raytown is run.  I believe that it is important that we should be self ruled.

 

 By having a charter, I believe that Raytown will grow stronger and prosper.  Raytown lags behind cities of all sizes in the ability to make decisions for ourselves. Without a charter, we continue to seek approval from Jefferson City. We deserve better.  A charter will give Raytown citizens a greater say in how things are done in our city.

 

The Charter Commission is really about one thing: OUR VOICE. A Charter will help guide our elected officials, hold them accountable to the people and not the State government, and the citizens of Raytown will have the basic right to petition the City Council to make our wishes heard.

Let us guide our city by electing strong, capable and passionate members to the Charter Commission. Let’s make a charter reality, and your say in our city will be heard once again. I welcome your questions and your ideas on how we can make this next step in the progress and prosperity of Raytown a reality.

 

 The prosperity of Raytown is my priority and the Charter Commission is essential to our thriving.  I believe that citizens should have the ability to fully guide their city.  The charter will give them that opportunity.  I will listen to the wishes of the community and encourage them to have a voice in what they would like to see in a charter.  Please email me at janet4raytown@gmail.com with any ideas, questions or concerns. 

 

 I know that through this commission, we will be forming Raytown’s future as a community that respects the voices of each individual citizen.  Let our voices be heard.  Let us make that difference together.  I would appreciate your vote of confidence at the charter commission election on April 8th.  Let’s move Raytown forward in a positive direction.

 

Charlotte Melson Submitted Information

melson1024

Bio: Charlotte Melson has been a resident of Raytown for the past 30 years and has served on the Board of Aldermen for Ward 3 for the past 15 years.  She is the Executive Director of the Independent Transportation Network of Greater Kansas City (ITNGreaterKansasCity) which provides transportation for those 65 years and older.  

 

Charlotte Melson, Charter Commission Candidate

1. What is your reason for running for Charter Commission?

  I wanted to run for Charter Commissioner because I have a vast amount of experience on the charter process that can be beneficial to the writing of a simple document. My goal would be to assist in creating a simple document that follows protocol, is well documented and in the end is presented to voters in a clear, understandable format that has been agreed upon by the majority of the commissioners.

 2. What is your political experience? (positions you have held or ran for, from delegate to president)

  I have served on the Board of Aldermen for Ward 3 for the past 15 years.  During that time I have been chair of the Finance, Municipal and Legislative Committees, served on the Council On Aging, Chair of the EMS/Fire Merger Committee, Pension Review Committee, Transit Study Committee, Creating Quality Places Committee, Park Board Liaison, Citizen Sales Tax Review Committee and Fireworks Committee.  I currently serve on the board of the Shepherd’s Center of Raytown, co-chair of the First Suburbs Coalition, member of KC Communities for All Ages and the Raytown Chamber of Commerce.

 3. Do you favor charter that simply implements:

a. Our present status quo.

b. Status quo with recall, referendum, and initiative added.

c. More extensive changes to our form of government.

 I have no preconceived agenda with regard to the charter but am willing to complete, if elected, a document that is in the best interest for all the residents of Raytown.

 3a. If your answer to question 3 was (c), what changes do you feel would be of benefit to our city?

 n/a

 4. What budgetary restraints and guideline should the Charter Commission implement to control the Commissions expenditures?

 I believe that the Charter Commission should follow all requirements that are outlined by the process including detailed minutes and itemized financial reports, which should be available to the public. With the financial restrictions that are authorized, all expenditures need to fall within the amounts given and documented clearly.

 5. What benefits do you see a charter would  bring to Raytown?

  I will wait for comment on the benefits, as I would like to make sure the process is followed and all commissioners elected to have a voice to be heard.  Ultimately, the document needs the majority of the commissioners in agreement to go forward to the voters.   I would be honored to serve as a charter commissioner and would appreciate your vote on April 8th.

Police Blotter for the week ending 4/4/2014

Blotter for 3/31/2014

Blotter for 4/1/2014

Blotter for 4/2/2014

Blotter for 4/3/2014

Blotter for 4/4/2014

Lost Dog

Shes an American Bulldog about 7 years old. Her fur is white with black spots all over her body underneath the fur. she has floppy ears and black on her nose and mouth.  Her name is Xena and she’s been missing for about 2 weeks now. She’s a very sweet dog and will approach anyone. We live on Harvard ave off of 350 hwy in Raytown.  Any info please call or text 7853757729 that is the best one to call or text, or also 8162168886.
Thank you,

Nia and Shannon Kley

IMG_67147466776804 IMG_67107132724423 IMG_67126298760666

The Sunday Funnies (reruns)

aliensDressHuman

Jason Greene, Charter Commission Candidate

1.     What is your reason for running for Charter Commission?

As one of the original petitioners for a Charter, I believe that Raytown is in desperate need of a constitution or home rule. A Charter form of government can save the city economic resources and provide basic voter protections and rights to engage the city with. Raytown is currently one of the largest cities in Missouri without a Charter. If I am honored to be elected to serve on the Charter writing commission, I will take a diplomatic approach toward the process, involving the voices and concerns of our community members

2. What is your political experience? (positions you have held or ran for, from delegate to president)

            I was honored to be elected to serve as Alderman, representing Ward II in April of 2013.

3. Do you favor charter that simply implements:

I would like to see recall, referendum, and initiative added to a similar structure of government.  In addition I do believe the conversation of protecting property owners from the policies of eminent domain is one that needs to take place, as well as residency requirements for certain positions at City Hall.

3a. If your answer to question 3 was (c), what changes do you feel would be of benefit to our city?

I feel that these types of political protections should be coupled with economic ones in order to safeguard individual liberty and choice. 

4. What budgetary restraints and guideline should the Charter Commission implement to control the Commissions expenditures?

I believe that one of the first bylaws the Charter Commission should support is one which all legal inquiries should reside through the chairman of the commission with the blessing of a majority of the board.  This would eliminate unnecessary legal challenges and prove to be a saving measure to a majority of the costs.

5. What benefits do you see a charter would bring to Raytown?

            Charter forms of government enable citizens of a community to have more of an influence over the structure of government and the policies its City Hall employs. In doing such, citizens would have more of a voice in promoting efficiency and what their community values at the local level. The alternative would be to allow the State Legislature to continue to make many of these decisions, allowing such would be surrendering local autonomy.

Mark Moore, Charter Commission Candidate

?#1 Establish the basic organization, functions, and operational procedures of our city government. The purpose of the Charter Commission is to serve as custodians of the Raytown City Charter in accordance with state laws to ensure that the Charter is an effective and workable document that will benefit our RESIDENTS in overseeing city operations and expenditures that are put on the table and decided upon by the city council and city officials are open and transparent.

?#2. Second term Committeeman for Brookings Township, Alternate National Delegate for the convention held in Miami Fla.Ran for Raytown City Counsel 3rd Ward. DOD liaison Federal Services Desert Storm

?#3. Agree with both B and C where as C brings into play the ability and choice for the residents to have a more complete understanding of what is in front of them via so-called behind the scenes procedures regarding how the government operates, enables funding, awards projects and who is charge of making these decisions with taxpayer monies.

?#4.  The charter commission is charged with the responsibility of conducting a comprehensive study of the operation of the city government and of the ways in which the conduct of our city government operations and procedures might be improved or reorganized. At this time, as I know it, the commission has no expenditures as this initiative has yet to be voted upon.  

?#5. Benefits of a charter would allow responsibility for ensuring that expenditures of city funds is appropriate, serves the residence with a purpose and does not exceed budgets which usually includes borrowed money in order to accomplish what is needed for the city without any burdensome tax increase’s.

 Regards
Mark Moore

Google Fiber Informational meetings

Google Fiber informational meetings  will be held at the Raytown Library on Thursday April 3rd 2014 @ 1:00 p.m.  and  Wednesday April 9, 2014 @ 6:00 p.m.

How not to get a City Charter Passed

This is article one in a series about learning from past mistakes in creating a City Charter. 

The final version needs to be ready in a timely manner.  

The 2005 Charter filed 5 different versions with the Jackson County Election Board. The last version was filed after the deadline and was the printed version that the Charter Commission distributed.  The leaders on the Commission claimed that they were just fixing typos. I use leaders because  3 of the 5 former commission members who are running again loudly complained about the multiple versions filed.  If  you watch the RaytownOnline.com video of the last Charter meeting, you will hear 2 members objecting.  Not all the differences were typos, as you will see in a document later in this article.  The end result of confusion over what was to be voted on and the manner it was done created distrust in the Charter and lead to a 4 to 1 defeat. 

Document 1 is from Mayor Frank and concerns the various versions. 

You can also click HERE to get the full document in pdf format


 

Sue Frank letter on charter versions_Page_3


 

Click HERE to view a PDF file about content differences that were not just typos.


 

Click HERE to view a PDF file of the Jackson County Circuit Court ruling on what will be on the ballot.


 

This was not the only mistake of the past that should not be repeated, but it was the most glaringly obvious one. 

Raytown School District Teacher of the Year

kphillipsThe Raytown School District is pleased to announce Krista Phillips, 2nd grade teacher at Eastwood Hills Elementary, as the 2014-2015 District Teacher of the Year. Phillips is in her 5th year of teaching at Eastwood.  She is a graduate of Graceland University and is married with three children.

 “Krista has the ability to connect with children in everything that she does and with each child that walks through her door,” colleague Kelly McCully said of Phillips.

Phillips is the 26th District Teacher of the Year for Raytown, and she joins fellow Eastwood Hills Elementary teachers Dred Scott, Sue Gray, and Monica Bradford who previously received the honor.

“Krista believes in our students, and her actions clearly communicate her commitment to high expectations, quality and rigor of instruction, and dedication to the individual excellence of every student in her classroom. Because of this, I watch Krista work magic in the lives of students every day,” Eastwood Hills Administrative Intern Amanda Coleman said.

Building level Teachers of the Year are: Makenna Fulmer, Blue Ridge Elementary; Krista Phillips, Eastwood Hills Elementary; Rebecca Dobson, Fleetridge Elementary; Patty Kralicek, Little Blue Elementary; Christy Curran, Laurel Hills Elementary; Starla Cushman, Norfleet Elementary; Evonne Medrano, Robinson Elementary; Leigh Duewel, Southwood Elementary; La Verne Williams, Spring Valley Elementary; Courtney Wattenbarger, Westridge Elementary; Amy Monnig, Raytown Central Middle; Jennifer Jennings, Raytown Middle; Dan Feehan, Raytown South Middle; Heather Woodson, Raytown High School; Marie Hazel, Raytown South High; Stephanie Migletz, Herndon Career Center; and Maya Roofe, Raytown Success Academy.

Phillips will now be considered for the Missouri Teacher of the Year honor announced in July.

IMG_4633-dn

4 points Sheraton Ribbon Cutting

The 4 Points by Sheraton just had an official ribbon cutting ceremony presided by both the Independence and the Raytown Chamber of Commerce.  Here are a couple of videos of the event. The first one consists of a couple very short speeches and the ribbon cutting. The second one consists of the speeches after the ribbon cutting, and they are also not long. The reason for the brevity may have been the cold brisk wind motivating succinctness on the part of the speakers.

]