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Issued:
10:06 AM CST on February 12, 2017
Expires:
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Partly cloudy skies during the morning hours will give way to occasional showers in the afternoon. High 48F. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 40%.
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Candidates file for Raytown April Elections on opening day

Tuesday December 13th was the  first day for filing for city office. Candidates that file on the first day have their place on the ballot determined by a lottery. Candidates filing after the first day are placed on the ballot in the order they file.  So far there has not been a filing for the two year remaining term of Steve Mock in Ward 5.

Here are the first day candidates.

FILING FOR OFFICE April 4, 2017 General Municipal Election

Alderman Ward I – 4 year term expiring April 2021
Frank Hunt

Alderman Ward II – 4 year term expiring April 2021
Jason Greene
Loretha V. Hayden

Alderman Ward III – 4 year term expiring April 2021
Janet Emerson
Ryan Myers

Alderman Ward IV – 4 year term expiring April 2021
Bill Van Buskirk

Alderman Ward V – 4 year term expiring April 2021
Melissa Beall
Phylis Goforth
Bonnaye Mims

City Marshal – 4 year term expiring April 2021
Jim Lynch

Municipal Judge – 4 year term expiring April 2021
Traci Fann

Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony Tonight

christmas-2016

Resignation of Raytown Finance Director / Interim City Administrator

On Friday afternoon November 18, 2016, Mark Loughry – Interim City Administrator and City Finance Director, submitted his resignation effective December 22, 2016.

Mr. Loughry has accepted a position as a County Administrator in the State of Kansas. The City of Raytown appreciates his service to our community and wishes him well in his new role.

Mr. Loughry’s resignation letter is below.


RaytownOnline note, the letter below was converted to text from an image by our OCR software and it may have introduced typos that were not in the original. Some were corrected, but some may have been missed.


Mayor and Board of Aldermen

First and foremost I want to take this opportunity to say what a blessing the City of Raytown has been to me and my family. The past five years have not always been easy but they have been fulfilling. I have had opportunities here to establish friendships that I know will follow me for a long time. I also know my career here has given me the chance to improve myself in a way that would not have happened anywhere else.

Second I want to thank all of the staff that have been supportive and willing to work towards a common goal of making this a great place to work and Raytown a great place to live. Over the past five years and more specifically the last few months I have really started to see a change in attitude of some of the staff. I know I have been excited to come to work and I have seen that in others as well. Just this week I had an employee tell me they were excited to see the progress we have made this past year.

We are putting into place changes today that will continue to impact this community, for the better, for years to come. Changes to our Codes that will make it easier to clean up problem areas in the community. Changes to auxiliary services that will improve our ability to maintain core services without new fees or taxes. Changes to employee benefits that keep the City competitive with surrounding communities and immediately impact our employees for the better. All of these coupled together will result in the most important change, the ability for our citizens to see an improved quality of life.

Lastly I want to acknowledge how the current Board of Aldermen have worked with me over the past few months during what could have been a very challenging transition. The City lost several key staff members that had been with the City for a long time. The challenges created by that could have been nearly insurmountable, instead through cooperation with the Board and staff it has been a relatively smooth process to this point. Even with some of the outside detractors it is clear to me that the Board, without exception, truly has a common goal of doing what is best for Raytown.

All of these things make my decision to resign one of the most difficult things I have had to do. Over the past few days the Leavenworth County Commission has been in contact with me about an opening they have for what is their equivalent of a County Administrator. While it was an extremely difficult decision for me it is one that I feel is best for me and my family. I will be closer to home, will no longer have night meetings and have the unanimous support of the Commission as their preferred candidate. This is not a position I sought out but it is one that feels like a good fit for me. With that I thank all of you and plan on December 22′” being my last day with the City.

Sincerely,
Mark Loughry, CPM
Interim City Administrator

Steve Mock Memorial part II

On Tuesday at 6:30 pm Raytown’s Mayor unveiled the memorial to Alderman Steve Mock.  The memorial sits in front of a Sweetbay Magnolia tree also planted in remembrance.

mock-tree

Steve Mock memorial Sweetbay Magnolia

 

sweetbay-magnolia

This is what the flowers will look like in the Spring.

p1080436

Video of the memorial services.

Steve Mock Memorial Tree and Monument Dedication

October 18, 2016, 6:30 PM, Raytown City Hall

The City of Raytown will host a dedication ceremony to commemorate the life and civic leadership of Alderman Steve Mock who passed away earlier this summer.

The ceremony will occur with the Mock family and City leaders on the east lawn of Raytown City Hall near the staff entrance to the building. Please join us as we dedicate a tree and monument in his honor.

Aldereman Steve Mock and Clarice Titus

Aldereman Steve Mock and Clarice Titus

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.

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.

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.

 

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.

CITY OF RAYTOWN ANNOUNCES THREE NEW BUSINESSES TO OPEN IN LATE SUMMER

City of Raytown and RH Johnson Company announce three new businesses coming to Raytown. AT&T is scheduled to open at 350 Highway and Gregory in late July. Great Clips and Dominos are scheduled for an early August opening.

RH Johnson Company is the owner and developer of the property. The property was formerly a mattress company but before that was a gas station. The property had to have some environmental work done because of the later owner before it could be developed. That work was completed and work to get a building for tenants was begun.

“We are pleased that these three organizations are coming to our city.”  said Tom Cole, Economic Development Administrator. “We continue to build the strength of 350 Highway with a good assortment of businesses.”

Dominos has become more than a pizza restaurant. The new store design aims to put pizza front and center with a “Pizza Theater” format that will have pizza-making artists’ hand tossing dough and creating custom-made pies in front of seated guests.  Their new menu also offers sandwiches, pastas, chicken wings, desserts and other appetizers.

Great Clips, a Minneapolis-based haircare company is the world’s largest salon brand creating more than 80 million haircuts each year. The salons are locally owned and operated. Great Clips offers many services and are open evenings and weekends. For convenience they also offer online check in.

AT&T mission is to connect people with their world. They provide products and services to make this happen.

Live From Raytown’s Board Chambers

cityofraytownResidents can now keep up with the Raytown Board of Aldermen meetings and Raytown Planning and Zoning Commission meetings from the comfort of their homes via the Internet. The City has entered into an agreement with Swagit Productions, LLC to provide live streaming video of the meetings mentioned above. Thanks to the new technology, meetings are available live through any computer, tablet or smart phone.

Residents have consistently asked for more access to live meetings. We believe streaming will help us reach more residents, business owners and others interested in Raytown.

One reason we chose Swagit Productions is because they are the leading provider of hosted audio/video streaming services for many other cities and government agencies. Swagit’s Extensible Automated Streaming Engine (EASE) solution is designed to provide the City with a full service streaming media framework that reduces the need for extra staff.

Meetings will run live on the City’s website, www.raytown.mo.us as well as continue to run on the City’s Cable Access Channel 7 from Comcast. The June 2, 2015 Board meeting was filmed as a test run and can be currently viewed on the City’s website.

“The test run went well and the system appears to be working fine,” said Brenda Gustafson, Public Information Officer for the City. “The City has been looking for a solution to increasing public access to the live proceedings. This seems to be a good cost-effective solution.”

Board meeting videos will be archived on the City’s website, allowing residents to view previous meetings. We will consider adding other meetings and events in the future.

“And, the neat thing is that the videos are indexed,” Gustafson said. “People can look at the agendas, which are posted online and go to the specific agenda item they’re interested in on the video.”

Previously, the meetings were filmed separately from the live broadcast on Channel 7. The film disc then had to be converted by the Information Technology Department which took a couple of days and then uploaded on YouTube by the Public Affairs staff. The meetings were not available to everyone until several days after the meeting. With this service meetings are available live and then uploaded automatically onto our Website for immediate access.


The June 2nd meeting can be viewed HERE

 

The Political Promise of a Free Lunch

In the recent city election, a few of the candidates relied on the age-old political tactic of “promising a free lunch” when discussing the need for street repairs in Raytown.  Most reasonable people would agree that we need safe streets that are free from potholes, and curbs and sidewalks in many of our neighborhoods. To be fair, the candidates didn’t say anything actually would be free, they just failed to mention the potential financial cost of their promises. Then again, they didn’t actually promise anything specifically, they just complained about the status quo for the most part. The target of their complaint is the use of light-weight aggregate instead of mill and overlay in street repair.

Not very exciting, but please stick with me and keep reading to get the facts. Yes, mill and overlay makes a nicer surface and last 50% longer, but that process costs more than 3 times as much as aggregate.  This is a simple allocation-of-resources problem.  If you have $15 and 5 kids, you can buy one of them a steak and four of them go without dinner, or you can feed all five a hamburger.  

In the past 5 years, the city has fixed 110 lane miles of streets using a combination of the two methods. If only mill and overlay was used, that number would have been 63 lane miles. To have completed the entire 110 miles with the more expensive method, taxes would have to be raised, or other programs would have to be cut. There is no free lunch. 

The city spends about $830,000 a year on streets. To do all mill & overlay would cost almost a million dollars more. So the next time politicians promise steak instead of hamburger, they need to also tell us where the money will come from. 

At the request of RaytownOnline, the City of Raytown supplied the cost data on paving,  some of which appears below.


Street Maintenance Program Costs

The City of Raytown maintains 331 lane miles. We use the transportation sales tax and some City revenue to pay to upkeep our streets. Over the last five (5) years the City has spent $833,600 per year for this service. These costs also include sidewalk and curb repair, striping as well as handicap ramps which is a federal law requirement under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). We have to be in compliance with this law.

To understand the numbers you need to know how the Public Works Department determines costs. A lane mile is a unit of measurement used by Public Works Departments for determining progress of maintenance programs.  One lane mile is the width of one lane (12 feet) by one mile (5,280 feet). If you have a two lane street then that would be two lane miles. A turn lane also counts as a lane mile.

The two tools the City of Raytown uses are Light Weight Aggregate Seal and Mill and Overlay. The cost per lane mile and life cycle of each tool is:

Cost per Lane Mile              Life/Treatment

Light Weight Aggregate                $21,542/Lane Mile             7 to 10 years

Mill and Overlay                          $66,176/Lane Mile             10 to 15 years

In the last five years, we have been able to complete Light Weight Aggregate on 70 lane miles and Mill and Overlay on 40 miles, in total 110 lane miles have been treated, or 33% of all the roads in Raytown using both tools. It is prudent to use the most appropriate tool at the proper time.  Using the Light Weight Aggregate treatment stretches the life of the street and allows us to keep our roads in a manageable condition.

ELECTION RESULTS FOR 2015 FOR THE Raytown School District

The top two candidates have been elected.

Candidate votes Raytown KC
AMY BETH TITTLE 3129 2113 1016
KRISTIE LYNN COLLINS-DELARBER 2817 1818 999
THOMAS GRANGER ESTLUND 1920 1358 562

Election Results for 2015 for the City of Raytown

Mayor Total Percent
MICHAEL MCDONOUGH* 2002 57.78%
PAT ERTZ 1513 42.91%
 Alderman Ward 1
 KAREN BLACK*   244   37.77%
 GREG WALTERS  225  34.83%
 JOE CREAMER   176  27.24%
 Alderman Ward 2
 JIM AZIERE*   447  52.90%
  STEVE GUENTHER   276  32.66%
  CHRIS RATHBONE  121  14.32%
 Alderman Ward 3
 MARK MOORE*   277  46.40%
 RYAN MYERS  264  44.22%
 STERLING L. BROWN   54   9.05%
 Alderman Ward 4
 STEVE MEYERS*   411  52.36%
  MARY JANE VAN BUSKIRK  373   47.52%
 Alderman Ward 5
 ERIC TEEMAN*  353   58.35%
 BARRY PARK  248  40.99%
 The Charter
 NO*   1903  55.32%
YES  1537  44.68%

 

 

RaytownOnline.com Endorses Pat Ertz for Mayor

ertzRaytownOnline.com endorses Pat Ertz for Mayor.

While his opponents service to the Raytown Police Department since the 1970’s is laudable, it does not come close to Ertz’s experience as an Aldermen and as a manager in both the private and the public sector.

Ertz has shown 8 years of steady political leadership for Raytown and we need that experience at the helm.

His polite and friendly nature is an added bonus, but in truth his opponent also shares those qualities.

City Election Endorsements and a copy of the proposed Charter

Ward 1 Joe Creamer

Ward 2 Jim Aziere

Ward 3 Ryan Myers

Ward 4 & 5  No Endorsement

The Charter Vote NO

This is the worst of the last three charters presented to the voters of Raytown.  The previous charter was flawed with conflict and inconsistencies within it. The Charter before that attempted too many changes and was probably rejected by voters unwilling to make that great a leap into the unknown.

The proposed Charter would take us from a weak Mayor to a ceremonial Mayor.  The Mayors power would be to Chair the Board meeting and cut ribbons.

It would transfer power from the Parks Board into the hands of the Alderman and it would set the qualification requirements for Police Chief to vague standards that very well could result in litigation between candidates over whether those standards are met.  All decisions could be reviewed by the Board of Aldermen if just 3 Aldermen agree. Hiring and salary of the Parks Director us a decision made by the Aldermen

The Parks and Recreation Director may be removed from office by a majority vote of the Board of Aldermen and shall serve at their pleasure.

We would have a Parks Director with two masters, but one that can fire him.  Part of the reasoning for having an independant Parks Board with money we voted to have them use for the Parks alone, was to separate it from politics.  If the Aldermen can hire, fire and set the salary of the Parks Director, then there is no separation from politics.

Here is a small sample of from the section on Chief of Police that runs from page 12 to page 16.

Candidates for the Chief of Police shall also possess:

1) considerable knowledge of the principles of modern police administration and police methods;

2) considerable knowledge of the principles and accepted good practices and procedures as applied to patrol, traffic control, criminal investigation, and crime prevention;

What constitutes considerable knowledge and who determines if a candidate possesses that knowledge? Do they get to take a test? Does a Police Chief actually have to be able to wear every hat in the department, to oversee the department? Is there someone in the Police Department that meets these qualifications and are these qualifications tailored to insure he runs unopposed?

While the City Administrator must live in the City, the Municipal Judge is not required to live in Raytown and can actually serve as a Judge for other communities.

c) Qualifications for Office; Outside Employment. The Municipal Judge shall possess and maintain the following qualifications before and after taking office:

i. Must be a licensed attorney, qualified to practice law within the State of Missouri, and shall have been engaged in active practice of law in the State of Missouri for at least three (3) years immediately preceding election.

ii. Need not reside within the City.

iii. Must be a resident of the State of Missouri and have resided in the State for one (1) year immediately preceding election.

iv. May serve as Municipal Judge for any other municipality.

 

Click Below to download a complete copy of the Proposed City Charter

CityOfRaytownCharter

Raytown Election 2015 – Just Say No – Follow the Money (part 3)

The opposition to the Charter group has filed with the Jackson County Election Board under the name Committee for Professional Government. The named treasurer is Shirley Wittman. Under itemized expenditures is $891.68 for yard signs. Contributions names one donor giving $500 and $799 in donations of under $100. The total comes to $1299.00.

Click HERE to download a PDF of the filed document.

Raytown Election 2015 – Politics in Ski Masks – Follow the Money (part 2)

The Charter is getting support in the form of Signs and post cards from a group called “Raytown Community Alliance.” Inquires to the Jackson County Election Board resulted in a referral to the Missouri Ethics Commission. The Commission website did yield some information.

Address 10014 E 63rd St.  Raytown, Mo. 64133 Phone (816) 225-xxxx (the address is also the address of former Mayor Sue Franks insurance company and the phone number that I did not fully list is Ms. Frank’s cell phone)

The only other information on the Ethics Commission’s web site is a single non-committee expenditure report that shows $972.00 for yard signs and $1226.18 for a mailer. There was nothing about where the money came from. A recent article in the Raytown Eagle seemed to indicate that this group claimed to not be a campaign committee and therefore was not required to file disclosure reports. Well the group did file an expenditure report, they just did not file a contributor report.  http://mec.mo.gov/Scanned/PDF/2015/111374.pdf

The bottom line is that it does not matter if a group can legally hide where their money comes from, if they hide it, they are not to be trusted. They are like a politician coming to your door wearing a ski mask.

Next who is behind the NO-Charter campaign

Blighted property now has two new energy efficient homes

Congressman Cleaver was present for the ribbon cutting and open house for two new homes in Raytown. The land previously contained two lots that the City had considered blighted. The new homes were constructed by Builders Development Corporation (BDC) and funding was provided through a Neighborhood Stabilization Program 3 (NSP#) grant the City of Raytown received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. There are no local funds required by the City to participate in the program.

Using the NSP grant funding Builders Development Corporation purchases vacant and foreclosed properties to renovate or reconstruct on the properties and then sells the homes to qualified families. The program is part of the American Recover and Reinvestment Act also known as the Recovery Act was enacted to create jobs and promote invest and consumer spending during the recession. The monies made go back into the program to purchase more properties to further stimulate growth in the City and revitalization of a neighborhood.

Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II – Missouri’s Fifth District, said “It is so satisfying to see homes built that will provide this neighborhood a new sense of excitement while also providing needed jobs to make the homes a reality. These homes will breath new life into this neighborhood turning blight into beauty and houses into hope.”

The BDC is also in the process of renovating a home that had been abandoned at 85th & Elm and is currently identifying other properties to acquire/reconstruct in Raytown.

 

 

burned_out_house_1024

Before

fixed house 2

After

hedges kitchen


The Kitchen

 

hedges cleaver and aldermen

Congressman Cleaver flanked by four members of the Raytown Booard of Aldermen

hedges cutting the ribbon

Alderman Melson cuts the ribbon

 

 

Consultant faults charter & denies endorsement

This article originally ran in the Raytown Times and is reprinted here with their permission


The proposed City Charter has several policy issues that could become problematic for the city. particularly in the working relationships between the Mayor, Board of Aldermen and the City Administrator, Gary Markenson, former executive director of the Missouri Municipal League and now a consultant to cities. said yesterday (Tuesday, March 3 1).

At the Charter Commission’s request, Markenson met with the commissioners early on as they sought advice on charter preparation. After the draft was printed, Commission Chairman Sieve Guenther provided Markenson a copy of the charter and asked him to review it and provide an endorsement. Markenson said he could not endorse it and pointed out to Guenther several key problems.

The Charter has essentially gutted the position of Mayor, stripping the office of all administrative duties and leaving the mayor to handle ceremonial duties, Markenson noted. It also presents a wall between the Mayor and the City Administrator, placing more power with the Board of Aldermen.

The Charter states: ‘The Mayor shall be recognized as head of the City government for all legal and ceremonial purposes;  shall have no administrative duties beyond serving as Board of Aldermen Chairman.”

The Charter also provides for an elected Municipal Judge. but states that the judge, “Need not reside within the City.”

” I don ‘I know of any city in this state that allows an elected official to live outside the city.” Markenson said. ” It seems inconsistent to require the City Administrator to live within the city when an elected judge is not required to.”

Markenson noted that the Charter specifies that “the Park Board may make and adopt such bylaws, rules, and regulations for the guidance and for the operation of the parks. Such rules shall be  adopted into the City code or ordinances upon approval by the Board of Aldermen.”

“Does that mean the city has to rule on every little rule and regulation the Park Board comes up with?” he asked rhetorically.  “It seems that could cause major conflict between the Park
Board and Aldermen. It paves the way for conflict.”

Markenson pointed out several other faults. but praised the Charter Commissioners for their diligence in preparing the document. “They worked really hard,” he said.

 


That concludes the Raytown Times article.  Below is video of Markenson’s presentation at the second Charter Commission meeting.

RAYTOWN MAYORAL CANDIDATE FORUM Video

Raytown Election 2015 – Follow the Money (part 1)

dollar_risingThe 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.

Click HERE to download a pdf scan of the Ertz filings with the Ethics Commission that this article is based on and click HERE to download the McDonough filings.