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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 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.

Candidate Thomas Estlund for Raytown School Board

estlund

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.

Mayorial Candidates closing remarks

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.

Letter to the Editor from Charlotte Melson

Dear Editor,

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.

Charlotte Melson

Raytown Mayoral Candidate Forum and Alderman Candidates Meet & Greet -tommorrow

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.

CANDIDATE FOR WARD 2 ALDERMAN— Jim Aziere

Alderman Jim Aziere

Alderman Jim Aziere

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.
He has worked hard to revitalize the City of Raytown by launching an, effort to bring a new brewery to Raytown, and established a committee to build a community center.

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.

Mayor Candidate Pat Ertz at Lutfi’s today

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School Board Candidates from a PTA Meeting

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

Candidate for Ward 3 Alderman—Ryan Myers

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.

ryan myers 1024

The February Meeting of the RDA Candidates introductions

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
Mary Jane Van Buskirk – Alderman Ward 4
Steve Meyers – Alderman Ward 4
Ryan Myers – Alderman Ward 3
Eric Teeman – Alderman Ward 5
Greg Walters – Alderman Ward 1
Michael McDonough – Mayor

Candidate for office policy

RaytownOnline.com will publish information from any candidate for office that people in our area of coverage can vote on.  The submitted information should include a photo, brief bio, and brief position statement.   The only editing on the photo and text will be for to fit it in our standard format.  Our policy of no personal attacks still applies. You can take issue with an opponents position, but not attack them as a person.  Text that is not brief enough will result in a request for a shorter version, it will not be published and it will not be condensed by RaytownOnline.com.

Candidate for Ward 4 Alderman – Mary Jane Van Buskirk

Mary_Jane_Van_Buskirk

I am Mary Jane Van Buskirk, I am running for Alderman in Ward 4. I’m a 42 year resident of Raytown. We have a great city and we need to market it as such.  We do have problems but working together we can fix these problems and make Raytown better than its ever been. I am not saying I can fix all the problems but I promise I will give it 100%. In order to fix our problems we must find ways to expand our economic base by attracting new business, because all of this comes with a cost.

I do have concerns and here is a list of them;

1. I feel very strongly that we need more police patrol in our neighborhoods, crime in the neighborhoods is on the increase.  We have 56 full time police officers and a budget of $7,839,664.00 (47% of our city’s budget).  We had 7,221 outstanding warrants in the month of December. I believe we should look at the possibility of restructuring our police department so as to better utilize the personnel and the tax dollars that fund it. As a strong supporter of our police department it is not my intent to bash the police department but to make it more efficient.

2. Code enforcement needs to be done on a daily basis not just when citizens or elected officials complain, it should be proactive. The codes department employees are on the streets daily and if they are doing their job properly they see violations and that is when they need to be handled. Enforced codes benefit all homes owners and businesses in our city.

3. Streets in many areas of our city are not well lit and this just invites crime. The tax payers deserve to have their neighborhoods lit and to feel safe and secure in their homes.

4. Street maintenance is also an area I feel needs to be reviewed. Good streets, like codes are essential to make Raytown more attractive to potential home buyers and prospective businesses.

I would appreciate your support on April 7th to give me an opportunity to serve you for the next four years. My promise is that I will take the job seriously and work hard for those I represent. Call me at 737-2799 with questions.