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Raytown Student results from District and State Music Festivals


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

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


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
Find me on Facebook, Matthew Cushman Raytown Charter Now

Janet Emerson Submitted Information


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


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?


 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)


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.

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.


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.





Jerome Barnes Charter Commission Candidate



My name is Jerome Barnes… I am married, and have been a resident of Raytown since 1986. I served in the military for 6 years, and retired from the United States Postal Service after 30 years as a Labor Relations Specialists. I served on the School Advisory Board and Volunteered as an Athletic Director for 5 years at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School here in Raytown. Currently serving on the Raytown C-2 School Board and was recently elected to my second three-year term. I am a member of the Raytown Retired Teachers and School Personnel Association.   I am placing my name on the ballot for Charter Commissioner because I want to take an active part in the local decision-making process. If elected, I will work with the charter commission members and other community leaders to produce a charter for Raytown…a charter that is written clearly and in plain language that the citizens of Raytown can understand.

Like many others, I believe that Raytown is at a crossroad. We all want to see the great City of Raytown making the right decisions and headed in the right direction. I believe the charter, if written correctly, can be a tool to aid Raytown in recognizing problems and avoid some of the potential pitfalls our community faces. In Missouri, a town without a charter operates under state rules. That means Raytown is now governed by state statute due to not having a charter. A charter serves as a town’s constitution and will outline the structure of town government and the distribution of powers within that government under the Missouri State Constitution and state laws. For me, the charter is a defining document. It defines the structure of the city’s organization, describes the process by which important tasks are accomplished, clarifies the roles of individuals and groups who play a part in the governance process, and identifies who is accountable.

There will be two questions on the ballot for the Tuesday, April 8, 2014 election concerning Raytown Charter. The first question would establish a charter commission. Secondly, the voters are also asked to choose a thirteen-member charter commission. The commissioners (when elected) will write a document that will enhance the city way of doing business for the next 10 to 20 years. I encourage you to support the development of a charter for Raytown, and would appreciate your vote to include me as a member of the commission. I can be reached at smile4jerome@yahoo.com


Jerome made a donation to REAP. This is a prerequisite for placing an ad on RaytownOnline.com When he responds to the questionnaire,  it will also be posted. 

Matthew Cushman, EMT-P, Charter Commission Candidate

 Matthew Cushman, EMT-P, Charter Commission Candidate
1. What is your reason for running for Charter Commission?
 I simply have a profound love for my hometown.  I have lived here all my life and invested a great deal of my personal and professional life in Raytown.  I have always felt compelled to serve, and this is a great opportunity for me to help move Raytown forward and give more political influence where it belongs… to the people.
2. What is your political experience? (positions you have held or ran for, from delegate to president)
 I have been a part of several campaigns that helped various political subdivisions including the City of Raytown.  I have participated in the local delegate process for presidential elections as well.  In addition to the campaign and direct political process I have engaged in, I have supervised an essential City Department (EMS) and feel that I have a strong working knowledge of what works at City Hall and what does not.  I have first hand experience in dealing with the City’s elected body as well as other political bodies at the local and state level.  But in the end, I am like any other person living in this City, I come with no hidden agenda, ax to grind, or strings attached.  I think other candidates are concerning, as you can clearly see many ramp up the rhetoric already. The success of this commission will be forged by citizens taking ownership in the process.  I want to be a part of that. 
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 don’t think any charter will just be a carbon copy of what is happening currently with out local government.  It shouldn’t.  Being a fourth class city prevents the City from being progressive and keeps the people locked out of the political arena.  So, I think it will clearly fall somewhere between B and C, but understanding that referendum and recall needs to be the cornerstone by which we work.  Those concepts are universally accepted and desired by the People of Raytown.  Building on that will take compromise and understanding.  I promise to work in the best interest of the people. 
3a. If your answer to question 3 was (c), what changes do you feel would be of benefit to our city?
 Great question.  I feel the cornerstones of referendum and initiative are critical aspects and need to be implemented.  This will change the dynamics in Raytown and give a greater voice to the people.  I come with a lot of potential ideas on this subject, but believe my responsibility to listen to the people and support ideas that clearly are expressed with broad support is great.  Things like residency of senior staff to the city marshal, all represent areas that have been discussed.  I have an open mind on these issues and I am eager to hear from the people.  
4. What budgetary restraints and guideline should the Charter Commission implement to control the Commissions expenditures?
I would suspect that a small amount of money would need to be set aside for the document to be vetted for legal implications that may conflict with other laws.  I do feel that there needs to be a liaison from the City and some path to have access to answer legal questions.  There are many ways to do this.  However it should be expected that there be a cost.
5. What benefits do you see a charter would bring to Raytown?
 Raytown residents have long had great ideas and passion for their City.  Presently it takes years to change laws in Jefferson City just so we can attempt to have some self determination.  Doing so cost thousands of taxpayers dollars in staff time and lobbyists.  In addition, this opens the door for greater involvement by its citizens as initiatives could be passed that could better the City in many different ways.  Many of those ways may be seen in the initial process as pull out amendments.

Shirley Witty Wittman, Charter Commission Candidate

Shirley Witty Wittman, Charter Commission Candidate

1. Reason for running for Charter Commissioner: In the event 51% of voters want a charter drafted, I will make every effort to cause a simple charter to be approved by the voters.
2. Prior political experience: I was on the 2005 Charter.
3. I favor a charter with our present status quo with initiative, referendum and recall added providing percentages signed by qualified voters of the city being equal in number to at least 20%of registered voters for initiative, 20% for referendum, and 35% for recall.
4. Charter commission should use city charters from Raymore, Blue Springs, Lee’s Summit and Belton as guidelines and keep legal fees for document preparation at a minimum.
5. A charter form of  government will give the voters more control over their city government.

Charter Candidate Questionaire

I have sent out a questionnaire for the Charter Commission candidates.  I will now start publishing their responses to the questions as the responses come in. I will also included photos and bios if they have also sent that information.

The questions as sent.

Dear Charter Commission Candidate,

RaytownOnline.com request that you complete this questionnaire and return email  it in the next six days to allow it to be included in a candidate profile article scheduled to be published a week before the election. You may also include a photo, brief bio and position paragraph. Please use the area defined under the questions for your answers.
1. What is your reason for running for Charter Commission?
2. What is your political experience? (positions you have held or ran for, from delegate to president)
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.
3a. If your answer to question 3 was (c), what changes do you feel would be of benefit to our city?
4. What budgetary restraints and guideline should the Charter Commission implement to control the Commissions expenditures?
5. What benefits do you see a charter would bring to Raytown?
Thank You,
Michael N. Downing
(owner and editor of RaytownOnline.com)


Weather Warnings

NOAA issued a tornado watch for Jackson County from 1:00 pm until 8:00 pm. This warning was issued at 1:30 pm

NOAA issued a Severe Thunder Storm Warning for Eastern Jackson County until 2:45 pm. 60 mph winds, hail and heavy rain.  This warning was issued at 2:32 pm. 


Seems like they are cutting it close time wise.


Lost Dog (Elliot) has been re-united with owner


The formerly lost dog now known as Elliot has been re-united with his owner. The article was posted to the facebook side of RaytownOnline.com and within a few hours 2,107 people viewed the post, one of them being the worried owner.  The owner contacted RaytownOnline.com, we emailed their contact information to the finder, and that which was lost is now found.  This was the fastest viral Facebook post this publication has been part of.  Other posts may have hit a higher total, but only after week, not hours. It speaks well of the readers, who pay more attention to the needs of a pet, than the news of a bank robbery. I am pleased.

Lost dog Laurel and 61st Raytown just found, old dog with blue collar. 

lost dog

Two cars firing guns around 65th and Elm

raytown-police-looking-for-graphic-designer-to-design-new-logo-badgeAt about 1:30 pm today two cars traveled about 4 blocks firing weapons om 65th West of Elm and Elm North of 65th St.  At this time it is not known for certain if they were firing at each other and which direction they were traveling.  RaytownOnline.com  was able to determine the area involved from the small orange cones that mark where shell casings were located. I appears that there were 8 casings on 65th St. and 3 or 4 on Elm.  Pictures, video, and an audio interview with a Police PIO will be added to this article when they have been processed and uploaded.

After examining the video and photos it is clear that there is one shell casing marker in front of the police vehicle and maybe on in front of the fire hydrant. The voice you hear on the video is a Raytown PIO making a statement at the scene of the crime.  

elm shooting 3

One of the little orange cones that marks the location a shell casing was found.

elm shooting 1 elm shooting 2 elm shooting 4


City Administrator’s Report for 3/21/2014

City Administrator’s Report
FROM: Mahesh Sharma, City Administrator


Public Works

The White Oak West Sanitary Sewer Line A contractor is working this weekend to try and install as much of the sewer work in front of the elementary school as possible while school is out on Spring Break.

Public Works has issued 37 clean-up coupons since November 1, 2013. The number of Raytown residents securing the coupons has increased dramatically since the weather has turned warmer. The coupons cost $5 and provide a $25 value at two locations: Material Recovery & Transfer and Flynn’s Raytown Disposal. Public Works will continue to issue the permits until the funding for the program has been exhausted. The funds available should allow Public Works to issue 650 coupons.

Board, Committee and Commission Meetings, and Events

March 27 – Three Trails Kiwanis Public Meeting – 12:00 p.m.

Raytown Three Trails Kiwanis is sponsoring an information meeting on the school bond and tax renewals. The free meeting is open to the public and will begin at noon in the Raytown Council Chambers at City Hall.

Police Blotter for the week ending 3/28/2014

Blotter for 3/24/2014

Blotter for 3/25/2014

Blotter for 3/26/2014

Blotter for 3/27/2014

Blotter for 3/28/2014