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Michael McDonough Announces Bid for Mayor of Raytown

mike mMichael McDonough announced Friday, 08-15-14, his intention to run for Mayor of the City of Raytown.   Michael McDonough is dedicated to fostering an environment of cooperation within the City of Raytown.  He is committed to working alongside citizens and businesses to meet important community goals. For decades, Michael has served the public, his own neighbors, with integrity and dedication, in both public safety and local charity service, and is committed to our community’s progress.  The election will be held in April of 2015.

Michael, a nearly life-long resident, has achieved many accomplishments throughout his personal and professional life.  He was most recently honored to be named the Truman Heartland Foundation 2014 Raytown Outstanding Citizen of the Year.  As stated by the Truman Heartland Foundation’s press release announcing the honor, that recognition is reserved for those community members that have “used their skills, abilities, and positions to promote the wellbeing of their communities and the people that live in them. While the avenue towards change may be varied among them, all the honorees are united by a common goal, to improve the lives of their fellow citizens, and a common desire to help improve and enrich the communities of Eastern Jackson County.”

He donates his personal time to many charitable organizations and serves on the Board of Directors for Raytown Emergency Assistance Program (REAP,) the Raytown Police Benefit Fund, and was elected to a position on the Raytown Charter Commission. He was also involved at Southwood Elementary School for seven years in the Youth Friends Program.

His other accomplishments include having been an EMT with training in Emergency Care of Wounded Police Officers, Scouting, Coaching youth sports, and assisting other organizations with fundraising events.  He has received the Officer of the Year Award, twice, a Lifesaving Award from the Metropolitan Chiefs and Sheriffs Association, the James Schneider Award from the Raytown Fire Protection District, the Life Saving Star from Raytown Emergency Medical Services, as well as several Quality Contribution Certificates from the Raytown C-2 School District.

Michael McDonough has lived in Raytown for the past 51 years.  He grew up in Raytown, went through school here and graduated from Raytown South High School in 1973. He enjoys living in Raytown because of the great people that live here. They are so giving and helpful to one another, and just like him, are proud of this community. Although this town is surrounded by Kansas City, it has continued to keep its small town feel.

He has served as a police officer for the Raytown Police Department since 1975. Prior to that, he worked for a year in the City Street Department, while attending community college.  His passion has been, and always will be, serving the citizens of the City of Raytown. He has been serving his community for the last 40 years, and will continue to do so.  He continues to live in Raytown because of the people, and his love for this community.

It is that dedication and commitment to our community that has led Michael McDonough to decide to run for Mayor of the City of Raytown in the April 2015 election.  Michael would be honored to continue his service to the citizens of Raytown by leading the City of Raytown with a spirit of cooperation and progress.

Candidate Endorsements

RaytownOnline Endorses The Following Candidates

In the past RaytownOnline.com has limited political attention to candidates for the City of Raytown and the Raytown School District.  Recent events concerning the Jackson County Legislature granting property tax-free status and renewal of property free status at the expense of the income of the Raytown School District in the past, prompted broader political scrutiny for the sake of our community. 

Jackson County Legislature, 1st District at Large (Democrat) Sherwood Smith

Mr. Smith can point to a long history of involvement working for Democratic values and has the skills and knowledge that the job requires. His opponent has name recognition and a commendable history working with children, but needs more political experience before tackling a job in the often rough arena of the Jackson County Legislature.

Jackson County Legislature, 2nd District (Democrat) Sterling Brown

Mr. Brown lives in Raytown with his wife and children and has a history of supporting issues that help working class families.  The former 2nd District Legislator totally ignored the Raytown portion of his district and the odds are good that his hand-picked successor with do the same.

Jackson County Legislature, 6th District (Republican) Theresa Galvin

Ms.  Galvin seems knowledgeable and articulate.   It is hoped that Raytown will receive better attention from her than it has from the incumbent Bob Spence.  To Mr. Spence’s credit, he has attended a couple of Raytown Chamber of Commerce functions recently, but after many years in office, it is too little and too late.

Ballot Issues Editorial

RaytownOnline.com position on two of the Constitutional Amendments that will be on the ballot next Tuesday.

Constitutional Amendment #1: The Right to Farm  – NO  

The very name of this amendment is deceptive. This amendment is not about the right to farm in any traditional sense. It is about the right to put HUGE hog production facilities in Missouri, without local government having any control.  The amendment also loosens restrictions on foreign ownership of Missouri farmland and loosens restrictions on puppy mills.  In the past county and city governments have been able to prevent damage to the local air quality and threats to the local water table by the use of zoning and health codes that control where large hog factories can be placed. This amendment would prevent local government from deciding where they want to allow hog factories to be placed. This bill is totally for the benefit of LARGE hog factories, foreign farm investors, and puppy mills. It does nothing for family farms and takes power away from local government ability to protect their citizens. 

Constitutional Amendment #7 Sales Tax Increase for Transportation – NO

We agree there is a need to repair and upgrade Missouri highways and bridges, BUT this is the WRONG way to pay for it.  The logical source of revenue would be an increase on the gasoline and diesel fuel tax, a tax that has not been raised for over 20 years. The fuel tax has not even been adjusted for inflation and is one of the lowest in the Midwest.  The amendment goes further, it prevents any raising of fuel taxes for 10 years.  Those that use and put the most wear and tear on our highways are the trucking industry, and they are a major force behind this legislation.  NO free ride for trucking companies at the expense of everyone else, including people that do not or cannot even drive. 

Raytown Democratic Association August Primary Endorsements

Raytown Democratic Association


Emanuel Cleaver II



Bonnaye V. Mims



Tom McDonald



Mike Sanders



Sherwood Smith



Crystal Williams



Tony Miller



Scott Burnett



Sterling Brown



Michael Downing
Fred Hartwell



Sandra Hartwell
Kimberly Clause Luaces


Constitutional Amendment 1



Constitutional Amendment 5



Constitutional Amendment 7


Raytown Chamber May Luncheon with political guests

28 May 2014 – 11:00 AM

The Bordner Event Center
11950 E State Route 350
Raytown, MO 64138


– Networking begins at 11:00am, Lunch at 11:30am

~Legislative Update~

The Government Relations Committee has invited
County, State, Federal officials to give updates on legislative issues.

The officials confirmed to attend are:
State Rep Tom McDonald, Dist. 28
State Rep Noel Torpey, Dist. 29
State Rep Mike Cierpoit, Dist. 30
Bob Spence, Jackson County 6th Dist.
KC Mayor ProTem, Cindy Circo
Cory Dillon, Senior Regional Director for US Senator Claire McCaskill

Sponsored by: The Bordner

Election Results

 (Sales tax renewal for roads)

YES* Total 1391 Percentage 70.79% 14 OF 14 PRECINCTS
NO 574 29.21%

 (Sales tax renewal for equipment)
YES* Total 1428 Percentage 73.23% 14 OF 14 PRECINCTS
NO 522 26.77%

YES* Total 1161 Percentage 60.63% 14 OF 14 PRECINCTS
NO 754 39.37%

Total Percentage 14 OF 14 PRECINCTS
JIM AZIERE* 956 6.23%
JASON GREENE 898 5.85%
LISA EMERSON 752 4.90%
SUSAN DOLAN 748 4.87%
GREG WALTERS 704 4.59%
MARK MOORE 670 4.37%
TED BOWMAN 664 4.33%

The following did not get elected

JOE BURTON 632 4.12%
RICHARD KOOP 571 3.72%
ROBBIE TUBBS 547 3.56%
UnOfficial Write Ins 0 0%
Total Percentage 0 OF 1 PRECINCTS
UnOfficial Write Ins 0 0%


(Raytown School District school bonds)

YES* Total 1658 Percentage 71.71% 17 OF 17 PRECINCTS
NO 654 28.29%

Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders presentation on acquisition of Railroad right of ways

County Exec Mike Sanders made a detailed presentation on the proposed acquisition of railroad right of ways. The purpose for the purchase of these railroad sections was both public transportation routes, hiking and biking, and the eventual link up with the Katy Trail. Here is a video taken by RaytownOnline.com of that presentation to the Jackson County Legislature. 

JaCo_Rock Island Detail Map raytown

Raytown now a lot closer to having KATY Trail State Park

Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders announced today that a deal has been cut with Union Pacific for the right to purchase sections of abandoned Union Pacific railroad corridors.  The exclusive right to purchase was given at no cost, but the actual purchase would cost $59 million.  This price is about 1/2 the previous asking price of one section of abandon track.

Jackson County has at least two proposed uses for the property,  public transportation lines and hiking & biking trails.  The biggest section of the land in question is the old Rock Island line that runs through Raytown.  The hiking and biking goal is to have a continuous KATY Trail from St. Louis to Independence. That trail would run through Raytown. 

Given the price and the likelihood of outside funds and financing, the probability that this purchase will happen is high. If the purchase happens, then the creation of the hiking and biking trail is also high.   The planned public transportation system is now more likely.

Mayor Bower sounds a little different in this video due to heavy audio scrubbing to reduce wind noise.  Sorry Mayor Bower I thought my wind screen was up to the task.  

Raytown Mayor Dave Bower and County Legislator Theresa Garza Ruiz (who grew up in Raytown) comment on the announcement.

Video of the event, graphics of the areas involved  are being processed and will be published this week. 

Legislative Forum Video

The Missouri Legislative Forum held in the Raytown School District Administration Building at 4:30 pm at 6608 Raytown Road. The legislators present were State Senator LeVota and Representatives McDonald and Mims.  

Topics focused on included:

  1. Legislation that deal with the transfer of students from unaccredited school district to accredited districts. 
  2. Tax cuts and how they can affect funding for education.
  3. Changes in the standards for school district accreditation the Missouri Department of Secondary and Elementary Education (DESE). 
  4. The political forces attempting to promote charter schools and for profit education companies at the expense of public schools.


The Mid-America Regional Council has partnered with the three local public health departments serving Jackson County, Kansas City Health Department, the Independence Health Department and the Jackson County Health Department, to address policy and environmental change around chronic disease prevention. A Leadership Team provides community input and oversight for the program.

With funding from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Building a Healthier Jackson County, a five-year grant program, addresses tobacco-free living, active living, healthy eating, increased use of high-impact quality preventative services and a safe and supportive built environment.

The Mid-America Coalition on Health Care issued the Healthy Vending Resource Guide in September 2012. The goal is to help employers and other organizations with vending machines in their buildings understand the value of increasing the availability and affordability of healthful foods. The guide offers helpful information on how to implement healthy vending to increase the number of businesses and organizations implementing healthier vending options. 

Employers in eastern Jackson County have an opportunity to partner with the Jackson County Health Department on this project.  One goal is to increase the availability and affordability of healthful foods and beverages in workplaces and community organizations. Another goal is to create an environment that supports healthy lifestyles, prevents obesity and improves the health of employees and the general public.

Please contact the Jackson County Health Department at (816) 404-8429 if you would like a copy of the Healthy Vending in the Workplace Guide, and/or if you want to partner with us on this initiative.

You can download the guide in PDF format by clicking HERE


Sales Tax increase soundly defeated

The ballot issue Question 1 lost by a large margin. Here are the results. 

Jackson County

NO*           39226           86.13%

YES             6319           13.87%

Kansas City

NO            25260            81.47%

YES            5747             18.53%

Please Vote Tuesday Nov. 5th

Please take time to vote on Tuesday. There is only one item on the ballot, but that item is important. It is an increase of the county sales tax to fund medical research and the 1/2 cent increase over its life of 20 years means between $4,000 and $8,000 for a family.  This will probably be a low turnout election, so your vote will carry a lot more weight than normal.  The video is two 12 minute presentations from a supporter and an opponent of the sales tax.  RaytownOnline,com has taken a “VOTE NO” editorial position on this tax and you can read the reasons by clicking HERE. 

Jackson County Combat Violence Prevention Picnic

violence prevention picnic

Gov. Nixon in Lee’s Summit tonight to discuss tax bill’s impact on schools

Tuesday, August 6
WHO:              Gov. Jay Nixon
Budget Director Linda Luebbering
Senior Legal and Policy Advisor Chris Pieper
Teachers, administrators, board members, parents and civic leaders
WHAT:            Discussion about House Bill 253 and its impact on local public school districts 
WHEN:            6:30 p.m.
WHERE:        Stansberry Leadership Center
Lee’s Summit North High School
301 NE Tudor Rd
Lee’s Summit, MO

Raytown Chamber of Commerce Legislative Breakfast featuring County Legislator Bob Spence

There is timely and interesting information on recent property tax assessments in this video.

Circuit Breaker Tax Credit under attack again

Circuit Breaker Tax Credit is under attack again.  The program gives property tax relief to seniors and the disabled who’s income falls below $27,500 a year.

RaytownOnline thanks KCTV5 for providing the code to embed their video in this article.Click HERE to read the KCTV5 article. Click on SB350 to read the Senate Bill.

Click HERE to read the article about Circuit Breaker from 2011 on RaytownOnliine.com

Meeting about YMCA closing


RQS Superintendent Addresses YMCA Closing, March 14, 6:00pm

Raytown Quality Schools Superintendent Dr. Allan Markley asks that you join him Thursday evening to discuss the closing next month of Raytown’s Richard C. Green Sr. Family YMCA. 

Click for closing details from the
KC Star Editorial, March 12

Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 6:00pm
Raytown Schools Education & Conference Center
10750 Highway 350, Raytown, MO 64138

Raytown South High School auditorium due to anticipated large numbers of attendees

What Can the Community Do?

Raytown Quality Schools Legislative Forum

Raytown Quality Schools Legislative Forum will be held on March 15, 2013 from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm at Raytown City Hall, 10000 E. 59th St.   State Legislators, City and School officials and administrators will meet the public and discuss issues concerning education in the Raytown School District. 

Winchester TIF update

A deal has been cut that will extend the Winchester TIF for another 10 year to build more soccer fields at 63rd St. and Hardesty Ave. Kansas City Mo. and Jackson County will donate what funds are in the TIF and their share for the next 10 years to add 7 more fields to the existing 3 fields and expand the field used by Sporting KC. Bathroom facilities, bleachers and lighting are also to be added.  The Jackson County Legislature has approved the plan and the Kansas City Mo. will consider it on March 21st.

The plan has provisions for upgrading Bennet Rd. and upgrading residential septic tank systems.  This falls short of what the Swope Ridge Neighborhood group felt they were promised over 20 years ago.

Readers are encouraged to make up their own minds on this matter of whether $900,000 improvements to Bennet Road and another $600,000 in other improvements equals what was promised to happen in the original agreement. To adjust for inflation you may click HERE to use  the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calculator. $1,500,000.00 in 1991 would equal $2,536,123.35 in today’s dollars.

Click HERE to see the original agreement.

Editorial on the Winchester TIF

The resolution between Kansas City Mo. and the Raytown School District seems to be a done deal and Raytown students will benefit from the hard work of the School District Administration and the friends of the District in demanding KCMO do the right thing.

One party in this tale has still not received justice: the homeowners in the Winchester TIF District. Over 20 years ago, they were promised adequate roads, sidewalks, and city water and sewer.  This was to be their compensation for allowing Kansas City to locate a huge commercial development in their midst.

Now, KCMO wants to do less than promised and make residents jump through hoops to benefit. For example,  they may have to demonstrate financial need, cost-share in improvements, etc.  This bait-and-switch tactic is both unfair and unwise. Potentially, this leaves Winchester residents and Raytown students without sidewalks, resulting in pedestrians sharing narrow, dangerous streets with vehicular traffic.

Click HERE to see the original agreement.

Click HERE to see the latest proposal. 

TIFs in the metro area have left a trail of broken promises and changed deals.  The culprits are usually the developers and governmental bodies involved. The victims are the citizens.  This behavior results in injustice in the short-term, but results in long-term citizen resistance to future economic development.  Government bodies should be held accountable to keep their word, even if the promise was made by others more than 20 years ago. Elected officials should remember that, although they may let the developers walk away unscathed, they may still be in the castle when the peasants finally storm it with pitchforks and torches.

The first step in rectifying this situation should be the upgrading of the roads and sidewalks in the Winchester area for the safety of the public. There is no safe place to walk in many parts of the residential portion of the area. The roads in the commercial portion are wide and bordered by sidewalks, while the residential portion has dangerously narrow roads bordered by 3-foot ditches.  In many areas, two cars cannot pass safely, let alone a car and a school bus. It is easy to imagine a disaster if a school bus crests a hill only to find a car coming from the other direction, or a diver swerves to avoid a student walking in the road to avoid a mud-filled ditch.

The following photos illustrate the type of roads the Winchester TIF should be obligated to upgrade.


Letter to the Editor from Swope Ridge Neighborhood Association

Dear City Leaders,

 We are the residents of the Swope Ridge Neighborhood and we have a serious concern.  Twenty plus years ago the Winchester TIF was established.  Swope Ridge Neighborhood was the “but for” argument to allow the Winchester development to happen, granting TIF concessions that were given to the developer. The original plan and the subsequent 5 amendments provided for remediation of the residential portion of the TIF plan and promised basic infrastructural improvements that would not otherwise have been made.  To provide a little neighborhood background, Swope Ridge neighborhood is a working class area with a hodge podge group of homes.  Some homes here were built in the 60’s and 70’s and are still inhabited by the original owners.  They have raised their children and are now retired.  Some homes were moved into this area when 71 highway was being built.  Instead of just tearing down the homes, they were given new lives and moved to this quiet little area by the park so there would homes for other families to raise their children.  It is here that this once quiet little community has had to fight for their homes, battling not only developers but politicians also.  In fact, a group of the homeowners were so concerned that the developers would try to take their homes that a legal injunction was issued and made a part of the TIF agreement not to demolish the homes. To this day, we have no sewers, sidewalks, storm sewers, and the roads in and out of this development are subpar.  

 Last summer the TIF commission hired a consultant to do a study of this area and found that we were still considered blighted.  This study was used to attempt to divert funding from our neighborhood to the soccer village.  Swope Ridge Neighborhood is still in need of infrastructural improvements and we are still blighted after 20 years.  

 Because of the development, over 3,000 parking spaces have been added in this small residential area creating undeniable wear and tear and traffic on the neighborhood.    We started our conversations with the TIF Commission and City staff with an attitude toward cooperation and compromise.  We were asked to consider septic tank replacement instead of a sewer system.  We have been asked to participate in an invasive inspection/income dependent home repair program.  We have come to the conclusion that the needs and priorities of the neighborhood are not a priority concern.  We are no longer interested in a compromise that does not meet our infrastructure needs. 

 In 1991 this neighborhood was promised in the TIF plan the following improvements to the infrastructure of our neighborhood in exchange for our allowing the commercial development to come in and basically overrun our quiet little country neighborhood.  Following is the list of items promised in the original TIF agreement: as approved and adopted by City ordinance, and included in the last five amendments, called for the remediation of blight in the following specific instances, for example:

 1.     Exhibit 7-A Infrastructure-Roadway Improvements

    1. a.     Bennington Ave. (north-south) Collector Street Standards, 60’ R/W, 5’ sidewalks both sides, 36’ B-B street width, CG-1 Curb and Gutter both sides, 2” asphalt surface course, 7” asphalt base course
    2. b.     64th Street (east-west) Residential Street Standards, 50’ R/W, 4’ Sidewalks both sides, 28 B-B Street width, CG-2 Curb & Gutter both sides, 2” asphalt surface course, 6” asphalt base course
    3. c.      Cul de Sac (north-south off of 64th Street) Residential Street standards, 50’ R/W, 4’ sidewalks both sides, 28’ b-B street width, CG-2 curb & gutter both sides, 2” asphalt surface course, 6” asphalt base course
    4. d.     66th Street (east-west) Residential street standards, 50’ R/W, 4’ sidewalks both sides, 28’ b-b street width, CG-2 curb & gutter both sides, 2” asphalt surface course,  6” asphalt base course.
    5. e.     Driveways
    6. f.      Roadway grading
  1. 2.     Storm sewer improvements
    1. a.     Enclosed storm sewer systems
  2. 3.     Sanitary Sewer Improvements
    1. a.     6” sewer
    2. b.     Bore under KCS RR Tracks
    3. c.      8” sewer
  3. 4.     Water Main Improvements
    1. a.     Adjust house service line connections
    2. b.     8” water main
  4. 5.     Residential Remediation Program Exhibit 7-B
    1. a.     The funds shall be made available to reimburse the greater of either the cost of sanitary sewer hookup or up to $3,00 which may also be used to reimburse the cost of improvements to the exterior of the residential structure.

     More than 20 years later we are here to defend our neighborhood.  While we agree that commercial development is necessary to grow the economy, neighborhoods are also necessary to grow humanity.  Promises made in the form of a TIF agreement create a contract that should be kept.  Nothing has been delivered for the residents since this agreement went into effect in 1991.   We feel that the original promises made should be honored.  We should not have had to argue and defend the very thing that made our area a TIF qualifier.  With the exception of the TIF promises, we have never been the beneficiary of any improvements by the 5th District representatives.  We still have never had anyone show us the rational basis for why our promised improvements cannot be provided. 

      There is sufficient funding at this time to fund the original TIF agreement as written.  We were offered a diminished amount that is not acceptable with the conditions placed on it for implementation.  We are now asking that our City leaders honor the commitments originally made to this residential area and do the right thing.


Swope Ridge Neighborhood Association

Patricia Losiewicz-President

Kansas City, MO 64133       



* note the phone number and address have been removed by RaytownOnline.com as a matter of policy.

The letter to the editor also included supporting documentation. You can read it by clicking HERE for the original TIF plan and clicking HERE to read the latest version of it. This is important as there is a difference in the infrastructure improvements between what was promised and what is proposed now.

Filings for public office

Filings for elected positions for Raytown, Raytown School District, and Raytown Fire District closed Tuesday at 5 pm.

City of Raytown

Alderman Ward I – 4 year term expiring April 2017

Josh Greene

Richard Tush

Alderman Ward II – 4 year term expiring April 2017

Jim Hamilton

Jason Greene

Jerry J. Kinman

Alderman Ward III – 4 year term expiring April 2017

Janet Emerson

Chris Merrill

Mark Moore

Christine White

Alderman Ward IV – 4 year term expiring April 2017

Rita Bennett

William E. (Bill) Van Buskirk

Alderman Ward V – 4 year term expiring April 2017

Steve Mock

Efrem Z. Williams Sr.

City Marshal – 4 year term expiring April 2017

Jim Lynch

Municipal Judge – 4 year term expiring April 2017

Traci Fann

Raytown School District

Rick Thode (Incumbent Elected 2009 to fill term of Bd. Mmbr. who resigned & 2010)

Bobbie Saulsberry (Incumbent – Elected 2007 & 2010)

Pam Arlund

Ken Grist


Raytown Fire District

Barb Schlapia



KCMO Mayor Sylvester “Sly” James, Jr. responds the Raytown School District’s Position Paper

This document was converted from a PDF image file to text. Errors may have occured. The there is a link to the original pdf  document at the end the article.


Office of the Mayor
Mayor Sylvester “Sly” James, Jr.

 January 4,2012

Dr. Allan Markley
Superintendent of Schools
6608 Raytown Rd
Raytown, Mo64135-526

Re: Winchester TIF Plan Proposal

Dr. Markley:

I have your letter of December 29, 2012 which is in response to mine of December 18. Your letter causes me to doubt my previous belief that, as a result of our December 10 meeting, we were attempting to negotiate a settlement of this matter.

I have perhaps misinterpreted your intent or misunderstood the tone and tenor of your position. If, on the other hand, “[t]he district is not willing to deviate from the above listed terms,” as your letter states, that is indeed unfortunate and problematic.

City officials and staff have worked over a period of months to address concerns the District has expressed, including reducing the cost and scope of the proposed project, eliminating any funding to private developers and providing a means to fund capital improvements for the District. Some give and take on the part of all parties is the essence of any negotiated settlement.

Your letter at least appears to set f0rth demands, ultimatums and threats which, if representative of your true and final position, make it difficult, at best, to advocate for a reasonable settlement. Under the circumstances, I am confused as to what we are trying accomplish. If we are trying to resolve this problem, I stand ready to work with you. If on the other hand, you are trying to direct policy, I will find it difficult to assist you.

It seems incredulous to me that we would be unable to negotiate in good faith without the need to resort to ultimatums and threats. Even the U.S. Congress was able to negotiate a resolution to the “fiscal cliff’ crisis with some eff0rt. I remain hopeful that we might do the same. If you are willing to work toward that goal, I am more than happy to do so. As a sign of our good faith, we have asked that the TIF Commission continue its consideration of the Winchester matter until February 2013.

Please advise how you would like to proceed.


Raytown School Districts reply to Mayor Sly Jame’s proposal

This document was created by doing optical character recognition on a PDF file. At the end of this post there is a link to the actual pdf file. OCR creates typos. I have corrected the typos I recognized, except for those that were in the original. I may have missed some. If anything is not understandable., refer to the PDF file at the end of this post. This document also had fairly complex formating for a OCR scan to copy and for the website software to replicate. 


December 29, 20 12

Mayor Sylvester “Sly” James, Jr.
Office of the Mayor
291h Floor, City Hall
414 East 12thStreet Kansas City, Missouri 6410

Re: Winchester TIF Plan Proposal

Mayor James:

I write in response to your letter dated December 18, 20 12, regarding the Winchester TIF Plan. I appreciate your willingness to discuss the proposed Sixth Amendment to the Winchester TIF Plan and possible resolutions to the pending dispute. As I’m sure you can understand, the District’s taxpayers and patrons are extremely concerned about the fundamental unfairness, the potential precedent, and the significant adverse financial impact that the proposed Sixth Amendment imposes on the District. These considerations leave the District with no choice but to oppose the proposed Sixth Amendment. Your willingness to enter into good faith discussions regarding this issue is appreciated, and the District is interested and willing to resolve its dispute with the City and TIF Commission without court intervention on certain, specific terms.

One impediment to a resolution in this matter is the lack of a common understanding of the factual background. I would like to address several statements made in your December 18, 2012 correspondence that I believe to be inaccurate.

First, your letter mistakenly refers to Swope Park as being a “blighted area” but this statement is incorrect for a number of reasons. No one, not even the City’s “expert,” has identified the area of Swope Park to be added to the Winchester Plan by the Sixth Amendment as “blighted” or even a “conservation” area. Standing alone, the area to be added by the Sixth Amendment cannot meet the statutory definition of a “conservation” or “blighted” area. It is only when the area in Swope Park is added to the area that has already been found to meet the statutory definition that it can be considered a “conservation” area. Under this approach, the most exclusive neighborhood in the City could qualify as a “conservation” area, a result that clearly violates the intent of the TIF act. If the project in Swope Park is one that the City considers a worthy one, then the City should allocate the funds to make the desired improvements.

Your letter also states that public infrastructure improvements required by a 1992 Redevelopment Agreement with the Developer have not been completed. Based on our review of records we have received via Sunshine Law requests, the vast majority of public infrastructure improvements included within the 1992 Redevelopment Agreement have been completed or excused by the City. Further, the Developer has indicated to the District that: (a) it disputes the City’s representation that outstanding projects remain from the 1992 Redevelopment Agreement; (b) it does not intend to complete any further construction within the Winchester TIF; and (c) it does not intend to submit any additional reimbursable project costs. Accordingly, the Winchester TIF Plan has reached its termination. Missouri law specifies that amounts held in the SAF must be surplused immediately upon payment of all redevelopment project costs. Thus, your representation that the TIF Plan cannot be terminated unless the City and Developer enter into an amendment to the 1992 Redevelopment Plan is erroneous. If the Developer has certified that it has no additional reimbursable costs to submit, then the TIF Plan must be terminated regardless of any dispute between the City and the Developer concerning the Developer’s obligations under the Agreement.


The District will require additional information to further evaluate the proposal set forth in your December 18, 2012 correspondence. Several terms and aspects of the proposal are unclear. Primarily, it is unclear if your proposal contemplates that the Winchester TIF Plan will be terminated in the near-term, or whether the Plan will continue so that funds can be diverted to Sporting KC. In order to evaluate your proposed agreement, the District will need to have clear answers to the following questions:

Remaining Public Infrastructure Improvements

•           Specifically, which public infrastructure improvements contained in the 1992 Redevelopment Agreement does the City contend remain outstanding?

•           What is the estimated cost of each of the outstanding public infrastructure improvements? Has the City received any bids for these improvements?

•           Outside of the outstanding public infrastructure improvements, does the City believe that the Developer will submit any further reimbursable project costs? If so, what it the total amount of those reimbursable costs and when will they be paid?


Termination of the Winchester TIF Plan

•           If the 1992 Redevelopment Agreement is amended, when exactly will the TIF Plan be terminated? Will the Plan be terminated in the near term, or will it continue to the 23rd year?

•           Does the City contend that there are any conditions precedent to termination of the TIF Plan, other than amendment of the 1992 Redevelopment Agreement to remove the outstanding public infrastructure improvements? Sixth Amendment to the Winchester TIF Plan

•           Will any amendment be executed to the TIF Plan? How does the TIF Commission expect to divert funds to Sporting KC for property located within the proposed Sixth Amendment Redevelopment Area without an amendment to the Plan?

•           What specific portions of the Sporting KC Redevelopment Project will remain?

•           Will Sporting KC receive any funds that are currently held in the SAF? How will the District ensure that no District taxpayer dollars are diverted to the Project? Future PILOTS

•           What is the exact (or estimated) date that PILOTS attributable to the Raytown School District will cease to be collected?

•           Will the City TIF Commission alter its proposal if the City/County do not agree to contribute an amount of funds to the Sporting KC project equal to what their PILOTS would have been if the TIF Plan is not terminated?


Capital Contribution to the District

•           Upon what basis is the City offering a $1 million capital contribution from the SAF?

•           Being that the TIF Plan is near termination, how could any of the District’s capital improvements be “necessary and as a result of the TIF Plan”?


While I have several questions concerning the terms of your proposal, as outlined above, I generally understand the proposal to be that the TIF Commission will terminate the Winchester TIF Plan in the near-term, that no further PILOTS will be collected that are attributable to the District, and that the TIF Commission will make a capital contribution to the District of $1 million from the SAF to be used for improvements that are necessary and a result of the TIF Plan. The District is unable to accept these terms, in that: (1) the District is entitled to a much larger payment from the SAF under Missouri law; (2) the District is not willing to accept any conditions or restrictions on its receipt of funds from the SAF; (3) there is no guarantee that funds paid by the District’s taxpayers will not be diverted to the Sporting KC project; and (4) the proposal makes no provision for sewer, sidewalk, and street improvements within the Swope Ridge Neighborhood Association, as was promised by the TIF Commission.


As a bottom line, any agreement between the District and the TIF Commission would have to include the following terms:

Amendments to the Winchester TIF Plan: As of the date of execution of the Agreement, the TIF Commission and City Council will not approve any Redevelopment Project or any Redevelopment Project Area via an amendment to the Winchester TIF Plan without express approval by the Raytown Board of Education. [OR, the TIF Commission and City Council will not approve any Redevelopment Project or any Redevelopment Project Area via an amendment to the Winchester TIF Plan that depletes the District’s proportionate share of the SAF, that causes the District to lose tax revenue due to the collection of PILOTS, or that has an adverse financial impact on the District.]

As of the date of execution of the Agreement, no funds attributable to the Raytown School District will be distributed for projects outside of the Redevelopment Areas specified in the original TIF Plan and the first five amendments thereto.

Future PILOTS: As of the date of execution of the Agreement, no additional PILOTS will be collected pursuant to the Winchester TIF Plan that are attributable to the Raytown School District.

Payment of Funds Currently Held in the SAF: Raytown School District will receive a lump sum payment of $3 million, such amount representing 75% of the amount held in the Special Allocation Fund that is attributable to the District.

No conditions will be placed on the District’s receipt or use of the $3 million capital contribution, including, but not limited to, a condition that the capital contribution must be used for capital improvements to the District that are found necessary and as a result of the TIF Plan. No restrictions will be placed on the District’s receipt or use of the $3 million capital contribution, other than those restrictions generally applicable to the District’s receipt and use of local property taxes.

Completion of Sewer, Sidewalk, and Street Improvements within the Swope Park NeighborhoodAssociation: The City will agree to complete all sewer, sidewalk, and street improvements promised to the Swope Ridge Neighborhood Association, in the form and manner described in the original and first five amendments to the Winchester TIF Plan. Such  improvements will be funded from the SAF, in the same form and manner as previous

reimbursable project costs have been paid. The Raytown School District will contribute only its proportionate share to the sewer, sidewalk, and street improvement


Mutual Release of Claims: Release Kansas City and the Raytown School District will release each other olelaims: from any claims concerning or related to the Winchester TIF Plan, including any claims concerning amendments to the TIF Plan, collection of PILOTS and/or EATS, and management of or payments from the Special Allocation Fund.

 The Raytown School District will not release any claims concerning any other TIF Plan.

 The District is not willing to deviate from the above-listed terms. The District’s position that the TIF Commission has no authority, at this stage of the TIF Plan, to execute the proposed Sixth Amendment or to distribute funds currently held in the SAF to a private entity for improvements to land outside existing Redevelopment Areas is clearly supported by Missouri law.

Your letter also raises the issue of payment to the District pursuant to the Blue Ridge TIF Plan. I understand that it is your position that the City is not contractually obligated to pay the District amounts due under the Tax Revenue Distribution Agreement approved by the City Council on February 24, 2005. Even if we assume this position is correct, it ignores the fact that a number of legal theories are available to the District in a situation that is recognized by all parties as a manifest injustice. Aside from the claims against the individuals and entities associated with the City, like the EDC, there are a number of theories to pursue the City itself that are neither contractual, nor for which the City and its officials will have immunity. Pursuit of these claims promises to be particularly damaging publicly to the parties involved, but my Board of Education and I believe strongly that the taxpayers of the District have been wronged in a way that must be remedied, even if it involves extraordinary measures.

Please inform me when the District can expect to receive the additional information that it requires in order to evaluate your proposal. Additionally, please let me know if you believe that an agreement can be reached which includes the above terms. The District sincerely desires to put an end to the financial uncertainty surrounding the Winchester TIF and to develop a mutually agreeable resolution with the City and the TIF Commission.


Dr. Allan Markley Superintendent of Schools


KCMO Mayor’s letter to Raytown School District – We will give you 25% of your money back

This document was created by doing optical character recognition on a PDF file. At the end of this post there is a link to the actual pdf file. OCR creates typos. I have corrected the typos I recognized, except for those that were in the original. I may have missed some.  If anything is not understandable., refer to the PDF file at the end of this post.


Office of the Mayor

 Mayor Sylvester “Sly” James, Jr.

29th Floor, City Hall

414 East 12th Street (816) 513-3500

Kansas City, Missouri 64106 Fax: (816) 513-3518


December 18, 2012

Dr. Allan Markley, Superintendent

Raytown C-2 School District

6608 Raytown Road

Raytown, MO 64133




Via Electronic Mail

Dear Superintendent Markley:

Thank you very much for your patience as you waited for my response based on our conversation last week. As we consider options to potentially resolve the current dispute regarding the Winchester TIF, I want to recall the basis of this TIF and why it was set up in the first place.

This TIF plan is situated on the east side ofKansas City where, in the past, there have been very limited opportunities for investment. This TIF plan has done and continues to do what TIFs were intended to do – invest in blighted areas where investments would not otherwise be made. Restoring a blighted area of a park in the eastern urban core so that urban youth can participate in the same quality of experiences as their suburban counterparts is a worthwhile endeavor.

This TIF was established in the same way that TIFs were established at the time. The developer approached the City with a plan to develop a blighted area and for incentives to execute the plan. The incentives the City agreed to were conditioned on:

a. That private investment would be made and jobs would be created by the developer;

b. That the private development would increase the tax base for all the taxing districts; and

c. That investment in public infrastructure would be made from projected tax dollars generated fi’om the private development.


The developer and the TIF Commission entered into an Agreement in 1992 to accomplish items a -c above. To date a and b have been accomplished but c has not been completed as required by the Redevelopment Agreement. Because of this, if the Sixth Amendment to the plan is not approved, TIF dollars will remain in the SAF (not surplused) until the remaining public infrastructure investment required by the Agreement is made. Simply put, the TIF plan cannot be terminated while there exists aRedevelopment Agreement that encumbers those TIF dollars. With that being said, I am willing to discuss an amendment of the Redevelopment Agreement with the Developer that would allow for the termination. This, of course, would have to be predicated upon the receipt of a signed agreement between the County and the City such that the County, as they have verbally committed, would contribute an equivalent amount of :funds to the project equal to what their PILOTs would have been had the TIF plan not have been terminated. Should this request be accepted, the proposal below would have to be adjusted accordingly but should in spirit remain unchanged.

In light of all above and in acknowledgement of your concerns, we have considered options that might address your concerns. I caution again that all options raised in this and any subsequent communications are purely for purposes of discussing resolution/settlement of any dispute. Further, nothing contained in this letter or subsequent communications can be considered binding on the TIF Commission, the developer, or the City of Kansas City, Missouri without the express adoption of financial and other terms of any potential agreement by all necessary parties including, but not limited to, the TIF Commission, the developer, taxing jurisdictions, and the City of Kansas City, Missouri

For your consideration:

a. We propose that we will not approve another Redevelopment Project Area by the Sixth Amendment and we will not activate another Redevelopment Project Area for the remaining life of the TIF;

b. We, working with Sporting KC, have reduced the budget of the Redevelopment Project cost to exclude expansion of the Sporting KC facility. No private entity will receive an economic benefit from the Sixth Amendment;

c. We have further reduced the budget of the Redevelopment Project cost to exclude the improvements to the pool located in Swope Park;

d. Except for the City and County, no future PILOTS :from any other taxing jurisdictions will be used going forward. From an economic perspective, the taxing jurisdictions will be in the same financial condition as if we terminated the TIF.


Finally, in addition to the above, we would be willing to discuss an upfront capital contribution of $1,000,000 from the SAF to Raytown School District to address capital improvements that the district must make that are found necessary and a result of the TIF Plan. We hope this good faith gesture will also help resolve the the current disagreement surrounding the Blue Ridge matter although it is our firm position that there is no actionable agreement that legally compels or obligates the City to pay any funds for that purpose. As we discussed, the City faces the same financial consh·aints as many organizations. F or me to suggest adding a new ongoing commitment that has not been contemplated by this COlmcil or Manager would be inappropliate. We realize this is not an ideal solution from your standpoint but it is all we can offer and hope you can understand and accept it.

We believe the structure suggested above would solve the current disputes as well as the Blue Ridge matter allowing all Parties to move on.

Please let me know your response.