Feburary 29, 2020

Good morning and welcome to the 2020 Raytown State of the City address. It is my great honor to be here to speak with you all today and share with you the State of our wonderful city.

I want to thank the Raytown Chamber of Commerce President Ms. Vicki Turnbow and their board of directors for hosting this 2020 State of the City luncheon. This is my 5th State of the City address. I want to thank the visiting officials and all our guests once again for attending.

I now want to introduce my other guests. At the Mayor’s table is, Mayor Pro-Tem Bonnaye Mims, my youngest daughter Brianna McDonough. Most everyone knows my son, Ian McDonough. At my table also is Retired Raytown Police Chief Jim Lynch, thank you both for your friendship and your many years of dedicated service to our community. Also, at my table is my friend Kevin Snyder, City Administrator Damon Hodges and Assistant City Administrator Missy Wilson.
At my other guest table are Jason Hull, April Harrington, Mike Crawford, Jim Bradshaw, John Durrett, and George Thompson.

It is also my honor to have you all with me today (indicate the entire crowd).

You will hear today what has been accomplished over this last year and what we have yet to do in moving this town into the future. Being Mayor of this town is a labor of love that I am very dedicated to. I love the people here most of all and you are the best. The people of Raytown come from places all over the world, of all cultures, races and generations. This is part of what makes these 10 square miles so wonderful. You, it’s people.

I want to talk a few minutes about our city hall administration. These are some of the most talented, knowledgeable and professional team members one could work with. I want you all to know what dedicated people these are and how many great things have been accomplished with their assistance. I would like them to please stand when I call their names so that people will know who they are. Please stay standing as I announce your names.

City Administrator Damon Hodges, Asst. City Administrator and Economic Development Director Missy Wilson, Russ Petry Finance Director, Jose Leon Jr. Public Works Director, City Clerk Teresa Henry, Ray Haydaripoor Community Development Director, Dave Turner Parks Director, Debbie Duncan Human Resources Division and again, Interim Police Chief Major Randy Hudspeth who could not be here today.

We will soon be announcing the new Police Chief when that process has been completed. I want to thank Interim Chief Hudspeth again for stepping in when the need arose and doing an excellent job.

Ladies and Gentlemen, these are your leadership team at Raytown City Hall and I ask that you give them a round of applause for the hard work and dedication they display to the citizens they serve and the leadership they display to their employees.

Part of what makes this community so wonderful are the civic and business groups. We have some of the most dedicated and hard-working groups here in this city. I will mention a few. The Churches, Raytown Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, Main Street Association, civic groups such as Raytown REAP, Raytown Police Officers Benefit Fund, Raytown Rotary, Kiwanis, Raytown Masonic Lodge, Shriners, Knights of Columbus, Scouts, Summer Lunch Ministry (where they prepare and feed 500 kids everyday Mon thru Fri. during the summer). The different Parent Teacher and Sports, Band and Theater boosters. It also includes the small businesses where people gather and exchange friendships and ideas and plan for ways of helping those less fortunate. These are our everyday citizens helping one another and interacting in a civil and kind manner.

I want to thank all of you that own a business here, live here, play here or have kids that go to school here, for being part of this community. You all are what brings the small town caring and feel to this city. You are Raytown.

As the Mayor I want to tell you some of the things that I have been involved in over the last year. With the Police Department and City Staff, we completed an update of the Memorandum of Understanding with the NAACP and held a Department of Justice Program called the SPIRIT Campaign. The MOU with NAACP was done in the early 2000s under the watch of Chief Jim Lynch and the update this time was started with his help again. The DOJ program, SPIRIT stands for Site Problem Identification and Resolution of Issues Together. The campaign was held a few months ago and after the problems were identified the SPIRIT Council was appointed from the citizens that attended and are now working on the solutions phase. When that is completed the Council will report back to me and we will make a presentation to the Board of Aldermen. It was quite an interesting process and I thank all involved for their time and effort.

I am also a part of the COMBAT STRIVIN group that has been working in our city for the last couple of years to help find long term solutions to our crime problems. The Police and I have been working with this group already and the Mayor’s Ad Hoc Community Inspired Anti-Crime group has melded into the STRIVIN group recently. The Mayor Anti- Crime group had completed its mission and the next logical step was to join in with COMBAT STRIVIN. Raytown’s Program through COMBAT is called STRIVIN. That stands for Striving Together to Reduce Violence in Neighborhoods. This is a long-term program for the Raytown area and includes the school district boundaries since the kids going to our schools from KCMO impact our community. It is a wonderful multifaceted program. With long term goals for results.

Raytown Chamber of Commerce
2019 marked the 90th year of service to the Raytown Community and its Members. To celebrate this anniversary, there was a magnificent GALA event. It was fantastic and very well attended.
In 2019, the Raytown Chamber unveiled a new logo and shape. The shape pays tribute to the Rock Island Rail, the crossroad within the logo represents both the rails and the trail and tourism was added to the name to capitalize on the Chamber’s position on the trail to be a center of information for all visitors. With the addition of the Rock Island Trail coming through Raytown, the Chamber’s Building Foundation will be remodeling their building and property from the outside in. The plan is to provide a plaza area in the front of the property with some amenities for the bikers and walkers who take advantage of the trail. The Building Foundation will be unveiling plans and a Capital Campaign in the next few months to help offset some of the costs.
The Chamber continues to promote the City through the publication of the annual Community Profile and Chamber Directory which is used as a marketing tool to new residents and businesses. Chamber Staff answer inquiries about City services and activities along with referrals for Chamber members. Chamber Staff and Members sit on committees within the City and throughout the metro to provide representation for Raytown.
Short Trail update. I am happy to report that work on the Rock Island Trail began again on Monday, February 24th. The issues that forced the County to pause construction have been resolved, allowing the project to move forward once again. This trail will eventually connect our City (Raytown) to the Katy Trail, and to many other trail systems in our region. The Rock Island Trail will be a great amenity for our residents and will positively impact our health, economy and quality of life.

Main Street Association
Raytown Main Street purchased 6235 Raytown road from Pat Cassidy owner of C & C starters in 2018. High winds tear the vinyl siding from our building. RMSA is currently doing research to restore the building as close to its original façade as possible. RMSA board voted for this façade to be the design standard for our downtown and they hope other businesses will follow.
RMSA had a successful 1st Piccadilly in 2019. We are gearing up on March 6, 2020 to have another successful event. We partnered with the Masonic lodge and Raytown Live in 2019 for the barbecue event. This is an event that grows in both quality and quantity, every year. We look forward to working with the public and all the other Raytown groups to keep Raytown a growing and successful community.

Raytown Police Department
Many successful events and achievements were accomplished by the Raytown Police Department and its members, over the course of 2019. The Department’s mission is to serve the residents and businesses of Raytown. Events, programs, and initiatives held in 2019, to enhance communication and cooperation within our community, included:
In 2019 the Raytown Police Department and the Raytown Fire Protection District trained thirteen (13) citizens for Raytown’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). There were approximately 27 active members of Raytown CERT.
Raytown Police Department announced that it has joined the free Neighbors app by Ring, to provide the Raytown community with real-time, local crime and safety information. Residents were encouraged to text ‘raytownmo’ to 555888 from their smartphone to download the Neighbors app for free on iOS and Android. Chief Hudspeth said, “We are excited to add this technology to our operations. We believe it will provide an effective means for citizens to communicate with each other, as well as the Police Department, and improve community safety.”
September 3rd, Raytown Police launched a social media campaign to prevent crime. The campaign called the “9PM Routine,” encouraged Raytown residents to take crime prevention steps every evening. Raytown Police used Facebook and Twitter to send alerts around 9 PM periodically through each week. The alerts reminded members of the community to secure their vehicles and homes each night, as well as taking other simple, but effective steps to prevent crime. Simple actions included bringing valuables from vehicles into the home at night, making sure that garage doors are closed, exterior lights are turned on, and gates and sheds are closed and locked.
Safety Fair on September 14th. Volunteers from the Volunteer Corps organized the event that had over 20 informational stations, including indoor and outdoor areas. Over 200 people attended the four-hour event. A new addition to the safety fair that year was MoCHIP. MoCHIP processed over 70 child identification kits during the safety fair. CERT volunteers not only had an informational booth but also aided in the parking lot. The event provided an excellent outreach opportunity for the Raytown Police Department and many of the attendees had an opportunity to speak with officers and tour the RPD vehicles.
September 25th, in light of the tragic death of a toddler in the metro area, and as part of an effort to curb crime and gun violence, the Raytown Police Department began to publish a series of public safety announcements in which gun owners were encouraged to properly secure their firearms. Part of that campaign included reminding the public that the Raytown Police Department offered free cable gun locks to anyone that wants them to secure their weapons. Gun locks continue to be offered at the Police Department.
October 26th, the Raytown Police Department once again participated in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Annual Fall Drug Take-Back Day. A total of 171 pounds of unwanted/unneeded medications were collected during the event. An additional 55 pounds of unwanted drugs were collected from the drop box in the lobby of the police department, for a total of 226 pounds.

Public Works
Public Works keeps very busy with an aging infrastructure system and working on projects that come up all the time, such as major infrastructure repairs, painting lines at intersections and crosswalks, making sure the city traffic signals work properly and other duties as required. They most notably hold the title for being the best in the business in the metropolitan area, at keeping our roads cleared in bad winter weather.
Thanks for your hard work. Now to highlight projects being worked on and coming up.
2019 Curb Replacement project: Cost of $39,914.63 Curbs replaced = 738 Feet Sidewalk replaced = 103 Feet. Raytown Trafficway Curbs replacement cost of $145,265.72. Raytown Trafficway Curbs length of 2,840 feet of curbs removed and replaced.
2019 Street Micro-Surfacing Project: Final Cost = $55,680 Length = 8,200 Feet of roadway 2019 Street Mill & Overlay Project Final Cost = $ 277,181.71 Length = 12,370 Feet of roadway
350 Hwy & Raytown Road Project: Project bid, but bids were rejected due to being over the project budget. Staff is currently managing design modifications and is looking to re-bid so the project can be scheduled for early Summer 2020 construction. Federal Grant for the project in the amount of $637,500
Snowstorms responded to: Fifteen snow events, thirty-three days of snow removal, 2,381.75 tons of salt used at a cost of $146,477 dollars, 3,173-man hours

Raytown Parks And Recreation
Raytown Parks and Recreation boasts recreational sports, with 245 participants in Youth Basketball this year. That is 30 teams, with 26 coaches. The men’s 50 + league had 308 participants, or 29 teams. Adult Tennis Lessons and league had 44 participants.
Raytown Parks was also involved in putting on the annual Music Festival and received $5800 dollars in donations to pay for it. There were food vendors and art vendors too. The donations covered the cost of this wonderful annual event and it costs the taxpayers nothing.
Raytown Live: received $10,250 in donations for bands and expenses. Not costing the taxpayers.
The Music Festival and Raytown Live Concerts are great events to bring the community together, with their families, neighbors and to visit businesses on the way there or afterward. The concerts are held from May to September on the Green Space downtown Raytown on the second Saturday of each month from 7 PM to 9 PM. Family friendly, and food trucks available and you may bring your own coolers of beverages. It is the same this year.
43rd Annual Fishing Derby at Kenagy Park at 79th and Raytown Rd. There were 104 participants. There were volunteers from Sol-Pro Bass Club helping the kids with their equipment and showing them how to fish.
Movies in the Park: 240 participants and volunteers from Spring Valley Baptist
Kid’s Day: 350 participants Volunteers: Connection Point Church-Petting Zoo, Raytown Police, Raytown Fire & Ambulance
National Race for 2020 5,000+ expected attendance. Partner with C-2 Culinary Arts program. State Race in 2019
Projects: The Raytown Parks Dept. has purchased and began installing Solar/LED area lighting in the Parks.
Have installed WIFI in Colman, Kenagy, and Kritser Parks.
Have improved the parking lots at Colman Park with micro-seal overlay, with help from Public Works and City Administrator Damon Hodges.
Improved security of the Parks and the patrons with private security and video camera system. Secured Parks and Storm Water funding with November 2019 approval of the 1/8 cent Sales Tax for a 5-year term, that was supported by residents with an 81% positive vote.
Rice-Tremonti Historical Home has new roof and shake shingles, and is undergoing more refurbishing with reconstructed windows, and improving the entryway columns. Paid for with $50,000 grant.
Rice Tremonti has increased the number of rentals of the house and has been fundraising with their special events.

Raytown Municipal Court
The most important accomplishment of the year was the Municipal Court receiving an “Excellent” rating from the State Auditor. No municipal court had received this rating since 2015. It is the highest rating to be received. The Mental Health Court has been very successful with an 83% graduation rate in 2019. The Mental Health program consist of meeting with providers, therapist and being medication compliant.

Fire District
2019 accomplishments of the Raytown Fire Protection District. Our units responded to 4562 calls for service, 3372 were EMS related and 1190 were fire/rescue related.
April 2nd 77% of the voters approved the transfer of EMS operations to the Fire District and 79% of the voters approved a 20 year Capital Replacement Bond Program, the first of which in a new 100 foot tower Ladder as well as a new Ambulance both of which will be delivered in March of 2020. The Tower Ladder replaces our 1998 75-foot ladder and the Ambulance will match the latest model we received as part of the City’s Capital replacement sales tax.
• In May of 2019 the Fire District joined 17 other KC area municipalities in adopting the first ever jointly agreed upon version of the International Building and Fire Codes. In simple terms this means developers must follow the same standards if they build in Leawood as they do in Raytown, a measure that greatly decreases the time it takes to complete a development project. This process was made possible through a collaborative effort of the Heart of America Fire Marshals association of which Raytown Fire Marshal Mike Hunley in a Board Member.
• In October the Fire District and the City were able to work in a collaborative manner to develop and rental property inspection program that is fair but firm. Rental properties make up 68% of our calls for fire/rescue responses and this inspection program is something we have worked towards since 2016 when 4 old Jeremiah Roberts and 59-year-old Cherri Roberts perished in the Summerset Village apartment fire.
• In November the Raytown Fire District completed its first firefighter academy class in over 20 years. The Fire District had a 100% IFSAC Certification pass rate with this class and plans to use this process in the future to internally develop employees.

School District
Students and staff in the Raytown School District serve as excellent examples of what Raytown has to offer. Raytown is full of innovators. Last November, a team of students in the District’s Challenge program were selected as top 20 finalists in Burns & McDonnell’s Battle of the Brains competition. As part of the competition, students designed a science center using their science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills. This group of students were selected out of 7,250 students from 270 schools, and 840 entries. The future is bright for this amazing group of young innovators!
Raytown is full of explorers. Raytown South Middle School Principal Dr. Carl Calcara received a Fulbright Leaders for Global Schools grant. The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to build relations between the people of the United States and the people of other countries that are needed to solve global challenges. Dr. Calcara is one of 20 U.S. citizens selected to travel abroad during the 2020-2021 school year. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected based on academic and professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential.
Raytown is full of leaders. Over the summer, Raytown High senior Larry Wilson, Jr. and Raytown South High senior Donovan Cusick were elected office at the Missouri Boys State Conference. Wilson was elected as Governor and Cusick was elected to serve as the leader of one of the major political parties. Missouri Boys State brings together the best and the brightest high school juniors each year to help lead them down the path of individual success and leadership through doing and learning. These young men are on a path to leaders in civic change.
Raytown is growing and thriving. Take a drive around Raytown, and you’ll notice that the school buildings look brand new! This summer, the District spent over $14 million on bond construction projects at 10 sites. Summer 2019 projects included secure guided entries at Raytown South High and South Middle; windows; playground equipment and turf; roofs, concrete, asphalt, and drainage repairs and replacement; and many more projects which improved the look and feel of school district facilities. Projects are ongoing at Raytown High School and on 350 hwy, as Herndon’s culinary arts center is beginning to take shape.

Community Development and Codes
Below are some of the major accomplishment during 2019:
1 Medical Marijuana Regulation Ordinance
2 Assist on creating and approval of City of Raytown rental program
3 Sign Ordinance overhaul
4 Vehicle Sales Regulation Ordinance
5 Liquor, Smoke shop, Vape shop, and Convenience Store Regulation Ordinance
6 9315 E. 350 Highway Commercial remodel and update to 350 Corridor Design Standards
I can now announce that at 9315 E. 350 hwy (just west of the Quick Trip on 350 hwy) renovation on the building at that location will include a Wing Stop restaurant as well as two other suites there. One of which is a Metro PCS phone store currently at that location.
7 Panda Express Site Plan completed
8 Crystal Clear Car Wash Site Plan completed
9 Panda Express construction completed
10 Tidal Wave Auto Spa construction completed
11 Construction of three houses completed in the Crescent Creek subdivision
12 Mid-Continent Library remodel
13 Aldi’s Food Market remodel
14 Rediscover Mental Health Office Clinic remodeled (7001 Blue Ridge Blvd)
15 Raytown Schools Projects (8 to 10 building – Multiple Schools) security enhancements, additions, remodels, repairs
16 New Herndon Culinary Vocational School started construction on 350 Hwy
17 Reunited 212 pets with their owners
Building Permits Issued Count: 954
Business License- New Count: 386
Business License- Renewals Count: 1,270

Finance Department
Our finance department assisted in refinancing of the TIF Bonds in the Walmart area, saving the City over $3M over the life of the now level and affordable payments.
We implemented a new Grant policy streamlining the grant process for efficiency.
We added a new Payroll and Purchasing Specialist, Dawn Terry, to our Finance Department in October 2019. This position will provide more consistent and efficient purchasing by the City resulting in cost savings.
The Finance Department led the budget process resulting in a balanced budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. The current budget includes:
Park Board expenditures increase due to more capital project scheduled for our parks.
Major capital outlay expenditures from Transportation Sales Tax Fund:
Hwy 350 & Raytown approx. $1,600,000 with $450,000 budgeted in the Capital Sales Tax Fund. Anticipated grant funding of $637,000.
Annual asphalt overlay project $400,000
Other annual projects totaling $250,000
Update on Residential Housing Sales
Residential Single-family Homes Sold in Raytown 2017 – 2019
(source: Heartland MLS)
Median Sale Price (Up is Good)
• 2017 – $107,500
• 2019 – $130,000
Median Sale Price – Homes Sold in Raytown increased 20.9% from 2017 through 2019
Days on Market – Sold, Median (Down is good)
• 2017 – 31 days
• 2019 – 16 days- Median Days on Market
Total Dollar Volume of Home Sales (Up is Good)
• 2017 – $60,011,924 (554 sales)
• 2019 – $69,002,967 (524 sales)
Total Sales Volume – Homes Sold in Raytown increased 14.9% from 2017 through 2019

As you can see, we have accomplished much, but much is left to do. I encourage you all to be involved in your government and in the above-mentioned organizations. We are continuing to work on solutions to our problems and finding ways to make this community better each day. Please help us out by volunteering for some of these organizations, as well as city committees and boards. Be our eyes and ears and report problems when you see them and let us know when we do things that please you or to let people know the good things that you see and hear that happen on a daily basis. Please watch on Facebook City page, Chamber of Commerce page, neighborhood application, on my Facebook pages and any associated social media, to stay informed as to what is going on in our town.

Think Raytown first. Shop Local and keep more of your dollars here at home. You will get better and more personal service shopping here and doing business here at home and help your neighbors that are small business owners. Tell a friend, family member or neighbor about a local business you have visited. All the business owners please encourage more of your friends that are considering opening or moving their business to come here. The more businesses the more choices the more customers will be drawn here.

And lastly,

I believe working hard is good, but it should not be done for the purpose of goal’s sake, at the expense of relationships with others.

We should work together to tend to the relationships we have with others more and pay less attention to the personal goals or agendas. I think that we get far more done working together and having a common goal of the relationships we have with our family, friends, coworkers, fellow elected officials and for those of us that are elected officials, the personal relationships we can build with our constituents. Nothing is more important than your healthy relationships. Not your goals, not your successes. Relationships are where we get to influence, and impact and change people’s lives. Our lives cannot be meaningful without them. So, I challenge all of you to work on your relationships with one another, your clients and your families.


We are a Crossroads Community, Embracing Diversity, Growing Together

I believe that the best is yet to come. Keep us in your prayers.

I believe in our Staff, our first responders, our city employees. I believe in our organizations that help our citizens and make this a great community. And most of all, I believe in you our community.

God Bless all of you. God Bless this wonderful City of Raytown, MO and God Bless these Untied States of America.

Peace to you all.