By Michael Anderson
Special to the Tribune
During the September 6th Raytown Board of Alderman meeting, Ward 1 Alderman, Greg Walters, was censured in a unanimous vote, 8 to 0. Walters was absent for the meeting, having asked to be excused days prior. Mayor Michael McDonough, stated that Walters had not told him of his absence until 8 hours prior to the Board meeting. Walters was informed of the censure resolution on September 2nd, and had a long Memorial Day weekend to prepare his defense.
Walters was charged with a pattern of violating the Code of Ethics and Conduct for Raytown officials and was found to be in violation for refusing to follow the chain of command by taking upon himself tasks that City employees would normally handle.
Walters was also found to be overstepping his authority in regards to his engagement of City staff and department heads. City policy is that the Board of Aldermen have one employee, the City Administrator, who answers to the Board, and who is responsible for providing the Aldermen with requested information.
What is censure? Censure is an official public reprimand and stern condemnation from one’s peers in a governing body. It is a less severe form of punishment than expulsion or impeachment. Punishment can include being stripped of all committee assignments and a loss of prestige and damaged political reputation. Those who are censured often are not taken as seriously as before by colleagues who tend to avoid cooperating with the censured politician on future legislation.
Alderman Walters was charged in the Censure with the following:
• To have engaged in a pattern of conduct that is or may be in violation of the Raytown Code of Ethics and Conduct as it regards to his interactions in public and in private with City Staff, fellow Aldermen and others.
• Breaching of Raytown Board of Aldermen procedures and City’s chain of command.
• Meddling with department heads by asking complex and time-consuming questions.
• Asking questions of the City attorney that end up in unnecessary lawyer fees to the taxpayer.
• Vandalizing a campaign sign from the YES campaign during the August 2nd, 2022 election. The YES campaign sign promoted two Go-Bond questions for street repair and stormwater projects, with the final question asking for additional funds for the City’s General Fund. A City resident provided eyewitness testimony stating that she saw Alderman Walters pull up the sign and throw it on the ground.
• Telling a poll worker for the YES campaign to “kiss his ass” and calling him an “evil little shit” with the latter comment being witnessed by two Raytown residents, one of which was Ward 5 Alderwoman Bonnaye Mims. Both witnesses testified during the evidentiary portion of the Censure. The campaign worker also testified to both incidents.
• Conduct at the August 16th, 2022 board of Alderman meeting in which Alderman Walters yelled at a citizen who was speaking during public comments, calling the resident a “liar.” Alderman Walters then proceeded to yell at the Board Chair (the mayor) and told the mayor that he was out of order.
• Walters was accused of using his position as Alderman to influence the Planning and Zoning Committee members to revise the staff’s proposed miniature goat ordinances.
All charges from the failed Censure attempt on April 13th, 2021 were also included.
When asked for comment, Mayor Michael McDonough said, “Having a professional government is very important, and we have one mayor, not ten. The City manager runs the day to day operations and this cuts down on confusion, and allows the Board of Aldermen to speak with one voice.”
More information can be found here: