Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Regional Raytown

City Mission Statement
The mission of municipal government in Raytown is to enhance the future of the city by providing the public with fiscally sound, efficient and effective service.

Core Service Values
The Board of Aldermen adopted a Core Service Values resolution during the January 3, 2007 Board of Aldermen meeting to communicate to the public the values and expectations under which all city employees operate.

Those core values:
· Customers drive our priorities and the services we provide
· We provide a safe, welcoming environment
· We communicate promptly, respectfully and accurately
· We value and support competent, well-trained and empathetic staff
· We encourage creative problem solving, teamwork and efficient use of resources
· We expect integrity, respect for diversity and a commitment to customer service{D21B570B-C88B-43E3-8B99-7C53D1ADAD21}

Jackson County Court minutes, Book B, page 98, February, 1860, Order 929.66.S. Davenport Petition:
"The Undersigned your petitioners would respectfully represent that they, as well as many citizens of the county are much grieved and bothered for the want of a county road leading from their neighborhood in the direction of Independence. They therefore, pray your honors to appoint commissioners to lay out a county road from William Ray's shop on the Santa Fee (sic) road in a southerly direction, crossing Little Blue at the Rockford (sic) and intersecting the high grove road near Abraham Chrisman...."{CB18141B-2333-4C09-A421-471CFBF6CB94}

In 1869 Kansas City was still a minor town, much smaller and less
important than Leavenworth to the north. The Kansas City
Bridge (later called the Hannibal Bridge) changed that situation
quite rapidly. Designed and erected by Octave Chanute, the bridge
was the first across the Missouri River, and it made Kansas City
into a railroad hub and a center for westward expansion. The
bridge was constructed of wrought iron, sitting on limestone piers,
with a swing section to allow shipping to pass through. It was
replaced by a steel bridge in 1916.

I post these to remind Raytonians that to build a strong and long-lasting community we have to give people a reason to come to Raytown. Infrastructure has always played a key role in the pioneering of communities. Infrastructure brings people in. There are certain communities around Kansas City that have stood the test of time and Thrived. It is unusual to have both. Usually you have a flame of interest over a short period of time and then people lose interest. Or you have a community that is not thriving but still alive like Raytown. Two communities that I will focus on will be The Plaza and the Cross Roads.

First, The Plaza,
"The Plaza is an outdoor museum of romantic Spanish architecture and European art where people actually live and work every day amid its beauty. It was designed in 1922 as the nation's first suburban shopping district. Since then, its open-air public art gallery has continuously added to its collection, with fountains, sculptures and murals that bring to the heart of our city the very best of the Old World and the new."

Second, The Cross Roads,
"This area has recently undergone an amazing transformation. Once-vacant buildings now house unique shops, restaurants and a thriving art scene. First Fridays are a local favorite with galleries and shops remaining open until 9 p.m. the first Friday of each month."

What is interesting here is that Art and Architecture seem to be giving both the "Thrive" and the "Long Lasting impact." The other thing to note is that both the Plaza and the Cross Roads bring people in from the outside communities. These communities, Plaza and Cross Roads serve the needs of the outer communities. They have a regional mentality. They open their doors for shopping, art fairs, unique restaurants, coffee shops, wine bars, and community events. By simply always focusing on just us Raytown folk, we will have a hard time establishing a regional interest. We must establish consistent architecture and we have to attract talent.

In the arts, we could transform the strip mall area north of 63rd and Blue Ride Blvd. into art galleries. We could use the old First Baptist of Raytown church for a theatre. We could transform the old Caylor's Bibles and Books store into a new bookstore and erect some type of memorial for their long continued service to Raytown. Do something to start enhancing the "look and feel" of Raytown.

When I ask people who are new to the Area. What is your impression of Raytown? Many of them express no desire to visit Raytown, they say that there is "nothing appealing about the place."

I believe it is time to stop serving JUST ourselves and start serving the Regional community.

Lets give people a REASON to come to RAYTOWN!

1 comment:

The Unabashed Blogger said...

I think it's important to state that we need to continue the enhancement of Raytown instead of "starting" it. A lot of people have already done and are doing great things for our town and they deserve credit. They need to understand that our goal is not to replace the dutiful and responsible supports and workers of Raytown, we want to help them.

However, if that means that some people need to step down to make room for those who do have the assets our town needs, then so be it. Allowing the well equipped to fill a position by stepping down and endorsing he/she shows that they have the foresight to see the need for change and to embrace it for the good of the city and it's residents.

For myself this is a "start" because I am just now beginning to take a stand for my community while in the past I was merely standing by believing I couldn't change a thing. Many others also believe they can't change anything or help our community. If the city is able to involve our residents and show them how they can actually influence the future of our city, then what a city we can be.

Keep up the good work.