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Live Blog: Four Crestwood Aldermen Choose New Alderman, After Rejecting Mayor's Nominee

Steve Knarr, an architect who worked on the twice-failed bid for a new and bigger police station in Crestwood, was sworn in after some discussion. See 7:09pm in the blog of meeting.

7pm State senator from 93rd district speaks briefly to say he thinks pooling taxes by cities should be revised.

7:06pm: Hearing on grants from Feds. Takes staff reccomendations.

7:07pm: Duncan calls for store names on CID districts in city. Aldermen appoint members to the CID management boards. List will follow later. Passed unanimously.

7:09pm: Hot button issue is up of appointing an alderman to replace Jeff Schlink, who is now mayor.

Alderman Pickel makes motion to nominate Steve Knarr and Bob Deutschmann Alderman Foote seconds it.

Alderman Duchild is absent, excused.

7:12pm: Alderman Pickel calls the alderman post a "thankless position. . .yet we serve." He says that a private conversation about Knarr did not happen until after Doug Mosby was rejected for the seat last meeting "even though others have said otherwise." Endorses Knarr.

7:14pm: Alderman Miguel asks for each nominee to speak before the board about why they would accept nomination to board.

7:15pm: Bob Deutschmann takes the podium and says he has been involved since 1967-68. Aldermen wanted to put service roads on either side of Watson Road, but residents said no, it will ruin our commercial property. So they defeated it. That got him involved in city government. He relays several other examples, which are difficult to follow because he face away from the audience, speaking to the board.

He says it's wrong to have citizens come up here and be practically ignored when they come up to the podium.

Alderman Wallach asks how many meetings he's missed in 52 years. His answer is 15. He lives across the street. Never has been an employee of city. Served on zoning board.

Public comment.

Dave Brophy: A voting resident of Ward 2. He voted for both nominees for alderman in the past. Wants to make a few comments about Bob Deutschmann. He's been on city boards. Bob won by 200-plus votes but lost to a very well-known resident. Deutschmann got 25 percent more votes than Knarr did when Knarr won. Knarr won with 196 votes. (ran at different times.) He says in Ward 2, Bob at church and community, people ask his views, and follow his lead. He's an usher at every 8am mass. Volunteers with Knights of Columbus. On Superbowl Sunday, fundraises for poor, hungry. He does many, many things with his parish church. "When I look at Bob D., I look at family, country, community and service."

Tim Trueblood: Five votes necessary for a city ordinance to pass. Only four votes necessary to choose an alderman.

Steve Neider: Topic is rejection of Doug Mosby last meeting for alderman vacancy. He reads from city charter on requirements to get appointed. He says the voting block of Duncan, Beezley, Foote and Pickel rejected Mosby using a different set of standards. They must redo the vote, he says.

John Morrissette: "I agree with Mr. Neider." It was rushed through he said, last meeting. Beezley did "a rant" against Mosby. He thinks it was "a preconceived plan to reject Mosby, and it worked."

Alderman Duncan: She responds to Morrissette, says voting down Mosby was all done correctly, because she did what the attorney told her to do last meeting when she was sitting next to him. (She is president of the board and filled in for the mayor who was out-of-town.)

Alderman Miguel: Mayor Schlink asked in email for nominations from board. Miguel said he thought of Bob Deutschmann. "I can only nominate."  Deutschmann said to Miguel that "whatever it takes to get this city moving forward. He comes to this board with no agenda." He met Deutschmann about 40 years ago, at a Toastsmasters Club. Then, saw him 20 years later. Advises Miguel to eliminate "uhs" from his speaking "remember  your Toastmasters training." Audience chuckles.

Alderman Wallach: Asks attorney to clarify last month's rejection process of Mosby.

Attorney: The charter refers to minimum qualifications under the law. Then board has discretion to vote how they choose on a particular candidate.

Mayor Schlink: Reads into record a letter from Faye Clark, who could not be here. It asks Steve Knarr about plans he worked on for new police station several years ago. Something about keeping number of parking spaces the same. 

Knarr: It was what city staff talked about he said. An agreement about keeping parking spaces for the Crestwood Swim Club with the city parking.

Schlink: Still reading--why no separate entrance for pool? Why did two police station plans fail? Is it a conflict of interest that Knarr was on zoning and planning while he was architect on a city project?

Knarr: Failed because they were too expensive. Says the police chief (at the time) would not reduce the scope of the project. The police station project never went through zoning and planning. Doesn't know if it's a conflict of interest. Leaves podium.

Foote: "We've had far too many mis-cues" on filling this alderman seat. If the person we choose is not absolutely able to serve, he wants to know now. Asks attorney for answer.

Attorney: As long as he gets four votes, it's good.

Mayor Schlink: Clarified with attorney what was next, he said.

Wallach: May Mayor vote if 3-3 tie?

Attorney: Yes.

Steve Neider: I'm still confused by this process. I find it rather disappointing that you can have two people come up and be nominated again. . .without coming back to Mr. Mosby."

Tom Ford: Asks city attorney. Talks about Ward 2 meeting prior to this meeting. An idea to take 30-day period to gather more names for nominees?

Attorney: I'll answer whether it's legal. If the BOA wants to adopt a process to move forward, they can. Recites a part of the city charter. Board needs to move in the direction of appointing. They can consider a different process, so that at the end of the day the alderman is nominated by the board.

Tom Ford: Asks Foote and Pickel how they would feel about 30-day delay.

Foote: We already have a complex process. I'm looking to avoid a mis-cue on a person. I would like to keep it simple.

Pickel: "I'm not necessarily against the idea of tabling the issue." But 30 days may be too far out.

Ford: Shouldn't the public be deciding this? Why should Ward 4 aldermen be deciding, for example, to decide on a new alderman for Ward 2? The citizens should. "I'm disappointed that Mr. Mosby was rejected, but there's nothing I can do about it."

Don Clark: He sees this as previous period in Crestwood city government, when aldermen didn't care what the citizens said. It's always a vote 4 and 4 on this board. "Ward 2 people will get an alderman in here that will do what the people want him to do."

Mayor: On vote, if someone abstains then a vote could be 3-3, are you asking can the mayor vote? The answer was yes. "Just to clarify."

Citizen: Asks for Mr. Mosby to be brought back to be voted on with the other two.

Duncan: There's been a lot of discussion. Asks attorney to reiterate the vote process.

Atty: Say either name of candidates to vote.

Mayor: Time to vote.

Clerk: Knarr is voted in 4-3. The voting block of Beezley, Foote, Duncan, Pickel. The same block that rejected Mosby votes in Knarr. Miguel and Wallach vote for Deutschmann.

Alderman Miguel: Who got Knarr involved? Which two aldermen?

Alderman Pickel: I did. Says description by Miguel was not accurate of how mayor learned of Knarr.

Mayor: That's correct. Pickel gave him two names.

Alderman Foote: "I was the other one who called" the mayor. "Knarr was the best one from Ward 2." He said Knarr left before when his wife was fighting a terminal illness.

8:06pm Mayor: Foote did contact me and recommend Mr. Knarr. He did not dictate that I should choose anyone. The calls from both Foote and Pickel were on the same day. Knarr moves to podium to be sworn in.

Applause by some in audience. Others leave the room.

City Clerk Tina Flowers swears Knarr in, he signs documents afterward, to make it official.

8:08pm: Mayor invites Knarr to take his seat on the dais. He does.

Mayor: Asks for report outs from others.

Member of public: Explains that a City-sponsored meeting last Tuesday gathered ideas about how to spend $5K in applying for The Home Depot grant to spruce up city. Encourages residents to vote online.

Alderman Wallach: Says batting cages company was approved in a zoning meeting. "It's good, it's moving to city from Fenton."

Mayor: Calls for first reading on Animal Control ordinance to modify language on whether animal is "running at large."

Alderman Miguel: Wants to clarify language even more. It needs to be "under direct control" he said.

Animal Control Board Officer Nancy Hunt: Some animals can be voice controlled, others leash control.

Police Chief: I'm on the Animal Board too. If you have control of your dog, we aren't going to get involved. Others are the ones who need this, to enforce those who don't control their dogs.

Alderman Miguel: Speaks from personal experience, a dog charged him from a back yard when he was on the sidewalk. Didn't think the dog was under control because the owner shouted a dozen times for the dog to stop.

PoliceChief: This language of "running at large" gives us the ability to give that dog owner a citation.

Animal Control Officer Hunt: This doesn't mean everyone has to have their dog on a leash.

New Alderman Knarr: Why not just have a leash law so that the dog is always under control?

Acting City Administrator Jim Eckrich: Three parameters to the code are leash, in a fence, or under control of owner and sufficiently close to them. He says the ordinance change is just to move the three parameters into a different category on code.

Alderman Miguel: Can a person walk down Grant's Trail without dog on a leash? 

Eckrich: "Yes. That's the status quo. This is not changing that."

Aderman Foote: First reading of "running at large" ordinance. Unanimously passed.

Alderwoman Beezley: Second reading of "running at large."

Clerk: 7 yes, passes.

8:22pm: Eckrich summarizes plan to give Kohl's Wholesale the contract for Community Center concession stand supplies for $16,500. 

8:24pm: Votes 7 yes, passes.

Eckrich: Crestwood wants to continue to be part of Sales Tax holiday on the first Friday in August.

Alderman Miguel: Says some cities do not participate, but Eckrich memo says they do. Asks that it be corrected.

8:27pm: Eckrich calls for acceptance of Anthem contract of city employee insurance, with a $2,500 deductible.

Alderman Wallach: He likes the plan. It's a one-year plan. He doesn't like spending more on insurance, but thinks they got a pretty good plan/deal.

Alderman Miguel: He asked Financial Officer Kremer for costs recently; in 2006 it was $687,000 and this year it's $1.27 million, and that's in the face of declining revenue. "That's just astronomical."

Knarr reads the motion to accept. Vote is 7 yes, passes.

Now they consider dental plan that is a two-year contract with a cap on second year rates. Caps are 7 percent this year and 8 percent next.

8:36pm: Vote, passes 7 yes.

8:37pm: Second reading on purchase of two police cars.

Alderman Miguel: Got more info since last meeting about pricing of cars, when he encouraged the city to wait until a new Ford model came out that saved on gas. But Board moved ahead. Says there is $10K extra per car since they are gas eaters. He found out lumbar support will be the new Ford police cars, available in July and in the Chevy Impala.

The new Ford will have a new platform Miguel says, made for police work, not the Ford Taurus one. He looked at costs.

June 24, Crestwood's vehicles have average 24,000 miles. Kirkwood average is 80,000 miles. Crestwood puts 10K on police car a year. Not advocating Chevy Impala. Other cities are getting far more value out of their police fleet than is Crestwood. In summary, Miguel says the new ones coming out will be safer, more comfortable, and maybe cheaper.

Alderman Wallach: Concerned about the low average mileage on Crestwood's police cars. But, doesn't want to buy first-year on a model car when it comes out in July. Wants to buy the same Crown Victorias now.

Vote to buy new cars: $45,392. 6 yes one No (Miguel)

Alderman Duncan: Gives a speech about how she won't govern through the press. She quotes whom she says is former U.S. President Ronald Reagan: "Trust but verify."

Alderman Wallach: Working paperless today, to save the city some money. He's using a computer to read everything. Hopes they can go that way.

No other reports.

Alderman Miguel: Says last meeting was a low day in Crestwood politics, when Mosby was rejected. Reads an editorial from local newspaper. Says the same voting block rejected Mosby that elected Knarr. Foote opens his briefcase, on the dais, and reads a newspaper while Miguel tralks. Leaves the briefcase open, blocking his face and view.

Alderman Foote: Appreciates Miguel's frustrations. Describes it as personality issues on the board. Reads his own rebuttal letter from the same paper. Says he makes his decisions based on his own experience and background, and will continue to do so.

8:55pm Adjourn.

Tom Ford June 16, 2011 at 01:59 AM
Well the "fix" was in, no if's ands or but's about it! pathetic is the first word to come to mind, the rest? well you really don't want to know! Tom Ford

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