Candidate for Aldermen Withdraws from Race After Comments at Board Meeting
John Zepaltas had previously filed for candidacy for Ward 3.
After Wednesday night's regular meeting, a candidate for Ward 3 Alderman was recorded on city video making comments to staff members that may have resulted in his withdrawing his candidacy.
John Zepaltas, who had filed for candidacy last month, approached city staff after the regular meeting was over and the aldermen and mayor had left the board room.
Zepaltis was upset about the cost overruns for the Splash Station project. He asked how the project got past planners.
The city's video camera was still running, and although he was off-camera, Zepaltas can be heard to say, "Mr. Kolb disappointed the hell out of me." He said that if that was the way that projects are administered, the procedures needed to be changed.
"I am just pissed," Zepaltas said. "If I had an AK-47. . "
At that point, procurement director Jerry Hillin interrupted him and said, "End that conversation now."
And Zepaltas added, " . . . I would make a lot of noise."
Zepaltas then left the room.
City Clerk Vi Skillman issued a list of candidates the following day, and Zepaltas was not on that list. Skillman confirmed to Patch that Zepaltas had withdrawn his candidacy.
Interim City Administrator George Kolb spoke to Patch about the incident. Kolb said that he believed that Zepaltas regretted his words and that he'd apologized. Kolb said that the incident "had dealt with itself."
He did, however, emphasize the need for diligent security at city hall, citing events like the Kirkwood city council shootings in 2008 and the recent Sandy Hook tragedy.
"We have to keep our eyes open," Kolb said.