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Lake Saint Louis Board Members Reject Appointment

"It’s one of the most idiotic things I’ve seen this board do. I’ll go on record with that," said Ward 2 Alderman Kathy Schweikert.

At the last regular meeting of 2012, Lake Saint Louis Mayor Mike Potter put a slate of appointees for city boards and commissions in front of the board of aldermen for approval.

The only appointment that failed to be approved was former alderman John Pellerito.

Pellerito, who lost his Ward 3 seat to Richard Morris last year, was one of Potter's choices to sit on the city's Tree Board.

When the time came for the motion to be made to approve the appointments, Ward 3 Alderman George Rich moved for all the appointments except for the tree board to be approved. When his omission was pointed out, Rich named the other Tree Board appointment, but left Pellerito out of the motion.

"John is very qualified, and we need people," Potter said, but Rich refused to add Pellerito to the approval list.

Rich, Morris, and Ward 1 Aldermen Tony Zito voted to approve the motion. Ward 2 Aldermen Kathy Schweikert and Karen Vennard voted no.

"It’s one of the most idiotic things I’ve seen this board do. I’ll go on record with that," said Schweikert.

After the meeting, Patch asked Rich about his refusal to approve the appointment, and Rich said that it was due to Pellerito's behavior on the board. "He called me a liar to my face. John (Pellerito) has good ideas, and he has good qualifications, but he has a fiery temper."

Patch also asked Morris about his vote on the matter. "It's the way of the business," he said. "Some people have had their time. It's time to move on."

In a follow-up letter to Patch, Schweikert said, "John was more than qualified to serve on the Tree Board, a board we have a hard time filling vacancies, and a board that John would provide excellent input.  These Boards are advisary, and the final decisions for any ordinance changes is made by the Board of Aldermen." 

"I am concerned we can be setting a bad precedent by disapproving former aldermen that a Board member does not like, or a resident that may have been vocal on an issue in the past, or just a resident a particular alderman does not like," Schweikert said.

Pellerito was instrumental in the Lake Saint Louis smoking ban, the demonstration rain garden and biodention basin in Boulevard Park, and other green initiatives in the city.

Neither Morris nor Zito served with Pellerito on the Board of Aldermen.

READ MORE:

  • Construction on Boulevard Park Demo Area is Well Underway
  • Alderman Champions Earth-Friendly Demo Areas
Karen Clark January 03, 2013 at 05:33 AM
I wrote to the two board members who voted against Mr. Pellerito, since I know Mr. Pellerito to be very well qualified regarding tree ordinances, asking them their rationale for voting against Mr. Pellerito. I received the following response from Mr. Morris. I have never met this gentleman, by the way. He said, "I'm Richard Morris Alderman ward 3. I will try to answer your email about grudges and injustice in LSL. Three days after I was elected to alderman, I recieved a letter from the Mayer of St. Peters congratulating me on my victory. The Mayer of LSL never spoke to me at all except to scold me at one of the meetings several weeks later. So when you talk about grudges, there have been many groups that has held them against me. The wanna be yacht club is one,. another is the group that wants to install a giant 400 foot tower in the middle of Blvd Park. Then there that group that wants to raise your tax every year, just so a new round of raises can go out. This city built a golf course and even the board of alderman couldn't vote on this one. Mean while, our streets were crumbling. The reason I mention this is that's the real meaning of injustice. I'm here to keep what I've got, that's why I ran for office, and if John Pellerito isn't my cup of tea then its my right to vote how ever I want. Cheers, Richard Morris" That didn't answer my question at all, but it sounds like Mr. Morris needs some lessons in diplomacy.
Karen Clark January 03, 2013 at 07:51 PM
Here is my response to Mr. Morris: Mr. Morris, Thank you for your prompt response. I did not ask you about all of your difficult dealings with other people. I simply asked for a rationale behind your vote. Since you mentioned all of these other issues, I would like to make a comment. In my opinion, most people in politics realize that they sometimes have to set personal issues aside for the betterment of their constituents and their community. You might want to consider putting community first and setting personal grudges, which accomplish nothing and only create more discord, aside in the future. Just my opinion. Thank you. K. Clark P.S. Here is a piece I wrote for my column in the St. Charles County Journal last year that you might find interesting. http://www.stltoday.com/suburban-journals/stcharles/opinion/opinion-shaper-strive-for-conflict-resolution/article_e56aaa5e-bb06-541f-b85b-6a80156ad656.html?mode=story
C. Knauper January 04, 2013 at 06:45 AM
Hi, I'm sorry but I disagree approval of previous aldermen should be automatic. If that were true, why would we ever do job interviews instead of simple paper reviews? No, the person's character and ability to work with others must also be considered, even for volunteers. I must disagree with the opinion that the Aldermen who voted against Mr. Pellerito did it solely based on a grudge. Based on what was said here and in previous meetings and publications, I think its likely they did it because they thought it was best for the city because he would be difficult to work with. Their words as much as said that. I don’t know Mr. Pellerito and have no opinion whether or not he should be on the Tree Board. But in general, I do think that these aldermen are permitted to use their experience, gained either by working directly with him or by personally evaluating his former conduct as alderman, in their decision. If they believe Mr. Pellerito would ultimately be disruptive based on their past experience, then they should vote against him. Likewise, if you feel you’ve been following city politics and either doubt the aldermen’s judgment or are convinced that it’s a grudge, then vote against them in next election. It really is Mr. Morris’s option to vote against Mr. Pellerito and its our option as voters to replace any alderman we disagree with as well, as we apparently did in the last election when we replaced Mr. Pellerito with Mr. Morris in Ward 3. C. Knauper
Karen Clark January 04, 2013 at 08:35 AM
I expected a certain degree of professionalism when I asked the two aldermen for their rationale. Instead I received a list of grievances from Mr. Morris against a number of people. (Who is the common denominator here?) I still received no basis for the denial other than that Mr. Morris simply doesn't like him and used his power to deny him this post. That provides me, a resident, with no information that would help me to understand the situation. These are volunteer positions and the city needs people to fill the post. I would like to see well qualified people on the Tree Board. I know Mr. Pellerito to be knowledgeable and have never personally witnessed any unprofessional behavior from him at any of the meetings I have attended. This all sounds like childish playground antics and I expect more from my Board members. It makes me wonder if there is some hidden agenda, which concerns me. I can see that no explanation will be forthcoming.
pat van thull January 04, 2013 at 07:19 PM
Pat Van Thull I also expect a certain amount of professionalism when dealing with elected Aldermen. I live in ward 3 and have been to several Alderman meetings at City Hall over the last few months. I was wondering how active Karen Clark has been in attending the Alterman meetings ? In my many trips to City Hall and phone calles/emails I have sent to my Alderman Richard Morris & George Rich. They have always treated me with great respect, I have never got the idea, either one was carrying a grudge. I agree with C. Knauper's view in his responce to Karen Clark How does Karen know Joe Pellerito is a good fit for this position. I think there are several good names to choose from.
Doug Stanley January 06, 2013 at 11:13 PM
Come on people, a reasonable person can see these guys have an agenda. I'm sure Ralph Sidebottom would have voted for it too had he been there. All you have to do is look at their voting record. What other city besides Lake Saint Louis spends public funds for snow removal on private streets? They rushed that through! They were elected to represent all of us, not just a select few. As far as communication goes, when the snow removal issue first came up, I sent a note to both Rick and George asking for their rationale in supporting this and that I was opposed. To date I have not received a response from either one. As far as Karen Clark and her involvement in city busiess, it is because of her pointing out to the Alderman considering the Edgewater development (you know, the 5 acre tract of land the CA bought that caused so many sleepless night for so many residents) the plans called for a 50 foot tree line from the shore and our city's ordinance required a 100 foot tree line. And that didn't happen at just one meeting. She was at almost every meeting during those public hearings for over a year. As far a John Pellerito goes, he's a fine man who has served the city and the community very well. There was absolutely no valid reason not to approve his appointment to this VOLUNTARY position. Except for someone's pettyness. There is definately a divide in this Board and it is to the detrement of the city.
Karen Clark January 07, 2013 at 01:05 AM
Thank you, Doug. Yes, I was very involved in the Edgewater situation, which involved going door-to-door, meeting with fellow residents, conducting research, writing letters and attending meetings. It was when researching the Tree City designation for a column in the Journal that I discovered that the Edgewater development would be in violation of our own city ordinances. I immediately sent emails and letters and the project was stopped in its tracks when, prior to that, we had been told that it was inevitable and it was time to give up. And, like Doug's experience, I have never received an answer from either person who voted against Mr. Pellerito. "I just don't like him" is not satisfactory. If that's the case, does that mean one has to be a friend of those alderman in order to get a post? Or that one cannot ever disagree with them? Please, gentlemen -- provide this community with a RATIONAL reason why you voted against a highly qualified individual. Please stick to the subject at hand -- not snow plowing or the mayor of St. Peters or anything else. Thank you.

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