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.
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