New Mayor, Board Squabble Over Empty Ward 3 Seat

Some aldermen would like to see a public application process for empty seats that are filled by the mayor's appointment.

It didn't take long for new mayor and board of aldermen to find something to disagree about.

Just minutes after  and the Wentzville Board of Aldermen were sworn in, the board got quickly down to business at Wednesay night's meeting. Ward 5 Alderman Rick Stokes was unanimously elected board president, the board passed a consent agenda and Guccione made committee appointments.

Everyting was running smoothly until Guccione asked for a special meeting before the May 9 regular board meeting so he could make an appointment for his former Ward 3 seat on the board, which is now empty.

The seat needs to be filled as soon as possible, Guccione said, and he'd like to talk to the board before presenting the name of his nominee for an approval vote.

Ward 1 Alderman Forrest Gossett asked the mayor to consider opening the process for applications from the public.

But City Attorney Paul Rost said the city’s code and Missouri law states the board has to vote to approve the mayor's appointment.

Guccione said he would hope the board would support his choice. Not all agreed.

"By law, it’s the mayor’s prerogative, but I would like to review that process moving forward," Alderman Chris Gard said.

Alderman Cheryl Kross asked that the issue be put on a future work session topic list. "A clear-cut procedure for filling vacancies on the board of aldermen," Kross said.

Rost reminded the board that any process that is established can't co-opt the mayor's power of appointment.

"It says 'With advice and consent,' of the board," Stokes said. "Let’s get some names in the hat."

Gard said he didn't think the discussion was proper since it was not on the agenda and the public didn’t know it would be discussed.

"It was my seat," Guccione said. "The residents of Ward 3 trust me to make this decision."

Guccione said if he made an appointment and the board failed to approve it, he would not make another and he did not think the costs of a special election would be fair to the citizens.

"No doubt this can become a stalemate," said Rost and suggested the issue be taken up as a discussion item at the next meeting. "This is the give and take that you're all going to have to work on."

S Lopez April 28, 2012 at 06:15 PM
The Board of Aldermen continue to disgrace City Hall with their power struggle. I was hoping the Board would do some changing after our election but the only changes I can see is that we have gone from 4 aldermen bucking the Mayor to 5 aldermen. I am appalled at Aldermen Cheryl Kross with her attempt to chastise our new Mayor over a picture of a monument with the logo of Wentzville. They don't even know who Mayor Guccione is planning on appointing to his vacant seat and they already are trying to figure out how they can get their choice as another aldermen being controlled by their same-kind (knee-jerking) thinking to join forces. It is obvious that the meetings we watch at City Hall are rehearsed before the meeting even begins. When you go down a slippery slope as these, you will eventually end up at the bottom of the hill.


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