St. Peters Aldermen Get Back to Business
Board debates internal issues, park naming at June meeting.
For the first time in nearly a month, the St. Peters Board of Aldermen returned to work in the chambers of the Justice Center.
After not having a meeting the first Thursday in June, the Board was back in action June 23 and ready to tackle a lengthy agenda. Things kicked off at the work session, where to Board spent a majority of the time talking about two agenda items.
The work session was supposed to begin with a discussion on park naming, but Alderman Jerry Hollingsworth, Ward 2, asked if that discussion could take place later in the meeting. Hollingsworth said Alderman Gus Elliott, Ward 3, wanted to share his thoughts on the issue and, since he wasn’t in his seat when the work session started, Hollingsworth wanted to give him a chance to show up to the meeting.
While waiting on Elliott to show up, the Board moved ahead to item two on the agenda. Ward 1 Aldermen Dave Thomas and Rocky Reitmeyer wanted to talk to the Board about the city’s process in dealing with governmental concerns.
The Ward 1 duo expressed concern with the way another, unnamed, alderman was doing business. Thomas said there have been multiple occasions where an alderman who doesn’t represent Ward 1 has gotten involved in Ward 1 business. He said that aldermen are supposed to know their wards better than anyone, so they should be the ones who handle governmental concerns.
Hollingsworth agreed with Thomas.
“It’s a matter of respecting people in the other wards,” he said.
Mayor Len Pagano said that in all his years involved with the Board dating back to 1983, this is the first time an issue like this has come up. Pagano said members of the Board should be respectful to other members and that it was important for everyone to communicate.
Even though the Board agreed this was in issue, there was a question of what should be done. Hollingsworth said it should be just be a respect issue and the Board didn’t need to make any formal ruling on the issue.
“I’d hate to see us make a policy on it,” Ward 2 Alderman Judy Bateman said, echoing Hollingsworth.
Eventually the Board decided with a 5-1 vote—Ward 4 Alderman Don Aytes was the lone opposition—that, in the future, city staff will need to alert both aldermen about a government concern in their ward before the government concern if turned in.
Park Naming Delayed
Back in March, Bateman and Hollingsworth requested naming the Rabbit Run annex Jack Gettemeyer Park. The Board couldn’t reach a consensus then and failed to do so again on Thursday.
The issue of naming parks after people was brought to the Parks Board. The Parks Board recommended that the city not name parks after people. The recommendation said it was not a good idea in general, however, there may be some circumstance where a person may deserve the recognition.
Hollingsworth disagreed with the recommendation and made a motion to change the name of the park. He withdrew his motion, however, in favor of more discussion at the next Aldermen meeting. The reason biggest reason the vote was delayed was so, hopefully, Elliott, who had expressed interest in the issue, would be at the next meeting and speak his mind.
- The Planning and Zoning Commission will discuss a change in city code. One item relates to trailer use by residents. The proposal would limit trailer use in front yards to 10 days a year.
- At the meeting, Ward 4 Alderman Patrick Barclay was recognized for attending 200 consecutive meetings. Barclay hasn’t missed a meeting since 2002. Mayor Pagano said he hasn’t seen anything like Barclay’s run since he began his work with the city.
- The Aldermen and Mayor Pagano donated cans for the Pennies for Patriots project. The city is collecting cans to earn money to donate to the USO. The city hopes to raise $4,000. Last year St. Peters raised $3,000 and became the only city to be recognized at the USO at Lambert International Airport.
- All new business passed with a unanimous vote.