Terri Violet was determined to serve on the St. Peters Board of Aldermen.
Violet threw her hat in the ring as a candidate to serve Ward 3 in the 2011 Municipal Election . She was challenging incumbent Gus Elliott and lost by a narrow margin—783 to 709. Despite the loss, Violet wouldn't go away.
Her name appeared on the ballot again this spring, this time taking on Tommy Roberts and Burton Biermann. Violet again fell short, but that didn't keep her away from St. Peters.
"That passion to be able to serve Ward 3 in St. Peters has never gone," Violet said. "I have the passion and I'm willing and able."
She continued to volunteer in the community and was a frequent guest at Aldermen meetings and other city event. Her presence didn't go unnoticed.
After Gus Elliott's resignation on Sept. 13, Ward 3 found itself down an alderman. Wanting to make sure that Ward 3 isn't unrepresented, St. Peters Mayor Len Pagano picked Violet to serve until the April election.
"I think that he knows me personally and he knows my heart," Violet said. "He knows the kind of person that I am and he knows how hard I work in the community."
Violet's appointment is pending on a vote by the Board of Aldermen at a special meeting at 4:45 p.m. on Thursday at the Justice Center .
"I'm honored," Violet said. "I appreciate the confidence that Mayor Pagano has in me."
Violet said she thinks her hard work and willingness to serve played a role in the appointment. She was the only Ward 3 candidate to run for the election in 2011 and 2012. Her persistence paid off.
"I'm ready to go to work," she said.
Violet's appointment isn't without some controversy. Ward 3 resident Michelle Turner Walker has started an online petition to oppose the appointment . As of Tuesday evening the petition had 24 signatures.
Walker said she objects to the appointment for numerous reasons. One, she said she doesn't like how the process is going down. Elliott's surprise resignation was made public at the Sept. 13 meeting. Violet's confirmation vote will take place before Thursday's regularly scheduled meeting meaning the public hasn't had time to chime in.
Walker said that by calling a special meeting 15 minutes before Thursday's work session, the city is not giving Ward 3 residents a chance to voice their opinion.
Another concern for Walker is that the appointed aldermen will gain a leg up in the upcoming April 2013 election. Walker, who said she supported both Elliott and Tommy Roberts against Violet, said she was considering running for the spot in April. She said that if Violet is appointed to finish out the year, she will get an incumbent bump in the election.
In her mind, Walker said she would like the appointment to go to someone who has no intention of running in April so all the challengers would be on an even playing field.
Violet's selection also irked Walker.
"I don't know Terri Violet at all, but I know I didn't vote for her," Walker said. "And most of the residents didn't vote for her either."
She said that the voters of Ward 3 have spoken twice in the last two years and have turned her down.
"If they need to appoint someone, they need to appoint someone who is not going to run in the next election," Walker said. "And they definitely shouldn't appoint someone who lost twice. I just can't wrap my mind around how they think this is OK."