Saturday, June 03, 2006


Sometimes, the political world seems a lot like a soap opera. There are villains and heroes, and folks that seem to switch it around quite a bit. You can certainly find a program to fit the bill. It seems like The Young and the Restless have lost their Guiding Light as they fight with The Bold and the Beautiful. Certainly, Passions run high because we only have One Life to Live. Hey, it’s worth taking a look around As the World Turns during the Days of Our Lives. I know, I know…Enough already. I’ll concentrate on the drama and intrigue closer to home.

This year, the Daytime Emmy Awards would almost exclusively go to the actors (and the writers) in O’Fallon. Even though calmer heads prevailed after the election, it is still politics as usual out west, and things are in a bit of a mess.

In O’Fallon, the revolving door at City Hall is still revolving with more senior employees leaving (or being pushed out) every week. I can’t even remember all the high-profile (and mostly involuntary) departures by City Staff since Mayor Morrow was elected, but things really kicked into high gear when Lowery came on board. Even though the City Council (formerly known as the Board of Aldermen) has learned its lesson and toned down the bi-weekly drama during its meetings, the City Administrator is still aggressively cleaning house. Is Mayor Morrow calling the shots from 37,000 feet as she serves soda to travelers? Who Knows? Stay tuned for more.

Let’s not forget the firing of Police Chief Steve Talbott (which some folks tell me was the beginning of the end for Morrow’s Motley Crew).Talbott is suing the City and wants Hudson’s secret tapes, and the City attorney’s want Mrs. Talbott’s e-mails and other documents. One has to wonder what exactly the City attorneys are hoping to accomplish. I also wonder whether Randy Hudson’s tape collection will have an unfortunate encounter with a heavy-duty magnet. It will be hard to top the story lines in O’Fallon.

Over in St. Peters, it came as no big surprise when the Board elected Alderman Bruce Holt as President. As soon as Alderman Hawkins chose to step aside to end the latest distraction manufactured by the malcontent bunch, Holt seems like a good, non-controversial choice. I guess the squeaky wheel doesn’t get the oil in St. Peters, because Alderman Barclay was shouting from the treetops that it was his turn. He seems to have missed the fact that he holds a “political office” and that there is an election for Board President. Maybe in years past, the Board agreed that a certain member would make a good President and that member may have been the next most senior, but it was not followed all that rigidly so I’m told. I think many of you folks in St. Peters would have been amazed if Barclay had secured one additional vote other than his own for President since Barclay is ignored and wholly ineffective. [Note to Barclay: If you are going to “duck” every single semi-controversial vote that comes your way, then there is no chance you’ll ever accomplish anything as an elected official. See, the people sent you there to make tough decisions, not to vote no on budget proposals because you don’t want to be held accountable during your election or abstaining because your political “sugar daddy” commands you to. You might want to think that over as you aspire to higher office. The issues can be even more controversial in the big leagues.] I guess St. Peters won another TIF lawsuit. Good for them. Things seem to have calmed down in the House of Brown, Shawn Brown that is.

Ironically, things seem somewhat stable in St. Charles. The make-up of the council remains the same notwithstanding the Herculean efforts of Mayor Patty and her cohorts. Chief Tim Swope finishes a productive first year on the job. On a less than stellar note, City Administrator Allan Williams remains in his position because of a technicality. The Missouri Ethics Commission has given Darling Dottie a relatively clean bill of health, and criminal charges are pending against at least one of the paid signature bounty hunters who sought to oust her. The city seems to have settled in for a long, hot summer. There is a potential for change 2007, although conventional wisdom says people tend to resist change unless there is some sort of issue relating to their basic services. If the trash is getting picked up and the roads are in okay condition, then things have a way of working themselves out. I know that I notice less voters when the weather is bad. So, maybe incumbents will do a “rain dance” next year, any maybe it won’t matter.

And, across the river, in St. Charles East (a.k.a. Overland), the Mayor is still the Mayor and the Police Chief is still the Police Chief. I guess that’s a draw. The sore loser is still making noises about the vote tally, even though the Mayor picked up a vote in the recount. You would think that the Mayor would be able to discuss the matter reasonably with her legislative counterparts, but alas, the folks in St. Charles East seem to be unwilling to recognize that the voters have spoken. It’s just a parallel universe, since here in St. Charles West, it’s our very own Perilous Patty who can’t seem to come to grips with the decision of the people.

Soap operas (like political productions) are serialized dramas that draw the viewer into relatively simple (although sensational) story lines involving interesting, multi-layered characters. Some are good and some are bad, but most seem to switch back and forth. Who needs Soapnet, when public access is still part of the basic package? If you catch up on your soaps, you might try the government channel. It will probably suffice as your soap fix for the day.