Saturday, August 05, 2006



History is said to change depending upon who is telling the story. I wonder why this story hasn't been told? St. Charles City witnessed something that did not fit the story of those who would have you believe
that Councilman Rory Riddler has control of the minds and hearts of five members on the City Council. Riddler recently introduced a re-development plan for Frenchtown that would have allowed for the use of eminent domain. This appeared to be a slam-dunk because the Mayor and a majority of those on the council spoke in favor of the Frenchtown re-development project.

Then one of the most important projects proposed by Riddler was suddenly brought under fire, led by Councilman John Gieseke. Gieseke had just suffered a narrow defeat of a bill that would have stopped the use of eminent domain throughout the City. Riddler, Muench, Weller and Hoepfner voted against the bill making it 5- 4 with Bob Kneemiller absent from the meeting. Gieseke told Riddler and those in attendance he agreed that the Frenchtown area needed help but to use eminent domain would give the project a black eye. Others on the Council joined Gieseke as well as the "black shirts" who were opposing eminent domain. Residents against eminent domain had worn black shirts to the City Council meetings.

The council meetings lasted a long time but those opposed to the use of eminent domain stood their ground and Councilman Riddler finally succumbed to the pressure and the realization that the re-development plan would not pass in its present state.

At a later meeting that saw Councilman Bob Kneemiller steal the Council presidency he also stole Gieseke's language for the use of eminent domain. Kneemiller made a motion to include the eminent domain language that Gieseke had introduced just weeks earlier and assumed ownership like it was his idea. What do you expect from a guy who waits for someone to be absent to take control? He knew that Gieseke wouldn't vote for him to be Council president and knew Gieseke was planning to introduce this language into the development plan. Gieseke had told him this at a fundraiser the weekend before the meeting at Ram's park.

So there you have it, Riddler's control is a myth. In politics you will have people who side with each other because of common beliefs. This council has freethinking members like Gieseke, Greer, Koester, Brown, Riddler and to some extent Muench. Then you have Kneemiller who takes his orders from the Mayor. Weller who isn’t even a poor excuse for a Councilman and who misses most of the meetings taking orders from the Mayor. Then you have the dynamic duo of Hoepfner and Reese. These two tried a coup and almost pulled it off. Now they have to side with Kneemiller and Weller just to save face.


We will continue our investigative report in our next edition. If you have internet access we will put the list of contributors on our Web Log on Monday, August 7th. It will also be printed in our next edition.


We are on our summer schedule where we only print twice a month. We will return to our weekly schedule with our September 9th edition. Like the US Senate and House of Representatives we work on a reduced schedule during the summer. However, we update our daily web log whenever we are in receipt of news. You can find it at


For those of you who are keeping score Councilman Mike Weller has missed two our of the last three meetings. We believe he now holds the record for missed Council meetings. Don’t you think he should return his monthly salary if he doesn’t make the meetings? Maybe he should resign and let someone who cares and will attend the meetings be elected.