Saturday, September 23, 2006


The View From The Cheap Seats
By Jerry Haferkamp

Leadership, noun: the act or an instance of leading.
After reading the past issue of the FCN, I was left wondering about leadership in St. Charles.
The front page had major articles on what may be an attempt by the mayor to fire Police Chief Swope and on Mr. Smith, currently under the microscope for campaign finance activities. What, you ask, has this to do with leadership?
The article states that Smith’s term on the park board has expired, and he refuses to give up the seat that was formerly his. He obviously gets his form of “leadership” from our former City Administrator, Mr. Williams, who refuses to honor his contract and still occupies the office he shouldn’t. The president of the Park Board should show “leadership” and not allow Mr. Smith to hold a seat at the meetings. Mr. Williams could show “leadership” by taking a hike.
If Mr. Smith and the former city administer don’t have to vacate, Chief Swope should take his “leadership” cue from Williams and refuse to leave if he is fired. When his contract expires, he should thumb his nose at the mayor and sit tight. What the heck, she endorsed the former city administrator’s actions so she should endorse Chief Swope’s if he does likewise. Like I said in my last column, “Consistency, Madame Mayor, consistency”.
Anyway, what’s up with Swope investigating possible crime? For a man who grew up in St. Charles, why is it so hard for him to understand that the mayor, her family and her confederates are considered by her to be above the law?
By the way, leadership in the Prosecuting Attorney’s office would mean indicting the person who, according to sworn testimony, submitted the fraudulent petitions. What did I say about the mayor’s confederates being above the law? Somebody poke Banas and wake him up.
I was approached by one of our prominent citizens a few days ago. He owns properties in the Frenchtown area. He questioned why money is going to be wasted on the “roundabout” (also known as a traffic circle or traffic circus) on North Third at Tecumseh. He stated that we need sidewalks in many neighborhoods where the children have to walk in the streets to get to school or a school bus stop. If the roundabout is using city funds, he wondered if the money would be better spent on sidewalks for our children’s safety. I agree. I’m not sure if this project is strictly a MoDOT waste of money, or whether our city is also flushing your money down this unwanted and unneeded bumper car track. It needs to be stopped. There is no traffic problem at that intersection.

Of course, that’s just the view from the cheap seats.