Saturday, April 21, 2007


Tuesday night’s council meeting was rather dull. Bob Kneemiller had the city council under control and they voted the way he, or the mayor, wanted them to vote. I hope it was only because they are new on the job and are still finding their bearings. I would hope they would not abdicate their authority as the legislative body and let the administration have free reign without any oversight.

They gave up one of the rights that previous councils had fought hard to retain, the right to name outside attorneys to represent the city. There are some instances in which legal advice or representation is needed in areas in which the city attorney may not have the expertise or at times when his work load does not give him the time to properly handle the matter. When this occurs he makes recommendation to the city council but the decision was in their hands to decide which attorney was hired to handle such matters. At the council meeting Tuesday night they gave up that authority.The administration can now hire any attorney they want without input from the council. I wonder if they realize how this is going to impact their terms on the council. I hope in the future they are more cognizant of what they are being asked to do. There are times the results could be disastrous if they don’t pay attention.

Two of the Mayor’s appointments were approved by the Council. Thomas Smith was appointed once again to the Park Board and Gene Carol was appointed to the Fourth of July committee. Smith was written about in the First Capitol News as treasurer for 23 special interest committees that funneled millions of dollars into Republican political campaigns. The committees were headquartered in his home at 320 Monroe in St. Charles. He also operated several unlicensed businesses from that address including Survey St. Louis which was heavily in the fraud and forgery ridden recall campaigns against Mark Brown and Dottie Greer. He is a state employee working for State Representative Tom Dempsey. You can read about Smith in our archives, in stories titled ‘Money Laundering”. He had been serving on the Park Board but the previous Council had refused to reappoint him when his term expired.

Gene Carrol was also active in the fraud and forgery riddled recall campaigns. In fact, he filed suit in an attempt to have Mark Brown recalled, costing St. Charles taxpayers thousands of dollars in attorney fees to defend the suit. The previous council had also refused to reappoint Carrol to the Fourth of July committee when his term expired.