Saturday, December 22, 2007

RAMBLING WITH The Editor Tony Brockmeyer


Several years ago it was apparent to the then members of the city council that the Mayor was filling a lot of the boards and commissions with her cronies. That is to be expected however the council discovered that many of her appointments did not live in St. Charles, did not own property in St. Charles, and were not registered voters. One of those was the Mayor’s aunt who lived in St. Louis. The council believed that to have proper representation on St. Charles Boards and Commission the members should be registered voters and residents of the city. They introduced a bill, which became an ordinance requiring it.

Now that the Mayor owns the current city council she can do whatever she wants. Councilmen Ron Stivison and Councilman Erv Ermeling have introduced a bill that if passed, would do away with that requirement. You would no longer have to neither be a resident of St. Charles nor be a registered voter to be appointed by the Mayor to a St. Charles Board or Commission. It is Bill 9523.

The previous council also passed an ordinance that when the term a member of a board or commission expired they were no longer a member of the board. At the time several patronage friends of the Mayor were serving on the boards. Some of them did not even live in the city. When their terms expired the Mayor would just not appoint anyone else so her patronage friends would continue to serve even though their terms had expired. Stivison and Ermeling’s bill voids that and allows the board members to serve for at least six months after their term expires is no one has been appointed to the seat.

There was also a section that required any member of a board or commission to disclose any financial or other private interest in city legislation. They are taking this requirement out along with the provision prohibiting a board or commission member from having a financial interest, direct or indirect, in any contract with the city or are financially interested, directly or indirectly in the sale to the city of any land, materials, supplies, equipment or services.

On some of the boards, local organizations, such as the Historic Downtown District, Frenchtown Historical District, and South Main Street Historical District would make two nominations to the boards and one would be selected by the Mayor and city council to serve. This section has also been deleted form the bill. Councilman Veit remarked, “I don’t want to see any little fiefdoms built up.”

They have also deleted the Citizen’s Participation and Advisory Committee, Oktoberfest Committee, Lewis and Clark Rendezvous Days Committee, and Downtown Economic Stimulus Authority.

Another interesting bill is Bill #9527 which is being sponsored by Councilman Veit. This bill, if passed by the city council, would void the provision that currently prohibits possession of an open container in a motor vehicle.

It also will prohibit any dancing, sitting or standing upon a bar, tables or an other raised surface that is used for preparing or serving food or beverages. If would also be a violation if a liquor license holder or any employee failed to prevent or suppress any violent quarrel, disorder, brawl, fight, or other improper or unlawful conduct nor would profane or obscene language, song, entertainment, literature or advertising material be allowed upon the premises.

There is also a section in the bill that restricts to six, the number of liquor licenses that can be issued in the 100 block of South Main Street and the 100, 200 and 300 blocks of North Main Street.