"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

A Tale of TOO Many Cities

September 2nd, 2010 by MarkTwain · No Comments

“The accomplice to the crime of corruption is frequently our own indifference.”Bess Myerson

We are all tired of the excuse that though politics may be corrupt it is simply the nature of the game.  It is not a game, and it is not only about D.C. politicians out of touch with their constituents.  Our state and local officials may be flying under the radar in the current political climate, but I can assure them we are watching.  One such local community in St. Louis, Creve Coeur, exemplifies the need for local citizens to be ever vigilant when it comes to political conduct in our backyards.  I understand that the larger interest in Creve Coeur politics may not seem relevant to the average reader, but the conduct of some of Creve Coeur’s elected representatives repeats itself in countless communities across the state.  Consider this a wake up call to the dirty doings within your own communities.

Ward 3 council-member David Kassander announced his future resignation upon the sale of his home.  Creve Coeur’s mayor holds the appointment power, with the approval of the council, should a vacancy occur.  The problem with this scenario lies in the fact that Creve Coeur’s mayor, Harold L. Dielmann, has no interest in listening to the residents.  Whether cavorting with major developers, entertaining large businesses at the expense of residential neighborhoods, or simply ignoring genuine concerns about the transparency in official business conducted by elected representatives, Mayor Dielmann has proven he is no friend to the community.  Several residents have noted conversations with the mayor in which he seemed nonplussed at the idea of listening to residents before businesses (by which I mean the large kind).

Ward 3, the locus of the Delmar Gardens (see above link) controversy, went proactive on the mayor.  One Ward 3 resident, Charlotte D’Alfonso, worked with a team of dedicated citizens to raise awareness on the various issues affecting city-wide residents, and that grassroots activism led to a petition campaign for an appointment to city council should Kassander not be able to complete his term.  Kassander has been an outspoken defender of Creve Coeur residents, and supported Charlotte’s efforts.  The residents collected more signatures than 9 out of the last 15 council elections had received votes.  They stopped collecting at 450+ signatures since this number was double one Ward 3 council-member’s votes in 2007/2008, and higher than the other Ward 3 council-member’s  votes in 2009.

Charlotte spoke with the mayor shortly before her petitions were presented to the city council.  The mayor expressed his position by demanding that she vote with the majority on council if he appointed her.  He wanted someone that would not question his authority or threaten his relationships with large developers. Charlotte, a strong-willed mother of three, would have none of it.  The result has been a backdoor attempt to undermine her support by sending out the mayor’s choice with a similar petition to the one Charlotte used, and deliberate attempts to confuse Ward 3 residents as to the facts surrounding Kassander’s situation.  Council-members the mayor counts as allies have remained silent on Charlotte’s efforts or the will of Ward 3 residents, in direct contravention to the City of Creve Coeur Organization Chart (found on page 6).

This situation remains ongoing, and this is only one small piece of the puzzle surrounding corruption at the local level in Creve Coeur.  As we delve deeper into the actions of Creve Coeur’s elected officials expect to learn much about the conduct of similar officials in your own community.

For more information from the residents of Creve Coeur, visit www.crevecoeurvoter.com

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Tags: St. Louis

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  • 1 David Caldwell // Sep 2, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    Dr. Mr. Twain

    Quite a piece- congratulations. Please keep me posted as you delve. You might delve into the Olive TDD. And thank you very much for the link.

    DC

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