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

Creve Coeur Turns to the Dark Side

October 19th, 2010 by mopns · No Comments

The story is simple: Residents collected 450 signatures for Charlotte D’Alfonso (more than most council members got votes) to replace an outgoing council member (who endorsed her), but she refused the mayor’s request to always vote with the majority on council. No one else had been considered openly for the job until Charlotte’s refusal. More importantly, the community wanted her to represent them, regardless of their political leanings.

The replacement: Bob Hoffman, a reliable vote for the mayor and his cronies on the city council (he refused to answer questions regarding contacts with the mayor prior to the appointment), and a signatory to the petition circulated by Charlotte (he was for Charlotte before he was against her).

The Republic:

Laura Bryant – Laura has been an advocate for transparent and ethical government in Creve Coeur. Not only did she support Charlotte’s bid for the council appointment, she praised the grassroots activism of Creve Coeur residents and the petition process. She has also been the target of bogus ethics complaints for opposing the powers that be.

Jeanne Rhoades – Jeanne has been another consistent advocate for transparent and ethical government in Creve Coeur. She supported Charlotte’s bid with the support of residents, and pointed out Bob Hoffman’s history of ignoring or misrepresenting his own consituents as a neighborhood trustee.

The Empire:

Mayor Harold Dielmann – The mayor pretends to be a harmless old man, but works behind the scenes to promote large developers (the Koman Group). The mayor and his cronies have been supported by these groups to take over Creve Coeur politics. The fact that he has served as mayor for for over 20 years, and participated in city government for much longer, should tell one enough about this man.

Beth Kistner – She considers the petition process utilized by residents “perverted” because this was not an election. In a dereliction of duty, she decided she was compelled to vote for the mayor’s choice, despite the fact that residents from her ward spoke in favor of Charlotte’s efforts. Beth has consistently sided in opposition to transparent and ethical government.

Robert Haddenhorst – Quite possibly the worst representative a ward could imagine, he represents Charlotte’s ward and signed her petition (though apparently his signature is worth nothing), Bob frequently recuses himself from council because of his connections to organizations seeking to skirt zoning to the detriment of residents. He is unabashedly in the mayor’s pocket. Transparent and ethical government is anathema to this man.

David Kreuter – Flying under the radar by saying very little in council meetings, this attorney sheds his duty to his clients (the residents of Creve Coeur) in favor of the mayor’s agenda. He also represents another consistent vote against transparent and ethical government. Let us hope he does not become a judge.

The Olive TDD Board – All of the above council members sit on the Olive TDD Board, which is why they needed a reliable vote in Bob Hoffman. The Olive TDD benefitted the Koman Group, the development has no end in sight, and has created much unease in the community. Many of the transparency issues stem form this development. The mayor has suggested eminent domain could be used to move a fire station out of the district, despite opposition from those firemen.

The Bounty Hunters:

A. James Wang – AJ ran on an anti-eminent domain stance for his council seat. The Koman Group’s candidate lost to AJ, though much money was thrown into the race. Recently, AJ agreed to appoint a former council member to Planning & Zoning that voted in favor of using eminent domain. One can only wonder at his change in position, especially in light of his consistent votes with the mayor over time. Admittedly an extremely intelligent individual, he either shows a complete lack of understanding in politics for his belief that he had to vote for Hoffman or this is merely a guise for the complete disregard for the will of residents due to personal and political favors.

Tara Nealey – An appointee of the mayor, she frequently belittles the intelligence of the community and feels sorry for developers. Tara probably deserves to be in the above group, but not much can be said about her.

Creve Coeur politics is a perfect example of missing the forest for the trees. Corrupt government exists at all levels, not just in Washington. While the council was not as blatant as Arnold in its disregard for residents, the end result is the same: the people lose. Part of reforming the American political process starts with our communities. Charlotte, and more importantly her network of grassroots activists across Creve Coeur, will do everything in their power to root out corruption in Creve Coeur next April.

Related:

Fox2now.com: Creve Coeur, St. Ann Face Council Seat Controversies

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Tags: St. Louis

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  • 1 Scott Simon // Oct 19, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    As suburbanites thinking they are in a political comfort zone, they now have proven to be behind the times.

    Robert Haddenhorst said while testifying in favor of the anti small business Proposition N in 2009 said smoking in a restaurant is like peeing in public pool.

    His vote against Charlotte D’Alfonso was peeing in his own Ward 3 pool. I’ve seen lousy legislators as a full time political reporter the past 30 years in Missouri, Illinois and Kansas and he ranks easily in the top 10 for being the worst possible representative for voters.

    I still ask this question – you who voted for Mayor Dielmann – what were you thinking??

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