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First K-Wood city council meeting since Feb 7. The good feelings didn't last long.

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  • First K-Wood city council meeting since Feb 7. The good feelings didn't last long.

    http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/new...B?OpenDocument

    First meeting back, sparks fly
    By Todd C. Frankel and Stephen Deere
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    02/22/2008



    KIRKWOOD — The good feelings didn't last long.

    Just one hour into the first meeting of the Kirkwood City Council since a deadly attack at City Hall two weeks ago, things turned confrontational. Any notion this meeting Thursday night would be a ceremonial exercise in moving on from tragedy evaporated with the first public speakers.

    "You're taking our rights away from us," said Genevieve Hodges, one of at least 270 people packed inside the Robert G. Reim Theatre, which was serving as a temporary council chamber. "We want to be heard. We want to be respected."

    But the reason for the outrage had little to do with any civil unrest or concerns about what caused a gunman to kill five people at a council meeting before he was fatally shot by police.
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    It was about politics and who would be mayor of the municipality of 27,000.

    With fiery words backed up by standing ovations and audience catcalls, person after person railed at the surviving councilmen and staff for removing the name of a slain councilwoman from the mayoral ballot of the upcoming April 8 election.

    Connie Karr, who was among the six people killed Feb. 7, had filed to run for mayor. But last week, the council learned from county election officials that Karr was not an eligible candidate because she was deceased. With the consent of Karr's husband, the council voted to remove her name from the ballot. That left just one councilman, Arthur McDonnell, running for mayor.

    And that touched off Thursday's uproar.

    "We want an election, not an appointee," Ron Hodges told the council.

    Pastor Miguel Brinkley of Kirkwood Church of God warned the council of "a negative impact" on the community if it did not undo the move to remove Karr's name. He called for an emergency ordinance to push the election to June. Other speakers echoed Brinkley's sentiment.

    With tension rising, one woman stood up and asked the city attorney how the council managed to meet so quickly and without apparent public notice.

    City Attorney John Hessel, notably understated as he sat on stage at a long table next to the council members, countered.

    Hessel said he hurriedly organized a council meeting late last week when he was notified by the county elections board that the deadline to remove Karr's name from the ballot was fast approaching. He said he posted notice of the public meeting at City Hall on Feb. 14, and the council members met the next day. Hessel said he followed the law.

    His answer was met with boos from the audience.

    "This has been a tremendously difficult time for all of us," Hessel began to say.

    "Us, too," someone shouted back, a response met with cheers.

    Acting Mayor Tim Griffin at one point jumped to the city attorney's defense. He noted Karr's widowed husband was emphatic that he did not want his family to endure an election with Karr's name on the ballot.

    "I can tell you that Kevin Karr said he did not want to go through with that. He could not have been more clear," Griffin said.

    Some of the speakers were part of a newly formed group calling itself Kirkwood Coming Together for a Brighter Future. The members claim some city leaders are taking advantage of the deadly attack to consolidate their political power and deny residents a contested mayoral election.

    Only Karr and McDonnell had filed to run for mayor. The current mayor, Mike Swoboda, who remains in the hospital after being shot two weeks ago, was not seeking re-election because of term limits.

    Steven Garrett, attorney for the St. Louis County Board of Election Commissioners, said it appears the city has no choice but to press on with the scheduled election. Council members lack any legal authority to postpone it.

    State law allows a municipality to reschedule an election in the event of a "disaster," Garrett said. A candidate's death, no matter how tragic, does not meet the legal definition, he said.

    Still, even if the City Hall attack met the criteria of a disaster, Garrett said, the city could not change the names on the ballot because the deadline to file had passed.

    Thursday's meeting opened with each council member thanking the community for their support and remembering the two council members, two police officers and public works director who were killed two weeks ago.

    The council also voted to have Paul Ward, a former councilman, fill out the term of slain Councilman Michael H.T. Lynch, whose term was to expire in April.

    It seemed to be intended as a moment of healing.

    And when Ward walked on stage and was sworn in, the crowd greeted him with a standing ovation.

    After that, the standing ovations were reserved for the speeches of residents.

    [email protected] | 314-340-8110
    Make America Great For Once.

  • #2
    Good lord - common sense has gone out of the window.

    Comment


    • #3
      Acting Mayor Tim Griffin at one point jumped to the city attorney's defense. He noted Karr's widowed husband was emphatic that he did not want his family to endure an election with Karr's name on the ballot.
      You'd think that would be good enough for people...

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      • #4
        Originally posted by backstop View Post
        You'd think that would be good enough for people...
        It's Kirkwood...
        Official Lounge Sponsor of:
        Brett Hull & St. Patricks Day

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        • #5
          Originally posted by BlueBrained View Post
          It's Kirkwood...
          Sadly IMO, it's a reflection on all of us. Civil discussions have gone the way of cheap gas.
          Make America Great For Once.

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          • #6
            Guess somebody wanted to jump in and take Thornton's place by bothering the meetings.
            Sponsor of:
            Brian Elliott
            Kolten Wong & the arch in the outfield grass at Busch Stadium
            5-29-14-House77 turns down offer of free beer from me

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            • #7
              ridiculous. I would have voted for her too, but cookie changed that.
              Sometimes elections have positive consequences!

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              • #8
                What's wrong with running a dead person? Clearly, they've forgotten about the all-important zombie voting bloc.

                Zombies are people, too!!!
                Official sponsor of: Pepsi Zero Sugar and Jordan Almonds.

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                • #9
                  Dead people can win!

                  Signed,

                  Mel Carnahan








                  too soon?

                  "Can't buy what I want because it's free...
                  Can't buy what I want because it's free..."
                  -- Pearl Jam, from the single Corduroy

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by cardinalgirl View Post
                    ridiculous. I would have voted for her too, but cookie changed that.
                    Throw your hat into the ring, CG!!!


                    Vote for Cardinalgirl in 2008!
                    Make America Great For Once.

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                    • #11
                      oh gosh no. I've heard rumblings that Franklin McCallie might run, but nothing for sure. (which if he ran and won would be hilarious because that guy can TALK)
                      Sometimes elections have positive consequences!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BlueBrained View Post
                        It's Kirkwood...
                        Exactly. How fucking retarded can these people be? You're yelling at people -- who just lost close and dear friends -- about the mayor position of a little, shit city. Come on. What has happened to compassion? Can people no longer be passionate about something, speak clearly, and be level-headed. Really, there were cat calls and boos? People are unbelievable.
                        Official Sponsor of all things Mizzou Football, the non-existant Jose Oquendo STOP sign, and the Rally Hoosier!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by cardinalgirl View Post
                          oh gosh no. I've heard rumblings that Franklin McCallie might run, but nothing for sure. (which if he ran and won would be hilarious because that guy can TALK)
                          OMG. He came up to Cindy at the funeral home that Monday night while we were still up talking with her...He just started talking and kinda pushed us to the side. He seems to be an odd bird.
                          Former Sponsor of Kyle "The Comeback Kid" Lohse.

                          And Current (and former) Lounge Sponsor of Yadier "No-Glove til I get a Gold Glove" Molina and one BAMF

                          Sponsoring Friends and Proud Co-Sponsor of Captain Morgan

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by 007 View Post
                            too soon?
                            Of course not.

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                            • #15
                              he's a nice guy. back in highschool he used to have us be videotaped saying a bunch of stuff off a card (name and stuff liek that) so that he could learn our names. I saw that as a challenge and made sure he never knew me by sight. And he didn't.

                              My German teacher turned off his loudspeaker in the classroom because his announcements, if there was need in the middle of the day, were a little bit long.

                              I never had a problem with him though.
                              Sometimes elections have positive consequences!

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