With the support of all but one city council member, current Mayor Matt Pirrello said Wednesday night's scheduled vote regarding a tax incentive for a possible Ellisville Walmart will wait until Mayor-Elect Adam Paul is sworn in.
The motion to continue the vote until the next council meeting—the second delay of a vote for the proposed tax increment financing district—received a mixed response from the capacity crowd in attendance at Ellisville City Hall.
In addition to the proposal regarding a tax incentive for the Sansone Group—the development firm facilitating the project—the council was scheduled to vote on a related proposal that hinges on the TIF ordinance's passage which would give households within Clarkchester Apartments, which sit at the proposed development site, up to $1,000 each for relocation costs. Pirrello said the proposed relocation policy will not go into effect unless the TIF proposal, too, is approved.
Ellisville resident Dan Duffy said the relocation policy shouldn't exist.
"If you're on the council and you want to not feel guilt about evicting residents, don't pay them," Duffy told the council. "Just don't evict them."
David Cook, President of Local 655, a retail and manufacturing union based in Ballwin, was one of several speakers Wednesday who said Paul winning the mayoral seat should be viewed as a sort of public referendum on the TIF; the Walmart development was the central and almost sole focus of Paul's campaign, which led to a strong mayoral victory Tuesday.
"The vote in the recent election is clear that residents have a concern about this," Cook said.
In line with that sentiment, Pirrello and a majority of council members agreed to vote on the TIF proposal at a later date.
"At the request of our newly elected mayor, who made a formal request that we continue those (proposals) so he can be a part of the deliberation, the council, without any objections, should agree that he should be a part of that deliberation," Pirrello said.
All but one member of the seven-member city council approved the decision to further wait on voting; Councilmember Clark Compton, whose last council meeting was Wednesday, cast the sole 'no' vote.
The Ellisville City Council will next meet on April 18 at Ellisville City Hall, when Mayor-Elect Adam Paul is expected to be sworn in.