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Ellisville Recall Leader: Post-Walmart Appointees Would Need New Direction

Liz Schmidt discusses the road ahead for removing the Ellisville City Council members who supported a Walmart Superstore expected to displace residents, and addresses the city's procedure to replace them.

The leader of a group aimed at removing Ellisville City Council members who supported a Walmart coming to town says she hopes any potential replacements appointed by the mayor look beyond retail in seeking revenue for the city.

"I hope people accept who it is, and say, 'I will be willing to work with you,' perhaps to take Ellisville in a different direction than the one we just came from," said Liz Schmidt, chairperson of the Ellisville Article 9 Alliance and a resident of Clarkchester Apartments, which is under plans for a Walmart Superstore this month.

The project was forecast to for the city, but has come under fire due to its use of a TIF or tax incentive, in addition to .

The Ellisville city charter says an official cannot be recalled his or her first 120 days in office, nor can they be recalled within 180 days from that official’s next election. Because of that clause, Schmidt said, immediate efforts will be centered around Council members Dawn Anglin and Troy Pieper, who are eligible for recall currently since they were not re-elected in April. Council members Roze Acup, Matt Pirrello and Linda Reel, meanwhile, will not be eligible for recall until August.

Schmidt said she was disappointed to learn that Tuesday, Nov. 6 falls within 180 days of next April’s municipal elections, meaning that per the city charter, a recall cannot take place at the presidential elections, when historically voter turnout is high.

“I was heartbroken,” Schmidt said last week of the discovery. “But you can’t change the laws of time and space."

Like any vacancies on Ellisville City Council, any openings that result from a recall would be filled through an appointment by the mayor, followed by confirmation from the remaining council members. Mayor Adam Paul, who ran a campaign leading into April's elections centered around opposition to Walmart, was one of two 'no' votes regarding the Walmart project. Alderman Michelle Murray also voted against the proposals.

"The remainder of the board may not approve whoever the mayor appoints, but that's not our problem," Schmidt said.

Before the council's June 20 meeting, Schmidt said, the group will send an affidavit to identifying plans to officially petition residents within Districts 1 and 2, which are co-represented by Anglin and Pieper, about the recall. Once petitions are issued, the group will have to collect signatures within a 90 day window, which Schmidt said is likely to begin shortly after the June council meeting.

Ballwinner May 28, 2012 at 03:01 PM
Look beyond retail for revenue, she says? Well, let's see - the City could issue a lot more traffic tickets, like Ballwin does, or raise the property tax rate, or charge new and higher fees for services. Does she like any of those, or would she start another recall campaign? Just curious...
Rockwood 25 May 28, 2012 at 05:08 PM
How about a look beyond subsidized retail? Perhaps one that provides retail WITHOUT booting out taxpaying residents?
K James May 28, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Do renters pay property taxes? I thought the peoperty owners did.
E. Schmidt May 28, 2012 at 05:36 PM
Yes. Agreed. I should have been clearer here-- >>>...she hopes any potential replacements appointed by the mayor look beyond retail in seeking revenue for the city.<<< I meant beyond TIF (fed) retail. Ruby's Guns and other Mom and Pops that keep our dollars in the community are what we need...as I noted below-- http://ballwin-ellisville.patch.com/articles/ellisville-to-prepare-for-zombie-apocalypse E. Schmidt 10:30 am on Friday, May 18, 2012 >>>Any resistance to a gun store locating by Lucas Liqours, Kmart and Chuckie Cheese?<<< I'm good with it. No TIF involved and I like the 2nd Amendment. ...and oddly, I feel safer now.
Mike K May 29, 2012 at 12:40 AM
The property owners pay it out of the rent they collect. Duh. How much property taxes do the owners pay on empty eyesore commercial property? Long John Silvers/A&W, Best Buy, and the empty car dealership lots? They use the same city resources we residents do - police, fire, emergency, streets, etc.
K James May 30, 2012 at 01:45 AM
I thought that Mike, but wasn't sure where Liz was going with her comments? Not being a renter for a long time, I wasn't sure if that had changed. I know it must stink for the owners of the retail places to continue to pay property taxes on empty buildings, and for the city to have to protect empty things.
Alexandra June 04, 2012 at 12:10 PM
A sign that says 'New council needed' is next area we need to fill.
K James June 04, 2012 at 01:18 PM
Alexandra, Why dont you run?
Confused June 13, 2012 at 02:48 AM
Ms. Schmidt says "....but that's not our problem" way too much. She seems intent on burning the City to the ground. Simply vote the Council members out of office at the next regular election.... why is that not good enough?
E. Schmidt June 13, 2012 at 11:17 AM
Yesterday Petitioners' Committees from District 1 and District 2 filed affidavits to recall Dawn Anglin and Troy Pieper as it their right under Article 9. The committees are requesting a special election date of Tuesday, October 2, 2012 The committees are aware that the City Council has the ability to authorize special elections for municipal purposes and also has a reserve fund. The committees fully expect the City Council to approve the special election date and funding at the next City Council meeting June 20th and not thwart direct democracy as is their right under Article 9. The right of citizens to direct democracy quaranteed in any city charter are not dependent on the convenience of government.

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