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Ellisville Walmart Issue Reaches Final Days

Ellisville Mayor Adam Paul said Wednesday's expected votes have the chance to "split the city up or make us stronger."

Residents in Ellisville should know Wednesday evening whether a controversial project involving a Walmart will in fact move forward, Ellisville Mayor Adam Paul said this week.

“Unless something changes, I believe they’re going to be read and voted on, unless an unforeseen event causes a delay,” Paul said of the Walmart proposals. “I don’t see the point in delaying this any further."

Previously scheduled votes on the issues surrounding tax incentives for the developers of the Walmart, as well as related legislation setting terms for relocating residents in an apartment complex located at the planned site, were twice pushed back from expected voting dates.

The proposals before city council members would create a tax increment financing or TIF district that would created at the site, with standard lifespans for similar districts set at 23 years. Ellisville city staff said the project would generate about $500,000 annually for Ellisville's yearly budget of roughly $9 million.

Tandem legislation before the council woud establish a relocation policy in the city, which would compensate residents who reside in Clarkchester Apartments up to $1,000 per household for relocation costs; Clarkchester Apartments is one of several properties currently located at the proposed Walmart site .

to organize efforts meant to convince city council members to oppose the issue, and to discuss possible recall efforts against members who do support the proposal. , preliminary votes met the bare minimum for passage with five of the city council's seven members supporting the project. Paul and Councilmember Michelle Murray voted against the proposals.

Votes on the TIF legislation were delayed in part to address last-minute requests by the Sansone Group regarding the proposals terms, Councilmember Matt Pirrello said, and to to take part in the issue, which was at the forefront of Paul's campaign.

“I hope we prevail as leaders in taking down the TIF … to strip this problem that we’re having because it’s bigger than us, it’s bigger than Ellisville,” Paul said.

Paul said interest surrounding the proposal has been exacerbated by reports that executives representing Wal-Mart in Mexico paid officials there to try to influence the permitting process.

“Essentially Walmart has to bribe city officials in Mexico and our municipalities have to bribe developers to build here in our country,” Paul said. “It’s sad.”

"Ellisville has the chance to champion a cause that’s eating west county alive, or we have the chance to assimilate our region’s problems, essentially is what it comes down to," Paul said. "It’s a big night for our city, it’s a big night for our region, and like I said, we are not financial ruins.”

The Ellisville City Council is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday at .

E. Schmidt May 01, 2012 at 07:18 PM
JustRob, I guess you fail to understand that Threat of Eminent Domain goes hand in hand with a TIF project to make troublesome owners more compliant. I guess you are also unfamiliar with bad faith clauses in sales contracts. It's a simple concept. It's like being approached by an armed robber who says, "Give me everything you've got," while he has his hand in his pocket with a bulge. He'd rather not pull the gun on you, but he will if he has to. He just wants your property. When you give it over he says, "Don't call the cops." Perhaps you should read the state TIF statute and spend more time with those court cases....or Contact Dr. Homer Tourkakis’ attorney -- http://www.pacificlegal.org/ Contact the Doctor himself -- http://www.eminentdental.com/ He was recently at a panel discussion sponsored by the Show Me Institute and knows full well what is happening here in Ellisville as it was mentioned repeatedly. If he has the time, I’m sure he’ll tell you all about how being under the Threat of Eminent Domain works. I hope I can get him to speak in Ellisville as soon as possible for the Article 9 Alliance. He'll tell us the truth.
JustRob May 01, 2012 at 07:50 PM
A dentist who lost his office in another city is not a good example compared to a group of property owners who agreed to sell their property.
E. Schmidt May 01, 2012 at 09:24 PM
JustRob and anyone else who thinks the Threat of Eminent Domain wasn't a factor in the Walmart TIF, see this-- On June 15, 2011 the city of Ellisville passed, by a 5 to 2 vote ( Murray & Compton being the “nay” votes) Resolution 06-15-11 Named: “A Resolution Authorizing a Preliminary Funding Agreement with Sansone Group in Connection with a Proposed Tax Increment Financing Project and Authorizing Certain Actions Connected Therewith”. Section 1, paragraph a states-- “The Mayor is hereby authorized and directed to enter into a Preliminary Funding Agreement (the “Agreement”) with the Company” Page 2, section 4-Consideration of Incentives Article “a” of the Preliminary Funding Agreement states- >>>“The City understands that the redevelopment project will include the construction of an approximately 120,000 square foot Wal-Mart Supercenter. The City further understands that the Company may require the use of the City’s power of eminent domain in order to assemble property within the proposed redevelopment area, and if it is required, the redevelopment agreement will allow for eminent domain…”<<< >>>The council has stated that they will not use eminent domain and they have no plans to do so.<<< Not this city council. >>>But there is no threat of eminent domain. This is just a fabrication, a lie.<<< Not true. All the owners were under the ultimate Threat of Eminent Domain. The evidence is right there in that paragraph above.
JustRob May 01, 2012 at 09:50 PM
And yet with out one cry of fowl they signed and were ready to sell. If they felt the offers were not fair, that they did not want to sell would they have just signed? No, they would have made a bunch of noise and then signed. Bring forth these abused property owners who do not want to sell, let them tell the truth about why they signed an agreement to sell, or alternatively, stop using fear mongering to raise awareness of your cause. I would gladly pick up a torch and pitchfork for you if you could show us a group of property owners who were upset and did not want to sell. Until then you are just guessing what happened in a conversation that did not involve you, that you had no legal right to participate in, and have no idea what was said. You are fighting for a group of people who did not ask for your help, and have made no attempt to fight any injustice that may have been place on them. These are not helpless animals, children, or the environment, These are human beings that are capable of fighting their own battles making their own business decisions and telling their own stories.
JustRob May 01, 2012 at 09:51 PM
Your passionate plea for these poor defenseless and mute property owners is why I keep asking why are they not speaking out? And this argument makes you seem insincere to the battle that you are attempting to wage as a proxy. I am sure that their is another more reasonable motivation for your fight. One that would make sense, one that might stir others to stand with you. Stick with what you know. Don't make things up, lie or exaggerate. Tell us why YOU care about this issue. Don't tell us you are fighting for the poor defenseless and mute property owners, tell the truth!
E. Schmidt May 01, 2012 at 10:28 PM
JustRob-- You've been proved wrong on the Threat of Eminent Domain and now you choose to ignore the fact or recognize that property owners are caught between a rock and a hard place. Like I've said, you obviously don't understand confidentiality agreements or bad faith clauses in contract law. And the fact that you've ONLY heard one set of owners speak in favor of the project is lost on you. So be it. I can't fix obtuse.
L. Arnold May 01, 2012 at 10:55 PM
I just had to say that I am one of the many people who are going to lose their homes if this deal goes through. I know for a fact that the owners HAVE NOT signed a deal to sell their properties. They do not want this ridiculous deal to go through. Sansone HAS in fact threatened to use condemnation proceedings under the power of Eminent Domain. In order to forgo that power play the owners signed a temporary option contract with Sansone while they decide whether our property is good enough for them to plow down our homes and businesses. I can't say why the owners are not speaking up but I suspect it's probably written in their contract that they can't or again Eminent Domain proceedings could possibly begin, but I am just speculating on that. This situation is about BOTH Eminent Domain and TIF and I pray that you or anyone else will not have to live through the uncertainty that we Ellisville residents have had to contend with everyday while the politicians and bureaucrats hem and haw over our fate of our homes and businesses.
JustRob May 01, 2012 at 11:06 PM
E, I have not been proven wrong, The only facts that have been proven are: 1- you were not involved with conversations between property owners and developers and have no idea what was said. This means you are making up the entire basis of your argument about eminent domain 2- you are fighting for a group that did not ask for your assistance and may not want it and as they have not come forward to anyone about any concerns they may have had before or after signing an agreement with the developer to sell one would deduce that they are satisfied. 3- you refuse to answer your true motivation however righteous it may be giving you the appearance of a fraud working with fear mongering and lies to influence people for some unknown reason. Please if you know this group of property owners and can bring them forward to back up your currently baseless, unfounded, and made up threats of emanate domain then do so. Otherwise, tell the truth...
E. Schmidt May 02, 2012 at 12:01 AM
JustRob-- >>>>This means you are making up the entire basis of your argument about eminent domain<<<< Try reading this again regarding the Threat of Eminent Domain related to the Walmart TIF. Maybe you missed it or mis-read it-- >>>The City further understands that the Company [Sansone] may require the use of the City’s power of eminent domain in order to assemble property within the proposed redevelopment area, and if it is required, the redevelopment agreement will allow for eminent domain…”<<< I don't know how plain it can be. The threat is clearly there...hand in hand with the TIF. >>>you refuse to answer your true motivation however righteous it may be giving you the appearance of a fraud working with fear mongering and lies to influence people for some unknown reason.<<< Perhaps you are unaware that I live at Clarkchester Apartments and that I, along with 200-250 other people, will be put out on the street, without an affordable place to live and a so-called $1,000 relocation plan. Elderly, single parents with children, some disabled people, working college students among others. Hardly a fraudulent concern as you imply. And I am not running for political office.
JustRob May 02, 2012 at 01:22 AM
it must have been vary hard for you to tell the truth about your motivation. You are a tenant in a property that the owner agreed to sell and thus loosing your home. I am truly sorry for the trouble that this will cause you, and your neighbors. A property owner may sell their property and they have decided to do so and the FACT remains the owners have already signed an agreement to sell and there is no evidence of any threats made to them regarding the use of immanent domain, besides your baseless accusations that they did not want to sell and were forced to do so. None of them came forward and said anything like that happened. The city received no requests to pursue its use. You fabricated the entire story. If the agreement is signed why are you telling everyone eminent domain might be used? This part of the process is over, done. Eminent domain was not used will not be used it was not needed the owners willingly agreed to sell their property. You made a remark about me being obtuse earlier .. the balls in your court you are still a fear monger using scare tactics to influence people? Be truthful tell people your story that you don't want to move. That is more heartfelt that lying and fear mongering. You know eminent domain is not a factor here. unless you are obtuse?
John May 02, 2012 at 09:27 AM
E. Schmidt, I just caught up on some reading. I read the story about the recalling. I want to get involved. I saw your email address and sent you an email. Hope to catch up with you tonight and introduce myself and offer my assistance. I’ll contact some of my neighbors also and make sure they know what’s happening to our city. Regards, John
K James May 02, 2012 at 11:56 AM
I am looking forward to having Walmart in Ellisville!
E. Schmidt May 02, 2012 at 12:21 PM
I look forward to meeting you tonight. I'll check the group's email again. Sorry I missed you. It has had a lot of inquiries. Please come early about 6:30 p.m. and fill out a speaker comment form to speak before the CC. Indicate that you want to speak before they vote on the legislation. Ask your neighbors to do the same even if all they want to do is express their opposition to the TIF and say "I am against this." They don't have to make a 3 min. speech.
E. Schmidt May 02, 2012 at 12:29 PM
JustRob-- >>>it must have been vary hard for you to tell the truth about your motivation.<<< Perhaps you don't attend CC meetings. I have stood up at every CC meeting and at the County TIF Commission meeting, given my name and address and clearly stated that I am a resident of Clarkchester. This is hardly a secret. >>>the balls in your court you are still a fear monger using scare tactics to influence people?<<< If the 2005 City Council that passed that resolution against Eminent Domain really meant what they said, they would have made it an ordinance like the City of O'Fallon MO did that same year. >>>But there is no threat of eminent domain. This is just a fabrication, a lie. The council has stated that they will not use eminent domain<<< If the Threat of Eminent Domain is a lie or fabrication as you say and the CC stated they will not use it, why did they clearly state the OPPOSITE in the agreement? >>>The City further understands that the Company may require the use of the City’s power of eminent domain in order to assemble property within the proposed redevelopment area, and if it is required, the redevelopment agreement will allow for eminent domain…”<<< That IS the Threat of Eminent Domain and the clear intent to USE Eminent Domain. >>>Eminent domain was not used will not be used it was not needed the owners willingly agreed to sell their property.<<< Sold under threat--and every property owner in Ellisville needs to know the truth.
JustRob May 02, 2012 at 12:58 PM
E, Who are you to tell the truth about dealing between two businesses that you were not a party to? You have had no communication with the property owners. You do not understand the concept of time. The deals are signed. Agreements made. Eminent Domain WAS NOT USED. and making any changes to the ability to use or not use Eminent Domain now is irrelevant, your proxy battle for people who do not want and have not asked for your help passed months ago You are either ignorant about time travel, or lying, exaggerating, and fear mongering to promote your cause. again I urge you to make a major breakthrough in time travel, or tell the truth. Tell people about your cause. Not that you are fighting for a group of property owners that you do not know, communicate with, and did not ask for help because they are content with the deal THEY made that is in THEIR best interest, not yours.
E. Schmidt May 02, 2012 at 01:19 PM
JustRob-- Perhaps the City Council should have included parenthetical asides in the text of the Sansone Preliminary Funding Agreement (or any future TIF agreements) to make their intent clearer. Perhaps it should have read: >>>The City understands that the redevelopment project will include the construction of an approximately 120,000 square foot Wal-Mart Supercenter. The City further understands that the Company (Sansone) may require the use of the City’s power of eminent domain in order to assemble property within the proposed redevelopment area, [This Threat of Eminent Domain is an empty threat. We don’t mean what we say in resolutions and other legal documents. Sorry for the confusion. Just ignore this threat. But, did we scare you into consulting and attorney and agreeing to sell to the developer?] and if it is required, the redevelopment agreement will allow for eminent domain [Again we will not use Eminent Domain. We don’t mean what we say, even in writing. You can trust us on that. What did your attorney say? Did you sign that agreement to sell yet?] ….<<< Do you think that will clear things up for Ellisville property owners?
E. Schmidt May 02, 2012 at 02:11 PM
I think Ellisville needs to think outside the Big Box. Perhaps we could apply for some kind of combined federal and multi-state grant to build a central Walmart Courthouse where every group of employees, state taxing authorities, unions, injured shoppers etc…could come to adjudicate their cases. We could use the two large vacant car dealerships to build the courthouse, meeting center for attorneys and clients and a hotel convention center for judges, litigants and clients. Our local small businesses would flourish. Bars and restaurants would be packed. Local retailers would do a booming business. If charges are brought against Walmart as a result of the Mexican Bribery Scandal and the cases are heard in the U.S., our local Mexican style restaurants could expand. Since the federal Foreign Corrupt Practice Act requires jail time if corporate officers are found guilty, we could build a Club Fed style correction facility. The families of the incarcerated could stay at the hotel when they come to visit. It might spur high end boutique retailers. And what they can’t find in Ellisville, they can buy at the Target which may be built in Wildwood. I wonder what the sales tax will be at that store? Just google key words -- Walmart lawsuits tax-dodging employees labor violations and see how many cases there have been and are active currently. It's an industry all it's own.
JustRob May 02, 2012 at 02:19 PM
Oh so this is a I don't like WalMart thing I thought it was a stop the Eminent Domain that did not happen months ago by going back in time thing or was it a save my home because the owner sold it thing I think that if Ellisville property owners felt that there was concern that they did not receive a good price or they did not want to sell we would here from THEM. Not a person with no interest of ownership in the properties that HAVE ALREADY AGREED TO SELL.
KCF Resident May 02, 2012 at 02:56 PM
The discussion about Eminent Domain misses a primary issue. When a potential victim of ED thinks they will be subjected to ED an aggressive real estate firm such as Sansone could/would very likely make an offer to the owner and probably convince them that they'd lose more if they didn't take their deal. I know someone who owned a business property and Sansone made a very "strong" sales pitch...so I know how it goes...since I was present. The fact that theapartment complex owner(s) have accepted Sansone's deal muddies the water so to speak.
E. Schmidt May 02, 2012 at 05:46 PM
JustRob-- You wrote-- >>>You are either ignorant about time travel, or lying, exaggerating, and fear mongering to promote your cause. again I urge you to make a major breakthrough in time travel, or tell the truth.<<< and; >>>You have had no communication with the property owners. You do not understand the concept of time. The deals are signed. Agreements made. Eminent Domain WAS NOT USED.<<< Actually, I have a very good sense of time and take notes. So, I checked my notes from the Tenant Meeting the owners had with us on January 30, 2012. They told us they had just signed a conditional sales agreement of some kind and wanted the residents to know as soon as possible. So, Resolution 06-15-11 was in effect June 15, 2011 placing Clarkchester Apartments under the Threat of Eminent Domain. The owners signed some kind of agreement right before 01/30/12. They were fully aware the city could take their property through Eminent Domain and were under the Threat of Eminent Domain as of June 15, 2011 if they didn't agree to sell to the developer. Time travel not needed. Just good notes and the ability to use a calendar.
E. Schmidt May 02, 2012 at 06:28 PM
L. Arnold. Thanks for speaking up. Hope to see you this evening. As you know Sansone Group sent in a contractor who brought in a two story mobile drilling rig early Monday morning. It woke some people up. Also, the holes Midwest Drilling? made have not been back-filled and leveled- out properly. They are right next to parking areas and where people walk--within inches. Don't trip on the lumps and clods of dirt or impale yourself on the big wooden stakes at night.
JustRob May 02, 2012 at 07:09 PM
But you are fighting for the property owners what were not threatened with the use of Eminent Domain and did not complain to anyone and did not ask YOU to fight for them about the offer they accepted. Why did they not complain? Why did they not ask YOU to assist them in bringing them justice or just telling their story? Because they are satisfied. If you have a conceal and carry permit that does not mean you will be shoot if people who don't do as you say. The ability to use Eminent Domain is not the threat to use nor is it or its used be being available. But most importantly its DONE the agreements are signed, finished, over. There is no more issues with Eminent Domain in this matter. I appreciate you not wanting to move, not wanting to find a new home and all the problems that come with it. But you also may not prevent a person or group from selling their property. Or start a campaign using THEM as the victim. They do not seem to feel as this is the case. You may have a good case to consider yourself and convince others that YOU are the victim, but you are certainly not authorized to determine that other individuals and business are victims without their input.
L. Arnold May 02, 2012 at 07:16 PM
I saw that and couldn't believe my eyes! I just can't believe they would drill large holes in middle of our parking lots and then leaving 'em like that. Someone is going to twist and break and ankle or blow a tire on one of those. I'm also enjoying the graffiti written all over our property for locations for all of the wiring. Yup Sansone, the company that doesn't give a **** about the little people.
Suzanne Gundlach May 02, 2012 at 07:25 PM
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/02/walmart-overtime-labor-department-settlement_n_1470543.html?1335975386&ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009 More disappointing news about Walmart and their business ethics...
E. Schmidt May 02, 2012 at 08:34 PM
Susan, $4.8 Million in this case is nothing. In 2009, Walmart had to pay back $90 Million just to Missouri employees when they got caught by their own digital devices forcing people to work more than 8 hours. They didn't pay them for over-time worked, lunch breaks and rest breaks. If a person or criminal group stole $90 they'd be in jail. Walmart get tax subsidies to locate it's facilities in counties and municipalities.
E. Schmidt May 02, 2012 at 09:44 PM
JustRob-- >>>The ability to use Eminent Domain is not the threat to use nor is it or its used be being available.<<< Then why make EMINENT DOMAIN available to be used at all? Well, there was no reason for EMINENT DOMAIN to be in the Preliminary Funding Agreement in the Walmart TIF ... if it means nothing as you claim....it could have been left out....But, it WAS there...and for a reason. JustRob are You Rob Compton who ran for city council in District 1 last election? Tell us what your true motivations are when you try and convince people that a document doesn't mean or say what is clearly written on it in black and white? Please, do tell us?
JustRob May 03, 2012 at 01:59 AM
I never said EMINENT DOMAIN meant nothing. I said it was not used, exercised or threatened to be used. The property owners and the developers came to an agreement months ago. Preliminary discussions with the property owners (you were not involved in these conversations either as you are not a property owner the group that you are fighting so hard for and clearly does not want your help) occurred YEARS before the agreement with Sansone was written. EMINENT DOMAIN was not used or threatened to be used. The only people who have made any claims about it being used are uninformed, unincluded, fear mongering liars who are trying to swing influence to their cause. If you were a property owner who was involved in the negotiations, or could bring forth a group of owners who could back up your baseless claims I could not call you what you are. But the facts stand. Yes E. I am Rob Compton who ran for city council. My motivation? I am a life long resident, home owner, and volunteer to the city that I care deeply for. I moved here at the age of 1 and bought a home here in 1999.
JustRob May 03, 2012 at 01:59 AM
I am tired of the vocal minority of short sided, short term visitors to our city manipulating facts for their personal agenda, and doing what is not in the best interest of the long term of the city. I will be long after you are gone. As a homeowner the services that will have to be cut will effect me more that you. I will not change your mind, you stand to loose your apartment and you don't like walmart. These are the facts in your case. They are not motivating so you make up a group of victims that you are not a member of and light your torches.
E. Schmidt May 03, 2012 at 11:32 AM
JustRob-- >>>Preliminary discussions with the property owners (you were not involved in these conversations either as you are not a property owner the group that you are fighting so hard for and clearly does not want your help) occurred YEARS before the agreement with Sansone was written. EMINENT DOMAIN was not used or threatened to be used. <<< Interesting that you still claim that Threat of Eminent Domain was not used when it clearly says so in black and white right in the text. >>>I am tired of the vocal minority of short sided, short term visitors to our city manipulating facts for their personal agenda,<<< Some people have lived in Clarkchester 20 years. It is not unusual to talk with people who have been here 10 or more years. Hardly short term visitors. You are welcome to ignore those facts too...and the fact that the City Council just told 250 people to get out of town. And that every Ellisville resident could get the same treatment with TIF and Eminent Domain.
JustRob May 03, 2012 at 12:58 PM
No facts ignored. The owner of the commercial property that you rent from, after years of discussions, agreed to sell their property. I am sorry you have to move, but you do not have the right to prevent private owners from selling their property.

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