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Letter to the Editor: Former Mayor O'Reilly Reacts to Ellisville Walmart

Former Ellisville Mayor Ed O'Reilly submits his thoughts against the city's Walmart development.

Dear Editor,

Professor William Black, former federal bank regulator and current economic professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia, wrote the book 'The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One.' His book focuses on misdeeds done from within an organization. I believe the best way to rob a city is through Tax Increment Financing (TIF). The principle is the same.

Those within the City of Ellisville, the majority of the council and several members of the staff, robbed local fire departments and local schools of taxes due them by providing TIF for development. Would Parkway and Rockwood School Districts be making severe budget cuts had they received all tax funding that technically is due them?

TIF provides a financial advantage to those receiving the credit. The Ellisville city attorney told the council that Wal-Mart could not build their project without $15 million in public funding. In 2012, Wal-Mart sales were $444 billion. That is billion with a 'B.' Allocating $15 million in TIF for the largest retailer in the world robs small businesses and 'mom and pop' type stores, prior to Wal-Mart the backbone of our Country, of the ability to compete on a level playing field. In the book 'Wal-Mart EGOnomics,' author Charles H. Hood documents how Wal-Mart 'successfully eliminated our Country's tier of 'mom and pop' retailers.'

And finally, the process used to approve Ellisville Wal-Mart TIF robbed the majority of residents of the ability to be heard. Hundreds of residents spoke at meetings, canvassed neighborhoods, and contacted their council members. And the project was still approved?

The disheartening aspect of a Wal-Mart building in Ellisville is that they will put their big box, Chinese vending machine store, not on a vacant lot, but on a residential area. More than 250 Ellisville residents will be forced to move. These residents will directly feel the impact of Wal-Mart, as will the entire small business community in the region. 

Is the function of government to assist big business to the harm of small business and local residents?

Edward M. O'Reilly

Mike K February 12, 2013 at 01:29 PM
Well said, Mr. O'Reilly. The comments from the resident trolls and cranks in the peanut gallery who have no public service experience whatsoever should be interesting. Thank you for your service to this community we call home.
Caffeinated February 12, 2013 at 02:31 PM
A voice of reason. Let's hope the current mayor gets some cooperation with the new council makeup after April's elections.
Ellisville Shopper February 12, 2013 at 03:17 PM
"The disheartening aspect of a Wal-Mart building in Ellisville is that they will put their big box, Chinese vending machine store, not on a vacant lot, but on a residential area." That was my favorite part --- Walmart = Chinese vending machine. The guy can sure turn a phrase. He's right. Anyone who lives too close to Manchester Rd. or the other big streets needs to be worried.
mike k February 12, 2013 at 03:22 PM
The median family income for Ellisville is $88,254 per year. Wanna bet it sky rockets once the section 8 housing is torn down.
Mike K February 12, 2013 at 04:10 PM
Little Mike - once more - THERE IS *NO* SECTION 8 HOUSING in the Clarkchester homes. You really need to stop typing at the keyboard under the influence of hallucinigenic substances, prescribed or not.
Ellisville Shopper February 12, 2013 at 04:27 PM
little mikey, What makes you so threatened by working people who earn less than median? You must realize median is just that...half of all Ellisville residents earn far less than 88K. Older people, retired people, young people. Do you want to get rid of them too to make the median number look better? Are you THAT insecure? After all, you live in a vinyl sided duplex. I've often wondered about your self-image and self-security issues. They may explain your homophobic rants.
mike k February 12, 2013 at 05:54 PM
Might as well be section 8 housing, have you looked at the quality of people living there? One step above homeless.
Ellisville Shopper February 12, 2013 at 06:35 PM
little mikey kkk, If "quality" of people were a factor in who stays or goes, you would have been standing with your bags packed thumbing a ride south on Old State Rd. to hook up with your fellow hunker in the bunker types and their "white women" a long time ago.
Concerned Ellisville Citizen February 12, 2013 at 09:28 PM
Well said Mr. O'Reilly!!! SO true, so true!!!!
Amy Samuel February 13, 2013 at 12:02 AM
Thank you Mr. O'Reilly for that wonderful statement, it is so very true.

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