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Pirrello: Ellisville Council Members Threatened Over Walmart

Incumbent Mayor Matt Pirrello, who releases the reins as the city's executive next week, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he did not want to identify the council members for fear of further jeopardizing their safety.

Ellisville Mayor Matt Pirrello told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that threats of violence against city council members related to a potential Walmart influenced security precautions at the councils' recent meetings.

"The Walmart proposal has been a contentious issue, there have been threats and intimidation received against me and council members, and we don't want a repeat of the Kirkwood incident," Pirrello told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, referring to a shooting at a 2008 city council meeting in Kirkwood that resulted in six fatalities.

At the Ellisville council's March 21 meeting, when a proposal regarding a was scheduled to be voted on, increased security tied to the Kirkwood shootings were part of the reason he opted for more officers watching over that night's meeting.

Although the last two city council meetings were held at as usual, Pirrello said a request by Mayor-Elect Adam Paul to host the meetings in a potentially larger venue were denied. Pirrello did say in the report, however, that the council may wish to soon move its upcoming meeting to the Daniel Boone Branch Library in Ellisville.

Ellisville's next city council meeting is April 18.

E. Schmidt April 11, 2012 at 12:26 PM
This kind of nonsense...personal, physical intimidation and threats, needs to stop. Yes, we have said “No” to a Walmart TIF three separate times in three different ways…and yes, the majority are completely and inexplicably tone-deaf or unwilling to listen. But, there are other, more effective ways to handle this.
E. Schmidt April 12, 2012 at 01:02 PM
If anyone still doubts the relationship between Sansone Group, a "local" developer that has offices in Fayettevile AK, just 30 mi. away form Walmart Headquarters in Betonville, AK, and the Walmart Corporation, please read the following article. Easy Money http://www.riverfronttimes.com/content/printVersion/107627/ >>>Developers like the Sansone Group are using a state law to rake in millions of tax dollars for retail projects in the burbs. Trouble is, the legislation was designed to help blighted inner cities.<<< Last week the MO State Senate unanimously voted for TIF reform. It sailed through the senate in record time...No partisan political posturing between Democrats and Republicans. When was the last time that happened? Please email Don Gosen, the Ellisville area State House Representative, and ask him to vote "Yes" for TIF reform, when SB 721 gets to the House floor for a vote. Don Gosen actually listens and bothers to reply to constituents...something many of us here in Ellisville may find unusual. Don.Gosen@house.mo.gov Here's info on the TIF Reform Bill -- SB 721 http://www.senate.mo.gov/12info/bts_web/Bill.aspx?SessionType=R&BillID=924315
Suzanne Gundlach April 13, 2012 at 09:18 PM
Thank you, E Schmidt. While the article may be older, there is a lot of valuable history in it that everyone should be aware of. I remember when the building of Gravois Bluffs started...
K James April 15, 2012 at 01:46 PM
Wow i just read that proposed legislation. What a JOKE!!!!! You understand that if that legislation passes St loius county will effectively take control. The county weights the tiff commission so it (the county) has the majority of the total votes. And they have NEVER ever been in favor of even ONE TIF. Great job ES give the county control, take away local control. I am not against a better TIF law, but for heavens sake, dont let the county government control what should be left to the local municipalities!!!!!!!!!
E. Schmidt April 15, 2012 at 03:53 PM
Thirty years of TIF abuse—abuse of the intent of the law which was to benefit inner cities and the mechanics of the law [condemn truly blighted, and abandoned property, not just merely vacant property, or some that has a bit of peeling paint]-- has brought us here. Taking people’s homes, business and rental properties, contributing to urban sprawl and traffic congestion, all to merely shift sales tax around a given county and producing no real growth in the process is a problem, not a solution to a problem. This behavior doesn’t even qualify as “creative destruction” any longer. The State of MO and some Co. Execs have had enough. Municipalities lobbing TIFs at each other just blows up retail and sales tax revenue in general. Innocent parties downwind suffer. This is a synopsis of the East-West Gateway study-- >>>A 2011 study of the St. Louis region found that as public tax dollars were diverted to big box retailers and shopping malls – more than $5.8 billion over 20 years – small business suffered. Over 600 small businesses (10 employees or less) closed during this time while retail sales have not increased in years.<<< Like I’ve said, TIF is like thermal nuclear war. The only way to win is not to play. Since municipalities won’t stop playing this destructive game, the legislators of Missouri are going to end the game. It’s precisely because municipalities have exhibited a total “lack of control” that we find ourselves here.
K James April 15, 2012 at 04:57 PM
ES you should seriously look into the way that St Louis County treats its self supporting municipalities before you go espousing your support of your county government's intrusion into local governments. The County is horrible to those communities who are self supporting and takes money from them to support those communities who should NOT be even around. You spout your diatribe about the badness of BIG BAD PREDITORY WALMART, but yet you support the preditory practices of BIG BAD COUNTY GOVERNMENT. Ellisville is trying to maintain itself as a self supporting municipality, while if St Louis county had its way, we would not. The county treats its smaller communities (Like Ellisville) like poor step children who don't behave. You spout how much you love the 'little community' that Ellisville has in hating the walmarts of this world, yet you are willing to let the county manage you. It is so much more complicated than you can imagine. Your passion against walmart is praiseworthy, however there is a bigger picture at play. I have made Ellisville my home for 20+ years and love living here, the LAST thing that I want is to allow St Louis County MORE control over us!!!!
E. Schmidt April 15, 2012 at 07:22 PM
K James, >>>...but yet you support the preditory practices of BIG BAD COUNTY GOVERNMENT.<<< I don't think ending TIF is predatory...it's saving small business, residential property and our recirculated dollars from the jaws of Big Box Behemoth. You'll have to be specific to which predatory practices of county government you are referring. Perhaps another comment section at a different time. [I don't doubt that there are many, many valid issues.] The topic is TIF for me...only made worse by the fact that it is on behalf of Walmart...a tax-dodging, wage-thieving predator. I'd prefer to keep my eye on the ball.
K James April 15, 2012 at 08:24 PM
Kind of short sighted E.

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