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Ex-Mayor Sues Over Walmart-Inspired Recall Efforts

The law suit comes from Ellisville Council Member Matt Pirrello against recall petitions for five council members based on recent decisions surrounding a potential Walmart.

Ellisville City Council Member and former mayor Matt Pirrello filed suit Aug. 27 against the City of Ellisville, five Ellisville residents and Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster.

The suit protests the "constitutionality" of Article 9 of the Ellisville City Charter, which describes the recall process for elected officials. Recent recall efforts stem from a potential Walmart development in the city and the council's approval of a TIF for the Walmart.

The city issued recall petitions, spurring the suit action according to an STLtoday article, for council members Roze Acup, Dawn Anglin, Troy Pieper, Linda Reel and Pirrello. 

Pirrello is the sole plaintiff in the case and has also issued a request for a temporary restraining order against the defendants to halt the collection of petition signatures. 

Julia Dolan, Mary Ann Dust, Sandra McGrath, Vincent McGrath and Patti Murphy are Ellisville residents named as defendants in the suit.

The suit says, "Nothing in Article 9 of the city charter requires or permits any cause to be specified for the recall of an Ellisville elected official." An attempt to add language to Article 9, requiring a "specified cause" for recall, was voted off the table earlier in August. The change would have been an addition on the Nov. 6 ballot. Pirrello was not present at the meeting.

"We are elected by the public, and the public shouldn't be disenfranchised by arbitrary, capricious actions by people who don't like the day-to-day decisions a council member makes," Pirrello said in the STLtoday article.

The suit argument is that the recall is illegal, "because the recall petition blank...does not provide for or permit the specification of cause for the removal of Ellisville's elected officials."

Additionally, the suit refers to the Missouri Constitution (Art. 7, Sect. 4) stating that "elected officials who are not subject to impeachment 'shall be subject to removal from office in the manner and for the causes provided by law.'" The claim says Ellisville's Article 9 fails to include the specified cause element.

K James September 01, 2012 at 10:15 PM
Nor does she deny not being a registered voter.
Howard Roark September 01, 2012 at 10:22 PM
Yeah, and you looked for her. Seriously... you are creepy. Between calling everybody liars, your fixation on the new mayor, YELLING VIA CAPS, and doing research on the voter rolls I'm done with you. I think everyone sees you for who you are. I also think everyone sees Perrillo for what he is. Good luck to you in life, you strike me as someone who needs it.
E. Schmidt September 01, 2012 at 10:24 PM
Local businesses keep more money in the community. A 2009 study of the differential impact of locally-owned businesses and big-box stores in New Orleans shows that while big-box stores only recirculate 16% of revenues into the community, locally-owned businesses re-circulate twice as much. So, that's even more money gone out of the community...
K James September 01, 2012 at 10:26 PM
Liz; 72% of those who voted, voted for Boy Mayor Paul, this is true. But contrary to what Mayor O'Reilley is feeding you, Mayor Paul is one of seven. Unlike the days when O'Reilley lorded over this city, before they had to invoke a charter to stop him, the mayor is only 1/7th of the counsel. No more, no less. And no amount of stomping your feet and throwing a tantrum is going to change that fact. It is why we have 7. If there is a tie, the mayor can be the deciding vote, he presides over meetings and is a face for the counsel, but no more powerful in the voting than any of the other 6.
K James September 01, 2012 at 10:29 PM
Liz, old information, you just keep regurgitating it back. Neither you, Mr. Roark, MIKE K, JimmyC, Mayor Paul, or Former Mayor O'Reilley give any alternatives. It just gets old Liz.
E. Schmidt September 01, 2012 at 11:23 PM
The alternative is to let the Free Market and Free Enterprise work. Perhaps you weren't listening this past Wednesday when I said the moratorium on the lots containing and adjacent to the two largest eye-sore vacant car dealerships would be "time wasted," theorizing a potential developer could create jobs and provide sales tax without a TIF during the moratorium period. There is someone or some business now who wants to buy, build/develop, provide jobs and sales tax all WITHOUT A TIF, The Free Market and Free Enterprise are being thwarted by the City of Ellisville.
K James September 01, 2012 at 11:48 PM
Liz free market enterprise hasn't worked in 6 years but now you wave your magic wand and POOF??? Someone is now going to come in and build... oh yeah right someone wants to put a tiny little free standing mobile phone store on the lot.... What a waste of time that one is.
mike k September 02, 2012 at 01:11 AM
I have a MBA from Washington University and managed a $50 million business for Mallinckrodt for 20 years. Allow me to share with you some basic business principles. It is more economical, easier and quicker to develop a large property involving multiple diverse businesses with a single developer than to parcel it out. It only makes sense to take the necessary time to pursue such an option because since the Walmart project is now a virtual certainty, developers are going to be falling over each other to develop the old Nissan Dealership property. If the anti Walmart crowd had not fought this every step of the way, this process could have begun months ago. What is our mayor doing to replace Best Buy, Gorman's, Baskin Robbins, the long gone plant nursery on Manchester? He is more than willing to post on this site his family experiences with Aldi and Six Flags, but what he is doing to bring new business to Ellisville? .......nothing but silence from our Mayor
E. Schmidt September 02, 2012 at 02:34 PM
>>>...free market enterprise hasn't worked in 6 years...<<< Perhaps you are unaware that one of the largest properties in RPA-2 was tied up in court in part due to a divorce and a death. It had nothing to do with lack of planning (or meddling) on the part of the City of Ellisville. It is FOR SALE (see the sign right at the corner of Manchester and Keifer Creek Rds.) as well and could be sold to someone who wants to buy and develop it NOW without a RFP or TIF.
E. Schmidt September 02, 2012 at 03:11 PM
>>>knocking on 1100+ doors for recall votes...<<< And speaking of getting your facts straight...the door-knocking in Dist. 2 occurred to survey opinion on the Walmart TIF project. We knocked ALL doors that we could access...and some of them were knocked twice in neighborhoods that had a low response rate on the first go-around. The results refute the claim that it is just a small vocal minority that oppose the Walmart TIF project. >>>The question posed to residents was: “Should the City Council vote for granting the developer a condition use permit?” Volunteer spoke with over 50% of those residents door knocked and logged 560 responses from people in the affected district willing to state their opinion. Of those responses: 101 were “YES,” favoring the Walmart TIF Project,; 396 were “NO,” opposing the Walmart TIF Project and 63 were “UNDECIDED.” The 396 “NO” votes equals 71 % of those responding – a clear super-majority of District 2 in opposition. The 396 “NO” to 101 “YES” votes is a ratio of 4 to 1 OPPOSING the project for a total of 80% in opposition...<<< Thanks for the opportunity to clarify that Dist. 2 doesn't want this project.
Mike K September 02, 2012 at 03:15 PM
" What is our mayor doing to replace Best Buy, Gorman's, Baskin Robbins, the long gone plant nursery on Manchester?" All I know is that it is more than the previous mayor that drove them out if town in the first place chasing after his manager's job at walmart or consulting job at sansone. Walmart is not and never has been a silver bullet for communities, contrary to the lies, winks and handshakes, and putting lipstick on that pig. The facts are that Walmart hurts a community - from employment to taxpayer funded medicare/medicaid costs, to tax revenue it doesn't bring in as much as they assured the communities, to increased traffic, crime, ... You name it. And the profits don't go to anyone in Ellisville - the shareholders get first dibs.
Mike K September 02, 2012 at 03:19 PM
Why don't we have a ballpark complex on the property like CVAC? Oh wait, we did. Progress?
E. Schmidt September 02, 2012 at 03:41 PM
You have yet to refute it in any meaningful way. You could start with this study on crime: Walmart’s Impact on Police Costs--Many cities report that big-box retailers generate large numbers of police calls, creating new costs for local government and reducing police presence and response times in other areas. http://www.ilsr.org/big-box-tool-kit/ Note this-- >>>South Strabane, Pennsylvania— South Strabane police have experienced a sharp rise in calls since Wal-Mart opened in 2000. Wal-Mart generates more police calls than any other place in town, averaging about one a day, which strains the 15-man force. "It's a burden. It costs me overtime," police Chief Don Zofchak said, noting the department has had to cut back on neighborhood patrols because of Wal-Mart. Officials have not undertaken a fiscal impact study and do not know whether Wal-Mart costs the town more than it generates in tax revenue. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March 27, 2005) West Sadsbury, Pennsylvania<<< Ooops..."Officials have not undertaken a fiscal impact study and do not know whether Wal-Mart costs the town more than it generates in tax revenue..." I don't see that Ellisville has either. But, one of the Walmart reps at the City Council conditional use permit public hearing (?) said something like he felt it wouldn't increase crime...so, I guess that's good enough?
E. Schmidt September 02, 2012 at 03:50 PM
I gave copies of this study to the City Council at one of the meeting so they have actual comments from police officials themselves rather than the "feelings" of a Walmart paid consultant to gauge the possible crime effects on our community. http://www.ilsr.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/bbtk-factsheet-policecosts.pdf
K James September 02, 2012 at 04:31 PM
Oh Mike; I know you are new to the issues at hand, and I respect your passions, so much more so than I do non-voting Liz. But if you would sit down and listen to the former Mayor Pirrello, instead of getting your information from this blog, and the union propaganda that keeps re-circulating, you might have a more balanced understanding of this situation. There are two distinct sides to this issue, both have their merits, please take the time to speak to Matt, your perspective just might change a bit. Even if you don't agree in the end, you will at least have a better understanding of the other side.
E. Schmidt September 02, 2012 at 05:28 PM
Mike K, Yes, many of the costs are not so "hidden" any more unless gullible city councils refuse to look and simply take the word of Walmart paid consultants. http://www.ilsr.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/bbtk-factsheet-policecosts.pdf West Sadsbury, Pennsylvania — Police calls rose dramatically when Wal-Mart opened. "It has overwhelmed us at times," according to Police Chief John Slauch, who said added tax revenue from the store did not cover the extra costs. (Philadelphia Inquirer, Apr. 12, 2004) Here's more info on just how bad it is for this community in the police chief's own words and numbers-- http://sprawl-busters.com/search.php?readstory=1249 I haven't been able to determine if West Sadsbury Walmart was a TIF or not...If it was, it would just make this whole situation...sadder.
Jimmy C September 04, 2012 at 01:25 AM
Again, Howard for President. K James, I am not pro or anti union, one thing we can agree on is that both parties are right here. I am sure you are related to someone in the union. Right? You act like union folks are from another country....union folks are fighting to protect our own, even if it has gotten out of hand in some cases. Last time I checked, this is still America! You act like Perrello is your man toy. If the shoe fits wear it. You are brain washed honey. He is a huge POS. If you think that your job in our form of government is to do anything else then listen to the people, you are delusional. This aint an ice cream social. You and Pavalak are total nuts, the world is not yours and the world ain't dennys. We have a right to order items you don't like. (in a country voice!) Be gone beast of burden! Get!
M. DesHotel September 04, 2012 at 01:43 AM
All concerned Ellisville citizens, no matter what side of the Walmart/TIF issue they fall on, should watch the documentary "Walmart: The High Cost of Low Prices." Netflix subscribers can stream it online but it can also be viewed online for free at the Top Documentaries site: http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/wal-mart-the-high-cost-of-low-price/
mike k September 04, 2012 at 01:59 AM
It's Pirrello Jimmy, not perrello. Still working on that GED I suppose.
mike k September 04, 2012 at 02:08 AM
Walmart has 8500 stores worldwide in 15 countries. They are the world,s third largest public corporation. Walmart is not only the largest retailer in the world but also the world's biggest private employer with over 2 million employees. It is an American success story and yes Sam Walton built that.
M. DesHotel September 04, 2012 at 02:44 AM
No one is denying that the Waltons "built that" and no one is denying their right to the financial rewards. I haven't seen a single post in the comments threads of the many Ellisville Walmart/TIF articles that begrudges the Waltons for their success. What I have seen, however, are concerns about the quality of life for the people who actually live in Ellisville, as well as for the smaller businesses that have served Ellisville for years. The concerns about increased traffic, crime and noise (and the subsequently reduced property values) are well-founded (and well documented by communities who have had Walmart move in), as are the fears that there will be many more hulking empty boxes where long-time Ellisville businesses used to reside (K-Mart, Lukas Liquors, Shop n Save are just a few that will most definitely suffer because of a new Walmart). We bought our home six years ago and selected Ellisville because of its quiet, tree-lined streets and the low crime rate. Like so many others, we bought our home right before the housing bust and as a result, despite a fairly hefty down payment, our mortgage is under water. The Walmart project will directly impact our street and the surrounding cross streets. So, mike k, with all due respect, our concerns about the project have a lot more to due with our own futures than with the "American success" story of the Waltons (for whom the profits of just another Walmart are merely a drop in the bucket).
K James September 04, 2012 at 03:53 AM
M Deshotel; With all respect, I think I would blame your realtor, If you have moved here in the past 30 years, that whole parcel was designated Commercial, and the apartments were part of the redevelopment for at least 10 years. They should have made you aware of that fact. Walmart or no Walmart that property was going to be redeveloped. That property will be developed, even if the Walmart wasn't going in, and because of the property being such a highly visible area, it is just too valuable a piece of property to have apartments and vacant lots there for too long. In a better economy maybe SOMEONE else would have come in and there would be proponents and opponents of that development. The property owners who own those properties have the right to sell it, and if walmart is the only one who makes an offer, then city has to make sure that the development is done to standards.
K James September 04, 2012 at 05:16 AM
Jimmy C. You are one class act. Your personal attacks on me are pitiful. It is just a shame that when reason fails you, you resort to name calling. You are a mean spirited little man who likes to spread misinformation.
M. DesHotel September 04, 2012 at 10:05 AM
K James, I've read every article and every comment posted regarding the Walmart/TIF project. Your comments often come across as condescending. Perhaps if you sounded the least bit interested in the real concerns that many Ellisville citizens have about this project (particularly those who will be directly impacted in one way or another - and none of them good), you might actually gain some traction. The city council is acting in direct opposition to the will of the Ellisville voters who spoke loudly and clearly by casting a majority vote for the two mayoral candidates who ran on anti-TIF/anti-Walmart platforms. It doesn't matter how vociferously you or anyone else tries to spin this, the city council has acted thus far with blatant disregard towards the majority of its constituents' wishes.
E. Schmidt September 04, 2012 at 12:45 PM
From K James, TIF Commission Member-- >>>They should have made you aware of that fact. Walmart or no Walmart that property was going to be redeveloped. That property will be developed, even if the Walmart wasn't going in, and because of the property being such a highly visible area, it is just too valuable a piece of property to have apartments and vacant lots there for too long.<<< Could that property to which she refers be your house??? Is your house also "too valuable" to let your and your family sit there and live your lives??? So, the lessons here are-- if you live or own property close to "such a highly visible area" your property is just "too valuable" to let it sit there for your own economic or personal uses. The city will come at you with an Request for Proposal, the Threat of Eminent Domain and a tasty TIF in their back pocket for a multi-million dollar developer. K James will argue it only applies to C-3 commercial designated properties.... HOWEVER, with a compliant Planning and Zoning Commission and a City Council that doesn't bother to listen to property owners, residents and voters, zoning changes to properties are easily made. How far off Manchester, Clarkson, Clayton and Kiefer Creek Rds to you live? Big Box Stores have Big Foot Prints...sometimes 2 and 3 blocks deep...and if you live in the 4th or 5th block and think you are safe, guess again. Your property values and quality of life will surely suffer.
mike k September 04, 2012 at 01:57 PM
Tomorrow is Armageddon for the anti Walmart folk. Enjoy the day.
Michael Hoff September 05, 2012 at 06:24 AM
As a long time resident of Clarkchester (15 years), I must say that sure there is on occasion a problem or two in the complex, but the landlords here take care of the problem. And as for the apartments not being updated, you are wrong on that one, they were being updated, until this Walmart deal came in, now the landlords are only taking care of emergency repairs until this city figures all this out. Why would (the landlords) want to keep dumping the money into this place, if and when in a few months they would be tearing them down. And if this does all fall through, I have been assured that they would be once again updating. This has been one of the nicest and quiet neighbourhoods I have lived, in my life.
Suzanne Gundlach September 05, 2012 at 07:45 PM
http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/ellisville-council-members-can-t-be-recalled-judge-rules/article_4bb0ab6e-f78c-11e1-be88-0019bb30f31a.html
mike k September 05, 2012 at 09:09 PM
Now hopefully we can finally get some peace and quiet
Amy Samuel February 11, 2013 at 05:55 PM
Matt Pirrello is a joke! He slaps a lawsuit on the people he is suppose to represent and gets all of his legal bills paid for by the city, and once again the citizens are an afterthought. Who in their right mind elected him for 6 years? He needs to rethink his aspirations and get out of politics!

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