During the recent elections, both general and special there has been a call for greater civility and less obstructionism. Candidates supported by the Woerther-Kennedy-Shea (WKS) faction lost by wide margins reaching up to 88 percent for Joe Garitano. In part, this can be attributed to the drama our residents have had to endure during city council meetings. It has been so constant and tragic that even Dante or even Euripides would have cried "uncle".
At times the WKS faction has been so driven to scandalize, that even where a member is seated on the Dais has been blown into controversy!
Last year, it took months and no less than four nominees to fill a sixth ward six that was vacated by Greg Alexander. It was eventually filled by council member, John Bopp with the WKS voting in near unanimity against. The debate was so tortured, and the processed so protracted that even the St. Louis Post-Dispatch sent a reporter to observe the debacle.
An excerpt from the article reads:
During public comment Monday night, Dave Stuckenschneider, a resident of the ward that had the open seat, protested what he called an unreasonable delay in having a second council person to represent those in his ward but also protested “public embarrassment” of the disputes over previous candidates for the post.“I'm tired of a bunch of bickering people — we've been listening to this for four months,” he said.
(Photo: Mikel Garrett at Wildwood YMCA Promo along with Tim Woerther who has endorsed him for various city positions in the past.)
Now, after the unexpected death of Councilman Ray Manton, there is a vacant Ward 2 seat that needs to be filled.
Unfortunately, indications are that the WKS faction may be gearing up for another embarrassing delay.
At the suggestion of Ward 2 Council Member Lauren Edens, who won her election against WKS candidate Tony Salvatore by nearly 70%, Mayor Bowlin has nominated an outstanding candidate. Mikel Garrett has served on the Wildwood Board of Adjustment for 20 years and has also served on the Parks Action Plan Update Committee. He was chosen to serve as Chair of both of those committees. He has in the past been approved for such roles by Tim Woerther himself.
Given his impeccable credentials some fear that opposition by the WKS faction may be fierce. Let's hope that reason and civic duty prevails and that we can get the job done for the sake of our residents and the Manton Family. Let's leave the drama firmly in our past. Our city would be grateful.