Veterans Memorial in Arnold: What is Amato’s Angle?

5 Jun

A group is working to acquire land and funding for a veterans memorial park in Arnold, according to the May 17 Leader. They have their eyes on a piece of property that the city owns next to the VFW post on Church Road. There seems to be wide support for this, but council member Phil Amato has some doubts. This has to make you wonder, because where Amato goes, shenanigans often follow, including red light cameras, TIFs, and a money-losing rec center.

The rec center is relevant here, because Amato wants the memorial there, stating that it already has parking and lighting. He probably also wants it there to bolster his pet project. But does he (and his developer buddies) have his eyes on the proposed memorial site for something else? Amato also said that veterans hanging out at the VFW probably don’t want to see a memorial every time they go, but Sheriff Boyer rejected that.

On another note, memorial proponents claim that this site will be wildly popular. It will bring in tourists, who will then spend money in Arnold. I have to laugh when places like Arnold and Festus talk about tourism in their towns. As if anyone from outside a 10-mile radius goes to these towns as  a tourist. Most of the people who visit this wall will be locals. The number of restaurant  and business visits this memorial creates, that would not have already occurred otherwise, will be minimal, so I don’t buy that particular reason for building this.

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