Arnold: Cracks in the Regime?

8 Oct

Once again, there were some interesting developments in Arnold at the last city council meeting (agenda here) that suggest a splintering in the normally solid coalition that sets the agenda in Arnold. Full video of the meeting can be seen here. Here’s what happened:

First, during the public comment portion of the meeting, councilwoman Doris Borgelt stepped down from the dais to speak from the floor (18:45 in the video). She dropped a bit of a bombshell by saying that, when the council went into closed session at the last meeting, an attempt was made to oust one of the members. She added that, when the unnamed council person was not receptive to resigning, the drawing up of articles of impeachment was discussed. Borgelt stated that this was improper use of a closed session, and that she will ask the public to request an audit of the city from the state auditor (did she get the idea from me?). Borgelt also urged to council to decline a motion, scheduled for later in the meeting, to go into another closed session.

As Borgelt returned to her seat, councilman Bill Moritz, like a tattletale student running to the teacher, said, Bob Sweeney! Bob Sweeney! She just divulged private information from a closed session! Sweeney replied that he could not give an opinion on the matter. He said  it was a personnel issue, but Borgelt did not name names, and any action against a council member must be done in public.

At the appointed time, the council declined to go into private session, by a 5-3 vote, with no discussion. The troika of Paul Freese, Phil Amato, and Moritz voted yes, while the rest of the council voted no.

As an aside, who would this member be? One would assume it is Borgelt, considering the disdain with which the aforementioned troika holds her. Even Mayor Ron Counts gets testy a couple of times during this meeting in exchanges with her, as if he is tired of her (of course, she is his opponent in the mayoral race in April). However, in a comment to the Post-Dispatch article linked in the previous paragraph, former councilman Matt Hay speculates:

Counts needs Ken Moss off the Council, so he can replace him with Butch Cooley, as well as needs to stack the Planning Commission to get eminent domain passed yet again, which is why Counts needs a reliable vote on Planning and Zoning. He also knows that while his Rasputin Bob Sweeney can manhandle Moss on most issues, Moss will not support Eminent Domain, so they need Moss off the Council before the Election in April.

This leads into another event at the meeting, a seemingly humdrum motion to appoint one Jason Doyle Fulbright to the city Planning Commission (27:24 in the video). Fulbright mentions in his application for the position (p. 27 here) that he is involved in “many local campaigns for elected officials in state, county, and city offices.” Councilwoman Michelle Hohmeier asked what city campaigns he is involved in, which Counts suggested it wasn’t relevant. Hohmeier said that would depend on whose campaign it was. Counts tried to move to a vote, but Borgelt said “last time I talked to him, he said he was your campaign manager.” Counts adamantly said that wasn’t the case, and that Borgelt has “her wires crossed on that one.” The motion proceeded to vote…where it failed by the same 5-3 vote as above, which lends credence to Hay’s suggestion that the two issues are intertwined.

I suspect we will hear more about this. There was one more interesting event at the meeting, which I will discuss in another post.  A member of the council delivered a rant expressing his irritation with an article published in the Leader.

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2 Responses to “Arnold: Cracks in the Regime?”

  1. wrongonred October 8, 2012 at 9:31 pm #

    Just to throw something out there, let me propose a “What If” scenario. These guys are terrible at poker, and give their hand away with “tells.” What if, the tampering with Councilman Moss, the attempted installation of Jason Fulbright, and this supposed “time sensitive” matter which Bob Sweeney insists must be voted on immediately were intertwined? Given the nature of his “200 jobs” comments, there is only 1 employer in the area that employs close to that number, the Metal Container Corporation (AB Can Plant). What if, as part of the Can Plant expansion, that they are asking the City to take portions (and homes) on Rinnie Court, and perhaps, Schneider Dr? If you look at Google Maps, and then overlay that with the Parcel Metal Container owns, there is one impediment to connecting the East and West portions of this property, Rinnie Dr.

    https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Metal+Container+Corporation,+Tenbrook+Industrial+Park,+Arnold,+MO&hl=en&ll=38.429908,-90.355661&spn=0.005329,0.013078&sll=38.513788,-90.953064&sspn=1.362509,3.348083&oq=metal+&t=h&hq=Metal+Container+Corporation,&hnear=Tenbrook+Industrial+Park,+Arnold,+Jefferson,+Missouri+63010&z=17

    I cannot say any of this with certainty, but it would, in Occam’s Razor fashion, explain many of the things going on in the City. Retail Development anywhere in the area is at a standstill, so not sure it makes sense to go for Eminent Domain for additional Commercial Space with all of the open spaces we have now, and then there is the Michigan Ave to 141 connector right through LoneStar (I have seen the plans myself, they exist). That would be a lot of fight for minimal benefit…….but given the 80 million dollars over the life of the investment that the City has now bet on the Can Plant, it seems that MCC has the leverage now to have their way with them, as the City is “all in” and cannot strategically retreat of they wanted to. I must have missed the open session when the financing and plans for MCC were discussed……..oh wait, it was all done behind closed doors in a closed session……

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  1. More Intrigue in Arnold « Jefferson County Penknife - October 14, 2012

    […] wrote last week about the latest drama in Arnold, in which councilwoman Doris Borgelt revealed that an attempt had been made in a closed council […]

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