2013 features no shortage of Most Misguided Quotes

By Mike Anthony

2012 was a lean year for the Call’s annual Most Misguided Quotes of the Year column, but that certainly wasn’t the case in 2013.

This year, we found no shortage of quotes for our annual column, in which we chronicle the most misguided, misinformed and misleading statements of the year. In fact, space considerations limit us to these gems.

Just about everyone would agree the past year was not a stellar one for County Executive Charlie Dooley, who offered many misguided entries in 2013. Consider this one about Better Together, which Dooley contends is simply studying ways the city and county might collaborate.

“I cannot talk about (the city-county merger) because there is no city-county merger,” Dooley said.

Perhaps Dooley should tell that to Common Sense for St. Louis, a new organization that is gearing up to oppose the city-county merger.

Mehlville Board of Education members also uttered several misguided quotes, but the topper was this one from Ron Fedorchak about a proposal by board Secretary Rich Franz to record closed sessions of the school board: “I don’t see a problem, and I don’t see what we’re solving, so I think it’s a waste of time for (Superintendent) Dr. (Eric) Knost to pursue this.”

Improving transparency is a waste of time, isn’t it? For Fedorchak, working on a meaningless censure motion apparently is a better use of time.

And then there’s Sol Barket of Centrum Partners LLC, which owns the former Crestwood Court shopping mall with Angelo, Gordon & Co. In a Nov. 14 email to Mayor Jeff Schlink, Barket wrote that Centrum had contacted several local developers, including G.J. Grewe, “… to see if they might want to join forces and re (sic) capitalize the venture or simply buy us out.

“All of them had the same response. Given the city’s reluctance to provide public assistance, it is impossible to make anything work on the site, and until there are new people on the board that are pro-development and not anti-subsidy, they will not go near it.”

But in December, G.J. Grewe representative Bill Appelbaum told city officials, “We’re very much in favor of the redevelopment of that mall and working with the city of Crestwood … Most importantly, we wanted to make sure you understood that we didn’t say anything that Sol Barket and the Centrum folks had published in that newspaper.”

Given Applebaum’s remarks, we can only conclude that Barket never lets the facts get in the way of a good tale.