Bumper crop of candidates for Most Misguided Quotes

‘Call the Tune’ by Mike Anthony

By Mike Anthony

This year produced a bumper crop of candidates for the Call’s annual tradition of Most Misguided Quotes of the Year.

As we’ve noted before, we’d be hard pressed to recall a year in which we had so many contenders for our Most Misguided Quotes — in which we chronicle the most misguided, misinformed and misleading statements of the year. While we soon will select the year’s best Most Misguided Quotes, we thought we would offer these gems from the fourth quarter.

County Councilman Kevin O’Leary, D-Oakville, apparently didn’t receive the memo regarding the rental-license legislation introduced by 4th District County Councilman Mike O’Mara, D-Florissant. In early October, O’Leary unexpectedly voted to reject the measure, the first time since he was elected in April that he broke ranks with O’Mara and Council Chairman Pat Dolan, D-Richmond Heights.

Yet later that month, O’Leary cast the deciding vote in favor of the bill, which the council approved 4-3. Asked whether he was pressured or intimidated to change his vote by O’Mara and Democratic County Executive Steve Stenger, O’Leary said, “I didn’t take it that way. They wanted to know why, they wanted me to decide. I guess I caught them off guard — but it’s all over and done with and they’re treating me like a human being, so that’s all I can ask for.”

If they’re treating O’Leary like a human being now, we’d hate to think about how they treated him before.

Mehlville Board of Education member Lori Trakas voted against placing Prop R, a 49-cent tax-rate increase, on the Nov. 3 ballot. During a discussion with students, Trakas was asked how she would reduce Mehlville’s deficit and restore academic programs.

She advocated a patron’s proposal to pass a temporary 49-cent tax-rate increase to retire the district’s capital debt in three years, saying, “Until you deal with that debt, you’re putting a noose around your neck …” But roughly two months later — after the passage of Prop R — Trakas proposed building a third high school near the John Cary Early Childhood Education Center.

“… From a vision standpoint, I’m just going to throw this out there — would that be a place to build a new high school?” she said.

Other than the fact that construction of a new high school would be impractical at that site, require a massive bond issue and a substantial amount of annual operating revenue, the short answer would be “no,” as so eloquently voiced by board member Jean Pretto.