EDITORIAL: Review of library’s move nothing more than fiction

Call the Tune

By Mike Anthony

One of the cornerstones of County Executive Charlie Dooley’s administration for much of the past 11 years has been cronyism.

We’ve repeatedly seen people hired for county jobs on the basis of their past work on campaigns for Dooley or campaigns of other Democratic politicians. That’s apparently the case with Jonathan Boesch, who serves as Dooley’s special assistant and south county liaison.

Before his employment with the county, Boesch worked on campaigns for Assessor Jake Zimmerman, a Democrat, as well as Dooley’s 2010 re-election campaign and the 2008 re-election campaign of then-Rep. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City.

So it was no surprise that Dooley tapped Boesch to review the St. Louis County Library Board of Trustees’ decision to move the Tesson Ferry Branch from its longtime location on Lin Ferry Drive in Green Park to a new $16 million building at the Gravois and Musick intersection.

Even less surprising was Boesch’s official conclusion: Library officials made a cost-saving decision to move the library with full input from the public, and any residents who have criticized the decision based their opinions on flawed information.

It appears the review was written to arrive at a predetermined conclusion that would absolve the Dooley-appointed library board of any blame whatsoever. But seldom have we seen such a biased, poorly written report.

It’s rife with factual and grammatical errors, misrepresentations and omissions of pertinent facts and outright fabrications. In fact, it slams the very people Boesch is supposed to serve as Dooley’s south county liaison.

Boesch’s contempt for the many south county residents opposed to the library’s move is front and center in his account of a March 7 meeting at the library organized by those opposed to the move that drew more than 100 people. Boesch wrote, “After the meeting, many residents noted that they weren’t interested in this issue since the library had already bought the property (for the new location).”

Really? We’d be hard-pressed to recall a meeting that attracted more than 100 people for an issue in which they had no interest. Other omissions are just as glaring — not once does Boesch mention the more than 200 emails residents sent to Dooley opposing the library’s move.

While Boesch was unable to compile an objective review of the library move, we believe he has a promising future as a writer of fiction.