St. Louis Call Newspapers

Green Park’s ‘Clown-City moniker’ still apropos, letter writer says

Originally Published on: 2007-03-07

To the editor:

Having attended the February marathon meeting of the Green Park Board of Aldermen, I can assure all that the Clown-City moniker is still apropos.

Remaining true to their circus mentality, the mayor and his minions provided several humorous, clownish moments for the crowd of irate citizens who were gathered in the peanut gallery.

An early highlight of the evening was an address by a former alderman, Judy DeWitt. The alderman emeritus vigorously and eloquently chastised the board regarding their obvious partiality in dealing with the advertising needs of favored businesses in the city and the often-violated city ordinance(s) relative thereto.

DeWitt concluded her articulate and moving allocution by presenting selected board members with two blue, stuffed gorilla dolls. The stuffed animals symbolize the hokey, pottery-barn advertising common to rural businesses.

Albeit officially discouraged in Green Park, the board frequently allows such advertising gimmicks for favored Green Park businesses.

One of the many laughable moments of the evening’s entertainment was when one of the minions verbally attacked Burke Wasson, the Call’s cub reporter who has taken an interest in the clownish affairs of the Green Park Board of Aldermen.

The alderman, straight-faced, feigned personal indignation at Wasson’s Feb. 15 article that was critical of the board’s actions regarding the city’s ongoing trash-collection fiasco.

Note: Wasson’s article was devoid of any personal attack on board members.

The verbal assault on Wasson opened the floor to “trash talk.” The impromptu trash discussion began the Dance of the Minions; those aldermen who were passionate in explaining their recent approval of the city’s trash-hauling agreement, which they now recognize as a financial windfall for the trash hauler and a monetary debacle for Green Park citizens.

Although their “yes” votes were responsible for approving the trash contract, they now want to re-evaluate that very same contract and the unnecessary expense that it imposes on citizens. Pay no attention to our previous ineptness, they pleaded.

Now in the shadow of April elections, the aldermen pledged to work feverishly to get that lame contract amended. Sign the contract, then try to negotiate the terms of the contract: cart-before-the-horse city administration at its finest.

The mayor had his memorable moments as well.

The mayor is noted for his unequivocal refusal to conduct city business by committees. Therefore, he must endure citizen wrath during the regular board meetings; this meeting being no exception. Amid a variety of allegations interspersed in the meeting, the mayor donned his clown suit and less than skillfully ducked, bobbed, weaved and backpedaled in futile attempts to avoid being struck by the verbal arrows of criticism launched by exasperated citizens.

So, with another pesky Board of Aldermen meeting under their collective belt, the mayor and his cohorts will continue to covet the power of their positions and work diligently to maintain the status quo. But maybe Green Park citizens will awaken in time to cast their votes in the April election and install for themselves a new city government — a government accountable to them, not the Green Park Chamber of Commerce, et al.

Michael K. Broughton

Green Park

Green Park’s ‘Clown-City moniker’ still apropos, letter writer says

To the editor:

Having attended the February marathon meeting of the Green Park Board of Aldermen, I can assure all that the Clown-City moniker is still apropos.

Remaining true to their circus mentality, the mayor and his minions provided several humorous, clownish moments for the crowd of irate citizens who were gathered in the peanut gallery.

An early highlight of the evening was an address by a former alderman, Judy DeWitt. The alderman emeritus vigorously and eloquently chastised the board regarding their obvious partiality in dealing with the advertising needs of favored businesses in the city and the often-violated city ordinance(s) relative thereto.

DeWitt concluded her articulate and moving allocution by presenting selected board members with two blue, stuffed gorilla dolls. The stuffed animals symbolize the hokey, pottery-barn advertising common to rural businesses.

Albeit officially discouraged in Green Park, the board frequently allows such advertising gimmicks for favored Green Park businesses.

One of the many laughable moments of the evening’s entertainment was when one of the minions verbally attacked Burke Wasson, the Call’s cub reporter who has taken an interest in the clownish affairs of the Green Park Board of Aldermen.

The alderman, straight-faced, feigned personal indignation at Wasson’s Feb. 15 article that was critical of the board’s actions regarding the city’s ongoing trash-collection fiasco.

Note: Wasson’s article was devoid of any personal attack on board members.

The verbal assault on Wasson opened the floor to “trash talk.” The impromptu trash discussion began the Dance of the Minions; those aldermen who were passionate in explaining their recent approval of the city’s trash-hauling agreement, which they now recognize as a financial windfall for the trash hauler and a monetary debacle for Green Park citizens.

Although their “yes” votes were responsible for approving the trash contract, they now want to re-evaluate that very same contract and the unnecessary expense that it imposes on citizens. Pay no attention to our previous ineptness, they pleaded.

Now in the shadow of April elections, the aldermen pledged to work feverishly to get that lame contract amended. Sign the contract, then try to negotiate the terms of the contract: cart-before-the-horse city administration at its finest.

The mayor had his memorable moments as well.

The mayor is noted for his unequivocal refusal to conduct city business by committees. Therefore, he must endure citizen wrath during the regular board meetings; this meeting being no exception. Amid a variety of allegations interspersed in the meeting, the mayor donned his clown suit and less than skillfully ducked, bobbed, weaved and backpedaled in futile attempts to avoid being struck by the verbal arrows of criticism launched by exasperated citizens.

So, with another pesky Board of Aldermen meeting under their collective belt, the mayor and his cohorts will continue to covet the power of their positions and work diligently to maintain the status quo. But maybe Green Park citizens will awaken in time to cast their votes in the April election and install for themselves a new city government — a government accountable to them, not the Green Park Chamber of Commerce, et al.

Michael K. Broughton

Green Park

South St. Louis County News
Green Park’s ‘Clown-City moniker’ still apropos, letter writer says