Incorporation, schools top 1991 news stories

By Susan Spanel
For the Call
Originally published January 2, 1992

Efforts to incorporate South County were the top news stories in 1991, followed by school news both good and bad.

Mehlville’s continuing money woes and Lindbergh’s audit, student walkout and boundary changes were hot copy. And then there was Proposition B.

The front page saw a brand new school go up and an 80-year-old home come down. The community hollered about both.

It all began in January.

Yes, there was still ice, glazed and treacherous. Mehlville’s strategic planning slid into action with preparations to begin. Superintendent Robert Rogers got a new school named after him and a citizens’ petition prompted the state to audit the Lindbergh district’s books.

February found Mehlville dipping into its reserves as the budget crunch began. A longer school year idea popped up, along with a flap in Concord over Sansone’s proposed hardware store. By March, the flap turned into a desperate plea to the County Council to stop the commercial encroachment.

The council turned its head toward Oakville with a nod on a retail center at Telegraph and Kinswood, and Lindbergh schools got a new superintendent, new boundaries and a student walkout over one speaker’s comments.

April’s windstorm sparked brush fires galore, and Concord residents pondered starting their own brush fire with a possible lawsuit against the county over the home improvement store controversy. The idea of locating a steel foundry on Old Baumgartner came and went and the beginnings of a composting site wafted across page one.

May and June were filled with good news/bad news from the school districts. Mehlville was taken to task for trying to curtail bus service. Teachers refused a new contract and the first hint that Mehlville will ask for a tax increase glimmered. An old idea to limit board member terms surfaced, Lindbergh’s audit was completed, Oakville won the Missouri girls soccer championship.

Opposition to a commercial port and dock facility changed the face of the County Planning Commission. South County Citizens for Incorporation formed, drawing members and criticism. Affton’s incorporation push dominated the month.

Last July, we honored Desert Storm veterans. City builders created their own fireworks when they contemplated what could be the third largest city in Missouri. A fight over the revenue-rich Concord area fizzled big-city plans, and compost news started cookin’ in the heap of summer’s heat.

A third incorporation group jumped into the Concord land-grab fight last August. 82% of polled citizens favored dumping incorporation plans into the nearest compost bin.

Mehlville schools got hit with more bad news — state cuts shortened their pockets by over $500,000 while board members agreed to disagree on Proposition B. Save The Faust House group explored strategies, and Call Publications increased circulation — in both newspapers.

September was filled with more school, incorporation and trash news. Composting sites filled up space, dire straits forced Mehlville to axe the use of teacher assistants and a lock and dam feasibility study entered the picture.

In October the compost dilemma found a (w)resting place on Old Baumgartner, the Faust house came tumbling down, Telegraph traffic got a break with the addition of a new lane and an incorporation petition circulated by a group wanting to step out in front before others could.

Proposition B got negative reviews in advance of a November showing. Mehlville’s desegregation judgment glimmered a promise of an end.

November made an official appearance. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Mehlville had fulfilled its deseg obligation. The Mehlville school board made it official — they will put a tax levy increase on the February ballot.

Voters made it official — no new taxes. Proposition B failed miserably. Oakville-Mehlville Chamber Prez Charlie Meyer made it official — he announced his candidacy for 6th District County Council seat.

December brought snags with the Boundary Commission and the petition-pushing incorporation group from Sappington, more road project news and blazing headlines of a severance agreement with the Mehlville fire chief.

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