Kolb, her supporters spend $42,000 in effort to oust Hilmer

Hilmer wins election to third term on board; first elected along with Stegman in April ’05

Aaron Hilmer

Aaron Hilmer

By Mike Anthony

Mehlville Fire Protection District Board of Directors candidate Jane Kolb and her supporters spent nearly $42,000 in their unsuccessful effort to oust Chairman Aaron Hilmer in the April election.

Kolb’s committee, Vote for Jane Kolb, raised $5,527.94 and spent $5,524.94, according to a post-election report filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission.

International Association of Fire Fighters 2665, Mehlville Firefighters Local, a nonprofit corporation controlled by Mehlville Local 2665 shop leaders, contributed $38,250 to a firefighters’ union political action committee, or PAC, in support of Kolb.

The Professional Fire Fighters of Tri-County PAC spent $36,036.93 in support of Kolb and also contributed $254.94 to her committee, according to reports filed with the Ethics Commission.

Hilmer’s committee, Committee to Re-Elect Aaron Hilmer, reported total contributions of $15,062 and total expenditures of $9,843.40, according to a post-election report.

Hilmer defeated Kolb in his bid for a third six-year term on the fire board, receiving 11,194 votes — 53.33 percent — while Kolb garnered 9,765 votes — 46.52 percent, according to official final results. Voter turnout for the April 5 election was 25.89 percent.

Campaign committee reports detailing financial activity through April 30 were due last week.

Kolb’s committee reported one new contribution — $254.94 from the Professional Fire Fighters of Tri-County PAC — for the reporting period.

Vote for Jane Kolb spent $3,255.82 during the reporting period, including:

• Mike Martin Media — $500 for video services.

• Karl Frank Jr., a former Mehlville Board of Education member — $1,030 for reimbursement for Facebook post boosts.

• Oakville Sports Pub — $878.42 for food and beverages at watch party.

• Facebook — $239.71 for advertising.

• Mike Yemm, a Mehlville Fire Protection District employee — $114.01 for reimbursement for printing and postage.

• Holly Knox, a Mehlville Fire Protection District employee — $283.90 for reimbursement for poll worker lunches.

The committee also spent $209.78 in payments to Facebook, Office Max and for bank fees.

Among Kolb’s contributors in previous filings with the Ethics Commission were: St. Louis Police Association PAC, $250; Mehlville Fire Protection District employee Doug Weck, $100; former Democratic state Reps. Phil and Joan Barry, $50; Mehlvile Board of Education President Samantha Stormer, $25; former Mehlville Board of Education member Tom Diehl, $50; former Democratic state Rep. Sue Schoemehl, $50; the Missouri Association of Career Fire Protection Districts, $300; Jenny Bess of Oakville, $50; Mike Sita of Oakville, $20; and Mehlville Fire Protection District retiree James Hetzer, $100.

Among previous expenditures by Kolb’s committee were: Mike Martin Media, $1,000 for video services; Mehlville Fire Protection District, $156 for a public-records request; and $1,103.62 to Tap Haus for food and beverages for a fundraiser.

Hilmer’s committee reported no contributions during the reporting period and expenditures totaling $291 for voter-history records and to the U.S. Postal Service.

Among Hilmer’s contributors in previous filings with the Ethics Commission were: Mehlville Fire Protection District Board of Directors Secretary Ed Ryan, who served as treasurer for the Committee to Re-Elect Aaron Hilmer, $500; Archimages, $250; Hilvin Investment Corp., $500; Tesson Ferry Township Republican Club, $400; Cunningham Campaign Committee, $250; Milton Rudi of Oakville, $500; George Schillinger of Oakville, $300; McMahon Ford Co., $500; former Republican state Rep. Mike Leara; $3,000; Reinhold Electric, $300; Dean Eggerding of USI Insurance Services, an in-kind contribution of $3,291; and Joseph Financial, $249.

Among previous expenditures by Hilmer’s committee were: Office Max, $118.32 for printer ink; U.S. Postal Service, $294 for stamps; Office Depot, $114.57 for printer ink; Mark’s Quick Printing, $822.46 for election signs; U.S. Postal Service, $147 for stamps; U.S. Postal Service, $196 for stamps; Call Newspapers, $2,956 for advertising; City Graphics, $3,205.44 for advertising; Mark’s Quick Printing, $414.19 for election signs; Office Depot, $131.49 for mailing supplies; Big H Enterprises, $200 for yard sign materials; Office Depot, and $110.19 for office supplies.

Hilmer was first elected to the fire board in April 2005, along with Board of Directors Treasurer Bonnie Stegman. Stegman served as deputy treasurer of the Committee to Re-Elect Aaron Hilmer.

In 2009, Mehlville Fire Protection District Board of Directors candidate Mike Klund and his supporters spent nearly $100,000 in their unsuccessful bid to unseat Hilmer.

Mike for Mehlville Fire — Klund’s committee — and Friends of the Mehlville Fire District — a separate committee formed to support his campaign — raised $100,657.24 and spent $99,534.92 for the fire board race. Hilmer’s committee reported total contributions and expenditures of $14,030.38.

The MFPD board chairman narrowly defeated Klund, capturing nearly 49 percent of the vote to win a second, six-year term.