Mehlville leads local school, municipal races in spending

Candidates report donations, expenditures for local races

By By Gloria Lloyd

The three-way race for two seats on the Mehlville Board of Education saw the most spending of any local school board or aldermanic contest in Tuesday’s election, according to campaign-finance reports.

In that race, challenger Lori Trakas raised more than her incumbent opponents, board President Venki Palamand and board Secretary Larry Felton.

Tuesday’s election occurred after the Call went to press. For election results, visit


Many candidates for local office do not file reports with the Missouri Ethics Commission since candidates only have to file financial disclosure reports if their committees received more than $500 in contributions, spent more than $500 on the campaign or have a contributor, aside from the candidate, who donated more than $325.

In Sunset Hills, incumbent Ward 1 Alderman Dee Baebler reported her campaign took in $1,100 in donations, all from fellow Sunset Hills officials. Mayor Bill Nolan donated $300 to Baebler, and her fellow Ward 1 Alderman, Richard Gau, donated $800 from his Gau for Alderman committee.

Baebler spent $749 of the donations, including $656 for yard signs and door hangers from MADCO Printing.

Baebler’s opponent, former Ward 1 Alderman Frank Hardy, received $300 in small donations, to add to the $595 his campaign already had on hand. Aside from voter lists, Hardy’s only expense was $377 for door hangers from Mark’s Quick Printing.

In Crestwood, Mike Tsichlis, Timothy Anderson, Richard Rutledge and Cindy Minor are running for the Ward 4 aldermanic seat, but only Tsichlis filed a report.

He received $1,915 and spent $1,528 in the election as of his March 25 filing. Most of the funds, $1,395, are from Tsichlis himself. His biggest expense was $178 for an ad in the Call.

One of Tsichlis’ opponents, Cindy Minor, did not file an eight-day report, but the political action committee Citizens for Good Government, which has primarily supported Mike Klund’s race for the Mehlville Fire Protection District board, listed a $325 contribution to Minor’s campaign on one of its disclosure reports.

In Ward 3 in Crestwood, where candidates Bill Boston and Grant Mabie are seeking a seat on the Board of Aldermen, only Mabie filed an eight-day campaign report. He loaned his campaign $601.75 and received $100 donations from three donors: Christine Duenke of Wildwood, his campaign treasurer Robert Weng of Webster Groves and Kris Mabie of Arnold.

Other than website and bank account fees, Mabie’s only expense was $580 on door hangers from FedEx Crestwood.

In the election for the Lindbergh Board of Education, in which four candidates are seeking two seats, only Cindy McDaniel filed an eight-day campaign finance report.

McDaniel and Adam McBride are challenging incumbents Kara Gotsch and Vic Lenz for their seats.

McDaniel reported $2,412 in donations, including $1,500 she loaned her committee. She also gave her committee $437 in in-kind contributions.

McDaniel spent $1,415 of her campaign funds on direct-mail efforts, through St. Louis Presort.

She also purchased ads in print publications: $360 to coupon magazine Ad Pages, $150 to the Current/Fenton News Magazine and $90 to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

In Mehlville, Trakas reported $2,425 in contributions and loans to her campaign.

Trakas and her husband gave $500 to her campaign, as did Antonio Visnovske of St. Louis.

The Tesson Ferry Township Republican Club gave Trakas $400. Brian and Melinda Lamping of Fenton gave her $275, and Penny and Andrew Hof of St. Louis gave her $250. Trakas loaned her own campaign an additional $150, and she received $200 in donations less than $100.

Trakas spent $1,110 on yard signs from Victory Enterprises of Davenport, Iowa, and $585 on door hangers from Complete Color Print in House Springs.

Palamand reported $1,015 in new donations, including $200 from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1, $100 each from the Cement Masons, Margaret Pucci and Joe Zelle, former Democratic candidate for District 95 state representative, and $50 from Glazers Local 516. Palamand had $900 in contributions left from a previous reporting period this election, as part of $4,625 cash on hand.

He ended the reporting period with $2,606 on hand.

Palamand spent his funds primarily on newspaper ads and campaign signs, including $1,607 for ads in the Call, $1,298 to O.R. Pechman Inc. for yard signs and $129 to Creative Litho for business cards.

Felton reported raising $1,524, including $824 in monetary contributions of $100 or less. He also loaned his campaign $600.

In his only expense aside from a bank account, he paid MADCO Printing $785 for yard signs.