Trakas’ decision to block company’s move baffling

‘Call the Tune’ by Mike Anthony

By Mike Anthony

During his campaign for the 6th District County Council seat last year, Republican Ernie Trakas of Oakville pledged to be responsive to south county residents, as opposed to his predecessor, Democrat Kevin O’Leary of Oakville.

Quite frankly, the bar was set pretty low, as O’Leary’s short tenure on the council was nothing less than a disaster, and in fact, history may judge him as the worst council member to ever “represent” south county.

That’s why we’re baffled by Trakas’ decision to block a local construction company’s move to the former Tee Time Family Fun Center at 4631 Lemay Ferry Road. Trakas contends McManus Construction Co. owner Rob McManus’ proposal to relocate his business from Affton is wrong for the site.

Really? The county Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend approval of McManus’ request to rezone the site from an amusement park to amended C-8 commercial.

Ironically, in a show of hands at the commission’s Feb. 13 public hearing, 19 people were in support of the proposal and only one was opposed.

Guess who was the sole dissenting vote? Believe it or not, it was Trakas, who told the Call’s Gloria Lloyd, “I’m still a resident and a citizen.”

Since the Planning Commission issued its recommendation, Trakas has declined to introduce legislation to approve McManus’ zoning request.

At the April 25 County Council meeting, Trakas read a statement reiterating his opposition to the request, saying he had informed Rob and Angela McManus that their business “is not an appropriate or suitable use on Lemay Ferry Road.”

Trakas read his statement after several speakers, including nearby residents and the owner of the adjacent Show Me Lanes Bowling Center on Lemay Ferry Road, spoke in favor of McManus’ proposal.

We contend that Trakas’ decision to withhold legislation in support of the proposal exceeds the scope of his authority as a councilman, and if challenged in court, we believe he — and the county — would come out on the losing end.

Given the fact that neighbors support the proposal, and that Trakas is the only one who appears to be opposed to it, the question becomes: Who is he representing? Himself?

We hope not, because he pledged to be responsive to south county residents. In this case, residents favor this proposal. If Trakas wants to be responsive to them, we urge him to drop his opposition to the move.