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Susan Smith-Harmon

Susan Smith-Harmon

   It was another raucous night in Ellisville Wednesday as supporters of the impeached mayor, Adam Paul, tried to get him reinstated.  

   But the city council didn't get to vote on the issue because City Manager, Kevin Bookout, pulled the item from the agenda saying he wanted to get a legal opinion on it first.  

   Newly elected council member Mick Cahill told Fox 2 news that Paul's supporters plan to put the reinstatement question back on the council agenda.  "We'll have to do it in a different way, putting it in as an amendment.  And then once we do that, we'll be able to take that and hopefully be able to vote on it," he said.

   City residents expressed outrage at a packed council meeting last night.  One recurring issue: the amount the impeachment battle is costing taxpayers, including an eight-thousand dollar bill for emergency PR services to handle the impeachment fallout.  

   Paul's attorney, Chet Pleban, told the council that the impeachment costs are going to continue to climb, because "Adam Paul's not going away." He added, "This 84,418 bucks is the beginning of your legal fees, not the end of your legal fees."

   Mayor Pro Tem, Matt Pirrello met with residents for more than an hour after the meeting.  He told them the matter is now in the hands of the courts, but vowed to resign on the spot, if a judge reinstated Paul.

   The Ku Klux Klan is challenging a new Desloge, Missouri ordinance that bans them from distributing flyers in city streets.  

   A judge has already struck down a city wide ban on distributing leaflets that the Klan had fought with the help of the ACLU.  Tony Rothert, legal director for the ACLU's Eastern District of Missouri says the Supreme Court has long held that handing out leaflets is protected by the First Amendment.  

   Rothert says that neither he, nor the ACLU agrees with the KKK`s message, just their right to share it.  "We think it’s important for all Americans that they be able to distribute literature to get their ideas out in peaceful ways and let the market place of ideas debate who’s right,” he said.

   Rother has suggested the that the city's new ordinance is an attempt to get around the earlier judges ruling. 

   Desloge city administrator Greg Camp says that's not true.  Camp says, it's never been a question of First Amendment rights.  "Regardless of the message, we have to respect the fact that everyone has the right to free speech," he said. "The concern is for people being in the road."

   Camp says the city consulted with an attorney before crafting the new measure, and they believe it will hold up in court.

   The city has until Monday (May 6th) to respond to the ACLU's new complaint.

   Desloge is about 60 miles south of St. Louis.

 

Zoo shows off plans for expansion at open house

Thursday, 02 May 2013 04:19 Published in Around Town

   St. Louisans had a chance to review the framework of the expansion plans the Saint Louis Zoo is developing for the old Forest Park Hospital complex. Zoo officials unveiled some initial ideas for the 13 1/2 acre area across Interstate 64, south of the Zoo at an open house Wednesday evening.  

   Zoo President and CEO Dr. Jeffrey Bonner explains what will be the first order of business once ground is broken.  "We see immediate activity. We're going to go in and start renovating that seven story parking garage as quickly as we can. We'll do demolition for the main part of the hospital building as quickly as we can."  Bonner went on to say, "The real planning starts now, when we take all of this wonderful input and then develop a strategic plan, what we're going to do for the next five, six or seven years."

    Dr. Bonner says they are open and listening to many suggestions regarding the development.  "I can see a commercial presence," he said.  "I can see not doing it too, but I think it would be more welcoming place if there were certain services that we could provide for our visitors and, for that matter, neighbors and other people nearby."

   The start date for renovations has not been determined.

 

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