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The conditional use permits issued for a proposed new Walmart in Ellisville are set to expire Thursday, and the fate of the project remains unclear.
Developer Sansone won a major court challenge to the $50 million project last week, but still has acquired only about eight acres of land and that doesn't include the Clarkchester Apartments. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that contracts Sansone had with some of the complex's nine owners expired in July, and at least two have declined to renew.
The city issued a building permit Wednesday and Public Works Director Bill Schwer told the paper Sansone could break ground Thursday on the property it does own.
But at Wednesday night's city council meeting, Mayor Adam Paul asked City Attorney George Restovich to find out if the city could legally terminate its agreement with Sansone which includes $10 million in tax increment financing approved last year, before half the council was replaced in the last election.
Also Wednesday night, the City Council voted 4-3 to have Restovich draft a resolution terminating long-time City Manager Kevin Bookout, a proponent of the project. Bookout was also involved in the attempt to oust Mayor Paul earlier this year, but Paul says Bookout's termination isn't about revenge.
The development of a new Walmart in Ellisville will move forward despite the developer's failure to win a permit extension from the city council.
Walmart’s director of public affairs Chris Neeley told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the extension was sought to give the builders breathing room, but that the company will continue to work to see the project through.
The Ellisville City Council voted 3-3 Wednesday night to deny Sansone Group's request for a 180 day extension of a conditional use permit for construction of the project.
The Post reports that Mayor Adam Paul, whose campaign for office was based on his opposition the tax-supported project, and Aldermen Linda Reel and Mick Cahill rejected the request.
Aldermen Matt Pirrello, Cindy Pool and Roz Acup backed the extension.
Alderman Gary Voss was absent.
Ellisville has a new City Attorney.
At a special meeting Monday night, the Ellisville Board of Aldermen unanimously approved hiring George Restovich, of Restovich Allen LLC, to replace Paul Martin, who was fired June 27, 2013.
Restovich will begin his new job at Wednesday's regular meeting.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Restovich will initially work for an hourly rate. In six months, the board will consider putting Restovich on retainer.
Ellisville Mayor Adam Paul will remain in office.
A judge said Paul's temporary reinstatement is now permanent. A temporary stay of Paul's removal from office was issued on June 11. The judge's order today says the City Council's appeal of the temporary stay is moot.
Despite opposition from reinstated Ellisville Mayor Adam Paul, tax breaks for a proposed Walmart development are moving forward, albeit slowly. The City Council voted 4-3 Wednesday night to authorize TIFs for project developer Sansone Group.
The vote came after Jim Sansone and Mayor Paul exchanged heated words during the packed meeting. Sansone promised court action if the council reversed their 2012 approval of the development. Paul acknowledged his continued opposition, but also recognized that the council majority would rule.
A second vote is needed to finalized the bill. That's expected to happen at a special council meeting later this month.
A St. Louis County Circuit Judge has reinstated Ellisville Mayor Adam Paul.
On April 8, Paul was removed from office by the City Council on charges of abuse of power. Yesterday's decision states that the City Council may have violated Paul's due process by changing the charges against Paul without giving him proper notice.
Paul's attorney Chet Pleban tells KTRS's McGraw Milhaven that Adam Paul once again has "full duties and full responsibilities" as the new mayor. Mayor Paul added, "It's going to be nice coming back to a level-headed counsel that's fair and unbiased."
The judge determined that the council may have also committed other improprieties that include: the previously appointed City Attorney disqualifying himself from the removal hearing, but among other things, writing the charges against Paul.
The judge concludes his ruling by saying that Paul's motion to stay the removal is granted and he is reinstated as Mayor.
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."
Ellisville's ousted mayor is making good on his promise to appeal his impeachment in court. Former Mayor Adam Paul filed an appeal in St. Louis County Circuit Court Wednesday asking a judge to overturn his April 8th impeachment.
But he didn't stop there.
Paul also filed a defamation lawsuit against his accusers. The suit claims City Attorney Paul Martin, Council Member Matt Pirrello, City Manager Kevin Bookout and resident Katie James harmed his reputation by making unsubstantiated allegations against him.
Paul hand delivered a copy of the lawsuit to the city council at last night's council meeting.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the new city council, which took office Wednesday night, has decided not to appoint an interim mayor to take Paul's place. The council plans to proceed with a special election, but the details have not yet been determined.
The city of Ellisville is without a mayor. That's because the city council voted 5-to-1 to impeach Adam Paul Monday evening.
Mayor Paul and his attorney Chet Pleban left before the final vote. They have maintained for weeks that the impeachment hearings and deliberation were just for show -- that the council's decision was a foregone conclusion based on Paul's opposition to using tax incentives to build a new Walmart.
But former mayor, Councilman Matt Pirrello denies that and tells McGraw in the Morning here on the Big 550 although he's not a fan of tax increment financing--he would still vote in favor of the Walmart TIF.
Matt Pirrello says, "As a responsible leader for my community, I cannot sit back and let my municipality go broke standing on principle."
Before taking the impeachment vote, the council found Paul guilty on six charges of violating the city's charter.
Paul says he'll ask a St. Louis County judge to set aside the impeachment until the newly elected city council takes office April 17th so that the new council can make the decision.
The Ellisville City Council is expected to decide Monday evening whether or not to impeach their mayor, Adam Paul. The council has scheduled public deliberations at 6:00 p.m.
If the council votes to oust Paul, he has said he'll sue.
The council has already retained attorneys to defend the impeachment, but the vigor of that defense is up in the air, since a newly elected council will be seated April 17th.
Three new council members were elected April 2nd - two of them are Paul supporters. The third hasn't made her position known. Paul opponents Matt Pirrello and Rose Acup will remain on the council, along with Linda Reel, who had voted against charging Paul in the first place.
Mayor Paul was elected in April 2012 after campaigning against tax increment financing for a development that includes a new Walmart store. The TIF was approved despite his opposition.