Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Carter Seeks Former Job As Wentzville's Municipal Judge

December 12, 2012 -- Michael "Mike" E. Carter was the first to declare candidacy for Wentzville's municipal judge today at city hall.

In a strange twist, the incumbent judge Martin did not file yesterday, which was actually the first day to file for the office. This means Carter will be placed first on the ballot.

Carter only said of Martin that he hopes the current judge is "re-thinking his campaigning approach of 2011. I (carter) never bought into negative campaigning."

Carter says his campaign will focus on three main issues:

1) Carter's helping rid Wentzville of red-light cameras;
2) His ensuring the court focuses on justice before revenue; AND
3) Carter wants to get every Wentzville voter a copy of the U.S. Constitution -- he says it worked for him and he'll make sure it works for everyone before his bench.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Former Wentzville Judge Helps Rid Community of Red-Light Cameras



Wentzville MO Rejects Red-Light Cameras, Former Judge and Lt. Gov. Candidate Carter Plays Role

Voting against renewal, Wentzville aldermen cited the necessity of officer discretion at traditional in-person red-light traffic stops and referenced the inconclusive nature of Wentzville Police Chief's red-light camera accident prevention data



Wentzville, MO , March 15, 2012- Wentzville Aldermen last night voted unanimously against renewing the city's red-light camera contract. In spite of the fact that city staff indicated the contract didn't end until the middle of 2013, the city's police chief recommended renewal and the mayor moved to table the discussion, the aldermen; nonetheless, after little discussion, made their intentions clear.

"Politicians take credit for whatever they can, right? I was at last night's meeting for this vote specifically with my daughter -- she gets good marks in civics class. Wentzville's mayor routinely criticized me about red-light cameras when I was the city's judge. I recall Mayor Lambi telling reporters that the only reason I was elected judge was because I sent out a mailer sensitive to red-light cameras. I really never understood his take. I won that election with two-thirds of the vote; so, given the mayor's reasoning, wouldn't that mean the citizens didn't want them? I am proud to have kept the issue at the forefront in Wentzville -- ask around, there's no doubt my name is synonymous with red-light-camera concern."

Carter has done millions of robo calls across Missouri asking Missouri voters about their thoughts on red-light cameras. He says he is always surprised that those for and against red-light cameras appear to split nearly right down the middle. However, "the citizens against traffic camera technology are far more vocal and irritated than their counterparts," notes Carter.

The Missouri Lieutenant Governor candidate has made no secret of his disdain for red-light cameras. He seeks a statewide ban against them much like the State of Mississippi currently has and that Iowa & Colorado are very close to passing. Carter says he feels encouraged that other states like Arizona and many cities on the west coast are moving away from the camera-ticketing technologies.

In voting against renewal, some Wentzville aldermen cited the necessity of officer discretion at traditional in-person red-light traffic stops, while mayoral candidates Tow and Guccione referenced the inconclusive nature of Wentzville Police Chief Harrison's red-light camera accident prevention data.

Carter said it's worth noting that Wentzville city attorney Paul Rost warned the aldermen that voting out the red-light camera service provider, RedFlex, would no doubt result in renewed RedFlex attempts to "woo" the aldermen to change their opinions.



Monday, April 30, 2012

Missouri Lieutenant Governor Candidate Mike Carter Renders Lager Hopeless

ST. CHARLES, MO May 1, 2012--Missouri's race for Lt. Governor is chock full of candidates; sadly, this has an adverse affect on the race's biggest fund raisers.
Right now, the GOP is represented in the race by incumbent Peter Kinder, and three other candidates, Brad Lager, Mike Carter, and Charles Kullmann. Polling in January showed that Kinder had a strong lead against the others, with Lager coming in as a distant second; Mike Carter close behind.

Brad Lager
Unless he hopes to yet again endeavor on a losing effort to attain statewide name recognition (lost 2008 Treasurer campaign to superior candidate Clint Zweifel), the numbers indicate that Brad Lager's hopes of eking  away at Kinder's lead are an exercise in futility as long as Carter maintains and/or improves his position in the polls. Carter has a strong Ron-Paul following that continues to grow --- ensuring Carter’s firm grasp on those undecided voters that well-funded Lager so badly needs.
Oddly, given that "Lt. Governor" serves as the prima facie “down-ballot” race, another difficulty in Lager's path is the similarity of names in the GOP's candidates Peter Kinder, Brad Lager, and Mike Carter. Name similarity can have a significant impact on election results when many voters select by party rather than basing their decision on actual knowledge of the candidates.  This establishment problem reared its head in Illinois’ 2010 election cycle for Lt. Governor with Scott Cohen.  People just don’t pay attention to these meaningless offices.
Mike Carter
Brad Lager's campaign finance report filed earlier this month showed an impressive cash-on-hand budget of over $1.1 million due in large part to contributions from an unusually low number of supporters.  Mike Carter has publicly announced that he has no intention of accepting donations for the August GOP primary and hopes to keep campaign expenses to a bare minimum. Regardless of this, Lager has no hopes of winning as long as Carter remains in the race.  Some say that Lager could raise 50 million and have no significant impact.

Peter Kinder
Carter’s most powerful ally is the fact that he doesn’t care if he wins.  Recently Carter conferred with his co-candidate, 90-year-old Charles Kullman, about criss-crossing the state together to conserve resources.  It appears Kullman is in a powerful position too because he cares not if he wins

Carter is an Independent-minded Republican candidate who has cast votes for Ross Perot and Ron Paul. He is a former judge, real estate attorney, Senior Lecturer for the University of Missouri, corporate counsel, and Director at the St. Louis Board of REALTORS. He supports Ron-Paul politics, non-partisan elections, advocates smaller government, abolishment of irresponsible spending, and a ban on unnecessary governmental intrusion into the private lives of citizens.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Mayoral Candidate Nick Guccione Says "Come Have Coffee" At My House During Wentzville Candidate Forum

Mayoral candidate Alderman Nick Guccione tells the crowd at candidate night that he will continue to answer phone calls, have coffee meetings at his house and walk Wentzville neighborhoods for feedback on issues important to citizens.

Wentzville Aldermanic Candidate Donna Sherwood Points Out In-Depth Civic Involvement At Wentzville Candidate Forum

Wentzville Aldermanic candidate Donna Sherwood points out to Wentzville voters that even though not a member of the board, she has attended nearly all the aldermanic meetings over the course of the past 3 years.

Wentzville Candidate Night -- Sonya Shryock Comes Prepared

Wentzville aldermanic candidate Sonya Shryock brings proof to Wentzville Candidate Night that she is not associated with the Home Builders Association and decries negative attacks on her and her family.



Wentzville Aldermanic Candidate Pritchett Touts Managerial and Customer Service Experience At Candidate Forum

Wentzville aldermanic candidate Jeremy Pritchett gives his closing argument at tonight's Wentzville candidate forum by touting his experience at Office Depot as an Assistant General Manager.

Pritchett says people are not always easy to work with and he knows what it takes to listen to peoples' issues and and hammer out solutions via good interpersonal communications.


Alderman Leon Tow Gives Closing Argument Why He Should Be Mayor During Wentzville Candidate Night

During candidate night, Wentzville Mayoral Candidate Leon Tow gives his closing statement to the 200 + crowd at Wentzville's Holt High School.

He urges Wentzville citizens to stay involved in local political issues like the candidate forum tonight and he asks that they vote for him.

Wentzville Candidate Night -- Alderman Stokes Closing Comments

Alderman Rick Stokes gives his pitch to a Wentzville candidate forum audience of about 200 or so people at Wentzville's Holt High School.

Stokes is a local REALTOR and mentioned that skill set.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Missouri St Charles County GOP Caucus has NO Chance Of Starting On Time At 10 a.m., Or, Maybe Before Noon

As of 10:13 a.m., the Missouri St Charles County GOP caucus appears very well attended with many many folks in the meeting-gym and more still in line. Local GOP Committee chairman says everyone currently in line will have to be processed before caucus will start.

Looks like 1000+ already in meeting-gym and roughly 300 more people still in line. He says punishment for coming right at ten a.m. for those still in line is that they have to wait in a "smelly wrestling room" at the school.

There would appear to be no chance that the St Charles County GOP caucus will start before noon central here at Francis Howell North on Hackman Rd near the Page Extension Muegge Rd exit.

7:35 a.m. -- 150+ People In Line For St Charles GOP Caucus, Staffers Say 99% Ron Paul People

Starting before 6:00 a.m. this morning, GOP caucus goers began trickling into the parking lot of Francis Howell North Highschool on Hackman Rd in St Charles County.

The crowd consists of young and old with a couple purveyors of political paraphernalia.

Joe Wetter and Bryce Steinhoff with the Ron Paul effort appear well-prepared and apparently represent the only campaign with any operatives on the ground for the event. One said that the Ron Paul supporters make-up 99% of the line for the caucus thus far, but will likely change as the official ten o'clock start time nears.

Attitudes seem chipper with some chatter about the new i-pad HD by Apple which came out yesterday.

Caucus Goers Line Up:


Friday, March 16, 2012

Mayor Lambi Bids Farewell, Leaves City Love Note of Sorts

Mayor Paul Lambi
NOTE FROM WENTZVILLE MAYOR LAMBI

Wentzville 2004-2012—Eight Years of Growth and Accomplishments Highlights

It has been one of the greatest honors of my life to serve as Wentzville’s Mayor for the past eight years, and a privilege to work alongside our professional City staff and Aldermen as we serve our residents. As I look back to where the City was when I was first elected in 2004 and where Wentzville is today, I can’t help but feel fortunate that I was part of the amazing progress our City has made.

When I pass the baton to the City’s next Mayor in April, I will do so with confidence, knowing that my legacy of service is a City that is stronger and more dynamic today than it was when I was sworn into office in April of 2004. Below are a few of what I consider to be the most significant accomplishments the City has made during my terms as Mayor.

The most amazing change over the past eight years has been our growth. Wentzville experienced a 322- percent population growth from 2000 to 2010. The 2000 U.S. Census listed our population at about 6,700. The 2010 Census set Wentzville’s population at a little over 29,000. This phenomenal growth has caught the attention of everyone. In 2007, the Gadberry Group, a company that provides some of the top companies in the U.S. household and population data, named Wentzville as one of seven of the most notable places in the U.S. Then in 2008, Wentzville was named Missouri’s Boomtown.

As thousands of new residents began moving to Wentzville and new homes sprang up year after year, our City’s elected officials and staff were challenged to make sure our infrastructure and services met our growing needs. But just keeping up with growth isn’t enough. To ensure the roads, water, sewer, and other amenities were in place and operational when they were needed, we had to plan on how to stay ahead of the growth curve.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

UPDATE (VIDEO) Wentzville Red-Light Cameras To Go Dark -- Vote Appears Unanimous Against RedFlex Renewal, Stokes Says "No" to "Woo"

In spite of the Wentzville Police Chief Harrion's strong recommendation to keep the cameras, the aldermen were not swayed and voted to terminate the RedFlex red-light camera contract.
At one point, City Attorney Paul Rost warned the aldermen that voting out RedFlex would result in RedFlex attempts to "woo" the aldermen to change their opinions.

The current contract doesn't appear to run out until 2013, but the aldermen decided to vote it down tonight nonetheless.

Some aldermen cited the necessity of officer discretion at traditional in-person red-light traffic stops, while Mayoral candidates Nick Guccione and Leon Tow referenced the inconclusive nature of Police Chief Harrison's red-light camera accident prevention data.  Cheryl Kross added that the city or Missouri Department of Transportation need to extend yellow-light times and seek conformity throughout the city signal systems.

Mayoral candidate Darrel Lackey was present and his physical demeanor seemed to indicate agreement with the RedFlex contract termination.

City Attorney Paul Rost Warns of Coming RedFlex "Woo"ing of Aldermen




Wentzville Mayor Lambi Fights Guilty-Until-Proven-Innocent $15000 Check Debacle -- Calls Out Patch.com's Joe Scott & Suburban Journalist Raymond Castile

Wentzville's Mayor Paul Lambi took his aldermanic Mayor's report time this evening to prevail upon journalists Joe Scott and Raymond Castile to properly report investigative information Lambi provided them during the meeting concerning a $15000 check written from the City of Wentzville to Westplex LOC -- a company the mayor helped cofound.

Aldermen Cris Gard had allegedly brought the check into question.

See YouTube video -- may need to copy and paste in your browser.



Pics below show Journalists Castile and Scott getting the report from Lambi

POSTED FROM MOBILE UPLINK

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Diminutive Ron Paul Serves Up Giant Serving of Liberty Talk

Attending the Ron Paul caucus training at Lindenwood University in St. Charles Missouri today was a sure ticket for Ron-Paulians to get premium seating in Lindenwood's Hyland Arena to see the Doctor at 3 p.m.  Many fervent Ron Paul supporters refer to him as the "Doctor" or "the Good Doctor."
Dan Stewart

Dan Stewart, a distribution specialist, was there and simply said he was "here to see Ron Paul." "It's neat to see the crowd grow and grow," he added.  Dan wasn't into chanting when the "Ron Paul, Ron Paul, Ron Paul" mantra ebbed and flowed; rather, he seemed to be curious about the event and interested in what type of people came to a Ron Paul speech. Stewart asked if this reporter had read any of Ron Paul's books and added that if I needed one or two, I could borrow his.
Diminutive Ron Paul

When Ron Paul entered "stage left," this reporter was a bit surprised. On television Congressman Paul doesn't come off as a WWE wrestler, but his diminutive 120 pound frame is more noticeable in person.  However, it is noteworthy that Paul's suit was a good fitting one as opposed to some he wears that appear a bit over sized.

Regardless of suit size, it is readily apparent that the crowd sees Paul only as a giant of their cause and thinks his message of liberty, self-direction and government constraint is "bigger than the city lights down at Times Square." said one on-looker.  Pretty sure that is a quote from a 1990's Notorious B.I.G. song. However, the gentleman did not sing it.
Fake Rand Paul Son

Paul's speech lasted about 40 minutes and he did not allow the press much time once finished.  He had to "get on a plane to Springfield in about a half hour," chimed a staffer.  One fellow that remained close to Paul throughout the event looked suspiciously like Ron Paul's son Rand; however, he was much taller than the Pauls, so it's just conjecture. Have a look to the right ------>


Cynthia Davis, Constitution Party candidate for Missouri Lieutenant Governor, was at the Lindenwood Ron Paul event.  Indeed, she was there from the very beginning, starting with caucus training at 1 p.m. Central.

Lt. Gov. Candidate Cynthia Davis
One has to wonder if Davis will attend the St.Charles County caucuses next Saturday morning the 17th to win delegates for Ron Paul.  She is the former chair of St. Charles County's Republican committee who Ron Paul's camp fears will possibly oversee Robert's Rules of Order during this year's caucuses.  Paul's supporters seemingly over-ran the St. Charles County caucuses in 2008 and had to battle the GOP establishment to ensure that Paul's delegates were properly awarded.

On the floor for Ron Paul -- He Will Be Filling the Void Shortly at Lindenwood University

Ron Paul is curiously absent from the Lindenwood gymnasium floor. The crowd is swelling. Caucus training before the main event was well organized and felt like pre-battle preparations more than informational seminar.

New Wentzvillian Headed To Ron Paul Caucus Training and Town Hall Now

The New Wentzvillian will be on site for Ron Paul's Caucus Training and the St. Charles County Town Hall at Lindenwood University from noon-ish throughout the rest of the day (roughly 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. we would guess). E-mail carter@NewWentzvillian.com if you have any questions, thoughts or otherwise.  We will be checking it regularly.  Or, you can leave a comment on this blog.

We assume that we will be close to the stage during the Town Hall as preferred seating is given to those attending the caucus meeting at 1 p.m.  The New Wentzvillian is working on press credentials for the press pool.  We are meeting event organizer Brent Stafford on site.



Thursday, March 8, 2012

Steve's Poke Is Deep -- Takes Time For Journalists, Academics, Citizens and Politicos To Weigh In

New Wentzvillian readers.  Do not despair. We are not taking lightly our story on Suburban Journalist Steve Pokin.  A fair and objective piece takes a while to tackle -- think professional vs. sandlot journalism.   Our directive is to explore the relationship between opinion columnist and objective reporter; can one person successfully and responsibly do both?

Here are some exciting tid-bits involving our coming Steve Pokin piece:

1) At least 4 prominent local politicos have done or agreed to do interviews concerning Pokin;
2) The Missouri School of Journalism is weighing in;
3) Journalists working throughout Missouri have a say;
4) Steve Pokin himself, interestingly, has declined an interview thus far, but we have information about his education, experience, past-written stories and interests -- maybe even a photo or two;
5) The Patch.com has seemingly weighed in on Pokin's community influence.
6) Several St. Charles county citizens share commentary.
7) Steve Pokin may have changed his name several years ago.



If any of our readers have questions or insights, please share them quickly as I hope to get this out Monday morning, the 12th of March, 2012.

carter@NewWentzvillian.com

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Suburban Journalist Castile Corners Tow and Guccione; Lackey Corners New Wentzvillian

The New Wentzvillian was a bit deflated in Wentzville tonight when it learned that the city's aldermen had moved the red-light (RedFlex) camera contract renewal discussion to another meeting date. However, the aldermanic meeting offered up some exciting journalistic fodder nonetheless.  Before you read on, however, we feel compelled to share with you that the New Wentzvillian will soon do some work turning the journalistic lense back on the journalists of our community.  Keep a look out for the New Wentzvillian's analysis of Suburban Journalist Steve Pokin in the coming days.  (have something to share, shoot an e-mail)

Raymond Castile
Another Suburban Journalist, Raymond Castile, attended Wentzville's aldermanic meeting tonight.  He's a slight, quiet fellow with a friendly look about him. Though, to be sure, the New Wentzvillian's take is that Castile is no journalistic slouch.  Tonight, he seized on an opportunity in a way only a true reporter does.  Mayoral candidates Nick Guccione and Leon Tow quite accidentally ended up chatting for a moment just outside the front doors of Wentzville's city hall. Both men running for mayor, it seemed odd-ish to see the rivals act somewhat comfortable within inches of one another.

Nick Guccione
Castile couldn't pass it up. No matter that the aldermen had just finished with the tedium of tonight's city business and wanted a brief reprieve in the very brisk night outside of the stale aldermanic chambers. It went something like this: "Mr. Guccione, Mr. Tow, with you here together can you answer a question or two?" Both candidates were noticeably uneasy, but they indicated that Castile could proceed.  He continued, to the best of the New Wentzvillian's recollecton, "The $15,000.00 check issue of late involving, Gard, Lambi and WestPlex LOC, can you tell me if you would vote for it now or should you have known more?"  This New Wentzvillian reporter was standing only 16 inches away from the three gentlemen.

Leon Tow
 Leon Tow, quickly began his exit.  "I don't think I am gonna have a comment about that at this time."  It was hard to tell if he was miffed, nervous, or just unexpectedly interrupted.  Guccione seemed more intrigued and sort of gaining his balance.  "How, or should, I reply to this?" He seemed to think. Quickly, Guccione shared that if the $15,000.00 had done what it was intended to do, like he was led to believe in 2007, he would have supported it. Things continued on and Castile no doubt got some inestigative tid-bits, but that really wasn't what was interesting, was it?



Darrel Lackey
 Contrast this with another mayoral candidate tracking down the journalist.  This New Wentzvillian reporter was somewhat confused when a bald, portly fellow of about 66 or so inches meandered toward and called out to me.  It was Darrell Lackey; quite disappointed that the New Wentzvillian ran a story earlier in the week which indicated Lackey couldn't be reached for comment. Naturally, it seemed appropriate to immediately give him the opportunity to fix the situation so that the New Wentzvillian's piece could be modified with a few quick keystrokes once back at the writing desk. 

"If you ever want to talk with me, I always have my cell phone on me, you left a message at my home phone," said Lackey.  "I prefer to talk in person and look someone in the eye, so if you want to set up a meeting and talk about things, you just let me know." The New Wentzvillian wanted to take care of the failed-to-contact issue immediately, but candidate Lackey wouldn't have it.  "I have to get going and I don't care to answer any questions right now."  This was odd because he had just made it clear that he very much wanted an audience with the New Wentzvillian, but, now, had no desire to take care of the issue he had just politely, but forcefully, brought up.

He added something about having a "thick skin," to which this reporter promptly replied, "I know a thing or two about a thick skin."  But it was oddly disconnected; I don't know why I even replied.

This reporting stuff is fun, can you tell?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Wentzville Blogger, Larry Marshall, Blasts Alderman Nick Guccione's Campaign Piece, Mayoral Candidates Weigh In

The New Wentzvillian was primarily established to bring objectivity to the Wentzville blogging landscape.  It would appear that Larry Marshall, of Wentzville Historical District and Wabash Railroad Caboose fame, has a sort of infatuation (or love-to-hate bent) with some of Wentzville's politicians.  The New Wentzvillian has really never seen anything like it. 

(LARRY MARSHALL)

Larry Marshall is an online blogger focusing on the Wentzville political scene.  In his writings, he is prone to statements about Wentzville officials such as:  "usual underhanded crap,"  "I was really pissed that . . .," "madder than rabid dog slobbering all over himself," "I've heard that he believes himself . . ," "like trying to shove butter in a wildcats ass with a hot poker," and, well, you get the trend.  Most of his writings seem derived from questionable unfounded animus toward those that Mr. Marshall knows about as well as most people know their kid's school teacher. 

To his credit, Marshall makes no attempt at faking his being unbiased and objective.  He very much has an agenda in everything that he writes.  Based on The New Wentzvillian's analysis of Larry Marshall's musings, it would appear that he is an operative for either Leon Tow or, maybe, Darrel Lackey (both Wentzville Mayoral Candidates).  Mr. Marshall does not hide this either; going so far as to post, apparently for free, the fundraising invitations for those candidates that he favors.

The New Wentzvillian reached mayoral candidate Tow today who said that "everyone has their opinion and a right to express it."  He went on to say that, because they're only opinions, he is pretty much neutral when it comes to Larry Marshall's on-line writings.  When pressed by the New Wentzvillian as to whether Tow might want to distance himself from Larry Marshalls negative blogging about Wentzville politicians, Tow again said those are just opinions and everyone, including Tow, can start an on-line blog at any time.

The New Wentzvillian also reached out to Darrell Lackey and Bill Schuette.  Lackey hasn't responded as of the time of this story, but Schuette said, interestingly, that he "stays off [Larry Marshall's] website because he thinks it gave [his] computer a virus during the same time that the City of Wentzville allegedly shut down access to Larry Marshall's on-line blog on all government computers" for virus reasons.   Schuette added that he thinks Larry Marshall's on-line blogging would be fine if he "told the truth" and made it more clear that Larry Marshall is the one writing the on-line blog.  He found the "Anonymous" comments on Larry Marshall's blog a bit troubling too.

Then there's mayoral candidate Nick Guccione.  There is no doubt that Guccione should be no fan of Larry Marshall's on-line blogging.  Marshall openly shows his disdain for Guccione by only writing the alderman's name in the Marshall on-line blog with a line through it -- Guccione.  This makes for difficult reading and the New Wentzvillian was unable to find, journalistically, what this type of name treatment is meant to convey.  At first the New Wentzvillian thought that it might limit Google, Bing, and Yahoo type search-driven results, but that doesn't appear to be the case.

Guccione points out that he has a thick skin, but worries somewhat, like Schuette, about the misinformation and anonymity with which Larry Marshall operates.

Marshall's latest blog attacks Guccione's recent campaign mailer and says that it is a "campaign mailer disguised as a questionnaire."  The New Wentzvillian has obtained a version of Guccione's mailer for your review below.  You be the judge (we'll add a poll at the top left of this news service), is this piece "disguised"?

This disguise is reminiscent of the kid who won't wear his costume's mask after about the first five minutes on Halloween night.


Vote On Whether This Mailer Is A "Disguised" Campaign Piece At The Top Left Of This Blog









Friday, February 24, 2012

(VIDEO) Citizen Invokes Michael Vick at Wentzville Aldermanic Pitbull Meeting

Wednesday night's Wentzville aldermanic meeting was filled with a variety of surprises.  The New Wentzvillian apologizes for not having brought this pitbull discussion to its readers' attention sooner. 

A concerned citizen spoke on behalf of pitbulls at Wednesday's meeting and mentioned she was raised in the same state as Michael Vick -- Virginia.  She is a mother who took precious time away from home with her kids to share with the board that pitbulls are not naturally bad dogs.  She was speaking on behalf of a friend/neighbor who had addressed the board earlier about his caring, calm, cuddly pitbull.

These folks were passionate.  It reminded me of a quote from Star Wars that really has no relevance, ''I've never seen such devotion in a droid before."  It is really interesting to see pitbull owners step up and go to bat for their dogs.  They are pushing for a breed-neutral dog behavior policing ordinance that places the responsibility of a dog's actions on the owners of any misbehaving dog.

Here is a link to the video of this mother's compassion for pitbulls along with a long printed partial quote. She touches on the nature of her neighbor's dog along with her previous run-ins with Jack Russel Terriers (among other things):

"This dog literally curls up in [neighbor's name] lap like a baby and, I mean,  there is nothing like this dog. I mean, I took my time tonight, from my children to be here.  I want you guys to understand that, um, we had a Jack Russel that would chew your arm off, um, because of breeding that just these dogs have been interbred . . . this really needs to be considered . . . you should go after the people that raise these dogs and fight them . . . I was actually raised in Virginia, Mike Vick, um, you know there's a little, you know, there's irony there, but, um, you know, those are the people you need to go after and it shouldn't be just a generalization on the breed . . . I just wanted to speak on behalf of Rosco (neighbor's dog's name I believe)"

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Guccione and Kross Question Whether Red-Light Cameras Prevent or Cause More Accidents; City Employee Cites Revenue

At Wentzville's aldermanic meeting tonight, the aldermen tabled the renewal of Wentzville's RedFlex red-light camera contract until the 29th of this February.  The acting city administrator indicated that this date allowed for precious little time before a RedFlex renewal deadline.  Ostensibly, some of the aldermen wanted to get more information from the new police chief about accident numbers at red-light camera intersections in town.  She seemed to be a supporter of the cameras -- loosely citing conservation of officer time/resources and a possible reduction in accidents.

However, this was a point of contention among at least three of the aldermen.  Specifically, Guccione and Kross indicated that they have seen many different studies calling into question the efficacy of red-light cameras.  Kross cited a recent visit to a Municipal League meeting where they discussed the extension of yellow-light times at intersections as more effective tools for reducing accidents.  Guccione added that he's seen where some argue accident numbers go down at red-light camera intersections, while other reports say that the amount of rear-end collisions go up dramatically.  While yet another alderman referenced that some states and municipalities nationwide are banning their use.

At one point when Alderperson Kross asked, "what impact is it to the city if we don't do this?"(regarding the extension of the RedFlex red-light camera contract), a city employee spontaneously replied "REVENUE." click here fo video  It seemed noteworthy that not one alderperson or city employee immediately offered up any mention of safety or traffic law obedience.

Because the issue was tabled, it is hard to know what the collective group is leaning toward with regard to Wentzville's RedFlex contract renewal.  But, in light of the very recent St. Louis Circuit Court ruling which essentially voided that city's red-light camera ordinance and the statements of a few aldermen, it very well could be that Wentzville's eyes in the sky may shutter for a while.

Video -- Kross talks yellow Lights
Video -- Guccione questions accident reduction levels (sorry about the audio levels)

Oh, and Alderman Stokes noted that RedFlex Traffic System is located outside of Wentzville, Missouri along with its jobs and revenues

I must add that it is also a bit disconcerting to hear how often the aldermen refer to the need for staff to get them more information.  Can the elected officials not do a little research, fact and answer finding themselves?

Mayor Lambi Goes On Open Tirade About WestPlex LOC -- Calls For Investigation of Himself and $15000 Check

During Wentzville's aldermanic meeting Wednesday night, Mayor Lambi appeared to call for an investigation of himself regarding a $15,000.00 check written from Wentzville to a group the mayor co-founded by the name of Westplex LOC.

Mayor Lambi took a large portion of his allotted "mayor's report" time to openly question a city employee and Alderman Chris Gard about their roles in the initial discovery and investigation of the $15,000.00 check.  Lambi seemed puzzled that out of the many many checks that make their way through the city's coffers, this $15,000.00 Westplex LOC check had somehow been discovered.

The apparent issue with the $15,000.00 check is that no city records, at first blush, appear to reflect what it is that the money actually paid for in the form of services or products.  However, an organizer of Westplex LOC says that he can provide the documentation of what the $15,000.00 paid for.  Lambi was not employed with Westplex LOC at the time Wentzville wrote the check.

Lambi said that he is the chief law enforcement officer of the City of Wentzville and would give the resources of the city's detectives to the city attorney if the city attorney wanted it.

When leaving the meeting before it was over, mayoral candidate Bill Schuette said, "I've never seen anything like this, that stuff goes back 20 years." Schuette was an alderman before his current run for mayor.

UPDATE 2-23-12 1:00 p.m. Alderman Guccione  The New Wentzvillian spoke with Alderman Nick Guccione who stated it is telling that "Mayor Lambi is open to an investigation . . . willing to clear his name" and, further, that Guccione believes that the press has turned nothing into something in the court of public opinion.  In short, it appears Guccione is sympathetic to Mayor Lambi's position on the $15,000.00 Westplex LOC check.  "Mayor Lambi and I have not always agreed on things, but I respect the man," Guccione said.

Video Link  -- Mayor calls for a proper motion to investigate the underpinnings of $15,000.00 check.

Video Link -- Mayor Lambi calls Alderman Chris Gard "to order" when Gard takes exception to the mayor using the aldermanic meeting to question the alderman about his role in bringing the $15,000.00 Westplex LOC check to light.

This meeting attendee, for one, has to wonder how the mayor likes being guilty until proven innocent.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

New Wentzvillian First to Break St. Louis Red-Light Camera Story With Help of WrongOnRed.com

Even KMOV Channel 4 e-mailed The New Wentzvillian seeking information today.

As promised, here is the link to view the courts final ruling:  Red-Light Camera Ruling 22nd Circuit
OR download the PDF itself here:  Red-Light Camera Ruling 22nd Circuit

Will Wentzville have traffic cameras in a year? Go to aldermanic meeting February 22, 2012, Wednesday and have a listen.

It's a bummer that the GOP Presidential debate is on at the same time.

Link to Copy of Red-Light Camera Initial May 2011 Ruling

The February 17th, 2012 ruling will be posted as soon as we have a copy.  This is a link to the judge's initial ruling in May, 2011 -- http://www.scribd.com/doc/56099986/Red-Light-Lawsuit

Today, St. Louis Public radio reports that "A judge has thrown out the city of St. Louis' ordinance that allows the use of red light cameras."

This could mean real trouble down the road for the City of Wentzville's red-light camera ticketing.  Past, Present, and Future.

Also here is the KMOV News Channel 4 Video Link -- VIDEO

Breaking News - Wentzville's Red Light Cameras In Jeopardy?

We are obtaining the actual court opinion.  However, it appears that The 22nd Circuit Court has ruled against the City of St. Louis on both Count 1 (Constitutional Due Process) and Count 7 (Red-Light Camera Ordinance Conflicts with State Statute) of the Plaintiff's petition regarding the illegal nature of St. Louis City red-light camera ordinances.

Matt Hay with WrongOnRed.com says that in the court's "May 24th preliminary [hearing], [the judge] merely said that the City did not have authority, but [the judge's] language seems to indicate that he feels [the St. Louis City Red-Light Camera Ordinance] violates state statute, which is a bit stronger." Hay says the decision will surely be appealed by the City of St. Louis.

If this decision remains the rule of law, Wentzville's red-light camera ticketing would likely come to a halt.  Additionally, there are state legislators pursuing an outright ban on camera traffic enforcement.  Senator Lembke, who serves part of St. Louis City, is a major proponent of the ban.

Some say red-light cameras are about safety while others claim the camera ticketing serves more as an indirect tax on citizens and is simply a money grab by municipalities.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Editorial: Wentzville Political Communicators vs. Non-Communicators

Having worked for the City of Wentzville has its advantages when it comes to analyzing the Wentzville political landscape.  Now that I am no longer on the proverbial Wentzville government "t**t," it's interesting to reflect on how it is that Wentzville manages its affairs via its collective representatives. 

Suffice it to say, that I truly never met an elected Wentzville official that didn't think s/he had the best interest of Wentzville at heart.  Humans just act that way.  You know how they say no criminal in jail thinks s/he's guilty; well, so it goes that most politicians pretty much convince themselves that they are doing the "RIGHT" thing.  Necessarily, I'm sure, this includes me too.

Anyway, Wentzville basically has two types of elected officials -- communicators and non-communicators.  And it's important to understand that "communication" has varying definitions.  There's the strong-silent type, the talks-to-much type, the methodical-writer type, the only-says-what-needs-to-be-said type, the 500 e-mails-a-day-type and so on. 

However, even in light of these differing communication approaches, the basic premise remains; some Wentzville officials treat their positions as a very real and important JOB that must be done while others are not fully immersed -- communicators and non-communicatorsCommunicators hold meetings with constituents when they don't really have to, return phone calls, respond to e-mails, tackle issues (even those that aren't their pets), read letters, strive to sympathize/empathize with all sides of issues, meet in person, reach out for opinions other than their own on a continuous basis and so on.  No doubt, you get the gist.

I spent a great deal of my time on the bench in Wentzville communicating with all of the players on the board of aldermen.  I e-mailed aldermen and the mayor a fair amount of times.  Heck, I attended aldermanic meetings, spoke at those meetings, sent representatives to those meetings, and met with several Wentzville officials person-to-person on different occasions. I know who did research, read letters, sought answers, returned phone calls/emails, and so on.

As a for instance, let's take one issue in specific -- whether Wentzville's city  judge should be appointed or elected.  The position is currently elected every two years and is held by Judge Martin at the moment.  I truly believe that elected judges are the way to go because, among many reasons, it's just goofy to have a judge seemingly beholden to whomever holds the mayor's office (typically the appointer) at the time.  Doesn't make for a very independent judicial branch does it?  However, there were some on the board of aldermen who decided to  push for and thought that it was a good idea to move to an appointed-judge model for Wentzville.

As you might guess, as judge, I was interested in the topic and reached out to EVERY city official.  Here's what I experienced (take it for what it's worth):

  1. Cheryl Kross:          Communicator
  2. Rick Stokes:            Communicator
  3. Nick Guccione:        Communicator
  4. Paul Lambi:              Non-Communicator
  5. Vann Sample:           Non-Communicator
  6. Leon Tow:                Non-Communicator
  7. Chris Gard:              Wasn't There (but I hear decent Communicator)
  8. Chief Noonan:          Communicator (retired)
  9. Diana Wright:           Non-Communicator (removed)
Of course, as an editorial piece, this carries some measure of opinion, but it's pretty accurate.  Ask around.  Do not judge candidates by behaviors at the cusp of election time; rather, measure his/her behavior in the middle of two and four-year terms.

Sunday, February 19, 2012