Chesterfield's city council
Was I surprised to see that incumbents Barry Flachsbart and Elliott Grissom won handily in Tuesday’s city council elections, in Chesterfield?
NO. The problem for challengers David Arbogast and Tania Pappas was that they didn’t have an issue to campaign on.
Frankly, hot button issues seem hard to come by currently in Chesterfield. Nobody’s hand has been caught in the cookie jar, plus city staff seems to be efficient.
Flachsbart almost gave Arbogast an issue when he voted with shoot-the-squirrels people in Ward 1. Are we to believe the framers of the Missouri Constitution thought citizens would be blasting away at bushy-tailed rodents in crowded subdivisions when they wrote citizens had the right to bear arms to protect their homes?
The best Arbogast could come up with was that he lived and worked in town, while Flachsbart was out of town three days a week as a college professor.
Pappas’s issue seemed to be the council needs more women represented. It probably does. Seven-to-one men on the Council seems a bit lopsided, but that alone as an issue isn’t good enough.
Also, I don't think either challenger tried to get what I call the "Buick Vote." Those are older residents who are more likely to drive Buicks, and are also more likely to vote. Both Flachsbart and Grissom got that vote, even though they each own a Mercedes Benz.
For example, one issue that might have legs was that in March, Chesterfield City Council voted to take the highest bid and ignore the two lower bids. . .now that's an issue. But neither challenger latched on to it.
Last week, I had to wonder if the announcement of the two resignations of top Rockwood district administrators, who were hired at the start of the school year, had anything to do with the hope of passing the $43.2 million bond issue that failed on Tuesday.
Nancy Dubois and Randy Smasal came to Rockwood after working with new superintendent Bruce Borchers in Minnesota. They first did some high priced consulting work where they were being paid $1,800 a day. They were then both hired fulltime at salaries in excess of $100,000. Once made public, this did not seem to go over well with voters.
Suzanne Johnson was also hired at the same time as the director of continuous improvement. She didn’t have to move. She came from the Ferguson-Florissant School District.
Dubois and Johnson resigned a week before the vote on the bond issue. The issue needed 57.15 percent to pass. It got 53.95 percent. Maybe if Smasal had resigned with them, the bond issue would have passed.