Phone: (314) 843-0102
Fax: (314) 843-0508
flag image

Crestwood board amends code to eliminate animal-control post

Board votes 7-1 to adopt ordinance; Tennessen opposed

Kari Williams
Staff Reporter
December 11, 2013 - Crestwood's municipal code now aligns with City Administrator Mark Sime's decision to eliminate the city's animal-control position.

The Board of Aldermen voted 7-1 Nov. 26 to approve the second reading of an ordinance repealing Chapter 6 of the city's municipal code, which required the animal-control position, and replacing it with new language that aligns to St. Louis County's criteria for animal control.

Ward 4 Alderman Dan Tennessen was opposed, though he said he respected Sime's "efforts for efficiency and savings."

"I voted 'no' the first round, and I still don't see when I look through the text (of the amendment) what I'd call a clear inclusion of our volunteer base and the foundation has been operating quite a while," Tennessen said. "I feel like this change, which really is a $30,000 savings ultimately is not a duplication of the county and it's damaging the good will of many of our residents."

When the board conducted its first reading of the ordinance, Sime said the update makes it easier for animal-rescue organizations to exist within the city because it allows for more than four animals. The current code only allowed four animals per household.

Resident Madonna Laws-Lowell told the board not just animal control but every department within the city is "redundant with St. Louis County."

"I contend that the argument to get rid of animal control is invalid because that argument can be made with every single department in the entire city," she said.

The city, according to Laws-Lowell, is "giving up an entire personalized service for what amounts to a tiny, insignificant increase that barely moves the needle."

Ward 1 Alderman Richard Breeding said he had not received any emails or phone calls regarding the issue.

"If it was that tragic I think I would get more phone calls and more emails about what we're doing here," he said.

Mayor Jeff Schlink said he received two negative comments regarding eliminating the animal control position, while Ward 1 Alderman Darryl Wallach said he received one negative email.

Schlink said he met with the animal rescue group Friends of Animal Control Nov. 19 in what was an "extremely positive" meeting.

"There was no discussion on the removal of the animal control officer. The entire discussion focused solely on them running, or having the ability to continuing to run, the organization out of that facility," Schlink said.

Laws-Lowell also told the board that unelected staff members should not determine the services residents receive.

"My suggestion is that you abandon the current amendment as proposed and instead modify the Charter to give yourselves back the authority to make these types of decisions," she said.

Ward 2 Alderman Mary Stadter made a motion to amend the City Charter, proposing to give the board authority to vote "any time a service provided by the city is being eliminated." Tennessen seconded Stadter's motion.

However, City Attorney Lisa Stump suggested the city not recognize Stadter's motion and instead put the item on the board's next agenda.

Stadter said the intent is for the board to have discussion and the ability to vote "anytime an entire service that we are currently offering our citizens is eliminated."

"When I'm making this motion, it's not necessarily about animal control. We may decide as a group that we're not getting a huge public outcry; It's maybe not that big of a deal," she said. "My concern is if we have a problem in public works and Mr. Sime needs to remove an employee, the department or the service doesn't go away. My concern is any time an entire service is lost from the city, I think as a board it's our responsibility to at least way in on that and not put it all on his shoulders to make that decision."

Tags: Crestwood News, Web Exclusive

  • Related Editorial
    Our Town
    Crestwood bank robbed Wednesday morning
    Police seek information on suspect in robbery of PNC Bank
    Jul 19 2017
    Law enforcement officials are investigating a robbery that occurred this morning — Wednesday, July 19 — at PNC Bank, 9792 Watson Road, Crestwood....
    Impact News
    AFPD, state officials seek dismissal of Crestwood lawsuit
    City officials helped change laws Crestwood challenging
    Jul 19 2017
    The Affton Fire Protection District is asking that a lawsuit filed against it by the city of Crestwood be dismissed because, among other claims, fire district attorneys say city officials waited too long ...
    School News
    Lindbergh Teacher of the Year earns regional honor
    Lindbergh educator eligible for state teacher recognition
    Jul 19 2017
    Truman Middle School librarian and Lindbergh Schools 2017 Teacher of the Year Megan Vallis has been named one of 10 Missouri Regional Teachers of the Year for the St. Louis area....
    Impact News
    Local meeting guide 2017
    Jan 08 2014
    All meeting times, dates and locations are subject to change for 2017. ...
    City’s residents have right to know who initiated suit
    'Call the Tune' by Mike Anthony
    Jul 05 2017
    The Sunset Hills Board of Aldermen recently voted in closed session to authorize City Attorney Robert E. Jones to file a lawsuit against the owners of a property on Rayburn Avenue “to obtain judgment ...
  • Pitch It & Forget It
Site Search

Type in your zip code and click "Go" to get your 7-day forecast.