Ellisville city council approves new Walmart; Mayor Paul plans to fight

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by Matt Sczesny / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on June 26, 2013 at 9:54 PM

Updated Thursday, Jun 27 at 6:33 AM

(KMOV) – The Ellisville City Council on Tuesday gave the final approval to the tax break  plan which would bring a new Walmart to the area although the mayor was not happy.

The mayor vowed to fight the Walmart until the doors opened after the close 4-3 vote approved the $11 million in tax breaks to build the super center.

The deciding vote came from a council woman who said the threat of lawsuits from the developer was just too much to change her vote.

“I can’t be personally sued over this because I am retired and my husband is retired; I can’t afford to do this fight,” Linda Peel said.

The attorney for Sansone Developers faced the council and laid out the consequences if they didn’t issue the tax break money for the Walmart development right across Manchester Road from City Hall.

The harsh reality of the contractual agreement reached last year with a different council didn’t sit well with Mayor Adam Paul. He had to fight in court to get his seat back after being impeached by the council this spring.

“Anytime someone is leveling substantial individual lawsuits and you’re an elected official, that doesn’t pass the smell test for me,” Paul added.

Paul contended, the council can’t be sued and claimed the developer isn’t entitled to the money because contractual obligations haven’t been met.

His frustration with the city attorney, Paul Martin, also spilled over into a failed attempt to get him to resign.

The mayor said the battled over the proposed Walmart is still far from over. 

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