Friday, April 9, 2010

An Open Letter

Dear Residents and Supporters,

I was 100% prepared to move forward and fully support Mayor Besmer. I had high hopes of working together with him and our other elected officials, the City's Employees, and willing Residents to make Woodson Terrace the best it can be, but not now. Apparently winning the election was not good enough for the mayor; he is now retaliating against people who supported my campaign efforts. Just this morning, one city employee who supported me was terminated. The reason stated: "economic reasons," but it is clear this is retaliation for this employee not supporting him.

Let's do the math... The city has the money to spend nearly $30,000 on a bust of the previous mayor. The city has the money to build a new City Hall. Our city has the money to pay Mayor Lawrence "Butch" Besmer more than double what other mayors in the area are making. So, it is clear to me that "economic reasons" is merely a cover to punish this employee, and possibly others who did not support him.

Oh, I wasn't going to blog about this, but since we're obviously dealing with a person / Administration that has no regard for doing what's should also know that Mayor Besmer will be receiving a raise this month. Yes, residents, I said a raise, as in a raise in pay for the next four years. The percentage of total dollars and timing is not clear, but I plan to ask about it at the next Board of Aldermen meeting:

April 15, 8 pm.
Woodson Terrace City Hall
9351 Guthrie
Woodson Terrace, MO 63134

During my campaign, many people across our city told me that they wanted to publicly support me but that they were afraid of retaliation by Mayor Besmer. This was told to me by City Employees and Residents alike. I found this very hard to believe, in fact I didn't believe it when I was told of their fears. But based on this morning's actions against one of my supporters, it is obviously true. I also learned during the campaign that City Employees were being told that they would be fired if he did not win. I regretfully did not believe these stories either.

Mayor Besmer, you won the election. Be a good winner and do the right thing --- reinstate the employee in question and make a promise not to retaliate against other employees or citizens. Please make a commitment today that you will do the right thing.

Unbelievable. I can't even believe that I just had to ask our newly reelected official, an employee of the citizens, to not be a bully and not take negative action against our City's Employees and our Residents??! My hands are shaking with anger right now.... is this the Wild Wild West? I mean, where does this really happen? And a bigger question in my mind.....just how long has this type of retaliation been happening? Where did Mayor Besmer learn to be so cruel to good employees and upstanding citizens?

Again I am disappointed I didn't win the election, but I was already moving on to what I can personally do over the next few years to help with progress in our city. But I assure you, I will not stand idly by and let Mayor Besmer bully our residents and public servants.

I hope to see all of you at the Board of Aldermen meeting, this month and every month.

Yours sincerely,

Kathy Wheeling

Cc: Mayor Besmer,
Woodson Terrace City Hall, c/o Marge Wilson,
Phil Sutin, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Scott Bandle, Suburban Journals
Charles Jaco, Fox 2 News
Elliot Davis, Fox 2 News
Andy Banker, Fox 2 News
KSDK News Tips
Michelle Anselmo, KPLR