Ethics Panel Clears Board of Resident's Impropriety Charge
Jay Nies St. Charles Post, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)
The Missouri Ethics Commission has cleared Lake Saint Louis officials of impropriety in their effort to have a new YMCA built in the city, the Board of Aldermen was told Tuesday night.
City Attorney James Mello released a letter dated Aug. 19 from the commission. The commission said it had closed the investigation of a complaint made by resident Thomas L. Wahl.
Wahl objected to the board's unsuccessful campaign to have a $3 million Tri-County YMCA built in Lake Saint Louis. The board proposed contributing 2.5 acres of park land and $500,000 in city money for the project. Wahl contended that the YMCA should not have been offered public money because he said it was a religious organization. He also alleged that it discriminates against women. Both charges were disputed by Y officials.
Wahl also alleged that Alderman Darrel Hollinger and City Attorney Ronald Nelson, as members of the Tri-County YMCA Board, had acted in conflict of interest and had attended closed meetings on the matter in violation of the state's open-meetings law.
Judge Robert Yokum, the special investigator assigned to the complaint, found no evidence of impropriety, says the letter.
The proposal for the Y appears to be dead at this point. The directors of the YMCA of Greater St. Louis decided in May against financing the new Y in Lake Saint Louis. Its support would have been needed to build it.
In other business, the level of sewage contamination in Lake Saint Louise, the smaller of the two lakes in Lake Saint Louis, is rapidly increasing, says Community Association Board Member Harry Slyman. The latest fecal count in the smaller lake was 610 parts per million, Slyman says. The association tests water from both lakes every 30 days. The four most recent counts for the small lake - 80, 180, 440, 610 - indicate an escalating rate of increase.
The normal fecal count in both lakes has been between 10 and 70, Slyman says. Although the situation is not considered critical until the count reaches 1,000, the Environmental Protection Agency has advised against letting small children swim in the smaller lake if the count is above 500, he says. …