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Purzner recalled; Pagano wins St. Peters Mayorship; City parks vote passes

Mayor-elect Len Pagano is married with three children and five grandchildren.
Mayor-elect Len Pagano is married with three children and five grandchildren.


St. Louis, MO – Overland Mayor Ann Purzner was voted out of office Tuesday in a recall vote that came just a year after she won the seat by just five votes.

Purzner sparked controversy for illegally replacing the police chief and holding council meetings in rooms that were too small.

Mark Giroux, with Citizens of Overland for Good Government - the group behind the recall effort - says voter turnout was unusually high, which indicates a desire for change.

Giroux says the city council will pick an interim mayor who will serve until voters choose Purzner's replacement. After county officials certify the recall, they'll set a date for a special mayoral election.

Purzner could not be reached for comment.


Long-time St. Peters alderman Len Pagano easily outpaced five oppoents in Tuesday's special election to fill the mayor's job that was vacated when Shawn Brown resigned after pleading guilty to federal bribery charges.

With 91% of the ballots counted, Pagano had 49%, well ahead of his nearest competitor: Fellow alderman Jerry Hollingsworth, who had 29%. Pagano has represented Ward 3 in St. Peters since 1983. He will serve the rest of Brown's term.

Turnout for the vote in St. Peters was 20%.

Also in St. Charles County, Patti York, the mayor of St. Charles City, fended off a challenge f rom John Gieseke to win another term. York had 56% of the vote with all but one precinct counted.

Elsewhere, the Wentzville School District was facing a close tally but still falling short in its repeated effort to get a $25 million bond issue passed to raise cash to build new schools in the growing district. With all but one precinct counted, the issue had 55% approval, but needs 57% to pass.

In Jefferson County, voters rejected a bond issue and tax increase question in the Festus School District.


In other elections Tuesday, St. Louis City voters approved Proposition P, which establishes in the city charter a requirement that future land deals including park space be approved by a vote of the people.

With 100% of ballots counted, the question had 70% approval, though turnout in the city was among the lowest ever at 6.8%

Also in St. Louis City on Tuesday, political newcomers Katherine Wessling and David Lee Jackson, who had the endorsement of the St. Louis Teachers' Union, won two seats on the city School Board.

Their victory, though, comes as many wonder whether the election even matters, given the state's recent vote to take over the district. The two replace Bob Archibald and Ron Jackson, who didn't seek re-election. Wessling and Jackson will at least serve on the board until June 15, the date the state has set to take over.

Here's a sample of local races on the ballot Tuesday in the St. Louis area:

General Election 2007
Local Races

St. Louis City- School Board
(100% reporting)

CandidateVotes (%)
Katherine Wessling 8,561 (37%)
David Lee Jackson, Jr. 6,987 (31%)
Paul Harris 1,656 (7%)
Jason Spray 984 (4%)
Maurice St. Pierre 1,057 (5%)
Bill Monroe 1,806 (8%)
Douglass Petty 1,630 (7%)
St. Chas. County Council, District 4
(100% reporting)
Candidate Votes (%)
Paul Wynn (R) 1,325 (53%)
Terry Briggs (D) 1,179 (47%)
St. Charles City Mayor
(100% reporting)
Candidate Votes (%)
John Gieseke 5,416 (44%)
Patti York (inc.) 6,856 (56%)
St. Peters Mayor
(100% reporting)

Candidate Votes (%)
Jerry Brent Hollingsworth 2,449 (31%)
Terry Hawkins 983 (12%)
Rick Nault 138 (2%)
Len Pagano 3,745 (47%)
Allyn Hinton 204 (3%)
Barb Farr 417 (5%)
Riverview Gardents School Board
(100% reporting)

Candidate Votes (%)
Michael Person (inc.) 448 (7%)
Johnetta Thomas 626 (10%)
Arnie Dienoff 209 (3%)
Teona McGhaw-Boure 70 (1%)
Ted Brown, Jr. 124 (2%)
Sonja Branscomb 210 (3%)
Steven Hollis 1,761 (29%)
Mary Oswald (inc.) 2,014 (33%)
Bobbie Small 541 (9%)

A sample of local ballot questions on the ballot Tuesday in the St. Louis region:

General Election 2006
Ballot Questions (100% reporting)

St. Louis City
Question Yes (%) No (%)
Prop P- parks (3/5 needed) 9,308 (70%) 4,043 (30%)
St. Louis County
Question Yes (%) No (%)
Overland - recall Mayor Ann Purzner? 3,167 (73%) 1,170 (27%)
Creve Coeur - Prop. 6, eminent domain 1,985 (88%) 277 (12%)
Maplewood - increase pension fund tax? 453 (55%) 367 (45%)
Pacific - sleeping rooms, camping tax? 3 (75%) 1 (25%)
Sunset Hills - sales tax for storm water, parks? 818 (68%) 392 (32%)
Ladue Schools - $30M bonds? (4/7 needed) 3,599 (78%) 1,022 (22%)
Maplewood-RHeights Schools - $9M bonds? (4/7 needed) 777 (58%) 571 (42%)
Maplewood-RHeights Schools - tax levy? 643 (48%) 702 (52%)
Ritenour Schools - borrow $32M? (4/7 needed) 3,951 (51%) 3,804 (49%)
St. Charles County
Question Yes (%) No (%)
Wentzville Schools - $25M bonds? (4/7 vote needed) 2,515 (55%) 2,091 (45%)
Jefferson County
QuestionYes (%) No (%)
Festus Schools - $18M bonds? (100% rep.) 1,646 (47%) 1,920 (54%)
Festus Schools - increase prop. tax? (100% rep.) 1,483 (40%) 2,125 (60%)