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Golfers Still Teed Off About Loss of Range Lights

Several U City residents complained to the City Council at Monday's meeting about the City Manager's decision to shut down the lights.

Nearly 200 people have signed a petition asking that the lights at the and kept on until at least 9:00pm.

A University City resident submitted the 196 signatures to councilmembers at Monday's meeting. He said keeping the driving range lights off is an embarrassment to the whole community.

The lights were reportedly disabled in January after some residents near the range complained they were too bright. In May, City Manager Lehman Walker made the decision to permanently shut off the lights. The action riled some residents, who were unhappy that Walker made the decision with little community input. Even a committee of driving range neighbors and golf enthusiast formed at Walker's behest to look at the lighting complaints did not recommend eliminating the lights altogether.

Meanwhile, William Field, a vocal critic of the driving range praised the city manager's decision to turn off the lights. "It's inconceivable to think that anyone could believe that stadium lighting located adjacent to a residential neighborhood is appropriate."

Following Monday's council meeting, Walker told U City Patch that the fate of the driving range lights is under review. He said the City has hired a landscape architect that is looking into the lighting issue.

"He will be providing us (University City) with some recommendations dealing with the driving range, which will include screening and how we should address the whole issue of lights." Walker said he anticipates getting the recommendations in the next month or two.

"And then I'll make a decision with respect to the lights," said Walker. "Any decision at this time would be premature," he said.

Gregory Pace September 29, 2011 at 09:00 PM
Julie Feier did not resign, she was terminated via resolution 2010-5: http://apps.ucitymo.org/WebLink8/DocView.aspx?id=32706&dbid=0 which was signed on April 13th by Joseph Adams. A unanimous vote to accept the resolution was made in Executive Session the previous evening. If Ms. Feier had resigned she would not have received a severance per her contract (which she did receive). Note that this action was taken before the new council was sworn in. It should also be noted that a vote to terminate by Ricci/Wagner/Glickert was consistent with their previous vote of no confidence in the City Manager. The other council members voted to terminate a City Manager that they publicly supported. A cynic might conclude that their votes were to insure that Ms. Feier got a severance package to which she would not otherwise be entitled. And a final note, Ms. Feier was at her desk at her new job at Western State College of Colorado shortly after the resolution was signed. Again, a cynic might conclude that (in a very tough job environment) Ms. Feier had the Colorado job lined up before the resolution was struck and that she was leaving whether terminated or not.
Cindy September 29, 2011 at 09:06 PM
Agreed. And a cynic might also conclude that based on the "Emails from Evanston," Walker, Pumm, Welsch, Ricci, Glickert, and Kraft were on a mission to fire Ms. Feirer and replace her with Mr. Walker himself.
George Lenard September 29, 2011 at 09:16 PM
Interesting. Publicly stating that a public figure lied would be actionable defamation, if false and either known by the speaker to be false or stated with reckless disregard to whether it was true or false (New York Times v. Sullivan). So potential defamation is "in the picture." I doubt either Lisa or Nancy spoke with this state of mind, and it is certainly possible in any event that the statements are true -- that he in fact lied (I'm not accusing personally, just stating it is hypothetically possible). That would mean no defamation. But what about Patch republishing those allegations of Mr. Walker lying as triple hearsay via John's comment (The Patch says that John Clark says that Lisa and Nancy said that Mr. Walker lied)?
George Lenard September 29, 2011 at 09:20 PM
[continued] Is the Patch covered (not liable) because it is absolutely positively true that the statements were made by John, Cindy, and Nancy -- even if the statements may have been false? Or is the Patch protected from liability even if it just knows it is true that John repeated the statements? May it be found in reckless disregard of truth or falsity if it fails to investigate the actual facts regarding Mr. Walker's alleged lies before republishing? I don't claim to know the answers, but it's easy to say that in the interest of public discourse and free speech the Patch should err on the side of publication. Easy to say unless you happen to be advising them legally, in which case you would give conservative advice and steer clear of republishing allegations that could be considered defamatory (in the classic sense of statements of fact, not opinion, that are damaging to community reputation). I think it is always wiser to avoid saying someone lied or was dishonest or fraudulent, and instead to simply point out inconsistencies that support this conclusion (but might also support the conclusion they changed their mind, misspoke, were quoted out of context, etc.), leaving the reader free to conclude they lied.
George Lenard September 29, 2011 at 09:28 PM
I was responding to John, not Gregory or Cindy, who jumped in while I was writing. Consistent with my comments, I like Gregory's "A cynic might conclude," following a statement of demonstrable facts. Based on my observation of many employment terminations and resignations from the safe distance of employment counsel, the cynics view is plausible, but not terribly disturbing to me either. More typically, terminations are reframed as resignations, but the opposite can certainly happen as suggested. The termination/resignation, and the hiring of Mr. Walker, seem part and parcel of the transition to a new administration that should be old news -- water over the dam, but for some reason seems to continue to aggravate what appears to be a small but vocal minority. Ultimately the test will be performance and the judge will be the voters.

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