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Ballwin Aldermen Take Up Trash Deal, World Series Tickets Debate

Michael Calhoun (@michaelcalhoun, mrcalhoun@cbs.com)
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BALLWIN (KMOX) – Aldermen asked the City Attorney on Monday night to make sure state laws weren’t violated by the City Administrator taking World Series tickets from a company that later got a no-bid contract.

Even those leveling the accusations, though, didn’t necessarily believe it was an explicitly illegal act even if it leaves a bad taste in their mouth.

“There’s a question about whether he violated the spirit of the law by accepting those tickets, and then furthermore by not disclosing it,” said Ballwin alderman Shamed Dogan. “I think that’s the issue here: the lack of disclosure.”

In response to the revelation, Dogan proposed lowering the city’s allowance for gifts, but he was out-voted. He also attempted to get his colleagues to agree to reporting of all gifts, regardless of size or value, but was rejected on that too.

Administrator Robert Kuntz said the tickets he accepted from Allied Waste were worth $250. Many aldermen said they didn’t know of the gift until Kuntz admitted it in an email last week, but they weren’t disturbed by it.

“I didn’t even know that his attendance to the World Series was a gift from Allied until it was disclosed,” Mayor Tim Pogue said.

But he was quick to add that he didn’t see it as a conflict-of-interest.

Kuntz put his head down and walked through a side door when a KMOX reporter approached to ask for his side of the story after Monday’s board meeting.

With three years remaining on its contract, Ballwin decided in June to scrap it and sign a new, decade-long deal with Allied. The new tie-up keeps residents’ rates lower over the ten years than they would’ve been over the next three.

Allied and its predecessors have collected trash in Ballwin since 1981 and have not had to face a competitive bid since 1990.

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