Brentwood committee investigates any connection between city and mayor’s company

Brentwood resident John Nurenberger reported in a comment here that a report of the Brentwood Ways and Means Committee was posted online about an inquiry into the city’s relationship with a company owned by Brentwood Mayor Chris Thornton. The city was awarded for innovation, in a partnership with Geocompile, LLC, the Missouri Municipal League reported. See also: Brentwood wins statewide award; city partnered with company apparently owned by mayor, Brentwood has ‘no relationship’ with company state group says it partnered with, city says

He also said an agenda item has been added to the May 7 board of aldermen meeting to take up the issue of whether the city retains an interest in the methodology developed working with Geocompile. From the ways and means meeting:
Recently, the Missouri Municipal League (MML) awarded its 2018 “Innovation Award” to the City of Brentwood for its “Technology to Improve Public Safety”. Essentially, it’s a “data collection and analysis system to analyze the data from the GPS units.” (See Brentwood’s Application, “Project Summary”).

Brentwood award application shows partnership with company owned by mayor

Though the city of Brentwood has said that it has no relationship with the company, Geocompile, LLC, the city began partnering with the company in June 2016 to implement a GPS tracking system for all city vehicles, according to the city’s application for an innovation award with the Missouri Municipal League, which the city won this year. Geocompile, LLC, is owned by Brentwood Mayor Christopher A. Thornton, at 2533 S. Brentwood Boulevard, according to the Missouri Secretary of State. Thornton and the city has not responded immediately to a request for a comment. See a PDF of the city’s application for the award, obtained from the Missouri Municipal League. 

Below is a screen shot from the application:

Brentwood has ‘no relationship’ with company state group says it partnered with, city says

The city of Brentwood received the services of a Brentwood firm at no cost in implementing GPS tracking devices in all of its public vehicles, according to the city. According to the city deputy clerk the city has “no contract” with as well as “no relationship” with Geocompile, LLC, which the city partnered with in implementing GPS tracking devices in all of its public vehicles, according to the Missouri Municipal League, which awarded the city for the project. See also: Brentwood wins statewide award; city partnered with company apparently owned by mayor

The company is owned by Brentwood Mayor Christopher Thornton, according to State records. Brentwood’s deputy city clerk responded to a Sunshine request for public information from the city about any contract the city might have with Geocompile. The exchange below occurred on Thursday by email:
deputy city clerk: Thank you for your Request for Public Records.

Brentwood plan and zoning to confirm stand on short term rentals

The city of Brentwood may soon make clear its stand on short term rentals — they’re not allowed. The plan and zoning commission at its meeting on Jan. 10 is set to put into writing what City Administrator Bola Akande wrote in a memo in November 2017, that the city wants to make clear that short term rentals, such as Airbnb, are prohibited in the city. See the meeting agenda. The city of Richmond Heights is considering allowing short term rentals: Richmond Heights council discusses short term rentals (Airbnb), Richmond Heights officials proceed toward Airbnb decision

Brentwood officials OK purchase on Manchester to ‘enhance flood protection’

At Monday night’s Brentwood Board of Aldermen meeting, officials voted to allow the city to buy 8606 Manchester Road, “for the purpose of enhancing protection against flooding, revitalizing the critical commercial corridor of the city and in order to protect the health, safety and welfare of the people of the city of Brentwood,” according to the ordinance. Mayor Chris Thornton has proposed that the city consider a plan to mitigate flooding on Manchester Road from Deer Creek. See the most recent study about the problem here. The officials also approved a temporary parking lot at 8212 Manchester Road. Brentchester LLC bought the lot in 2014 from Joe & Joes Enterprises LLC for $80,000 according to St.

Brentwood to use Prop P for street lights, protective equipment, furniture

Brentwood plans to use its Prop P funds (earmarked for public safety) for street lights in all four wards, protective equipment for police and firefighters, furniture for the firehouse and more, according to a source that pointed out that the new street light locations were listed in the Oct. 19 public safety committee agenda.The proposed street light locations listed on the agenda are here: 2017.09.18_Proposed Light Updated Costs. Total new street lights per ward:

Ward 1 — 11 lights
Ward 2 — 4 lights
Ward 3 — 3 lights
Ward 4 — 8 lights

Details for where the funds are to be used are in the Dec. 4 meeting minutes:

“Furthermore, the recent approval of the County-wide Proposition P provides a partial-year boost to the General Fund, and this is quite positive. Proposition P funds allow us to pay for: 35 new streetlights in Wards 1, 2, 3 and 4; personal protective equipment that includes shin forearm protection and ballistic helmets for police officers; ballistic helmets for firefighters; training and ammunition for the police department; the CALEA Accreditation Manager; furniture for the fire house multi-purpose room; fire station alerting system; citywide emergency preparedness training; firearms training; ballistic vests, uniforms and equipment for new police officers; health and wellness equipment for the fire department; and the opportunity to secure a permanent location for firearms training firing range.”

Brentwood considered 6 others to be laid off in November

Before laying off four administrative staff members in a reorganization on Nov. 9, the city of Brentwood considered laying off six others as well. A chart made by the city on Nov. 8 included 10 city employees whose positions were examined and were considered for release. The four on the left side of the chart were released.

4 Brentwood city employees fired in one day, sources say

According to three different sources, four Brentwood city employees were fired on November 9. All sources said that Brentwood Mayor Chris Thornton and City Administrator Bola Akande told those fired that their services were no longer needed, and their positions were being eliminated. All were long-time employees. He said they were fired “without any prior notice and seemingly without cause.” One said that the Human Resources manager did not know this would occur until it actually happened.

Brentwood dog park to open

A dog park in Brentwood is set to open at 610 Hanley Industrial Court, as part of the existing Hanley Park. Construction is set to begin the first week of November, and weather permitting, the park will be open in late November, according to the city. It’s to be divided into large and small dog areas. The cost is $25 for Brentwood residents and $50 for non-residents. To register, take the following to the Brentwood Community Center:

Payment (cash, check, MasterCard, Discover or Visa)
Brentwood residents must provide proof of residency (such as a current utility bill)
Rabies vaccination documentation for all dogs to be registered (must be current)
Bordatella vaccination documentation for all dogs to be registered (must be current)
Spayed/neutered documentation for all dogs to be registered

New Brentwood tax fails in low-turnout election

Turnout and unofficial results for the November 7, 2017 Special Election have been posted on the St. Louis County website; a local use tax on the ballot in Brentwood was defeated by 17 points. The ‘no’ votes beat the ‘yes’ for Proposition 1 by 312 to 218. The issue would have authorized Brentwood to levy a 1.5 percent use tax on purchases from out-of-state vendors who are exempt from local sales tax. It would also have applied to internet purchases over $2,000 per year by individuals when self-reported on their state income tax returns.

Brentwood voters to decide tax in November

The City of Brentwood has placed Proposition 1/Use Tax on the Nov. 7 ballot for residents to decide, according to the city. A use tax is levied in many cities and by the state of Missouri on out-of-state business-to-business and internet sales. The ballot issue would authorize Brentwood to levy a 1.5 percent use tax on purchases from out-of-state vendors who are exempt from local sales tax. The tax would also apply to internet purchases over $2,000 per year by individuals when self-reported on their state income tax returns.

Brentwood seeking chief of police

The city of Brentwood is seeking a new chief of police, according to a Sept. 22 posting on the city website. Police Major James McIntyre was named interim chief of police when then chief Dan Fitzgerald retired in April 2017 to accept a position as associate director of CYC sports with the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Former Brentwood mayor, Pat Kelly, appointed Fitzgerald in April 2014, replacing Steve Disbennett, who had retired in February that year.

‘Monkey Business’ custard shop planned in Brentwood: mayor is the owner

Brentwood Planning and Zoning last week considered a request for a custard shop at 2301 S. Brentwood Boulevard, at the corner at Brentwood Boulevard and White Avenue, according to the meeting agenda. Brentwood Mayor Chris Thornton owns the property, doing business as Three Monkeys LLC according to state records. Thornton had previously planned to build a new office for his wife, Pam’s, insurance business. Plan and zoning considered a 909 square-foot drive-thru custard shop with parking. The new shop will be called Monkey Business Frozen Treats, according to the site plan.

Brentwood recognized for sidewalk repair innovation

The Missouri Municipal League has recognized the city of Brentwood for “Alternative Sidewalk Slab Repairs.” According to the Missouri Municipal League (below), in the past, sidewalk slabs lifted but not cracked by tree roots were removed and new ones were poured. This year Brentwood Public Works used a process to lift and level the existing slabs instead of replacing them, saving time and money.

Brentwood set to demolish city-owned houses

The city of Brentwood plans to clear three houses that border City Hall so it’s not “landlocked,” according to Brentwood Assistant City Administrator Lisa Koerkenmeier. The public works committee will consider five bids, from $27,648 to $104,487, to  remove 8758 and 8754 Rosalie and 8751 Eulalie avenues at its Sept. 13 meeting. The bids will be will be presented to the board of aldermen on September 18. Koerkenmeier said there are no immediate plans for the properties.

West Community CU to expand; nearby properties rezoned, to be razed

Brentwood aldermen on September 5 approved a request by West Community Credit Union (2345 S. Brentwood Boulevard) to rezone the two properties to the west from single family residential to planned development, to make room for a new credit union building, plus tenants. The houses rezoned are 8815 Litzsinger Road and 8816 Harrison Avenue, and are set to be demolished. The parcels combined are a total of about seven tenths of an acre. The new building will consist of 9,965 square feet of office space. The credit union square footage is 4,990 square feet, and up to three tenant bays occupying the remaining 4,975 square feet of space are planned.

Brentwood Chief of Police Fitzgerald to retire

According to the city of Brentwood, Chief of Police Dan Fitzgerald has decided to retire from the city. He has accepted a position as associate director of CYC sports with the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Fitzgerald is been a life-long Brentwood resident. Mayor Chris Thornton and the board of aldermen thank Fitzgerald for his dedicated service to the city and his leadership of the Brentwood Police Department, according to the release.

Brentwood 4th-graders learn about city government from the mayor

McGrath Elementary and Mark Twain four-graders recently took part in a mock city council meetings at Brentwood City Hall, conducted by Mayor Chris Thornton. In the meetings, Thornton, Director of Planning and Development Lisa Koerkenmeier, City Administrator Bola Akande, Fire Captain David Niemeyer and Assistant Chief Ron Cottrell explained some workings of the city and answered their questions. See videos of the meetings on the Brentwood city website.

Brentwood officials take oath

Following the election this month, Brentwood’s officials elected for new terms took the oath of office Monday evening at City Hall, swearing to “support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution and the Laws of the State of Missouri, and the Ordinances of the City of Brentwood…” All were incumbents. Incumbent Brentwood mayor Thornton wins another term

Brentwood resident working to restore paths from former elementary school

Barry Williams went to Frazier Elementary in Brentwood. The school is no longer there, but some footpaths that students used to walk to the school remain. Williams still lives in Brentwood not far from where the school stood, and he’s on a mission to restore two of those paths for the walkers and runners of today. The school has been replaced by houses in Brentwood’s Ward 1. As a result, two out of four original paths remain (one of those  is in good condition and one needs maintenance), one was lost with no hope of being restored (between Parkridge Avenue and St.