Mayor Explains Fire Fighters Endorsement

The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Union, Local 2665 has endorsed my mayoral opponent, Nikylan Knapper. IAFF has also published a document stating that it has a mission to create a Central Metro Fire and Rescue Fire Protection District (FPD). The geographic boundaries encompass 20 municipalities and 15 municipal fire departments, covering 188,010 residents and 57.54 square miles.

Item number 5 on their action plan is to obtain buy-in from Shop Stewards and Fire Chiefs. This task is listed as DONE. This would explain why the Maplewood Professional Firefighters Association has joined in the IAFF endorsement. AN ENDORSEMENT WORKS BOTH WAYS, if someone accepts the endorsement of an outside organization, they are in return endorsing the mission or agenda of that organization.

The agenda, as published by the Municipal Fire Department Consolidation Work Group, is to establish a Fire Protection District, of which Maplewood would be 4% population-wise and less than 3% geographically, that would be governed by a total of 3 or 5 individuals elected to 6-year terms. THE CITY OF MAPLEWOOD WOULD LOSE ALL CONTROL OVER FIRE AND EMS SERVICES IN OUR CITY.

In my bi-weekly Mayor’s Zoom call with mayors of the affected communities, NOT A SINGLE MAYOR has voiced support for the establishment of a fire protection district, and I agree with them. This is another “Better Together” scenario where the details have not been worked out, but we are told being told that everything will work out for the best if we trust that it will.

The FPD is financed by INCREASED REAL ESTATE AND PERSONAL PROPERTY TAXES. In talking with residents and business owners, the number one concern that I hear is how high our taxes are. Any additional tax hurts our ability to maintain affordable housing and small businesses and makes it difficult for seniors on a fixed income to remain in their homes.

Major issues are unanswered such as what happens to our new 7-million-dollar taxpayer-financed fire house? Our brand new $740,000 fire truck? Our upgraded Rescue Truck debt? The ½ cent Fire Sales Tax? The debt on the firehouse bond issue? The firefighters pension fund? I would never support an initiative like this without knowing the ramifications of its implementation, because that is the responsibility of a RESPONSIBLE AND EXPERIENCED MAYOR.

[editor: requested documents are below]

PDF: IAFF Central Metro Fire and Rescue Geographic Information System Emergency Services Response Capabilities

59 thoughts on “Mayor Explains Fire Fighters Endorsement

  1. Mayor Greenberg, since firefighters, public money, local control and transparency are the topic of your post, I’m genuinely interested in your view on the giant memorial installed on the former Junior High Park between Zephyr and Lyndover (since renamed Ryan Hummert Memorial Park, in honor of the firefighter killed a block away). My apologies if you’ve ever spoken about it…I’ve never found any good record of a city official speaking about how and why this (i.e. size, location, design) was done.

    I fully understand the concept of honoring the dead, etc. I’m more curious about the decision to install such an outsized (not to mention expensive, and incredibly poorly written/proofed) piece in the middle of one of our city’s best greenspace and vistas, and — one of the many kickers — install signs in the middle of a children’s play space discouraging play. As a wise woman said at the time, “It’s good to honor the dead. I think the sensitivities of the living should also have been considered.”

    I’m curious…was this a city manager decision? Someone else’s pet project? Did the city council (of which you were a member, and which voted unanimously to approve the contractor and budget) know fully what was going on? Was design and size debated? (A fair question…it’s not a plaque or statue, but a giant installation in the middle of the greenspace).

    I realize this is a hornet’s nest for some because of the sensitivity of the cause (Mr. Hummert’s death and everything that happened that day was a tragedy), but I sincerely hope you can address this: I am genuinely curious with your history as mayor and as a council member and your knowledge of city government, if you could shed any insight on how this came about, what it says about the workings of the city, and if you think, whether at the time or in hindsight, any of it could have been handled differently or more transparently, particularly involving the people who lived through that day and now see the giant wall each day.


  2. The Fire Department is not the issue here – it is an excuse. Some residents do not want to be viewed as racist or sexist so they just grab onto any issue to justify why they will not even entertain the idea of woman, let alone a Black woman to be in City Hall. Those same people who made extremely disparaging comments about current elected officials just months ago are now singing a different tune – not because experience matters or that there has been some great revelation, except that a Black Woman has a very good chance at becoming Mayor.

    • That logic cuts both ways my friend. For example, would it be okay to ask if there are individuals here who don’t see see our current mayor as “having the right kind of diversity” and therefore needs to be replaced with the “right kind”? These sorts of red herrings are unhelpful to the discussion.

  3. Here’s a short primer on how Fire Protection Districts (FPD) serve their employees at the expense of the taxpayers:

    (1) form a FPD
    (2) under Missouri law FPDs are governed by a board of directors consisting of 3 or 5 directors
    (3) under Missouri law directors are elected from residents of the FPD
    (4) the Fire Fighters union (in this case the IAFF) provides support to candidates running for election to the board of directors
    (5) candidates supported by the IAFF are elected almost exclusively because the support (money) from the union ensures huge advantages over private citizens who might want to do the job, and let’s face it, most people don’t understand or give a *hit.
    (6) the small, insular, board of directors, in practice accountable to no one, provide salaries, benefits, perks, lavish retirement benefits, bonuses, company cars, and all sorts of other goodies to the employees the employees of the FPD without regard to market conditions or the cost to taxpayers
    (7) if they need additional taxes, they roll out the fire trucks and the never ending need for better life saving skills and equipment. the taxpayers dutifully vote the increases. spread over a large population, the requested increases are usually only fractions of a percent and nearly always pass.
    (8) better paid fire fighters provide more dues to the unions for “public interest” projects, such as studies to recommend the creation of new FPDs
    (9) go to step one and repeat

  4. We just experienced an election where unsubstantiated claims and falsehoods attempted to sway reality. This thread has a similar feeling where misleading and incomplete information was shared. Then our current mayor and some of his supporters tried to use fear mongering to scare voters by introducing hypothetical situations that at best are in a study/analysis phase and would still require a vote no matter who is mayor. The Trump playbook has been used and we know the results and while I wouldn’t cast all supporters into one mindset I do draw concern when similar tactics are used by his supporters. The hypocrisy is rampant amongst his defenses and the justifications that some of his supporters are using. We have a responsibility as leaders, online platforms and community members to not allow “fake-news”. This comment section can be a covid-safe place for dialogue amongst constituents but it’s insulting when the current mayor assumes constituents can’t read and draw reasonable inferences from facts. The more he talks the bigger the hole he digs in my opinion.
    If you have not read the rebuttal from the union please go to that article and inform yourself.

    • Comparing this dialogue to what Tuenp did is far-fetched. However, when you have people posing as the mother of a deceased firefighter, I guess you are on to something.
      It goes both ways.

  5. Nicely played Steve, enjoyed the Mary Shelley reference .

    The attacks started way before the firefighters Liza, as it continued from team knapper it’s what brought me into the conversation, I didn’t jump the fence on some comments, I engaged in finding out more information and what people were saying.

    Let’s address this statement, Your comments seem to be intensifying so maybe a little time offline might help?
    Does this statement also apply to team knapper that’s been slinging mud since day 1?

    How the comment section is used over the next couple of weeks is in team knapper’s court. We can all act civil, ask questions, seek answers OR engage in attacks.

  6. What kind of man spends last week on this website publicly disparaging the people he works with on city council and then this week decides to “explain” a firefighter endorsement by attacking them! Honey, you’re supposed to be putting your best face on, look good, get those votes. You can say whatever you want here, nobody is stopping you. And these are your choices.
    Okay then. When someone shows me who they are, I believe them the first time. I think our firefighters and council people might have even better insight than us into what’s going on at city hall these days. Our only window into this world has been watching a shameful slow motion trainwreck in these comments, and they say plenty enough.

    • In a round about way….I would say Yes.

      AN ENDORSEMENT WORKS BOTH WAYS, if someone accepts the endorsement of an outside organization, they are in return endorsing the mission or agenda of that organization.

      Team Knapper should take this opportunity to comment where her support is on the fire protection district.

      • The mayor hasn’t even cited this plan that he’s talking about. Where is it? He’s just attacking the fire department because their union endorsed Nikylan. He wouldn’t be saying all this if they endorsed him.
        A week ago the mayor was going after the rest of the city council, now he’s going after the fire department, so I guess next week he’s going to start criticizing our schools. Our maybe the swimming pool, so knows?

        • I would not accept an endorsement from the firefighters or their union based on what I know about their motives. I’ve never had so many people tell me what I would do in certain situations. That’s pure conjecture and has no place in a political campaign except for taking the place of substance and facts.

          • You’re running your whole campaign by putting words in people’s mouths Barry. Where is this plan? Where is it? If firefighters do want to make a proposal to consolidate across municipal boundaries, which is something totally outside the purview of the mayor’s office, they’ll still have to get people to vote on it. I would at least want to hear what they have to say about the What and Why before you get on this website and assail their “motives” and claim that first responders are all about “money and power.”

      • I would suggest you reach out to Nikylan’s team directly if you’re interested in learning more information about the endorsements she has received. I would never want or expect Ms. Knapper to engage in the comments section of the incumbents disparaging opinion piece. In fact, quite the opposite. I am relieved to see that Ms. Knapper has remained composed throughout her campaign and has risen above any negative social media tactics against her opponent. Nikylan Knapper has my vote on April 6th.

        • Mike H

          I am reaching out directly to team Knapper via 40southnews. Her team is well aware of the impact commenting on 40southnews has on a political campaign. I would say Doug has done a tremendous job making 40southnews the source of voter information and discussion in Maplewood.

          I find this statement of yours interesting.

          ‘has risen above any negative social media tactics against her opponent.’ you really believe this? I don’t think it’s a big secret that team Knapper is very active on the comment boards here on 40southnews. Smh.

          Are you interested in the FPD topic here. Where does team Knapper stand on this issue? This could be a big deal, and she should use the power 40southnews to reach most citizens in Maplewood with a response.

          • You are reaching out directly to Ms. Knapper through comments on Barry’s post? That doesn’t make sense at all. If you have questions , be an adult and reach out to her. So odd.
            I don’t know why you mention Doug. Nobody has said anything about Doug or his work with 40 South here. I appreciate this local news source, but the focus of this entire discussion has been about Barry’s baseless article and his disparaging comments. To answer your question, Yes. I am interested in the FSD. I was VERY interested to read the response from Kurt Becker, 4th District Vice President, IAFF. He seems to actually know what he is talking about. In the meantime I do hope you find time to apologize for your ignorant behavior toward Ms. Hummert. Take care.

            • No, I’m reaching out to team Knapper who is working the comment boards on 40southnews. They are engaged and have been answering most questions, no issue here with the teams response. Her team’s notion that reaching out to her on her private social account instead of this public forum where both sides can participate in the discussion is bizarre strategy. My opinion is the longer she stays on her private social account instead of this public forum helps Mayor Greenberg, and quite frankly, her team is handling responses, so no reason for her to show up.

              I will disagree with you that the entire discussion has been about Mayor Greenberg’s baseless article and his disparaging comments. It’s not the disparaging, battling, blasting comments that is an issue, but okay, I’ll play along. Maybe someone from team knapper can write another post about I was on the fence until Mayor Greenberg decided to share information with the citizens. A couple of more response from the fence jumpers would be entertaining.

              I think Steve summed it up pretty good last night.

              Vote for Team Knapper, you get HIGHER TAXES AND LESS LOCAL CONTROL. A VOTE FOR MAYOR GREENBERG AND LESS TAXES WITH LOCAL CONTROL. I think most citizens and even Steve would agree, this is THE major consideration and the question has been answered.

            • Frankly, Frank, you seem a little obsessed with misquoting me and taking my words out of context. As Liza stated, citizens are here reading these comments with no dog in the fight until the attacks on our firefighters started. Not everything is a big conspiracy. You seem to unwilling to listen to what anyone else is saying and must be refusing the read the statement from the firefighters clarifying all of the things Barry got wrong.

              Your comments seem to be intensifying so maybe a little time offline might help? It reminds me of a quote from Mary Shelley: I was benevolent and good; misery made me a fiend. Make me happy, and I shall again be virtuous.

            • Vote for Knapper and get less ALL CAPS yelling about conspiracy theories from petulant man children on a gossip blog website with an unusable interface and next to no real “journalism”?

              Props to Doug Houser though, his contributions are interesting, informative, and entertaining. The rest of this site is Straight up hotdoodies.

    • To answer your question, Matthew, no. No citations. Just a lot of conjecture, which ironically he just told someone else has no place in an election. Double and tripling down on an anti-firefighter stance – I’ve just never seen it.

      • Steve, “How do we know if anything Barry is saying is even true?”. What parts of his statements are you challenging to not be true? Do you have a statement you are challenging, or can we agree Mayor Greenberg is truthful in his statements.

  7. Mayor, I appreciate your experience and knowledge on this subject. Most informative. Questions of others helped add more information. That our public services (not just the fire department), have been drug into politics in some ways in our small community, saddens me. It is unprecedented and divisive…based on my 65 years linked to Maplewood. We had some days of this in the past (some 50 years ago or so) over specific city planning causing years of bad feelings and division…days when Maplewood struggled, then struggled more. It took years to repair. I know you, and we all, appreciate the dedication and community service of our firefighters.

  8. All city services are at the heart of a city…especially Maplewood, in danger of being overpowered by larger/more powerful neighbors. In fact, it was the fire department that was at the heart of the founding of Maplewood AS a city. There had long been residents and businesses, especially along what is now Manchester. It was THE road west out of the city…with traveler accommodations, repair shops (from horse and wagon on to automobiles). And, boat shops with even bait into at least the 60s when I was a kid here. Go to Doug Houser for details, but helping with our 2008 history book, I learned that shared services with the City of St. Louis (paid for by our area citizens) took on their own emergency at the time our huge fire went unattended. It caused our city to immediately incorporate in 1908. Maintaining our own services has long been a central concern. I will share that high volume times on our shared 911 system have been problematic for my family.

    • But anyway my story begins in nineteen-dickety-two. We had to say dickety because the Kaiser had stolen our word twenty. I chased that rascal to get it back, but gave up after dickety-six miles. Then after World War Two, it got kinda quiet, ’til Superman challenged FDR to a race around the world. FDR beat him by a furlong, or so the comic books would have you believe. The truth lies somewhere in between. Three wars back we called Sauerkraut “liberty cabbage” and we called liberty cabbage “super slaw” and back then a suitcase was known as a “Swedish lunchbox.” We can’t bust heads like we used to, but we have our ways. One trick is to tell ’em stories that don’t go anywhere – like the time I caught the ferry over to Shelbyville. I needed a new heel for my shoe, so, I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt, which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on ’em. Give me five bees for a quarter, you’d say. Ah, there’s an interesting story behind that nickel. In 1957, I remember it was, I got up in the morning and made myself a piece of toast. I set the toaster to three: medium brown.Now where were we? Oh yeah: the important thing was I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. They didn’t have white onions because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones…

  9. Mayor Greenberg, could you share the document the IAFF published that outlines their mission to create a Central Metro Fire and Rescue Protection District – including the items on their action plan? I have searched the web but have been unable to find it. Any research published by the Municipal Fire Department Consolidation Work Group would also be great to see. Thank you.

        • It’s 134 pages long, but here’s a quote from page 4 that jumped out at me: “Pursuant to implementing the staffing and deployment recommendations made herein, the department
          would be able to assemble a minimum of 43 firefighters within 10 minutes and 10 seconds on 66.7% of high-hazard structures within CMFR’s response boundary, which is a 827.3% increase in response coverage compared to CMFR’s current high-hazard
          response capabilities.” Barry, can you explain to me why these professional firefighters are wrong about how quickly they could respond to an emergency at a school or a hospital? You said this is all about money and power, right?

          • Our fire department has an average response time of 3 minutes. According to the statistic you quoted, it would take 7 minutes longer to assemble a response. The first crew on the scene could be making progress in those crucial minutes. We also currently have mutual response and the surrounding fire departments that would most likely be on scene within that 10 minutes. I don’t dispute a lot of what has been prepared by the work group in terms of capabilities. We don’t have any hospitals in our city and response at the high school would probably be 2 minutes or less. I can’t recall an instance in Maplewood where we needed 43 firefighters. There are benefits and costs to any value proposition and I feel that the cost far exceeds the benefit for a municipality like Maplewood. In addition, we would have ZERO CONTROL over the fire service.

            • That doesn’t address my question. I don’t care what you think probably is or isn’t going to happen. You don’t know anything about managing a response to a fire. You think you know more about this than firefighters?

              Also, Zero control? Do you think they’re gonna run amock, or what? You think they don’t want to respond to fires in Maplewood?

  10. “Our firefighters are looking out for themselves” is something I’ve never heard before! It’s irresponsible to accept an endorsement from firefighters? You said yourself that amy changes to our fire district would have to be approved by voters. Fire fighters and EMTs, who probably just went through the worst year is their lives, deserve more respect than this from the mayor.

  11. I would be remiss in not mentioning the excellent job that our acting City Manager, Anthony Traxler, has done working with our Finance Director, Karen Dilber. I have seen the City’s finances fluctuate over the last 18 years that I have been in office. The major reason that our City is solvent is because Marty Corcoran, and now Anthony have been so responsible and creative (in a legal way) in addressing our budget challenges. COVID related issues have not helped, but I firmly believe that the Maplewood Fire Department, in its current configuration is the best value proposition for our City where we have 1 elected official represent 1,100 residents, not 1 per 64,000 as proposed by the fire consolidation work group.

  12. The reason that the Maplewood Firefighters have joined in the endorsement is that, from what I can tell, the FPD would add 4 firefighters and increase their pay. The extra firefighters cost about $100,000.00 each and a pay raise (for our current staff of 21) would cost another $400,000.00, This $800,000.00 number could go up, but I can’t see it going down. A FPD can historically employ more staff and pay higher salaries because they have more money to work THAT COST IS ALWAYS BORNE BY TAXPAYERS. Our firefighters are looking out for themselves and I get it. The part that I don’t get is the negative impact that it would have on the community financially. It would exacerbate current problems such as housing affordability and siphon money from citizens that have already made it clear that they love their schools and they love their fire service, but they can’t shoulder the proposed additional tax burden. Your City Council, with input from our staff, our department heads and our Finance Director is doing an excellent job of balancing costs of services ( which are rising ) with revenues ( which are declining ) to best serve Maplewood. We can’t make everyone happy, especially when such a large carrot is being dangled in front of our firefighters.

  13. Jackie, For you to bring up Ryan in your attack of Mayor Greenberg is sad. Please be respectful. Hopefully, someone on your team will explain how insensitive your comment is.

    All Maplewood citizens should be concerned or curious about the IAFF information that Mayor Greenberg has shared.

    He has indicated the details have not been worked out, our taxes will go up and Maplewood would lose all control over fire and EMS services in our city.

    Is the information Mayor Greenberg is presenting in this post misleading?

    If I hear what Mayor Greenberg is saying, as a parent I am concerned that the fire department will be relocated away from our community, where our kids play, middle and high school, the pool, all next door. Are our downtown businesses comfortable about the fire department being relocated.

    I believe this is an issue most citizens in Maplewood would want to know the answer to before handing our keys to an outside agency to an important function of the city of Maplewood.

    It would be helpful if team Knapper could provide the benefits to the City of Maplewood for joining the IAFF.

    If team Knapper wins, Is this already a done deal???

    • It is extremely unlikely that there would not be a Fire Protection District presence in Maplewood. We have a state of the art facility in a desirable location. Unfortunately we would not own it any more, but we could still own the debt. The work group has not detailed whether and / or how the City of Maplewood would be compensated in any way. That is why the reference to Better Together. It would also be extremely unlikely that they could improve on our response time of 3 minutes. They have stated that they would have their own dispatch so I would like to know how we separate 911 calls for police and fire, since they would have to run through 2 different dispatch centers. That can’t improve speed, which could put lives in danger. The only things that have been predetermined are we would lose all control and it would cost taxpayers significantly more than we currently pay. Their main promise is that we will get significantly better service. I don’t see how they can do that much better than what we have now.

    • The Mayor doesn’t determine the City’s participation in a Fire Protection District, it is complicated, but it comes down to a vote of the people, similar to the Better Together referendum. The best explanation I found can be accessed through the following link:

      The FPD work group knows that it doesn’t have the endorsement of any of the mayors of the affected communities, and their strategy is to find “fresh voices” that they could partner with to chip away at resistance to their self serving proposal.

      • From the mayor’s own comments we can assume Barry is upset the firefighters endorsed his opponent and wrote a scare tactic opinion piece to somehow make the FIREFIGHTER endorsement seem like a bad thing. He admits the mayor doesn’t have control over it and that it would go to a vote of the people. Can’t trust those pesky citizens to look at something and make the best decision! He speaks at length about a proposal and it’s potential outcomes and in the same breath says it isn’t finalized (so he has no idea what the final proposal will even be). Oh, what’s that? A gaslighting scare tactic perhaps? He is also quick to thank everyone else in the city but throws Maplewood’s fine firefighters under the bus insinuating that they’d sign on to a final plan that makes life worse and more dangerous for Maplewood. Since this isn’t on the ballot in two weeks, we can assume nothing about this proposal or know if it will ever even be brought to voters. Based on this 4 am ranting, how do we know if anything Barry is saying is even true?

        I was on the fence about the race but no more. Maybe Jackie and I can meet up and go talk to Nikylan about our comments since we both seem to be new to the team.

        • Steve, Let’s start with your question “How do we know if anything Barry is saying is even true?”.

          What parts of his statements are you challenging to not be true?

          Could someone on team Knapper respond to the benefits of why Maplewood should consider joining the IAFF?

          • As far as I can tell the Maplewood Firefighters are already part of the IAFF union so your comment doesn’t make sense. Perhaps your beef, like Barry’s, is also with the firefighters? This wasn’t even being discussed until Barry made the firefighters political trying to drag them for their endorsement.

            • I stand corrected on my statement with joining the IAFF, you are correct. My beef is not with the firefighters, my beef is understanding the impact of voting for one candidate over the other. Mayor Greenberg has brought up a concern that could impact the citizens of Maplewood. Maybe it’s because he has a beef with the firefighters, maybe he feels this is one item that should be considered when voting. I for one, am glad this is being discussed and need to understand, if this is this a small deal, big deal, or no deal at all.

              Steve, since you brought up trust in our Mayor, let’s not forget this question, “How do we know if anything Barry is saying is even true?”.

              What parts of his statements are you challenging to not be true?

        • Better Together was played out in a public manner so that the information was out there and people could make up their own mind. They pulled the City / County merger plan because when people evaluated what was revealed, they realized that there was insufficient detail to convince anyone that we would be better together and it shouldn’t have gotten as far as it did with just a concept and no clear plan for implementation. If I had been endorsed by Better Together I imagine everyone, including my supporters, would assume that I supported the plan, otherwise it becomes a purely political ploy. My opponent has been quiet and not addressed whether she supports a Fire Protection District or even if she has received donations from their group. Her acceptance of the endorsement is the only information on where she stands on the creation of a Fire Protection District. Controlled messaging might work in a campaign, but it is a poor barometer of how a candidate will conduct themselves once elected to office.

          It is unfortunate that Covid has prevented the League of Women Voters from holding a candidate forum as in previous elections. I would be more than happy to debate the issues that affect Maplewood. As you can see, I can fight my own battles and I don’t need others to advocate on my behalf. That is a major difference between Ms. Knapper and myself and I think it should be a major consideration when citizens come out to vote on April 6th.

          • Your comparison of Better Together and a labor union makes me wonder if you really understand how those are very different. Maybe you don’t see the value in unions that many community members do?

            The major consideration for voters should be that one of the candidates is blasting the firefighters and “battling” with constituents in the comments of a local website. It feels like you posted this and expected no one to question the claims you made and more importantly the attacks on our hardworking firefighters. I took a closer look at Ms. Knapper’s social media and website today and it seems as though she’s engaging with voters just fine. I voted for you in 2017 and you might have had my vote again, but this has certainly been eye-opening.

            • Thanks answering the question Steve, my opinion and just my opinion based on the information you shared, this should help most of the citizens and small businesses with their voting decision. If I understand your teams position, If you are for union take over at a higher cost, and less local control of our services vote for team knapper. If not, you should consider voting for Mayor Greenberg. Seems pretty straight forward.

              Btw, I think your wrong that about your blasting and battling, being a major consideration for voters, not over higher taxes and lost local control. Blasting the firefighters, battling the constituents, leaps tall buildings. Sounds like the activities of a dang super hero! lol

          • It really gets under your skin that there are a bunch of residents voicing support for Nikylan, doesn’t it? It’s baffling the way you keep trying to spin this as some kind of conspiracy theory. Nikylan has built relationships with a broad coalition of residents who believe she is the best person for the job, while your campaign strategy seems to center around trashing the city council, firefighters, past Maplewood leaders, and residents.

          • Your supporters are out stealing yard signs and tearing them up, disparaging citizens ALL over the comments section here on 40 South News, and harassing constituents at all hours of the night while you, THE MAYOR, try to spin every positive thing your opponent’s campaign has accomplished as some sort of shadowy conspiracy against you.

            Which of Ms. Knapper’s supporters are you going to accuse of doing the same?

            When you lose by a landslide next week, Barry, I want you to know that you’ll have absolutely nobody but yourself to blame. You have run a disgusting race here, with no merit. Most of us are just citizens who didn’t have a dog in this fight, but we are being mobilized to vote against you by your own hand. Honestly, if it wasn’t for your comments here on 40 South, I might have not even made it to the polls. But now, I’ll be there with bells on.

            Ms. Knapper would dishonor herself by even engaging, and I’m glad to see she hasn’t.

            The people coming out against you are doing so because you’ve repeatedly stuck your foot in your own mouth, not because they’re beholden to any candidate. It’s not hard to see if you’re not a narcissist.

            Get a grip, ex-Mayor.

            • Do you have evidence that anyone is taking down yard signs?
              Almost every comment from my opposition has been an attack on my character and very few have addressed real issues. Questioning why my opponent accepted the endorsement of a group whose agenda would cost the taxpayers of Maplewood more in tax and take away control of or fire service while providing marginal, if any, improvements in public safety does not amount to character assassination. If you feel that my campaign and 30 plus years of service to the community have no merit, please vote your conscience.

            • Mayor Greenberg, a Maplewood councilmember’s wife posted video footage from their Ring security camera on Facebook. You can view this footage on the Everything MRH – Chat, News, BST, More FB group, of which you are a member. You will notice the person already has a stolen sign under their arm from up the street, then doesn’t even leave the scene before bending down around the 30 second mark to tear it up into pieces. Someone is very angry, it seems. You should check it out.

  14. The only ones being thrown under the bus are Maplewood taxpayers. The following line is lifted from the work group’s budget worksheet:
    Cost per City $6,062,586.67 Total Expenditures / 15 Cities
    Our current fire budget is approximately $3,200,000.00. Where do think the extra money is coming from? I have loved and supported our fire department since 1988, I have voted for every tax increase that has put our firefighters salaries in the top 25% of St. Louis area municipal fire departments and helped pay for the fire house they want to take away from us, but this is about money and power. Most people in Maplewood don’t want to pay exponentially higher taxes and the fire union is proposing just that. In the process they would take complete control of our fire and EMS services.

    As far as endorsements go, I personally would not accept an endorsement from any group unless I agreed with their mission. I don’t expect everyone to share my political ethics. That is why I don’t accept campaign contributions.

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