Post-Dispatch update on Maplewood politics: write-in candidate, city manager, ethics complaints; UPDATE: ethics panel clears Mattox of allegations

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In an article published Thursday, Jan. 4, St. Louis Post-Dispatch writer Joe Holleman has updated on several topics relating to Maplewood politics: Holleman: Maplewood rings in new year with more political fighting.

See also: Holleman: Maplewood ethics panel urges dismissal of complaint against council member (Jan. 5)

He reports that former mayor, Barry Greenberg, will mount a write-in campaign, hoping to  defeat incumbent Mayor Nikylan Knapper in the April municipal elections. Knapper will be the only name on the ballot.

He also reports that on Tuesday the Post-Dispatch filed a Missouri Sunshine records request for the salary that Amber Withycombe will be paid as city manager. She starts her new job today (Jan. 4).

In the Dec. 12 council meeting Greenberg pointed out that the city managers of Brentwood and Richmond Heights, both with much more experience than Withycombe, are paid salaries close to $170,000. He said that Withycombe, with no prior experience, shouldn’t be paid an equivalent amount.

See also: In contentious (but civil) meeting, city council appoints Amber Withycombe as new city manager

Holleman also reports that council member Chasity Mattox filed a complaint with the city after resident Brad Jackson, who is on two city boards, posted disparaging posts about her on Facebook following the vote for Withycombe, where she cast the only no vote. Jackson’s post was taken down and he was blocked from the page. Jackson filed a complaint against Mattox in response.

Mayor Knapper told Holleman that the city has a process and timetable it must follow when a complaint is filed against an elected official, but told him, “We don’t have an ordinance” that deals with appointed officials named in ethics complaints. However, in the city charter, Sec. 3.5. – Vacancies; forfeiture of office; filling of vacancies, lists five instances in which the mayor or a council member might forfeit their office.

Mattox told 40 South that if the council finds her her guilty the consequences could be a censure, or go as far as removal from the council. See: City council holds closed meetings for legal matters — Update: council member is accused of violations

Jackson said his post — which was taken down by the page moderator, who then blocked him from the site — was in response to criticisms directed at him by supporters of Mattox.

Jackson sits on both the city’s Plan and Zoning Commission and the Sustainability Committee. He said he was appointed to both posts by Knapper.

Update: Mattox said Friday that on Thursday the city council cleared her of all charges.

Her accuser Brad Jackson responded on social media: “…Today, after an in depth review, the Maplewood city council decided to dismiss the charges. We’re not disappointed. We knew it would turn out this way. The evidence was not enough, but censure was never the point. The point was that conduct matters…”