Good idea, Bad neighbor......
Like an nettlesome 2 a.m. rooster, the City of O'Fallon loves to crow about their new park and sagely strive to avoid any negative aspects. "This is what the citizens wanted" they crow.
House of Oil
Of course the people who actually live on the border of the city park & whose objections were ignored were not allowed to voice their concerns at City Council meetings because they "were not residents of O'Fallon"
And so easily ignored were the normal concerns:
*Traffic & entry way onto HWY DD
*Nuisance noise from planned concerts and drunks
*Watershed & erosion issues
*And a few actual O'Fallon residents raised eyebrows & objected to the cost, but were ignored.
No politician likes to admit a mistake or admit frivolous spending-so easy to do when spending other peoples money-eh?
A slight $14 million error in judgment.
Briefly: Other pages:
On the other pages I have addressed my fear of a family member getting injured at the ill conceived park entrance & my letters to various MoDOT organizations.
Photos of the Park entrance are on my Malfeasance of the MoDOT page (Page for the lawyers when someone gets hurt)
And the DOT response: If I may paraphrase: (Go away peasant)
WASTE & ABUSE
For this page I thought I would focus on whether the City of O'Fallon was a good neighbor.... (Sorry that was hard to type without laughing)
Good idea, Bad neighbor......
Yet another assault on the O'Day Creek
Explanation: Why the O'Day Creek?
I happen to focus a lot of my attention on a small stream in eastern Missouri-even though I no longer live in Missouri.
The O'Day Branch creek-as it was known before I joined the United States Air Force was at once a playground and a source of fascinating learning: zoology, biology, botany, hydrology, geology, paleontology, archeology & and even erosion/land management.
Obviously I was fairly upset when the pipeline leak spewed 70,000 gallons of poison killing everything in the creek for miles.
The remediation/clean up of the pipeline leak thrust my family & I into the world of environmental disasters, spill clean ups and hazardous waste disposal.
However the death of the O'Day Creek taught us another unexpected lesson: the unspoken sometimes evil trifecta of corruption between the oil companies, politicians and the government organizations that are supposed to protect the environment.
But then corruption is as old as mankind.
And then the O'Day park plans were placed on a ballot and approved by eager residents of O'Fallon, or so the story goes....
To be fair, I recently re-read the park plans & was honestly impressed at the effort put in by the city workers to craft the park. And certainly in 2013 it gladdened my heart to learn that the City of O'Fallon was going to create a 57 acre park on the hills around the O'Day Branch.
Great goal however I have been surprised at how bad a neighbor the City of O'Fallon has been.
Also I have been surprised at the waste of tax dollars. Why are there no citizen watch dogs stepping up and saying "Excuse me, you are spending money on what?"
Full disclaimer: they are not my tax dollars. The O'Fallon waste is an issue between the wolves in charge and the sheep who live in the city limits. --I do not approve of the waste & abuse, however it is not my intention to intrude on other peoples opinions. And despite the abuse the park is a good idea.
Abuse of power and corruption & the indifference that allows it, is a story as old as mankind.
O'Day Park a financial, ecological and social disaster. Why say "disaster" when the park is far superior to another sterile O'Fallon development with identical matchbook sized yards and miles of indistinguishable houses?
In my opinion the entire story: past, current and future was not presented to gullible taxpayers. Sin of omission?
However this page deals more with the unintended consequences of a good idea laced with a tiny bit of crony capitalism.
CHANGE IN THE NATURAL WATERSHED
Change in the watershed drainage:
Slit laden water on the way to Oday Creek & eventually to Busch Wildlife Area.
So my statements about ecological and social disaster are fairly obvious to the non residents of "O'Fallon" who actually live next to the park.
The new park in their attempt to beatify (or spend money) has changed the natural watershed drainage and the unintended consequence has been to increase the water speed of the O'Day Creek.
Result? Turbidity and erosion for years to come.
Silt laden water flowing from the park onto adjoining property
A reach out to O'Fallon representatives with concerns about the erosion and water runoff and the extremely polite response:
And of course our inspection after the email response: Silt fence down, chocolate water for the O'Day fish, erosion and the change in water flow.
Well I'm sure there was no misleading design in her response. Anyone can make a mistake. You should see my spell check mistakes.
A SMALL FIB
Brief background of the property history
The flier above comes from the City of O'Fallon's propaganda about the origin of the park property.
It has always been my experience that anyone who prints a small lie would have no serious issues printing a huge lie.
The O'Fallon representatives strut about, puffed up, kicking dirt while bragging about the money they spent and the old trees knocked down to plant little trees.
Nevertheless I'm certain that most are not aware of the small fib they propagandized about the source of the park land.
The original site of the pipeline leak and a new overpriced park pavilion on top of the hill.
The leaking pipeline and following fish kills resulted in the investment company handing over the property title of the contaminated 57 acres to the City of O'Fallon.
"Not exactly" the same story as their park propaganda would have you believe.
"Little lies and big lies"
"A small lie does not harm our tax paying residents" mumbled the City Councilwoman.
O'Day Creek Ecological Disaster.
Take 57 acres of forest and overgrown fields, chase away the wildlife, strip huge sections of topsoil retaining vegetation, concrete & asphalt the hilly terrain and bury culverts to channel silt laden water into the O'Day Branch creek.
What the City crows about as “Their New Green Park” was already a green park inhabited by turkeys, deer and important but diminutive bats.
However add a little crony-capitalism and the former green space is just another red scab on the landscape to be covered in asphalt & the the only wildlife remaining in the park are the cocky roosters that control O'Fallon (seeking any camera exposure)
Turbidity and creek flow
The first of many oaks to be knocked down due to an increase in water speed of the O'Day Creek
While rain and snowmelt had always meandered its way to the O'Day Creek, the water had a chance to seep into the fields and forest, recharging the aquifer and following the natural flow of hills and small streams.
Now however with the "park improvements" & asphalt parking lots, the water is channeled immediately into the O'Day or soon to be overflowing retention ponds and thereby increasing the natural water speed of the Oday & thereby increasing downstream flooding, turbidity, & erosion of stream beads.
Failure by the Missouri Department of Conservation to protect the O'Day Creek. Again.
Not only has the Missouri Department of Conservation failed again, they are actually funding a new natural prairie or what the City fathers would call “Our concert parking overflow area”
A QUICK NOTE ON TAXPAYER ABUSE
Yes I have covered this on the Terminus page
But statuary? They are buying statuary for a green park? (That information is from the Master Plan)
Forever operational expenses. You can be certain that the subject of operational costs was avoided when the city fathers pushed their disaster park on a gullible public for a vote.
The 2 a.m. Rooster suddenly went silently when I pointed out just one stunningly abusive waste on taxpayer dollars on the crony-capitalism hut they call “Terminus!”
Of course the 2 a.m. Roosters do not want their golden goose tax payers to realize just how bad this park disaster will be on the pocketbook of their flock (should I say it out loud? Gullible citizens)
Why the roosters would be plucked!
Well I am sure that some residents of O'Fallon will never understand why their taxes keep going up. Of course the city fathers would never abuse them.
Well the Traffic & park entrance was deadly social disaster but how about:
A concert hall exactly on the edge of the city limits of O'Fallon.
The residents who already lived in only feet away from the new concert hall were not allowed to protest, to voice objections at the city meetings. Not allowed to have any say on a outdoor concert in their back yard.
How is that possible that a noise maker is allowed to be placed literally in ones backyard, disrupting peace of mind and property values?
Because they were not residents of O'Fallon, had not voted for the strutting roosters and consequently whose concerns carried no value. They were after all only just bleating sheep.
Absolute rule, absolute corruption. I came across that quote and it struck me that the City of O'Fallon had been perhaps a little abusive---However that is only my opinion.
"Absolute power corrupts absolutely" arose as part of a quotation by the expansively named and impressively hirsute John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, first Baron Acton (1834–1902). The historian and moralist, who was otherwise known simply as Lord Acton, expressed this opinion in a letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton in 1887:
tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. John
Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton
BRIEF NOTE ON CRONY CAPTIALISM
New tree planted after the old trees were taken down
Yes indeed, the wolves in charge.
Pay a buddy to clear away the old growth and then pay another buddy to plant expensive spindly trees as in the photo above.
Disclaimer: I don't know if any "buddies" or brother-in-laws businesses were involved with the park contracts. Actually in consideration of hurt feelings; I will just say "Of course there was no crony capitalism"
However the staggering amount of tax dollars awarded to cut down the existing trees and then plant new tiny trees is shameless & is public record.
Finally I would like to repeat my concern that someone will get hurt at the park entrance.
The entrance should be to the Interstate Service road and not a rural winding Highway DD.
More photos of silt and flooding caused by the City of O'Fallon
A lawsuit against the City of O'Fallon has been filed.
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Park disaster Page
My fictional series/stories on Florida history:
Struggle for the northern frontier and other lost tales of old Florida.