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Group petitions to oust STL Alderman Bauer

Alderman Tom Bauer (KWMU file photo)

By Tom Weber, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – A group that wants to kick St. Louis Alderman Tom Bauer out of office says it has enough signatures to force a recall vote.

The group will turn in 2,100 signatures today (Thursday), 400 more than needed.

But there won't be any vote until election officials verify that enough signatures are valid.

Debbie Lane helped gather petitions. She says Bauer has misused eminent domain on some projects and removed the entire ward from the preservation district which she says makes it easier for any building to be demolished.

"He thinks he's a CEO," Lane said at a recent meeting of the 24th Ward Democratic Committee. "He doesn't understand he's an elected official that's supposed to communicate with his constituents about what they want, not what he decides he wants."

But Bauer defends his work, saying some recall supporters don't want the projects because they'd create competition.

He calls it the price he has to pay for trying to do a good job: "There's not a single project that's controversial that's caused some people to get upset with me that I wouldn't do over again."

Bauer has also sued some of those heading the recall effort for defamation.

The 24th Ward includes parts of a number of neighborhoods, including Dogtown and Clifton Heights.

There's already been one recall in St. Louis this year. Voters in the citys' 4th Ward kicked Alderwoman Peggy Ryan out of office in March.

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