The passing of the guard occurred at the Ladue City Council when Councilman Anthony Bommarito took the city hall reins from Mayor Irene Holmes to become Mayor Bommarito.
Holmes thanked the board and city for their support during her tenure and before exiting the dais, said to Bommarito, “If you can make water run uphill when it’s raining, then you’ll do all right.”
Bommarito, in turn, thanked Holmes for her role in forwarding the city. He also thanked those who showed their confidence in him by electing him mayor, and for those who did not vote for him, he said he would do his best to gain their confidence.
City Administrator Mike Wooldridge read a resolution honoring Holmes and listing her achievements including increasing the property tax, obtaining a grant of over $3.5 million for public safety equipment and infrastructure work, guiding the city through the I-64/Highway 40 reconstruction, and establishing a storm water sales tax to help fund the construction of new bridges, culverts and repaving of many streets.
In an interview, Bommarito said his vision is to make Ladue a “model city. I want beautification, efficiency, cleanliness, updating, friendly, and honest, and we will be looking after the business district.”
Bommarito is now ensconced in the mayor’s office and starting on his check list.
In other business, Councilman Charles Hiemenz asked Police Chief Rich Wooten if the statistics in his report showing an increase in burglaries in 2010, 22 as opposed to 10 in 2009 was a trend.
Wooten said that early in the first part of 2010, there were three groups targeting the city of Ladue.
“It took us until about June or July to identify all three,” he said. “Most of the 22 burglaries were reported in the first half of the year. Once those groups were identified and arrested, the rate returned to what I would call normal."
He added that of the last five years, 2010 was the second highest year for larcenies.“We have been working to turn that around,” he said. “
At the shopping center at Ladue and I-170, we entered into a partnership with the owner, Desco, and have an officer there from 2 pm. To 10 p.m. That has made a significant reduction in larcenies in the second half of the year.”
Wooten said they are continuing to see people coming into Ladue and walking the neighborhoods late at night looking for open vehicles and stealing their contents.
"The most recent arrest we made was an individual who, we believe, is responsible for at least 50 incidents in the West County area,” he said. “We are constantly reminding individuals to remove valuables from their cars and lock them.”