November 01, 2007


As reported in an October 31, 2007 Post-Dispatch article (STLtoday - News - St. Charles) the City of O'Fallon has been sued by builder Tom Hughes and two families over OFallon's refusal to abide by a pre-annexation agreement which gave away approximately 1.8 million in tap fees to the property owners. The pre-annexation agreements were entered into while Paul Renaud was the mayor. Renaud's administration routinely gave away tap fees ( among other things) to induce property owners to annex into the city. Councilmen Bill Hennessy is the only member of the current board who served while Renaud was mayor.
After Renaud left office and the make up of the council changed the city quit giving away the free tap fees. However, the current board includes several members who are supported by the builders/developers which may be why the lawsuit was filed at this time.
The residents of O'Fallon should follow this lawsuit closely because they will be asked to pay if the city loses or the case is settled. O'Fallon should defend the lawsuit on the grounds that the contract was illegal because a city cannot give away something of value without receiving something of value in return. The property owners will probably argue the value the city received was their voluntary annexation into the city. Of course, it isn't really a "voluntary" annexation when you have to pay someone to join your city.
O'Fallon residents have already paid millions of dollars to the favored builders/developers which lead to a land rush into O"Fallon. In addition, O'Fallon has used lawsuits in the past as cover to give away our tax dollars. Bill Hennessy, the President of the council, was a supporter of Renaud's misuse of our money and his stance has not changed.
I will follow this lawsuit closely and O'Fallon should prevail; that is unless some of our elected representatives or looking to give away our money again.

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