Clap. Clap. Clap. We have to hand it to the politicians in East St. Louis to always keep us guessing as well as entertained.
The East St. Louis City Council Sideshow and Patronage Revue returned Alvin Parks Jr. to City Hall even though the city’s residents were pretty clear that they wanted him out. New Mayor Emeka Jackson-Hicks now is in the compromised position of having the guy she defeated for mayor in a position of greater power as city manager.
Resident Marie Franklin said it well during the coup d’etat Thursday night: “Just when things were starting to turn around, they did this. It’s not fair to the citizens. Parks left the city like it is. He had eight years to make a difference. He didn’t.”
What we remember most about the Parks years was that the man had a gift for using a novel’s worth of words to say absolutely nothing and that he left the city with a $5.7 million deficit fueled by incompentence and theft. We can only imagine his potential leading the day-to-day operations of the city.
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Council members Latoya Greenwood, Roy Mosley and Robert Eastern III are guilty of engineering this deal and voting to bring Parks back. Residents know who to blame for giving a $100,000 job, city car and benefits to the man they rejected in April.
And don’t forget, the City Council decided to pay three city managers at once instead of digging themselves out of their deficit. Fired city managers Deletra Hudson and now Traycee Chapman are getting severance as Parks starts collecting his pay — and firing the mayor’s people who will also collect severance.