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On Thursday, three Democratic alderwomen and two Democratic state reps sponsored a bus tour of the McKee properties in North St. Louis.  The following account was posted on West County Dems by Rea Kleeman.

8-16-’07 McKee properties

Joe and I went to the McKee properties tour and press conference today.  About 80-90 people were present, including several news cameras and about 25 legislators and aldermen.

If it wasn’t tragic, it was humorous. One of the complaints is that Paul McKee, for whom a special interest bill is designed to give millions of dollars, has bought up lots of properties and actively neglects them and ensures they’ll be blighted. The city maintains his properties somewhat and then charges him. The city workers don’t work on other city vacant land,etc.  It’ s rumored that he wants all of this vacant land in the 5th and 19th wards in order to build a gated community and golf course which would put out the present residents and the present alderwoman,April Ford-Griffith.

For this effort, Missouri wants to pay him millions.

At any rate, yesterday, Mayor Slay sent crews of city workers to put fresh boards on McKee’s properties (he’s bought up 500).  Also these crews labored like mad to get the grass cut. The site where the press conference was, had all the many trucks that were on the vacant lot taken off and the grass was especially cut there. Ward residents took the boards down the night before where the press conference was held(2950 Montgomery), but Slay’s people put the boards back up in the early AM today.

There were too many people for the bus tour, so Joe and I went on our own to look at the McKee properties. We could tell which ones they were by the fact that they had fresh new boards on them. There were a lot.

One story that Representative Mott-Oxford told is that the residents in this ward wanted to help out a slightly mentally unstable couple. They fixed up the house and painted it and rented the house to this couple for $100.00 per month. Shortly after they moved in, Paul McKee and/or one of his property front landlords(there are about 20) talked to the landlord, bought the property and one month later evicted the couple. The building is now dilapidated, as most of McKee’s properties are.

The special (unnecessary and tax give away) session will be next week in Jefferson City.  It’s rumored that with these tax give-aways the State of Missouri will have dire financial problems in 2010.

Rea Kleeman