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Alderman Tommie Roberts resigns

Outgoing alderman Tommie Roberts accepts a plaque from board president Judy Bateman.

Outgoing alderman Tommie Roberts accepts a plaque from board president Judy Bateman.

St. Peters Alderman Tommie Roberts bid the city goodbye at the city’s Board of Aldermen meeting on Nov. 13 after resigning the Ward 3 seat he has held since 2008.

“I’m leaving here with a heavy heart,” Roberts said during an emotional plaque presentation from board president Judy Bateman. “You guys have made me part of the St. Peters family.”

Roberts resigned citing family reasons. He said he and his family are moving to Webster Groves to be closer to his wife’s family, who help with their children.

Robert’s tenure on the board has been marked by controversy over issues surrounding two marijuana-related misdemeanors for which he received a suspended sentence after pleading no contest.

In August 2013, St. Peters police found the marijuana and drug paraphernalia after responding to a call Roberts placed. He declined to comment after the charges, saying a medical issue was involved. He  had been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma the year before, but said several months later that the cancer was gone.

Since the charges, a group of residents has pressed Roberts to resign, often making comments during the public comment portion of regular board meetings.

One resident, Michael Shea, came before the board during the public comment portion of the Nov. 13 meeting, and declared his candidacy for Roberts’ seat.

The period for candidate filing for the April 2015 city election is from Dec. 16 to Jan. 20. The new alderman elected to Roberts’ seat on April 7, 2015, will serve the remaining year of his unexpired term.

The city has six aldermen with two elected from each ward.  Alderwoman Teri Violet is the other Ward 3 board member.

“You’ve done an awful lot for the city and we’re grateful,” Bateman said in presenting the plaque to Roberts.

She praised him for his work in making water line insurance available for residents, a move which other Missouri cities are copying.

Mayor Len Pagano agreed with Roberts that people who serve as aldermen and as elected officials in St. Peters do become part of a family. He said that’s been the case during his more than 30 years as an alderman and mayor.

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