Best Gadfly - 2003
Tom Sullivan complained so long and so loud about the Metropolitan Sewer District that most people in and out of the media ignored him. But when state auditor Claire McCaskill, grand juries and the media began to pay attention to the issues Sullivan has been bleating about since 1986, the man appeared prophetic -- at least to those honest enough to admit it. A 52-year-old bachelor, Sullivan owns a small advertising firm in Clayton and is addicted to being the watchdog of MSD. He's constantly complaining about Sunshine Law violations and MSD's hiring of outside consultants, overspending on projects and overpaying employees. In March, as governmental investigations and media coverage converged around MSD, five of the six members of the board of trustees submitted their resignations to Mayor Francis Slay and County Executive Buzz Westfall. It may be a bit excessive to credit Sullivan for all that has transpired, but while he may have overstated his case, Sullivan certainly had one.