"Civility" Reigns in Webster Groves as City Council Race Ends in a Tie

Apr 7, 2010 at 11:01 am

Ken "Civility" Burns wins a spot on the Webster Groves City Council
Ken "Civility" Burns wins a spot on the Webster Groves City Council
Webster Groves experienced one of those small electoral oddities last night when two candidates for city council finished in a flat-footed tie. With 100 percent of the vote counted, Ken Burns and Greg Mueller each tallied 3,853 votes.

Mayor Gerry Welch told the Daily RFT this morning that all the absentee ballots were accounted for and that it is highly unlikely any recount will take place. That's because there were four candidates vying for three open seats -- and Burns and Mueller finished in a tie for second, each scoring 25.55 pecent of the votes, behind Toni-Joyce Hunt's 26.71 percent.

 The odd man out is Fred Hill, who captured 22.19 percent of the vote.

So what does this all mean for the future of democracy in Webster Groves?

Nothing much, other than the fact that the "Civility" candidate managed to squeak out a place on the council.

You may remember that Burns, 58, a local architect, plastered the woodsy St. Louis suburb with campaign yard signs that, in red capital letters, read: "CIVILITY."

"It speaks to who I am, one with a good temperament, a patient, reasonable person. It is a good word," Burns explained during an interview several weeks ago with the Daily RFT.

Burns, though, did concede that his one-word campaign slogan might have something do with a number of run-ins he's had with the city's architectual review board.

Welch chuckled when asked whether Burns' victory means civility will now reign in Webster Groves,

"It has always been civil in Webster Groves. Nothing has changed."