January 22, 2019

City council swears in new members, says farewell to departing councilmembers

Webster Groves resident Frank Janoski is sworn into the city council. JESSICA KARINS | The Journal

Webster Groves resident Frank Janoski is sworn into the city council. JESSICA KARINS | The Journal

Webster Groves city council said goodbye to three members who attended their last meeting on April 19, followed by a swearing-in ceremony for the three new council members who were elected on April 5.

Former councilmembers Debi Salberg and Kathy Hart were defeated in the municipal election, while Anne Tolan chose not to run again. Voters elected Webster University adjunct professor Sebastian “Bud” Bellomo, as well as Matt Armstrong and Frank Janoski, as new council members. Armstrong is a local attorney and Janoski is a longtime member of the Webster Groves Historic Preservation Commission.

Webster Groves Mayor Gerry Welch noted that Salberg, Hart and Tolan had served for a combined 28 years.

“These three councilwomen have worked diligently and consciously on behalf of our community, and they have provided countless hours of good governance,” Welch said. “The dedication of these three individuals has made Webster Groves a better city.”

Hart thanked the voters of Webster Groves and the Firefighters Union, which endorsed her, Hart and Janoski.

“Doing the easy thing is rarely right, and doing the right thing is rarely easy. This council has always done the right thing,” Hart said. “We have listened to and considered everybody’s viewpoint, we’ve acted with integrity and with the best interest of the entire city in mind.”

Hart said that residents in Webster Groves often do not have all the information on what city government does, especially the non-elected employees.

“My hope for the future of Webster is that we can remain a fiscally stable city and we can continue all the quality services we provide that make this such a desirable place to live,” Hart said. “I also hope the city can improve its communication so that people here know the good things the city accomplishes and don’t simply get their truth from the newspapers or from anecdotal versions of the truth.”

Salberg and Tolen spoke about their positive experiences working closely with many members of the city’s staff.

“I consider many of these employees my friends, and that makes leaving office doubly hard,” Salberg said. “Thank you for the opportunity to work with you and thank you for your dedication to the city of Webster Groves.”
After a short reception, the council resumed to swear in the new members, who then voted on their first bills as members of the council.

Share this post