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Patterson & Florida Duke it out in St. Louis Magazine

If you haven’t seen the June 2006 of St. Louis Magazine be sure to find a copy. They did a short piece on the McDonald’s issue going through various issues with a point-counterpoint format with quotes from myself and Ald. Jennifer Florida. In “Round Five: The Opponent” here is what Ald. Jennifer Florida has to say about me:

“He’s a minister of disinformation. A zealot, the take-no-prisoners no compromise type.”

I consulted the Merriam-Webster Dictionary for the term ‘disinformation’ and here is what I found.

Function: noun
: false information deliberately and often covertly spread (as by the planting of rumors) in order to influence public opinion or obscure the truth

If I am a “minister of disinformation” I’m doing a lousy job. All those Sunshine Law requests for documents and audio recordings does not look good on the resume of a MoD. Then, to top if off, actually publishing the letters, statements and actual audio to allow people to review the facts themselves. Not to mention publishing a well-read website with my name appearing prominently, not exactly covert. What was I thinking?

Ald. Florida, on the other hand, seems to be making an outstanding run for MoD. For example, deliberately telling Gravois Park they’d not be getting the McDonald’s in their neighborhood while working behind the scenes to do just that. That my friends is disinformation done right (well, wrong… you get the point).

Now ‘zealot’ is a different issue. Typically you see the word religious as a preface and we mostly acknowledge zealot as a derogatory term. I’m quite certain Ald. Florida did not intend to offer a compliment by labeling me a zealot.

Again, from Merriam-Webster:


2 : a zealous person; especially : a fanatical partisan


: filled with or characterized by zeal (zealous missionaries)


: eagerness and ardent interest in pursuit of something :


: characterized by warmth of feeling typically expressed in eager zealous support or activity. synonym: see impassioned.


implies warmth and intensity without violence and suggests fluent verbal expression (an impassioned plea for justice)

You know, I kinda like the progression above. Perhaps zealot isn’t so bad? An urban zealot, arden urbanist, or impassioned urbanist. What I am about is pretty clear in over 600 postings on this site. Few, if any, agree with me 100% — that is to be expected from thinking individuals. But I have to ask what is it that Ald, Florida is about? What is she impassioned about?

But I am supposedly the “take-no-prisonors no compromise type” of zealot. So my pursuit of this issue is an indication of being excessively ardent. I suppose if I were in Ald. Florida’s awkward position I might agree. From day one people have said the McDonald’s should not be relocated and she has continually said that is not an option — that it will indeed happen and she is just trying to make the best deal. If anyone in all of this is excessive in their position it would be Ald. Florida. She is refusing to even entertain the notion of looking at rebuilding the McDonald’s on its current site. Through many postings here I have continued to illustrate various viewpoints, explain the logic behind them and show viable alternates. To a degree I think Ald. Florida could be willing to seek a compromise but politically she doesn’t want to appear weak. She may well be getting bad advise from higher ups that view her as expendable — better for her to take the fall than themselves.

I do want to end with one more quote from St. Louis Magazine (you’ll need to get a copy to read the rest). From Ald. Jennifer Florida as quoted in St. Louis Magazine:

“This strip has been commercial for 30 years, and, looking at it, it’s all messed up anyway.”

Finally something out of the mouth of Jennifer Florida that I can think is her genuine feeling, “it’s all messed up anyway.”

– Steve


Currently there are "15 comments" on this Article:

  1. Brad Mello says:

    My favorite in that little article in STL Mag. was the final quote Florida made about her salary — if she doesn’t like the work for the money, she should get another job. Also, your take on disinformation is on the money — the exchange between you and Florida is almost reaching Orwelian proportions. You stick to facts, she calls day, night.

    As an outsider from a community that defeated a drivethru McDonalds in a very urban portion of our city (2 blocks from a metro), I say keep fighting the good fight. Here in Arlington, instead of a drivethru McDonalds, that we were told was the best we could get — we held out and now have a 2 story multi-retail development that includes 2 restaurants, a tanning salon, a furniture store and a shoe store.

  2. Jeff says:

    I wonder, does Ms. Florida read this site?

  3. Margie Newman says:

    Someone needs to tell Florida that the old tack of attempting to marginalize your opponents is tiresome and transparent. Steve’s reputation as an ardent, informed urbanist protects him from such blather.

    She should spend her energy instead determining who her real constituents (as opposed to donors) are and what they expect from their elected representative.

    Perhaps someone will share that observation with her at the post-recall pizza party.

  4. checker says:


    You ARE a zealot. I’m a zealot. Maybe Jennifer could be a zealot, too, since she’s disinformed about what exactly a zealot is.

    Perhaps she should be a ward zealot and actually listen to her constituents…or go back to Metamora, IL.

  5. cyr says:

    Jennifer needs a press secretary…

    This guy’s looking for work I hear.


  6. newsteve says:

    I had the pleasure of seeing the short peice in St. Louis Magazine. Of course it left me with several questions. 1. Is it ever a good idea for an elected official to refer to a potential developer who shows interest in developing property that creates jobs, taxes, etc as a “blah, blah, blah”? 2. If McDonald’s rebuilds in its current location, or builds a more urban friendly building elsewhere, can’t “we all still eat there”?; and oh yeah, Steve, remind me again how much you get payed to do this! Keep up the zealousy Rok’M Sok’M Steve!

  7. Michael Allen says:

    Metamora? I guess I’m not wise to that reference.

  8. awb says:

    She is her own worst enemy. But how did her hair look?

  9. JivecitySTL says:

    “This strip has been commercial for 30 years, and, looking at it, it’s all messed up anyway.”

    ^Was this woman dropped on her head as a baby or something? I think this one speaks for itself.

  10. travis reems says:

    The conversion from McD’s to tanning salon shouldn’t be difficult–they have the heat lamps already.

    I prefer community burger joints such as KC’s Bar & Grill, Crusoe’s (more than a burger joint), and the like.

  11. Benjamin Dover says:

    Just when I thought she couldn’t look worse…

    Margie, I will join you at that pizza party.

  12. newsteve says:

    When I pointed out to someone that Ms. Florida looked alot like Lisa Loeb in the picture, his only reply was “You say, I only hear what I want to” – and as such, it seems not many want her to “Stay”.

  13. awb says:

    She thinks she’s getting paid too little for her work. But for what she’s doing, I think she’s getting paid too much.

  14. checker says:


    She’s from beautiful, downtown Metamora, IL, not St. Louis.

  15. Ian says:

    Michael Allen

    The comment about Metamora is a reference to where she was raised. She was born in Peoria Illinois and was on the road with her father and mother until middle school, when her parents settled down. She lived there until she graduated from college. Metamora is located about twenty five miles South East of Peoria, it has a population of roughly three thousand, however, due largely to many residents of Peoria leaving the city, Metamora’s population has been steadily growing.


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