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A Few Endorsements for the March 6th Primary

February 23, 2007 Politics/Policy 103 Comments

Below are a few endorsements in the upcoming election. My detractors will say “who cares” which is fine — if my view doens’t matter then simply skip this post. I had hoped to send out a questionnaire to all the candidates but time got away from me between work and grad school (see post with topics from me and readers).

I will be doing another post on the President’s race between Jim Shrewsbury and Lewis Reed. In the meantime here are the challenged races for the even numbered aldermanic seats.

26th Ward – No Endorsement

I’ve not met incumbent Frank Williamson but I have met challenger H. Lee Willis. Willis is young and energetic but I didn’t care for his thoughts on the committee people being the go between with constituents and the alderman. While I tend to favor challengers I did not see enough in Willis to justify an endorsement. Voters in the 26th Ward can vote for Willis to register an objection vote with the status quo.

24th Ward – No Endorsement

Ald. Waterhouse is likely a nice guy but he is just not progressive enough to earn my endorsement. He comes from the establishment end of things too. I must say, his response to Tom Bauer running for the seat that he lost in 2005 was very well written. Still, I don’t feel that I can “endorse” Waterhouse. That said, please 24th ward voters don’t put Bauer back in office!

22nd Ward – No Endorsement

I do not know incumbent Jeffrey Boyd or challenger Jay Ozier. I’m also more familiar with other northside wards than the 22nd. Perhaps you the readers would like to chime in on this race?

20th Ward – Galen Gondolfi

I like incumbent Craig Schmid, he is open and honest and genuinely cares about his ward and the city. He has stood up against his follow aldermen at times and has been punished as a result. I have a great deal of respect for Schmid. Unfortunately, I also think he is stuck in a previous decade where running out the bad element was the first order of the day. Thanks to Schmid, the ward and neighborhoods where he serves have changed for the better. Yet, I don’t feel his strategy has changed with the times. He is opposed to rental units to the extreme yet we’ve all been renters at one time or another. His vision for the ward is likely that every single property is an owner-occupied single family house and the commercial districts are very respectable. Well, this ain’t St. Louis Hills. It is a dynamic area where a mix of residential units and some colorful businesses are entirely appropriate.

I’m not totally cool with Galen Gondolfi, I’m concerned he might go too far and focus only on affordable housing. However, I feel that I have heard enough to think he is not simply a one-issue candiate (alcohol sales on Cherokee). His background in urban planning certainly warms my heart. On March 6th I urge 20th Ward voters to elect Galen Gondolfi.

18th Ward – No Endorsement

Wow, Terry Kennedy vs. Bill Haas.

Neither? Like the bulk of the wards, I don’t see a vision coming from Kennedy. He allows buildings to easily be razed by not including his ward in the preservation review process where the Preservation Board gets to determine if a building should be destroyed or not. New development is happening in the ward but I think that is more a matter of proximity than leadership.

Bill Haas on the other hand is not someone I can fully take seriously. It seems like he has run for nearly every office in the city. This year he filed for both this seat and a school board seat (he has withdrawn from that race).

12th Ward – Matt Browning in the Republican Primary

I’ve not met Browning or incumbent Heitert in person. I’ve seen Heitert at various events, such as the opening of the trail at River Des Peres. I have communicated with Browning via email and feel he is a viable candidate with a variety of civic interests just as most of us do. Yes, he lost his legs while serving as a St. Louis Police Officer — a tragedy indeed but not the reason I feel he should prevail. Age is not really an issue for me but I simply think Heitert has been around too long (elected in 1979) to be effective at bringing a new wave of thinking to the ward. It is time to move on and we need to give Browning consideration to step up to public service.

With the Aldermanic Presidents race on the Democratic ticket, will anyone in the 12th ward take a Republican ballot?

6th Ward – Christian Saller

Like the other races, I’m not totally thrilled with the views of the candidates. Of course, I’ve yet to meet another person with whom I agree 100% so I shouldn’t expect as much from political candidates. Patrick Cacchione is a nice enough guy (unless you are critical of him and then meet him at a downtown Gelato place) but I feel his is too insider, too establishment. His years of public service were spent speaking on behalf of those paying him – a lobbyist. In short, I don’t trust him. To be fair, I don’t trust many in office currently so it is not like he is alone in that. I also don’t think he is going to lose any sleep over what I think.

Kacie Starr Triplett is a great person and outstanding candidate for the Board of Aldermen. My biggest concern here was her acceptance of the city’s charter — I do think it needs a major overhaul. I think her youth and so-called lack of experience actually work in her favor — she is not so entrenched in old world St. Louis politics the way others at city hall are. Still, I am concerned for whom she might learn.
Christian Saller is the best choice in the 6th Ward. Saller is not a perfect choice, but the best choice. On the downside I think he might too easily go along with other aldermen on their projects although that is probably no different than the other two choices. The reason I like Saller is because of his experience. Currently aldermen are playing the role of development middlemen yet only a handful know the difference between good and bad development. Most simply see the dollar amount and think more is better. Saller, when elected, would likely be the most qualified alderman at city hall on good urban development.

4th Ward – No Endorsement

I need to meet Sam Moore, the challenger to O.L. Shelton.


Currently there are "103 comments" on this Article:

  1. Maurice says:

    Steve, Don’t you think that by taking a ‘no endorsement’ stand, you are taking a stand anyway? That stand being that at least to you, there is no better candidate.

    Even if both candidates are bad choices, one has to be better than the other in terms of what you (the voter) feels is imporant to them.

    I can understand taking a view that those in wards outside of your own, it is easier to say no endorsement. But as you quite often point out….every ward is important to the City as a whole and there is a need for change.

    Couldn’t your endorsement of ‘no comment’ translate into the view of I don’t care/why vote? when people in those wards read your comments?

    I just would hate for you to contribute in any way shape or form to the common misbelief that their votes don’t count.

    [UrbanReviewSTL — The “no endorsement” is just that — no candidate that I feel I could be an advocate for.  This might be, as in some cases, where I did really like the choices or in others where I did not feel qualified to take a position.  I could have simply left those wards off my list but I thought it better to include them and say what I do know.]

  2. newsteve says:

    I like that you didnt give endorsements just for the sake of endorsing – I also don’t think that people will take this to mean that they shouldnt vote – You were smart enough to admit when you did not have enough information to make an endorseemnt. I never got the impression that you were telling people there votes don’t count. Anyway, do we really want people voting for a candidate simply because you endorsed them – the whole purpopse of this is to put the issues out there and let people make their own decisions. I’d rather have a thinking person vote then someone who simply goes out and votes because someone else tells them who to vote for.

  3. newsteve says:

    By the way Steve I was alittle confused by this comment re: Schmid (20th):

    “Unfortunately, I also think he is stuck in a previous decade where running out the bad element was the first order of the day.”

    I assume you mean keeping your ward safe (by running out the bad element) – but whats wrong with making that a priority. If your point is that he is attempting to exclude a certain element (like people who cant afford to buy and have to rent) then I agree this is a bad tactic – discrimantory at best. Yet having a concern for safety should be everyone’s priority.

    [UrbanReviewSTL — The point here is that I think he is employing the same tactic used 10 years ago.  While safety is always a concern at some point you have to shift and being attracting elements that add to the positive, not just pushing out the negative.]

  4. Kevin says:

    In general this city needs new ideas and seriously needs to takes steps forward. The problem is many of the people with new ideas are too new and not knee deep in the political system- with aging and closed mentalities. The problem is that we may still see the old guard continue for some time until a new wave of minds can take shape financially and actively, but the ones who have been doing it the old way seem to be the ones who are currently ‘doing things’.

  5. Mondo says:

    As a recent arrival to the 20th ward as a business and to its politics, I’d like to second Steve’s endorsement and the reasoning behind it.

    I don’t know much about Mr Craig, honestly, but my impression of him when I decided to open my shop on Cherokee was decidedly guarded. His opposition to liquor licenses and stereo speakers struck me as somewhat draconian, but I have to admit that I’ve since realized he has been working toward something good in the community.

    But now he’s going about it all wrong. By enforcing stability he has hindered the creativity that a struggling area needs to work, not only from opposing Steve Smith’s bar license but the Regiomontanos bus as well. I simply don’t understand any economic philosophy that will exclude outside money coming into a local economy if done legitimately. If Mr Craig wanted to he could have found a solution to the bus situation rather than opposing it.

    I should say that while Mr Craig did nothing to hinder my shop opening, neither has he called me or come visit. Mr Galen dropped by my second weekend open, and as a result it’s his sign in my window. But I was leaning toward Galen anyway, simply because he’s trying things that are new to the street in a way that will lift it up, rather than just level it.

  6. steady eddie says:

    Why is it that most of the folks who want to oust Schmid are newcomers, while most of the established residents want him to stay? What does that tell us?

  7. Adam says:

    it tells us you need to substantiate that claim.

  8. steady eddie says:

    If you read the blogs, that’s the impression you get. Maybe the established residents are less active in the blogs?

    Adam, are you a 20th ward resident? A Gandolfi supporter? How long have you been in the ward?

  9. Amber says:

    What exactly is your definition of an “established resident”? I’ve been in the ward almost 2 years, so I assume you think of me as a new comer. If these are the terms you’re using to define your vague comment I think you should also mention that Galen has been a resident of the ward for longer than some of the people that sit on neighborhood association boards. It’s a completely irrelevant comment when you start whittling it down. It goes nowhere and creates a tangential argument instead of focusing on issues that residents – regardless of tenure – are concerned about.

  10. TGD says:

    Regarding the 24th ward, how can you hope people don’t elect Bauer again and simultaneously feel unable to endorse
    Waterhouse? Are you encourging voters to just stay home on election day? We only have 2 candidates; the only choices are vote for one or don’t vote at all. Endorsing a candidate doesn’t mean “I love everything about this guy”, it means “This one’s the better of the (possibly mediocre) choices.”

  11. steady eddie says:


    In some neighborhoods, you’re considered a newcomer if you weren’t friends with the parish priest two priests ago.

    Some might say if you’ve lived in an area for about five years, you’re pretty established. However, years in an area are really not a good measure either.

    A better way to look at it would be to assess how deep are your community ties, how many contacts do you have in the neighborhood, ward, and city, and how networked in to the system you are.

    Then you’ll know whether you’re “established”.

  12. Adam says:


    i’m a saint louis native (29 years) and have lived in several places throughout the city during that time. my most recent residence was in benton park east, adjacent to the neighborhood in question. before that i lived in south city. before that i lived in fenton. and before that i lived in south city. currently i’m attending graduate school in virginia.

    i think the 20th ward needs a new strategy. i think mr schmid is currently preventing the 20th ward from achieving its potential. if enough people agree with me then gondolfi will win the election. if mr gondolfi does a poor job then he’ll be replaced next election. that’s how public office works.

  13. Jack says:

    Thanks, Steve, for the thoughts about the upcoming election. Here’s hoping that there will be significant turnout.

    I was at a dinner party with some people from around the 20th ward last night, and I heard a couple weird things.

    Apparently Galen Gondolfi has a bad temper.

    He’s been doing everything right, more or less, according to my political friends. Mailing, calling, knocking on doors daily…

    However, apparently he screamed at a friend of mine in the 3400ish block of Pennsylvia when she asked some questions about his platform.

    And yesterday he was talking with another friend in the 3500 block of Compton. Friend had a Schmidt sign in her yard. Anyway, this lady I know asked him if he was planning to use eminent domain on businesses in the ward, and apparently Gondolfi flipped out and started yelling and destroying the Schmidt sign in my friend’s yard. She started crying, and he ran off. A few minutes later he returned with a new Schmidt sign and put it in her yard and knocked again to apologize.

    Isn’t that weird? If I lived in the 20th Ward, I’d be weirded about about that kinda thing.

    Anyway, keep up the good work.

  14. Alissa says:

    I’m a lot more weirded out by the anonymous mudslinging in the form of direct mailings by “Concerned Citizens of the 20th”, quite honestly.

  15. Dawn says:

    Just wanted to chime in on the 6th Ward. I went to the Tower Grove East neighborhood meeting last Thursday. All three candidates were there and fielded questions from the residents. Saller has my vote for a few reasons. He was well spoken without sounding rehearsed. He listened to each question and answered it from a place of experience (his ten plus years working for city) rather than from some tired platform. What I mean by that is he didn’t use worthless words like (facilitate and advocate).

    In addition he said he would be a full time alderman, he would not support eminent domain and he would be personally involved in addressing problem properties.

  16. Mike says:

    Better do some extensive research before supporting this one. Gives up a ten year job just to run for alderman? Gimme a break, there’s something shady here other that the manse he grew up in in Parkview , the 3 million buck condo his parents are having built on Euclid…and the condo in NYC…the farm…when he inherits, so long 6thward. But not before he drinks you under the table at Reilly’s.

  17. Established resident says:

    As a resident of the 20th Ward, I’ve been watching the Aldermanic Campaign between Schmid and Gondolfi. I don’t see a lot on either of their platforms that is glaringly different. They actually seem to be aligned on many issues. The most apparent difference I have noticed between their campaigns is that Schmid and his supporters seem to find it necessary to publicly slander Gondolfi, while Gondolfi has remained amazingly clean of the mudslinging that is so typical in politics. I find it disconcerting that such a localized political race would get so nasty, all the people involved are still going to have to live and work together when this is all over, it’s unfortunate that some people find it necessary to be hateful and petty. This has certainly influenced my vote.

  18. Alissa says:

    In case anyone was wondering what the mudslinging entails, I received this delightful mailing this weekend:


    [UrbanReviewSTL — Uh, wow.]

  19. Amber says:

    Thanks Alissa, as much as I think our campaign doesn’t need more people seeing this crap, it’s good for Steve to know what exactly has been happening. It’s not the first smear that was sent out either. I can’t talk too much about it, but it’s not nice, not nice at all. The main thing is that this primarily conveys the fear that some people have, that, and perhaps there are people who still believe we live in the time of McCarthy?

  20. city pol says:

    Are any of the statements in the hit-piece on Galen inaccurate?

  21. Amber says:

    City Pol,
    Why don’t you actually call Galen, or Glenn, and talk to them? They’d probably be the best source of information.
    Better yet, visit his blog, it will give you a pretty good idea of what he’s about:
    It’s easy to sit around and banter about stuff, but if you want to actually find out facts, its usually best to go to the source….

  22. Amber says:

    In addition to all the stuff on that postcard, they forgot to mention how their Treasurer clubs baby seals for fun and is has personally played a role in Global Warming.
    Too bad we can’t ask the fine “concerned” citizens that distributed this postcard any questions since they sent it out anonymously and they’re not actually a registered committee with the Missouri Ethics Commission….

  23. Glenn says:

    Are any of the statements inaccurate? Of course, but since it was sent anonymously, there is no legal or campaign ethics recourse to be taken. We’ve kept it clean, unfortunately they only care about winning, no matter what.

  24. city pol says:

    link to the Gondolfi blog

    At the above link, “Concerned Citizen” asks if the Gondolfi campaign has any official response to the same flier. There is no response.

    Is Glenn now, or has he ever been, a “communist”? That’s one of the charges. That’s a pretty cut and dried, yes or no type question.

  25. Pam Lanning says:

    This is ridiculous.
    It like you want to bring back McCarthyism.
    Maybe he should be a Baptist, too.

  26. Amber says:

    Is it valid to cite examples of something that is not public record and then say “go ask a cop”? Come on, if you actually go to any of those references you will see how completely out of context most of it is, if not completely misquoted. Perhaps St. Louis isn’t ready for politics that aren’t dirty, people seem to love to focus on everything BUT the issues at hand, and a constructive way to overcome them.

  27. Adam says:

    city pol,

    why don’t you define exactly what you mean by “communist”. the word usually loses its derogatory power when people realize your not talking about Stalinism, which was corrupt communism. just like there is corrupt capitalism.

  28. city pol says:

    C’mon! Is Gondolfi’s campaign manager a commie or not? Was he ever? How is this not a relevant campaign issue? It’s Gondolfi’s right hand we’re talking about here. Do we want communists running city government?

  29. city pol says:

    Hey, I’m not the one calling Glenn a communist. According to the flier, he was a communist party chairman. If that’s true, then I’d like to hear Glenn’s side of the story.

  30. Adam says:

    yes. communist NOT EQUAL TO bad. i’d rather have a communist than someone who mails/endorses crap like that postcard. how’s that?

    i should explicity state, since i’m sure city pol will take my comment to mean that glenn is a communist, that I HAVE NO IDEA WHETHER OR NOT GLENN IS A COMMUNIST!.

  31. Adam says:

    And don’t say “C’mon!” like it’s such a black and white issue when you KNOW that “communist” is a loaded word.

  32. Pam Lanning says:

    What if he is a communist, so what? You probably don’t vote for anyone that is other than white either!
    I would vote for Galen just because the Concerned 20th Ward Voters sent the card.

  33. city pol says:

    Most people would say that communism is antithetical to the American way of life. We are (supposed to be) a free society, not a state run system. Communism is a state run system. The person we have not heard from on this issue is Glenn.

    Politics gets dirty. Get used to it. Call it the “politics of personal destruction”. The fact remains, if you get into public life, your life becomes an open book. If you don’t want that sort of scrutiny, don’t run for public office.

  34. Susan says:

    Who the hell cares if he is a communist? What year is this? If you’re keeping tabs on our “American way of life” last I checked this is a democracy. Personally, I’d vote for a communist or socialist before any of the neo-cons running our country. And last I checked Glenn isn’t running for public office, so leave him alone and mind your own business. It is irrelavant.

    What I do want to know is who sent out this inflammatory postcard. I’m outraged. Did Craig authorize such crap? Do Concerned 20th Ward Voters=Citizens for Craig Schmid? If Craig isn’t involved I would think he would say something and disassociate himself from those crazy nutjobs.

    On a positive note I’d say it is only improving Galen’s chances of winning.

    [UrbanReviewSTL — Cheers to anyone that can bring Communists and Anarchists together for a common cause.]

  35. J says:

    “I would vote for Galen just because the Concerned 20th Ward Voters sent the card.”

    Yikes! We don’t know who sent the postcard. I am disgusted by the postcard and the silly allegations, but that’s not changing my vote for Craig Schmid. Unless he publically states that they went out with his approval. I really can’t believe he had anything to do with it.

    It’s clear that whoever sent this has an axe to grind with Galen Gondolfi. I believe it’s entirely possible to be anti-Galen without being the equivalent of a spokesperson for Craig.

    [UrbanReviewSTL — I tend to believe that this is not the work of Schmid, I just don’t see it in him.  But I am not sure he is outspoken against it.  Does he even have a website where I can check for a statement denouncing whomever is behind this?]  

  36. J says:

    “Does he even have a website where I can check for a statement denouncing whomever is behind this?”

    Not that I’m aware of. I don’t think he’s too web-savvy.

    [UrbanReviewSTL — Yeah, probably a passing fad anyway.  Better to hold off a bit longer just to be sure — wouldn’t want to jump on board too soon.  Stay the course.]

  37. Susan says:

    I’m not sure if Craig is behind the card, but unless he publically denounces it, to me he is as good as condoning the tactics. If my name was on that card I would be finding out who sent it and issue a statement making sure everyone knows I was not involved and did not support it. I’ve heard nothing from Craig. He may not have a website, but he does have email and is on several neighborhood listserves, Marine Villa and Gravois Park yahoogroups, Benton Park West gmail list. My opinion is that he probably didn’t send it, but he knows exactly who did.

  38. J says:

    Susan — Craig’s name isn’t on the card. Not that I don’t think he should say something about it, to put matters to rest, but his name isn’t on it anywhere that I can see, at least if you’re talking about the postcard linked above.

  39. Susan says:

    You’re right- his name isn’t there, my mistake. I was thinking it was at the bottom in the small print but it is “Concerned 20th Ward Voters” who paid for the card. I will continue speculating on who I think that is.

  40. Mr. Bean Counter says:

    The card dosn’t even have a Union Bug on it!!!!

    What is with the crazy numbering on the foot notes.

    I got dizzy trying to look up the info

  41. Adam says:

    actually, city pol, communism as an ideology is against state control. it is based on common ownership, not ownership by the state. again, you are talking about STALINIST communism, which according to Marx, was the result of a transition to communism that went wrong. are you worried that Galen might take office and – gulp – claim the 20th ward for the state because his campaign manager may or may not be a communist? please…

  42. Adam says:

    scrutiny NOT EQUAL to mud-slinging. politics gets dirty. people get murdered. should i be ok with both since they both happen?

  43. Amber says:

    It’s an aldermanic campaign, not a Presidential, or an Emporer of the World campaign. For such viciousness to be put out is a bit over the top. And crazy. I think many people can speculate, very accurately, who was behind it. Any it’s not the first people, there was a less widely distributed one that went out earlier in the week that wasn’t nearly so aggressive, but was “accidentally” distributed with a neighborhood association publication. Not to hard to figure out who’s behind it.
    All I can say is do your research, vote for who you think can do the best job as Alderman. It’d be nice to see the focus aimed back at the real issues: Crime, decaying building/empty houses and businesses, etc. To decry things that haven’t even happened is silly. We’ll remain in a stagnant pool of unrealized potential until we all, as a community, decide to move forward and try to improve the situation instead of trying to tear down every new or old, but unused, idea that comes along. The fact that our Ward has become such a hotly debated issue is proof that it could and hopefully will be a really amazing area. Right now, it’s only starting, it’s not there yet. The fact that in twelve years there are still drug deals taking place on at least two places on my block, that people get shot walking down the street, that cars are stolen and mobs of restless people with nothing better to do in the summertime can congregate and fight with rocks (and who knows what else) in the MIDDLE of Utah is testament to the fact that something needs to change. And this is all just within my little area, I’m sure the stories are similar throughout the Ward, if not worse.

  44. Sandy says:

    I live in the 20th Ward and received the card. I already knew of the Riverfront Times articles as I have read the publication for a few years. Why are some crying foul that Galen’s actions or art-style is brought to light? Were the Riverfront Times articles untrue? Is it something he dosn’t want known? I am sure that when he made the decision to run he knew that there would be scrutiny and did some reflection. I really think there is a place for Galen in the scheme of things (If that kind of art appeals to you) but I don’t think he is very statesman like even with a spruced up demeanor, I much prefer my politicians somewhat staid.

    [UrbanReviewSTL — I don’t anyone considers reference to the RFT articles as objectionable.  I recall reading the 2004 article and thinking to myself, “cool, just what we need in conservative St. Louis.”  The objection people are having is this cowardly campain attempting to paint Gondolfi as some community traitor – cold war tactics of Joseph McCarthy and J. Edgar Hoover.  This postcard is more vulgar than any art intallation I’ve ever seen.  At least a good artist puts his name on his work.  I can do without statemen — I need elected officials with a plan to bring St. Louis back from the bottom.]  

  45. Howard says:

    Schmid owns his actions. If he was going negative on Gondolfi, he wouldn’t hide it.

    State law requires a certain type of disclosure on campaign literature and that required disclosure is absent on both flyers. I think we can all agree it is wrong. I think we should all agree, however, that most of what is listed in the piece with the crude recitations on what the “Concerned Citizens” consider most offensive about Gondolfi is true. He does have, for example, quite a rap sheet for his nuisance properties easily found at Geo St. Louis.

    While failure to disclose who actually paid for the pieces is a violation of law and wrong, I have some empathy for the Concerned Citizens. I think these are people who feared some of Gondolfi’s supporters enough to want to hide their identities. They are likely some of the same people who made anonymous complaints to CSB regarding Gondolfi’s properties and the business goings on there. Disclosure might have meant retaliatory damage to their properties. Someone making a so-called political statement via graffiti comes to mind. I don’t believe that Gondolfi would be involved or sanction such a thing but I do believe it would have happened.

    On the plus side, I believe these are the first in St. Louis anonymous campaign literature history to not contain a racially divisive message.

    [UrbanReviewSTL — Yes, we are blessed that both Schmid & Gondolfi are white so that none of the mudslinging has a racially divisive message.]

  46. cherokee resident says:

    Whoever did send out that card should have also added that Galen has the support of libertarian capitalists as well as a large number of hispanic business owners. I abhor socialism, and communism and would not support a candidate that claimed to be either. I will however be voting for Galen in the upcoming election. From everything I have gatherd about him, I feel his politics have the potential to bring refreshing change to the street.

  47. city pol says:

    I thought the 20th ward was supposed to be an “opportunity ward” for minority elected officials? That was the whole rationale for moving it out of North St. Louis. There’d never be racial divisiveness over the candidacy of a black person to a north side ward. But it sounds like there would be in the new 20th. That’s what we get for racial progress in St. Louis! Sounds more like a setback. What side were you on in the 2000 ward redistricting? What politiicans are you currently supporting who supported moving the 20th ward to south city?

  48. Sandy says:


    While you and Galen may think what some viewed as a mockery of their religion “art”,( the cross parody) some people do not. While not at all devout, my early Baptist roots took offense even though at the time I shrugged it off as something a radical artist did. That said, I do not want a radical artist as an alderman. I see a lot written here about the mailing but I am as concerned about the material it references. Have the “shocked I say shocked” people read the references? Do we want an alderman who poo poos building rules? My concern is that Galen will not concern himself with any area other than Cherokee Street and then only what he thinks is fun, cool, edgey art. I have been active in the rest of the ward for years and have never seen Galen before so some of what he says about community involvement does not make much sense. I know Craig was involved prior to becoming an Alderman and is the most accessible and responsive official I have found, even if I don’t always like the answer.

    [UrbanReviewSTL — Sandy, I have always valued your perspective and appreciate your comments.  Here are some thoughts to consider: 

    I recall Schmid having an issue with LRA over a building he acquired on Broadway — them taking it back for him not following the rules about a timeline for renovation.  Please correct me if I am wrong but that is what I remember.  I have no fault against Craig, we are all human and we all make mistakes.  We all also have our own priorities.  

    Has Galen taken on too many buildings at a time?  Maybe.  Perhaps he should sell one — say Radio Cherokee?  Oh that is right, the place set up as a bar can’t be used as a bar.  A local buying immediate real estate around them is a valid strategy for an area — it doesn’t mean they have deep pockets to renovate them but it may well keep them out of the hands of absentee landlords.  

    I also reject the “I have never seen Galen before” argument that is so often used anyone who is not an incumbent.  One can be involved in the community without ever attending the official neighborhood meetings or ward party organization.  When I organized the “Imagine Virginia” tour in my neighborhood a few years back we deliberately worked outside the neighborhood organization just so we could actually get it done. I don’t attend the snooze-fest they call neighborhood meetings  which hurt me when I ran for alderman.  Didn’t mean I didn’t care about the future of the area or that I wasn’t involved.  It was that I was involved in a different manner.  

    Craig is indeed accessible and responsive.  He cares deeply, no doubt.  But at this point I just don’t think that is enough.  My patience has run out, I can no longer stand to have people tell me “he’ll come around.”  When?  After more buildings are razed?  Cherokee Street is the perfect street for a mix of people along with some potentially offensive art.  Besides, what many find to be art in good taste is offensive to me.  Other parts of the ward can be more staid although the commercial cooridors need commercial activity.]  

  49. city pol says:

    I know Craig was involved prior to becoming an Alderman and is the most accessible and responsive official I have found, even if I don’t always like the answer.

    That’s why lots of Craig’s supporters are African American. It didn’t matter that the 20th ward was an “opportunity ward” for minority candidates. It was also home to a much respected, white incumbent aldermen.

    The rationale for moving the 20th ward to South City was a sham. That’s why Aldeman Smith staged her filibuster and eventual staged urination.

    Conventional wisdom would dictate that once Schmid leaves office, the next 20th ward alderman should be black. If not, Sharon Tyus and Irene Smith were correct in their charges of racism toward those supporting the last redistricting.

    Why is this relevant? Because we are discussing the politics of the 20th Ward, and many of the authors of the last redistricting effort are still seeking public office.

  50. J says:

    “I don’t attend the snooze-fest they call neighborhood meetings which hurt me when I ran for alderman.”

    Steve, what lesson did you take away from this? I mean the question sincerely.

    I’m noticing some antipathy from some folks on this thread toward attending neighborhood meetings. I don’t think the only way to be active and engaged is to attend meetings, but it’s certainly a good way to meet people who are interested in the problems and progress of the neighborhood. And, perhaps, to get more people attacking certain issues. More powers in greater numbers and all that.

    [UrbanReviewSTL — Good question.  My take away was that, depending upon the dynamics of the organization, the neighborhood groups are effective at bringing in new people and really focusing on addressing problems and seeing a vision for the future or they are completely ineffective and caught up in social hour functions and superficially addressing issues.  The bottom line based on where I live currently, the two local groups are a waste of time and money.

    And money is a big issue.  Aldermen have, since its inception in the early 1970s, used some of their CDBG funds to establish/control local organizations.  By having these organizations under their control via critical funding seldom do they cross the path of an alderman — even when it is in the best interest of the neighborhood in the long term.   

    I can do other things, like get a masters degree, rather than sit through hours of unproductive meetings.   The big lesson for me is that if you are truly progressive and want real change you must work outside the conventional venues of neighborhood groups — or you overtake them completely.  No middle road because years pass by without any changes.  These neighborhood groups think they represent the majority but they do not — they are small in number and I have found do not welcome differing viewpoints and are completely resistent to changing directions.  So again, I advocate progressives to either take over the organization completely and force the change or work from the outside by building a large coalition of people seeking real change.]

  51. anon says:

    Has Shrewsbury ever stated his position on the BJC lease? We know he supports a public vote on it. But what about his opinion on the lease? Wouldn’t stating his opinion be providing leadership? He could say something like “I support (or oppose) the lease, but given the amount of public opposition to this plan, I think the voters should decide the issue”. However, he hasn’t done that, has he? Has he ever stated his own position on the BJC issue?

    [UrbanReviewSTL — Actually, Shrewsbury has been entirely consistent on this issue and has repeatedly stated he has not seen sufficient public support for him to back the lease.  Early on he was more open to the lease, it seemed, but still stating past history with the park.  As opposition mounted he became more clearly against the concept.]

  52. Susan says:

    Steve I am right there with you regarding the neighborhood associations. I alternate between attending my meeting and wanting nothing to do with it. I feel my own neighborhood association of Marine Villa needs major changes (and surprise, surprise Craig Schmid is the president). It’s not a good representation of the neighborhood, and nothing much happens. So for months I won’t attend. But lately I feel like I have a responsibility to go if I want change to happen. I went last month and about 5 people showed up. This month there was a good crowd, but it was the same people who come and spew negativity and use the meeting to complain about limbs and cars. Next month I will drag my feet and complain, but I will show up, because I feel it is the best way to force change.

    And for those of you complaining about never seeing Galen- I was at the last Marine Villa and Benton Park West meetings. He was at both. He used to be president of the BPW neighborhood association. Maybe it is you who are not out in the neighborhood. If you weren’t so afraid of possibly getting a little offended by someone else’s art, and showed up at Fort Gondo once in awhile you would see him. Or give him a call- he would be glad to talk to you and would probably come to your house to discuss any of your concerns.

    [UrbanReviewSTL — Yes, you either go and work hard for change or skip it and work hard for change through some other framework such as organizing residents on your block or getting others together to hold an event or conduct a project.  It is very permissible to function outside a neighborhood organization. 

    I always love how challengers are expected to have attended every neighborhood meeting within a ward prior to running for aldermen.  Incumbents do this because that is really part of their job — to be out there in all the neighborhoods.  But for the rest of us we typically don’t think 3 years ahead and say to ourselves, “I might want to run for alderman at the next election cycle so I am going to attend all five neighborhood meetings within the ward so that I can win.”  Life just doesn’t work that way.] 

  53. "established resident" says:

    “I’m noticing some antipathy from some folks on this thread toward attending neighborhood meetings. I don’t think the only way to be active and engaged is to attend meetings, but it’s certainly a good way to meet people who are interested in the problems and progress of the neighborhood. And, perhaps, to get more people attacking certain issues. More powers in greater numbers and all that.”
    Look-I tried attending the Gravois Park meetings and found that a better use of my time is to talk to my neighbors, pick up trash, most anything else (when they don’t have the occational guest speaker, that is). Very little gets done at Gravois Park meetings other than bitching and complaining. Opinions are not welcome and the “leadership” is more like a dictatorship than a democratic neighborhood committee. These are the same people that issued the postcards. That should tell you something. I believe that communication and community is important. But I am not going to sit for hours on end listening to the same handful of people that have a stronghold on Gravois Park say the same things every month and put a muzzle on anyone who has a different opinion. Waste of time.

  54. anon says:

    Established Resident,

    Have you considered doing all three? Organizing neighbors, picking up trash, and attending meetings? All of these organizations want more members. If you and your neighbors became more involved, volunteered to serve on its board and committees, became fully vested in the work of the organization, then maybe you could more effectively influence the outcomes and priorities of the organization. Just a thought.

    [UrbanReviewSTL — People only have so much time and it is hard to convince them that they might actually make a difference in a few years of working from within.  Life is short,  you turn 40 before you know it.  Some of us want to spend our time on active commercial streets not sitting in some church basement rehashing the same issues for years.]

  55. Howard says:

    In St. Louis city, our history of racially divisive campaign literature includes all white primaries where someone attempted to tie a white candidate to black luminaries in a divisive way and all black primaries where someone attempted to tie a black candidate to white luminaries in a divisive way. Long before Photoshop, people were taking scissors to paper products and pasting notables together with aldermen and state legislature candidates. For quite a few years, for example, in all white primaries, Virvus Jones was the cut and paste black face of choice to incite white voters in all white primaries.

    [UrbanReviewSTL — Point taken.  But give it some thought, both Schmid and Gondolfi are out of the mainstream political establishment in the city — the very ones that practice the tactics you reference.  All the more reason to toss out the establishment and start fresh.]

  56. Mike says:

    The postcards:
    probably designed and mailed by the guy who owns the garden store on Cherokee and has in the past placed smear signs against Gaylan on his business. What, there’s a mystery here?

  57. "established resident" says:

    I have and I do serve on boards, serve in committees, been and am active in several community organizations/groups. Again, I do what I perceive as most constructive. Sitting and listening to complaining and old school conservatism by uninformed residents that are underexposed to contemporary urban incentives because they are afraid of some nebulous and irresolute political affiliation is not my idea of constructive.

  58. Susan says:

    I actually suspected Rita Ford and Shirley Wallace with Schmid footing the bill, but you’re probably right Mike. It does have the same sort of crazy writing that you see in the signs in his garden shop windows.

    [UrbanReviewSTL — I want to note this is entirely speculation — we do not know who is behind this postcards which is indeed unfortunate.]

  59. J says:

    “established resident” — your post says that the Gravois Park neighborhood group is responsible for sending out the postcard? Did I read that correctly?

    And I am interested to hear what this means: “underexposed to contemporary urban incentives”. I don’t know what it means, so I fear I’m underexposed!

  60. "established resident" says:

    Yes, I did say that the same people that issued the postcards are involved with the Gravois Park neighborhood association.
    And what I mean by underexposed is this: Anyone that would make an issue of Galen Gondolfi or Glenn Burleigh being in ANY way associated with again, nebulous and irresolute political affiliations (such as-god forbid- the subversive communists or anarchists) has obviously not researched or for that matter – asked- what these groups do or they believe in. They are having a snap emotional reaction to some kind of archaic cold-war phobia.

  61. J says:

    Actually, the phrase I don’t understand is: “contemporary urban incentives”.

    As for the Gravois Park group being responsible for the postcards — if you have any evidence of this, I’d be eager to hear it! I found the postcard to be pretty surreal, and want to know who was responsible.

  62. Concerned Citizen says:

    I’d go with your instinct Susan, Rita Ford (Gravois Park) and Shirley Wallace have my vote. I’ve never met crazy garden shop guy but based on the windows of his place, he doesn’t seem to be the type to try and hide his opinions. The postcards didn’t abide by the rules, had no affiliation with any group political or otherwise, were negative, one sided, and well researched. As far as I’m concerned that has Shirley Wallace written all over it. Purely speculation though, Just my .02

  63. anon says:

    Since the Haffners have sold their Cherokee holdings, isn’t Shirley Wallace pretty much out of the picture on Cherokee these days?

  64. "established resident" says:

    What I mean by contemporary urban incentives (admittedly not well articulated) is contemporary (read: recent) members of our community who have progressive and often unconventional but sound ideas for renewal of the urban community we live in.

  65. PR says:

    When did Haffners sell?
    I saw Shirley Wallace shoving the last snow.

  66. J says:

    “members of our community who have progressive and often unconventional but sound ideas for renewal of the urban community we live in.”

    Okay. I certainly wish that more of those folks would attend neighborhood meetings! I, for one, am not interested in only hearing one viewpoint. And while I keep reading here about all the other neighborhood activism that goes on unaffiliated with the neighborhood groups, I don’t know where to find it. I go to my neighborhood meeting because I want to be involved. If there were progressive folks there asking for people to join with them, assist with projects, etc., I’d consider that a breath of fresh air.

    What about this question, “established resident”?:

    “As for the Gravois Park group being responsible for the postcards — if you have any evidence of this, I’d be eager to hear it! I found the postcard to be pretty surreal, and want to know who was responsible.”

  67. Amber says:

    It’s interesting people brought up the whole neighborhood assoc. issue anyway, I think you can look to various members of more than one of the associations that are in the Ward. Wow! Does that mean people from different neighborhoods got together and actually worked on something as a team?! See, Galen has brought people together too!

  68. "established resident" says:

    No, I have no proof. Purely speculation and intuition. By the way, I am pointing the finger not the association, but at members.

  69. Pam Lanning says:

    I want to take the opportunity, to say if you live in Marine Villa (Marine Villa neighborhood is bounded geographically by Cherokee Street on the North, Gasconade on the South, and South Broadway and Jefferson on the West. The mighty Mississippi River provides a natural Eastern boundary just past Interstate 55.)
    Please attend the Marine Villa Improvement Association meeting 6:30p.m. 4th Monday of the month St Alexius Hospital Petersen Hall (South side of the building) 3933 South Broadway.

  70. Mike says:

    Shirley Wallace and Rita Ford? No way they would be behind the postcards (and this all the way from the 6th ward where a drunk is running!) My money is on garden store guy.

    Somebody check the zip code on the card where they were posted from and GO TO THE POST OFFICE to ask if someone had mailed them there. Easy.

  71. Sandy says:

    Isn’t the garden shop in another ward? Why would they send a postcard, it would had to have cost a bit to print and mail. One of my neighbors thought it was another postcard from Galen and didn’t read it.

    The neighborhood non-profits are fodder for another topic. Please do. Most residents have no idea how much money is spent on administrative costs. Then there are those for profit arms of non profit businesses, I still can not wrap my mind around how that works.

  72. Rita says:


    I usually don’t have the time to read or respond to a website. Someone called me today and told me that
    I was metioned as well as the Gravois Park Neighborhood Association. First of all the Gravois Park Neighborhood Association is not like a dictatorship as a neighbor stated. We have and will always ask for
    residents opinions. Most neighborhood associations will tell you that is hard to get volunteers. It is so typical to sit back and make remarks about what a neighborhood is trying to do to improve their community. Some residents have attended meetings and expect the neighborhood assocation to fix whatever concerns they have. ( without them getting involved ) If any resident have a plan we are always willing to work with them, but don’t just throw it in our lap and walk away. Get Involve. We plan on increasing our membership by going door to door this year. Speaking of going door to door, I have received several calls that Galen is going door to door and actually screaming at people for having a Schmid sign in their yard. One lady was even crying. What is up with that? Back to my point.

    The Gravois Park Neighborhood Assoication have received many awards and recognition for our many
    efforts improving our neighborhood. One that we are most proud of is ” The Court Watch Program’. This
    program received an outstanding recognition award in August 2005 from Community Capacity Development Office. There ae only 10 of these awards issued throughout the United States. We accepted the award in Los Angeles, California. The program is also recognized and supported by Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce, Mayor Slay and some city judges. I have been invited to speak at several neighborhood assoications who want to get a “court watch program” up and running. I did speak at the Shaw neighborhood and they now have a program up and running. We have some great plans for 2007.
    If anyone is available please get involve.

    Now, regarding the postcard. I received it in the mail. I was not aware of all the things stated about Galen. I don’t consider it mudslinging. I consider it as information. Mudslinging are lies being stated by someone. ( what is fact & what is not ) Susan and other are wrong saying that I sent that postcard out. If you really knew me, you would know that have never been afraid to voice my opinion vocally and in the media. Why would I take time to put out a postcard when I know anyone can go on line to gather information about anything or anyone. I would never put out something like that postcard but I don’t have a problem knowing about these issues. I am a Schmid suppoter. I strongly resent you or anyone accusing and making accusations that Craig Schmid would ask me or anyone else to get down to that level.

    I have led protest in the community . ( McDonald’s, redistricting, & a recall on an alderwoman )
    It seems to me that Susan and others have taken names that are well known in the neighborhood and are pointing fingers anywhere their hands lead them. You are speculating. Susan, I am too busy grieving over the death of my mother. Please try to restrain yourself from speaking my name.

    We can agree to disagree without getting ugly.

    I am staying home from work today to have security cameras placed on my home.
    Some of you people frighten me. ( recently my car window was broken out ).

    One more thing, With all the promises that Galen is making to residents, I think he should
    consider running for Mayor.

    Have A Good Day
    Rita Ford

  73. Dan says:

    It is well known in the Gravois Park Neighborhood that Rita Ford is always being played and used by ‘well-known’ Shirley Wallace. Rita Ford has done a great thing with the court watch program in the neighborhood and is a community leader. However the pitiful allegiance with Shirley Wallace- one of the most sour, negative, and bigoted persons in the area- is just plain pathetic.

  74. anon says:


    Are you trying to discredit Rita? The knock has been that the active neighborhood organizations in the Cherokee area are an ineffective way to improve the community. By contracst, it sounds like Rita is one of the best neighborhood leaders in St. Louis. So is Rita responsible for Shirley? Should she fire one of her volunteers? What is your point?

  75. southside red says:

    Come on, the posctard is 100% Shirley Wallace’s style, and she’s butted heads with those crazy artists before. And here comes Rita Ford – “oh, gosh, guys, I don’t know anything about this illegal, libelous postcard, and by the way, have you heard about how Galen is screaming at people? His supporters are so scary I have to get cameras put on my home.” Pathetic. If Schmid’s support is based on scum like this, then the sooner he’s sent packing, the better.

  76. Rita Fatigue says:

    Rita and Ald. Schmid is a pawn of Shirley Wallaces vindictive and manipulative personality, is that an excuse? No! Has anyone gone to a Gravois Park meeting, its a joke. Rita and Shirley troll around Gravois Park looking for ways to be intrusive and a obstructionist and then get the poor and easily manipulated Schmid to get what they want. Im really suprised Craig still gets played by these women and to me thats why im voting for Galen. Shirley has proven over and over to be a scurge on the city. You would think she lives here or something.

  77. PR says:

    Does Wallace even live in the neighborhood? She doesn’t own Haffners, she work there…
    Someone said Gravois Park Neighborhood Association is like a dictatorship, Gravois Park Neighborhood Association should at least consider their statement. Also, gosh, I think ever piece of political mail I receive and ever political article is true (roll eyes here)!

  78. Rita Fatigue says:

    Shirley Wallace lives in North County with her mom and works part time at Haffners, the articles in Riverfront Times about her are classic. I dont know why Ald Schmid works with this woman. Rita might have some good intentions but her associations and methods are seriously misguided.

  79. Susan says:

    Who’s ready to start an alternative neighborhood association in the Cherokee Street area? One that isn’t subscribed to the arbitrary neighborhood and ward boundaries. We’re all complaining true, but I think we have a right to and are all involved in the area in different ways. We could make alot happen. Maybe we just need to get better organized, regardless of whether or not Galen wins.

    And Rita- my condolences on the loss of your mother. If you notice, I was actually trying to clear your name and blaming the crackpot at the garden shop. Not that my opinion should hold sway one way or another, people were pointing the finger at you before I said anything. I was hoping we would get a statement from Craig stating who was behind the card, and unless that happens people will continue to speculate. I think you’re doing the same thing by blaming Galen supporters for your car getting broken into. Maybe it has more to do with the rampant crime in Gravois Park. And I agree, Galen would make an excellent Mayor, and would do a better job than the administration we have now. If he loses alderman I hope he’ll consider running.

  80. mark-f says:

    Hey I didn’t get this card though the woman next door showed it to me. I don’t really care much about where it came from but is all this stuff true?

    I tried to look some of it up and looks as if there were BYOB rock shows at Gandolfi’s place before he had a permit to be there. This doesn’t really bother me that much because I’ve been to Shakespare plays and art openings at Gondo but I don’t know if I want to vote for someone who causes a scandal.

    Also has anyone just asked him how many cars he does/has owned and how many are licensed? That seems easy enough–either he got tickets or he didn’t. I know we all rolled through a stop sign one time or other but if I have to spend a month getting emissions tests, insuracne, safety inspection, property tax, license bureau downtown but whoops they don’t make drivers licenses so then you have to go to South kingshighway then if you don’t pass the emissions you have to get the supersecret stuff at AutoZone and try try again. Anyway, if I have to do all of that then someone who gets paid with my tax money does too. So did he have his cars licensed or not?

    I don’t much care about the communist thing–that’s not all what it used to be right–but some of this other stuff is not cool and I’m glad I heard about it if it’s true.

  81. Rita Fatigue says:

    mark f. is that the single issue thats going to sway your vote is how many tickets hes gotten. The one issue voters that got good ol W elected shows lack of intelligence or at best lack of understanding of how the world turns. mark f. why dont you spend more time looking into whos going to make our neighborhoods better and move forward instead of the stagnant neighborhood we have today. The 20th ward looks the same as it did for years. Shaw, Tower Grove Heights, Lafeyette Sq , Tower Grove East, and Compton Heights have seen susbstantial growth in the last 5-10 years. I think its time we see some different leadership.

  82. "established resident" says:

    Wait a second. I know this has all been said before again…and again….and again…..Ugh. But how and why is Shirly allowed to even be a voice in a neighborhood where she doesn’t live. And Rita, can you give us any insight as to why she spends so much time pissing so many people off down here instead of trolling her own neighborhood? What for god’s sake is her objective?!

    “Galen is going door to door and actually screaming at people for having a Schmid sign in their yard. One lady was even crying.”

    I wish someone would substantiate this. I’m sorry, I don’t know Galen personally, but I absolutely don’t believe he’s going about screaming at people. And I must add, that Craig Schmid is known for his short temper and tendency to yell at people.

  83. Rita Fatigue says:

    Established, thats been the prevailing question for years but she volunteers for all the boards and organizations and thats how she rules her little world. Maybe she was run out of North County where she lives.

  84. J says:

    “established resident” — You want somebody to substantiate that event (which I can’t, wasn’t there, didn’t see it, first I’ve heard of it), yet you’ve said at least twice in this thread that you know that members of the Gravois Park neighborhood group put out that postcard, with zero substantiation except for your “speculation and intuition” What up with the double standard?

    “Craig Schmid is known for his short temper and tendency to yell at people.” He is? I’ve seriously never encoutered that or heard about it. He’s always seemed pretty calm and mild-mannered to me. Have you got a cite for this?

  85. "established resident" says:

    There is no double standard. As several others have mentioned, the postcards have Shirly Wallace written all over them. I am not speaking fact; as I mentioned it is purely speculation. I don’t have facts, but at least the postings of several other people somewhat substantiates my intuition, doesn’t it? But I would still like to know whether Galen screamed at the neighbors. Believe me that would definitely sway my vote just as it would sway my vote if Craig Schmid wrote those postcards himself!

  86. Amber says:

    I am SO ready to start a new group for Cherokee area down by me. I’ve been talking to people and the block link and I’m pretty much ready to start doing something concrete about it. We need to talk….find a way to get a hold me, please.

  87. anon says:

    This 20th ward thread is about the snarkiest tripe I’ve ever followed. We have here a bunch of discontented “yuccies” (young, urban, communists), disengaged with larger, established community improvement efforts, collectively (get it? c-o-l-l-e-c-t-i-v-e-l-y?) sniping at proven neighborhood leader, Craig Schmid, and tireless neighborhood volunteer, Rita Ford, now grumpily talking about forming their own rump neighborhood organization with new boundaries and new people.

    What a pathetic, self-absorbed, immature, wreckless, and short sighted display! Get over yourselves!

  88. PR says:

    anon do you live in the 20th ward?

  89. Rita Fatigue says:

    I think Rita causes as many problems as she solves.

  90. Dan says:

    Many of you are saying what many people throughout the Gravois Park neighborhood have been saying for years and also what many others in other neighborhoods have been saying. Yes, the Gravois Park Neigborhood meetings are more like a bullfight or kindergarten, and yes, Shirley, Rita, and Craig need to go. Mostly Shirley Wallace. She doesn’t even live in the city. She lives in Florrisant. She only works at the antique shop. She is not an owner. I do respect the fact that she makes an effort to drive all the way to the city. This is more than most of the ‘long-time residents’ do. She truly is a bigot to hispanics and blacks and anyone else who may even indicate a different and usually better idea than hers. Too bad Rita you can’t see it.

  91. J says:

    “I don’t have facts, but at least the postings of several other people somewhat substantiates my intuition, doesn’t it?”

    More than one person posted that Galen Gondolfi has screamed at residents. Does that substantiate that claim?

    “I would still like to know whether Galen screamed at the neighbors”.

    I would too. And my vote would be swayed if I found out that Craig Schmid wrote the postcards. But my intuition tells me he didn’t.

  92. Dan says:


    If these ‘proven’ leaders were doing a good job we obviously wouldn’t be having this discussion. It’s very easy to call people names (yuccies) and not put a face or name to yourself as the poster (anon). By the way, I lived there for 6 years and have been disgusted with the likes of Wallace, Ford, and sometimes Schmid to no longer go to my Gravois Park meetings bc they are useless and childish.

  93. "established resident" says:

    Don’t get me wrong; I was not suggesting that Craig Schmid wrote those postcards. I was just using that as a hypothetical. Although I feel we need new leadership in the 20th ward, I do have a lot of respect for Craig and I do believe that he cares and that he works hard and that he makes decisions on what he truly believes is in the best interest of the ‘hood.

  94. Pam Lanning says:

    Amber & Susan
    If a new neighborhood group is started please send an email to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/marinevilla/.

  95. guarantor says:

    Mark this date and time, I gauron-dam-tee-ya that all of this blog talk about forming a new neighborhood organization will add up to zero, nada, butkuss, and zilch. Posting on internet blogs ain’t jack. Shoveling snow, running off drug dealers, organizing block captain networks, working with city departments to put away the bad guys, now that takes real effort.

  96. Pam Lanning says:

    running off drug dealers
    working with city departments to put away the bad guys
    i’ve done it!

  97. Amber says:

    gua”rant”or – it’s already happening, we’ll make sure not to ask you to join.
    Mark my words, there will be a force of positive constructive energy coming out of the 20th soon, and it won’t only be limited to the 20th, if possible, but it’s not going to be defined by the current neighborhoody lines. Thank for the input anyway, Cassandra, naysayer and non-identified person.

  98. Rita says:

    Ok, I am done. I have more important things to do.
    I can’t allow myself to get pulled into this any longer.

    When it is all over the bottom line is: We all need to work together.

    Good night and good bye.


  99. Susan says:

    Guarantor, I think we are all already doing those things. What is missing is communication and cohesion. I hear the same concerns from my neighbors who are posting here, most of whom I’ve sadly never met. One may be our dislike of the current neighborhood associations. The other being that even at my meeting I’m not meeting my neighbors in BPW who live 3 blocks from me, or in Gravois Park, who live 2 blocks from me. And no one is going to go to all the neighborhood meetings. Besides, it’s possible to be part of a grassroots coalition and still attend the conventional neighborhood meeting. I don’t think we can assign neighborhood or ward boundaries to who should be concerned about Cherokee St.- which goes through 4 different neighborhoods and 2 wards!

    Amber- I sent you an email through what I guess is your blog. If you didn’t get it let me know, we need to talk.

    [UrbanReviewSTL — Back in September I did a post called, St. Louis’ Boundaries Need to be Examined, in which I indicated my belief many of the current neighborhood boundaries set up commercial streets for failure.  Here is part of what I wrote:

    Cherokee (West of Jefferson) has Benton Park West on the north side of the street and Gravois Park on the South side of the street. A commercial district association adds yet another layer to the bureaucracy. The divisions for the various neighborhoods, created 25 years ago or so, was likely arbitrary or possibly political. Dividing Cherokee among two separate neighborhoods has not served the formerly thriving commercial district well. On a related note, Chippewa to the South is a dividing line between Gravois Park and Dutchtown. Again, this was a thriving commercial street at the center of its neighborhood. If I had to draw a line it would be down Miami street — halfway between Cherokee and Chippewa. North of Miami you’d be part of the neighborhood that contained the Cherokee commercial district and South of Miami you’d be part of the neighborhood containing the Chippewa commercial district. These neighborhoods could then focus their attention on building their neighborhoods around a strong commercial center, rather than ignoring the decaying street at the edge while assuming the neighborhood group on the other side will take care of things.

    This discussion only affirms my belief that Cherokee Street needs to be the center of a neighborhood, ditto with Chippewa.   The commercial streets were once the center of exciting neighborhoods and they should be again.  Anyone up for drawing new lines?]

  100. BillHaas says:

    I run where I think I have a chance to win or contribution to make to the dialogue. Most people dont think I have a chance to win the Alderman race but I do. We’ll see. But it’s hardly a lock, so I was allowed to file for school board in the general election, too. If I won my primary, I’d have to choose with office to be up for in the general. I would chose Alderman, of course. But if I lost Alderman, schoolboard would be an honorable and valuable place to serve my community (if there still is a schoolboard), as I have for two terms before. In 2001, I did the same thing when ran for Mayor and schoolboard, and lost mayor but won schoolboard. I dropped off schoolboard ballot when Jackson and Archibald filed and I didnt get union endorsement so as not to risk splitting the vote. Makes sense to me, sorry if not to others. If I win, I hope to make my constituents and myself proud. And thanks Urbanreview for tip on historic preservation. It’s important to me, and I vow to read your great blog regularly for ideas to make me better and smarter. I get tired of losing, but this is what I want to do with my life, so I should follow my dreams to make others’ more simple dreams come true. I’ll get where I’m supposed to be going in god’s timing. Perhaps it’s this year as alderman. We’ll see. Sincerely, Bill Haas
    ps my issues are services, education, housing and jobs, as my piece in the PD voters guide set forth.

  101. samuel b levine says:

    Hi, anyone who doubts that it was Ms Wallace behind the postcard just hasn’t lived here long enough. But we live in a country where people can say unsubstantiated things in public and not have to prove or own them.

    I was at the debate at BPW and noticed that Craig was taking advantage of things he opposed, such as the lovely murals on the Hispanic stores.
    And to attack Galen about land and buildings, does no one remember that Craig had to give back to LRA something he purchased and failed to develop. He did this when he was an alderman.

    I doubt Rita Ford was involved. She has too much character.

    I found this site trying to find out who the Org concerned citizens was.

    In front of witnesses after one Sustainable Neighborhood meeting Craig stuck his finger in my face as yelled “You f—ing people As my wife wisely moved me back.

    Here is a story about nothing. People at work used to know when I had to go to Sustainable neighborhood meetings because I was so angry during the work day. Finally I quit.

    I know Ms Wallace spreads venom and lies and no one opposes her. I only know of one person who barred her from mettings and since that time has been a target of hate and venom.

    While the verdict is still out on Craig knowing about the card, my instinct tells me he did.

    Sorry about the ramble. Oh by the way I live in the 9th ward, as one side of Pennsylvania Ave is 20th and one is 9th.

    Last comment. Long ago people talked about inviting people from neighboring areas to join the BPW neighborhood assn. Or join with us and make a new one.

    I love our association now, however it lacks that some of that diversity it used to have and we will have to work to get it back



  102. Pam Lanning says:

    Well, AGAIN I was kicked off the Gravois Park Yahoo group. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gravoispark/
    The first time, I voluntary to make 500 copies of something for them. Kicked off!
    Now, well I guess because my opinions differs from some of the members of GP.
    Oh but they say they are so opened minded.
    It’s not true — this is true — Opinions are not welcome and the “leadership” is more like a dictatorship than a democratic neighborhood committee. —- I live an 1/2 block out of GP I am interested in GP neighborhood especially because it is a disaster.

  103. Pam Lanning says:

    I forget to say… I can only assume I was deleted for the Gravois Park yahoo group because of my comments here on urban review.


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