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New Officers Elected in Marine Villa Neighborhood

January 29, 2008 Politics/Policy, South City 14 Comments

It didn’t go as smoothly as I predicted. Last night Craig Schmid, Alderman for the 20th ward and long time President of the neighborhood group, brought in many new members in the hopes of retaining office. Letting the newcomers, one a 30-year resident, think they would be unopposed Schmid took nominations from the floor (allowed per the bylaws). Schmid had one of the older women nominate several people for various positions, including Schmid for President.

The large crowd of people assembled to elect officers of the organization but Schmid had placed a police sergeant on the agenda to talk about trash and issues of illegal dumping. So after it took a while to get everyone signed in, dues paid and to listen to the to the officer talking trash it was already 7:30pm — an hour past the starting time of 6:30pm.

In the video you will see the new candidate for Sergeant at Arms, John Oberkramer, get upset at Schmid’s unwillingness to let the candidates even speak to the assembled group of neighbors. When asked if people would get to speak, Schmid responded with, “No, we’d be here all night.” Despite stacking the room with ‘supporters’, Craig Schmid and the others who has been doing their best to retain control, failed to do so.

[youtube]http://youtube.com/watch?v=zb3b0R3mDOc[/youtube]

The new officers have a lot of work to do during their two year terms. First up is revisions to the bylaws to clean up unanswered questions and close some big gaps. For example, setting out that the first order of business on the election meeting (once every two years) that the first agenda item is the election and that those nominated will actually get a chance to address their neighbors and explain why they are running to be an officer. Look for some great things out of Marine Villa over the next couple of years.

 

Currently there are "14 comments" on this Article:

  1. John says:

    Thanks for putting up with me last night. I’m looking forward to working with the new board and all of my wonderful neighbors from Marine Villa! John

     
  2. stlmark says:

    Holy cow. What an exciting meeting. I should have attended this one instead of the Holly Hills meeting. Although, Mayor Slay made a surprise appearance at the Holly Hills meeting urging us to vote for prop S and to answer general questions.

    Back to Marine Villa…what is Schmidt’s deal? Many of these aldermen seem to be so unreasonable and territorial. Don’t they realize this is OUR city? Everyone should be allowed to be at least heard. That’s the basic right of everyone who attends these meetings. I am thankful that Wessels and Villa allow us to openly speak our minds at the Holly Hills meetings. Judging by this video footage, this Schmidt guy has got to go.

     
  3. Pam says:

    stlmark you hit it on the head! It’s OUR city! At the Marine Villa meeting we were constantly shot down.
    Schmid wants to be the only one in control but it’s OUR neighborhood. We want to hear from the the other residents about what they want to do, the meeting were always 1 1/2 – 2 hours of speakers.
    No one had a chance to ever talk.
    We all just got tired of the way OUR meeting was being run and nothing being accomplished.

     
  4. Cherokee guy says:

    Why isn’t it illegal to have an Alderman running a neighborhood organization? It would seem that the opportunity for intimidation from the president/alderman towards anybody that opposes him would be great. “Do what I want or I’ll bring building violations down on you so fast your head will spin!”

     
  5. Susan Sheppard says:

    It should certainly be illegal for alderman to head neighborhood associations. It is a real conflict of interest. I’m glad we don’t have to worry about this in Marine Villa anymore. Our new president Mike Siculan is going to be great, and we’re all really excited to move forward.

     
  6. insider says:

    Any thoughts on what the top priorities for the new board will be for 2008?

     
  7. Susan Sheppard says:

    Priorities are:
    Moving the meeting back to Marine Villa (we are meeting in Dutchtown right now).
    Updating the bylaws (the current are from 1969)
    marketing (new logo!)
    fundraising
    increasing membership
    establishing committees

    The list could go on, and some of these are ongoing of course. But things like the bylaws and the location change will happen very soon.

     
  8. scott & steph says:

    aaaaaaaaamazing,

    sorry we missed the vote, we couldn’t get out of work. congrads to all the winners!

    kudos to the videographer.

    wow.

     
  9. Jason says:

    Congrats guys! Sounds like you’re ready to hit the ground running. Good luck. Hopefully Gravois Park will eventually follow your lead. Steve, thanks for the excellent coverage.

     
  10. Jim Zavist says:

    Yes, it should be illegal for an alderman to be in charge of a neighborhood association, as well. Besides the obvious conflict of interest, it’s a blatant effort to stifle discussion and opposition. Democracy thrives when all viewpoints are considered and the best options are chosen, even if they’re “not invented here” . . .

     
  11. Sometimes democracy works.

     
  12. aaron says:

    wow…i didn’t bother attending the meeting because i was under the impression that everyone running was “unnopposed”. i had a gut feeling that schmid might pull something screwy, i should have listened to my gut. I’m just glad that his tactics didn’t work. I look forward to the new changes under the new board.

     
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