On Tuesday, while waiting for the inauguration of our first new mayor in 16 years, I reflected on the mayors we’ve had since I moved here in August 1990. For many of you, Francis Slay has been the only mayor you’ve had as a voting-age adult. This could be because you’re young or because you moved here since 2001.
Mayor Krewson is the 5th mayor since I moved to St. Louis. Vince Schoemehl was in his 3rd/last term when I arrived. Freeman Bosley Jr. was elected in 1993, followed by Clarence Harmon in 1997. Then Slay.
I also thought about how my interaction with them has changed over the years.
- Schoemehl — I never met him while he was mayor, it was only after I started this blog that I met him. He recognizes me now.
- Bosley — I met him once during his 4-year term, at an event at O’Fallon Park announcing planned renovations. I gave him a book on urban planning.
- Harmon — I don’t recall ever meeting him.
- Slay — I didn’t know him before he became mayor. Even after I had started this blog he didn’t know who I was. Over his 16 years in office that changed, but our interaction was limited to polite chit chat at events such as press briefings or ribbon cuttings. I did come to meet many people on his staff.
- Krewson — keep reading to learn about how different my relationship is with our 46th mayor.
I knew about Lyda Krewson years before I first met her, the story of her husband being murdered in front of her and their young children was big news in the early 90s.
I can’t recall the first time I met her in person, but it was likely after starting this blog in October 2004. I recall when I was first dealing with restaurants taking up entire blocks for valet parking she was the only alderman who would talk with me about the problem and possible solutions.
In early 2009 I was bugging Krewson about getting on Twitter, having a blog, and getting an iPhone. She joined Twitter on April 1, 2009. On April 4th I created a Tumblr account for her, I also suggested she register her name as a domain — but that didn’t happen until May 2013. At the time I wanted every alderperson to be on social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc). Remember, this is when recently ousted Alderman Ken Ortman refused to accept email communications through the city website!
In 2013 my then boyfriend moved from Springfield IL to live with me — I invited people over for a welcome party. Among the guests were Lyda Krewson and husband, reporter turned lawyer, Mike Owens. In August last year she came by again — this time to ask for my endorsement. As filing hadn’t opened yet I wanted to see the field before I’d make any endorsement. I shared that I was very pessimistic about St. Louis’ future. Krewson was the only candidate to ask for my endorsement & vote.
As the March primary approached I realized I wasn’t excited about any candidate for mayor — none had the ability or will to change the culture in city hall, the city, or the region. A week before the primary I saw Krewson at a Loop Trolley event and she asked me if she had my vote. Always honest, I said I’d already voted for someone else via absentee ballot. I could’ve played politics and sucked up to her since she was favored to win — but that’s not me.
Over the years Krewson and I have debated politics/policy online and in person. Though we haven’t always agreed, we’ve been cordial and the conversations productive.
I wish Mayor Krewson the best of luck, I want her to succeed and surprise me.
— Steve Patterson