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Poll: Do You Support St. Louis Selling Bonds To Fund Park Improvements?

St. Louis will be selling bonds to fund improvements to the city’s park system. From STLtoday.com on Friday:

St. Louis aldermen today overwhelmingly approved a plan to issue $64 million in bonds for city parks, with about $30 million to be spent on improvements at Forest Park.

What’s not to like about better parks?

ABOVE: Forest Park

Comptroller Darlene Green isn’t happy about the city taking on more debt:

On Thursday, Green was outvoted when two related bills authorizing the funding plan passed the city’s three-person Board of Estimate and Apportionment, which also includes Mayor Francis Slay and Aldermanic President Lewis Reed. Aldermen today approved the bills by wide margins. (article)

So St. Louis will take on more debt. In a November 30th letter to the Board of Aldermen, Comptroller Green explained her concerns about paying off the debt.

ABOVE: Gravois Park is one of 100+ parks in St. Louis

This seems like a perfect subject for a weekly poll question: Do you support St. Louis selling bonds to fund park improvements? The poll is in the right sidebar, results will be posted Wednesday December 14th.

– Steve Patterson


Alderman Filed Chapter 7 Bankruptcy While Serving on Ways & Means Committee

The Ways & Means Committee at the St. Louis Board of Aldermen is probably the most important of their standing committees:

[The] Ways and Means Committee is concerned with questions of finance, assessments, budget, public debt; appropriations and other bills not properly referable to other committees except monies administered by the Community Development Agency or the St. Louis Development Corporation.

The City of St. Louis needs competent leadership to address the financial problems  facing our city. Thankfully the committee chair is now Lyda Krewson (D-28). Her full-time job is as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the firm PGAV. The qualifications of the other ten current members of the committee pale compared to those of Krewson. In fact, one member of the committee shouldn’t be serving on the committee at all.

Marlene E. Davis (D-19) was elected to the Board of Aldermen in March 2007 (unchallenged) to finish the term of Michael McMillan, who became License Collector. After getting elected, this former President of the St. Louis School Board and two partners bought the legendary jazz nightclub Gene Lynn’s in July 2007, presumably from Mr. Gene Lynn himself. The partners were Kim Kyunah of O’Fallon, IL and Barry Adelstein of St. Louis.

ABOVE: Gene Lynn’s was located in the Lindell Marketplace

On August 27, 2008 The Lindell Marketplace LP filed a lawsuit against the three for rent and possession totaling $100,171.92 In December 2008 the once-popular club was closed.

On March 3 2009 Davis defeated challenger Michelle Lawrence (73.44% vs 26.56%) in the democratic primary for a full 4-year term. On March 19,2009, a consent judgement for $24,000 was filed by Judge Peebles with payments of $300/month starting in April 2009.

In March 2010 Davis filed Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Davis listed assets of $10,500 and liabilities of $119,718.47. Nearly $17,000 was back taxes to the Missouri Department of Revenue ($5,000) and the Internal Revenue Service ($11,953.37).

A few of the “creditors holding unsecured non priority claims” were:

  • Barry Adelstein $30,000
  • Kim Kyunah $28,000
  • Lindell Marketplace $25,506

Davis’ income was listed as $3108.28/month but after taxes and a tax garnishment of $1083.33 her take home pay was just $1,114.10/month. In a separate line for other monthly income Davis listed $350/month for “adjustment for expenses paid by city” bringing the total to $1,464.10/month. What’s interesting is the monthly expenses schedule — $3,003.00/month. The 2nd biggest item was an install payment of $384/month under auto. The largest was $425/month detailed on a separate sheet as:

  • Mailings for ward: $175.00
  • Stamps: $150.00
  • Parking: $100.00
Really? $3,900/year on mailings & stamps?

I’ve had my share of regrettable financial decisions over the years but I doubt Davis’ ability to make sound finical decisions for the City of St. Louis as a member of the Ways & Means Committee.

Tomorrow I will look at


Poll: Should St. Louis Require Pet Owners To Spay, Neuter & Microchip Their Pets?

October 2, 2011 Board of Aldermen, Featured, Politics/Policy, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Poll: Should St. Louis Require Pet Owners To Spay, Neuter & Microchip Their Pets?

Dogs & cats are getting caught in political debates lately in St. Louis.

ABOVE: A dog at Stray Rescue

One attempt to control the animal population is Board Bill 107. From July:

The bill, introduced by Central West End Alderman Lyda Krewson, comes as part of a citywide effort to reform animal control laws and crack down on the owners of thousands of city strays overwhelming the region’s animal shelters.

Yet, in the same meeting of the Health and Human Services Committee, aldermen narrowly rejected sending $250,000 in taxpayer donations to the city’s nonprofit dog shelter, Stray Rescue — a move that threatens the already rocky relationship between the city and the nonprofit’s founder, Randy Grim. (STLtoday.com)

The bill stalled at the Board of Aldermen before they went on summer recess.  From September 21st:

​A bill under consideration in the St. Louis Board of Aldermen could make St. Louis one of the most restrictive cities in the nation when it comes to owning cats and dogs.

Board Bill 107 would require all pet owners to spay or neuter their dogs and cats and microchip them for identification. Those who don’t want to sterilize their pets would be assessed a fee of $200 per year. (RFT)

I’m not a pet owner so I’m not directly impacted. Still I thought this was a good topic for a weekly poll.  Vote in the poll in the right sidebar. Results will be published on Wednesday Oct 12, 2011.

– Steve Patterson


Readers: Preservation Review Should be Citywide!

Readers who voted in the poll last week clearly support making preservation review citywide rather than allow some aldermen to exclude their wards:

Q: Should Preservation Review be Citywide or Continue Ward-by-Ward?

  1. Citywide! 84 [87.5%]
  2. Unsure/no opinion 4 [4.17%]
  3. We shouldn’t have any preservation review districts 4 [4.17%]
  4. Aldermen know what is best for their ward 2 [2.08%]
  5. Other answer… 2 [2.08%]

Our aldermen, however, have a custom known as “aldermanic courtesy” where the interests of the city as a whole take backseat to the ruler of the ward. As a result I don’t expect this group of 28 to make a change for the better.

The two “other” answers were:

  1. It should be regional.
  2. It doesnt really matter, they will do what they want to anyway

True, they will what they want.

– Steve Patterson


Readers Want Ald Freeman Bosley Sr. Out of Office

Ald. Freeman Bosley Sr.

Many people think Ald Freeman Bosley Sr. (D-3) has been a member of the Board of Aldermen longer than any other member. However, Phyllis Young & Fred Wessels hold that honor, both were first sworn in on April 16, 1985 (26 years!). Next is Joseph Roddy, first sworn in on March 11, 1988 (23 years!). Freeman Bosley Sr., and Terry Kennedy, were first sworn in on April 18, 1989 (22 years!).

In the poll last week readers picked the father of former mayor Freeman Bosley Jr. as the alderman they’d most like out of office. Where do I begin? Bosley’s plan for his 1/28th of the city has been tear down anything vacant more than a week. If not for the persistence of the staff at the city’s Cultural Resources office, and others, the third ward would have significantly fewer buildings.

As an example, Ald Bosley has mentioned for years about razing the beautiful library in Hyde Park with an IHOP.  I like eating at IHOP but I’m a bigger fan of the historic library.

ABOVE: the historic library in Hyde Park

In my first weeks of blogging I spoke at a Preservation Board meeting against the demolition of a historic church on North Grand that Bosley supported.  Thankfully they rejected the application and the church remains.

Here are the Top 10 vote getters in the poll, readers could pick up to five (those shown in bold are the ones I voted for):

  1. 3) Freeman Bosley Sr. 75 [14.34%]
  2. 19) Marlene E. Davis 60 [11.47%]
  3. 6) Kacie Starr Triplett 40 [7.65%]
  4. 7) Phyllis Young 38 [7.27%]
  5. 5) April Ford-Griffin 34 [6.5%]
  6. 20) Craig N. Schmid 32 [6.12%]
  7. 1) Charles Troupe 28 [5.35%]
  8. 18) Terry Kennedy 24 [4.59%]
  9. 15) Jennifer Florida 22 [4.21%]
  10. 9) Kenneth Ortmann 19 [3.63%]

The following are the remaining, in order.  In the case of a tie the software placed them in numerical/alphabetical order.

  • 21) Antonio D. French 16 [3.06%]
  • President Lewis Reed 15 [2.87%]
  • All of them 14 [2.68%]
  • 13) Fred Wessels 12 [2.29%]
  • 17) Joseph D. Roddy 12 [2.29%]
  • 8) Stephen Conway 11 [2.1%]
  • 4) Samuel L. Moore 10 [1.91%]
  • 28) Lyda Krewson 10 [1.91%]
  • 11) Thomas Albert Villa 7 [1.34%]
  • 27) Gregory Carter 7 [1.34%]
  • 22) Jeffrey L. Boyd 6 [1.15%]
  • 23) Joseph Vaccaro 6 [1.15%]
  • 2) Dionne Flowers 5 [0.96%]
  • 10) Joseph Vollmer 5 [0.96%]
  • 12) Larry Arnowitz 4 [0.76%]
  • 16) Donna Baringer 4 [0.76%]
  • None of them 2 [0.38%]
  • 14) Carol Howard 2 [0.38%]
  • Unsure/no answer 1 [0.19%]
  • 24) Scott Ogilvie 1 [0.19%]
  • 25) Shane Cohn 1 [0.19%]
  • 26) Frank Williamson 0 [0%]

No votes for Williamson? Someone I know didn’t vote then.

Clearly many of them don’t know when to make an exit.  Twenty-six years?  If we want them out we’ve got to make it happen by challenging them at the next election, recall or just being so critical of everything they finally give up and step aside so younger folks can take a shot at leadership.

Odd numbered wards, seven of the top ten, are up again in 2013. Start planning your campaign today!

– Steve Patterson