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Arch City Chronicle Hot Off the Presses

January 25, 2005 25th Ward 1 Comment

The January 26-February 8, 2005 issue of the Arch City Chronicle is hitting newstands tonight. On the cover is a picture of me with my volunteer Michael Kime and former Presidential candidate Howard Dean. Mr. Dean was very supportive of my candidacy – he likes to see young progressives seek office.

On page 7 I’m pictured again – this time with 17th Ward Candidate Rodney Burchfield and political operative “Kenny Murdock”. Burchfield was great to talk to – I look forward to working with him on the Board of Aldermen.

Dave Drebes has a nice write up on me and my campaign on the same page. Drebes writes of me:

“He doesn’t like the St. Louis tradition of aldermen handpicking their successor, ward politics, or the practice of ‘aldermanic courtesy,’ where aldermen abstain from taking positions on issues located in any alderman’s ward but their own”

What I liked best were Drebes’ words on the editorial page in his column titled, “My Thoughts Exactly.”

“If the city dwellers who enthusiastically pounded the pavement and worked hard on the presidential, gubernatorial and congressional races, return to the streets again over the next two months and try to have an impact on the aldermanic races, there is opportunity to begin a transformation of the board of aldermen.”

Dave – I could not agree more! To volunteer on my campaign send me an email and I’ll put you to work.

– Steve


New 25th Ward Housing Delivered on Trailer

January 25, 2005 25th Ward Comments Off on New 25th Ward Housing Delivered on Trailer

Just down the street from me three new houses are being built. Two are marginally acceptable and one is completely inappropriate.

One house was delivered by tractor trailer last Friday. As a designer I know the difference between prefab housing and a trailer. Unfortunately, this prefab house looks like a trailer. In fact, I’ve seem some trailers that would look better. Prefab construction can be very high quality and can result in a very modern exterior.

It is my understanding this house is to be “accessible.” In other words, designed for a wheelchair bound occupant. It is being built on a speculative basis. Don’t misunderstand me – I’m not opposed to accessible housing – I’ve designed numerous spaces for disabled people over the years. My objection is how the house looks completely out of place with the neighboring housing.


The 47xx block of Minnesota is a very eclectic – with both brick and frame houses. Most are quite modest in size. What the block lacks in pretense it makes up for in rhythm – very consistent lot & house widths. One and two story houses seem to work well next to each other. Until that trailer pulled up…

Just look at this house. It is wide – taking up the width of at least two or three houses. Due to the accessible design requirements it is low to the ground – that I accept. What I don’t accept is the short height, the plain roof and overall lack of detailing. The old houses on the street with asbestos siding have more curb appeal.


The worst part is the blank space you see here will have a front facing single-car garage. Yes, a brand new front facing garage in the city – on a lot with an alley at the rear of the property. Why should we be subjected to a front facing garage?


My understanding is this project was rejected for tax abatement due to the front garage. But, why is it here in the first place? Why weren’t neighborhood leaders consulted on the design – at least given a chance to suggest alternatives?

As Alderman I would do everything I could to convince a developer to make the design work with the neighboring houses, get area leaders involved and stop any front facing garage where an alley is available. My vision of new housing for the ward is certainly better than this…

– Steve


Mt. Pleasant Neighborhood Association Meeting Wednesday Night

January 25, 2005 25th Ward Comments Off on Mt. Pleasant Neighborhood Association Meeting Wednesday Night

The Mt. Pleasant Neighborhood Association will be holding their monthly meeting Wednesday January 26th at the Charless Home, 4430 Nebraska at 7pm.

For more information on Mt. Pleasant click here.

See you there!

– Steve


The Need for DSL Access for All in the Ward

January 24, 2005 25th Ward 2 Comments

To some DSL access might not be a big issue (if you still use that Smith-Corona). But in today’s world internet access is a valuable tool for young and older alike. For many businesses, such as real estate, it can be critical to survival.

However, much of the 25th Ward East of Grand lacks the availability of DSL service. Areas to the North & West of the ward enjoy DSL service. As a REALTOR® I can tell you this makes a difference to a greater and greater number of buyers. Those doing rehab work also know of the lack of DSL and sometimes avoid the area – knowing their properties will be less appealing to internet savvy buyers.

Currently SBC controls the equipment and access for all providers of DSL. Companies such as Earthlink rely on SBC’s lines for their service. Only upon getting SBC to add additional stations to serve all of the city will this change. As a result, those of us in this red-lined zone turn to Charter for their high-speed service. Currently Charter has a $19.99/month special for the first three months but then you return to their regular rates which start at $39.99/month. Compared to SBC’s current rate of $26.95/month ($19.95/month if you use SBC Long Distance) you can see how the cost difference can big a deal to those on lower or fixed incomes. With many dial-up services charging rates similar to SBC’s DSL service it is very feasible for many residents to consider their service. Finding an extra $250/year plus taxes for Charter’s service is not always an option.

Of importance to business is often what is known as a “Static IP” address. SBC’s Static IP plans start at just $54.95/month – for residential or business. This is something Charter cannot offer due to their technology. To a business that needs a Static IP the only alternative is what is known as ADSL (or similar types of lines) which are often well in excess of $100/month. Again, the cost difference is something a small business must consider when deciding where to locate.

Nearly 70% of the registered voters in the ward are under 50 years old – we are computer & internet users. Many of the people I’ve talked to in the ward that are older than 50 also use the internet for communications. To retain these residents and to attract new home owners we need to consider access to technology. Almost 30% of the voters are in their teens and 20s. As these young folks begin their families it is important to keep them not only in our ward but in the city. I have a 9 year-old niece that has her own notebook computer and a 6 year-old great niece that is great with computer learning activities – they take keyboarding class not typing. Access to the internet is a very important part of educating our children – especially when preparing school reports. Parents also use the internet to check in with schools on the progress of their kids.

Lack of DSL availability is a very real issue to individuals, families and businesses in the city. I want to work with the Aldermen in the adjacent wards that are also not served by SBC’s DSL and seek to rectify this injustice. Together we can get SBC to make the necessary improvements to give all of the city a level playing field.

– Steve Patterson


25th Ward Meeting on Thursday 1/27

January 23, 2005 25th Ward Comments Off on 25th Ward Meeting on Thursday 1/27

Thursday January 27th at 7:30pm is the first meeting in 2005 of the ’25th Ward Regular Democratic Club.’ The meeting will be held at Resurrection School at 3880 Meramec 63116 – downstairs meeting room.

[ Yahoo! Maps ]

Map of
3880 Meramec St
St Louis, MO 63116-4450

If you live in the 25th Ward and would like to participate in the process this is a good way to do so. With over 6,400 registered voters in the ward it is unfortunate that we have less than 30 paid members. This means that less than half of 1% of the registered voters in the ward make the party endorsement for various races – including for alderman.

Dues are only $6.00/yr and for those over 60 the dues are reduced to $4.00/yr. Hopefully we can get the membership number up around 65 so that at least 1% of the registered voters are represented.

The ward endorsement meeting will be held on February 24th – same time and location. New members joining now are not permitted to vote at the endorsement meeting. Still, please join and participate. The 25th Ward Club is part of the St. Louis Democratic City Central Committee.

I hope to see you there.