Thursday, March 30, 2006

Affton Might Take A Plunge!

Praise be to the County Parks Department! Your Future Mayor stumbled across what the Future First Lady and I have been talking about for years! The Parks Department has conducted a feasability study on creating an Aquatic Center adjacent to the White-Rodgers Community Center. Based on the proposal (posted Feb. 2006) it looks great. Best of all, it's going to be over an existing, half-empty parking lot. While the Future Mayor is too Irish and pasty white to be in the sun for long, I do believe that the residents will respond positively to this development. I will totally volunteer to do a belly flop on opening day as a photo op for the Journal. Are you listening, Buck Collier?

This Land is Your Land

Recently a resident posted a comment about the dismal corner of Mackenzie and Heege. I borrowed the Future First Lady's camera and set out to document the tragedy for you, the residents. Dismal it is! Now photographer, I am not. I took these from my car but it does not take a genius to see that we need some help here.

This first pic is the NW corner. The lot is 6313 Heege and it is about three times the size of the ajacent lots. In addition to the dark red shed, the white box in the rear of the yard is actually the box from a semi truck trailer that is sitting in the yard. Currently it is zoned residential. Great use of a prominent corner!

This pic is the very unattractive NE corner. The building on the right is the brand new building that houses Fortels Pizza Den. Their original location is the building on the left. (Big fans we are of Fortells at the Future Mayor's house.) We also love Shelley Fortel, current owner. She is a shrewd and hard-working business woman (I have personally witnessed her working there with an infant strapped to her chest in a Baby Bjorn.) Sadly, when they built the new place, they made it completely subservient to parking, which could have been placed in the back. Since the Elks Lodge was being vacated around the time they built this, why didn't someone with some VISION step in to help this corner? Wouldn't it have been great to have a street front series of small shops with dwelling units or offices on top? I think the folks at St. Dominic Savio could have helped make it work as would the local residents. The density in the area warrants more shops within walking distance!

The boarded up building on the SW corner is the former home of the Affton Elks fraternal organization. This place is currently for sale and would be great as a number of uses. The lot is almost two acres. Currently, it's a wasteland had has been for at least a year since the Elks built a new place next door.

Across from the Elks in the SE corner is the 7-Eleven. Sadly, it is the most used property in the corner.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Affton: Home of the Cougars

While I'm certain (based on the headline) that you are hoping for information about the incredible athletic teams of Affton Schools (whose mascot is in fact the Cougar,) this is about a cougar of another kind. Today is the birthday of the eldest sister of the Future Mayor. Today's post is dedicated to her. She lives in Boston and has made me aware of an unusual urban phenomenon in her workplace which I plan to exploit into an economic development strategy to catalyze Affton's economy. Stay with me as I outline the plan...

Apparently the term "cougar" is used in reference to business-minded women who chose career over marriage and prefer to hunt for the company of men at least 8 years their junior. They want to be with younger men and make no bones about it. This movement has become so big that they seem to be a semi-organized group on sites like Lori (pictured) is an authority on the subject and answers questions submitted to There is even a book on the topic. These women hang out in specific bars to prey on young men and sometimes hunt in packs. To dumb it down for us newbies, I can point to the character portrayed by Kim Cattrall on TV's Sex and the City as a cougar role model. That should paint the picture for you. The cougars hunt their prey in places called "dens". Your Future Mayor is troubled at the fact that Missouri does not have ONE place officially listed as a cougar den in the entire state! I hear opportunity knocking!

My plan for Affton is to create a welcoming atmosphere for the cougars. I can think of no better place suited for this in the country than Affton (HOME of the Cougars already, mind you!) While Affton does have a large group of seniors in the community, we also have an abundance of young, blue collar men who either workout or perform manual labor as a means of making a living. I further propose that these powerful, single women will not only keep the young men of Affton happy, but will choose to relocate their homes and businesses here with small incentives from the local government. This will be a HUGE economic advantage for our area and a market demographic that is not being courted by any other municipality (except maybe Clayton.) Affton has plenty of land opportunities to locate new businesses. The recently vacated Nestle plant on Heege for one, could become a Class A business park.

These women will have large disposable incomes to spend in Affton and the St. Louis area. They will invest in housing, create new businesses ancillary to being a cougar (such as tanning salons and plastic surgeons), and are revered for getting involved in philanthropic endeavors which will help our senior citizens.

I posit that the following bars in or near the Affton area would already make EXCELLENT dens for the inbound cougars in the following order:
**House of Rock in Ronnie's Plaza (also home of the band The Well Hungarians)
**The Ten Mile House
**George's Route 66 Bar
and possibly **Schottzie's Bar & Grill

This is a WIN-WIN and I hope you agree! Remember, I'd appreciate your vote on April 4.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Affton, Get Out of My Dreams and Into My Car!

Yesterday, in the Future Mayor's mail came a newsletter from St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley. (See Photo) I have long suspected Charlie of actually being 80's singer Billy Ocean (see smaller photo) but that's not important right now. I've never met Charlie, but an associate of mine worked on his campaign. Not only is he from my original home municipality of Normandy, but apparently he's one funny, sarcastic, menthol-smoking dude. Anyway, I like that he' s resurrected the Citizen Newsletter called "St. Louis County Direct" after a three-year hiatus. I quote our president when I sum up Charlie's newsletter in one word..."Strateegory". This man has plans.

I must say that I personally did not give a crap about the new playgound in Spanish Lake Park (I'm sure it's great), but from this letter I learned two important things. First, that the County is updating it's Strategic Plan. This is updated every five years and is designed to plan for county programs, preservation, transportation, health and other issues. There are several town hall forums and I need to go to at least one to present my concerns and ideas for Affton. It's a growing list so I may have to attend all six of them.

Second, UMSL's Public Policy Research Center has been awarded $200,000 in a grant money to fund community building in Affton. I have already been in contact with the project coordinator to get involved. I'm all over that. That information lead me to finding the Affton Community Betterment Association. Where the hell has this been? There's some sort of ACTION committee? Where are they promoting this? I've lived here three years and never heard of them. If you Google Affton right now, you find links to some real crap, if anything. One can find information about Pee-Wee hockey in Affton far easier than one can find the Betterment Association.!! It's proof positive that our priorities need to get back on track. Apparently they are the group behind these signs (shown above) on some of the light posts around town.
I must infiltrate their ranks immediately. That's going to be difficult however as they meet at 9 A.M. How is THAT serving the community? We're not ALL retired!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Official Campaign Poster

It is with great pride that I offer you, Afftonians, the official campaign poster. Please post and print at will.

Time Heals All Economic Wounds

For you, my future constituency, to consider this weekend...if you are thinking of moving from Affton for "greener pastures" I advise placating your need for instant gratification if you want to be a savvy investor. I know that a few folks in your Future Mayor's neighborhood are headed out, but their homes have been on the market for like 8 months! Put this in your meth pipe and smoke it: The residents of our area are OLD. As if the overgrown evergreen bushes, high number of bird feeders and other outdated decorating and landscaping weren't proof enough, here's facts:

The census tracts that make up Affton represent 5% of St. Louis County, yet the Social Security Adminsitration reports that we are responsible for 7.8% of the County's recipients of Social Security checks. 33% of our households have a person 65 years or older compared to 24% of all County households. What does this mean for you, my Afftonians? If Affton were a blue chip stock I would advise you to buy and hold. After decades of declining population, the 2000 census showed that our census tracts increased by 1000 residents. However, as we look at the population of our smaller, incorporated municipalities, they are largely still declining for the same period:
Lakeshire -5.7%
Bella Villa -6.4%
Mackenzie -8.1%
St. George -1%
Wilbur Park -1.6%
(source: East West Gateway Municipal Profiles)

And overall, Affton added 1000 people. Who's making headway in the world? Affton. That's who!

As our senior residents begin to pass on, I predict that Affton will become the next highly desirable place to live in the inner ring suburbs. Affton's high density (yet generous lot sizes compared to the City) will attract those who want the convenience of City living, but desire a more suburban lifestyle. Since the City cannot offer a worthwhile school district, I propose that Affton get in to the market of attracting young families with children. This will spur a boon of developent in the area by the younger generation. We'll have a thriving new group of residents putting disposable income into affordable homes with new landscaping and Malibu lights in every yard. Can you imagine reading the real estate ads that say "sought after Affton area"? Wow, now that's a vision. I humbly ask for your vote on April 4 to make all this a reality.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Support of Prop. EJ

As your future mayor, I'd like to remind you to vote for me. While you're at it, my Afftonians, I urge you to vote YES on Proposition EJ. This would provide a small, tiny, tax increase for increased funding of the Community College system. Affton has it's share of unemployment my friends, and drinking Busch beer should NEVER be a full-time occupation.

The Meramec ("The Mac") and Forest Park ("Fo-Po") campuses do more then their fair share of job training at affordable rates! Even the Future Mayor himself has attended from time to time. Now I took a small business class and Cisco Networking classes, but where the hell else are you going to be able to get mad skills in Funeral Directing, Diesel Engines, and Tourism?

I heartily throw my support behind this issue! For those Town Talkers who complain about tax increases, my apologies, but sh*t costs more these days! Can you get a shave and a haircut for two bits? I think not.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Revenue-Generating Proposal

Everytime the Future First Family drives home from somewhere, we pass the El Maguey Mexican Restaurant. Currently it's located at 7014 Chippewa in a former 1-1/2 story house. The place was founded by three brothers from Alabama of all places, but that's not important. What is important is that the place is packed...always. I'm not just talking about Friday and Saturday nights. Sunday, Tuesday...anyday, the lot is full or there is a line out the door. Although the Future First Lady is not their biggest fan, I am ceratinly in the running for that race as well.

Everyone I talk to about the place agrees that they need a patio and/or more inside seating. Future Mayor's Father-in-law and I have discussed the amount of savings that El Maguey can realize if they would simply cut back on the amount of sour cream they dispense when you ask for "a side of sour cream." This usually constitutes about 1/2 cup of the substance. Clearly far more than you need for a few tacos. I think they could afford the patio in less than a year.

I propose that Affton make a move to attract this thriving, minority-owned business to our fair zip code. I further propose that El Maguey develop a new property at 7208 Watson Rd. (which is only about 3 parcels west of the current location.) Currently this property sits vacant and undeveloped. El Maguey will save big as they will no longer pay City earnings tax and the proposed site is actually unincorporated St. Louis County lowering taxation further. The difference might be made up on the improved property, however the proposed site is smaller. Parking can be facilitated by using the neighboring Car X lot and the Optical Medical Center during busy hours. A patio overlooking Historic Route 66 sounds loke a good idea for Affton! Now who wants a burrito?

Friday, March 10, 2006

Education First For Affton!

Here is another example of why education and creating a sence of "place" in your community is so important to Affton and other areas. The photo shows a former Affton resident whose childhood was spent in High Ridge living on the streets and whose adult life has been spent bouncing between jobs in St. Louis city and county.

Although this individual has had success gaining regular corporate employment (we could call him an "achiever"), he often resorts to his behavior learned growing up on the streets. The clothes look convincing enough, yet he remains confused about his place in the community. His appearance can be disheveled and he resorts to begging for change with a coffee cup while at the workplace. The children of Affton deserve more. As mayor, I'll work within our two school districts to increase funding for more technology in the classrooms and I'll institute a mentoring program so that corporate leaders can help us groom the workforce of the future. Get out and vote on April 4!

Affton Students Perfect Levitation Technology

Now here is a great example of what Affton can do when we put our heads together. Judging by this photo, from the South- County Times, the kids at Seven Holy Founders have perfected some sort of levitation device! That's exactly the kind of progress we could use. Why are we wasting this resource on a jump rope competition?

I'm a staunch supporter of education and it will be a hallmark of my term in office. Teachers (and single parents) should all get tax breaks and gold medals.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Good Point About Anonymity

One of my favorite weekly events is reading Town Talk in the local Suburban Journal. Generally, it's the older folks' rant column featuring such gripes as "Will the owner of the dog in the 3400 block of Ivanhoe please get it to stop barking all night??!!" It's so damn funny, I've considered Podcasting it weekly. Nearly all posts are posted with no name and occasionally with sarcastic or helpful retorts from the Editor.

This week, an astute Affton resident wrote in to try to change that policy. See the letter here. As a regular reader of the column, I think it would become much less fun to read, and while I understand and agree with the writer's point, I think that Town Talk is a safe way for citizens to vent frustrations. I certainly rather them vent in the column rather than yelling or gesturing from their cars.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Reflections of Day One

Well, it's been years I suppose that I've been campaigning for Mayor of Affton, but it's a different story now that I'm actually running. For the moment I am running unopposed. While I relish the thought of a victory, it hardly is the best representation of a democracy. This is, in large part, the problem with Affton and the surrounding areas. Not one person from John Goodman's side of town can run for Mayor? Running unopposed has emboldened me and I vow to carry on my campaign with vigor.

To wit...Listen up Wilbur Park and St. George: If I were you, I'd consider myself lucky to be included in the Affton area. That said, you should consider getting your crap together and representing yourselves. If I am successful in my mayoral campaign, and you continue on this road of apathy, I will smack you so far down the census tracts that Lemay will look good to you!

While we're on it, we all know that Shrewsbury thinks it's part of Webster Groves but it surely is not. In fact, as shown below, Shrewsbury is largely in the Affton school district!

Step up Shrewsbury! Webster is busy improving itself and what have you done? You can't even fix the traffic and parking disaster on Weil Ave.! (For the love of god, make those people park on ONE SIDE of the street!)

Anyway, this looks to be a great campaign. I look forward to many events and issues to address on the campaign trail. I am pleased to be able to share it all with you. As for you, Shrewsbury, you better watch your ass!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Game On!

The Future First Lady and I were waiting at the door of the St. Louis County Board of Election Commissioners in Sunnen Plaza when they opened at 9 this morning. After a nerve-wracking wait through the background check, I was approved! My papers were in order and I'm on the ballot! Please get out and vote on April 4!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Campaign Begins!

Tomorrow is the first day of a new start for Affton, MO! I will file my intent to run for Mayor of Affton. I will be on the ballot on April 4 and would appreciate your vote!

I have set up an email address where you can contact me about your concerns for Affton, the campaign issues and for your messages of support. Reach me at