Monday, April 23, 2007

County Resident Survey

Citizens, your federal government has seen fit to endowing the county residents with $5.5 million in Community Development Block Grant funds this year. As long as the funds are used for housing and community improvement, it's open season.

To this end, the County wants your input. Sadly, the survey is not available in an online format. But here is a link to the paper survey. If you want to have the Dave Matthews Band play your block party, you can advocate for that here. If you think the fire department needs a shinier truck, you can ask for that too.

As a resident of Affton, may I humbly suggest rating the following highly in an effort to make our community a better place for the long-term needs of its residents and to attract more visitors to the area:

1) Job Creation & Retention
2) Park & Recreational Facilities
3) Community Centers
4) Sidewalk Improvements
5) Accessibility Improvements
6) Facade Improvements
7) Start Up Business Assistance

I like to hear from you as well on your thoughts.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Long Lost Relatives Nearly Long Lost in Long Grass at Mayor's Mansion

The Mayor's sister-in-law is getting married in a little over a month and the wedding shower was at the Mayor's Mansion over the weekend. Much to my chagrin, the weather conspired against me yet again and I was unable to get the grass cut before the event. I would not have been surprised if guests could not find the house due to the jungle growing outside.

This has been the case for nearly every weekend this season since the grass started growing. (The other two "nice" weekends were spent at funerals.)

For the past couple weekends, I've been watching it rain or freeze while I drank my coffee on the couch each morning, contemplating this humiliation. As a guy, nothing can be more important in making impressions at these events than your yard. We don't make the cake, we don't plan the event, we don't write down who gave what, and we CERTAINLY don't write the 'thank you' notes. Thanks again, Mother Nature for making me look like a total failure. Your power even usurps the Mayor's. I can only hope my neighbors, who appear to have cut their grass somehow, don't try to oust me.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Representation Without Sanitation

Recently at issue in the local news, my Afftonians, was the emergency meeting called by Councilman Campisi regarding the proposed consolidation plan for residential trash services in unincorporated St. Louis County. Your Mayor was notified of the meeting with less than 24 hours notice and could not attend. To me, this decision is a no-brainer and I was shocked to hear of the ensuing uproar by you, my people.

The story as reported in the Journal.

Results of the meeting as reported in the Journal.

Of the 300 people attending the "trash bitch-in" who was the old fart that referred to the county as "Communist China"? For the love of god people. You complain and complain that taxes are going up and then when your elected officials have the chance to lower the cost of a municipal service, you call them Communists!!! WTF??!!

More shocking to me than the outright opposition, was that the issue seemed more about reducing the number of "those noisy" trash trucks on streets and not about the economy of consolidating trash services to reduce cost to residents! Not to mention that the County's proposed changes provide curbside recycling services.

Recycling at my curb ALONE makes this worth supporting. Too often am I tripping on pizza boxes and Busch Beer cans strewn about my garage for weeks being "saved" for a car trip to the recycling center by the (environmentally conscious) First Lady!

From the County's web site:

Extensive research has demonstrated that losing the option of choosing a trash hauler is outweighed by the benefits communities receive when hauling companies competitively bid to serve a defined area. St. Louis County is aware of the importance of good customer service. Not only will customer service be a key component of the bid specifications, but also penalties for poor service will be factored into the contract.

One of St. Louis' greatest hindrances to achieving greatness is the fragmentation of government. St. Louis is host to about 771 local, regional and municipal government agencies. This is extremely high challenging even Philadelphia for the top slot. While I, as your duly elected Mayor, understand everybody's desire for representation and choice, why would one choose NOT to save money under these circumstances?