WEST PINE LACLEDE NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION
President Harold Karabell called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM
Harold dispensed with the usual order of business to allow Joe Diekemper, candidate for 17th ward Alderman, to address the attendees.
- JOE DIEKEMPER’S PRESENTATION
Mr. Diekemper (Forest Park Southeast resident at 4528 Gibson St.) decided to run for office against long-time incumbent Alderman and WPLNA member Joe Roddy because he believes our neighborhoods need a fresh perspective and a new progressive direction. Major issues for him in this election include:
- Strengthening STL schools – Keeping people in the city and thus growing the city means having a solid school system.
- Diversity – Maintaining and growing diversity takes planning as part of thoughtful development.
- Pediatric health care – An attorney and now as a nurse, he sees the poor quality of health care available to many of the city’s children.
Question from attendees: How do you distinguish projects that deserve city financial support (e.g., tax abatements) vs. those that do not? Answer: He’d want to know how the project will support the values of the community (e.g., schools). Often we as members of a community are unaware of how these decisions are made. We need decision to be more transparent to community members.
Check him out on at Joe@Diekemperfor17.com.
Ms Krewson has been 28th ward Alderman for 19 years and is CFO of the architecture firm Peckham Guyton Albers & Viets (PGAV) – a position she would surrender if elected. Good things have happened in STL in the past 10 years including Commercial development in The Grove, Cherokee St., The Loop, Old North, Hide Park, So. Grand, and Grand Center. Cortex now has 5,000 employees performing jobs that did not exist 15 years ago. The retention of NGA at 3200 S 2nd St. will add 3,100 jobs to area, an accomplishment due in part to the existence of Cortex in STL.
Lyda identified the following challenges she would address as mayor:
- Neighborhood safety: Addressing this complex issue requires building and maintaining a police force of 1,300 officers compared with the current force of 1,180. The city needs more and better (modernly) trained and equipped policemen.
- Need for recreation programs for children and for improved early childhood education in the SLCS and charter schools.
- Modernizing government: Combing select City and County services; perhaps merging the City and County governance. The City and County are at the tipping point on the topic of delivering merged services to the region.
- Economic development: The City needs to pay attention to existing STL companies and introduce STL as a great community for startups. The City needs to recognize and respond to the fact that US job growth is in small businesses.
She would be a mayor for everyone in the city and a mayor with government experience.
Questions from attendees:
What would you do in your first 100 days to reach out to north and south STL neighborhoods that are not as fortunate as WPLNA’s? Answer: She would reach out to bring developers to less developed areas. She would proactively present the many great areas not in the central corridor to these developers.
What do you think of Alderman Chris Carter’s public announce that as the father of young children living in the Walnut Park Neighborhood he needs to think about schools for his children and the safety of his family in an area where he nightly hears gunfire. So he needs to move and, therefore, resign as alderman. Answer: It is unfortunate that his announcement was in the press because it feeds into prejudices and gives wrong impressions.
Ms Krewson describes herself as tough. For example, she sponsored a smoking ban bill, took on the NRA, and has a bill pending before the Board of Aldermen that would require people who carry guns to put the gun in a lock box permanently affixed to their car when they are not actively carrying the gun. This requirement would reduce the high number of guns stolen from cars.
Minutes for December 12, 2016 were approved with one correction.
Savings account balance: $1054.03 (.25% interest rate)
Certificate of deposit value: $7,090.98 (Eagle Bank account)
Checking account balance: $1,266.09
Sandy Bender, who provides real estate coverage for the WPLNA Web site, contributed $300 to support the site. Harold suggested and all approved making Sandy an honorary WPLNA member. Terry Werner suggested that WPLNA invite other businesses to contribute to support of the site and be identified as a supporter.
Operation Brightside sent its annual request for donation of $100. The donation was unanimously approved because OB is a city wide effort and one that benefits the WPLNA neighborhood.
Nothing to report.
DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE REPORTS
Alderman Roddy Report
- The Federal Mogul redevelopment project received final passage by Board of Aldermen and is moving forward.
- The Board of Aldermen passed a bill that will allow St. Louis U to develop 400 acres between its main and medical campuses.
- Development plans for the former Armory project were introduced with a hearing expected later in January.
- The developer of the 36 story high rise apartment building planned for Kingshighway/West Pine and designed by Studio Gang will present again to the neighborhood on February 6 at the Schafly Library.
- A Commerce Bank site is moving forward in the south Ward 17 with a seven story building going up at Manchester and Sarah.
- A 110 foot office building is being planned near the former Liggett-Myers Tobacco Company complex in south central STL roughly bounded by Vandeventer Avenue, Park Avenue, Thurman Street, and Lafayette Avenue.
- Another major residential and commercial project is being developed for Tower Grove at Vandeventer.
- 4101 Laclede official ground breaking will occur at 2:00 PM on 1/12/17.
- Upcoming from Alderman Roddy is a presentation to WPLNA on how Aldermen make financial decisions related to STL development (abatements etc.).
Development Related Problems
Problem: Traffic and with it speeding have increased on Boyle now that it is a main thorough fare to 40/64. This situation will worsen when parking along Sarah is blocked for 4101 Laclede construction. Lack of ADA curbs and cross walk slows pedestrian crossing. However, a single curb cut costs $5,000, which requires careful spending of funds to put curbs in where most needed. Paraquad and senior living organizations have met with Alderman Roddy and staff to identify the most used routes and needs.
Ron Coleman noted that the 5th district police have issued about100 speeding tickets at Boyle/Laclede and Sarah/Laclede. Ron was not optimistic about trying to involve STL Traffic in ticketing for speeding.
The long waits for crossing Forest Park on Boyle continue. Ron will follow up again to get lights quickened.
Crossing gates at Metro crossing Boyle are felt to be unnecessarily long.
SECURITY COMMITTEE REPORT BY CAROLYN COMPTON
Ms Compton reported that the Central West End has a program available to residents that want to work with local law enforcement and city agencies to help keep their neighborhoods clean, safe and secure. People who regularly walk dogs, run/jog, or bike through the neighborhood could help by learning how to be proactive in identifying quality of life issues and crime in the CWE, the best ways to report those issues, and the correct agencies to contact when they do. The link is below. For questions or to RSVP please contact Carolyn Compton at 314-454-5808 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Terry Werner paid homage to recently deceased Marilyn McGartland, an 88 year old, long time resident of the 4100 block of Laclede Ave. and a very regular attendee of the WPLNA’s monthly meetings. She was, he said, “A wonderful neighbor.”
Terry Van Schaik, Secretary