Saturday, January 06, 2007

THE PEOPLE SPEAK - Letters To The Editor

Dear Editor,
I’ve been a resident of the city of St. Charles for 23 years and a St. Peters business owner for 23 years.
I’m glad I watched some of the St. Charles City Council meeting last night. I’m totally against red light cameras being installed at any intersections within our city.
I have a month of personal experience with these red light cameras because our business, Aaron’s Birkenstock SuperStore & All Brand Shoe Repair, St. Peters, MO is practically located exactly in the middle of a stretch of Mexico Road where three intersections have had these cameras installed.
As you can imagine I’m up and down this part of Mexico Road several times a day. I’ve gotten to where I dread seeing that the light is green a block or so away. I’m afraid that by the time I get to the light it’s going to turn yellow and then to the ‘fast red’ and click I’ll be getting a ticket in the mail, at $70 per ticket this can become very expensive.
It seems these lights are turning very quickly from yellow to red. I’m slowing down if I see the green light a block or so away, and then if it hasn’t changed by the time I need to go through the intersection I’m speeding up to be sure I’m not in the intersection before the light turns red, this is not a good situation and it is not a good feeling worrying everyday about this.
In my 35 years of driving I have had three tickets, now I feel as though I risk the possibility of getting a ticket a couple of times a day, depending how traffic moves along Mexico Road from the Cave Springs exit to Jungermann.
I read where the City of St. Peters had their cameras up and running on November 15, only issuing warning notices and then after one month the system would start issuing tickets.
They interviewed St. Peters Assistant Police Chief Mike Townsend, so most likely he’d be able to provide the numbers on how many warnings were issued and how many actual tickets have been issued in this short period of time.
I’m all for safe drivers, I consider myself to be a very safe driver, however, now with these cameras it’s causing me to change my driving habits when approaching an intersection with a green light, this is not a good feeling.
Stop and think about our senior citizens who no longer have the quick reflexes they once did, they’ll be getting plenty of these tickets issued to them, there goes their utility tax rebate.
I agree with Mr. Brown and disagree with Mr. Gieseke. Not everyone is wanting to run a red light and become a law breaking citizen, the majority of us are law abiding citizens, we become victims of circumstance sometime when driving, like the day I had an overly anxious driver on my bumper on West Adams.
There was a St. Charles motorcycle police officer that had set up a radar checkpoint and to my luck I was going seven miles over the speed limit. I’ve traveled West Adams for 17 years up to this day; I know the police set up radar on this part of West Adams. The police officer pulled both of us over in the double fine zone. I asked the officer if he saw how the other driver was tailing me, he responded by saying yes and that he was going to get a ticket as well. The police officer was kind enough to tell me, “I was the slowest person he had caught all day.” Life throws you a curve ball every so often, however, we do not need to cause the citizens of our fine community additional challenges when it comes to driving. Please do not approve the Red Light Camera Systems.
Pat Hamilton

Dear First Capitol News,

Has it been a month since your last publication? What happened with the Federal investigation of the Express Scripts situation? What is going on with Ward 8 candidate Kielty registering to fill John Gieseke’s Council seat? What is the background of the council needing to pass a ruling twice requesting a change in the state bill Tom Dempsey put thru requiring the City to provide sewer service to a County housing development? Would this establish a precedent for other builders outside of city boundaries to expect the same sewer service? If the residents lose your coverage on city affairs their only news source (an oxymoron) would be the Journal.

I am considering moving out of St Charles.

Carol Diller

Editor’s response,

Thank you for reading the First Capitol News. No, it has not been a month, it just seems that way. We always take off between Christmas and New Years as it is a very slow time and people are more interested in the holidays than newspapers. We do provide daily updates with breaking news on our web log on the Internet that can be found at

The Federal Investigation continues. They provide no information until they make an indictment or an arrest.

Councilmen Koester and Gieseke had to introduce the resolution regarding the unconstitutionality on the City providing sewer service to a County housing development because the Mayor vetoed the first one. She is expected to veto this one also because of her closeness to a developer who has made a demand of $1 million to the City for damages because of the delay he had in hooking his county development up to City sewers. If the bill passed by Representative Dempsey in one day is found unconstitutional, then the Mayor’s friend has no claim against the City for damages and won’t be able to receive $1 million in taxpayer dollars. In future editions you will read about Kielty’s attempt to be elected Councilman in Ward Eight. Councilman John GIeseke is running for the office of Mayor and had to give up the 8th ward seat.