Saturday, March 10, 2007

The PEOPLE SPEAK - Letters To The Editor

Dear Tony,

It has come to my attention that we may lose our Police Chief Swope if our current Mayor is reelected. It seems she is lonely for the Fraternal Order of Police. Who can forget the trouble Mayor York caused this town because of the FOP? One of the members of the FOP put our city administrator on the ground with a gun to the back of his head. What a mess! That officer is now gone, and I for one am glad.

St. Charles waited for over a year for a new Police Chief. Those who applied and interviewed were vetoed by our mayor because they “didn’t fit”. Maybe a new seamstress could have helped our present mayor.

Tim Swope grew up here and has been an excellent Police Chief. We now have a police chief who is a “home-grown” man and who knows the city and its’ residents. There is no more congregating at the QT by the police. Instead the police are in the neighborhoods patrolling and waving to the people who are outdoors. I feel so much better about letting my grandsons ride their bikes around the block because I know there is a policeman nearby.

Chief Swope has solved a multitude of problems and crimes. It used to be interesting reading in bed and at the same time hearing the drag racing on 370. That’s stopped—the racing not the reading.

Chief Swope has started new programs that will benefit the town including a program for the elderly to register with the department so that in another power outage the police can check on them. Chief Swope is making a profound difference in this town, and we need to keep him as our chief. Mayor York apparently wants him gone.

The bottom line is VOTE FOR JOHN GIESEKE. He is not a loose canon like our present mayor. CHIEF SWOPE WILL STAY ON THE JOB!

Jane Horning

First Capitol News

I can’t believe what I just read…. if that had been written by a 10th-grader, it would have been given an F….bad spelling, bad punctuation, miserable grammar…I don’t live in his ward, but I’d be embarrassed to admit it if I did….if that’s the caliber of politician in St. Charles, we are in trouble.

Dear Editor

I was interested in Mayor York’s comments at the Mayoral debate last week in which she noted how many times she’s been at the openings of new businesses in town this year. My question is, “Where are they?” I’ve been waiting for many years to see some new retail come into St. Charles City rather than going out to St. Peters and O’Fallon, but I haven’t noticed floods of businesses opening here in the last few months. There is one new retailer on Main Street. Where are the others?
Take a drive around town and you will see one empty building after another. There are the empty buildings which used to house such businesses as Home Supply, the fabric store and several other stores in St. Charles Plaza, Wendy’s on Truman Road, the old Best Buy Store in Cave Springs, the former K-Mart building, the former police station, the Sears Hardware store, the former Jack-in-the Box on West Clay, many empty buildings on Main Street (apparently the Convention Center has not been the promised boon to Main Street’s tourist industry), three buildings which used to house Preston’s Furniture as well as other empty buildings on Second Street. There are new retail spaces in Mark Twain Mall as well as across from Starbucks on Fifth Street, but they remain empty. If Schnucks moves out of its’ present location on Duchesne Street, we can add yet another empty building to that part of town. Between the closing of schools, the dilapidated buildings, and the emergence of check-cashing stores and manpower employment agencies along First Capitol Drive, our town is beginning to resemble an old inner-city area. All this on the present mayor’s watch.

The one part of town which is growing and vibrant is the commercial area on north Elm Street which is in John Gieseke’s Ward. John is committed to economic growth in our city, and the work he’s done in his ward is evidence of that commitment. This city needs a new direction—one that will restore our businesses, build our population, and re-establish the City of St. Charles as the leader in St. Charles County. John is dedicated to these goals. That’s why he has my vote on April 3rd.

Eleanor McCune

First Capitol News,

During reorganization the Saint Charles School Board stated on more than one occasion that it would take at least a million dollars a year to keep each of our elementary schools open. Thanks to the efforts of this great city and community the unbelievable has happened. Even with all our schools still open, this district acknowledged an excess of more than three million dollars this past year. This does not include the million in one time TIF donations or the Lewis and Clark grant; it was a surplus in the recurring tax base, a phenomenon that will be sustained year after year after year.

The Saint Charles School board now has the task to decide what they should do with this windfall, and the possibilities are profound. There are some on the board that have adamantly stated that they should ignore this fact and simply “Stay the Course”. Despite the outcries of this community, they feel their efforts over the last several years must be justified with a sacrifice of our neighborhood schools.

I prefer to look at this money as the greatest opportunity imaginable. It is a chance to stop and reassess what they are doing. Here is the money they said they needed. Here is the prospect to save our schools. They asked, and they received; it is the miracle that we were all hoping for. This reorganization has caused such terrible discontent in our community and this money is indeed the answer to all of our prayers.

I am begging this School Board; please recognize this gift as a sign. Please take this opening to heal our community. Please show this city the compassion that we need so badly. Please take this very last golden opportunity and use this money to save our schools. Please don’t let this miracle go to waste…

Vicki DuMontelle