Saturday, June 23, 2007

THE PEOPLE SPEAK - Letters To The Editor

Dear Editor,
Attached please find a picture taken at 8:20 in the evening on June 8, 2007. As you know this is the day a murder was committed in the City of St. Charles. This police officer was observed reading a magazine behind the counter of the Convenient Mart at Elm and Elm Point Road. His car was parked along side the building with the engine running.
Is this the new police department under Mayor York’s command? No wonder speeding is rampant and the teens feel free to congregate at in the lot in front of Stefanina’s and It’s A Grind. The day a murder was committed you would think the police would want to make us all feel safe. Watching this officer spend time reading a magazine without noticing this photo being taken doesn’t make me feel safe.

Look at the picture, this is a sergeant, a person who is supposed to lead by example. With the increase in crime in the City, I’m considering moving to St. Peters or O’Fallon. These two cities have mayors who haven’t put politics above public safety and allow for qualified Chiefs to run their departments and not a former stewardess. What qualifications does a flight attendant have in running a police department. This city is in danger of becoming a Riverview with the apathetic way those who swore to protect and
to serve our residents do their jobs. Mayor York promised the union so much and we are all suffering for her need to win.

Name withheld for fear of life and limb.
Picture attached

Dear Police Chief York,

In considering the removal of the seed bumps from Elmhurst, I feel you need to assign some of your patrolmen to patrol Elmhurst. They need to stop the speeders and drag racers and remove their cars from them. Then call their parents to come and get them. I believe from the noise level their curfew must be 12 midnight. Happy hunting patrolmen!!!!

Just a grandparent concerned about her grandsons riding their bikes.

Dear Tony,

As I handed out fliers earlier this week, a man told me that Dennis Hahn, school board prez, told him he particularly wanted to close Benton School to help the Lutheran School’s enrollment.
Do private schools and churches have to disclose who is on their boards and committees to the public?

Thanks so much! People were too discouraged to come to the rally except for a handful, including a little boy and his dad with a letter to the school board.

Dempsey was there. He seemed....surprised ...and somehow struck by my presence

Peggy Whetzel

The Honorable Patti York, Mayor of St. Charles
& St. Charles City Council Members

The South Main Street business district is closed to vehicular traffic for the annual Oktoberfest car show, held on the Sunday of Okotoberfest weekend. As a merchant on South Main, I’m opposed to closing the street for this event for the following reasons.

1. South Main Street businesses are hurt. Closing the street to traffic drastically reduces the number of parking spaces for South Main Street shoppers, resulting in lost business. A thriving business community goes hand-in-hand with preservation of South Main Street.

2. The car show does not fit the historic theme of South Main Street. Most of the cars on display are new or late model vehicles that have no historic interest.

3. The car show presents an unattractive image to visitors. (See attached photos.) South Main Street’s image as a carefully restored and preserved historic district is marred by the car show. Car show participants sitting on aluminum lawn chairs next to plastic coolers is not what we want visitors to remember about South Main Street. Some participants bring their dogs and fail to dispose of their pet’s waste. Others advertise their business concerns in a manner not consistent with South Main Street standards – i.e., with tacky signs on tripods.

While there are events that warrant closing South Main Street, such as Festival of the Little Hills or the Halloween candy give-away, the Oktoberfest car show is not one of them. A crafts festival contributes to South Main’s theme, and the Halloween event is an opportunity for the merchants to give something back to the community. The Oktoberfest car show detracts from South Main Street’s image and would be better off confined to Frontier Park, a more appropriate setting. It would be greatly appreciated if you would deny permission to close South Main Street for the Oktoberfest car show.

Thank you,

James Fairchild, Owner
Little Hills Cottage
335 South Main Street

Dear Editor

My name is Brad Sewell. I am the business manager for Frenchtown Transmission Inc.. I am responding to “Talk Of Charleytown”, John Sonderegger’s article in the Thursday, June 21, 2007, edition of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Frenchtown Transmission has been located in the Historic Frenchtown District since 1987. We chose this area because of the reasonable price of property suitable for the type of business we operate and the close proximity to a residential area large enough to support our type of business.

The other businesses located around our facility are here because of similar economic reasons.

None of us is here because the buildings are of exceptional beauty but these buildings are not overvalued either.

None are in disarray or a shambles, as some of the proponents of the redevelopment of this area have stated.

The entire idea of the area being “blighted” is a sham and the situation was created by certain members of the city council, who have since been removed from office by the voters of St. Charles.

Development involves an investor acquiring property and installing buildings and fixtures which will attract residents, businesses and a flow of visitors to generate cash flow sufficient to cover the cost to build the buildings and fixtures plus an amount of profit.

Redevelopment is a viable investment when the property can be acquired at a favorable price. That is not the situation in the Frenchtown Historical District. These buildings are still sound, occupied, suitable for their present use and worth a ton of money.

The property owners and business owners in the area surrounding the property being suggested for redevelopment were all for the project because it presented a boon or windfall to them in property values or traffic for their businesses.

When the argument concerning the use of eminent domain was being waged last winter and spring, these people were quite vocal about their support of its use, all the while ignoring that the plan would have been a financial “raping” of the property owners and businesses being “seized”.

The real problem is that certain business owners in the area just south of the Frenchtown Historical District wish that the area in which their businesses are located in was something different than what it is.

Most of them opened their businesses in the area after we all did and now want our area to change in some manner which will benefit theirs.

They do not want much change for their area, just a lot of change for ours.

The area is perfect for our group of business owners located in the Frenchtown Historical District and I am sorry if that is inconvenient for the group located to the south of us.

If they need to be located next to a big-box store to increase the traffic for their respective businesses then they should move their business to a location closer to a big box store.

To rephrase a comment quoted in John Sonderegger’s article, if they didn’t want their businesses to be located next to “Pigs with Lipstick on”, they should have made a different decision about their real estate in the first place.