June 2014 Message from the Mayor

June 2014 Edition

Happy Anniversary,  Chesterfield!

June 1 marked the 26th year since the incorporation of our City and throughout last year there were many special activities and events in recognition of our 25th Anniversary.  This year we have many new and exciting activities planned for you to enjoy.  Our Parks and Recreation Department has numerous concerts and events throughout the summer and fall at our beautiful Amphitheater, located just west of Chesterfield Mall.  It is quickly gaining recognition as one of the premier outdoor venues in the region, so if you haven’t checked it out, put it on your “must do” list this summer!  The March issue of the “Chesterfield Citizen” newsletter gave a full schedule of the events and entertainment planned and you can also find those events on our websites:  www.chesterfield.mo.us and www.chesterfieldamphitheater.com.

Thanks to all those who helped by writing to their State Representatives and Senators urging your support for legislation that would modify the sales tax distribution system in St. Louis County.  At this writing, the State Legislature still has four more weeks in session, and it is too early to tell if there will be any legislative relief that will result in a more fair distribution system.  By the time this issue arrives in your mailbox, we will know the outcome.  At this point, we are guardedly optimistic and hopeful that meaningful change will occur.  Just this week, we had the opportunity to testify before the Ways and Means Committee of the State House of Representatives.  I had never been in the Capitol before and can tell you that it was quite an experience.  In the event we are not successful this year, we will continue the effort, because it is such an important issue…and the current system is just wrong and certainly not sustainable.

Do you know your City Council rep?

The City Council is a legislative body whose members make important decisions that affect our everyday lives and the community we live in, having your best interests in mind.  They make decisions on significant matters such as development of the City, public safety issues and spending funds wisely so that the residents have the most benefits from roadways, parks and other amenities.  You may find it interesting to know that as the Mayor, I only get to vote if there is a tie, which is rare.  Although there are veto procedures, a veto can be overridden with six of the eight Councilmembers’ votes.  

The reason I bring this topic to mind is to remind each of you that it is important to know your Councilmembers and give them your perspective on issues that may affect our city.  I believe it is imperative that we have elected leaders who are willing to make hard decisions through their votes, as opposed to taking the easy route in order to be popular.  You can easily find your Councilmember using the “Resident Information” portal on our website, found at the top of the “Quick Links” section of our home page.  Just type in your address and you’ll find what Ward you live in, your trash pick-up day and parcel number, among other information.  You can then reference the City Council section of the website to see the City Council reps in that Ward and how to contact them.  They will be happy to hear from you, as am I. 

Our Council is made up of eight members (two from each Ward).  They are elected for a period of two years and each year one of the two positions from each Ward is up for election.  There are four Committees of Council and those Committees are consensus-building, in nature, with Committee recommendations being forwarded to City Council for final action.  One Councilmember from each Ward serves as a member of each Committee.  Therefore, each Committee has four members and the Committees are named Planning & Public Works, Finance & Administration, Parks & Recreation, and Public Health & Safety.  Planning & Public works is the busiest Committee and routinely meets on the first and third Thursday of each month. Other Committees meet as required when there are agenda items.  As is the case for all City Council meetings, every meeting of these Council Committees is OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. 

One of the Councilmembers is elected by City Council, each year, immediately following the April election, to serve as President Pro-Tem and I am happy to report that Ward 2 Councilmember Elliott Grissom has been selected to serve in this capacity again this year.  He has been very helpful to me and has graciously filled in for me on several occasions.

Best wishes for a fun-filled summer!  I look forward to seeing you at the various events, walking on the levee, the Riparian Trail, River’s Edge Park and at various meetings!