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Caldwell’s Corner

High School voters are more informed than adults. Elections are fairer too.

April 10, 2013 0 Comments

Caldwell's CornerIt is now one week since voters in Creve Coeur Ward 1 chose their new council person and now it’s time for me to write about the experience.

I want to thank the 200 Ward 1 residents who voted for me and residents from other Wards who endorsed me and encouraged me. I particularly want to thank my wife, Patricia, and Lynn Berry, Hank Clouse, Tony and Sandy Kardis, Christy McCollom, Bob Fry, and Scott Simon who helped me in many ways during the long campaign. Lynn, you are a great treasurer. Scott, you are a first rate media expert.

After standing outside the polls all day on April 2, I now have a much increased respect for the people who stand up for candidates and issues at the polls on election day. I have often ignored these folks in the past. The next time I vote I am going to take the time to thank them all for their effort, regardless of how I am voting.

I am very pleased that I was able to focus attention on some important issues for Ward 1 during the campaign, and I hope that Ward 1 will gain from my effort. I am proud that my campaign was positive and focused on the issues. I am very disappointed that another Creve Coeur election was marred by a malicious, untruthful, ad hominem attack. (A last-minute hate-mailer was sent to Ward 1 residents.) CreveCoeurVoter.com will run a series of editorials, starting with “Politricks of Personal Destruction – Part 1”, to inform voters and advocate clean campaigning in Creve Coeur.

Today I received an email with the subject, “Where do we go from here?” One answer to that question is that I am going to Biloxi. I have some important business responsibilities that require attention, one of which is attendance at an industry meeting. I plan to do some writing on the trip – there are no direct flights.

CreveCoeurVoter.com is the place for voters to interract with the issues

CreveCoeurVoter.com will continue, but with some changes. There will be less attention to the nuts and bolts minutia, such as Meeting Notes, and more emphasis on the most important issues. I also hope to engage more reader contribution and provide a platform for both short comments and long format editorials. One thing I learned from talking to voters is that they have a lot to say but don’t have a good place to say it.

Finally, I hope to have time to write more in the CCV Journal. I’ve learned that Facebook is not for me.

The last time I was a candidate for anything was in (“Oh What a Year”) 1963 at Blytheville (Arkansas) High School, home of the (now politically incorrect) Chickasaws. I was invited to run for Student Body President. There were three candidates. I remember exactly the second I lost that election. We all gave a speech to the student assembly. I was the smartest boy in the room, and everybody knew it. I was first chair trumpet player in the marching band and going steady with the head majorette. What do you say? I have no memory of what I said, but I do remember what Jack Holt said, “Ask not what your school can do for you but what you can do for your school.” It was a landslide for Jack.

I remembered that and at the League of Women Voters candidate forum I said that “I had asked not what my city could do for me but what I could do for my city.” It was a sincere statement, concisely summarizing the last six years. Alas, all Ward 1 voters were not forced to sit and listen to the candidates speak. Lesson – high school voters are better informed than municipal voters and the elections are fairer.

Unlike baseball closers, I don’t have a short memory and never even considered being a candidate for anything for a long time. But when friends encouraged me to be a candidate for an open seat this year I knew I was qualified and I went along. I would do it again – once every fifty years!

An Open Letter to Ward 1 Residents Before Tuesday’s Election

March 31, 2013 0 Comments

trash service, david caldwell, creve city city councilMany Ward 1 residents have received a letter “Paid for by Kramer for Creve Coeur” endorsing my opponent. The letter states, “One candidate brings the right combination of service and experience.”

I sincerely believe I am the candidate who offers that “right combination”.

Ward 1 residents have been well represented by Beth Kistner and David Kreuter since 2005.

But our taxes have gone up and the continuation of our full service trash collection continues to be questioned by Council members.

Also, Ward 1 has not kept up with the western part of the city in infrastructure improvements. A large project for decorative lighting on Olive west of I-270 recently began construction, but there are no plans to improve the lighting along Olive in Ward 1.

Thousands of dollars are spent every year on the I-270 overpass grounds, but there are no plans for landscaping or streetscape improvements along Olive in Ward 1.

One resident wrote me that her Ward 1 neighborhood is “the forgotten corner of Creve Coeur.”

Ward 1 has a strong, unified, well organized political establishment that has a tradition of endorsing candidates. I have been endorsed by City Council members, business leaders, and residents from every part of Creve Coeur because they’ve seen my capabilities, work, and action first hand.

But elections should be decided by qualifications, not endorsements. Ward 1 has a choice  — a clear choice —  for new leadership on April 2.

I’ve unofficially represented Ward 1 and all Creve Coeur residents at City Council and Planning & Zoning Commission meetings since 2007 as editor of www.CreveCoeurVoter.com. I have respectfully provided constructive input to the City Council and insight based on my education and 45 years of experience at Monsanto and as an entrepreneur/businessman.

I was appointed to the Employee Pension Fund Board of Trustees because of my knowledge and experience in finance.

I earned the UNANIMOUS vote of the City Council as a 2011 Citizen of the Year for my citizen journalism and my contributions to the work of the Council.

As I said at the League of Women Voters forum, I ask not what my city can do for me but what I can do for my city. I am uniquely qualified to analyze complex issues and make sound decisions. I know how to lead AND how to contribute to a team. I have the education, the experience, and the right temperament to represent Ward 1. I sincerely ask for your vote.

Speaking at the League of Women Voters Forum

March 29, 2013 0 Comments

I had the opportunity to speak to the League of Women Voters Forum that was held Friday March 22 at the Creve Coeur Government Center.

I want to thank them and the Creve Coeur Squires for organizing and hosting the event.

Below are two videos of me at the forum, my opening address and closing.