As I write this letter it’s a beautiful winter day in our beautiful town, Creve Coeur. I have spent some time thinking about Creve Coeur since I attended the memorial service for Patricia Dielmann, beloved wife of our long-time Mayor Harold Dielmann, yesterday. The sermon for the service was titled “The Perfect City” and it included a note she wrote about her childhood in Creve Coeur. She talked about Creve Coeur as a country town. I grew up in the country too, near a small town in Arkansas. Like Pat Dielmann, I rode a yellow bus to school. She rode to Clayton; I rode to Blytheville. I wish I knew a fraction of what she knew about Creve Coeur’s history. When I came to St. Louis, I-270 was under construction- the first time! And if you really have a good memory, I-270 was originally called I-244 until the mid-1970′s.
I left that small town in Arkansas in 1963 to enroll at Washington University. Tuition was $1500 per year!. I first came to Creve Coeur in 1966 when I got a part-time job at Monsanto. Except for nine months in graduate school, I worked there until I retired in 1995. I joke with other Monsanto retirees, who worked all over the world, that during my career at Monsanto I moved from the west side of Lindbergh to the east side of Lindbergh. That coincided with my career path from engineering to finance. I retired as Director of Corporate Finance.
I retired from Monsanto, but I did not quit working. I own and manage a wholesale distribution business with my wife of 40 years, (another) Patricia. That business, GRAN PRIX Bowling Supply, is located in Creve Coeur’s industrial district. Many Creve Coeur residents don’t know that the industrial area north of the Danforth Plant Science Center is in Creve Coeur- in Ward 1!
Patricia and I built our house in the Westwood Place subdivision in 1976. It was cedar, which the woodpeckers, bees, and squirrels destroyed over the years. We remodeled in 2007 and now you will see the white stucco and red roof at 257 Brooktrail Court.
The year 2007 was a turning point in another way. For some reason I attended a few City Council meetings. I saw that residents like me were not being fully informed about issues and decisions that would affect their quality of life and their pocketbooks. I launched www.CreveCoeurVoter.com as a public service and my first editorial on October 14, 2007 explains why I wanted to do this. Since then I have been both a resource and a watchdog to the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council. I’ve been a one-man think tank and a community organizer. I’ve made every suggestion and recommendation that I thought could make a difference. And I’ve done it all with complete transparency. Read all about it on the blog.
As a result of my efforts to work with the Planning and Zoning Commission, the City Council, and the residents, I was honored to be nominated by City Council members Beth Kistner and Tara Nealey for 2011 “Citizen of the Year” and to be chosen by the full Council.
I never aspired to public office. Several current and former City Council members encouraged me to run for the Council. Now we have an open City Council seat for Ward 1, and I have decided to be a candidate. I have decided to pay for my campaign. If elected, I will use part of my compensation to offset campaign expenses but I will donate most of my salary to a Creve Coeur Community Foundation (for public art and historic preservation) which I have advocated. Our city government is non-partisan, and that is outstanding. My campaign will not only be non-partisan but it will be completely positive.
My public service has not been long, but it has been intense. And as the song lyrics go, “if you don’t know me by now”, well just review my record on www.crevecoeurvoter.com and look at my platform here on my campaign website. And contact me at any time by email.
I sincerely ask for your vote on April 2.