Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Google Alert!

I am so happy to tell you that my website has hit Google Web Alerts! Hoo-hah!! Woodson Terrace. That is all.

May the Road Rise to Meet You

Great news! I got a call today from a long-time resident who has offered to help me with my campaign! This is one lady I've been wanting to meet with personally. We set up a time for tomorrow evening, so I can share with her and her family who I am, what I'm about, and what my plans are for when I'm elected mayor of Woodson Terrace. She agreed with me, that our community needs a change, and she's ready to help.

Enough with the miscommunication that is going down around town! I remove myself from the hearsay, gossip, and over-generalizations. I'm recommitting myself to staying focused, staying on track with our plan. We've planned the work, now we need to work the plan. That includes spending my free time during the week (when it's light enough!) and weekends, going door-to-door, which I really enjoy doing. I have had a lot of success, getting out and meeting the residents. There are hundreds of more residents I still need to meet and tell my message to....and there are only 12 more weekend days to get the majority of these introductions done! Only 42 more days 'til Election Day.

Tomorrow is action packed for me. First, as a guest of Kathy Kuo, I will attend the Rotary Club breakfast in the morning. Then work and meetings, and more work. Thank God I love my job, it's sometimes hard to tear myself away. I have my appointment tomorrow after work, then there's a fundraiser I'm attending in St. Ann.

Oh, I forgot to tell you. I attended the recent Rotary luncheon, which I emailed and called requesting an invitation. During this meeting, Tim Nowak from the World Trade Center St. Louis, presented plans and timing for the Midwest China Hub. You'll
appreciate that he's local, born and raised in Overland, and a dynamic speaker. This is a regional effort and commission, aligned to promote the economic ties between China and the Midwest (we hope St. Louis!) by designating a commercial hub at Lambert for China Air, here in St. Louis. An agreement was formalized in January 2009. Most recently, Gov. Nixon allocated funds to support this effort. Tim explained to us that China is moving up the value chain and as such, they will exhibit more span of control for the logistical movement of their goods. Not only imported goods, but exported goods back into China. So the China Hub commission, on which Tim is a board member, seeks to position St. Louis as the premier location to present to the Chinese government precisely why it makes sense to land freight in and around St. Louis. If you think it sounds like a big deal and immense project, that's because it is.

St. Louis region, North County, Woodson Terrace.... we have the airport and the new airport expansion, we have Metrolink and railways, the interstates, riverways, all in very close proximity. Rivers, Rails, the Roads --- North County is multi-modal. We have room for this initiative to take root and grow. Someone at the Rotary luncheon compared the acquisition of this venture as being the monetary equivalent to St. Louis hosting an MLB All-Star event,
every single month. That would be the pinnacle for the economic development of our region, North County, and Woodson Terrace. This effort is so wide, and far-reaching. One immediate benefit I see is that it would assist in retaining the talent pool we already have here in St. Louis. Imagine if this took hold. The kids who are in kindergarten right now would graduate from High School, within a completely re-imagined St. Louis city and county.

And as luck would have it, I know one of the Board Members for the World Trade Center St. Louis. I will be contacting them to see about getting personally involved. I want to do my part, as a concerned citizen as well as a candidate for mayor, to make sure that Woodson Terrace is part of the implementation plan, from the ground up.

As I learn more, I will be sure to post it here for your reading. I want you to feel as involved as possible, in what's immediately affecting our community.

Good night! See you soon!

Candidate for Mayor of Woodson Terrace
email: kathy.wheeling@gmail.com
telephone: 314-488-5779

May the road rise to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, the rains fall soft upon the fields. May the light of friendship guide your paths together.

~an Irish wedding blessing

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Too Little, Too Late

My, what a flurry of new activity tonight at the Woodson Terrace Board of Aldermen meeting! Each and every one in attendance, who head up a committee, had a report tonight. I can tell you to my knowledge, that has not ever happened. It was encouraging to see the efforts placed upon their accounting of this past month's activity, as well as plans for the immediate future. An obvious exception to this is Rita Martin, who heads up the Veteran's Committee. Rita's leadership on this committee is exemplary. She is passionate about her work with this group, and she always, always, has her meetings and issues regular reporting to the Board. What she's done with the Veteran's Committee should be the benchmark all other Woodson Terrace committees to measure themselves by. That should be the standard.

Most surprising tonight, the alderman who heads up the committee for Economic Development even had a report. That is the first time I recall that committee having ANY activity for at least the past year. Each Board of Aldermen meeting I've attended, it's always been the same few words......"No report," or "No meeting." You may recall my previous blog wherein I called out the fact that the Woodson Terrace committee for Economic Development has not had a meeting since April 2008. That's nearly two years. I received confirmation of this from past Aldermen meeting minutes, as well as from two of the Economic Development
appointed board members. And I must tell you, even tonight, there was no mention of a committee meeting. The chair for this committee attended "Tax Exempt" training class in Clayton, and he attended with the mayor's administrative assistant.

I think the mayor has the responsibility to make sure that committees are meeting, when they are supposed to be meeting. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but on the City Of Woodson Terrace website, the Mayor is a member of this board. See for yourself: http://www.woodsonterrace.net/economicdevelopment.htm I have this printed to a pdf, in case it happens to get updated overnight. The Mayor needs to lead by example or the Board Of Aldermen need to recruit a Chairman for the committee who is passionate about the committee's endeavors! Isn't this what should be happening? We need some answers from Mayor Besmer on why the Economic Development committee has not had a meeting or any apparent activity in nearly two years.

I noticed something else very interesting, most of the new ideas brought up during the Board meeting this evening are ideas that I have talked about on my platform or that new Alderman Candidate, Jim Carr, has talked about with his future constituents in Ward I. Jim and I have talked about new programs at the park for the kids. Jim has a plan to put together a Summer Program at the park, in light of the termination of other local Summer Park Programs. We've been talking about more morning hours for seniors to swim at the pool during the summer. He's talked about making improvements to the park and offering classes for all ages. And get this, brand new tonight.....the city is looking into an electronic Communication program, to alert citizens, via email, about new happenings in Woodson Terrace. Sound familiar? Sound a bit like my plan to open the doors of communication with the residents? Here is a direct line from my very first blog post: "I would like to see steady and routine communication with the citizens of Woodson Terrace....."

If the current mayor announces Open Office Hours for the residents to come and meet with him, I may just copy and paste my campaign platform for him! What's the saying, imitation is the highest form of flattery? Well, I'm very flattered that my recent activities have seemingly lit a fire under our elected officials. But as the title of this post suggests.....

Too Little. Too Late.

You must now take action that will move you towards your goals. Develop a sense of urgency in your life."

~ H. Jackson Brown

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Souper Bowl Kick Off

So, with the help of my friends and family, I hosted a Meet & Greet last weekend. I must say, I thought it was very successful! We estimate about 70 people showed up to meet me and talk about my campaign. There were even two St. John residents who read about my event because of my ad in the Localite, and showed up to ask me questions. That's impact.

It was a pleasure to meet and talk with concerned Woodson Terrace residents. Many of them seemed very impressed with my idea to hold Open Office Hours at City Hall, wherein residents can stop in and meet with me, without an appointment, although I assert to be available to the community. I will take your phone calls or return your phone call. I am committed to reading your emails and letters, and responding to them. This is just the tip of the iceberg for plans that I have for when I'm elected Mayor. The outcome of the event made me even more motivated to get out the word about my message and plans. Most importantly, I took the opportunity to tell everyone that day about my platform for the campaign:

1. Build Partnerships
  • With the citizens of Woodson Terrace
  • With the businessmen and businesswomen
  • With the City Administration
  • With the committees of Woodson Terrace
  • With our neighboring townships
2. Public Safety
  • Continue to build upon Crime Prevention efforts
  • Raise Crime Awareness with Neighborhood Watch program
  • Pursue safe and educational activities for the youth
3. Community Image
  • Work to rebrand the community
  • Partner with surrounding communities to rebrand North County
  • Sustain or Improve Property Values
  • Code review and enforcement
  • Neighborhood Preservation and Beautification
4. Fiscal Responsibility
  • Budget review and allocation
  • Sound financial planning, long-term
  • Analyze budgeting and spending patterns
  • Accountability & transparency, by individuals and committees
  • Routine audits of the budges – surplus, shortfalls, mishandling of funds
  • Revitalize the Economic Development committee - increase exposure for current businesses and recruit new businesses

I was appalled to learn that the Economic Development committee for Woodson Terrace has not had a meeting since April 2008! That alone was reason for me to run for Mayor, a decision I've been contemplating with my husband, friends, and family since last summer. I think I made up my mind during Woodson Terrace Days....we had such a positive interaction, talking with current and former residents, about our Neighborhood Watch efforts and community building ideas.

I will continue to post updates to what me the my committee are up to. I would be remiss if I did not take this time to thank my committee, Friends to Elect Wheeling.

Thanks everyone for your support! Remember to Get Out The Vote on April 6th.


Average people and the average community can change the world. You can do it just based on common sense, determination, persistence and patience."
~ Lois Gibbs