Friday, April 9, 2010

An Open Letter

Dear Residents and Supporters,

I was 100% prepared to move forward and fully support Mayor Besmer. I had high hopes of working together with him and our other elected officials, the City's Employees, and willing Residents to make Woodson Terrace the best it can be, but not now. Apparently winning the election was not good enough for the mayor; he is now retaliating against people who supported my campaign efforts. Just this morning, one city employee who supported me was terminated. The reason stated: "economic reasons," but it is clear this is retaliation for this employee not supporting him.

Let's do the math... The city has the money to spend nearly $30,000 on a bust of the previous mayor. The city has the money to build a new City Hall. Our city has the money to pay Mayor Lawrence "Butch" Besmer more than double what other mayors in the area are making. So, it is clear to me that "economic reasons" is merely a cover to punish this employee, and possibly others who did not support him.

Oh, I wasn't going to blog about this, but since we're obviously dealing with a person / Administration that has no regard for doing what's should also know that Mayor Besmer will be receiving a raise this month. Yes, residents, I said a raise, as in a raise in pay for the next four years. The percentage of total dollars and timing is not clear, but I plan to ask about it at the next Board of Aldermen meeting:

April 15, 8 pm.
Woodson Terrace City Hall
9351 Guthrie
Woodson Terrace, MO 63134

During my campaign, many people across our city told me that they wanted to publicly support me but that they were afraid of retaliation by Mayor Besmer. This was told to me by City Employees and Residents alike. I found this very hard to believe, in fact I didn't believe it when I was told of their fears. But based on this morning's actions against one of my supporters, it is obviously true. I also learned during the campaign that City Employees were being told that they would be fired if he did not win. I regretfully did not believe these stories either.

Mayor Besmer, you won the election. Be a good winner and do the right thing --- reinstate the employee in question and make a promise not to retaliate against other employees or citizens. Please make a commitment today that you will do the right thing.

Unbelievable. I can't even believe that I just had to ask our newly reelected official, an employee of the citizens, to not be a bully and not take negative action against our City's Employees and our Residents??! My hands are shaking with anger right now.... is this the Wild Wild West? I mean, where does this really happen? And a bigger question in my mind.....just how long has this type of retaliation been happening? Where did Mayor Besmer learn to be so cruel to good employees and upstanding citizens?

Again I am disappointed I didn't win the election, but I was already moving on to what I can personally do over the next few years to help with progress in our city. But I assure you, I will not stand idly by and let Mayor Besmer bully our residents and public servants.

I hope to see all of you at the Board of Aldermen meeting, this month and every month.

Yours sincerely,

Kathy Wheeling

Cc: Mayor Besmer,
Woodson Terrace City Hall, c/o Marge Wilson,
Phil Sutin, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Scott Bandle, Suburban Journals
Charles Jaco, Fox 2 News
Elliot Davis, Fox 2 News
Andy Banker, Fox 2 News
KSDK News Tips
Michelle Anselmo, KPLR

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


First, let me congratulate Mayor Besmer on winning the election.

Second, thank you from the bottom of my heart for everyone who came out and voted today. It was certainly a top-runner for record turn-out, and I am humbled to have received 42% of the total votes.

Finally, I encourage you to check back on this blog often. Just because the election is over, that does not mean I will stop my efforts to make our community a Better Woodson Terrace.

Thanks again to everyone who supported our efforts. I am disappointed, but not discouraged.

Your fellow resident,

Kathy Wheeling

Monday, April 5, 2010

Election Day Eve

Well, tomorrow is the big day - Election Day. It has been exciting to meet many of you and several other residents during the past few months. I have taken a lot of notes and given sincere consideration to your likes and dislikes about our great community. I feel fortunate that I have had such overwhelming support from so many of you. I have also learned a lot: about myself, our community, and the inextinguishable human spirit!

Since I declared my candidacy, I have shared with you many ideas and details of my plan to create a Better Woodson Terrace. For our city to thrive in the future, we will need to do things differently. We can't expect to keep turning out the same endeavors and expect different results. We need to take advantage of technology to improve the lives of citizens and to attract new businesses to our community. In such a fast-paced, on-demand society, cities like ours can no longer conduct business the same as it they always have. It will take a new approach, new ideas, and new technologies for our community to prosper.

In addition to taking advantage of current technology, I also commit to rolling up my sleeves and partnering with the current elected officials, as well as the city's employees. I am a "hands-on" manager, and I pride myself on learning and doing the jobs that I'm expected to oversee. I repeat what's been said, I will spend as much time as it takes to oversee the functions of the city. But once that's done, I will get out from behind the desk and leave City Hall behind in order to get out and make a personal connection with the residents, our businessmen and women, the City Administration and employees, as well as neighboring townships. I have promised that if elected, I will continue to knock on doors and get to know our community.

I have also conveyed that I feel serving the people of our community as mayor is such a privilege that if I'm elected, I plan to reduce the mayor's salary by more than 50% ($23,520 per year to $11,000 per year). This will bring the Woodson Terrace mayor's salary in-line with what other mayors in surrounding communities are paid. I vow to work hard for you and provide you with an honest, responsive, and transparent administration.

Should you have any questions or need a ride to the polls on Tuesday, April 6 please call me at 314-488-5779.

I look forward to serving as your representative for Woodson Terrace.

Be sure to go out and vote!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday

Big plans for the weekend, and lots to do before Tuesday. As I was leaving work yesterday, everyone was telling me they can't wait to watch the election results on Tuesday. Wow! The election is just four days away. Brad and I received the postcard, as well as my letter with a "Wheeling For Mayor" sticker inside. If you get one of these letters, please wear your sticker to the polls on Tuesday. And remember to wear your royal blue, show your support for our efforts and the future!

If you need a "Wheeling For Mayor" sticker before Tuesday, please send me an email and I will make certain you get one.

I met with a few of our Neighborhood Watch Block Captains this week. They told me that if I'm elected, I would so great for the future of Woodson Terrace. "You're just what this town needs."

So many of you have written me emails with your ideas (positive and negative) as well as offered me suggestions or support. You've told me what you think about my campaign, my past blog posts, the recent Political Fix article, how the city has been run (good and bad ways), and my plans to help this town become a Better Woodson Terrace. In fact, I got an email from a long time resident this week who told me "I am happy you are taking the challenge and awakening our is a good place to live. But there is always room for improvement. Thank you for being so REAL!"

No, Woodson Terrace, thank YOU!

I hope to meet or see you this weekend.


If you don't like the way the world is, you change it. You have an obligation to change it. You just do it one step at a time.
~Marian Wright Edelman