Monthly Archives: August 2014

August 2014 primary election results – 8th Ward

First of all, thanks for voting – you are doing your part in being an engaged citizen!  Thought you’d like to know some of the election results – particularly for the 8th Ward.  We had a 27.5% turnout, compared to the City’s 20.5% and were the 4th largest voting ward citywide.  (16th, 23, and 28 were tops)  This is a larger turnout than in previous primary elections for us –  23% in Aug 2012, 19% in Aug 2010, and 18% in Aug 2008.  The Constitutional Amendments drove more people to vote IMO – 27.5% of registered 8th ward voters cast a vote for the Amendments whereas only 23.9% of 8th ward voters cast a vote for US Rep. Lacy Clay.  I’ve always thought that issues drive voters, and this certainly seems to back that up!  If you have any questions about specific numbers for the candidates please let me know, or visit www.stlelections.com to download the dataset.  Also, please let me know if you had any issues at the polling places and I will do my best to help you.  Thanks again and see you in November!

Helpful Election Info

I’ve put together some information on the initiatives and candidates that will be on this Tuesday’s ballot.  I find it useful to have all the comparatives in one place so that I can keep everything fresh in my mind.  Please note that some of these articles are not without bias or opinions, so take them with a grain of salt.   Regardless, I hope you can use this informal guide to make a more informed decision as you vote – and thank you for voting!

8th Ward Polling Places

Please check the list below to confirm the location of your polling place.  Since Sherman School has closed, precincts 3 and 5 have moved to St. Margaret of Scotland Church.  If you do not know your polling place, click on the link below and enter the info.  Please let me know if you have any questions!

http://www.sos.mo.gov/elections/pollingplacelookup/

1 Kingshighway Branch Library (10) 2260 S. Vandeventer Ave.* Enter at 2260 Vandeventer Ave.

2 Kingshighway Branch Library (10) 2260 S. Vandeventer Ave.* Enter at 2260 Vandeventer Ave.

3 St Margaret of Scotland Church (10) 3854 Flad Ave.*Enter off 39th St.

4 Tower Grove Baptist Church (10) 4257 Magnolia Ave.*Enter off back parking lot.

5 St Margaret of Scotland Church (10) 3854 Flad Ave. *Enter off 39th St.

6 Missouri School For The Blind (10) 3867 Magnolia Ave.*Enter at circle drive off Magnolia Ave.

7 Missouri School For The Blind (10) 3867 Magnolia Ave.*Enter at circle drive off Magnolia Ave.

8 Missouri School For The Blind (10) 3867 Magnolia Ave.*Enter at circle drive off Magnolia Ave.

9 Missouri School For The Blind (10) 3867 Magnolia Ave.*Enter at circle drive off Magnolia Ave.

August 5, 2014 Democratic Primary Ballot

PRIMARY ELECTION CITY OF ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI 
AUGUST 5, 2014 
ALL RACES DEMOCRATIC PARTY CANDIDATES 


TO VOTE, COMPLETELY DARKEN THE OVAL TO THE LEFT OF YOUR CHOICE, LIKE THIS: 



FOR U.S. REP. DISTRICT 1 (VOTE FOR ONE)

LACY CLAY
 

FOR STATE SEN. DISTRICT 4 (VOTE FOR ONE) 

JOSEPH [JOE] KEAVENY 
BONNIE LYNN GREEN 


FOR STATE REP. DISTRICT 66 (VOTE FOR ONE)

TOMMIE PIERSON 


FOR STATE REP. DISTRICT 76 (VOTE FOR ONE) 

CHRIS CARTER 
JOSHUA PETERS 


FOR STATE REP.DISTRICT 77 (VOTE FOR ONE) 

BILL HAAS 
KIMBERLY M. GARDNER 
 

FOR STATE REP. DISTRICT 78 (VOTE FOR ONE)

PENNY V. HUBBARD 
NATALIE A. VOWELL 


FOR STATE REP. DISTRICT 79 (VOTE FOR ONE) 

MICHAEL BUTLER 


FOR STATE REP. DISTRICT 80 (VOTE FOR ONE) 

MIKE COLONA 


FOR STATE REP. DISTRICT 81 (VOTE FOR ONE)
 
JACOB W. HUMMEL 


FOR STATE REP. DISTRICT 82 (VOTE FOR ONE)  

MICHELE KRATKY 


FOR STATE REP. DISTRICT 83 (VOTE FOR ONE) 

GINA MITTEN 


FOR STATE REP. DISTRICT 84 (VOTE FOR ONE)

KARLA MAY 


FOR STATE REP. DISTRICT 91 (VOTE FOR ONE) 

JEANNE KIRKTON 


FOR STATE REP. DISTRICT 93 (VOTE FOR ONE)
 
BOB BURNS 



FOR COLLECTOR OF REVENUE (VOTE FOR ONE) 

GREGORY F.X. DALY 



FOR LICENSE COLLECTOR (VOTE FOR ONE) 
 
MAVIS [TESSA] THOMPSON 
JEFFREY L. BOYD 


FOR RECORDER OF DEEDS (VOTE FOR ONE)

JIMMIE MATTHEWS 
SHARON QUIGLEY CARPENTER 
EDWARD MCFOWLAND 
 

CONSTITUTIONAL AMEND. NO. 1 
OFFICIAL BALLOT - SPECIAL ELECTION 
Proposed by the 97th General Assembly 
(First Regular Session) 
CCS No. 2 SS HCS HJR Nos. 11 & 7 
Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to 
ensure that the right of Missouri citizens to engage 
in agricultural production and ranching practices 
shall not be infringed? 
The potential costs or savings to governmental 
entities are unknown, but likely limited unless the 
resolution leads to increased litigation costs and/or 
the loss of federal funding. 

YES - FOR THE AMENDMENT 
NO - AGAINST THE AMENDMENT 

 
CONSTITUTIONAL AMEND. NO. 8 
OFFICIAL BALLOT - SPECIAL ELECTION 
Proposed by the 97th General Assembly 
(Second Regular Session) 
HJR No. 48 
Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to 
create a "Veterans Lottery Ticket" and to use 
the revenue from the sale of these tickets for 
projects and services related to veterans? 
The annual costs or savings to state and local 
governmental entities is unknown, but likely 
minimal. If sales of a veterans lottery ticket game 
decrease existing lottery ticket sales, the profits 
of which fund education, there could be a small 
annual shift in funding from education to veterans' 
programs.


YES - FOR THE AMENDMENT 
NO - AGAINST THE AMENDMENT

 
CONSTITUTIONAL AMEND. NO. 9 
OFFICIAL BALLOT - SPECIAL ELECTION 
Proposed by the 97th General Assembly 
(Second Regular Session) 
SCS SJR No. 27 
Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended so 
that the people shall be secure in their electronic 
communications and data from unreasonable 
searches and seizures as they are now likewise 
secure in their persons, homes, papers and effects? 
State and local governmental entities expect no 
significant costs or savings. 

YES - FOR THE AMENDMENT 
NO - AGAINST THE AMENDMENT

 
CONSTITUTIONAL AMEND. NO. 5 
OFFICIAL BALLOT - SPECIAL ELECTION 
Proposed by the 97th General Assembly 
(Second Regular Session) 
SCS SJR No. 36 
Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to 
include a declaration that the right to keep and 
bear arms is an unalienable right and that the 
state government is obligated to uphold that right? 
State and local governmental entities should 
have no direct costs or savings from this proposal. 
However, the proposal's passage will likely lead 
to increased litigation and criminal justice related 
costs. The total potential costs are unknown, but 
could be significant.

YES - FOR THE AMENDMENT 
NO - AGAINST THE AMENDMENT
 

CONSTITUTIONAL AMEND. NO. 7. 
OFFICIAL BALLOT - SPECIAL ELECTION 
Proposed by the 97th General Assembly 
(Second Regular Session) 
SS HJR No. 68 
Should the Missouri Constitution be changed to 
enact a temporary sales tax of three-quarters of 
one percent to be used solely to fund state and 
local highways, roads, bridges and transportation 
projects for ten years, with priority given to 
repairing unsafe roads and bridges? 
This change is expected to produce $480 million 
annually to the state's Transportation Safety and 
Job Creation Fund and $54 million for local 
governments. Increases in the gas tax will be 
prohibited. This revenue shall only be used for 
transportation purposes and cannot be diverted 
for other uses. 

YES - FOR THE AMENDMENT 
NO - AGAINST THE AMENDMENT 

Continue reading

The Race for License Collector

Dooley, Thompson challenged as Slay, Post try to play kingmakers

By Chris King St. Louis American | Posted: Thursday, July 31, 2014 9:06 am

Mavis Thompson greets Pat Pendleton at Diner’s Delight restaurant on the city’s Southside to campaign for her election to the office of License Collector for the city of St. Louis Wednesday afternoon.

Two elections in the August 5 Democratic primary – one in the city, the other in the county – represent more than the individuals who hold these elected offices. The races for both St. Louis license collector and St. Louis County executive have become proxy fights for who dictates the region’s politics.

Mayor Francis Slay endorsed against the incumbent Democratic license collector, Mavis Thompson, before filing for the primary opened. Against an African-American incumbent, he endorsed a black alderman, Jeffrey Boyd, who has supported the mayor for years (against the will of most of Boyd’s 22nd Ward constituents, who reliably vote against Slay).

The early endorsement of a black candidate of his choice against a black incumbent who was appointed by Gov. Jay Nixon was Slay’s declaration of political war by proxy – a reckless political rebuke of both the governor and the black political majority that recommended Thompson to the governor last fall (after Michael McMillan, also an African American, resigned to take leadership of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis).

Other early endorsers of Boyd were Sheriff James Murphy and the St. Louis Police Officers Association. Murphy shares with the mayor the distinction of having been successfully sued for racial discrimination by a black man who served under him. Murphy was successfully sued by two deputy sheriffs, William “Patrick” Hill and Jacques Hughes, and Slay by Deputy Fire Chief Charles Coyle.

Despite being black himself, Boyd proceeded to run a typical South Side campaign against Thompson in select majority-white wards in the city. He sent a piece of direct mail that depicts Thompson in a hoodie next to more than a dozen vicious quotes from the Post-Dispatch published almost 20 years ago when Thompson was clerk of the circuit court.

Thompson has run a positive campaign, emphasizing her years of administrative experience and the improvements to the management and efficiency of the office she has made. She also has garnered the support of every other African American who holds citywide office: aldermanic President Lewis Reed, Comptroller Darlene Green and Treasurer Tishaura Jones.

U.S. Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay, whose 1st Congressional District encompasses all of the city, had not responded to requests from The American to announce an endorsement in the race.

As license collector, Thompson has at her fingertips information about Boyd’s record in nurturing businesses in the ward he represents. In 2013 and 2014,  her office reported, 44 businesses have closed in the 22nd Ward. Those going out of business in Boyd’s ward include one or more eateries, convenience stores, gas stations, apartments, condominiums, childcare centers, mortuaries,  barber and beauty shops, used car dealerships, cell phone stores, alarm and electronic specialists, footwear group and commercial cleaning services, according to the license collector’s office.

Lincoln Industrial Corp. is scheduled to relocate out of the Ward 22, where it has operated since October 2001.  Last year the company paid $30,000 in business taxes, according to the license collector’s office, and is reported to be the largest employer in the 22nd Ward with 400 employees.

“Offices like license collector, while not powerful in their ability to shape public policy, are important as measures of what kind of city we are,” said Alderman Antonio D. French, who has blasted Boyd for his political alliance with the mayor. “Held by strong, independent voices, those offices can help bring about a much-needed cultural and political change in our city.”

Recorder of Deeds Race

Race For Recorder of Deeds Has Taken Unpredictable Twists And Turns

By Chris McDaniel, Stltoday

Jennifer Florida, Sharon Carpenter and Edward McFowland

The St. Louis recorder of deeds’ race has been nothing if not odd. A few months ago, the race was a low-key, low-profile and low-interest affair. Now, the contest is rife with allegations of mismanagement as well as a nepotism-fueled game of musical chairs.

The recorder of deeds is in charge of recording all property transactions and issuing marriage licenses as well as birth and death records.

Sharon Carpenter held the post for 34 years before stepping down in July. Carpenter stepped down after reports surfaced that she had hired her great-nephew to do office work for several summers for a total of $12,000.

“I hired him. I did it,” Carpenter said in an interview. “I believed I was acting within the law. But with a misunderstanding of the law, it doesn’t make a difference.”

Carpenter said she believed the Missouri law against nepotism didn’t cover great-nephews. The Missouri Constitution states:

Any public officer or employee in this state who by virtue of his office or employment names or appoints to public office or employment any relative within the fourth degree, by consanguinity or affinity, shall thereby forfeit his office or employment.

Carpenter said she interpreted the “within” to mean that great-nephews wouldn’t be covered, but the Missouri Ethics Commission makes it clear that her interpretation was incorrect.

The penalty for nepotism is forfeiting office. So Carpenter did, before an investigation by the circuit attorney took place. But she is still running to reclaim her seat.

After serving for more than three decades, it could leave many asking why, exactly, she would want to run for office again. She says it comes down to history.

“There are some things I’ve just begun because the technology just got here,” she said. Carpenter, a former history teacher, touted her “little projects,” which include preserving colonial records. “Three months ago, we were just able to get those devices and are now able to scan those [colonial documents].”

Carpenter says she has a fascination with history and historical documents, which she says sets her apart from her opponents.

But her primary opponent, Edward McFowland, says that does not make her fit for office. The payments to Carpenter’s great-nephew surfaced because of McFowland, 4th Ward committeeman.

“If you resign because you violated your oath of office, then you shouldn’t be allowed to participate and run for that office,” McFowland said. “I don’t know why the city took a different view on that, but no, that doesn’t sit right with me at all.”

McFowland has campaigned mostly on a platform of transparency. In addition to nepotism, he has lobbed numerous allegations at Carpenter, including smoking in public buildings and her office and not showing up for work.

But as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported, the accusations have gone both ways.

Carpenter also fought back in a letter to Democratic colleagues, accusing McFowland of receiving a felony conviction for failure to pay child support and having been sued several times for not paying personal property taxes. “I’m no saint,” McFowland said on Friday. “I was unemployed for 18 months. It is kind of hard to pay everything when you don’t have a job.”

McFowland and Carpenter are also joined on the primary ballot by Jimmie Matthews, a perennial city candidate.

When Carpenter stepped down in early July, Mayor Francis Slay appointed Alderman Jennifer Florida, D-15th Ward, to the post.

Last Friday, Florida turned in enough signatures from St. Louis registered voters to allow her to run as an independent in the November general election.

It’s something of an odd situation. Both Florida and Carpenter are allies of Slay, and both of them say they are friends with each other.

“I don’t like it that we’re running against each other,” Carpenter said, laughing. “She has been a friend and an ally. But we will probably be debating differences of opinion, and not personal because I think she’s an honorable person.”

McFowland has expressed displeasure with Florida’s appointment.

“It does not make sense for Recorder Florida to step down as alderwoman to be recorder for a mere five months,” McFowland has said. “It doesn’t sit right with me” that she would run as an independent candidate.

Most of the time in city politics, the real race is over after the Democratic primary. But with Florida running as an independent, the campaign leading into the November election is likely to be a spirited.

Despite the allegations and accusations, the candidates are in agreement on one thing. In July, Carpenter signed four same-sex marriage licenses in a direct challenge to Missouri’s ban. She said it was one of the things of which she is most proud during her 34-year tenure. And McFowland, for his part, praised the decision.

“I have nothing but praise for Sharon signing her name to those four licenses and can only imagine the joy she must have had in doing so. She and I have many differences, but on this there is no disagreement. It was the right thing to do.”

Ballot Issues for August Primary

A Closer Look At Missouri’s Ballot Issues

By Erica Smith, St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri’s Aug. 5 primary ballot includes several Constitutional amendments, but none has been as contentious as Amendment 7, the transportation tax proposal.

Amendment 7

The transportation tax amendment would impose a 0.75 percent increase on the state sales and use tax for up to 10 years to fund transportation projects. That tax is now 4.225 percent and is distributed into four funds: general revenue, conservation, education and parks. St. Louis Public Radio reporter Jason Rosenbaum recently answered five questions about the amendment.

Tom Shrout of Missourians for Better Transportation Solutions, which opposes the amendment, and Jewell Patek of Missourians for Better Transportation and Jobs, which supports it, joined us Thursday to discuss the amendment.

Supporters say the amendment is the best way to raise funds, at least $500 million a year, to pay for needed transportation improvements. Critics say there are better ways to raise the money, and say a sales tax hurts low-income people the most.

Missouri’s other amendments

Amendment 1: The right to farm amendment would guarantee Missouri farmers and ranchers the right to raise crops and livestock.

Supporters say it guarantees farmers can engage in their livelihood without too much interference from the government and animal-rights groups. Opponents say it will help large corporate farms and could block state and local laws on water and air pollution.

Amendment 5: The right to bear arms measure would establish an “unalienable right” to keep and bear arms, ammunition and accessories, while allowing the state to limit the possession of arms by convicted felons and the mentally ill.

Supporters say the amendment would strengthen the right to bear arms and would set a higher standard for gun laws. Opponents say it is redundant (the U.S. Constitution and the Missouri Constitution include the right to bear arms) and will make it more difficult to regulate guns and gun violence.

Amendment 8: If the veterans lottery ticket amendment is approved, the net proceeds from a special Missouri Lottery ticket would go to the state’s veterans’ commission capital improvement trust fund. Missouri has seven state veterans’ homes that provide long-term nursing care.

Supporters say the lottery sales will give Missouri veterans’ homes a dedicated source of funds. There is no active opposition, however, a state lawmaker criticized the proposal earlier this year, calling it an inefficient way to fund veterans’ needs.

Amendment 9: The Missouri Constitution already protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures of “papers, homes and effects,” and states that a search warrant requires probable cause and a description of the person, place or thing to be seized. The electronic protection amendment would add electronic data, like emails, texts and tweets, to the list of protected material. On June 25, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that police cannot search information on a seized cellphone without a warrant; the Missouri amendment also would cover computers and laptops.

Supporters say the amendment is a logical update to the Constitution. Like Amendment 8, there is no active opposition, but a few House Democrats earlier this year voiced concerns over whether changing the Constitution was necessary in order to protect emails and other electronic data.

John Karel, Tower Grove Park Director, Resigns

Tower Grove Park Director To Step Down, Says Building On Park’s Legacy Won’t End

After 27 years, John Karel, the director of Tower Grove Park is stepping down.

John Karel

John Karel
Credit Provided by Tower Grover Pak

Karel says during his time as director he always worked to restore, maintain and improve the park. The next person will still have a lot to do to maintain the city’s second largest park.

“I think the most important thing that has happened at Tower Grove Park has been the recognition by the people who’ve known it and love it, how important it is and how important it is to restore the park to its proper position of excellence,” he said. “So it can serve as it always was intended to serve, as a major asset for the broader community of St. Louis.”

Keep reading via St. Louis Public Radio

Ward Capital Improvement funds for Grand Ave. median maintenance

FYI  via Alderman Conway:

Dear Neighbor, Both Alderwoman Ingrassia and myself have received the okay to fund $12,000 of the beautification and maintenance cost associated with the Grand Ave medians. The medians are the entryway to our neighborhoods and should properly reflect who we are. We have received permission to use Ward Capital Improvement funds to be matched by the adjacent neighborhood and businesses. Sincerely,
Ald. Steve Conway, CPA, ATTY