Wednesday, December 7, 2011
County Executive Charlie Dooley said Tuesday evening all St. Louis County Parks will remain open.
Less than five minutes into Tuesday’s St. Louis County Council meeting, County Executive Charlie Dooley made the announcement that all 23 St. Louis County Parks slated for closure in 2012 will stay open. “The things that we’ve compromised on is that we’re going to leave all of our parks systems open… we will keep the West County satellite office open as well, and we will keep the plowing in unincorporated St. Louis County,” he said. The county executive emphasized a team effort in not only adjusting the 2012 budget, but also looking ahead for long-term solutions to what he originally predicted to be a $26 million budget deficit. “There may be lingering issues in the future about how large a deficit was or wasn’t, or if it exists. Those don…
Monday, December 5, 2011
Stenger said he did not say anything insulting during a recent radio show interview. A budget for St. Louis County still must be passed by Dec. 31.
County Executive Charlie Dooley called for an apology from County Council Chairman Steve Stenger (D-District 6) about his comments on the Mark Reardon Show Wednesday. “In trying to insult me, Mr. Stenger demeaned and insulted the people of St. Louis County—many of whom do not have a college degree,” Dooley said in a release Thursday. Stenger was a guest on the show and discussed the 2012 recommended county budget and the special committee he formed to create alternative suggestions to the proposed closure of 23 St. Louis County Parks. Reardon asked Stenger what background Dooley had specifically on budgets. This was after the two discussed Stenger’s 18-year history as a certified public accountant specializing in state and local taxes. “I…
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
The 2012 budget must be passed before Dec. 31.
Tensions rose Tuesday night at the St. Louis County Council’s second special budget committee meeting when County Executive Charlie Dooley stood by his 2012 proposed budget, which includes the closure of 23 St. Louis County Parks. Check back for more coverage of the budget meeting. The budget, which has been largely criticized by County Council Chairman Steve Stenger, also included laying off 173 employees in both the parks and code enforcement division. “Being the chairman of the county council does not give you the knowledge of the county budget in one year,” Dooley said. “You can’t know what you need to know.” Dooley said he hasn’t received anything from Stenger as the chairman. Stenger asked Dooley to elaborate on what he hasn’t …
Thursday, November 10, 2011
More than 60 attended the county council meeting Tuesday, with 10 speaking about the future of county parks. District 7 councilman from Wildwood: "I think we can work that out." Dooley now says "parks are not going anywhere."
Although the possible closure of 23 county parks and facilities wasn't on the St. Louis County Council's agenda on Tuesday, the subject was fresh in the minds of 10 speakers who advocated on behalf of the parks. “Our purpose for speaking tonight is to plead with you to make the 2012 budget cuts fair and equitable across the board,” said Mehlville resident and parks volunteer Bonnie Lorenz. “A family may not be able to afford to go to the show, or a baseball game, but they can go to one of our wonderful 69 parks for free.” “Don’t let your legacy in office show that you were responsible for closing parks in our great county,” she said. Before the meeting, St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley made it clear the county would not be selling…
Monday, November 7, 2011
Tad Biggs, past president of The Open Space Council, states in this letter to the editor "the threat to sell off our parks if we do not agree to a further increase [in property taxes] is simply extortion."
Monday, November 7, 2011
I read the proposal to start closing and selling off county parks, noting the budget figures for the various departments, and how the parks budget alone is singled out for evisceration to the point of literally treating precious and irreplaceable park land as a bank of capital to fund other ongoing operations. This is a watershed for St. Louis County government, and every citizen of the County should take note. St. Louis County is not growing. Its population has held steady at a million for 20 years, and has started to slowly decline. But St. Louis County government is growing. We all see that this is a proposal to force yet another increase in our property taxes, to fund this growth, not of the county, but of its The proposal to sell …
Thursday, November 3, 2011
If Lone Elk Park is closed, per a St. Louis County budget cut purposed by County Executive Director Charlie Dooley, what would happen to the local bison accustomed to having their space?
Bison were reintroduced to Lone Elk Park in 1973 from Saint Louis Zoo officials, according to records from the St. Louis County Parks Department. It started with a herd of just six. On Wednesday, St. Louis County Park Ranger Matt Reim told Patch the current herd typically ranges between 13 to 15. St. Louis County Chief Operating Officer Garry Earls was quoted earlier this week as saying that county officials would sell animals located at the parks targeted to be closed under a newly proposed county budget reduction for 2012. (See Eureka-Wildwood Patch article from Tuesday: Lone Elk Park, Greensfelder Park and West County Tyson Park Among Those County May Close) Being on the brink of extinction in the 1890s due to unregulated killing with …
One West St. Louis County resident through a letter to the editor would like all involved with the proposed closure of Lone Elk Park to be loyal to necessary green space. "Please reconsider Mr. Dooley."
Thursday, November 3, 2011
I live in Winchester, MO. For many years, Lone Elk Park has been an element of my idea of home and community. Whenever my parents came in town from Iowa, we would find time to drive through Lone Elk. I always enjoy photographing the bison, elk, deer, geese, ducks and turkey. Few parks in Missouri offer the opportunity to observe our once common residents. Few, if any, have the heart-warming history. I love the idea that community members, young and old, raised money to bring Yellowstone elk here to join the lonely survivor. There are two bachelor bulls that keep each other company there away from the herd. I love to watch them. They seem so loyal to each other. Lone Elk is not an island to itself but rather a link in a belt of green …
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley proposes closing 19 parks and St. Vincent Community Center (highlighted on accompanying map) to cut $10 million from 2012 budget. Three local parks are among those sites targeted.
To eliminate a $10 million budget shortfall, St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley included closing 19 county parks and a community center in his 2012 proposed budget presented Monday. West County Tyson Park in Eureka, Lone Elk Park outside of Eureka on Interstate 44, as well as Greensfelder Park in Wildwood, are three of the designated targets. (See previously published blog in July's Eureka-Wildwood Patch from George Weber about the unique history of Lone Elk Park.) The park acreage once was part of the 2,400-acre Tyson Valley Powder Plant used for testing and storing ammunition during World War II. It is included in the Meramec River Greenway, and has been in place for nearly 50 years. In today's St. Louis Post-Dispatch article …
Saturday, July 30, 2011
If the U.S. Congress doesn't raise the debt ceiling by Tuesday, layoffs and increased property taxes might be among the results in St. Louis County, Chief Operating Officer Garry Earls said.
In light of the Tuesday deadline for Congress to raise the federal debt ceiling, Patch spoke with St. Louis County's chief operating officer, Garry Earls, about what might happen if lawmakers cannot find common ground on the matter. If the debt ceiling isn't raised, what could happen to county employees who are funded with federal grants? We have 176 employees in St. Louis County who are paid using federal grants. Some of those work in the employment office, the crime lab and the community development office. Money has already been appropriated, but if the federal government isn't paying its bills, we won't be able to provide those services. There would have to be layoffs. What would happen with roadway projects that receive federal …