After nearly 18 years as a city employee, Scott Lewis will say goodbye to the city of Cottleville this December.
The city administrator and chief of police will start his new job as the St. Charles County Sheriff on Jan. 1.
“There is a new sheriff coming to town and I want to thank everyone who donated, hosted a meet and greet, walked with me in a parade, put a sign in their yard or sticker on their car and most importantly voted for me,” said Lewis. “I have a much greater appreciation now for those who are willing to put their name on the ballot and go through the election process.
“I’m looking forward to joining the men and women at the St. Charles County Sheriff’s Department.”
Lewis started his career with the city of Cottleville on April 1, 1997, as the city’s chief of police. The department, consisting of Lewis and three patrol officers, was located then in a small office in the St. Charles Community College Campus Police building.
“Today, we have 16 commissioned and civilian staff members and several police corps volunteers,” Lewis said. “We have SRO (School Resource Officers) and DARE officers at the schools, officers assigned to the St. Charles County Regional Drug Task Force, St. Charles County Regional SWAT Team, DWI Task Force and Greater St. Louis Major Case Squad. Our department participates in numerous community policing activities including a Citizen Police Academy, Safety Town and the annual National Night Out to name a few.”
While serving as police chief, Lewis also pulled double duty for 14 years as Cottleville’s city administrator. In that position, Lewis said he is very proud of the redevelopment of downtown.
“St. Joseph’s Parish and Cottleville Fire District have anchored the south end of our downtown for over 100 years, and I’m proud the city is now anchoring the north end of downtown with the construction of our city hall and police department,” Lewis said.
Lewis also said he is proud of Legacy Park, which has grown to over 125 acres on both sides of Dardenne Creek.
“I’m also proud of the many neighborhoods that have been built since I have been here, each with their own personality,” Lewis said. “Cottleville offers a diverse housing stock – lofts, apartments, condos, villas and single family homes from less than $100,000 to a $1 million plus.”
He said he’s going to miss coming to work in Cottleville every day.
“I love working with the dedicated staff at city hall and the police department,” Lewis said. “I’ve had the pleasure of working for four mayors and a dozen or so aldermen. I enjoy the residents, business owners, schools, churches and other organizations who have contributed so much to our great little community.”
Mayor Jim Hennessey said Lewis has provided tremendous leadership during his tenure as city administrator and police chief.
“He will be sorely missed,” said Hennessey. “In spite of our growth throughout the entire city, including all of our new housing developments, we have kept the quaint, charming, eclectic feel that our residents love. None of this would have been possible for the city if it had not been guided by Scott’s steady hand and his vision of what the city should be, and now has become. I think I speak for all of the residents of Cottleville when I say…thanks for everything Scott, and good luck.”
The Cottleville Board of Aldermen voted on Oct. 15 to approve the hiring of Rich Francis, the current public works director, to take Lewis’ place as city administrator on Jan. 1.
Lewis said when he came to work in Cottleville 18 years ago, the city limit signs said: “Population: Growing.”
“This city has experienced tremendous growth and everyone has worked together and we have been able to retain that small hometown charm,” said Lewis. “Change can be good. Cottleville has a bright future – new businesses, new neighborhoods, more road projects, new parks and much more – and I felt it was time for new leadership and new ideas. My home is in Cottleville and I hope to stay active as a volunteer with the historical society and parks department.”