In anticipation of the April 7 election, St. Charles County candidates in contested races were invited to answer the following questions: Why are you running and what are your priorities if elected? What are your qualifications for holding public office?
In addition to the candidates replies, the ballot language of the propositions also is included here.
Mid Rivers Newsmagazine has not verified and does not endorse statements made by the candidates.
ST. CHARLES COUNTY AMBULANCE DISTRICT
Mark Fenton • Director, Subdistrict 1
James A. Cooke • Director, Subdistrict 3
FORT ZUMWALT SCHOOL DISTRICT
Board of Education
Arnie (AC) Dienoff • Director
I will be the steward and “watchdog” of all district operations. I will be a great advocate for students, families, certified/non-certified staff and the core foundation of the community. I will restore and instill total accountability, responsibility, full transparency and common sense decision making. I will increase test scores, reduce classroom student/teacher ratios, secure additional funding for character and STEM education. I will mandate highly qualified teachers, increase teacher professional development, improve school safety and security, develop a stern policy for disruptive students, secure additional technology and cutting edge resources, cut all waste and mandate an annual balanced budget.
I am civic-minded, talented and educated. I am an advocate of students. I have a total commitment for students and their education. Education is vital to community/economic development. I want to lead and help make important decisions that face us. I desire to serve the public and improve services and programs that are offered. The strength of the Community starts with education of its treasure, our children. I am full of honesty, passion and vision, wanting to be a team player on the Board of Education. My talents, tenacity and assets are to serve residents. Students must be our first priority and focus!
Michael MacCormack • Director (I)
The number one priority of the district is to educate all of our students to reach their full potential. To do this we must have a dedicated, skilled and focused teaching core supported by common sense administrative policies, provided in a safe and accommodating environment.
I have been privileged to serve the families of the Fort Zumwalt School District for the last six years and it would be an honor to be able to continue serving.
Barbara Bryant • Director (I)[Questionnaire not returned.]
Matthew Malabey • Director
I am an informed citizen, an interested parent, and a professional who takes budget, compliance, and accountability seriously. I will lend my business expertise to the School Board. My education, knowledge, and years of experience can help improve our Board of Education’s service to the community. Voters don’t just want a balanced budget, they want to know their children are getting a great education. They want to see what the return of investment is for their tax dollars.
FRANCIS HOWELL SCHOOL DISTRICT
Board of Education
Kimberlyann Granger • Director
I am running for this office because I want to give back to my community. I have been a teacher for over 20 years and hold a doctorate in Leadership in Education. My experience and education give me the background knowledge that will enable me to make sound decisions regarding our schools. I will work to get Common Core out of our schools and to make fiscally responsible decisions. Our district is facing financial challenges, and tax payers deserve to have a sound budget. I will also work to communicate openly and honestly with parents, teachers, staff, and members of the community who should all have a voice in the decisions made by the elected board.
I have over 20 years of teaching experience and a doctorate in Educational Leadership. I have taught in both private and public middle schools, and I currently teach at a community college. I am an active member of the community.
Chad Lange • Director
I have a strong desire and passion to serve the best interest of district students and taxpayers. I will present a fresh outlook on district issues while being a positive influence on the board. My top priorities are 1) Making sure every student is given the best opportunity for the highest quality education. 2) Ensuring that district tax dollars are being spent wisely. 3) Bringing awareness to and prevention of bullying and harassment to keep our schools safe. 4) Increasing participation in early childhood education. Research shows that providing a high quality education for children before they turn 5 yields significant long-term benefits.
I am an active and involved parent of three children and numerous family members who attend school in the district. I currently serve on the districts facility committee and I attend monthly school board meetings regularly. That along with my strong desire, passion and willingness to learn and communicate will bring a much needed fresh and independent voice to the board.
Eric Seider • Director (I)
I am a strong advocate for public education but believe transferring students from unaccredited districts is the wrong solution. Schools should be fixed in their home districts. Patrons and parents moved into and pay taxes to the FHSD for the education of their kids – not another community. If we are required to accept transfer students, the sending district should pay the same tuition as resident students. It is only fair to the FHSD taxpayers to not accept transfer students for less than they are paying. I am supported by school administrators, teachers, maintenance and custodial employees. I am a strong supporter of the fine arts and athletics in the district.
I am currently the president of the Francis Howell School District Board of Education. These last years have been tumultuous but a common sense leadership – focusing on our students, families and patrons – continues to drive the district in the right direction. I have over 20 years of management experience in the information technology field.
Sandra L. Ferguson • Director
I am running to be a voice for the taxpayers, students, teachers and staff of this district. My top priorities if elected will be 1) Working with the other six board members to make informed decisions that best fit with our district. 2) I will bring up new concerns from our parents about Common Core. I am opposed to Common Core, so I will work hard to make sure this is not part of our district. 3) I will work on making this district accountable for using tax dollars. I will work to maintain a balanced budget.
I am a taxpayer in Francis Howell district for 23 years. I have been actively involved in my children education and my grandchildren’s education, working with teachers and helping my grandchildren be successful in school. I work with youth in the community through the Boy Scouts of America. I donate work through a non-profit international organization called “Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep,” providing the gift of remembrance to parents suffering the loss of a baby. I am a Missouri certified Advanced Board Member. I will not back down from controversy. I have the knowledge, experience and integrity. I will do my homework and hard work to make the right decision for the taxpayers of this district. I appreciate your vote for a new voice on the Francis Howell School Board.
Mike Hoehn • Director
I am running for the Board of Education because a great quality education is the single most important thing we can provide our children. My priorities would be to continue to improve and add educational opportunities for our students to assure academic success. Second is the budget projected to have a $22 million deficit this year and a larger deficit next year. The current board, by approving this budget, depleted district reserves and will be unable to maintain staffing levels without a tax increase. Third we need to make sure we have local control over our curriculum instead of national standards.
I care about the students and the district. I served on the Francis Howell School Board for six years. I’m an active volunteer in the district and a member of the Facilities Committee. I have served on the Community Relations and Communications committees, District Design Team and Safety Task Force. I actively volunteered in my children’s schools for over 20 years. I have a practical and common sense approach to issues and will ask the hard questions to get the most cost-effective use of your tax dollars while maintaining the focus on student safety and achievement. No tax increase!
John J. Stiles • Alderman, Ward 1 (I)[Questionnaire not returned.]
Bradley L. DiMariano • Alderman, Ward 1
I view service to the community as a personal responsibility and believe that I can make the greatest impact as an alderman. If elected, I would like to help institute a citizen survey to solicit opinions from residents to help guide policy and the future direction of the city.
As a 16-year resident of the community and with experience as a manager of a small, local business and extensive graduate work in public administration, I believe my background offers a unique perspective to serve the citizens of Cottleville.
Robert (Bob) Ronkoski • Alderman, Ward 2 (I)
Dave Kampelman • Alderman, Ward 1 (I)
I am running for alderman to continue being an asset to the city and the people of Ward 1. I’ve been instrumental in projects and laws to better the community that we live in, such as the building of city hall and the park directly behind city hall. I also got the sexual predator law passed in the city.
My qualifications include service to the Planning and Zoning Commission, Board of Adjustments, being an alderman and being president of the Board of Aldermen.
Kevin Klingerman • Alderman, Ward 1
I am running so that the residents of Ward 1 are actually represented at City Hall; to ensure the transparency of city business in a businesslike manner and to share a new vision with the residents of Ward 1 in shaping the character of our city in the years to come – working to balance future development in the city with the lifestyle we enjoy. If there is going to be commercial development, I’d prefer to see a nice art gallery rather than a lumber yard.
I am a 16-year homeowner/resident of Dardenne Prairie with 25 years of senior adult residential development experience. As such, I have maintained millions of dollars in annual asset budgets, including asset management for multiple properties. I have worked with numerous civil engineers, architects, neighborhood organizations, general contractors and attorneys as well as appeared before numerous city councils as I developed senior adult residences. I am an officer on the Board of Directors of Leading Age Missouri and as such have testified in Jefferson City about senior adult issues. I have completed courses, in addition to my college degree and post-graduate work, in governance and leadership through the Kennedy School of Harvard University. I am an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps.
Robert V. Menichino • Alderman, Ward 2 (I)[Questionnaire not returned.]
Blake Nay • Alderman, Ward 2[Questionnaire not returned.]
Mike Claspille • Alderman, Ward 3
I see a need for our city leaders to get out into the community and work with residents on projects that help improve our city. I will scrutinize the city budget and work to eliminate expenses that do not benefit residents. I will collaborate with residents, the mayor, and other aldermen on ways to make our city better a better place to live.
Over the last several years I have been working to learn how our city operates. I’ve been learning from the ground floor and have gained valuable experience. Being the current vice chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission and volunteering for many city activities, such as Adopting McCluer Road or working at Prairie Day, shows that I am ready to be an alderman.
John Gotway • Alderman, Ward 3
The long-standing incumbents have lost sight of their roles to serve the people they represent. Over the past few years, it has been clear that some important decisions made at city hall did not reflect the overall will of the people. By the request of several community leaders and with the support of many residents I have decided to seek the office of Ward 3 alderman. My priorities include 1) fiscal responsibility, 2) economic development that the residents will support, and 3) decision making based on the will of the people I represent.
As a retiree from McDonnell Douglas/Boeing after 32 years of uninterrupted employment I am driven to community service. I am qualified to hold this particular public office because I am the only candidate most in touch with the people of my ward and my promise is to make decisions according to the will of the people.
Sharon M. West • Alderman, Ward 3 (I)
I am running for alderman of Ward 3 to continue my service to the city. My priorities are 1) To answer constituents’ questions in a timely manner with accurate information. 2) To help this community maintain our city services and create a revenue stream for maintenance of our parks and roads.
I have been a Ward 3 alderman for the past 15 years. I have a keen knowledge of how city government needs to work.
LAKE SAINT LOUIS
Kathy Schweikert • Mayor
I am running for the office of mayor to continue representing the residents to resolve issues and, being fiscally responsible, prioritize projects benefiting the city. This requires a balance of the benefit to all residents of the city and working with all parties to achieve the most compatible solutions. My priorities are 1) Continue fiscal responsibility in maintaining and enhancing infrastructure – streets, parks and stormwater systems. 2) Promote new retail, office and residential developments while maintaining Lake Saint Louis’ unique character. 3) Maintain property values by ensuring our homes and businesses adhere to our codes and ordinances to continue to be a “first class city.”
I have been mayor for the past six months following the untimely passing of late Mayor Sidebottom. Prior to becoming mayor, I was Ward 2 alderman for 5.5 years, with the last 1.5 years serving as president of the Board of Aldermen and filling in during the mayor’s absence. I have represented all residents of Lake Saint Louis, working with our city staff, city businesses and other government agencies to build cohesive relationships. I continue to watch our tax dollars, which maintains a very balanced city budget.
Eric Oman • Mayor
As a project manager and analyst for Boeing Company, I will provide the leadership that is needed at city hall to help prepare the city for the future. I believe a lack of leadership at city hall has led to 1) The city spending over a quarter of a million dollars in attorney fees and untold staff time losing a frivolous lawsuit against a local business. 2) A Lake Saint Louis police officer destroying a police car at high speed, crossing over into oncoming lanes endangering the officer and public. That money could be better spent on other pressing needs within the city.
I can provide the leadership to provide required city services at the lowest possible cost to the tax payer. With those savings, I would take it to the voters to see if they would like to reduce taxes or spend the savings on projects such as new parks, road maintenance, etc. My priorities are 1) Stop wasteful spending. 2) Provide feasible alternatives to the 30 unsightly raw sewage pumping stations that are going to be constructed along the shoreline of our lakes. 3) Provide more recreational activities for our seniors and families in the city.
Gary M. Turner • Alderman, Ward 1
Michael Potter • Alderman, Ward 2 (I)
John R. Pellerito • Alderman, Ward 3 (I)
Dave Thomas • Alderman, Ward 1 (I)
I am running for Ward 1 alderman to continue serving the residents of St. Peters with ethical and moral leadership and to ensure our hometown remains a safe and enjoyable community for all. From my first days of service, I have advocated and voted for positive economic development so that our residents will have continued job growth and personal prosperity. And, as with my personal and professional career, I will strive to improve wholesome recreational activities such as those offered at 370 Lakeside Park, the St. Peters Golf Center, the Rec-Plex and so much more.
I have served as a city councilman for the last seven years with a strong and decisive track record of supporting positive economic growth and labor developments. I have a life-long focus on service and personal development in education. I have been a husband and father for over 20 years, served my country in the United States Marine Corps, and have been engaged in a wide variety of community service projects and programs that all have uniquely positioned me as a candidate for the people. I have and always will build on what is, morally, professionally and ethically right.
Michael Boyd • Alderman, Ward 1
I will ensure that red-light cameras are permanently eliminated from St. Peters. For far too long our city has operated this program that indirectly taxes residents and, for a time, even assessed points to individual driver’s licenses. This type of indirect taxation cannot be tolerated. Further, we need to stop wasting money on expensive lawsuits defending red-light cameras when 73 percent of citizens voted to ban them countywide. I will make decisions based on the will of the residents of St. Peters and with their interests in mind. I will address the creeping blight of empty storefronts and run-down property.
As an attorney with an office in St. Peters I have seen firsthand the devastating impact that decisions made by elected officials can have on the citizens of our town. I am capable of independent thought and know that holding public office is a privilege, not a right. I believe that our laws must be made with the interests of the people in mind and not solely to generate revenue.
Judy Bateman • Alderman, Ward 2
Terri Violet • Alderman, Ward 3
Donald Lee (Don) Aytes • Alderman, Ward 4
Donald L. (Don) Kohl • Municipal Judge
I am running to continue to serve my hometown – St Peters. I have served as St. Peters’ judge for over 20 years. During that time St. Peters has experienced tremendous growth. My court docket has reflected that growth. I have implemented numerous changes in court procedures to ensure the increasing number of cases continue to be heard promptly.
My qualifications include being St. Peters’ municipal judge for over 20 years, supervising five employees and operating approximately 10 percent under budget. I have received the highest peer rating from other judges and attorneys. They have awarded me “AV” status. (Martindale-Hubbell) They rate both my legal ability and ethical standards at the very highest level.
Michael L. Wood • Municipal Judge[Voluntarily removed by court order]
Michael Shea • Alderman, Ward 3 (1-year term)
For 21 years I served our country, followed by serving neighborhood residents, and now, encouraged by friends and neighbors, it is time to serve the larger part of my community. My top priorities are 1) Dedication to our residents, restoring confidence and integrity as their alderman. 2) Develop improved communications between political subdivisions and interested parties. 3) Encourage increased services and development to improve the work, play and quality of life for hard-working American families.
The No. 1 qualification is the desire and willingness to serve the residents of a political subdivision. I am a resident in good standing with the community and I meet the qualification per RsMO. I have served the past four years as the board president of a homeowners association, constantly seeking improvements for a better neighborhood. Therefore, I believe I am qualified.
Teresa McWhorter • Alderman, Ward 3 (1-year term)[Questionnaire not returned.]
Don Licklider • Mayor
William (Bill) Hillmer • Alderman, Ward 1
Janet Kolb • Alderman, Ward 2
Gerry Baker • Alderman, Ward 3
COTTLEVILLE COMMUNITY FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT
Kenneth H. Brooks • Director, Seat 1
Provide positive, professional and productive leadership tot he Cottleville Fire Protection District. If elected I will explore ways to improve services without increasing cost and I will ensure the safety of both the citizens and firefighters of the Cottleville Fire Protection District. I also believe in a sound fiscal policy with an annual balanced budget.
I am a past board member with twelve years experience. I have a good rapport and working relationship with all current CFPD Board members, management officials and staff.
Catherine Dreher • Director, Seat 1
I was asked to run by citizens in my community who feel our tax rate is too high and would like to have a candidate who is supported by the taxpayers rather than the public sector union. If elected, my top priorities are to reduce our tax rate, pay down debt, eliminate wasteful spending and maintain the fire district’s high quality of service.
I am a small business owner with a master’s degree and experience in professional communication, including public relations. I will use my expertise to ensure fiscal responsibility and to improve communication and transparency between the fire district and the citizens. I currently serve on the city of Cottleville’s Planning and Zoning Commission and on the St. Charles County Board of Zoning Adjustment.
John P. Walsh • Director, Seat 2
LAKE SAINT LOUIS FPD
Daniel F. Ryan • Director[Questionnaire not returned.]
Richard E. Thurwacter • Director
I am running for Fire Board of Lake Saint Louis to give back to the community.
Top priorities are to improve the level of service provided to the residents of the Lake Saint Louis fire district and to improve the working conditions and on the job safety for the Lake Saint Louis firefighters.
Michael (Mike) Ballmann • Director
I believe it is important that control of the fire district is in the hands of independent thinkers who work for the citizens and not for special interest groups. I have established these as my top priorities: 1) To provide the citizens of the fire district with the type of fire protection that they want, need and expect. 2)To provide that service at a cost that is acceptable and reasonable. 3) To make the organization and its spending open to the citizens.
I have served the O’Fallon Fire Protection District for 40 years as both a volunteer and a career employee. During my tenure as fire chief, the organization maintained a significant budget surplus, became the first Center for Public Safety Excellence accredited fire service agency in Missouri and maintained its Insurance Service Office (ISO) town class rating of 4, which is the best rating for a residential area. I have attended the National Fire Academy to obtain my executive fire officer designation. I have a bachelor’s degree in fire service management, and a master’s degree in public administration.
William (Bill) Laughlin • Director (I)
I am running to continue the work I have started in moving this district forward. I will continue to maintain our trucks, so they are at peak performance and ready for the call. My job as a director is to make sure we spend our tax dollars wisely and live within our means. I will make sure our firefighters have the most up-to-date training and safety equipment available.
Since elected I have made many changes at the district resulting in tremendous savings to the taxpayers. After trimming a top heavy administration, we are not living within our means. I am moving this district forward with mew effective leadership. I have helped maintain a balanced budget while putting money in reserves for the future.
Arnie (AC) Dienoff • Director
I will restore honesty, accountability and common sense responsibility back to taxpayers. I will keep an equal balance between the residents/taxpayers and the employee union; keep firefighters safe by upgrading equipment; and release/disclose public documents, information and finances complying with State Sunshine Law. I will work toward a ballot vote to expand the board to five members; additional Fire Prevention, lowering Insurance Standards Organization rating resulting in savings for homeowners. I will keep close eye on finances, provide state-of-the-art equipment, purchase of Thermo-Imaging System for all district response units, improve quality of life issues for employees, develop an Emergency/Disaster Response Plan, and study of potential hazardous sites.
I am community, civic-minded and talented. I have worked and been appointed to several positions of government. I have managed multi-million dollar organizations, saving taxpayers hundreds of thousands. I am a problem solver and negotiator with keen skills of tenacity for communications and customer service. I am running to improve emergency services to the residents, making sure you are first priority and focus. I will always seek input through public hearings. Include/inform the public through the district’s website/board meetings. Will mandate taxpayers retain control at all times. I will be an asset.
CENTRAL COUNTY FIRE & RESCUE
David J. Tilley • Director, Seat 2[Questionnaire not returned.]
For the purpose of implementing the community created SAFE-T plan to acquire up-to-date firefighting and emergency vehicles, apparatus and auxiliary equipment, to acquire, construct, renovate, replace, improve, furnish and equip outdated fire stations and training facilities, including the purchase of land where necessary and to refinance prior obligations and agreements used to finance required improvements to facilities, shall the Central County Fire & Rescue, a Fire Protection District of St. Charles County, Missouri (CCFR), borrow money in the amount of Sixteen Million Dollars ($16,000,000.00), and issue general obligation bonds for the payment thereof?
The authorization of the general obligation bonds will authorize the levy and collection of an annual tax in addition to the other taxes provided for by law on all taxable tangible property in the District sufficient to pay the interest and principal of the Bonds as they fall due and to retire the same within twenty years from the date thereof, but the debt service levy of the District is expected to remain unchanged at the current levy of $0.0860 per one hundred dollars assessed valuation of real and personal property.