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Dardenne Prairie approves new mayor

Dardenne Prairie Mayor David Zucker

Dardenne Prairie Mayor David Zucker

Dardenne Prairie has a new mayor who has already been on the job since Pam Fogarty, the city’s longtime mayor resigned on May 8.

Alderman David Zucker (Ward 1) was appointed mayor by the five-members of the city’s Board of Aldermen.

Zucker was elected to the board in April 2014 municipal election, and chosen as its president on May 6, 2015.  As president, he served as acting mayor until the board voted to approve his appointment at  a special meeting on May 20. He will serve as mayor until April 2016, when voters will choose someone to fill the rest of Fogarty’s term, which ends in April 2017.  The mayor’s term is four years.

“I think I’m equipped to handle the job,” Zucker said.

At age 68, Zucker is retired and is a former U.S. Army officer, attorney and official with Express Scripts.

The city hasn’t had a full-time official running its day-to-day business since its last full-time city administrator, Frank Schoneboom, was fired last year. The mayor’s position is considered part-time, receiving $1,000 a month.

Noting the time demands of the position, Zucker said in an interview on May 20: “For a year, the mayor (Fogarty) had a full-time job. Fogarty, who served 12 years as mayor, is a real estate agent. Zucker said he had been at city hall every day working with city staff since becoming interim mayor.

The board also approved several resolutions at their May 20 meeting – adopting “Robert’s Rules of Order” to conduct city meetings, and naming specific city officials who are authorized to sign checks – which Zucker characterized as “housekeeping.”

Zucker was among the first aldermen elected to replace incumbents on the board. In two years, all six seats on the board have changed hands.  He said the changeover was a statement by city voters regarding the city’s direction and management. Fogarty also had previously acknowledged that the changeover had a bearing on her decision to resign.

At the first meeting were all six new board members were seated, the board passed several ordinances and five resolutions they said would give them more oversight over city government. Zucker said he had a major hand in writing that legislation.

Those ordinances state that the board can hold hearings and investigate city business. Those resolutions also established subcommittees on subjects such as communications, public works, parks and recreation, public safety, and information and technology – all of which are chaired by aldermen.

A sixth resolution set new procedures for considering and passing bills and resolutions.

At its May 20 meeting, the board also selected a new board president, Alderman Dan Koch (Ward 3), to succeed Zucker.

The board is expected to vote at its June 17 meeting to appoint someone to replace Zucker as a Ward 1 alderman.  The replacement alderman will serve until Zucker’s aldermanic term expires next April. Residents can apply for the position until 5 p.m. on May 27.  An application is available on the city’s website at www. dardenneprairie.org.

Zucker said the city is in good financial shape. Its infrastructure, including its streets, is new.  However, he said the city has to have the financial ability to deal with repairing those streets and other infrastructure elements as they get older.

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