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Dardenne Prairie aldermen vet candidates for Ward 1 vacancy

The field of candidates seeking a Ward 1 aldermanic seat in Dardenne Prairie may be set – at least unofficially.

In all, five candidates have filed applications to replace David Zucker, who previously held the Ward 1 seat before being appointed mayor on May 20. Zucker is expected to recommend a candidate on whom the board will vote at its June 17 meeting.

Applicants had a May 27 deadline to file their candidacies and were asked to meet with the board at its June 3 work session. Two of the five candidates – James J. Mutz and Elliott Stipes – showed up for the meeting. Zucker said the remaining candidates’ absences may affect his recommendation. His replacement will serve until next April, when his aldermanic term expires.

Zucker also will serve until the April 2016 election, when voters will choose someone to complete Fogarty’s term, which ends in 2017.

Biographies, gleaned from the applications of the five Ward 1 candidates, are below:

• James J. Mutz, of the 400 block of Parkshire Place, a retired Citigroup manager of information technology currently serves on the city’s board of adjustment. He also applied for a vacancy on the city’s planning and zoning commission. “I’ve decided I no longer want to be a member of the ‘silent majority,’” Mutz stated on his application. “I am retired and have the time to get involved and give back.” Mutz said he has lived in the city for 11 years.

• Elliott Stipes, of the 100 block of Derbyshire Lane, is president, chief executive officer and founder of Green Clean Commercial, a national green commercial cleaning firm. He also is president of the Villages of Bainbridge Homeowners Association and has lived in the city for 11.5 years.

• Dale E. Bailey is a retired police officer and security manager. Oh his application, he cites 32 years of experience as a patrol officer, sergeant, detective, lieutenant, captain and acting chief as well as 10 years as the St. Louis regional security manager for Monsanto. “I have strong leadership skills, good people management experience, experience in managing and developing capital and operating budgets,” he stated on his application. He also has lived in the community for 11.5 years.

• Charles Mispagel, a retired sales person from Procter & Gamble, has lived in city for 19 years. He said his sales background has taught him to solve problems and work well with others and to be highly organized. He said he also has served as a member the Whispering Pines subdivision homeowners association. “I am proud to live in Dardenne Prairie and would like to keep it family friendly,” he stated on his application. He said he has “the time to put in serving (his) community to make it a better place to live.”

• Julie Chapin, of the 100 block of Greenshire Court, is director of financial services for Missouri Corporate Credit Union. She has lived in the city for 12.5 years. “First and foremost, I care about the city of Dardenne Prairie,” she stated on her application. “I want the residents to be proud of where they live. I want it to be a safe community.” She cited her education in finance among her qualifications and said: “I believe I am a fast learner.”

At its June 17 meeting, the board also is expected to name two members to the city’s planning and zoning commission. One member’s four-year term has expired and he no longer wants to serve on the board. The other member, Robert Courson, has not attended meetings since 2013.

The board approved a resolution establishing new procedures for appointing members to the city’s planning and zoning commission at their June 3 meeting and passed another resolution that sets a June 17 public hearing on whether Courson should be removed from the board.

The board may vote on Courson’s removal at the same meeting and on appointing two new commission members recommended by Zucker.

According to a memorandum from Zucker, Courson was appointed in 2013 but has not attended a commission meeting since Dec. 2013. He also may no longer live in the city, Zucker said.

Two residents have filed applications to fill the vacancies – Mutz and Thomas Shea. Shea, of the 1200 block of Pinnacle Pointe Drive, is retired and serves with the Pinnacle Point Homeowners Association.

“With my background in the construction industry and my experience with St. Louis County traffic division in the past, I can understand the plans and proposals that are presented,” he stated on his application. “As a resident of Dardenne Prairie, I am very interested in what happens in Dardenne Prairie.”

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