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Election Preview 2021

On April 6, voters in St. Charles County will head to the polls to elect local officials. To help voters get to know who the candidates are and to better understand their priorities for their cities and school districts, Mid Rivers Newsmagazine asked the candidates in opposed races only to answer the following questions:
• What are your qualifications for this position?
• What are your priorities if elected?
Candidates in all races are listed in ballot order; incumbents are identified with an asterisk after their names. Mid Rivers Newsmagazine has not verified and does not endorse the statements made by the candidates.
Mayoral candidates answered these questions in the March 10 issue of Mid Rivers Newsmagazine. Their replies can be found online at midriversnewsmagazine.com.

COTTLEVILLE

Mayor
• Stan Enloe
• Robert (Bob) Ronkoski

(Editor’s note: Read about the mayoral election here.)

Alderman Ward 1
• John J. Stiles*

Alderman Ward 2
• Stephen Thompson
Q1. Simply put, I love Cottleville! I have been Cottleville’s social media influencer for a decade now, promoting local businesses and branding Cottleville. I am an accomplished IT professional, with a doctorate degree in information technology. My wife, Christina, and I live in the Miralago subdivision. July 16 is Stephen Manoj Thompson Day in Cottleville; proclaimed by current Mayor Jim Hennessey. I serve on the board of the St. Charles Community College Foundation and am a member of the SCC President’s Council on Race and Diversity. I am also an active supporter of the Cottleville Firefighter Outreach, an advocate of the Alzheimer’s Association and a Nine PBS community producer.
Q2. My priorities are to work closely with local business and community leaders, and find innovative ways to bring in new diversified businesses; and make sure we continue to support our law enforcement officers and cultivate a balanced approach in terms of spending taxpayers’ dollars. My number one priority always will be to habitually listen to my fellow Cottleville residents, to make sure all ideas and opposing opinions are heard and included. United we can keep building a prosperous and safe Cottleville.

• Terry Hogan
Candidate did not reply to requests for participation by deadline.

• Mike Krekeler
Q1. I have been a resident of Cottleville since 1992. I have been attending the Board of Aldermen meetings for years to keep up on things going on in our community.
Q2. My priorities include keeping our community the place where everyone wants to be, making our park system the best it can be, and making sure new businesses fit the big picture for our residents and other business owners.

DARDENNE PRAIRIE

Mayor
• David C. Zucker*
• John Gotway

(Editor’s note: Read about the mayoral election here.)

Alderman Ward 1
• Kasey Reilly
Alderman Ward 2
• Mike Costlow*
Alderman Ward 3
• E. J. Sansone

O’FALLON

Mayor
• Paul C. Carlson
• William “Bill” Hennessy*
• Debbie Cook
• Mike Pheney
• Arnie C. “AC” Dienoff

(Editor’s note: Read about the mayoral election here.)

ST. PETERS

No election this year.

WELDON SPRING

Mayor
• Kate W. Bauer
• Don Licklider*

(Editor’s note: Read about the mayoral election here.)

Alderman Ward 1
• Tom Yeager*
Alderman Ward 2
• Janet Kolb*
Q1. I have been involved in the city of Weldon Spring since its inception and serving under many titles including being an alderman for 22 years. It has been my family’s home since 1841. I care about what happens here.
Q2. I will continue to work to preserve the rural atmosphere of the city that brought most people to Weldon Spring.

• Kevin Martin
Q1.I am committed to improving the quality of life in Ward 2 and all of Weldon Spring. I have supported running many large organizations, and at the same time have been a proponent of community involvement at all levels. In my past, I have served as honorary mayor, community liaison and chairing several philanthropic organizations to provide for balanced community growth and outreach.
Q2. As we see more growth and expansion of housing and businesses in the area, I will focus on how to maintain quality infrastructure, traffic and the safety for our community. I will continue to support growth in biking and walking trails. Business ideas and demographics have changed locally over the last 20 years. I believe government involvement should follow this change by attracting the right businesses and values for the community.

• Vic Conlin
Write-in candidate, added to ballot after press time.

Alderman Ward 3
• Gerry Baker*

FRANCIS HOWELL SCHOOL BOARD

Directors
• Chad Lange*
Q1. I have been and will always be an active and involved parent of my four children’s Francis Howell School District schools. I have been part of several district committees and groups. I was first elected to the Francis Howell school board in 2015 and re-elected in 2018.
Q2. I will continue with hard work, dedication and sound fiscal responsibility in keeping Francis Howell the top school district in the county and one of the top school districts in the state. This will ensure that our home values continue to rise, and make families want to choose our award-winning Francis Howell School District. I will continue working on district-wide safety and security to help ensure that our students, staff and buildings are safe and secure learning environments for everyone. I will continue to build community communications with district stakeholders who are not directly connected to students in our buildings.

• Kyle Donaghy
Q1. I am a tax-paying resident of the Francis Howell School District with an extensive business career. I understand finance and have the ability to properly communicate.
Q2. I do not have children in the district yet, but I believe this to be a positive as I will not enter the position with an agenda. I want to serve my district to the best of my ability – properly spending tax money, and first and foremost, looking out for the students in the district. I want to represent every voice in the district and will make myself available for those who want to be heard.

• Todd Larson
Q1. My qualifications for the Francis Howell School District school board include being a lifelong resident of St. Charles County and a graduate of Francis Howell High. I have reached a point in my life where it is time to give back and serve the families of the school district. The families, teachers and schools deserve a school board representative that is willing to stand up and do the right thing for the families of the district. The time is now and I am ready for the challenge.
Q2. I do not have, at this time, an established set of priorities. I will be new to this role of serving on the school board and look forward to working with other board members and the school administration. Although I can confidently say my heartbeat for this role is simple. The priority will always be the children learning in every classroom each and every day.

• Janet Stiglich*
Q1. I am an incumbent with a history of being a district employee for 23 years.
Q2. I will continue to help the district provide the quality education our students are receiving during the pandemic while maintaining student and staff safety.

FORT ZUMWALT SCHOOL BOARD

Directors
• Tommy George Jr.*
Candidate did not reply to requests for participation by deadline.

• Arnie C. “AC” Dienoff
Q1. I am civic-minded with a passion for education. There is an all-out attack in the state legislature on public school districts! I am talented and educated. I am an advocate of students, staff, parents and the community. I have a total commitment for students and their education. I desire to serve the public and improve services and programs that are offered. The strength of the community starts with the education of its treasure, its children. I am full of honesty, passion and vision, wanting to serve as a team player on the Francis Howell board. My talents, tenacity and assets are here to serve our 125,000 residents.
Q2. I will be the “watch dog” of all district operations. I will restore and instill total accountability, responsibility, integrity and full transparency to the community, which deserves great leadership and common sense decision making with the district’s $285 million budget. I will increase state test scores, reduce student-teacher ratios, support character and STEM education, mandate highly qualified teachers, increase teacher professional development and improve school safety and security with accurate threat reporting. I will support a stern policy for disruptive students, support additional technology and cutting edge resources, cut all waste and mandate a balanced budget with annual auditing.

• Michael W. MacCormack*
Q1. In regard to qualifications, I guess pointing to past experiences might be too obvious, but I have sought out additional learning experiences like earning a master board member certification and volunteering to be a Missouri School Board Association delegate coordinator for Region 7, which includes St. Charles, St. Louis and Jefferson counties. Most importantly, I put the interests of our kiddos first.
Q2. It has been such an honor to serve the students, employees and residents of the school district for the past 12 years. During that time safety and security has always been a top priority and will continue to be. Having all four high schools listed as U.S. News & World Report best high schools validates my priority to provide quality education. Finally, the focus on educating at-risk students will be important to me.

• Daniel Jared Hogan
Q1. I am the parent of a Fort Zumwalt School District student. I have a master’s degree in entrepreneurial and economic development from Peru State College (Nebraska).
Q2. To look at curriculum to ensure that no one system is adopted as an “end all be all” method so that different learning styles of students are accounted for. Ensure that finances are handled practically. Ensure teacher salaries are competitive so that we can retain talent and mitigate loss to other systems. In the event of a budget shortfall, ensure that practical moves are made before any cuts are made in the form of jobs and programs. Ensure the mental health of students and staff are adequately addressed by ensuring resources are known and available.

• Gabriel Ryan Helms
Q1. Along with having board experience (Professional Firefighters of Eastern Missouri – Human Relations Committee), I’m a first responder and more importantly a parent of three current Fort Zumwalt students.
Q2. Increase the number of special education resources/services along with a review of the current protocols for the purpose of finding new techniques and strategies to service all students, no matter how minor/severe the students needs are (e.g. managing behaviors in the class, qualifications for services, restorative practices, analyzing personnel needs in the classroom). Reassess the amount of resources (e.g. paraprofessionals, mental health resources, etc.) that are available to Fort Zumwalt District staff. The better our staff is supported, the better they can support our children. Reassess support services across the district in light of COVID-19 and its implications.

PROPOSITION SAFE SCHOOLS

The Fort Zumwalt School District has placed a proposition on the April 6 ballot, which they have labeled as Proposition Strong Schools. The measure seeks to “increase the operating tax levy of the district by $0.39 per $100 of assessed valuation for the purposes of maintaining existing educational programs, rebuilding fund balances and paying general operating expenses of the district.”

Editor’s Note: See “COVID-19 Aftermath: For school districts, the numbers don’t add up” on midriversnewsmagazine.com to learn more.

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