Why I am running for Mayor of Maplewood as a write-in candidate

I am too committed to the Maplewood community to have it move in the direction it is going: a place where City Council believes that institutional knowledge is a liability, whether it be as elected officials, board and commission appointments or the hiring of the City Manager. Change for the sake of change is not a viable political philosophy. 

In the 18 years I served on City Council and as Mayor, there was an exchange of ideas and respect for dissenting viewpoints. Meeting minutes weren’t tabled to keep the public from knowing how decisions were being made. We corrected our minutes in public, in real time because that’s how transparent government works. I believe that the Council and Mayor should serve the community they live in, not promote personal agendas or attempt to solve world problems beyond the scope of the Council’s role as delineated in the City Charter.

I originally did not file to run because the election process had become so politicized, mirroring the tactics ruining our state and federal governments by polarizing voters and pushing them farther to the opposite ends of the spectrum. I didn’t care to subject myself again to social media posts that included personal attacks on my family and my role as a parent. After the candidate filing deadline of October 31st, the news came out regarding the process to hire a new City Manager and I couldn’t be complacent.

In 18 years of service, I made some mistakes, learned from them and grew. When things didn’t turn out as planned, I learned how to do better research, listen to more people and process information for the benefit of as many citizens and businesses as possible. I mention businesses because they have been the economic engine of the city’s prosperity and their health is essential to the health of our community.

I appreciate the City Hall staff, the Public Works Department, our Police and Fire Departments, and all other city departments that have done an outstanding job through their dedication and professionalism. When a city succeeds as we have, much of it has to do with the role of the City Manager, whose job is to be CEO of the municipality. The selection of that position requires experience, skills and dedication, all of which are essential qualifications.

I am extremely fortunate to have the love and support of my wife, Deni, for 24 years. She has accompanied me to numerous National League of Cities and Missouri Municipal League conferences, (not at taxpayer expense), ribbon cuttings, Kiwanis meetings and Maplewood events. I am proud of my daughter Lis, her husband Jake and their two boys, Beau and Ryatt. I also take immense satisfaction that my son, Dan, married a teacher and became a paramedic and firefighter. He and his wife Emily have given us both a grandson, Eli, and granddaughter, Mila. And to complete our family is Davi, our beautiful and beloved whippet.

I am committed to making sure that the workings of the Council are open, honest and transparent. I am committed to listening to all voices when helping make Council decisions. I am committed to maintaining and restoring the checks and balances in the City Charter that define the roles of the Mayor and City Manager. I am committed to doing what I think is in the best interests of the entire community. And that is why I am committed to running for Mayor.