According to the numerous letters in the 6/19/03 edition of the Concord Call, the supporters of former Councilman Jeff Wagener were genuinely impressed with Wagener's representation of the 6th Council District and that's probably why they voted for him in the 1996 and 2000 elections.
The quality of public service from elected officials is causative reason to return that individual to elective office.
But there was a majority of voters in 2000 who had greater reasons for replacing their councilman and their decisions were determined by his willingness and qualitative response to represent them on important issues in the 6th District.
As an elected state representative who represented the same constituency as the former Councilman, my office was frequently contacted about county matters that were being handled unsatisfactorily according to the caller. The less than congenial working relationship between our offices was proven when Wagener had negotiated with state bureaucrats, without the local Reps. and Senator, to occupy the vacant HQ building with state agencies on South Lindbergh Blvd. State officials knew that the state could not afford the building, the surrounding residential area opposed it and we squelched it.
His legislation to regulate the sales of videos which proved to be unconstitutional by the courts is another reality check of his public service.
You can't rule and regulate every aspect of our lives because the Constitution does not allow it and representation of, by and for the people will not allow individuals such as the former Councilman to occupy elective office if he violates these principles. Accountability rules at the ballot box.
Councilman John Campisi epitomizes what public service is all about. He is a hands-on guy who responds to his constituency. He was a change agent for honesty and integrity in St. Louis County government when he refused to accept bribes and exposed the corruption of another council member.
He charged the State Capital with bus loads of property owners to lobby the Legislature for property tax reassessment reforms. He supported night meetings to accommodate his constituents and provides accessibility of himself by hosting regular town hall meetings. Lastly, he returns telephone calls.
And yes, he is accountable for his actions as an elected official and has corrected his mistakes. The city of St. Louis opens fire hydrants at taxpayers' expense on hot summer days for the community. Campisi proved his accountability last year by paying for the water that he used.
St. Louis' economy is so inadequate that it was not listed on the top 150 list of business-friendly cities in a recent business magazine. He is contributing to the St. Louis economy as a small businessman by providing jobs and he paid his back taxes.
How many other St. Louis businesses are struggling to pay their taxes to the city and state?
The issue is public service and the voters of the 6th Council District know the difference. Over the next 17 months there will be an orchestrated effort to discredit Campisi. He is a "true'' public servant and that is what my constituents stated about their experience with him.
Catherine S. Enz
Editor's note: Catherine Enz is the former Republican State Representative for District 99. She never lost a local election.