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Aldermen eye resolution renaming center in honor of late Crestwood mayor

A resolution rededicating the Crestwood Community Center in Whitecliff Park as the Patricia A. Killoren Community Center was scheduled to be considered this week by the Crestwood Board of Aldermen.

The Board of Aldermen was scheduled to meet Tuesday night — after the Call went to press.

Patricia A. Killoren, who died of cancer last month in Cape Coral, Fla., served as the city's mayor from 1978 to 1995. She was the city's longest serving mayor and the first woman to be elected mayor in St. Louis County. She also served as a Ward 1 alderman from 1972 to 1978.

In a letter to Acting Mayor Richard Breeding, former Mayor Jim Brasfield urged aldermen to consider naming a public building, such as the Community Center in Whitecliff Park, after Killoren.

"I am certain my feeling of sadness was common among Crestwood residents when we recently learned of the passing of Mayor Pat Killoren,'' Brasfield wrote in the Feb. 23 letter, noting that Killoren "was devoted to the city and its citizens. Any of us in public life for a long time will take positions that others dispute.

"But I don't think any of the people who knew her (during) those years of public service ever doubted that she always acted in the best interests of the city. In this era of great cynicism, people in public life are often subjected to harping and criticism,'' Brasfield wrote. "All of you understand this is part of the territory of holding elective office. But sometimes we can do small things that elevate and honor those who have served with distinction.

"In this spirit, I urge you to consider naming a public building, such as the Whitecliff Community Center, after Pat Killoren. Before she was mayor, Pat was instrumental in building the public support for the Whitecliff recreation complex. Throughout her public life, she always gave special support to park and recreation activities, and understood the key role such institutions have in the life of a community,'' Brasfield stated in his letter.

Brasfield, who served as mayor from 1996 to 2002 and as a Ward 1 alderman for 18 years, wrote that he hoped aldermen would give "serious consideration to honoring Pat Killoren by this small gesture of appreciation. This will help her grandchildren, future great-grandchildren and everyone who uses the facility understand that our community became a much better place because of Pat Killoren's effort and devotion as a public official.''

During the Feb. 24 Board of Aldermen meeting, Breeding noted that the city had received the letter from Brasfield and said he wanted to hear what aldermen thought about the suggestion.

Ward 2 Alderman Tim Trueblood said, "I don't know what there is to think about. I think it's an appropriate suggestion. I'm not sure what we have to do as a board to name it that and that might be the only thing that I need to find out ...''

But Ward 4 Alderman Tom Fagan later said, "I guess my comments are not just about this particular building in general, but just naming buildings after people. I'm not a big fan of it. It's like the Eagleton Courthouse. That doesn't, to me, that's not appropriate or what have you, and obviously the former mayor spent a considerable amount of time and did a lot of hard work for the city. But I guess I question whether we should name buildings or places after people in the city and if people decide that that's appropriate, then so be it. But I guess I would ask the question is that something that we want to do?''

Breeding said the issue would be discussed at the March 9 meeting.

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