South county area needs a good plan for the future
May 11, 2005 - For years local governments have been hand picking groups of "citizens'' to sit on commissions, committees and advisory boards that reach the conclusions that are most convenient and desirable to the officials who appointed them.
After the hand-picked "citizens'' reach the desired conclusions, officials tell the skeptical public that the plan their administration adopted has been requested by the local community.
St. Louis County used that charade in a couple of Oakville Area Studies that only are adhered to when it's convenient for developers.
Hand-picked community members who wanted any form of development at the National Lead Site in Le-may listened to months of testimony from so-called experts who said only a casino would fly at that location.
Hogwash. When Republicans held the county executive's seat they planned to build a port there to compete with a facility owned by relatives of St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay.
We all know what party he and our current county executive belong to and neither gentleman lives in south county.
The county used a yes-man committee to conclude Traffic Gener-ation Assessment areas were needed to maintain our roads in the early 1990s. Since then there have been very few new jobs and new businesses in our community.
Remember what the Richardson Road exit off Interstate 55 in Arnold used to look like in the early 1990s?
When Defense Mapping Agency needed a new facility after the 1993 flood, we couldn't compete with Arnold to save the jobs, peripheral economic benefits and the taxes they generated for our economy.
None of those new buildings on Richardson Road existed before the TGAs became part of our reality in south county. But the TGAs were approved by a yes-man committee that probably was never asked if they would be willing to pay them.
South county needs to form a non-yes-man committee to formulate a comprehensive development plan and create some forward momentum for the local economy. Otherwise we can look forward to the same sort of downward spiral the city is experiencing.
Membership in this economic de-velopment committee should be open to everyone except those who have sat on yes-man committees and former yes-men who suddenly have come up with an "original'' idea.