The Affton Community Involvement Association (ACIA) is losing a key member.
Larry Stone sent notice to the membership that he is stepping down after five years as chairman and leaving the organization as a “regular” member.
The AICA is comprised of members from the parishes of Affton churches St. Dominic Savio and Seven Holy Founders. The group tackles issues it feels are for the long-term betterment of the community of Affton, both from an economic and a social perspective, Stone said.
He said after five terms, it was beginning to wear on him. He’s 68, and still works as a concierge at an area hospital to pay off his mortgage.
“Would I just as soon be reading or planting some tomatoes? It’s not in the cards for me,” he said. “Frankly, if I had the mortgage paid off, I would do community involvement full time, because it’s a true labor of love.”
One of Stone’s chief loves is fighting for balanced economic development of Affton.
“The politicos and the chamber and the regular citizens all have to work together, and not bicker, or grand stand over another,” he said. “It all should be for the same common goal. I look at what they’ve done in Maplewood or Kirkwood; I’d just like to see it be that.”
Lately Stone fought Value Village moving from Shrewsbury to Affton. He said he got a call from District 6 St. Louis County Councilman Steve Stenger asking him to weigh in.
“Steve says, ‘I’m getting bombarded about putting another thrift store in, this Value Village. I don’t know how your group feels about it. I can tell you already without even asking (people) are upset about the proliferation of too many of the same types of businesses,’” Stone said. Eventually Value Village pulled its offer to lease the building in Affton.
Stone blames his parents for his need to be involved in the community.
“They were the Boy Scout leader, the Girl Scout leader,” he said. “My sister and I both picked that up. We kid ourselves. We have an over-developed sense of responsibility.”
Stone has been multi-tasking since his first job, as an Air Force air traffic controller at Edwards Air Force Base in California. From there he went to the Philippines and Da Nang air bases in Viet Nam.
Stone said the five years at the AICA has taken a toll. “Sometimes you just need to let go. I don’t know if I’ll ever get it out of my blood,” he said. “My greatest hope is that I’m still hanging in there, sending everything that I can to the members of the ACIA.”
The ACIA plans a May 24 meeting which will be devoted mainly to restructuring.
More in Patch:
- Stenger: Value Village Gives Up on Move to Affton
- County Councilman: Thrift Store Not "Good Fit" for Affton