Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Stenger would challenge current County Executive Charlie Dooley.
Steve Stenger, who represents Mehlville, Oakville, Affton and Lemay on the St. Louis County Council, said he’s "strongly considering" a bid for county executive in 2014. Stenger told Patch July 24 that he was continuously frustrated with the lack of funding in the parks department, especially after the county reported a surplus at the end of 2012. “They’re suggesting, 'Let’s starve off the parks so we can get a tax raise.' That’s the most ludicrous thing I’ve ever heard in my life,” he said. When asked if he would contend for the executive position in 2014, he said, “I would strongly consider it, but I have not committed to that at all.” “But every day that we go on and we experience these kinds of difficulties where there should not be …
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Councilman Steve Stenger disagrees with the allocation for St. Louis County Parks as County Executive Charlie Dooley’s budget office reduces funding for the department.
The St. Louis County Parks Department is still $500,000 in the red despite laying off 20 employees and increasing revenue by $193,780. Those numbers were presented to the St. Louis County Council Tuesday in a plan meant to make the parks department more efficient. Acting Parks Director Tom Ott created a business plan that outlined a strategy to keep parks providing the basic services while reducing costs. The plan comes seven months after County Executive Charlie Dooley proposed closing 23 parks and laying off more than 100 employees because of a budget crisis. Early budget projections showed a $10 million deficit, according to the county executive. *At the end of the year, the county received unexpected revenues, leaving the parks open. …
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Employees were told their jobs were safe.
At age 43, Michele Whalen is looking for another job after almost three months of uncertainty. Whalen was one of 20 St. Louis County Parks employees who received lay-off notices on Jan. 24. An additional six employees were laid off in other departments. “They saved the parks, but they didn’t save our jobs,” she said. “At least now we know what was up, from Oct. 31 to Tuesday, we couldn’t do anything, we couldn’t plan anything. How would you like living your life like that?” Whalen has worked in the parks maintenance department at Jefferson Barracks Park for the last year, and was a seasonal employee for three years before that. The 26 layoffs come after a heated debate over the 2012 county budget. On Oct. 31, Dooley submitted a budget to …
Friday, January 27, 2012
Twenty-six employees in the parks and public works departments have been laid off.
In a move that saves St. Louis County about $4 million, County Executive Charlie Dooley announced he was laying off 26 full-time employees, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Wednesday. Six employees come from the public works department, while the parks department will see 20 lay-offs. Dooley also plans to terminate four part-time positions in the parks department, one full-time job in the revenue department and 25 funded, but unfilled positions. Dooley said the county would lay off employees after he and the County Council reached a compromise on the 2012 budget. He originally proposed shutting down 23 St. Louis County Parks, laying off 173 employees and eliminating snowplowing in unincorporated areas when less than 2 inches …
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
After a tumultuous two-month period that included threats of park shutdowns, protests and the possible closing of a West County satellite office, council members sign off on a $357 million budget.
The St. Louis County Council has approved a $357 million budget that spares county parks and averts the shutdown of a satellite office in West County. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the budget plan will include cuts in staff through layoffs and through allowing vacant positions to remain unfilled — including 10 positions in the county police department. The Post says those positions do not include patrol officers. The cuts could involve as many as 50 employees. “That won’t be decided until January, where we’re at with those positions,” councilman Mike O’Mara, D-Florissant, told KMOX. The biggest hit is likely to come from the parks department; while no parks will be closed, the department budget is down from $26 million to $22.6 …
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
The General Fund gains $350,000 in the process. The final vote is next week.
To save all the county parks and keep snow plowing in unincorporated areas of St. Louis County, the St. Louis County Council voted Tuesday to adjust four funds from the original proposed 2012 budget. County Executive Charlie Dooley had made an announcement at the previous council meeting that a compromise was reached which saved 23 parks from closing. The General fund started out at $232,091,091 in County Executive Charlie Dooley’s original 2012 budget, which included closing the county parks. The amended amount passed last night was $232,441,091—an additional $350,000. Three department budgets saw adjustments. The council voted to pull $22,754,346 from unappropriated Park Maintenance funds, to go toward the Parks and Recreation Department…
Friday, December 2, 2011
Stenger said he did not say anything insulting.
County Executive Charlie Dooley called for an apology from County Council Chairman Steve Stenger (D-Affton) about his comments on the Mark Reardon Show Wednesday. “In trying to insult me, Mr. Stenger demeaned and insulted the people of St. Louis County—many of whom do not have a college degree,” Dooley said in a release Thursday. Stenger was a guest on the show and discussed the 2012 recommended county budget and the special committee he formed to create alternative suggestions to the proposed closure of 23 St. Louis County Parks. Reardon asked Stenger what background Dooley had specifically on budgets. This was after the two discussed Stenger’s 18-year history as a certified public accountant specializing in state and local taxes. “I …
Monday, November 21, 2011
The County Council's special budget committee meets Monday for the first time to see if the budget can be balanced without closing 23 parks.
St. Louis County is not alone. As a special committee of the St. Louis County Council meets Monday to discuss closing the budget shortfall without closing 23 parks, the National Recreation and Parks Association in Washington D.C. said parks departments across the country are seeing cuts—sometimes twice in a year and sometimes by as much as 30 or 40 percent. Finding funding for parks as public revenue dries up is “probably the hottest issue in public parks and recreation today,” said Rich Dolesh, vice president for conservation and parks for the association. Dolesh, who attended St. Louis University, said “virtually every agency in the country is being tasked with this.” But even in the national trend of slashing public parks, Dolesh said …
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
The Save Our Parks rally began at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday outside the Lawrence K. Roos Government building on Central Avenue. The demonstrators sought to raise awareness about the possible closure of numerous public parks in St. Louis County.
- Nate Birt
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
A rally in support of St. Louis County parks drew a large crowd Tuesday in downtown Clayton ahead of a County Council meeting. Meanwhile, participants at a smaller event staged across the street called for an ordinance prohibiting residency requirements at a county women's shelter. "Let's not let it go any farther than tonight," said Ron Coleman, executive director of Maryland Heights-based The Open Space Council, told the parks rally through a megaphone. He referred to attendees taking a stand by speaking out against the proposed closure of nearly two dozen county parks in an effort to cut costs. Participants waved signs, chanted "Save our parks" and shared their thoughts about the possible closures. Some attendees brought their dogs. Bob…