If you had the chance to write a news headline about Creve Coeur today that you'd see in five years, what would you write?
That was part of a recent assignment for city council members, who are working through a strategic planning process to map out a vision, a mission statement and how to reach goals in the city.
This process is not part of the expected re-evaluation of Creve Coeur's Comprehensive Plan, a document that guides land-use decisions.
Among the ideas which were brainstormed at a City Council work session December 18, Mayor Barry Glantz's referred to a Creve Coeur library branch, Ward 4 Councilman Scott Saunders talked about a City Sculpture Park and Ward 2's AJ Wang talked about a city fireworks display, while Ward 1 Councilwoman Beth Kistner mentioned a "New Boutique Hotel and restaurant opens in downtown Creve Coeur."
Several mentions referenced developing Creve Coeur's standing as a biotech hub, or as Ward 3 Councilman Bob Hoffman put it, the "Technology Capitol of Missouri."
The city is currently engaged in an effort with Monsanto, The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and others to come up with a marketing strategy for the Olive Blvd. Warson Road corridor.
Considerable time was spent in the session talking about the appeal of having a central meeting space people could access, be it a library or other community center, and if Creve Coeur, by way of Interstate 270 running through it, faces a special challenge in building a sense of a single community.
"It does feel like its 2 little cities," Ward 3 Councilwoman Charlotte D'Alfonso said, pointing out the city serves multiple school districts, each of which has its own sense of community, especially at the elementary school level. She recounted her own experience with a friend from Ward 1 on the eastern side of the city. When they decided to meet at a St. Louis Bread Company, each chose different locations.
None of these proposals exist in a vacuum, and would be considered in context with other challenges and opportunities facing the city, including a looming employee pension liability, the need to pay down Millennium Park debt, all while maintaining a level of city services residents have come to expect, in an economy that is still in recovery.
A consultant will be working with city staff and will then reconvene with council members January 9 before formulating a "mission statement" to support a vision for the future. Eventually, a final report will be delivered to Creve Coeur's City Council.
What do you think of the wish list of items you've seen here? Would you support bringing a library to Creve Coeur? Add your own thoughts in the comment section.