Voters in Creve Coeur's Third Ward have two races to consider April 5. Robert Hoffman is running to complete the one year unexpired term following his appointment last fall in the wake of David Kassander's resignation. He is not running for the two year term also on the ballot.
In that race, incumbent Robert Haddenhorst, seeking a final term before term limits force him from office, faces Charlotte D'Alsfonso. D'Alfonso had popular support from residents to fill Kassander's seat but was not nominated for the position and therefore was not appointed.
Creve Coeur Patch talked to both candidates about what they feel is the biggest issue facing their ward, along with the future of Transportation Development Districts and downtown development.
The Biggest Issue Facing Ward Three
"I think we have a lot of big properties that are underdeveloped, and I think as a community we want to make sure those properties are developed. We need to do it where it helps the city, both with traffic flow, with stormwater and with residential property values."
Haddenhorst: Providing services residents expect and balancing needs in trying economic times
"It doesn’t take a PhD in economics from MIT to figure out that we are in fact within 3 to four fiscal years of coming to a fiscal crisis. We have either to cut expenditures or raise revenue. It’s a pretty simple mathematical equation as I see it and I look forward to the challenge of meeting that."
The Olive Blvd. Transportation Development District and future TDDs
Editor's Note: Mr. Haddenhorst is one of several council members, as well as Mayor Harold Dielmann, who sits on the board of the Olive Blvd. TDD. Transportation Development Districts are independent political bodies established to oversee infrastructure changes in a limited geographical area funded by an increased sales tax within that area.
"I would say with all candor that five plus years into had we had a crystal ball or tea leaves to look at this (the Olive Blvd. TDD), things would have been done differently. That being said, you can’t unring the bell, so to speak."
Haddenhorst tells Patch the experience with the Olive Blvd project would "absolutely" shape his future votes on creating TDDs and at this point is trying to "minimize the angst" that's been caused by the Olive Blvd TDD.
"I would not continue to vote to give money to the Olive TDD. Right there that would be a humungous thing. I wouldn’t try to slide it in under other people’s CIDS."
Editor's Note: CID stands for Community Improvement Districts, which share similarities with TDDs. Earlier this year a pair of proposed CIDs along Olive Blvd. near the property
D'Alfonso said the city's experience with TDDs doesn't mean she's opposed to all future proposals, but that people need to be better informed about the impact so they know that they're paying more to shop in one store compared to another.
Downtown Creve Coeur
Supports the city's Comprehensive Plan and would like to see a downtown Creve Coeur that maximizes retail use while being pedestrian-friendly and financially responsible.
Follow the comprehensive plan, be sure to have residents involved as part of decision-making.