6th District county councilman responds to recent letters

To the editor:

I would like to address a few issues that have been brought up in the Call newspapers the last couple of issues.

It seems that some of the Democratic committee people in south county are still sour about their Jeffrey losing. First, Mr. Mark Kiesewetter talks about Jeffrey being a man of highest integrity.

Mr. Kiesewetter, when a man like Jeffrey Wagener verbally attacks a nun, not once, but twice, in a meeting, I would call that the man with the lowest integrity.

Mark states that he was so proud of Jeffrey’s sponsorship of the video game bill. Everyone knows that this legislation was a ploy to throw Jeffrey into the limelight because he had not done anything good for the last three years of his term.

Just a word for Mr. Kiesewetter: A good politician does not need to throw himself into the limelight. If he or she does their job right, they will always be in the limelight. Let’s talk about the Jefferson Barracks July Fourth Blast; the St. Louis County Department of Parks and Recreation started it, not Jeffrey. Get over it, Mr. Kiese-wetter, your Jeffrey lost. The voters said it best on Election Day.

Marie Steinkuhler writes: “What has John Campisi done for us?” Hum, let’s see. First of all, with absolutely no files, I was able to take care of over 100 pending problems that Jeffrey seemed to neglect during his four unproductive years as county councilman.

The community has been involved in all of the developments of south county, I have organized busloads of people to go to Jeffer-son City to fight the unfair property taxes in south county as well as other parts of the county, and I have town-hall meetings every month at four locations throughout the 6th District.

Now you say, Jeffrey did too? The answer to that is the people at my town-hall meetings can actually ask questions and get answers that night. I answer my own phone. I return all my phone calls. I have a newsletter that I send out every three to four months asking for input or just telling you about what is going on in south county.

I have supported moving the council’s afternoon meetings to the evening so that everyone could attend on important issues. By the way, Jeffrey voted against changing the meeting time at his very

first meeting as a councilman, according to County Council records dated Jan. 2, 1997.

“People are really totally disinterested in this issue and don’t care when the meetings are,” the Call quoted Wagener as saying in the Jan. 9, 1997, issue, though he previously had told the newspaper he would talk with residents and conduct town-hall meetings to learn their feelings on the issue of night meetings.

That’s integrity, Jeffrey.

I have fought for my constituents’ concerns on many development issues and won, the most recent being the proposed Oakville waste-transfer station, where I had over 1,500 people supporting me at a public hearing at Oakville Senior High School.

I have initiated two programs to bring businesses back to the Lemay and Affton areas.

The first is Traffic Generation Assess-ment reduction and, the second, blighting, a process that freezes taxes for three to five years for a business that is willing to spend big money on renovation.

Once again, I get the community in-volved by asking for the blessing of schools, fire departments and chambers of commerce. I have formed two Citizen Ad-visory Committees, one in Lemay and the other in Oakville, to help make decisions in the areas so that we don’t have any more red roofs and, oh, let’s not forget, I don’t take bribes.

Robert Ludvik writes about payroll taxes not being paid. Well, Bob, it wasn’t payroll taxes. Being in business for over 20 years in the city at the same location in a dying city that has lost, on average since 1960 to 2000, 16 percent of its citizens every year, it’s tough for small businesses in the city. The city of St. Louis lost 12 percent in the 1960s, 17 percent in the 1970s, 27 percent in the 1980s, 12 percent in the 1990s and 12 percent in 2000, according to the U.S. Census.

It was a hard choice to not pay the property taxes; it was either pay my employees or my property taxes. I chose to pay my employees at a time when people were getting laid off and with Christmas around the corner.

I had to make a tough decision. You see Bob, Missouri lost more than 77,700 jobs last year, according to a report recently re-leased by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Missouri lost 20,000 more jobs than the next worst state, Ohio. Ohio’s population, 11.3 million, is twice that of Missouri’s population, which is 5.5 million.

I don’t need to tell my south county constituents that small businesses are having a hard time during these last couple of years, and, as the south county councilman, I will use whatever tools that are at my disposal to provide them with the help that is needed in county government.

Helping my constituents in south county is why I like my councilman’s job so much.

It is the satisfaction of knowing the an-swers to people’s questions are just a phone call away.

I am not worried about my re-election in 2004 because all of those people that I have helped will step up to the plate in November 2004 and vote. They won’t just vote because I helped them, they will vote because they had a councilman who listened to them in county government. I fight for my constituents. I am there for them when they don’t know where to turn.

My constituents will remember.

So, I would like the Democratic committee people to know that the people of south county know why you’re writing your letters. It’s all about me turning in Buzz Westfall’s friends, Bob Young and Mike Saggio, on charges of bribery and for not continuing business as usual in county government. I don’t take bribes and my constituents know that.

Just in case the Democratic committee people haven’t heard, I am announcing my candidacy for re-election to the County Council in 2004. Bring it on.

John Campisi

6th District county councilman

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