South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

Author from South County running for county executive against Ballwin state rep

South County author in Republican primary race for executive
Shamed Dogan and Katherine Pinner

The St. Louis County Executive Republican primary features Rep. Shamed Dogan, R-Ballwin, against South County author Katherine Pinner. Election Day is Aug. 2.

Dogan has served as state representative of the 98th District since 2014. He returned the questionnaire late after The Call’s July 15 deadline.

Pinner is a newcomer to public office. She is a published author and currently the director of innovation and owner of Greatest Moment LLC, a professional consulting firm.

When asked why she is seeking office, Pinner said, “To improve the lives of all St. Louis County residents.” 

Pinner gave the following responses to The Call’s questionnaire: 

(Editor’s note: The following questions and answers from Pinner appear in the July 21 edition of The Call, before Dogan submitted his questionnaire.)

What issue do you consider the single most important issue in this race and why?  

Pinner:Taxes. The county taxes keep increasing without any net benefit to the residents. This is particularly troubling for our seniors who are on fixed incomes at a time when prices are increasing.”

Do you believe the St. Louis County Planning Commission is responsive to county residents? How long should appointees serve on the Planning Commission?

Pinner: “I would like to hear from St. Louis County residents on this matter, as well as receiving input from the County Council prior to advising.  This is something that should be reviewed from an internal and external perspective.”

What is your position on incorporation?  

Pinner: “If this question is asking whether unincorporated St. Louis County should incorporate, the answer is no.”

Will you accept campaign contributions from developers with projects or contracts proposed at the county level?

Pinner:The purpose of political office is public service and representative government, not special interests. I am running an exempt campaign (i.e. not accepting contributions) to ensure that my allegiance is to the people of St. Louis County, not political action groups, special interest groups or global agendas funded by out-of-state contributions. In short, my answer to these questions is that I do not and will not accept campaign contributions.”

What measures, if any, will you propose to encourage economic development in South County?  

Pinner: “For starters, we need to keep the county businesses open. This is not negotiable. The right to work which guarantees the citizen’s right to eat, provide for their family, and attend to their basic needs is guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution. The government has no right to shudder a small business.  If any business or government agency is conducting business, all businesses are open and allowed to conduct business.”  

How will you ensure transparency?  

Pinner: “As a certified change management professional, I will ensure transparency much the same as I ensure transparency in any business.  We will have open, transparent communication with information that is readily available. Since government works for the taxpayers, we will communicate progress weekly in a format that is open to the public.  These meetings will encourage two-way communication with residents.”

What are your thoughts on the St. Louis County police? Should the SLCPD be defunded?   

Pinner: “The taxpayers pay for police, and they will receive police. I stand firm on this point. At a time when crime rates are going up in the county and across our country, we need to increase funding for police across the county and across all neighborhoods.  We need to assess funding for all front-line responders, giving them the resources and support they need to do their jobs effectively.”

What do you suggest to improve the relationship between the office of the county executive and the County Council?  

Pinner: “This is no different than in business.  The Council seems extremely divided.  The only thing that works is teamwork.  We need to unite on principle rather than dividing by party.” 

Are you satisfied with the current state of the county’s assessment process?  

Pinner: “This needs to be revisited based on the impact it is having on rising taxes.”

What will you do to address the problems exposed by the unrest in Ferguson and nationwide protests after the death of George Floyd?  

Pinner: “All persons have an equal right to protection under the law.  We need law enforcement to protect all citizens of our county equally.  Violence and criminal behavior should not and will not be tolerated and should be and will be punished equally, fairly, and without prejudice under the law.”

What will you do to oversee spending from 2017’s Proposition P?  

Pinner:If the taxpayers voted for additional public safety in the way of hiring more police officers, police and firefighter compensation, and enhanced law enforcement services, then that is what they will get. … Not one penny of this money will go to any other purpose.”

(Editor’s note: The following questions and answers appear in print in the July 28 edition of The Call, after Dogan submitted his questionnaire.) 

What will you do to prevent any more deaths of jail inmates in the St. Louis County Justice Center? 

Dogan: “The Justice Services Advisory Board was designed to investigate the rash of deaths at the center and to reform operations there. In the past year and a half, three of the seven members of that board have resigned in protest, citing a lack of transparency and communication from the current administration. As county executive, I will ensure that the board is given full access to the information they need to perform their important oversight role.”

Pinner: “Death of an inmate in jail is no different than any other crime. These deaths are unacceptable. These deaths will be investigated and any criminal action that was committed against a citizen will be tried and prosecuted in a court of law.”

What would you implement to prevent corruption, fraud and fake contracts such as those of former County Executive Steve Stenger?

Dogan: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. The county cannot get rid of corruption and fraud by re-electing someone whose staff members have been indicted by federal prosecutors for fraud and have resigned for engaging in and recording sex acts in the county government building. We need to have a clean sweep in the county executive’s office after the last eight years of corruption and scandal, and I’m the right person to restore honor and honesty to that office.”

Pinner: “The purpose of political office is public service and representative government, not special interests.  I am running an exempt campaign (i.e. not accepting contributions) to ensure that my allegiance is to the people of St. Louis County, not political action groups, special interest groups, or global agendas funded by out of state contributions.  The taxpayers fund this position, pure and simple, and any fraud against the taxpayer will be reported and investigated.”

What is your greatest accomplishment for the county?

Dogan: “I have had the honor of serving Missourians at the federal level (as a legislative aide to U.S. Senator Jim Talent), the state level and at the local level (as a Ballwin alderman for three years) My proudest accomplishments have been passing criminal justice reform legislation, cutting taxes and cutting needless red tape that burdened small businesses, and passing ethics reforms at both the state and local level.”

Pinner: “I have not held political office previously, but I would say that from a resident perspective:  working, helping businesses thrive and grow as an employee, paying taxes, being a good neighbor, being an innovator and responsible business owner, serving my community, supporting my house of worship, and investing time in my relationships with my family and friends.”

Do you have plans to expand MetroLink? What will you do to improve MetroLink security?

Dogan: “Before we can think about expanding MetroLink, we need to better ensure the safety of everyone who currently relies on MetroLink. That involves getting more security guards on the trains, allowing those security guards and law-abiding citizens to be armed and finally installing turnstiles on the system. We also need to prioritize restoring bus service to areas where it has been cut, including South County and West County. The last thing we need to have Bi-State doing is pouring even more money into the failed Loop Trolley.”

Pinner: “No. I worked for one of the largest low-voltage security providers in the St. Louis metro area. Like any business endeavor, we should assess the impact of the current design, identify the root cause, look into the current program (what is working and what is not working) and adjust. If my hunch is correct, we can do this without allocating additional funding. The approach will be based on factual data.”

Are you satisfied with the county’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic?

Dogan: “Our county’s policies unfairly hurt county businesses and our economy without controlling the pandemic. The approach of shutdowns, mandates and lockdowns was too heavy-handed, and in the case of the shutdowns of churches, was found to be unconstitutional. I will support our business community and get their input on growing our economy instead of shutting them down and shutting them out. We must promote public health without undermining people’s constitutional rights.”

Pinner: “No, I am not satisfied with the response, and here is just one example of why: We have seen countless businesses impaired or closed by the decisions and responses which were based on of fear rather than leadership. Some of these businesses will be closed forever and some are still trying to recover. It is unacceptable. We have witnessed many business owners who lost everything. If a government office or certain type of business is allowed to operate, then all businesses are allowed to operate. No exceptions. No discrimination.”

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