Call makes endorsements for April 4 elections: Mehlville Fire Protection District Board of Directors


When Aaron Hilmer first won election to the Mehlville Fire Protection District Board of Directors nearly 20 years ago in 2005 alongside Bonnie Stegman, critics said they lacked the necessary experience to run a fire board. Now, 18 years and three terms later, one thing that can’t be said ahead of the election April 4 is that Hilmer lacks the experience to run a fire district.

For nearly the past two decades Hilmer, alongside directors Stegman and Ed Ryan, have overseen the fire district through several changes, including Missouri’s first-ever-tax-rate rollback. The tenure has also included the construction of new fire stations, a state-of-the-art training center and revolutionizing the way district responds to calls by having firefighters cross-train as paramedics.

Most recently, voters in the fire district showed their satisfaction when they handily approved Proposition 1 in 2022, a 20-cent tax rate increase. It was the first tax rate the district had asked for since 1989, and voters approved the measure by 56.55 percent — so the fire district and its directors must be doing something right. Even with the tax rate increase, the fire district still has the lowest blended rate of all St. Louis County fire districts.

Hilmer has served the district well — he has saved taxpayers money by maintaining the lowest tax rate of any fire district in the county for several years in a row and supported proposals such as MFPD joining the Missouri Firefighter Critical Illness Pool for the benefit of district employees.

Since 2005, Hilmer has been a vocal supporter of the reforms he campaigned on and has followed through on all his commitments to voters. He has achieved this by delivering a transparent and responsive government, and by establishing a fire district that offers the greatest value for money at the lowest tax rate in St. Louis County.

Hilmer will face retired firefighter Fred Baumgarth in the April election.  We like Baumgarth’s background in fire fighting and that he offers voters a different choice, however Hilmer’s track record speaks for itself. The Call endorses Hilmer.

Read more about the race here.