Campisi goes to the mat for south county citizens

Bill Milligan

Bill Milligan

By BILL MILLIGAN

If you’ve been active in local government for very long here in south county, you know what it’s like for groups of people to fight “city hall.”

Words like “impossible” and “snowball’s chance …” come to mind.

First of all, for most of south county, “city hall” is a county government where nearly every elected representative comes from somewhere other than our neighborhood. Historically, the best we could hope for from those elected representatives was benign neglect.

More often than not, what we got was unpopular planning and zoning issues that very few people supported, but which nearly always were approved anyway.

You’ve heard it all before, the County Council’s “famous” 6-1 vote. Our representative on the council voted against the unpopular zoning issue while all the members who don’t live here voted in favor of whatever it was that nobody wanted.

In the history of south county, residents are rather like American Indians. We’ve won a few of the fights, but out-of-town developers have won the most.

That’s how we wind up with subdivision ingress and egress every few hundred yards along major state highways and so many shopping centers that half the stores among them are empty bays.

That’s why so many streets have no sidewalks and so many sewers overfill in a hard rain.

Recent events in Sunset Hills prove that municipal government can be controlled by developers as well.

Sunset Hills residents rejected arrogant elected officials earlier this month, but they’ll never get to vote for those types in St. Louis County government.

We’re fortunate to have John Campisi representing south county in Clayton. More than any elected official in history, he is a voice for the people.

During his term as the 6th District councilman, he has been more responsive and accessible than any of his predecessors.

In fact, during his tenure on the County Council, Campisi on many occasions has gone to the mat, particularly on zoning issues, to protect the best interests of residents. Anyone who doesn’t believe that either is terribly uninformed or just can’t be bothered to face the facts.

People can count on Campisi to weigh their views equally against the financial might of developers and special interests. For that, everyone owes him thanks and appreciation.