Dooley faces challenge in next month’s primary

Levy challenging incumbent for Democratic nod on Aug. 3

Charlie Dooley

Charlie Dooley


An Affton man is challenging incumbent County Executive Charlie Dooley in next month’s Democratic primary election.

Ronald Levy and Dooley are seeking the Democratic nomination in the Aug. 3 primary. Levy, a former Bayless Board of Education member, previously has sought election to the Missouri House as a Republican and as a Libertarian.

Asked to identify the most important is-sue in the race, the candidates responded:

• “As county executive, I must ensure that that services are delivered timely, efficiently and within budget. I want local county services to support working families; therefore I see my role as a regional leader to ensure that moms and dads have jobs to go to. This struggling economy has made it very hard on working families to continue their quality of life. I remain committed, therefore, to the delivery of high-quality services and job creation as long as I am county executive. So my single most important issue is the economic viability of the citizens I serve. I will support economic development that leads to good-paying jobs,” Dooley said.

• “Electing a county assessor. There would be no need for an assessor, either elected or appointed, if reassessment was abolished like California did in 1978 with the enactment of Prop 13. Since then, California uses the purchase price of homes as a tax base. Missouri can and should do the same,” Levy said.

Dooley, 62, 4408 Mathew St., Northwoods, 63121, is retired from Boeing, formerly McDonnell-Douglas. He and his wife, Sandra, have one daughter.

Dooley was elected mayor of Northwoods in 1983 after serving five years as an alderman. He was elected in 1994 as the 1st District’s county councilman and served in that post until the County Council voted unanimously to appoint him county executive after the October 2003 death of County Executive George R. “Buzz” Westfall.

Dooley was elected to serve the remaining two years of Westfall’s term in November 2004 and was elected to a full four-year term as county executive in November 2006.

Asked why he is seeking the Democratic nomination in the primary, Dooley said, “Because I have developed critical partnerships with citizens, I have been able to find ways to create meaningful jobs. Further, I have appointed a new police chief who has overseen a departmental renovation and a significant reduction in the crime rate. I have reduced the tax rate and found ways to expand our health services in St. Louis County.

“I want to continue to build those partnerships with citizens that allow me to carry on this successful agenda. The experience I bring to the position of St. Louis County Executive serves the citizens well and I am proud to say that I want to continue to grow St. Louis County and the entire region into a community where citizens are safe, jobs are plentiful, good health stays a high priority, and schools and parks are first class.”

Levy, 81, 4635 Candace Drive, 63123, is a retired typographer. He served on the Bayless school board from 2003 to 2004 and unsuccessfully sought the 96th District Missouri House seat in 2002 and 2004 as a Libertarian. He also unsuccessfully sought the 96th District House seat in 2006 and 2008 as a Republican.

Levy said he is seeking the Democratic nomination to the county executive’s post because “after being a longtime crusader for reducing property taxes and tax reform, if elected I will work to get movements started to have reassessment abolished, school property taxes replaced, business equipment personal property taxes abolished and business commercial surcharge property taxes repealed.”

The candidates gave the following responses to a Call questionnaire:

What is your stance on Proposition 2, the charter amendment regarding an elected county assessor?

Dooley said, “St. Louis County citizens have the right to make their own decisions. For that reason I put Proposition 2, the charter amendment regarding an elected county assessor, on the August 2010 ballot. I chose the August election so that this decision could be made by St. Louis County voters before the statewide vote on a county assessor in November. The process by which an assessor implements his or her duty will not change. If the citizenry believes that they are better served by an individual that is elected rather than appointed, then I believe they have the right to make that decision. The rule of law has guided the process of property assessment in St. Louis County and that will not change.”

Levy said, “The county assessor’s office needs to be eliminated.”

Do you support the county’s trash district program?

Dooley said, “I am happy to report that since I initiated the trash district program, citizens have come to favor its efficiency and reduced costs. Since its inception, equally important is the fact that St. Louis County has won an award for its phenomenal increase in the rate of recycling. The trash district (program) has provided the added benefit of fewer trash trucks on our thoroughfares and residential streets. This helps with less road maintenance and provides a safer environment for commuters.”

Levy said, “No. What could have been is use the cost of the city of St. Louis trash collection at $11 a month times the 360,000 county properties equals $4 million a month or $48 million a year. A less-than-one-half-cent countywide sales-tax increase would cover the yearly cost. Everyone would pay and everyone would have their trash picked up. Then figure out how to deal with the haulers.”

Do you agree with the County Council’s 2001 decision to change its meetings to the evening from the afternoon?

Dooley said, “St. Louis County Council changed its meetings to the evening so that more citizens could attend. I believe this time change has allowed more citizens to access the County Council’s important legislative forum. I enjoy conversing with St. Louis County residents about issues that are important to them. Having more citizens attend and participate is good for our entire region. I have welcomed this change.”

Levy said, “Yes.”