In three-way Green Park aldermanic race, incumbent Jones has two challengers

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Green Park City Hall as seen on Google Maps.

By Erin Achenbach
Staff Reporter
eachenbach@callnewspapers.com

Incumbent Green Park Ward 2 Alderman James Jones Jr. faces two challengers for his seat on the Green Park Board of Aldermen in the April 7 election— former Ward 2 Alderman Ronald Slattery and resident Donald Lattray.

Jones was appointed to the board in 2015 and elected to two-year terms in 2016 and 2018. Lattray ran last year in a Ward 2 race against Matthew Farwig, who won. Slattery served from 1996 to 1998.

Jones, 41, 1189 Patsy Drive, and his wife, Stephanie, have two children, Alexis, 22, and Jaden, 16, who attends Mehlville High School. He is a journeyman wireman for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1, or IBEW 1.

James Jones Jr.

When asked why he was seeking another term, Jones said, “To continue with the growth of our wonderful city.”

Lattray did not return The Call’s questionnaire.

Slattery, 69, 9551 Antigo Drive, is married to Carolyn Gerber and has six grown children. He works in customer service.

Asked why he was seeking office again, Slattery said to “continue to make the city of Green Park a better place to live.”

The candidates gave the following responses to the questionnaire:

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

Jones said, “Annexation, streetlights. The city needs to keep moving forward. To do that you need to grow. Lights for safety.”

Slattery said, “Minimizing crime in the city of Green Park, especially stolen property, vandalism, burglary. I propose the citywide neighborhood watch area plan.”

Others issues you perceive in your race and your position on each:

Jones said, “One, business licenses. Need them for leverage. Nuisance businesses. Two, cut-thru traffic, safety and street deterioration.”

Slattery said, “Minimize thru traffic in the city of Green Park. Establish a school for St. Simon — safety zone. Reduce cut-through traffic for Ward 2.”

What is your position on the use of tax-increment financing and other tax incentives?

Jones said, “They are tools the city needs to attract business, retain businesses. I am for both of them.”

Slattery said, “I am in favor of tax incentives as long as it benefits the city of Green Park.”

Since voters approved a half-cent capital-improvements sales tax, are you pleased with how the revenue has been spent?

Jones said, “Yes. The city added a new police officer. I think that was a great idea.”

Slattery said, “I have not seen any misuse of how the revenue has been spent to this point.”

Ronald Slattery

How much of a fund balance should the city keep in its reserves each year? Please elaborate.

Jones said, “Around $3 million. God forbid if we ‘the city’ had a disaster hit. The city will need the funds to rebuild and to help the residents out, things like temporary shelter, food.”

Slattery said, “The amount of reserves kept in the fund balance should vary each year depending on the needs of the city. For example, a difficult winter may require more ice/snow removal.”

Do you agree with the direction the city is moving?

Jones said, “Yes.”

Slattery said, “The city of Green Park is moving in a very good direction.”

In your opinion, have city officials and the Board of Aldermen faithfully adhered to the provisions of the Sunshine Law? What would you do to ensure compliance with the law?

Jones said, “Yes, have everything computerized so it can be accessed easily and instantaneously.”

Slattery said, “The Board of Aldermen are adhering to the Sunshine Law and I would continue to work with them to ensure its compliance.”

Should the city be expanded through the annexation of nearby areas?

Jones said, “Yes, if feasible. Not to hurt the city, to grow it slowly. Ultimately that is up to the new and old residents.”

Slattery said, “I would be open to conducting a study to annex nearby areas of unincorporated St. Louis County.”

Should the city start business licenses?

Jones said, “Yes, so the city can have some leverage with nuisance businesses.”

Slattery said, “I am not in favor of requiring a fee or a license on businesses residing in the city of Green Park.”

Are you satisfied with the services the city provides to residents, including snow removal and street maintenance?

Jones said, “Yes, our service is second to none.”

Slattery said, “I am always looking for ways in which we can better serve our residents in the city of Green Park.”

Are you pleased with the city’s comprehensive plan? Are changes needed? If so, what would you propose?

Jones said, “Yes. Not at this current time.”

Slattery said, “We have a sound comprehensive plan in the city of Green Park.”

What would you propose to increase citizen involvement in city government?

Jones said, “Pay change. The way it is structured, especially the mayor’s position, one must be independently wealthy or close to retirement or retired. The pay for the time is ridiculous.”

Slattery said, “Establish a committee on community and encourage citizens to become an active part of the city of Green Park.”

Do you believe the Board of Aldermen and city officials are doing enough to ensure rental properties in Green Park comply with city code?

Jones said, “Yes. We have a new code enforcement officer. We are updating the city’s code significantly. Rental properties is part of why we are doing that.”

Slattery said, “The city officials are seeking compliance.”

Do you support the Board of Aldermen’s decision to offer free trash pickup and recycling services to senior citizens?

Jones said, “Yes. the original problem was too many trucks destroying our streets. Trash trucks are heavy. It is cheaper for the city to pay for trash and recycling than replacing streets more often.”

Slattery said, “I definitely support the Board of Aldermen’s decision to offer free trash pickup and recycling services to our citizens.”

With the Fresh Thyme store now open on Lin Ferry Drive, what do you propose, if anything, to revitalize that area?

Jones said, “Nothing at this time.”

Slattery said, “I am for conducting a study for revitalizing this area around Lin Ferry Drive and the Fresh Thyme store.”

What is your vision for the city?

Jones said, “Annexation. Slowly grow, rival Frontenac.”

Slattery said, “I envision the city of Green Park continuing to grow, not necessarily in size, but as a community, where its residents come to know each other more and more.”

What is your greatest accomplishment on behalf of the city?

Jones said, “Help starting the process of annexation.”

Slattery said, “I was very fortunate to be able to participate in the development of the incorporation of the city of Green Park in the late 1990s.”

Do you support a city-county merger?

Jones said, “No.”

Slattery said, “I support the city and the county sharing in areas which will help either develop into vibrant communities.”

Would you support the city becoming a municipal district under Better Together?

Jones said, “No, not in its current form.”

Slattery said, “I have no comment.”

Do you support the city’s agreement for the St. Louis County Police Department to provide police services to the city?

Jones said, “Yes, we would not be good stewards of the city money if we paid for courtroom, judge, secretary, lawyers, jails. The city is not that big to have its own system.”

Slattery said, “The St. Louis County Police Department provides superb police services and I support wholeheartedly the city’s agreement with them and 100 percent merging of this important service.”

What do you believe should be the top priorities of City Administrator James Mello?

Jones said, “One, listening to the concerns of the citizens and the face of the city, day to day operations. Manager reports to the Board of Aldermen.”

Slattery said, “Our city administrator has set the priorities for his position.”

Do you believe the city should provide notices to media of upcoming meetings?

Jones said, “Yes, the city has nothing to hide.”

Slattery said, “All upcoming meetings are to be announced through the media.”

Should city meetings be recorded?

Jones said, “Yes, the city has nothing to hide.”

Slattery said, “All meetings are to be recorded at the discretion of the mayor and the Board of Aldermen.”

Should the city allow chickens?

Jones said, “Yes, considering all requirements are met.”

Slattery said, “I would be in favor of a study of how other municipalities contain chickens. I would not want to see chickens in the streets or other properties.”