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Mums the Word on Future Olivette Public Safety Plans

Prop "S" for safety was close; Prop "P' for parks failed to get a simple majority

The failure of the two propositions on the ballot August 7 in Olivette to pass caused swift reactions. Those on both sides of the issue had views of the inability of these two measures, for public safety and parks to pass.

The Proposition for Public Safety “S” gained 55.12 percent of the vote but it needed 57 percent (4/7th) to be put into effect. Proponents figured a swing of 22 votes would have pushed it across the finish line.

Parks did not fare as well. It failed to get a simple majority with 1,097 votes yes and 1,106 votes no.

Now, the big question is, do these propositions go back to the drawing board for redesign and community approval, or has the opportunity just passed the city by?

Mike McDowell, long time city manager points out this was the opportune time to move forward:  “Interest rates to pay for bonds to do this will never be lower.”

Here are excerpts of what people had to say on both sides of the issue.

Proud Resident

“I am glad the voters spoke and they said they were not willing to accept this excuse for a pathetic and incompetently developed plan. They sent a message to the city council that they need to wake up and get their act together if they are actually serious about doing something. If this is truly the best that they can do as they claim should we all throw in the towel?”

Nancy Novack, wife of Olivette architect Aaron Novack and opponent of Prop S.

“It is understandable that supporters of Prop S are disappointed but a costly bad plan is still a bad plan whether it took 30 minutes or three years (to create). It would be a shame not to consider a new plan that would be more cost effective, modern and a real improvement to the city’s image.”

Former Mayor/Alderman Missy Waldman

“My focus going forward is to have economic development. We are going to give a new charge to our economic development commission to make things happen. We cannot do projects of this sort without the financial backing and approval of the people.”

Fiscally Prudent

“This is a bunch of bull. Wah... Wah... Wah.... You presented an idea and wanted the taxpayers to pay for it. A plan would have entailed real facts and figures on what exactly would have been financially generated from these changes. You are entrusted to run our city government, not our city charity. Put together a real plan.”

Leif Hauser, Olivette City Councilman

“It sounds like Fiscally Prudent’s interests and the community interests are being somewhat separate and distinct. I remind you that the plans were generated by Olivette residents like yourself.”

Neal Novack, Olivette business owner

“We are pleased with the outcome of the election. We want the best possible solution for our public safety and municipal facilities and we are eager to take part in the next planning process. Like most Olivette Residents, we support our police and fire departments.”

Cornet of Horse August 10, 2012 at 02:49 PM
The citizens of Olivette who put the proposals forward are good folks. This is not a personal dig in anyway on anyone. With Prop S failure, can Olivette take the lead in sponsoring a city and county-wide commission, similar to the Military Base Closure effort, made up of business, community and region leaders with the goal of recommending how fire, police and other services can be combined and rationalized region-wide? Are there economies of scale to be had, not only in terms of capital and ongoing expense for all the myriad of balkanized County mini-municipalities, but also for the onerous and ongoing time-waster of providing oversight to inevitable employee performance, overhead and management issues? Fire and Police have changed dramatically since these departments were formed as Olivette emerged from truck-farming days back in the 1930s. Olivette can't have everything, so what means the most to residents? How can anyone state that expensive stand-alone fire and police depts are required now in 2012 and in the coming decades? To extend the military metaphor, is Olivette wanting to build battleships to re-fight World War II?
Harry Hilburg August 13, 2012 at 01:09 AM
The supporters of Prop S and P ran an extensive campaign...one of the main financial contributors to this campaign was the seller of the property that the city wanted to purchase with this bond money. Other contributors with a vested interest included the owner of the Public Relations company hired by the city "to educate the voters".

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