In anticipation of April 3 municipal elections in St. Louis County, Clayton-Richmond Heights Patch invited local candidates to answer several questions about their background, their respective city and their goals if elected to office.
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The following is a profile of Camille Greenwald, who is seeking a third term representing District 4 on the Richmond Heights City Council. She is unopposed in the race.
Name: Camille Duer Greenwald
Years lived in Richmond Heights: 13 years
Family: Husband, James Greenwald. Two daughters, Samantha and Jamie.
Education: B.A., Ursuline College; M.S.L.S., Case Western Reserve University; M.B.A., Capital University
Professional background: Research Librarian: University Hospitals, Cleveland OH; Philips-Duphar and Columbia Gas, Columbus OH; Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore MD. Currently owner/administrator: MEDEX
Elected office(s) held previously: Have served two terms as District 4 councilperson, City of Richmond Heights
What do you like about your city?
I love the residents of our city. There is such a feeling of pride in every neighborhood. In spite of major thoroughfares dissecting and carving out little pieces of the city, here and there, Richmond Heights has thrived and still maintains a wonderful quality of life for its residents. We have an unbelievable group of city employees who really get to know our residents, which makes all the difference in the world! I also love our schools. We are served by four stellar school districts, Maplewood Richmond Heights, Clayton, Brentwood and Ladue schools and two outstanding parochial schools, Little Flower and Immacolata.
If you could change one thing about your city, what would it be? Why?
Wow! That is difficult to say—we do so many things right. I would personally like to see areas of our city “more connected”. I’d love to see walkways/ sidewalks that are inviting and allow our residents to walk to school and retail areas. I’d love to see safer pedestrian crossings at major intersections. I’d like to see designated bikeways and paths that provide safe riding through the city and connect us with adjacent areas. I’d love to see new development be required to provide walking paths on their property not only for their employees but for residents who live in adjoining neighborhoods.
Identify three challenges your city is facing at this time.
- 1) Economic development (Hanley Road/Hadley)
- 2) Maintaining quality of city services while controlling costs
- 3) Continuing our vision—by this I mean truly measuring up to our city’s motto “Progress with Tradition”. We should explore and not be afraid of change while at the same time respect our core values.
Describe a difficult decision that you have had to make. How does this situation illustrate the approach you would take to problem-solving as an elected leader?
I think any difficult decision I have had to make has involved people issues— whether it is with my co-workers, employees or my own children. These decisions have always required getting as much information as possible about the issue: checking out other models of practice; looking at BOTH sides, ALL sides; exploring outcomes; and of course, compromise and negotiation. This is how I have approached and will continue to approach council matters.
How would you characterize Richmond Heights' economic climate?
Healthy! We have such great retail areas that obviously sustain the city. I am constantly amazed at the vision that small businesses have. I love seeing business and entrepreneurs breathe new life into our older neighborhoods (i.e. Big Bend). We also have had professional organizations locating in Richmond Heights that have realized the value of our location—our central, accessible and highly traveled streets. It’s great!
What is your philosophy with regard to economic development and financial responsibility in the city?
I believe the city has a responsibility to strengthen and support existing businesses as well as work on attracting new businesses. I think it is no secret that Richmond Heights is a great place to do business. I have been doing some reading on smart growth, which is a movement that promotes healthy density, mixed-use development, walkable areas. I like its theory of place-making, which is creating interesting places where people WANT to be. We already have The Boulevard, the Galleria, The Heights—places people want to be. I think that Big Bend Boulevard and Dale Avenue (with our Great Streets Project), Manhasset and the Hadley redevelopment all have great potential!
Identify three issues that are of greatest concern to the Richmond Heights residents you would represent. How would you address each of these concerns?
Thank goodness the dust has settled after MetroLink and Highway 40 construction (which occurred during my first two terms)! Currently, I believe residents are most concerned with infrastructure issues. Streets, sidewalks, creekbed erosion, sewer and drainage issues are frequent concerns. Often these problems go beyond the city and require working with county and public agencies. I try to represent the resident and help work through the maze and layers of offices.
Additionally, residents are concerned about and must be part of any development or new construction in their immediate area. We always invite stakeholders to initial meetings and information sessions before a project begins.
Finally, I am part of a group (made up of council, residents and city officials) that is looking at ways to address a concern of many of our residents, and that is how to help all of our residents age in place. We want to support and engage our mature residents to live safely and happily in their homes in Richmond Heights and contribute to the diversity and culture of our city!
Richmond Heights will celebrate its 100th year in 2013. What does this anniversary mean to you?
The Centennial will provide a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the history of the city and its place in the development of the region. We plan to have a yearlong celebration of Richmond Heights with monthly programs and, of course, a big birthday party!
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Thanks for your reporting in the Patch! It is such a great way to keep up with local issues—I read it every day!