This is the first publication of our quarterly newsletter since the April municipal election, in which Dr. Aaron Wahl was re-elected as a Council Member for Ward 2. Congratulations to Aaron! The incumbent Councilmembers in the other three wards were unopposed and will return for another two-year term.
Chesterfield voters rejected Proposition U, or the Use-Tax, receiving only 37% approval. One may wonder why the measure failed by such a wide margin since it had gained more than 48% approval last year. Here are my observations that may provide some insights.
• The Missouri Legislature gave the State of Missouri a 4.225% “Use Tax” for purchases made from another state, without any further voter approval. The State Legislature simultaneously required voter approval for municipalities to apply their existing local sales taxes on out-of-state purchases. Chesterfield sought voter approval to apply our existing 1% sales tax (which would be in addition to the state portion).
• Many voters are simply not inclined to voluntarily approve of a different tax, regardless of the rationale or justification for it.
• I believe there is such a high degree of political polarization, frustration, and mistrust of Federal Government that people tend to correlate all levels of government, and by association, do not recognize that municipal government by design is considerably more responsive, accountable, and transparent.
• Although unrelated, there was confusion and lingering misinformation put forth regarding the approved Tax Increment Financing (TIF) of public infrastructure projects within and around redevelopment of Chesterfield Mall. It has been established and the TIF is structured to ensure that there are no abatements or subsidies. Developers will pay their full tax assessments based on the value of their properties. School Districts will benefit tremendously from increased assessed valuations.
• Finally, there were two out-of-town dark money Political Action Committees that spent thousands of dollars putting forth misinformation about the financial condition of the City of Chesterfield that was misleading to voters and urged them to vote against the proposition.
Although I am personally disappointed that the measure failed, I am confident that our City will continue to provide excellent services through our Internationally Accredited Police Department, Internationally Accredited Public Works Department, and Nationally Accredited Parks, Recreation & Arts Department.
Busy season and continued development
As we enter the summer season, I look forward to a full schedule of summer concerts at our Chesterfield Amphitheater that features both free and ticketed events. I hope to see you there.
Perfect Game commemorated their partnership with the City on April 29 at the Chesterfield Valley Athletic Complex (CVAC). They will host 40 or more tournaments annually, bringing top quality competition to play on our new synthetic turfed baseball/softball infields, bringing visitors to Chesterfield Valley, generating activity for our restaurants, attractions, businesses, and hotels.
The Chesterfield Sports Complex opened this spring and is now hosting youth basketball and volleyball competitions. They have also already hosted gymnastics and martial art events at their facility and anticipate events for other sports as well as strength training and physical rehabilitation services.
The development at Wildhorse Village is forging ahead and The District continues its transformation to an entertainment-based venue.
As if that wasn’t impressive enough, I’m sure you have seen Gateway Studio Production Services taking shape at the intersection of Chesterfield Airport Road and Spirit of St. Louis Blvd. This facility is built to be a world class production studio with all of the attendant amenities.
I hope to see you out and about, please feel free to say hello, or offer a comment or question!