Friday, November 17, 2006

Congratulations to OLGA Winners!

Congratulations to OLGA Winners!

Today was the annual luncheon and meeting of the East-West Gateway Council of Governments. Mayor Slay is now chairman of the EWGCOG board, so he and Les Sterman (executive director) traded off the podium.

Events like this are often interesting and useful for observers of the governance process like me.

Just before the luncheon, the latest edition of EWGCOG's "Where We Stand" was unveiled and presented. I'll have to dig into that when I have some free time. ;-)

My reason for being there was to support my former boss and longtime friend, Charles Kindleberger, who was receiving a well-deserved lifetime public service award.

Anyway, here's the list of award recipients at this year's Outstanding Local Government Achievement (OLGA) Awards, an ever-popular program presided over by the awesome Julie Stone.

Successful Intergovernmental Collaboration

East Central Dispatch Center: (PDF) Cities of Clayton, Richmond Heights, Maplewood, Shrewsbury, Webster Groves and Olivette.

St. Louis Metropolitan Heavy Rescue Task Force: St. Louis City Fire Department, City of St. Charles Fire Department, Creve Coeur Fire Protection District, Maryland Heights Fire Protection District, Monarch Fire Protection District, Mehlville Fire Protection District, Metro West Fire Protection District.

Exemplary Accomplishment by a Local Government Individual or Agency

Mayor Robert Lowery (City of Florissant).

Alderman Jerry Daugherty (City of Portage des Sioux).

Wayne Oldroyd (Director of Community Development, City of Maryland Heights -- but also an active member of the American Planning Association Missouri chapter and its St. Louis section, as well as the volunteer planner for the City of Greendale master plan).

St. Clair County Health Department (Kevin Hutchison, director).

Gateway Lifetime Public Service Award

Charles Kindleberger (yay!).
Mayor Glenn Van Leer (City of Union -- also, he brought his mother Viola, who is 101 years old! He's been married to his wife 50 years, and his speech was pretty heartwarming).

Chairman's Award

Joe Ortwerth (outgoing St. Charles County Executive -- and yes, he did mention God quite a bit in his speech. He also offered the "convocation" for the luncheon. Yep.).

John Baricevic (IL 20th Circuit Court Judge -- formerly St. Clair County Board Chairman, absent because he was presiding over a trial).

Anyway, congratulations to all the winners for the work they do -- but especially CPK.


Doug Duckworth said...

They argue that since the TTI, and a few other categories, are lower than the national average we are doing good.

The fact is that St. Louis is experiencing sprawl. We need to control this sprawl and massively expand mass transit to accommodate those who cannot afford the cost of travel. We also need to provide a substitute to the highway system.

Obvious indications of sprawl:
In 2003, an additional 2,257 square miles were added to the St. Louis MAS to reflect the incorporation of outlying areas. Population density in the region fell by 21 percent between 2000 and 2005, illustrating continued land-use expansion absent of high levels of population growth.

When land use expands yet there is little population growth, density falls. When density falls and travel time to work increase, the region is sprawling. This is not a St. Louis problem, yet a National problem. East-West Gateway can cite our slower rate of sprawl, yet Missouri is a slow growth state, therefore our sprawl will always be slower than others!

The rate of suburbanization may have slowed, but one also needs to take into account that the GDP has slowed to almost one percent, and the housing market is not doing well. It is clear that our region is sprawling and this needs to be addressed.

We are wasting large amounts of money building unnecessary infrastructure. Our road system may be 'nice,' yet even EW points out that our transit capacity is bad. For example, we are a little better than Salt Lake City, which is sprawling at a much higher rate. Why is our transit system ranked right above SLC when they are sprawling much faster? Finally, a clear indicator that we need transit is our household transportation costs. St. Louis has higher household transport costs than LA, Chicago, NYC, San Francisco, Baltimore, and Washington DC!

Anonymous said...

The fact our region is losing people in their thirties (page 8) should be a warning sign that we are about to fall in total regional population. For one, you can't grow when those at the very age for forming families or having school-age children are moving away from the region.