Title's Up in Air, but Task's Down to Earth Boon to Begin Work as Marketing Director to Lead City into Financial Future

Article excerpt

There is some question as to the title that St. Charles officials will give Nadine Boon when she joins the staff in two weeks. But there is no doubt in anyone's mind about the job Boon is expected to perform.

"The first thing she told us she would do is develop an economic development plan and do it within the framework of the budget," said City Council President Nancy Matheny.

Boon, who lives in Jefferson City, will become St. Charles' new economic development czar on Sept. 19. Officials have yet to decide what title to give to Boon's $45,000-a-year job. For now, it is economic development marketing director.

Boon, reached at her home in Jefferson City last week, declined to discuss her impending move to St. Charles and directed inquiries to city officials.

St. Charles has not had an economic development director since 1991, when Gene Thompson resigned to take a similar position in Wentzville.

This year, the budget for St. Charles' Economic Development Commission is $221,000. Nearly 40 percent of that is earmarked for travel, advertising and promotion, materials and professional consulting services.

St. Charles plans to spend five times more on economic development this year than it did three years ago.

Officials across the county believe the region's effort at attracting new enterprises will be enhanced now that St. Charles will have a staff person devoted full time to economic development. Brent Schulz, St. Charles' community services coordinator, has been working part time on economic development. St. Charles also employs Jack Heck to act as a liaison with merchants.

Greg Prestemon, executive director of the St. Charles County Economic Development Council, says he presides over a monthly meeting of the economic development directors from the county's major cities.

He praises the work Schulz has done for St. Charles but added, "Everything we do in the county is in tandem with the cities and it can only help our overall effort for St. Charles to have someone devoted full time to economic matters."

Shirley Foster, the economic development director in St. Peters, says Boon's hiring will enhance the joint effort of the two cities to develop compatible plans for the commercial development on much of the land along Route 370.

The Missouri Highway Department plans to open a four-lane roadway from the Missouri River to Interstate 70 across the northern border of St. …