Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Fisher, Mcgrail Challenging Incumbent Woelfel

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Fisher, Mcgrail Challenging Incumbent Woelfel

Article excerpt

If Betty Woelfel, the incumbent alderman from the 1st Ward in St. Peters, is elected to a second term, she wants more time and energy spent on turning Old Town into a historic section to rival Main Street in St. Charles.

Her opponents in the election on April 4, Robert Fisher and Thomas McGrail, have different priorities. Fisher is pressing for more thorough planning; McGrail lists education and crime as concerns.

As for Woelfel, she says: "All of the buildings on our Main Street can tell a story. Old Town has a lot to offer. It's just kind of lying there in the rough, and somebody needs to polish it up a little bit."

A levee in the works can only be a boon to that area, and "I think we're going to have a whole new town over there when that goes in," Woelfel said.

She would like to see the tradition and heritage of Old Town preserved and some of the buildings made landmarks and registered as historic. "That area can be just as effective as anything in the city of St. Charles," she said.

Woelfel said she also would continue her interest in the parks and cultural aspects of the city. She recently proposed a cultural-arts board.

"Things still need to be done in parks and recreation to improve the quality of family life," she said. "We need to offer youngsters as much as we can and keep them in St. Peters, so they don't have to go too far out of the area" for entertainment and recreation.

Woelfel, 64, said she wanted larger homes built in the city so that growing families can move to bigger houses without moving from St. Peters.

Fisher, a former St. Charles County Council member, opposed St. Peters' attempt - ultimately unsuccessful - to turn an old quarry south of St. Charles into a landfill. St. Peters recently was sued for $3,725,000 by the previous owner of the quarry and has hired an attorney at $205 per hour to handle the suit.

"That was a campaign issue for me when I ran for the County Council," Fisher said. "I never felt St. Peters should get involved in that. Now it's a big problem, and the city is being sued for millions and paying thousands of dollars in legal expenses. This thing was wrong from the start."

Fisher, 38, is a lifelong resident of St. Peters. He argued that St. Peters' "spending is out of control, and the taxes are too high; and it seems every time you turn around, there's another fee being charged."

Poor planning has led to congested roads and "outrageous traffic, and there are accidents everywhere," he charged. He said developers had stacked up subdivisions without considering how residents would get in and out of their neighborhoods.

He cited the extension of Spanish Trails Drive through the Brookwood subdivision as an example of a problem that the city should have known about. Residents along Spanish Trails in Brookwood have asked to put up a barricade to block off their street.

"Now those people live on a speedway," Fisher said. …

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