Community Attitude Surveys Due Today Questions Deal with Term Limits, Mayor's Part-Time Status, Transportation, Parks
John Sonderegger Of The St. Charles Post, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)
Today is the deadline for returning the St. Peters Community Attitude Survey to City Hall. Surveys need to carry a March 26 postmark.
The city sent out approximately 3,200 surveys - to one of every five households with a registered voter - and the Community Relations Department will tabulate the results in the next couple of weeks.
The survey could affect city policy, and some of the changes proposed by the Charter Commission will be addressed. The home-rule charter was defeated in February's election. One issue that the charter brought up was term limits for elected officials. A "Government Officials" section in the attitude survey has a four-part question on term limits. If a respondent prefers term limits, the following questions are then to be answered: (a) What limits do you suggest? (b) Should prior service as a mayor or alderman be counted if one wants to run for another office? (c) If the answer to (b) is yes, then should all elected offices held be included in the consecutive years' calculation? For example, if an alderman were elected mayor, should years in both those positions be counted? The city uses the attitude survey as a guideline for setting policy, but it is not binding. Another issue in the "Government Officials" part of the survey deals with the status of the mayor. The Charter Commission rejected Mayor Tom Brown's idea that the position of mayor be made full time. Brown has argued that the job now is too time-consuming to be considered part time. He was elected to a four-year term last April, and his annual salary for the part-time job was increased to $20,000. He had served six previous two-year terms. The survey asks: Should there be a full-time mayor? Brown has indicated if the answer comes back in the affirmative, he would work to get an ordinance enacted that would change the status of the mayor's office. Brown also says he doesn't want the job of full-time mayor, but he hasn't said that he would resign if the job becomes full time. …