December 2014 General Meeting Minutes


Dec. 4, 2014

Location: Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, 1919 S. 7th St.

Meeting started at 7:01 p.m.

Board members in attendance: Nancy Kelly, Sean Cochran, Luann Denten, Jackie Parker, Steve Parker, Michael Pastore, Alicia Stellhorn, Jill Weissgerber

Absent: Beth Bennett, Jeremy Mehrle, Mike Ziemann

Aldermen in attendance: Ken Ortmann

New members:

Four people identified themselves as new members and introduced themselves: Kari (who have lived in Soulard for three years), Caitlin and Stephanie (roommates who have lived in Soulard since May) and Tom (who has lived in Soulard for one year).


Jack Coatar announced on behalf of Alderman Phyllis Young that volunteers would be bagging fruit at St. Vincent De Paul, 1408 S. 10th St., for about an hour starting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 9. Entry is at the 10th Street doors.

Police report by Officer Brian Min:

·         A compressor was stolen Nov. 13 from a vacant building at 2210 S. 11th St. after entry through a door.

·         Two men robbed a wallet from a person Nov. 18 in the 2600 block of South 12th Street.

·         Two robberies in which pistols were displayed occurred within minutes Nov. 27 in the 1800 block of South 9th Street.

·         A food delivery driver for a Chinese takeout on Gravois Avenue was stabbed and robbed Nov. 3 in the 1800 block of South Russell Boulevard. The food and money were taken. The suspect was arrested after a stolen cell phone was traced back to his girlfriend.

·         Car fire Nov. 24 at Anne Avenue and Menard Street.

·         In response to inquiries from Paul Kjorlie, Officer Min described the two victims in the September shooting in the parking lot of Cuz’ Bar and Grill in the 1500 block of South 7th Street as “shady characters.” One of the victims was fatally shot.

·         Officer Min said there’s been “an uptick in robberies and burglaries late at night, especially around bars.”

Barb Marlinghaus said she recently witnesses two suspicious people sitting in a car outside Vincent’s and wondered who she should have alerted. Office Min said to call 911 “as soon as your Spidey sense is tingling, as soon as you see anything out of the ordinary.” 

Julie Price said she had witnessed a suspicious character lifting the handle of car doors on 10th Street, and she also wondered what she should have done. Officer Min and Jim Price both replied “call 911.”

Michael Pastore asked about an incident Nov. 30 in the 2300 block of South 12th Street in which numerous police cars were present. Officer Min replied that it was a domestic incident in which a young man stabbed another man with a pen knife. One person was arrested and the victim was taken by ambulance to a hospital.

Guest Speaker:

Joe Wilson, associate director for research at Better Together STL, reported on the nonprofit’s research into the governmental relations of St. Louis City and St. Louis County. He quoted from a Better Together pamphlet that 1.3 million people in the area receive their basic municipal services from 115 different governments, including 90 municipalities and 23 fire protection districts, at a cost of more than $2 billion a year. He said six topics were being studied and that the organization has published three and a half studies to date. He said findings are posted on the website

He listed some areas of concern, including: 

·         Court fines and fees in various judicial circuits

·          Judges sometimes serving dual roles as prosecutors

·         Children’s lack of access to courtrooms when their parents are involved in legal matters

Jim Rick asked what the average person should do with this information.  Wilson encouraged people to get involved in “conversations about problems facing the community.” Wilson said Better Together STL wants community input.

Neighborhood Impact Statement:

Bill Clendenin of the Safety Committee circulated for signatures a Neighborhood Impact Statement concerning an attempted armed robbery in late August in which a woman was sitting in a car when the suspect smashed a car window and attempted to rob her.  Clendenin said this was the 15th case in which we’ve submitted an impact statement in the past two years.

Secretary’s Minutes:

SRG General Membership Dec. 3 Meeting Minutes: Minutes were approved.

SRG Board Dec. 10 Meeting Minutes: Jim Price had a question about the Dec. 10 SRG Board Minutes: Did the SRG Board buy a table for the Vices & Virtues  ball after discussing whether to do so? After Nancy Kelly replied that the Board didn’t buy a table, the minutes were approved.  

Treasurer’s Report:

Report was approved.

Old Business:

Competitive runs in Soulard and their effect on the neighborhood:

Nancy Kelly said that Jackie Parker had volunteered to contact race organizers and that Luann Denten had volunteered to contact Ann Chance, the city’s director of Special Events. Their findings will be discussed at the January meeting.

Parlour Tour:

Jim Price said volunteers were still needed, citing shortages in tour guides, van riders and logistics. He said people were needed to pick up the Parlour Tour signs from around the neighborhood after the event. Five houses and the rectory, and a total of 15 floors, will be on the tour. Julie Price said the tour was getting coverage from STL TV, Show Me St. Louis and KMOX.

New Business:

Ted Greenfield of Julia’s Market Café said that Santa Claus and Santa Paws events would be coming to Soulard Market over the next three weeks.  Free hot chocolate, coloring books and gingerbread figures to decorate will be distributed. Dave Perry said a guitar player would also be performing there the next three weekends.

Special Business District Board Openings:

Jack Coatar said there will be three openings on the Special Business District Board after the discovery that city employees cannot also serve on the Board. He encouraged anyone interested to talk with him or Lisa Otke, who also is leaving the Board. The next meeting is Monday at Soulard Station.
(Correction to minutes – There are actually four openings on the SBDB - two homeowners, one business owner and one residential renter.)

Committee Reports:


·         Richard Eaton and John Durnell reported on sculptures, similar to those at the entry of the Saint Louis Zoo, are planned for the berms of Pontiac Square Park. The 20-foot-tall sculptures will trace the journey of the monarch and their importance to the neighborhood. These are envisioned as a destination attraction that will bring children to the neighborhood. Corporate financing is being sought. Publicity packets are being prepared.

·         Luann Denten said that the dinner portion of the Vices & Virtues ball is sold out and that a second tier admission at 9 p.m. for drinks and dancing is being sold.

Residential Promotion:

·         SRG merchandise is now available for sale and ordering. Items include ball caps, hoodies, T-shirts, polar fleeces and vests, and wine glasses.

·         54 people came to the entry marker presentation Nov. 20 at Soulard Station.

·         Santa will be coming to Soulard Station, 1911 S. 12th St., from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 19.  A bake sale, crafts, treats for kids and beer and wine will be offered.

Mardi Gras Inc.

·         Gary Toribio noted that Twelfth Night will begin at 6 p.m.  Tuesday, Jan. 6, at Johnny’s Restaurant and Bar 1017 Russell Blvd., with the petitioning for Mardi Gras. That will be followed by the walk through the neighborhood. Grand Parade is Feb. 14. The pet parade on Sunday, Feb. 8, will begin on South 12th Street. Paul Kjorlie asked about talk of a change in the parade route. He was told that Ballpark Village had sought a change in the route that would take it by that location, but that the MGI Board at its last meeting had voted not to expand the route.

Code & Zoning:

·         Citing the season and resulting slow construction activity, Jay Gibbs said there was no report.


·         Jill Weissgerber said the next meeting will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 11, when ideas for membership events for 2015 will be discussed.

·         Tonight’s social is at Beth Bennett’s house (hence her absence from the meeting.)

·         Future hosts for socials are needed.


·         Jackie Parker thanked Linda Kurdi, Beth Bennett, Luann Denten, Marybeth and Terry Wallace, Margaret Schroeder and Steve Parker for joining her in delivering the Renaissance on Friday, Nov. 28. 

·         The Blaster comes out on Wednesdays. Material is always welcome.


·         Next meeting is Dec. 29.


·         Rick Dungey reported that Trivia Night, aka “Smarty Gras,” is Saturday, Jan. 17. Tables of 10 are available for $225, which he called a bargain price. Rick confided that it had been two years since he last attended a movie, and that his recent outing to see “Dumb and Dumber 2” cost more than $30 for tickets and refreshments.  He noted that the per-person expense for trivia is $22.50 He thanked Jeremy Mehrle for the excellent design work on the Smarty Gras poster.


The meeting adjourned at 8:05 p.m.