December 2015 General Meeting Minutes


Dec. 2, 2015 

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

The meeting was called to order at 7:07 p.m. by President Mike Ziemann.

Board members in attendance: Mike Ziemann, Beth Bennett, Sean Cochran, Luann Denten, Jeremy Mehrle, Jackie Parker, Steve Parker

Board members absent: Bill Clendenin, Alicia Stellhorn, Gary Toribio 

Elected officials in attendance: Alderman Ken Ortmann. 

Secretary’s Minutes:

Minutes from the Nov. 4 General Membership Meeting and the Nov. 18 Board Meeting were approved.

Treasurer’s Report: 

Treasurer’s Report was approved.

New Members:

One new member introduced herself and two workers at Getaway Carts in Benton Park introduced themselves.

Post-Meeting Social:

Hosted by Luann and Joe Denten at their home at 2622 S. 11th St.

Police Report:

Sgt. David Bonenberger, who has returned to the 3rd District,  and Officer Daphne Allen, 3rd District Problem Problem Officer, were introduced.

Officer Brian Min said November crimes included:

 Three assaults (One was a domestic.)

 Two stolen autos (Car left running in one case.)

 Four burglaries 

 One robbery (The man walking his dog on the sidewalk by Pontiac Square Park who was accosted by a group of young people.)

 50 larcenies (12 were car break-ins, two attempted car break-ins, five cases of property damage.)

Officer Min said he had discussed the robbery on the sidewalk by Pontiac Square Park with Detective Tom Mayer and they thought that “the media blew it all out of proportion.” Officer Min said the youths had struck a “glancing blow” and that the victim had not been knocked down. He said the kids ran off after the victim “snarled at them.” He said the youths had surrounded the man and demanded his property, so it was a robbery, even though the man said he had nothing and the suspects ran off.

Officer Min said he and Detective Mayer noted that robberies and assaults are down. He said they attributed that to “the word has gotten out that Soulard is not a good place to commit crimes.”

Officer Min asked Officer Allen for an update on problems near Trops, 1800 S. 10th St. She said a group of concerned neighbors had met with her to discuss the situation. She said 7th Ward Alderman Jack Coatar had asked for a year-over-year crime analysis of the area surrounding Trops. Jeremy Mehrle said he had filed a petition Oct. 28 on behalf of a majority of Trops neighbors asking the city to revoke Trops’ liquor license. He said he hadn’t heard anything yet from the city. Officer Allen said she would make inquiries.

Officer Min said that one of the burglaries occurred in the 2300 block of South 12th Street.  Burglars broke into the home and stole some copper lines but were interrupted by an alarm. They dropped the copper lines in the yard while fleeing. He introduced homeowners Joy Grdnic and Ron Stevens so they could offer some thoughts on home security. Stevens noted that good security technology can be obtained for a relatively low cost.  He said security cameras can be tied to a smart phone via free apps.  He said a motion detector can be set up to send an alert to a phone and the user can then view video of what’s taking place.

Officer Min said a burglary in the 2200 block of South 11th Street had been cleared.

Paul Kjorlie asked if traffic officers drive around looking for traffic violations. Sgt. Bonenberger said that they do, but that only about 10 officers are assigned to the Traffic Division and that they might be called off patrols to handle other cases.

Old Business and New Business:

Parlour Tour Update:

Julie and Jim Price provided an update on the 40th Soulard Parlour Tour on Saturday, Dec. 5. About 100 volunteers are needed overall. Jim Price distributed a signup sheet. There will be a party for volunteers and tour homeowners at 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6 at the Franklin Room, 816 Allen Ave.

Ziemann said the event is a chance to show off the neighborhood. He called for volunteers.  

Volunteerism overall is down, he said. He noted that people attending the General Membership Meeting were likely to have already volunteered, but he asked them to prod others to volunteer. 

Hot Chocolate 15K/5K:

Head cheerleader Billy Tomber said if we get 40 volunteers for our cheer station, SRG will receive $1,000 or more from the event’s organizers. Volunteers will hand out chocolate marshmallows and water to runners. The race starts and ends downtown and only touches Soulard along South 7th Street. He said the exact location of the cheer station is still being determined but that it’s likely to be at South 7th Street and Geyer Avenue. The race starts at 7:30 a.m. and we expect runners to reach the station about 8:15 a.m. Volunteers will get hot chocolate.  He said PJs are proper attire but cautioned everyone to dress for the weather. 

New Business:

SRG Liquor License:

President Ziemann clarified the SRG policy on obtaining a liquor license from the city for events: Only SRG Board members can pull a license. He said there’s a possibility that the city may allow a pre-approved list of names to be filed, in which case someone on that list could pull a license.

SRG Spending:

President Ziemann clarified the SRG policy on spending by SRG committees. Any spending done on behalf of an SRG committee needs prior approval of the committee chairman. Any expense of $500 or more, unless already allocated in the SRG budget, needs Board approval.

Ziemann said that the SRG currently has a surplus of funds and that he has asked SRG Board members to suggest ways it might be spent to help the community. He said SRG members should share ideas with Board members.

Date of Next General Membership Meeting:

The next SRG General Membership Meeting will be Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016, a week later than originally scheduled. The date was shifted so that SRG members can participate in Twelfth Night activities on Jan. 6.

Committee Reports:

Residential Promotion Report:

Luan Denten thanked those who attended the Local Hour will Nov. 19 at Shelly’s, 2001 Menard 


Santa comes to Soulard will begin at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18, at Soulard Station, 1911 S. 12th St. 

Cookies and candies (and adult beverages) will be available. Kids can do crafts. A bake sale will be held.

The permit has been granted for the entry marker project and Tarlton Corp. will begin work on the project.

American Legion Post 422 Report:

Mr. Bill Wirtel reported that:

 The Auxiliary Unit packed and shipped 28 “wish list” boxes to our soldiers in Afghanistan, bringing the total number of boxes shipped to 432. Mary Beth Wallace provided the name of an Army pilot who is on his fifth tour of duty as a contact person who would help distribute the boxes to the troops. It was her son, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Pate Butler. 

 Post 422 members distributed flags Nov. 7 at Soulard Market Park for Veterans Day. Post 

422 also had a big role in the ceremony at Soldiers Memorial Military Museum, 1315 

Chestnut St. 

 Ambucs trykes were presented to five more disabled veterans, bringing the total to 21 with three more on order. Each veteran getting a tryke spoke at the ceremony. Rosemary and Michael Pastore sponsored a tryke and met the veteran who received it.

 Guest bartenders for the next Third Friday Family Happy Hour Social on Nov. 20 will be Joanie Thomas Spurgeon, Nadine Soaib and Patti Thomas of Patti and the Hitmen. Music will be supplied by Judith Howard. 

 This year’s final Third Friday Family Happy Hour Social will be Dec. 18. Music will be provided by Air Force veteran Chic Lisitano, who will be in town from Florida for the release party for her third CD. 

 McKinley Public Classical Leadership Academy High School was one of the city’s public schools recently earning Accreditation with Distinction from the state. Mr. Bill, an alumnus and member of the school’s Executive Board, learned from Principal Steve Warmack that the school doesn’t have a flag or flag pole in front of the school. Legion Post 422 has started a fundraising effort to pay for a concrete base, 30-foot pole and 5-foot-by-8-foot flag. The estimated cost is $2,000. 

 Larry Liszenski, former program director at Gene Slay’s Boys’ Club of St. Louis, 2524 S. 11th St., is ailing and could not attend tonight’s meeting. But he asked Mr. Bill to report that Boys’ Club carolers will be out again this year raising money for the club and other children’s organizations. Liszenski hopes to attend January’s SRG meeting.

 Mouse Racing will be 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 9 at St. Vincent’s De Paul, 1408 S. 10th St. The family friendly event will benefit veterans. The cost is $25 for adults in advance and $30 at the door. Kids’ admission is half-price, free for those under age 12. For more information, call Mona Parsley at 314-220-3786 or Kathleen Lee at 314-369-6292.

Soulard Business Association Report:

SBA President Dan Shields was absent. 

Julie Price encouraged the SRG and SRG members to become members of the Central Patrol Business Association, whose mission is to provide support to police officers in the Central Patrol Division. 

Mardi Gras Inc. Report:

Twelfth Night is Jan. 6 with the festivities starting at Johnny’s, 1017 Russell Blvd.

Billy Tomber reported that members of the MGI Board of Directors had weeded the small triangle garden at S. 9th and Sidney streets on Oct. 18.

Beautification Report:

Approval has been given for signage at Soulard Market Park about neighborhood participation in the city’s Milkweeds for Monarchs project. 

Brightside St. Louis is encouraging residents to report graffiti when they see it. 

Young Friends of Brightside will hold a social from 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 3 at McGurk’s, 1200 

Russell Blvd. 

Communications Report:

The hotline phone number will no longer function after the Parlour Tour. 

Thanks to Linda Kurdi and her delivery team, the Soulard Star directory and the Renaissance are being delivered. The deadline for the Mardi Gras edition of the Renaissance is Jan. 12.

Code and Zoning Report:

Paul Kajorlie asked about a discussion in the SRG Board Nov. 18 meeting minutes about the siding on the Polar Wave Apartments project. Jay Gibbs responded that Code and Zoning member Beth Bennett had contacted the city to see if the siding is shown on the original plans. 

Gibbs said he needed to see the siding before he could offer an opinion whether it meets historic code. In any event, he said, the city would make any determination.

In response to a question, Gibbs said he didn’t know why work is progressing so slowly on the BP gas station at 701 Russell Blvd.

Fundraising report:

Rick Dungey thanked Christopher Schwarz, Venessa Kobrin, Julie Dinkelman, Scott Voellinger, Beth Bennett, Brett and Kathleen Pont, Richard Eaton and John Durnell for helping distribute wreaths in the holiday wreaths fundraiser. He said about $1,300 was netted through the sale of 88 small wreaths and 44 large ones. 10 wreaths still need to be picked up and are at The Porch, 1700 S. 9th St. 

Smarty Gras Trivia Night is Saturday, Feb. 20. Tables of 10 are $225.

Membership Report:

The Sunday Funday Paint Brunch party Nov. 15 at Soulard Station was a success and will be repeated next year. 

The next Membership Committee meeting is Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. at Soulard Station. 

Safety Report:

Jim Rick said neighborhood impact statements were being written. 

He reported that committee Chairman Bill Clendenin was helping draft agreements and bid specs for the new security cameras. He said that there was funding for four or five initial cameras. 

Ziemann said more funds would allow more cameras to be added. 

There was discussion about whether it’s more important for the cameras to show identifiable faces or clear license plate numbers. Sgt. Bonenberry said the city doesn’t have facial recognition technology as depicted on TV crime shows. He noted that license plate numbers aren’t always useful as evidence in court cases because vehicles used in crimes are often stolen. He said plate numbers are valuable when a crime is taking place. 


The meeting adjourned at 8:16 p.m.