Monday night's meeting of the St Charles County Council seemed to substantiate the view that the Smart Growth movement still has vitality. We make this observation because some politicians and the Suburban Journal apparently looked at the results of the recent Primary and General elections and decided that Smart Growth was dead.
Undoubtedly it must have been a giant surprise when Joe Brazil convinced 3 other members of the County Council to pass the tabled water protection Bill (2973) after poorly reasoned pleas against it by...(read more)
Councilmen Schnur, Funderburk and Foust. It would appear, from their actions in trying to defeat this legislation, that the three previously mentioned gentlemen have decided their political futures are best served by all-out support of the financial interests of developers. Self interest on the part of politicians is common and we might even say legitimate in many instances, no question, but in this case, in a county where traffic congestion, water pollution problems and inadequate roads are noticeably impacting the quality of life, it makes more sense to set self interest aside and, among other things, take precautions to protect water quality.
We note, in all sincerity, that, so far as the interests of Councilmen Schnur, Funderburk and Foust are concerned, they could be correct in "sniffing the wind" in the direction of election money. Scott Rupp's win, with the aid of "outside" and development money, outspent Joe Brazil and Wayne Henke by a wide margin. We're certain this fact wasn't lost on many ambitious politicians. It should be noted, however, that many candidates for lesser offices who were supported by Missourians for Smart Growth won their races in both elections.
On top of this, recent surveys by Missourians for Smart Growth showed a large concern for Smart Growth issues among potential voters in St Charles County. We believe a majority of voters still want the kind of development that doesn't negatively impact their quality of life. Despite the stated opposition of the representative of The Home Builders Association, the strong support for and the passage of Bill 2973 last Monday evening would seem to support that view.