Maplewood mayoral candidate, Barry Greenberg, on importance of a comprehensive plan

I had lunch yesterday with Scott Ogilvie, City of St. Louis Alderman for Ward 24, which abuts Maplewood’s eastern boundary. We met at Michaels to discuss how our two cities can work together to improve the Manchester Road corridor and extend our business district to McCausland Avenue. We spoke with several businesses in the area, looked at properties that could be improved and talked about how the area could be best used. There was also discussion of signage at the city limits and other topics.

These are the types of issues that are dealt with in a city comprehensive plan with input from citizens, business and other interested parties. These opportunities for discussion are vital in creating a blueprint for the future of our community. Comprehensive planning is a process that determines community goals and aspirations in terms of community development. The outcome of comprehensive planning is the Comprehensive Plan, which dictates public policy in terms of transportation, utilities, land use, recreation and housing.

Besides the interaction, discussion and analysis intrinsic in the process, there are sound legal reasons to produce an updated document. It will also allow our Planning and Zoning Commission to be more proactive than their traditional reviewing role. It will also require participation by Parks and Recreation, among others. I look forward to the process and results, and an updated comprehensive plan for the city of Maplewood will be a priority of mine if I am elected mayor.

Barry Greenberg

Editor: Barry Greenberg is running against Patrick Jugo for mayor of Maplewood in the  municipal election on April 4. Both will take part in a League of Women Voters-sponsored candidates forum on March 7. Patrick Jugo is welcome to contribute posts to 40 South News also.

6 thoughts on “Maplewood mayoral candidate, Barry Greenberg, on importance of a comprehensive plan

  1. A couple points here. First, kudos to Mr. Greenberg for acknowledging the importance of a comp plan to guide and regulate growth and development in Maplewood. The lack of a comprehensive plan (and reflective updates to the zoning code) has resulted in contentious and in some cases unwanted development. Without a comprehensive plan, the only legal basis on which city staff, the zoning commission, and the city council can make development decisions is the zoning code, which is long overdue for an update.

    My second point has to do with 40 South News publication of seemingly unsolicited editorials by political candidates. Not to discount Mr. Greenberg’s position advocating for a new comprehensive plan (which I am in favor of) and his use of 40 South News to express his views, but the presentation of one candidate’s views on a particular matter or collection of matters without adequate opportunity for other candidates to state their position puts one candidate in a favorable light and the other candidate in the dark. If that other candidate responds, it may be perceived as a responsive position rather than an organic position. While the editorial note states that “Patrick Jugo is welcome to contribute posts to 40 South News also”, I would prefer that this publication have procedures in place to moderate political candidates’ discourse in a more balanced manner, rather than on a first-come, first-served basis. Does 40 South News have any protocol regarding these position editorials or other candidate discussion? If not, would the publication be willing to consider such measures?

    • For every one person that comments on this site about the importance of a comprehensive plan and P&Z, it seems there are two people that make a statement along the lines of “Well that business doesn’t belong there” (because they presumably don’t like the business). For example, see anything that mentions the word chicken in the article or see the recent laundromat article. It is necessary to have the Mayor and council members speaking on how decisions are legally made in MW in attempt to educate the citizens so effective changes can be made.

      As for the request of a more balanced discourse, 40South generally does not seem to solicit comments from public officials outside of public meetings. I find that to be an acceptable position when there is freedom for any political candidate to use the site as an open mic. I don’t find a weekly article published by a candidate to be an excessive amount of coverage. The part that I enjoy about local politics is that candidates have a chance to talk a wide variety of local issues (not the standard national pieces- guns, abortion, military spending, etc). They shouldn’t feel compelled to have to address the same topics. March 7th will provide a time for candidates to respond directly to one another; but in the interim, it is important to see which candidates want to reach out to citizens and have their input.

      • Great points, Joe. I assumed that 40 South News doesn’t request stories or editorials from political candidates, and I’m glad to see Mr. Jugo provide some of his platform tenants in an editorial earlier this afternoon. 40 South News is a great vehicle for local political discussion, discussion that won’t be covered anywhere else, and I am glad to see both mayoral candidates acknowledge the value of this medium and use to broaden their reach to the community. I was just hoping that Doug might be able to outline any general protocol for vetting editorial content and frequency from political candidates. Looking forward to seeing both candidates on the 7th!

    • As you might realize, I have responded in the past to many issues raised on 40 South News because I typically like to provide additional information with which the readers can process to draw more objective conclusions. It is only recently that I have utilized the site to start conversations that I think would be of public interest. I don’t believe that financial contributions should play any part in the election process and accordingly in the 14 years I have been on City Council I have never accepted any campaign contributions and I will not change that policy as I run for mayor. In order to be efficient, what I can do through this site is talk with as many citizens as possible regarding my qualifications and my agenda for what type of things can be done proactively to make Maplewood an even better place to live. I find that the readership of 40 South News consists of citizens that are involved in the community and those are the people I want to engage in the discussion of a variety of issues that might not emerge as topical news. Social media is so effective at sharing information and if I would like to hear feedback from the maximum number of readers. I appreciate the opportunity to have this conversation and bring up issues that should be important to voters on April 4th. I hope that we get a good sized audience at the March 7th candidates forum so that everyone can get their questions answered and make the best decision for the future of our city.