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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

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Property Taxes Have Increased 200% In 20 Years


I recently received my absentee ballot for the April 4 election and it contained only two items: Propositions for two more regressive tax hikes on county citizens. One is for the Affton Fire Protection District and the other seeks additional funding for various county police departments.

These come on the heels of two previous regressive tax hikes which were sought and received by the Affton School District just four months ago.

Since buying my home in Affton about 20 years ago my property taxes have increased in excess of 200 percent. And all other taxes and cost-of-living expenses have gone up exponentially. The only things which haven't increased very much are my military retirement and 100 percent service connected VA disability pay. The county and many of its municipalities continue to award tax breaks to large corporations and political cronies while the onus of paying for these tax hikes seems to fall on the shoulders of the poorer middle class families and individuals, many of whom are retired, elderly or sick and forced to live on fixed incomes. We are slowly, yet inexorably being taxed out of our homes. I would really like to know where all this tax money is actually going.

I contacted the state auditor's office and was told, as a whole, St. Louis County has never been audited by the state. Perhaps it's time for an outside agency to audit the county books to see how effectively our county government has been utilizing our hard earned money. If the county population is stagnant or dwindling, I'm sure that excessive taxation is one of the main causes.

We should not have to spend our later years in penury due to the incompetence of government bureaucrats.

Ed Olsen, MSgt, USAF (Ret.)
Affton
March 16, 2017

Endorsements For Kirkwood School Board Candidates: Allen McCoy


Dr. Allen McCoy is no stranger to serious issues. During my military career, I worked closely with him on numerous projects to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the U.S. military's transportation system. One project alone, air refueling optimization, has generated over $20 million in savings and continues to save millions every year. Dr. McCoy's education and experience as an operations research analyst and data scientist enable him to understand the big picture in a way that few can.

I have also found Allen to be an ethical, considerate, hardworking team member. He knows the importance of getting as many facts and perspectives as possible If elected, he will bring those same qualities to the Kirkwood Board of Education.

Allen already contributes to Kirkwood education as a member of the district's curriculum committee. Dr. McCoy's commitment to STEM education is complemented by his understanding that children also need a well-rounded education to grow into the confident, articulate adults.

I believe Allen would be an outstanding choice for the Kirkwood Board of Education.

Brad Davis, Lt. Colonel, USAF (Ret)
Freeburg, Ill.
March 16, 2017

Endorsements For Kirkwood School Board Candidates: Kavanaugh & Pangborn


This April 4 citizens of our community will have the opportunity to select three candidates for the Kirkwood Board of Education. Please consider casting two of your votes for Chad Kavanaugh and Jennifer Pangborn.

Both Chad and Jennifer have a proven track record of involvement in our community and the school district. As successful professionals, they each bring the business, leadership and management experience necessary to help guide our district through the days ahead. But perhaps the most important quality they each demonstrate is the ability to reach out and listen to everyone. The issues facing our school district are nuanced and complex. Chad and Jennifer will listen, find common ground and provide a balanced voice for our kids, our schools and our community.

Please vote for Chad Kavanaugh and Jennifer Pangborn on April 4.

Angie Bay, Scott Stream, Past Presidents, Kirkwood Board of Education
March 16, 2017

Endorsements For Kirkwood School Board Candidates: Chad Kavanaugh


On April 4, we will be voting to fill three spots on the Kirkwood School Board. Our school district is facing several challenges and we must elect individuals who can make sound decisions that will keep Kirkwood schools at the top of the list. This is why we ask that you join us in voting for Chad Kavanaugh.

Chad is a proven leader, an active community volunteer, a team builder who listens closely to what others have to say, he possesses the problem solving and analytical skills that are needed to make sound and well thought out decisions. His experience in diversity, policy development and talent acquisition will be extremely helpful in meeting the challenges that Kirkwood School District has in front of it.

Please vote on April 4 and join us in voting for Chad Kavanaugh for the Kirkwood School Board.

Becky and Tim Engelbrecht
Kirkwood
March 16, 2017

Endorsements For Kirkwood School Board Candidates: Chad Kavanaugh


A vote for Chad Kavanaugh for Kirkwood School Board is a vote for our children and our community.

A committed and involved parent who brings familiarity with school districts in Kansas City as well as Kirkwood, Chad has direct experience in our community through involvement with his children attending North Glendale and Tillman elementary schools, North and Nipher middle schools and Kirkwood High School.

Chad's engineering education, broad professional and business experience, and volunteer activities afford a solid foundation from which to bring his reason, financial acumen, problem-solving skills and leadership ability to bear on the critical issues that will be coming before the board.

We hope residents will take advantage of upcoming opportunities to meet Chad. We strongly urge you to give him the votes he deserves to represent us on the school board, where he can carry out his commitment and our shared desire to continue to advance our schools and community.

Marty and Leslie Huggins
Kirkwood
March 16, 2017

Endorsements For Kirkwood School Board Candidates: Chad Kavanaugh


As we approach the upcoming Kirkwood School Board elections, I encourage everyone to become familiar with the candidates and to cast an educated vote.

With that said, Chad Kavanaugh, a candidate that I have known for a number of years, is undoubtedly an excellent choice and will do a tremendous job.

His children are current Kirkwood students at various grade levels. His corporate experiences lend well to the requirements, and demands, of the position. His kids participate in a number of extracurricular activities and he understands the importance those activities play in the overall development of students. I know he will have an open ear to all voices and ideas and will work to make our already outstanding schools even better.

Chad has one of my votes and please consider giving him one of yours!

Darren Drexler
Glendale
March 16, 2017

Endorsements For Kirkwood School Board Candidates: Chad Kavanaugh


We have known Chad Kavanaugh as a personal friend for 20 years. Aside from being a kind and gracious friend, Chad is dedicated to his family and his community. We are very excited that Chad decided to run for a position on the Kirkwood School Board as his input will be invaluable.

Having three kids attending Kirkwood schools means Chad has firsthand experience with much of what the district offers. He wants to serve and contribute to the continued success of the Kirkwood School District.

We appreciate that Chad is a man of action. He likes to get things done and thrives in an environment where a challenge awaits. He is efficient and organized in his approach and excels in problem solving. Chad will have the students' and teachers' best interests at heart when setting education policy.

You can count on Chad to work diligently on the Kirkwood School Board, and to bring excellent leadership and consensus building to the team of seven. We proudly support Chad as a quality candidate for the Kirkwood School Board.

Barry and Sue Kraft
Des Peres
March 16, 2017

Endorsements For Kirkwood School Board Candidates: Michael Mancini


The Kirkwood School District is poised to be a leader in the region for racial equity in education. Last year's task force on the African-American Opportunity Gap and this year's equity walks and professional development set the stage. Those efforts were built on courageous conversations since 2008 by the wider Kirkwood community dialogue groups, a book club specializing on race in America, Witnessing Whiteness sessions, and events hosted by the Human Rights Commission.

Michael Mancini is the school board candidate who can take us from talk to results.

Mancini is a professor of social work at Saint Louis University. His research focuses on mental health and well-being, and the supports that teachers and students need to improve outcomes for vulnerable populations. More than identifying the tools, Mancini knows how to implement them to develop programs that deliver changes in real-life settings, like our Kirkwood classrooms.

Joy Weese Moll
Kirkwood
March 16, 2017

Endorsements For Kirkwood School Board Candidates: Michael Mancini


I encourage Kirkwood residents to vote for Michael Mancini for Kirkwood School Board on April 4.

Michael is a recognized and experienced educator, having been an associate professor at St. Louis University for 14 years. He recognizes that great teaching is key to children's development. His priority is supporting teachers so they have the resources to effectively guide students.

The district has recognized that learning is being hampered by obstacles like poverty, addiction and bullying. As an expert in emotional and behavioral health, Michael has implemented the best practices that promote wellbeing and consequentially, children's development. He would bring invaluable expertise to the board.

Michael is committed to supporting the equitable education of all so that all have the chance to reach their potential. He possesses the experience needed to help our district maintain its excellence.

On April 4, please join me in voting for Michael Mancini for school board.

Jennifer Kocher, former co-chair of the Kirkwood Early Childhood Center Parents Advisory Council
March 16, 2017

Endorsements For Kirkwood School Board Candidates: Michael Mancini


I support Michael Mancini's bid for Kirkwood School Board. As an educator with a Master's in Social Work and the parent of a child in the district, he will bring unique skills to the board that are relevant to our troubled times.

Carol Y Harris
Kirkwood
March 16, 2017

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