My voter’s guide recommendations: Madison County/Granite City and St. Louis City and County
Tomorrow is election day in Madison County, Illinois and St. Louis City and County, Missouri. In St. Louis City, there are two big proposals regarding taxes and the proposed MLS stadium. In Madison County, Illinois, there are several mayoral elections, city aldermanic races, township elections, and the county-wide sales tax.
Props 1 and 2 (St. Louis City, MO):
Prop 1: A half-cent sales tax increase in the city for “economic development purposes,” including a Northside-Southside MetroLink, neighborhood revitalization, workforce development, public safety, and upgrades to the city’s infrastructure. Proposition 1 must pass for Proposition 2 to be effective.
I recommend a Yes on 1
Prop 2: Should Prop 1 pass, then the city’s user tax will increase by a corresponding half-cent, similar to the sales tax increase proposed in Prop 1. The user tax is a levy on in-state businesses making out-of-state purchases not covered by a sales tax. If both Propositions 1 and 2 pass, then the user tax increase would help fund a new, 20,000-seat soccer stadium near Union Station.
I recommend a Yes on 2.
It is essential to vote YES to both if we want a shot at an MLS (and possibly an NWSL) team to come to St. Louis.
Prop P (St. Louis County, MO):
I don’t live in St. Louis County, Missouri, and my feelings on Prop P are conflicted. Elizabeth Snyder and Steve Stenger, along with several police departments and police unions, are the biggest pro-Prop P voices. On Prop P, vote your conscience.
Ferguson, Missouri (St. Louis County, MO):
Mayor: Ella Jones
This election is the first mayoral election held in Ferguson since the August 9th, 2014 killing of Mike Brown. Another term of incumbent Ferguson mayor James Knowles would set the city’s progress back. So vote out Knowles and vote in Ella Jones!
Madison County 1% Sales Tax (Madison County, IL):
A Yes vote is strongly encouraged, as it will help the county’s schools.
Granite City School District 9 (Madison County, IL):
Matt Jones (incumbent), Laura Cole, Tanja Cook Sedabres, and Victoria Arguelles.
Jones is the only incumbent I’m recommending, because of his exceptional work and I’ve known him since high school.
Cole is my 2nd choice, and I have voted for her in the past.
Sedabres is my 3rd choice, after giving it some thought.
Arguelles is who I know through my brother’s friends and works at Kool Beanz, and she fills out my ballot for the school board.
Nameoki Township (Madison County, IL):
Township Supervisor: Randall Presswood
Township Clerk: Helen Hawkins (incumbent)
Township Assessor: Elaine Beckland
Highway Commissioner: Donald Moore (incumbent)
Nameoki Township, my home township, needs a shakeup in the worst way possible, so Presswood’s my pick for Supervisor and Beckland’s my pick for Assessor. Moore, however, has done a good job as highway commish, so he gets another term.
Granite City Township (Madison County, IL):
Township Supervisor: Bob Shipley (incumbent)
Shipley has earned another term as supervisor.
Chouteau Township (Madison County, IL):
Highway Commissioner: Ron Hogue, Jr. (incumbent)
Another term is deserved for Hogue.
Granite City, Illinois (Madison County, IL):
Mayor: Arthur “Art” Asadorian
On why I picked Asadorian: Part of me feels like it is time for a change in strategy in Granite City.
Ward 3: Nick Raftopoulos
The answer’s obvious here. I canvassed and phonebanked with him several times, and not to mention, some much-needed new blood on the city wards, so he’s my choice.
Ward 5: Gregg Austin
I don’t know much about either candidate, and Austin is too conservative for my palates. Nevertheless, he’s my choice here.