Mayor's Corner - November 2008

2008 is rapidly coming to a close.  I hope it has been a successful year for you and your family.  For most of us, the economic picture has tested our ability to deal with stress.  Sometimes, looking back to remember the good times is helpful and can provide joy.  As I began to look back on the City’s year to answer, “How are we doing?” - I realized the question begs, “Against what?”  I had an uncle who when asked, “How are you doing?” answered, “Compared to what?”  All this took me back to why does Clarkson Valley exist?  To answer that question, let me share a bit of history: 

            Clarkson Valley was originally incorporated in 1950 as a village comprising approximately 1708 acres.  In 1988, the village elected to become a fourth class city.  Between original incorporation and 1985, it perfected four annexations.  As a result of these annexations, the size of the City has grown to 1825 acres.  The City is bounded by Wildwood on the west; the City of Chesterfield on the north, west and east; Ballwin on the east; and Ellisville on the south.  Major access is from Kehrs Mill Road running mostly east and west and Clarkson Road, which runs mostly north and south connecting to Highway 40 (I-64) near Chesterfield Mall Shopping Center.  The real estate assessed valuation has grown from $8.56 million in 1978 to $121.45 million in 2007.  The City’s population in 1973 was estimated to be 164.  The 1980 census indicated growth to a population of 1453.  The population of the City was 2675 in the 2000 census. 

            The current government structure of the City is as prescribed for a fourth class city by Missouri State law.  The Board of Aldermen is comprised of six alderpersons, two from each of three wards elected to staggering two-year terms.  A Mayor is elected at-large every four years.  The Aldermanic meetings are held on the first Tuesday of every month in facilities leased from the Fru-Con Corporation at 15933 Clayton Road.  The City maintains an office in the same building. 

We define our mission as: 

The mission of the City of Clarkson Valley is to maintain and enhance a secure environment that ensures quality of life, cost-effective city government, and protection of both personal safety and property value. 

We believe this mission supports the original concept of the founding of Clarkson Valley, i.e., protection of property values, one acre lots, residential living in a country setting.  How is the City organized to provide services and meet the mission objectives? 

It starts with ordinances passed by the aldermen.  These ordinances are to establish an orderly method of government to meet our mission.  The enforcement of all ordinances is the responsibility of the city administration—this includes:  Mayor, City Clerk, Court Clerk, Police, and the Building Commissioner.  Appointed boards and commissions are involved in making interpretations with recommendations and, in some cases, enforcing these ordinance interpretations.  These are the Planning and Zoning Commission, Board of Adjustment, and the Architectural Board. 

As you know, the City owns nothing.  All subdivision streets are private and maintained by each subdivision.  Clarkson Road is a state highway and Clayton and Kehrs Mill are County maintained roads.  Fire protection and emergency ambulance services are provided by both Monarch and Metro-West Fire Districts (depending on where you live as to which one serves you). 

I hope this description of your City’s mission and operational structure will be of assistance when you encounter a problem. 

Now that we have defined our mission and reviewed the people, commissions and boards that administer the ordinances to accomplish our mission, I have run out of space.  So let’s get a look at our report card in my Mayor’s January 2009 corner.  Stay tuned.