Mark Mantovani’s letter to the editor of the St. Louis Post Dispatch was published today. Click Here to read it on their website, or read on for the full transcript….
St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger’s leadership seems to be on a slippery slope these days as illustrated by the debacle with the Creve Coeur Lake Park ice complex project (“Council calls for timeout on ice complex project,” Aug. 30). While the prospect of building the facility on park land is a big concern, this controversy highlights bigger issues.
In the coverage of the proposed ice complex, Stephen Deere and Ashley Lisenby of the Post-Dispatch pointed out the public display of a “testy exchange” at the hand of the county executive. Unfortunately this unprofessional behavior, coupled with flawed processes that too often limit input and scrutiny from both the council and the public, and provide incomplete and misleading information, goes beyond the present ice rink scenario. This is a systemic failure of leadership.
From beginning construction activities for the rink under the guise of a stormwater project to instances of bypassing ethics reports and not disclosing that donors have been receiving county contracts, time and again, our county executive is displaying bad habits.
Effective leadership requires proactive engagement, timely communications, collaboration, openness and vision. As we await the outcome of the rink debate, let’s start discussing alternative locations like the abandoned shopping centers and vacant lots in the county that are waiting to be re-energized and could add value to the community, rather than take it away.
Meanwhile, the county deserves more competent, truthful executive leadership.
Mark Mantovani • St. Louis County Democratic candidate for St. Louis County executive