This week, after five years of service, I have stepped down from the Wildwood City Council.
As I walk away, I feel strongly that the leaders of Wildwood must commit their focus to bringing common cause and unity back into the governance of our community. For, nothing less than our ability to self-govern – the basis for which the city of Wildwood was founded nearly thirty years ago – is at stake.
Before he passed, one of Sen. John McCain’s concerns about the country’s future was the tribal nature of our politics. I share that concern about current affairs within Wildwood.
I know current leaders are united in standing by the ideals put forth by Wildwood’s founders: smart, low-density development; transparent, small government; preserving green space and our extensive trail system; and access to internet service for every resident. The list goes on.
However, personalities and political intrigue have become the order of the day, instead of dealing with issues of substance. There will always be differing schools of thought for how city business is conducted, but there must never be divergence on what comprises the business of Wildwood. Infighting between leaders is not only destructive, but it is allowing external threats to fester and grow unchecked.
One such external threat is the city-county “Better Together” merger plan, which would eliminate self-governance of all St. Louis County municipalities, such as Wildwood. Plan supporters are seeking to put the measure on the state ballot; if successful, voters in small outstate towns may determine our future, not us.
We cannot let this happen.
As I leave office, I am both hopeful and fearful for Wildwood. Let’s pull together to stand and protect what we have built so that future generations can enjoy it.