All Blog


Find out what's happening in the blog. Below is a list of blog items.

Aug 04

Interview with Community Council of St. Charles County Executive Director Todd Barnes

Posted to Councilman Dave Hammond's Blog by William Babb

The recent ribbon cutting for the new home of the Community Council of St. Charles County caught my attention because it’s now located in my district. And while I was unable to attend the event, I heard that it was very well attended, and I am pleased to know that.

Community Council has played an extremely important role in our community for nearly 70 years. It was founded in 1954 when a group of concerned citizens formed an “organization of organizations” to “promote the general welfare of the community,” according to the Community Council website.

Today it is so much more. I wanted to learn more and wanted to pass on that information to all of you, so I reached out to Executive Director Todd Barnes with these questions.

DH: What is Community Council’s role in the community?

TB: Over the years, we have helped bring the YMCA to the City of St. Charles, loaned funds to Bridgeway, helped bring Crider (now Compass) to the area, created an Affordable Housing Task Force, created Emergency Weather Response (EWR) for our unhoused neighbors in the winter, and built homes in 2008 and 2009 during the housing downturn. Those are just a few examples, and in short, we find opportunities to solve community issues collaboratively.

DH: What outreach does Community Council do?

TB: Through a partnership with Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and over 100 area agencies, organizations, governments, churches, and individuals, we initiated and manage the Coordinated Entry process for our unhoused neighbors. After a trust-building assessment, we link our unhoused neighbors to agencies who have the best possible resource connection for their specific needs. We are extremely proud of Coordinated Entry and the difference it has made for our community.

DH: How do you bring people together?

TB: Community Council hosts monthly networking luncheons where timely, topical, best practices are presented by organizations and individuals. Organizations and agencies can participate by providing a resource table related to that month’s topic. These luncheons create valuable connections for attendees.

Additionally, Community Council members can submit information for our weekly e-newsletter that is distributed to over 3,000 contacts. Information includes community happenings, agency announcements, hiring opportunities and resource connections.

DH: Where can people who need assistance find resources?

TB: There is a searchable resource directory with over 600 connections for a variety of needs at communitycouncilstc.org. And, there is a separate Food Resource Guide on that page that is connected to over 50 partners who provide food and education resources. Those who have questions or need additional assistance can call us by dialing 2-1-1.

DH: How can the businesses or individuals support Community Council?

TB: We are a membership organization. Beyond knowing that your investment in Community Council helps agencies and organizations across St. Charles County, you’ll receive discounts on our events and an e-newsletter to help keep you up to date on what we’re doing in the community.

DH: Is there anything else you want people to know?

TB: Yes. There is an opportunity to become a sponsor or participant at our 25th annual Community Services Summit. It is held each October at Calvary Church in St. Peters and this year it is from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Oct. 10. We have a great agenda filled with excellent speakers and resource providers who serve children and families.

I learned a lot from Todd and appreciate his time. I want to thank everyone, past and present, who over the past 69 years, contributed in some way to make certain this organization continues to be a valuable resource in our community.

Jan 16

Insights on the Immigration Policy Resolution

Posted to Councilman Joe Brazil's Blog by Bryanna Hartmann

A few weeks ago, in the County Council meeting I brought up a resolution on immigration policy and it generated a lot of interest—and maybe some confusion.

So, I want to clear up some things about my intentions.

First a little background.

In the last two years the federal government has provided tax abatements and/or tax credits in the amount of $20 million dollars to build apartment buildings in our community. We have seen an increase in apartments in our county of approximately 160%.

In the month of September 2023, the Mayor of St. Louis announced that they were negotiating with leaders in Chicago to transfer immigrants to St. Louis. Chicago is a sanctuary city with a lot of problems. St. Louis is leading the country in the worst crime per capita with Chicago to follow.

The “Parole” program that was administered by Homeland Security through the Biden Administration changes our federal immigration laws with no legislative act from Congress. Our Missouri Attorney General along with 19 other state attorneys general filed lawsuits against this policy.

In the opinion of these state attorneys general, these immigrants are illegal. Our county and the city of St. Louis cannot afford the additional strain on infrastructure and law enforcement. The federal government is failing our country by violating our federal immigration laws and flooding our country with illegal immigrants, therefore putting a major strain on our infrastructure and resources.

We welcome any immigrant who follows the federal immigration laws put in place by Congress that every person had to follow. If, in fact, you believe that the program is legitimate, then it requires the sponsor to fund the parolee for two years. In this case, they declared they would fund the immigrant for three months.

And then what?

Also, if it’s truly a humanitarian effort, then why is it limited to only four countries of origin? The County Council introduced a resolution to simply support the notion that we believe in following all federal and state immigration laws and support our attorney general.

Other council members voted No, claiming the resolution served no meaningful purpose.

But I believe as leaders you stand up for the things you believe in– especially when neighboring communities are doing things unlawfully.  

County Councilman Joe Brazil

This post was updated with revised wording at the request of Councilman Brazil Jan. 16, 2024.

Mar 24

Transportation Sales Tax Up for Approval

Posted to Councilman Joe Cronin's Blog by County Council

County government recently sent two mailers to all households in St. Charles County with information about the history and plans for the County’s ½-cent Transportation Sales Tax; one in December 2021 and one in March 2022. I hope you have had an opportunity to read them. I did, and I can tell you, I am impressed with how well that money has been managed. 

Did you know that if we hadn’t had this tax to contribute to important projects like Route 364/Page Avenue, the Gutermuth Road Interchange, and the Heritage Crossing Ramps, they wouldn’t be complete? And, that important projects like David Hoekel Parkway, Route K/I-70 Interchange and the Route 94 Widening might not even be in progress?

As you can see on the informational mailers, funding from this tax has been distributed equitably across the county. I’m pleased that each County Council member has been actively involved in making certain their district roads receive the funding necessary to complete important projects and thank the St. Charles County Road Board for doing the heavy lifting by evaluating and recommending projects for the Transportation Improvement Plan each year.

In District 1, the district I represent, these are some of the projects budgeted for 2022:

  • Reconstruction and improvement of land configuration on Guthrie Road
  • Construction of Phase 2D of David Hoekel Parkway
  • Construction of Great Oaks Road Extension
  • Improvements and reconstruction of Mexico Road from Josephville Road to Midland Park Drive
  • Reconstruction of part of Peine Road
  • Construction of US 61 West Outer Road Extension Phases 2, 2A and 3
  • Reconstruction of Phase 3 of a section of West Meyer Road
  • Reconstruction at West Pearce Boulevard and Meyer Road traffic
  • Reconstruction on Josephville Road from Highway P south to Kersting Road
  • Reconstruction of West Meyer Road from Highway W east to Duenke Road

As you read in this newsletter, reauthorization of this tax is up for your approval on the April 5 ballot. I encourage you to read up on all this tax is enabling us to do to improve the infrastructure of St. Charles County prior to making your decision how to vote.

I remember how our county roads used to be before the Transportation Improvement Plan program and enjoy the benefits from all the improvements. That is why I fully support the continuance of this small sales tax for our roads.