As we all gather to give thanks for our family, friends, and all our blessings, let us also be sure to remember our troops overseas who are keeping us safe and all those less fortunate than us. While it is a time of celebration, it is also a time of prayer and reflection. It is a time to reflect upon the founding values of our nation and ensure we are embodying those ideals as individual citizens. We may disagree on exactly how to embody them, but that too is what makes this country great. Have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving!
Veterans Memorial Service – Manchester
The City of Manchester held a Veterans Memorial Service on 11-11-11 at 11am at the city Veterans Memorial in Margaret Stoecker Park. The service was very moving and was attended by over 100 local residents. I believe it is very important to ensure that our veterans are taken care of not only on Veterans Day, but every day. The issue surrounding the Missouri Veteran Homes Program is paramount. There are currently seven Veteran Homes in Missouri and they serve over 1,300 veterans. These homes do not receive adequate funding and some may be closed in the upcoming years. Since 2010, the Missouri Veterans Commission lost $42 million in general revenue support for the Veteran Homes Program. I am committed to restoring adequate funding to this program and ensuring that we safeguard the well-being of our Veterans.
Manchester Board Meeting
Last week the Manchester Board of Alderman discussed an issue that really hit home, our county parks. The County Executive has proposed closing county parks to balance the upcoming budget. Manchester’s Mayor Willson sent a letter to the County asking them to reconsider such a proposal and allow local governments to be brought into the discussions.
Parks are a great place for families and children to be outdoors and play in a safe environment and it would be sad to see many of them closed simply to balance the County's budget for one or two years . I recently took my three grandsons to Lone Elk Park. We were all excited to see elk within five feet of our car and were happy to see the bison a bit further away! I remarked to my grandsons that if they want to see deer, we could simply drive around Town & Country! I have encouraged many St. Louis County citizens to attend the County Council Meetings and voice their support for our parks. There are many other ways to balance our budget.
Meetings with our Local Senators
Over the past two weeks I have met with Senators Jane Cunningham and Eric Schmitt who each serve a portion of the 92nd District. More dialogue and cooperation must occur between the House and Senate so that our State government can function more effectively. We discussed upcoming issues and legislation of mutual interest, including my Cyber-Bullying bill which will be filed December 1. These meetings were very productive. Senators Cunningham and Schmitt are not the obstructionists we often read about in the newspapers and I am proud to have them as colleagues within the 92nd District.