My column this week is about an individual (and Lake Saint Louis resident) who was instrumental in so many projects and developments seen in Lake Saint Louis over the last twenty one years. He wasn't an elected person- you never saw him on a ballot, but he has helped so many of us mayors, many different Boards of Aldermen, and numerous employees of our City Staff.
I am talking about our Lake Saint Louis City Administrator Paul Markworth, and I just cannot begin to express my appreciation for his extensive knowledge of finances and City developments; working with several mayors and Boards, businesses and developers, to take Lake Saint Louis from a bedroom community to one that does not need 100% funded City services with property taxes. He looked ahead to business developments like Shoppes at Hawk Ridge with anchors like Walmart and Lowes to the Meadows with Von Maur and Bed, Bath and Beyond, to our Schnucks Center, and the new Dierbergs Center in late 2021. All of these have contributed to well over a million dollars in sales tax revenue each year to fund our City services as well as provide our residents convenient shopping in their neighborhoods.
Paul has succeeded his tenure through four mayors - the late Mayor Harry Slyman, Mayor Mike Potter (currently a Ward 2 Alderman), the late Mayor Ralph Sidebottom, and currently myself- Mayor Kathy Schweikert. He also served numerous Boards of Aldermen over the years. It is so essential to work and remain unbiased politically with the mayors and aldermen - many cities never see a City Administrator serving the same city for so many years. The position requires a cooperative relationship with local businesses, other cities elected officials and staff, and most importantly, the thousands of residents you must serve at any given time.
Finally, which is so critical- you must have a City Staff that has your respect, trust, and someone they feel comfortable discussing any situation with. Paul has built up an excellent staff from the Police to Public Works, Community Development, Parks, Finance, Administration, and the Courts. We have seen new parks like Zachary's Playground, Veterans Memorial Park, and the new Deer Ridge Park opening this spring, as well as numerous Public Works road and storm sewer projects. Paul worked to encourage the Board, and residents to pass bond issues for our beautiful City Hall (remember the basement of the 1000 Bldg. on LSL Blvd.?), a Public Works Facility, and a new interchange at I-64 and LSL Blvd. I have only known Paul for 13 of these years (12 as Alderman and Mayor), but I consider him a true leader who I can discuss any City issue with, as well as a friend where we talk about our families, and have a good chuckle about our latest boat issues.
Why this column? Paul will be retiring as City Administrator on Tuesday, January 19th. I will definitely miss him, but since he will be retiring here in Lake Saint Louis, I know I will still see him on the lake, at the CA, and around town. The transition of Paul's retirement will be seamless. We are so fortunate our Assistant City Administrator, George Ertle, has accepted the position of the new City Administrator (which was a unanimous selection by me and the Board). George has over 4 years experience in his prior job here, as well as experience in Clayton, and cities in Texas, Ohio and Kansas. So, as I say "Thank-You for all you have done for Lake Saint Louis, Paul". I also say "Thanks George, and look forward to working with you, and the many years ahead for you serving our wonderful city of Lake Saint Louis!"