As a small farming town, it made sense that St. John’s connectivity was limited and the 5,000 people that lived here made due with what they had. Most likely they were busy farming and relied on their family and neighbors to fulfill their need for human contact. Afterall, the gigantic grain elevator that doubled as a feed and seed store located behind what is now the Town Hall was the hub for the men to gather. As a matter of fact, when we moved here in 1991, that is where we purchased the grass seed for our yard. Well, humans have the need to gather and that is an integral part of the human experience. Our population of 17,000 residents deserve exceptional public space not limited spaces that are merely an afterthought.
And the decades from 1991 when Mr. Tuley and the Town Council led the Town in their humble and conservative fashion to the time where Mr. Steve Kil became Town Manager and the Citizen Party came in like a wrecking ball a lot has changed. If Mr. Tuley was here to see his Town, I’m guessing he would be extremely disappointed. We have failed miserably with a planned community that would connect us with each other. The human component is what we are missing in the equation. We do not have the ability to walk or ride our bikes from neighborhood to neighborhood because in many places there are no sidewalks. There is no choice but to take your car or get annihilated on the roadway. Each neighborhood is remote with no way to connect to the next subdivision. Not only are neighborhoods isolated from each other, the entire Tri-Town area and beyond our boundaries is inaccessible by any other mode of transportation but a motorized vehicle.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. If we had creative forward thinkers in leadership positions, we would be able to increase our quality of life just by adopting better design policies and practices for community planning. I encourage you to cast your vote for me for Town Councilman – At-Large and I will make the necessary changes we so desperately need.
Let me just be clear. Certainly, there are many things that I love about St. John and I would never consider voting with me feet, however, it is time to create a more inviting and distinguishable town.
Let’s insist on a concerted effort to provide the amenities that are desired and appealing to our residents in a well planned and sustainable town. Elect Pelc to the Town Council as an At-Large Representative.
How do we increase a sense of community and connectiveness, reduce sprawl, revitalize mature neighborhoods while increasing the quality of life?
SUPPORT SUBURBAN PLANNING BEST PRACTICES
Reduce Suburban Sprawl
• There is no such thing as a free lunch and continuing to build out the town at break neck speed will eventually cost you money, livability and security.
• To maintain the burgeoning development pace, we will need additional infrastructure, public works maintenance, public safety payrolls, and increased school enrollment. (See school enrollment charts) Tax increases are inevitable.
MAINTAIN MATURE NEIGHBORHOODS
Repair crumbling and unsafe roadways and residential areas, consider street sweeper to remove debris, replace signage, enforce ordinances, increased police presence
ANCHOR NEIGHBORHOODS WITH PUBLIC SPACES
Walkability – Standard Community Planning Test
• A reason to walk; A safe place to walk; A comfortable place to walk; An interesting place to walk
Pathways and Infrastructure for movement and connectivity
Public Art for visual appeal
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