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Schuette returns for a second run as Ward 2 Alderman

Former alderman wants to keep strong building codes.

Bill Schuette, candidate for Ward 2 alderman, believes in standing up to special interest groups, supporting civic involvement, holding tight to strong building regulations and working to make a stronger city overall.

Schuette is a familiar face at City Hall. From 2006 to 2010 he served as an alderman in Ward 2, but he relinquished his seat during an unsuccessful bid for mayor in 2010. He said he is ready to get back to business, and return to the post of Ward 2 alderman.

“I want to continue to serve as an alderman because I just want to do what’s right for the residents of the community,” Schuette said. “This is not a stepping stone for me. I simply believe in working to help our city improve.”

Schuette believes in “quality growth,” including thoughtful consideration of ordinances and building codes.

“That’s why I ran for alderman the first time. I think the Home Builders Association (HBA) has way too much to say about what goes on in our community,” Schuette said. “It’s our community, they’re here just to make a buck and then get out of here.”

Schuette was proud to say that as alderman he was successful in helping to improve ordinances that raise standards for residential construction.

Schuette said when he served on the board, he worked to change standards for street construction because streets built less than 10 years ago already have to be replaced. Now, the HBA is trying to go back to the old way, he said.

“If our public works department comes out to do slab replacements, they put a rock base, steel mesh and then the concrete,” Schuette said. “If we do that as a city, why are we not requiring that in a new development?”

Schuette said several years ago the city board changed building standards to comply with those in St. Peters and O’Fallon, so standards would be universal. Now, the HBA is asking for ordinance changes to drop building standards back to where they were in 2003, removing changes the board put in place.

“The HBA makes it sound like some of the board members made these building ordinance changes to put them out of business,” Schuette said. “We did this because we couldn’t get them to police their own industry.”

Schuette is also a strong believer in listening to residents’ concerns. He believes in civic involvement and that all residents should have a voice in government.

“I’ve heard the mayor and other aldermen say ‘This isn’t mob rule,’ when large crowds of people would come speak out at the meetings,” Schuette said. “Lately, it’s crowded at nearly every board meeting, and I’m glad to see more resident involvement.”

Schuette introduced the ordinance providing for the annual utility tax rebate for low-income seniors and disabled people, because he realizes the struggles some on fixed incomes are faced with when paying bills.

“I will do what’s right for the community. I’m a taxpayer like anybody else. I look at every issue as though it’s affecting me. And it is,” Schuette said. “I don’t look at it from a business perspective. If it’s right, it’s right. If it’s wrong, it’s wrong.”

The problems in the city are the same as when he was elected the first time, and he wants to see the city move forward, not backward, Schuette said.

“I’m not big on special interests, especially at the local level. Local politics is about residents, keeping our taxes in check while still providing the best possible services,” he said.

One “hot spot” for Schuette is complying with the City’s Master Plan.

“The proposed is on a piece of ground that should have been transitional housing, not commercial. They’re putting a huge commercial business near Bear Creek Subdivision with all the single-family homes,” Schuette said. “Generally speaking, our planning and zoning commission does a good job, but lately, it’s been pretty one-sided in favor of HBA and businesses in general. I’m a firm believer that if a business will affect the quality of life of residents, they should make changes. We were here first.”

There are other pieces of property in the city that would be more than adequate for a Sam’s Club, but the developers want no part of it, Schuette said.

“Nobody gives me an ultimatum. We don’t need Sam’s Club here. We have plenty of other stores. I say, you either make this compatible with the community and not affect other people’s lives, or don’t come in,” Schuette said. “We don’t want them saying it’s all or nothing. I’d love to see it for the city sales taxes, but they shouldn’t give the board an ultimatum.”

The Sam’s Club has yet to be approved by the city, and a public hearing is scheduled for April 13 to consider approving a Community Improvement District (CID) for the business, which means shoppers at the Sam’s Club would pay an additional half cent sales tax to help pay off building costs.

“I’ll be at the public hearing in April when it comes up,” Schuette said. “I don’t see that Sam’s Club needs help building this.”

Schuette said his father was a skilled craftsman who taught him the importance of building things the right way.

“That’s why I’m so passionate. I’ve built buildings and done concrete work, and finished basements. I’ve done this work, and I know what goes into it,” Schuette said. “For some aldermen, there is a serious disconnect between the elected officials and the people who put them in office. I don’t believe in telling people things I can’t back up.”

Schuette and his wife, Joyce, have been Wentzville residents since 2001. They have two grown children.

Patrick Sullivan April 02, 2011 at 01:10 AM
Bill, wouldn't it be better to help those in the city who are in need rather than assess blame? Why the hate? Wentzville is a nice community of modestly priced homes. It is no Ladue. But it is a nice place for people to call home. When my new home was built years ago, I had some problems with it. I worked with my builder and resolved the matters. Developing land and building homes can be highly complex. There are bound to be some problems. But is that reason to demonize an industry that consists of small business people who live in the region and hire lots of local people (in good times)? These small business people have shed thousands of jobs in the past few years, many going out of business, as they've laid off carpenters, brick layers, electricians, plumbers and many more who in some cases have never worked anywhere else. But they are now out of work, many living without jobs in Wentzville. What can you do to help them get back on their feet? Why are you kicking all these good folks while they are down? They've taken risks and have usually built very good homes in Wentzville. You mention building codes as if more government is ALWAYS the answer--excessive codes equal higher prices on new homes but don't assure any better value received by the home buyer. Please go after REAL problems--bring back jobs, bring back the tax base. Don't hate. Don't demonize. There is enough negativity around already. Here's to creating an even better city!
Donna Wilmes April 02, 2011 at 04:59 PM
Bill Schuette is a great guy who works for the people and tries to make the right decisions concerning builders and building codes. He looks for the most appropraiate solution to help everyonr. He does not just follow the rest of the board when making decisions, he follows his beliefs and that is what he city and people need, even if it is not the popular answer. Thanks Bill. Vote FOR Bill, please.
Barb Collins April 04, 2011 at 07:28 PM
I am still torn on who I should vote for. My question to any candidate or current alderman: my home property value has plummeted since we bought our home. If you're against a Sam's Club and you're not in favor of home builders, what is your plan to restore my property value? Elected officials should have this kind of vision!
Jane Hogan February 22, 2012 at 06:21 PM
I don't live in Bear Creek so I cannot speak to the resident's concerns. However, building the SAM'S CLUB surely will create jobs in our community and that means a lot in today's economy. As I understand it the Bear Creek residents are concerned with additional traffic in the area. I really doubt the traffic on May Road will be the issue, but hey how about a traffic signal at Pearce and May Roads to make it more simple for people coming from May out onto Pearce. Its difficult now and increased traffic there will certainly increase the problem. Not to mention the increased probablity of traffic accidents. Surely that would be one compromise that would ease some of the residents' concerns about the project.

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