Frank Hardy for Sunset Hill Board of Aldermen
Hardy is challenging incumbent Dee Baebler in Ward I.
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Franklin A. Hardy, Jr., 65, 421 Rayburn Avenue
Occupation: Internet Consultant
Education: Electrical Engineering, University of Louisville, 1967-1971
Family: Married for 19 years to Phillis who is a CPA and attended the University of Missouri. We have a son, Bryan, who attended the University of Louisville, and now lives in Tampa, FL.
Years lived in Sunset Hills: I have lived in Sunset Hills since 1993 in an area that was annexed into the City shortly before that time. There is, however, a small sliver of Sunset Hills on the north side of Rayburn Ave. consisting of seven houses that is a part of the Kirkwood School District. I believe that the Lindbergh School District is an exceptional educational system that strives to serve not just students, but families as well.
Background and Community Involvement:
- Served as Sunset Hills Ward 1 Alderman from 2006 - 2012
- A Member of the Sunset Hills Historical Society
- Communications Committee Co-Chairman, Show-Me Hero Salute Group, bringing the Traveling Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall to St. Louis in
- A Volunteer for Businesspersons Between Jobs which assists professionals in career transitions
Reasons for Running: I served as a Sunset Hills Ward 1 Alderman from 2006 – 2012. I was always active, visible, easily accessible, and responsive to all residents and businesses in my ward and throughout the City. It is my opinion that as a public servant to the people, I would owe them nothing less than honest, accurate and visible representation.
What do you currently see as the biggest issue facing the City of Sunset Hills? Recently there have been a few proposals brought before the City that involve different areas of the Sunset Hills. Aldermen in Ward 1 did little to no outreach to the residents and businesses around the old Bob Evans site where a contentious and very dangerous development was approved contrary to a traffic study presented to the City. Also, Ward 1 Aldermen did little, if any, outreach to the residents around the Paracletes property in the Tapawingo neighborhood where a very controversial “library” was proposed. I feel, and I’ve said this many times before, that city officials need to get out of their chairs and go talk to the people who are affected by decisions they make on behalf of the City. What looks good on paper can be disastrous on the site. As a city official, it is imperative to do the “homework” required for responsible and safe projects that have the least impact on those who live and work in Sunset Hills. A city official must take the initiative and seek it out on his own. That is what I did in my previous six years on the Sunset Hills Board of Aldermen and I would do it again. A city official has to dig a little and talk to people to find out the truth in any proposal brought before the City.
In what area does the city need to improve? Are you satisfied with the way the city has been operating? The City needs to improve in its transparency to the residents and businesses of Sunset Hills. Public Hearings provide a minimum of information and meeting agendas are sometimes confusing. The people need to know and understand what government is doing on their behalf. I would like to see more interaction between the city officials and the residents and businesses that they represent. Without openness and interaction between government officials and the public, there is not a free flow of information. When people are not apprised about issues that affect them, they become very wary and a bit suspicious of the government, whether it’s local, state, or federal. City officials must have open, honest, and frequent communications with those they represent. Without it, there will always have a measure of skepticism by the public.
Assume you win the election. What single thing do you want to accomplish during your time on the board? Residents should have a say about what happens in their City. I would like to utilize the City’s Web site to implement interactive surveys giving constituents a means to share their feelings on particular issues coming before the City. I would do this by using the City’s Web site to post surveys and send out notification e-mails to residents who have registered to take the surveys. These surveys could be conducted either ward-wide or city-wide. By posting survey questions, an elected official can assess the opinions of those residents he represents and reflect those opinions in his discussions and by how he votes on the issues. This survey ability was going to be a part of the Phase II upgrade of the City’s current Web site in 2008, but, because of budget constraints, was cut several times in the City’s budget approval process. Not only would such a process save time and money, the compilation of resident and business e-mails could also serve the City in making notifications, or in emergency situations.