Thuston wants to see more involved in city events
Green Park Mayor Tim Thuston, whose first term was anything but normal due to the COVID-19 pandemic, asked voters for another term as mayor in municipal elections last month – and they responded.
“This past year has been quite strange and unusual. I haven’t had the opportunity to do things in mayor as a group, ”Thuston said of his reasons for pursuing an additional two-year term, which he says will be his last.
“I want to try to work normally. … Do some of the things that I don’t think I’ve done yet.
Thuston defeated Ward 1 alderman Michael Broughton by 66.56% to 33.44%, out of 302 votes. Due to the rare occurrence of a special election for another Ward 1 seat, both Ward 1 seats were in contention this year and Broughton ran for mayor instead of running for re-election as city councilor.
“I like to serve the community. There are pros and cons, but overall I think this is a very valuable contribution I can make for my fellow citizen, ”said Thuston. “I met (the city administrator) James Mello after the results were published and I have already gone through some things that I want to start with. … We are going to be busy.
Thuston was elected unopposed in his first term as mayor in 2019, after longtime mayor Bob Reinagel, in office since 2013, failed to seek another term. Thuston had served as Ward 2 councilor since 2007.
But Thuston’s roots in Green Park run deeper than his Alderman service, even before the city was incorporated in 1995.
“I feel a civic responsibility (towards Green Park). My family has been here since the 1940s. My mother is probably the oldest resident – she has been here since 1942. She is very proud of this area and so am I. ”Thuston said. “I don’t want to leave the job unfinished. I think there is still a lot to contribute. “
His first term as mayor came with unique challenges in Green Park’s history, with businesses closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and city meetings conducted virtually. In addition, four of the city’s six aldermen are new to the board in the past two years, several appointed by Thuston. Ward 2 Councilor Matt Farwig won the election the same year Thuston was mayor. Ward 3 Alderman Martin Finn was elected in the postponed June 2020 municipal elections, along with Ward 2 Alderman Ronald Slattery. Slattery was previously a city councilor over two decades ago, when Green Park was still in its infancy.
Alderman for Ward 1 Esad Softic was appointed by Thuston in September 2020, after no one showed up. Softic was the second city councilor appointed by Thuston – the previous year, Scott Treece had been appointed to fill the vacant position of Tony Pousosa, who left town in 2019. Treece did not stand for re-election due to family problems.
The city still offers virtual meetings, but has allowed the public to participate in its May 17 meeting. “It was hard not being able to get together as a group, and it’s hard on a 1 inch square on a computer to get to know each other,” Thuston said. “There are a lot of new members, but little time to meet face to face and clinch.”
Despite these obstacles, Thuston said he was proud of the city’s accomplishments under his tenure, including the city that was buying the Town Hall building squarely. In 2019, the council of aldermen voted to reimburse half of the building, the other half being paid in 2020: “We have settled the debt and we are no longer paying interest. We also collect the rent, which makes it an asset for the city. ”
However, the mayor said he suffered last year from “not doing enough”, highlighting a list of priorities that include the complete renovation of the town hall community hall – which is named in the honor of the late Officer Blake Snyder – as well as the finish. and redevelop Mueller Road and ensure residents have access to the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Really, the timing of the projects will depend on the health and the country. Once that is defined, we will have a better idea of when we can do these things, ”Thuston said.
Thuston also wants to implement a renewed city streets program, with a strategic plan for city roads that would be reviewed every few years. In the past, the city had a street mastery program that is almost complete.
“It’s time to revisit the Main Street program and do some new planning. We have to plan when we’re going to make repairs and replacements, ”Thuston said. “We are pretty well caught up and I would like to maintain it. We have to try to stay ahead and make sure that you plan ahead and set the priorities correctly. ”
Regarding the city’s economic outlook, Thuston said officials will continue to review the South Lindbergh Boulevard corridor to make sure it remains strong.
“When I started out as alderman you went down Lindbergh and you saw empty lots and buildings with no tenants (but) on our side, full, vibrant and active businesses,” Thuston said. “We have always maintained that. There weren’t many failures on our side at Lindbergh and Tesson Ferry either. He spoke. Clean, high quality properties throughout the city. ”
Another focal point for Thuston is Groovin ‘in the Green, the annual summer concert held at Officer Blake C. Snyder Memorial Park, formerly Clydesdale. Groovin ‘in the Green did not take place last year due to COVID-19. It has been held every year since 2016.
“One of the most important things I would love to see done before I move on is to make Groovin ‘in the Green really awesome. We had big plans for it which really changed last year. Hopefully, we can put some of that energy back in this year and make it more actively fun, ”Thuston said. “We want to have it for our citizens. … We want to do it more on the basis of recognition for our citizens, allowing them to enjoy a night in the park with their friends and neighbors.
As for what the mayor would like to see from his fellow citizens, Thuston is encouraging more people to get involved, including attending meetings and running for office.