Earlier this week, the Clayton Times had the chance to speak with Colleen Wasinger, R-Huntleigh, who serves on the St. Louis County Council, and represents District 3 of St. Louis County.
Wasinger is serving her third term representing the St. Louis County citizens of her district.
During our time with Wasinger, we asked what it’s like being on the St. Louis County Council, what’s some of her favorite places to visit in Clayton, and if she could clue us in whether her husband will make a run for the US Senate.
Clayton Times: What made you interested in this position?
Wasinger: I served on the Board of Aldermen in Town and Country, that’s kind of how I got my start in government. Prior to that, I was in private practice. I was a real estate attorney for a local real estate developer and then I started having children and a family and wanted to have something more flexible and then the Board of Aldermen position opened up and I ran for that. The person who was holding this [St. Louis] County Council seat decided not to run and I was approached for running for that seat. Almost 11 years later, [I’m] still serving and I’m honored to have the job. It’s an opportunity to get involved in the community and contribute in a meaningful way.
Clayton Times: What are some of the biggest challenges in St. Louis County?
Wasinger: I think probably the number one challenge is making sure we continue to attract young talent to come back home to St. Louis. At the same time, creating economic opportunity for people so they can have decent paying jobs so they can raise their family is also number one on the list. Also, you want to have a community with good school districts and a strong park system, [and] a strong street and maintenance system for all of us to benefit from. The airport has always been a topic that I would like to see improved upon here. We used to be the hub for TWA, that went away and it seems that ever since that happened we could really benefit from updating and improving our hub system too.
Clayton Times: Do you think personal vendettas are coming into the forefront of politics – both on a local and federal level?
Wasinger: I’ve made an observation recently that it does appear that various governmental jurisdictions and governing bodies across the state, the county, and even in non-for profit boards are having a different dynamic. I don’t know if it’s directly related to what’s going on at the federal level but the politics of personal vendetta are not something I participate in. I think it’s counter productive – we all have different opinions and we benefit from a strong debate on issues. But personal attacks are not something that are directly relevant to the issues and I think that we need to look really at the information presented and the questions and hash it out and come up to a vote. That’s what we’re here to do.
Clayton Times: What are some of the things that your constituents most often ask you?
Wasinger: In my district, we have many municipalities which is the first layer of government. What we most frequently hear about are street repairs, tax appeals for county property taxes, we frequently will be asked how to go through that process which occurs every two years. [Additionally] zoning matters come before us if it’s an unincorporated portion of my district which is approximately 11,000 people. We have those that we hear on a day-to-day basis and then we might get questions about the health department or things along those lines. Typically since my district has so many municipalities, they come to us for secondary things.
Clayton Times: On a lighter note, what are some of your favorite places to eat or have fun within the City of Clayton?
Wasinger: There’s a new restaurant called Herbie’s, that’s fun. Almonds Restaurant is fun, Café Napoli is one, and there’s also the Potbelly Sandwich Shop that has a delicious salad. World News is a fun place to pick up different knick-knacks and newspapers.
Clayton Times: Is your husband David Wasinger going to run for US Senate?
Wasinger: That’s an interesting question. There’s lots of chatter about what my husband wants to do and that continues to go on. Initially, we thought Congresswoman Ann Wager was going to run, then she decided not to and now we’re hearing Josh Hawley. [David] is still evaluating the situation and he would be a fine candidate, he’s very confident and he wants to serve in some public capacity. He’s still evaluating it – we’ll see.