Voters in Laurie will select an alderman for Ward 2 in the April 8 election. Incumbent Allen Kimberling has filed for election and is challenged by Bradley Davis. Here, the candidates
address the future of Laurie.

Voters in Laurie will select an alderman for Ward 2 in the April 8 election. Incumbent Allen Kimberling has filed for election and is challenged by Bradley Davis. Here, the candidates
address the future of Laurie.

*Editor’s Note: Candidates were given a word limit to adhere to.

1. Please give us a little bit about yourself including background, education, public service, volunteer work and of course, your family.
Bradley Davis: Owner of City Electric since 2009 after working in St. Louis retail management (Shoe Carnival Store Manager, Petco Store Manager, Sam's Club Accounting Supervisor, Sam's Club Front End Supervisor), Davis and his family moved from St. Louis to the Westside in 2006 as wife Lacy had grown up in the area.
Family: Wife Lacy, two children and one foster child
Outside activities: Volunteered with the St.Louis County Police Explorers for 7 years leaving with the rank of Captain; volunteered at Gravois Fire Protection District as firefighter and medical first responder 5 years and still on as Treasurer of Gravois Firefighter Association; at First Baptist Laurie, he and Lacy have been chairpersons of the baptismal committee for three years and have served that committee for six years, Chairperson of the Nominating Committee for one term, Budget and Finance Committee three years, Audio Visual Room Technician, Trustee three years, Awanas youth leader five years, Awana kitchen crew three years, cooking dinner for 120 every Wednesday night
Political experience: None
Vote For Me Because: I would like to serve the needs of the people first and the wants second. I will make the needs of the residents my first priority and serve as many people as possible with as little money as possible.
Allen Kimberling:  Vietnam veteran, Kimberling was a truck driver for 42 years, owning his own business for 20. He finished his career locally after moving to the area from Kansas in 2000. He moved into the city in 2006.
Political Experience: One two-year term as Laurie alderman and helped organize a Neighborhood Improvement District on Osage Ave. in Laurie
Family: Wife Linda, one son and two grandchildren
Outside Activities: Golfing and active member of Kent Memorial Lutheran Church
Vote For Me Because: I don't run on my agenda, and I'm not trying to help myself. If there's that come up in the city, I try to vote whatever I think people would like. I'm honest and try to help people if they have any problems.

2.  How do you feel about the purchase of a new city hall and adjacent property?
Davis: The purchases have been made and now it is time to move forward. I would have liked to have seen more public input on the purchases and renovations budgets, but the past is behind us and we must look forward to what can be changed.
Kimberling: When you look at the long term, we're growing. [With this deal,] we don't have any payments and the rent from upstairs pays the [sewer] reserve fund back.

3. Do you think the city needs to do more to attract businesses?
Davis: Yes, What can a city do to attract business. If summed up shortly it would be, more residents. A business can't thrive unless there are people to support it.
Kimberling: The business part is a little stagnant, but Herb [Keck, mayor] is working to bring in more business. We're growing residential more than commercial right now but more residents can help bring in business.

4. Should or could sewer and water rates be cut?
Davis: As a city resident I want water and sewer rates to be lowered, I plan on sitting down and analyzing the water and sewer budget and looking for items that can be changed. Without looking over the budget and talking with the employees it can be hard to decide what is necessary or optional. Water and sewer rates are based on 110 percent of your operating budget to ensure the system doesn't go bankrupt. Therefore a blanket I will lower rates doesn't occur without a length of time to look at the profit and loss statements of the budget.
Kimberling: It's not feasible to cut them right now. There's always costs. The sewer has been around for 10 years now, and the maintenance factor is coming in. We're considering a maintenance contract for grinder pumps. There's always something.

5. What do you think of planning and zoning restrictions?
Editor's Note: Bradley Davis has had an issue with Laurie P&Z and the Board of Aldermen which is still ongoing. His house, not located on a highway but adjacent to other commercial properties, was zoned commercial with the implementation of P&Z. It lost its grandfathered status in 2013 under a former owner with the house considered vacant as city officials considered that it had not been used as a primary residence for more than six months. In February, aldermen agreed to review the zoning ordinance to possibly create a new classification or rule to allow a property owner to use a commercial property as a residence. Davis addresses the situation below.
Davis: Planning and Zoning must be a dynamic or living document. If we don't change things as the City progresses we won't change and the City won't progress. It has forced me to look into how the city is running and what things are going on. I have noticed the attendance by residents to Alderman and P&Z meetings is non existent.
My situation is a home built in the 70's was changed to commercial property when P&Z was enacted in Laurie (this change has occurred to many homes on Hwy. 5 and behind businesses on Hwy. 5 and on O road). They allow homes in commercial property to be used as homes as long as the use is not discontinued for more than six months. We asked if someone was to go to Florida for six months, according to your ordinance they would not be allowed to move back into their home. P&Z's answer was as long as the home was maintained as their primary residence they could go on vacation for three years. I asked this because in our case the owner was incarcerated and the mother tried diligently to keep up the house payments and it was finally foreclosed on in November of 2012, we wrote a contract in February of 2013 and purchased the home in March of 2013. The P&Z commission has decided if a person is incarcerated their home is no longer their primary residence, but someone whom goes on vacation for three years their home is their primary residence.
I have been asked for several years as a business owner and resident to run for Alderman in the City. It took my personal hardship with the city to become fully interested in why things take so long with the city. I have been attending the Alderman meetings regularly for at least the past six months and have studied the past two years of minutes from the meetings. I don't believe anyone should go into an office uninformed of what is going on.
Kimberling: Planning and zoning isn't hurting business in the city. It doesn't have much impact on existing buildings that are empty. And Rick [Purdon, the P&Z chair] is a retired judge advocate. He's pretty much on top of stuff and works for the good of the city.

6.  Final thoughts: 
Davis: I believe in full disclosure when plans are made, that means we will have everything spelled out for people not just the decision that was made. I want to stop the rumors of why something happened by telling the entire story.
Kimberling: We need to start working on the streets. We should be talking about that this summer.