Incumbent Ward 2 Alderman Steve Myers, 50, is facing a challenge from newcomer Don Graham, 44, in the April 8 municipal election.
Myers is seeking his first elected term as alderman. He was appointed to the seat in April 2013 to fill the unexpired term of Jerry Eversmeyer, who resigned to move to Alaska.
Graham has been a leader at Westlakes Subdivision trying to get the subdivision built out. He served temporarily as a trustee under reorganization when the builder defaulted. He was appointed to the Pacific Planning and Zoning Commission in April 2013.
Here are profiles on both of the candidates:
Myers, who also has served as aldermanic liaison to the Pacific Park Board, offers a dual message.
“We are a good city, but we can do better,” he said.
A graduate of Pacific High, Myers received a degree in business administration from Webster University, and has completed additional courses at St. Louis University and the Dale Carnegie Institute, where he served as an assistant trainer in 2000.
Additionally, Myers was elected as Boles Township representative to the Franklin County Republican Central Committee.
He is a member of the National Rifle Association, a Wood Badge alumnus with Boy Scouts of America and involved with Operation Clean Stream.
He previously ran unsuccessfully for Franklin County assessor.
In Pacific, he has led a campaign to develop Pacific River Walk, that would create a network of multi-use recreational trails along the Meramec River. If completed, this system would link the Great Rivers Greenway trail system in St. Louis County with Missouri’s Ozark Trail.
A primary concern he has with the city is the appearance of some properties. When developers come to the city and see abandoned trailers, overgrown properties and front porches littered with junk, he said they are likely to pass the city by.
“There is help available from private organizations for folks who are unable to do this kind of work for themselves,” he said.
If elected, Myers would work to raise awareness of these programs. He also would help the city become more effective in the enforcement of ordinances for those who could do the work for themselves.
“We should remove the reasons why business owners would stay away and work toward providing an abundance of reasons why they would want to locate here,” he said. “If we do this, we will soon see the day when most everything you would need to purchase can be found right here in Pacific.”
Myers said also is in favor of the city building recreational opportunities for all ages that could make people want to move here and young people want to stay here.
If elected, Myers said he would strive to bring together the most effective elements of the community.
“We have to concentrate our efforts on finding solutions and work together to accomplish the tasks necessary to position us for the growth that has eluded us,” he said. “I consider it an honor to represent the people of Ward 2 and to play a role in the advancement of our entire community.”
Myers is an active member of New Beginnings Lutheran Church. He and his wife Lori have two children, Zachary, 18, and Lindsey, 15.
Graham moved to Pacific in 2005 after working with Alderman Mike Bates at Polster Tool Engineering. He grew up in Ferguson in the 1950s when it was a small town. The Grahams looked for a new community to get away from the crowds and get back to people.
“We have come to know more people in Pacific in eight years than we knew in Manchester in 23 years,” he said. “What Pacific has is precious — good parks, people are easy to talk to.”
Graham has never held elective office before, but wants to see Pacific move into the next phase of its development.
“Pacific is on the cusp of real change,” Graham said. “I’d like to see us be the best that we can.”
Graham is a graduate of McCluer High School in Ferguson and has attended classes at Florissant Valley Community and the University of Missouri-St. Louis where he majored in business. He served in the U.S. Army First Infantry in 1967-68 in Vietnam in the Iron Triangle.
His work career was that of manager and tool designer at Boeing Aircraft for 27 years before joining Valent Aerostructures. He retired in 2012.
Graham said his career provided him skills that can be put to use in city government.
He learned management skills the hard way, he says. Boeing bought him a one-way ticket to problem destinations, saying he could return when he solved the problems.
Graham spent the last years of his aerospace career on the road for five years solving problems with the C-17 cargo plane program suppliers in 30 states.
“They were all late,” he said. “The challenge was how to get back on schedule.”
He did not see himself as a dictatorial problem solver, but one who persuaded.
“I learned to smooze,” he said. “I learned to use what the other people knew to get problems solved.”
His travels took him to 30 U.S. states, Spain and Holland.
Graham said he would like to see Pacific grow, but with controlled development.
“No mega shopping centers with TIFs going to developers,” he said. “Pacific right now has pockets of opportunity for growth.”
If elected, Graham said he would add his voice to those of other city representatives to help craft the best decisions for the city’s future.
“I believe I can bring something new to the board and to the city,” he said.
Graham and his wife Donna have one son, David, who lives with his wife Linette in Labadie. Their daughter, the late Linda Johnson, was married for two years to Shane Johnson when she died in 1998 at the age of 25 of heart failure. The Grahams still keep in touch with Shane and his new family in Jefferson County.