Greg Talleur officially will jump into the political arena on April 21 when he is sworn in as a Ward 2 alderman for the city of St. Clair.
Talleur, 43, defeated Theresa Lustwerk for the position on Tuesday by garnering 69 percent of the ballots cast. The final count was 75-34.
Only about 8 percent of eligible voters in Ward 2 exercised their right. According to the Franklin County Clerk’s Office, there are 1,317 registered voters in Ward 2. One-hundred-nine cast ballots.
“I am very flattered and humbled in the confidence that those who voted showed in me and my family,” Talleur said. “I will do my very best not to disappoint.”
Talleur has been employed at the Ameren Missouri Labadie Energy Center since 2001. He grew up in St. Clair and graduated from St. Clair High School in 1989.
“My priority will be to meet and introduce myself to the city employees,” he said of his initial plans. “I plan to jump in and get up to speed on the many budget concerns and construction projects in progress.”
Prior to Tuesday’s election, Talleur said that he didn’t have a specific agenda, but he outlined some plans and ideas if he was elected.
“There are lots of opportunities for this city based on its geographical location, and we have missed out on a lot of these opportunities over the past 20 years,” he said. “My goal is to work with the existing government and reach out to those who are willing to invest in a community and do our best to make St. Clair their choice.”
Talleur told The Missourian he hopes to “get involved as quick as I can” with a priority to make “St. Clair the most attractive town for business and industry to relocate.
“We need to make St. Clair a place where people want to buy a home and make our city their home rather than rent and pass through in six months. I would like to see St. Clair a rival with its surrounding communities with retail and manufacturing, allowing the city budget to increase by at least one-third over the next five years.
“The bottom line is the council needs to work together and make the soundest financial decisions based on the information available. As an alderman, you just can’t wait for information given to you at the meeting to make decisions.
“We are in a difficult spot,” he said. “I will try to make the best decisions for the betterment of the community. I have no magic plan or ideas better than another, but what I can do is work hard and let the people of St. Clair know that I have invested myself, my time and my family to make our hometown better.”
As far as his thoughts on taking over as an alderman in Ward 2, Talleur said that, “Decision-making left in the hands of only five people is an enormous responsibility.
“St. Clair has been left behind for too long and to some extent in distant years past it has been our own fault. It’s time for that to turn around.
“I look forward to getting started and working with the rest of the board.”
St. Clair Ron Blum said he is looking forward to working with Talleur.
“I think he will do an outstanding job,” he said.
The Ward 2 position was the only locally contested one on Tuesday’s ballot, but a few others running unopposed were re-elected.
Ward 1 Alderman Nathan Tate received 88 of the 89 votes cast to retain his seat for another two years. Police Chief Bill Hammack also was re-elected for another four-year term after garnering 191 of the 204 ballots cast. Collector Tiffany Burton will serve in that job for another two years after she received 190 of the 193 completed ballots.
In Parkway Village, Steven Pelton and Marvin Pruitt both were re-elected as trustees. Voters were asked to vote for two candidates, and those two men were the only people on the ballot.
Thirty votes were cast. Pelton received 17 votes and Pruitt got 12.
There was no election in the St. Clair R-XIII School District as three incumbents were the only individuals to file.
On Thursday night during the school board’s April meeting, David Berkel, Andy Geisert and Tracy Komo took the oath of office. They will serve for another three years.
Berkel is the president of the board, Geisert is the vice president and Komo is the treasurer. When the board reorganized on Thursday, the three kept their positions, and central office employee Joyce Strothcamp remained the board secretary.