Michael Snowden: Candidate for O'Fallon Councilman, Ward 5
Michael Snowden is running for a three-year term as a Ward 5 O'Fallon Councilman.
Name: Michael Snowden
Family: Wife, Leisa, is a retired school teacher who now works as a Teacher’s Aide at Lutheran High School and 1 son, Chris, who is 23 years old and lives out of state.
Education: I hold a BA in Human Resource Management from Lindenwood University and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from SIU-Edwardsville.
Occupation: I am employed as the Training and Quality Assurance Officer for the fire and EMS dispatch agency in St Charles County.
Previous elected offices: I was appointed to the O’Fallon City Council for Ward 5 in January, 2012.
Number of years living in O'Fallon: My family and I have lived in O’Fallon since 2005.
Organizations: I am the Immediate Past-President and current Executive Council Representative for the Missouri Chapter of APCO (Assoc. of Public-Safety Communication Officials), a member of the Missouri Chapter of NENA (National Emergency Number Association) and my wife and I are members of Immanuel Lutheran Church.
1. What is the primary reason you are running for this office?
The primary reason I am interested in remaining on the city council is to continue helping the good folks who live in Ward 5 and, by extension, all of O’Fallon. In the last 14 months, I have been able to work with city staff and other council members to bring about solutions to many issues that have been facing our residents. The feeling of accomplishment that brings is priceless and I want to continue creating those outcomes for the next three years!
2. What will be your single most important priority if you get elected?
The single most important issue facing O’Fallon today is the need for increased economic development in our city. We have been extremely lucky to bring Mike Hurlburt on board as our Director of Economic Development. He and his staff work very hard for all of us, but we are still lagging behind other cities. We have begun to make progress under the direction of the current council, but we have also lost out on some development that I think we should have obtained. Continued development will be a high priority for my next term.
3. What's your favorite thing about O'Fallon?
My favorite thing about O’Fallon is the fact that we are the largest city in the county and the 7th largest city in the entire state, but we are still a small town when it counts. We know our neighbors, we are involved in youth sports, activities and church with our children, we attend city functions and we vote in elections. While we are surrounded by bad news and violence on the television and in the newspaper, we have created a great place to live, work and play for our families. I am proud to call O’Fallon my home and want it to continue to be the best place to live in our area.
4. What is the biggest problem you see in O'Fallon?
The thing that may quickly become the biggest problem we have in O’Fallon is the fact that our Environmental Services Division may be in jeopardy if some people have their way. You see, residents of O’Fallon currently enjoy the lowest cost for trash removal of any residents in the area. Our City Council recently had a chance to extend the contract to lock in rates at the low level until 2027. There was a concerted effort to keep that contract extension from occurring. I believe that is a mistake and I voted to extend the contract.
5. What is your vision for O'Fallon?
I imagine that my vision for O’Fallon looks like that of a lot of people. I want our city to remain a safe place to live, work and play. I want our city to; remain viable economically by continuing to grow our businesses, keep our infrastructure (water, sewer, roads) in the best possible shape, continue to grow our park system and provide outstanding recreational choices for our residents and to keep our taxes a s low as possible while still maintaining those levels of service I just described.
6. If an incumbent, why do you think you should retain your seat? If you are challenging an incumbent, what do you think qualifies you for the position more than the incumbent?
As an incumbent who was not originally elected to office, I know that my performance in the last 14 months is all that the citizens have to judge me on. To that end, I have helped multiple constituents find resolution to issues that had been plaguing them for months or years. I have worked with the Parks Board as its Council Liaison for the last year and I was instrumental in the creation of the Historic Preservation Commission. I was assigned by Mayor Hennessy to the Employee Wage and Benefit Committee and the Citywide Landscape Improvement Program (CLIP) Committee. Perhaps most importantly, I have formed a bond with the other Ward 5 Councilmember, Mike Pheney, who has become a friend and a mentor to me. We work extremely well together and I look forward to continuing to serve the citizens of Ward 5 for the next three years.