By MARK EVANS
Two candidates will be seeking a Ward 1 aldermanic seat on the April 6 ballot in Ste. Genevieve County.
Incumbent Ward 1 Alderwoman Susie Johnson is being challenged by Amie Dobbs.
Johnson has served one term in Ward 1, replacing John Mooney in 2019. She ran unopposed that year.
Johnson, a Ste. Genevieve High School graduate and circuit clerk’s office employee, is now married to former county prosecuting attorney Carl Kinsky.
She is the aldermanic liaison for the Tourism Tax Commission, and is on the Tourism Advisory Council and the Foundation for the Restoration of Ste. Genevieve Board. She was also on the committees to find a new tourism director and to remodel the City Hall/police department building.
Johnson feels that, “Encouraging increased communication with community members” has been her biggest accomplishment on the board.
“With the onset of social media, rumors and misinformation spread quickly. I’ve encouraged the city to clearly communicate with residents regarding anything from street closures to ordinance changes via multiple outlets, including social media,” she said.
She feels she has worked well with the rest of the board, in getting things done, calling “Working collaboratively with fellow alderpersons and staff” her top accomplishment
“I have a good working relationship with the other board members as well as city staff,” she said. “I frequently communicate with staff ahead of meetings for additional information or to offer feedback. I have never missed a board meeting and have only missed one committee meeting in my two years on the board.”
The pandemic has given the board additional challenges.
“With the uncertainty of the financial impact the pandemic would take on the city, the board proceeded cautiously with spending while at the same time searching for a new city administrator and encouraging cooperation with public health guidelines,” she said.
Dobbs, who is a member of the Ste. Genevieve Parks and Recreation Board, is a Perryville native, who moved here in 2003. She served as a probation officer, before managing a Casey’s store. After battling cancer, she changed fields and began driving a bus for Fallert Bus Service, while operating her own cleaning business. She has been married to Phil Dobbs since 2001.
Dobbs would like to see some changes made.
“The main reason I’m running is because I don’t see anything ever happening in Ward 1,” she said. “As a matter of fact, Ward 1 is going down hill in terms to of drug activity. I’ve recently mentioned/recommended to the mayor that we start a neighborhood watch in Ward 1. I’m hoping the citizens of Ward 1 can work together to get the drug issue under control. With the citizens and law enforcement working together, we will spread the word that we demand to live with safety and peace.”
Her other issue is sidewalks.
“I’m wanting to speak up for sidewalks for our children to walk on,” she said. “I think it’s ridiculous that our children cannot safely walk to and from school. This needs to be a priority in our budget, particularly on Fourth Street.”
She thinks better collaboration between officials and citizens could lead to more results.
“I feel like things can go so much better when people work together on issues that are important to a community, which is why I’m putting my phone number out there right away,” she said. “I’m telling residents of Ward 1 if you have concerns or just need to talk about an issue in your ward to please call me because I’m here for you.”
This will be a two-year term. The other Ward 1 representative, Gary Smith, will be up for reelection in a year.