Just Say No To More Parking Stress in Soulard

Monday’s Preservation Board Agenda includes a Demolition request for 2403-2415 S 7th & 721 Victor in Soulard to construct a 5-story Apartment Building with 118 Units and 89 on-site parking spaces.

This location is adjacent Polar Wave Lofts, a redevelopment offering two on-site parking spaces per unit.

By my calculation, the proposal is at least a 70 parking spaces short. On the average, each apartment will have one car and a third of the apartments, or more, will have a second car.

Current residents of the area already share street parking with South Broadway Athletic Club at 2301 S 7th, D’s Place at 900 Barton, Good Luck Bar & Grill at 2501 S 9th, and Humboldt School at 2516 S 9th.

This development proposal for a 118-Unit apartment building without adequate parking will place additional burden on current residents of the area already accommodating a heavy mix of business within a residential neighborhood. The demolition permit should be denied and the developer asked to reapply with more adequate on-site parking.

– Marie Ceselski

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Sharon Carpenter Did Not Invent The Internets

sqchalloween2Sharon Carpenter Did Not Create New Software And Computer Technology Systems. If that were true, the former St. Louis City Recorder of Deeds would have patents in her name or pending. She does not because she does not know any programming languages essential to developing software.

What Carpenter did do was form a partnership with Fidlar Technologies, many years ago, and never revisited the arrangement: never evaluated it, never shopped around to see if a better deal could be had. The contract with that vendor is up in 2015.

When Carpenter says she has been “setting the standard” for technology “that has been replicated by recorders throughout the country,” what she really means is that she does not have a problem with the Recorder’s Office being a guinea pig for the company’s products; she enjoys helping promote their services; and she does not think it odd that the office paid to visit the vendor.

From August 2009 to May 2014, Carpenter spent $2265.84 from the Recorder’s Preservation and Technology Account to attend meetings with Fidlar, and even buy lunch for the vendor’s representative.
$50.96 08/25/2009 Fidlar User Meeting, Franklin County MO
$538.60 04/12/2010 Fidlar User Meeting, no location
$239.00 04/30/2012 Fidlar Education Symposium, Rock Island IL
$604.94 05/15/2013 Fidlar User Meeting, Rock Island IL
$68.89 06/03/2013 pizza for Fidlar Meeting, St. Louis MO
$166.90 10/04/2013 two staffers, Fidlar Meeting, Rocheport MO
$594.55 05/21/2014 Fidlar Meeting, Rock Island IL

It’s true that while Carpenter was Recorder, the office became the second one in Missouri to accept e-Recordings. But that’s very old news. It happened a decade ago and mainly is a service of benefit to volume recording customers, such as mortgage companies.

Carpenter says that she “will continue to work with national organizations to provide secure and easy access to land record information,” but she makes no commitment to provide free online index searches for land deeds and marriage records, the sort of service that would be used by many people. She believes that customers should pay for online access via a subscription service established by Fidlar. Publicly, she says security concerns have to be resolved. That never made any sense to me because other Missouri first class counties have been providing the public with free online access to indexing for years.

New Recorder of Deeds Jennifer Florida managed to provide customers with free online searches of Land Records within a short time of taking office. Might Carpenter get rid of the service if she is elected on Tuesday?

Sharon Carpenter Did Not Develop A Property Fraud Protection System. The service was developed by, is owned by, and provided free of charge, by Fidlar.

Over Thirty Years Ago, Sharon Carpenter  worked to create a fund for Domestic Violence Victims Shelters.  Over A Dozen Years Ago, Sharon Carpenter worked to consolidate Birth and Death Records services with the Recorder. From 1996-2009, Sharon Carpenter served on Governor Mel Carnahan’s Missouri Commission On Intergovernmental Relations.  Those are facts. Very old facts.

What has she done lately? We’ll find out in 1-2 weeks when the Comptroller’s Audit of Carpenter’s Recorder Office is released.

– Marie Ceselski