From a global pandemic to social unrest across the nation, Ladue – like communities around the country – has endured a trying 2020. LN recently caught up with Ladue Mayor Nancy Spewak about the unprecedented past year and what she envisions for the local community’s future in 2021.
What are your thoughts on how the local community and businesses have managed amid the pandemic?
I am impressed at how we have stood together as a community and supported each other. Our residents have been respectful and understanding of the St. Louis County COVID-19 restrictions placed upon City of Ladue employees, who continue to deliver the highest level of services even with these restrictions. I am equally impressed with our local businesses who have adapted to these imposed restrictions and continue to offer their goods and services in limited capacities. Our residents have been very supportive of our shops and our restaurants during such a difficult time.
What are some of the city’s major accomplishments of 2020?
The City of Ladue received the GFOA (Government Finance Officers Association) Award, which is the highest honor awarded to government finance for transparency and presentation of budget documents. We formed a Ladue Cellular Service Advisory Committee, comprised of residents who are making great strides in our efforts to improve cell service. And we have continued to provide the highest level of service with regard to police, fire, EMS, public works, building and administrative services during this health crisis, involving remote workspaces, scheduling adjustments and virtual meetings.
What are some of the major challenges facing Ladue in 2021?
The City of Ladue must maintain and enhance its independence as the premier community in the region while finding ways to collaborate with neighboring municipalities and contribute to the St. Louis region as a whole. We must continue to be a top workplace so we may continue to attract the top talent in all city departments. Also, with tax revenues down due to the pandemic, we need to continue to focus on innovative ideas to maximize our current financial situation and, at the same time, prepare the community for a promising future.
What is your favorite thing about the City of Ladue?
The people! We are a close community, and I love hearing from and interacting with our residents and business owners. I really believe that the city council and I are the current caretakers for the future, so we need to always move forward with deliberate action and thoughtful planning.
What are your plans and hopes for 2021?
I look forward to the Comprehensive Plan Review advancing to our Zoning and Planning Commission with a commitment to our strong zoning laws and Ladue’s unique character while incorporating the changing needs of our community. We are working to make the community more conducive to walking, as people are becoming more active than ever. We continue to work aggressively at fostering healthy green public spaces in the city. We have taken a leadership role in our community policing efforts, and we will continue to focus on keeping our officers present in our neighborhoods and business districts. We also want to continue to encourage a sense of community through civic events and other partnerships.
What do you see for the future of Ladue?
I see a community that continues to evolve and respond to residents’ needs. We have established families who have lived in the community for a long time, and we have young people and families who move to Ladue from all over the region and the country to enjoy the sense of community and the great schools. We are a community that works together to solve problems and cares for each other – and I’m really proud of that.
City of Ladue, 9345 Clayton Road, Ladue, 314-993-3439, cityofladue-mo.gov