Brentwood lawyer, 16-year resident is on P&Z Commission
By Steve Bowman
Editor, The Brentwood Spirit
David Plufka, a lawyer who has served on the City of Brentwood’s Planning and Zoning Commission for eight years, has announced that he is running for Ward 1 Alderman in the April 7 election. As of Feb. 1 he is running against Hart Nelson, who is Director of Public Affairs at the St. Louis Regional Chamber. The Ward 1 seat is held by Anthony Harper, who is not seeking reelection.
According to Plufka’s election website, he is running on four issues: preserving neighborhoods, promoting viable redevelopment, supporting the Brentwood School District and improving the city’s financial oversight.
Following is text from his website on those four issues. Below that is his formal statement announcing his candidacy, with subheadings added by the Brentwood Spirit.
“Because we derive nearly half our revenue from sales tax, we are challenged to provide opportunities for redevelopment without sacrificing the peace and sanctity of those neighborhood homes abutting commercial corridors.”
“The Brentwood Blvd. and Manchester Rd. corridors and Hanley Industrial present a number of different challenges to redevelopment. Flooding, parcel depth and neighborhood encroachment are all important issues with which we must contend.”
“Brentwood schools are among the highest performing in the county. As alderman I will look forward to promoting this performance and supporting residential redevelopment that brings affordable, family-oriented housing stock to our city so more families with school-age kids have the opportunity to call Brentwood home.”
“Because nearly half of our city’s revenue is derived from sales tax receipts, we must steadfastly promote Brentwood as a desirable commercial destination and diligently review our financial practices. The 2013 audit and 90-day update identified troubling lapses in procedure resulting in additional debt to the city. I support our current plan to increase reserve funds to 34 percent by 2016.”
Statement by the Candidate David Plufka
Alderman, Ward 1, Brentwood
David Plufka has lived in Brentwood since 1999. In 2006 he served on the Steering Committee for the Brentwood Comprehensive Plan and has contributed to the effort currently underway to update that plan. “This is such a useful tool to guide future city development.” David says. “I look forward to hearing what Brentwood residents hope for in their parks, neighborhoods, public spaces and commercial districts.”
If elected alderman, David intends to regularly solicit opinions from Ward 1 residents and make sure their voices are heard. “I love talking about our great city and welcome the input,” David says.
Planning and Zoning
Since 2007, David has served as a commissioner on Brentwood’s Planning and Zoning Board. In that time he helped shape commercial redevelopment in Brentwood including:
• Hanley Station
• Fontbonne University
• Brentwood School District HQ and early Childhood Development Center relocation
• The Meridian
• Westlake ACE Hardware
• Brentwood Promenade expansion
• Drury Inn
In addition David helped to update Brentwood’s sign code and ordinances related to the Federal Flood Insurance Program. He is anxious to bring that experience to bear as Alderman for Ward 1.
Lawyer for 28 years
David is a graduate of Ripon College in Wisconsin, and Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul, Minn. He has practiced law for 28 years: first for Evans & Dixon representing insurance company interests in litigation, and for the last 23 years with Keefe & Griffiths PC as a partner representing injured workers. David is “AV” rated by Martindale (the peer review service’s highest rating for ethics and expertise). In 2014 he was awarded the “Distinguished Lawyer Award” by Kid’s Chance of Missouri and the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis.
David and Marie have been married 29 years. They have two children. Their daughter Brit is a graduate of Truman State University and works in Dallas. Conner, their son, is set to graduate in May from the College of Charleston in South Carolina. Marie and David have two rescue dogs: Prudence and Houdini.
Supporting Brentwood schools
David and Marie are both products of public school education, and he understands the importance of a great school district. “Brentwood SD is one of the highest performing school districts in the county,” David says. “Keeping that school well funded and well run is vitally important to the future of our city.”
“Brentwood residents enjoy a high level of services from police, trash and recycling, tree trimming, snow removal, EMS, fire, and roadway and sidewalk maintenance funded almost completely by sales tax revenue. According to the 2014 budget, nearly half of our city’s general fund revenue is derived from sales tax receipts. Careful attention must be paid to the ongoing viability of commercial redevelopment to ensure that future stream of revenue. In addition, our elected leaders must work to maintain our reserve fund balances (projected to be 34 percent by 2016) to guard against extreme financial times.”
And financial oversight is more important than ever right now. The May 2013 audit identified several instances of payroll and additional compensation paid in violation of federal law and contrary to best accounting practices. Also, record keeping on expenditures was rated as poor. The follow-up report by the state auditor in October 2013 showed nearly every recommendation they made was either being implemented or partially implemented by the city to correct these lapses. “While that is great news for Brentwood residents, I will work as Alderman to see these changes in administration and procedure are continued.” Plufka says.
Professional conduct at meetings
Finally, Plufka pledges to bring professional conduct to aldermanic deliberations. He says, “We have had many spirited debates in P & Z over the years, but we were always respectful with each other and to the applicants before us. I will be diligent, responsive, and professional in my conduct as Ward 1 Alderman.”
Check out David, his family, and his views on the issues at: www.plufkaforalderman.com.