Ella Jones: My First Six Months

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Editor’s note: Out of respect for the mayor, we are publishing this as it was submitted to us, without edit or comment.

June 16, 2020 thru December 31, 2020


My goal is to share a panoramic view of my first six months serving as Mayor of Ferguson. I was sworn into office during the COVID-19 pandemic, which came with minimal instructions on how to navigate the best approach for health and welfare of the citizens. We are now coming out of the pandemic thanks to the first responders with their acts of courage and kindness toward the citizens.


Many people are inquiring as to what I have accomplished during my term in office. My goal in this article is to share with the citizens HIGHLIGHTS of the work that I have accomplished during the first 6 months in office. Much of what is presented is abbreviated in order to conserve space and because some items are governed by legal matters therefore can’t be shared publicly.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Provided food and PPE to Ferguson’s citizen who needed assistance and help to provide food and PPE to over 80,000 people with the Urban League.
  • Lead the 2020 Census effort in North County after being appointed by County Executive Dr. Sam Page to the County Completed Count Committee. Partner with Emerson Family YMCA Complete Count Committee to be kept abreast of all the latest information about the 2020 Census. All of my efforts were focused in Ferguson.
  • Worked with St. Louis County Health Department to ensure that Ferguson received mask for the community each month. The masks were distributed from the City Hall, the Community Center and the Police Station to all citizens who needed them.
  • Jeff Blume, Interim City Manager and I held a meeting with County Executive Sam Page and later took him on a tour to Southeast Ferguson apartment complexes and a drive on Elizabeth Avenue to experience the poor conditions of the county road. We have received results from that meeting.
  • Matt Unrein, Public Works Director and I completed an assessment of the city’s infrastructure and the houses targeted for demolition in all wards.
  • Engaged in conversation with the 42nd President of the United States Bill Clinton about the future of Ferguson.
  • Planned and assisted in the coordinator with Emerson Family YMCA for the Backpack Give-a-Way wat 4 Ferguson parks – each park received 350 backpacks, a total of 1,400 backpacks were given away.
    *Declared State of Emergency and sent an announcement as to how it would affect Ferguson’s citizens.
  • Guest Commencement Speaker for Fall 2020 University Missouri at St. Louis, (UMSL) Commencement
    http://www.umsl.ed
    then press Commencement UMSL 2020
    *Engaged in meetings with Jeff Blume, Interim City Manager to develop a plan for Burlington to acquire the old Toys R US building by implementing a Community Improvement District.
    *Participated in meetings and videos with mayors, business owners and stakeholders plans and marketing strategics associated with the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity,
    (RAISE) grant.

Month by Month Accounting
By sharing this abbreviated monthly accounting, you will come to know that the citizens are always my top priority. All highlights are grouped by months.
-Attended the federal status hearings and contributed my commentary.
-Attended and participated in the St. Louis Metro Housing Task Force Meetings, the Our Ferguson Steering Committee Meetings, The Avant Rebranding Committee Meetings, the Completed Count Committee Meetings for the 2020 Census, and the Mercy Clinic Meetings.
-Attended all St. Louis County Meetings for COVID-19 relief and the CARES Act.
-Halpin Park meeting with the Emerson Family YMCA.

June 2020

  • Received calls from citizens and political leaders with congratulatory remarks.
  • Responded to seniors seeking information on home repairs-by referring those citizens to Community Action Agency of St. Louis County, (CAASTL) for Weatherization, Rebuilding Together, and banks that are known for forgivable loans.
  • Assisted with the Senior’s Foodbank on the 3rd Tuesday of each month.
  • Assessment of the infrastructure and continue corresponding with St. Louis County about the list of houses submitted for demolition.
  • Received and responded to corresponds concerning potholes, speeding in neighborhoods, Pitbull dogs and more. All calls and emails were referred to the City Manager.
  • Attended virtual meetings such as the Missouri Municipal League Environment, Energy, and Sustainable Development Committee that I have served on for 4 years.
  • Participated in the Juneteenth Celebration held by the Human Rights Commission in January Wabash Park

July 2020

  • Received and responded to citizens’ calls and emails regarding vacant properties, speeding, over- grown grass, shots fired and more. Like always I listened to their concerns and assured them that the City Manager will have the right staff person to get in contact with them.
  • Participated in the Kinloch Cleanup.
  • Assisted with Seniors’ Foodbank held at FYI Bay.
  • Attended the EPA’s Local Government Advisory Committee’s meeting concerning the DRAFT REPORT: Risk Communication
  • Communicated with Mayors concerning COVID-19 and reported our efforts at the Honorable Rochelle Walton-Gray Community Out-Reach Coordinator for St. Louis County meetings.
  • Participated in Washington University Practicum Students meetings with City Manager.
  • Attended the Certificate of Needs Hearing for Emerald Heights LLC, in Jefferson City. Senator Gina Walsh made the motion that EHLLC receive the Certificate of Needs for 800 Chambers.
    August 2020
    -Received several calls from citizens that trash was not picked up on scheduled days. The issue was resolved.
    -Received and responded to calls concerning speeding; shots fired; increase in traffic accidents and more – see FPD monthly report to Council.
  • Coorindatored Senior ‘s Foodbank – FYI Bay.
  • Demolition of Houses- Continued working with Matt Unrein, PWD, contacted Councilwoman Rita Days and County Executive Dr. Sam Page for support in the matter.
    -Attended the Michael Brown Memorial Event in Canfield Green.

September 2020
-Cleaned up Ferguson Ave. with Councilwoman Fran Griffin, Latasha
-Received and replied to citizen’s concerns regarding speeding, cars broken into, property dispute with neighbors.
-Held conversations with citizens to serve on the Mayor’s Task Force
-Attended rally and press conference at the Urban League for 2020 Census.
-Attended the Ameren Community Voice Event via Zoom.
-Mayor’s Town Hall Meeting

October 2020
-Corresponded with and resolved citizens calls concerning 18 wheelers parking overnight at the abandoned Toys R Us building.
-Received and replied to concerns about speeding; shots fired; especially in Canfield Green Apartments, and more.
-EPA Meeting via Zoom

  • Metro Mayors Meeting via Zoom

November 2020
-Received and replied to seniors’ questions about where to receive vaccinations for the coronavirus.
-Dealt with calls about vehicles without license plates.
-Attended Flu shot distribution with Adopt A Block in Oakmont Townhouse Complex in Ward 3.
-Attended the Dental Care Mobile Van for Children program on the Urban League parking lot.

December 2020
-Received and replied to calls from citizens about vaccinations, speeding shots fired, trees falling, and more.
-Responded to a call from the Jennings’ Mayor and subsequently attended meetings via Zoom with Ferguson’s Staff, Jennings’s Staff and S. Louis County Department of Transportation, concerning street closures in Jennings in Ward 3.

  • As the Missouri representative for the Environmental Protection Agency, (EPA) Local Government Advisory Committee a was meeting held vial Zoom to review a draft report for the Risk Communication.
  • First Christmas Address

The second half of my first year, January through June will be in the September issue of this paper.

Thank you,
Mayor Ella Jones