U City Resident Carol Wofsey Running for City Council Seat
Carol Wofsey says she's a hard worker, and is open-minded and will do her homework.
After a long legal career and work on other's political campaigns, longtime University City resident Carol Wofsey is gearing up to make her own leap into politics.
She told University City Patch that she will run for city council in Ward 1.
"I’m in. I'm putting my hat in the ring. This is totally a volunteer campaign," said Wofsey who has lived in University City for almost 30 years.
"I've been active in a variety of things in University City since we moved in," she said.
She was PTO president at Flynn Park Elementary twice, sat on the committee that did the interview one year when the school was hiring a new principal and sat on two board of education committees. One was a bond exploratory committee, which she co-chaired. The other committee looked at why families did or did not use U City schools.
Most recently, Wofsey served on the Garden Tour committee for U City in Bloom, helping organize volunteers for the tour. She also does some tutoring for University City's Women in Charge, which offers a GED program.
Wofsey and her husband have three children, and they have one grandchild. She was a corporate business lawyer for many years and is now retired.
What prompted Wofsey to run for city council?
Wofsey joked that in her "old age," she's become interested in politics.
"When I had kids I was more interested in school politics obviously, but the last few years I've become interested in political thought." Wofsey was a volunteer coordinator for President Barack Obama's general election campaign in Missouri.
Wofsey said after her work on the Obama campaign, she turned her attention to local issues. She volunteered on Mayor Shelley Welsch's mayoral campaign. She started regularly attending city council meetings and commission meetings to get a broader idea of what is going on in the community.
"From there it sort of evolved," she said, adding that for the past two years people have been urging her to run for city council.
"It's a big commitment of time and effort and emotion. I've thought about it very hard," she said.
Wofsey said she's also running because she feels she has something to offer.
"I'm very hard working. I do my homework. I'm interested in the issues. I'm open-minded. I'm committed. I’m really interested in what other people have to say."
Wofsey said as part of her buildup to running for city council, she has been out visiting neighborhoods in University City to get a sense of what residents are talking about.
According to Wofsey, residents are concerned about the following:
- no additional taxes
- safety in regard to fire and police
- core services, primarily streets and trees
How would Wofsey have voted?
Wofsey said if she had been on the council she probably would have voted in favor of approving additional funds for a new firehouse at the corner of Vernon and Westgate avenues in University City. The measure passed. Wofsey's competitor, Councilmember Terry Crow, voted in favor of allocating the firehouse money.
"I think the administration made a reasonable argument that we needed a new firehouse," Wofsey said.
Issues on the horizon
The following are issues Wofsey expects the city to tackle in the coming years.
"We have to continue to have a balanced budget," Wofsey said. "We have to watch our finances carefully and accommodate all of our needs for core services."
Wofsey said University City has spent the last couple of years looking at expenses and reorganizing, but at some point the city is going to have to look "at the revenue side of the picture."
"Our revenue stream has been flat for a couple of years. It's projected to be flat," Wofsey said.
While she doesn't have a specific answer on how to handle the situation, she has “the judgment to look at it and ask the critical questions," she said.
She said instead of implementing a "one-off type scenario," the city needs to institute something more systematic. She said the city needs a master plan that looks at the city five and 10 years down the road.
"What is our revenue? How can we maximize it? Are there are other revenue sources that we can tackle? What should we be doing? We shouldn't be making these ad hoc decisions," Wofsey said.
Wofsey outlines what her priorities on the council will be:
- Make balanced budgets the rule in U City.
- Carefully manage tax dollars.
- Continue the improvements seen in city finances.
- Maintain the current level of city services, with an emphasis on protecting police and fire services.
- Promote better maintenance of streets, curbs, sidewalks and trees.
- Strengthen the relationship between City Hall and the School District of University City.
- Explore ways the city and school district can work together to save residents money through shared purchasing, facilities and programming.
- Engage residents, communicate with residents and seek their input.
- "I will be an accessible councilperson—out in the community, listening and watching," she said.