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Padberg Calls for Lower Property Taxes in the Mehlville School District

Fred Padberg is running for the Mehlville school board in April.

Fred Padberg is running for the Mehlville School District Board of Education so he can support a sales tax funding system for public schools and keep an eye on the money being spent for the district if elected.

“What I am is a property owner who is sick and tired of paying property taxes and supporting a school system that A, I’ve never participated in and B, none of my children ever did and C, I think it’d be much more equitable and make a lot more sense to relieve people of this burden of property taxes and put it into a sales tax,” he said in an interview with Patch. 

The candidate wants Mehlville Superintendent Eric Knost to ask state legislators to consider funding public education through a sales tax. This would solve financial problems in the district, he said.

“That way, everybody carries the burden rather than just these people who are property owners,” Padberg added.

On April 3, voters will chose to serve on the Mehlville school board for a three-year term.

Padberg also applied for the , when the board for the position.

The 70-year-old Army veteran grew up in south St. Louis and went to St. Mary’s High School. After returning from service in South Korea in 1963, Padberg went to night school at Washington University and earned a degree in architectural engineering.

In 1971, he started his own marketing and advertising firm, . The company also creates promotional materials and training programs.

Semi-retired, Padberg still works in consulting, but also owns, rents and maintains several properties.

Living in the district for more than 20 years, being a taxpayer and raising four children makes him fit to serve on the board, Padberg said. His children, who are still in the St. Louis area, range from age 37 to 45 and attended Cor Jesu, Saint Louis University High, Nerinx and CBC.

Padberg calls himself a newcomer to the governance of public education.

“I’m a new guy, I want to respect those people and listen and learn,” he said, but added that he had budgetary concerns.

“If we as the taxpayer don’t keep an eye on how these guys spend money, there’s going to be no limit. And if you don’t believe that, all you have to do is look at Congress.”

With long-term funding in mind, Padberg said the board should proceed with caution on .

“They may have the money today, but there’s a real possibility they’re not going to have it tomorrow,” he said. “If the money’s not there next year, then what do you do? Say, ‘Well, keep your kids at home?’”

Padberg previously served as President of the Home and School Organization for Our Lady of Sorrows in south St. Louis. There, he organized open forum meetings between teachers and parents.

While he said serving on that board made him appreciate teachers, Padberg did not respond to the .

“I’m a conservative; they don’t want to talk to me,” he said. “I don’t think, from their point of view, that I’d have much to contribute in a positive vein. I’m not anti-union, I just don’t want anybody—I don’t care who they are—breaking the bank.”

Read the about the other candidates:



Paul Anderson March 22, 2012 at 12:49 PM
Sure is not my candidate of choice!!!! no other comments necessary, he makes his own! “What I am is a property owner who is sick and tired of paying property taxes and supporting a school system that A, I’ve never participated in and B, none of my children ever did and C, I think it’d be much more equitable and make a lot more sense to relieve people of this burden of property taxes and put it into a sales tax,” While he said serving on that board made him appreciate teachers, Padberg did not respond to the Mehlville National Education Association’s questionnaire for candidate endorsements. “I’m a conservative; they don’t want to talk to me,” he said. “I don’t think, from their point of view, that I’d have much to contribute in a positive vein. I’m not anti-union, I just don’t want anybody—I don’t care who they are—breaking the bank.”
Christine Stewart Mehigh March 22, 2012 at 01:07 PM
Mr. Padberg must not be aware that you cannot put your children first if you put your teachers last. Mehlville teachers are at the lower end of the pay scale in reference to the rest of St. Louis county schools, so I fail to see how dropping the tax rate could possibly help our children. We already see excellent teachers leaving to take positions at higher paying districts each year. Perhaps Mr. Padberg might have learned this had he not been so quick to dismiss a meeting with Mehlville teachers.
Liz March 22, 2012 at 01:32 PM
OLS had a student enrollment of maybe 1000 during its peak in the 70s and 80s. Being president of a parent organization that made recommendations to a pastor and principal isn't remotely close to the requirements of serving on a school board that establishes policies that impact 10000 children. Additionally, renters do pay property tax through their rent. The property owner may have to write the check but that cost is passed on through rental costs. The state of Missouri recognizes that when they allow the elderly on a truly fixed income to apply for the Property Tax Credit each year. If Mr. Padberg is a property owner and owns, rents, and maintains several properties, then I'm sure he passes those tax costs on to his tenants.
Jeff Clobes March 22, 2012 at 02:30 PM
If Mr. Padberg has been a resident of the district for 20 years, why is he expressing his concerns about educational funding today? How has public education funding changed in the last 20 years? I respect Mr. Padberg's decision to educate his children in parochial schools, they are an asset to our community as well for this one simple reason, they put the needs of educating children first, a standard bearer for any candidate looking to serve on the Mehlville School Board. Mr. Padberg doesn't represent that standard.
Rachel Maddox March 22, 2012 at 03:25 PM
Is this a joke? He can't be seriously running.
D Seidel March 22, 2012 at 04:30 PM
Mr. Padberg wants the state legislature to fix our funding problems? I'd like that too. However, we've been waiting DECADES. If Mr. Padberg truly believes this, maybe he is running for the wrong office. We need school board members who can admit that the clock is ticking, students are graduating and the Missouri Legislature is failing these kids. There is no “do over” for them. We need viable solutions! If the state won't fairly fund our schools, then yes, we the people of Mehlville MUST provide. I haven't heard any viable solutions forthcoming from Mr. Padberg. He admits he doesn’t have enough information about state funding. You would think someone seeking this job would have done SOME preparation before the interview. Fedorchak and Wainz. #1 & #2 on the ballot. Both are grounded in reality, both have experience with public education and both have a vested interest – CHILDREN in the district.
Robyn Turner March 22, 2012 at 06:39 PM
One would think that at some point, there would have been some boundaries set as to who could apply for the School Board. I think you should not only be a resident of the District, but have children in it. Or have had children in it. Thats what matters the most, the CHILDREN. What is wrong with people? My parents moved us here FOR the good schools. I moved BACK here with my children so they would have the same amazing education that I was given, in our PUBLIC schools. I have no issue with anyone who chooses to send their children to a parochial school, but thats a choice. That should in no way affect our public schools.
D Seidel March 22, 2012 at 07:12 PM
Strong public schools provide an intangible asset. Yes, you can drive by the buildings, use the athletic fields, but what they provide is much more than that. Solid academic and character education benefits EVERYONE. Ask real estate specialists what sells? People buy for schools because schools envisage the community’s values. What message is SoCo sending? How else would you explain why a 800sq ft fixer upper home on a postage stamp sized lot with no garage and no basement across town is commanding a $1.5million price. It’s the schools! Private or public education is a choice. However, the way it is, you can't realize the dividends of your asset (homes/neighborhood), if you don't make the investment (supporting public schools that are available to ALL).
Bob McKitrick March 23, 2012 at 05:07 AM
If Fred Padberg is running for the Mehlville School Board because he wants to change the entire tax structure of public school funding, I would suggest he run for the Missouri State Legislature. Funding public schools through sales tax is something that would require a change in State Law -so it's not something a local Board of Education member can really have much of an impact on. Maybe he can work for Rex Sinquefield - he has lobbyists in Jefferson City that want the exact same thing that Padberg is proposing. (Funding all public entities though sales tax.)
Mike Baker March 23, 2012 at 12:53 PM
Fred: You are part of the problem, not the solution...I quote "“What I am is a property owner who is sick and tired of paying property taxes and supporting a school system that A, I’ve never participated in and B, none of my children ever did and C, I think it’d be much more equitable and make a lot more sense to relieve people of this burden of property taxes and put it into a sales tax.” This article states that you own and operate rental properties. Are those in this district? So you benefit by the value of your home / rentals based on the performance and strength of this school district. I know, here comes the part that everyone's home value has gone down, I understand it, yet even when the market was good and home values were up, you probably still complained. I was at the candidate forum, and felt you were completely unprepared and thought you started every one of your answers with a joke. Fred, this board needs people who want to get involved with improving this district as a whole, not benefit you and lower your taxes just because you never participated in this district. There are already a couple of board members out there that have their own agenda, we don't need another...I am sorry, but my vote will be for Mr. Fedorchak and Mr. Wainz. #'s 1&2 on the ballot.
Richard Kling March 29, 2012 at 08:58 PM
I went to private religious schools and my children attended them. This happened because of a CHOICE I made for my family. It is and will forever remain a CHOICE for any and all who send their children there. To my greatest fortune I find myself employed by the Mehlville district after having spent an equal amount of time teaching in the private, (Catholic), schools. I have learned there is only ONE common denominator for any successful school system, private or public, and that is the support of the dedicated parents and community for the schools. I chose to pay the extra private school tuition as well as my privilege and responsibility to pay my taxes to the community for the support of the community's resources, (schools, libraries, etc.). I watched a movie called “Wall Street” and listened to a rant about “GREED”. I relized how very greedily I wanted MY money back and to participate in paying for only those activities I chose. At this time the real blessing I have received is the ability to see that our children are our future and we have the sacred duty and responsibility to support, become involved in, and pay for their education as an entire community, not fragmented tribal entities. If we choose a private school it is a choice, not a necessity. I think Fred would agree with this, the cornerstone of the Catholic educational system is to give back to our communities.THANK YOU Mehlville parents and community for the support you have given your schools to date!!

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