PeopleThe SouthSider

Arnowitz faces two newcomers in the 12th Ward

PRINCETON HEIGHTS – Incumbent Alderman Larry Arnowitz is facing opposition from two residents of his 12th Ward, Cassandra L. DeClue, 35, and Derrick Neuner, 29. 

In the order of how they filed, here is information about the three candidates:

A 35-year veteran employee of city departments ranging from the treasurer’s office to the sheriff department to the license collector’s office, Arnowitz first was elected to the Board of Aldermen in 2011. “I think I’m very responsive when my constituents call me,” he said. 

He points to his accomplishments since he took the office.

“We’ve had a lot of development in our ward, with houses being bought and rebuilt and sold,” Arnowitz said. 

A $1.3 million project to repave and add new curbing sideways and lighting on Germania Street from Interstate 55 west to Gravois has just finished. Arnowitz said he wants to finish redoing main streets in the ward in the next four years, along with alleys. He also wants to install speed bumps and LED lighting throughout the ward and to finish getting main streets done in the next four years.

Looking at citywide issues, he wants to see wiser spending. On the proposed city-county merger, he said he could see it happening someday, but he’d like to understand the facts about it.  

Arnowitz said he’s against privatization of St. Louis Lambert International Airport for now, but added that we’re not getting enough information. He would love to see a public vote on it. 

Neuner, an athletic trainer for St. Luke’s Hospital at St. Louis Priory School, said “I’m passionate about the success of the city, and I don’t believe that the current leadership is putting the interests of the citizens at the forefront of the interests of the citizens of the city.” 

He has lived in the Princeton Heights neighborhood since 2016.

He said that Arnowitz is a nice person, but that the two men see the job differently. “I imagine more for St. Louis. I’m not afraid to make changes to the current system,” he said. “I think if the job of the alderman is to make sure that the trash is picked up at that time, Larry’s fine at that job.” But he sees the role as dealing with the bigger issues.

 A key issue for him is the possible privatization of the St. Louis Lambert International Airport. “I don’t see how privatizing the airport works toward making St. Louis safer, more affordable and more equitable for its citizens,” Neuner said.

Speaking of the possibility of a city-county merger, he said the best idea is to annex the city into the county. 

DeClue, who also lives in the Princeton Heights neighborhood, said she’s running because she wants to get more involved. She said that her position as an administrator at glass repair company Gravois Glass would allow her to take time off when she has to take care of her duties as an alderwoman. 

“I would like to see more accessibility. I would like to see more transparency,” she said. 

DeClue said she would like to see more on how the various plans for city-county merger would work. 

Speaking of tax incentives, she said the city has to offer incentives to be marketable. But there has to be a way to make sure the money is spent properly, she said. 

Privatizing the airport wouldn’t necessarily be beneficial, DeClue said.

Arnowitz has been a mainstay in the community for a long time, DeClue said, but she believes she can be an important member of the aldermanic board. “I think I’m someone who can grow with the city, and I’m invested here,” she said. “I live and I work right here in the community.”

Jim Merkel Born and raised in the St. Louis area, Jim Merkel covered communities throughout the area from 1991 to 2013 for the old Suburban Journals of Greater St. Louis. He is the author of five books about the Gateway City published by Reedy Press. The latest is Growing Up St. Louis: Looking Back Through the Decades. He and his wife, Lorraine, live in the Bevo Mill neighborhood of south St. Louis with Miss Jenny the Cat. For more about Jim, visit

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