To the Landmarks Commission,
First of all, there seems to be vast confusion over how any kind of Certificate of Appropriateness is issued, the most recent meeting of 7/16 illustrates this confusion perfectly. We believe a good hard look at how Certificate information is relayed to the public would make a vast difference; perhaps mailing information to new owners of historic buildings is in order, as well as a once a year mailing to everyone that lives in the district to make them aware that there is a procedure. If a mailing is too onerous, publishing procedures in the Herald would certainly be an alternative. Most municipalities have permitting procedures on their websites, perhaps this could be done as well with historic permitting; it seems as though the whole Certificate of Appropriateness issue does not even seem to be clear to some of the Commission members, as well as what appropriate materials are.
Mr. Luttrell brought up a good point with his offhand comment: “Maybe you can help us try to fix this problem.”
The circa 1973 building on Market that Dr. Odneal replaced windows in recently seems to be being treated in the same historic manner as the Bolduc. Mr. Myers and Ms Koetting say they have no issue with the windows, Mr. Myers goes on to point out that the contractor should have come in prior to get permission.
Mr. Luttrell jumps in with both feet and proceeds to berate the doctor and make hyperbolic statements, such as “We’re backing up approving something that somebody took a very big chance of us not approving” and “Where do you think, do you think the owner, you, are at fault for not knowing the procedure or do you think the contractor should have told you?”
On a 1973 building? A building where the windows of the same nature as the originals were replaced, in the name of energy efficiency and cost effectiveness?
While we are on the subject of Mr. Luttrell, we would also like to add that statements he has made certainly do not seem to be the opinion of the entire Commission, but such statements are not refuted. Silence on the part of the Commission is looked upon as tacit approval, does the Commission not realize this?
Chastising citizens of Sainte Genevieve for all to see with such a heavy hand does not help Mr. Luttrell’s public profile, nor that of the other members of the Commission. One cannot help but mentally contrast the treatment of Dr. Odneal with the treatment of the new owner of the home on Zielger Street that spoke at the 7/16 meeting, or with how Jim Beckerman was treated during his presentation.
We would like to thank the Landmarks Commission for the tireless work they do on behalf of the City of Sainte Genevieve for what must surely be a thankless job some days.
In closing, we have a word of advice for Mr. Luttrell: treat everyone that comes before the Commission with the respect that you would wish to be treated with, and think twice before speaking.
Gretchen Wolf-Yahnig, Silver Springs, FL
Valerie Holifield, Ste. Genevieve, MO