By Melissa Buckley, Fort Leonard Wood Public Affairs Office
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (March 28, 2023) — Fort Leonard Wood’s newly elected community mayors were introduced Tuesday at the quarterly housing town hall, hosted by U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood leaders.
Col. Anthony Pollio, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood commander, recognized last year’s outgoing mayors, then announced the incoming ones. This year’s neighborhood representatives are Sarah Saalman for Eagle Point, Brian Wimer for Woodlands, Eric Hawes for North Stonegate, Howie Paulino for South Leiber Heights, Angela Chrisman for Piney Hills and Brian Bolton for Piney Estates.
Sgt. 1st Class Brian Wimer, the 35th Engineer Battalion NCO in charge of operations, said he wanted to run for mayor to make it easier for his community members to reach out for help.
“We live far away from our families. My family is back home in Wisconsin. Our neighbors here become our family,” Wimer said. “I want to be there for them when they need help with a work order or need a point of contact for an issue.”
Pollio also announced Fort Leonard Wood’s housing partner, Balfour Beatty Communities, is hiring four new staff members.
“We asked the Balfour Beatty team to hire new staff to help out with customer service, quality control and scheduling work orders,” Pollio said.
According to Jason Williams, BBC’s operations director here, two new employees are being added to the leasing office and two to the maintenance department.
“One of the first people we are hiring is a full-time receptionist. This way, we will get all of your phone calls and there will always be somebody at the front desk. Another position is a new leasing agent. Right now, we have 1,800 houses and only six leasing agents trying to manage that. With the additional leasing agent this will allow them to rotate, so that somebody is always in the office,” Williams said.
A service coordinator is being added to the maintenance department to help resolve work orders and a new maintenance technician will be hired to inspect homes before new residents see them, according to Williams.
Ron Hestness, BBC’s facility director, said a new landscaping company has been contracted and will start mowing in April.
“On April 17, they will start a four-day weekly mowing schedule,” Hestness said.
The town hall was opened up to resident questions, and recent water outages was brought up. Pollio said there is a good reason for them.
“Previously, the government managed their own utilities. The water system is now being managed by a contractor. American Water is upgrading the infrastructure and that is why there is a large amount of work on water mains and pipes,” Pollio said. “I think of it as a good thing, but it does create inconveniences. Emergency water outages can’t be helped. For the scheduled ones, you should have better predictability.”
A topic discussed in a previous mayors’ meeting dealt with traffic on post. According to Master Sgt. Edgar Arnall, with the Directorate of Emergency Services, a traffic study is going to be conducted. They will be looking at signage, traffic flow and crosswalks.
“We are going to look at the data to help us decide things like if intersections warrant a stop sign or yield sign,” Arnall said.
Besides the quarterly housing town halls, another way for residents to voice concerns and get information is the walking town halls. According to Pollio, now that the weather is warming up, they will start back up next month.
“We will walk through a different neighborhood each month. All you have to do is walk out your front door and talk to us,” Pollio said.
About Fort Leonard Wood
Fort Leonard Wood is a thriving and prosperous installation that has evolved from a small basic training post more than 80 years ago to a premier Army Center of Excellence that trains nearly 80,000 military and civilians each year.
Fort Leonard Wood is home to the U.S Army Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and three U.S. Army schools: the U.S. Army Engineer School; U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School; and the U.S. Army Military Police School. In addition to training engineer, CBRN and military police specialties for the Army, Fort Leonard Wood also provides gender-integrated in-processing and Basic Combat Training for new Soldiers.
Fort Leonard Wood also hosts and trains with the largest Marine Corps Detachment and Air Force Squadron on any Army installation as well as a large Navy construction detachment.
More information about Fort Leonard Wood is at: https://home.army.mil/wood/index.php/about/mission