Maplewood Council Member Missed Meeting, States Food Truck Position on Facebook

Council member Shawn Faulkingham was at a Boy Scout camp last week and missed the meeting. He made a statement on his Facebook page.

Maplewood city council member Shawn Faulkingham was out of town on a Boy Scout camping trip when the council discussed food trucks last week.

Because he couldn’t contribute to the council meeting, Faulkingham posted a statement on his Facebook page. He also spoke with Patch on the phone.

He wasn’t happy to have missed the discussion, especially considering he has since stated his support for food trucks, and only two out of the six present at the meeting last week agree with him.

“Fundamentally its one of those things where, I can’t stop a porn shop from coming to Maplewood, why would I want to stop food trucks, which I think would add more to the city,” he told Patch.

He said about five years ago the city blocked tattoo shops, which he voted for, while , which sells pornography, was allowed in Maplewood. He said the current mayor, James White, was not mayor then.

"I don’t think it’s in our best interest, longterm, to deny businesses." He said telling a business it can’t come to Maplewood because existing businesses say it might hurt their business isn’t right.

“A free economy is a free economy,” he said.

Food trucks would need to be regulated, he said. “We need to limit hours of operation and where you’re going to be. I have no problem with that,” Faulkingham said.

City Manager Martin Corcoran said it would take four council members, a simple majority, to put the issue back on the table for discussion. Faulkingham said he might mention it in the next meeting, June 26, 7:30 p.m.

Following is Faulkingham’s post on his Facebook page:

Food Truck decision by Council:

My vote for Food Trucks would have been Yes. (Unfortunately I was at Boy Scout summer camp last week.) Voting against a business to come to Maplewood, or any community for that matter, smacks of protectionism. Government should not hold the right to decide whether a business is allowed as long as it is legal by county, state and federal laws. Government should hold the right on regulating where it might go and hours of operation, etc.

We have shops in Maplewood that sell pornography, yet they won’t allow food trucks? The businesses of Maplewood don’t want it, and I don’t blame them; who wants more competition. But that is not how a capitalist economy works. Protecting businesses from competition is what they do in other countries that have state-run businesses. This country is founded upon principles of freedom and the economy of this country is founded upon capitalistic principles, or the ”Free Market”, if you will. Competition is good, and will make our businesses better.

And don’t get me wrong; the businesses in Maplewood are wonderful. I frequent as many as I can and support them in all of their endeavors. But that does not mean I am going to “protect” them by not allowing a particular type of business to open up. Regulating businesses on location, limits on age, hours, etc. is ok.

I don’t want a shop that specifically sells pornography in downtown Maplewood and I’m sure you don’t either; however, we don’t stop them from opening a business in Maplewood. (We have a couple of businesses that sell it I believe.)

Food trucks would be a great addition for the City of Maplewood. They would add to the eclectic flavor of our community and our philosophy of supporting a wonderful place to open a business for “mom and pop” type businesses. I say bring them in, regulate the places they can operate and perhaps even hours of operation.

But to say they can’t come here, period, is not what I believe to be Maplewood is about.


Lincoln Douglas June 21, 2012 at 01:30 PM
Well put, Mr. Faulkingham.
Patti Johnson June 21, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Totally agree with Mr. Faulkingham.
Jill Schwieger June 21, 2012 at 03:42 PM
I hope you will have the opportunity for your voice to be heard, and the subject revisited at a council meeting very soon. I agree with your stand. I don't believe Maplewood can have "too many" businesses of any kind!
William June 21, 2012 at 04:22 PM
I'm personally in favor of food trucks and agree that the city doesn't need to be in the role of protecting existing markets for existing businesses. I agree wholeheartedly with Councilman Faulkingham's position in this regard! But I was a little confused by this quote: "I don’t want a shop that specifically sells pornography in downtown Maplewood and I’m sure you don’t either; however, we don’t stop them from opening a business in Maplewood." Is this true? Do we as a community really mean to say that anything is fair game only so-long as it's otherwise legal? There is an interesting article in today's on-line version of the Post Dispatch about the problems police are having on Washington Avenue http://bit.ly/LqY8IG. Particularly interesting is the accompanying crime map with pins for each recently reported crime. St. Louis police are desperately trying to find a solution to noise, loitering, solicitation, unaccompanied minors, trespass, gunfire, assault, larcencies, etc and which are directly related to the evolving nature of the Washington street district. All the business there are legal, certainly, but collectively they are creating an atmosphere that breeds problems. Venues in the Loop and Washington Street are entertaining places to visit, but I would not be excited about living in adjacent streets. Surely we're not suggesting that we want Maplewood's business garden to just grow as it will, without some sort of rational long-term plan?


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