The Communications Committee of the Soulard Restoration Group has announced plans to take over the front page of the Soulard/City Information Network (CIN) web site, substituting a different front page to direct visitors to the SRG site. The Soulard/CIN site has been tended by Clark Rowley for almost a decade.
Billy Tomber, head of the committee, board member and editor of The Soulard Renaissance, commented on Friday, Sept. 4 that "when people want information about Soulard, then our site should come up." He added that "our organization speaks for the vast majority of Soulard residents. I can say that with great assurance," and he explains that taking over the Soulard/CIN front page has recently been added to the objectives of the Communications Committee.
"Control of the Soulard/CIN site is desired by the membership of the Soulard Restoration Group," he stated. "The present Soulard/CIN site is not representative of the neighborhood," he believes. "It has served the neighborhood, but not any longer," he says.
Under Billy’s plan, the front page of the SRG website at http://www.soulard.org will be substituted for the existing front page on the CIN site at http://stlouis.missouri.org/soulard. Under this plan, all visitors to the city sponsored site will be directed to the pages of the SRG site. Without a directory, access to the remaining pages of the Soulard/CIN site will be difficult or they will be deleted.
The switch was made in the middle of August after Billy e-mailed the CIN staff requesting the change. Clark was never told about the plan, nor was he consulted by Billy or anybody in the SRG. When the page change cropped up, Clark changed it back, thinking it was some practical joke. When Billy learned of the switch, he contacted the CIN staff and was told he should talk with Clark.
When asked why he had not contacted the person who created the site, Billy said that he did not know that Clark was the webmaster of the Soulard/CIN site. "When the Communications Committee met in July, we decided that this was one of our objectives" - to take over the Soulard/CIN site. He noted that the Soulard Restoration Group speaks for the neighborhood and is "the largest group in Soulard."
He boasted that the SRG site receives contributions from everyone - "our site is open to everyone," and he added that if "anyone does not like something about the SRG, then they can join the organization and work to change it. We are a democratic organization."