FROM THE CANDIDATE
About Venki Palamand
A DISTRICT 6 NATIVE
I've been a district resident since 1978. I grew up here, and I attended schools in the Mehlville School District, where I later served on the school board. First, I was a student at Blades Elementary, before moving on to Oakville Junior High School and eventually, Oakville Senior High School. I've called this district my home for 42 years.
In 1989, I graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration. In 1994, I went on to earn a Master's Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the same.
A SMALL BUSINESS OWNER
Today, I am the proud owner of a small business, Martak Machine, which is in the metal cutting and manufacturing industry. This business has been in operation now for 37 years and is located here in the district, off of Baumgartner Road. I take pride in my business, our customers, and how we contribute to this area.
MEHLVILLE SCHOOL BOARD
I served on the Mehlville School Board for nine years, including three terms as president (2011- 2013 and 2015- 2016) and two terms as vice president (2009- 2011 and 2014- 2015). Some of the accomplishments I'm most proud of include:
Implementing a weighted grades system, which dramatically improved student performance
Rolling out tuition-free, full-day kindergarten across the district, giving 5-year-olds an additional 500 hours of student- teacher instructional time. Without a tax increase, we were able to ensure all of the district's children have an equal opportunity to succeed.
Installing solar panels on 7 schools, which saves the district money and decreases our carbon footprint. We prevented the burning of about 1.6 million pounds of coal since they were installed- that's 210,000 pounds every year!
Adding high school counselors specifically to advise students on colleges and universities
Building a $6 million auditorium, without a tax increase, which was constructed on time and slightly under budget. It has helped hundreds of students learn new skills and enhanced the district's reputation.
Dramatically improving the district's finances through back-to-back ballot measures that were overwhelmingly approved by voters, uplifting it from a district that was struggling to one that is financially stable
Fighting the tax-exempt status of the National Church Residences (NCR)
Growth and Development for St. Louis County
The health and growth of the 6th District and St. Louis County is even more important now than ever. We face serious challenges from this pandemic that may exceed those of the Great Recession of 2008, after which our economy lagged behind the rest of the country.
St. Louis County cannot afford to sit by idly. We need leaders who are prepared to navigate this unprecedented landscape and to work together to ensure none of our neighbors get left behind. I have extensive experience working with $110 million-plus budgets, and I helped make Mehlville a premier school district. I want to serve this district because I truly believe I will be an asset to the citizens of St. Louis County.
Once we are beyond the immediate health crisis, our long-term focus in St. Louis County should be on supporting working families through jobs, education and the economy. My background as an engineer, small business owner and former school board president has equipped me to handle this challenge. If elected, I am ready to get started on day one.