Hazelwood City Manager Retires After 34 Years of Service

EdCarlstrom-smCarlstrom has worked with several City Councils, mayors, and department heads over the past three decades, giving him the distinction of currently being the longest tenured city manager in the state of Missouri.

The Hazelwood City Council honored him recently for his 34 years of dedicated service to the community by presenting him with a special proclamation declaring Friday, July 26, as “Edwin G. Carlstrom Day” in the city. Carlstrom was also given the privilege of starting the City’s Fourth of July fireworks display this year.

Under his leadership, the City of Hazelwood has not only tripled in size from five square miles to 16 square miles, but the population has doubled to more than 25,703. In addition, Hazelwood’s assessed valuation has grown from $60 million to $548 million, ranking the community as the 12th largest in comparison to the other 92 municipalities in St. Louis County.

As City Manager for Hazelwood since 1979, Carlstrom has proven himself to be an effective leader with substantial expertise in the areas of general administration, economic development, intergovernmental relations, land-use planning, budgeting and infrastructure planning and improvements.

“Over the many years I’ve known Ed Carlstrom, while serving on the City Councill and as the Mayor of Hazelwood, he has demonstrated his skills as a consummate government official with a strong commitment to public service,” Hazelwood Mayor Matthew Robinson said. “The city and our residents have always ranked as top priorities in his efforts to make our community a better place to live, work, and play.”

Some of Carlstrom’s noteworthy accomplishments include the following:

  • Proposed a multi-year Capital Improvement Plan, which included building a new City Hall/Police Station Complex, a new Civic Center East, Fire Station, and Maintenance Facility in order to accommodate the City’s growth in population.
  • Added a $5.7 million, state-of-the-art water park facility, known as White Birch Bay Aquatic Center, next to the Hazelwood Community Center in White Birch Park. Also, installed and upgraded Musick Park Sprayground which features a multi-colored lighting system that makes it safe for children to play in the water.
  • Used critical economic development tools to bring key investment and growth to Hazelwood. Created a thriving business-friendly environment that has sustained up to 1,000 businesses, including 12 Fortune 500 companies, six Fortune 1,000 companies and 10 corporate headquarters.
  • Spearheaded efforts to bring one of Missouri’s largest outlet, value retail shopping and entertainment destinations, valued at $300 million, known as the St. Louis Outlet Mall (formerly St. Louis Mills) to Hazelwood which opened in November 2003. Implemented a TIF, TDD, CID, as well as negotiated fire service and community policing.
  • Retail corridor enhancement partnering with a neighboring community and securing a $2.8 million federal grant. Construction began in Fall of 2003.
  • Facilitated Enterprise Zone Designation by partnering with six other local governments, which was approved by Missouri legislators in September 2003.
  • Successfully passed a $15 million street bond issue in 2004 with 64% voter approval.
  • Construction started in 2004 to redevelop 220 acres for advanced technology businesses, utilizing Chapter 353.
  • Offered economic incentives for IBM to locate a $70 million computer server farm in Hazelwood.
  • Successfully attracted new aerospace and biotechnology firms to the community.
  • North County Inc. (NCI) presented him with its 2010 Public Service Award.

In May 1974, Carlstrom received his Master’s degree in Public Administration at the University of Missouri-Kansas City in the Urban Administration Program. Prior to accepting his Hazelwood position, he served as the executive director of the Southwest Nebraska Council of Governments, which represented 24 local units in a six-county area, and later became the city manager of Marceline, Mo.

Looking back over his 40-year career, Carlstrom says the most difficult time as a city manager and for Hazelwood itself was when the Ford plant closed in 2008. “Thousands of people lost their jobs, many of whom lived in the Hazelwood area. I just felt it was my responsibility, as a local government official, to help provide greater employment opportunities for those in North County and other parts of the St. Louis area,” Carlstrom said. “The City Council, mayor and myself also faced some difficult decisions on how to replace the tax revenue stream we lost from Ford in order to keep our city financially solvent.”

Carlstrom’s retirement plans include spending more time with this grandchildren and start playing music again.  He also likes to golf, hunt, and fish.




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