Senior garrison leaders and representatives from Balfour Beatty Communities – Fort Leonard Wood’s housing partner – host a town hall March 24 at Stonegate Community Center. The event provided a chance for Col. Jeff Paine, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood commander, to introduce this year’s community mayors. Standing from left are Sgt. 1st Class Eric Hawes, North Leiber Heights mayor; Staff Sgt. Matt Adams, South Leiber Heights mayor; Angela Chrisman, Piney Hills mayor; and Amber Garcia-Acevedo, Woodlands mayor – Sgt. 1st Class Maximillian Saalman, Eagle Point mayor; and Lt. Col. Brian Bolton, Piney Estates mayor, could not be present. The mayoral program, which was brought back in 2021, after a six-year hiatus, gives residents another way to share information, ideas and concerns more efficiently with garrison leaders. It’s also an opportunity for communities to develop and implement additional recreational and social activities, community assistance projects and events designed to build community spirit. The mayors serve one-year terms and can be re-elected.
Senior garrison leaders and representatives from Balfour Beatty Communities – Fort Leonard Wood’s housing partner – host a town hall March 24 at Stonegate Community Center. The event provided a chance for Col. Jeff Paine, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood commander, to introduce this year’s community mayors. Standing from left are Sgt. 1st Class Eric Hawes, North Leiber Heights mayor; Staff Sgt. Matt Adams, South Leiber Heights mayor; Angela Chrisman, Piney Hills mayor; and Amber Garcia-Acevedo, Woodlands mayor – Sgt. 1st Class Maximillian Saalman, Eagle Point mayor; and Lt. Col. Brian Bolton, Piney Estates mayor, could not be present. The mayoral program, which was brought back in 2021, after a six-year hiatus, gives residents another way to share information, ideas and concerns more efficiently with garrison leaders. It’s also an opportunity for communities to develop and implement additional recreational and social activities, community assistance projects and events designed to build community spirit. The mayors serve one-year terms and can be re-elected. (Photo Credit: Photo by Brian Hill, Fort Leonard Wood Public Affairs Office) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — Senior garrison leaders and representatives from Balfour Beatty Communities — Fort Leonard Wood’s housing partner — hosted a housing town hall March 24 at Stonegate Community Center, providing an opportunity to hear from residents, address any issues or concerns and provide information in an open forum.

According to Col. Jeff Paine, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood commander, the event was also a chance to introduce Fort Leonard Wood’s new community mayors and thank the outgoing mayors, “who have been representing you and your communities, your neighborhoods, and helping us solve problems, identify issues and get things done.”

Fort Leonard Wood’s 2022 mayors are:

  • Staff Sgt. Matt Adams, South Leiber Heights;
  • Lt. Col. Brian Bolton, Piney Estates;
  • Angela Chrisman, Piney Hills;
  • Amber Garcia-Acevedo, Woodlands;
  • Sgt. 1st Class Eric Hawes, North Leiber Heights; and
  • Sgt. 1st Class Max Saalman, Eagle Point.

Adams, who has been stationed here two years, said the program works well at helping the community. Like the other new mayors, he wants to continue where his predecessor left off, planning events that bring people together.

“We’re already planning an Easter egg hunt right now, the outgoing mayor and myself,” he said. “I’d like to have some events over the summer — maybe a car show — or go through AAFES and see if I can get permits for food trucks to come down here by the pool.”

While three of the mayors are new this year, the other three — Chrisman, Garcia-Acevedo and Saalman — were reelected for another year.

Chrisman said she wants to continue building, “an environment of open communication, so concerns or issues can be addressed in a timely manner.”

“This past year has shown me that senior military leaders not only care about the issues the on-post communities deal with, but they place them high on their list of priorities,” she said. “Throughout my time as mayor, I have found that no matter what questions or challenges I bring to the garrison commander, he is always positive and willing to help.”

Garcia-Acevedo said she will continue to ensure all residents in her community are aware of the program, “and that I’m here to assist in any way I can.”

“As we move forward, the goal is to create more volunteer events that give back to the community and the people,” she said. “Additionally, as we move into the warmer seasons, I would like to host social events that provide the opportunity to meet new people and open the lines of communication for any issues that have not been addressed. As we executed in the past, community clean-ups and seasonal activities will be a good way to bring the community together, and, at the same, will improve the look of our neighborhood and parks, and hopefully inspire people to keep the space looking great. Hosting a potluck after activities like this, I think, is a wonderful way to celebrate a community achievement, as well as building relationships.”

For Saalman, he feels he gained a “true understanding of the processes and systems that go into making the military housing machine run” during his first year as a mayor.

“I also learned that you cannot make everyone happy, but just being a resource for information and a voice for them does help,” he said. “I do not see my role as a people pleaser. My role is to consolidate issues and concerns, bring them to the meetings and find the right resolution per policy and regulations.”

After the introduction of the mayors, Jason Williams, the community manager here, provided updates and information on upcoming events. He also took time to thank the community for their high level of participation in the most recent tenant satisfaction survey that was emailed to residents in January.

“We had the best level of participation we’ve seen in three years, so thank you for that,” he said.

Williams noted lawn care service begins Monday. The bi-weekly service covers lawn mowing and edging — flower beds are the residents’ responsibility, though free materials are available. Yard of the month and pet of the month contests will be announced soon.

Williams said to visit https://www.fortleonardwoodhomes.com for more information. Residents may also make routine maintenance requests through the resident portal on this site. Urgent requests may be made by calling 573.329.4000, and “if you’re not sure your request is urgent, call us.”

Many residents at the town hall brought questions to be addressed.

One resident asked about whether or not there is a playground on post that is entirely enclosed by fencing to keep children from wandering too far. While that doesn’t exist on Fort Leonard Wood, officials thanked the resident for the idea and said they would look into that as a possibility in the future.

Another resident asked about the timeframe for the removal of tree stumps in housing — many dead trees have had to be removed on Fort Leonard Wood in recent years due to ash bore beetles. Officials said stump removal is in the plans, but a contractor must still be identified to do the work.

A major concern from several attendees was how to ensure all residents are following the standards of the community — speeding, parking on the wrong side of the street and failure to bring trash cans from the street in a timely manner after trash collection were addressed by Paine, who said it takes the whole community coming together and, “looking out for each other.”

“If you have an issue with something a neighbor is doing, talk to them,” he said. “If they are not reasonable, raise it to the next level.”