Today I want to recognize and thank someone you may never have heard of, but someone everybody in county government and the local news media knows and respects: former Director of Communications Mary Enger.
Mary retired in late August, after leading the department for seven years, including during some of the most challenging times of the pandemic.
During the days of COVID, when some of the surrounding communities shut down businesses or imposed mask mandates—but St. Charles County did not—Mary handled some 500 requests from the media in 2020 alone. She set up several dozen interviews by St. Louis media wanting to know why St. Charles County was not closing down like St. Louis City and County. I trust when it was over they went and asked city and county leaders if they wished they had stayed open like us.
Mary also modernized the department, creating a social media team that gets the County’s message out on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. This helps reach residents with important information on public safety, road improvements, pet adoptions and the latest activities at County parks.
Another accomplishment of Mary’s has been making it easier for county residents to follow the issues that affect them at meetings of the County Council or Planning & Zoning Commission. Mary created a video team that provides livestream coverage of the meetings and puts them on YouTube, so you can watch them later when it’s convenient for you.
The County Office of Communications also includes its own print shop, where they save taxpayers money by printing in house everything from signage, banners for the Family Arena, internal newsletters and a variety of promotional materials for County departments and public services.
Mary’s staff also includes the county switchboard operators, who provide a friendly, professional voice when residents call asking for help on where to go to take care of a tax bill or need assistance figuring out which department to connect with.
All of this is great, but there’s something more about Mary Enger that deserves our appreciation.
As a longtime resident of St. Peters, she believes in St. Charles County and had a zeal for showcasing all that’s good about the county--and protecting it from bad press.
And finally, someday we’ll all retire, and we would hope that people have good things to say about us when we’ve left. I can only say good things about Mary Enger. She was a smart, soft-spoken leader who got things done, and the county is better for it. Enjoy your retirement, Mary.