Best Bureaucrat - 2006
St. Louis Excise Commissioner
As our city's liquor czar, Bob Kraiberg is effectively the municipal bartender. He taps the keg and he cuts us off. He has also been behind some controversial plans in the past few years, like placing Web-connected security cameras throughout Soulard, and shutting down the Vault after the local nightclub hosted a Girls Gone Wild flesh fest. But who is the man behind the bottle? For insight, we look to a letter Kraiberg penned soon after Hurricane Katrina, in which he calls upon the expertise he gained as the city's former director of disaster operations. "My friends would affectionately refer to me as the Master of Disaster, a title I would have gladly adopted if I had chosen to follow a career as a professional wrestler," Kraiberg wrote. "There will be no advanced warning when New Madrid goes off. Mass evacuation is unlikely. Consider the fact that St. Louis is surrounded by river bridges. Manchester Road is the only way out of town without crossing a river bridge but involves crossing several overpasses. Imagine rush hour times twenty. Now consider just one bridge rendered impassible by the earthquake. Throw in the invariable accidents, breakdowns and those running out of gas. Many thousands trapped like rats in eternal gridlock." A grim vision indeed. On the other hand, with all those clogged highways, we won't have to wait three deep at the bar.