|By G. Michael Dobbs|
SPRINGFIELD Dr. Stephen Dean is well known for his active roles in fighting fluoridation of public water supplies and support for proper animal control facilities.
Dean has entered a new arena of activism, though, with a 28-minute long video he will present on Sept. 6. His film, "Our City on the River," will be featured during a "pizza and picture show" from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Red Rose Pizza on 1060 Main St.
The event is open to the public, but reservations must be made by calling 783-5952.
Dean said the film presents a positive view of Springfield and includes political commentary on the diminished role of the City Council and why it should reinstated.
The inspiration of the film came with a discussion Dean had with an airline pilot who commented on a sweater Dean was wearing with the word "Springfield" on it. The pilot told Dean he had heard Springfield was a "nice city" and Dean responded by recounting some of Springfield's history.
The pilot's response was that he thought he'd like to visit the city and Dean thought he could add something to the city by emphasizing its positive side.
A native of the borough of Queens in New York City who was brought up going to Central Park, Dean said that when you look at features such as Forest Park, the city has much to offer.
Dean said also part of his motivation to produce the film was his concerns over the Finance Control Board. Although its work has helped the city, Dean said the FCB should not be borrowing money from the state's $52 million loan pool without the approval of the City Council.
He charged Mayor Charles Ryan with not making any efforts to return power to elected officials and added he supports City Councilor Domenic Sarno for mayor.
"He wants to be a mayor of all the people," he said of Sarno.
"I'm not a politician," he said. "I'm a person who believes in democracy."