For Immediate Release July 5, 2017
ST. LOUIS - Saint Louis Strong is disappointed by the actions and resolutions of officials in the cities of Wildwood and Ellisville. After the announcement of a civic task force to investigate solutions to regional inefficiencies and inequities brought about by fragmentation by County Executive Steve Stenger, the City of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and the nonpartisan nonprofit Better Together, these municipalities seek to stunt rational conversation.
It is disappointing that a day after July 4th we must remind these municipal leaders that one of our country's highest mottos in 'E. Pluribus Unum' (Out of Many, One). Our country was founded on enlightenment ideals (which have not always been lived up to). Their belief was that common people could use rational inquiry and reasonable debate to settle differences in order to establish tranquility and promote the common welfare.
Studies conducted by Better Together use raw data provided to them by municipalities themselves and Freedom of Information Act requests. The data tells the story. The region is shrinking while its costs are ballooning. If St. Louis is to attract new businesses, startups, grow its current population, and remedy its inequities it must change its antiquated systems. St. Louis can no longer afford to operate a nineteenth century infrastructure in the twenty-first century.
The resolution previously passed by Chesterfield and the proposed resolutions by Ellisville and Wildwood amount to legislative grandstanding. It is not reasonable or rational to oppose solutions when none have been provided. It is not reasonable or rational to critique raw data compiled in rational reports.
We ask that these leaders move forward with the spirit of the founders and reconsider cutting conversations off before they have begun. The foundational wisdom (although not readily apparent in polarized times) is that we are stronger united than divided.