“St. Louis has many advantages and is loved by most of the residents of the community. Unfortunately St. Louis suffers from a perception issue which has dogged our community for decades. Like many other cities in the US, if you were to pull out only a small area of the community and look at the statistics from that limited sampling, the numbers would not be favorable. While we think of St. Louis as the SMSA, the rest of the world sees statistics which only relate to the city. By combining the city and the county, the size of our community would grow significantly in national rankings and our statistical averages in almost every category would look dramatically better.
Combining the city and county will not resolve other issues which make us non-competitive, like our union situation and tax structure, but it would certainly be a big step in improving the first and most important issue people see when they look at St. Louis as a possible location for their business….PERCEPTION.”
— Keith Harbison