13 Reasons Why St. Louis Should Keep All 91 of Its Municipalities
There has been some crazy talk lately about reducing the number of independent cities that make up St. Louis. Specifically, various hippies have proposed that some of St. Louis County’s 90 municipalities should be merged. Some have even suggested that the city of St. Louis should become part of St. Louis County, which makes no sense for obvious reasons.
Having “St. Louis” consist of 91 separate, independent cities is a already huge competitive advantage for us...and we haven’t even leveraged all the potential opportunities it has to offer! Here are 13 reasons St. Louis should keep all 91 municipalities.
Our 91 municipalities could be a great farm-system for producing mayors for bigger cities. If we term-limited every mayor to a single, two-year term, we’d churn out 182 freshly-minted mayors every four years! St. Louis can be the city that provides the world with mayors!
When you pay hundreds of dollars in traffic tickets and court fees, you want that money to stay in your community. After all, your town has been saving up for years to buy a solid gold city hall.
Having more than 90 municipal governments in a mid-sized city means that St. Louis has an excellent citizen-mayor ratio. This allows for individual citizens to get a lot of personalized, one-on-one attention from their local government.
Nothing is as thrilling as getting down on your hands and knees and straddling four different political jurisdictions at once, dizzy with the knowledge that each limb is subject to a different set of laws. The “Four Corners Monument” in the southwestern U.S. draws billions of tourists each year, and St. Louis could make a monument like this of our own! In fact, we could make several.
Just try to imagine the rush you’ll get when you’re simultaneously in Olivette, Creve Coeur, Overland, and unincorporated St. Louis County. No matter what you’re imagining, it’s going to be even more exciting doing it for real! Especially since most of these monuments will be in the middle of four-way intersections.
You know what would be a lot easier than consolidating 91 separate municipalities? Doing nothing! If we just leave things the way that they are, we’ll all have so much spare time that we can finally learn Esperanto. This will make St. Louis feel like an exotic destination for tourists.
We want people to associate St. Louis with baseball, and the zoo, and the arch...not crime and civil unrest and such. Having dozens of municipalities helps insulate the St. Louis brand from all kinds of unpleasantness. What could have been “civil unrest in St. Louis” becomes “civil unrest in Ferguson.” What could have been “potentially radioactive landfill fire in St. Louis” becomes “potentially radioactive landfill fire in Bridgeton.” (And don’t say “Let’s just put out the landfill fire,” because we all know that’s not going to happen.)
Small-town politicians are a beloved American archetype. But like so many others--family farmers, newspaper boys, milkmen--they are being driven relentlessly into obsolescence. Let’s keep St. Louis as a place where the vanishing way of life of small-town politicians is trapped in amber for future generations to enjoy.
St. Louis municipalities are a proven turnkey business model. With limited start-up money for filing municipality incorporation paperwork, investors can set up their own city in St. Louis County that will have a guaranteed revenue stream for local government, perhaps via some sort of crime-fighting robot.
If we start eliminating some of the municipal borders within St. Louis County and absorb the city of St. Louis, where will this reckless erasure of borders stop? Are we going to absorb St. Charles County? Boone County? Russia? Consolidation is a slippery slope that leads inevitably to one world government, which would be bad even if it were ruled from St. Louis. (Maybe.)
If we reduced the number of cities in St. Louis, we’d end up with a bunch of extra city halls. And by leaving these city halls vacant, we’d be risking the possibility that Columbia or Peoria or someone would swoop in and make it their city hall, which would be embarrassing.
With 91 independent municipalities in St. Louis, some with populations as small as 12 people, you have a pretty good chance of being elected mayor. And being mayor comes with a lot of perks, like getting to wear a top hat, and insisting that your spouse refer to you as “Your Honor.” Plus you'll really impress everyone at your next high school reunion, except for the people who are also mayors.
When you hear "St. Louis," what do you think of? Crime? Jazz? Grotesquely oversized arches? All of those things are terrible. Why would you want to trade in a name like "Bella Villa" or "Sycamore Hills" for the name "St. Louis"? Even St. Louis is thinking about changing its name (to St. Lewis).
Philosophers still don't know for sure what the ramifications would be if a municipality ceases to exist. Will your home and all of your personal property disappear into thin air? Will you become like that guy who had to live in the airport because he didn't have a country? What was his name? Oh, that's right--Tom Hanks.