There is a recognition that our system of government in St. Louis no longer provides general prosperity and security to St. Louisans but there are those of us who would still oppose any effort to restructure our government. Who are they and why would they oppose uniting the region?Read more
For a long time, much of Greater St. Louis has believed the conventional wisdom that its 115 governments result from careful choices made by voters and calculated decisions executed by well-intentioned civil servants.
This myth of local control often results in the isolation of residents in their own neighborhood leading to the perception that others simply cannot “get it together.” From this myopic viewpoint, crime, social unrest, dwindling populations, and a struggling economy are the outcome of others’ poor decisions.
However, reality tells a different story...Read more
Originally published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch April 19, 2016.
Neighborhoods and local accessibility are arguably the largest assets that St. Louis has to offer. Folks who live around you are also the same folks whom you see at school events, the grocery store and on the street. That tight-knit feeling is why so many people love St. Louis. Yet, our largest strength is, at times, also our largest weakness.Read more
The St. Louis Strong Guest Blog Series asks community voices, business executives, and political leaders, "What makes St. Louis Strong?"
Statistics can be unkind to St. Louis. When I took office in 2013, St. Louis consistently ranked among the top five cities with the highest percentage of unbanked and underbanked households. Unbanked families spend approximately $1,200 a year just to get access to their money. Additionally, 88.5% of St. Louis City families qualify for free or reduced lunch; and only approximately 32% of the St. Louis working-age residents have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher.Read more
This piece was originally published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on January 14, 2016
We have all heard that there is too much fragmentation in St. Louis. Duplication, waste and inefficiency abound, and there is no way to bring about change because the kings and kingdoms are firmly entrenched.Read more
We're tallying the misbehavior of local municipalities in St. Louis County. Fragmentation weakens the strength of cities and creates a distorted incentive environment that can lead to abusive practices. Such a culture erodes local confidence in government, deepens inequity, and chases off business. A new structure could perform better oversight. Imagine if we had more accessible open databases.Read more
Not as long ago as we think, divided regions stood pitted against one another. Outside influences sought to play them off of each other for personal gain. The feeble central government was stripped of any ability to corral these fickle localities—each with their own idiosyncrasies and identity.
Common sense standards regarding general safety and economic regulation had little effect. Many levied taxes against each other in order to steal business. Northern and Southern groups had their own culture, as did those in the East and West.
Before going further, am I talking about the municipalities of St. Louis County or the thirteen states under the Articles of Confederation?Read more
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.