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Old 03-12-2014, 04:04 PM
 
Location: St Louis
1,117 posts, read 2,654,961 times
Reputation: 363

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What does Ballwin have to gain? Well let’s see, Ballwin is a part of the STL Metro area and its most important goal should be to encourage what is best for the STL area, not just what’s good for Ballwin. An unfragmented region will be able to drive economic policies to create jobs along with increased political clout at the State and Federal level.

While Ballwin currently may not have many fears, they have certain indicators that show they are ripe for decline in the next 5-15 years. Their median age is 42 years old, their population declined from 2000-2010, and their main street - Manchester Rd – is dotted with many vacancies since Chesterfield has stolen most of their retailers. Ballwin is highly dependent on sales taxes. If they have declining sales tax revenue then infrastructure and schools will take a huge blow. In contrast, the City of STL has indicators that show it is on the rise. Median age is 32, household income is increasing, sales tax dollars are increasing, people with bachelor’s degrees have increased, etc.

If Ballwin doesn’t recognize the fact that it’s important to operate as a region, not just as a muni and cannot recognize decline is on the horizon, they may miss their window of opportunity.
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Old 03-12-2014, 04:36 PM
 
5,912 posts, read 6,581,836 times
Reputation: 4538
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brickmama View Post
What does Ballwin have to gain? Well let’s see, Ballwin is a part of the STL Metro area and its most important goal should be to encourage what is best for the STL area, not just what’s good for Ballwin. An unfragmented region will be able to drive economic policies to create jobs along with increased political clout at the State and Federal level.

While Ballwin currently may not have many fears, they have certain indicators that show they are ripe for decline in the next 5-15 years. Their median age is 42 years old, their population declined from 2000-2010, and their main street - Manchester Rd – is dotted with many vacancies since Chesterfield has stolen most of their retailers. Ballwin is highly dependent on sales taxes. If they have declining sales tax revenue then infrastructure and schools will take a huge blow. In contrast, the City of STL has indicators that show it is on the rise. Median age is 32, household income is increasing, sales tax dollars are increasing, people with bachelor’s degrees have increased, etc.

If Ballwin doesn’t recognize the fact that it’s important to operate as a region, not just as a muni and cannot recognize decline is on the horizon, they may miss their window of opportunity.
I will be a boomerang resident in 3 months and I find the subject interesting along with your point.

I look forward to seeing the day when the city can boast numbers showing population growth and increased income at substantial levels so they can say look at our booming city.
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Old 03-12-2014, 07:43 PM
 
Location: rural North Carolina
272 posts, read 703,360 times
Reputation: 329
Brickmama, not to pick on you but your ideas are common here, so I'm going to tackle them one-by-one. No offense is intended, and I take as well as I dish out so feel free to refute my points...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brickmama View Post
What does Ballwin have to gain? Well let’s see, Ballwin is a part of the STL Metro area and its most important goal should be to encourage what is best for the STL area, not just what’s good for Ballwin.
Perhaps I'm just cynical in my old age but what's best for Ballwin is second only to what's best for the Ballwin politician asking that question. You're proposing a system that has the potential to raise property taxes on Ballwin's citizens to pay to help the City, so it's not even best for Ballwin.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brickmama View Post
An unfragmented region will be able to drive economic policies to create jobs along with increased political clout at the State and Federal level.
There is no proof of that. There are other cities in the Midwest that aren't fragmented like St. Louis yet still struggle to create jobs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brickmama View Post
While Ballwin currently may not have many fears, they have certain indicators that show they are ripe for decline in the next 5-15 years. Their median age is 42 years old, their population declined from 2000-2010, and their main street - Manchester Rd – is dotted with many vacancies since Chesterfield has stolen most of their retailers. Ballwin is highly dependent on sales taxes. If they have declining sales tax revenue then infrastructure and schools will take a huge blow.
This is a very good point. Demographics do change and what were once "young" suburbs catering to young families become old over time. Then the young people move further out, passing those suburbs by.

As for retail we are living in a very interesting time where nearly all retailers are struggling while online sales continue climbing. I grew up in the age of shopping plazas followed later by shopping malls. Recently we have seen the dominance of retail by "big box" retailers and large chains, but now even they are struggling to stay profitable against e-retailers like Amazon.com.

However I don't see how a merger would change any of this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brickmama View Post
In contrast, the City of STL has indicators that show it is on the rise. Median age is 32, household income is increasing, sales tax dollars are increasing, people with bachelor’s degrees have increased, etc.
How many renaissances have I lived through? I can think of almost a dozen revitalized areas and neighborhoods within the city limits over the past 40 years but none have progressed much outside of their initial boundaries and changed the dynamics of the city. Machine politics in the Mayor's office hasn't helped.

Don't get me wrong. I love my hometown and want it to succeed. In many ways the area has gotten much better over the past decade, and I still garner hope for it. But for a merger to be successful it must provide concrete benefits for voters.
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Old 03-12-2014, 09:03 PM
 
1,710 posts, read 1,774,865 times
Reputation: 1849
Can I ask what makes Ballwin "The urbanist's favorite suburb?" Or is my sarcasm detector not working?
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Old 03-12-2014, 09:52 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
7,266 posts, read 5,758,595 times
Reputation: 4274
Quote:
Originally Posted by OuttaTheLouBurbs View Post
Can I ask what makes Ballwin "The urbanist's favorite suburb?" Or is my sarcasm detector not working?
Ballwin was singled out and criticized in a couple recent threads by a some of our more vocal urban enthusiasts on this forum.
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Old 03-12-2014, 11:49 PM
 
1,478 posts, read 2,083,836 times
Reputation: 1584
Quote:
Originally Posted by jskirwin View Post
How many renaissances have I lived through? I can think of almost a dozen revitalized areas and neighborhoods within the city limits over the past 40 years but none have progressed much outside of their initial boundaries and changed the dynamics of the city. Machine politics in the Mayor's office hasn't helped.
The point I'm about to make is a bit off topic with respect to Ballwin, but I do think it is pertinent to the larger city-county relationship. While machine politics have not helped, I do think we are on the precipice of a tipping point with respect to changing city dynamics. Over the past 25 years, there has been a lot of investments in certain focal neighborhoods. The challenge has been in "connecting the dots". We're just about at the point where some of the dots are starting to connect. I'm thinking of things like pockets of near south city starting to connect up and the like. The pace of change is painfully slow, but once we're dealing with reasonably large contiguous areas of stability and semi-prosperity rather than small enclaves, things will change much more quickly.
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Old 03-14-2014, 07:15 PM
 
446 posts, read 417,554 times
Reputation: 80
Quote:
"The vote was 7-1, with Alderman Frank Fleming voting no because the proposal was not on the agenda and was not an emergency measure. He said his vote on the resolution would be dependent on the wording.
Mayor Tim Pogue said he thought the reason for the merger was to "water down the crime statistics" and assist financially strapped municipalities.
"I don't feel we fit any of these," Pogue said. "I don't want to lose control of the services we provide our residents."
^^
If this is what it is then perhaps it should have been 8-0 instead of 7-1
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Old 03-15-2014, 10:32 AM
 
320 posts, read 544,625 times
Reputation: 235
^Yes, it's good to make "extra special" sure the leadership's heads are completely up their asses rather than only being mostly so.
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Old 03-15-2014, 12:58 PM
 
Location: St Louis, MO
4,677 posts, read 5,035,337 times
Reputation: 2971
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawn10am View Post
^ I agree with most of this, except that the crime numbers for St. Louis City wouldn't change even if it entered the County. The crime stats would just reflect the crime in the municipality of St. Louis, which would be the same. The only way to change the crime stats is to combine the governments into a unified city-county as one reporting entity.
If the city was part of the county, they would have the option to stop reporting crime stats (as numerous cities in the county already do). About 40 cities already report their stats jointly with St Louis County instead of individually.

Edit: I had a suspicion and it turned out to be correct. Ballwin reports their crime stats through St Louis County instead of reporting individually.
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Old 03-15-2014, 05:14 PM
 
208 posts, read 200,242 times
Reputation: 250
Quote:
Mayor Tim Pogue said he thought the reason for the merger was to "water down the crime statistics" and assist financially strapped municipalities.
"I don't feel we fit any of these," Pogue said. "I don't want to lose control of the services we provide our residents."
Sounds like they're doing what's best for their constituents which is what elected officials are suppose to do. Now if St. Louis wants to improve it's image they need to reform itself instead of smoke and mirror slight of hand.
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