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Old 01-14-2010, 10:02 PM
 
Location: South St Louis
4,316 posts, read 4,226,052 times
Reputation: 2983

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I'm going to bump this thread because I think the prospect of unifying the city and county warrants further discussion.
The city joining the county as its 92'nd municipality may be the mayor's proposal, but MY vision is just the opposite (and more exciting): The county should become part of the city! In other words, the city and county should MERGE into a single incorporated entity. The city of St Louis would then encompass 570 square miles (still smaller in size than the city of Houston). At last, St Louis would break out of its cramped 62 square miles!
The new St Louis would have a dramatically lower crime rate; the city would no longer labeled "second most dangerous city" and the like. And it would have a population of about 1,345,000, instantly propelling the city from the 52'nd most populous all the way to #8!! St Louis would once again be a top-ten city, like it was a century ago. If you don't think that makes much difference, think again. Major corporations frequently look at the big players first. One city government (instead of 92 in the current city/county area) is more efficient. It eliminates duplicate services and saves tons of money.
Remember, city/county mergers have been successfully done before (Indy, Louisville, etc.) But such a merger in St Louis would be larger than any other.
Well, what do you think? Are we ready to regain our "top-ten city" status??
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Old 01-14-2010, 10:38 PM
 
389 posts, read 864,077 times
Reputation: 133
I think we were ready a long long time ago. One thing I've always supported, but never seems to get any traction on boards, is a borough system. I think its a smart way to restructure 92 municipalities. There was a borough plan that was shot down sometime in the 60's but I've never been able to find any details other than a few names of boroughs. I'm all for getting rid of the 91+ municipalities. I just don't think everyone is going to give up their "power" so quickly.

Anyway yes -- one mayor to rule them all..
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Old 01-15-2010, 07:51 AM
 
1,783 posts, read 3,731,593 times
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Great ideas, and I would love for the the city and county to merge into the city. But it's realisitically not going to happen. I actually can see the city joining the county in the next 10 years or so. It seems like there are finally enough people here who realize how ridiculous government is in the St. Louis area. We are all in this together so let's start acting like it. The fact that we have so many tiny little fiefdoms competing with each other is absolutely absurd.

Arch_genesis your borough idea is PERFECT. We already have "boroughs" in place anyway (south county, west county, south city etc...).
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Old 01-15-2010, 01:49 PM
 
Location: St. Louis, MO
183 posts, read 614,686 times
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I've only been here since the end of July and I must admit that I found the split between the city and the county odd. However, I don't really agree that the current cities should just give up power and turn into St. Louis. I mean every large city has suburbs within the county in which the central city is in. I mean from what I've heard from other people who have lived here all their lives, Florissant has a lot of history.

Now 91 cities is kind of a lot for one county, but just scrapping all of the cities and turning it into one giant city, I don't think that would be such a great idea.
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Old 01-15-2010, 05:07 PM
 
Location: The City of St. Louis
938 posts, read 3,377,695 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VideoEngineerAJS View Post
I've only been here since the end of July and I must admit that I found the split between the city and the county odd. However, I don't really agree that the current cities should just give up power and turn into St. Louis. I mean every large city has suburbs within the county in which the central city is in. I mean from what I've heard from other people who have lived here all their lives, Florissant has a lot of history.

Now 91 cities is kind of a lot for one county, but just scrapping all of the cities and turning it into one giant city, I don't think that would be such a great idea.
Why not? It would streamline government services (police, fire, schools), lower the tax burden for everyone instead of dozens of separate governments overlapping a very small geographic area, remove the problem of tax base evaporating from one part of the area and appearing in another, and the region could finally start to act as a region rather than a bunch of competing towns and villages. If a new business is constructed in what formerly was Chesterfield, the entire city/county would benefit. I was driving down Lindbergh over the weekend and drove through the village of Huntleigh, with all of 381 residents. There is no reason for such small towns to exist in a metro area of this size.

Other Midwestern and Southern cities like Louisville, Nashville, and Indianapolis have consolidated city-county governments. Most cities in Texas like Houston, San Antonio, and Austin simply annexed areas into the core city before they could become a suburb (our civic leaders prevented this in 1867 or whenever it was). San Antonio has about a million residents, despite the fact that the metro area is half the size of St. Louis.

St. Charles, Franklin, and Jefferson counties would remain as-is, along with all the Illinois suburbs. The difference would be one large city with a (ideally) more efficient system of government. With the strong fiscal conservative voice in this region, I find it odd that a consolidation and reduction in government has not been proposed and rather resisted.

Will it happen? I doubt it. I might be able to see the City joining the county, which would be a step in the right direction.
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Old 01-15-2010, 06:03 PM
 
Location: Saint Louis, MO
1,912 posts, read 4,476,137 times
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I think people like that their taxes go to their own community--if it was all 1 big city, all that money could be used to benefit an area that they don't live in, especially since there are many problems within St Louis (either real or perceived) that tax money from the county could probably help address. Then again, there are suburbs that are just so small that I don't see why they don't merge with a bigger one.
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Old 01-15-2010, 09:52 PM
 
Location: South St Louis
4,316 posts, read 4,226,052 times
Reputation: 2983
Quote:
Originally Posted by arch_genesis View Post
I think we were ready a long long time ago. One thing I've always supported, but never seems to get any traction on boards, is a borough system. I think its a smart way to restructure 92 municipalities. There was a borough plan that was shot down sometime in the 60's but I've never been able to find any details other than a few names of boroughs. I'm all for getting rid of the 91+ municipalities. I just don't think everyone is going to give up their "power" so quickly.

Anyway yes -- one mayor to rule them all..

I do like the borough idea. With that kind of system, each major section of the city is granted some limited self-governing powers. The advantage of this is that each area's specific needs can be better addressed, while simultaneously maintaining one strong, unified city.
Seems to be working in NYC, no?
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Old 01-16-2010, 09:29 AM
 
Location: The City of St. Louis
938 posts, read 3,377,695 times
Reputation: 787
Quote:
Originally Posted by billiken View Post
I think people like that their taxes go to their own community--if it was all 1 big city, all that money could be used to benefit an area that they don't live in, especially since there are many problems within St Louis (either real or perceived) that tax money from the county could probably help address. Then again, there are suburbs that are just so small that I don't see why they don't merge with a bigger one.
That seems to be the prevailing train of thought that keeps the region so fragmented...people don't want to see their tax dollars leave a very small geographic area. I would imagine that the overall tax savings by consolidating the 92 or so municipalities would be large, as the need for 92 separate mayors, city councils, police chiefs, tax collection departments, etc could be eliminated. It would be interesting to see an actual projection of the tax savings for people living in the current county if the government was consolidated.

The way it is now, when I spend money at the grocery store 1 mile away from my residence in the city, the sales tax money goes to Richmond Heights. Richmond Heights wins, St. Louis loses. If the government was consolidated, everyone would win to a lesser amount. The overlapping municipalities seem to be widening the gap between the haves and the have-nots while providing benefits to only a rather small group of the haves.

Then again, maybe I'm just a St. Louis newbie who still doesn't understand this region that well.
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Old 01-16-2010, 11:52 AM
 
Location: MO Ozarkian in NE Hoosierana
4,682 posts, read 11,640,512 times
Reputation: 6965
Some great ideas here... sad though that leaders of these cities & county most likely don't have the same goals and desires.

Interestingly, take a read of this article: Developer says new Walmart in Bridgeton will mean millions in revenue - STLtoday.com (http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/business/stories.nsf/story/07D1F555B4EABDB3862576AC000116A9?OpenDocument - broken link) - quite relevant to what is being described here.
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Old 01-18-2010, 10:19 AM
 
Location: South St Louis
4,316 posts, read 4,226,052 times
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You know, consolidation of all those incorporated places in the county should be a top priority too. Why on Earth do we need a separate municipality of only 12 persons (Champ)? Not to mention Country Life Acres (pop. 81) or Mackenzie (pop. 137)? This is fragmentation beyond the norm. St Louis City and County must unify to progress.
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