St. Louis Alderwoman Phyllis Young is sponsoring a bill to cut the size of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen by more than half. Similar proposals have failed over the decades, but Young says this is the first time the call comes from inside the Board itself.
The bill so far has the support of 11 of the 15 aldermen needed to pass.Young says in addition to saving money, cutting the board from 28 to 12 will better reflect the city’s changing population.
“It’s very apparent that there are large pockets around that have no population in them," Young said. "If we continue to lose population then it really is more difficult to draw these boundaries for one thing.”
Critics argue that fewer aldermen would weaken the Board’s power of checks and balances over the mayor’s office.
The mayor must sign the measure before it would go to voters for final approval this fall. Young says the reductions would not take effect until after the census of 2020.