St. Louis Board of Aldermen
5:11 pm
Fri June 29, 2012

Bill to halve St. Louis Board of Aldermen moves forward

A measure to cut the St. Louis Board of Aldermen in half moved a step closer to reality at City Hall today.

The bill cleared a procedural hurdle with more than enough votes to eventually approve the legislation.

South city alderman Steve Conway supports the cut. He says he understands that some of his colleagues prefer smaller wards because it's easier to provide hands-on service.

"But we're only representing 11,000 people," Conway said. "And my point is, if we were representing 22,000 people as this would be, I think it would give not necessarily us, but the future generation of aldermen a broader perspective, and not be so parochial."

Alderman Sam Moore, voted no - saying a reduction would only make it tougher to solve the problems of the city's poorer areas.

"2,900 lots with grass three feet tall in the city of St. Louis, a metropolis," Moore said. "We live like the Flintstones in a Jetsons world. This is unfair, and we're down here talking about saving some money by cutting some aldermen? Cut something else!"

The sponsor, Alderwoman Phyllis Young, says the measure wasn't designed to save money, but start a conversation about restructuring the city so it provides better services.

The measure needs one more vote by the Board of Aldermen. It would then go before city voters in November, when it would need 60 percent support to take effect.

The first election would take place in 2023.

 

Follow Rachel Lippmann on Twitter: @rlippmann