Francis Slay

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay talks to 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on Jan. 7, 2015, at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio / St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis has an image problem that Ferguson either brought to light or didn’t help, depending on your perspective. St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay said addressing those image issues will take a lot of work.

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Amid reports that the team’s owner plans to build a stadium close to Los Angeles, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said a plan should be revealed this week that aims to keep the Rams in St. Louis. 


Former St. Louis Mayor Vincent C. Schoemehl Jr., who has spent the last 13 years as the chief executive of Grand Center Inc., plans to retire in the next few months.

Schoemehl, 68, said in an interview that he felt a new executive was needed to lead the next long-range capital campaign for Grand Center Inc., which has overseen the resurrection and development of the city’s Grand Center arts and entertainment district.

St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 5 p.m. with comments from Mayor Slay.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay said Wednesday he's found a way to fund 160 additional police officers over the next two years, plus get money for proven crime prevention programs and more training for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. 

"We can do things like look for more efficiencies, and do hiring freezes, things like that, but it's not going to raise the necessary dollars to hire that many cops," Slay said. "Cops are very expensive, but it's money well-spent."  

After 13 years, homeless advocate Bill Siedhoff stepped down in November from his post as director of the St. Louis Department of Human Services.

“It’s been a very rewarding career, I would say,” Siedhoff told “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh on Wednesday. As director, Siedhoff was responsible for overseeing services for youth, the elderly, the disabled and the homeless.

IMAGE IS ONLY 200 pixels Careful.  Eddie Roth
Office of Mayor Francis Slay

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay appointed his deputy chief of staff, Eddie Roth, as the next director of the Department of Human Services.

Roth will oversee five divisions: Homeless Services, the St. Louis Area Agency on Aging, Veterans Affairs, Youth and Family Services, and the Office on the Disabled.

His predecessor, Bill Siedhoff, retired last month after serving for more than 13 years as director.

"Bill Siedhoff is a giant," Roth said in an interview. "He was a leading figure in providing social services in Missouri, so I have immensely big shoes to fill."

gavel court justice

Participation in two warrant forgiveness programs has been slow, and officials in St. Louis and St. Louis County are trying to figure out why.

In October, Mayor Francis Slay announced that St. Louis' municipal court would lift arrest warrants for people who had failed to take care of a minor traffic violation. The court ran ads in local media, sent postcards to any address they had on file for individuals with a warrant, partnered with local social service organizations to spread the word, and even recorded a message on the court's phone system.

Sam Dotson and officers listen to James Clark before a hotspot patrol in the Wells-Goodfellow neighborhood.
Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay wants to put an additional 160 officers on the streets of the city over the next two years.  

"This is basically patrolling neighborhoods," Slay said in an interview. "This is more cops on the streets. We're not talking about administrative positions; we're not talking about other things that wouldn't have a direct impact on neighborhoods."

St. Louis City Hall
Richie Diesterheft | Flickr

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay has directed the city’s Affordable Housing Commission to set aside an additional $1 million for its Home Repair Program.

The commission has already authorized more than $2.4 million from its Housing Trust Fund  to assist nearly 900 income-qualified applicants to  keep their aging homes safe and livable. 

According to a statement from the mayor’s office, the additional allotment will be prioritized for nearly 1,900 homeowners to finish needed work.

Ferguson and St. Louis residents are trying to cope with and understand a grand jury's decision not to indict police Officer Darren Wilson in the August death of Michael Brown, and the response, sometimes violent, to that decision.

Wednesday on "St. Louis on the Air," we discussed an upcoming march organized by the NAACP; protests in St. Louis; the response in Washington, D.C.; the grand jury evidence and how to talk about Ferguson and protests with children.


St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay (right) and St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley (left) meet the press on Friday. Slay told reporters that police and protesters are talking in advance of a grand jury decision regarding Ferguson Police officer Darren Wil
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

With the St. Louis region on edge before a grand jury decides Ferguson Police officer Darren Wilson’s fate, the leaders of St. Louis and St. Louis County are preparing for protests. 

Appearing before dozens of reporters in Clayton, St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay said that there have been talks between police officials and protests groups.

St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay held a press conference on Wednesday to calm tensions over the runup to a grand jury decision over Ferguson Police officer Darren Wilson.
Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

As St. Louis residents nervously await a decision regarding Michael Brown’s shooting death, St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley had a simple piece of advice.

“Take a deep breath, stand back and calm down,” Dooley said.

Dooley and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay told reporters on Wednesday that law enforcement agencies are prepared to protect lives and property – and the rights of protesters – if Wilson isn’t charged with Michael Brown’s shooting death.

Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Wednesday, Oct. 29 to include organizer participant count.

Dozens of people armed with hand guns and long guns gathered in downtown St. Louis Saturday to put new Missouri gun laws to the test. With guns slung across chests and strapped to hips, the group walked from CityGarden to the Gateway Arch.  According to event organizers, 72 open-carry supporters participated in the event.

But first, they spent about an hour talking amongst themselves and to passersby.

Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay met Thursday with youth activist leaders to address a set of demands presented to him on Monday, when protesters stormed City Hall.

The demands include a civilian review board for police and independent reviews for officer shootings resulting in fatalities. Protesters also want all city police to be equipped with body cameras, and for police to give up any military equipment acquired through the Pentagon's 1033 program.

Joseph Leahy / St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis will no longer require job candidates to disclose previous felony convictions on their applications.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay announced the shift in hiring policy during a press conference at City Hall Tuesday.

“We’re really not changing our approach to who we hire. It’s just how we do it,” he said.

The change means potential employees will not have to check a box on their applications if they have a felony conviction.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated 11 am, Thurs., Oct 9 with links to national coverage.) When St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay meets with mayors and police chiefs from around the country this week in Little Rock, Ark., he’ll be talking about the lessons learned from the turmoil in Ferguson. 

St. Louis Metropolitan Police chief Sam Dotson listens as state Sen. Jamilah Nasheed announces her plans to introduce legislation mandating 10 years in prison for gun crimes in Missouri.
Rachel Lippmann I St. Louis Public Radio.

A state senator from the city of St. Louis wants individuals who commit gun crimes in Missouri to face what she sees as an appropriate punishment.

"Those with violent crimes and those with gun crimes - they will serve 10 years in prison if we can pass this legislation," state Sen. Jamilah Nasheed said Tuesday at a press conference with Mayor Francis Slay and police chief Sam Dotson. "What we're saying is enough is enough."

Camille Phillips/St. Louis Public Radio

Citizens for Modern Transit has been advocating for public transportation in the St. Louis region for thirty years. But at a lunch last week celebrating its anniversary, the focus was on the future. Keynote speakers included Missouri Department of Transportation Director Dave Nichols, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and St. Clair County Chairman Mark Kern.

City of St. Louis

Despite her huge primary victory on Tuesday, former St. Louis Recorder of Deeds Sharon Carpenter says she recognizes that the next step toward regaining her job is likely to be a lot tougher.

“The worst is ahead of me,’’ Carpenter said in a telephone interview Friday.

But even so, Carpenter dismissed any talk that she would drop her efforts to return to the office that she had held for almost 34 years.

Every week, St. Louis Public Radio's Chris McDaniel, Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum talk about the week’s politics.  This week, we dive into last night's election results.

The Politically Speaking crew broke down the results from Tuesday's primary elections. Among other things, the trio examined:

(UPI file photo)

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay had said nothing publicly about Amendment 1, the “right to farm” proposal, until thousands of city and St. Louis County residents received a robocall featuring the mayor on Monday, the day before the vote.

“Hi, this is Mayor Slay,” the robocall said. “I'm calling about an important issue you will see on the ballot tomorrow: Amendment 1, the Missouri Farming Rights Amendment. I support the 'right to farm' to keep food costs affordable for all Missourians. Please join me in voting ‘Yes’ on Amendment 1.”

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Updated with comments from the press conference, reactions.

St. Louis, St. Louis County and about a dozen social service agencies plan to seek federal money to provide temporary shelter and care to some of the thousands of unaccompanied minors from Central America crossing the southern border of the United States.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

Ann Walker works for McCormack Baron Salazar. Not only does she work for one of the companies that helped develop the North Sarah Community, she’s also a resident.

“The kids in the neighborhood know me. I have a little dog that I walk,” Walker said. “They always want to see if the dog can come out and play.”

(via Flickr/iChaz)

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen is unlikely to vote on a $200 million bond issue until after the August primary election. That's because Board president Lewis Reed put a temporary kibosh on bill by tabling any discussion of the issue.

Reed cited a litany of reasons for the delay, including the need to continue negotiations with the mayor's office and fine-tune the bill. 

City of St. Louis

St. Louis Recorder of Deeds Sharon Carpenter, the city’s longest-serving current citywide official, is stepping down from office amid a probe into whether she violated the state’s nepotism law.

But Carpenter is expected to seek election to a new term in a few weeks – and she still has the endorsement of Mayor Francis Slay.

The nepotism ban only applies to her current term, which ends in December. It does not bar her from seeking the office again.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

A $200 million dollar city bond issue that would include some money for residents to repair their homes is on its way to the Board of Aldermen. But those funds likely won't be there for long.  

The whole debate started last week, when board president Lewis Reed unveiled a version of the bond issue that included a specific list of projects, such as $10 million in home repair funds.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

Tod Martin wasn’t going to let 20 words keep him from marrying David Gray.

While it took more than 20 years, St. Louis officials last week issued Martin and Gray a marriage license. They’re among eight people who are testing the state’s nearly 10-year-old, 20-word ban on gay marriage.

Bill Greenblatt/UPI

(Updated 11:40 a.m. Friday, June 27)

Just a few weeks ago, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster  was publicly exhorting Missouri Republicans to change their party’s platform, which endorses the state’s 10-year-old constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

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Last updated 3:59 p.m.

Mayor Francis Slay issued marriage licenses to four same-sex couples Wednesday night, in a direct challenge to Missouri's ban on such unions. 

"St. Louis is a city that doesn’t tolerate discrimination," Mayor Francis Slay said in a statement. "We are sending a message on what’s right, and I can’t think of anything more right than this."

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

In many ways, breaking ground on St. Louis's first Ikea store is a lot easier than putting together the Swedish furniture maker's latest bookshelf. For Mayor Francis Slay, he just needed a shovel and speech. 

“Fortunately for a groundbreaking, you don’t need an Allen wrench or instructions,” Slay quipped.