Francis Slay

Today: St. Louis Mayoral Primary Forum

Feb 11, 2013
(via Flickr/Richie Diesterheft)

The three candidates for the Democratic nomination for St. Louis mayor will take part in a one-hour town hall forum today. 

St. Louis Public Radio will air the forum, which is the second gathering of the candidates ahead of the March 5th primary election.

In liberal territory like St. Louis, the winner of the Democratic primary in March immediately becomes the presumptive favorite to win the general election on April 2nd.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Today on "St. Louis on the Air," we announced that we'll be hosting the St. Louis Mayoral Primary Forum.  Here are some of the details:

Mayoral Debate Contentious In Downtown Forum

Jan 30, 2013
Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio

At a mayoral debate showcasing the three Democrats vying for the position in the March 5 primary, challenger and Board of Alderman President Lewis Reed wasted no time before going after his opponent.

Crime was by far the most contentious issue in the forum that filled two overflow rooms and was standing room only. Several times at the debate, Reed interrupted incumbent Mayor Francis Slay when he was talking about the city's lowering crime rate.

(via City of St. Louis websites)

Last week, St. Louis Public Radio took a look at how much money the mayoral candidates have amassed, and where that money is coming from. Today we're looking at how that money is being spent.

(via City of St. Louis websites)

Updated 3:43 with Mayor Slay's more recent ad (that is televised).

A little more than a month away from the Democratic primary, challenger Lewis Reed is losing the fundraising battle miserably.

According to Tuesday's campaign finance filings, incumbent Mayor Francis Slay spent nearly a million dollars in the month of January in his campaign to be re-elected.

(via City of St. Louis websites)

St. Louis Mayoral candidate Lewis Reed is accusing Mayor Francis Slay of campaigning at the expense of taxpayers.

Reed, President of the Board of Aldermen, alleges Slay is holding meetings with city employees to campaign for votes while they are on the clock. Glenn Burleigh, Reed’s campaign manager, claims it’s a coordinated effort aimed at multiple departments.

“Telling folks on taxpayer dime: that’s what’s important here," Burleigh said. "These are trash collectors, that instead of picking up trash, were listening to the mayor.”

(via City of St. Louis websites)

Tensions between the two main Democrats running for mayor of St. Louis were on broad display today during a dispute over who should negotiate contracts with St. Louis city employees.

Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio

A federal grant of $4.2 million has been awarded to the Missouri Department of Mental Health, which will spend the money on kids in north St. Louis.

The money will be used for a variety of mental health services, including screenings and assessments for children, as well as home visitations to teach skills to parents.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay said north St. Louis was chosen for a reason.

Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio

At the St. Louis Business Journal's "State of St. Louis," one of the panelists remarked that, in the Missouri legislature, the divide is less between Republicans and Democrats and more between rural and urban representation.

But the upcoming legislative session is somewhat remarkable because both leaders in the legislative bodies are from the St. Louis area. House Speaker Tim Jones is from Eureka, and Senate Majority Leader Tom Dempsey from St. Charles will soon be the President Pro Tem.

(via City of St. Louis websites)

St. Louis's Democratic battle between incumbent Mayor Francis Slay and Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed is now official -- both candidates filed for the March primary this morning.

Slay has never lost a race, and he's taking this challenge seriously. In fact, Slay says he's had paid employees and volunteers standing in line to hold his spot for filing since Sept. 24.

Slay says he wants another term in order to continue improving education and public safety in the city, and points to the recent passage of local control of the police department.

(via Peter Raack)

Baseball bets are not usually something we cover much of here at St. Louis Public Radio (except when we make it to the World Series and make a chart of all the bets).

However, we thought we'd make an exception today to highlight something happening in the nation's capitol.

(via Flickr/taberandrew)

A restraining order that prevents St. Louis County from enforcing a new law that would require banks to offer mediation to homeowners facing foreclosure continues this week.

St. Louis County and bankers are in the midst of a legal battle over whether or not the county has the authority to enforce the ordinance.

No matter what happens in the court case, St. Louis City Mayor Francis Slay says the city should continue to push ahead with a similar law.

(via Flickr/alkruse24)

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay announced Thursday that three new charter schools will open next fall.

That will bring to 18 the number of schools that have gone through the screening process put in place by the mayor's office.

The mayor says quality education is critical to keeping families in the city.

(via City of St. Louis websites)

Updated to note that Slay filed multiple reports, and thus raised and spent more than quarterly report reflected.

The latest quarterly reports are in for the 2013 mayoral primary in the city of St. Louis, and incumbent Mayor Francis Slay continues to hold a huge fundraising advantage over challenger Lewis Reed, the Board of Aldermen president.

(via City of St. Louis websites)

Not many people who watch city politics were surprised when Board of Alderman president Lewis Reed announced that he will challenge Mayor Francis Slay in next year’s Democratic primary in April.

Reed officially threw his hat into the ring on Wednesday at Sqwires in Lafayette Square, part of his ward before he ran for board president.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Updated at 1:50 with comments from Mayor Slay.

The long-rumored Democratic rumble for mayor of St. Louis is on. 

Board of Aldermen president Lewis Reed officially threw his hat into the ring today in a press conference at Sqwires in Lafayette Square, part of his ward before he ran for board president.

This campaign is a "mission of change," Reed told his supporters, calling Slay an ineffective leader more interested in photo ops and managing the media than with bringing people together to solve the city's problems.

Lafayette Square, he said, was improved through cooperation. Ineffective leadership has stifled similar efforts citywide.

"We can accept those things that divide us, or we can work toward a common purpose to improve our communities," Reed said. "We can continue to develop reactionary policies, or we can bring the brightest minds together to develop long-term strategies to turn St. Louis into a world-class destination."

Here are some highlights from Reed's announcement:

(Adam Allington/St. Louis Public Radio)

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay is creating a task force aimed at reducing animal cruelty in the city.

Slay announced the creations of the “Mayor Francis Slay Animal Cruelty Task Force” during a press conference at Stray Rescue on Tuesday.

Among other things, the city police department will dedicate one full-time officer to animal abuse cases.

Slay says the task force sends a message that cases of animal neglect and cruelty will be prosecuted just as thoroughly as any other crime.

(Photo courtesy of Ald. Antonio French)

Mayor Francis Slay and the Aldermanic Black Caucus appear to have reached a deal on an operating contract for a new recreation complex in O'Fallon Park on the city's north side.

The deal still needs aldermanic approval and would take effect 90 days after the mayor's signature. That puts the earliest opening for the facility after the start of the new year - more than a year behind schedule.

(via Flickr/taberandrew)

A new ordinance could offer struggling St. Louis City homeowners an option to help avoid foreclosure.

The program would extend a loan mediation process to any homeowner who requests it from their bank, just like the one passed two weeks ago in St. Louis County. Ignoring this request would cost a lender a $500 fine.

But, banks claim the laws violate state statutes prohibiting government intervention into the foreclosure process.  They say it would mean fewer loans and increased costs.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay disagrees.

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Search ongoing for man who shot police officers overnight

St. Louis police are searching for a suspect who shot an officer in the arm. The 30-year-old officer was was not seriously injured. He returned fire and authorities aren't sure if the suspect was injured.

It happened about 1:30 a.m. Friday when the officer approached a man suspected in a recent robbery. Police say that as the officer neared the man, the suspect pulled out a gun and fired several rounds.

KC Bishop found guilty of shielding priest

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Supporters of the long-delayed Ballpark Village project in downtown St. Louis made a renewed pitch today for state backing to the Missouri Development Finance Board.

The $100 million project would be built on the north side of Busch Stadium and would contain space for retail stores, restaurants, an open-air event space with a retractable roof, and a St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum.  Team President Bill DeWitt III says the project got sidetracked by the economic crisis that hit the country four years ago.

Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio

Financial services firm Wells Fargo Advisors is investing $33 million to expand its operations in the St. Louis area. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay joined the company’s president and CEO Danny Ludeman Friday for the announcement at the company’s downtown headquarters.

Ludeman says the plan will create 400 local jobs.

Mayor Francis Slay scored a decisive victory Friday in his months-long battle to rein in firefighter pension costs. In a 17 to 10 vote, the St. Louis Board of Aldermen approved major reforms to the department’s retirement system, cutting benefits, raising payments, and preventing full retirement until age 55.

Slay’s office estimates the changes will save the city $8 million a year in pension costs that have more than quadrupled in the last five years.

Mayor Slay’s Chief of Staff Jeff Rainford says the reforms are necessary and protect taxpayers. 

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

After five months of debate, major reforms to the pensions for firefighters in St. Louis City are about to become law.

(Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio)

St. Louis city officials are going door to door to check on some of the city’s most vulnerable residents as high temperatures persist across the region.

About 60 city staff members are following up with nearly one thousand residents who haven’t responded to robo-calls from the Mayor’s office.The elderly and disabled residents are listed on the city’s Functional Needs Registry.

The house-to-house effort even included Mayor Francis Slay, who was out knocking on doors Tuesday.

Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay says cutting the fire department’s pension costs will enable the city to take 30 police jobs off the chopping block.

The Board of Police Commissioners voted Monday to hold onto 30 of the 80 police positions this year’s budget eliminates through attrition, but only if a pension reform bill is passed by the Board of Alderman.

Slay says the bill, which requires firefighters to pay more into the system and prevents full retirement benefits until age 55, would save the city more than $8 million.

Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio

The bulk of Mayor Francis Slay’s firefighter pension reform bill stalled today in the St. Louis Board of Alderman’s Public Safety Committee.

The committee passed a provision barring trustees of the Firemen’s Retirement System from suing the city over the design or benefits of the pension plan. But the committee postponed voting on major reforms that would make firefighters to pay more into the system and prevent retirement until age 55.

Alderman Larry Arnowitz says he’s certain if reform passes, firefighters will fight the changes in court.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

An effort by St. Louis mayor Francis Slay to get the spiraling cost of firefighter pensions under control also allow the same sex-partners of city firefighters to get survivor benefits if their partner is killed in the line of duty.

"This is something that could not be done at the state level, would not be done at the state level, which is another reason we want to get local control of the firefighter pensions here in St. Louis," Slay said.

(St. Louis Public Radio)

The St. Louis Board of Commissioners have approved a plan to reduce the number of city police districts.

The city currently operates a total of nine districts that were established back in 1962.

But Police Chief Dan Isom says the department had twice as many officers back then and more than twice the number of citizens to serve.

“In the last 30 years we’ve lost about 1,000 officers,” Isom said.  We used to have 2,200 officers, now we’re down to about 1,300 officers.  But the slots for those command structures are still the same.”

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay is asking the city’s Convention and Visitors Commission to reject the Rams’ request for $700 million in upgrades to the Edward Jones Dome.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean the team is on its way out of town.

Speaking on St. Louis on the Air, Slay said the Ram’s requests was a “best-case scenario” for the team, and did not reflect a take-it-or-leave-it offer.

The city’s plan calls for upgrades totaling $124 million—a figure which Slays says is a starting point for further negotiations.

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