Francis Slay

(St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department)

Four jail breaks in 15 months make the city of St. Louis look like a joke.

That was the general consensus of members of the Public Safety committee  on Wednesday following two hours of testimony on the rash of escapes.

(photo courtesy of the city of St. Louis)

Ald. April Ford-Griffin, who took over as chairman of the St. Louis city budget committee this year, is leaving the aldermanic chambers for the Mayor's office.

Mayor Francis Slay announced on Friday that Ford-Griffin, who has served as the Fifth Ward alderwoman since 1997, will be the new director of the city's Civil Rights Enforcement Agency, which Slay called a "vitally important agency." The former director, Ruby L. Bonner, retired on July 1.

(Flickr/Missouri Department of Transportation)

Metro-East contractors delay Mississippi River bridge protest

According to the Belleville News-Democrat, about 200 protesters gathered at the East St. Louis City Hall early this morning, but delayed a protest to shut down work on the new Mississippi River Bridge. The newspaper reports Illinois Governor Pat Quinn promised to call and the state’s transportation secretary is heading to the city to meet them.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Saying they could not in good conscience declare that the city of St. Louis is in a fiscal crisis when it had a budget surplus last year, two members of the Board of Estimate and Apportionment on Wednesday forced a delay on implementing a third year of furloughs for city employees.

(via Flickr/Ian Sane)

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay will travel to the Sunshine State (that's Florida) this weekend to accept the United States Chess Federation's "Chess City of the Year" award for our own Mound City.

This is the second time St. Louis has received the designation - the city also won the award in 2009.

The award, according to the the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, "recognizes the U.S. city that has done the most to promote and further the game of chess, both locally and nationally."

Maria Altman / St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis will have four new charter schools when school begins in a few weeks.

The mayor was on hand when the latest school, Better Learning Communities Academy, announced Wednesday it’s enrolling students.

Mayor Francis Slay has endorsed all four of the charters opening this year.

At the same time he says some of the St. Louis Public Schools are working. 

Local control of SLMPD by next year

Jul 20, 2011
Bill Greenblat / UP

According to St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, by this time next year the city could have control of its own police force for the first time since the Civil War.

The announcement came on Wednesday in tandem with an agreement on an package of economic development incentives.

Both issues will be taken up during a special legislative session later this summer.

Slay says the agreement has cleared the way for passage of local control, which now has the backing of the Republican-controlled state House and Senate

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

A measure that local preservationists worry could lead to the demolition of the UFO-shaped former home of Del Taco on Grand Ave. is on its way to the mayor's desk.

(via Flickr/raleighwoman)

An "angry and frustrated" St. Louis mayor Francis Slay is responding to last weekend's rash of car break-ins with proposed new rules for the owners of downtown lots.

Vandals broke into at least 60 cars in the downtown St. Louis area Friday night, stealing purses and GPS units. Police say there were no attendants at some of the lots to report the crimes. And Slay wants that to stop.

(via Flickr/Patrick H~)

A new study has found that the city of St. Louis’ various agencies and officials need to work together more closely in order to cut down on crime and make the city a safer place to live.

A team of IBM consultants spent three weeks in St. Louis this spring studying the use of data and technology in the city’s various law enforcement agencies. St. Louis was awarded a grant by IBM as part of the technology firm's "Smarter Cities" program.

The historic entrance arch to the Lewis Place neighborhood, which will receive state aid nearly a year after a tornado damaged 91 homes in the area.
Adam Allington | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis is freeing up $1 million dollars to fund repairs to a historic north side neighborhood damaged in last year’s New Years Eve tornado.

The storm damage in St. Louis was not enough to qualify for federal disaster aid.

City officials announced on Monday that uninsured property owners on Lewis Place could qualify for up to $30,000 for repairs.

The storm damaged roughly 150 buildings on Lewis Place, a site know for its lush green median and historic footnote in St. Louis’ Civil Rights struggle.

(Adam Allington/St. Louis Public Radio)

St. Louis City police officers have entered into a first-ever collective bargaining agreement with the city.

Jeff Roorda is a former state representative and current business manager for the police union.  He says the agreement removes the main barrier the department had against local control.

“We’ve resisted city control for years and that was because we needed to have a place to resolve our differences and in the past that’s been the state legislature," Roorda said. “Now, we have a union contract and arbitration where we can resolve those differences.”

Two bills continue to sit in the Missouri Senate that would restore local control over the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, despite last week’s announced agreement between Mayor Francis Slay (D) and the Police Officers Association.

The compromise would give police officers collective bargaining rights, preserve police pensions, and preserve officers’ ranks, salaries and benefits once they become city employees.  There would also be a no-strike clause.

A budget that proposes laying off 20 city workers to help close a $30 million gap is in the hands of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen.

(via Flickr/comedy_nose)

Three new charter schools will open to St. Louis City residents in August.

Jamaa Learning Center will serve kindergarten through eighth grade, Preclarus Mastery Academy will enroll grades 5-to-12 and South City Prep for grades 5-to-12 will offer a year-round academic calendar.

Mayor Francis Slay announced the new charter schools this morning and said education is the number one issue in the City of St. Louis.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

The chief of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department says not much would change if oversight of the department returns to City Hall for the first time in 150 years.

(St. Louis Public Radio)

As lawmakers circle around a possible compromise on the local control legislation in the Missouri Capitol today, St. Louis' Mayor Francis Slay shared some of his thoughts on the possible ramifications.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

A Missouri Senate committee heard testimony today on the St. Louis police local control bill that easily passed the Missouri House last month

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay told the committee on governmental organization that an overwhelming majority of voters support local control, and that under state control, city residents have no input into how the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department is run.

(Rachel Lippmann, St. Louis Public Radio)

The "long and arduous" fight over the budget for the city's fire department will go on for another week.

The three-member Board of Estimate and Apportionment tabled the layoffs of 30 firefighters at the request of Board of Aldermen president Lewis Reed. Reed, comptroller Darlene Green, and Mayor Francis Slay will make the ultimate decision about the layoffs.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

St. Louis firefighters were told last week that they'd be subject to 30 layoffs. Yesterday, Comptroller Darlene Green said she would push a plan to furlough firefighters instead of laying them off.

Today, as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports, the firefighters have responded.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

For 35 years, Francis R. Slay held court every Wednesday at the banquet hall at St. Raymond's Maronite Cathedral, just south of downtown.

On Monday, hundreds gathered in the Cathedral's pews to pay honor to a man the Cathedral's bishop, Robert Shaheen, called the "fabric" of St. Raymond's.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Francis R. Slay, father to St. Louis Mayor Francis G. Slay has passed away at age 83. He was suffering from a heart illness.

The elder Slay was deeply involved in St. Louis City politics.

He served as a State Representative during the 1960's, was a 23rd Ward Committeeman for 45 years and served as the city's Recorder of Deeds.

Former Aldermanic President Jim Shrewsbury said Slay's reputation was one of integrity and respect.

Last month, the news about the 2012 budget for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department wasn't good.

The department was looking at $2.5 million in cuts it couldn't make up by doing things like freezing salaries, cutting scholarships, and furloughing civilian employees.

(US Census Bureau)

In 2009, the news from the U.S. Census Bureau was all good for the city of St. Louis.

The American Community Survey showed the city's population had 356,587 people - up about two percent from the 2000 official count. And Mayor Francis Slay would challenge numbers that didn't confirm the notion that his city was growing.

The final step for approval of Paul McKee, Jr’s Northside project was taken earlier this week. St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay signed off on an updated plan for the $8.1 billion project Tuesday, according to a report today by the St. Louis Business Journal.

The city of St. Louis today marked the halfway point in its ten-year effort to end chronic homelessness.

A five-year report released today shows a 20 percent drop in the city's chronically homeless since 2005.

Chronic homelessness is defined as those homeless for a year or more or four times over a three-year period.

The report also states that the overall homeless population also decreased, from about 1,500 in 2005 to about 1,300 last year.

St. Louis City Hall is ratcheting up pressure on Jefferson City to relinquish control of the city's police department, or pay for it themselves.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay says he expects the Missouri legislature to return control of city police department this year.

If not, the Mayor says St. Louis is within its rights to bill the General Assembly for part of the cost of running it.

There’s been a temporary delay in a new skirmish between the city and its fire department.

Ald. Matt Villa has held a bill that aims to change the way certain benefits for firefighters are funded.

In case you missed today’s St. Louis on the Air, here are some highlights of our discussion with Mayor Francis Slay:

Today's show was a discussion about the life and legacy of Paraquad founder Max Starkloff and his many contributions to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities. For more on Starkloff, see our previous story about his memorial.

We heard from some of these voices during the show, but here are some more local and national notables sharing their stories about Starkloff: