Francis Slay

Firefighter pensions
2:54 pm
Thu July 12, 2012

Legislative saga over firefighter pensions should end on Friday

Current and retired firefighters watch the Board of Aldermen debate reforms to their pension system on April 16, 2012. The measure should pass the Board on Friday.
(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.

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Heat wave
5:16 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

Heat prompts city house calls to vulnerable residents

St. Louis mayor Francis Slay visits with a city resident on July 3, 2012. The mayor helped in going door-to-door to check on vulnerable residents who had not responded to calls from his office.
(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.

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Firefighters /Police Officers
6:17 pm
Mon June 11, 2012

Slay ties firefighter pension reform to police cuts

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay says firefighter pension costs have gone up by more than 500 percent in the last 10 years.
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.

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Politics
5:54 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

St. Louis firefighter pension reform bill stalls in committee

A vote on Alderman Craig Schmid's firefighter pension reform bill was postponed in the Public Safety Committee Thursday.
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.

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Domestic partner benefits
1:00 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

Slay wants domestic partner benefits for firefighters

Mayor Francis Slay wants to amend his controversial firefighter pension reforms to include domestic partner benefits.
(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.

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Other News
5:29 pm
Wed May 16, 2012

St. Louis City looking to cut costs, eliminate redundancy for city services

The logo of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department as displayed on the side of a patrol vehicle.
(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.”

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Business
4:34 pm
Tue May 15, 2012

Mayor urges CVC to reject Rams' request, but remain open for debate

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay.
(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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from St. Louis on the Air
3:06 pm
Tue May 15, 2012

Slay condemns plans for new homeless camp

New Life Evangelistic Center workers erect a sign and crucifix on a two-acre plot in Botanical Heights where Rev. Larry Rice plans to host a homeless camp.
(Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio)

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slays says Rev. Larry Rice’s plan to host a homeless camp on Vandeventer Ave.  north of Interstate 44 is a bad idea. 

Speaking today on "St. Louis on the Air," Slay said he’s concerned about the same safety and health problems that plagued the tent cities by the Mississippi riverfront.

“If they’re on the property without the proper permits – the occupancy permits and other things under the zoning laws – they will be asked to leave and if they continue to violate the law people will be moved,” he said.

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St. Louis Blues
4:09 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

Mayor proclaims Friday as St. Louis Blues Day

St. Louis Blues Alex Pietrangelo skates past a photo hole during the first period against the New York Islanders at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on Feb. 16, 2012.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The St. Louis Blues are in the second round of the NHL playoffs for the first time in a decade, and Mayor Slay is honoring the resurgent team.

Slay declared Friday as St. Louis Blues Day and is asking St. Louisans to wear blue in recognition of the day. The Blues open the second round of the playoffs with a home game Saturday against the Los Angeles Kings.

The Blues beat San Jose to win the first-round series in five games.

St. Louis budget
1:02 pm
Fri April 20, 2012

St. Louis city's budget gets initial approval

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

A $966 million budget for the city of St. Louis has made it through the first of many hurdles at City Hall.

Mayor Francis Slay, comptroller Darlene Green, and Board of Aldermen president Lewis Reed - who make up the Board of Estimate and Apportionment - all approved the budget on Friday. That sends it to the Board of Aldermen, who can shift money around but cannot add to the overall level of spending.

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