Lewis Reed

(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:

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

All sides involved in the effort to bring down the cost of pensions for firefighters in the city of St. Louis say negotiations are going well.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

The dispute over the best way to reduce the cost of firefighter pensions in the city of St. Louis continued on Friday, with Lewis Reed, the president of the Board of Aldermen, laying out his plan.

Reed, whose Twitter feed tracked the progress of a Thursday late-night meeting among himself, firefighters, and selected aldermen, says his plan will reduce the city's required contribution into the Fireman's Retirement System for next year by $7.6 million. Reed unveiled the plan at a City Hall news conference Friday.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

The political fight raging over Mayor Francis Slay’s efforts to reform the pension system for St. Louis city firefighters continued at City Hall Friday.

The dispute started last week when board president Lewis Reed refused to assign the bills to a committee. Reed contends the board's rules give him until next Friday, Feb. 25, to make a decision.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Though they had no legislation to officially consider, members of the Public Employees Committee of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen spent almost three hours today discussing proposed changes to the pension system for the city's firefighters.

(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.

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.

Flickr/FiredUpMissouri

Missouri Republican Senators End Filibuster

Missouri's Senate has embraced a plan to extend federally funded jobless benefits while cutting eligibility for state-funded benefits.  Several Republican senators upset about federal spending ended a filibuster Thursday against legislation renewing the federal long-term benefits. That came after the Senate voted to cut state jobless benefits by six weeks, to a maximum of 20 weeks.

(St. Louis Board of Aldermen & Missouri Senate websites)

The newly re-elected President of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen has called a controversial state Senator "unfit to lead," and is asking her to step down over remarks she made about black politicians who are supporting local control of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.

(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.

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