St. Louis Board of Aldermen | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Board of Aldermen

Bill cosponsor Alderwoman Cara Spencer asks Tom Buckley, general counsel for the Archdioscese of St. Louis, to clarify his position.
File photo | Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio

A St. Louis alderwoman wants the city to look at changing the way it authorizes street closures for utility work or other construction.

The resolution from Cara Spencer D-20th Ward, asks for a hearing with “all utilities with underground infrastructure within city limits” to “discuss current and future construction plans,” and for the streets department to change the permitting process for street closures.

Sarah Fentem | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis aldermen on the Streets, Traffic and Refuse Committee held a hearing Tuesday to discuss the ongoing issues surrounding uncollected residential trash in the city.

For weeks, residents have voiced their frustrations on social media and to their aldermen that the trash in their dumpsters has gone uncollected for weeks at a time.

Jamie Wilson, the director of the city’s Department of Streets, said he’s well aware of the issue. He pointed to a combination of an aging fleet of trucks — not enough which are operable to meet demand — and an overworked staff.

File Photo. Alderman Terry Kennedy says the delay in naming a St. Louis poet laureate could stretch into next year.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Supporters of a measure that would reverse a planned reduction in the number of aldermanic wards in St. Louis will use the Board of Aldermen’s summer break to get more support lined up for their bill.

Aldermen adjourned Friday until Sept. 7 without giving final approval to two charter changes. One would eliminate the residency requirement for most city employees — the other would put the 2012 ward reduction back in front of voters.

The new St. Louis building codes go into effect in August and do not apply to current construction.
Wikimedia Commons

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen on Friday voted unanimously to approve several building codes for the city. The approved codes will establish standards for new homes.

The codes require St. Louis to adopt a number of national and international standards for energy use. These include new fuel and gas, electrical, and fire safety standards.

Commerical planes parked at a St. Louis Lambert International Airport terminal.
St. Louis Lambert International Airport

The Advisor Team hired by the city of St. Louis to explore the privatization of St. Louis Lambert International Airport takes off next week, with its first official meeting on July 11.

The request for proposals, review and approval process is expected to take 18 to 24 months. The process has already been delayed by political maneuvers on the committee to select the advisors and it’s likely to hit more turbulence in the months ahead.

St. Louis Alderman Shane Cohn, D-25th Ward, in a picture taken June 27, 2018
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of Politically Speaking, Rachel Lippmann and Jo Mannies talked with St. Louis Alderman Shane Cohn, D-25th Ward.

Cohn, who grew up in Clayton, represents the Dutchtown, Mount Pleasant and Carondelet neighborhoods in south St. Louis. He was first elected to the Board of Aldermen in 2009 and is in his third term in office.

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen chambers on July 7, 2017.
File photo | Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen Friday gave its approval to a $1.1-billion spending plan that includes more money for vacant-building demolition and help for the homeless.

The 22-2 vote, with one alderman abstaining, marked the end of what had been a difficult budget process. Aldermen had to find ways to close a $14-million gap, despite several new sources of revenue, and the city’s budget committee often had trouble holding meetings because not enough members showed up.

A report being considered by the St. Louis parking commission suggests increasing parking rates in the city. That would help fund upgraded meters, like this one that takes credit cards.
Paul Sableman | Flickr

More money will come from St. Louis’ parking division to help shore up the city’s reserve fund.

In a compromise forged this week, St. Louis Alderman Jeffrey Boyd, D-22nd Ward, and Treasurer Tishaura Jones agreed that $10 million will be taken from parking revenues and put into the city’s reserve fund.

“This $10 million will get us back to a 2008 level,” Boyd said. “It will put the citizens of the city of St. Louis in a better position if we ever need those particular funds.”

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen chambers on July 7, 2017.
File photo | Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen Friday delayed a final vote on changes to the city’s residency requirement for workers and the number of aldermen.

Supporters of reversing a 2012 public vote that cut the number of wards from 28 to 14, and of eliminating the residency requirement for most city employees, did not have the votes to send the measures to Mayor Lyda Krewson. She had already pledged to veto the ward reduction reversal.

Paul McKee on March 28, 2018.
File Photo | Kae Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio

A St. Louis alderwoman is pushing for state and federal law enforcement to investigate St. Louis developer Paul McKee, whose 1,500-acre redevelopment project in north St. Louis has received millions in development incentives.

The investigation would pursue allegations that McKee inflated property values to gain more state tax credits when he purchased buildings, Alderwoman Cara Spencer, D-20th Ward, said. Spencer introduced a resolution Friday calling for the investigation.

The Board of Aldermen chambers on July 7, 2017.
File photo | Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen has given first-round approval to ballot proposals that would end the city’s residency requirement for most workers, and block the scheduled cut in the board’s size.

But as yet, Mayor Lyda Krewson has not taken a position on either proposal. And Friday’s vote for either measure wouldn’t be enough if she decides to exercise her veto.

A volunteer with Coalition for Life St. Louis protests outside Planned Parenthood on Forest Park Avenue.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Supporters of additional restrictions on protesters outside of St. Louis’ Planned Parenthood’s facility in the Central West End will have to try again next session.

The measure got nine of the 15 needed votes Monday, the final day of the 2017-2018 session of the Board of Aldermen. That means backers of the restrictions will have to start the process over.

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen chambers on July 7, 2017.
File photo | Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen heads back to City Hall Monday for the final day of the current session with several pieces of legislation hanging in the balance.

A protest buffer zone around medical facilities such as Planned Parenthood in the Central West End is the highest-profile measure still awaiting action. Supporters say buffer zone is needed to keep clinic patients and staff safe. Opponents call it a violation of the First Amendment.

A boutique apartment tower going up at Euclid and West Pine avenues received tax increment financing in 2015. It sits across from a Whole Foods, which is housed on the lower level of another apartment building that received TIF. (Feb. 21, 2017)
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

A coalition critical of the tax relief St. Louis awards developers wants lawmakers to make processes to grant tax incentives more transparent and more equitable.

When it started in 2016, Team TIF focused on education. But now that the public is more aware of how the city grants developers incentives, the coalition is pushing for policy changes, volunteer Molly Metzger said.

“The problems that we see in St. Louis and other cities — of racial segregation, of stark inequality — these are not created by markets alone. They are created by markets that were structured by governments,” said Metzger, a professor who studies housing policy at Washington University’s Brown School of Social Work.

Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis aldermen will wait a few months before voting on a bill that would change the city’s residency requirement.

A committee heard public testimony on Alderwoman Carol Howard’s bill earlier this month but did not take a vote. The current session of the board essentially ends in March, and Howard, D-14th Ward, now says she will wait until lawmakers come back after the break for a new session in April to get a different version approved.

A fire rages out of control in a warehouse after walls collapsed during a five-alarm fire in St. Louis last Wednesday. Nearly 200 St. Louis firefighters battled the warehouse containing numerous paper products and nearly 200,000 candles.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

St. Louis voters will decide this summer whether the city should borrow about $50 million to buy new fire equipment, upgrade electrical panels at City Hall, install permanent air conditioning at the city jail known as the Workhouse, and other projects.

Aldermen sent the bond issue to Mayor Lyda Krewson on Friday. Her signature will place the borrowing on the August ballot, when it will require a two-thirds majority to pass. The bond issue will not increase taxes.

Alderwoman-elect Annie Rice
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum, Jo Mannies and Rachel Lippmann welcome Alderwoman-elect Annie Rice to the show.

Rice defeated 8th Ward Democratic Committeeman Paul Fehler on Tuesday to represent the ward in the St. Louis Board of Aldermen. The 8th Ward takes in the Shaw, Southwest Garden, Tower Grove South and Tower Grove East neighborhoods.

The Board of Aldermen chambers on July 7, 2017.
File photo | Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Legislation that would bar, in most instances, St. Louis from expending resources to enforce marijuana laws attracted mostly positive comments from city residents at an aldermanic committee hearing Tuesday night.

But Alderwoman Megan Green’s legislation received a less favorable reception from some of her colleagues, including the chairman of the committee hearing the bill.

Annie Rice, the independent candidate for 8th Ward Alderwoman
Rice campaign via Facebook

Updated Feb. 13 at 10:05 p.m. with quotes from Rice — An immigration attorney who is also a vocal supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement will join the Board of Aldermen later this month as the representative of the 8th Ward.

Annie Rice, who ran as an independent candidate, beat the Democratic nominee, Paul Fehler in Tuesday’s special election 60 percent to 40 percent in unofficial results. She will serve the remainder of Steve Conway’s term. Conway resigned in November to become the city’s assessor. Turnout in the ward, which covers parts of the Shaw, Tower Grove East and Southwest Garden neighborhoods, was about 28 percent.

St. Louis is accepting applications for a company to operate a "dockless" bike share system in the city. Officials hope a service will be operating some time this year.
CityofStPete | Flickr

St. Louis officials are shifting gears to bring a bike share program to city residents and visitors.

The St. Louis Board of Alderman Friday approved the permit application to run what’s known as a “dockless” bike share program. Alderman Scott Ogilvie, D-24th Ward, the bill’s sponsor, is hopeful a company will be up and pedaling later this year.

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