St. Louis Board of Aldermen

Alderman Antonio French said regular updates from St. Louis Police chief Sam Dotson would increase police accountability.
Joseph Michael Leahy

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen’s Public Safety Committee wants monthly updates from Police Chief Sam Dotson on the status of his department and crime in the city.

Committee members agreed Wednesday morning to request the updates as an interim solution while they work to establish a more permanent system of accountability. The police department has been under local control since 2013 after the city gained oversight from a state board.

Jason Rosenbaum/St. Louis Public Radio

Right before she battled back to reclaim an office she held for more than 30 years, St. Louis Recorder of Deeds Sharon Carpenter did something most longtime city employees do: She applied for her pension. 

Carpenter served as the city’s recorder of deeds from 1980 to mid-2014. After she resigned, she applied for and started receiving a monthly benefit of $4,238.76. Later that year, she defeated incumbent Recorder of Deeds Jennifer Florida in a landslide.

Alderwoman Christine Ingrassia
Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

The Politically Speaking crew welcomes St. Louis Alderwoman Christine Ingrassia, a Democrat who represents the city’s 6th Ward on the Board of Aldermen. 

Before she ran for the seat, Ingrassia was active in securing grants for the ward, which takes in nine neighborhoods, such as Fox Park and Lafayette Square, in the city’s central and southern corridors. She easily defeated Damon Jones and Michelle Witthaus in a 2013 Democratic primary for the seat – which was tantamount to election.

Joseph Leahy / St. Louis Public Radio

Phyllis Young, the city’s longest-serving alderman, resigned on Dec. 12. Young, a Democrat, represented the 7th Ward, which includes parts of downtown and Soulard, for 29 years.

Lewis Reed 2013
Provided by Lewis Reed

St. Louis Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed is spearheading an effort to establish a poet laureate position in St. Louis.

Megan Green recently won election to a Board of Aldermen seat as an independent. It may have showcased that voters in her ward were less interested in party identification and more concerned about individual candidates.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio | File photo

On paper, Megan Ellyia Green should have been the underdog in last week’s 15th Ward election.

After Missy Pinkerton-McDaniel snagged the Democratic nomination in the race to succeed Jennifer Florida in the south St. Louis ward, Green decided to run as an independent. Given recent history, she didn’t face particularly good odds of winning a city that almost reflexively elects identified Democrats.

(via Flickr/akasped)

Music festivals in downtown St. Louis on the scale of Lollapalooza are about to become a reality.

The city's Board of Aldermen on Monday approved the measure that sets aside Memorial and Labor Day  weekends for the music festivals. Mayor Francis Slay is expected to sign the bill and as soon as he does, Los Angeles-based ICM Partners can start negotiating for talent and financing.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen are off for a month-long spring break starting today. Like many a legislative body (or college students) before them, they left a lot of business until the last minute. Here's a look at some of the business they took care of today.

St. Louisan Big George Brock has performed at past Bluesweek festivals.
File Photo | Bluesweek

Interesting how the debate over mega-music festivals downtown has revealed the St. Louis region’s fault lines.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Updated with comments from the hearing. Edited at 8:45 a.m. Thursday to correct typos.

After more than two days of debate, the St. Louis Board of Aldermen tourism committee approved plans for Lollapalooza-like festivals to be held in downtown St. Louis on Memorial Day and Labor Day Weekends.

(via Flickr/alaina.buzas)

St. Louis aldermen have temporarily slowed the progress of a measure that would reserve Memorial and Labor Day weekends for a new music festival in downtown St. Louis for at least the next 10 years.

The city's tourism committee heard two hours of testimony on the measure today. Chairman Joe Vollmer delayed the vote by a week to give its members time to digest the bill. A good portion of the 29-member Board of Aldermen sat in for at least part of the hearing.

(via Flickr/akasped)

The city of St. Louis took an initial step today toward locking in a decade of music festivals featuring big-name performers in downtown St. Louis.

Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon

A report sharply criticizing St. Louis’ Zoo-Museum District (ZMD) was adopted by the parks committee of the city’s board of aldermen Thursday.

Alderman Joe Roddy, parks committee chair, released a draft of the report this week following a year of investigation.

photo of frances levine
From video by Nancy Fowler

A solid round of applause welcomed Frances Levine as she entered the meeting that finalized her presidency of the Missouri History Museum on Tuesday. Shortly afterward, she also received kudos from her home in Santa Fe, where she’s been director of the New Mexico History Museum for more than 10 years.

Jason Rosenbaum/St. Louis Public Radio

As St. Louis Alderman Fred Wessels prepares to leave his post to lead the city’s Community Development Association, a long-time committeewoman is primed to take his aldermanic seat. 

St. Louis City Hall
Richie Diesterheft | Flickr

When a Board of Aldermen committee made changes to St. Louis' community development block grant recommendations, it showed the city's legislative branch asserting itself against a power shift to the executive.

But not everybody was happy -- including the agency that gave the city the funds in the first place.

St. Louis City Hall
Richie Diesterheft | Flickr

When St. Louis changed how it divided out community development block grants, it marked a major sea change in how St. Louis government functions -- shifting power toward the mayor's administrative umbrella and away from individual aldermen.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio) / St. Louis Public Radio)

Alderman Antonio French is sponsoring legislation to require videotaping or transcribing various meetings and hearings in city government. French is one of several people seeking to use the web to make government more transparent to the public. 

St. Louis Alderman Antonio French knows something about putting a camera in the face of government. 

(via Flickr/Fergus Randall)

Updated at 5:15 p.m. with comments from the committee hearing.

The Housing, Urban Development and Zoning committee of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen has approved $7 million in tax incentives to redo the General American Building at 706 Market as the new headquarters for Laclede Gas. 

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Development and social service agencies are taking stock today after the St. Louis Board of Aldermen gave preliminary approval to a measure that distributes more than $16 million in federal grants to agencies throughout the city.