St. Louis Board of Aldermen

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. 

Fergus Randall | Flickr

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.

Tara Pham / (Courtesy Potluck PAC)

For some time now, St. Louisans interested in funding creative projects in the region have gathered on the last Sunday of the month for Sloup. They put a donation in a pot, eat soup, listen to proposals, and vote on the one they'd most like to see happen. The proposal that wins the most votes gets to use the donated money to help make their idea a reality.

(St. Louis Public Radio)

The St. Louis Tax Increment Financing Commission voted to activate the last two phases of the Northside Regeneration project Wednesday morning, which has more than $190 in TIF funding.

Six commissioners voted yes with one, Ken Hutchinson, abstaining.

It now will move to the Board of Aldermen where the Housing, Urban Development, and Zoning committee likely will hear it.

Paul McKee told the TIF Commission at the meeting he has two major industrial users interested in moving into the area bringing a total of 250 jobs.

"TIF helps recruit jobs," McKee said.

(via Flickr/Mykl Roventine)

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen has become the latest entity to go on record opposing a new boulevard through portions of St. Louis County.

(via Flickr/tobyotter)

A St. Louis alderwoman wants to keep people from sagging their pants in public. Marlene Davis introduced a bill Friday that would impose a fine of at least $100 for a violation. 

A violation is described as wearing pants below the waist, exposing the skin or undergarments which is quote “likely to cause affront or alarm.”

The topic may sound funny, but not all the aldermen are laughing. Alderman Antonio French says the bill inordinately targets young black men.

(via Flickr/robertelyov)

Here's something you probably don't know about the city of St. Louis - it's illegal to distribute or sell condoms unless you're a doctor or a pharmacist.

A law passed in 1934 says so.

But Alderman Shane Cohn says it's time for the city code to reflect reality. He introduced a measure today that reads, in its entirety:

St. Louis City Hall
Richie Diesterheft | Flickr

A new economic development agreement between St. Louis City and County is a step closer to reality.

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen moved a bill forward Thursday that would create a long-talked about partnership.

The bill’s sponsor, Alderman Fred Wessels of the 13th Ward, says it will create entity to serve businesses that want to move into the region.

(via Wikimedia Commons)

The St. Louis Board of Alderman is weighing into the ongoing debate over alleged misuse of taxpayer funds at the Missouri History Museum.

The BOA hopes to use its bully pulpit as leverage to improve transparency at the museum.

Members of the History Museum’s Board of Trustees, as well as its subdistrict commissioners were brought in to testify before the Board of Aldermen on issues ranging from, questionable land purchases, to compensation for former museum president Bob Archibald, to its use of taxpayer funds.

Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen met today for the last time ahead of the mayoral and aldermanic elections in March and April. Here's what came out (and didn't) of a hectic day at City Hall:

Foreclosure mediation

Aldermen sent Mayor Francis Slay a measure that would require lenders to offer homeowners foreclosure mediation. The homeowners do not have to accept, and there's no requirement to reach an agreement.

'Arch Tax' Approved By St. Louis Board Of Aldermen

Jan 11, 2013
AP

A tax to generate funds to improve the Gateway Arch, as well regional parks and trails took a step forward in the St. Louis Board of Aldermen on Friday.

The so-called “Arch Tax” creates a 3/16th cent sales tax.  If approved by voters in St. Louis City and County the tax would raise $120 million for the Arch grounds.

It would also raise about $600 million for city and county parks as well as the Great Rivers Greenway park and trail district.

The bill passed overwhelmingly with 24 in favor, 3 against and 1 “present” vote.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Updated to correct Alex Ihnen quote.

Despite concerns about the oversight of funds, a committee of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen approved on Thursday a sales tax meant to help pay for upgrades of the Arch grounds.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen is a step closer to addressing some legal concerns with its new pension system for firefighters.

The measure cleared a procedural hurdle today, 18-10. A final vote will take place next week, likely with a similar result.

Judge Robert Dierker issued a preliminary ruling in October that the city was in rights to terminate the old pension system for firefighters and start a new one. But Dierker had some concerns about the way the new system treated vested employees.

(via Flickr/s_falkow)

Nearly seven years later, the battle over the recall of former St. Louis alderman Tom Bauer is a step closer to final.

The Missouri Court of Appeals today threw out a $150,000 defamation verdict for fliers published against Bauer during his recall election in 2005.

Bauer was thrown out of office in September of that year, in part because of his support for a QuikTrip that would have required the use of eminent domain. The 24th Ward is south of Forest Park and includes Dogtown.

Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio

Just three weeks after welcoming a new member to its ranks, the St. Louis Board of Aldermen gathered to say goodbye to another one.

Kacie Starr Triplett, the 6th Ward alderwoman, is stepping down to  take a position with the Behavioral Health Network of Greater St. Louis, where she'll coordinate a new initiative looking at gaps for services for the homeless and mentally ill in the region.

Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio

On Tuesday, St. Louisans will once again be asked if they want to make a major change to the structure of government in the city.  

Proposition R would cut the size of the Board of Aldermen in half following the next census. The board itself put the measure on the ballot in July, just before taking a break for the summer, and the campaign in the midst of an already crowded election season began in earnest in September.

Official State Photo

State Rep. Chris Carter won a special election on Tuesday to fill the seat left open on the St. Louis Board of Aldermen after his uncle, Alderman Greg Carter, died in a traffic accident two months ago.

Carter said it’s a bitter sweet victory and his first order of business is to tackle what he views as a cycle of joblessness and crime in his ward.  

(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)

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen took a brief moment on Friday to remember one of its former members.

Gregory Carter died Aug. 1 in a multi-vehicle accident in St. Charles County. Friday's meeting was the first of the board since his death, though many gathered at a community service last month.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Family, friends and colleagues gathered outside the brick headquarters of the 27th Ward Thursday night to remember the man who had represented the area for the last 13 years.

Ald. Gregory Carter was killed Aug. 1 when the UPS tractor trailer he was driving was involved in a multi-vehicle accident in St. Charles County. He was 54, and leaves behind a wife and two children, as well as two brothers, a sister, and his father.

St. Louis Public Radio photo

Management at Lambert Airport has signed off on an agreement with the Hudson Group to offer travelers a new lineup of retail stores.

If the St. Louis Board of Alderman green lights the deal, Hudson Group will take over 14 locations, boosting the total number of shops by three.    

Proposed new retail concepts range from one focused on St. Louis sports teams to an Eddie Bauer clothing shop. 

Airport spokesman Jeff Lea said the deal will also bring in guaranteed extra revenue.

(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.

Subsidies for a scaled-back Ballpark Village continued their march toward completion at the Board of Aldermen today - a day after getting the nod from a city development agency.

The $17 million in tax incentives got initial approval from the board today. It still needs one more vote from the Board, and then approval by the state. That meeting appears to be scheduled for July 17.

Updated with quotes from sponsor Phyllis Young.

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen voted today to reduce its numbers by more than half, but city voters will have the final say.

Today's vote passed 21-7 - an expected result, as it cleared a procedural hurdle June 29 with 19 votes.

Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio

A measure to cut the St. Louis Board of Aldermen in half moved a step closer to reality at City Hall today.

The bill cleared a procedural hurdle with more than enough votes to eventually approve the legislation.

South city alderman Steve Conway supports the cut. He says he understands that some of his colleagues prefer smaller wards because it's easier to provide hands-on service.

Pages