St. Louis Board of Aldermen

State Auditor Nicole Galloway delivered a scathing audit to St. Louis Recorder of Deeds Sharon Carpenter.
File photo by Jason Rosenbaum I 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. 

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:

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay is taking a wait-and-see approach on a recently introduced bill to cap campaign contributions for city offices.

But Slay said he supports “reasonable” contribution limits, which he noted were in place for years before the Missouri General Assembly removed them in 2008.

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.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Both sides in an aldermanic hearing on the Missouri History Museum Wednesday agreed that issues such as a questionable land deal and compensation for departed president Robert Archibald were mistakes that had shaken public confidence in the institution.

But they parted ways on the issue of whether recent changes in governance go far enough to restore taxpayers’ faith in the museum and to guard against such problems occurring in the future.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: When the Board of Aldermen reconvenes later this year, the people who comprise the 28-member body will look awfully familiar.

That’s because St. Louis residents in 13 out of 15 wards voted to give incumbent city lawmakers another four years in office. That outcome wasn’t completely unexpected: Only seven wards had contested Democratic primaries, which in most cases are the decisive electoral contests. While several wards feature Republican or Green Party candidates, winning the Democratic primary in most instances is tantamount to election.

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.

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