St. Louis Board of Aldermen

(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.

A bill that would cut the St. Louis Board of Aldermen in half has cleared the first of several hurdles it faces before becoming law.

The board’s legislation committee approved the bill by a vote of 7-1. It still needs the thumbs-up from the entire Board, and then from 60 percent of the voters in November.

Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio

The bulk of Mayor Francis Slay’s firefighter pension reform bill stalled today in the St. Louis Board of Alderman’s Public Safety Committee.

The committee passed a provision barring trustees of the Firemen’s Retirement System from suing the city over the design or benefits of the pension plan. But the committee postponed voting on major reforms that would make firefighters to pay more into the system and prevent retirement until age 55.

Alderman Larry Arnowitz says he’s certain if reform passes, firefighters will fight the changes in court.

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