St. Louis Board of Aldermen

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.

Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio

The size of St. Louis's ward districts could more than double under a proposal moving through the Board of Alderman's Legislation Committee this week.

Members discussed a bill today that would eliminate about half of the city's aldermanic seats - from the current 28 down to 12.

Alderman Scott Ogilvie supports the change but says the board must consider how the duties of aldermen would be affected. 

Joseph Leahy / St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Alderwoman Phyllis Young is sponsoring a bill to cut the size of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen by more than half. Similar proposals have failed over the decades, but Young says this is the first time the call comes from inside the Board itself.

The bill so far has the support of 11 of the 15 aldermen needed to pass.Young says in addition to saving money, cutting the board from 28 to 12 will better reflect the city’s changing population.

(via Facebook/Antonio French)

Updated at 8:45 p.m. to clarify the location of mingled funds.

The Missouri Ethics Commission has fined St. Louis city Alderman Antonio French nearly $38,000 for a series of campaign finance violations that occurred during his successful 2009 campaign for the 21st Ward seat.

French, a Democrat, was charged with five violations, including failing to maintain a checking account at a chartered bank for about nine months, and failing to update campaign records to indicate the closure of the old account and the opening of a new one.

(via Flickr/ChrisYunker)

A $25 million donation to Forest Park may be in jeopardy if the St. Louis Board of Aldermen cannot approve a bond issue for parks improvement by the end of the year.

The two bond issues - one for Forest Park, another for the city's 100+ other parks - stalled again Thursday at the Board of Aldermen.

The bills would work in the following way:

(via Flickr/Ctd 2005)

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen has sent Mayor Francis Slay legislation that would tighten restrictions on the way junkyards handle scrap metal.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

A measure that local preservationists worry could lead to the demolition of the UFO-shaped former home of Del Taco on Grand Ave. is on its way to the mayor's desk.

Adam Allington / St. Louis Public Radio

A taco stand shaped like a giant flying saucer was the subject of heated debate at the St. Louis City Board of Aldermen on Wednesday.

The board’s Housing, Urban Development and Zoning Committee approved a tax abatement bill which could move North Grand’s Del Taco one step closer to demolition.

The iconic gas station turned fast-food joint has become a cause célèbre among local preservationists.

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