St. Louis Board of Aldermen

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.

(via Flickr/Richie Diesterheft)

EMS billing will be outsourced, and overtime for firefighters and jail guards has been cut under a budget approved Friday by the St. Louis Board of Aldermen.

The money the city hopes to save by outsourcing helped aldermen restore funds for bulk trash pick-up, crime prevention and building demolition.

But it was $500,000 that wasn't restored to the Affordable Housing Commission that drew the lone no vote from Alderwoman Kacie Starr Triplett.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

A unanimous vote today by the legislation committee of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen kicked off the public part of the city's redistricting process.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

"The last elected GOP official has left the building.”

That's how Aldermen Fred Heitert concluded his remarks at the St. Louis Board of Aldermen this morning as his colleagues paid tribute to his 32 years of service.

Heitert was one of two incumbents to lose re-election bids this cycle.

He was the longest-serving member of the current board, and was ousted six years short of having the longest aldermanic career.

His colleagues who rose in tribute spoke of his wisdom, and the fact that he always paid attention.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Larry Arnowitz knew his campaign against Fred Heitert was a long-shot at best. After all, Heitert had served the 12th Ward on the city’s southwest side since 1979, winning eight elections as a Republican without the benefit of a Republican voting base. (He lost that in the 1981 redistricting, when the other Republican poached it.

But during his years as a city employee, Arnowitz got to meet Albert "Red" Villa, the longest-serving alderman in St. Louis history. He also served as a deputy sheriff at the pleasure of Red's son Tom, when Tom was the Board president. (The two will serve together on the board for the next two years. Tom is filling the seat of his nephew Matt, who resigned to focus on expanding Villa Lighting, the family business.)

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Another incumbent alderman has lost his seat at City Hall.

Fred Heitert, a 32-year members of the Board of Aldermen and for many years its only Republican, lost his re-election bid by 48 votes to Democrat Larry Arnowitz, a longtime city employee.

(via Flickr/Richie Diesterheft)

Updated at 12:30 p.m. Wed. with correct percentages

Updated with final unofficial results at 10:30 p.m.

A former St. Louis alderman who was recalled from office in 2005 over his support for controversial development projects in his south city ward seems poised to take his old seat back in April.