Zoo-Museum District

Quorum Denied
6:25 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Zoo Museum District Makes No Progress On Ethics Code; Zoo Audit Accepted

ZMD Board members continue debate over ethics code language
Credit Willis Ryder Arnold/St. Louis Public Radio

The Zoo Museum District’s Thursday meeting was defined by two events: a stymied vote about language for its new code of ethics and a recent audit of the St. Louis Zoo. 

Code of Ethics Contention

The continued discussion regarding language for a new code of ethics drew ire from those wanting to include stricter language and members preferring a more relaxed approach.  Immediately prior to a vote on which language to forward on to city, county, and board council, board member Gloria Wessels left the meeting.

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Same Arguments
5:11 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

ZMD Ethics Committee Debate Spills Into Board Meeting

Zoo-Museum Board Meeting discussing proposed changes to the code of ethics
Credit Willis Arnold/St. Louis Public Radio

Instead of voting on a new ethics policy today, the full Zoo-Museum District board repeated conversation held in two prior ethics committee meetings. Three issues remain contentious: whether changes should be applied to sub-districts, what level of financial disclosure is necessary, and how to handle ethics violations. 

Board Chair Thelma Cook expressed concern about the handling of violations, once identified.

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Ethics Committee
3:33 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

New ZMD Ethics Code Torn Between Two Approaches

The ethics committee meeting on Oct. 15.
Credit Willis ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

The Zoo Museum District Ethics Committee remains stretched between two poles. Board member Charles Valier continues to call for an annual disclosure of board member assets while board member Tom Campbell says this disclosure would be an undue burden on ZMD leaders.

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Stability
9:20 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

ZMD Sets 2014 Tax Rates And Continues Discussion On Admission

Board members easily agreed to setting tax rate but debated value of allowing subdistricts to charge admission fees to people who are not residents of St. Louis or St. Louis County.
Credit Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

Tensions among Zoo-Museum District board members appear to have faded over the last year. The board met Monday to discuss the 2014 subdistrict tax rates, hear reports from committees and the executive director, and discuss past and future business of the board. 

Board members -- Robert Lowery appeared by speaker phone and Gloria Wessels was absent -- voted unanimously to approve an 8 cent property tax on behalf of the St. Louis Art Museum and the Zoo. The board voted to approve a 3.99 cent property tax for The Science Center, Botanical Gardens and Missouri History Museum.

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10 Percent?
5:24 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Zoo-Museum Committee Debates Tougher Ethics Code

The Zoo Museum District includes the Art Museum, Science Center, History Museum, Botanical Garden and Zoo.
Credit File photos and Wikipedia

The Zoo Museum District’s Ethics Committee met Wednesday to discuss changes to the organization’s code of ethics. Committee members Charles Valier, Ben Uchitelle and Committee Chair Tom Campbell were primarily in agreement. But Campbell and Valier differ over the level of transparency to write into the code.

“Transparency for transparency’s sake doesn’t benefit anyone” said Campbell.

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Zoo-Museum District
5:54 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

ZMD Board Member Wants Discounts For City, County Residents At Zoo, Other Institutions

Gloria Wessels

If you live in St. Louis or St. Louis County, you may eventually be able to get discounts at local cultural institutions. That idea was floated Thursday by Zoo-Museum District board member Gloria Wessels.

City and county residents pay taxes that fund the five institutions of the district: the St. Louis Art Museum, Science Center, St. Louis Zoo, Missouri History Museum and Missouri Botanical Garden. Wessels told St. Louis Public Radio that it’s only fair that taxpayers get something for their money that visitors from other counties don’t.

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St. Louis on the Air
5:23 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Discussion: Mo. History Museum's New Leader Says Transparency Has Improved, Charts New Course

Credit From video by Nancy Fowler

Two months into her role as president of the Missouri History Museum, Frances Levine is making her presence known as she works to move past the controversy surrounding her predecessor.

Former museum president Robert Archibald resigned in 2012 amid questions about his compensation and the purchase of contaminated land on Delmar Boulevard.

Levine spoke with St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh about the future of the museum.

Museum Governance and Transparency

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2005 Legislation
8:49 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Zoo-Museum District Board Member Exploring Tax Dollars For African-American Institutions

Robert Powell
Credit Courtesy of Portfolio Gallery

A member of the St. Louis Zoo-Museum District board is reviving the prospect of a new subdistrict of black arts organizations.

An amendment to House Bill 186, passed by the Missouri legislature in 2005, allows the creation of the African American History Museum and Cultural District. But adding it to the ZMD would have to be approved by popular vote — and an election can cost  up to $1 million — so the issue has languished for nine years.

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Science Center
9:09 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Issues Around Arcturis-St. Louis Science Center Deal Resurrected

Science Center President and CEO Bert Vescolani is closest to the screen; to his left is Science Center board chairman Doug Yaeger.
Credit Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Public Radio

The controversy over a contract between the St. Louis Science Center and a design firm doesn’t seem to be going away.

In April, Zoo-Museum District board member Pat Whitaker resigned following conflict-of-interest allegations stemming from the Science Center awarding a contract to Arcturis, a company she founded.

On Thursday, ZMD board member Charles Valier again criticized Science Center dealings with the firm at a budget-presentation meeting at the Center.

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Zoo-Museum District
6:37 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

St. Louis’ Zoo-Museum District Ethics Code Committee Reaches Early Consensus

Tom Campbell
Credit Provided by the Zoo Museum District

Members of a committee charged with reviewing the St. Louis Zoo-Museum District’s ethics code ended their first meeting Monday on a harmonious note.

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