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Former chief George joins brigade against Proposition A

Sherman George and Francis Slay
File photo
Chief Sherman George (left) and Mayor Francis Slay (right) have long been at an impasse over promotions (KWMU file photo)

Former St. Louis Fire Chief Sherman George in the past has been at odds with Mayor Francis Slay over some things -- but the two share opposition to Proposition A, the statewide ballot proposal to bar or restrict local earnings taxes.

In St. Louis and Kansas City, which now impose an earnings tax, Proposition A would require citywide votes every five years to sustain the tax. All other communities in the state would be barred from imposing such a tax on income.

George is siding with firefighters' groups, locally and statewide, which are opposing Proposition A.

George is slated to announce his opposition this morning, right before the annual St. Louis Labor Day parade, at a news conference in front of City Hall. The former chief will be joined by representative of Jobs With Justice, a coalition of various groups, and United for Missouri's Priorities, the chief campaign group of unions, firefighters and others lobbying against Proposition A.

The event also will focus on the man who provided virtually all the money for the initiative-petition drive that got Proposition A on the ballot: wealthy financier Rex Sinquefield. The news conference is to feature a 9-foot tall inflatable Tyrannosaurus Rex, a flesh-eating dinosaur.

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon.

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.

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