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Government, Politics & Issues

Curious Louis: What does the mayor of St. Louis actually do?

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Rici Hoffarth
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St. Louis Public Radio

For the first time in 16 years, St. Louis is welcoming a new mayor into office.

The shift in power from Francis Slay to Lyda Krewson led Curious Louis participant and St. Louis native, Whitney Panneton to ask St. Louis Public Radio: What exactly does the mayor do?

The city of St. Louis  has a reputation for a weak mayor system, which means answering Panneton’s  question also necessitates a look at the limitations on the mayor’s power.

“There’s a bit of the wizard behind the curtain here,” said political science professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Terry Jones. 

“Is the public somewhat unrealistic in wanting protection against having too powerful a mayor, but then wanting the mayor to get something done?” Jones continued. “Yes.”

St. Louis Public Radio illustrator Rici Hoffarth takes us through what the mayor does — web comic style:

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This project is part of our collaborative reporting project Curious Louis. What do you wonder about St. Louis or its people that you would like St. Louis Public Radio to investigate? Ask your question here

Illustrations by Rici Hoffarth

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.