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East St. Louis Charter Change Not Dead

Mayor Carl Officer.

By Matt Sepic, KWMU.

St. Louis, MO. – East St. Louis Mayor Carl Officer says he'll try again next year to get a strong mayor proposal passed in the city.

On Tuesday 53 percent of East St. Louis voters decided to stick with the city manager form of government. They defeated a plan Carl Officer pushed that would have returned more power to the mayor.

Officer says his main focus this week was getting his allies elected to the city council. But he says he will try the charter reform initiative again in November of 2006.

"Sure, we'll send it back, because it's not really about me," Officer said. "It's for whoever gets to sit in this seat in the future, and that's what's vitally important. I don't intend to be mayor the rest of my life."

One of the two candidates Officer backed was elected to the council. But that still gives the mayor and his friends a 3-2 majority.

KWMU's Matt Sepic spoke Wednesday to SIU-Edwardsville political scientist Andrew Theising, who says East St. Louis needs a lot more than just a personnel change.

Theising is author of East St. Louis, Made in USA--the Rise and Fall of an Industrial River Town, the companion book to the KETC-TV documentary.

He told KWMU's Matt Sepic many of the social problems the city faces today are the same ones it had during the economic boom of a century ago.

To hear the interview, click here --->


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