Better Together was supposed to merge St. Louis and St. Louis County through a statewide initiative, but backers withdrew their proposal last spring after facing a major backlash.
In its place, the Municipal League of Metro St. Louis developed a plan to put together a Board of Freeholders. The Board of Freeholders will have representation from both city and county, and special powers under the state constitution. Members can draft a plan to merge the city and county or drop the idea altogether.
The St. Louis County Council signed off on most of County Executive Sam Page’s picks for the board. But at the city level, appointments have stalled, even though the deadline to have the full board in place has already passed.
Tuesday on St. Louis on the Air, Sarah Fenske spoke with St. Louis Public Radio correspondent Rachel Lippmann about what this means for the process and what may come next.
She also talked with one of the county-appointed Board of Freeholders members, Jason Wilson, the owner and chief executive of Northwest Coffee Roasting Company and treasurer on the Clayton Board of Education.
"This is the type of thing that I always wanted to be a part of. I grew up in St. Louis, so I know how it is; I know how hard it can be," Wilson said. "I really want to see north St. Louis city have an opportunity to reduce its crime, create some jobs over there, create a middle class that can be a participant in our local economy."
Learn more about Wilson's expectations for the role and hear Fenske's conversation with Lippmann about the Board of Freeholders process:
“St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill, Lara Hamdan and Tonina Saputo. The engineer is Aaron Doerr, and production assistance is provided by Charlie McDonald.
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