City County Merger | St. Louis Public Radio

City County Merger

State Rep. Dean Plocher, R-Des Peres, sponsored a constitutional amendment that would allow a legislator to serve up to 12 years in the House and Senate. It would have also established term limits for all statewide officials.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo I St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment requiring local approval for a city-county merger.

Whether that plan makes it to voters is an open question, especially since Rep. Dean Plocher’s measure needs to get past a potential Senate filibuster.

On April 22, 2019, St. Louis County Councilwoman Hazel Erby, D-University City and other black political leaders announced their position on the NAACP's endorsement for the city-county merger. The same day they called for John Gaskin III to resign as pres
File photo | Chad Davis | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 7:45 a.m., April 23, with comment from a Unite STL spokesperson — More than 30 African American political leaders from the St. Louis metro area are calling for the resignation of St. Louis County NAACP President John Gaskin III.

The announcement came Monday afternoon at the Cool Valley City Hall, several days after political leaders accused Gaskin of having a conflict of interest after he revealed he is being paid by Unite STL. The organization is the political arm pushing for the Better Together’s city-county merger recommendations. Gaskin announced the St. Louis County NAACP was in favor of the merger on April 18.

John Gaskin III, President of the St. Louis County Branch of the NAACP, announces his support for the Better Together proposal on April 18, 2019.
Corinne Ruff | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 5:30 p.m., April 19, with Dellwood Mayor Reggie Jones calling for the resignation of the St. Louis County NAACP president — Better Together’s city-county merger proposal received a significant endorsement from the St. Louis County branch of the NAACP.

The announcement came Thursday from St. Louis County Branch NAACP President John Gaskin III, who faced blowback following revelations that he is a paid consultant for Better Together's political advocacy arm.

Gaskin said he believes the proposal will result in significant social change across the metro area.

(March 07, 2019)  St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger answered questions on the state of the county and recent news concerning the region.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger.

The conversation touched on the state of the county and recent news concerning the region, including the St. Louis County Council’s attempt to remove him from office, the potential city-county merger and the possible privatization of St. Louis Lambert International Airport.

A group known as Better Together is proposing a plan to merge St. Louis and St. Louis County. They're planning to get the measure on the 2020 ballot.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Public Radio newsroom has been fielding a wide range of questions from listeners the past few weeks concerning Better Together’s recently unveiled proposal for a reunification of St. Louis and St. Louis County.

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh and several STLPR journalists provided answers to a number of those Curious Louis queries that haven’t already been answered – and took additional questions from listeners as well.

Chesterfield City Hall
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Some St. Louis municipal leaders are continuing to look into potential alternatives to the Better Together proposal that would merge St. Louis and St. Louis County.

Chesterfield City Council members voted to direct city staff to look into possible steps for Chesterfield that could lead to an independent Chesterfield County or a Chesterfield merger with St. Charles County.

Tuesday's talk show included conversations with Better Together staff members Dave Leipholtz and Marius Johnson-Malone and then with the Municipal League of Metro St. Louis' Pat Kelly and Creve Coeur Mayor Barry Glantz, who oppose Better Together's plan.
Evie Hemphill & Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with backers of two competing approaches to a potential reunification of the St. Louis and St. Louis County governments.

First up was a conversation with two staff members – Dave Leipholtz and Marius Johnson-Malone – from Better Together, the organization that formally unveiled a much-anticipated proposal for a city-county merger on Monday after several years of study.

Following that in-depth interview was a discussion with Pat Kelly, executive director of the Municipal League of Metro St. Louis, which voted Jan. 24 to pursue an alternative route to possible reunification. Creve Coeur Mayor Barry Glantz also joined the conversation.

A group known as Better Together is proposing a plan to merge St. Louis and St. Louis County. They're planning to get the measure on the 2020 ballot.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 7 a.m. on Feb. 11 with answers to 11 more questions about the proposed metro government structure — Better Together has released its report recommending a St. Louis-St. Louis County merger. The proposal would create St. Louis Metro — a unified government that would merge city and county offices — and restrict the taxing authority of St. Louis County municipalities.

The proposal would also combine municipal courts and police departments.

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson joined "St. Louis on the Air" on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2018.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

About seven weeks out from St. Louis’ March 5 primary race between several city politicians vying for Board of Alderman president, Mayor Lyda Krewson declined to specify on Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air which Democrat will have her vote.

“I haven’t made an endorsement yet,” she told host Don Marsh with a laugh. “It’s almost two months away, Don.”

Krewson did confirm that she plans to run for a second term that would begin in 2021.

“Of course, yes, I am,” said Krewson, who became St. Louis’ first woman mayor in April 2017. “And you know, you can’t get everything that you want done in four years.”

What's your connection to St. Louis? Are you from Missouri/Illinois, or do you live here now? I've lived in "East County" since 1969 Have you ever heard our show before? (If yes, welcome back! If no, we're glad to have you!) I listen at least a couple of
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis region has been buzzing in recent days with renewed talk of potentially merging St. Louis and St. Louis County, which have been separate jurisdictions for nearly a century and a half.

The organization Better Together is expected to soon release its proposal for such a plan, potentially reversing what has become known as “the Great Divorce” of 1876. A proposal to consolidate the St. Louis Metropolitan and St. Louis County police departments has also attracted attention.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with Terry Jones, professor emeritus of political science at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, about the history of the jurisdictions, previous efforts to unify them and the latest efforts to do so.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 6, 2011 - Now that the city has five years' breathing room on the earnings tax, officials in St. Louis are studying a new report on the best ways to substitute the $140 million a year it provides.

They're also looking hard at a companion report that provides a road map to do more of what they already are doing -- talking with St. Louis County about collaborating on certain services to save money, make government services more efficient and maybe bring the long-held dream of true regionalism a little closer to reality.