Linda Martinez | St. Louis Public Radio

Linda Martinez

Corinne Ruff | St. Louis Public Radio

About 20 residents gathered at an event Tuesday evening to ask questions regarding the city’s exploration of whether to lease St. Louis Lambert International Airport.

Consultants and members of the Airport Advisory Working Group, including Deputy Mayor for Development Linda Martinez, gave a presentation at Carpenter Library in south St. Louis about the process so far. 

The group also explained the potential benefit of a private deal — saying a cash influx could help pay down the airport’s debt and help alleviate problems like blight and crime in the city.

Site of the Northside Regeneration Urgent Care, pictured in September 2019.
Kae Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen will consider renewing a development agreement for Northside Regeneration’s long-stalled urgent care center, even as the developer and the city continue to tangle in court over the larger development project.

The bill would give Paul McKee a two-year extension to secure financing and build the facility, which would be located on Jefferson Avenue on the former Pruitt-Igoe site. The bill, introduced Friday by Alderwoman Tammika Hubbard, D-5th Ward, would also requalify the project for more than $8 million in tax incentives. 

St. Louis Lambert International Airport. August 2018
File Photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

A St. Louis alderwoman is questioning why the city has pivoted away from a public vote on the potential privatization of St. Louis Lambert International Airport.

Cara Spencer, D-20th Ward, has been pushing for a public vote for more than a year through her proposed legislation in the Board of Aldermen. So she was surprised to see a public vote had been suggested when the process first got off the ground.

Upon a closer look at the preliminary application submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration in 2017, Spencer said she recently realized a process involving a public vote was outlined as the preferred method for granting the city the authority to lease the airport. 

St. Louis Lambert International Airport. August 2018
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Denver International Airport last month pulled the plug on a nearly $2 billion deal with a Spanish company leading a public-private partnership.

That’s of interest in St. Louis, where the company — Ferrovial Airports — may bid to lease St. Louis Lambert International Airport. Some city officials are taking a wait-and-see approach, while others hear alarm bells.

(Sept. 11, 2019) City officials Paul Payne (at left) and Linda Martinez joined Wednesday's talk show to discuss the state of the St. Louis Lambert International Airport privatization process.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

For two and a half years, the city of St. Louis has been exploring the idea of leasing St. Louis Lambert International Airport. An army of consultants has been toiling — largely behind closed doors — to put together a request for qualifications. They hope to attract a private company willing to pay big money up front in hopes of profiting off future airport operations. While other cities have flirted with the idea, the leasing of a major U.S. airport is unprecedented. 

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, two high-ranking city officials joined the program to discuss the state of the privatization conversation: Paul Payne, the city budget director and chairman of the airport working group, and Linda Martinez, deputy mayor for development.

Taken at Bishop Du Bourg High School on 06/27/19
File photo | Corinne Ruff | St. Louis Public Radio

Late last month, a person who identified himself as Dominique called St. Louis on the Air to weigh in on a discussion about airport privatization.

“I think that right now it might be premature one way or the other to try to draw some conclusions simply because it’s a process that’s not been concluded,” Dominique said on the air. “There is no decision at this point.”

Even as Dominique spoke, questions arose about whether the caller was really Douglass Petty, the communications manager for the St. Louis airport advisory working group. While St. Louis Public Radio so far has been unable to obtain its call log from AT&T, the radio station did have a forensic audio analysis performed that shows Dominique was “very likely” Petty.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 17, 2011 - Women in leadership posts -- whether public or private -- face many of the same challenges.

Among them: when to shed the traditional female role of "team player" to "step up" to wield power as a true leader.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 18, 2009 - Three St. Louis area business leaders are part of a seven-person panel set up by Gov. Jay Nixon to help him select a new economic development director.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 14, 2009 - Gov. Jay Nixon's office confirmed this afternoon what had been circulating for days in news outlets and the internet: Missouri Economic Development Director Linda Martinez is out.

And for the moment, the job's responsibilities will fall to Deputy Director Katie Steele Danner -- who, unlike Martinez, has a long Democratic resume. 

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 18, 2009 - Opponents of Linda Martinez, now head of the Missouri Department of Economic Development, are renewing their efforts to probe the circumstances surrounding her appointment by Gov. Jay Nixon and her subsequent confirmation by the state Senate.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 10, 2009 - St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann says he wasn't offended when a top aide to Gov. Jay Nixon warned him of possible fallout if a county legislator succeeded in blocking the governor's choice for economic development director.

But Ehlmann added that he hoped Nixon and his staff learned something from the confrontation, which ended Tuesday when the state Senate approved local lawyer Linda Martinez for the post by a voice vote.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 10, 2009 - St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann says he wasn't offended when a top aide to Gov. Jay Nixon warned him of possible fallout if a county legislator succeeded in blocking the governor's choice for economic development director.

But Ehlmann added that he hoped Nixon and his staff learned something from the confrontation, which ended Tuesday when the state Senate approved local lawyer Linda Martinez for the post by a voice vote.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 6, 2009 - Gov.-elect Jay Nixon chose a visit to City Sprouts, a children's shop in the Loop, to announce his plan to appoint Linda M. Martinez to head the Missouri Department of Economic Development.

Martinez is a member of the Bryan Cave law firm and specializes in financial and development issues. In a statement at the store, she said tough economic times required Missouri to "take bold steps to create and retain good-paying jobs."