Scott Ogilvie | St. Louis Public Radio

Scott Ogilvie

A rendering of the proposed St. Louis soccer stadium.
HOK

It looks increasingly likely that St. Louis voters will see two tax-related measures on the April ballot.

In a rare Monday meeting, the St. Louis Board of Aldermen gave initial approval to a proposed half-cent increase in the sales tax. The second measure would direct the resulting increase in the use tax to a proposed Major League Soccer stadium near Union Station.

Alderman Scott Ogilvie provided a pivotal vote to move a soccer stadium ballot item out of an aldermanic committee.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Ballot items aimed at expanding MetroLink and building a professional soccer stadium passed out of a Board of Aldermen committee on Thursday. But the stadium measure required some downright harrowing procedural maneuvers to stay alive.

St. Louis Alderman Scott Ogilvie speaks in favor of his bill exempting sheltered workshops from the city's minimum wage law.
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Before voting against an incentive package for expanding Ballpark Village, St. Louis Alderman Scott Ogilvie delivered one of the more unusual opposition speeches in recent memory.

In an address that could only be described as dripping with sarcasm, the 24th Ward Democrat claimed he was in support of the tax inducements for the development around Busch Stadium. After expressing his concern that aldermen had “taken our eye off the ball on the essential functions of local government,” Ogilvie said he was relieved that those aforementioned issues "must not be problems that the city faces.”

Alderman Scott Ogilvie, D-24th Ward, speaks on Friday about his bill to cap city-based campaign contribtions.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated on October 7: The St. Louis Board of Aldermen gave final approval to campaign donation limits for city-based offices.

The Board backed legislation that would place a $10,000 cap on donations to city offices. It would take effect next April after the city’s municipal election cycle.

The bill now goes to St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay's desk.

Aldermen Joe Vaccaro (rear standing) and Shane Cohn (front standing) debate the minimum wage increase on July 20, 2015.
File photo | Sarah Kellogg | St. Louis Public Radio

A three-year effort to limit the amount of money flowing into city elections took a small step forward at the St. Louis Board of Aldermen on Tuesday.

The city's Legislation committee, on a 9-0 vote, approved Alderman Scott Ogilvie's, D-24th Ward, measure capping contributions at $10,000 to each candidate every four years. A similar bill Ogilvie introduced in 2013 never received a vote.

St. Louis County Executive Stever Stenger, center, talks with state Treasurer Clint Zweifel, left, and Brian May on Tuesday. Stenger sent out a letter this month raising concerns about the North-South MetroLink line.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger is throwing cold water on a proposal to build a North-South line for MetroLink.

Stenger's opposition isn’t going over well with some St. Louis officials, many of whom support the project as a way to spur economic development and bridge the region’s racial divide.

St. Louis Alderwoman Donna Baringer, D-16th Ward, is considered an ally of St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay. But she says voters should have a say in whether to extend bonds for the new stadium.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio | File photo

A commission that would accept ethics complaints against elected officials in the city of St. Louis could have its duties expanded.

The commission is part of Alderman Scott Ogilvie's, D-24th Ward, measure capping campaign contributions $10,000 for both citywide and aldermanic races. As the bill is currently written, members of the panel would investigate complaints about financial disclosure or conflicts of interest.

Alderman Scott Ogilvie, D-24th, leveled harsh criticism on the stadium proposal during Thursday's meeting.
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

When St. Louis Alderman Scott Ogilvie proposed limiting political donations for St. Louis-based offices three years ago, the 24th Ward Democrat wanted to place curbs on what he felt was an abnormal state campaign finance system.

He’s introducing the legislation again, and there may an added sense of urgency to pass Ogilvie’s bill – especially if a campaign finance ballot initiative makes it into the Missouri Constitution.

vintage bicycles
Via Wikimedia Commons | Public Domain

If numbers tell the story, bicycle ridership in St. Louis has boomed. A 2014 study from the League of American Bicyclists shows the number of bicycle commuters increased 269.9 percent between 2000 and 2014.

That staggering number isn’t the only sign that St. Louis is making a push to be a bicycle-friendly city. As the area celebrates national Bike to Work Day on Friday, it's time to take a look at improvements that have been made and needs still to be addressed.

A view looking out on the rotunda from the second floor of St. Louis city hall.
File photo | Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Starting next session it should be easier to find out how St. Louis aldermen vote on board bills. The Board of Aldermen Friday approved a bill to put a record of their votes online in a searchable database.

Right now votes can only be found online via a PDF of the city’s weekly journal.

Kelly Sikkema | Flickr

Though the age-old question remains unanswered (you know, the chicken-egg thing), it is certain that urban agriculture will not be expanding in St. Louis any time soon.

The Board of Aldermen soundly rejected Scott Ogilvie's measure on Friday that would have boosted the number of backyard chickens allowed from four to eight, and let residents keep sheep, goats and emu on larger lots.

Gary Hern

An alderman from Dogtown wants to make urban farming a little easier.

Alderman Scott Ogilvie, D-24th Ward, introduced a bill on Friday loosening the restrictions on the number of backyard chickens and allowing city residents with larger lots to keep goats, sheep, ostriches and emus.

Because a pending state bill doesn't pre-empt local minimum wage laws passed before August 28, Board of Aldermen members may act fast on passing a minimum wage increase.
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

A required renewal of the city's earnings tax will be on the April ballot.

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen on Friday approved the measure authorizing the vote. Mayor Francis Slay will sign it as soon as possible.

Penrose Park Velodrome

If you drive from the airport toward downtown on I-70, you’ve probably missed a little-known bicyclists’ haven which sits just beyond your field of vision off of the highway at its intersection at Kingshighway Blvd: The Penrose Park Velodrome. It is one of 27 of its kind in the entire United States.

St. Louis Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed, left, talks with Aldermen Sam Moore, center, and Antonio French about a stadium funding deal. All three voted in favor of the proposal aimed at keeping the St. Louis Rams in town.
File photo by Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 11:15 Friday -- Plans for a $1 billion riverfront stadium cleared a major hurdle Thursday when a financing proposal passed out of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen’s Ways and Means Committee. And the measure passed with a big assist from one of St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay’s biggest detractors. The full board will consider this bill next week.

Ways and Means Committee Chairman Steven Conway, D-8th Ward, expects a number of hearings on a stadium funding bill. Conway is a CPA and plans to analyze the financial costs of the legislation.
File photo by Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

It’s fair to say last week produced plenty of copy about St. Louis’ proposed riverfront football stadium.

St. Louis Alderman Scott Ogilvie speaks in favor of his bill exempting sheltered workshops from the city's minimum wage law.
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen exempted sheltered workshops from its new minimum wage law.

When the board passed legislation that is to gradually raise the city’s minimum wage to $11 an hour, they didn’t leave out sheltered workshops. Those facilities provide employment opportunities to people with developmental disabilities and often pay less than the minimum wage.

Antonia Banks and her son John Paul testify on Thursday at the Board of Aldermen's Ways and Means Committee. They were speaking in support of a bill exempting sheltered workshops from a mnimum wage hike.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen is closer to exempting sheltered workshops from the city’s new minimum wage law.

When the city raised its minimum wage to $11 an hour by 2018, it didn’t exempt sheltered workshops. Those are facilities that provide job opportunities to people with developmental disabilities – and often pay less than the minimum wage.

The roadblocks to UberX

Jul 2, 2015
(courtesy of Uber)

The longstanding fight for entrance into the St. Louis market by the app-based ride-share service Uber and its supporters came to a head this week with the company’s offer to provide St. Louisans with free rides for the Fourth of July weekend.

Alderman Lyda Krewson, D-28th Ward, is sponsoring a big overhaul of the city's business regulations.
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Members of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen are trying to streamline how the city licenses and regulates businesses.

But the St. Louis’ license collector is strongly opposing some aspects of the legislation, contending it will drain the city’s coffers.

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