St. Louis City-County Merger | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis City-County Merger

After decades of contemplation and debate, a group known as Better Together is recommending an end to the “Great Divorce” between St. Louis and St. Louis County.

Better Together is proposing an ambitious plan to create a unified metro government and police department and limit municipalities' ability to levy sales taxes. The plan would be decided through a statewide vote.

Proponents contend it will scrape away layers of local government that has been holding the St. Louis region back. Opponents believe the plan will create an unwieldy and large centralized government that could be implemented against the will of city and county residents.

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.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 26, 2011 - Historian Colin Gordon takes the long view when it comes to understanding how St. Louis has fared during the nation's recent economic downturn -- and his perspective isn't pretty.

While the Great Recession brought some cities -- think Detroit and the auto industry -- to the brink rather abruptly, Gordon argues that the St. Louis region's economic pain was deepened by the financial meltdown of 2008, but it has been festering here for decades, partly due to self-inflicted wounds.