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Sunday Poll: Which of the Seven Candidates for St. Louis County Executive Would You LIKE to Win in November 2018?

April 8, 2018 Featured, Politics/Policy, St. Louis County Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Which of the Seven Candidates for St. Louis County Executive Would You LIKE to Win in November 2018?
Please vote below

You’ve likely been seeing political commercials in the race for St. Louis County Executive. The primary for Republican & Democratic candidates will be held August 7th — just over 3 months from now. We already know the unchallenged Libertarian & Constitution candidates will win their primaries.

The seven candidates from four political parties, listed in alphabetical order:

Today’s poll asks which of these seven candidates you’d like to see win in November. Not who you think will win — who you’d like to see win.

This poll will close automatically at 8pm, but will be closed earlier if voting irregularities are detected — such as campaigns to make a candidate the winer by emailing supporters to vote in the poll.

— Steve Patterson

 

Sunday Poll: Will Missouri Voters Approve Constitutional Amendment A Returning the City of St. Louis to St. Louis County?

April 1, 2018 Featured, Missouri, Politics/Policy Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Will Missouri Voters Approve Constitutional Amendment A Returning the City of St. Louis to St. Louis County?

Please vote below

Missouri Secretary of State John Ashcroft has verified a citizen petition for an amendment to the constitution for the statewide August 7th primary ballot. If approved it would make the City of St. Louis a municipality within St. Louis County — reversing the Great Divorce of 1876. A simple majority os needed to pass.

Official Ballot Title
Constitutional Amendment A

[Proposed by Initiative Petition]

Official Ballot Title:

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to:

Strip the City of St. Louis of status as an “independent city”; 
Redraw the boundaries of St. Louis County so the City of St. Louis is fully within said boundaries;
Eliminate county-level offices in the City of St. Louis;  

Fair Ballot Language:

A “yes” vote will amend the Missouri Constitution to make the City of St. Louis a municipality within St. Louis County. 

A “no” vote will not amend the Missouri Constitution regarding the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County.

If passed, this measure is expected to lower taxes.

Today’s poll is about this effort.

Today’s poll will close at 8pm.

— Steve Patterson

 

Aldermen Approved Failed St. Louis Centre Forty Years Ago

March 16, 2018 Board of Aldermen, Downtown, Featured, Retail Comments Off on Aldermen Approved Failed St. Louis Centre Forty Years Ago

Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day, but it’s also the 40th anniversary of the start of one of St. Louis’ worst decisions: St. Louis Centre

This Day in St. Louis History, March 17, 1978:
The first step towards St. Louis Centre

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen approved three bills that would set the stage to develop a proposed downtown shopping mall, with the only further step being the acquisition of federal funding. The headquarters of Stx, Baer, & Fuller, which would become Dillard’s just months before the mall’s completion, and Famous-Barr existed with one block separating them between Washington and Locust at 6th Street. The goal was to create an enclosed, urban shopping mall with these two companies as anchors, and the estimated budget was nearly $150 million. St. Louis Centre opened in 1985 as the largest shopping mall in America. It had over 150 stores and 20 restaurants, and was initially a great success. Challenges appeared in the 1990s however, as the Westroads Shopping Center was redeveloped into the St. Louis Galleria and stores began closing. St. Louis Centre closed in 2006, and since then has been redeveloped into a 750-car parking garage and retail center. (From now defunct STL250 Facebook page)

The mall opened seven years later, in 1985.

To any urbanist the idea of razing an entire city block to build one massive internally-focused building is just wrong. Anyone who knew better either kept quiet or were silenced, ignored. Malls in the suburbs are doing great so we must do the same.

St. Louis Centre, April 2006
Looking east along Washington Ave from 7th, February 2006

The mall is now a parking garage with out-facing retail at the sidewalk level. The oppressive bridges over Washington & Locust are gone.

2014

The mistake has been reversed, but the damage was done long ago. Retailing, once a big part of downtown, is almost nonexistent. Restaurants are now the generators of much foot traffic.

I can’t help but wonder where downtown would be if bills weren’t approved 40 years ago.

— Steve Patterson

 

Opinion: Video Gaming Would Be a Mistake For Missouri

March 14, 2018 Featured, Missouri, Politics/Policy Comments Off on Opinion: Video Gaming Would Be a Mistake For Missouri

Remember back to 1994 when gambling in Missouri was limited to actual boats?

Two riverboat casinos recently opened in Missouri despite the state’s ban on slot machines and many other games of chance.

The President Casino on the Admiral is permanently moored on the Mississippi River, just north of the Gateway Arch. The recently renovated riverboat, which dates from 1907, has 70,000 square feet of casino space with nearly 100 tables assigned to blackjack, poker and craps, and 150 video poker games.

Admission is $2 during the week and $5 on weekends. Boarding is allowed every two hours from 10 a.m. to midnight. Entrance is restricted to adults at least 21 years old. For information: 800-772-3647.

About 30 miles away in St. Charles, Mo., the Casino St. Charles has a 24,500-foot casino with 52 tables for blackjack and craps, and 813 video poker machines. The riverboat cruises the Missouri River for two hours, weather and water levels permitting. Otherwise, gambling is dockside at the St. Charles Riverfront Station. (Chicago Tribune)

Boats either literally cruised the river or, like the Admiral, admission wasn’t allowed while it was “cruising” in place. Next came buildings with a little river water moat next to them. Eventually that was scrapped too. Now lawmakers might approve video gaming in the convenience store down the street.

Lo0k at Illinois. The following is one of many examples in Springfield IL.

24 hour video gaming!
A new wall was built to create a small gaming room. Not even close to being ADA-comliant.
Three signs mentioning the 21 age requirement.
Inside the small room

Above photos by my husband, David. This makes losing your money more convenient than in a casino.

As to the recent non-scientific Sunday Poll question — new revenue isn’t necessarily a positive — it could also result in a greater reduction of casino revenue. For communities that don’t receive any casino revenue, video gaming will add to their budgets. But is this new money or just money not spent/taxed elsewhere in the community?

Here are the poll results:

Q: Agree or disagree: Video gaming could help ease Missouri’s tight budget

  • Strongly agree 2 [11.11%]
  • Agree 2 [11.11%]
  • Somewhat agree 3 [16.67%]
  • Neither agree or disagree 2 [11.11%]
  • Somewhat disagree 0 [0%]
  • Disagree 4 [22.22%]
  • Strongly disagree 4 [22.22%]
  • Unsure/No Answer 1 [5.56%]

The number of responses was half that of a typical week.

— Steve Patterson

 

St. Louis Board of Aldermen Week 37 of 2017-2018 Session, Last Friday Meeting This Session

March 9, 2018 Board of Aldermen, Featured Comments Off on St. Louis Board of Aldermen Week 37 of 2017-2018 Session, Last Friday Meeting This Session
St. Louis City Hall

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen will meet at 10am today, their 37th week of the 2017-2018 session.

No new board bills are on today’s agenda as this is the last friday meeting fir the 2017-2018 session. Below are many bills to finalize today. I don’t know their rules well enough but either some will be passed on Monday April 16th or they’ll suspend the rules to perfect them on the same day as the third reading…my money is on the latter.

8. Board Bills for Perfection – Informal Calendar.

  • B.B. #129 – Vaccaro- An ordinance to make it unlawful, subject to those exceptions stated herein, for any person to ride, walk or otherwise lead a horse or horses on, along or over the public streets, alleys and sidewalks within the City and the paths and trails, and any extensions thereof within the City.
  • B.B.#262AA – Roddy – An Ordinance affirming adoption of The City Foundry Saint Louis RPA2 Redevelopment Plan, the RPA2 Redevelopment Area and the RPA2 Redevelopment Project, authorizing the execution of a redevelopment agreement between the City and FoPa, for the City Foundry Saint Louis RPA2 Redevelopment Project; prescribing the form and details of said agreement; designating FoPa Partners, as developer of the RPA2 Redevelopment Area; making certain finding with respect thereto; authorizing other related actions in connection with the redevelopment of certain property within the RPA2 Redevelopment Area; and containing severability clause.

9. Board Bills for Third Reading – Informal Calendar.

  • B.B.#40 – Vaccaro – An ordinance adding language to Ordinance 62101 that will prohibit the Parking Violation Bureau from doubling a parking meter and parking violation fine if payment is received within twenty calendar days or less. If an appeal of the fine occurs, either through an administrative or state court, where the appellant is found guilty, the fine will not double if payment is received within ten or less calendar days.
  • B.B. #34CS – Ingrassia/Spencer/Martin/Guenther/Green/Cohn – An Ordinance facilitating safe passage to and from a health care facilities and prohibiting activities near certain facilities;  containing a severability clause and an emergency clause.

13. Second Reading and Report of Standing Committees.

  • B.B.#204AA – Williamson – An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for 1020 Union/ 5251 Cates.
  • B.B.#266 – Navarro – An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for 215 York.
  • B.B.#270CS – J. Boyd – An ordinance approving a Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise Program for the City of St. Louis; authorizing certain other actions; amending Ordinance 69427 pertaining to workforce inclusion by amending Sections Three, Four, Five, and Ten of said ordinance, which are codified as Sections 3.110.020, 3.110.030, 3.110.040, and 3.110.090 of the Revised Code, to increase percentage goals for minority, women, and city residents, and to put in place a mandatory one-year disqualification penalty and liquidated damages for developers and contractors who fail to meet the goals; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#222AA – Pres. Reed/Vaccaro/Muhammad/Arnowitz – An ordinance directing the Public Safety Director to complete an annual Public Safety Plan (the “Plan”) and present the findings of the Plan to members of the Board of Aldermen and the Board of Aldermen Public Safety Committee.

15. Perfection Consent Calendar.

  • STR B.B.#265 – Davis – Pursuant to Ordinance 68937, an ordinance authorizing the honorary street name, Pastor Bennie Lee Thompson, Sr. Avenue, to begin at the intersection of Webster and Sheridan and run east on Sheridan to the intersection of Sheridan and North Garrison.
  • STR B.B.#267 – Moore – Pursuant to Ordinance 68937, an ordinance authorizing the honorary street name, Frankie Muse Freeman Boulevard, to begin at the intersection of Lincoln Avenue and North Sarah and run east on Lincoln to the intersection of Lincoln and Bishop P. L. Scott Avenue.
  • STR B.B.#269 – Guenther – An Ordinance establishing a four-way stop site at the intersection of Iowa and Juniata regulating all traffic traveling northbound and southbound on Iowa at Juniata and regulating all traffic traveling eastbound and westbound on Juniata at Iowa, and containing an emergency clause.
  • STR B.B.#271 – Davis/J. Boyd – Pursuant to Ordinance 68937, an ordinance authorizing the honorary street name, Norman R. Seay Avenue, to begin at the intersection of Thomas and Webster run south on Webster to the intersection of Webster and James Cool Papa Bell.
  • HUDZ B.B.#171 – Spencer/Ingrassia – An ordinance to revise Ordinance 68610, approved March 16, 2010, pertaining to a semiannual registration fee of two hundred dollars for certain buildings and structures, by removing the fee exemption for properties subject to a specific redevelopment agreement with the City of St. Louis and its development agencies.
  • HUDZ B.B.#204 – Williamson – An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for 1020 Union/ 5251 Cates.
  • HUDZ B.B.#206 – Kennedy – An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for 5122-24 Kensington Area.
  • HUDZ B.B.#220 – Ingrassia – An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan For the Locust/Jefferson Avenue Area.
  • HUDZ B.B.#239 – Bosley – An Ordinance recommended by the Planning, to change the zoning of property in City Block 2485, from “G” Local Commercial and Office District to the “B” Two- Family Dwelling District, at 4231-41 N. Grand; and containing an emergency clause.
  • PS B.B.#233 – P. Boyd/Bosley/Moore/Davis/Williamson/
    J. Boyd/Kennedy/Middlebrook/Muhammad/Hubbard/
    Pres. Reed/Spencer/Guenther/Green/Cohn/Ingrassia/
    Navarro – An ordinance amending Ordinance 69984 (which established the St. Louis Civilian Oversight Board) to empower the COB to issue subpoenas to compel the appearance of witnesses, produce documents, recordings and other evidence which the COB determines in its reasonable judgment are relevant and necessary to its thorough Inspection and Review of Complaints of misconduct by members of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department which may be subject to COB Independent Investigation.

17. Third Reading Consent Calendar.

  • NDC B.B.#254 – Williamson – An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for 1301 Union.
  • HUDZ B.B.#186 – Davis – an Ordinance amending Ordinance No. 65857 pertaining to the Redevelopment Agreement between the City, and Grand Center, as amended, amending same to authorize an application for abatement for the 3637 Washington Fox Garage Project and further amending Ordinance No. 68874 by authorizing a Fifth Supplemental Trust Indenture; and containing a severability clause.
  • HUDZ B.B.#245AA – Pres. Reed/Oldenburg/Roddy/Bosley/ Davis/Coatar/Murphy – An Ordinance directing the St. Louis Development Corporation to complete an annual City Economic Growth Strategy Report and present the findings of the Report to members of the Board of Aldermen and the Board of Aldermen Financial Analyst.
  • HUDZ B.B.#261 – Roddy – an Ordinance recommended by the Tax Increment Financing Commission of the City to amend the City Foundry Saint Louis Redevelopment Plan and Redevelopment Project areas by amending the Redevelopment Plan by: (1) combining Redevelopment Project areas 2 and 3 into a new Redevelopment Project Area 2; (2) revising the boundary between Redevelopment Area 1 and the new Redevelopment Area 2; (3) changing the use in new Redevelopment Area 2 from residential to retail and office; (4) revising the financing plan to remove tax abatement as an incentive in Redevelopment Area 2; and (5) activating the new Redevelopment Area 2; establishing the City Foundry Saint Louis RPA2 Special Allocation Fund; making findings with respect thereto; authorizing certain actions by City Officials; and containing a severability clause.
  • LEG B.B.#99FS – Pres. Reed/Vaccaro/Arnowitz/Navarro/Murphy/ Howard/Boyd – An ordinance pertaining to the collection of funds to assist in the prevention of domestic violence in support of individuals impacted; authorizing the Comptroller to establish “The Domestic Violence Prevention and Family Support Fund”.

The meeting begins at 10am, past meetings and a live broadcast can be watched online here. See list of all board bills for the 2017-2018 session.

— Steve Patterson

 

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