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Sunday Poll: Should St. Louis Consider Ranked-Choice Voting?

February 19, 2017 Featured, Politics/Policy, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Should St. Louis Consider Ranked-Choice Voting?
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When you have two candidates running for office it is easy to understand the winner — the person who receives more than 50% of the vote — even if by just one vote.

I’m looking at the March 7th Democratic primary ballot with 7 choices for mayor and 6 choices for alderman in my ward — it’s highly unlikely the winner of either race will get more than 35% of the vote. In other cities, this would require a runoff vote among the top candidates until one receives a majority of the votes.

In lieu of holding runoff  elections some cities use instant runoff voting — candidates are ranked by voters to pick a winner with a majority of votes. This voting method has pros & cons:

Pros

  1. No need for expensive runoff elections.
  2. Politicians tend to adopt a more civil tone in campaigns.
  3. Enough with the strategy games.
  4. Majority wins.

Cons

  1. Many cities do not have the proper equipment to count the ballots.
  2. It’s confusing.
  3. Elections for multiple positions become complex.
  4. Voters need to know their stuff.

What do you think, should we try it? Vote in the poll below.

The poll will close at 8pm.

— Steve Patterson

 

Sunday Poll: Should Online Retailers Collect State Sales Taxes?

February 12, 2017 Featured, Retail, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Should Online Retailers Collect State Sales Taxes?
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As I’ve previously noted, the retail landscape is always changing — big downtown department stores rarely exist anymore — more & more suburban malls struggle. Last month another change was announced:

The collection of state sales tax in Missouri will begin Feb. 1, Amazon spokeswoman Jill Kerr said in an email to the Post-Dispatch. The state sales tax rate in Missouri is 4.225 percent.

Items sold by Seattle-based Amazon.com and its subsidiaries already are subject to sales tax for merchandise shipped to more than 30 states. Amazon will also begin collecting sales tax on Feb. 1 in Mississippi, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Vermont, and in Wyoming in March.

Amazon does not yet have facilities in the state of Missouri, and online retailers aren’t required to collect sales tax where they don’t have a physical presence. Amazon charges sales tax in Illinois, where it has multiple distribution facilities, including in Edwardsville. (Post-Dispatch)

Posts on social media showed disagreement on this issue so I thought it would make a great poll question:

The poll will close at 8pm, results & my thoughts on Wednesday.

— Steve Patterson

 

Sunday Poll: Do You Purchase New or Used Vehicles?

February 5, 2017 Featured, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Do You Purchase New or Used Vehicles?
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Later this week we’ll be in Chicago for 2-day media preview at the Chicago Auto Show — it opens to the general public Saturday morning and runs through February 20th.

First staged in 1901, the Chicago Auto Show is the largest auto show in North America and has been held more times than any other auto exposition on the continent. This year marks the 109th edition of the Chicago Auto Show.

The Chicago Auto Show utilizes more than 1 million square feet in the North and South Exhibit Halls of the McCormick Place complex. McCormick Place offers a total of 2.7 million square feet of exhibit halls with an additional 700,000 square feet of meeting room availability.

The St. Louis Auto Show, held last month, is a dealer show. The Chicago Auto Show, though sponsored by dealers, is represented by manufacturers.

Thinking about all the new cars we’ll see got me wondering if readers buy new or used cars. Today’s poll question breaks it down a bit more:

The poll will remain open until 8pm tonight.

— Steve Patterson

 

Sunday Poll: Would You Send Your Child To The Fully Accredited St. Louis Public Schools?

January 29, 2017 Cherokee Business District, Education, Featured, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Would You Send Your Child To The Fully Accredited St. Louis Public Schools?
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Earlier this month the St. Louis Public Schools became fully accredited:

The state board gave unanimous approval to upgrade St. Louis Public Schools’ status from provisionally accredited to fully accredited. Officials with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education cited the district’s rising test scores, improved attendance rates and fiscal stability as the reasons for recommending the change.

The decision comes nearly a decade after the state took over the St. Louis Public Schools system and replaced its elected board with a special administrative board. Most members of the state board credited Superintendent Kelvin Adams with helping facilitate the district’s turnaround.  (St. Louis Public Radio)

Now, many are wondering if more parents will choose the district over other options. Good question so I’ve made it the subject of today’s poll.

The poll will close at 8pm.

— Steve Patterson

 

Sunday Poll: Is ‘Climate Change’ a Hoax?

January 22, 2017 Environment, Featured, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Is ‘Climate Change’ a Hoax?
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Please vote below

Last week scientists announced 2016 was the warmest year on record:

Marking another milestone for a changing planet, scientists reported on Wednesday that the Earth reached its highest temperature on record in 2016, trouncing a record set only a year earlier, which beat one set in 2014. It is the first time in the modern era of global warming data that temperatures have blown past the previous record three years in a row. (New York Times)

Not everyone is convinced — some call global warming/climate change a “hoax”. We’re either risking irreversible change or wasting time & money on a non-issue.

Today’s poll seeks to find out where readers are on this debate.

The poll will close at 6pm.

— Steve Patterson

 

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