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Opinion: Professional Lobbyists Shouldn’t Be Aldermen

October 18, 2017 Board of Aldermen, Featured, Politics/Policy Comments Off on Opinion: Professional Lobbyists Shouldn’t Be Aldermen

The 28 members of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen are paid by taxpayers to pass legislation that hopefully is beneficial to the city. Lobbyists, on the other hand, are paid by clients to push for legislation that benefits their interests. Lobbyists don’t belong in a legislative body, even if they don’t lobby that body.

The Cypress Swamp at the St. Louis Zoo

Ald Martin (11th) was elected in the Spring by overwhelming numbers, but most city voters go for the “D” without knowing candidates and issues. They elected a professional lobbyist. A lobbyist whose clients include police body camera maker Axon. The same company that wants to give body cams to St. Louis Police free for a year. No conflict, she says — she’d abstain from any votes. Wink.

We did talk with a legal ethics lawyer. He told us even if what she’s doing is legal, it’s ethically questionable.

“What government ethics really get into is, how does it look and how does it smell? And where there is a possibility someone is making money, there’s a bad smell that maybe a sign something shouldn’t be going on,” said lawyer Michael Downey. (KMOV)

This is hardly the first time we’ve had “ethically questionable” people in city hall, but now it’s so blatant. It’s repulsive. Is this what the voters in the 11th Ward wanted? Doubtful, they knew she was the backed Democrat in the primary and then the only Democrat in the general. Ugh…

The results of the non-scientific Sunday Poll show most of you agree the St. Louis Board of Aldermen is no place for a professional lobbyist.

Q:  Agree or disagree: I’m okay with an alderman who’s also a professional lobbyist.

  • Strongly agree 3 [6.82%]
  • Agree 1 [2.27%]
  • Somewhat agree 0 [0%]
  • Neither agree or disagree 0 [0%]
  • Somewhat disagree 1 [2.27%]
  • Disagree 5 [11.36%]
  • Strongly disagree 34 [77.27%]
  • Unsure/No Answer 0 [0%]

I’d like to see one of three things happen:

  1. Ald. Martin cease being a lobbyist.
  2. Ald. Martin resign from the Board of Aldermen
  3. 11th Ward voters recall Ald. Martin

I doubt any of these will happen.

— Steve Patterson

 

 

Sunday Poll: Is It OK For An Alderman To Also Be A Lobbyist?

October 15, 2017 Board of Aldermen, Featured, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Is It OK For An Alderman To Also Be A Lobbyist?
Please vote below

The elected office of St. Louis Aldermen is considered a part0time position, most have jobs. The jobs they hold vary greatly. The job of one new alderman has been in the news recently:

Last month, a company offered to outfit every St. Louis Metropolitan Police Officer with a camera for one year for free. Now, News 4 has learned one elected official is getting paid by that same company.

Sarah Wood Martin is the Alderwoman for the 11th Ward, elected earlier this year.

According to documents News 4 obtained, just last week, she filed forms to be a lobbyist on behalf of the company Axon. (KMOV)

This is the subject of today’s poll.

This poll will close at 8pm tonight.

— Steve Patterson

 

St. Louis Board of Aldermen Week 19 of 2017-2018 Session

October 13, 2017 Board of Aldermen, Featured Comments Off on St. Louis Board of Aldermen Week 19 of 2017-2018 Session
St. Louis City Hall

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen will meet at 10am today, their 19th week of the 2017-2018 session.

ON THE AGENDA* FOR INTRODUCTION TODAY 10//13/17:

*Note that just because a bill is on the agenda doesn’t mean it’ll be introduced, similarly, bills not on the agenda might be introduced if they suspend the rules to do so. This information is based on the published agenda as of yesterday @ 8am:

  • B.B.#141 – Roddy –An Ordinance recommended by the Planning Commission, to change the zoning of property, from “J” Industrial District & “G” Local Commercial and Office District to “G” Local Commercial and Office District only in City Block 3957 (4001-99 Chouteau) and from “B” Two?Family Dwelling District to “G” Local Commercial and Office District in City Block 3965 (4113?15, 4117?19 & 4121?23 Chouteau; and containing an emergency clause.B.B.#142 – Muhammad ? An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for the 4400?44 & 4401?43 Red Bud.
  • B.B.#143 – Vollmer –An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for 5345 Daggett.
  • B.B.#144 – Spencer –An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for 3442?44 California.
  • B.B.#145 – Moore –An ordinance approving a blighting study and redevelopment plan for St. Ferdinand Phase II Redevelopment Area; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#146 – Muhammad –An ordinance approving a blighting study and redevelopment plan for 4100?4798 and 4101?4799 W. Natural Bridge Ave. Redevelopment Area; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#147 – Conway –An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for the 4131 Flora Place.
  • B.B.#148 – Conway –An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for 4212 Botanical.
  • B.B.#149 – Conway –An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for 3931 Russell.
  • B.B.#150 – Ingrassia –An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for 2806?12 Locust.
  • B.B.#151 – Ogilvie –An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for 6755, 6767, & 6769 Nashville.
  • B.B.#152 – Williamson –An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for 1416?18 Union.
  • B.B.#153 – Coatar –An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for 2330?32 S. 12th Street.
  • B.B.#154 – Coatar – An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for 2263?65 Indiana.
  • B.B.#155 – Spencer –An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for the 3422 Oregon.
  • B.B.#156 – Moore –An ordinance amending Ordinance #65955 by expanding the boundary of the 3922?68, 3919?29 & 3939?67 Lincoln Ave. Redevelopment Area to include 3937 Lincoln Ave. and renaming the area the 3922?68, 3919?29 & 3937?67 Lincoln Ave. Redevelopment Area (“Amended Area”).
  • B.B.#157 – Guenther –An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for 3325 Wisconsin.
  • B.B.#158 – Roddy –An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for the 1302 Boyle.
  • B.B.#159 – Coatar –An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for the 1001?03 Russell.
  • B.B.#160 – Coatar –An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for the 2222 Mernard.
  • B.B.#161 – Roddy –An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for the 4170?4174 Manchester.
  • B.B.#162 – Roddy –An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for the 4211, 4219, & 4235?39 Chouteau.
  • B.B.#163 – Roddy –An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for the 4330 & 4337 Gibson Ave. and 4210 Chouteau.
  • B.B.#164 – Roddy –An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for the 4310?20 Vista.
  • B.B.#165 – Roddy –An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for the 1115?23 N. Newstead Ave.
  • B.B.#166 – Conway –An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for the 3441?51 Juniata.
  • B.B.#167 – Ogilvie –An Ordinance establishing a four?way stop site at the intersection of Piccadilly and Commonwealth regulating all traffic traveling on Piccadilly at Commonwealth and regulating all traffic traveling on Commonwealth at Piccadilly, and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#168 – Howard –An ordinance repealing Ordinance 70475 and in lieu thereof enacting a new Ordinance to be known as the City of St. Louis Whistleblower Law, pertaining to reporting improper governmental action and providing protection from retaliatory action for reporting and cooperating in the investigation and/or prosecution of improper governmental action; containing definitions, procedures for reporting improper governmental action and retaliation, and penalties; and containing severability and emergency clauses.
  • B.B.#169 – Muhammad –An Ordinance in relation to developing a comprehensive Urban Agriculture Plan.
  • B.B.#170 – Muhammad –An Ordinance authorizing and directing the Director of Streets to temporarily close, barricade, or otherwise impede the flow of traffic on the 4400 block of Red Bud by blocking said flow of traffic at the north curb line of Carter.
  • B.B.#171 – Spencer –An ordinance to revise Ordinance 68610, 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 and its development agencies.
  • B.B.#172 – Roddy –An ordinance authorizing and directing the Mayor and Comptroller to execute, upon receipt of and in consideration of the sum of Three Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($3500.00) and other good and valuable consideration, a Quit Claim Deed to remise, release and forever quit?claim unto Botanical Heights Homes, LLC certain City?owned property located in City Block 5114, which property is known by address of 4223 Gibson Avenue.
  • B.B.#173 – Boyd –An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for 2809 Belt.

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

 

St. Louis Board of Aldermen: Board Bills #133-140

October 6, 2017 Board of Aldermen, Featured Comments Off on St. Louis Board of Aldermen: Board Bills #133-140
St. Louis City Hall

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen will meet at 10am today, their 18h week of the 2017-2018 session. One bill was introduced last week that wasn’t on the published agenda:

Board Bill No. 133 | Vacation of Primm St. from Reilly westwardly

BOARD BILL # 133 INTRODUCED BY: ALDERWOMAN SARAH MARTIN An ordinance recommended by the Board of Public Service to conditionally vacate above surface, surface and sub-surface rights for vehicle, equestrian and pedestrian travel in Primm Street from Reilly Avenue westwardly 96.45′ to a point in City Blocks 3126 and 3150 in the City of St. Louis, Missouri, as hereinafter described, in accordance with Charter authority, and in conformity with Section l4 of Article XXI of the Charter and imposing certain conditions on such vacation.

Maybe if we give away all the public right-of-way our city will be great again…

ON THE AGENDA* FOR INTRODUCTION TODAY 10/6/17:

*Note that just because a bill is on the agenda doesn’t mean it’ll be introduced, similarly, bills not on the agenda might be introduced if they suspend the rules to do so. This information is based on the published agenda as of yesterday @ 8am:

  • B.B.#134 – Green –An ordinance concerning the protection of First Amendment rights of protesters, repealing ordinance 15.52.010, and enacting in lieu of it clarifying policies relating to improving police community relations with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and limiting the use of chemical agents.
  • B.B.#135 – Davis –An Ordinance recommended and approved by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment authorizing and directing the Director of Airports and the Comptroller, owner and operator of St. Louis Lambert International Airport to enter into and execute, the First Amendment to Professional Service Agreement for Fleet Vehicles and Special Equipment Maintenance /Repairs Services to the Professional Service Agreement for Fleet Vehicles & Special Equipment Maintenance/Repair Services, between the City and Complete Auto Body & Repair; containing a severability clause; and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#136 – Davis –An ordinance pertaining to leases on the unimproved wharf repealing Ordinance 66275 and enacting a new ordinance authorizing the Port Authority Commission, within six months prior to the expiration, extension, execution, or renewal of any lease on the unimproved wharf, to negotiate the rates and other terms of conditions of a lease; and if such fails, to advertise for proposals in newspapers of general circulation, the city journal and trade journals of national publications, and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#137 – Green –An ordinance to revise Section 17.76.020 of the Revised Code of the City, Ordinance 67757 Section One approved November 5, 2007, pertaining to Residential Disabled Parking, to allow an eligible person whose vehicle is owned by another to apply for a residential disabled parking space permit.
  • B.B.#138 – Roddy –An ordinance authorizing and directing the Mayor and the Comptroller to execute and deliver the Fifth Supplemental Trust Indenture; authorizing and directing the taking of other actions and approval and execution of other documents as necessary or desirable to carry out and comply with the intent hereof; superseding provisions of prior ordinances of the City to the extent inconsistent with the terms hereof; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#139 – Moore –Pursuant to Ordinance 68937, an ordinance authorizing the honorary street name, Norma Leggette Lane, will begin at the intersection of Bishop P.L. Scott and Garfield and run southeast on Garfield to North Vandeventer.
  • B.B.#140 – Howard –An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for the 5335 Gilson Ave.

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

 

St. Louis Board of Aldermen: Board Bills #128-129 & #130-132

September 29, 2017 Board of Aldermen, Featured Comments Off on St. Louis Board of Aldermen: Board Bills #128-129 & #130-132
St. Louis City Hall

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen will meet at 10am today, their 17th week of the 2017-2018 session. .You’ve likely already heard about the first of four bills being introduced today — fees to pay for Scottrade Center renovations. But first, two board bills were introduced last week that were not on the published agenda:

  • Board Bill No. 128 | Establishing Detention Facility Advisory Commission
    BOARD BILL NO. 128 SPONSORED BY ALDERMAN JOE VACCARO An Ordinance establishing a Detention Facility Advisory Commission that shall receive public complaints regarding the City of St. Louis Justice Center and Medium Security Institution detention facilities and shall, at its discretion, review and investigate such complaints as well as patterns of issues and systemic concerns the City’s detention facilities and their operation it has identified and where the Commission deems appropriate, make recommendations to the Department of Public Safety, the Board of Aldermen, and Mayor with respect to Corrections Division policy and procedure, training, infrastructure, care and treatment of detainees, and other areas related to detention facilities and their operations.
  • Board Bill No. 129 |Ordinance banning horses on public streets
    BOARD BILL NO. 129 SPONSORED BY ALDERMAN JOE 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 of St. Louis and the paths and trails, and any extensions thereof within the City of St. Louis.

ON THE AGENDA* FOR INTRODUCTION TODAY 9/29/17:

*Note that just because a bill is on the agenda doesn’t mean it’ll be introduced, similarly, bills not on the agenda might be introduced if they suspend the rules to do so. This information is based on the published agenda as of yesterday @ 8am:

  • B.B.#130 –Spencer/Ogilvie/Cohn/Guenther –An ordinance pertaining to the levying of certain fees as described herein upon tickets sold for events at City?owned facilities, including the Scottrade Center, the Peabody Opera House, and any new City-owned professional soccer stadium and other City-owned buildings used for sports and entertainment purposes to fund certain construction, reconstruction and improvements as described herein and authorizing and directing the establishment of The Sports and Entertainment Facilities Support Fund by the Comptroller or other appropriate City Officer, providing public funding for such activities and repealing Ordinance 70473.
  • B.B.#131 – Davis –Pursuant to Ordinance 68937, an ordinance authorizing the honorary street name, Elder Bennie Lee Thompson Street which shall begin at the intersection of Sheridan and Webster and run East on Sheridan to N. Garrison.
  • B.B.#132 ? Howard –An Ordinance establishing an Office of Community Mediation and for the appointment of a Director for its oversight and management who shall establish a protocol for delivering voluntary mediation services for the citizens and a schedule of fees which may be charged therefor to be based upon participant’s ability to pay, and who shall monitor the outcomes and lasting results of mediations; and containing an emergency clause and severability clause
  • B.B.#133 –Martin –An ordinance recommended by the Board of Public Service to conditionally vacate above surface, surface and sub?surface travel in Primm Street from Reilly in City Blocks 3126 and 3150.

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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