The St Louis Contrarian

Providing Independent and Intelligent Insight on St. Louis Public Policy Issues

Archive for the month “March, 2018”

TIF Reform

Legislation is moving ahead at the state level to reform the TIF process in Missouri. An interesting coalition of progressive and conservative activists have joined to help move this legislation ahead. The legislation will reduce the number of years of a TIF and give school districts the right to comment and opt out. A good start indeed. Written by Paul Dribin


Brick City Project

The Desales Housing Development Corporation is taking the lead on a project called The Brick City Project. This effort entails the development of industrial space that various start up industrial developers can use to grow their businesses and bring jobs to St. Louis. This seems like a wonderful project once again led by the talented and dedicated Tom Pickel. Congratulations. Written by Paul Dribin

HUD is Cutting Back on Fair Housing Enforcement

The above article was printed in the New York Times today. Secretary Carson has instructed staff not to issue any fair housing investigations at all. As a former HUD staffer, I can say with certainty that the threat of HUD sanctions prompted cities to move on these issues. While we are all focusing on Stormy Daniels, stuff like this happens. Written by Paul Dribin

States Expanding Medicaid Do Not Regret Their Decisions

The above Brookings article actually points out that states have cut costs due to high levels of federal reimbursement

Americans moving back to suburbs

The above linked article is from Brookings. Despite the love hipsters have for the city people raising children do not see it the same way. In St. Louis, why should someone live in the city and put up with all the shit. Cities have to figure out how to provide a higher level of service, and deal with the race, crime, and school problems. African Americans have been one of the largest segment of people to move to the suburbs. Is that not the American dream? Written by Paul Dribin

Brookings Institution Reports

I reviewed two Brookings reports today that should be of major interest to the St. Louis region and all communities.

First a report was issued entitled The Inheritance of Black Poverty. The report showed that African American men are severely impoverished and often hold their families back. Their absence in family life often causes more poverty for the wife.

The second report is titled How Life Outside of a School Affects Performance in School. Once again this article shows that children who are severely impoverished, or suffer from abuse, neglect, or lack of stable housing suffer in school. Their performance is often behind grade leading eventually to dropping out.

The answer I believe to both these problems is to provide an intense mentoring program to both the parents and children of impoverished families. These programs have been shown to work, there are just not enough of them. Written by Paul Dribin

Shortened lives of some activists

St Louis Moves Ahead on Property Demolition

The Post contained a good but overly long article on demolition in St Louis. According to the article there are about 7000 properties in need of demolition. The city is more aggressively tackling the problem which is a major priority of Mayor Krewson.

I say congratulations. This is a step in the right direction. I have seen neighborhoods suffer for years due to the prescience of abandoned properties. The real problem again, is the political system in St. Louis in which the alderman must approve every tear down. Some have refused to approve any out of a mistaken notion that someone will return and rehab the property.

Written by Paul Dribin

Loss of Population in St. Louis

The St. Louis region is no longer one of the top 20 in the country. This is not surprising in light of loss of population, jobs, aging of population etc. The city of St. Louis continues to lose population; mostly more educated and affluent African Americans moving to more comfortable environments. This is the same migration white folks took so it should not be surprising. Written by Paul Dribin

More Bad Business in St. Louis

St. Louis should be doing everything possible to help small businesses. The population had declined and the city as a whole lacks for good businesses. Instead the city is making it worse. They have decided to make things worse. In a small minded effort to get more tax revenue, the city has decided to reclassify many small businesses from retail to manufacturing. A good example is Crown Candy, an iconic business in the Old North St. Louis area. The reason for this reclassification, they have mixing bowls. Bakeries have been reclassified in a similar manner. Crown Candy in particular deserves the keys to the city not being treated in this rude manner.

To be successful, St. Louis needs to be the easiest city for small businesses to work, not the most difficult. Written by Paul Dribin

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