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The St Louis Contrarian

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

Archive for the category “community building”

Like to offer only scooters in St. Louis

www.stltoday.com/news/traffic/along-for-the-ride/lime-yanking-remaining-pedal-only-bikes-from-st-louis-sticking/article_bd1acfd0-b69c-59a5-9736-de7695452dad.html

the scooters can be dangerous to everyone but seem to be a good thing in promoting v

Community.

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Announcement if Better Together Plan

www.stltoday.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/metro-city-better-together-launches-a-two-year-effort-to/article_c2f6dca1-c450-5aba-b837-9802da767f88.html

more on this later

Choteau Greenway is Moving Ahead

www.stltoday.com/business/local/chouteau-greenway-project-aims-to-knit-st-louis-neighborhoods-together/article_55fea4e6-6829-5c80-9168-313305b4e3bb.html

this is good news. I don’t see any downside to building this greenway. It will connect neighborhoods provide safe biking routes, get people to exercise and maybe create economic development. Written by Paul Dribin

This article talks around the vacancy issue

www.stltoday.com/opinion/columnists/st-louis-has-a-plan-for-vacancy/article_039ec2ca-751d-5451-b039-f6f60baa239d.html

what is a chief resiliency officer?

St. Louis should foreclose more quickly on vacant properties

www.stltoday.com/opinion/editorial/editorial-compassion-or-tough-love-vacancy-problem-means-making-tough/article_6e9ab332-20a2-5a44-9828-92951b03acb3.html

Vacancies in St. Louis

As you may know, there has been a collaborative formed to address the huge vacancy problem in St. Louis. Various task forces are meeting and I participate in two of them. Most of the people at the meetings appear to be community activists with a smattering of developers.

The discussions have generally been good but rather general in nature. We do not seem to want to address the key problems which I see as:

1. Outmoded methods of management and sales by LRA.

2. The higher cost of doing business in St. Louis.

3. Historical preservation

4. Crime

5. The overall oversupply of housing and undersupply of population in the region.

6. The unwillingness of the group to accept demolition.

Written by Paul Dribin

The Real Cause of Vacancies in St. Louis

At the suggestion of Todd Swanstrom, I read a book by his colleague titled Housing Dynamics in Northeast Ohio by Thomas E. Bier. The book written about the Cleveland area is also applicable to St. Louis and many other cities.

The argument in the book backed by data is that vacancies occur when there is an oversupply of housing in the region. This oversupply of housing occurs because developers are looking to profit by building more housing, and land is cheaper in the suburbs. The author points out that when there is an oversupply the oldest, most worn out housing loses all market desirability and becomes vacant. The problem is made worse because developers can more economically build in the suburbs and the infrastructure in the suburbs is stronger.

This plays out when we look at the north side of St. Louis. There will only be a turnaround if the city figures out how to streamline its development requirements, crime is controlled, and schools turn around. In addition a marketing campaign to young people around the company would help. We could offer free housing and lots of land. Written by Paul Dribin

St. Louis Housing Summit

Today, 9/21, I attended a housing summit here in St. Louis at Christ Church Cathedral downtown. The idea of the summit was to start to build a coalition to develop more affordable housing in St. Louis and end homelessness. There were approximately 300 people in attendance including some homeless people. The speakers were good, enthusiasm high. Let’s hope for the best. Written by Paul Dribin

Update on Paul McKee and Northside Project

Little is happening in this arena. KWMU came upon a renegotiation agreement that requires relatively little of the northside group to keep the deal going. As I have said, I know McKee and consider him an honorable purchase. I think he has been squeezed by too many parties in the city. Written by Paul Dribin

Too Much Democracy

I am getting tired of do gooders who are looking for more civic involvement, community development, etc. I just had an aborted lunch with just such a person who complained that urban development has been wrong all along and she knows a better way.

We have a representative government. That means we rely on our elected officials to make key political and administrative decisions. As citizens we should provide input to our elected officials and hold them accountable. Direct democracy does not work. The biggest problem with community based decision making is that the local community does not and cannot look out for the overall good of the larger community. They tend to be opposed to changes in governance and other large issues that do not have immediate payoffs.

St. Louis has too much democracy. It seems that everyone in town no matter how ill informed has a voice and potential veto power. The division of power among both the aldermen for the legislative branch and the mayor, comptroller, and President of the Board of Aldermen is dysfunctional. Written by Paul Dribin

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