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The St Louis Contrarian

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

Archive for the category “legislative affairs”

Missouri State Tax Credits

www.stltoday.com/business/local/incoming-missouri-governor-has-far-different-view-from-greitens-on/article_6df0ca15-a9e4-58b2-b22a-25b040c44d73.html

The ouster of Greitens may improve the chances of reinstating Missouri credits. Jeff Smith, Executive Director of MOWAHA is quoted in the article saying the credits are efficient and effective. They are neither. Written by Paul Dribin

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Missouri River Bluffs

Whittaker Development is planning on building single family homes on an environmentally sensitive site over looking the Missouri River near the Katy Trail. The St. Charles County Commissioners need to vote on the proposal which is opposed by environmental groups. I would recommend voting against this project. We don’t often have these environmentally beautiful sites and need to preserve them. Written by Paul Dribin

Historic Tax Credits and Trump

President Trump has proposed in his tax plan to eliminate the Federal Historic Tax Credits. This would be a disaster for most cities, and most significantly, St. Louis. Federal and state credits have been effectively used in St. Louis for years to rehabilitate and develop housing that is historically significant. The dollar value has to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars. The value to the community is even higher. This for a tax plan that increases the deficit and simply lines the pocket of already very wealthy Americans. Second, this does not even get at the possible cuts in the State of Missouri Historic Tax Credits proposed by Governor Greitens Written by Paul Dribin

Blues Ice Rink Again

The federal government has refused to allow construction of an ice arena on a environmentally fragile site in Creve Coeur Park. Last week officials from the federal government were in town to hear grievances from local politicians. The lawyer for the ice arena played the oldest game in the world when facing a negative decision from the feds. He argued prejudice on the part of the federal officials based upon newspaper articles they had received. The only way to attempt to win this is to argue that the feds acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner.

Enough of this nonsense. Let’s find another site and get on with things. Written by Paul Dribin

HUD to Defund Fair Housing Grants in Missouri

Missouri passed a law about six months ago which made filing a discrimination or fair housing complaint more difficult. Many in the know advised against it primarily for moral reasons, but also because of the potential for lawsuits and possibility of listing federal funding. Well, the predictions have come true. HUD has written that if the law is not changed by March 2018 federal funding for fair housing enforcement will be terminated. That is because the state law is no longer “substantially equivalent” to the federal law. It would be just deserts if Amazon opted not to come here due to our redneck ways. Written by Paul Dribin

Lyda Krewson

I usually don’t get into politics, but my first public administration class pointed out you can’t separate politics from policy. Elliot Davis of You Paid for It Fame on tv wrote a passionate facebook post in which he postured that Mayor Krewson the first woman mayor of St. Louis is not up for the job. He provided a number of good examples.

Unfortunately, I would have to agree with Elliot. She seems like a nice person but is just going through the motions of being mayor. She has not leadership skills. If I was a police officer or member of an officer’s family, I would have been outraged after her comments making nice to the demonstrators and indirectly criticizing the police. She has done nothing substantive to address crime, job loss, or racial inequality. The Mayor likes to have feel good meetings and is using that process to take 9 months to hire a police chief. I also think the effort to lure Amazon here is a waste of time and money. Written by Paul Dribin

Landlord Lockouts

Tony Messenger had a good article in the Post today about a subject of which I had been aware but needed reminding. That is a situation that is common in St. Louis and probably elsewhere; landlord lockouts and illegal evictions.

What happens is that a tenant who is behind on their rent discovers their apartment is padlocked and they cannot gain entry. A second scenario might involve their possessions being put on the sidewalk. These intimidation techniques often result in the tenant leaving on their own and forfeiting their security deposit. Of course in Missouri as in all states there is a judicial process which involves a court hearing if the tenant requests it.

In St. Louis such actions are not criminal offenses. The board of aldermen is attempting to pass an ordinance criminalizing this behavior. I would like to see huge fines imposed on landlords in these situations for their greedy behavior. Ironically, the courts will always rule in the landlord’s favor if the tenant is behind on their rent. Most landlords, particularly the larger ones do not engage in this behavior. Written by Paul Dribin

Good Decision by Stenger

County Executive Steve Stenger has said he will probably not approve another $500000 of county money for the loop trolley project. I consider this project a boondoggle. Good decision

Sometimes the Good Guys Win

Several stories in St. Louis indicated the good guys can at least win some of the battles if not the wars. Here are the cases:

1. Chesterfield MO- The council stood up to a well funded developer group who wanted to put a soccer park in Chesterfield with a huge investment of public funds. The council said no.

2. Chesterfield MO- I have written before about a mobile home park in Chesterfield which largely houses low income people who rent their spots. It has been in that location for years. A developer had a plan to build 290 apartment units on the site which required re zoning. The Planning Commission this week reject the re zoning request. Advocates for the residents of the park, led by my friend Jim Moore, are working on a plan for a land trust on the site.

3. St. Louis County-A hairbrained scheme led by the St. Louis Blues Hockey Club was trying to build a hockey facility on an ecologically fragile site in Creve Coeur Park. Once again, free land is involved. County Executive Stengel and his people tried to ramrod this proposal through. The County Council has at least temporarily put the proposal on hold.

4. St. Louis City- A plan for the public to pay for renovations to the Scottrade Center where the Blues play has been put on hold due to a lawsuit by my friend Jeanette Mott Oxford and the courageous work of City Comptroller Darlene Greene.

Written by Paul Dribin

Unified Fire District in St. Louis County

A small piece of good news. Several mid St. Louis County communities are joining together to form a unified fire district. The communities are Clayton, Richmond Heights, and Brentwood. Unfortunately Maplewood dropped out because of the initial costs. Kudos to the participants. Let’s hope this is the start of something good. Written by Paul Dribin

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