The St Louis Contrarian

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

Archive for the category “st louis county”

Zoo Fees and Sales Tax

St. Louis has one of the great zoos and museum districts in the world. Admission to the zoo, art museum, and history museum are free. The institutions are supported by property taxes imposed on St. Louis city and county residents.

Residents of the surrounding counties should either chip in or have to pay an admission. We are a region and these institutions should be supported regionally. If someone joins one of these institutions on their own and pays an annual membership, they should get free admission. Written by Paul Dribin


Charter Schools

Betsy Devos has taken a deserved hit due to her ignorance of education policy. She and others, of course, have touted charter schools as a solution to the education problems facing our country. Recent research has again shown that overall the performance of charter schools is not superior to public schools and charter schools do not inspire public schools to do better. This has important lessons for St. Louis. I know of some superior charter schools that are a benefit to the community and some superior public schools. It just depends. Written by Paul Dribin

Quality of Life in St. Louis

A recent study by the Federal Reserve in St. Louis concluded that we have a high and affordable quality of life here. I have always felt that way. Cultural amenities, restaurants, architecture, etc. are top notch. The cost of living is great, housing is generally affordable, and traffic is minimal. I would think as housing gets more out of sight in the “trendy” cities, that places like St. Louis should be able to effectively market themselves. If only we could do something about crime and our archaic governmental system. Written by Paul Dribin

St Louis County Again

The papers showed today that the move of county facilities to the former Northwest Plaza is going to cost millions of dollars over budget and without competition. The recipient is a major donor to County Executive Stenger.

Today we learned that Glen Powers, Planning Director of St. Louis County signed off on the lease without even reading it. I. Am really disappointed to see this. I know Glen who I always considered to be an honorable guy and great public servant. I guess we all can error. I have many times seen competent career civil servants sell their souls to the devil. Written by Paul Dribin

Pagedale. Missouri

Pagedale is a tiny mostly African American community in north St. Louis County. The community has a history of corruption and poor living conditions.

Beyond Housing has been active in Pagedale for some time and is making some positive contributions to the community including housing,economic development, and social services. This process of improvement is difficult and slow.

St. Louis Magazine recently published an article about the situation in Pagedale which highlights the corruption and forwards some criticisms of Beyond Housing. I consider the article to be counterproductive, rehashing old news, gossip, and negativity. Too bad. No good deed goes unpunished. Written by Paul Dribin

St. Louis County-Steve Stenger Bad Behavior

The paper was filed over the weekend with more documentation of how County Executive Stenger runs St. Louis County on a pay to play basis. Contractors who make huge donations to his campaign are awarded huge contracts, often for things that don’t make sense financially. There should be a grand jury investigation and a movement to impeach Stenger. Written by Paul Dribin

Regional Chamber Again

Donnybrook tonight had a good discussion about the dismissal of Joe Regan as President of the Regional Chamber. The panelists comments were the same as mine, what does the organization accomplish, are the staff too highly paid, why do we need them. All good questions. Written by Paul Dribin

Metrolink Security

The rapid transit system in St. Louis known as Metrolink is an albatross. Mostly due to security concerns ridership is down and the operating deficit is increasing. The St. Louis Post Dispatch ran an article today about Metrolink which is quite disturbing. There is still no overall security plan linking St. Louis City, St. Louis County, and St. Clair County. The standards for policing these three jurisdictions are all different. The prosecutor in St. Louis County will not allow prosecutions for riders who do not pay fares. St. Louis City hardly provides any policing at all. Why are they talking about expanding a system that does not work now. Written by Paul Dribin

St. Louis Airport Privatization Again.

In theory the St. Louis scheme to privatize Lambert airport could make sense. Of course we may never know because the whole system appears so rigged there will never be an honest evaluation of the pros and cons of the proposal. All the consultants, advisors etc. have a vested interest in making the privatization work. One thought sticks out to me. If the idea was a good one, why have private sector organizations not stepped forward sooner to make the privatization happen? Written by Paul Dribin

West Lake Landfill Cleanup

We have written previously about the problems associated with the West Lake Landfill near Bridgeton. Extremely toxic waste was dumped there at the time of the Manhattan Project creating the atomic bomb. Activists have been bringing action for years in an effort to get the site remediated.

The federal EPA has proposed a major but incomplete cleanup to the site. We understand they are proposing cleaning up 70% of the toxic site and removing the radiation. Environmental groups are looking for a more complete cleanup.

We regard these efforts as a good start but not enough. The whole site needs to be remediated and homeowners moved. Written by Paul Dribin

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