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The St Louis Contrarian

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

Archive for the category “st louis county”

St. Louis County Affordable Housing Trust Fund

I just received an email with the initial results of the planning efforts of the proposed Affordable Housing Trust Fund for St. Louis County. I am delighted to see the recommendations which made terrific sense. The group is led by Chris Krehmeyer of Beyond Housing and the Clark-Fox Foundation is providing important support. I am glad they see that moving to communities of opportunity is the most important factor in success. I hope this program can get implemented. Written by Paul Dribin

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Post Editorial About Stenger Improprieties

www.stltoday.com/opinion/editorial/editorial-the-appearance-of-impropriety-once-again-centers-on-stenger/article_bd94339c-34de-597d-900b-e0408fee3274.html

Non low bidder on msd contract contributed heavily to Stenger

www.stltoday.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/after-controversial-msd-vote-winners-donated-more-than-to-stenger/article_dacc13aa-5f0a-547c-9149-d5ccb46dcce4.html

This smelled at the time it was awarded. Obviously unethical conduct. Not selecting a qualified low bidder on a construction contract is unheard of

More about St Louis County Federal Investigation

www.stltoday.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/federal-investigation-plunges-st-louis-county-into-chaos/article_9b0a1443-8535-5da5-9c98-dfd80ad631df.html

I have been writing for some time about this corruption. Stenger and Sheila Sweeney are in big trouble

Subpoenas issued to St. Louis county advisors to Stenger

www.stltoday.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/st-louis-county-served-with-subpoena-in-federal-investigation-targeting/article_562fd03f-4e18-5cb4-b427-e1f482c7be7b.html

Better Together Sheds Stenger

Better Together which is leading an initiative to join the city and county has shed a major albatross. Under the original concept, County Executive Stenger would become mayor of the whole deal. This is offensive to many of us who have little regard for Mr. Stenger. The new concept allows for an initial election of the new mayor. This makes a lot more sense. Written by Paul Dribin

Letter to editor opposing Metrolink expansion

I am writing again on one of my favorite topics, the foolishness of Metro Link expansion. I am afraid that while other local controversies such as the airport privatization and Better Together occupy our time, the Metro Link expansion will sneak through. Let us review the problems with this expansion:

First, it is paying huge sums of money for a transportation system that is obsolete. People no longer work as much in centralized fixed locations. Many more people work at home. Others travel from site to site as part of their jobs. Metro Link was made for a time when most office workers were employed downtown.

Second,, the trains almost never get you door to door. Often you need to drive to the station or connect with buses. This is inefficient and adds greatly to travel time.

Third, the Metro Link is very costly to operate. It would be far cheaper to subsidize rides for people on Uber or Lyft.

Fourth, Metro Link has proven unsafe. More people are reluctant to ride it due to safety concerns.

Fifth, it will not be possible to use trains from the old system on the new one. This is highly inefficient.

Proponents of light rail expansion point to economic development as a reason. This is a false and misleading argument. All of the economic development located anywhere near a Metro Link station would have occurred anyway. Cortex is not dependent on Metrolink. We need to stop using questionable inflated economic development claims to support a transportation system that is obsolete.

In a poll conducted some months ago, a huge majority of St. Louis Business Journal readers were opposed to Metro Link expansion. These people need to share their views with elected officials, the Metro Board, and other decision makers.

The Loop Trolley is a debacle. Metro Link expansion will dwarf that as a horrible decision.

St. Louis county is signing up to support dome bonds

www.stltoday.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/st-louis-county-may-sign-up-for-more-years-of/article_6f6cd5f2-4059-59c1-85bf-33ef4da23a2a.html

Trolley Again

A friend of mine is a businessman in the Loop who supports the trolley with his taxes. He attempted to find out the ridership levels of the trolley, called the Trolley Authority, and was declined an answer. He then called the feds who oversee the program. The average daily ridership since inception is nine people a day. Pitiful

Garbage Research

I continue to be appalled by some of the garbage research that gets published in the name of social science and urban development. A recent one was published by The Brookings Institution titled The Devaluation of Assets in the Black Community. This is certainly a provocative title.

The research presumed to show that single family homes in the black communities are worth less than comparable houses in white communities. This is something that is hardly a surprise. These differences can be explained by lots of reasons, most prominently crime and schools. The authors made elaborate adjustments to properties and concluded there must be other reasons than the usual real estate ones for the difference in price. That difference of course was race.

If they could have shown comparable neighborhoods where everything was the same except race they could have made a point. Of course, they didn’t do any such thing.

My real problem is the concept of devaluation which assumes there is a proper value for any piece of real estate, or anything else. I could argue my house in St. Louis is devalued compared to San Francisco. These comparisons are meaningless. In St. Louis, black families moved out of historically black neighborhoods in huge numbers for reasons I stated, safety and good schools. Hardly surprising. Written by Paul Dribin

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