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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”

Sheila Sweeney to Plead Guilty in Stenger Deal

www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/federal-charges-against-sheila-sweeney-and-john-rallo-in-pay/article_16e857c5-44e5-53f0-a4cf-2a209a87a478.html

I have known she was crooked for a long time. An issue not getting much attention with all this is the ridiculously high salaries up and down the line in the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership. Written by Paul Dribin

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St Charles County Executive Offers Caution About St Louis City School District

www.stltoday.com/opinion/columnists/those-who-cannot-remember-the-past-are-condemned-to-repeat/article_80222eb9-d2be-509b-9ccc-584d1354de8d.html

A thoughtful article by someone with first hand experience

Louis Reed Call’s for City to Drop Out of St Louis Economic Developmrnt Council

www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/reed-city-should-withdraw-from-economic-development-partnership-with-st/article_2dd9c148-9e80-5a5d-9dcf-6b91bbe877c4.html

This is a big deal. Reed is a big player in city efforts

Affordable housing development in St. Louis getting off the ground

www.stltoday.com/business/local/over-two-years-after-big-hud-grant-preservation-square-project/article_ea43dfa3-f795-5188-b45d-88d466373a7c.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

Good post editorial about opportunity zones

www.stltoday.com/opinion/editorial/editorial-opportunity-promise-or-empowerment-if-you-have-the-money/article_76172eeb-4417-53e8-86dc-1bb8827a7c51.html

there is actually much controversy about this program which gives huge tax breaks to businesses which were likely to invest in these areas anyway.

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

McKee problems continue

www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/still-stuck-with-paul-mckee-st-louis-officials-pledge-to/article_b094fe94-42f8-5398-a032-258d646850ae.html

I was a big believer in him and have always like him. A big part of his problem is that he played city politics poorly

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.

Crime and Vacancies

I have attended various task forces of the Vacancy Collaborative in St. Louis. What I find fascinating is that no one in the group has defined why there are a large amount of vacancies in St. Louis. The answer is really quite simple; crime, crime, crime. There are several facts which back my assertion:

1. The parts of St. Louis that have a reasonable crime rate do not have significant vacancies and tax foreclosed properties sell quickly

2. The areas that have high crime rates have a high number of vacancies.

What is troubling to me is that no one seems to want to talk about this. It would be as if a discussion about lung cancer deaths did not include the problem of smoking.

Written by Paul Dribin

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