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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”

New Economic Development Group

www.stltoday.com/business/local/leaders-of-st-louis-business-groups-form-new-economic-development/article_2d76145e-377e-554c-ad34-da672377a750.html

I question whether we need this. There are too many economic development groups already with lots of high paid staff and little in the way of results. Many question the need for economic development organizations. Written by Paul Dribin

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Missouri Constitution Must be Amended to Unite St Louis City and County

www.stltoday.com/opinion/columnists/why-change-the-missouri-constitution-to-unify-st-louis/article_9f9426a5-5b9d-527f-862d-1921b7eb7ac7.html

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

Good op ed about need for city and county to unify

www.stltoday.com/opinion/columnists/it-is-time-to-unify-st-louis-city-and-county/article_a0430cdc-78a5-59bd-92c1-60b93fa066e9.html

Merger of Governments in St. Louis County

There has been quite a lot of talk recently about merging governments in the St. Louis region. There is a proposal led by Better Together to have a statewide vote on the issue, putting all the communities in St. Louis County into one government. This has fostered a statement by local government leaders to develop their own plan.

I believe the fragmented governmental structure of the region is so poisonous to our development that something needs to be done. I don’t know if one government is the answer but we need to eliminate all the small inefficient units of government. Written by Paul Dribin

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

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

Historic Preservation

I recognize the importance of historic preservation in cities. Nevertheless here are my criticisms of how it works in St. Louis:

1. Virtually every neighborhood in St. Louis is considered historic. There seems to be a feeling that if a property is old, it is historic. This is not true.

2., Historic rehab adds 10% or more to the cost of construction. This can be significant.

3. It locks communities into doing what they have already done. Varied architectural styles are not welcome. Frank Loyd Wright would not have been able to build his buildings in St. Louis unless he followed the tried and true architectural style. A preservation yesterday said streets should have the feel of 1910. Is that what we want?

Written by Paul Dribin

Customer Service in St. Louis

A good article in the Post about how the City of St. Louis is attempting to provide better customer service. This is a major step in the right direction. Equally important are the cumbersome processes the city requires for developers and businesses. Customer service is more than complaint processing. Written by Paul Dribin

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

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