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The St Louis Contrarian

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

Archive for the tag “Cara Spencer”

The Right Way to Fund Sports Stadiums

I am opposed to public funding of professional sports facilities because it is immoral and does not provide a good rate of return. Sometimes there need to be improvements to infrastructure and other areas that only the public sector can provide. In this case the funding should be through a Regional Sports Authority. The City of St. Louis should not alone pay for upgrades to Scottrade Center or any place else, because most of the attendees at events there are from outside the city. The county should pay its’ fair share. This is exactly the proposal of Alderman Cara Spencer of St. Louis. Kudos to her. Written by Paul Dribin

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Hockey Public Funding

A fascinating fight is brewing in St Louis over public funding of the repairs to the Scottrade Center where the hockey Blues play. The Board of Aldermen passed an ordinance authorizing payment for the repairs in the form of 30 year bonds. A group led by Alderman Cara Spencer has filed suit and challenged the legality of the action because it violates terms of the Missouri Constitution. In addition to Ms. Spencer, another plaintiff is Jeanette Mott Oxford, former state representative, and Executive Director of Empower Missouri, a non profit advocacy agency for poor people. Ms. Oxford is a friend and colleague of mine and I can tell you she is very smart, determined, and fearless.

A major item of discussion concerns who owns the building. The popular perception is that the city owns it which is apparently not true. The city owns the land under it, and the Blues own the building.

Once again this is a matter of a cash starved city funding a sports venue for rich private parties. Furthermore most of the attendees at Blues game live outside the city. Ms. Spencer has recommended a regional sports authority that receives funding from the county as well as the city,

I love hockey and think Tom Stillman the owner of the Blues is a good guy. I also agree with Ms. Spencer and Oxford that public funds should not be used for this purpose. Written by Paul Dribin

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