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The St Louis Contrarian

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

Archive for the tag “city of st louis”

A Good Article Defending McKee

A good article from River City Ramblings with which I agree. https://stlpolitical.blog/2018/06/26/why-paul-mckee-has-unfairly-become-a-scapegoat-for-the-city-of-st-louis

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Homeless Services in St. Louis

The ongoing provision of homeless services in St. Louis is very much up in the air. The story is rather complicated and has been partially described in these pages before.

New Life Evangelical Church led by Reverend Larry Rice had provided overnight homeless services to just about anyone who wanted it. He was always in trouble with the city for good reason; he housed far too many people in his facility, didn’t agree to any reporting, etc. Add to this criticism from newly arrived Yuppies who lived downtown and he was shut down.

To make up for the New Life Demise, the city bought Biddle House on the near north side and hired St Patrick’s Center and St. Peter’s and Paul to operate it. I have frequently volunteered there and consider the facility to be well run. The problem is that both agencies who operate it lost huge amounts of money and cannot sustain the operation. Neither organization nor anyone else has responded to a RFP for continuing the services. Of course where this leave homeless people is very much up in the air. Written by Paul Dribin

Privatization of Lambert Airport Revisited

My earlier post indicated I was very skeptical of this whole endeavor. My doubts are confirmed by the fact that the Board of Estimate and Review for the city cannot reach agreement on hiring a consultant for moving ahead. Certainly privatization would generate a boatload of money for the city initially, but is it in our long term best interest? Will customer service be negatively affected? Written by Paul Dribin

City of St. Louis Credit Rating

As many have predicted, most notably Comptroller, Darlene Green, the City of St. Louis has had its bond rating lowered once again. The obvious result of this action will be a higher cost of borrowing and fewer projects. Heaven help us if the interest rates go up.

Experts say a leading cause of this action was the funding of the Blues rehab to Scottrade Center. Again, Ms. Green attempted to block it but was unsuccessful.

These situations are bad enough if the money is spent for critical activities. It is horrible to spend it on helping a sports team, as much as I love hockey. Written by Paul Dribin

St Louis Budget Shortfall

The City of St. Louis will have a $10 million budget shortfall. This is a big deal and will require cuts in service. Too bad. Written by Paul Dribin

Americans moving back to suburbs

www.brookings.edu/blog/the-avenue/2018/03/26/us-population-disperses-to-suburbs-exurbs-rural-areas-and-middle-of-the-country-metros/

The above linked article is from Brookings. Despite the love hipsters have for the city people raising children do not see it the same way. In St. Louis, why should someone live in the city and put up with all the shit. Cities have to figure out how to provide a higher level of service, and deal with the race, crime, and school problems. African Americans have been one of the largest segment of people to move to the suburbs. Is that not the American dream? Written by Paul Dribin

More Bad Business in St. Louis

St. Louis should be doing everything possible to help small businesses. The population had declined and the city as a whole lacks for good businesses. Instead the city is making it worse. They have decided to make things worse. In a small minded effort to get more tax revenue, the city has decided to reclassify many small businesses from retail to manufacturing. A good example is Crown Candy, an iconic business in the Old North St. Louis area. The reason for this reclassification, they have mixing bowls. Bakeries have been reclassified in a similar manner. Crown Candy in particular deserves the keys to the city not being treated in this rude manner.

To be successful, St. Louis needs to be the easiest city for small businesses to work, not the most difficult. Written by Paul Dribin

City of St. Louis Affordable Housing Trust Fund

I have written previously about the City of St. Louis Affordable Housing Trust Fund. It is a fund that is derived from out of state taxes paid in St. Louis and supposed to be used for affordable housing efforts. For years money has been siphoned for other purposes.

The city has passed a sales tax for metro link expansion(which is an ill conceived idea). Half of the funds are to be used for other community based needs. Housing advocates are lobbying the city to use the funds to expand affordable housing efforts. I strongly agree with this effort and urge readers to lobby city officials in this regard. Written by Paul Dribin

Urban Development and Privilege

Much has been written recently about the concept of white privilege. I  find the term somewhat offensive because it makes people defensive. Nevertheless, the concept is true

There are a couple areas of middle class privilege that contribute negatively to the well being of communities.   The first is the mortgage interest deductions. This deduction primarily helps higher income people, and artificially drives up the price of housing. Working class people who do not itemize are hurt. This by the way is the biggest housing subsidy. A tax credit targeted to working class people would be more effective

A second set of privileges cover zoning and planning laws in our communities. These laws tend to zone out smaller and more affordable housing and Multifamily housing. I am not talking about housing homeless people but teachers social workers, nurses etc.    

The results of these policies are unnecessary segregation , a lack of mobility, and urban decline.  Written by paul Dribin

More Metrolink Problems

More shootings drug dealings etc in and around Metrolink. People are afraid to ride it. I was correct in predicting Metrolink would be an albatross for the region. When are the leaders going to do something?

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