The St Louis Contrarian

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

Archive for the tag “crime”

Housing Subsidies in St. Louis

Development subsidies have been a controversial topic in St. Louis. Progressives and conservatives alike tend to think development is over subsidized. My experience is that due to market constraints, not much of anything would be build in St. Louis without subsidies. Mayor Tamra Jones has extricated a commitment from a developer of market rate housing in Grand Center to also build some workforce units on the north side. This is all fine, but what activists don’t realize is that you don’t create a market by building housing. People will not live in certain neighborhoods due to crime. That is a fact. Written by Paul Dribin

City actually Razing Some Houses

www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/push-begins-anew-to-raze-condemned-structures-in-north-st-louis/article_67ad84fa-8d28-5d85-9f44-0f173e7300c2.html

Not enough but a good start

Vacancies and Crime

There is a major overlooked cause of crime in St. Louis, vacant foreclosed properties.

Much research shows that vacant properties not only cause deterioration of a neighborhood, but cause an increase in crime. These properties become attractions for criminals and vandals.

St. Louis has thousands of vacant foreclosed properties owned by a city agency, the LRA. These properties were usually foreclosed upon for non payment of taxes. This foreclosure process may take years, all the while keeping abandoned buildings on line. In addition, and equally important, it takes the city years to dispose of these properties, many of which should be razed. They lack the data systems to oversee this inventory and even know what they have in stock.

I worked for HUD selling foreclosed properties in Milwaukee. From that experience I learned certain lessons. Holding a property on the market in the hope of getting a better price is foolish, properties must be priced to sell quickly, investors must be activated to purchase properties,the private sector can be good partners, Urban Homesteading is a great tool to sell properties and bring homebuyers into the city, bulk sales are necessary, and good data and information is critical. Demolition must also be part of the mix. The City of St. Louis has done very little of these things. Written by Paul Dribin

Do We Need A Great Downtown

Much ado has been made of the crime and mayhem in downtown St. Louis. Billions of dollars have been invested in various projects in the area with little to show for it. I rarely go downtown except to a Cardinals or Blues game and am not alone.

A common bromide is that we need a great downtown to have a great city. That may have been true in the days when most office workers worked downtown, and shopping at department stores was common and indeed a treat.

Today most people do not work downtown and often work at home. The cultural institutions in St. Louis are not located downtown, so why try to develop it. More resources need to be put into neighborhoods with growth incurring more organically. Written by Paul Dribin

Why St. Louis is a Mess

Just some random examples of the mess we are in.

1. New mayor Tashaura Jones is elected, crime is at an all time high, and she wants to cut police budget.

2. The same mayor is trying to end support to the Foundary Project which is one of the few new projects in St. Louis and had already received city support. This decision makes no sense and puts ideology over practicality.

3. Metro Link, our light rail system is a haven of crime. Bi state which runs Metro Link won’t let cops carry guns while patrolling the trains. Furthermore, the three police departments who do this patrolling cannot communicate with each other over their respective radios.

4. There are concrete barriers blocking lanes on many of the streets in the downtown. Why? Because bad guys had been racing cars.

5. The covid vaccination program at the Dome was a big bust because we can’t get people from the black community to come down and get shots.

Written by Paul Dribin

Metrolink says it is Making Progress on Security

www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/metrolink-says-new-security-approach-is-beginning-to-work-but-hurdles-remain/article_1380035b-c49b-57de-9ab8-06999507cf2d.html

There is a long way to go. Also important is that a lot fewer people are commuting to work

Crime in St. Louis

Mayor Tashara Jones is calling for the elimination of vacant police positions and an emphasis on social services to end crime. This is a mistake. There is no data to show this approach works, and some criminals need hard tactics by police. The social services need to be applied in addition to officers on the street. Written by Paul Dribin

St. Louis Closing Workhouse Makes No Sense

St. Louis Mayor Tashaura Jones has committed to closing the medium security prison known as The Workhouse. This makes no sense and seems to confuse the institution for all the woes of the criminal justice system. Activists seem to believe that closing jails will make crime go away. Not true. Written by Paul Dribin

movement to Defund Police in St Louis

www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/st-louis-progressive-groups-campaign-to-defund-st-louis-police-in-next-city-budget/article_242ab3d6-afc8-5d4f-8b0d-b416d6e5e150.html

It would be a big mistake. Each officer on the street significantly reduces crime

Police Reform in St Louis

www.stltoday.com/opinion/columnists/antonio-french/antonio-french-rare-opportunity-exists-for-police-reform-just-as-many-turn-to-defund-abolish/article_466be1b3-8c90-597a-b1b6-69343d0d0732.html

Good column as always by Antonio French in Post Dispatch

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