St. Louis City-County Merger Talks Moving Forward
ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – As another new year approaches, Mayor Francis Slay is ramping up efforts to knock down the economic and political barriers that separate his city and St. Louis County.
“We’re finding ourselves, a lot of times, competing with each other for jobs and tax dollars or those kinds of things,” Slay tells KMOX News. “But this is a global economy.”
The mayor recently used his Twitter account to ask the question, “Who really thinks that more competing public agendas is better than fewer?”.
Handling the negotiations for St. Louis County is Economic Council President & CEO Denny Coleman.
“If we’re going to do this, it’s got to be done for the right reasons,” Coleman explains. “We’ve got to be able to provide enhanced value for the businesses and citizens of St. Louis city and county.”
He acknowleges that a big part of this process involves public education to convince nay-sayers.
Coleman says opponents to a city-county merger may be under the impression that area leaders would join hands and sing “Kumbaya”, but that’s simply not the case.
“People think that we’re going to end competition in the region. We’re not,” he says. “The real estate community is still going to compete. Municipalities within St. Louis County will still compete.”
Meanwhile, talks between the two sides continue, with St. Louis Development Corporation Executive Director Rodney Crim handling negotiations for the city.
On his blog (www.mayorslay.com), Mayor Slay says he’s like the city to reenter St. Louis County as a municipality, and he hopes to reach some sort of an agreement within the next year.
Copyright KMOX Radio