After Propositions 2’s failure in the city of St. Louis, seemingly putting a halt on future plans to build an MLS soccer stadium downtown, SC STL partner Dave Peacock told KMOX local leadership is a problem.
Many people expressed their disappointment that St. Louis County was not a part of the soccer stadium plan, and Peacock said he hopes those people rise up to break down the city-county divide.
“I don’t know that we have the political leadership or will to make really tough choices that are going to be required to get the region in the path it needs to be going on,” he said.
Peacock said he doesn’t see much leadership, and the region needs to get off its “a.”
KMOX’s Carol Daniel posed the question of regional leadership to her Facebook audience:
KMOX’s Charlie Brennan and Mark Reardon respond below.
Charlie Brennan: St. Louis Doesn’t Lack Leadership
Does the St. Louis region lack leadership? Dave Peacock, who led the unsuccessful attempt to raise taxes to help pay for a soccer stadium, appears to believe so.
Would Peacock have the same concerns if his measure passed? Probably not. If another 4,000 people in St. Louis on Tuesday voted to raise their taxes for a stadium, nobody would be wondering today about St. Louis’ supposed leadership vacuum.
Plenty of S. Louisans—Dave Peacock, Mayor Slay, Jim Kavanaugh, Tony Messenger, Joe Buck—urged for the passage of Prop 2. They failed. Does that mean they are not leaders?
Look at it another way: if Prop 2 passed, wouldn’t we be praising these men as today’s leaders? Since Prop 2 lost, we conclude we are bereft of leadership.
Remember, John Wooden did not win all of his games. No. Leaders don’t win every contest. History shows us great leaders have setbacks. Tuesday’s vote was a setback for some.
Actually, depending on your point of view, opponents of the soccer ballot item could be called “leaders” because, in their view, they encouraged others to reject the stadium funding foolishness.
Mark Reardon: The Real Problem In St. Louis Is Crime
I’m getting a little tired of hearing about how there needs to be more “regional cooperation” this week in the wake of the defeat of Prop 2 which would have shifted $60m in city taxpayer money to build an soccer stadium and attract an MLS franchise to St. Louis. That proposal didn’t suffer defeat because of some mythical lack of regional cooperation, it lost because it was pretty much DOA. The supporters thought they would be able to somehow magically turn around the feeling of most voters that subsidizing billionaires was the way to help turn St. Louis around.
Many of the same players both in and out of government thought the NFL would force a billionaire owner of a franchise who wanted to move his team to LA to somehow stay put—because it “just wasn’t fair”! Oh—and taxpayers footed the bill for $16m just to draw up that plan which WAS NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN.
We’re 0 for 2. Two failed projects in a row and it’s not the fault of St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Jefferson County or Madison County, IL. For St. Louis County’s part they weren’t even in on the negations for this proposal. But the solution should be to hand a tax bill to residents to help a bunch of rich dudes. Did anyone propose naming rights? PSL’s? OR—and this one is super crazy—having the ownership group which is worth billions take out the bonds themselves before coming to the taxpayer trough?
Here’s what I was told repeatedly on Twitter this week:
“The soccer plan was never the only path to moving the city in the right direction but it would have been a great start.”
“No one said MLS was the answer to everything. It was part of a bigger plan.”
“Anytime u can bring thousands of people to an area to spend money .. should b considered a good thing”
“I think having an MLS franchise in St. Louis would have been cool, and I don’t really even like soccer. But that’s not the point.”
Saying that a lack of regional cooperation is holding the entire area back from economic growth and opportunity is not confronting the real problem. Everyone knows the real problem—it’s crime.