Good morning…

Status update… The St. Louis City-County Governance Task Force is on track to release their recommendations to the public this fall.

  • These recommendations will address ways to improve the cost, effectiveness, and equitable distribution of municipal services in the region.

In developing these recommendations, the Task Force process included:

  • Nine public town halls
  • Over 200 one-on-one and small group meetings
  • Reviewing over 1,500 citizen feedback surveys
  • Hosting three youth engagement sessions for teenage residents
  • ….and more.

Encourage a neighbor or colleague to sign up and be in the know when the Task Force releases their recommendations for the region.

Are you a member of a club, organization, or company that would benefit from learning more about Better Together and the efforts of the City-County Governance Task Force?  

Request a speaker, and we’ll schedule a time for us to share more about our work. We’ve spoken to groups large and small, for five minutes or an hour. We’ll accommodate your group and schedule and welcome a substantive conversation about fragmentation in STL.

Post-Dispatch unveils St. Louis County crime tracker 

Two years ago, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch launched their crime tracker for the City of St. Louis. This past week, they unveiled an interactive, online tool to track crime in Saint Louis County.

  • “‘What was the holdup?’ Fragmentation.
  • “With more than 50 different police departments in the county, requesting crime statistics separately from each department each month would be overwhelming.”

State law requires all police departments to submit monthly reports to the Missouri highway patrol, and these reports are then provided to the FBI.

In their efforts, the Post-Dispatch encountered an ongoing problem as 57 police departments attempt to provide public safety services in the St. Louis region:

Flashback… In its months-long study on policing in St. Louis, the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) found a situation that, in many ways, is “dysfunctional and unsustainable.”

  • “We have never before encountered what we saw in parts of St. Louis County.”

PERF found a number of areas for which they recommended consolidation in order to improve the quality of policing.

BE IN THE KNOW: Throughout the town halls hosted by the St. Louis City-County Governance Task Force, when asked which public services should be considered for possible reorganization, the number one response from town hall attendees and online survey respondents was policing.

Citing flat revenue, Creve Coeur officials set to hike property tax 

(Saint Louis Post-Dispatch) – “The Creve Coeur City Council gave preliminary approval Tuesday night to increasing the base residential property tax rate to 8.3 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, an increase from the 2017 rate of 6.3 cents.”

  • “…major revenue sources have been either flat or declined over the last few years, and more money is needed…”

Flashback… Creve Coeur approves $7M contract for new police station STL Post-Dispatch

  • “Voters, in November 2016, approved a property tax increase to provide for $10.69 million in general obligation bonds to construct the new police station.”

BE IN THE KNOW: St. Louis voters have seen their taxes increase 121 times in the last six years.

WHY THIS MATTERS: While Creve Coeur may have had stellar revenue from other sources which led to a property tax decrease in 2012 and their confidence to build a new facility, they’re now experiencing what has become common throughout the St. Louis region – revenues are stagnant or shrinking, and costs are increasing.

Couple this with the fact that census estimates project that both the City of St. Louis and Saint Louis County are losing population and we are left to conclude that taxpayers in St. Louis are spending more money to deliver the same quality of services to fewer people.

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Thanks for reading.  

Have a great weekend.