Our History

  • Effort Initiated

    Better Together, a project of the Missouri Council for a Better Economy, was formed out of a growing public interest in addressing the fragmented nature of local government in St. Louis City and St. Louis County. Better Together seeks to drive an inclusive, transparent process of developing and assembling valuable information on local governments to provide a basis for informed discussion on how to best move forward.

  • Research Begins

    Better Together begins a 3 year process of studying six key areas of local government: public finance, economic development, public health, public safety (including municipal courts, police, and fire protection), parks and recreation, and general administration. Hundreds of community meetings ranging from one-on-one coffees to town halls and forums are held to understand the experiences of those who rely on and interact with the services provided by St. Louis City and County.

  • The Will To Change

    Better Together releases its summary of 3 years of research in a report titled “The Will to Change.” This narrative report reveals how fragmentation within the St. Louis region has yielded a system focused on internal competition over regional growth, a disparity in services and the allocation of resources, and an inability to formulate and execute a vision for regional success.

  • City County Government Task Force

    A City County Governance Task Force is formed in response to Better Together’s studies. The Task Force seeks to identify and report on governmental reforms that can improve the effectiveness of local government in the St. Louis City and County. It is endorsed by City of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger.

  • Task Force Results Released

    The City County Governance Task Force, supported by Better Together, releases the results and recommendations of a comprehensive study of government fragmentation in the St. Louis region.