- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 26, 2016

ST. LOUIS (AP) - The Municipal League of Metro St. Louis plans to vote Thursday on a proposal to allow the city of St. Louis to become the 91st municipality in the county.

The vote would be only an endorsement of the idea. Any plan to allow the city to become a county municipality would either have to be approved by city and county residents, or a petition would be needed to have the issue decided by a statewide vote, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports (https://bit.ly/2eRV9xW ).

The league’s executive board has already voted unanimously in favor of the proposal. The league has 86 municipalities and St. Louis city and county.

The city and county separated in 1876. Critics have long contended the separation created unnecessary rivalries and slowed economic development in the city and county.

“Being an organization of municipal leaders, we shouldn’t be afraid to have these conversations,” said Pat Kelly, the league’s executive director. “Hopefully, we can formulate a plan that municipalities, the city of St. Louis and county voters can agree upon.”

The three-page proposal says the process would need to address “taxes, County Council representation, court jurisdiction and recorder of deed services to mention a few.” If approved, the proposal also would likely causing the closing of St. Louis offices that have functions similar to county offices but for city residents.

The proposal also states that it “is not our intention or desire to provide a pathway or (entry) into a larger conversation of merger between the city and county, nor forced consolidation of municipalities within the county.”

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Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, https://www.stltoday.com


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