Indeed, backers pledged in advance not to lay anyone off.

Clearly the city no longer wants to own its decline, but more than just being quotable, the latest comments may show a city in less of a knee-jerk stance regarding notoriously inaccurate population estimates. More than 80% of readers say they or their organizations work to achieve greater racial equity. Historic renovation continues to reclaim some of the city’s historic legacy.

But after 1950, St. Louis fell into steep decline. The existing St. Louis municipalities would have continued to exist as “municipal districts” but would lose authority over police, courts, roads, and economic development, as well as chunks of their revenue streams. In the City of St. Louis, we’re apparently no longer allowed to say that further population decline is bad news. We like to look at the Central West End, Soulard and Lafayette Square as shining examples of revitalized neighborhoods and ignore the city, the places that most people only see on TV with police tape strung between trees.

So far, some of the most prosperous towns have addressed growth concerns with demolition and de-densification. Regional stagnation has exposed many other civic issues, such as heavy segregation and jurisdictional fragmentation. In 1950, its peak population year, St. Louis was the eighth-largest city in the United States, with a population of 856,796, which even today would make it our 18th-largest municipality—bigger than Seattle, Denver, or Boston. Copyright © Backers planned to implement the merger through a citizen-initiated amendment of the Missouri state constitution, to be voted on statewide. Smartly, the city has decided to no longer challenge those estimates. What about crime and safety, walkable neighborhoods, transit and other issues? No big deal. Some have advocated that the city of St. Louis rejoin the county and become an ordinary city again. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that estimates released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau showed 136,168 Black residents as of last July, or 45.3% of the city's population. His conclusion was prefaced by saying that the continued exodus “is not good news or bad news”.

The plan to implement a statewide vote also gave opponents an opening to criticize the plan as undemocratic.

In other areas, we bulldoze entire neighborhoods for parking, or a new healthcare facility. Send a question or comment using the form below. We’re very nearly at that point now, aren’t we? “It just is,” Jeff Rainford, chief of staff for Mayor Francis Slay told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.His conclusion was prefaced by saying that the continued exodus “is not good news or bad news”. While state and federal investigations found the shooting justified, the resulting attention revealed many serious problems with how St. Louis suburbs were conducting business. Good reasons exist to question a city-county merger for St. Louis. St. Louis was once part of St. Louis County. But after 1950, St. Louis fell into steep decline. And the rhetoric of growth is a mismatch with reality. That proved the plan’s undoing, after he was indicted. The merger wouldn’t save money. Whatever it decides to do, St. Louis needs to do something.

Don’t like them? Aaron M. Renn is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of City Journal. TWA was acquired by American Airlines, which eliminated its hub in St. Louis. While a merger would not be a silver bullet, it might disrupt the status quo in a way that opens new possibilities. But problems abounded.

Fire and school districts would stay independent. “For a long time, our growth motored along based on our growth outward, the sprawl farther into the county,” Powers told the Post-Dispatch. St. Louis is a rare “independent city”—not located within a county, that is, but existing as its own separate entity. A number have turned to abusive ticketing practices to raise funds. Backers have already said that they plan to resurrect the idea. Once a major American city, the Gateway to the West struggles to redefine itself. The county’s problem is clearly on a different scale than the city’s, and developing any kind of comprehensive strategy to address population decline seems unlikely, to say the least, for a county of 90 municipalities. To the extent that new suburban growth is occurring in St. Louis, it’s farther out, in places like St. Charles County. The solution seems to be: Give people more big box store options a place to park their car, and we’ll be okay (see Kirkwood, Clayton, Richmond Heights). The county executive, in fact, was slated to be the transitional mayor. Attempts to shake up the region’s governance are likely to continue. Perhaps bulldozing neighborhoods for a tax subsidized Menards isn’t the path to growth?

In 1876, however, city officials, unhappy with the county government, managed to push through a secession in which a newly enlarged city was carved away from the county. True, St. Louis retains several Fortune 500 companies and a large financial-services industry base, boasts an elite private school in Washington University, and remains a center of plant sciences, as well as being part of a major region of almost 3 million people, with significant economic activity and serious cultural assets—and the St. Louis Blues hockey team just won the Stanley Cup for the first time. St. Louis Wants Judges Thinking Beyond Cash Bail, To St. Louis Municipal Bank Accounts, Black Lives Matter, Hackathon Finds Solutions to Food Insecurity. In fact, the opposite is more likely—that wages and benefits would increase. Surveys consistently show that 74% of our readers use Next City’s journalism in their jobs. The plan was touted as a money-saver that would generate significant efficiencies, allowing the elimination of the local earnings tax, a long-time Sinquefield priority. Can you help us meet our goal? Practically speaking, the independent city of St. Louis was equivalent to a combined city-county government. They hoped the 348,189 count in 2000 represented a low-water mark for the city that once reached more than 850,000 residents. Many aspects of this plan, which directly targeted abusive municipal police and courts, were well designed. This piece originally appeared on nextSTL. And unlike mergers in Indianapolis and Nashville, which happened more than 50 years ago, this plan would not combine an older city with growing suburbs, but rather, join an older city to suburbs that are themselves old and stagnant. A new plan to turn the whole city into a shelter system might finally be the breaking point for residents. “Really, that chapter kind of ended, and now we have to look inward to our older areas to refresh them, redevelop them, to make them attractive living environments for old and new homebuyers.”, Lori Fiegel, the county’s comprehensive planning manager added, “If we continue to keep everything the same, what is the trajectory? The problem in the American inner city is not racism but drive-by shootings of blacks by other blacks. With nearly 1 million residents, the fortunes of the County and its ability and willingness to address decline may hold the key to the future of the St. Louis region. The city’s rate of decline has lessened, as has the rate of population growth in St. Charles County. How much would the public schools need to improve to keep old residents and attract new? A place where people go to watch sporting events or visit the zoo, and little else? Once a major regional business center, St. Louis has seen a dramatic erosion of civic standing. The region has stagnated, too; the population of the larger metro area fell slightly last year.

And, as serious as the issue is in the city, St. Louis County and its 90 municipalities continue to lose residents as well. The impact of urban violence on its survivors is incalculable. These reorganizations consume immense civic time and attention that could be devoted to other priorities. The lingering economic downturn has made people less mobile, perhaps unable to find new work or sell their homes. Will you support us in finding the news and information they need? St. Louis County is dotted with 91 municipalities, most very small, and many fiscally distressed.

Knowing that any kind of government merger is always hugely controversial, the planners took a light hand with their changes, not attempting to abolish existing municipalities completely. The St. Louis metropolitan area’s overall population has grown little since 2010, … Sign up for our newsletter. If initial estimates are to be believed, it appears that St. Louis is in for another decade of population loss. Is there reason to be believe that when economic prosperity returns the exodus won’t continue? A new book argues that modern suburban development is a financial loser for some communities. Local giants like Anheuser-Busch, McDonnell-Douglas, and Ralston Purina were bought out and reduced their local presence. Others argue for a full consolidation of government between the city and county, pointing to merged city-county governments like Nashville and Indianapolis as positive examples. Quality news about cities is critical to democracy. But the problems that prompted it—regional demographic and economic malaise, fiscal distress, and segregation—aren’t going away. The highly visible downtown residential community increased by 359 percent. That hope evaporated when the 2010 number revealed not growth, but another 29,000 people choosing to leave. “It just is,” Jeff Rainford, chief of staff for Mayor Francis Slay told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Its land area of 62 square miles exceeds those of San Francisco and the District of Columbia. A quarterly magazine of urban affairs, published by the Manhattan Institute, edited by Brian C. Anderson. The Brookings Institution estimated that from 2008 to 2010, on average, 870 more people ages 25-34 came to the St. Louis area than left it (but are they choosing the city?). Many observers believe that reorganizing local government is necessary.

How can the cycle be broken, and how important is it that it is? The latest Census estimates a city of 318,069, down from 319,294 counted in 2010. But what’s the explanation given by the city? Nevertheless, merger talk continues. The drop so far has been small—an estimated 262 people over the past two years. Recently, several city wards elected to become preservation review districts, a heritage streetcar is being built in the Loop straddling University City and the City of St. Louis, and a new city ordinance requires bicycle parking for significant new developments. More detailed message would go here to provide context for the user and how to proceed. Last decade, investment is some parts of the city created the illusion of growth. New charter schools continue to open, giving parents more options. Given the complexity of obstacles in the county, perhaps the City of St. Louis will emerge with a comparative advantage despite itself. Once a major regional business center, St. Louis has seen a dramatic erosion of civic standing. Noble-sounding words won’t improve failing cities, especially for minority residents. If you’re looking for good news, there is some. This message may be routed through support staff. Unlike in corporate mergers, in government combinations municipal employees rarely lose their jobs or take pay cuts.

Nonetheless, the city is clearly much less prominent than during its postwar heyday. Is the City of St. Louis to become a hamlet of empty nesters and young professionals without children? The Post-Dispatch reports Rainford as “convinced that once the housing market gets back on its feet, the influx of empty nesters who were making their way into the city from the suburbs will begin again.” Yet whatever influx may have been happening—and there certainly are people seeking a more urban lifestyle in St. Louis—was more than offset by those leaving.