St. Louis' Strange Civic Creed

It's one for all, all for one and every county for itself

It seems to me that this model should be expanded to include St. Charles and Jefferson counties in Missouri and St. Clair and Madison counties in Illinois. Areawide support for public institutions and major projects -- including those in the so-called surrounding counties -- should keep pace with areawide pride.

As one step forward, the Zoo-Museum District should be expanded, with the surrounding counties invited to join as taxpayers. If they choose to join, fine. If not, fine.

But the institutions should then have a two-tiered system of pricing and benefits, one that rewards residents of the taxing districts that support them and charges tourists and others who don't. The zoo, for instance, could be free for residents of the city and those counties who support it but charge a few bucks to those from "out of town."

With luck, that tourist status wouldn't fall upon residents of St. Charles and other surrounding counties, who are -- after all -- just as much a part of St. Louis as residents of the city and county.

Just ask them when Big Mac steps to the plate.

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