Do You See the City and County Ever Coming Together as One Political Entity?

Week of April 25, 2001

 Steve Weniger, Hillsboro, Mo.
Manager, Jiffy Lube
"No, too much infighting and territorialism between the two. Too many things the city's stuck on -- the airport, that's their golden goose; they'll never give that up. Since the early days of St. Louis County, the county has never accepted the city as an equal. The county's always viewed the city as 'old St. Louis,' dirty and dingy as it is. The county doesn't want to be part of that."

Rhonda Brooks, Maryland Heights
Supervisor, Corporate Express
"I think they should to make us look more like a city, but it'll be a long time coming. I mean, the politicians who are going to vote on that will be putting themselves out of a job. So why would they do that? And it's all very process-oriented. You've got to have a meeting about a meeting. That's the way it works."

Joseph A. Gipson, South St. Louis
Retired Firefighter
"Absolutely not. Everybody likes having their own. They like managing their own cities and fire departments, and they want that revenue that comes from what they've set up. I've always seen them as separate: The county does its own thing, the city does its own thing."

Kris Maly, Arnold
Lawyer, Rosenbloom & Goldenhirsch
"I think it would be a great benefit to the city if it happened, but I don't think the county is willing to take on liabilities the city has. Essentially, business and power lies in the county, and so they are going to do what benefits them."

Steve Davis, Florissant
Entertainer/Elvis Illusionist
"You would think that people would have like interests and want to join forces, but seems like there's some sort of polarization between the city and the county. I think there's as much chance of the city and county coming together as there is in unifying the Balkans."

Ken Ortmann, South St. Louis
Alderman, 9th Ward
"I think it would be good for the city -- for one thing, the residency rule would be out the window. But I don't think either one is ready to unite, not in my lifetime. Right now we're hearing about home rule [a movement to give city voters more power to reorganize their government]. If people really wanted to do the right thing for the city and county, they'd be pushing unification and not home rule."

 
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