With respectful nods to rising aldermanic stars, sometimes you've got to give props to the guy who's been around the block. St. Louis alderman Stephen Conway has been a force in city hall for many years, using bare-knuckle tactics and financial acumen to balance the budget during tough economic times. But while Conway's a CPA, he's no bloodless number cruncher: Last year, after conservative financier Rex Sinquefield spearheaded a multimillion-dollar campaign to force St. Louis to put its earnings tax to a vote, Conway branded Sinquefield as a financial terrorist and the Grinch who stole Christmas — and challenged him to "come and kick our asses." At the end of the day the Eighth Ward alderman came out on top: City residents voted convincingly to keep the tax. After ten years at the helm of the Ways and Means Committee — keeping the ship afloat despite shrinking city revenues — Conway finally ceded his chairmanship in April. His father, James Conway, the 41st mayor of the city, would be proud.
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