Best Mayor - 2012
Will the Loop Trolley Project be University City's Spruce Goose, or will it take the suburb to new heights? Mayor Shelley Welsch has bet on the latter, and after a decade of delay, it looks like things are finally starting to move forward. Welsch's administration has been instrumental in rallying up funding and public support for Joe Edwards' vision of a 2.2-mile heritage trolley track. The $41 million project recently secured $25 million in federal funding and is expected to be open for riding in 2014. Since taking office in April 2011, Welsch's team has also reworked U. City's budget, turning a $2 million deficit into a projected $500,000 surplus for the 2013 fiscal year. Last year Welsch also pushed for a bill that made University City the first suburb in St. Louis to set up a domestic-partnerships registry to recognize the rights of same-sex couples. Not afraid of controversy, Welsch has turned to her blog From the Mayor's Desk to address (that is, scold) officials who aren't marching in step. Her pointed comments and frank criticisms remind us of the wise words of Tina Fey: Bitch is the new black.