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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Rex Sinquefield Loses Twice, as Voters Reject Most Ballot Props in St. Louis

Posted By on Wed, Apr 5, 2017 at 8:45 AM

click to enlarge Voters rejected most changes aimed at shaking up St. Louis City Hall. - PHOTO COURTESY OF FLICKR/READING TOM
  • Voters rejected most changes aimed at shaking up St. Louis City Hall.

If you're still trying to make sense of the alphabet soup of propositions from Tuesday's city elections, here's what happened.

In addition to a pair of tax increases to fund MetroLink expansion and a soccer stadium in downtown (read about that business here), voters were asked to approve or deny plans to stabilize vacant buildings and revamp hiring processes in favor of city residents. A pair of proposals backed by philanthropist and pursuer of doomed political quests Rex Sinquefield would have consolidated elections and eliminated the city's recorder of deeds.

Basically, everything failed except the request for the hiring requirements (and, of course, the sales tax increase that would fund MetroLink expansion).

See also: St. Louis Soccer Stadium Plan Fails; Voters Approve MetroLink Tax Increase

Prop NS:  Funded by a one-cent property tax, it was designed to let the city sell up to $40 million in bonds and use the money to tackle some of the thousands of empty houses owned by the St. Louis Land Reutilization Authority. The idea was to stabilize the buildings, doing enough of the work to make them feasible as fixer-uppers for new buyers. It needed at least two-thirds of the vote to pass, but only got 58.6 percent.

Prop A:  Backed by Rex Sinquefield and touted by state Senator Jamilah Nasheed (D-St. Louis), the plan here was to abolish the city's recorder of deeds and consolidate the duties under the assessor's office. Savings from the move were to go toward funding body cameras for police. It needed at least 60 percent of the vote and only got 51.6 percent.

Prop B: Designed to align local elections with the state and national cycles, the proposal asked voters to approve a plan moving St. Louis primaries to August and the city's general election to November in even-numbered years. The theory is it would increase turnout, but supporters claimed it would cut turnout for a handful of elections that couldn't be moved. It needed at least 60 percent of the vote to pass and only got 52.9 percent. Again, Sinquefield was the loser here, spending on a pet project that city voters just weren't interested in.

Prop C: The one winner of the night. The city charter change will weight applications for city civil service jobs in favor of city residents. It needed 60 percent of the vote to pass and cruised with 68.8 percent.

See also: Lyda Krewson Will Be St. Louis' First Female Mayor

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at or follow on Twitter at @DoyleMurphy.

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