A new grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health will help train more City police officers to identify and assist citizens with mental illnesses. As usual, I expect to hear protests from some self-described advocates . . .
Over the next few weeks, I will be meeting with Praxair officials to review the events that led up to Friday’s apparent accident, the response of the emergency and public safety teams, and the future of Praxair’s City facility.
City residents demand the prompt enforcement of the state’s laws. The police are making arrests lots of them. But, arrests don’t help if the court system doesn’t do its job effectively. Are the courts working?
Not everyone in our City — or in City Hall -wants a civilian review board for the police department. I do. I believe we need the kind of review board that will improve the community’s trust and that will allow our police officers to do their jobs effectively.
St. Louis-based Solae is the brains behind Bioplait, a soy yogurt being sold in Paris this summer. Bringing the Solae world headquarters here is an important element in a wider strategy to make St. Louis a major international capital of agricultural and bio-tech research
For the last several months, rumors have swirled through City Hall that members of the Board of Aldermen will use the budget approval process to transfer control of the City’s neighborhood stabilization program and the NSOs to themselves. There is an alternative.
According to a new memo on my desk, the City Building Division reports that — for the first time ever — more than 90 percent of the permits finalized last month were issued over the counter on the same day the applications were filed. What this laudable efficiency means is that doing business in the City is easier than ever before.
The new Citywide Land Use Plan the first new plan since 1947 is finished. Development officials and aldermen have crafted a living document that reflects our intention to preserve our historic building stock, while also planning for new development.
The City’s Land Reutilization Authority (LRA) is an interesting — and necessary entity. The LRA holds title to nearly 10,000 properties in the City of St. Louis, including more than 1,900 abandoned commercial buildings, houses, and other structures.
SLDC director Rodney Crim and I met with developers and the representatives of some major retailers during our visit to the convention of the International Council Of Shopping Centers in Las Vegas. We saw some interesting things.
The Citizens Service Bureau is the City’s customer service department. CSB phone operators accept complaints — and compliments, too — about city services. Most of the time, they do a good job. But, even a good job can be better. So, CSB personnel have begun accepting some service requests via the Internet on a specially designed e-form.
The Base Realignment and Closure 2005 Commission sent a member and several staffers to St. Louis today to tour the Defense Finance and Accounting Service on Goodfellow to gather facts. To be realistic, our chances of reversing BRAC’s decision are not good.
I asked the editors of MayorSlay.com how they so often find the perfect image to illustrate a Mayor’s Desk item or a News release. They showed me how to “Google search” for images. Out of curiousity, I did: for me.
Ever since Quentin survived, my life has gone to the dogs. And the cats. Quentin — in case you have been living on a planet without television or newspapers — is the miracle dog who emerged more or less unfazed from the City’s animal gas chamber to become the cannily publicized spokesmutt for IDA and Stray Rescue.
Thousands of City kids — black and white — live in safe neighborhoods, attend good schools, and will have great futures. Others do not. They will not finish school; and they will not find good jobs. At ten years old — fifteen years old, seventeen years old — they are already disconnected from our community.
It is obvious to even the most casual reader that the FY2006 budget has been cobbled together — as have been the City budgets for the past ten or so years. The FY2006 budget, like all the earlier budgets, relies far too heavily on one-time revenue sources (grants, refinancing savings, deferred decisions), and far too lightly on traditional revenue growth.
The St. Louis Board of Aldermen is currently considering the FY 2006 budget sent to them by the Board of Estimate & Apportionment. By City Charter, the Board of Aldermen has the power to shift and cut line items within the budget, but not to add to the bottom line. FY2006 begins in June 2005.
By my proclamation, May is Older Americans Month in the City of St. Louis. My own parents are 73 and 78. They are reasonably healthy. My dad goes to work every day. I still worry about them. The City has approximately 59,000 residents 65 years or older. More than 7,000 of our residents are 85 years or older. We want them all to be healthy and safe. And we want to take advantage of their experience and wisdom.
Every evening before I go home, a staff member hands me a binder. In it are the materials I need for the next 24 hours — lists of calls I have to make or return; directions to places I have to go; copies of the letters I have to sign; a spreadsheet of the 10 or 15 deadlines that each day brings; and, of course, my schedule.
Lawless Homes is preparing to begin a $25 million development in Alderman Fred Heitert’s 12th Ward on the site of the former public school nursery/greenhouse. Named "The Cascades" (after the WPA-era water feature that will be preserved and incorporated into the development), the development will include both condos and duplex townhomes.
Wear "summer colors" today. That’s the palate-of-choice for the 116th annual Annie Malone May Day parade. The May Day parade is the largest annual parade in the City of St. Louis — and one of the largest African American parades in the entire country.
The 131st Air National Guard unit now based at Lambert appears on the most recent BRAC list. Members of our Congressional delegation — Senators Jim Talent and Kit Bond, and US Representative Lacy Clay — believe this decision is bad for our country’s military preparedness. We all think it is bad for the region’s economy.
The concentration of people, cars and merchandise means that some suburban shopping centers have crime rates that would make many urban neighborhoods blush. Too often, though, the mall’s unsuspecting customers and employees never hear about these things. Bad news is usually a big secret in the very competitive world of suburban retail.
Yesterday, the City Preservation Board asked the Cultural Resources staff to prepare a recommendation for the inclusion of more than a dozen City buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. Yesterday, the City Preservation Board asked the Cultural Resources staff to prepare a recommendation for the inclusion of more than a dozen City buildings on the National Register of Historic Places.
I was in Jeff City on Monday to lobby legislators on a wide variety of issues facing the City. Mostly, I spoke about education. A growing number of state lawmakers — both Democrats and Republicans — recognize that the City is on its way back. A few do not. I told all of them — fans and doubters — that the key to the City’s renaissance is to provide more and better educational choices for families.
Metro High School was recently named by Newsweek magazine as one of the top public high schools in the country. It ranked higher than every public school in the region, including Clayton, Parkway, and Ladue. Metro is, probably, the best co-educational high school — public or private — in the region.
I pulled these updates out of a (very) long note from Barb Geisman: Multimodal Center: The bids for the terminal are in and under budget. A few details remain to be worked out with railroad authorities. The terminal should be under construction soon.
Anna May Slay is a St. Louisan to her bones: fair-minded; home-bodied; more cautious than reckless; a better listener than a speaker; and deeply in love with her family, the people, homes, and parks of her own City neighborhood.
While I was putting away some papers, I came across the notes I had made for a recent ceremony honoring some public employees whose service I considered praiseworthy. Once a year, I give Mayor’s Service Awards to a handful of City employees and working groups whose extraordinary work has been brought to my attention by their bosses or co-workers.
The City’s Department of Health has not been one of the success stories. Under the past four or five mayors, the department has been plagued by bad planning, bad management, bad funding, bad outcomes, and— even— a bad building.
Over the past several months, I have spoken with dozens of leaders in the local hospitality industry, including Charles Drury, Robert Bray, Bob O’Loughlin, and Kim Tucci. Their remarks were consistent: the St. Louis region has a lot to offer tourists and business travelers, but we can do a whole lot better at selling ourselves and providing a great experience for visitors.
I like Charlie Brennan’s style. He is not the kind of person to sit around and just complain about things. He acts. Charlie believes — and I agree with him — that one element missing from our downtown is . . . a little color.
The directors of the Great Rivers Greenway District will meet tonight to announce the team that will spend the next year creating a Master Plan for the Downtown Riverfront. A dozen teams, composed of great firms from St. Louis and from across the nation, submitted responses to a Request for Qualifications.
United Press International photographer Bill Greenblatt captured this moment after yesterday’s State of the City speech. I see kids who could be doctors, teachers, poets, firefighters, lawyers — and mayors.
Today in history, the 1916 Easter Rising collapsed in Dublin — an event now remembered by the Irish as an important step toward their independence from Great Britain. Here in St. Louis, we observe a different sort of history. April 29, 2005, is officially USS Hazelwood Reunion Day, Bill Cordes Memorial Day, and St. Louis Community Education Day — remembrances permanently recorded in City records by my proclamation.
We need to share our great City with more people. Frank Viverito and St. Louis Sports Commission are certainly doing their part. The Sports Commission has been chosen as the National Association of Sports Commissions’ (NASC) 2005 Member of the Year. They deserve it.
The Board of Estimate and Apportionment has agreed with my plan to put an additional 42 police officers on the streets — replacing officers who retire or resign next year. Because of its tight budget, the Police Department had not planned to replace those officers.