From an editorial in this week’s St. Louis Business Journal:
. . . . Some of the opposition is politics as usual, with those who oppose Mayor Slay and early advocate of the plan opposing this as well. While grabbing headlines, this activity ignores the political reality of the overwhelming support the plan has garnered from members of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen, especially Alderwoman Lyda Krewson whose ward includes Forest Park. Even those who try to play racial politics with the green space must acknowledge the support garnered by Lewis Reed who has rallied others behind the expansion.
Others make a fiscal argument that park should be supported by a tax increase rather than have to rely on the real estate interests of its neighbors. Which tax do you think would fail first? Bringing Forest Park into the Zoo-Museum District? A sales tax hike that’s judged regressive and takes a toll on the very people who can least afford it? Just where would the money come from? . . .
For those who love the park and appreciate its fabulous renovation, for those who ride bikes in the park on weekends and feel safe on its comfortable pathways, for those who visit the Zoo, Art Museum or Muny, for those who believe this really is the crown jewel of the region, there must be the realization that every jewel needs to be polished and maintained or it loses its luster. The $2 million annual lease payment proposed by BJC and the pledged match by Forest Park Forever guarantees nearly $4 million a year for maintenance.
So if you care about people or if you care about trees or both, you should realize that this is the down payment on Forest Park’s future. This makes Forest Park Forever more than a slogan . . .