1 min read
Posted on 12.17.09
  • 1 min read
  • Posted on 12.17.09

St. Louis has its share of local governments. Maybe more than its fair share.

As a rare "city not within a county" the City of St. Louis has all the normal municipal functions - plus those functions required by being a county. And we elect more of those administrators than do residents of most other "counties."

This is not an untenable situation, but it is a very expensive one. Independent offices, however well-intentioned their bosses, generally find it difficult to address the administrative inefficiencies that different doors, unrelated computer and record systems, and duplicated supervisors inevitably create.

It is possible that the Missouri General Assembly and city voters may some day sort out our hydra-headed government. In the meantime, a modest savings could be realized very easily.

The Missouri Supreme Court is considering two competing proposals to manage the St. Louis Circuit Courts. Today, employees who work side by side in the courtrooms report to different administrations within the same building. The resulting duplication of personnel and infrastructure costs taxpayers an additional $400,000.

It makes good fiscal sense to combine the two administrations, combining the smaller one currently overseen by the circuit clerk into the larger one overseen by the presiding judge. That is the recommendation to the Supreme Court by the state judiciary’s circuit court budget committee - and it is mine.