2 min read
Posted on 07.13.11
  • 2 min read
  • Posted on 07.13.11

In general, members of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen work hard to balance the interests of their constituents against the good of the city as a whole and good public policy. From time to time, though, a bill emerges from the Board that neither serves the city's wider interests nor represents good public policy. In times when the fair delivery of municipal services is challenged by lean budgets and shrinking staffing, it is especially important to watch out for those special interest bills whose major beneficiary is the sponsor or which represent bad practices.

Earlier this year, I vetoed a stack of bills that would have taxed the city with costs of creating, installing, and maintaining some vanity street signs. (This is not to say that those for whom the streets were to be renamed were not worthy of the distinction. It is, however, to say that city taxpayers shouldn't have to foot the bills.) Today, I vetoed an odd little bill that would have paid for the installation of speed bumps in one of the city's 105 parks. The bill's sponsor ignored the testimony of the Streets Department that there were better and more effective ways to slow traffic and the opinion of the city counselor that such constructions are legally questionable under state and Federal law.

At my direction, the city's operations director will work with the directors of the Parks and Streets Departments, the city's chief engineer, the park's users, and the bill's sponsor to find appropriate, effective, and legal measures to calm traffic along that stretch of park road. If the issue is safety, not aldermanic courtesy, that will solve the problem.