Alderwoman Calls for Public Vote on St. Louis Airport

Cara Spencer says voters should decide on privatization

Kevin Killeen
June 21, 2018 - 5:06 pm
File photo of St. Louis Lambert International Airport, taken March 2017.

(Brett Blume/KMOX)

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - The plan to possibly lease St. Louis Lambert International Airport to private investors would have to come up for a public vote, under a bill to be introduced to the Board of Aldermen.

Sponsoring Alderwoman Cara Spencer says many people she talks with feel the process has been guided by City Hall insiders and may not be in the best interest of the city.

"People are generally outraged," Spencer said. "We haven't had a good public dialogue about it. And it's time we ought to do that. I think the public wants to weigh in on these things, and we ought to give them the opportunity to do so."

So far, the city has hired a consultant to guide it through the process of considering privatization, but the consultant only gets paid if the city goes through with it.

Critics of Spencer's plan say the prospect of having to win a public vote might scare away potential investors.

Spencer says she'll introduce her bill next week, and says it could possibly be passed after the summer recess, when the board reconvenes in September.

The bill would have to pass with 20 votes to withstand a possible veto by Mayor Lyda Krewson, a proponent of the current framework for exploring airport privatization.