Cities pass resolutions opposing "Better Together," St. Charles eyes annexation

Two more municipalities have put their opposition to the Better Together statewide vote in writing.

Michael Calhoun
February 26, 2019 - 3:15 pm
St. Louis Gateway Arch in Missouri at twilight

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. (KMOX) — Two more municipalities have put their opposition to the Better Together statewide vote in writing.

Last night, the councils of Florissant and University City unanimously passed resolutions saying they don't like it.

"The safe, historic, patriotic, and faith-based city of Florissant would be summarily dissolved if the dastardly un-American Better Together plan was passed," Florissant Mayor Tom Schneider said.

In addition, he said last night he believed the statewide vote on the proposal would undermine and disenfranchise every voter in St. Louis and St. Louis County.

Here's Florissant's resolution.

In University City, councilman Steve McMahon worries about how the 33 proposed Metro Council districts will be drawn.

"Will they cut University City down the middle at Hanley? Will they cut us through at Delmar? Will we still be a voting block?"

Multiple council members questioned why the new Metro City would have partisan elections, when municipalities today don't have political parties. We've been told that the group followed "best practices" in other cities.

Mayor Terry Crow decried that under the plan, City Managers would also disappear.

"The vast majority of people in St. Louis County benefit by having the professional management that almost every municipality in St. Louis County has."

Here's University City's resolution.

Related: University City aldermen set to oppose "Better Together" merger plan

Meanwhile, in Town and Country, aldermen discussed a similar resolution, but delayed final action. The same thing happened in St. Charles County, which is looking at the possibility of adding Chesterfield, Ellisville, and Wildwood should they make good on an idea to secede from St. Louis County.

Brad Hildebrand has even created the website 'Better in St. Charles County.'

"We already put a lot of money into St. Louis County. There's tons of people that use all the services and retail places in Chesterfield Valley. And not only that, we have a nice, functional mall and they don't," which was followed by laughter.

His comments came as the St. Charles County Council talked about opposing a statewide vote to force a city-county merger. They decided to hold-off on taking a stance.

One councilman did suggest asking the State Auditor to figure out hypothetical financial figures for St. Charles, if Chesterfield, Wildwood and Ellisville were to defect.

In what's likely a preview of the case the campaign will make to outstate voters, Better Together's John Hancock explained why the entire state should be voting on St. Louis' form of local government.

(Disclaimer: Hancock is also a political analyst and host here on KMOX.)

"If the city of St. Louis goes into default, we pay for it. You pay for it. I would submit that you give your residents an opportunity to make St. Louis solve its own problems rather than go into default," he said. "If the people of Grand Rapids had a chance to solve Detroit's problems, they would have appreciated that vote."