St. Louis, Missouri
The city of St. Louis was founded in 1764 by Pierre Laclède and Auguste Chouteau, and after the Louisiana Purchase, it became a major port on the Mississippi River. Its population expanded after the American Civil War, and it became the fourth-largest city in the United States in the late 19th century. It seceded from St. Louis County in 1876, allowing it to become an independent city and limiting its political boundaries. In 1904, it hosted the 1904 World's Fair and the 1904 Olympic Games. The city's population peaked in 1950, then began a long decline.
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In the St. Louis area, governmental authority and power is not concentrated in any single entity or official. The central City as a smaller tax base than comparable metropolitan jurisdictions. Consequently, major initiatives with regional implications can be accomplished only through coalitions with political leadership outside the city. However, many of the region's public facilities along with other various attractions are located within the city limits bestowing a certain responsibility among St. Louis.
Within the 28 members there are four officers. The President, Vice-president, Majority Floor Leader and Assistant Majority Floor Leader. The President is elected city wide and the remaining three are determined by seniority.
- The President presides at all the meeting, preserves decorum and determines all questions of order. He or she also appoints standing and special committees and serves as an equal member of all committees. The President assigns bills to appropriate committees and refers bills, when ready, to the Engrossment Committee. the President directs action from the broad elevated podium in the front and center of the semi-circular chamber.
- The Vice-president performs all the duties of the President when he or she is absent.
- The Majority Floor Leader handles all Aldermanic administrative duties on the floor. He or she moves to: defer the approval of the minutes until printed, approve minutes when printed in the Journal of the Board of Aldermen, excuse Aldermen, adjourn to a certain date and carry out miscellaneous duties assigned by the President. In the absence of the Vice-president he or she assumes the role.
- The Assistant Majority Floor Leader performs all the duties of the Majority Floor Leader when he or she is absent.
- The Clerk of the Board of Aldermen perform all duties necessary to the functioning of the Board. The Clerk is the official repository of all reports and records of the Board of Aldermen and his or her duties are almost limitless. His or her duties include the maintenance of records of all the proceedings. During the Board meetings, the Clerk is positioned just below the President and is responsible for voting procedures.
Legislation is introduced by Aldermen in the form of bills. The mayor may introduce bills or cause them to be introduced by requesting the chairmen of specific committees to sponsor such a bill. Bills are read before the entire Board upon introduction. After the first reading the bill is sent to specific standing committee for study and recommendation. The committee, after considering the bill, reports it back to the full Board for a second reading. It may be referred back to committee for some reason or it may be put on the informal calendar. It is possible, however, to suspend the rules so that a Bill may be read for a third time and passed in the same meeting. If the Bill is delayed in committee or elsewhere it eventually will be read a third time being either passed or defeated. Approval by a simple majority of fifteen or more is required for passage except for those dealing with the sale of any of the City's real estate or for the discontinuance or establishment of administrative divisions which require a two-thirds or 20 vote. The Mayor may sign or veto a bill within 10 to 20 days after it is presented to him. If he or she does not take action, the bill automatically becomes law. A two-thirds majority is required to over-ride a mayoral veto. Unless the measure is an emergency it does not take effect until 30 days after the Mayor signs the bill or it is adopted over his veto.
To become an Alderman one must be a registered voter and at least twenty-five years of age. Before their respective elections he or she must have been a United States citizen for at least five years, three years a resident of the city and one year a resident of the ward from which elected. The Board of Aldermen are their own judge with regard to qualifications except the President. The President must be at least thirty years of age and a city resident for a least five years.
Elected officials in 2012 included:
|Francis G. Slay||Mayor|
|Darlene Green>ref>Darlene Green</ref>||Comptroller|
|Lewis Reed||President, Board of Aldermen|
|Antonio D. French||Alderman|
|Freeman Bosley, Jr.||Alderman|
|Samuel L. Moore||Alderman|
|Kacie Starr Triplett||Alderman|
|Gregory F.X. Daly||Collector of Revenue|
|Michael McMillan||License Collector|
|Gerard Nester||Public Administrator|
|James W. Murphy||Sheriff|
|Larry C. Williams||Treasurer|
A list of administrative departments can be found online. 
Aldermen today receive an annual salary of approximately $32,000. All receive the same pay regardless of seniority or duty. Increases in compensation is based on a percentage equal to the average increases recommended by the Civil Service Commission. The President's salary is approximately $80,000. In addition to their salary each Alderman is allowed a taxable $4,200 expense fund. The Aldermen can use this money at their discretion but they are required to report to the Clerk of the Board of Aldermen whereby determining the legitimate business in which the money is allowed.
All employees whose job is at least half-time annually become members of the city's Retirement System upon employment. Retirement benefits are determined based on final average compensation and years of service. Full benefits begin at age 65, or when age and years of service combine to equal 85. Members are not required to contribute to the city's retirement system.
An pension benefits calculator is available online.
St. Louis firefighters retirement group sued the city to block Mayor Francis Slay's pension reform plan. The lawsuit, filed by the firefighers retirement systems' board of trustees, alleges that Slay's plan amounts to a "scheme" that will illegally reduce pension benefits, according to the newspaper. The trustees are seeking a temporary restraining order to block implementation of the proposal and a final judgment on its legality. St. Louis officials have estimated that firefighter pensions will cost the city $29 million in the next fiscal year, a 350 percent increase over the last 10 years. 
The Department of Public Safety, the largest municipal government department in the City of St. Louis with more than 1,600 employees, has the following divisions:
- Building Division
- City Emergency Management Agency
- Corrections Division, which includes the City Justice Center and Medium Security Institution
- Excise Division (liquor control office)
- Fire Department, which includes the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services
- Neighborhood Stabilization Team, which includes Citizens' Service Bureau
- Office of Special Events
The mission of the Department is to use its resources to safeguard the people who live, work, do business and visit the city. The staff of the various divisions are hardworking and committed to improving their level of performance as well as developing policy and procedures that are transparent, understandable and streamlined. Together, we strive to be the premier municipal public safety department.
The Department of Public Safety is responsible for:
- Code enforcement in the development of new construction and substantial rehabilitation)
- preventing use of unsafe buildings (monitoring unsafe buildings to prevent usage)
- emergency management planning (and execution)
- fire prevention and suppression (fire education and suppression)
- emergency medical services
- land use zoning
- issuing permits for residential and commercial construction, business occupancy, the sale and distribution of alcoholic beverages
- management of correctional facilities (and inmates)
- neighborhood safety, enrichment programs and citizen services (work order and complaint reporting system)
- special events planning.
The city does not provide information on membership in taxpayer funded lobbying associations.
Transparency & public records
The city lists officials responsible for handling public records requests within individual departments.
The city collects an earnings, personal property, and real estate tax. The 1% earnings tax is collected all city residents and non-city residents who work within the city. Funds from the earnings tax make up 1/3 of city revenues.
A personal property tax is charged on all motor vehicles, boats, recreational vehicles, and motorcycles. Personal property tax bills are mailed in November, and due by December 31st.
A real estate tax is assessed on the city's approximately 220,000 parcels of land. Property valuation is conducted every two years by the Assessor's Office.
|Transparency grading process|
Last rated on March 23, 2012.
- Budget is published.
- The President and Board of Aldermen are listed with contact information, as well as an informative guide to the Board.
- Board meetings, minutes, and agendas are posted.
- Administrative officials listed under respective department
- Building permit and zoning information available.
- Audits are available.
- Information about making public records requests is posted.
- Taxes can be paid online, local tax info provided.
- Requests for bids posted, contracts not online.
- Does not disclose if belongs to government sector lobbying associations.
Portions of this article were taken from Wikipedia.
- Official St. Louis City Website
- St. Louis City on E-Reference
- City of St. Louis links
- Explore St. Louis - Visitors and Convention Bureau
- University of Missouri- St. Louis
- St. Louis Zoo
- Missouri QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau
- 2012 Budget Summary
- About the Board of Aldermen
- President of the Board
- Aldermen Profiles
- Elected Officials
- Francis G. Slay
- Lewis Reed
- Antonio D. French
- Charles Quincy Troupe
- Craig Schmid
- Frank Williamson
- Fred Wessels
- Freeman Bosley, Sr.
- Gregory Carter
- Jeffrey Boyd
- Joseph Roddy
- Joseph Vaccaro
- Joseph Vollmer
- Kenneth Ortmann
- Larry Arnowitz
- Samuel L. Moore
- Scott Ogilvie
- Shane Cohn
- Stephen Conway
- Terry Kennedy
- Thomas Villa
- Carol Howard
- Dionne Flowers
- Donna Baringer
- Jennifer Florida
- Kacie Starr Triplett
- Lyda Krewson
- Marlene Davis
- Phyllis Young
- Tammika Hubbard
- Gregory F. X. Daly
- Michael McMillan
- Gerard Nester
- James W. Murphy
- Larry C. Williams
- Administrative departments
- Employee Retirement, Highlights
- Pension Benefits Calculator
- Governing, St. Louis Firefighters Sue to Stop Pension Overhaul, June 13, 2012
- Dept. of Public Safety
- Sunshine Requests
- Earnings Tax Home
- Personal Property Tax
- Real Estate Tax
- Minutes and Agendas
- Building Permits
- Public Records Requests