Ballwin first municipality to officially oppose St. Louis City & County reunification

BALLWIN, MO (KTVI) – As community leaders continue to discuss merging St. Louis City with St. Louis County, one municipality is taking action against this reunification.

St. Louis City hasn’t been part of St. Louis County since 1876, and the Ballwin Board of Aldermen wants to keep it that way. At their meeting on Monday night, with all but one abstention, the aldermen voted to pass a resolution opposing the merger.

With that vote, Ballwin became the first municipality to officially stand up against the city and county reuniting.

Ballwin Mayor Tim Pogue says, “I believe that we provide our residents with a very high level of service, and I feel that this unification of services and possibly reduction of services we provide our residents would be a travesty to Ballwin.”

The topic of St. Louis City re-entering the county as a municipality has been discussed for decades. But recently talks have accelerated, with the formation of groups like Better Together St. Louis, which facilitates discussion on the issue. St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley is a board member of this grassroots group. He says, “One of the things we’re looking at is, how can we spend taxpayer dollars more efficiently? Can we get the biggest bang for the bucks? How much money are we actually spending for goods and services and can we do it better?”

According to supporters of city/county reunification, other benefits include boosting the region’s image, improving crime statistics, and creating a more competitive job market.

Still, many remain opposed. At the Ballwin Board of Aldermen meeting, speakers cited concerns about city problems seeping into the county, and maintaining the culture and quality of life in each unique municipality.

Former Ballwin Mayor Walter Young explains their sense of urgency in passing the resolution: “If we don’t get out and say no, then people are going to think it’s ok. So we need to have both sides being discussed, and I don’t think that’s going on right now.” He adds, “I hope that the other municipalities, like Chesterfield and different ones around the area, will grab a hold of it and pass it also, so that they know that Better Together is not going to able to walk through this and think that they’re fine.”

Still, with no official reunification plan in place right now, Dooley feels Ballwin’s resolution is premature. The county executive explains, “First of all, we don’t have enough information to have a vote on anything, so I don’t know what they’re voting on, because there are no particular plans. It’s just having a conversation, gathering information so we can talk about it, and decide what is best for us.”

Any city/county reunification plan would require the citizens’ vote.

15 comments

  • Bob

    West County residents get an education, find good jobs, and pay a bunch of taxes. They hardly want to share any of that with those who don’t.

  • Jason Smith

    Bob, I agree with everything but pay a bunch of taxes. I’ve never seen so much free stuff given away as they do in west county. I know Manchester for instance, residents dont pay for trash service and they dont pay any personal property taxes to the city. So your tax part is completely false

    • Kevin Dougherty

      Free is such a funny word when liberals use it. So the money just comes out of nowhere? Basic math proves it can’t be ‘free.’ Something does not come from nothing. Everything the government gives you for free was taken from someone else first?

      • Mark Flint

        Garbage service in Manchester is paid from the property tax that each resident pays. It’s not “free”, and it’s not being paid by someone else.

    • Bill Williams

      Jason, that’s ridiculous. West County residents do not make out separate checks for schools, police, fire, and street sweeping. That doesn’t mean those are “free”. Along with real estate tax, they also pay personal property tax, too.

    • Zim

      I live and Ballwin and I can tell you I do pay trash and EXTRA taxes on my cell phone bill, my water bill is outrageously expensive. There is nothing free for us.

  • Kevin Dougherty

    We don’t want to support a corrupt socialist/union run city that wastes so much money and has such a high crime rate. All the city wants is more of our money to waste on their cronies and inefficient/corrupt government. Clean up your act first…

  • RBN

    Can someone please explain to me why the county would want the merge with the city? I can easily see the city wanting it but what’s in it for the county?

  • Future West County Resident

    “According to supporters of city/county reunification, other benefits include boosting the region’s image, improving crime statistics, and creating a more competitive job market.”

    So merge the two for crime rate and other statistical reporting only. That should boost the region’s image. As for mixing finances…not so much.

  • redpanda1

    Has anyone in the county never been to, or anywhere near the city? Guess not since it’s so full of crime.

  • Sabrina Annette

    I say thank god ballwin doesnt want to bring their meth heads in the city. The county can also keep all of their child abductors, rapey pastors and teachers and husbands who kill their pregnant wives. See this is how I view the county.

  • Lorilee Baumer

    I live in Manchester. I live in the middle of several small cities (Manchester, Ballwin, Chestefield, Town and Country) and I am definitely against ‘reunification’ with St. Louis City. I have lived in the city as well; St. Louis City spans more than just Missouri; can’t even police itself, and would take away much of the freedom of ‘Countians’ who may currently decide for themselves how tax dollars may be spent, and that includes police protection, etc. There are many things the city does poorly and I want no part of it. Plus the County covers hundreds of miles. Just how big do people want the city to be?

  • Zim

    Crime stats go down for the city, but they go up for everyone in the counties? No thank you, you got yourself into this mess and you get yourself out.

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