Is the St. Louis region paying too much to keep small governments alive?

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ST. LOUIS – The Better Together Task Force held their first town hall meeting Monday night to get community opinion about a St. Louis City and County merger.

Task force members said that the point of these town hall meetings is to ask the community what it would look like for St. Louis to become a prosperous first-class city.

Better Together is a grassroots project that looks at how the fragmentation is affecting the region. They are the ones responsible for this task force so some people are concerned that the task force already thinks that the best solution is a merger.

Task force member Dr. Will Ross, Associate Dean for diversity at Washington University medical school, said they have no pre-conceived destination all they know is that the current status quo isn’t working. Ross said the city and county is spending way too much and over taxing people to keep small governments alive.

“We are competing against each other trying to the new big box store in their region and it’s not allowing us to think broadly,” Ross said. “We will have difficulty getting an Amazon coming into St. Louis if we can’t all come together and say let’s think about this.”

Some county residents’ worry that this is just a way to bail the city out of debt. Ross said that’s not true the city would still be responsible for all their finances.

The next town hall meeting is Thursday October 12th a 7:30 P.M. at The Lodge Des Peres.