ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Aldermen in the city of St. Louis held a press conference Tuesday on the Better Together proposal. The plan would combine the St. Louis City and County governments. One of the topics discussed during the press conference was an effort to recall Mayor Lyda Krewson from office.
Aldermen Brandon Bosley, John Collins-Muhammad, Pam Boyd, and several other people, held a news conference in the City Hall rotunda to announce the effort. Specific details regarding the recall were not announced.
"Our communities are under attack with Better Together's blind call for a merger of St. Louis City and St. Louis County," said Alderman John Collins-Muhammad. "This plan will dilute and drastically affect African American leadership - something that this city and region have worked hard to obtain. This is moving backward, not forward."
"I understand that change is hard. There are many vested interests in preserving the status quo of a region that is not growing. The fragmented government we have today is not working. We are losing population, jobs, and opportunities to other cities. We are losing ground every day because we spend our time fussing among ourselves. The real competition is between St. Louis and Nashville, St. Louis and Louisville, St. Louis and Indianapolis, or Kansas City, or Austin, or Denver. This recall effort is more internal fussing, but I get it. Self-preservation is a strong instinct," writes Mayor Lyda Krewson in a statement.
Combining St. Louis City and County will result in more regional decision making and a stronger, more efficient, more attractive and more competitive region.
It has been important for me to ask myself how I best serve the people I represent. My goal is to do all that is possible to keep people safe and create economic opportunities for all. My support for consolidation is rooted in that desire to provide safety and economic opportunity to all St. Louisans.
Better Together issued this statement on the recall effort, “It’s no surprise the opposition to the Better Together proposal continues to come from politicians trying to keep their taxpayer-funded jobs while offering no solutions of their own. Mayor Krewson should be commended for selflessly supporting a proposal which improves public safety and enhances economic opportunities for all St. Louisians.”
What would it take to recall the Mayor of St. Louis? The number of signatures required on any petition to recall Mayor Krewson is just over 39,000. Those signatures would need to come from 2/3 of wards in the city, not just one location.
Municipal mayors in the St. Louis area have lined up against a proposal to combine the city and county governments under one central authority.
If the Better Together merger plan goes on the ballot, voters statewide could decide the issue during the 2020 presidential election. If the constitutional amendment passes, the transition would begin in January 2021.
Under the plan, the number of elected officials would drop dramatically from the current 679, police departments would be consolidated into one law enforcement agency, and most—if not all—municipal courts would be eliminated. School districts would not be affected by the proposal and neither would fire departments.