(KTVI)-In 1876, the city of St. Louis city pulled out of St. Louis County. Now, many people want the city to become part of the county again, just like Wildwood or Ferguson or any other city in the county. But some people don’t want that to happen, fearing it’s a first step toward a unitary government where the city and county would become one single huge municipal government.
Since 1926, five proposals to re-unify the city and county have been put o
n the ballot. And five times, they’ve been defeated. Why? It’s been said people in the county like having over 90 city and town governments. It’s also been said St. Louisans are resistant to change. It’s also been said that racism plays a role, with the mostly white county not wanting to absorb a high crime city that’s half African-American.
But studies show that the city and county having duplicated services and offices can cost taxpayers up to $2 billion. They say re-absorbing the city into the county would save a ton of money and bureaucracy.
Charles Jaco sits down with Marius Johnson, the coordinator of community studies at Better Together St. Louis, a non-profit that’s studying the economic and governmental benefits of possible re-uniting city and county, and Jennifer Bird, an official in the Missouri Republican Party and part of a grassroots group called Common Sense for St. Louis, which is opposed to the reunification.