A public discussion that could lead to eventual reconciliation between the long-divorced St. Louis and St. Louis County is about to begin. A new group called Better Together will launch a 16-month series of public input sessions to discuss the city and county’s fractured governmental structure and seek input on ways to improve it.
The “sponsored discussions” will be held sequentially on the following topics: public finance, economic development, public health, public safety, parks and recreation and general administration. The venues will be libraries, community centers, bars and anywhere the public is likely to gather, organizers say.
The result, after months of public discussion, could be a plan for the city to rejoin the county as a municipality, a merger to form a so-called “metro government,” or nothing at all. St. Louis city funds and duplicates many county office functions. St. Louis County, meanwhile, has 90 municipalities charged with offering the same essential governmental services.