The St. Louis region’s two top local leaders on Monday endorsed a new report showing upwards of a billion dollars a year in waste from inefficiency due to the area’s unusual city-county division, and they announced a task force to create a proposal to change that.
At a news conference under the auspices of the nonprofit Better Together, St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger both spoke in favor of the concept of more coordination between their two governments — a concept referred to by some advocates as “unification,” although the word has become so loaded in recent years that both leaders avoided using it Monday.
Both also endorsed the creation of the new task force, which within a year is expected to come up with proposals to coordinate city and county functions and eliminate duplication.
The joint event was the latest indication of the improved relationship between county and city leaders. Stenger and the newly seated Krewson are political allies; Stenger and former Mayor Francis Slay did not get along.
One expert said that a better relationship could make a difference in the success of any unification proposals but warned that many other roadblocks remain.
Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch