Carpenters Union Endorses Better Together Plan to Merge St. Louis Governments

By on February 28, 2019

From St. Louis Post-Dispatch:  A carpenters union that represents three Midwestern states has endorsed Better Together’s proposal to consolidate regional governments, the first official endorsement from organized labor for the pro-merger advocacy group.

The chief of the St. Louis-Kansas City Carpenters Regional Council, which represents workers in Kansas, Missouri and southern Illinois, said on Wednesday that he met with representatives from all 33 local chapters of the council, and they unanimously voted to support Better Together.

“I have been concerned for a number of years that we are falling behind the competition, dramatically, because of our fractured government here,” said Al Bond, executive secretary-treasurer of the council. “All we’re doing is just beating each other up, and wasting tax dollars. What we should be doing is working as one for the whole region.”

The nonprofit advocacy group Better Together announced late last month its plan to gather more than 160,000 signatures and place on the November 2020 statewide ballot a measure to merge St. Louis and St. Louis County. The initiative, if passed, would combine under one metro city the police departments, court systems, roadways, regional planning and zoning and economic development arms of the city, county and the 88 county municipalities. County municipalities would become new political subdivisions, called “municipal districts,” with power over some services, such as parks and trash collection, but with otherwise severely restricted authority.

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