Regionalism Expert David Rusk Returns to Construction Forum STL June 12

By on April 4, 2019

On June 12 David Rusk, arguably the most knowledgeable expert on U.S. metropolitan regionalism and the author of Cities Without Suburbs, sometimes referred to as the “bible” of metro regionalism will make a return visit to Construction Forum STL.

His presentation will be held in the Mildred E. Bastian Center for the Performing Arts at St. Louis Community College at Forest Park from 7:30-9 a.m. on June 12. Admission is free, but registration is required. Click here to register.

Rusk last spoke before the Forum in December 2017. He is currently authoring a series of white papers examining Better Together’s proposed constitutional amendment.

In the latest paper, “Better Together’s New Math,” Rusk dissected Better Together’s analysis of potential savings from a merger:

“How does Better Together get to $750 million? After many spreadsheet simulations, I realized:

“They must do it by running out the numbers for 10 years.   

“Nowhere does Better Together reveal that maneuver – neither in the key statements cited above nor anywhere else in the 160-page Task Force Report and appendices that I can find.

“Compare 10 years’ worth of projected budget savings (about $750 million) with a one-year budget ($2.3 billion). One-third savings!   That’s BT’s New Math.

“Perhaps we should be thankful for Better Together’s restraint.   If they’d run the same numbers for 30 years, it would have yielded $2.3 billion in savings –totally free local government!

“The Old Math (that you and I were taught in school) would compare one year’s projected savings ($69 million) with one year’s budget ($2.3 billion).   Or (properly accounting for the inflation factor) 10 years’ savings ($666 million) with 10 years’ cumulative budget ($22.0 billion).

“Or perhaps the quantum complications of BT’s New Math counsel follow the example set these days in Washington, DC: just make up a number and repeat it over and over again until it is accepted as fact by a substantial chunk of the citizenry.  Let’s dub this “Alternative Fact Math.”

“Old Math or BT New Math or Alternative Fact Math – which will Better Together employ in its campaign to convince statewide voters to approve its constitutional amendment to upend local government in St. Louis City and County?”


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