Webster Groves Mayor Criticizes Proposed St. Louis City-County Merger

By on February 8, 2019

From The Journal:  Supporters of a St. Louis City-County merger released a report on Jan. 29 outlining their plan to reunite the city and the county. St. Louis separated from St. Louis County in 1876 and remains separated despite previous efforts to combine them.

The initiative, Better Together, raised questions about the fate of Webster Groves for mayor Gerry Welch. Welch said the proposed merger became her first priority after Better Together released its report.

“This is the No. 1 issue because it’s the survival of our community,” Welch said. “In many ways, it’s almost like a nightmare.”

Welch expressed concern about municipalities’ ability to govern themselves if the proposed merger passes. In its report, Better Together claims municipalities such as Webster Groves would remain largely intact if the city and county merged.

The proposal includes one police department for a combined city and county with one police chief. Webster Groves would maintain its control over parks and recreation but lose its police force and public works.

Welch said a city-county merger would be undemocratic for Webster Groves and other municipalities in St. Louis County.

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