Monday, July 19, 2004

Arcane (But Entertaining) Procedural Change on August Ballot

The August 3, 2004 Primary Election will feature the important race for the 3rd Congressional District of Missouri, as well as Amendment One and Amendment Two to the Missouri Constitution.

However, there is also a proposed amendment to the City of St. Louis Charter which has nothing to do with Advance Saint Louis.

Under Proposition E, the date of municipal elections, held in April of odd-numbered years, would change slightly. This is Article II, Section One of the Charter.

The current language (not changed since the 1914 charter was adopted) reads:

"A general city election shall be held on the first Tuesday in April, 1915, and every two years thereafter."

The proposed language under Proposition E reads:

"A general municipal election shall be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in April, 2005, and every two years thereafter."

This is noteworthy only because it would prevent an election from happening on April Fools Day.

Curiously, though, the 2003 Municipal General Election was held on April 8, 2003, which was the first Tuesday after the first Monday, rather than the first Tuesday of April (which was in fact April 1st).

This suggests perhaps that election was held on the wrong date. By the charter, it should have been held on April 1st. Nevertheless, the results were certified and most the winners of that election still hold office -- including four members of the Board of Education.

This charter amendment requires 60% of the voters to approve it for passage, and was proposed by ordinance earlier this year. Ordinance 66192 was approved March 10, 2004. It was proposed initially as 2003 session Board Bill 366, by Board of Aldermen President Jim Shrewsbury, and Ward 14 Alderman Stephen Gregali.

Both were most recently re-elected at that same April 8, 2003 election. Neither is a big fan of the current Advance Saint Louis proposals.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Costco Vs. Wal-Mart

Austin, Texas-based liberal commentator Jim Hightower notes in yesterday's radio commentary that Costco Warehouse stores pay employees much better than Wal-Mart and Sams Club, to the disappointment of some Wall Street commentators. Nevertheless, Costco is a big money-maker.

(Note: Jim Hightower will be speaking and signing copies of his new, perfectly timed book "Let's Stop Beating Around the Bush", next Thursday, July 22nd, at 7:00 PM at the Webster University Winifred Moore Auditorium. Tickets are $10. Sponsored by FM 88.1 KDHX St. Louis Community Radio and Left Bank Books.)

Costco currently has two locations in the St. Louis metro area - in St. Peters and South St. Louis County.

With Sams Club abandoning St. Louis Marketplace and the City of St. Louis for the greener pastures of the new Maplewood development, maybe Costco could be persuaded to locate in the City proper?

Two potential sites might be:

  • Hampton at I-44, current site of MSD equipment storage and the City Street Department.

  • SLAAP, the former St. Louis Army Ammunition Plant at I-70 and Goodfellow.

  • Monday, July 12, 2004


    Although I've been generally skeptical of St. Louis 2004 and was somewhat glad I missed the crush of people in Forest Park on New Year's Eve, I'm duly impressed by the free concert lineup scheduled for this summer on the riverfront. The schedule is being widely distributed - the Sunday Post-Dispatch had both a glossy insert and the A&E section was devoted largely to it.

    The fun begins this Thursday and continues through August 21st (one week shorter than initially advertised, but who's counting?).
    Performers include The B-52s, Liz Phair, Wyclef Jean, Lyle Lovett, B.B. King, and many more.

    And since many of the big shows will be on Saturday nights, you can get the whole family there by public transit with the Zip2 pass from Metro transit. Only $25 for two adults and four children, all weekend, every weekend for the rest of the summer anyway (It was not valid on July 4th).

    Those of us who bought monthly transit passes in June eventually got a Zip2 pass in the mail for free - although it did take until last week for mine to arrive! Nevertheless, it's a pretty good deal, considering that gasoline prices are inching towards $2.00 per gallon again.

    Friday, July 09, 2004

    Room 200 Revolving Door

    Dionne Garrett-Castor formerly Director of Communications for Mayor Francis Slay, is now doing PR at Grace Hill Neighborhood Services.

    Chris Dornfeld formerly Chief Information Officer/Director of Technology in the Mayor's Office, is now the principal of a consulting firm called Dornfeld Management Group LLC.