Newsletter Issue: February 2019

Download the February 2019 Issue (PDF Version)

Upcoming Meetings

Membership Meeting
02/28/2019 - 6:30 PM
City of Rock Hill

February 28 Meeting at Rock Hill City Hall

The City of Rock Hill is hosting the February 28, membership meeting their new City Hall located at  827 N Rock Hill Rd.  The facility is located just south of Manchester Road on the west side of Rock Hill Rd. (MAP)

 Refreshments will  be available at 6:30 PM and the meeting will start at 7:00 PM.

PROGRAM: Missouri voters approved medical marijuana with the passage of Amendment 2 this past November.  The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services will oversee and regulate this new industry for the State; they have until July to develop the new rules before the first medical marijuana card can be issued. 

We have assembled a panel of knowledgeable professionals as means for members to hear multiple perspectives on some of the issues municipalities may be facing in the future.  Issues including retail and commercial zoning and how the laws will impact municipalities as employers. 

The panel will include Stephanie Karr, a Principal with Curtis, Heinz, Garret & O’Keefe.  Stephanie concentrates her practice in local government law and real estate.  She will concentrate on issues related to zoning regulations. 

Jim Foster, a Partner with McMahon, Berger will address labor concerns.  Jim practices all areas of labor and employment law representing municipalities and employers throughout the region. 

Our last panelist is John Pennington of Savoy Properties.  John will give some insight as to what commercial and retail operators will be looking for as they evaluate locations.

The second part of our program will be an update on the initiative petition to establish a Board of Freeholders/Electors.

 

New Affiliate Member – Wood Environment & Infrastructure Solutions

The League welcomes its newest Affiliate Member, Wood Environment & Infrastructure Solutions, a global leader in providing engineering and consulting     services to government and industry,  offering complete professional services in civil engineering, structural engineering,    transportation, water resources, environmental, geotechnical, surveying and construction management/materials disciplines. The firm is a recognized leader in the areas of water and wastewater systems, water resources (drainage and flood control), roadway and highway      design, transportation studies, planning (site, land use and regional) and construction management.

Former Wildwood City Administrator and Director of Public Works Ryan Thomas now leads Wood’s   municipal infrastructure group as a Senior Project Manager in the St. Louis Office and looks forward to being   active with the League. For any League Members interested in the services offered by Wood, please contact Ryan at (314)406-4059 or ryan.thomas@woodplc.com.

 

US Census Workshops

The US Census is offering webinar workshops for local governments entitled, “Boundary and Annexation Survey”.

The annual Boundary and Annexation Survey (BAS) conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau is used to determine the official legal boundaries and names of the country’s governmental units. As part of the preparations for the 2020 Census, the bureau is offering on-site training and webinars that will provide an introduction to the BAS and information on 2020 Census Geographic Programs.
Three webinars and an in-person workshop for the St. Louis   region are scheduled for February and March. The webinars will be held from noon to 2:30 p.m. on Feb. 6, Feb. 20 and March 6. The workshop will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Central Library in downtown St. Louis on Feb. 13. To RSVP for a webinar or the workshop, email your name and phone number along with the webinar date or workshop location to geo.bas@census.gov with the subject line “BAS Workshop     Registration.” 

 

Nominating committee to meet in April

The League’s Nominating Committee will meet in early April after the municipal elections.  The committee will make recommendations to the full membership on a slate of  candidates for officers and board members for the 2019-2020 year.  There will be at least one vacancy on the Board to be filled.

The Board meets about nine times per year and is open to any elected official from a member municipality.  If you would like to be considered by the Committee, please send a letter to the League office by April 1 indicating your interest and outlining your  qualifications, including service on committees and attendance at League meetings or other events.

The Committee will be chaired by Councilman Chuck Caverly of Maryland Heights Immediate Past President.  The recommended slate of candidates will be presented at the April meeting.  So, if you are interested in serving on the Board please let us know!

 

MUNI Award Nominations Sought

Is your municipality an award winner?  You will never know unless you nominate your community, collaborating cities, or a group in your municipality for a 2019 MUNI Award presented by the Municipal League of Metro St. Louis.  Since their inception, the MUNI Awards have provided an opportunity for League members from across the County to come together to recognize their fellow municipalities and take home a MUNI Award.   You can be a winner this year by nominating your city or a group within your city for achievement in one of the following categories:  Arts/Culture; Citizen Engagement; Collaboration; Parks/Recreation/Wellness; Public Safety, and Sustainability/Preservation.  To nominate, send a letter to the League office identifying the city, organization or person and why that group or individual should be recognized for accomplishment in one of the designated categories.  Nominations must be received at the Municipal League office by April 19.  Winning a MUNI Award tells your residents what you are doing right for your community.  Then, join us on May 23 at the Renaissance Hotel in Berkeley when the MUNI Awards will be presented and new Municipal League officers will be installed.

 

January League Meeting Report

At the January meeting, the membership heard a presentation from Brian Hoelscher, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Sewer District, who had been invited to discuss the District’s upcoming vote on stormwater funding.  Mr. Hoelscher said the stormwater plan had several components, including clearing problem properties and businesses through buyouts, channel stabilization, rainscaping and new sewers.  A new tax on impervious surfaces would generate $30 million per year, with $14 million from residences and $16 million from businesses.  The average amount for households would be about $2.25 per month or $27 per year.  Large entities with more impervious surface would pay more and tax exempt properties would be required to pay the fee.  He indicated that currently identified stormwater problems could be addressed in the next 30 years if this proposal is approved.  The proposal is called Proposition S and it will be on the April ballot. Mr.Hoelscher also introduced his new public affairs manager, Sean Hadley.

The membership also approved a motion to undertake an initiative petition process whereby a local Board of Electors could be appointed to study and consider possible changes to the governmental structure of the City and County.  Article VI of the Missouri Constitution allows for a City-County Board of Electors/Freeholders to be formed by a petition process.  At their January meeting, the League Board of Directors recommended undertaking this process to lead to the development a local plan for governmental reorganization.  This process allows for public input into the plan’s development and a City-County vote, rather than the statewide approach of Better Together.  It will require about 15,000 signatures in the County and 5,000 in the City. 

Board members believe a significant number could be collected at the March primary election in the City and the April municipal elections in the County.  It will take a lot of work, but the Board believes it is worthwhile.  If the signatures are collected and certified, the Mayor and County Executive would have 10 days to each appoint 9 electors.  Governor Parson would appoint the 19th

member – someone from outside the City and County who would serve as chairman.  In theory, members of Better Together could be appointed and they could create the same plan that is now being proposed.  But the difference is that it would be voted on locally, not statewide.  The hope, however, is that Mayor Krewson and County Executive Stenger would  appoint people that have an understanding of regional issues and would could develop a plan that could be beneficial for all local governments.

We appreciate the warm welcome from Mayor Bob Nation and the officials and employees of the City of Chesterfield who hosted the large crowd at the meeting.

 

 

 

Board of Freeholders Initiative Petition

The initiative petition drive calling for the formation of the board of freeholders/electors was launched on February 4, at Olivette City Hall.  More then 75 elected official and volunteers attend the meeting.  This grassroots effort will need to collect a minimum 15,000 signatures in the county and 5,000 in St. Louis City.  A second session was held in Des Peres on February 6.

It is important to remember that once you have collected a full page of signatures, you must take the petition to a notary public and sign the petition at the bottom of the page in front of the notary. 

Petitions can be left with your city clerk or returned to Municipal League office.  For more information on the petition process or how the get your petitions, contact the League office: 314-726-4747 or staff@stlmuni.org

 

Legislative Updates

The General Assembly began its 4 1/2 month session on January 9.  The ending date is May 17.  Below are some of the bills of interest to local governments and their status at press time.

SB 79  (Emery) – modifies the definition of the terms “annual general operating revenue” and “minor traffic violation” as applied in provisions regarding the assessment of fines in minor traffic violation and municipal ordinance violation cases.  Local Government Committee.

SB 125   (Hough) – establishes the “Missouri Municipal Government Expenditure Database,” to be maintained by the State Treasurer.  Local Government Committee.

SB 207  (Emery) – allows any city or village to establish, by ordinance, an administrative adjudication system for certain municipal code violations.  Local Government Committee.

SB 268  (Wieland) – requires a public body to post legal notices on the front page of its website, if it has one.

SJR 19  (Nasheed) – Constitutional amendment to require that the creation of a board of electors shall be the only method for any changes to the governmental structure of the City and County, not a statewide vote.

SCR 1  (Walsh) – This concurrent resolution opposes any statewide vote or legislative mandate on governmental reorganization regarding the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County.  Rules Committee.

HB 81  (Hill) – requires, within five years, that any city with a population of 5000 or less inhabitants, with an area of less than two square miles, with a municipal police department, and located in St. Louis County, to disband its police department and to contract for law enforcement services with either the county police department, or another city.  Downsizing Government Committee.

HB 473  (Grier) – Prohibits municipalities from regulating home based businesses.  Downsizing Government Committee.

HB 734  (Franks) – Specifies that a vote of whether to merge political subdivisions shall only be submitted to residents of political subdivisions subject to the potential merger.

HJR 23  (Lovasco) & SJR 5 (Eigel) – Constitutional amendment to eliminate personal property tax.  Ways & Means Committee.

HCR 25  (Dogan) – concurrent resolution opposing any statewide vote or legislative mandate on governmental reorganization regarding the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County.