Newsletter Issue: May 2016

Download the May 2016 Issue (PDF Version)

Upcoming Meetings

Muni Awards & Installation Dinner
05/26/2016 - 6:30 PM
Greenbriar Country Club

Muni Awards & Installation - Thursday, May 26

We hope that you will join your fellow officials at the Municipal League’s 5th “Muni” Awards Ceremony and Installation of Officers on Thursday, May 26 at the Greenbriar Country Club, 12665 Big Bend Rd. in Kirkwood.  The cost is $35 per person.  The social hour (cash bar) will begin at 6:00 pm with the dinner at 7:00. pm, followed by the Muni awards.

Legislators from St. Louis City and County are also invited as guests of the League.

The Muni Awards were introduced in 2012 and created a fun and exciting event as we announce award winners in a variety of categories highlighting many of the innovative and collaborative efforts of our member municipalities.  The categories are:

  • Art & Culture
  • Citizen Engagement
  • Collaboration
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Public Safety
  • Sustainability, and the
  • Buzz Westfall Award for Excellence in Local Government

We will also install the following new officers and board members:

President – Mayor Barry Glantz of Creve Coeur;

Vice President –  Councilmember Chuck Caverly of Maryland Heights;

Finance Chairman – Mayor Norm McCourt  of Black Jack

New Board Members – Alderman Errol Bush of Northwoods, Mayor Edward Mahan of Rock Hill of Rock Hill and Mayor Ruth Springer of Olivette..

Large group reservations are encouraged through your municipal clerk, while individual or small groups can contact the League office directly.  This is a wonderful opportunity to recognize these unique programs that can be replicated in many of our municipalities.

 

May 26 Training Session on Condemnation/Takings

The next Municipal Officials Training Academy program is entitled “This Land is Your Land; This Land is My Land” and will cover condemnation and takings.  It is set for Thursday, May 26 from noon to 1:15 p.m.  Officials are invited to attend via Webinar or in person at Frontenac City Hall, 2nd floor training room 10555 Clayton Rd.

Paul Rost and Steven Lucas of Cunningham, Vogel & Rost, P.C. will present the seminar, which will include discussions on takings clauses of the United States and Missouri Constitutions, and general background principles.

Register by Tuesday, May 24 to ensure that all materials can be emailed prior to the session. The cost is $10 per person unless the city has an annual subscription. Please make checks payable to the Municipal League.

Click here to register for the webinar.  For in person attendance, contact the League office at 314-726-4747 or by email at staff@stlmuni.org as space is limited.

 

April Meeting Synopsis

At the April meeting, Jim Wild, Executive Director of the East-West Gateway Council of Governments, provided an overview of his organization and how League members can utilize the services offered.

Mr. Wild noted that Gateway is the St. Louis area’s Regional Planning Agency and clearinghouse for federal funds, with most of these dollars allocated for transportation and security.

Gateway has a 24-member board of directors, comprised mostly of elected officials, and a staff of 54.  They have five departments in the office:  transportation, research, administration, planning, and the St. Louis Area Regional Response System (STARRS).

Municipalities are eligible to apply for federal road and bridge dollars along with Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds.  On average, the region receives about $40 million for road and bridge projects and $15 million for CMAQ annually.

Under Federal law, Gateway is required to develop a new regional transportation plan every four years and an annual Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) which contains state and local transportation projects using federal funds.

The Planning Department at Gateway received a $4.8 million grant from HUD to begin a sustainable planning process.  This resulted in a plan entitled “One STL” which helps focus on affordable housing and bicycle/pedestrian plans.

The Research Department continually updates their “Where We Stand” documents, which compares St. Louis to the 50 largest metro areas in the US in a variety of statistical categories.

Gateway’s Local Government Partnership has a variety of services for municipalities, including city administrator searches and meeting facilitation.

STARRS coordinates all regional security expenditures using federal funds.  Public safety agencies are eligible to receive these dollars.  STARRS staff can also help with disaster planning.

Also on the agenda was a presentation from representatives from Missouri American Water Company relating to the company’s plans to begin installing electronic water meters for all customers in St. Louis County.

Lastly, the membership elected new officers and board members (see page 1 article).

We appreciate the hospitality of President Mike Schneider and the officials and employees of the City of Overland who hosted the meeting

 

 

 

Court Overturns County Police Standards Ordinance

On May 4, Judge Robert Cohen of the St. Louis County Circuit Court entered summary judgment, invalidating Section 701.250 of the St. Louis County Code which was enacted by the St. Louis County Council in December, 2015.

The ordinance attempted to establish standards for police departments in the incorporated municipalities of St. Louis County and provided that the County Executive could provide police services to a municipality or collaborative entity through a mandatory contract for police services with St. Louis County if the County Executive determined that a city or a collaborative entity was providing deficient policing services.

The cities of Olivette, Rock Hill, Breckenridge Hills, Creve Coeur, Richmond Heights, St. Ann, Sunset Hills, Bel-Ridge, Edmundson, Kirkwood, Florissant, Clayton, Frontenac, Webster Groves, Hazelwood and Bellefontaine Neighbors, as well as city officials Richard Vilcek and Kevin Buchek filed suit, challenging the enactment. Municipal attorneys Paul Martin, John Hessel  of Lewis, Rice & Fingersh, and Carl Lumley, Ken Heinz, Ed Sluys, Kevin O’Keefe and Bob Jones of Curtis, Heinz, Garrett & O’Keefe represented the cities and the city officials. Funding for the lawsuit was provided by the Municipal League of Metro St. Louis and the participating cities.

The judgment of the court declared the County’s ordinance invalid and unconstitutional, and enjoined its enforcement. Although the police departments in the participating cities (and most other municipalities in St. Louis County) met the standards promulgated by St. Louis County, it was important to challenge the County’s authority under the Missouri Constitution and the St. Louis County Charter to exercise policing power in the incorporated municipalities.

 

Legislature Approaches Final Week - Session Ends May 13

The legislative session ends at 6 pm on May 13.  Below are some major bills that have passed or are likely to be debated during the last week.  The League will prepare a legislative wrap up after the session.

Out-of State Auto Tax – HB 2140 (Hoskins) – This legislation extends for two years (2018), the collection of local sales taxes on motor vehicles purchased from non-Missouri dealers of motor vehicles, outboard motors, boats, and trailers (out of state sales and person to person sales). The bill also extends the election deadline to reauthorize the tax to November of 2018.  Truly Agreed and Finally Passed.  Signed by the Governor.

 

Sales Tax – There are two different versions of bills related to the countywide sales tax.

 

HB 1561 (Leara) – A Senate Committee Substitute changes the one cent sales tax distribution so that pool cities receive  40% of the amount generated within the city or an annexed area of a point of sale city.  A County Public Safety Sales Tax has been deleted. This bill has passed the House and the Senate Local Government Committee. At press time it was on the Senate 3rd Reading Calendar.

SB 867 (Sater) – Was amended in the House tax to establish a base year 2014 one cent sales tax and if future years are higher, pool cities would keep 50% of the amount generated over the base year generated amount.  This bill also has authority for a County Public Safety sales tax for the unincorporated area.  It is in a conference committee.

Court Issues – SB 572 (Schmitt) – Adds land use ordinance violations to the calculation limiting the percentage of annual general operating revenue that can come from fines and court costs for minor violations. These violations are also added to the disincorporation language if a municipality fails to remit excess annual general operating revenue to the Department of Revenue for the county school fund.  The Senate passed the Conference Committee Report on May 5 and the House is likely to follow suit.

Short Term Property Rentals – SB 867 (Sater) –  Was amended in the House to prohibit municipalities from enacting ordinances to ban home rentals.  The bill is in conference.

TIF Legislation – HCS 1464 & 1600 (Koening) – If TIF commission in St.  Louis area rejects a proposal but the city approves it, economic activity taxes and payments in lieu of taxes cannot exceed the redevelopment project costs for demolition of buildings and the clearing and grading of land.  This substitute has passed the House in April but has not been taken up by the Senate. The House also added these provisions to SB 869 (Schmitt) but the bill has not yet passed the House.

Police Training – SB 732 (Munzlinger) – Was amended in the House to require 1000 hours of police training after the year 2020 for police officers in St. Louis County.  The bill is in conference.

Limits on Municipal Lawsuits – SB 799 (Kraus) – House Committee Substitute prohibits taxing jurisdictions from initiating or participating in any legal proceeding against any taxpayer to levy, collect, or enforce any business license tax without first notifying the taxpayer of the amount of business license tax that may be owed. The taxpayer must be given 90 days notice to either pay or dispute the tax owed.  Senate Bills for 3rd Reading in House.

Gas Tax – SB 623 (Libla) – Raises gas tax by 5.9 cents if approved by statewide voters.  The bill passed the Senate April 6.  It passed the House Transportation Committee May 3 and may be taken up during the last week.  The League supports this measure.

 

Park Grant Applications Deadline Moved to August

Please note that the Municipal Park Grant Commission has moved the grant application deadline up two months to August 26, rather than October.  This will allow planning and design to commence during the winter months so that construction can begin in the spring.  The Commissioners feel that this will help reduce weather-related construction delays.  All municipalities will be notified when the new grant application is available in early June.  Informational meetings about the application process will be held in July.

 

Newly Elected Officials Seminar Held

elected in St. Louis County.  For over 20 years the League has been presenting a seminar for newly elected officials to provide an introduction to local government and help them get acclimated to their new role.  Over 70 officials attended this year’s session on April 27.

Highlights of the program included roles and responsibilities of elected officials, the Sunshine Law, the role of boards and commissions and ethics..  These were presented by the following municipal attorneys from the firm Curtis, Heinz, Garrett & O’Keefe:  Bob Jones, Stephanie Karr, Carl Lumley, and Ed Sluys.  In addition, Executive Director Pat Kelly welcomed the attendees and shared his insights as a former municipal official.  We appreciate the contributions of all of the speakers.  We would also like to thank the City of Maryland Heights for allowing us to use their facility to conduct this class.

 

League & SLACMA Sponsor Golf League

The League and the St. Louis Area City Management Association (SLACMA) are sponsoring a new social traveling golf league.  The golf league will play 6 municipal golf courses.  This is an individual player league with stableford score format.  It is open to elected officials, city managers, city staff and associate members of the County League and SLACMA.  The cost is $20 per round.  The league will pay on the 3rd Thursday at 3:00.  The first round is set for the St. Ann Municipal Course on May 19.  To register contact the Municipal League office at 314-726-4747 or the following link.