Newsletter Issue: February 2020

Download the February 2020 Issue (PDF Version)

Upcoming Meetings

Membership Meeting
02/28/2020 - 6:30 - 8:30
City of Glendale

February League Meeting

The next League meeting will be held on Thursday, February 27 at the newly remodeled Glendale City Hall, 424 N. Sappington Rd. 63122, about one mile south of Manchester Rd. Map Refreshments will be served at 6:30 pm with the meeting to follow at 7:15 pm

Program:  MSD

MSD will be going to the voters in April asking for authorization to   issue $500 million in additional bonds to fund a $1.58 billion capital improvement program for fiscal years 2021–2024 (July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2024). The funds are needed to meet regulatory and  system improvement needs. The bonds will make rate increases more manageable.

Rich Unverferth, the Director of   Engineering for the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District will explain why MSD believes this is the best  approach to funding the improvements.  Rich oversees the development, implementation, and management of MSD’s ongoing multi billion-dollar, multi-decade capital improvement program. His responsibilities include the planning and implementation of the District’s long-range plans to address combined and sanitary sewer overflows, stormwater issues, asset management, and other regulatory  initiatives. Rich has worked at MSD in numerous engineering and management positions since 1987. 

Rich earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla (Missouri S&T) and is a licensed Professional   Engineer in Missouri.  He is a member of the Engineers Club of St. Louis and represents MSD as a member of the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), and the St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers.

 

On the agenda for consideration will be an amendment the League bylaws. The proposal would increase the number of elected board members to 9 from 7 and allow for the removal of non-participating board members. This proposal was on the January agenda, but because of the snow storm, a  quorum was not present so no vote was taken.

 

Attorney General Challenges SB 5 Ruling

On January 29, Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed a motion in the Cole County Circuit Court, arguing that because of a ruling by Missouri Supreme Court on December 24, 2019, the Attorney General’s Office should be able to enforce the SB 5 provisions challenged by the League and member cities in 2016. Those provisions impose a more stringent 12.5% cap on revenue collected from fines and fees and require police department certification in St. Louis County but not the rest of State.

 To see the announcement from the Attorney  Generals Office go to: https://www.stlmuni.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Attorney-General-Eric-Schmitt-Reopens-SB-5-Challenge.pdf

 

Mark Your Calendar

Installation Dinner and Awards Ceremony will be held on Wednesday, May 27 at the Renaissance Hotel in Berkeley. Governor Mike Parson has accepted our invitation to be the guest speaker. This is the first time that Missouri’s Governor has attended this event and we are very pleased he has chosen to do so.

 

Nominating Committee to Meet in April - Board Positions Available

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 2020-2021 year. There will be at least two  vacancies on the Board to be filled (or four if the bylaws amendment is passed).

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 Mayor Norm McCourt of Black Jack, 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!

 

Park Planning Grants Available

The Municipal Park Grant Committee has vote to allow submission of planning grants at any time during the year,  rather than on a quarterly basis. The commission has given the staff authority to approve planning grants so that applicants can begin the planning process   sooner. The Planning Grant process was initiated to  assist municipalities in developing strong, well-planned, applications. This program awards grants to municipalities in order to help plan future parks and recreation projects. Unlike the construction grants, planning grants must be met by a 20% match by the municipality, and cannot exceed an award amount of $6,400. The planning grant application can be found here.

 

BIOSTL - DRIVING ST. LOUIS INNOVATION

Started 2001, BioSTL has built a foundation for St. Louis’ to become the leader in agriculture, medicine, health care, and other technology areas. 

St. Louis has become nationally-acclaimed for initiatives in startup creation and investment (BioGenerator), strategic business attraction (GlobalSTL), physical environment (including the Cortex Innovation District and BioGenerator Labs), entrepreneur support (BioSTL Fundamentals), seed and venture capital, a diverse and inclusive workforce, and public policy.

          $26M – invested in BioGenerator portfolio companies

          $950M – follow-on capital raised by BioGenerator portfolio

          170 – VC & strategic investors

          $48M – national grants secured for our companies

          15 – international countries engaged

          337 – diverse future founders trained 

Earlier this month the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced that they were going to make St. Louis the headquarters for its new agriculture nonprofit, Gates Ag One. It will focus its research on helping “smallholder farmers adapt to climate change and make food production in low– and middle-income countries more productive, resilient, and sustainable. This is just the most recent investment in this exciting growing industry in St. Louis to learn more about BIOSTL go to; https://www.biostl.org/?mc_cid=345d210e58&mc_eid=13da7b0d73

 

Plastic Straw Ban VS Americans with Disabilities Act

Plastic straw bans are popping up in municipalities across the country — in Washington, DC, on the first day of 2019; in Seattle in 2018; in a handful of      Massachusetts towns starting as far back as 2015; statewide in California in 2019. Some brands, including Starbucks, Hyatt, and SeaWorld, phased them out  preemptively. But what happens went when social reforms, banning straws to  protect the environment and the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) collide? 

The paper below was written by third year law student, Isaac Caverly; son of   Maryland Heights Council, Chuck Caverly. It looks at the impacts of plastic and the environment, the movement to ban straws and why these local movements violate the American with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Below is the introduction to Mr. Caverly’s paper and a link to the paper in its entirety. 


Water, Water Everywhere, but Not

a Straw to Drink: How the Americans

with Disabilities Act Serves as a

Limitation on Plastic Straw Bans

 

Isaac T. Caverly*

ABSTRACT: Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) to ensure that    individuals with disabilities have access to society. This revolutionary piece of legislation implemented standards for which places of public accommodation must conform their business practices to. As a result, places of public  accommodation are required to provide auxiliary aids to individuals who request them. This Note will first examine the background that has led to plastic straws being banned or removed from places of public accommodation. This Note will then discuss the negative consequences that banning plastic straws has on individuals with disabilities. These consequences can lead to the de facto exclusion of individuals with disabilities from public life, which is what the Americans with Disabilities Act sought to prevent. To avoid exclusion, this Note argues that plastic straws are the only type of straw that can serve as an auxiliary aid. Therefore, in order to comply with the ADA places of public accommodation must provide plastic straws. This ensures that individuals with disabilities can fully and equally enjoy their beverages. Finally, this Note will examine the impact this classification has on current actions being taken and propose simple steps to ensure that companies and government actors do not subject themselves to litigation that they can easily avoid. Read more……..