Five Things To Consider About Better Together’s Plan For St. Louis “Metro City”

The task force’s plan is ambitious and complex. It already faces opposition from the Municipal League of Metro St. Louis and others who oppose a statewide vote and worry about forfeiting local control. Adding further spice to the mix is the behind-the-scenes role of philanthropist and political donor Rex Sinquefield, a champion of limited government who is Better Together’s main financial backer. He’s expected to help bankroll a $25 million statewide campaign to convince voters to support the proposal. (Better Together insiders acknowledge that a statewide vote, rather than a vote only in the city and county, would probably be easier for them to win.)

Here are five takeaways after Better Together’s formal announcement of its proposal on Monday. They touch on themes certain to surface as the ballot campaign, led by outgoing Washington University Chancellor Mark Wrighton, gets underway.

  1. Will St. Louis Metro City really be the nation’s 10th biggest city? Or merely the 30th? Keep an eye on the Census Bureau.
  2. Both proponents and opponents of Better Together’s plan can claim a piece of moral high ground.
  3. In situations where inspiration fails, both sides have another tool at hand: fear.
  4. More specifics from Better Together about how the Metro City would deliver services and allocate its citizens’ tax dollars will be key to its success.
  5. A winning statewide coalition of voters for Better Together could take many forms.

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