According to an article in the St. Louis Business Journal, the members of Better Together will try to do an end run on the citizens of St. Louis, the citizens of St. Louis County and the Missouri Legislature by putting a City/County Merger merger on the 2020 ballot as a Constitutional Amendment.
According to the St. Louis Business Journal:
Better Together would fund an operation to get signatures for a Constitutional amendment with the goal of placing it on a statewide ballot in November 2020. It would be promoted by a multimillion-dollar “yes” campaign, directed by Democratic operative Nancy Rice and financed by index-fund pioneer Rex Sinquefield and others, and all Missouri residents would get a say. If a majority of voters approve the amendment, within five or six weeks all current government offices in the city and county would be suspended and a transitional government would take over for about 15 months, pending elections.
The Business Journal was also briefed on these points about the merger:
- A new governmental entity — with a new charter — would be created in place of the current city of St. Louis and St. Louis County structures. It would encompass the current city and county land mass. The government would be based in downtown St. Louis.
- Elected officials would include: one mayor, one prosecuting attorney, one assessor and 33 council members.
- The county’s 88 municipalities would lose the ability to collect most sales taxes, have their own police departments and courts. What’s currently the city and county would have one police department and one court system. The municipalities, their officials and legislative bodies would still exist.
- Fire and school districts would be untouched.
A City/County merger has been opposed by many members of the Republican Central Committee of St. Louis County. Also, the Missouri Governor has indicated that he will support legislation to make it more difficult to get issues on the ballot.