Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Holidays Begin

Well the holidays are upon us. It's earlier every year thanks to the commercialization of Christmas. Peeved I was to see the holiday lights and chachkis out just a few days BEFORE Halloween.

Halloween is a very underrated holiday in my opinion. Some of my best parties were Halloween parties. For some reason though a lot of conservative college-age women think it's merely a chance to dress in slutty outfits. (See pic of Lindsay Lohan at left.) I know this from the time I worked at SLU and personal experience.

Regardless, the Mayor's Mansion will be empty this Thursday as we will be traveling all the way to Webster Groves for the traditional meal. We hope that you enjoy some time off.

Of note this week...

While voting I noticed that Rogers Middle School has begun work on construction of new, permanent classrooms to replace the "temporary" trailers in the yard. Way to go!

Buck Collier had a good piece in the Journal detailing how St. Louis' numerous governmental bodies hinder regional planning efforts. So true. There are upsides, however to a large number of governments. Primarily that there is excellent representation of citizens opinions. At 31.7 government units per 100,000 residents in the area, I'm amazed the reps don't visit each resident personally just to see if there's anything they could do. The study in in progress is on the East-West Gateway's web site.

This begs the ever-lingering question of "should Affton incorporate?" Even though it's nearly impossible thanks to the recent rule changes by the Boundary Commission, here's a few pros and cons:

Lower Taxes...while one of the big arguments against incorporation is that taxes would increase, it may be a wash. I conversation I had with folks from Shrewsbury (who have a map proposal in place to annex much of Affton) said that they can provide fire protection at a substantially reduced rate.

Increased Representation...since we would have an actual election for...AHEM...an actual mayor and other positions, the response to local citizenry and opportunity for citizen involvement would increase. We may lose some of our regional oversight and planning help from the County though.

What do you think?
Sound off in the comments section.

4 Comments:

At 9:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get this hoochie off your site! She's a mess.

Misplaced your email address and wanted to let you know that your podcast is (finally) up and running. We're still working on keeping your picture up and/or scrolling text as it runs, but listeners still get the idea. You can hear it at http://careers.slu.edu

Thanks again for being one of our first guinea pigs,
P.

 
At 10:02 AM, Anonymous David S. said...

Well, lets look at the facts regarding taxes. If Shrewsbury were to move forward with their proposal (although I was at the boundary commission meeting where they clearly stated they were not), Affton residents in the area under consideration would essentially trade the Affton Fire District tax for the Shrewsbury municipal tax. AFD has a residential rate of 0.942 and a personal property rate of 1.067. Shrewsbury has a rate of 1.000 for both. Add them together and they are just about exactly the same, but as homes are usually assessed much higher than cars (unless your priorities are out of whack), Affton residents would see a small tax increase if they joined Shrewsbury based on current tax rates. However, a major reason Shrewsbury is not moving ahead is that the law requires a city that incorporates an area within a fire district to continue to pay the lost money to the fire district for a period of time. (Length of time unknown to me and I don't feel like looking it up right now.) So if parts of Affton joined Shrewsbury the city would have to provide fire service to the new residents and pay Affton Fire District for the loss of revenue. Needless to say, that would probably require a tax increase to do, and is the main reason why Shrewsbury is not moving forward with the plan. The unknown factor, fire district payments aside, is whether adding a few thousand more residents to Shrewsbury and providing them with the necessary public services would require Shrewsbury to raise taxes or allow them to lower taxes as they spread the tax base out further with more people. That would require a more detailed study than this posting.
On the other question of whether Affton should just reincorporate all by itself (I understand it did used to be a city decades ago), that would no doubt require a fairly substantial tax increase to do so. Whether Affton residents want to trade the local control for the higher taxes is up to them, but I don't think we will see any movement like that in the near future.

 
At 10:39 AM, Blogger Mayor of Affton said...

Thank you David for the "break-it-down". Affton WAS incorporated from about 1931 to 1935. I too was told by the Shrewsbury reps that they were not moving on this proposal. I think their biggest problem was that a muni can not incorporate more then 50% of their current size. That limits them to absorbing Resurrection Cemetary and St. Marcus Cemetary and few households in the first round of annexation. Dead people vote, but they do not pay taxes!

In the "reincorporation" strategy for Affton, do you really think we have that much local control now? I think there is very little control at this point. We are mostly governed by the County. The Affton Chamber of Commerce does not let individual residents join, but it is where they County makes it's Economic Development effotrs known. I have an issue with non-local companies deciding the future of Affton's development. Further, I have a problem with COMPANIES deciding Affton's future! I think all Econ. Developemnt issues should come to the ABCA first. As the residents' only real forum, this is the place decisions should be made. The ACBA needs to get some real power behind it first though.

 
At 1:39 PM, Anonymous ffff this garbage..... said...

omg, the mayor of affton promotes a prostitute11111 does he pander or what/ he seriously should be under investigation. pandering and or promoting prostitution is the same thing....... it is a feloney.... i'm going to report this page to the athorities right away..... ffff this jerk.......

i was looking for the tax rate in affton and this is what i got/ unbelievable............ his sorry ass.........

 

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