This morning, I attended the State of St. Louis 2012 Preview. The event was hosted by the St. Louis Business Journal and held at the Renaissance Hotel on Washington Avenue. The event was half presentation and half discussion. The political and economic leaders at the center of the it all were Mayor Francis Slay, St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley, St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann and St. Clair County Chairman Mark Kern.
The first presenter to take the stage was Mark Kern. The St. Clair County Chairman stressed the recent economic progress of St. Clair County. Even after a $36 million budget cut, revenue for St. Clair was up 7%.
Up next was St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann, who focused his preview of 2012 on transportation and jobs. The new GM plant in Wentzville is stated to add 1,700 jobs to the area. Ehlmann stated the the continuation of the Page Extension, under way for a number of years, will reduce daily commute down to 45 minutes to 75% of jobs in the region.
Mayor Francis Slay covered a variety of indicators for St. Louis City and highlighted the direction he would like to see the city move towards in the upcoming year. After noting the reduction in crime over the last year, the mayor went straight into education initiatives involving charter schools as well as a proposal allowing students to transfer from unaccredited schools to those that were accredited. Slay has high hopes for the next year concerning the economy stating that close to $2 billion has been spent in construction and expansion since the recession started and maintains a current bond rating of A+. Plans for the region over the next year will include improvements to Forest Park as well as improved transportation to the Arch grounds.
The last speaker of the morning was St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley who focused his presentation and preview on three areas. Education in order to harness the intellectual capacity of the next generation to lead st. Louis, innovation to create the new products, services, and businesses in St. Louis, and immigration to attract more people to region to live and work here.
St. Louis Real Estate Agent