image
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
Phone: (314) 843-0102
|
Fax: (314) 843-0508
|
flag image

Our view remains the same on county boundary panel


February 12, 2014 - With an Oakville steering committee exploring the idea of breaking off from St. Louis County and forming a new county, it's time to revisit the colorful history of the St. Louis County Boundary Commission.

At least twice in the mid-1990s, the Missouri Supreme Court declared that laws establishing the Boundary Commission were unconstitutional — first for violating the Missouri Constitution's prohibitions against special laws and again for violating the Constitution because the law applied only to St. Louis County and no other first-class county.

A later incarnation of the Boundary Commission was abolished in 1999 under legislation signed by then-Gov. Mel Carnahan. The panel's abolishment essentially rendered three lawsuits involving the commission moot.

Ironically, one of those suits involved the county suing the Boundary Commission, contending the panel exceeded its statutory authority in enacting rules for petitions submitted by areas wishing to stay unincorporated.

A second suit had the Boundary Commission suing the county over the County Council's decision to cut its 1999 budget by $70,000.

The legislation signed by Gov. Carnahan also authorized the County Council to establish a "new and improved" Boundary Commission. In July 1999, the County Council voted to establish the current incarnation of the Boundary Commission, which by no means is new and improved — just more of the same.

Our view of the commission hasn't really changed since it was re-established: It's unconstitutional on its face because it serves as a barrier to the constitutional right of citizens to petition their government for change.

Any group of citizens that gathers the signatures of 15 percent of registered voters who cast ballots in a gubernatorial election should be able to place a proposal on a ballot, yet the commission serves as a barrier to that right.

While the Oakville steering committee is considering forming a new county, it also is looking at incorporation and annexation. But either option would require the Boundary Commission's blessing.

Rep. Marsha Haefner, R-Oakville, has introduced a bill that would allow any unincorporated area in St. Louis County to bypass the Boundary Commission and incorporate under the state's regular municipal incorporation laws if the city of St. Louis becomes a city within St. Louis County.

We urge the Legislature to pass Haefner's measure — House Bill 1638.


Tags: St. Louis County News, Opinions Column


  • Related Editorial
    Our Town
    Sunset Hills mayor calls out 'freaks' who opposed him
    Furrer rails at aldermen who tried to impeach him
    Feb 10 2016
    Sunset Hills Mayor Mark Furrer had already made the media rounds by the time the Board of Aldermen met for the first time since Furrer’s felony charges were dropped, but near the end of Tuesday’s meeting, ...
    Impact News
    Furrer looking forward to end of mayoral term
    Criminal, civil cases dropped: Sunset Hills mayor now sees urgent need for court reform
    Feb 03 2016
    Sunset Hills Mayor Mark Furrer says that when his term of office expires in April, he looks forward to “slipping quietly back into obscurity.”...
    School News
    Lindbergh teacher completes character education training
    Feb 10 2016
    Lindbergh High School English teacher Daniel Murphy is one of 25 local educators who recently graduated from the Sanford N. McDonnell Leadership Academy in Character Education....
    Business
    Clarice's Bridal moves to south county
    New larger location for bridal store opens in Green Park
    Feb 10 2016
    Clarice’s Bridal celebrated its grand opening in south county Thursday with a ribbon-cutting and a family celebration, in advance of the March 1 grand opening....
    Impact News
    Local meeting guide 2016
    Jan 08 2014
Site Search


Weather
Type in your zip code and click "Go" to get your 7-day forecast.
Visit www.crh.noaa.gov