Ten Changes to Transform East St. Louis (and the first five are free!) by Andrew Theising

(Second of three blogs)

Now, four ideas that will cost money in the short-term, but pay off in the longer-term.

 6.  Renegotiate police and fire contracts.  These are essential services to a successful city.  The police and fire contracts have long been a controversial issue.  There are two parties to any contract, and each looks out for its own interest.  The existing contracts do not appear to be in the city’s best interest.  Benefits are likely too high, outside employment should be stopped, and employees should be held accountable for attendance and performance.  The city probably spends more on lawyers fixing problems than it would spend on a professional negotiator to do it right in the first place. 

 7.  Put an end to the club culture.  Yes, clubs generate a lot of the city’s local revenue.  However, clubs also generate the crime for which the city has become infamous.  A man was shot at a club on Broadway and walked over to a nice business establishment on Missouri Avenue, where he died.  That business establishment is now gone.  These kinds of incidents scare away developers, customers, and traffic.  Doing so will be short-term pain for long-term gain.  (Alternate idea:  create a club district in a corner of the city and relocate them there, where it can be policed.  Surveillance cameras would be a good idea.)

 8.  Stop locating non-taxable land uses on major thoroughfares.  Most of the new construction in the city is not taxable.  Government buildings, new schools, the library, and churches occupy some of the best land on major streets.  This is not wise.  While a new school is a nice idea, it does not have to be on a high-value corridor like State Street.  People will use the school building wherever it is located, so why not move it a block away from the main road?  That way, it generates traffic on a major arterial street—and the prime real estate is available for an entrepreneur to build a business that will capitalize on that school traffic (and generate tax for the city!).  This would be a great place for a TIF district.

  • Share/Bookmark
This entry was posted in East St. Louis Today, Economic Development and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Ten Changes to Transform East St. Louis (and the first five are free!) by Andrew Theising

  1. Delia says:

    WOW!!! GREAT article but I would like to be more blunt and add a step…GET RID OF THE CORRUPT ESL GOVERNMENT!!! There problem solved!