Should We Disincorporate Ferguson?

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook0Share on Reddit0Print this pageEmail this to someone

Leaders have been reluctant to call for the outright dissolution of the government of Ferguson. They’ve gone as far as calling for the overhaul of its municipal court and perhaps its policing services be taken over by St. Louis County. Worrying about who will be elected in the April 7th city council elections seems like worrying about what is going to be served for dinner on the Titanic. The heads rolling there won’t change the underlying financial fragility of the city. Working within the current construct isn’t the way forward. The continued drama in the international media and the smearing of the region demands more.

{Change in revenues inflation adjusted. Property tax revenues shot up due to the passage of an increase which has already started to erode. Like Ellisville, sales tax receipts haven’t recovered from the recession.}

Ferguson has limited resources to do anything impactful. Its revenue from traffic tickets and fines equals its debt service- not a good indicator of its long term prospects. Its property tax levy is among the top ten of St. Louis County municipalities. It has all but one of the sales taxes it can have. Given its impotence, it may be in the region’s best interest to disincorporate the city. The international embarrassment is costing us business, investment, students, tourists, and jobs.

There currently is no way for the citizens of Ferguson to disincorporate their government. It is a charter city, and there is no process in state statute to dissolve it. Hopefully HB 741 will pass and add a procedure to do so.

We have the means.

Under “The Fifth Way” of the Board of Freeholders language in Article VI Section 30(a) of the Missouri Constitution, we can do whatever we want in regards to our local government structure. To convene a board, signatures from 3% of the voters in St. Louis City and St. Louis County (4,165 and 15,514 respectively. The “Cost-Per-Required-Signature” (CPRS) recently in Missouri has been ~$6) is required. The Board meets and forges a proposal to be put to a vote. Nothing else can be on the same ballot. Majority approval is required in both jurisdictions.

(5) to formulate and adopt any other plan for the partial or complete government of all or any part of the city and the county.

Yes, this is a top-down hammer-finds-nail solution. In the case of the numerous other municipalities on the brink of insolvency, I prefer the citizens in those towns get rid of them. HB 741 would make that easier. However, in the case of Ferguson, the other 2.8 million people from O’Fallon Missouri to O’Fallon Illinois are feeling the effects of their dysfunction. We should let it go.

Update 4/27/2015- A lengthy piece in The Atlantic laying out Ferguson’s fiscal troubles. Ferguson’s Fortune 500 Company– Why the Missouri city—despite hosting a multinational corporation—relied on municipal fees and fines to extract revenue from its poorest residents

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook0Share on Reddit0Print this pageEmail this to someone
  • John Warren

    I’m sorry, i don’t think Ferguson needs to be disbanded as a city; a lot of development is still happening along Florrisant Road and it looks great. What needs to happen is St. Louis County only needs ONE police department, no more Clayton, Ladue, Pine Lawn, Ferguson PD’s.

    • jhoff1257

      Agreed, but development isn’t going to halt because Ferguson is no longer a city. Large parts of the County are still unincorporated, Afton for example, and those areas seem to get by just fine.

  • kjohnson04

    Short answer: Yes. Then it needs to be repeated until there are about 10 of 15 left, about the number of municipalities a county of that size should have. The rest should either be merged with the city or managed by st. Louis County.

  • HardFacts

    “Ferguson’s municipal court collected $1.7 million, or about $80 per resident, in court fines and fees last year.The Justice Department’s report found that the city’s heavy reliance on fines locked poor, largely black residents in a spiral of debt, jail and court appearances. But other municipalities collected even more; several along Interstate 70 near St. Louis have raised revenue in recent years by increasing fines for speeding.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/03/06/us/missouri-other-cities-like-ferguson.html

    IMHO, disincorporation sounds good.

  • matimal

    It depends who “we” is?

  • drhowarddrfine

    You’re just piling on. You’re pushing an agenda, and a popular one, that is based on the internet and media scream rather than unbiased facts. I know it boosts viewership and, thus, revenue but I was hoping this place would be different.

    • Deebo

      Agreed! This blog is now like a d list version of the Post Dispatch. There is already a pro Urban blog called UrbanReviewSTL and Steve does a great job in that niche but this blog needs to get back to doing what it’s roots were. I’m definitly missing the WhoLou

      • Alex Ihnen

        WhoLou is still here – check for posts by Geoff Whittington (he is WhoLou). The roots of the site were policy discussions about development and news of how the city and region are changing, physically, politically, and socially. Thanks for reading.

    • rgbose

      The budget numbers are made up?

    • Alex Ihnen

      Trust me, post like this do not increase revenue – which is quite meager. No decision made by me is based on theoretically making an extra $5.

  • Richard O

    Ferguson isn’t the only area in St. Louis County that should disincorporate. There are plenty others each guilty of taxation by citation and without that funding source would go bankrupt. As a region we don’t need all these fiefdoms.

  • A.J.

    I think the case has to be made very clear by the city to its citizens. We don’t like the taxation by citation. So what would a city that ratchets down that % of the budget look like and where would there be cuts? Could community service in lieu of citation fines be used for service substitution? These aren’t easy questions and no one likes pain, but It’s wrong to beat up on Ferguson for this, since they’re just in the news.

  • Dave K

    We?!? We?!? Are you f’in kidding me. Dude get off your f’in high horse There is no “we” here. There is the people of ferguson and its up to them. Not you. Not me and not we. There is more reasons to get rid of the city of stl then ferguson.

    • tgeperson

      Right, because the problems we’re seeing in Ferguson stop at its city limits and don’t occur anywhere else in the St. Louis area. No need to think regionally here, our opinions and policies should be limited to the corporate confines of whatever arbitrarily drawn municipality each us lives in.

      But seriously…I think talk of dissolution of larger municipalities such as Ferguson is a bit extreme, but it’s not a ridiculous proposition.

      • John R

        I was reading it as HB 741 would allow for a local vote if enacted into law but that “we” should go ahead and disincorporate it under the “Fifth Way” regional route. Hopefully Richard can give some clarification as the second half of the post, beginning with “We have the means,” is rather confusing.

        • rgbose

          HB 741 would help, but it is not guaranteed to pass this year or any year. Given the special case of Ferguson, I’m letting everyone know that we already have another way to disincorporate its government, which should be considered. It would become a part of unincorporated St. Louis County which has more capacity to accomplish something positive there.

          • John R

            That’s what I thought… my reply was meant for Alex, who seemed to think we’d just be letting Ferguson voters ultimately decide under either procedure.

          • RS

            Strongly disagree! I live in Uninc. County and our services blow. My neighborhood is considering requesting annexation.

          • rgbose

            The folks of the former St. George say they’re happier with services in unincorporated county. Annexation would be an option for some or all of the former Ferguson.

            How do you see quality of service delivery in Ferguson going forward?

          • Deebo

            I agree with RS. After much research since I here from out of state,
            I choose to live in a muni over unincorporated St. Louis County for the following advantages:
            1. Lower taxes- some city taxes that include a city fire dept. are less than living in unincorporated areas with fire protection districts that have higher tax rates
            2. Police- I like that my neighborhood is patrolled and for the safety of my kids speed limits are enforced. Also daily vacation checks when we are gone.
            3. Snow removal on the spot
            4. Community center and Aquatic center that have cheaper resident rates and only allow non residents yearly memberships and no daily passes.
            5. City ordinances- I personally like living in a well kept area and standards and regular code enforcement are something that helps protect my real estate investment.
            6. Community feel, knock it if you want, I know it’s not the “cooler urban” lifestyle that you seem to only be able to tolerate but for me, I like the small town feel within a metro area.

            To each is own but please stop with the broad brush stroke of judgment if you have no personal experience living in one of these so called “fiefdoms”. Using St. George as an example is not a factual and correct representation of the feelings of the other 89 muni’s in St. Louis County.

          • rgbose

            I don’t advocate forgetting rid of all munis. People should be empowered to get rid of there own, which is why passing HB 741 is important.

          • Deebo

            So which ones are on your naughty list then? Ferguson was incorporated over 100 years ago, that means a lot to people that have lived there for generations, it’s not like it’s some recent money grabbing incorporation with zero history or relevance (i.e. Wildwood). Or just maybe, if people don’t like a certain muni, maybe they should move or never move there in the 1st place. I found a home pretty close to my dream home 10yrs ago but it was in a tiny muni that had been in the news for trustee infighting and their taxes were very high compared to neighboring areas I was also looking at. I choose to pass on this ideal home because I didn’t want to live in that muni. Sometime you got to make adult decisions and not have an entitlement complex.

          • rgbose

            The ones desperately chasing sales taxes and/or traffic ticket revenue, which have mounting overwhelming infrastructure liabilities, have more warrens than residents, and can’t provide basic services.

            Montgomery Ward was around for over a 100 years too.

          • John R

            It would be interesting to examine setting up a sort of a probationary period for troubled munis based on objective benchmarks…. kind of like DESE stepping in with certain school districts. The goal would be to get them back on the right track but more drastic measures such as disincorporation would be on the table if necessary.

            In Kansas, this agency most certainly would be called KA-BOOM! The KAnsas Board of Out of Order Municipalities. Not sure what to call it in MO.

          • rgbose
          • Noco

            Are you comparing a for-profit department store chain that was twice sold to new owners to the city of Ferguson? I don’t think you realize how abrasive some of your posts come across. I appreciate your interest in civic matters but as a transplant you lack the ability to see the whole picture. You have now made several comparisons that were apples and oranges, is it too much to ask that you use fair, appropriate and factual comparisons? I’m not sure why you feel the need to throw out irrelevant comparisons, they only seem to take away from your journalistic efforts. And
            if you really wanted to bolster your view you should have used a town like National City to compare instead of a department store.

          • rgbose

            The Montgomery Ward bit was tongue in cheek.

            The Village of Brooklyn was incorporated in 1816. Town and Village were combined to form the City of Brooklyn in 1834. It became a part of New York City in 1898. It evolved with the times.

            Our munis need to do the same. The model isn’t working for many of them. Their citizens are paying the primary price, and the rest of us are baring some collateral damage.

          • Noco

            Oh so now your comparing St. Louis to New York? What price exactly are the citizens of those muni’s paying? Has there been a vote taken or are you inserting your agenda? I read in the St. Louis American a few months ago about you getting beat up by teens who had just been kicked out of the Loop area by UCity police and instead of blaming the teens and holding them personally responsible, you choose to blame the UCity police for pushing them out of their muni and into another one which you said provoked them. Is this what is shaping your views that “we” should unincorporate Muni’s? I do have empathy for how scared you must have felt during the attack but please try to understand others perspectives.

          • rgbose

            Contrasting really, NYC came together while St. Louis broke apart.

            Thousands are suffering under a tyrannical system supporting itself with ticketing and taking every opportunity to pile on fines related to minor infractions. Many of them are poor and these policies make getting out of poverty all that harder. I’m hoping people will get chances to vote. Under current law it’s impossible in charter and 3rd class cities and very difficult in villages and 4th class cities (gather signatures form 50% of voters, 60% to pass ) or go through a Board of Freeholders path.

            I didn’t blame the U City Police, I was blaming fragmentation and the fragmented policies that come with it. Fragmentation failed me that night, and it’s failing kids like them every day. We use invisible lines to avoid taking ownership of problems and to dump them on our neighbors.

          • Richard O

            Now you see the arguments made by some locals who adamantly refuse to acknowledge the change that is needed. There is a misperception that large government is bad and you lose the small town feel of community yet refuse to see that you can still have large government in 92 pieces that creates disparity between communities surrounded by large areas of disinvestment. The misplaced argument of lost history (Ferguson being 100 years old) when that will not happen if we ever become enlightened as a community to merge into say 10 districts or boroughs with sub districts that maintain their sense of history and community/neighborhood. It does not need to be as difficult to consolidate our government as people chose to make it.

          • Kim Jong Un

            I like how you think! I do not accept views different from my own either! Maybe you should move to my county, we don’t let the people choose anything. We make them all equal. Sound good? We all think the same, look the same and all have the same amounts of money. Come for a visit!

          • moe

            Agreed.

          • Richard O

            If you like the small town feel then go live in a small town. Just what does it take to get people to realize this fragmented governmental structure we have in St. Louis City and County doesn’t work! We don’t need 58 police departments with 58 different sets of rules, nor do we need so many fire departments and municipal courts and these fiefdoms don’t have the financial solvency to exist without the unfair practice of ticket gouging. Unincorporated areas in St. Louis County doesn’t work either which is why we need to restructure our government. This region lags in jobs and population growth and this fragmented (segregated) form of government is the biggest reason for it.

          • Deebo

            Hey if you want to live in awesome urban utopia maybe you should go live in one too! Who are you to judge what others desire? Why are you intolerant of lifestyle choices that differ from your own? This might be hard for you to wrap your head around but some people like local control and deeper local government vs big government. As for “small town feel” that meant to describe the sense of community, knowing your neighbors, running into each other at the store/events/parade etc. And if these muni’s went to all county services, wouldn’t that cost more with added usage/coverage, employees, infastructure etc? Or do you think it would all just be free?

          • Richard O

            What makes you think you can’t know your neighbors or have a sense of community and still have local control of your neighborhood with a consolidated form of government? There are much larger cities than St. Louis that still have local representation within their district/neighborhood. If you pool your resources you don’t need as many employees and the expenses should go down because your spreading those resources to cover a larger area. We have big government in a bunch of small pieces that costs the taxpayers more money because we have so much duplication of services that could/should serve a larger area. We have too many areas that are disinvested because they don’t have the financial resources and others that have too much and if we as a community spread those financial resources around we benefit as a whole community. Do you want to drive thru a rundown/disinvested section to get to your nice neighborhood? I think most people would say no because that rundown/disinvested area is still a reflection on getting to your neighborhood.

          • jsmith2832

            I live in the CWE and I know the vast majority of my neighbors. We have a neighborhood association and meet to discuss issues. We have multiple neighborhood sponsored events each year. Perhaps you’ve come to our Halloween celebration (if not, you should). I run into my neighbors at these events and at gas stations, restaurants, and grocery stores. My point, my neighborhood has every bit the sense of community as any municipality in the area. Moreover, is a sense of community enhanced by ticketing people to compensate for a lack of revenue? The municipal borders in St. Louis County (and the City/County Border) are nothing more than arbitrary lines dividing a single urban metropolitan area and community up. Other than Clayton and the City itself, is there a single other municipality that is self sustaining? How many Manchester residents work in Manchester (I grew up there and none of my parents worked in Manchester)? How many Kirkwood residents work in Kirkwood? Virtually none of these municipalities are truly independent or self sustaining. Residents of these communities reap the benefits of living in a metropolitan area while doing everything in their power to minimize the costs (both financial and moral) and responsibilities that come with living in a metropolitan area. In a City and County of approximately 1,300,000 people, lower income and, gasp, homeless people will exist. Correct me if I’m wrong, but there isn’t a single homeless shelter in all of St. Louis County. Residents in South County flipped out at the thought of a low income retirement community being built. Whether you like it or not, we are all in this together, both the good and the bad.

          • Deebo

            Of course a sense of community is not enhanced by ticketing people to compensate for a lack of revenue. If citizens are really that concerned why have they not pushed for legislation for speeding and other traffic violations to become state infractions like the way the state of Illinois does it? The citizens of Ferguson (sadly only 30%) spoke yesterday when they choose the Velda Village muni judge to represent Michael Brown’s aldermanic ward. Are you saying that you know what’s better for these residents than they do? What does your definition of self sustaining have anything to do with the amount of muni’s? And as far as muni residents reaping the benefits of living in a metro area while doing everything to minimize their costs and responsibilities is absolutely false. What about the high amount of children born into poverty by unwed mothers in the city, who do you think pays their Medicaid, Section 8, WIC, EBT etc.? Its definitely not city residents! Of course lower income people will exist and who am I to judge that an unwed mother without any high education who is in poverty to begin with continue to have children with absent fathers, my taxes pay for her choices and that’s ok with me, this is a free country and I encourage others to seek personal liberties.
            As far as south county residents trying to block a low income senior housing development, that’s why I choose not to live in an unincorporated area, no local control. Weather you like it or not we are NOT all in this together. We have the freedom to choose in America, we have the freedom to have different opinions, views, morals and principles. Now that the city of St. Louis has a one party ruling system I can see why someone like you would love living there.

          • jsmith2832

            “What does your definition of self sustaining have anything to do with the amount of muni’s?” Your question, for better or worse, demonstrates the divide in this entire conversation. I’ll spell it out though for you. Not every municipality in an area as Balkanized as St. Louis can be self sustaining. Every municipality cannot be Ballwin or Ladue. Lower income people exist, no matter how hard you try to isolate yourself from them. As a result, some “muni’s” cannot sustain themselves. However (and this is where my definition comes in), as much as Ballwin and Ladue residents like to pretend they are self sustaining (sorry Ladue and Ballwin residents, just randomly selected two wealthy areas), they aren’t. They work in Clayton, Earth City or downtown. Their tax revenue is completely dependent on the jobs their citizens have outside their municipal borders aka the jobs found in the GREATER St. Louis area. Despite your ignorance, we are absolutely all in this together when it comes to attracting and keeping jobs in the St. Louis area. It has nothing to do with your living in Merica. It has to do with your living and benefiting from living in the St. Louis metro area. P.S., I’m a municipal attorney in Illinois and your understanding of Illinois is slightly off in a purely practical sense. Virtually all city municipal ordinances mirror State law in Illinois so it is completely common for municipal officers to write up typically State charges (no insurance, speeding, no registration etc.) as a municipal violation. It drives me crazy because it actually only limits our enforcement options without providing any greater revenue to the cities (which is why I believe officers do it). However, Madison and St. Clair County allow residents to pay off fines through community service at the rate of $12.50 per hour ($100 per 8 hours) so municipal violations can never be a cash grab. It would be nice if municipalities in St. Louis County would offer the same option, but literally everyone with a brain knows what is really going on.

          • Deebo

            Wow sorry I got you so worked up! I’m guessing that since you said you’re a municipal attorney in Illinois (judicial hellhole of America) that you probably didn’t graduate with a very high ranking in your law school class or maybe you’re an alum of the 3rd tier law school SLU. Let me give you some advice on lawyering skills, when you’re making your case on an blog comment section there is no need to be an Internet tough guy and call me names like ignorant, insist I try to isolate myself from low income people and insinuate that I must not have a brain since “everyone with a brain knows what is really going on”. When you lower yourself to that level it takes away from the message and shows doubts. I appreciate your passion and the joy arguing your opinion must bring you. I’m guessing you didn’t end up with a very good 2L internship and that’s why you are despartly hoping that the city and county merge, every muni but Clayton dissolve and big companies relocate here to St. Louis because that’s the only way you’ll ever be able to ditch the metro east city counselor gig and get a real job with a real firm or become in house counsel. Bless your heart and good luck!

          • jsmith2832

            I’ll apologize actually because I believe my comment was completely out of line. A late, very frustrating night at work and I brought that frustration (and short fuse) to the board. Judging by your response, it seems I misread the tone of your initial response (I thought I was trying to out internet tough guy someone I perceived as being internet tough guy, rarely a wise decision). I actually did go to SLU, and I finished just inside the top 40% of my class (not great by any means). The issue of municipal fines is something I deal with weekly and take it personally because I believe what certain municipalities in St. Louis County are doing reflect poorly upon the profession and me personally as a municipal attorney. I also believe the system in St. Louis County is often outright unethical and my head explodes when people don’t acknowledge what is clearly going on in certain courts. The court system should not be used as an ATM machine. I also don’t necessarily support full unification (not really opposed to it), but a significant amount of consolidation is necessary because certain municipalities cannot support themselves without abusing the court system. I will say I don’t quite understand the latter part of your post about ditching the metro east, but I’ll chalk that up to your responding to my inappropriately personal post.

          • jhoff1257

            So you get upset with him for calling you ignorant and then you turn around and bash his job, his education and the school he went to.

            Pretty “internet tough guy” of you, try not to get so worked up when making your case on a blog comment section. Nothing wrong with discussion on a sensitive topic. Your opinions are not the same as many of the readers here. Don’t demand people respect your opinions when you don’t offer the same courtesy. if you can’t have a rational discussion about the very real problems facing this metro area then find another venue to rant in. Try the Post-Dispatch comment boards…you’d fit in perfectly there.

          • Deebo

            I’m not upset at all and certainly not worked up and I didn’t demand any respect. When the poster I replied to condescendingly mentioned that they were a municipal attorney in Illinois I offered some advice on lawyering skills and they responded with an apology which I did not ask for but showed class and civility. I apologize for reading this blog and making the assumption that comments were open to all readers regardless of opinion. Would you prefer me to email you privately with any comments so you can censor them and choose which ones are agreeable to the rest of the commenters and you could also be the judge if they were rational or not? I apologize for upsetting you and for confusing this blog for one that welcomed independent thinkers. Is their also a preferred race, gender or socio-economic class one must also must be in to comment as well?

          • jhoff1257

            I never said you couldn’t have a different opinion. I did say yours are different from most readers here, which is true. My point was that if you want to have a discussion there is no need for criticizing someone’s choice of law school or what state they choose to work in or where they landed in their class. No need to tell people to “get a job at a real firm” or bashing him for going to a “3rd tier law school” or “guessing you didn’t end up with a good 2L internship.” And that’s just one comment.

            Your opinions don’t bother me, I lived in the County for 20 years and my entire family still does. I’m well aware of the opinions out there. What bothers me is your condescending tone, which you once again showed in your reply to my original comment.

            If you want to talk about civility and class then show some.

          • Deebo

            Oh I’m so sorry I let you down. Congratulations on your 20yrs spent living in the county, I hope you don’t pity your poor family that still lives there too much.

            Why do you feel the need to point out that my opinions differ from most readers here? I’m well aware of that fact and that’s why I chose to originally post in agreement with RS’s post that unincorporated St. Louis county areas services are lacking and many muni’s have an advantage to living there.

            You really have quite a special skill for being able to decipher tone in a written text. I’m confused as to why you feel the need to scold me in an exchange I had with another poster that has since been resolved. You did read the other poster’s comment that I responded to correct?

            Who are you to judge if there is a need to critize someone’s choice of law school? How does that affect you? Was it your alma mater as well? Why else would you be so upset and obsessed with a post made days before you choose to comment.
            The discussion between the other poster and myself seems to already have been discussed so we really won’t be needing you to referee. Thanks anyways!

          • jhoff1257

            So patronizing! Thanks for proving my point.

            And for what it’s worth, I like the County. I never said it was a bad place.

          • Deebo

            Wasn’t that the reaction you were looking for? What response would have pleased you? Why would I show some “civility and class” to someone that is only responding to my post to scold me? Where exactly did I “demand people respect my opinions”? And if your last line of “Try the Post Dispatch comment boards…you’d fit in perfectly there” are not perfect examples of condecending and patronizing launguge then I don’t know what is. No need to thank me twice for proving your point, once is enough.

          • Adam

            “What about the high amount of children born into poverty by unwed mothers in the city, who do you think pays their Medicaid, Section 8, WIC, EBT etc.?”

            Deebo, do you actually have any stats to support that there are more children born into poverty in the city than in the rest of the metro? The city already offers more services for the poor than the rest of the metro combined. The county instead dumps it’s poor off in the city, which makes it easy for those living in the county to pretend like there aren’t any poor people outside the city limits.

          • Deebo

            Why thank you for asking Adam! I have a deep love for stats and facts since thy are one of the few things that are an absolute truth and stand on their own independently! Please spend some time doing researching for yourself at health.mo.gov! I take the time to really educate myself on the facts stats so I can have a truthful understanding of what is really going on instead of relying on hearsay or perception. One fact you are more than welcome to verify for yourself is that from the years 2010-2013 St. Louis city residents had 1,422 live births where unmarried mothers paid privately compared to the 8,844 live births to unmarried mothers on Medicaid in that same time frame. Now correct me if I’m wrong but the city of St. Louis does not self fund Medicaid for its residents correct? So the residents that have choose to end up in circumstances where Medicaid pays for their labor and delivery must rely on taxpayers outside the city as well to fund Medicaid. Doesn’t seem very independent to me but that is just my opinion I have made after educating myself with the facts.

          • Adam

            ^ From the same website, and for the same years, there were 13,099 live births by unmarried, Medicaid-receiving mothers in St. Louis County (go see for yourself—check all the St. Louis County zip codes and uncheck all the city ones). Guess that means the county is even more dependent on Medicaid than the city! And if that’s the measure you want to use for “number of poor people” then there are more poor people in the county than in the city. Next time maybe educate yourself with all the stats instead of just the ones you like. 🙂

          • Deebo

            Yes that is the measure that has been proven to measure one’s ability to make it out of poverty. Being born into poverty and then having a child while still in poverty and no education without a spouse is the number 1 way to remain in poverty and to continue the cycle. As for math facts, you do realize that the city of St. Louis has a population of 318,416 to the county’s 1,001,444 so with 3x as many people the county would need 26,532 live births paid for by Medicaid to even be equal. I’m not quite sure why choose to deny an epidemic that is affecting the lives of so many innocent children. The more people that stop living in denial about how the cycle of poverty continues and the scope of live births that are occurring, the better we will be in a position to make a difference. Don’t let me confuse you with the facts!

          • Adam

            “…so with 3x as many people the county would need 26,532 live births paid for by Medicaid to even be equal.”

            um, no. in terms of raw numbers there are more poor people in the county than in the city based on the measure YOU chose. sorry. so perhaps the county should provide some of its own services instead of busing its poor into the city. and if you’re complaining about buying welfare for 8,844 poor kids in the city but not complaining about buying it for 13,099 poor kids in the county, you’re cherry-picking.

          • Deebo

            It’s cool dude, you obviously have an agenda and an ego so you win! Your right,
            I’m wrong. In terms of population .027 of city residents had a Medicaid birth compared to .013 in the county. I never mentioned anything about bussing poor people into the city, not sure why you remain fixated on that. And lastly I’m not complaining about paying for welfare for anyone, I’m fact not only do I contribute with my tax dollars, I also annually fund parts of a therapeutic preschool in the city that helps city kids born to drug addicted mothers, PTSD and other mental health issues, it’s a cause near and dear to my heart. I just pointed out the fact that city residents are not truly independant. As far as the county providing their own services, maybe the city should fund its own Zoo and museums if you really want to go there.

          • Go Cardinals!

            SO TRUE!

    • Alex Ihnen

      The point of “we” in this case is simply that Ferguson can’t disincorporate. There is no mechanism for it, and so “we” refers to the need for a change at the state level that would allow the people of Ferguson to decide.

    • rgbose

      The Missouri Constitution gives the City and County the power to do so. It is our business. Beyond that municipalities are subdivisions of state government, nothing scared.

  • Wayne

    The mayor and all the leadership in Ferguson should help push this through before they are all voted out of office.